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!

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

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.

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