[h2]Let's play Zero-k![/h2]
Zero-K is a FREE, multiplatform, open-source RTS game. It aims to be dynamic, action-packed and hassle-free, full of clever strategies and constantly moving combat with games lasting an average 20-30 minutes(It can last a few hours if your good).
Some of the more prominent features:
Epic Scale from tiny fleas to huge mechs and gigantic superweapons that wreak havoc - hundreds or thousands of units on the battlefield, all easily viewable with a fully pannable and zoomable camera.
Realistic Physics mean each shot is physically simulated realtime - you can actually evade bullets if you micro-manage your units! Hills and terrain affect line of sight and radar coverage, and explosions deform the terrain.
Natural Balance allows units to depend on their natural characteristics and the benefits of the simulated environment, not contrived special damages to determine their effectiveness.
Terraforming - change the terrain: walls, ditches, ramps and more, to provide yourself with an extra tactical advantage.
Unique Abilities make sure units are fun to use! From jump-jets, gravity turrets, mobile shields, burning napalm, air drops, unit morphs - we've got it all and more! You can even control your units directly in First Person Mode!
Streamlined Economy - the economic system is complex without being tedious, with a simple interface and controls. Resources are unlimited and output can be scaled up as the game progresses, allowing for increasingly intense battles. The system is also designed to minimize slippery slope and allow skilled players to make comebacks from losing positions.
There is only one race, and thats Robots. Theres literally, thousands of units in this game, so I'll just go over each factory and what units they produce, or the thread would be to big.
Cloaky Bot Plant -
Rector - Glaive - Scythe - Rocko - Zeus - Tick - Warrior - Hammer - Sharpshooter - Jethro - Eraser
These units are your infantry forces. They range from electronic warfare to snipers. Cheap to produce, but they die pretty fast.
Shield Bot Factory
Necro - Bandit - Rogue - Thug - Outlaw - Racketeer - Vandal - Dirtbag - Roach - Aspis
Similar to infantry, except they are Mechs. The Aspis would be the coolest unit. It is literally a walking shield that has a huge radius. Very useful when launching assaults.
Freaker - Puppy - Pyro - Jack - Moderator - Skuttle - Archangel - Firewalker - Sumo
So, remember how the knife jab in call of duty goes? Similar to that. Very effective for cutting into enemy lines.
Weaver - Flea - Venom - Recluse - Cudgel - Crabe - Tarantula - Infiltrator
Two words: Small Assassins.
Light Vehicle Factory
Mason - Dart - Slasher - Scorcher - Leveler - Ravager - Wolverine - Merl - Dominatrix
It's definitely worth it to get a few scorchers from the get go. These are some of the most effective units to raid and protect yourself with. All of them have a variety of different missions they can carry out, from laying mines to AA.
Heavy Tank Factory
Welder - Kodachi - Panther - Pillager - Reaper - Tremor - Banisher - Goliath - Copperhead
Just your average tank. With a twist, they do a hell of a lot more damage.
Amphibious Operations Platform
Hovercon - Scrubber - Scalpel - Halberd - Mace - Flail - Penetrator
Good for water maps, at the moment I've yet to experiment with them though.
Crane - Avenger - Vamp - Shadow - Firestorm - Stiletto - Licho - Vulture
Time for some massive dogfights, am I right?
Crane - Blastwing - Gnat - Banshee - Rapier - Brawler - Black Dawn - Krow - Valkyrie - Vindicator
Extremely useful for taking out enemy encampments and energy sources such as metal and fusion reactors.
Mariner - Skeeter - Typhoon - Hunter - Snake - Crusader - Enforcer - Serpent - Leviathan - Reef - Warlord - Shredder
Other water based units. These ones fight though and aren't stealthy, except for the Snake.
A special unit, it's like a B-2 or a SR-71. Except it can land.
Eos - Quake - Shockley - Inferno
What ever could this be?(Nukes)
Lotus - Stinger - Newton - Stardust - Faraday - Pit Bull - Defender - Screamer - Razor's Kiss - Cobra - Hacksaw - Chainsaw - Urchin - Silencer - Annihilator - Doomsday Machine - Behemoth - Big Bertha
Your biggest and baddest weapons, used for defense from enemy attacks on your bases.
Metal Extractor - Solar Collector - Fusion Reactor - Singularity Reactor - Wind Generator - Geothermal Powerplant - Storage - Energy Pylon - Caretaker - Air Repair Pad - Radar Tower - Advanced Radar Tower - Sonar Station - Aegis - Sneaky Pete - Protector - Starlight - Demo
All of these are used to gather resources, and detect enemies as well as repair your vehicles.
This is gonna be a copy and paste.
There are 3 resources. Energy, Metal, and Buildpower (Your constructors). In order to build anything, you need all three in equal quantities (an exact 1-1-1 ratio). This means the time it takes to build something is merely a factor of how much it costs, and the energy consumption is exactly the same as the metal consumption. Constructors drain the same amount of resources at a fixed rate no matter what they are building. Energy is the yellow bar at the top of the screen, Metal the grey. Income of each is shown in a green number, and drain in red. The balance of these numbers is added or subtracted from your storage. Unlike some other RTS's, the goal is to balance your income vs your expenditure- storage exists only to give you a buffer. If your storage is full and the green number is larger than the red, you're excessing. If your storage is empty and the red number is larger than the green, you're stalling.
Metal is the most important resource. It is limited by your territory but is relatively cheap to get. You should always acquire it ruthlessly and spend it as soon as possible (stall it).
Energy can be made anywhere and there is no limit to the amount you can have, though it takes an investment. It is used for tasks other than construction, so you should always have more energy than you do metal. If you excess energy, consider using it for overdriving your metal extractors; see wiki:Overdrive for details.
Build Power is your logistics and infrastructure, it is not global like the other resources. Each constructor has an ability to build locally at a fixed rate. Having too much of the other resources just means you don't have enough buildpower- a deficiency that can be remedied. Always have a bit more buildpower than you do metal.
Guard/Repeat Method to a Smooth Economy
One of the keys to running a smooth economy is to automate it. Here is one method:
Click the factory guard button on your factory. This will make all constructors guard (and assist) your factory.
Press the repeat button on your factory. Your factory should almost never be idle, and repeat greatly reduces the amount of micro you need to manage your fac. It also allows you to mix units more easily. (Alternately, you can press F11 and enable the Factory Autorepeat widget and it will do this for you every game.)
Queue up offensive units and constructors. Constructors should generally comprise around 1/4th of all your spending, but this varies by map and situation. Lots of constructors allows you to react to a varying and slowly expanding economy.
Expand with your constructors, guarding them with units and building defences as you go, gradually and smoothly increasing your metal income. Make energy constantly, non-stop over the course of the game, and in pace with your metal production.
That's basically it. These 4 small hints will make your economy as smooth as silk.
When you have too many constructors working on your factory and you are stalling, send some out to expand, reclaim, make defenses, and repair.
If you ever find yourself heading towards an excess of metal due to a sudden glut, or if your factory gets clogged by too many constructors, make nanotowers or try branching out into another factory.
Swim in energy and be short of metal, never the reverse.
Always make a bit more energy than you need.
That's the practical advice. Now, some theory and specific data:
Metal is territorial. It is probably the most important resource, and is directly tied to territorial acquisition and military conquest. Stalling metal should be the desired state- your bar should be empty and your expenditure should be more than your income.
Metal Extractors are the most efficient way to get metal, and can only be placed on metal spots. As such, you should expand quickly and rapidly get as many metal spots under your control as possible. Metal extractors are cheap, and pay themselves back quickly. Remember that any metal spot that doesn't have an extractor on it is just wasted metal. If you ever lose territory or get raided, quickly re-expand into the area with extractors again.
Reclamation can make up a significant portion of your metal income. For everything that dies, a corpse is left behind with up to 40% of the metal it took to produce the unit. Securing an area after an assault and getting the reclaim from both your units and the enemies (an 80% payback on your investment) can decide the outcome of a game. Since it takes a constructor to reclaim things, you can think of reclamation as a way of turning buildpower directly into metal- reclaiming is a very good use of an excess of buildpower.
You can Overdrive your mexes to get more metal out of them, with diminishing returns as you pump more and more energy into them. Its good to have excess energy, and excess energy overdrives your mexes, so you will want to do this. However, the more mexes you have, the more efficiently you can overdrive them, and the more metal you get for invested energy- so always try and take territory. See pylons for more detail.
Energy can be made anywhere. It is built in your base, and having energy is required for a number of things, including making all units and structures and running some special units (jammers, shields, etc). Since it is such an investment, losing your energy can cripple your whole economy, so always try to protect your energy and hit the enemy's when possible. If you stall energy for any reason, get it back up again as quickly as possible. Get all your constructors and production to make E until you're out of the stall.
Solar Panels give a fixed income and are well armoured, closing up when under attack for a defensive bonus. They are the least efficient energy structure in terms of investment, but they are cheap, have good HP and don't rely on the varying wind, tidal and geos of the map.
Wind Generators are fragile and have a variable output. By default, the wind average on all maps is 1.25, so wind is discretionary. Building wind on higher altitudes raises the minimum that they produce. A tall, flat mountain can be of great economic value. The wind min/max values and altitude bonus are shown in your console at the start of the game and when you build a wind generator it will show you the altitude bonus to its generation in the tooltip.
Wind is very fragile, so its best to space it out rather than build it in tight blocks - it will chain explode. Even when wind is more efficient, you might wish to also have some solars as backup, due to the fragility and unpredictability of wind.
Geothermal Powerplants are almost always the most efficient source of energy (more so than even fusions), but they are not very cheap and can only be placed on geothermal vents. Moho geothermal powerplants are even more efficient, but are hazardous and explode like a nuke when destroyed. Still, it is almost always worthwhile to take the risk of building them - just keep other buildings and units away from it.
Fusion Powerplants are efficient but expensive. They tend to explode in a small radius when killed, so don't put them directly right next to anything (especially not each other). Singularity reactors are even more expensive and efficient, but are hazardous and let off a nuclear blast when destroyed.
Buildpower is mostly used for spending metal and energy, but it can also be used to reclaim, which gives you metal (reclaiming for energy is usually inefficient but good in desperation) and to repair, which costs energy equal to the constructors buildpower. You can also think of moving buildpower around as a way of 'using' it that doesn't require you to spend other resources. You should always have extra buildpower around, as it regulates the rest of your economy. Metal gluts can quickly be turned into energy with buildpower, and metal stalls can be alleviated through reclaim or mex expansion with buildpower, but getting more buildpower requires a factory or a constructor, and all three resources. Remember though that you cannot spend more resources than you actually have. Don't go crazy with the nanotowers until you have the economy to actually run them.
Build power is shown in the units tooltip.
Bot, Hover and Vehicle Constructors and Factories drain -6 (e and m).
Tank and Walker Constructors drain -9.
Nanotowers, Commanders and Construction Ships drain -12.
Air constructors drain - 4.8.
This means you can very easily look at your income and expenditure numbers and know just how many constructors or nanotowers you need to bring your economy back into equilibrium.
All constructors and partially built structures have a button called Priority that can be set to low, medium or high. Constructors that are currently building a structure inherit its priority. Constructors set to high priority will receive resources before those with normal priority and those with normal receive before those with low. Assuming you are stalling metal (as you should be, explained above), high priority build projects will build faster than normal priority projects, and so on. This feature will save you the time of pausing all your low priority projects when you need to build something important more quickly than others.
[h2]Downloading it and information[/h2]
Zero-k is completely free, and is a relatively small download.
It uses the Spring RTS system, but Spring is not required.
http://zero-k.info/Wiki/Download#Windows is the link to download it.
Server: Facepunch Game - Teamwork
Map: http://zero-k.info/Maps/Detail/7770 (It can be downloaded using the Lobby client, and it's much easier to do it that way. It's called Small Supreme Battlefield V2, search for it and you're set.)
1. Work with your team, don't be a jackass.
2. Don't spam chat.
3. Don't be annoying and vote the boss out, it's stupid and pointless.
4. Have fun!