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Zero-K: Zero-K v1.5.2.24 – Air and matchmaker tweaking

Ground units have more of a chance to shine with some nerfs to the more oppressive and generalist air units. On the Steam front we have improved the resilience of out Steam packaging by disabling wrapper automatic updates. All updates for the Steam version are automatically packaged and updated via Steam. The upshot is that the singleplayer content will be playable without an internet connection.


Wyvern is still a powerful attrition bomber, just with a slower rate of attrition:

  • Rearm time increased 5s -> 30s. Previously all planes would take 5s to rearm.

Hawk is tankier to cement its superiority and should be nicer to control:

  • Health 1000 -> 1100
  • No longer reduces turnrate when firing (only speed and acceleration are reduced).

Rapier is much more vulnerable to anti-air and slightly more vulnerable to riot units. It is also worse at covering territory:

  • Speed 3.9 -> 3.65
  • Range 360 -> 350

Flail has its missile escapabilty brought in line with other missile anti-air units:

  • Flight time 6s -> 3.5s


There are now four difficulty levels of AI: very easy, easy, medium and hard. These levels are selectable through the AI menu or as options in skirmish quick play. Survival mode (chickens) is also now an option in quick play.

The reports from players that they would use individual 3v3 and 4v4 matchmakers were greatly exaggerated. There are now three matchmaker queues:

  • 1v1
  • Teams
  • Coop

The teams queue will make a game of size 2v2 to 4v4. The coop queue is a new queue which will have two to five players fight either CAI or chickens, depending on the map selected. It currently uses CAI but we are looking into replacing it with circuit AI of variable difficulty levels.


  • Removed unpathable areas from maps correctly.
  • Fixed savegames breaking factories.
  • Fixed esc interaction with the command menu. It now closes tabs correctly.
  • Fixed some image preloading.
  • Fixed (or at least reduced) a rare issue with large structures on spires/holes being stuck at 0% construction because the inbuilt Spring terraforming is trying to flatten the ground.
  • Removed misleading reload bar from bombers. Pheonix and Thunderbird now technically have 1s reload time, down from 10s, but since they take 5s to rearm this change should do almost nothing.

Zero-K: Zero-K v1.5.2.20

Recently we’ve been focused on polish and fixes. Here are three main aspects:

  • Zero-K now has an official discord server and we’ve linked it to our main server chat. Join us here:
  • Steam testing is underway. We have a steam package and test keys to give to those willing to help us test it. Players can now log in to the site or lobby using their steam account instead of with a password.
  • We’ve tightened the crash report loop which has yielded a high rate of engine bug fixes (as seen in the image).


Balance work has fallen by the wayside with our focus on polish. That said, we’ve been balancing for so long that little needs to be done. The Defender change is mostly madness and the other changes are fixes for consistency.


  • Reload time 11.5s -> 12.5s.

The aim is to reduce their effectiveness as sustained fire support against Skirmishers or LLTs without impacting their burst damage against small raids or aircraft.


  • Sight range 425 -> 560 (same as Flea)

This makes Puppy a better scout.


  • Sight range 660 -> 473 (110% weapon range, like most units)

The large sight range was a holdover from when it had more range.


  • Slowbeam range reduced by 10.

This is mainly a unit AI fix. Previously it could stop at max range without being able to fire its main gun.


Last month, Kloot and hokomoko (two engine developers) were active in fixing some performance issues introduced in the last 6 months. Much of the performance has been brought back and there are even improvements – such as faster loading for midgame rejoin. We’ve implemented automatic crash reporting (opt-in) and have entered a phase of tracking the development versions of the engine to report crashes and use the latest fixes. Thanks to Kloot these fixes come in quite rapidly.

Some performance offenders have also been tracked down and removed from Zero-K code and the game seems to run smoother as a result. Our near term plan is to continue following the engine version to fix the most common crashes. Once that is done we would like to call players to test the 64 bit windows builds of Spring as they seemed to yield further performance improvements.


We now have deployment support for third party AIs. Circuit AI was added a few weeks ago and has since been updated from 0.9.11.b to 0.9.12 to fix a few crashes.


Most (all?) the extra windows that occur throughout the game now have the techpanel skin and fixed spacing. The new UI skin is now basically complete.

Command menu:

  • Improved the logic of when grid hotkeys are available and when the menu switches back to the order tabs.
  • Grid hotkeys now hide when not available (for example during structure placement position selection).


Here are some fixes since Zero-K v1.5.2.5

  • Game end “Overwhelming advantage” reveals cloaked units
  • Disabled click-and-hold structure terraform by default. It is scary upon discovery. Use ‘B’ to set structure height or enable click-and-hold in the settings.
  • Translated the factory assist widget to a gadget. This fixes some cases where user orders on incomplete constructors would be overridden. Also fixes factory assist with commshare.
  • Fixed some energy spending and distribution problems in overdrive. There were edge cases to do with team games that would make low storage players have too much of their energy income sent to overdrive.
  • Fixed some errors upon loading saved games.
  • Fixed some units failing to emit smoke when damaged.
  • Fixed some cloaked units which were smoking when cloaked (cloaking is supposed to block smoking).
  • Improved the reliability of reserve.
  • Fixed an issue with resigning before the game starts (it’s now blocked).
  • Fixed settings search hanging Spring.
  • Fixed large terraform performance hog with it’s new smooth update rate by reducing the update rate when the terraform becomes large.
  • Fixed Trident sometimes closing while airborne.

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Official: [misc] LuaMex for all!


This is a spinoff of luamex that was originally created for Complete Annihilation and then later expanded for use in Zero-K. We wanted a system that could be dropped into any Spring Game which would immediately replace hardcoded engine metal extraction points with lua controlled points. An added benefit of this method is that the gamedev can create lua mexmap configs that will override the hardcoded ones in the map. Therefore, you can make each map specifically cater to your needs.

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Zero-K: Zero-K v1.5.1.5 – Commshare testing, global storage removal

The most noticeable change of this version is the removal of global storage. Commanders are now the source of your initial metal and energy storage so losing them hurts a bit more (this gives it the CArankAdminShadowfury333 seal of approval). However, the pain shouldn’t be too great because your economy should run with no storage, just with no ability to absorb fluctuations.

Part of the motivation of the storage change is consistency. There are no no global sources of storage and nothing is tied to any particular player. There is now no need for special rules about who, if anyone, gets extra storage in cases such as resigning allies, uneven teams and commshare. The storage just follows the owner of the commander. It should also make commanders a juicer target, which is nice.

Other notable contributions are from PLrankSprung with various fixes and cleanups, AUrankAquanim with the improved drone controls, USrank_Shaman with commshare and USrankaeonios with the improved halo selections widget.



  • Now have 500 storage to offset to lack of global storage.


  • LOS 440 -> 517. This matches the rule that most units with less than around 600 range should have LOS equal to 110% their maximum range.

Stinger and Lotus:

  • Lowered aim points, except when near a cliff. This makes them more vulnerable to ballistic units and in particular improves Hammer vs raised Stinger.


  • Improved skirmish AI to take its own velocity into account. Riots such as Warriors have a much harder time hitting it.


  • Slowbeam range 350 -> 450 to match the main gun. This is intended to help against heavy targets such as Dante. Of course, it helps against smaller units as well but there are many anti-small nerfs available to the unit.


  • Range 300 -> 325. This enables it to reliable target the ground.


  • Removed gun because it can’t be trusted to not teamkill.
  • Powered by clockwork.


  • Reduced cratering by a factor of 10.


  • Reduced the number of nanoframes placable per second from infinity to 30.

Buffed new players against the Spider, Jump, Amphib and Ship factories. These factories are now open on the sides such that you can block the entire front and still extract your units. This will be applied to the other land factories, pending models.


Fixed command insert interaction with the construction of blocks of structures (lines, rectangles etc..). Command insert now adds blocks of structures as a chunk instead of potentially inserting them between many commands. The construction order of the block now matches the order of construction when command insert is not used.

Added commshare. In the default mode it can be access with a WIP interface using the hotkey ‘h’. Players can merge and unmerge control throughout the game. The commshare modoption can also either enforce full commshare throughout the game or disable optional merge.

Improved drone controls.

  • Drones now hold fire if their carrier is set to hold fire.
  • Attack commands for the carrier are better at causing the drones to attack a particular target.
  • Drones respond to set target commands on their carrier in the same way they respond to attack commands.
  • Added a command for carriers to recall their drones.

Improved the blurry halo selections widget, as seen above. It should now run on more graphics cards and look better.

Tick, Roach, Skuttle and Blastwing are now detonated by manual fire (hotkey D) in addition to the usual method.

Improved Felon and Clam walk animations.


  • Fixed nonfunctional reserve truncation upon storage loss.
  • Fixed reserve display fighting when commsharing.
  • Fixed malfunctioning Brawler rear fan.
  • Windgen nanoframes can no longer be told to jump.
  • Fixed a button in the menu which would hide the map.
  • Fixed terraform cursor with F5 (hide UI).
  • Fixed new capture visual.
  • Fixed stockpile display missing from the menu.
  • Fixed cloak effect on so called ‘advanced’ models (.dae).
  • Fixed Doomsday Machine description to say that its heatray requires power.

EvoRTS: Gameplay updates, Factory changes, HBot Tweaks, Morphing Improvements, New UI Enhancements, Music Player, New News Contributor!

Hello there people! I am your new news contributor (hell of a tongue twister eh?) RSAStudioGames! I will be help Forboding Angel out with posting updates. So lets get right into these new and amazing updates!

Teching and Unlocks / Generators

Generators will no longer unlock tech upgrades, there will now be a dedicated technology facility which can be upgraded to grant tech levels 1 through 3. Each tech level will unlock certain units from your factories. Tech level one will unlock the basic units while tech level three will unlock the more advanced units. For example, if you have an all-terrain factory, by unlocking tech level 3 you will have access to units such as the Anarchid!  Also, in an upgraded factory, your units will receive a 20% increase in health and weapon damage making it of vital importance for winning late game battles!

The tech facility is the building that is glowing green.

Building HitPoints

Building HP is now directly linked to how much that specific building costs. For example, a Lightning rod will have more health than a Kmar shield tower (not including its shield) because of its cost difference.

h-bot tweaks

Next, h-bots have had their fire rate nerfed to fire slower yet steadier. However, turret deployment now results in a 4x HP increase. This is a fundamental change form the original idea of giving turret deployments more range, damage and health. In testing it was a little too easy to exploit. The h-bot engineer can now be deployed into an engineering turret that can build other h-bot turrets! It will also repair units and buildings within it’s healing radius! It is similar to the ORB, however it’s range is slightly smaller.

Morph Progress

The morphing visualization is now improved so you can easily track the progress of your unit morphs! This is a really nice addition seeing as how it was sometimes quite difficult to know morph progress, and it ended up being more of a “best guess” scenario.

Building Ground Plates

The next improvement is more of an aesthetics thing, but it is still quite nice for those of you who are quite OCD about what their bases should look like! There is a new building ground plate that seamlessly fit with each other (kind of like lego bricks) to make your base look much more organized!

New unit icons!

We now have new unit icons thanks to Dmdr! Units and their types are now much more accurately portrayed.

Automatically generated build menu hotkeys (And cost display)!

Finally, we now have a new UI improvements! Big thanks to Floris and Commonplayer for their sizable contribution in creating the new UI. The UI’s buttons and bars now have a glow effect to them. Also, the options menu also allows you to quickly and easily set advanced graphics options while in-game! Another improvement is that the build menu now has hotkey shortcuts so you can quickly place down buildings saving seconds of time for you to get those units out there! The unit costs are now also directly displayed on the build icon!


New music player UI

Something that we have all been waiting for has been completed! Floris and Forboding Angel have created for us a music player! This will now allow us to have basic music controls such as volume, pausing, and playing! The player will also allow you to advance to another track. The track name will also be displayed for those of you who are curious!

Control Point Visuals

And finally, as our last notable update to the game for now, Floris has been kind enough to help improve our control point visuals! This has been a work in progress for quite some time, but thanks to Floris, the UI and the visuals that get drawn on the map are now very professional grade, complete with animations. Additionally, Commonplayer has implemented control point self-stabilization. What that means is that when you own a control point and an enemy steps foot into that control point, the point itself starts to neutralize. The departure is that now when the enemy leaves before fully neutralizing the control point, the point will revert back to it’s fully captured state instead of remaining half-neutralized.

Misc Updates

In other news, thanks to the contributions of many people, the wiki is now underway! We have been adding page after page and guide after guide to help everyone out! Come check it out!

Secondly, we are planning another get-together soon! Nothing is scheduled yet but, we are going to make it the best event for the beginning of 2017!


Anyways, I wish you guys a happy new year and lets get to playing some Evolution RTS!

(Enjoy these epic battle screenshots!)


The post Gameplay updates, Factory changes, HBot Tweaks, Morphing Improvements, New UI Enhancements, Music Player, New News Contributor! appeared first on Evolution RTS.


Zero-K: Zero-K v1.4.12.15

Aquanim continues to balance sea and the codebase has received many background cleanups and small fixes. The new UI is now the default and in terms of land balance Dominatrix may be OP.

Default UI Enforcement Opt-Out

The UI rework has reached the point where it is enabled by default. To switch to it select “New UI Minimap Right” in “Settings/HUD Presets”. It is incomplete but it does as least as much as the previous default. It looks like this:

As always, the default only applies to clean installs. However, this policy has ended up painting us into a corner. The UI used by most players tends to be a snapshot of whatever the default UI was when they first installed ZK. At worst this UI is broken and at best it is not something I want to fully support. The situation I imagine is someone with an eight month old default suddenly having a window overlap issue due to more recent changes. Players with experience modifying their UI can simply remove the widget or move the window. Players that barely modify their UI should not be expect to be able to solve these problems themselves.

I would like to apply the new default UI to anyone who is using an old default. Especially since the new window position handler is able to reset the UI to default upon detecting a screen resolution change. Clearly if you have modified your UI this is not something you want. To solve this I implemented an opt-out for default UI updates.

Important: there is now an option “Stay up to date” in “Settings/HUD Presets” and it is enabled by default. Currently, this option does nothing. In February this option will set the UI Preset to the default window layout, whatever that may be by February. Other things may be changed as required. If you want to keep your custom UI then you have by February to disable the option.



  • Cost 560 -> 600
  • HP 4200 -> 4000
  • Missile reload time 10s -> 16s (40 -> 25 DPS)


  • Projectile speed 330 -> 400 elmo/s


  • Speed 2.5 -> 2.3 (75 -> 69 elmo/s)
  • Slasher missile weapon replaced with Recluse-Rogue: a burst of four wobbly Rogue missiles with 8s reload.


  • Capture decay now applies 5s after taking capture damage instead of instantly. This means that one Dominatrix can capture anything if it waits for long enough.

This behaviour was always the intention, however, it was not (probably never) functional. This is mainly a buff against large units because removing their 4% capture decay while actively being captured is a larger change for expensive units. This change is in a good direction because Dominatrix is meant to be anti-heavy.

Screamer now explodes like a Annihilator instead of a Defender.

Removed Surfboard. Something like Surfboard can be re-added but the current implementation was too broken.

Unit AI

Wolverine tactical AI is now better at staying out of Grizzly range. It is still not great at this though, since Wolverine has a large turning circle.

Improved Raven overkill prevention. Now it removes its attack order immediately upon realizing that its first target is doomed.

Global build command:

  • Added an auto-retreat option.
  • Added worker update rate option (for poor CPU/internet).
  • Fixed some performance and stuck unit issues.

Fixed Scorchers not diving Windgens and Mexes.


  • Added “Stay up to date” option to “Settings/HUD Presets”.
  • Set “minimapRight” as the default HUD panel layout.
  • Vote widget remembers its position.
  • Moved vote widget to the left side of the screen for the new default UI layout.
  • Moved chicken panel default position to the top right of the screen (previously bottom right).
  • Powerplant descriptions are more descriptive.
  • Improved Strike Commander animation. Fixed Guardian Commander and Dante animation.
  • Improved capture controller visuals.
  • Improved Djinn Lamp placement. Placement is now cancellable and has better command queue interaction.
  • Mex placement now works with command insert.
  • Mex placement now works (consistently) with persistent build height.
  • Persistent build height now works with command insert.
  • Mex placement now works with both persistent build height and command insert at the same time.
  • Terraform construction updates more smoothly (technically, this affects balance).

Dante animation comparison:


  • Added good start boxes for LLTACompleteV2.
  • Fixed unit reclaiming issue, it is now exactly as hard to area reclaim your own units as it should be.
  • Melee chicken attacks are no longer blocked by wrecks.
  • Fixed Gauss ambient occlusion.
  • Fixed Raven overkill prevention bug which caused them to occasionally not fire at static targets.
  • Fix Pyro aiming, they now know that they have a spherical weapon.
  • Fixed Lamp destruction bug.
  • Removed some deprecated modoptions.
  • Lots of definition file cleanup.

Zero-K: Zero-K v1.4.12.7 – Sea Rework

The main change in this version is Aquanim’s sea rework. Sonar ranges are less arbitrary than previously – all sea units have sonar equivalent to their vision radius. Many ships have been changed significantly. Serpent has been removed entirely but there is a new surface ship with a sonic gun and Impaler-like missile (Siren). Amphibious and Hovercraft haven’t been changed besides sonar, but the new ships interact with those factories quite differently so you will still need to rethink your strategies.


In short: all sea units and Urchin can see underwater units, underwater units are not detectable by radar and long-range sonar sources do not exist. Being underwater functions like radar jamming does on land, except you can’t be seen by economy structures or land units.

In principle, being underwater is a lot like radar jamming, except that you are also invisible to non-Urchin structures, non-Vulture planes, and amphibious-pathing units from land factories. Here are the details:

  • All units produced by the Ship, Amphibious and Hovercraft factories, and the ship Striders, have sonar equal to their sight range.
  • Urchin has sonar equal to its sight range.
  • Commanders have sonar equal to their sight range.
  • Vulture has sonar range equal to its jamming range (700).
  • Other units and structures do not have sonar. Notably this includes Gauss, Aspis, Eraser, Ultimatum and Detriment.
  • Sonar Station has been removed.

We’ve investigated some preexisting sonar interactions and cleaned up some weirdness. One thing of note is that cloak and jamming on fully submerged units is penetrated by sonar (perhaps a recent engine change). To make this interaction more obvious we’ve made fully submerged units unable to cloak. This change barely affects game mechanics aide from saving energy and removing the underwater radar dot.

We also noticed that sufficiently deep units do not have any surface vision. This is an engine change and not part of the current design. However, it probably works so we’ll not put effort in to work around it for the time being.


Ship Factory has been substantially reworked. We’ve also taken the opportunity to remove a lot of conflicts with TA unit names (though some renames are just for consistency with reroles or for some theme). Overkill prevention and Unit AI has been implemented, but you may find bugs and foibles. Report these so they can be fixed please 🙂

Constructor – Mariner is a little more expensive and has sonar, but mostly unchanged.

Scout (Disarming) – Skeeter is renamed to Cutter and has increased range to be able to destroy any land mex reachable by Mariner. Be aware that the Scout Boat’s overkill prevention defaults to disabled, because it also tries not to hit disarmed targets. Under some circumstances you may wish to enable it.

Raider (Torpedo-Boat) – Hunter is now a torpedo-boat raider; it is much cheaper, smaller and faster, but is individually weaker in combat and no longer has a large area-of-effect.

Skirmisher Frigate (Missile) – Enforcer is renamed to Mistral and completely reworked. It is much cheaper and functions like a mobile Slasher. It fires weak guided missiles from long range (in particular it outranges Urchin, Scalpel, Defender and Stinger).

Riot/Raider Corvette (Shotgun) – Typhoon is renamed to Corsair; it is a little cheaper and faster, and armed with shotguns instead of machineguns. The shotguns make it effective against large targets at short range, however, its toughness has been reduced.

Riot/Assault Destroyer (Sonic Gun) – Siren (a new unit based on the old Daimyo model) has a sonic gun with some area-of-effect which is effective against lighter-weight surface and underwater targets. It also has a mini-Impaler missile for attacking statics. It is quite slow.

Artillery Cruiser – Crusader is renamed to Ronin; it is more expensive, more resilient, has slightly improved range and has more area-of-effect. It no longer has a depth charge sidearm.

Submarine Raider – Snake is renamed to Seawolf; it fills the same role as before, with a few numbers tweaks. The changes to how sonar works have affected its best use somewhat.

Anti-Air – Shredder is renamed to Zephyr and now has sonar but is otherwise unchanged.

Transport – Surfboard is unchanged, besides new sonar. Some bugs with transporting cloakers and jammers have been fixed.

Submarine Artillery – Serpent has been removed.

Strider Ships

The large ships have recieved some changes. Reef has some role issues which require improved drone control to fix.

Battleship – Renamed to Shogun and has a little more range and sonar. Otherwise unchanged for now; this needs some teams game testing but its overall role seems okay.

Carrier – Instead of its previous cruise missile, the Carrier stockpiles tactical missiles in 60s at 10 m/s, and fires them like a D-gun. This change is largely to avoid the current overload of weapon and drone controls. The Carrier currently retains the name Reef but this may be subject to change, as are the other properties of the unit. If and when the drone controls are improved there is some potential for adding a light carrier to the Ship factory. Something interesting and large (think Crabe or Grizzly) should go in the remaining build slot for the Shipyard and that could possibly be a miniature carrier.

Tactical Missile Sub – Renamed to Scylla. Now stockpiles in 30s at 20 m/s, twice its old rate. Similarly to the Carrier, this unit could potentially see further changes but needs more data from teamgames (and FFA).

Other Sea Units

Amphibious and hovercraft units are unchanged except that they all have sonar range equal to their sight range. Sea has changed around these units though so reevaluate their new place in sea. The sea interactions of these factories is open to change in the future, especially Duck torpedo range as well as everything about Scallop, Archer and Claymore.

After some testing we think that more amphibious units are viable than before. Buoy and Archer seem to be decent units to fight the reduced weight Hunter and Scallop is a bit less powerful. Hovercrafts are mostly unchanged except that Dagger is worse against the new raiders. Penetrator and Halberd are still powerful, unique units and Claymore has its uses.

Sea is not designed for Hovercrafts and Amphs to be 1v1 viable start factories. It seems that they might be viable on small maps, such as 8×8. However, we’ve found it useful to switch to these factories and teamgames should see many different factories ploped. This makes sea distinct from land in that there is one main factory and four support factories. We’re not too worried about this as the ship factory has a lot of complexity with its dual domain and 3 or 4 raiders. Sea 1v1s feel harder than land 1v1s which is probably a good spot for it.

Urchin range has been reduced a little and has slightly more health.

Ultimatum and Detriment no longer have sonar.

Sonar Station no longer exists.

Other Changes

Tactical AI:

  • Improved Penetrator, Pillager and Impaler AI. They are now less prone to wiggling at max range to match the exact wiggling of their opponent.
  • Scorchers now hug most unarmed or undodgable enemies instead of runing around them in tight circles.
  • Many things now keep their distance from death explosions. Only appies to Fight command.


  • Morph no longer purges slow damage upon completion.
  • Status effects (EMP, disarm, slow) now affect resource drain.
  • Commanders can now morph on Surfboards. They need to disembark to complete the morph in case they are no longer transportable.
  • Non-commander morph is now cancelled if the unit is loaded into a transport.


  • New UI chat is wider, backlog automatically toggles when entering chat.
  • Area reclaim is now back to reclaiming trees by default. Holding Ctrl while issuing an area reclaim order now ignores trees. The recent new behaviour can be enabled through Game/Unit Behaviour.


  • Chicken and player timeout windows no longer persist through different games with Chobby.
  • Fixed initial queue structure visualization on some maps.