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Z & Z Expansion
 System Req.

FAQ - Balance

Q - Do Toughs really own this game?
A - Toughs aren't half as important in multi as they are in SP. you can make light tanks with the same resources and buildtime, and those tanks will kill the toughs and go ahead. Mortar tanks can also easily kill toughs, and you can guard them by psychos or snipers to give them LOS (line of sight). Anyway, between robots, toughs are incredibly dominant, and other than snipers and spies you don't need to build any other robot for your fighting force. Patch 4 will fix this balance issue.

Q - Psychos are utterly useless?
A - Well, up to patch 3 if you make psychos in numbers and the opponent goes to massed toughs, you'll be crushed, but the psychos are great for grabbing flags in the early game and on fast maps. If you mix psychos and mortars, you'll have a fabulous fighting force if you move the units correctly and have enough mortars. Unhappifully, the toughs are so statistically superior to the other combat robots (psychos, pyros and laser) that turned them into some kind of specialized units instead of mainstream units. Read previous question.

Q - Why are medium and heavy tanks so weak?
A - The medium and heavy tanks resistance (maxdamage) is actually not that high in Z:SS. Anyway, nothing is all that hard to kill in the game. I really think they should be much tougher units, and watching how fast a heavy tank dies to just two or three psychos (when they get in range) is both pitiful and painful. It makes us sorely miss the frightful tanks from the original Z. But if they did that they'd face a problem: if the tanks in Z:SS were as efficient as they once were in Z and ZExp, why would anyone build robots at all? Remember in Z you had no choice since the factories were pre-built.
One option would be rewarding it with quantity and speed for the robots, but unhapifully most robots aren't faster than the cheapest tank. Another option would be making the heavy tanks more expensive and taking more time to build, to balance some extra armour. Making the medium and heavy tanks support units (and excelling at that) were the Bitmaps gameplay choices. They have a generous track record of making things right, so I guess we could bet on them.

Q - Why are heavy tanks so weak?
A - They aren't actually, you just have to learn how to use them for best efficiency. First of all, every tank (even an APC) is vulnerable to mortar fire, so you'll need a couple snipers a bit ahead of the heavy(s) to assure they shoot the mortar before it does the same. Second, a lonely heavy won't make the destruction fest it once did in Z, it's vulnerable to psycho and pyro masses because it's not got a big attack splash area like the mortar. So add your own psychos troop around it - if you know the enemy has a strong air force, use toughs instead. Third but not least, never let the heavy tank stand still. It's an easy bait if you do. When in danger, keep moving it, preferrably away from the enemy fire, specially if it's tough fire. You'll notice the tanks are the only units able to move towards one direction and fire at another one, so while the heavy gets far from the danger and keeps hitting its target, the robots have to stop to aim and shoot ;). If you think that's a nice tip, wait 'till you see this in action, it's devastating. You can also kill masses of robots with careful mortar micromanagement in the same fashion.

Q - The units drive one through the other and this makes the mortar shots hit all of them, isn't that a bug?
A - As for the mortar tanks powerful splash area attack it's the only attack which is similar to the amazing power the original Z tank shots had so let's keep it this way, please? As for the units being "melded" together and receiving damage together, I think of it as a natural counter-balance for the increased attack power that tightly packed forces offer. To avoid it, using the patch 2 version you can select, say, one psycho, hit A (all units of the same kind on-screen) and select a formation for it (F repeatedly). When you move the units to attack something they'll keep their formation, depending on the terrain obviously.






Mike Montgomery

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