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Escalation 2.2 Update

Published on Thursday, March 2, 2017 By Derek Paxton In Ashes Support

 *** RELEASED***

 

Features

  • Replays- Watch a replay of your game, or go into the leaderboards and watch games from the top players.
  • Modding Support- We have added the ability to mod game files, add maps and scenarios and enable and disable mods for your game. For all the details checkout the Modders Guide.
  • New Maps- 3 new large maps added to support lots of players.
    • Manannan- A 12 player Terran map which is great for free for all games.
    • Brighid- An 8 player Arctic map that is ideal for 4 teams of 2 players each.
    • Aenghus- A 10 player Desert map that is great for free for all games.
  • Issue Orders to Multiple Factories- Selecting multiple factories will allow you to give the same order to all of them. If you select 3 factories and queue up a Brute all three will begin producing a Brute. If you hold the Ctrl key it will issue those requests out one at a time (ie: queuing a Brute will have the first factory begin queuing a Brute).
  • Period key now selects an idle engineer (just like the F1 key does).
  • Radioactive and Metal desposits without mines now show as grey in strategic view to make it easier to see which one's haven't been upgraded yet.

Bug Fixes

  • Fixed an issue that was causing all players rank to show up as 10 on the custom lobby screen.
  • Various Crash fixes.
  • Fixed an issue where the Air Rampager's weapon would miss the majority of the time
  • Fixed Terrain Intersection bug that sometimes prevented high weapons from targeting low targets.
  • Fixed an issue where the map, Pinwheel, had a black stripe running through it.
 

UI & Tooltip Improvements

 

There are various changes to the UI Panel and tooltips primarily aimed at making the game more intuitive and accessible for new players. Some of these changes will take a bit of getting used to for experienced players.

 

Chat Panel

  • In-game chat panel moved from the centre of the screen to the left to avoid getting in the way of the player and obscuring their vision. 

 

 

Renamed Orbital Abilities

  • Kill renamed to Nanite Assassination

  • Detonate renamed to Antimatter Detonation

The old names are incredibly bland, this makes them sound more appealing and also suggests the role of the ability.

 

  • Amplify renamed to Optimize

This is to avoid confusion with the similarly named Amplifier structure. “You have built an Amplifier but you haven’t Amplified the point”

 

  • Avatar renamed to Call Avatar,

  • Probing Force renamed to Call Sentry

  • Incursion renamed to Deploy Incursion.

These new names are a matter of consistency and allow new players to instantly identify what these abilities do. Avatar is an ambiguous name, but Call Avatar is obvious. Every summon ability now has “Call” in front of it (except for Deploy Incursion and Engineer Drop)

 

Grid Locations

 

The grid layout of units and Orbital buildings has been rearranged in order to:

  • Make equivalent units between the two factions share the same grid location

  • Move most common units to the top

For example, Zeus and Avenger share the same tile, likewise for Orbital Fabricator and Gateway. This makes swapping between the factions and memorising the units and counter system easier, as well as finding the more common units and using hotkeys for them.  Not everything can be aligned perfectly as some units are unique to that faction.

 

New Unit Panel

New unit comparison.jpg

 

Renamed Building Panel

 

  • Resources renamed to to Economy

Economy structures sounds better grammatically and is a more recognisable RTS term.

 

  • Orbitals renamed to Technology  

A new player is going to have no idea what Orbitals means, whereas Technology (Tech) is a general RTS term which players will identify. Technology also more accurately describes the purpose of these buildings as they unlock new units as well as the orbital abilities. Naming them Orbital buildings was probably done before they unlocked new units. This also avoids the term “Orbitals” conflating the abilities and the structures. 

 

New Building Panel

New Building Panel.jpg

 

Tooltips

 

  • Fixed an error where Orbital Command said it was unlocking Nano-Transport which is now a substrate ability.

  • Included in Gateways description that it unlocks Call Saboteur orbital ability

  • Improved the wording in various Orbital ability tooltips.

  • Fixed inconsistent  grammar or style in the tooltips. Previously Orbital ability tooltips had a full stop at the end while most unit tooltips didn’t. Now every tooltip ends with a full stop.

  • Updated several unit tooltips to provide more information.

  • Fixed typos and errors in various tooltips

  • Text now says "Loading Assets" instead of "Optimizing Turinium" for ease of understanding


Weapon Tooltips
 
  • Now displays the exact amount of armor piercing each weapon provides
  • Removed duplicate displays of information such as Area Weapon
 
 

 

Orbital Rearrangement

 

Intentions

In order to make the grid layout of Orbitals more intuitive and easier to learn for new players, we are making the following adjustments:

 

  • Group similar types in the same line (Nukes, Summons, single target buffs, AOE abilities)

  • Make orbital layouts more consistent among Substrate and PHC

  • Order the offensive abilities in their respective lines of cost upwards to identify strength

  • When possible, have the same or equivalent ability on the same tile.

  • Move Orbital Jam to the top so it’s easy to use with hotkeys

  • Move Call Sapper to Support to better reflect the ability and to make the Orbitals look more even between the two teams. (I plan on merging Engineer Drop and Call Sapper)


New Orbitals.jpg

 

Map Options

 

The maps options were incredibly unintuitive and confusing for new players. We have improved them to be more readable and easier for players to use. Changes made:

  • Renamed the map options to be self explanatory, such as “Metal Income” instead of “Crust Metal”

  • Made the border around the dropdown menu more distinguishable to improve the separation of values in the dropdown menu and what is a different option

  • Renamed “default” to “normal” to not confuse players when an option such as Air Units is not set to default.

  • Rearranged the order of the dropdown selection so that it progresses from lowest to highest. Previously Default was at the top.

 

Untitled-3.jpg

 
 

Balance

 

Intentions behind the balance changes

Aside from obviously making the game more balanced and fair, these pillars served as the goal for this patch.

 

  • Refine the Counter system to function properly so that units are not countering more than they are supposed to, such as Athena's countering Frigates.

  • Increase strategic diversity so that games feel unique and require players to think on their feet instead of repeating the same things every match. This is mainly done by nerfing units which are overperforming and buffing units which are too weak or overpriced to make them viable.

  • Open up the late game tech: Most matches, even team games, don’t involve players making use of late game tech such as heavy air units, Dreadnaughts and Hera/Eradicator. We want players to make use of these tools and are making them more accessible.

  • Make Substrate less Radioactives intensive: Substrate suffer from having much higher radioactives costs compared to PHC. This makes them underperform on maps low on Radioactives.

  • Weaken exploitative “cheese” strategies such as Artillery Post spam, rushing air units or an Orbital Fabricator to spawn Sentries in your opponent's base.

  • Improve game flow by making base defenses less potent.

  • Make the game more welcoming for newer players

  • Improve scouting to add more emphasis on outmanoeuvring your opponents and countering their strategy

 

Remove Double Capping

One of the most significant changes is to Prevent double capping before creeps spawn. In high level games, players are able to capture two points at the start of the game before the creeps spawn by boosting the Nexus with the first Engineer or by calling down an Emergency/Serpentine Turret.  This was not intentional, and we view double capping as a frustrating dynamic and we want to remove it for the following reasons:

  • There’s no real decision making behind it, if you don’t double cap you are behind

  • It is an unintuitive hurdle for new players

  • It requires speed and precision. Ashes is supposed to be a game of strategy, not of fast clicks

  • It is easy to stuff up, especially due to lag, and if you do it is very punishing and frustrating

  • It often made North spawns on maps stronger because of the spawn direction of the Engineers

  • It required lots of practise learning which maps you can and can’t double cap on. This isn’t fun.

  • It allowed for frustrating strategies such as air rushing to be too effective and difficult to identify

 

This is being acheived by increasing Engineer build time and delaying some Orbital abilities. to compensate, Engineers will be receiving a cost reduction to allow for a much faster Factory to get into the action.


Factions

 

PHC

The starting storage of 500 was too punishing compared to Substrate who have unlimited storage, even at a high level it was difficult to avoid wasting resources by maxing out 500 storage. Increasing the starting resources of PHC gives new them a more breathing room where resources are not wasted.

  • Starting storage increased from 500 to 1000

 

Misc Units

 

Engineers & Constructors

The Engineer and Constructor were extremely fragile for their cost of 400. Losing an Engineer in the early game was disastrous and it often happened instantaneously before the player had a chance to respond. This was frustrating, especially for new players, and it also made Dominator and Furies far too potent at harassment, overshadowing the Punisher and Hades.  

 

Engineer

  • Health increased from 120 to 350

  • Build time increased from 26 to 40

  • Metal cost decreased from 400 to 300

Constructor

  • Shields increased from 100 to 270

  • Health increased from 30 to 80

  • Build time Increased from 26 to 40

  • Metal cost reduced from 380 to 300

 

Harvester

The Harvester is incredibly fragile compared to the PHC Refinery. Not only does it have a pitiful amount of HP, it is also vulnerable to interceptors due to being an air unit. It’s still going to be weaker to compensate for its ability to move between points, but its health will be more fair.

  • Health increased from 30 to 100

  • Shields increased from 80 to 500

 

Frigates

Frigates would lose relevancy after the first few minutes as they were easily countered by Cruisers. We want Frigates to fill a bigger role in the counter system and be more effective against Cruisers as there are so many other ways to counter them on top of their lack of scaling with upgrades.

 

Hermes

 

The Hermes did not perform enough recon for its cost to provide enough value. We are increasing its recon abilities to make it more desirable.

  • Sight range increased from 600 to 750

  • Radar range increased from 1000 to 1200


Brute

With the nerfs to the Medic, the Brute and Archer need buffs in order for PHC frigates to be viable against Athena/Maulers as well as Reapers.

  • Health increased from 80 to 90

  • Damage increased from 1 to 2


Archer

  • Build time reduced from 18 to 14

  • Health increased from 40 to 70

  • Now has 20% armor piercing

  • Logistics cost increased from 1 to 2

 

Medic

The Medic’s heal rate was too high, large numbers of Medics gave Cruisers and structures too much durability. It is also getting a movement speed reduction to prevent it from automatically running forward in front of other units.

  • Heal rate lowered to 66% of its current value

  • Logistics cost Increase from 1 to 3

  • Movement speed reduced to that of Brute

 

Martyr

The Martyr was too weak compared to other Frigates and didn't fill any purpose compared to the Reaper. The Martyr is now very powerful but lacks the armor piercing and range of the Reaper.

 

  • Shields increased from 60 to 105

  • Build time reduced from 23 to 19

  • Logistics cost reduced from 4 to 2

  • Damage increased from 4 to 6

 

Reaper

The Reaper had a very high desired attack range which made it kite backwards away from enemy units. This made the Zeus ineffective against Reapers since it would rarely be able to get within range to use its main weapon. This will make the counter system function better.

  • Desired attack range reduced (will no longer kite backwards)

 

Capacitor

The Capacitor had a large energy storage, but once it depleted it took too long to regenerate. It also had far too much health which made it exploited as a cheap damage soak. We are Increasing its energy regeneration in exchange for lowering its health to make it perform its intended role as a support unit more reliably. It is also getting a movement speed reduction to prevent it from automatically running forward in front of other units.

  • Energy per second regeneration increased from 1 to 4

  • Shields reduced from 500 to 300

  • Movement speed reduced to that of Reaper.

 

Sky Cleanser (Also affects neutral anti-air creeps)

The Sky Cleanser over performed with too much health and damage, yet it had inconsistent damage due to its low accuracy. It is getting an accuracy increase in exchange for less damage to provide more reliable damage output but also heavily nerfed overall.

  • Accuracy increased from 66 to 100

  • Damage reduced from 20 to 10

  • Shields reduced from 800 to 400

 

Cruisers

 

Masochist

The Masochist was too strong for its cost and is getting its pricing fixed.

  • Metal cost increased from 230 to 300

  • Logistics cost increased from 2 to 5

  • Build time increased from 24 to 40

 

Avenger

The Avenger had an underlying design problem where it was very powerful against other Cruisers and even Dreadnaughts, instead of just the Frigates like it is supposed to. Most players under estimated how potent the Avenger is because of how quickly they die, but they are so cheap and with so much damage that armies of Avengers would take out anything (apart from buildings.) One of the reasons causing them to over perform vs Cruisers and Dreads was its high damage but low projectile speed, resulting in it overshooting and wasting shells on Frigates, which wouldn’t happen vs Cruisers due to the higher health pool.  

 

In order to make the Avenger perform the role of anti-frigate more consistently, it needed more movement speed, less damage in exchange for less health, but it also needed to get less damage in exchange for faster projectile speed. The 75% damage reduction may seem extreme, but the projectile speed buff increases DPS. It is also being properly priced for a Cruiser and losing its rapid shield regeneration compared to other cruisers.

  • Shields increased from 300 to 500

  • Metal cost increased from 212 to 292

  • Damage reduced from 40 to 10

  • Projectile speed increased

  • Armor piercing removed

  • Movement speed increased from 80 to 100

  • Shield Regen Rate reduced from 10 to 1

 

Artemis

The Artemis is too fragile for a Cruiser, it was destroyed far too easily and this weakness was visually unintuitive for a unit the same size as other Cruisers. We are increasing its health in exchange for a cost increase, as well as increasing its missile attack cooldown to prevent it from overperforming against Frigates. Despite this, the missiles had the wrong priorities for what they are most effective against.

  • Health increased from 500 to 800

  • Metal cost increased from 281 to 325

  • Missile barrage cooldown increased from 4.9 to 6

  • Missile barrage targeting priority changed from T3/T2/T1 to T1/T2/T3

 

Apollo

The Apollo was underperforming, and like the Artemis, it was too fragile for its size. It’s receiving an increase to its health and damage in exchange for a cost increase, while gaining some armor piercing so it scales better against heavy PHC Air craft.

  • Health increased from 600 to 800

  • Metal cost increased from 220 to 280
  • Anti-Air damage increased by 33%

  • Logistics cost increased from 3 to 5

  • Now has 25% armor piercing

 

Athena:

The Mauler and Athena were dominating the meta far too much and we are nerfing them to allow more different unit compositions. They are receiving a small damage reduction to the main weapon so they take longer to destroy other cruisers, as well as large damage reduction on their secondary weapons so they are much weaker against Frigates. 

  • Radioactives cost increased from 30 to 60

  • Main gun damage reduced from 275 to 235

  • Secondary weapon damage reduced from 60 to 30

  • Secondary weapon cooldown increased from 1.8 to 4

 

Mauler:

The Mauler will still cost sllightly more than the Athena to compensate for the incredible bonus of the Assembly producing all basic units and not costing any Radioactives.

  • Radioactives cost lowered from 80 to 70
  • Armour Piercing removed
  • Damage reduced from 80 to 72

  • Secondanry weapon range reduced from 900 to 600

  • Secondary weapon damage reduced from 20 to 10
 

Hera

The Hera had little health but high armour, which left it too vulnerable to armor piercing attacks. To buff the Hera as well as giving it more consistent survivability, it’s losing some armor in exchange for health. 

  • Health increased from 1200 to 2500

  • Armour reduced from 16 to 12 (80% damage reduction to 60%)

  • Logistics cost increased from 8 to 16

  • Build time increased from 25 to 40

  • Movement speed increased from 50 to 60

 

Eradicator

The role of the Eradicator was incredibly unintuitive; it is a big slow heavy Cruiser yet it filled the role of a glass cannon, with insanely high damage but low survivability. To make the Eradicator more visually intuitive and fill a role unique to Substrate, it's get armor in exchange for losing some of its damage. The Eradicator also took too long to build and costed too little Logistics.

  • Build time decreased from 60 to 45

  • Logistics cost increased from 12 to 18

  • Now has 10 armour (50% damage reduction)

  • Main gun Damage halved

  • Movement speed increased from 50 to 60

 

Destructor

 

The damage output of the Destructor was much less than the Artemis so it's receiving a damage buff to equalise their performance. The secondary weapon is being reduced as it was too powerful against Frigates.

  • Main weapon damage increased by 30%

  • Secondary weapon damage reduced from 20 to 10

  • Secondary weapon range reduced from 900 to 600

 

Caregiver

The Caregiver healed pitiful amounts compared to even the Medic despite its area heal. It needed a huge buff to its heal rate for it to be viable, and it costed far too much logistics and took too long to build. The Caregiver will now help sustain Substrate against the AOE damage of the artillery post.

  • Logistics cost reduced from 30 to 10

  • Build time reduced from 100 to 60

  • Heal rate increased by 400%

 

Nemesis

The nemesis suffered from its chance to miss which was quite frustrating when combined with its long reload. We are increasing its accuracy so it no longer can miss and fixing its under priced logistics.

  • Logistics cost increased from 4 to 10

  • Accuracy increased from 80 to 100

 

Mobile Nullifier (Substrate and PHC)

The Mobile Nullifiers were overpriced at five times the cost of the Orbital Nullifier structure. The Mobile Nullifiers were neglected in favour of the orbital and structure jamming.

  • Metal Cost reduced from 1000 to 700

  • Radioactives cost reduced from 800 to 400

  • Logistics cost reduced from 100 to 40

 

Charon

The Charon was extremely over priced and as a result was never used. It also suffered from inconsistent survivability due to low health and high armour.

  • Metal Cost reduced from 1000 to 700

  • Radioactives cost reduced from 800 400

  • Logistics cost reduced from 1000 to 40

  • Health increased from  600 to 1500

  • Armour reduced to 16 to 10 (80% damage reduction to 50%)

 

Dreadnoughts

Dreadnoughts were rarely seen as amassing cruisers was more cost efficient on top of the investment of a Dreadnought resulted in too much lost momentum. We are globally lowering the cost of Dreadnoughts to make them more viable and increase strategic diversity. The Substrate Dreadnoughts were underperforming with no armor compared to the 90% damage reduction of the PHC Dreadnoughts, while the Overmind and Retributor had too low damage.

 

  • All Dreadnoughts now cost 20% less resources

  • All Substrate Dreadnoughts now have 8 Armour. (40% damage reduction)

 

Overmind

The Overmind was not only the weakest Dreadnought, it also costed too much Radioactives. The Overmind now has incredibly high damage output with all the Drones, but it is still countered by mixing in anti-drone units.

  • Metal cost increased from 2000 to 3000 (2400 after global reduction)

  • Radioactives cost reduced from 5000 to 3000 (2400 after global reduction)

  • Secondary weapon damage doubled

  • Now spawns 5 Drone Swarms instead of 3.

 

Retributor

The Retributor is receiving a large damage buff to put its performance in line with the Hyperion.

 

  • Primary weapon damage increased by 150%

  • Primary weapon minimum range removed

  • Secondary weapon damage Quadrupled

 

Prometheus

With the addition of armour to Substrate Dreadnoughts, the Prometheus needed to get armor piercing to compensate. The Overloaded Quad Pulse Cannon ability is receiving a damage reduction as it was able to destroy some Dreadnoughts in a single volley.

  • Main Gun now has 99 Armour Pen

  • Overloaded Quad Pulse Cannon damage reduced from 500 to 400


Savager

Since the Substrate Dreadnoughts now have 40% armor by default, the Impenetrable Armor bonus needed to be reduced to not stack too highly.

  • Impenetrable Armor upgrade reduced from +60% to +40%

 

Cronus

The Damage of the Cronus against heavy base defenses was far too low, yet it was difficult to destroy with units as it would automatically back away from enemy units while firing.

  • Missile battery now has 50% armor piercing

  • Desired attack range increased to prevent the Cronus from back away from enemy units

 

Air Units

Air rushing had become a frustrating and unfair part of the meta, so we've made a few changes to prevent air rushing from being so overwhelming.

 

Furies and Dominator

The Fury and Dominator are losing their ground attack as they were filling too many roles by being so potent at harassment. The Fury and Dominator now only fill the role of air superiority fighters, which will become more valued as Bombers and the newly buffed Gunships will now be required for harassment. They are also gaining some armor piercing to help their scaling against heavy PHC aircraft.

  • Ground attack removed

  • Furies and Dominator now have 15% armor piercing

 

Dominator

The Dominator underperformed for its cost compared to the Fury. 

  • Shields increased from 1800 to 2100

  • Metal cost increased from 100 to 120

  • Radioactives cost decreased from 280 to 260

 

Punisher

The lethality of the Punisher was too high with huge damage but low health. This meant it over performed when rushed early but once the opponent has a critical mass of anti-air it gets shot down immediately. In order for it to perform more consistently, it is losing damage in exchange for survivability. The Punisher was also too potent to be rushed out early, so it is now locked behind gateway to prevent frustrating air rushes.

  • Shields increased from 1500 to 2500

  • Metal cost increased from 150 to 250

  • Damage reduced from 100 to 50

  • Logistics cost reduced from 20 to 15

  • Build time reduced from 70 to 60

  • Now requires Gateway

 

Hades

The Hades was too expensive for what it offers, especially compared to Punisher.

  • Metal cost decreased from 270 to 240

  • Radioactives cost decreased from 330 to 260

  • Logistics cost reduced from 20 to 15

 

Strategic Bomber

The Strategic Bomber was too durable against anti-air without armor piercing, so we're trading some of its armor in exchange for health. We are also increasing its sight range to allow for easier target acquisition. We plan on opening up the utility of Heavy Air Bombers by allowing by allowing them to target units, but this will require a significant rebalance. In the mean time, they can now target Dreadnoughts.

  • Armour lowered from 16 to 14 (80% damage reduction to 70%)

  • Health increased from 4800 to 7000

  • Logististics cost lowered from 100 to 60 (Same as Harbinger)

  • Sight range increased from 500 to 800

  • Can now target Dreadnoughts

 

Air Harbinger

The Harbinger was still suffering from too little survivability, yet it had a very high lethality. In order for proper counters to remain consistent among PHC and Substrate, the air Harbinger is receiving some armor. The Harbinger is also losing some armor piercing to make it consistent among Substrate and PHC Dreadnoughts.

  • Shields increased from 4000 to 6000

  • Sight range increased from 500 to 800

  • Now has 5 armor (25% damage reduction)

  • Damage reduced from 300 to 250

  • Can now target Dreadnoughts

  • Armor piercing reduced from 100% to 80%

 

Pan, Searcher & Instigator

The air scouts were far too weak, they were shot down before they could provide any proper scouting and they didn't have enough of a sight range advantage over Air Interceptors for them to be viable.

Their weapons were also completely unnecessary as they did almost no damage. Air Scouts are losing their weaponry to make their role more intuitive to new players.

 

Pan

  • Health increased from 500 to 1500

  • Weapons removed

  • Logistics cost increased from 1 to 3

  • Sight range increased from 1000 to 1200

  • Radar increased from 1200 to 1400

 

Instigator

The Instigator had issues capturing territory without flying out of the capturing radius. It’s losing some movement speed and its weak weapon is being removed so it doesn’t try engage targets.

  • Health tripled

  • Metal cost lowered from 800 to 500

  • Logistics cost lowered from 20 to 10

  • Build time reduced from 80 to 40

  • Movement speed decreased from 500 to 450

 

Searcher

  • Movement speed increased to match Pan

  • Shields increased from 300 to 1400

  • Weapons removed

  • Sight range increased from 1000 to 1200

  • Radar increased from 1200 to 1400

  • Metal cost increased 100 to 120

  • Radioactives cost of 10 removed

 

Air Marauder

Despite being locked behind a late game structure, the Air Marauder and Air Rampager were underperforming and needed some buffs to make them viable. They are also receiving also a movement speed increase to make them feel more like air units instead of flying land units. The Air Marauder is trading some armor in exchange for health to make its survivability more consistent.

  • Damage increased by 50%

  • Health increased from 2000 to 2500

  • Armour reduced from 16 to 10 (80% damage resistance to 50%)

  • Logistics cost increased from 4 to 15

  • Movement speed increased from 250 to 300

  • Now has 25% armor piercing

 

Air Rampager

On top of the Rampager having far too little health, it suffered from a bug making its main weapon ineffective. It now has a modified version of the Air Marauder's weapon with the original Rampager visuals. 

 

  • Now has a modified version of Air Marauder's Laser to fix a critical weapon bug

  • Health and shields doubled

  • Logistics cost reduced from 30 to 15

  • Secondary weapon increased from 400 to 800 (to match other weapon)

  • Secondary damage increased from 15 to 30

  • Movement speed increased from 250 to 300

 

Buildings


Nexus

We are allowing players to build the scout planes from the nexus to allow for more scouting early on. Players can see their opponents strategies and react instead of the “Build order Poker” where players blindly counter each other without knowing. 

  • Pan and Searcher can now be built from the Nexus

 

PHC Nexus

The durability of the PHC Nexus was inconsistent compared to Substrate. It was practically immune to all damage apart from things with heavy armor piercing such as artillery and Harbinger. Increasing its health in exchange for losing armor will also make it more resistent against Air Harbinger base snipes.

  • Health increased from 10,000 to 14,000

  • Armour reduced from 24 to 2 (95% to 10% damage reduction)

 

Armoury

The Substrate Assembly is a massive advantage not only because it shares all basic production, but also because it costs no radioactives. To mitigate this, we are reducing the radioactives cost of the armoury.

  • Radioactives cost reduced from 90 to 50

 

Advanced Assembly & Dread Launch

The Dreadnought production structures are getting a build time decrease to help make Dreadnoughts more viable.

  • Build time decreased from 180 to 70

 

Metal & Radioactives Extractors

Extractors were too fragile and were too easily destroyed in an attack. We are increasing the health of extractors in order to make harassing them require a bit more consideration

  • Health increased from 50 to 350

 

Aviary & Advanced Air Factory

The Aviary and Advanced Air Factory did not need to be locked behind the Dreadnaught production structures as they produced weaker units. We are opening up heavy air units to create more strategic diversity and counters. 

 

Advanced Sky Factory

  • Now only requires Air Factory

  • Build time reduced from 80 to 60

Aviary

  • Now only requires Assembly and Quantum Relay

  • Build time reduced from 80 to 60

 

Sensor Array and Listening Post

The radar towers were often neglected due to only providing minimal detection range. We are increasing the performance of the radar range makes them desirable, as well as increasing their cost and lowering health to make Radar Towers a strategic investment which form as a contention for the players and incentivise bombing runs.

  • Radar radius increased from 1800 to 2500

  • Radioactives cost increased from 20 to 80

Sensor Array

  • Health reduced from 600 to 300

Listening Post

  • Shields reduced from 500 to 200

  • Health reduced from 200 to 100

  • Metal cost increased from 80 to 120 (To match Sensor Tower)

 

Technology Buildings (Orbitals)

The pricing for tech buildings was extremely inconsistent and did not reflect their value. This resulted in little player decision making, a lack of strategic diversity and the late game tech tree being too inaccessible. Some buildings had negligible costs and were built with no consideration, while the higher tier Orbital Structures cost an hefty amount and were mostly neglected as a result. There was also a discrepancy between the costs for PHC and Substrate, where Substrate suffer due to a far higher Radioactives cost but less Metal. Tech buildings are being properly priced for their value.

 

Orbital Fabricator

  • Radioactives cost increased from 10 to 100

  • Metal cost reduced from 400 to 380

  • Build time increased from 40 seconds to 60

 

Power Regulator

  • Metal cost increased from 60 to 250

 

Energy Projector

  • Metal cost increased from 140 to 260

  • Build time decreased from 70 to 60

 

Weapons Lab

  • Metal cost reduced from 640 to 500

  • Radioactives cost reduced from 360 to 300

  • Build time decreased from 120 to 100

 

Orbital Command

  • Build time decreased from 240 to 160

  • Radioactives cost reduced from 1200 to 600

 

Energy Modulator

  • Metal cost increased from 120 to 280

  • Radioactives cost reduced from 240 to 80

 

Gateway

  • Metal cost increased from 240 to 350

  • Radioactives cost reduced from 200 to 100

  • Build time increased from 40 to 60

 

Orbital Drone Relay

  • Metal cost increased from 240 to 500

  • Radioactives cost reduced from 450 to 300

 

Subspace Streamer

  • Build time decreased from 280 to 160

  • Radioactives cost reduced from 1150 to 650

 



Base Defenses

Base Defenses dictated far too much of Ashes; their potency stagnated the game by cheaply locking down sectors of the map early to create a long, tedious and ineffective dynamic of trying to clear them out. There was also a huge discrepancy between the potency of base defenses, mainly favouring Substrate. The following changes close the gap in performance, and also distinguish the different types of anti-air defense.

 

Most of the base defenses suffered from a minimum range which prevented them from firing at enemy units which are too close. 

 

  • All base defenses have their minimum range removed (Apart from Artillery post and Drone MRV/Shredder)

 

Smarty System

The Smarty System was very weak and had pitiful damage for its cost. It paled in comparison to the Annihilator and was trivial to couunter.

  • Health increased from 600 to 900

  • Damage increased from 15 to 30

 

Barrager

The Barrager was in a weird spot where it has so much durability with 95% damage reduction, yet its damage was lacklustre. To give it more consistent performance we are exchanging some of its armour for damage

  • Armour reduced from 20 to 14 (95% to 70% damage reduction)

  • Weapon damage increased by 50%

 

PHC Artillery Post

The Artillery post was not only over performing, it also didn't feel much like an artillery installation as opposed to an ultra long range base defense. In order to make it feel more like a proper artillery defense, it's having its projectile speed lowered and accuracy reduced to make it weaker against mobile armies compared to static targets. The range was also too high, with no proper way to mitigate its impact.

  • Projectile speed lowered to 33% of its current speed.

  • Accuracy reduced to make it weaker vs mobile armies.

  • Range lowered from 3500 to 3000

  • Damaged lowered from 300 to 250

  • Build time lowered from 180 to 130

 

Drone Bay

The Drone Bay and Repair Bay were both too cheap for the impact they have. We are increasing their cost so they don't overshadow all other PHC base defenses once they are unlocked.

  • Metal cost increased from 240 to 350

 

Repair Bay

  • Metal cost increased from 140 to 300

 

Annihilator

The Annihilator and Heavy Annihilator were too cheap for their high damage output, stopping armies many times over their cost.

  • Damage reduced from 50 to 33

  • Metal cost increased from 180 to 200

 

Heavy Annihilator

  • Damage reduced from 6 to 4

  • Metal cost increased from 240 to 300

 

Disruptor Cannon

The Disruptor Cannon was too durable for its damage output. It would take almost a minute and a half for an Artemis to destroy it.

  • Health Reduced from 4000 to 3000 (Also has 2000 Shields)

 

Drone MRV

The Drone MRV was inaccessible due to its high Radioactives cost. We are exchanging some Radioactives for Metal and increases its health so it’s not destroyed by Artillery units so easily.

  • Metal cost increased from 160 to 260

  • Radioactives cost reduced from 180 to 130

  • Shields increased from 300 to 500

 

Shredder Turret

  • Shields increased from 300 to 500

 

Blossom Launcher

The Blossom Launcher costed Radioactives while the Constable doesn’t. To make the pricing more fair and consistent, it's getting its radioactives cost replaced with a high metal cost, and also receiving a reduction in shields

  • Radioactives cost of 30 removed

  • Metal cost increased from 160 to 220

  • Shields reduced from 1500 to 1000

  • Build time reduced from 40 to 35 

 

Skyender

The damage output of the Skyender was incredibly underwhelming given compared to alternative anti-air despite the heavy cost. The Sky Ender is receiving a heavy buff, and is now designed for anti-heavy air while Starburst with more splash damage is designed for groups of light air.

  • Damage increased from 25 to 100

  • AOE reduced from 150 to 50

  • Build time reduced from 240 to 160

  • Now has 25% armour penetration


Starburst

The changes in 2.03 overbuffed the Starburst which made it overperform. It is receiving a hefty damage reduction to balance its performance for its cost and not overshadow the Sky Ender.

  • Damage reduced from 200 to 40

 

Constable

The Constable was too fragile and with too low damage. It was easily taken out by the bombers it was supposed to counter.

  • Health increased from 900 to 1200

  • Damage increased from 75 to 100

 

Falcon Anti-Air

The Falcon was so cheap that it was a no-brainer upgrade to the Constable, which put PHC in a difficult place for static anti-air as the Falcon was weak compared to other defenses and the Air Eliminator is expensive and is locked behind weapons lab. We wanted the Falcon to provide more consideration, while being a potent mid game anti-air defense strong versus groups of light air units.

  • Health increased from 900 to 2700

  • Now has 10 armor (50% damage reduction)

  • Damage increased from 25 to 40

  • Metal cost increased from 150 to 400

  • Radioacives cost increased from 30 to 200

  • Build time increased from 45 to 90

  • Range reduced from 1250 to 1150

 

Air Eliminator

The Air Eliminator suffered from inconsistent durability due to low health, but high armour. This left it practically unkillable with standard damage but too vulnerable against Armor Piercing attacks such as Artemis or Destructor.

  • Armor reduced from 20 to 12 (95% to 60% damage reduction)

  • Health increased from 1500 to 4000

  • Build time reduced from 240 to 160

  • Range increased from 1500 to 1600

 

Sentinel

The Sentinel was too durable compared to other base defenses, especially given its high damage.

  • Health reduced from 4500 to 3500

 

Oblivion

The Oblivion was suffering from inconsistent survivability; less health but more armour actually makes it weaker than the Sentinel against armour piercing attacks such as Artemis and Disruptor, the units which are normally killing them.

  • Armor reduced from 20 to 12 (95% to 60% damage reduction)

  • Health increased from 3000 to 4000

 

Pulverizer

The Pulverizer and Exterminator were too durable for their damage and range, which made it too difficult to counter with artillery units as they would not be able to outrange it.

  • Shields reduced from 4000 to 2500


Exterminator Turret

  • Health reduced from 6000 to 3000


Regenerator

Being locked behind the most expensive tech building, the Subspace Streamer, made the Regenerator rarely used. Moving the tech requirements to the Energy Modular will make the Regenerator arrive at a more suitable time, and is more intuitive and thematic to the role of the structure.

  • Tech requirements moved from Subspace Streamer to Energy Modular

 

Orbitals

All summon abilities now have a consistent cost increase rate, as some were ramping up slower than others.

 

Engineer Drop

Engineer drop was too cheap for how valuable it was.

  • Quanta cost increased from 30 to 50

  • Quanta per cast increase increased from 0.2 to 0.25

 

Probing Force (Call Sentry)

Probing Force is too cheap for how much damage it can inflict. Like a few other summons, Probing force ramps up in cost too slowly compared to other summons. To fix this inconsistency, all Summons will now increase in cost by 25% each cast.

  • Quanta Cost increased from 60 to 80

  • Quanta per cast increase increased from 0.2 to 0.25

 

Avatar

  • Quanta per cast increase increased from 0.1 to 0.25


Sapper

The Sapper was a very underpowered and neglected ability. We are increasing the health and damage of the Sapper turrets to make it more desirable.

  • Quanta cost reduced from 100 to 90

  • Sapper Turret health increased from 200 to 500

  • Sapper Turret damage increased from 2 to 5

  • Sapper Turret armor removed

 

 

Drone Swarm

Drone Swarm was overperforming for cost. We have some more changes in mind for future patches to make this ability more consistent.

  • Increase Quanta cost from 200 to 250


EMP Pulse

The EMP Pulse way too powerful for only 100 Quanta, especially as many core Substrate units such as Mauler have only a fraction of their health compared to Shields. The damage has been reduced so it’s not as potent versus Dreadnoughts and Heavy Air Units.

  • Quanta cost increased from 100 to 150

  • Damage reduced from 10,000 to 2000

 

Emergency & Serpentine Turrets

Deploying Emergency and Serpentine Turrets was used to double cap two relays at the start of the game.

  • Now Require Quantum Relay or Quantum Archive

 

Rush Build

Rush build could be used to boost the nexus at the start of the game, allowing for a fast engineer and double capture.

  • Now requires Quantum Relay

 

Nano-Transport

Just like the Charon, Nano-Transport is an overpriced ability which is completely neglected.

  • Quanta cost reduced from 300 to 200

 

Plasma Storm

Plasma Storm was overperforming for cost. 

  • Quanta cost increased from 200 to 250

 

Nanite Assassination (Kill)

Kill was far too powerful. It can takes a very long time and amount of resources produce a Dreadnaught, they shouldn’t be countered instantly by an ability. Kill will still remain powerful vs Dreadnaughts, but now there is opportunity to pull back a wounded Dreadnaught.

  • Damage reduced from 10,000 to 7000

 

Nano Mesh Armour

Nano Mesh armour can be very exploitative in certain scenarios, especially combined with Medics and how Substrate don’t have anti armour units until Eradicator or Punisher. It is also a no-brainer ability when applied to Dreadnoughts. We are working on a way to make it perform more consistently and less exploitative such as giving it health instead of armor or making it a small armour buff in an area. In the meantime, we are increasing its cost

  • Quanta cost increased from 50 to 100

 

Detonate

There is an unfair damage discrepancy between Detonate and Orbital Strike. There is also a difference in armor piercing, but that mainly only matters versus Dreadnaughts. There is no reason for these abilities to perform so differently.

  • Damage increased from 1333 to 5000

  • Armor piercing reduced from 100 to 12 (60%)


Orbital Strike

  • Damage reduced from 7500 to 5000

  • Armor piercing increased from 4 to 12 (60%)




Quality of Life Changes

 

Artillery Units

Using artillery units was quite frustrating as they would not properly utilise their maximum range. Instead, they move would towards medium range, often getting targeted by base defences as a result. Artillery units will now close much less distance, and issuing a stop order will force them to stay in place and fire without moving. Units affected are Artemis, Destructor, Hera, Eradicator, Nemesis and Chronus.

Comparison.jpg

 

 

Map Fixes


Aven

 

Aven is a nice 2v2 map but it was predictable and repetitive. Players fight over the high ground with the Turinium generator because they’re almost the only pathway into your opponent's base. Aven also had a very small amount of Radioactives, which limited the player's ability to make use of their full tech tree and had a inconsistencies and unfair advantages due to the asymmetric layout.


Changes Applied:

  • Removed the extra relay from the top left spawn

  • Added an additional pathway at the top and bottom of the map

  • Added in additional Radioactives Deposits and made them more accessible.

  • Slightly reduced the size of the central high ground

  • Removed some of the hills and high ground scattered around the map

  • Turinium Requirements reduced from 1000 to 750

  • Made the relays and terrain more symmetrical



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Avern Comparison.jpg


Cygnus

 

Cygnus suffered from having unfair spawns; the south side had the two starting relays further away from the north spawn. This prevented the south from double capping while the north could. The map also lacks strategic diversity as the middle contains an abundance of resources while being the shortest attack path to your opponent's base, while the edges have no deposits at all.


Changes Applied:

  • Equalised distance from spawns to starting relays

  • Added deposits onto the sides of the map

  • Removed some of the deposits from the middle

  • Made the deposit layout symmetrical for both sides.

  • Added Dead zones to the edge of the map to tidy up the minimap regions.



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Espana

 

Espana had little strategic diversity as the centre of the map had lots of resources while the outside corners had none. In most 1v1 games, Turiniuum Generators are neglected so we wanted to shift some of the concentration of resources away from the middle onto the outside paths to encourage more variation.


Changes Applied:

  • Removed a metal desposit from each of the central metal relays

  • Removed a radioactives deposit from the central rad relays

  • Move the central radiaoctives deposits to the edge of the map

  • Added two metal deposits onto the empty corner relays

  • Moved a radioactives deposit from the corner of the spawns to the other nearby rad relay to allow for more harassment.



(Map maker screenshot is used to illustrate the relocation of deposits. Yellow is metal, orange is Radioactives. Full size image)

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Italia


Italia looked a bit strange due to how much empty space there was without any relays. It also had some balance problems associated with the layout of the terrain such as  how the horizontal pathways across the middle of the map are closer to the top player, and how the south player has an additional pathway above their nexus.  Only having a single connection through the sides of the maps meant that summoning units via Orbitals to cutoff resources was too effective and very frustrating. It’s still a powerful strategy as there are several cutoff points, but now not every side point is.


Changes Applied:

  • Centralised the pathway through the corners of the map

  • Added two Turinium Generators to the middle of the map

  • Connected more of the side relays to each other.

  • Blocked off the pathway above the bottom Nexus.


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Pyn

 

Pyn was not a perfectly symmetrical map which created a number of balance problems and inconsistencies such as the central metal node favouring the south spawn. The disproportional allocation of resources meant there wasn’t a lot of variety in where players would be fighting over territory. We have spread out the resources more evenly and added some more to create more strategy diversity.


Changes Applied:

  • Increased Metal Deposits on starting Nexus from 2 to 4

  • Added additional Radioactivities Deposits on the central and corner Radioactives Relay

  • Added a ramp on the other side of the Corner hills to allow for more action over the the Turinium generators.

  • Centralised and evened out the middle basin.

  • Centralised and evened out the two middle metal nodes

  • Equalised the distance of the two starting relays.


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Vega

 

Vega lacked any strategic diversity because the entire map is decided by who can hold the middle of the map since it is the only connection to the sides. Fortifying the middle so key that players rarely bother with the sides even after having the middle, especially because of how heavily defended the Turinium Generators are. Adding connections to the sides of the maps will open up a lot more room for different tactics


Changes Applied:

  • Added additional relays to connect the sides of the map


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Minor Updates


The following changes are minor updates for the maps already reworked. Since the original reworked versions are now in the game, there has been a lot more playtesting and feedback.


Ceres

 

The bottom right corner has two radioactives near each other, and the other non-base radioactives was too inaccessible in the top left corner. This resulted in matches on Ceres being predictable and repetitive, where players would fight over those two rads and that would often decide the game. Adding in another Radioactive deposit on the other side of the map will create more strategic diversity where holding the bottom right corner is less critical. It was also still possible to double cap from the top right spawn due to the proximity of the two starting relays.


Changes Applied:

  • Added a Radioactivities Deposit on the empty relay

  • The top right corner moved slighty further away from the starting relays

 
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Deneb

 

Games on Deneb revolved around the north of the map too much because it has more resources in a much shorter distance compared to the south. Adding an additional Radioactives Deposit on the south side will make the south less neglected.

There is also an issue where one of the metal extractors on the right side can be destroyed by creeps at a nearby node up the hill.


Changes Applied:

  • Moved around one of the metal extractors on the right side to fix nearby creep issue.

  • Added a radioactivities deposit on southern radioactives relay.



Regulus


Changes Applied:

  • Fixed an issue where the bottom right spawn had one less metal deposit.

Monaco

 

The top left player had a slight advantage where they were able to double cap easier due to closer starting relays. Often maps have equal distances, but the player at the top benefits because of the spawning direction of the engineer. Monaco also suffered from a lack of strategic diversity due to the middle pathway being the safest (no high ground) and shortest path across the map, where the majority of metal was located. The bottom left corner should get more resources to incentivise players fighting over it. In general, Monaco has very little resources compared to other maps which prevents players from making use of most of the tech tree.


Changes Applied:

  • Equalised the travel distance to the starting two relays

  • Added an additional Radioactivities Deposit on the bottom left corner relays

  • Added Metal Deposits on the empty relay on the left side.

  • Moved Metal Deposits from the middle to the right to incentive going on the right side.


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Adjusted Turinium Requirements

 

The Turinium Requirements in Ashes were not only inconsistent, they are also too high. Almost all games came down to annihilation of the enemy, with Turinium levels being ignored and neglected. Turinium Generators were still contested due to the additional resources they provide, but Turinium as a victory condition was not providing any strategic diversity and consideration from players.

 

We have standardised the Turinium levels on the current and future ranked maps, lowering the Turinium requirements where it is too high and making it more consistent. We used 500/750/1000 as the basis for Tiny/Small/Medium maps, but varied it slightly depending on how difficult Turinium acquisition is on those maps. 


 

 

Updated Ranked Map Pool (not in effect until 2.2 is launched)


In order to improve the automatch experience we have updated the map pool for ranked and unranked games. We are removing the least popular maps and ones not suited for competitive play. The new pool maintains a variety of different maps sizes and types to cater to all players.