This is the biggest stable release for a long time with almost a month since the last one as there were a lot of changes that could not be partially implemented. The new Amphibious factory is arguably the biggest change and took significant development time. This release is congruent with an engine release so a lot of long standing bugs are fixed. This version also includes a months worth of small fixes and balance adjustments that is normal for a stable, the delay just means there are more of them at once.
We have finally added the underwater amphibious bot factory. There were always plans to flesh out the underwater combat ever since the rudimentary implementation in CA was removed.
This factory should diversify and flesh out the underwater combat in sea as well as acting as another flex factory on mixed sea-land maps. There are a few new unit concepts in this factory so it may even be land viable (similar to hovercraft). Remember, at this point balance is not expected!
The Amphibious Bot factory emphasises high health and the ability to move on the sea floor. The main drawbacks are high cost and low speed.
There are a diverse set of units, some designed to hit the undersides of ships with torpedoes and some able to float to the surface and attack targets that are outside the water. It's units are armed on land so can be used to assault coastal positions. It excels at combat around the coastline as an unfavourable situation in either land or sea can be retreated from easily.
While they have high health for land units in the sea they are generally outclassed by ships. There is no single ship that beats all amphibious units but against a well balanced army of equal cost Amphibs will lose. To win they must use stealth and their ability to move over land to flank or ignore ships.
This is a basic constructor unit. Clam reflects the attributes of the factory with low speed, high health and high cost. It can resurrect wreckages so can be used to access new unit types such as ships or hovercraft.
The Duck is the basic underwater raider. Armed with short ranged torpedoes, it uses it's (relatively) high speed to harass sea targets that cannot shoot back though it dies to serious opposition. On land it can launch the torpedoes a short distance as a decent short ranged anti-heavy weapon.
While unable to deal damage in open waters the Archer still relies on the shore. It is armed with two high velocity water cannons with a limited tank that causes a reduction in power as it fires. While submerged the tanks refill and it regenerates health rapidly. With these abilities it can perform many hit and run raids along a coastline.
The Buoy works around it's inability to shoot while submerged by floating to the surface of the sea. Here it can fire a decently ranged cannon with slow damage. It acts as the factory's main response to Hunter and Hovercraft but is completely vulnerable to submerged opponents so an escort is recommended for prolonged combat. It is unable to move while floating.
A flexible unit, the Scallop is armed with torpedoes for underwater use and a quadruple shotgun when on land. It is the closest thing there is to a mainline torpedo unit that can stand up to armed ships. That is not to say it is good against them, it can give them pause for thought. It shines when standing on the shore as it is now immune to it's usual torpedo-bearing foes and can snipe ships from afar by shooting into the sea. Any ship that gets close will be torn apart by the shotgun.
Grizzly is the heavy unit of the factory. It boasts 10k health and an expense to match. It is armed with a double Stinger beam and can float to the surface to attack floating or hovering sea targets. It is very vulnerable to submarines and precision bombers.
Angler is amphibious AA designed to counter the factory's nemesis - Shadow. Two of them together can float to the surface and kill a single Shadow.
Djinn excels at moving large land based armies across bodies of water. When deployed it teleports units from around it's pre-placed static beacon to it's present location. This is one way so ensure the destination is safe.
Here is a short video showing off the teleporter and demonstrating its use.
There are a lot of changes and no reason to repeat them all here, the full changelog can be found at the main site here: Zero-k.info
Summary of notable balance changes:
- Small artillery tweaks. Penetrator lost a little range and all long beam weapons are worse vs shields. Other artillery was improved slightly.
- Athena (mobile unit builder) can no longer be produced for free at the start of the game.
- Terraform is about 18% cheaper and quite a bit easier to use.
- Fall damage handling was re-added an improved in the engine update.
Some other changes:
- Added 3 more music tracks
- Improved area cloaker effect
- Improved scout boat model