Feb 11
Community Announcements - UWE.Strayan (NS2HD)


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.

store.steampowered.com/app/4920

Changelog

Tweaks / Improvements

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

Fixes

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
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.

Fixes
  • 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.

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

Editor
  • 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.

ːwelderːːmacːːalienlogoː
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.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rfa5hmTWDNs

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 https://discord.gg/0TKQwZWu7JDk5Lm8 - 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:

https://youtu.be/qIxRkvdYQ6w

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.
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.
Aug 25, 2015
Community Announcements - UWE.Strayan (NS2HD)


The Natural Selection League (NSL) has opened signups for two new NS events: A Newcomer Tournament, and NSL Season 7. These events cater to a wide range of skill levels, and will provide a more organised play experience than public games can deliver.

Natural Selection 2 comes alive when played in an organised environment. Teamwork, voice-communications, and the pressure of playing for a title all come to the fore.



The Newcomer Tournament is aimed at those with less competitive NS2 experience, who are looking to try a more organised play style. Matches will take place on September 19th and 20th. Anyone that does not play in the NSL or AusNS2 leagues is welcome to join up.

It’s not necessary to have a team to play. The NSL will organise everyone into teams (how’s that for service?). That means it is possible to sign up to the Newcomer Tournament as a single player. Sign up to the Newcomer Tournament using the signup form. Detailed information about how the competition will work is also available in the NSL’s help document.



The Natural Selection League has a hallowed history, having operated since the early days of Natural Selection 1 in the early 2000’s. Now, season 7 is here. This is the defining competitive NS2 event – The best players and the best teams come together across multiple, skill-ranked divisions.

Signing up for the NSL requires having an account on the http://www.ensl.org/ website. Once you have an account, there are instructions for team-creation in the NSL announcement post.

As with the Newcomer Tournament, the NSL will handle organisation and skill-ranking. It’s time to play in some organised 6v6s, sign up now!
Community Announcements - UWE.Strayan (NS2HD)


Fight for control of a derelict biological research facility in this brand new map for Natural Selection 2! Created by the NS2 Community Development Team, Derelict features bespoke environment art and a unique play style.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D6bbdr-z2KE

Derelict is available now on Steam, and is free for all NS2 players. The update also includes numerous improvements to NS2, including bug fixes and performance enhancements. A comprehensive run-through of all changes made in the Derelict Update is available on the NS2 blog.

The raw changelog starts below:

New map - Derelict

by CDT Mapping Lead: Loki

Map developed by Loki – artwork & contributions also from: BeigeAlert, SamusDroid, Zavaro, Flaterectomy, Howser & the CDT/PT/Map Test Teams. Special thanks to the SCC (Spark Crafters Collective) **Note for server operators: Don’t forget to add ns2_derelict to your mapcycle!

New Main Menu Backgrounds and Music

You can now choose your own main menu background and music from the options settings!

**All main menu levels have had an optimization pass to reduce file size in order to increase the speed at which the main menu loads.

Performance

NS2 is now being compiled using Microsoft Visual Studio 2013, an upgrade from VS2005. From our testing, some users may gain an improvement of increased fps. The following are other optimizations:

Avoid certain health/armor predictions on client
Use fieldwatching to avoid some OnUpdate calculations
Linux: use FixPathCase only if file is not found.
Implemented filesystem cache to avoid file-lookup penalty for mods.
Improved GUIMinimap performance.
Improved performance of many GUIScripts.
Alien hivesight related LOS-checking was being done even for Marine players, where it is irrelevant.
Alien players are now always shown with Hive-Sight outlines, even when in LOS.
Changed Scoreboard data to only update twice per second instead of once per frame.
Cache OnosDirtEffectGeneration.
Improved Onos camera shaking code
Added caching surface beneath players, prevents additional traces for footstep sounds.

Bug Fixes

Fixed tons of code and libraries issues preventing the NS2 project to get compiled under VS 2013 (should also make NS2 more stable)
Fixed first person spectating causing hitching movement to other players.
Fixed that the server wasn’t necessarily using the same snapshot as the client when the client was extrapolating positions. (Other issues with hitreg will be getting fixed in upcoming patches!)
Fixed cursor not centering properly in Fullscreen Windowed mode.
Reject attempts to load resources using empty strings.
MapCycle now automatically cycles to next map if the attempt to load a map fails.
Detects that a map change failed and cycle to next map.
The restriction that map mods had to be on the filesystem to be cycled to has been remove; the map mod will be downloaded if not present before being cycled to.
Replaced hardcoded keys for spectator drawing with:
Secondary Attack: Draw on the screen.
Reload: Clear the screen.
Bile bombs and gorge spit are now client side predicted.
Gorge Tunnels can now be exited at any height in the tunnel.
Fixed that Hive time-outs caused the “forceventeams”-vote to fail.
Fixed that cached Hive data were not applied correctly onto reconnecting players.
Fixed that the PAX badge was not applied on players who don’t have any Hive badges.
Fixed that it was not possible to disable the team auto-balancer.
Fixed Medpacks/Ammo/Catpacks not showing the pickup icons.
Fixed bug where Loading screen wouldn’t use custom map backgrounds and made it scale with resolution.
Fixed that mod downloading via the web admin interface did not work.
Fixed Insight displaying Health for exos (they only use Armor).
Fixed jetpacks left behind by dead marines not dissolving with the body on death.
Fixed damage numbers and private sounds being sent to the original owner for MACs, Drifters, Whips, ARCs and Sentries. They are now sent to the current Commander.
Old mods are now deleted 24 hours after new versions have been downloaded (kept around for a while just in case you want to play on a server that haven’t upgraded yet).
Fixed that the Swedish translation wasn’t using the correct file.
Fixed various crash issues of the Overview.exe.
Added the latest patches from LuaJIT hopefully increasing the performance and stability of NS2 as well
Fixed a script error with LayMines.
Fixed a script error appearing sometimes when you tried to vote.
Added a blank model check for dynamic props so to stop crashing the client.
Added sanity checks to avoid client crashes from any kind of corrupted texture files
Made net_loss a cheat command so people can’t use it to cheat anymore
Added consistency checking for hmp files.
Fixed embryos not having a taunt causing assert errors.
Fixed sending blank chat messages causing messages to overlap
Fixed being able to place an IP in eclipse where you shouldn’t be able to
Auto deactivate mods on patch release
Fixed menu being unresponsive if mousing over webview while a window was loading
Fix highlighting of view models
sv_tests console command added. This allows server admins to give certain people access to the command.
Fixed error for Gorge Tunnel Enter/Exit screen FX preventing liquid effects from playing

Tweaks

Added remaining cannister ammo on the display for the flamethrower
Lowered opacity for red colored low ammo warning on weapon displays.
Chat now displays tags before the player names for Rookies and Commanders.
Replaced the Reinforcement label in the Main Menu with a label linking to the CDT Trello page
Added the Serbian translation
Lowered the opacity of the tv_glare texture in the main menu so it distracts less from the menu background
You can now change the used gamma correction value in the option menu. This allows you to adjust the brightness of ns2 overall. The default is 2.2 (even though it is not the center of the slider)
Removed consistency checking for the screens folder. You can now have custom loading screens by putting jpg files inside a screens/custom folder.
Removed consistency checking for models/marnie/male/flashlight.dds. You can now have custom flashlight textures
Added a separate bind for movement override for commander
TOOLS

Map Editor

Fixed invalid triangle bug!
Displacement window is now properly sized.
Added a default bind to open entity list (‘O’ key).
Replaced “Create Color Grading” with “Create Reflection Probe” on the tools-ribbon.
Added a filter decals button.
Added a selection color option and a new light blue color option.
Added a brightness slider.

SDK

Fixed scoreboard hiding the GUIHoverMenu every frame as long as the scoreboard wasn’t up.
Introduce FieldWatcher, a way for a client to detect that a network field changes.
Introduce a way for GUIScripts to run at less than full fps (set self.updateInterval).
Improve AddTimedCallback to give you time since last callback, return time to next callback.
Added MapChangeFailed Event Hook.
Fixed console commands passed on the command line failing to run because they were running in the loading world.
Added new server admin console command “sv_installmod <modid>” to download the given mod to the server.
New command “hud_rate <mul>”: specify a multiplier for the hud update rate (impacts fps)
Decals also load now in cinematics
Added propnames development console command to show names of nearby props while in game
Known Issues:

We are aware of some render distance issues with the Editor, this will be fixed in 276.
Jan 31, 2015
Community Announcements - UWE.Strayan (NS2HD)


It's common knowledge that Natural Selection 2 has no bugs, issues, or problems.* It has never had any bugs. Ever. Fact. Full stop. Ok, maybe a few... And maybe Update 273 had a few too many. Some say that Onoses (Onii? Onosii?) were very upset by seriousr problems with their damage type.

Never fear though, Update 274 has arrived quickly from the Community Development Team, and it addresses some major issues that crept into the game in 273! Enjoy!

*This statement may not be entirely accurate.

Changelog

Remove erroneous file exists check in particle handling (fixes Shotgun & other bad hitching)
Ensure servers actually try to update all mods on changemap
Remove curl progress reporting spamming server consoles
Fixed damage types; Onos, bile bomb, Flamethrower, axe & Welder. (Onos were upset. Not good.)
Fixed lua error on linux for users with certain locale settings
...

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