Community Announcements - Ghoul

Deceptively small, but under the hood there are mighty things happening! Build 283 has some exciting new features to bite into. In addition to the opportunities afforded by the Steamworks upgrade, a new development tool called ‘Extensions’ is being phased in. Both of these changes continue to lay the groundwork for new features, faster bug fixes, and enhancements to the game.

Other highlights to this build include significant fixes server memory leak and performance issues, as well as tweaks and fixes to Bootcamp. By popular demand, we’ve reverted the “sneaky skulk” because of the inconsistent behaviors it introduced in certain scenarios. Check out the changelog below for more details. Enjoy 283! 

Tweaks / Improvements
  • Reverted the “Sneaky Skulk” (introduced with build 276) by popular request. (Skulks could become exposed without noticing, or even partly glitch into walls)
  • Removed local talk bind due to it causing confusion to new players. Functionality still exists in engine, but the implementation needs to be reassessed before exposing it again.
  • Reduced snapshot history on servers to 2 seconds instead of 10, to reduce memory usage
  • Servers will now decrease send frequency to alt+tabbed clients after 1 second instead of 3 to reduce server bandwidth and cpu usage.
  • Added a filter for “rookie only” servers to the server browser
  • Lowered the speed with which the server browser updates the sorting to make it usable when you update the server list.
  • Added the new Extension System to Servers. Allows game-only updates to be released without the need for changes to be pushed through Steam.

  • Fixed that the tutorial windows was always showing up for new player with Play Now.
  • Fixed server performance issues introduced in build 279
  • Fixed server memory leaks when flushing network snapshots.
  • Fixed server crash after a failed map load.
  • Fixed that you couldn’t play the “vs Bots” mode as “non rookie”
  • Fixed disconnection pop-up message box garbled text in main menu.
  • Fixed some smaller script error of the new bot code.

  • Updated to Steamworks v. 1.35a (our first time updating in 3 years!)

  • Reworked some of the internals of the editor so that hotkeys will now be stored with their tool name instead of their tool’s ID. This means that your hotkeys shouldn’t get scrambled every time a new command is added to the editor. Unfortunately, this means there will be a one-time reset of all hotkeys in the editor to their defaults, so if you’ve got a configuration you really like, write it down!!!
  • Added an error message that prevents the trim tool from working if there are duplicate vertices present. Before, this would create an invisible, infinitely sized face that would make it nearly impossible to select any other faces. Bad stuff.
Altera News-Network Update: Reports of a winter storm headed towards your settlement. Experts have named this storm: Tundra. It is expected to hit land-fall next week. Stay tuned and bundle up!
Community Announcements - UWE.Strayan (NS2HD)

Today we've released a small update called 'Bootcamp.' Bootcamp aims to create more welcoming learning environments for new Natural Selection 2 players. It does this by allowing servers to restrict their games to new players only, while allowing more experienced players to join as spectators.

When new players join NS2, it is very likely that their first games will be played with very experienced teammates and opponents. Because NS2's skill curve is so steep, that means a new player might not have the opportunity to get a single kill for several games. We think this might be deterring new players from continuing to play for long after their initial purchase.

If a new players have the opportunity to learn with people of similar skill, it is possible they will enjoy NS2 more and be more likely to play more.

To help new players learn in Bootcamp servers, bots will automatically fill empty slots. These bots have been significantly upgraded from the bots you have seen in NS2 in the past. Most importantly, they can do a passable job at acting as Commanders. New players can jump in and out of the Commander role, and bots will fill in the gaps.

Bootcamp approximates 'new players' as any player with a Hive level below three. If a player has such a level , they can join Bootcamp servers. After completing the tutorial, or after reaching Hive level 1, they may also join normal servers, but cannot command until reaching Hive level 2. Players with a Hive rank of higher than two can still join Bootcamp servers, but only as a spectator.

The Hive rank system is not perfect: Not everyone with a Hive level below two is a new player. But we think it will be a fairly good approximation.

The Play-Now button will tend to favour Bootcamp servers when searching for games for a new player. As a player's Hive level increases, the Play-Now button will favour servers with more experienced players.

Please let us know what you think about this update. We're especially keen to hear from new players, about their first few hours in NS2 went down. We're excited to hear suggestions from experienced players about how new players can be introduced to NS2.

Announcement - Valve
Today's Deal: Save 50% on Natural Selection 2!*

Look for the deals each day on the front page of Steam. Or follow us on twitter or Facebook for instant notifications wherever you are!

*Offer ends Sunday at 10AM Pacific Time
PC Gamer
Community Announcements - UWE.Strayan (NS2HD)

Hit targets harder, and join games faster. The Aim to Please update has been released! This update includes great new hit-detection, better play-now options, and a host of other improvements to Natural Selection 2.

Find out more on the Aim to Please update page and find a full change-log on the Natural Selection 2 blog!
Community Announcements - Ghoul

Hi everyone.

One of the things we're actively trying to improve is the way we communicate with the community. Our goal is to make it as easy as possible for you to reach us and each other.

As well as continuing to use Trello, we've started up a new Trello Board for our activities to allow you to follow our development progress. We will continue to use the UWE forum and the UWE development blog to post announcements and interact, but we think there is now a new faster, more fluid way we can communicate in the future.

Discord is a relatively new chat & voice service. It's a combination of Slack, Skype & Teamspeak all in one. We've been testing if for a few months as Subnautica use it for playtesting, and now we think it's reach the stage where we can open up the new official Natural Selection 2 Discord server to everyone.

If you want to have a direct chat with us or other members of the community, join up at - don't forget to claim your account. There are great Desktop & Mobile apps available if you don't want to use a web browser tab. It's all free.

We recently started a new NS2 feedback forum. This feedback forum will help us to gather your ideas and bug reports.

So far we received 64 ideas and 6 bug reports! We would never thought about some of those ideas and are very thankful that you decided to share them with us.

At the moment we are looking into implementing 9 of the most popular ideas while we already work on one idea. Of the 6 reported bugs 1 was fixed, 4 were known internally and 1 was added to our bug tracker.

We hope that these new communication channels allow more people to get involved in Natural Selection 2 development. Thanks!
Dec 8, 2015
Community Announcements - UWE.Strayan (NS2HD)

Here's a cool little feature for all the clever modders and mappers out there: The Trim Tool. This tool allows you to create complex map details, fast. Trevor has put together a great video that explains what it does, and how it works:

Read more about the Trim Tool, and Trevor's other ideas for future Spark features, on the NS2 blog.

This tiny little update has been produced by a brand new NS2 'build' system, called Sky Marshal. There's a small chance it will not work properly. If we have broken the game, please Tweet at us or make a fuss on the forums. We can and will revert the update very quickly if something has gone wrong.
Rock, Paper, Shotgun - (Alice O'Connor)

Last year, Natural Selection 2 [official site] creators Unknown Worlds handed development duties on their aliens vs. space marines FPS-RTS over to a team of community volunteers, then themselves dived down into alien oceans to build Subnautica. Ah, but landlubbers will always pine for the shore (or for space?). A year-and-a-half later, Unknown Worlds are getting back into NS2, hiring some of those community folks on as an in-house team to resume development for a few months.

… [visit site to read more]

PC Gamer

Released in 2012, Natural Selection 2 pits a squad of heavily-armed human marines against a horde of alien invaders. It's first and foremost a shooter, but it incorporates RTS elements that, as we said in our very positive review, are what "ties it all together." A couple of years after it came out, developer Unknown Worlds turned control of the game's future development over to a small team made up of members of the NS2 community, so it could focus exclusively on Subnautica. Earlier today, however, the studio took the reins back, saying that it's time to "try something new."

"Unknown Worlds is getting back in to Natural Selection development. We have hired a small group of community members to reform an in-house development team," Hugh Jeremy of Unknown Worlds (who, by the way, has a very nice rig) wrote on the Natural Selection 2 site. "We are going to try some crazy stuff. We want NS2 to be huge."

An announcement that had been prepared yesterday turned out to be "pretty shit," as Jeremy put it, but then ended up slipping out anyway, leading to excitement, confusion, and anger. To address those concerns and answer as many questions as possible, he provided links to four separate posts including a Q&A about the studio's return to the game and a more detailed explanation of how the new team will work.

Eight members of the Community Development Team that took over NS2 in 2014 have been hired on as the new, official development team, although all but one are working part time. The CDT itself "will no longer operate in the same structure that it formerly did," but members of the community will still be encouraged to create and share new content for the game. "This time around, with renewed funding from Unknown Worlds, we hope to be able to fiscally compensate people proportionally to the work contributed," Amanda "Rantology" Diaz explained. "This means that anyone will be able to contribute something to the game and, if accepted, be rewarded for it."

Naturally, not everyone is entirely happy with the situation. One well-known CDT member, Mendasp, posted a long message on the Unknown Worlds forums explaining that he will no longer be working on Natural Selection 2 or the NS2+ mod, not because he was left off the team but for what he sees as poor treatment of himself and others in the community.

"I, and the other people that weren t contacted, deserved to know these kind of plans so we could make our choices based on it, especially considering other people that aren t part of this team knew," he wrote. "If this was done fully knowing the impact I don t know, but I can tell you, from my side, that this feels like I was taken advantage of, and it s quite awful to be in such a situation."

But Jeremy said the studio has "no secrets," and suggested that the problem right now is not a lack of clarity, but a lack of certainty. "There's nothing Unknown Worlds knows that we don't want the NS2 community to know," he wrote. "The decision to return to NS2 is a big, complex, nuanced one. It is hard to describe it all in a single email, blog post, or phone call. It s even harder to convey the idea that Unknown Worlds doesn t have all the answers, and that not having an answer is ok."

Thanks, Blues.

Oct 15, 2015
Community Announcements - UWE.Strayan (NS2HD)

One of the biggest complaints we read in the forums and steam reviews has always been “why are my load times so long?”. For some it was infuriating to load the game and wait 4+ minutes to load a level, especially when staring at a loading-screen. It can sometimes feel like an eternity. Build 276 is a great leap forward towards resolving this issue.

By taking precompiled data and shipping it with the build, it allows your machine to not have to work through each of the individual files like before and so saves time getting you into the game. Prior to Build 276, a fresh install of NS2 could take over 4.5min or longer to load into a map for the very first time on traditional HDDs. This is now reduced significantly to around 2.5min. While this is still not perfect, it makes huge strides towards solving the issue for good. Where you will notice the most change is in load time after the initial loading process. On average all traditional HDDs should see a map load time of around 46sec, down from 1.5min or more, with SSDs being even faster again. Remember that everyone’s experience may be different, but you will notice a decrease in load times none the less.

Despite it’s small download footprint there is a lot more under the hood of this patch included in the changelog below, and there is still more to come! With the anniversary of Natural Selection fast approaching, we will be releasing one more patch to get into the spirit of the season and introduce some minor balance tweaks and more updates/fixes to our editor tools!

– Dillon (“WasabiOne”)

See the full update changelog on the Natural Selection 2 blog.

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