New Scenario - King of the Hill (Substrate)
The King of the Hill scenario which is receiving some further tweaks this update, is now available to be played as Substrate.
The game found notification for automatch was not as obvious as it needed to be, as some players were missing it while doing other activities waiting for a game. To make it easier to notice, we are increasing the notification to a longer sound that includes a voice line "Consciousness Expanded." (Their expanded consciousness allows them to connect to the distant world where the battle is taking place. We're also updating the Retributor weapon sound effect as it was quite lackluster.
We have taken some of our best team game maps and converted them to be suitable for 1v1 play.
Ladder Season Reset
Alongside the release of 2.75 is the launch of the season 3 ladder season, the leaderboards have been reset giving everyone a fresh chance and getting to the top. Congrats to Amelie for winning the season 2 ladder!
New Automatch Map Pool
To complement the season 3 ladder reset, we are updating the map pool for automatch. Most significantly, we're removing most of the tiny and small maps and replacing them with larger ones. The game has evolved a lot over the past year, and now with Juggernauts, the late game is a lot more fun which bigger maps help field. Below is the list of new automatch map pool:
We are making some changes to the economy in order to make defensive play styles more viable and encourage some strategic diversity. Contesting resources out on the map should be crucial for success in order to create proper game flow and player interaction, but currently defensive strategies were too weak and aggression overly important. Turinium Generators were providing too much of a resource bonus, despite also accruing victory points, so the player who controlled the Turinium could generally just overpower their opponents with superior economy. Resource Deposits also granted too much base income which meant mass early capturing was crucial even if regions didn't gain Extractors.
The bottom spawn had a small advantage due to the direction of of the starting Metal Deposits in relations to the Engineers spawns.
We are incentivizing more control of the sides by moving out one of the base deposits.
The Southeastern battlegroups had multiple regions that acted as single region cutoffs, which meant players had to prevent Orbital spawns on multiple regions from having a devastating effect. The bottom left was also so far away from the main battle in the centre, that it was often neglected. We are adding an additional lane from to connect to the bottom left to player's bases to alleviate the severity of the multiple cutoffs and to make the bottom left more active.
The strategic diversity of the top left spawn is lowered because there was no metal deposits close enough to the Power Generator to capture while building an Extractor
The cutoffs were too brutal in Gamma Draconis given the map size and how a single region could cutoff so much. Cutting off the base resources will be more difficult.
The Insane AI is supposed to ridiculously overpowered, but it took it a bit too far. Many players are incapable of taking it out even along side 5+ other team mates. It doesn't need to be THIS hard, and it just means players are using other means to make the AI easier, like giving themselves bonus resources or disabling air units. We are lowering the resource bonus of the AI so it is now only insane and not turbo insane.
The Brute is getting a buff so it has more of a role to fill in the late game as a counter to mass and Archers.
The Archer was still underperforming
Removing the armor-piercing on the Atlas makes it less powerful against Strat Bombers and Harbingers, while the aoe nerf will make it slightly weaker against drones.
The Tormentor was overperforming, in particular against enemy frigates.
The Reaper was slightly over performing.
The Capacitor was far too tough.
The Zeus was overperforming against other Cruisers in large battles due to its heavy splash damage. It’s main gun weapon is getting a huge damage reduction to make it weaker against other Cruisers, but without affecting its performance against most frigates as it still one-shots them. Zeus is also losing health in exchange for a better rate of fire on its main weapon and a damage increase on its secondary to give the Zeus more consistent performance, there was too much variance on how the Zeus performed depending on if it would live long enough to fire an additional volley off. The Secondary weapon buff also will grant better damage against structures.
The Avenger is getting a small buff to its secondary weapon which will give it a large increase against buildings but little bonus against frigates.
The Caregiver had too much health.
The Apollo and the Artemis are too weak for big PHC cruisers. Increasing their health will see them survive a shot from a Nemesis, on top of receiving a buff to its single target damage output.
The Hera and Eradicator were too versatile as they had excellent range, could target buildings and were strong against other cruisers and dreadnoughts. We are lowering the range to weaken its performance and prevent it from making the Artemis and Destructor obsolete.
Mobile Nullifiers lacked the range to comfortably cover an entire army. We are increasing their range to prevent players from needing to manually position their Nullifiers, but increasing their cost to compensate.
We’re increasing the projectile speed of the Eradicator to match the power of its weapon and to lower the amount of overkill for multiple shots firing at the same target. We are also lowering the damage of its secondary weapons to ensure countering it with frigates is more viable.
Dreadnoughts were leveling up too quickly, which could be frustrating when unlocking multiple instant heal upgrades during a single engagement
The Hyperion’s self healing hull regenerated health far too quickly.
We are giving additional health to the dreadnought destroyers to compensate for their higher costs compared to other classes of dreadnoughts.
Substrate Dreadnoughts were still to vulnerable to mass Athena or Mauler. We want to encourage people to rely on Nemesis and Eradiactors for countering Dreadnoughts.
Since the Overmind and Cronos are getting more dedicated anti-air attacks, the anti-air capabilities of other dreadnoughts is being removed. It's also losing some of its cooldown on the main weapon so it's better and rapidly switching fire between low tier units.
The Executor upgrade was not strong enough given it's the Savager's only primary weapon upgrade and it comes at lvl 4. For comparison, the default weapon does 60 damage.
The Overmind and Nest of the Queen had potent anti-air damage, but were easily shut down by Strategic Bombers due to the splash damage knocking out all of the drones. To give more consistent anti-air and to further refine the role of these units, the Overmind and Queen are losing one of their Drone Swarms in exchange for a set of invulnerable Anti-air drones, whiletThe Overmind is also being made more vulnerable to anti-drone units and losing some secondary damage. The movement speed increase of many cruisers such as the Nemesis will also be an indirect nerf to the Overmind's anti-ground performance as it will have more difficulty evading backwards out of range.
The Cronos is underused compared to the other PHC Dreadnoughts and as a result is getting a bigger role to fill. It’s receiving a large buff to its secondary weapons, which are rail guns rather than autocannons, and they’re being able to target air. The Cronos will now also provide a soft anti-air role, albeit not as strong as the Overmind as it the railguns have a limited firing arc. The large increase to the railgun damage also buffs its anti-ground damage, so to compensate the primary missile attack is losing its armor-piercing to lower the performance against dreadnoughts but while still retaining the same power against buildings.
The Agamemnon was being neglected in the late game over the Leonidas, so it’s receiving a health buff to match the Leonidas.
Nest of the Queen
As difficult as it is to test late game balance, it become clear the Leonidas was over performing and which gave PHC an edge in the very late game situations. The Leonidas is intended to dual any other Juggernaut, but it wasn’t weak enough against the unit types designed to counter it. We are removing its anti-air capabilities and weakening its secondary weapons to make overwhelming it with air or low tier ground units is more viable, which also makes the Agamemnon more desirable to complement it.
The Leonidas is also receiving a cost increase to match the Eye of Darkness, but retains the devastating range and damage advantage since the Eyel area of effect damage. There’s also a number of other changes which indirectly will make countering the Leonidas easier, such as the Fury nerf, changes to Nukes and the cruiser speed adjustment which makes the anti-Leonidas unit mixes more effective.
There’s no gameplay reason for this change, it just was weird having a unit with only a single health point. This makes it more consistent with other Substrate units.
The Fury was overperforming a bit compared to the Dominator since its missile attack allowed it to fire even when it wasn’t facing the enemy target.
Due to the movement speed bonuses of Frigates and many cruisers, the Hades is getting a projectile speed buff so it isn’t made relatively weaker.
The Air Marauder was a good unit for harassment of extractors and buildings, but lacked the punch against units. We’re giving it a small amount of armor piercing to grant better performance against units but without making it too good for harassment.
The Air Rampager was far too powerful, and was dominating the battlefield. It is receiving some heavy nerfs to put its performance in line with other aircraft and make countering it easier.
It as possible to cheese your opponents on some maps by spawning in an Engineer/Avatar next to their nexus and build a hidden armory. The sight range increase on the Nexus will make it more difficult to this on certain maps.
Dreadlaunch & Advanced Assembly
The dreadnought production structures had a negligible cost but were vulnerable to being sniped with only 10,000 health which could be frustrating due to the cost of juggernauts.. We are increasing their health and cost to make it more difficult to snipe a Dreadlaunch part way through building a juggernaut.
Basic defenses were too cheap and quick to build for how much value they provided. Rushing these defenses on key choke points could lock down the map. Increasing their cost will make early frigate aggression more viable, while the Smarty is receiving a damage buff to be stronger against cruisers but not stronger vs frigates due to overkilling.
The performance of the Artillery post varies depending on the map, but in some situations massing them was too effective and frustrating to play against.
The Sentinel and Pulverizer were overperforming against Dreadnoughts due to their high armor-piercing which discouraged people from upgrading to the Oblivion and Exterminator turrets, resulting in them being neglected.
The range and AOE on the Drone MRV made it far too effectively against frigates.
The Pulverizer and Exterminator had too much rangem making countering them with artillery difficult. The Pulverizer range was noted to be reduced in 2.71 but was unintentionally left out. It was also over performing against Frigates due to its continuous beam, so it’s getting a cooldown in between shots to make it weaker against frigates.
The Constable and Blossom launcher were documented in the 2.71 update as receiving an increase to their damage, but these changes were unintentionally left out. The basic anti-air defenses will now perform better for their cost.
The Falcon was underperforming
The Air Eliminator is receiving a reduction in its cooldown to give it better performance, in particular against light aircraft.
Emergency & Serpentine Turret
These Orbital turrets scale poorly into the late game as army sizes become large, so they are receiving a reduction in their Quanta ramp up so they have more of a role to fill outside of just the early game.
Nano-Mesh Barrier also didn't scale well into the late game because the +2000 health is fixed and not a percentage that increases with Quantum Upgrades. It's ramp up is being lowered to give it more usability as the game progresses.
Intensive Care (PHC) heals 2400 health over 30 seconds, compared to Regenerate (Substrate) which restores 2000 shields over 10 seconds. In almost all cases, the quicker heal per second of Regenerate is beneficial, so we are increasing the amount provided in Intensive Care but increasing their Quanta cost given the amount of value they can provide.
Orbital Strike & Antimatter Detonation
The “Nuke” abilities were far too powerful, and would often determine how games are decided. They are getting a cost increase to justify their ability to decimate entire cruiser armies or lines of structures. Orbital Strike costs more since it has a large radius, despite having slightly less damage.
Movement Speed Changes
We are increasing the movement speed of many units to make it more consistent among unit tiers and for the game flow better. Increasing the movement speed will also make it easier to evacuate Orbital Abilities such as Plasma Storm, "nukes" and to evade Strategic Bombers. Frigates, in particular, are getting a large speed boost to allow them to better out maneuver tougher cruisers and be more viable for harassment.
Yorkshire was introducing too many things at once to new players. It will be less overwhelming without the Sky Factory. Mac was also too powerful in this mission and would carry the player too much.
Due to the move speed changes, the waves of enemy units will arrive faster. We are delaying the first wave in order to prevent this mission from becoming more difficult
To compensate for Incursion cost increased
Silgul (Legacy Change)
Silgul received some changes in the 2.71 update aimed at making it more difficulty, but was not documented in the change log.
Auctor (Genesis mission 6)
Some of the mountains were causing pathing issues
King of the Hill
One of our top players was able to “beat” this mission by holding out for long enough that the mission stops becoming more difficult. We are adding additional challenges for players who manage to last over an hour, and removing one of the huge early difficulty spikes.