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Zero-K: More Planetwars Testing

With the Steam release fast approaching we have launched another test Planetwars to fix any lingering issues and ensure that it all works. For stability there are few new features however we have found the time to do some balance changes on the structures. The largest change is that victory points decay at 1/turn if at least two factions have VP, this is similar to the influence decay mechanic for planets.
It would be foolish to run Planetwars over the release as it is not the best place for brand new players and there are potential server load issues. We’ve been running these tests to let us run a full lore-and-all round shortly after the release. Exactly when will depend on circumstances.

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BA: [BA 10.08] Hotfix, 1v1 tournament + more goodies

 

Quick update to BA 10.07

Hello everyone! We are just dropping a quick update to touch the issues which went out of sight during BA 10.07 testing session. As may or may not have noticed in the last couple of days Juggernauts refused to shoot their main canons. What is more, there were few problems with the behavior of the newly implemented cloaking script (needed due to a new way of implementing CLOAK in new maintenance engine). Some units wouldn’t auto-cloak after walking out of the lab, also the automatic hold-fire widget didn’t work as it is supposed to. These two plus some minor different bugs have forced the dev team to release a quick bugfix.

Tiny balance tweaks

Along with the bugfix, we are including a little nerf to vehicles. This change has been proposed as an answer to the tons of feedback we had from you guys during the last month. It is not a big deal and probably noone would have even noticed it. However, it is important in a sense of taking any (even the tiniest) steps in the right direction. These tweaks only touch the units that the community considered still overpowered after the former nerfs in BA 10.07, BA 10.05 and BA 10.03.

  • Speed -2% for: Stumpy, Raider, Bulldog, Reaper
  • Janus -2% Brakerate / – 2% acceleration
  • Bulldog -7 weapon AoE
  • Reapers -100 HP

Deterministic unload

One noteworthy thing included in this update is so-called deterministic area unload. It changes the behavior of area unload command. In the past, it used to work in a very unpredictable manner. If you have commanded a number of transporters to unload on some area, they would just pick random points in that space. From now on, these points are going to be uniformly distributed in the circle. The script is using the sunflower distribution (Fibonacci spiral pattern). A little piece of sacred geometry in BA for math nerds to enjoy 😀

BA 1v1 tourney is comming!

Yes! it is happening. After long years of silence, BA is going back to the competitive mode! We are going to hold a 1v1 tournament at the end of April. The exact date is being discussed with the community, but it will most likely be 29/04 (Sunday). What is known now is that the total number of participants is going to be fixed (16). This post is only a teaser, however, you can already start picking your spots. Write on #tourney discord channel or in the comments section below this post if you wanna join the competition. More info soon!

Fixed:

  • Juggernaut main weapon not firing
  • Line Unload behavior (was discarding orders that were shown as possible)
  • sniper auto hold fire when cloaked
  • transported units using selfd explosion rather than death explosion when their transport is shot down / self destructs / is reclaimed

Unbalanced Commanders (when mo_unba is enabled):

  • Commander’s wreck metal value scales on commander’s level: 70% of full value at level 1, 100% at level 2, 120% at level 3, 140% at level 4, 170% at level 5, 200% at level 6, 220% at level 7, 250% at level 8, 300% at level 9, 400% at level 10 and 500% at level 11
  • MoveSpeed reduced by 0.025 when level increases ( 1.25 -> 1.0 ) • EnergyMake = Base + {0,25,50,75,100,150,200,250,300,400,500}
  • MetalMake = Base + {0,0.5,1.0,2,3,4,5,7.5,10,12.5,15}

Other:

  • Some widget and gadget optimizations
  • Voice Notifs play along when tracking a players camera when speccing
  • When large unit icons option enabled: buildorders get enlarged alongside with buildicons
  • Enemyspotter/TeamPlatter/ComNameTags widgets take options ‘same team colors’ into account
  • When tracking player camera, ally selected units gui is now integrated in option window
    Ecostats /specfullview crash fix
  • Added modoption ‘mo_allowuserwidgets’ to be able to disable user widgets (plain level field for tournaments and other competitive setups)

Thank you for testing!

Download BA 10.06

(This goes to lobby download. If you already have that, download via lobby or use this link)

Full Changelog

The post [BA 10.08] Hotfix, 1v1 tournament + more goodies appeared first on Balanced Annihilation.

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EvoRTS: New Resource Bar?

The issue: The old resource bar displays too much information in a very small space. This causes confusion and frustration in players as they are trying to simply understand basics, like building and giving orders. This is my method for fixing the problem.

At first glance, the resource bar looks the same, right? Let’s have a look at the original:

Ahh, so now we have some actual context. As you can see, the old resource bar separates out all of the information and doesn’t really combine any of it. From left to right, you have a layout like this:

Supply: Used/Maximum (Net/Maximum Possible)

Energy: Income/Outgoing (Stored/Max Storage)

Metal: Net Income/Outgoing (Stored/Max Storage)

That is a LOT of information! One of my friends tried out the game for the first time a while back, and was bewildered by a resource bar that I have been familiar with for decades… Ever since the original Total Annihilation. It struck me that we needed a way to convey the same information in a way that isn’t overwhelming, so I came up with this method:

Supply: Used (Color coded based upon availability)/Current Max Supply (Color coded based upon relation to maximum possible supply)

Energy: Net (Color coded based upon whether the income is positive or not) (Available/Max Storage)

Metal: Net (Color coded based upon whether the income is positive or not) (Available/Max Storage)

As you can see, the new method conveys the same information, but in a much less confusing manner and with fewer random numbers on the screen. As a long time user of the old method, I thought that I would really dislike the change, but as it turns out, I love it!

To other spring gamedevs, you can have a look at the backside of the code here, for copy and pastage goodness (I’m linking to energy, just scroll up for supply or down for metal:

Don’t Stop Get It Get It!

The post New Resource Bar? appeared first on Evolution RTS.

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BA: BA 10.07: Kbot mobility, transporter fix, voice system

BA 10.05

BA 10.07 is finally here…

How is it going, guys? It’s been a while, huh? After a bit of a delay, we are finally dropping Balanced Annihilation version 10.07. Same as before, the long wait is going to be really well-rewarded. Again, there is a lot to talk about, so I will try to break it down in the most compact way possible for a better understanding of the changes. This update gently touches many different aspects making tiny improvements here and there, but there are some focal points to discuss. BA 10.07 features a tiny boost in Kbots mobility, an in-game voice/notification system, a major improvement in transporters’ behavior and control and new fancy effects. So, without further ado, here are the most important changes coming with BA 10.07.

~TL;DR – Just give me that download button!

Kbot mobility

After another big discussion over the vehicle-Kbot balance, we had some afterthoughts that sparked another big talk about microing Kbots. Putting away all the detailed technicalities of how the Kbot movement script used to work, the main concern was a certain amount of randomness built into it. Basically, you didn’t really know how the unit will react to a move command. Due to the fact that in BA Kbots torso can move independently of the legs position while it’s the legs, that determine the walking direction, there was always a degree uncertainty in how the units will go about reaching the point of destination. Since you don’t know the legs orientation (just from seeing the Kbot), you can’t know for sure how will it react to a move order.

Will it have to turn with a huge radius, and eventually run towards the enemy, or will it just go straight?

To tackle that issue the turn speed of Kbots had to be considerably increased, while simultaneously allowing for turn in place if it is necessary to keep the right walking direction and reducing the turn radius. To compensate for the harder aiming (due to easier dodging by fast moving units) the projectile speed for units like Rockos has been slightly increased. It may sound hard to grasp, but after few test games it turned out to be pretty easy to adapt to.

 

Weapon activation

Another improvement regarding Kbot script has been made to the way aiming is performed. Before, the process of aiming was split into two phases – turning and activating (i.e. hammers opening their cannons). These phases could only happen one-after-another. This made some units (mainly ARM) take longer to react. With BA 10.07 these two were merged into one swift movement enabling Kbots to buy some time during the first aim.  Instead of needing i.e. 0.2s for activating then 0.5 for aiming, now they’ll take 0.5 s for activating + aiming. If there is no aiming to do, they’ll just take the activation time (in this case, 0.2s). These changes combined generally make Kbot microing considerably more reliable. Other minor balance tweaks can be found in the full changelog.

Transporters made useful

This is one of the most important changes to notify about in terms of gameplay. If you have played BA years before there might be one thing you really have missed from that time, namely – unit dropping tactics. Due to some workarounds that had to be introduced many versions ago to account for engine changes the multiple-unit loading and unloading used to work in a very inefficient way. When given an area unload command, air transporters would first go to one point clumping like hell, and only then distribute units to some random points in the circle. This made it impossible to perform effective unit dropping moves, removing one of the most fun tactics from the metagame.

We are happy to announce that this issue ends on this very day. First of all, now transporters will fly directly to their unload spots, secondly, the freaking line unload is now a thing! You can now really control big amounts of transporters and make them unload units exactly where you want, without clumping, colliding and getting stuck in the air. What is more the dots that are drawn during the line unload command indicate if the unload is possible (if there is enough spacing between the points and it turns red if it can’t be performed).

Attention! Heavy load…

The second important thing to say to transporters behavior is about concerns Tech2 airborne transporters. The reason for this change is more about the ‘fancy’ aspect of things than the real balancement aspect. Advanced transporters (Dragonfly and Seahook) have been given the possibility to load and unload four small units at once. In detail, the load capability depends on the footprint now (due to lack of better determinant). The will be able to take four 2×2 units on board (ie. Pyro or Zeus). This is quite of an experiment, so we really look forward to your feedback regarding this one. If you don’t like it, it can always be reversed in the next release, so give it a go and tell us what you think in comments or Discord.

Controlled reverse movement

The last change worth mentioning is about microing all kinds of artillery units that are able to perform reverse moves. Until now the decision to turn or go in reverse was made by considering the move command distance. It’s not a surprise such a setup caused a lot of pain when controlling really big numbers of units at once. To make it better, it has been made possible to force the reverse movement for an arbitrary distance by simply holding CTRL while giving the move order.

Fanciness and ergonomy

Balanced Annihilation 10.07 is yet another stage for improvements in graphics and GUI usefulness. The change that stands out the most is probably the awesome dust effect added to vertical missiles liftoff. It represents the power of these weapons better and you can’t say it doesn’t look awesome. In case you have any doubts, I’ll let this effect speak for itself 🙂On the video you can see all units touched by that change.



What is more, the ugly barrel flare smoke trail effect we had before for heavy plasma weapons got reworked as well. This will improve the shooting animation of units such as Vanguards, Big Berthas etc. Again, let the screenshot speak for itself.

Finally, some love was given to the ergonomy of the options window. It is split now into separate tabs listing different settings categories. There has been a lot of new toggles and sliders added to the options window too. To see the whole list check the full changelog.


Nuclear launch detected!

Yes! We now have an implemented voice system into the game. We are guessing this will be most useful for newbies, but it may also help us old vets to manage our stuff in big FFA games where a lot happens at once all around the map. The system will notify about important events, like nuclear launches, constructors finishing their build queues etc.

Promotion

In case you haven’t noticed, last month sought a major increase in promotional actions for BA. We now have a brand new Facebook page dedicated to it. It’s a place to go if you want to have a close look at what is going on in the world of BA. New maps, protips, real-time announcements, and updates are going to be frequently posted there. Like it, share it, and help us spread the word about Balanced Annihilation!



Thank you for testing!

Download BA 10.06

(This goes to lobby download. If you already have that, download via lobby or use this link)

  • Ba Reloaded wreck

Full changelog:

Balance changes:

  • Long range T1 AA range reduced 10% (1250 -> 1125) and airlos changed: Eradicator 1000->1060, Chainsaw 1200->1060
  • Storms/Rockos +4% projectile start/max speed
  • Kbots global buff: +15% turnrate/acceleration/brakerate, turninplace = true, reduced slopeMod (slows on slopes).
  • Plasma shield starting power reduced to 20% instead of 33%
  • Halberd +9% range (275 -> 300)
  • Reduced support frigates damages to subs (216 -> 150), to default (100 -> 60), to commanders (100 -> 70)
  • Rocko/Zeus/Snipers/Hammers/Dominators/Krogoths/Juggernaut take less time for their first aim: torso turnspeed unchanged but activation happens while torso turns (rather than before).
  • Naval engineer buildpower reduced from 400 to 200 for arm and core, added sea nano to their buildlist
  • T1 scout boats paralyze multiplier reduced from 1 to 0.1 (2 bw paralyzer shot to EMP instead of 1 bw paralyzer shot)
  • T1 air transport: Erased the move command when using unload.
  • T2 air transport: Can transport up to four 2×2 footprint or less units, or one 3×3 or more. Unloads all units at once.
  • Custom formations2: Block unload formations that are too small/wont allow all unload commands to happen (red colored dots will switch to yellow when minimal length is reached)
  • Stumpy energy cost (2000 -> 2100)

Unbalanced Commanders (when mo_unba is enabled):

  • Commander’s M and E production increases by 25e/s and 0.5m/s at each level (maximum 275e/s, 6.5m/s at level 11)
  • Commander build menu upgrades changed and now consist of:
    1. Economy: Advanced Solars (lvl3), Geo (lvl3), Moho extractor (lvl4), Underwater Moho extractor (lvl4). Replaces t1 equivalents.
    2. Factories: T1.5 (amphibs), Arm Adv Vehicle Plant / Core Adv Kbots Lab (lvl3), T2 kbot lab (lvl3), T2 Shipyard (lvl3), Nano towers (lvl3). Doesn’t replace t1 labs.
    3. Defence/Utilitary:  Fortification Wall (lvl5), Beamer/HLLT (lvl 3), T2 Popup (lvl5), Flak (lvl5), Advanced Torpedo Launcher (lvl 5). Replaces t1 equivalents.
    4. Mobile Units: Crawling Bombs (lvl3), Spies (lvl4), Maverick/Commando (lvl5), Fatboy/Dominator (lvl6), Sniper/Sumo (lvl6).
  • The Fully upgraded build menus allow a total of 40 units.

Graphics:

  • Changed barrel fire smoke effect
  • Trees not only fall but also disappear through the ground
  • Replacing engine trees with custom trees
  • Vertically launched missiles have a ground dust/fire effect added

Options:

  • The options menu has tabs
  • F10 toggles options (F8 toggles DoF when widget enabled)
  • Added Defense Ranges toggles
  • Added “Simple minimap colors” option
  • Team colors based on palette suboption: “same team colors”: your own team has a lighter color
  • Added opacity slider for Commands FX option
  • New setting: Buildmenu large icons
  • Removed widget: “Unit Reclaimer”: add CTRL modifier key to “Specific Unit Reclaimer” widget instead
  • Added “Minimap icon size” slider

Other:

  • Smart Area Reclaim widget enabled by default. (Area reclaims only metal or energy depending on the center feature)
  • When a buildcommand is selected, click and drag with left and middle mouse button to orientate the construction.
  • Reverse move: Units able to move backwards must use CTRL key. Any command queued with the CTRL modifier will be performable backwards (and performed backwards if the move goal is behind)
  • More deathmessages
  • Various script tweaks for kbots
  • More accurate math behind 3rd award from awards screen

Fixed:

  • Mines detonating before they are completly built, added dummy weapon to show detonation range
  • Some T2 and T3 dist-icon sizes
  • Mobile AA not targetting at full range without an attack command.

Full Changelog

The post BA 10.07: Kbot mobility, transporter fix, voice system appeared first on Balanced Annihilation.

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Zero-K: Planetwars Testing

Planetwars is now online for testing, with plans to run a full round within the next two months. We encourage you to join a faction and conquer some planets, with the caveat that this is just a testing round. Bugs and unexpected changes are likely and we do not intend to run a full round.

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Zero-K: Zero-K v1.6.3.5 – Sea and Rogue Fix

The most noticeable features of this versions is a balance pass for sea and a fix for the Rogue buff. The projectile speed buff for Rogue was accidentally not applied due to a bug. This has been fixed. We’ve also made other fixes and balance changes, including engine stability fixes that are not listed here.

Balance

Shogun:

  • Cost 4K -> 5K
  • HP 12K -> 8K
  • Reload time 10s -> 15s (DPS 450 -> 300)

Corsair:

  • Cost 220 -> 240
  • Speed 3.2 -> 2.7
  • Damage 512 -> 234
  • Reduced spray angle and projectiles per shot.
  • Reload time (for each shotgun) 2.4s -> 2.0s

The weapon changes make its shotgun the same as that of a Scallop.

Cutter:

  • Slightly increased size.
  • Reload time 1.5s -> 2.0s
  • Range 330 -> 260
  • Damage 34 -> 35

Hunter:

  • Increased model and collision size by a bit less than 50%.

Mistral:

  • Damage 280 -> 200 per rocket.

Siren:

  • Health 4000 -> 3750

Envoy:

  • Health 2500 -> 2000

Rogue:

  • Fixed the bug that prevented the projectile speed buff from 170 -> 200 taking effect.
  • Health 570 -> 580

Glaive:

  • Speed 3.9 -> 3.85

Note that Glaive had 3.8 speed and cost 65 metal this time last year.

Phoenix:

  • Health 650 -> 720
  • Possibly increased the spray angle of its bombs.

Early Engineer commander nerfs:

  • Level 1 buildpower 12 -> 10. Other levels are unchanged so you now consistently gain 2 BP per level up to 20.
  • Build range 250 -> 220 but with a bonus of +12 per level up to a maximum of 280.

Other commanders:

  • Build range 128 -> 144

Sight range buffs:

  • Dirtbag 300 -> 350
  • Mason 255 -> 273
  • Welder 280 -> 300

Added overkill prevention for Stinger and Grizzly.

Interface

  • Reduced Grizzly laser brightness.
  • Reduced some spider reply volumes.
  • Fixed some burst damage displays on the UI.
  • Moved HUD skin options to advanced options.
  • Selection rank now only inherits through commander morph.
  • Updated old avatars.
  • Fixed some units failing to fire at wrecks (such as Tremor).

Previous Versions

  • Locust fire angle 90 -> 135
  • Optimized Tremor.
  • Fixed Adv. Radar animation.
  • Fixed the double cloak cost bug.
  • Fixed Solar AI.
  • Fixed overhead icons for captured units.
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