Natural Selection 2 - WasabiOne


There are pros and cons to having a longer patch cycle. In this case, our reason for delay was out of our control. However this ended up allowing for a lot more of our work to be brought into the update. Update 323, as you will see in the changelog below, is probably one of the more impactful updates that we have done in some time. Beyond adding some new cosmetics and our new Shadow Onos model, there are some big changes to gameplay that have shown to not only adjust a lot of the existing strategy, but force you to think and apply all-new ones as well. We hope that these changes will inspire new gameplay and lifeform usage in the foreseeable future.

Summer is now afoot and as a special treat Rantology has added some new flair for your shoulder armor. It’s only available through July 16, 2018.

 

We teased at what was moving in the shadows just a couple weeks ago and now we are ready to unveil the Shadow Onos. An entirely new model created just for this skin, this completes the entire range of the shadow aliens. Since this is the final piece of the shadow skin collection, we have decided to give away the Onos skin to anyone that was a Reinforced Shadow Tier contributor, or purchased the Shadow Pack DLC. For those of you that don't receive the Shadow Onos from a prior purchase can buy it HERE. *please note that this item is not tradable

 

Our Forge skins have been very popular amongst the community, you could say they’ve been red hot. They are one of our favorite skins in the game but we felt that the pack just wasn’t complete enough. So as a gift from us to you, please enjoy the addition of Shotgun and Flamethrower Forge skins. Anyone that already owns the Forge DLC will be granted the new items for free in the customize menu. If you don't already own this awesome DLC, you can buy it HERE.

 

We know everyone here likes to show off their bling, whether it be a badge, armor or some other in-game cosmetic. So we’ve added player skill tiers and fancy new icons to help differentiate between the tiers while in game. Of course, the main purpose of this feature is really more towards helping to balance teams based on skill and their relative groups.

 

There is much to digest in the changelog below. We hope you have fun playing around with the changes, new skins and Shadow Onos model. As always, there is more to come in the future! Good hunting.

Changelog

Gameplay
  • Alien Upgrades rebalance
    • Auto-spawn with upgrades
      • Reapplies last used Skulk upgrades on spawn, even if you’ve since evolved into a higher life form, it will remember.
      • If no upgrades were last used, they’re assigned randomly (save for focus)
      • Has 4 second delay for each upgrade level, totaling a max of 12 seconds for all 9 potential upgrade chambers to take effect. Manually evolving is faster. But this mechanic keeps the QoL that is spawning with upgrades, without being overpowered or preventing Marines from locking down a hive room. (Thanks for the idea Handschuh!)
    • Removed Silence
      • The current implementation of this upgrade worked against some of the fundamental requirements for the Melee vs Ranged design. We felt it was easily one of the most frustrating things in the game to encounter, for all skill ranges. A proper solution couldn’t be implemented due to technical constraints, so this is the best path forward we believe.
    • Vampirism
      • Now on the Crag hive and it no longer cloaks you, this upgrade better fits the facerolling playstyle of aggro aliens by providing as good or better eHP benefits as Carapace, provided you’ve successfully landed 3-4 hits on an enemy. You’re more vulnerable at range compared to Carapace, but if you can close that distance and land your hits, you’re better off. It now restores a fraction of your eHP (health + armor) instead of a fixed amount of health per shell:
        • Skulk Bite: 6% (4.5-6.7 eHP)
        • Gorge Spit: 3.2% (5.1-5.9 eHP)
        • Lerk Bite: 3% (4.5-5.2 eHP)
        • Fade Swipe: 3% (7.5-9.3 eHP)
        • Fade Stab: 6% (15-18.6 eHP)
        • Onos Gore: 2.5% (22.5-31.5 eHP)
    • Regeneration
      • Tweaked to compliment the 3rd form of Crag Hive playstyle, the Hit and Run type, Regeneration now heals by 3% (was 2%) of your health for each shell every 2 seconds. (but is clamped to heal at least 6 and at most 80 hp). It only activates when out of combat (taking damage) for 3 seconds.
    • Adrenaline
      • This upgrade currently doesn’t provide enough benefits to higher life forms while being too good for lower lifeforms. So we started addressing that issue. However to fully resolve the issue we will need to fully rebalance the alien energy system which we plan to do in one of the next updates.
      • Increases maximum Energy levels by 20 per Spur for a maximum of 160, old energy cap was 100.
      • Removed increased energy regeneration of 1 energy per sec for each Spur (default energy regeneration is 10 energy / sec)
      • Lowered the Gorge ability energy costs:
        • Heal spray costs 10 energy (instead 12)
        • Dropping a structure costs 15 energy (instead 20)
    • Camouflage
      • In an attempt to make camouflage viable as its own upgrade, it now applies during all typical non-ability movement for an alien.
      • Leap, Charge and Blink etc will still decloak you, but a gliding Lerk or a wall jumping Skulk will remain cloaked at full speed, albeit at a higher degree of visibility.
      • Potentially useful if used in chaotic engagements. An idle ambushing alien is still difficult to spot. Typical decloaking rules when attacked or attacking apply.
    • Focus
      • We’ve heard your resounding feedback that Focus is frustrating to play against when it can one-hit-kill an unarmored Marine. So in an effort to address this we’ve made the following changes:
        • Decreased the damage bonus from 16/33/50% to 11/22/33% - this means a Focus Fade Swipe at maximum can do 99.75 damage to a Marine!
        • Only primary attacks are affected by Focus and consume 33% more energy to account for the slower RoF.
        • Vampirism heals 33% more health if Focus is selected to account for the RoF difference.
    • Crush
      • Moved to Shift Hive to replace Silence’s position, and allow for Vampirism to be on Crag Hive.
    • Celerity, Carapace, and Aura are unchanged from previous update.
  • Lerk
    • Increased personal resource cost to evolve into a Lerk to 21 (from 18)
      • This change was based on feedback from the community regarding a large amount of Lerk dominance early in a round often dictating the outcome. We believe the subtle lifeform timing difference coupled with the increased cost of re-Lerking will aid in marines being better prepared by the time they arrive on the field, as well as dealing with them less frequently, or giving more weight to their deaths.
  • Gorge Tunnel
    • A single Gorge now needs 12.5 seconds (from 5) to build a tunnel.
      • Should increase the requirements to set up a gorge tunnel base rush in the late game and give Marines more time to notice them. Should not impact most early game tunnel placements that are well defended like Nano.
  • Welder (Contributed by Katzenfleisch)
    • What you aim at will determine whether you repair or attack something, reliably.
      • The Welder was welding wounded friends first and ignoring any enemies nearby, leading to some minor issues when you wanted to get rid of babblers near an RT or wanted to finish off a low skulk when a friendly was nearby. This change is replacing the old targeting priority with one taking the closest target from your crosshair, so the mechanic works as you’d expect.
  • Now preventing players who joined a team in the first 60 seconds of a round from spawning instantly, because some players started exploiting it during early game base rushes. All players who join after the round has started will now be added to the re-spawn queue like normal.
Tweaks / Improvements
  • Added the new shadow Onos
  • Added the new summer Gorge shoulder patch every player can unlock by playing 5 rounds during this summer until July 16th 2018
  • Added the Forge Shotgun and Flamethrower skins
  • Added player skill tiers (Thanks to IeptBarakat for helping out with this)
    • Your skill tier only changes after playing at ranked ns2 servers. All other servers do not update your Hive stats! Ranked servers show up with a blue gamemode field in the server browser. Otherwise quickplay tries to connect you to a ranked server whenever possible.
    • Your skill tier is based on lower bound of your skill value. This is a combination of Hive’s estimate of your skill, and its confidence in that estimate. This makes the tiers more stable than a skill threshold alone would be, and causes them to tend to trend upward over time as Hive gets more confident.
    • 1 tier for all rookies below level 20 (approx. 20 hours playtime)
      • Tier 0 - Rookie - green color
    • 7 tiers for all other players to group them by their skill:
      • Tier 1 - Recruit - blue color - ~20% of the weekly players
      • Tier 2 - Frontiersman- silver color - ~25% of the weekly players
      • Tier 3 - Squad Leader - gold color - ~25% of the weekly players
      • Tier 4 - Veteran - platinum color - ~15% of the weekly players
      • Tier 5 - Commandant- diamond color - ~9% of the weekly players
      • Tier 6 - Special Ops - purple “shadow” color - ~5% of the weekly players
      • Tier 7 - Sanji Survivor - red color - ~1 % of the weekly players
    • The skill tiers should help players  to balance teams roughly on their own without having to rely on automatic shuffle algorithms.
    • Each servers mean skill tier is also displayed in the server browser sp players can avoid joining a server with the majority of players having a significant higher/lower skill tier.
    • You can check your own tier in the main menu.
  • Changed “Rookie Only” servers to “Bootcamp” servers, and opened them up to every player below skill tier 2.
  • Gorge Healspray will now show a healing effect on the friendly unit or structure the Gorge is targeting.(Thanks IeptBarakat for helping with this!)
  • Some structures have had their poor or awkward collision for player movement improved to allow for smooth traversal. This impacts the Observatory, Extractor, Shell, and Arcs. You might notice that you can move through the Observatory dish now, or that Skulks aren’t floating in air as much on specific parts of an RT.
  • Reflections no longer look "half-rez" due to incorrect texture coordinate derivatives.  As a result, some reflections appear more/less visible than before due to the now correct usage of the gloss map.
  • The bulk of the art assets in the game were rebuilt using newer and better tools. This removed a lot of artifacts from them improving overall visuals of the game.
  • Specular Maps now render at full resolution, was half-resolution before. This help improve lighting fidelity of most surfaces in the game.
  • The refraction/distortion effects (glass, alien cloaking, etc.) now properly stack up.  Before, only one layer of refracting objects would be visible, occasionally causing some more important information to be lost (eg. cloaked Skulk hiding on refracting glass would be quite literally impossible to spot because it simply wasn't being rendered!). Also, parts of the Cloaked Alien would lose the refraction effect and become completely invisible in some spots during typical use.
  • The game now has a ‘RepairGame.exe’ utility in the ’x64’ sub-folder. This can be used to fix common issues clients may encounter. It will delete your Workshop and Cache folder contents, as well as deactivate any mods in your options.xml file and then validate your files the next time the game is run.
  • Changed the position of the Help Screen notification reminder to a more active screen area that will not risk obscuring your view. We found it wasn’t very noticeable in it’s previous position. A stroke was added to the text so that it is readable against all backgrounds.
  • Added a favorite server “Heart” button to the in-game scoreboard next to the server’s name at the top of the screen. Make sure to hit that when you found a server you really like to find it again later on in the server browser!
  • Added a numeric ping value next to the ping bars in the Server Browser because they might be needed if you live in certain regions like Australia.
  • Limited the ping filter in the server browser to a minimum of 100 ms, to prevent users from accidentally setting it to 0, effectively making all servers disappear.
  • Labeled the server rank column of the server browser with rank instead of # which most players didn’t understand.
  • Improved the server rating formula so that not all full servers are moved to the second page of the server list. We also introduced a new policy for ranked servers to improve the experience that players have on them.
  • Improved the “failed to connect” dialog to look better and offer a few more options, such as Retry or Try Another Server.
  • Added 3D visual hints on the HUD indicating the position of spotted Resource Towers for players with hints enabled. Hopefully this will help new players to know where to go, and to attack resource towers instead of the Tech Points which were previously the only thing shown with hints on.
    • Requires LOS established by your team before showing.
    • Shows a maximum of 2 resource towers on screen at any time to avoid clutter.
    • Prioritizes distance and direction you are looking to determine which RTs to show
  • Replaced the resource tower dots in the bottom right of the HUD with icons representing the actual resource tower structures of each team, to avoid any confusion.
  • Unlocked the maxfps console command from 200, so player can set it as high as they want up to 1000 - at their own risk. Also added a maxfps field to the system_options.xml so players can use that to change their maxfps permanently.
  • Damaged Exosuits that are not occupied now show damaged effects. If you hop into an Exosuit that has only 20 armor left, it was your own fault for not noticing.
  • Added the ENSL Season 12 badges.
  • Railgun impact decals properly reflect the size of the projectile now (Contributed by Nin)
  • The Cache and Workshop folders are cleared out automatically this patch for everyone - and will be again each time we ship patches in the future. This prevents some odd and rare performance bugs that could arise after these folders reached very large sizes.
  • Changed some default settings to prevent some disadvantages for newer players.
    • Field of View 10 from 0
    • Infestation Quality set to Minimal from Rich
    • Reflections set to Off from On (but do give them a try this patch)
Sound Effects / General Audio

For the past several months Sweets has worked with us to overhaul the playback, quality, and balancing of all the game’s sound effects. His herculean efforts of reviewing, tweaking, and tuning just about every sound effect in the game have yielded great results! It’s now easier to identify specific sources of sounds, be aware of what is happening around you, and gauge the distance of potential threats. Additionally, there are some small performance gains from what he’s done, as the amount of active channels have been reduced by an incredible degree. The culmination of Sweets’ work is a much better and more full soundscape. The following cannot cover the entirety of his changes, as that would require its own separate 10 page changelog. Outstanding work, Sweets!
  • General Sound Changes
    • Reviewed and changed over 1000+ sound events and their implementation to reduce global channel count. Optimizations to max playback behavior, steal behavior, max polyphony behavior, and several other properties for all events. Combined with a reduced global channel count, these optimizations should address sounds which stop playing or cut out which breaks immersion from the player and also prevents the player from hearing important gameplay information cues.
    • Re-balanced all footstep sounds for Marines and all Alien lifeforms for all material types in the game. Walking on a particular surface won’t suddenly seem much louder than other surfaces now.
    • Many additional minor optimizations to sound quality, volume attenuation over distance, reverb properties, and "under the hood" improvements.
  • Aliens
    • Increased the volume and distance for many structures. Hydras, Whips, Shades, Shifts, and others are much more audible to allow Marines entering a room to scout idle and active sounds.
    • All lifeform footsteps balanced for volume and consistency. For example Onos footsteps now travel as far as a Skulk and Skulk footsteps aren’t at the loudest volume at maximum distance on rock materials.
    • Onos charging into a Marine and an Exosuit sounds added.
    • Impact sound for Parasite added regardless of a successful hit.
    • Optimized gorge channel count.
    • Optimized fade channel count and increased the sound of blink so fades can be scouted more easily at longer distances.
    • Improved and tuned Hive pain sounds.
    • Volume roll-off added for Hive death scream so it doesn’t cut off abruptly at range.
    • Fixed Tunnel exit/enter sounds when inside a tunnel. Escaping aliens in a Gorge Tunnel will now hear an enemy chasing after them.
    • Tunnel exiting sound now emits from the Tunnel itself instead of following the player. (Thanks Steelcap!)
    • Balanced UI voice over volumes such as team notifications or “Base Under Attack” notifications.
  • Marines
    • The Marine Beacon sound should never cut out anymore during heavy combat.
    • Optimized all bullet ricochet sound rolloffs and balanced to make it easier to tell if shots are near the player and the material it impacts.
    • Rifle firing sound fidelity increased along with many channel usage optimizations.
    • Added sound for Weapon Upgrade Level 0, which was previously missing (Weapon 1 upgrade did not change the sound).
    • Pistol channel optimizations and balancing.
    • Shotgun channel optimizations. There is a new sound for shotguns at longer distances (removed click artifacts from shotgun distant sound and made it more audible).
    • Grenade Launcher fire and explode channel optimizations. Reduced the explode sound at max distance so it is not always at max volume, players can now hear how far away the explosions are.
    • Grenade bounce no longer max volume at max distance, but still audible at medium distances.
    • Grenade throw sound added.
    • Jetpacks reworked along with channel and fidelity optimizations. Jetpacks are much more audible at all distances. A Marine with a jetpack is extremely fast, threatening, and should not be quiet and stealthy.
    • Removed initial breathing Marine sound while sprinting which can be abused with strafe button animations.
    • Minigun Exosuit channel optimizations. Barrels now have a spin down sound.
    • Railgun Exosuit channel optimizations. Charged shots are now audible at max distance. You know when a Railgun is charging up near you now!
    • Changed Exosuit voiceover damage state sounds and increased the health required to initiate sound (35% and 50% for each warning). Should be a stronger indicator of low health rather than a warning that plays just a moment before death. A looping beeping sound has been added for the lowest health warning level for Exosuits.
    • Structures now attenuate volume sooner and do not travel quite as far while also being more audible at medium distance.
    • Volume balance changes to structures which are too loud or too quiet. For example a destroyed power node was too loud and the phase gate idle was too quiet.
    • Arcs firing will no longer deafen players and override every other sound nearby.
    • Arc charging sound is more audible.
    • Footsteps and Marine movement behavior should no longer cut out quite as much. A Skulk biting a structure should be able to stop biting and identify Marine positioning more clearly. Marine walking footsteps now travel as far as sprinting footsteps and no longer provide a stealth advantage.
    • Small improvement to Pistol idle flip animation sound.
    • Volume balancing and fixes to UI voice-overs so they do not interrupt each other and become silent.
Fixes
  • Cached pathing map data no longer takes the build number into account (which was causing pathing meshes to be rebuilt for every new patch, even though the level probably hadn't changed).
  • Fixed that some of the new player progressions menu entries did not work correctly and used outdated descriptions.
  • Fixed an issue with the team bot controller that caused it to start a never ending loop of adding commander bots at rookie only servers.
  • Fixed that Warmup structures, such as Armory or Prototype Lab, didn't respawn after the first Warm Up phase.
  • Fixed issue where the material of the sound of footsteps was sometimes wrong (eg walking on a "metal" surface would sometimes result in "thin_metal" surface footstep sounds.
  • Fixed that dropped Marine Weapons would not make any sound on most surfaces.
  • Fixed that using a non 16:9 screen resolution or disabling hints in the options menu would hide the harmless loading screen tips. We are working on updated tips but those didn’t make it for this build.
  • Fixed issue preventing the game from using exclusive Fullscreen mode
  • Fixed an issue preventing changing from a low resolution to your monitor’s native resolution.
  • Fixed that Sentry Batteries were not visible in Alien commander view or on the Alien map
  • Fixed that Stomped Marines could occasionally use the Armory or other interactions, causing a race condition.
  • Fixed that by default the "Texture handling" option defaults to "nil" instead of "1 GB".
  • Fixed that whenever a Powernode without armor takes damage from Infestation (even 0 damage) the lights in a Location slightly flicker.
  • Fixed that Babbler-mines hatched if an enemy is nearby but already dead
  • Fixed that Babblers are not 'poofing' blueprints, making them an easy target when they are stuck trying to kill it, and not targeting a built one.
  • Fixed an issue with Servers and Clients creating too many HTTP requests when calling external APIs. Both Servers and Clients now use managed and throttle request queue.
    • Server ops can change the default value in ServerConfig.json
  • Fixed that fetching mod information, even through the server browser when looking at server details, would begin downloading the mods before you even connected to the server.
  • Fixed that the spectator round time display was unable to display a round time of more than 60 minutes.
  • Merged the UWE Extension fixes into the build, including Commander Bot loop fix as well as the Lerk poison bite fix.
  • Fixed that DX11 renderer could not utilize CTRL+ESC shortcut to reach the desktop
Maps
  • Summit (Contributed by Psyk)
    • Updated with cosmetic improvements to Atrium, Crevice, and Crossroads
    • Updated vent connecting Reactor Core and Glass Hallway. It’s now more accessible to both teams.
    • Added support for reflections to the entire level
  • Veil
    • Tweaked reflection probes to work better with improved Reflection rendering
Tools
  • Editor
    • Added extra placement options from the Static Prop tool into the Entity tool (Contributed by Steelcap)
    • Fixed that using select-all would select types of objects that were filtered out.
  • LaunchPad
    • Increased number of "recent mods" that appear in the open box.
  • RepairGame
    • Added this utility to perform reconfigure and repairs tasks that automatically fixes a number of common issues.
SDK
  • HLSLParser now supports tex2DGrad() and texCUBElod().
  • Added some utility scripts to the ‘utils’ folder used to help migrate physics joints data from old 3dsmax 2009 reactor physics format to new fbx-friendly format that spark uses now.
  • Fixed a help-screen related script error that prevented modders from easily customizing the help screen. (Thanks Nin!)
  • Removed all code related to the old sabot organized play system and heavy rifles.
  • Added a new Client API call to get the address of the server the client is currently connected to.
Known Issues
  • Repair tool close button will not close, but instead run the tool just the same as clicking OK would.
  • There is a minor script error in the end of the Alien tutorial if you return through the gorge tunnel, inappropriately
Natural Selection 2 - WasabiOne


You’re probably already thinking to yourself, “where is the update or patch number for the blog?” There isn’t one, that’s right we are not releasing an update today and we are truly bummed about that.

About three weeks ago our physical server that builds and maintains all of our patches began having issues. We quickly realized that this was a hardware issue and not something we could quickly remedy, so we took the time and moved all of our needs to the elusive cloud. While this has delayed both testing and some development, we are back on track and have some great things to show you in the next patch.

We expect the upcoming patch to be released in the next couple of weeks, but while you wait, we have left a teaser above for something we have long waited for and is finally ready to step out from the shadows.
Natural Selection 2 - WasabiOne

Update 322 is now live on Steam! This update is primarily a maintenance patch. Over the last few months lots of new systems and features have been introduced to the game and with those additions have come some small issues and strange new bugs. Hopefully this update will address those reported issues and get us back on solid ground. The dev team continues its work on the UGC conversion from Steam Workshop which is slated for 323. Always more to come, including something very special that could come with 323 as well, so stay tuned!

Changelog

Gameplay
  • Improved sentries slightly (contributed by Nin)
  • Prevent beeping noise while attacking and for 1.5 seconds afterwards
  • Speed up barrel swivel when it has a target so you're not getting shot at by a sentry facing the other way
  • Add a delay after shooting at a target before starting to swivel and scan again
  • Always show tracers from sentries so that players better know where they are getting shot at from
  • Sentries will prioritize players over other things, and will shoot at the closest players. Previously, they would prioritize anything that wasn't a cyst.
  • Hydras do not block each other’s line of sight anymore (contributed by Katzenfleisch)
Tweaks / Improvements
  • Tweaked some marine pickup icons to appear more stylistically consistent.  (Thanks Sinakuwolf!)
  • Metabolize is no longer a switchable weapon.  This means you cannot accidentally switch to it any longer, and can only use it via the MovementModifier key.
  • Drifter Eggs can now be issued orders that will be carried out by the drifter when it hatches.  Before, drifters could only be issued rally-points.
  • AI movers such as ARCs and movable alien structures like Crags would move on top of players, sometimes trapping them.
  • Tweaked the infestation shader slightly to better hide the hard edges of infestation circles.
  • Don’t show team resources for the Ready Room team at the scoreboard.
Fixes
  • Fixed that servers could get stuck in a infinite loop while filling teams up with bots.
  • Fixed that bots were not removed properly after they got kicked.
  • Fixed an issue where ARCs would sometimes leave collision ghosts behind in PredictWorld.
  • Fixed that the "They Came From Behind!" achievement was granted in some incorrect circumstances.
  • Fixed that dying in an Exosuit would cause players to lose their unused grenades.
  • Fixed issue where some commander buttons would not work if multiple entities were selected, despite the button being visible.
  • Fixed issue where sometimes the lines connecting queued orders in the commander interface would be connected in the wrong order.
  • Fixed issue where a marine's welder and mines could be "stolen" from them at the map origin if that player was inside an exosuit.
  • Fixed an issue where the build tool would be stuck building if the player picked up a welder while they were building a structure.
  • Fixed an issue where players could be stuck attacking during a concede sequence.
  • Fixed an issue where the wrong tech point would be visible during a concede sequence.
  • Fixed an issue where MACs could not be told to repair destroyed power nodes.
  • Fixed an issue where MACs would sometimes disregard their orders to move to some previous location.
  • Fixed an issue where sometimes clicking the "refresh" button in the server browser would cause the game to crash.
  • Fixed an issue where deploying an ARC would prevent all future corrosion damage to the ARC, including after un-deploying the ARC.
  • Fixed a script error occuring if an Onos died while using stampede.
  • Fixed that gorges couldn’t recycle the second tunnel entrance they placed (contributed to Katzenfleisch)
  • Fixed a script error that occured if a marine had no active weapon (contributed to Katzenfleisch)
  • Fixed various text positioning/visibility bugs of the GUIChat (contributed by Person8880)
  • Fixed that the marine commander action notifications below the minimap often did not  display the correct location name.
Maps
  • Fixed the reflections in ns2_veil.
SDK
  • Editor
    • Exposed antialiasing and ambient occlusion settings for the map Editor.
    • Changed some popup messages to be console messages instead.
  • Added debug utility methods to simplify dealing with upvalues (locals inside method/file scope) (contributed by Las)
    • Please read core/lua/DebugUtility.md for more details!
Natural Selection 2 - WasabiOne

Happy New Year! It has already been an exciting start to 2018 for UWE and we look forward to bringing you more exciting and interesting game experiences. The core of NS2’s development has always been the community. So many people from around the world dedicating time, opinions and skills to help make this game what it is today. Five years in and we are still working with dedicated members, new and old, to make the game better and more enjoyable.

Today we release Update 321, bringing you some of the first new gameplay features to come in 2018. First we wanted to look at some of the alien features that haven’t felt complete. Onos Stampede is a great way to really immerse yourself into the large beast and finally feel like an alien gorilla on the warpath, using your body to buck and shove almost anything out of your way using the existing Charge ability. Special thank you to Steelcap for all the hard work and many revisions to get this into the game.

Next, Babblers also see some love with the addition of the Babbler Mine. No longer sitting on the sidelines of an attack, the babblers can stay in an egg and placed like a proximity mine to hatch on unsuspecting marines and harass with more aggression than ever before. Special thank you also to Katzenfleisch for all the hard work and many revisions to get this into the game.

Finally, this update includes a nod to our co-workers on the Subnautica team. With the release of Subnautica and it taking part within the same universe of NS2 we found it only fitting to throw some in-game love their way. Rantology has worked up a couple cool new shoulder patches and they are free to everyone!

There is more to this update below in the changelog so take a look and then get in there to play with the new stuff. Big shoutout to our Playtesters for all the extra PT time this update, you always make the difference. Enjoy!

Changelog

Gameplay
  • Onos Stampede (contributed by Steelcap)
    • A long desired addition to round out the Onos Charge ability; where a charging Onos will now push Marines out of the way while doing 12 damage.
      • Exosuits feel the impact too, but are heavier so they barely get pushed and stop Oni in their tracks.
      • Requires 72% of charge’s top speed to be reached in order to work
      • Onos charge ability has had it’s acceleration increased ~35%
      • Added two new sound events for when Onos impact Marines and Exos (contributed by Sweets)
This is something that just feels "right" for Onos. No longer will a 2-ton space gorilla/rhino be stopped dead in its tracks by a puny 180-pound human when barreling down a hallway. This should aid in Oni being unable to escape poorly positioned situations where they would otherwise be body blocked.Great job Steelcap!

https://i.imgur.com/OecDW4N.gifv
  • Babbler Mines (contributed by Katzenfleisch)
    • Babbler Eggs can be placed on walls or ceilings now to be an effective mine.
    • Babbler Eggs placed by gorges will no longer hatch immediately after being built
      • Gorges can hatch them if they choose to via the Use Key
      • If you hatch the babbler mine manually, they will automatically attach to you
    • Babbler Eggs will hatch when enemies get too close, quickly disposing of any hapless marines that weren't paying attention.
    • Babbler Eggs can be hatched at a distance by their Gorge hitting it with Spit.
    • They have a range of 200 to 300 hp based upon maturity, which takes 20 seconds.
    • They can do up to 40 initial damage when exploding on a Marine when fully matured, and proportionately less damage when not matured.
    • Babbler Mines can be scanned by observatories
We wanted to do something to help gorges in the early game and create something interesting, tactically. This feature adds a lot of depth to gorge-play, we feel. Marines will soon learn that not all gorges should be chased.Thanks to Katzenfleisch for all his hard work on this feature!

https://i.imgur.com/iSloxtv.gifv
  • Babbler Improvements (contributed by Katzenfleisch)
    • Now tracks targets much more effectively
    • Significantly increased aggression and rate they will attack
    • Attacks will now land more reliably but they can still be dodged (don’t stand still or backpedal Marines!)
    • Significantly increased speed of Babbler bait ball, allowing it to be used over much greater distances and with more accuracy. It now behaves more like a fast moving projectile instead of a lobbed grenade.
    • Bait ball now uses the first surface touched as the location for babblers to go to.
    • Fixed bug where Babblers would become unresponsive if their set target was too far away.
    • Fixed bug where Babblers would not consistently attack their target after moving within attack range.
    • Babblers now attack as a pack when given an attack order.
    • Unit Status now shown for Babbler Eggs to show their status and built percentage.
    • Babblers will now cling to friendlies much more consistently
  • Marine weapons purchased by players or commanders and intentionally dropped within a very short range of Armories will no longer expire. (contributed by Katzenfleisch)
    • Killed Marines will always have an expiration timer for their dropped weapons, regardless of distance to armory.
We felt that it was restrictive that players with an excess amount of resources - be they field players or commanders - who purchased weapons for their teammates, had to have their teammates pick them up within a quick amount of time. Now they can be picked up at any time, provided it was an intentional drop and very close to the armory.
  • Flamethrowers
    • Increased Pres cost to 20 from 15
    • Decreased direct damage to 12 from 15
    • Removed the immediate damage applied to flame puddles when they first appear. (8 dmg) This provides Aliens a chance to get out of harm’s way.
    • While on fire, Alien lifeforms now only take damage for 2.1 seconds after the direct attack has ceased - structures will still burn for up to 6 seconds depending on how long the attack is sustained.
    • Decreased Flame puddle radius to 1.8m from 3m.
Some subtle tweaks were necessary after fixing Update 320’s Flamethrower implementation, based upon resounding feedback from the community in public playtest sessions. Players felt that being on fire for 6 seconds after leaving the room felt unfair, and that the Pres cost was not remotely punitive enough when rushing the tech, nor was it reflective of the weapons new capabilities.

Tweaks / Improvements
  • Two new Marine Shoulder Patches added for all NS2 owners to celebrate Subnautica’s release, Leviathan and Peeper.

  • Commanders can now group select multiple entities and the action buttons will be contextually appropriate for what is selected (contributed by Katzenfleisch)
  • Cancel button for Commanders now shows  when you expect it to (when blueprints are involved) and the Recycle button when appropriate, and does so in the bottom right of the commander UI area. (contributed by Katzenfleisch)
  • Improved Hydra placement (ghost model) allowing for more consistent behavior for all valid placements (contributed by Katzenfleisch)
  • Improved Gorges ability to build their structures when placing in hard to reach spots (i.e. ceilings above the Gorge, or tight corners). This eliminates the need to jump and healspray in most circumstances. (contributed by Katzenfleisch)
  • Smoothed out a lot of the performance hits caused by using phase gates and distress beacons. There will also no longer be any lag time between when a marine phases through and when they see what is in the new location. See SDK section "RelevancyPortals" below for details.
    • Gone are the days when you could phase through a phase gate and die before you even knew you were being chewed on. Now, you may still die but you won't be so confused.

  • Optimized the routines that checks if a point is inside a trigger entity. This reduces occurrences of small hitches in the early game when lights are being updated per their map location.
Fixes
  • Fixed bug with Babblers causing script errors when their target wasn’t considered alive. (contributed by Katzenfleisch)
  • Fixed issue with Flamethrower damage type being incorrectly calculated
  • Fixed issue in Light Handlers that causes duplicate calls for map lights to be updated when after they were already updated for the current render frame. This significantly reduces the cost for map lighting changes (i.e. Power Node damaged / destroyed) as the game progresses.
  • Fixed that sometimes the concede sequence wouldn't play.
  • Fixed Healspary causing Marine structures to show their flinch/damaged animation. (contributed by Katzenfleisch)
  • Fixed Marine waypoints staying applied to Alien lifeforms after line of sight was lost.
  • Fixed a rare script error that would occur when a new hive was created.
  • Fixed an issue where attempting to play a blank-named sound via a network message would cause a script error.
  • Fixed most cases of enemy icons sticking on the minimap when they should no longer be visible.
  • Added a nil check to OrdersMixin.lua to prevent a harmless edge-case script error.
  • Fixed an issue that would cause the server time to drift out of sync with the client time on a listen server.  This would eventually cause permanent red-plugging on listen servers. (This may help those who experience issues with Skulk Challenge)
  • Fixed a rare issue where clients would experience a massive game-freezing hitch whenever a power node's power-state changed.
  • Fixed an error that would occur if a spectator was able to see a ReadyRoom player who also had a health bar (required the RR player to somehow get onto the actual map)
Maps
  • Caged
    • Fixed issue introduced in Update 320 where some of the Location names did not show on map. #BlameMcGlaspie
  • Mineshaft
    • Fixed stuck spot preventing Marine and Fades from being able to walk through vent entrance in north-western area of Cave.
  • Summit
    • Small tweak to provide paneling model in Sub Access to block LOS better and prevent model clipping - thank you Zavaro
  • Tram
    • Fixed stuck spot in Repair Room around techpoint - thank you Zavaro
  • Veil
    • Minor tweaks to Low Lights in The Neck location - thank you Zavaro
SDK
  • Added "RelevancyPortal" feature.
    • Creates a link between two areas on the map, so that as a player approaches the "source" point, a relevancy sphere expands around the "destination" point.
    • Smooths out spikes in performance caused by the server suddenly needing to send lots of new data to clients who teleport.
    • Removes the delay between a client's (predicted) teleportation and the relevant entity data of the new location reaching the client.
  • Editor
    • Added "Un-weld-faces" feature. All selected faces are separated from each other.
    • Fixed "local space" transform, which now works with geometry, Scale Tool, and last prop selected as transform basis.
    • Added "remove collinear vertices" that removes useless vertices to optimize geometry.
    • Added "edge flow select" feature
      • This selects edges in a directional flow. Example: it will select an entire row or column in a regular grid, or the entire cap of a cylinder. Selects the adjacent edges that are closest to parallel with the starting edge.
    • Fixed RMB+drag issue that caused mouse cursor oddities
    • Reworked s_stats debugging command to display more details of playing sound events and internal resources of the sound system.
Known Issues
  • There are still some edge cases where enemy units will remain visible on the minimap when they should not be visible (however nothing new introduced in this update).
  • Weapons that do not expire near the armory will still contain their additional ammo pack as all dropped weapons do. This means players who may walk over those ammo packs might receive them, and thus a future Marine who picks up a weapon may only have a single magazine worth of ammunition. Not a huge issue considering you’re at melee range to an armory already anyways, but worth mentioning as we could not resolve this in time.
Natural Selection 2 - WasabiOne

"Twas the night before Gorgemas
when all through the base,
Not a creature was stirring
not even a MAC;
The Hydras were placed
by the Command Station with care,
In hopes that Saint Gorgie, soon would be there..."

Tis the season of gift giving and holiday cheer, so with that in mind we bring you Update 320. We’ve got some balance tweaks, visual improvements, and stability fixes for you this season. A huge thanks to Katzenfleisch for his many contributions this patch!

We’d like the take a moment and address some of the mod/client/server issues that started this week. Earlier this week Valve pushed out an update on the way clients access and use the version of workshop NS2 utilizes. As a result NS2 clients and servers can no longer access the workshop content. Thanks to some coding magic by Ghoul and McGlaspie, we have a temporary fix that will be released with Update 320, please be aware that some users may experience slightly longer load times as a result of this workaround (the more mods the longer it will take). We want to stress that this is a temporary fix and that server operators have been encouraged to setup mod backup servers to help keep games going if we continue to run into issues.

Our team is in communication with Valve and working to find a long term solution to the issue and we will be posting more in the next couple weeks as we figure out just what that permanent fix is going to be.

We hope you enjoy your holidays and stay tuned for more to come.
Merry Gorgemas!

Changelog

Gameplay
  • Exosuits - Based on resounding community feedback, these are temporary interim changes to slightly nerf Exos, to allow us time to redesign them entirely through proper testing in following updates.
    • Increased purchase costs to 55 pres (from 45)
      • So marines can’t get them too early into the round and to make buying an Exo a significant investment again, as well as potentially limiting the ability to just re-purchase after a quick death.
    • Decreased the base (0% charged) damage of a railgun to 10 from 33. Each railgun shot now deals only up to 150 (instead of 173) damage fully charged without any weapon upgrade researched.
      • A lower base dmg should help encourage fuller charges and diminish the likelihood of cheap “chipping” kills from immediately tapping fire, especially as follow up shots.
    • You can no longer simultaneously charge both railguns at all. You can only charge one at a time.
      • This, along with the base dmg decrease, should prevent the "Double Tap" issue that can result in a near instant ~250 dmg output by skilled railgun shooters. Feeling like you were being killed by one shot was an incredibly frustrating experience for the community.
  • Flamethrower - Based on community feedback, our previous Flamethrower buffs were not enough for the weapon to feel viable on it’s own. Please try these changes thoroughly before providing your updated feedback!
    • The flamethrower now deals light damage instead of “super light” damage
    • Increase the direct damage of the Flamethrower to 15 (from 10)
    • Increased burn damage to 8 (from 6)
    • Fixed that the flamethrower did not deal any direct AOE damage unless you hit an enemy directly.
    • The flamethrower can now set targets on fire up to 6 seconds. Each hit will add 2.1 seconds.
      • This should help with tackling the improved Whips
  • Dissolving ragdolls no longer stop or absorb bullets (Contributed by Katzenfleisch).
    • This affects Babbler, Resource Tower, Hive, Player and any other ragdolls from blocking any following damage or bullets. This is quite a notable change for the attentive shooter, and we think it feels much more responsive. Let us know what you think!

Tweaks / Improvements
  • Optimized the update routine for unit status HUD elements:
    • Health and armor bars of targeted units now update instantly.
    • Removed the annoying pulsate effect of the repair icons.
  • Improved map overviews
    • Fixed an issue where mini-maps would exhibit z-fighting, resulting in mini-maps that appeared to be missing certain details (eg crates).
    • Fixed an issue where the area the mini-map is rendered would not line up correctly with the minimap_extents object placed in the editor.
    • Added multisampling to greatly improve the quality of the generated mini-maps.
    • Fixed an issue where vent coloring would be incorrect/inconsistent.
    • Fixed an issue where some objects would incorrectly be colored vent-like (eg Repair room in Mineshaft had many yellow objects on the mini-map -- yet has no vents).
    • All vanilla maps now have higher resolution mini-maps!
      • Note to Mappers: ALL CUSTOM MAPS MUST BE UPDATED FOR THE MAP TO BE ACCURATE! Before re-rendering the mini-map for your level, open the level in the editor, and re-save it. Otherwise, the newly generated mini-map will not line up correctly with the in-game icons.
  • Improved quality of cloaked aliens shader effect for Marines.
  • All models and props that were not hand-made by level designers that emit a glow, will now change to match the current light color when power nodes are destroyed or repaired (code contributed by Nin). As a result unpowered locations will appear to be much more consistent now.
    • Note to Mappers: Please read the SDK section, as there is an explanation on how this change impacts your maps. By default, no changes are need and it will work correctly with all maps.
  • Commander selection and entity moving improvements. (Thanks Katzenfleisch!)
    • Fixed that you are able to select both movable and non-movable entities at the same time, resulting in a "invalid" sound each time an order is given to that group (even if all the movable entities are following that order). This happens especially with cysts and crag/shift/etc.
    • Fixed not being able to cancel an action given while a group of entities was selected.
    • Fixed having all the movable selected entities going to the same exact point when asking them to move, resulting in entity stacking. They should now distance themselves automatically when arriving at their destination.
      • Note: It is still possible to *manually* stack entities if one tries hard enough, but it should no longer occur automatically when moving groups.
Fixes
  • Fixed client/server crash when checking file(s) consistency from multiple threads.
  • Fixed client crash with texture streaming when resetting render device or closing client.
  • Fixed client crash with sound system when device is reset or client closes.
  • Fixed client crash during physics update when collision objects were create or read from multiple threads.
  • Fixed client crash where in some rare cases, starting a listen server with a mod enabled that had model resource content would crash when loading a map.
  • Fixed that the curl multi interface doesn't exit when the easy interface times out and thus the given network connection is never closed. Based on the number of players connecting this can cause a server's network interface to overload / show redplugs.
    • This was a major issue that we discovered when Hive temporarily went down, and while Hive’s issue was permanently fixed, we wanted to doubly ensure it could not negatively affect servers going forward.
  • Fixed issue with LuaJIT memory allocator not having correct memory space available.
  • Fixed that spectator slot users could not join a playing team, after a player slot user joined the spectator team in a full server.
    • This also fixes spectators from joining a team while a player who was guaranteed a playerslot is connecting. As a result, this should also fix most cases where the playercount was able to eventually show negative numbers in the browser.
  • Fixed that veterans couldn’t spectate in rookie only servers.
  • Fixed that Auto pickup of a Welder would also auto switch to it, even in combat.
    • Weapon pickup now behaves much more like you’d expect : you still pick up weapons automatically when walking over them, but if you want to swap weapons, you can now look at specific dropped weapons to pick them up within a pile of different weapons. Additionally, standing on top of a pile of welders will no longer hijack your “drop weapon” key, preventing you from swapping out weapons within that pile for a welder you already own.
  • Fixed that the quickplay_ready server flag didn’t work. Also added it as an option to the serverconfig, which defaults to enabled. Server operators do not have to rely on mods anymore to remove their server from the quick play queue.
  • Fixed that entity ragdolls did not dissolve properly or on time.
  • Fixed that Babblers did not detach when their parent died. (Contributed by Katzenfleisch).
  • Fixed that the Babbler’s collision boxes were not removed correctly when an attached babbler got destroyed causing aliens to become invincible around the babbler attachment points in the world. (Contributed by Katzenfleisch).
  • Fixed that certain structure’s range circles did not show up while placing them. (Contributed by Katzenfleisch).
  • Fixed that phasing through a Phase Gate could fail due to a server/client time desync (Contributed by Nin).
    • Note: This only fixes one of the possible conditions where this bug can occur.
      Fixed that the lights flickered when a destroyed/unsocketed/blueprint Power Node was attacked by Aliens, or when any Powernode state was attacked by Marines. (Contributed by Nin).
  • Fixed that AI unit’s speed restrictions weren’t applied while turning (bye-bye Initial-D Drifters!).
  • Fixed that many entities did not display damage numbers upon killing them. This list includes Hallucinations, Veils, Shells, Spurs, Babbler Eggs, Drifter Eggs, Eggs, Babblers, Jetpack on ground, Clogs, Mines, Cysts, Exosuits, and Sentry Batteries. (Contributed by Katzenfleisch).
  • Fixed that net_lag, net_loss, and net_blackout console command values were maintained after switching servers.
  • Fixed that Skulk bots tried to evolve to higher life forms including all available upgrades even if they don’t have enough personal resources, causing them to stay still until they have the needed resources.
  • Fixed that buildings that require orientation before placement (Phase Gates, Robotics Factory) would change their *position* (not just orientation) when the commander clicked once and moved their camera. (Contributed by Katzenfleisch).
  • Fixed a script error occuring because the jetpack flying sound wasn’t stopped when the Jetpack was destroyed (Contributed by Katzenfleisch).
  • Fixed that the Kill-Feed did not show the healspray kill icon when they gorge had the bile bomb or the babler bait selected (Contributed by Katzenfleisch).
  • Fixed that commander couldn’t place new structures while having enemy units selected (Contributed by Katzenfleisch).
  • Fixed that some alien structures’ impact were not removed from the navigation mesh after they got repositioned (Contributed by Katzenfleisch).
  • Fixed that you can damage a un-fully repaired PowerNode with every Alien damage ability except with Bilebomb
Maps

All maps have been updated to better utilize the glow toggling effect (when power is destroyed). As a result, the auxiliary power will now be more visually uniform. Some additional changes were added to toggle objects like holograms on/off when the power goes out.

Changes contributed by Zavaro:

Tram
  • Fixed stuck spots in Repair around the tech point
  • Added missing occlusion to southern Repair entrance
  • Fixed occlusion issue in east vent in Ore
  • Added more robust collision geometry in east vent in Ore to prevent stuck spots
  • Fixed lighting issues in North Tunnels
Refinery
  • Removed two invulnerable Gorge locations in Conduit (NE and SE corners of the room)
  • Added method for Marines to jump into Chasm-Containment vent
  • Fixed stuck spot on stairs north of Flow Control
  • Fixed spots around Exchange where cysts could be placed inside pipes
Docking
  • Removed invulnerable Gorge location in Stability above the vent
Descent
  • Fixed stuck spot in Fluid Transfer
Mineshaft
  • Fixed unaligned props near Repair Room
  • Fixed hole in Deposit’s moving crates that allowed players to exit the map
SDK
  • Note to Mappers: ALL CUSTOM MAPS MUST BE UPDATED FOR THE MAP TO BE ACCURATE! Before re-rendering the mini-map for your level, open the level in the editor, and re-save it. Otherwise, the newly generated mini-map will not line up correctly with the in-game icons.
Graphics
  • Material files used as layered effects (eg the distortion material used for cloaked aliens) can now use "%inherit" as a texture name, meaning it will use the base material's texture in its place. As a result, cloaked aliens now appear more detailed, since the normal map can now be used. Before, only the vertex normals were available for generating the distortion map.
Editor
  • There is a new “Emissive matches power” drop-down option for level-props. By default this option is set to true. All level Models (props) used by the game can now potentially be affected by a Location’s power-state. The emissive channel in said model’s materials is toggled off when there is no power or the auxiliary lights are active. Mappers have control over which props are affected at run-time. In order for this to be applied to a map, it simply needs to be open and re-saved. To control the effect mappers will need to selectively choose which props are excluded from being changed by a location’s power.
  • Added a new option to the texture tool that will cause it to attempt to align textures by their seams when copying the texture from one face to an adjacent on.
  • Added options for prop placement, including align-to-surface, and randomize \rotation.
  • Fixed a crash that occurred when trying to select a sound file.
  • Fixed that selecting multiple layers was difficult/impossible.
  • Fixed that sometimes the drawing tools would cut into invisible faces.
  • Fixed that double-click-selecting a large interconnected piece of geometry would sometimes crash the editor.
Known Issues
  • NS2+ percentage unit-status option updates too slowly (every 200ms)
    • While the flickering issue was resolved, fixing the update rate of this NS2+ option will require the base game to be refactored due to the way this option hooks into the game. This is a goal for our next patch.
  • Tram’s Logistics Hologram will be off when the power is in an unbuilt / neutral state.
  • The inability to charge your secondary railgun simultaneously is not currently communicated through the HUD.
  • Not all map overviews are 100% accurate, with some connecting room areas showing as not being connected on the map. This is going to require mappers making per item changes over the next few weeks through our extensions mod. We apologize for not having this feature in perfect condition upon release, but we felt the benefits provided by it justified the temporary downsides.
  • Not all room lights are updated to take advantage of the Emissive power state changes (eg: Hangar Bay on Kodiak). This is another issue that will require mappers making per item changes over the few weeks, and was a feature we felt while not perfect yet, should be included for feedback as it was improvement over the current state of things.
Natural Selection 2 - WasabiOne


Happy 5th Anniversary to NS2! Five years ago… Wow saying that makes me sit back in my chair a moment. It’s crazy to think that much time has passed, it seems like only yesterday we launched. So much happened to make the game become a reality even before release on Steam and even more has happened since.

We wanted to do something special for the Anniversary patch beyond just celebrating and we think we have done just that for Update 319. To say this update includes a lot of under the hood work would be an understatement. In fact, Update 319 includes changes to over 80,000 lines of code. Ghoul has been working for some time on making as much of the game code able to use LuaJIT as possible. Taking advantage of this function allows for the code to run faster and create a smoother experience for the user. These changes will not necessarily add additional FPS, what it does do is help diminish the disparity between what your FPS shows and how it feels.

Additionally, Update 319 includes some changes to two of our official maps. Summit has had some changes made throughout the map to give additional coverage areas and allow for more interesting engagements between Marines and Aliens. A lot of you may already be familiar with these changes, they are part of PsYk’s Summit_andabove mod. Seeing how the map was playing on public servers and testing it ourselves, we really enjoyed the changes and decided to merge them into the game. PsYk has also provided us with an update to Derelict. This update is mainly a performance pass throughout the map, fixing some long sight-line issues and changing a lot of lighting throughout the map. We hope that all of you will enjoy these changes as much as we do.

As previously stated in our last blog post, Update 319 marks the “End of Support” for our 32-bit client and server. While we are sad to do this, we are also thrilled to now be on 64-bit. Upgrades like this will allow us to continue more advanced updates to the game and content within the game moving forward. In fact, some of that new content is available now on STEAM!

Clutch your weapon tight for warmth, the Nocturne skins will chill your enemies to the bone!
Click here to view on Steam!
(Thanks to Ieptbarakat for the name, Nocturne!)



..but it doesn’t end there!

Forge your destiny! Show the enemy that fire cleans filth with the Forge Skin pack.
Click here to view on Steam!



Finally, we have felt for some time that the flamethrower still just didn’t feel right. An expensive upgrade weapon that just doesn’t seem to have much effect on anything, in essence it just didn’t feel like a flamethrower. The changes included in this update definitely make it a more viable weapon choice for groups on assault and we look forward to seeing how the community uses them.

From everyone at Unknown Worlds, thank you for a great five years! Now, go and dominate the other team while we get back to work  ;)

Update 319 Changelog

Gameplay
  • Flamethrower
    • The following changes aim to make the flamethrower a still unique but efficient primary weapon. To be considered worthwhile a primary weapon has to offer a decent amount of power in PvP (Player vs Player) engagements. That’s why most of the changes focus on increasing the damage in PvP engagements. The unique characteristic of the Flamethrower is kept by dealing mostly conditional damage with the focus on supporting other players and taking down alien structures:
      • The flamethrower now only hits the first target in line of fire but deals Area of Effect (AOE) damage:
        • Any enemy inside a small range (2 meters) of the target will be hit as well.
        • Every target hit receives 10 (was 8) damage and gets set on fire.  
        • A flame puddle is created below the first target.
      • The flamethrower deals now light damage to players, so armor will cover more damage.
      • The conditional damage of the flamethrower has been increased:
        • Flame puddles deal 27 (was 12.8) damage per second (dps) but each puddle only lasts 3.1 seconds (instead of 5.6)
        • Enemies take 5 dps (was 3) while being set on fire but each hit only sets targets for 3.1 seconds on fire (instead 6)
      • The flamethrower now hits targets more consistently:
        • Increased the fire cone width to 0.3 (from 0.17)
        • Flame puddles now deal damage 3 times a second to enemies in range (instead of 1.6 times)
      • Decreased the amount of energy the flamethrower removes from a target to 1 (from 3) per hit.
      • The flamethrower no longer removes applied enzyme effects from a target on hit
        • The flamethrower still can destroy enzyme clouds (including spores and umbra clouds)
      • Increased the cost of the flamethrower to 15 (from 12) personal resources
  • Hive
    • Added a biomass 4 research
      • Costs 60 team resources and takes 60 seconds to research.
      • A very efficient strategy for Marines right now is to rush the from the Alien start nearest tech points and lock them down. Blocking Aliens from getting a second Hive forces them to regain control over those tech point or get out-teched pretty quickly. The Biomass 4 research offers Aliens the opportunity to compensate the lack of control over tech points through their economy. Allowing them to get access to much needed abilities to fight back Marines. Locking down tech points will still be a strong strategy for Marines as you deny Aliens a upgrade path and spawn tickets that way. However it’’s not enough to focus solely on locking down the tech points anymore.
  • Contamination
    • Now Requires Biomass 10
      • Moved Contamination so it isn’t possible to unlock it immediately with the third hive utilizing the new biomass 4 tech. Marines still have time to take down the new third hive before they have to tackle contamination getting dropped in their base.
    • Can now be set on fire and doesn’t spew bile while on fire
      • This allows marines to stop contamination from destroying structures, ARCs and Exos on it’s own. The design goal for having contamination spew bile is to shorten the time it takes Aliens to destroy the last Marine base when they have map dominance. However Aliens started rushing Contamination to quickly win the game. This is especially frustrating for Marines on maps with 5 tech points where they may hold 2 tech points but the round just ends shortly after biomass 9 has been reached no matter how hard they fight back. We will monitor the effect of this change closely and are willing to revert/change it to make sure the frustrating end game siege / turtle situation does not return.
  • Observatory
    • Fixed that enemies could avoid getting detected by staying out of range by just flying over the observatory in high rooms. The observatory will now detect an enemy regardless of their height. (Contributed by Nin)
Tweaks / Improvements
  • Removed all x86 (32-bit) specific binaries. Support for 32-bit systems has ended.
  • Optimized game code for LuaJIT
    • Optimized most world update runtimes. So the game runs slightly faster on average.
    • Decreased input delays.
    • Stabilized frame times, so the game feels smoother.
  • Rewrote the cyst chain logic (Contributed by Katzenfleisch)
    • Placing a cyst will now create a optimal cyst chain utilizing existing cysts instead of creating new cysts close to them (saving team ressources).
    • Optimized the cyst chain routine to run faster and not cause fps spikes.
    • Fixed that the client and server logic generate different cyst chains.
    • Fixed that you couldn’t place cysts at various map locations or that they were not connected correctly.
  • Improved the shaders linear srgb transformation methods using a more precise and faster approximation (Contributed by Nin)
  • Improved the memory management of the soundsystem (FMOD) by adding a static memory pool. This improves how long it takes to load a sound on average and avoids possible memory leaks.
Fixes
  • Reintroduced an updated version of Intel’s TBB library for the job parallelization due to implementation issues of C++11’s atomics in vc++13 causing significant memory leaks over time. The version of TBB used still provides the core-spreading and multithreading benefits introduced with Update 318.
  • Fixed issue with Engine’s memory allocators being unable to access all available system memory for clients and servers. This increases the amount of memory it can allocate but does not mean it will.
  • Fixed PhysX not initialized correct which generated an errors on startup and shutdown
  • Fixed issue with FMOD libraries not being linked correctly for Linux clients
  • Fixed two memory leaks in physics layer of the engine.
  • Fixed that the position the commander clicked didn’t match where the structure ends up being dropped (Contributed by Katzenfleisch)
  • Fixed that spectator slot clients used player slots after a map change causing the server to end up with negative player numbers after they disconnect.
  • Fixed issue where returning to ready room while waiting to respawn would sometimes cause the player to be stuck in 3rd person view.
  • Fixed issue where changing skins in the customization menu wouldn't always immediately apply to the weapon you were holding.
Maps

Special thank you to pSyK (the original author of Summit) for doing all the updates to these two maps

Summit
  • Minor visual improvements
  • Fixed stuck spots
  • Added more cover and los-blockers around the map,
  • especially Flight Control, Sub Access, Crossroads, Crevice, Atrium
  • Added half closed doors around Computer Lab area for more cover/ambush spots
  • You can move faster into Ventilation coming from Data Core through that pipe-gap (Thanks Mephilles!)
  • Added more starting-cysts around Harvester, so Marines need more time to harass it
  • Made corridor between Crossroads and Summit Reception more alien friendly
  • Turned some railings in Crevice and Ventilation into railings with cover
  • Fixed hidden cysts exploit in Crevice
  • Added more cover to Flight Control entrance from Computer Lab
  • Gorges can now place a tunnel in the north-west corner of Flight Control
  • Created more space behind resnode in Atrium, more dodging space for skulks, gorge tunnel possible
  • Adjusted pipes in Reactor Core, easier navigation around them and dodging of marine bullets
  • Added more cover geometry/spots to Crossroads, which can be used to dodge marine fire or approach easier.
  • Added another little alcove in Atrium for upgrade structures, cover or a gorge tunnel
  • Fixed Arcs being able to hit some spots in Atrium from Glass Hallway / Crossroads (Thanks ydy)
Derelict
  • Improved/Fixed Occlusion Geo
  • Added some rocks and more Occlusion Geo to Glass Hallway / Biome area to improve performance
  • Removed many lights from the low light quality option
  • Made the map slightly brighter, if you use low quality light option
  • Removed "inefficient" props in the map to reduce primitives count
  • Removed a lot more ceiling geo and props from commander view, especially around Administration.
  • Added two more pillars and another Truck into Garage
  • Added more sand rocks into Geothermal to cover the hive
  • Added more view-blocking tarp in Western Entrance
  • Covered one of the windows in Plaza with moss, added a 3rd row of pipes, and scaled up the crate in the middle of Plaza to block view for better ambushing and to improve performance
  • Modified pathing mesh, so you can cyst across the broken bridge in Plaza
  • Added more obstacles in Nursery, created space for lifeforms between the vines and carousels
  • Widened vent from Garage to Alley; removed connection to Administration
  • Added vent from Biome/Lookout to Plaza
  • Added vent from Plaza to Administration/Overlook
  • Added a second vent exit in Turbine
  • Added vent from Atmospheric/Botany to Biome
  • Replaced some glass pipes with solid ones in Glass Hallway, so aliens can hide on top
  • Improved Infested Corridor for aliens
  • Slightly moved the hanging grating tile blocking the glass hole in Geothermal, so aliens can move around on all sides
  • Slightly decreased the size of the pipes above Geothermal
  • Added a broken pipe section in Geothermal to make it harder for bile bombing gorges to hide
  • Adjusted surrounding rocks in Geothermal so players can get up on the pipes via the rocks, too
Known Issues
  • The game client still leaks memory which may cause crashes on long runs. We will be continuing our efforts on reducing memory usage and addressing leaks with future updates.
  • We strongly recommend running in DX9 Fullscreen only for the time being, without any 3rd party overlays such as MSI afterburner, Razer Synapse etc.
SDK
  • Fixed the build_setup.xml so that builder converts texture files again.
  • Replaced nvcompress with another version so the output contains less artifacts and you can convert textures without a resolution of power 2. The engine still requires textures dimensions that are multiples of 4.
Natural Selection 2 - WasabiOne


Release the KRAKEN! Wait?!?! Wrong mythology reference, this is NS2, not Clash of the Titans.

After months of back end work, we are pleased to be releasing the NS2 64-bit Beta to the public. Those of you already using a 64-bit Operating System will automatically start the application in 64-bit. If you are currently running a version of Windows or Linux in 32-bit, you can still launch the game but you will be notified of our impending end of support for all 32-bit users. Once support has ended for 32-bit you will no longer be able to launch NS2 unless you upgrade your Operating System to a 64-bit version. We have been working on and communicating this impending change to players over the last year, and hope that those of you that are not using a 64-bit OS recognize that as an actively developed game, we strive to keep building and improving NS2. Supporting all of this on a system that can barely manage 3.5GB of system memory sadly is just no longer feasible.

A note to our non QWERTY keyboard layout users: We’ve fixed a bug regarding keyboard layouts not being detected correctly, now your keyboard will work as intended but this means you’ll need to go and fix some of your key binds in the menu. (Such as the Console key)

Next up, NS2 celebrates it’s fifth anniversary! We have some cool things in the pipeline, there is still much more to come.

Changelog

Tweaks / Improvements
  • Migrated to 64 bit architecture
    • Updated related dependent libraries
      • This fixed various dependency related issues.
    • Note: NS2 now detects your keyboard layout correctly.
      All non QWERTY keyboard users may need to rebind certain features (e.g. the console).
  • Reworked job & thread scheduling:
    • Now able to utilize all your CPU cores
    • Slightly increased performance and increased core spread load.
    • Removed dependency on Intel’s TBB library (linux)
  • New Auto Crash Collector!
    • If your client crashes, it will quickly show a dialog that automatically begins uploading your crash report and all relevant information to us. This is going to be a very helpful tool for us to diagnose issues, and it should be a simple process for you, since the only button you’ll have to press is “Restart NS2” if it occurs!
  • The Server’s dns address is now propagated to the clients via a server field instead the tags string allowing operators to use a longer dns address.
  • Dedicated Servers can now use the `-autorestart` argument (no parameters needed). If the server should crash, it will immediately restart with the previous start-up arguments. The crash will also be uploaded to our collector at the same time and not delay the server restarting.
Fixes
  • Fixed that the Shared.SortEntitiesByDistance method returned corrupted results at Linux causing all kind of issues and crashes. This also fixes that you couldn’t play the alien commander tutorial on Linux.
  • Fixed that Whips sometimes didn’t face their targets correctly (Contributed by Katzenfleisch)
  • Fixed that Whips sometimes didn’t get removed from the nav mesh correctly after getting moved (Contributed by Katzenfleisch)
  • Fixed a server script error occurring when a client with a custom badge selected connected.
  • Fixed a client crash occurring due to the tutorial reminder popup which gets displayed to new player when the access the server browser
  • Fixed an issue where dying in an exosuit during the warm-up period would sometimes cause the HUD to remain hidden even after respawning.
  • Fixed an issue that affected some maps that would cause marine mini maps to appear blank.
  • Fixed a very specific nasty crash that could occur when disconnecting from a server at a very specific point in the loading process.
  • Fixed issue where opening server browser with a mod mounted would make it unresponsive.
  • Fixed issue where certain maps (such as ns2_mesh) would allow for structures to sometimes, or always, be invisible on the marine minimap.
Maps

Derelict
  • Modified pathing mesh to ignore tech points (Contributed by Zavaro)
    • This helps ensure drifters can always build hives
Kodiak
  • Modified pathing mesh to ignore tech points (Contributed by Zavaro)
    • This helps ensure drifters can always build hives
Known Issues
  • If you are using a Firewall, it will prompt to Allow/Deny access for a new executable. This is normal as the 32 and 64-bit are new and separate binaries from previous builds.
  • The Dedicated Server console is not accessible on Windows 10
  • Linux 64bit client has issue on start-up. This can be fixed by recreating the symlinks for FMOD libraries (in the x64 sub-folder within the NS2 install directory):
    ln -sf libfmodex64-4.44.58.so libfmodex64.so
    ln -sf libfmodevent64-4.44.58.so libfmodevent64.so
    ln -sf libfmodeventnet64-4.44.58.so libfmodeventnet64.so
  • The Cinematic Editor is temporarily broken for this build
Aug 24, 2017
Natural Selection 2 - WasabiOne


Skulks, Specs and Whips OH MY! Update 317 is now available to the public and there is plenty to sink your teeth into.

First off, we’ve added a new training module called ‘Skulk Challenge’. This will help you learn to hone your skulk wall jumping abilities, while also giving you an opportunity to reach a global rank and earn badges. Another cool feature, you can download other players ghosts and race them too! You be surprised how addicting this challenge is and how much you can learn by watching others.

Next, we come to an entire reworking of Spectator Slots. No more will you be confused in the server browser by how many playable slots are actually available, or see 25/24 slots in use and wonder, “what the heck?.” The other major benefit is that server operators can now run a full 24 player server and spectators will not use playable slots but up to 24 of their own! You can read more about this feature and how the rest of the system works in the changelog below.

Lastly, we as developers can only do so much with the time that we have and NS2 has always prospered from the incredible contribution of the many community developers out there. This update include some awesome fixes to both Whips (thank you, Katzenfleisch) and MACs (thank you, Twiliteblue). Along with these awesome contributors are also our playtesters and other community players who have done an outstanding job. This update has been working hard to get out to the public for nearly a month and a lot of testing and time went into getting it ready, so thank you again to our playtest team and to the community players that showed up for our public playtests as well.

Looking forward, 64-bit is finally going into beta and will be released shortly as a smaller update. Players and servers alike will be able to run the upgraded platform and help us make sure it is finally ready for full release in the coming months. What does this mean for players using 32-bit Operating Systems? Well, it means you won’t be able to play the game without an upgrade. Luckily of all our monthly unique players this is far less than 1% of you, but we care about all our players nonetheless. So let this serve as official warning of the end of 32-bit support. Within the next 30 days or more NS2 will move to a 64-bit only environment on both servers and clients. In general there are many benefits across the board for NS2 to go 64-bit only but as a system owner, you too can open up some serious local benefits to both your system and performance by biting the bullet and finally upgrading too!

Until the next update, skulk forward and let those bullets fly. Oh and watch out for whips, no seriously, watch out!

CHANGELOG

GAMEPLAY
  • Introducing the “Skulk Challenge!”
    • Available in the training menu.
      • Hone your Skulk wall-jumping skills as you race to earn the fastest time.
      • Study other players’ racing techniques with our replay system, or even better: race against their ghost!
      • You can view your friends’ times in the leaderboard, or view the global leaderboard by clicking on the globe icon.
      • If you’re fast enough, you’ll earn a badge to be displayed in game! Be sure to enable it in the Customize Player menu.
  • Improved/Fixed Whips (contributed by Katzenfleisch et al)
    • Overall rewrote the Whips attack routine to make it more reliable and less expensive performance wise. They are quite formidable now.
    • Fixes:
      • Fixed that the Whips animation state and damage dealt was not synced between client and the server correctly
      • Fixed that Whips did often not deal any damage (especially against static targets)
      • Fixed that Whips did not slap immediately after a bombard
      • Fixed that Whips had a rather random cooldown between two attacks due to how inconsistent the animation tags are fired for the Whip animations.
      • Fixed that the Whips used a trace ray starting from its bottom instead of it’s top to validate that a target is in line of sight.
      • Fixed that Whips did not deal any damage if another target blocked the original target while the the Whip already started slapping.
      • Fixed that the Whip’s bombard bomb was sometimes not created and networked correctly.
      • Fixed that Whips were able to hit through walls.
      • Fixed that Whips did not attack unmanned exosuits.
    • Improvements
      • Whips now continue to focus the same player while slapping until they get out of range (instead of switching to whoever is closest)
      • Optimized performance by decreasing the number of traces needed to acquire a target to slap
      • If a player moves in between a whip and it’s target, it hits the blocking player (instead of missing)
      • Adding a new method Whip:OnAttackEnd() so mods can detect when a Whip attack has ended.
      • Alien structures will now try to move into random direction instead of only forward while repositioning (after getting moved etc. )
  • Improved MACs (contributed by Twiliteblue)
    • MACs now follow and weld moving players, and can continue to move while turning.
    • MACs on automated build/weld orders will return to their original position after they completed the order, or if target moves too far away (distance greater than 15 units from MAC), or in case the automated target moves out of a range of 30 units from the original position.
      • This should stop MACs from moving all over the map without the commander giving them the explicit order to do so
    • Decreased the fov zone that MACs will avoid to block to 60 degree from 180 and increased the weld range slightly by 0.5.
      • This should force MACs to evade the player’s fov less often while still making sure that they don’t block line of sight.
    • MACs no longer stop moving when taking damage while following a target.
  • Improved Onos Stomp (contributed by Steelcap)
    • Stomps shockwave now can move up stairs.
    • Stomp behaves much more like you’d expect it to: unable to reach high heights, but still able to reach the same lows if there’s a gradient, and will not pass through obstacles it should not etc. It will not work across deep gaps, like standing on the columns in Crevice on Summit, for instance.
    • The marine knock back behavior is more reliable now so you don’t end up getting knocked back even though you jumped up in time.
    • Slightly optimized Stomp to use less traces
TWEAKS / IMPROVEMENTS
  • Added dedicated spectator slots. Reasoning: Players want to know that they can join a server that truly has player slots available and won’t just get thrown onto spectators, wasting their time. Server operators want the ability to have spectators without going over the 24 player limit. Lastly, the Quick Play feature was unable to determine if a server had actual player slots available to play without official spec slot support. So while you can run 24 players with 24+ spectators and still be a ranked server, do keep in mind that your performance will vary if those spec slots are active; Adjust accordingly.
    • Servers can now have dedicated spectator slots. Use the new -speclimit server startup parameter to set up a limit for the dedicated spectator slots (default: 0). If left to default of 0, players that join spectators will still count towards the player slot count (-limit parameter) and the server browser will always report 0/0 spectators.
    • Clients that attempt to join servers that are full but still have spectator slots available will receive a prompt asking them if they wish to cancel or spectate before joining.
    • If a client joins as a dedicated spectator they will automatically be placed on spectators and restricted to it until a player slot opens up, where they can then join the ready room and then a team. Before that point, the player cannot join the ready room. Shuffle or force even team votes will not change this, and neither will admins when attempting to manually move the player.
    • Player slots and dedicated spectator slots will remain assigned to the same players even through a map change. This means if you were a dedicated spectator before the map change, you will still be one after the map changes, if no players leave. No cutting in line allowed!
    • Clients can switch from a dedicated spectator slot to an available player slot by going into the Ready Room, if and when a player slot is available.
    • Clients using a player slot can still spectate. However, they will be giving up their player slot if another spectator joins the ready room or a team. (Unless the spec limit is reached already.*)
    • Clients will never be restricted from going into spectator mode, but if the player limit and spec limit is reached, doing so will not change the amount of players reported in the server browser until a player leaves the server.
      • Clients will only give up their player slot if there are spec slots available.* This means that if there are 16/16 players and 5/5 spectators, and a player using a player slot joins spectators, the server browser will still report 16/16 players and 5/5 spectators. This is to ensure that a new player cannot join the server, and thus permanently create an ever increasing pool of spectator slots. (See known issues below.)
        Refactored the reserved slot system to be handled by the engine API instead of custom server tags.
    • The server performance rating in the server browser (the smiley face) will only take the player limit into account if you have no active spectators. However, if you have active spectators they will begin to impact your performance, albeit less than actual players using player slots.
    • Known Issues with spec slot feature:
      • * When the spectator slots are full, if a player using a player slot joins spectators, then that player will retain their player slot even while spectating. This can prevent players from swapping out with spectators in a full player + full spectator server (Will be fixed via an extension).
      • Spectators can vote. (this can be disruptive for server wide votes, depending on the size of -speclimit)
      • The password prompt will show up twice for passworded servers that only have spec slots available. Once when you double click the server, then you receive the spectator popup, then the password prompt will show a second time. You’ll need to enter the correct password twice.
  • Improved the server browser password prompt (contributed by Keats, Absurdon et al)
    • Updated the windows style to match the rest of the server browser
    • Obscure the password input by default so you can stream without worrying about leaking a server’s password
    • Added a button to show/obscure the password input.
    • Removed some fields from the move packet that were never used except for debug purposes. Result is slightly reduced network traffic from moves sent and move packets being slightly faster processed.
    • The menu now preloads when after loading a level. This means that a (sometimes very long) hitch caused by opening the in game menu for the first time is gone.
    • Added in-game badges for the 11th ensl.org season winner. We will hand out the badges as soon as the season has ended.
    • Removed that the client buffered up to 8 seconds of moves because the buffer wasn’t used and may caused performance issues.
    • Removed the leftover hive profile page link at the in-game scoreboard
FIXES
  • Fixed that the crash dumps created by the crash reported were missing the exception information
  • Fixed that curl handler were not released correctly and stayed active even after usage which caused curl to run out of available ports at some after some time and all http request to just time out.
  • Fixed that the damage taken/flinch sound effects didn’t play after the first time. We are planning to redo the complete flinch sound system in one of the next builds to make the damage feeback more consistent.
  • Fixed that “guard” orders were not canceled when the target left the team.
  • Fixed that Focus decreased the players attack speed even after Veils were destroyed.
  • Fixed that the Regeneration effects played even after Shells were destroyed.
  • Fixed that Fade Metabolize switches back to the weapon you had selected before using metabolize after it finished, even if you switch the weapon while performing Metabolize. This means Blink is now disabled during Metabolize.(contributed by Twiliteblue)
  • Fixed that Boneshield doesn’t reduce Grenade Launcher projectile, pulse, or cluster grenade damage. (contributed by Nin)
  • Fixed an issue that would cause web pages displayed in-game (like the news feed) to disappear if the user alt+tabbed out of the game in DX9 mode.
  • Fixed some script error spam caused by the help screen attempting to display keybinds for actions that were unbound.
  • Fixed a bug that caused team message (eg “Warmup Mode”, or “Hive under Attack!”) to not appear until user had displayed help screen at least once before.
  • Fixed a bug that caused the help screen to appear if a player happened to press the help screen keybind while typing a chat message. (contributed by Salads)
  • Fixed that you could vote to reset the round without a round started yet (contributed by Keats)
  • Fixed the player ping (red box w/ location name that appears when you hit middle mouse button) is already visible and animating when you first join a team – even if nobody has pinged.
MAPS
  • Fixed fall seasonal stuff appearing in Caged ready room when it shouldn’t be.
SDK
  • Fixed that multi line lua comments were not parsed correctly and could cause script errors if the included a end tag
  • Added a few new API methods in regard to the spectator slots. Please check the api docs json for further details about each method.
  • It is now possible to multiply two Vector objects together. This just performs a per-component multiplication between the two vectors.
Natural Selection 2 - WasabiOne

Happy Summer everyone! We are back with another update and this time our focus was based on the theme of Fix and Polish. There are plenty of changes throughout the log below to sink your teeth into, so I won’t go into detail and let it speak for itself. Enjoy!

Update 316 Changelog

Gameplay
  • Onos
    • Boneshield has been redesigned and repurposed:
      • No longer regenerates armor in any circumstances
      • Now allows movement (speed of 3, which is roughly half) while active
        • Celerity bonus does not increase Boneshield movement speed, but still provides all speed bonuses otherwise.
      • All Frontal (approx. 110 degree forward-facing cone of Onos) damage from bullet-based weapons is reduced by 80%. With default FOV settings, if the attacker is on screen the damage will be reduced by Bonesield.
      • No innate health/armor regeneration while Boneshield is active. Healing from a Gorge or other source is still allowed.
      • Does not consume energy to initiate, but costs 22 energy per second while active. It also requires a minimal amount of energy to start. Use your energy wisely.
      • Minor cooldown of 0.4 seconds after being used
      • Energy does not regenerate while Boneshield is active. This includes energy recuperation bonus from Shifts.
        • These changes should provide utility to Boneshield without it being overpowered or removing the need for team composition, such as Gorges healing you. You can utilize it defensively (blocking entrance to hive room) or offensively (decoy / bait to assist teammates, or faking out an enemy in 1v1). We feel this improves the nature of Boneshield while adding more fun, variation, and tactical gameplay choices.
      • Reduced the base max speed to 6.6 (from 7.5) and the base max Charge speed to 10.5 (from 11.5).
        • This reverts back to Build 253 values to have the Onos commit more to a map position to hold it, instead of being able to easily rotate between two positions and therefore be the jack of all trades in the late game.
  • Improved Gorge Bellyslide
    • Increased max belly sliding speed to 14 from 13.
    • Decreased belly slide cooldown from 1.5 to 1 second.
    • Reduced slide friction on infestation from 0.068 to 0.039.
    • Reduced slide energy cost from 25 to 20.
    • Increased belly slide control from 10 to 18.
    • Speed loss sliding uphill is reduced by 25%.
    • Decreased the air friction from 0.8 to 0.2 so the Gorge doesn't move like a brick while jumping.
      • These changes allow Gorge movement in general to be easier to control and slightly faster, to give Gorge players a powerful tool to avoid previously lethal situations, and to allow for easier use of keeping up with teammates and being a combat gorge.
  • Fade Personal Res cost increased to 37 from 35
    • This change restores the Fade timings to from before the Pres rate change.
  • Alien structures grow only twice as slow without a drifter or gorge now, instead of three times as slow.
    • The growth speed punishment for not using a drifter to build was mostly affecting new commanders. So we increased the build speed without drifters so teams without an experienced commander are less punished, but can still notice the difference in build times.
  • Focus upgrade attack speed changed to a static 33%
    • The focus attack speed was changing from 16% to 33% to 50% with each veil level, and this created inconsistent attack timings to learn during combat. The damage bonus is unchanged, however. This nerfs focus with 1 veil, but buffs it for 3 veils.
Tweaks / Improvements
  • Swapped the button positions for "Server Browser" and "Training" in the Play Menu, to make the mouse travel distance significantly less from the main menu to the play menu.
  • Added Onos Boneshield ricochet FX to better communicate when the ability is active.
  • Improved damage indicator feedback (Thanks to windsurfer & twiliteblue)
    • The red arrow damage indicator will now quickly animate and fade, and was made larger as well. This should make it easier to notice and react to recently received damage from multiple directions.
  • Owned Babblers show up grayed out for the gorge at the Babbler Status HUD elements even when they are not actively attached to the owner. This helps to keep track how many of your babblers are still alive. (Thanks to jack^)
  • The crash reporter now sends the crash reports with a few further details to our new crash reporter backend. Hopefully this will allow us to track down some of the more common crashes we and our playtesters are unable to reproduce. Thanks to everybody who sent us crash report via discord, the forum and emails the last month!
  • Rookies (players below level 25) will now see a popup that highly recommends they play the tutorial, whenever they open the play menu. (occurs once per restart of NS2)
  • Rookies are now able to join all servers without any further restriction. However Quick Play will still favor rookie only servers for them.
  • Quickplay now ranks servers you’ve played in the last 10 minutes as less favorable
  • Improved the art style of some menu pop up windows.
  • Alien commander bots will now re-cyst if they lose part of their cyst chain that results in damaging a structure, and will nutrient mist if needed.
  • Alien commander bots will no longer spam cysts like they’re fireworks on the 4th of July.
  • Added a notice about the required tech to the description of each weapon or class in the marine buy menu in case they are not available yet. So players understand why they can’t already buy a certain weapon.
  • Added server config options for the “add commander bots” vote (Thanks to Keats)
  • Removed some outdated tip videos and updated a few in-game tooltip strings (Thanks to Kash)
Fixes
  • Fixed a bug with dynamic mesh rendering using DirectX 11 that caused the clients to crash when players tried to place gorge webs or a sentry battery.
  • Fixed that hallucination caused a server script error when they tried to attack a target.
  • Fixed that the training link in the play menu opened the last visited main menu window
  • Fixed a bug in the animation system that would, in rare cases, cause some of the "Infinite bone coords" error spam.
  • Fixed that the skulk animation got disorientated after repeatedly jumping in a short time. This caused Skulk to sometimes clip through walls while wall jumping. (Thanks twiliteblue)
  • Fixed that Quick Join didn’t find any servers if you have joined all available ones less than 10 minutes ago.
  • Fixed that the Friends tab of the server browser didn’t show any servers. Note, you still need to be logged into Steam Friends for this to function.
  • Fixed a script that occurred when babblers attached to an aliens after the babler owner had died. (Thanks twiliteblue)
  • Fixed that the Death and score number display counts overlapped at the first person spectator HUD (Thanks to Keats)
  • Fixed that the status of techs that dependent on tech with a higher tech Id was not updated when the status of the dependency changed. E. g. if an observatory is killed and rebuilt, you could not build or research phase gates until two observatories are built.
  • Fixed an issue which caused the Marine HUD to be stuck on the screen after spectating an exo.
Maps
  • Cleaned up the pathing meshes on all maps. There were issues on some maps where structures could not be placed where it looked like they should be able to.
Docking
  • Gorges can now place tunnels behind the counter in Terminal.
Mineshaft
  • Added an invisible block between Operations and The Gap to prevent Lerks from spiking marine extractors from a location the marines could not reach. It was very annoying.
May 26, 2017
Natural Selection 2 - WasabiOne

Summer is finally upon us and with that the forthcoming mighty Steam Sale. Sales usually bring in a lot of new faces to the game and over the years, we have worked hard to make changes that help those new to NS to learn and enjoy the game as all of us do. Please welcome these new players as they become familiar with the game.

With Update 315 we have consolidated the PLAY menu, updated the server browser and added new help screens for players. While in game you can now bring up an overlay that explains your individual player or lifeform controls all based on your key binds. We hope that this feature will help to better explain abilities and even upgrades to new players.

Alien egg spawning has been adjusted to scale with players which should lead to better spawning and encourage alien hive expansion too! Some additional improvements were made to gorge tunnels to allow for quicker and easier placement. See more about the gameplay changes in the changelog below.

We are also aware of some stability issues that players were experiencing in the previous update. We have worked to resolve those with this release and hope that this provides a better experience for those of you dealing with this problem.

Update 315 Changelog

Gameplay
  • Alien Egg Spawn
    • Every hive spawns an egg every 13 secs instead of only one hive at a time.
      • Scales down with the team’s player count:
        • 6 players: 13
        • 9 players: 8.6
        • 10 players: 9.75
        • 12 players: 7.5
    • Every hive can spawn up to 2 eggs (was 3).
    • The hive’s egg hatch tech spawns 2 eggs (didn’t scale previously).
      • ² Scales up with the team’s player count:
        • 6 players: 2
        • 9 players: 3
        • 10 players: 3
        • 12 players: 4
  • MG
    • Increased base damage to 8 from 6.
    • Decreased damage bonus against players to 150% from 200%
    • Decreased costs to 20 pres.
  • Gorge Tunnel
    • The gorge tunnel is now less “picky” about it’s placement so you can drop it in areas with slightly rougher terrain.
  • Made wall walking less unpredictable for skulks
    • Skulks can sneak around sharp corners on the ceiling much more reliably now.
Tweaks / Improvements
  • Added a new Play Menu
    • Replaced “Play Now” and “Server Browser” links on main menu with a single “Play” button.
    • Menu creates more visibility of the arcade tab by giving it a nice, big button, alongside the server browser button, training button, and play now button.
    • Can’t decide on a server to play on? Try out the big, flashy Play Now button. You can’t miss it!
  • Added an in-game help screen
    • Displays useful (and silly) information about the weapons/abilities you have currently equipped.
    • Modders: see SDK section below for how to “play nicely” with the help screen. (don’t worry, it’s easy! 🙂 )
  • Bots
    • Optimized performance
      • Lowered performance costs of each bot by about 80%
      • Optimized path finding (Thanks to Katzenfleisch)
      • Optimized memory routines
      • Optimized decision making routines
    • Improved the commander bots
      • Marine Commander Bots drop now med and ammo packs on request
      • Alien Commander Bots drop Mist on request (both for players and structures)
    • Added a player vote to add commander bots and start the game
      • The vote will autostart 5 minutes after the first player joined a team if there are still commanders lacking to start the round
  • Optimized the Effect Manager so the update routines of all kind of in-game effects are on average about 40% faster.
  • Slightly improved the design of the server detail window of the server browser
  • Standardize and improve the cooldown HUD display of all alien abilities (contributed by twiliteblue)
  • Fixes and improvements to the Caged menu background. (contributed by ieptbarakat)
Fixes
  • Fixed an issue causing server crashes while processing move packets.
  • Fixed some race conditions between the render and main thread causing client crashes on texture allocation.
  • Fixed an issue with the physics culling while the concede sequence is playing.
  • Fixed that the skulk plays running animation after leaping (contributed by twiliteblue)
  • Fixed that the research progress in the commander UI was reset when a player logged out of the Command Station and back in again (contributed by Keats)
  • Fixed that badges connected to steam items did not unlock correctly
  • Fixed a script error that occured when you blinked as Fade in 3rd person camera mode (contributed by twiliteblue)
  • Made ready room players mortal and fixed a script error that occurred if a player died in the Ready Room (contributed by Las)
  • Fixed that css files using the old css format did not work properly (contributed by Brute)
  • Fixed a script error that occurred when Marine.GetMaxSpeed was called without that given Marine owned a weapon (contributed by Las)
  • Fixed that the Flamethrower always dealt extra compound damage to burning structures instantly instead after 2 seconds.
  • Fixed that the warmup mode started the game after limit of 12 players was reached (Thanks to Person8880 who fixed this via the Shine mod previously)
  • Removed the leftover links to the deprecated hive website in the main menu
SDK
  • Declared some missing optional constants for the ScoringMixin and BaseModelMixin
  • Added proper support for Lua style multi line comments
  • Help Screen
    • When the help screen is displayed, all other GUI elements are hidden (to avoid ugly overlapping and undesirable effects).
    • Example mod showing how to properly implement this: Dropbox, Github
  • Cinematic Editor: Fixed a hang caused by zooming in too far into the graph window.
  • Overview: The program will not whine as easily for mismatched minimap_extents dimensions.
  • Added a function GUI.Message(string), which is the exact same thing as Shared.Message(string), except that it is accessible from inside a GUIView VM.
  • GUIView objects can now be set to render “always” (past behavior), “once”, or “never.”. Useful for scenarios where a gui view is rendering something complex to a texture, but only needs to do it once.
  • GUIView render targets are now cleared with transparent black, instead of opaque black.
  • Added two new functions, Client.GetLastRenderResetTime(), and Client.GetLastPresentTime(). These are useful for determining if certain resources need to be reloaded/rendered. For example, see “lua/menu/FancyGUIViewManager.lua”.
  • DynamicRenderMesh objects are no longer emptied when the game is alt+tabbed.
  • GUIItem: Added GetTextureWidth() and GetTextureHeight(), which return the width/height of the texture, in pixels, or -1 if there is no texture assigned to the GUIItem.
  • Added numerous enums, a few constants, and a boatload of associated Client functions to integrate Steamworks Lobbies functionality (see docs/ClientLoaded.json)
  • Added a function GUIItem::GetCanFontRenderString(string fontName, string text) which allows you to determine if the given font name is capable of displaying all characters of the given string (eg some fonts only have numbers, or maybe the string has non latin characters, etc.)
...

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