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Zero-K: Zero-K v1.7.6.0 – Maps, Balance, and Performance

This is a fairly large update with some balance changes, fixes, and performance improvements. We have also featured 78 maps to add to the variety in the teamgame autohosts. Some maps are new and some are old classics.

The main balance changes relate to frustrations in Tank vs. Rover. Capture has been reworked to make Dominatrix less uniformly good and some other units have received minor changes. Other notable changes are some Funnelweb refinements and tankier Commanders.

The notable fixes and performance improvements are a pathfinding fix for a recently introduced bug and a significantly faster outline shader. We are also working on performance improvements for the UI framework which can be enabled Settings -> Graphics -> Experimental Interface Renderer in the lobby menu. We would appreciate testing and feedback.

Balance

Commanders start with around 800 more health, and lose the bonus at higher levels. This is intended as an indirect nerf for Scythe and Raven. The power of early commander pushes will need to be watched closely.

  • Strike 3200/3200/3800/4600/5500/6400 -> 4200/4200/4600/5200/5800/6400
  • Guardian 3600/3600/4400/5500/6600/7600 -> 4400/4400/5000/5700/6600/7600
  • Support 2800/2800/3400/3800/4500/5000 -> 3800/3800/4000/4300/4600/5000
  • Recon 2400/2400/2800/3200/3600/4000 -> 3250/3250/3400/3600/3800/4000

Funnelweb is a bit cheaper and charges faster. To compensate, it has its shields lowered such that a single silo of Eos and Shockley can bypass it.

  • Maximum shield charge 28000 -> 23000
  • Shield regeneration 200 -> 300 per second.
  • Health 6000 -> 6500
  • Cost 3500 -> 3000
  • Turn rate 240 -> 520

Capture damage has been reworked to make Dominatrix much worse against low-to-mid cost assault units. This is to give the Tank Foundry some counterplay in the form of Minotaur. Dominatrix is mostly unchanged against units with average cost and health. It is a little better against mid-to-high cost glass cannons such as Lance and Emissary.

  • Capture progress is now based on the health of its target instead of its cost. The Capture Health of a unit is now its current health + 500.
  • Capture damage is no longer multiplied by (3 – 2*(currentHealth/maxHealth)).
  • Dominatrix now deals 333 DPS instead of 78. This reflects the average HP/cost of a Zero-K unit of around 3.5, as well as the 500 bonus health.
  • As with EMP and Disarm, accrued capture damage is scaled when a unit receives ordinary damage (or healing) such that the proportion of capture damage is unchanged.
  • Capture damage is now affected by armour.

All the large land-based builders now have small footprints to resolves much of the frustration that can come from navigating bases. Quill, Weaver, Welder, Mason:

  • Footprint 3×3 -> 2×2.

Blitz:

  • Reload time reduced by 2.5%.

Ogre:

  • Damage 440 -> 420
  • Range 340 -> 320
  • Cost 520 -> 500

Felon:

  • Re-added the small fire delay that appeared to do nothing in testing, but seems relevant in practise.

Lobster:

  • Added a manualfire command that fires once. This essentially acts as a more accessible hotkey for singlefire.
  • Buffed turn rate by 80%.

Tarantula:

  • Increased weapon velocity by 36%. Still half the speed of Flail.

Sparrow:

  • Cost 120 -> 135 (morph time unchanged)
  • Health 400 -> 350
  • Speed reduced by 7%

Interface

Added a singlefire modifier for Force Fire commands. Issue a non-area Force Fire command with Ctrl held to fire once at the target and move on. This can be used with the Repeat command to make a unit alternate between a list of targets.

Other changes:

  • Static shields, jammers, and basic radar towers now have a move command that can be used to rally their mobile counterparts when they morph.
  • Added more options to control when reclaim is highlighted.
  • Sparrow and Owl now have tactical AI (activated with Attack Move and Patrol) that tells them to avoid flying over enemies, keeping them out of most AA range.
  • Added Morph to the ingame keybind menu.
  • The spectator resource display now displays teams on the side matching their side of the map (when applicable).
  • Added Turkish and Chiense translations. Updated Polish translations.
  • Reload bars no longer disappear a split second before completion.
  • Added mouse-directed focus to depth of field.
  • Line formations now trigger unit replies.

Performance

The UI framework is being updated to draw faster, but it has some rough edges. Without wider testing it is not clear that it will work, or be an improvement, on all hardware. It is disabled by default and can be enabled through the lobby menu under Settings -> Graphics -> Experimental Interface Renderer. Test it out and tell us if it works and if you see an improvement.

Here are some other performance improvements:

  • Updated shaders. This will change how a few things look and make it easier to improve performance in the future. For now, the main performance improvement is the replacement of the old CPU based outline widget with a much cheaper shader-based version.
  • Saved quite a bit of memory by cutting down on duplicate font creation.
  • Optimised various parts of the command menu. Replaced the, fairly expensive, unit outlines widget with a much cheaper shader-based version.

Singleplayer

  • AIs build antinukes earlier.
  • Made planet Walchice (the Stinger and Stardust mission) a bit easier on Easy and Normal.

Fixes

  • Fixed Funnelweb shield on low graphics settings.
  • Fixed ballistic weapons not shooting when told to Set Target the ground beyond their flat-ground range.
  • Fixed units sometimes getting stuck in the back of Cloaky, Shield, and Hovercraft factories.
  • Fixed campaign and tutorial marker text lagging behind camera movement.
  • Fixed cursor locking (grab input) not re-enabling itself when returning the focus to Zero-K.
  • Fixed some pathfinding issues caused by fixing a rare bug that caused other pathfinding issues.
  • Fixed Fender not quite dealing 40 damage per shot.
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Zero-K: 1v1 Tournament this Sunday with divisions and cash prizes

USrankUltraGodzilla has decided to host a tournament this Sunday with a small cash prize to the top 2 finalists in the tournament. These tournaments will be best 2 out of 3 Single Elimination Format. There is no losers bracket. The two divisons are

  • Brown Dwarf To SubGiant,
  • SubGiant to SuperGiant,

so newer players are most definitely welcome. Sign up here: https://www.zero-k.info/Forum/Thread/28404

The tournament is scheduled for 2019-06-02 14:00:00 UTC. See this timer: https://www.timeanddate.com/countdown/generic?iso=20190602T14&p0=%3A&msg=Tournament&font=cursive

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Zero-K: Engine update to Spring 104.0.1-1239

It is time for another engine update. We have recently experienced trouble updating, but, after running some multiplayer tests, this update has a decent chance at success. Due to the time between updates there are more notable changes than usual.

  • Saved games now compress the entire game state, instead of saving only a few key attributes. This vastly improves the accuracy of saved games. Old saves should still work.
  • The bug which caused commands to sometimes disappear in long FFA games has been resolved.
  • A pathfinding bug relating to skipping waypoints was fixed. This improves the pathing of groups of units around corners.
  • A desync related to the game mysteriously misplacing files may be resolved.
  • Various graphics related crashes have been resolved.
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