Wake up Marine! Time to get into action and learn your objectives. Trevor and many team and community members have been hard at work on our tutorial system and it’s time to release it into the wild. This new tutorial offers a better way of progression through the basics of NS2 for both marines and aliens and also helps new players understand the many complexities that the game offers. We couldn’t be more excited to see how this turns out and we’ve even hidden some fun Easter eggs throughout both tutorials, see if you can find them all :)
There is still more to come and next week we look at our continued efforts to spice things up a bit, so stay tuned 😉
Tweaks / Improvements Replaced the old tutorial with two brand new tutorials.
-One for each team
-Each takes place at a different map
-Designed to be interactive and less linear
-Two sets of Voiceovers
-Include two new secret achievements
New Hive Status UI added which displays the following details:
-Type of each Hive
-Health point of the each Hives
-Location of each Hive
-Number of eggs located at each Hive
-Displays which Hive is occupied by the commander
-Only shows Locations that contain a TechPoint
-Shows if Eggs and Hive are taking damage
-Can be toggled via the HUD detail setting
Moved Team Resources UI screen position for Aliens to accommodate new Hive UI
Moved Personal Upgrades UI screen position to accommodate new Hive UI
Removed Biomass UI fade in/out animation. It now instantly shows and disappears
Steam Personas will no longer be changed by the game without player intent
Added contextual on-click events to new player checklist in the Main Menu
Normal achievements can’t be received at a listen server any longer
Fixes Fixed black-screen on load issue for Windows 7 and some Linux clients could encounter when running a listen server, which was caused by incorrectly sized UDP packets.
Fixed net_log debugging command not being applied to Listen Servers.
Fixed script error that occured when killing a Command Station
Maps Map fixes from Loki and Zavaro. Thanks guys!
Fixed OcclusionGeometry in Atmospheric which was mistakenly added as CommanderInvisible
Fixed stuck spot in Turbine
Fixed layers to contain appropriate geometry, assets, and lights
Fixed leftover geo from previous builds including extra faces and vertices
Fixed pathing mesh in Courtyard
Fixed CollisionGeometry in Generator Monitors vent to prevent people from accidentally falling through
Marine Start holo table is now flush with the floor
Fixed some holes in the Biodomes
Fixed pathing mesh in Chasm to stop AI from getting stuck
Keeping in tune with our weekly releases is key to our continued work on NS2. What’s great about this schedule is that we can make tweaks and improvements across all aspects of the game, get real world feedback on gameplay and then just a few days later release more fine tuning and even more changes. Throughout these last few months, some of our experiments and changes have worked out better than we’d ever thought…and sometimes they don’t. However, what’s true is that we continue to push forward and try new exciting things.
Update 295 begins our movement towards a continued shakeup from the norm of NS2 gameplay. We are always looking for ways to simplify and also spice up gameplay throughout the game. Another great improvement comes from our good friend Matso in the way of some additional network updates that will hopefully improve the experience for those of you having redplug issues.
Lastly, thank you again to our awesome community. We recently re-launched the NS2 Translation site and have already gotten a lot of great submissions from people from all over the world. You can help the cause by visiting translate.naturalselection2.com! Our community is so rich with talent and it does not go unnoticed. We have some exciting things to come over the next few weeks and can’t wait for you to get your hands onto it, plus remember you can access the beta branch any time you want to see what’s going on behind the scenes of the next update.
Tweaks / Improvements
Ragdolls will dissolve faster and be colorized faster to give more feedback that they are dead already and you can stop shooting
Hitsounds will be enabled by default for new players so marines get better feedback when shooting aliens
New item pop-ups will no longer show for duplicates
Updated the in-game fonts to better support Latin Extended A chars (Thanks navazka)
NS2 now remembers the last selected server browser tab and will reselect it as soon as the server list has been fetched.
Gamemode server browser tabs now display the amount of players of the given mode.
Removed unique popup warning about gameplay issues on large servers
Warning popup for operating outside recommended settings changed
Will show if server exceeds 24 player slots as well as if network settings have been changed from default
Warning message will not show for servers you have favorited
“Never Show Again” option removed for rookies
Your nickname in NS2 will now automatically update with changes to your Steam name (this can be disabled from the options menu, under General -> Keep Same As Steam)
When failing to connect to a server due to reserved slots or because of having been banned, you will now be told so more explicitly
Added disconnect reasons for wrong build numbers, to make patch day less confusing for players
Default server moverate reduced from 30 to 26. This restores it to approximately what it was prior to build 279, and should help server performance
Servers will report now the sum of the median and standard deviation of all player skill rating as average player skill. This should make the skill row of the server browser more reliable.
Removed over 200 no longer used game strings to help our community translators. Feel free to help us localizing the game at http://translate.naturalselection2.com/
Fixed issue where moverate was being improperly calculated, potentially causing a client to send an excessive number of moves after returning from being alt+tabbed, or if their framerate stuttered (Thanks Matso!)
Rookie only server alert message will now be hidden forever when you tell it to be so
Fixed weird behavior with popups when trying to join servers with reserved slots where the same popup would appear more than once
Raised engine hard limit for max players to 99. It is still recommended to stay under 24
Servers can now supply a refuse reason in the CheckConnectionAllowed callback
Natural Selection 2 has been receiving an update almost every single week. But you would not know it from looking at out Steam news, because we have been forgetting to post it (Sorry...)! Here is a summary of what's changed in the last four updates, since we last posted to Steam.
Update 294 - April 12th
Tweaks / Improvements
Kick reasons are now communicated to the client via the popup in the main menu
The “NS2” gamemode tag is now selected by default at the server browser instead of the “All” tab
Bots now directly join their team instead of waiting the Ready Room
Decreased direct heal from 50 health points to 25
Added a regeneration effect healing 25 health points per second:
Each medpack adds 1 sec regeneration
Multiple medpacks stack the regeneration time wise until the maximum health is reached
The health value regeneration will reach is shown green health bar
Lowered the pickup cool down from 0.56 seconds to 0.45
Fixed that sometimes a commander bot joined a team in rookie only even though the team already has a human commander.
Server can now indicate a kick reason when calling Server.DisconnectClient
Update 293 - April 4th
Tweaks / Improvements
Exosuits have had a Quality of Life pass
While deploying, your view is no longer locked and you are frozen for less time to better match the animations
You can eject instantly, and it will throw you more in the direction you are looking. You can even use it to get to some vents!
Subnautica has floodlights, why not NS2? The exo’s flashlight stays on after ejecting, turning it into a very expensive floodlight
Parasite state of the exo is tracked separately from a marine, and fixed inconsistencies with this (Thanks Dragon!)
Parasite status is now shown on the exo screen next to the armor display
You can no longer steal someone’s Exo if they buy a Jetpack until after 30 seconds has passed
You can now thrust in any direction
If you press the thrust button before the fuel bar is full, as long as you continue to hold it it will thrust when able (similar to how jump-queueing works as a Skulk)
Primed power nodes will now unlock if a Command Chair is in the room
Changed a few achievements slightly:
Lowered the required amount of the "Destroy X Resource Towers" achievements by 5 as it's too unlikely to destroy 15 of them in a single round
Constructing 33 % of a structure will count now as having build that structure to avoid race conditions against other team members
You also defend a Resource tower now by killing an enemy close to it instead of having to stand close to it yourself
Fixed Server Browser not sorting by “Favorites” by default
Fixed references to Exosuits as Exoskeletons in some of the hint text and commander UI
Update 292 - March 29th
Tweaks / Improvements
Added a bunch of new collectible items you can earn by playing the game or by trading with others. See if you can get all 15!
Fixed respawning at random view angles. Your camera view after spawning will now match where you were looking while respawning
Fixed that constructing only rewarded 1 instead of 5 score points
Fixed that bots counted for the max player check causing players to be unable to join a server
All C-style code comments have been refactored to Lua-style (this allows you to use any editor which supports Lua to work with the ns2 code base)
Added ability to assign a mod type and a compatibility tag to your mods in Launchpad, while will be displayed in the Workshop and can be used to filter certain mod types.
Please update your old mods with tags, especially crosshairs, hitsounds, and alien vision ones!
Want even more? You can also read the Update 291 notes on the Unknown Worlds blog (Steam news won't let me post it all at once...):
Hi everyone! A new Natural Selection 2 update has been released on Steam. This is a small update, and contains some tweaks to the tutorial and some great community contributed bug fixes.
Before I get to the changelog, this is an opportune moment to share some other good news. For the past three months, UWE has been running an experimental project with a paid, in-house NS2 development team.
Last week Amanda, Brock, Dillon, Scott, Sebastian, Skyler and Trevor gathered and presented the results of their efforts. Those results were very positive. UWE has decided to proceed with an extension of the project for another three months.
Back on topic, here's what changed in Update 290:
Update 290 Changelog
Tweaks / Improvements
Re-recorded all Tutorial voice-overs
Added Voice-over mute option in Tutorial
Fixed Onos and Skulk albino view-model showing incorrect texture (Thanks Samusdroid!)
Fixed issue with Death Triggers that caused them to kill entities not in the triggers!!!
Fixed Overview including special groups (Seasonals) in tga file (Thanks Salads!)
Added support for LaunchPad to load specific project on start: -o [path to mod.settings] (Thanks Salads!)
Mix-master Zavarois at it again! Thanks Zavaro for contributing all these fixes and improvements!
Biodome Fixed an issue where OcclusionGeometry clipped through world in Platform
Fixed an issue where OcclusionGeometry where detail props would disappear in Bioreactors
Fixed an issue where OcclusionGeometry clipped through world in Filtration
Fixed an issue with Atmospheric and Condensers not extending their locations to a conjoined room
Derelict Fixed hole in Atmospheric Seeding allowing players to see outside the map
Fixed hole in floor of Turbine allowing players to see outside the map
Fixed face jutting out of floor in TurbineFixed OcclusionGeometry in Turbine from showing on minimap
Descent Duplicated and rotated proximity field textures to create cohesion in visual styles between maps
Docking Updated Reflection Probes
Summit Fixed CommanderBuild group in Crossroads to better accurately reflect floor and walls
Fixed CommanderNoBuild in Crevice
Tram Fixed CollisionGeometry on railing in Ore Processing to better accurately reflect prop locations
Added CollisionGeometry to Ore Processing vent to keep players from getting stuck
Fixed holes in Hub allowing players to see into North Tunnels through the walls
Veil Fixed Y-Junction location name on minimap to intended Y Junction name
Added OcclusionGeometry in Cargo to block Gorge Tunnels from being visible
Fixed floating crates and other props in Cargo
It seems like only yesterday that we released update 288, wait a minute?!? It was :) (almost). Hot off the heels of one update comes yet another. This time there is even more under the hood adjustments and tools for us to make the deployment of new features easier. The team has been discussing and debating many suggestions by the community on ways to adjust lifeforms and new player traps. We will continue to discuss and evaluate these over the next couple weeks. For now there are some minor adjustments you will see listed in the changelog, plus a handful of fixes and map repairs. See you all on the servers!
Tweaks / Improvements Added the ability for UWE to apply hotfixes to the main menu without releasing a full steam patch
Added the ability to spotlight mods in the main menu
Removed excessive padding from the rookie-nag popup and removed the “Remind Me Later” option
Discord button will now drop people in #general, to get them talking
Swapped Gorge and Skulk positions in the evolve menu so new players are less likely to think the Gorge is “better”
Added quick-link to Community Market in Customize screen
Revamped the scoring numbers:
Each entity gives now about half of its resource costs as points
Primary game objectives like Command-, Resource Structure and Power Nodes give a bonus of 10 points
Secondary game objectives like Gorge Tunnels, Observatories, Phase Gates, Infantry Portal and Alien Upgrade Structures give a bonus of 5 points.
Player give a bonus of half the points they have collected in their current life.
Fixes Play Now window now only reports having found servers that it will actually try to join
Sped up initial welder animation after purchasing at an armory
Welder will no longer play its initial animation if you picked it up off the ground
Fixed initial welder animation playing multiple times if you switched weapons before it finished
Reaper Gorge now works with the correct item (it was unlocking with the Reaper Skulk before)
Maps Awesome QoL changes, brought to you by Zavaro (send him thank you cookies)!
ns2_docking Retooled CollisionGeometry in Courtyard to better accurately portray props
ns2_veil Corrected minimap names from appearing in less than ideal locations
Changed collidable wires in Topographical to non-collidable for consistency
Fixed an issue with Skylights location bleeding into Command
Removed tiny duplicated orphaned Cargo forcefield face
Added new shader-based proximity material to Cargo forcefield, making it more forcefield-y. Shiny
ns2_descent Added new shader-based proximity material to Shuttle Bay forcefield, making it more forcefield-y. Also shiny
Added prop lights to better differentiate room from external area beyond forcefield
ns2_tram Fixed missing faces in Ore Processing allowing players to see through the floor
ns2_derelict Fixed a few missing faces in Turbines from previous build (Whoops!)
I will let the changelog speak for itself on this gigantic patch 😉 As you can see this is primarily a maintenance patch, but there is more to come on Thursday. Stay Tuned!
Tweaks / Improvements
Added force fields to the tutorial so players can’t wander off and get lost
Building with E while holding the welder will no longer cause you to lose your last weapon switch history
Customization options should no longer be reset when switching between servers
Swipe sound will not play on the main menu when it’s not meant to
Integrated fixes for the “Tis But a Scratch” and “Strategic Thinking” achievements
Continuing our theme of the week, Patch 287 adds some additional support to help new players learn about the game before joining the ranks. We are now able to guide new players through an on-screen checklist, to help them learn all the basics of the game. If they complete these tasks they are rewarded a new shoulder patch (‘Eat your Greens’). The other benefit in having this system hooked up is that we now have Steam Achievements for the rest of the players out there! So prepare yourself and see how many achievements you can collect, we will continue to add more over time and are open to suggestions on fun/harder ones to achieve too.
Next up we are working to implement some of the ideas and requests from the ‘Simplifying NS2 thread’ and document. Our continued efforts with the help of the community’s feedback should help both retain more players and allow current players to effect change. That’s a big positive for everyone. Check out the changelog below and stay tuned for what comes next!
Tweaks / Improvements
Added 48 new Achievements for you to collect
Added 5 tasks specially for new players and a new shoulder patch as reward for completing them (shown on the main menu)
Tip videos will no longer play while connected to a dedicated server, so new players can focus on the game. They are still accessible from the Training menu
Changed Trello button on main menu to link to our NS2 Discord chatroom instead (come say Hi!)
Use an achievement to track if the tutorial was completed instead of a config option.
Tutorial improvements are now for everyone (no more A/B comparison)
Added more granular analytics to the Tutorial, to find out where people are getting stuck
If you have a welder, you will build with the welder instead of the build-tool.
Fixed issue with repairing destroyed power nodes where it would not bring out your build tool or welder
Fixed Linux clients getting a black screen on startup due to awesomium being less than awesome
Restored the old behavior of the rookie only server browser filter: It shows rookie only servers when ticked otherwise not.
The annotate command has been fixed (Thanks Salads!)
SDK / Editor
Added a Server.IsDedicated() script function to distinguish between local hosted (listen servers) and remote hosted (dedicated servers) from lua script
Fixed crash in Editor that could occur with the Trim Tool.
Fixed structures being un-powered in Terminal if placed in the upper-left corner of the room.
Fixed CommanderInvisible faces, cinematics, and props throughout the map
Fixed some odd faces clipping through areas where they shouldn’t
Fixed several holes in south-western portion of the map
Fixed some excluded OcclusionGeometry faces
Made vents more visible (and connected) on the map overlay by adding several missing props and faces to CommanderInvisibleVents
Fixed an issue causing Seasonal (and secret room) props to be visible on map overlay
Added addition line of sight block in the form of derelict_vines_2b in Turbines for balance
Decreased size of central tree in Turbines for sanity and balance
Pipe props moved in Alley for blocking line of sight for balance
Part of our goal as a development team is to look at player retention for the long term, not just how we stand now. A lot of our focus on this lately starts with new players to the game. We have continued to make changes to the game and mechanics in order to help new players better understand how to play NS2, while keeping the experience intuitive and fun. This patch is the first step in achieving these goals. We’ll likely be patching again later this week as we quickly move on to Patch 287 and beyond!
Tweaks / Improvements
Added an Introduction to Natural Selection 2 video. It will play on first launch, and can be watching again from the Training menu
In locations with no structures that require power, building the power node will become primed when fully built. This will not impact building resource towers or the normal course of play
Pressing E to build while you have a welder will now use the welder instead of the build tool
Made minor improvements to the tutorial, but only 50% of players will see the improved version, so we can measure the effects (A/B testing)
Reduced resolution of some specular textures to improve memory usage
Increase rookie level to 5 so new players can keep playing and practicing on rookie-only servers for longer before joining the non-rookie servers. You can still play on any server you want after reaching level 1 or finishing the tutorial.
Added a ranked server filter to the server browser
The server browser will now highlight ranked servers. Listed as GOLD NS2 in the gamemode column. (Thanks mendasp!)
The server browser now shows the total number of servers available as well as the total number that pass your filter settings (Thanks mendasp!)
Resource nodes and tech points are now highlighted on the minimap (Thanks mendasp!)
Rookies are no longer banned from commanding on non-rookie servers, but instead will be shown a warning
Commanders are now credited with the average score on their team at the end of a round, so they will continue to level up as fast as all the other players even while commanding
Play Now will now prioritize joining into a ranked server over an unranked one
Fixed awesomium_process.exe crash (occurred frequently in the tutorial, or for new players if tip videos were playing when they exited a game)
Fixed hangs on server join, disconnecting, and exiting the game
Fixed specular textures loading at a lower resolution than intended (shiny new prettiness)
Integrated fix for gorge tunnels not always opening when a player has dropped both sides
Throttled “illegal miplevel” error spam so if it happens, it won’t impact performance
Updated ns2_derelict overview to show new vents
Fixed another case of rifle jamming (Thanks xDragon and SamusDroid!)
Fixed looping rifle fire sounds while not firing (Thanks xDragon!)
Fixed Shared.SendHTTPRequest jobs not canceling properly when the lua vm is destroyed, which could cause hangs/crashes
New cosmetic items are now available in Natural Selection 2! Tundra adds ice-cold Shotgun, Rifle, Exosuit, and marine armor paint jobs to the battlefield. These items are available now in the brand new Natural Selection 2 item store.
Those of you with keen eyes might have noticed something different about these items. Unlike previous cosmetic items, which were Steam Store DLC packs, these items are available individually as part of the Steam Economy. Much like items in Rust. This means you can choose to buy only the pieces of the Tundra pack you really want. You can also sell and trade the items.
In fact, you can trade a whole lot more than just Tundra items. Skyler (Remi) has been doing some serious tinkering under Natural Selection 2’s hood. He has performed major upgrades to the way NS2 interfaces with Steam, opening up a wide array of you functionality. All the items you’ve purchased in NS2 are now tradeable. Reaper pack, Kodiak pack, Reinforcement Program – They are now all available in your Steam Inventory.
Don’t want an item anymore? You can sell it. Missed out on an item that’s no longer on sale, and really want it? You might be able to buy it from another player in the marketplace.
All this new functionality has great potential for Natural Selection 2’s future. Instead of just making and shoveling out packs of cosmetic garbage, the NS2 development team can take signals from the Steam Economy, and work on things people actually really want. We could potentially work together with community creators to put sweet new customization options into NS2. Specific actions – Such as helping new players, or winning a particular NSL tournament, could result in the award of dedicated items.
To fill up your Steam Inventory, run NS2 and then select ‘Player Customization’ from the main menu. NS2 will talk to Steam for a little bit, and then all your items will appear in your Steam Inventory. If you buy a Tundra Bundle from the Item Store, do the same thing and select ‘unpack bundle’ to unpack all the Tundra items into your Inventory.
We’ve tinkered with NS2’s guts with this update. There’s a good chance we’ve broken something or other. There may be bugs in our Steam Economy implementation, and crazy stuff might happen. If it does, please let us know and we’ll get cracking on finding solutions. Rest assured that all DLC and item purchases are tracked by rock-solid transaction databases – If we’ve broken something, you will not lose your items.
We are looking forward to hearing your feedback about all this. This is a big experiment, and the NS2 dev team is not 100% sure about how we will use all this new functionality. Do you have ideas for items, inventories, and economies? Could veteran players be identified with special items? Might new players receive items for completing tutorials and other training? Should Black Armor be tradeable? Let us know what you think in the comments below.
Added a bar on the main menu to show your progress to the next hive level
Added all new Tundra items (Armor, Exosuit, Shotgun, Rifle, and Shoulder Patch)
Changed all previous customization variants to be items instead of DLC (except Black Armor)
Added ability to open the Tundra Bundle from within the customize menu
Added simple event recording system, so we can track things like tutorial completion rates and if new players are viewing the tip videos
Fixed case where rifle could have the wrong texture
Fixed not being able to see skins of other players while spectating in first person
Commander dropped equipment will be of the commander's selected variant
Fixed animation issue with Rifles which may have caused issues with its animation graph (might fix gun jams, please report!)
Tweaked numbers again to try to fix redplug issues when a client alt+tabs (introduced in build 283)
Increased snapshot history on servers to 3 seconds instead of 2
Changed time until throttling of alt+tabbed clients to 2.8 seconds instead of 1 second
Fixed inconsistencies in the consistency checker causing consistency checks to sometimes fail
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!