Natural Selection 2 - contact@rockpapershotgun.com (Craig Pearson)

In the apparently endless battle-rap between developers and key reseller marketplace G2A, the shop has lobbed a lyrical bomb back at Unknown Worlds. As we reported yesterday, Subnautica and Natural Selection 2 developer Charlie Cleveland alleged: We paid $30,000 to deal with credit card chargebacks because of G2A.

G2A s fascinating response: Selling keys on a marketplace which was yet to come into existence seems unreasonable at best.

(more…)

Natural Selection 2

Earlier this week, Unknown Worlds told key reseller G2A it owed the developer $300,000. This was after G2A said it would pay developers ten times what they've lost through chargebacks for keys purchased with pinched credit cards. It's an issue several developers and publishers have raised, though G2A denies that it happens.  

A statement posted by G2A refutes the Subnautica developer's claims, making a bit of a show out of it in the process. The gist of G2A's post is that Unknown Worlds' losses through chargebacks came from sales of Natural Selection 2 in 2013, a year before G2A existed. 

"Launched in 2014, G2A Marketplace was celebrating its 5th birthday this year," the post reads. "The said keys were allegedly stolen and sold before March 8, 2013—6 years ago. Charlie wrote: 'We paid $30,000 to deal with credit card chargebacks because of G2A.' That’s just slander, and we expect him to at least edit his posts, if not straight up apologize."

Technically, G2A did exist in 2013, however, but under a different name and with a different business model. Go2Arena was a retailer rather than a marketplace, and G2A now claims Natural Selection 2 wasn't sold there. 

Factorio's developer, Wube, also took G2A up on its offer to pay ten times its losses in chargebacks, but apparently a third party auditing company is still investigating the evidence. It claims the fees for chargebacks amounts to around $6,600, so G2A may end up having to shell out $66,000. 

The tone's unusual for a statement from a videogame marketplace to a developer, right down to the title of the post and its accompanying header image. It's unlikely to inspire Unknown Worlds or others to work with G2A to combat fraud. G2A's proposed key-blocking tool will only be created if 100 developers sign up, but it's attracted fewer than 20. The deadline has now been extended, but only until the end of August. 

Update: G2A's insistence that it did not exist prior to 2014 has been rather dramatically undercut by, among other sources, G2A itself. As noticed by GamesIndustry, the Wayback Machine indicates that G2A was functioning as a key reseller in June 2013. G2A denied that the listing was legitimate, however, telling the site that the archive is "rather like a fun tool, not a credible source." It explained that the domain had been purchased months before it actually went live in January 2014, which is why it appeared in 2013.

But G2A's own support hub tells a different story. "The number of buyers and sellers has been rapidly growing ever since the launch of the webpage in 2013," it says. "That year there were 20 sellers and 100.000 buyers."

The page doesn't specify precisely when in 2013 the G2A Marketplace went live, but it does directly contradict the company's statement that it launched in 2014. G2A itself was founded, as Go2Arena, in 2010.

Natural Selection 2 - contact@rockpapershotgun.com (Craig Pearson)

Subnautica developer Unknown Worlds has asked grey market key reseller G2A to pay them $300,000 in restitution. The developer claims the amount represents the $30,000 it had to spend to cover chargebacks from fraudulent credit card purchases of Natural Selection 2. G2A had previously promised to pay 10x the amount of any costs lost via fraudulent purchases on their site, as long as there s proof such a thing occurred.

(more…)

Natural Selection 2

In mid-July, key reseller G2A proposed the creation of a "key-blocking tool" that developers could use to provide the site with lists of keys that they don't want being sold through its platform. Keys distributed for reviews, for instance, could be entered into the tool so that if anyone ever tried to sell one, it would be blocked. But this being G2A, there was a catch: It would only make the tool if at least 100 developers signed up for it prior to August 15.

The response has been tepid, to say the least. In an update posted today, G2A said that only 19 developers have signed up so far.

  • Beer Money Games
  • Bossa Studios
  • CCP Games
  • Crimson Leaf LLC
  • Deep Silver
  • Dirty Beast Games
  • Dynart
  • Electrocosmos
  • Farom Studio
  • Fox Byte Games
  • Hound Picked Games
  • MetalBear
  • Modoka Studios Entertainment
  • Moonlight Mouse
  • NYAARGH
  • SimaGames
  • Squidpunch Studios
  • Tate Mutimedia
  • Troglobytes Games

Because of that, and to give curious developers the opportunity to learn more about the offer at Gamescom, G2A has decided to extend the deadline to the end of August. We'll have to wait a couple more weeks to see how that pans out, although I would probably not bet the farm on another 81 studios signing up between now and then. But a GamesIndsutry report on the extension prompted Unknown Worlds Entertainment founder Charlie Cleveland to wade into the fray.

"It's a load of crap that this tool would be 'expensive' to develop. It's also suspect how they are pushing the names of developers who don't want their games to be sold on their service—it's almost like they want blowback from players who don't understand the shadiness of their service and be encouraged to review bomb those developers," Cleveland wrote. "It's also terrible to put the impetus on developers to have to take action with G2A to get this proposal moving in the first place, while G2A profits off gray-market sales and credit card fraud."

And then, in reference to G2A's recent offer to pay developers ten times what they lose in chargebacks caused by fraud, he laid it out: "We paid $30,000 to deal with credit card chargebacks because of G2A … So, G2A, if you really want to put your money where your mouth is, you will now pay us (Unknown Worlds) $300,000."

That $30,000 in fees was lost on Unknown Worlds' pre-Subnautica FPS/RTS hybrid Natural Selection 2. The studio reported in 2013 that it had deactivated more than 1300 game keys that were purchased with stolen credit cards and then resold through third-party sites. As we noted at the time, it was a mess all around: Unknown Worlds ate a big penalty, and people who bought the game in good faith (but from sketchy resellers) ended up empty-handed. The only ones who came out ahead were the scammers.

Unknown Worlds isn't the first studio to stake a claim on G2A's offer. Shortly after it was announced, Factorio developer Wube Software said that it had suffered roughly $6600 in chargebacks caused by the site, and that it wanted to take advantage of the refund offer. As of August 7—a full month later—an auditing company was apparently still checking the list of keys Wube had provided to verify its claim.

I've reached out to Unknown Worlds and G2A for more information, and also to Wube to see if any progress has been made on its claim. I'll update if I receive any replies.

Correction: The post originally indicated that G2A was verifying the list of fraudulent Factorio keys provided by Wube Software. G2A clarified that the audit is being handled by an external company and said that the process of determining whether the approximately 300 keys "doesn't happen within a week or two."

Natural Selection 2 - rantology
Our friends at the Natural Selection League are hosting a one-weekend, no holds barred clash of some of the best players and teams in this Open Tournament!





Saturday and Sunday (the 29th and 30th) at 09:00 PDT / 12:00 EDT / 16:00 GMT / 18:00 CEST



Natural Selection 2 - rantology

Our friends at the Natural Selection League are hosting a one-weekend, no holds barred clash of some of the best players and teams in this Open Tournament!






Saturday and Sunday (the 29th and 30th) at 09:00 PDT / 12:00 EDT / 16:00 GMT / 18:00 CEST





Natural Selection 2 - WasabiOne


Update 328 includes an upgrade to Visual Studio 2017 runtime, continued balance tweaks in response to the last update, updates to DirectX 11 (getting us closer to ditching DirectX 9 altogether) and numerous fixes and optimizations throughout the game. We are making great strides in achieving our goal on the roadmap and 329 is looking to be another great update, so stay tuned for public tests in advance of release. Lastly we want to thank all of you that have been purchasing DLC and all the newcomers that have been buying the game over the last few months. Remember all sales of NS2 and DLC directly affect our development budget and allow our team to continue work on NS2.

Check out the full changelog below to see all the goodies contained within.

Note to all Windows users: You will need to ensure the 2017 Visual C++ redistributes are installed on your system! Otherwise the game won’t start after the update. Steam should take care of this during the update process but is known to fail sometimes.

Changelog

Gameplay

Merged balance changes we released live 3 weeks ago via our extensions mod
  • Undeployed ARC health decreased to 3000/200 (from 3000/500)
  • Babblers:
    • New maximum lifeform shield values (total):
      • Skulk: 21 (from 35)
      • Gorge & Lerk: 21 (from 42)
      • Fade: 40 (from 65)
      • Onos: 85 (from 150)
    • Increased spawn rate from 1.5 seconds to 2.5 seconds
  • Grenade Launcher:
    • Change structural damage multiplier from 5x to 4x (450 -> 360 structural damage)
  • Lerk:
    • Decreased Spike damage to 5 (from 6)
    • Decreased adrenaline energy refresh rate to 30% (from 60%)
  • Phase Gates
    • Increased armor from 600 to 800
  • Advanced Support:
    • Decreased research costs to 20 team resources (from 25)
    • Decreased research time to 60 seconds (from 90)
  • Marine weapons:
    • Dropped weapons expiry now refreshes when a marine is really close/walks over them. So you no longer have to pick them up)
  • Cysts:
    • Lower maximum base Cyst HP to 200. Cysts close to a hive (near the Alien naturals) can scale up to 350
    • De-cloaking camouflage Cysts (shade hive passive) should now feel a bit snappier and more reliable
  • Reduced Welder cost to 2 personal resources (from 3)
Optimizations
  • Improved various expensive world update routines to stabilize and decrease their run-time cost for both Client and Server.
    • Cache mixin methods for each class after first class instance initialization to speed up any further class instance creation (Thanks Las)
    • Avoid expensive closure creations in hot path calls via a loadstring trick (Thanks Las)
    • Precache beacon spawn points at map load so we don’t need to calculate them during runtime (Thanks Katzenfleisch)
    • Optimized tech tree data lookup calls (Thanks Las)
    • Changed behavior of non player entities to not run their update routine every world update tick specially when there hasn’t been any state change
      (Thanks Steelcap & Nin)
    • Limit the amount of time that the client spent on updating GUI scripts every frame (Thanks Las)
    • Added optimized implementation for set and queue data containers to reduce runtime of various hot paths calls
Tweaks / Improvements
  • Added badges for the ENSL.org Newcomer and Community Challenge Tournaments
  • Added new shiny material shaders for most computer monitors and displays in the game (Thanks RuneStorm!)
  • Update anti-aliasing code to latest version of FXAA. Grants a minor improvement to final image sharpness and run-time speed
  • Armories and Prototype Labs now has consistent Usable range for Marine and will no longer show the use-key when you are out of range
  • Improved the visual quality of shadows, notably when the light source was far away from shadow casters
  • Improved shadow rendering for Windows 8 and above clients using shadow comparison sampler features
    • Do note that shadows will have lower visual quality on Windows 7 clients. This is due to missing rendering features in the DirectX API, and those features are only available on Windows 8 or higher
  • Added a new "Refraction Quality" option to the graphics menu. "Low" acts like it does currently, while "High" uses some extra samples while rendering the refraction pass to reduce the amount of aliasing introduced (very noticeable in the railgun exosuit's shot trails)
  • Added a Lifeform popup reminder for Alien players with "High HUD Detail" enabled. This popup reminds players to evolve to a higher Lifeform once they have enough personal resources and the team could use more of that type
    • Only displays when High HUD Detail option is enabled
    • Only displays when the Evolve Menu is not open
    • Only show for lifeforms when the number of them alive & evolved on the team is less than 20% of the total number of players on a team. (So that it’s only one Gorge on a team of 6)
    • Only show after respawning and player is not in combat, within a 15 second window of time
    • Does not stay on screen for more than 10 seconds
    • Does not show within 30 seconds of round start. (to prevent everyone going Gorge)
  • The Scoreboard Personal Resource colors are now yellow starting at 75 and orange starting at 90 because your PRes doesn’t overflow at 100 PRes. (Thanks Handschuh)
  • Lessened the likelihood of having duplicate bot names at the same time
  • Improved the new Alien Health Bars by ensuring the Upgrade Chamber icons no longer overlap with the Health Bar icons from 720p up to 4k resolutions
  • Improved the Alien Energy Bar by coloring white the section of energy that is added by the Adrenaline upgrade
Fixes
  • Fixed various DirectX 11 issues:
    • Fixed shadows not being rendered properly
    • Fixed emissive decals not being rendered correctly
    • Some textures would appear corrupted at lower mip levels
    • Fixed Exo Minigun Heat bars being distorted
  • Fixed weird “magic hands” animation bug when switching to another weapon after reloading the Machine Gun or Flamethrower
  • Fixed Alien Tunnels (including Infested versions) having differing HP values
  • Fixed Alien Tunnels not starting with 100% eHP
  • Fixed that attached Babblers didn’t cloak/decloak properly with their parent
  • Fixed that dropped weapons started to expire near an Armory when a player walked over them
  • Fixed that spectating players would rubber-band between players in first-person mode sometimes
  • Fixed that a number of Exo HUD elements were misaligned
  • Fixed a script error that stopped players from joining bootcamp servers (this was released live already weeks ago through our extensions mod)
  • Removed out-dated tip clips about Gorge Tunnels and Babblers
  • Fixed the mouse over tooltip in the Options Menu that said you need to restart the game if you apply new menu music
  • Fixed that the Lerk crosshairs had a tiny black bar near the top of them
  • Fixed that the Unearthed loading screen had an FPS counter in the top right of the last screen
  • Fixed that you could not scroll down far enough in the control bindings menu to change the Help Screen binding entry
Sounds
  • Fade Metabolize, Onos running rumble sound, and Lerk gliding sounds no longer play after their respective lifeform’s death
Maps
  • Unearthed (Thanks Kash!)
    • Move the RT node from Transfer into Toxic pool to prevent Furnace from having 3 "Natural" resource nodes (Thanks Zavaro!)
    • Moved the Briefing RT node slightly further to the west and moved the fencing to the east to make defending easier for marines (Thanks Zavaro!)
    • Added crates in briefing to allow access to the ceiling area more easily. (Thanks Zavaro!)
    • Fixed numerous Stuck spots throughout the map (and ready room/secret room) (Thanks Zavaro!)
    • Added invisible geometry to many areas of the map to smooth out the feeling of movement
    • Tweaked pathing throughout the map
    • Removed a small amount of the clutter in Purification to make play in the area more fluid
    • Increased the size of the raised platform with the RT node on it in Purification to make the area slightly more marine accessible
    • Removed the middle support pillar in Cavity and tweaked the remaining pillars to make the area slightly less alien OP
    • Moved the Cavity RT node to be more approachable for marines
    • Removed collision from railings without the panels and replaced with collision geo to make play feel better for both marines and aliens
    • Minor lighting tweaks throughout the map
    • Made the vent between Toxic pool and Exposure more obviously accessible to marines from the Toxic pool side
    • Made the vent from Toxic pool to Extraction marine accessible from both sides
    • Reduced cover in Transfer to make the room less alien overpowered.
    • Changed the bridges in both Toxic pool and Crevice to be more visually appealing
    • Removed the Passage exit from the vent that leads from Harvesting to Access
    • Closed 2 of the 4 ceiling covers in Furnace to allow for better movement through the room for Aliens
    • Removed the remaining girder arches from Junction to reduce marine frustration in the area
    • Moved the Filtration power node to a less frustrating location
    • Improved collision geo in multiple areas of the map to help bot navigation. (Thanks Nin!)
Tools
  • Cinematic Editor
    • Fixed anisotropic filtering and particles sometimes not being enabled in the renderer
  • Viewer
    • Add support to view and test Material Swapping via the Materials Window. This only works when opening models. Note: There will be a delay when setting an override material, as it needs to load the resource before rendering it
  • Map editor
    • Added a new option for static props called “allowBullets”. It's intended to be used on railing props and other small items like bottles or hanging wires that you may normally have to add collision geometry around. Note that this option will stop melee attacks and projectiles, but will not stop hit scan bullets, parasite, or flamethrowers
SDK
  • Added Las’ library for lua closures that are not as expensive to generate during run-time as normal closures. See core/lua/Closure.md for details
  • Added a command line option "force_renderer" which accepts either "D3D9" or "D3D11", which forces the renderer to use DirectX 9 or 11, overriding the value in the user's settings
Known Issues
  • Viewer - Opening Materials Window when the opened asset is not a model causes odd behaviors
  • As a side effect from a GUIScale fix that was part of the GUIManager optimizations, the size of GUI elements may differ on some resolutions compared to build 327
  • Entering the wrong password when joining a server may incur a crash using DirectX 9
  • DirectX overlays (like the Steam overlay) cause performance issues under DirectX11 on some GPUs. We recommend to disable all DirectX overlays for now if you notice frequent frame time spikes (via r_stats)
Natural Selection 2 - rantology
Itching for some NS2 this weekend?

Community Challenge
Check out the epic bash that is the Community Challenge! In this event hosted by our friends at the Natural Selection League, it's community VS community as different servers prepare for battle to compete for the crown of Community Champion! This is a two day tournament held on the 15th & 16th of June, starting at 8 PDT / 11 EDT / 15 GMT / 17 CEST
You can catch streams of this event on the following Twitch Channels:
NaturalSelection2 (Starting 1 hour from this post)
NSLTV (The stream should be starting in a few minutes!)


Natural Selection 2 Public Playtest
This Saturday , (June 15th at 13:00 PDT / 22:00 CEST - or 5 hours from this post)
We will have a public playtest of build 328!!

This patch is focused primarily on client and server performance improvements, and as such we think its a good idea to ensure others do not experience anything broken, and that we can adequately stress test our server.

All are invited to join us to play some rounds / break things, ensure the build is stable and provide any additional feedback!

Join our General Voice Channel in this discord to coordinate with us and feel free to show up a few minutes early to ensure you get a chance to play or ask questions. We will give out the server password over voice the moment we begin. It will be on the publicly available Beta branch on our NAPT server.
Natural Selection 2 - rantology
Unknown Worlds would like to invite you to watch or sign up to play the NEWCOMER TOURNAMENT, an event hosted by our friends at Natural Selection League.

WHEN IS THE NEWCOMER TOURNAMENT?
The tournament will be played on Saturday, June 1 and Sunday, June 2.

Saturday (Group Stage):
Start: 19 CEST / 17 GMT / 1 PM EDT
At most 3 matches, with 4 rounds each
All games, if not finished earlier, will end at 00:00 CEST / 6:00 PM EDT

Sunday (Finals):
Start: 19 CEST / 17 GMT / 1 PM EDT
Half-Finals and Finals, played in a best of 5 format

You can catch streams of the event on the Official Natural Selection 2 and Natural Selection League twitch channels!


⦿ Do I need a complete team?

No, you don’t! Everyone can register. It doesn’t matter if you register only yourself, with a few friends or a complete team.

⦿ Who can register?
All players who have not played in any of the NSL seasons can participate.

⦿ Where do I register?
Registration is run by the NSL Homepage homepage. This video explains the process. It is also the page where you can find teams, players, and your results.

Also please fill out this form if you wish to participate to make it easier for captains to sort out teams!


For additional details, please see the Help Document.

Don’t miss any news about the Newcomer Tournament by subscribing to the NSL Steam Group.

For additional help (or to just hang out!), see:
The Official Natural Selection 2 Discord Server
The NSL Discord Server
Natural Selection 2 - WasabiOne
What has build 327 Unearthed? A lot actually! This new update to NS2 includes a new map, changes to existing maps, new skins, new models, new sounds and new gameplay and balance changes. All told the changelog for build 327 came to be 10+ pages once we included everything. There is so much in this update to sink your teeth into, read ahead for all the details or just jump in game and figure out all the changes in battle. People playing on the new map Unearthed will receive a new alien commander skin and if you like that you might also check out our Catalyst DLC Pack, which has many other skins and now includes a new Sandstorm skin for the updated machine gun model. Remember all sales of NS2 and DLC directly affect our development budget and allow our team to continue work on NS2.

Click here to see the full changelog and all the goodies contained within.
Follow the NS2 Development Roadmap to see our plans for future updates.

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