In the battle that is the shipping of a big patch, we do our best to achieve total victory. The bane of our development lives is the hotfix. Hotfixes are horrible. They suck up disproportionate amounts of development time, they are inefficient uses of development resources, and just generally suck.
But try as we might to avoid them, sometimes they are needed. Gorgeous needed one, and here it is! 241 is small and wont make big differences to the way you play. It will fix some hidden nasties that snuck out it the Server process, and some bugs causing consternation to people using babblers, wall jump, and fullscreen windowed mode.
At their release, Babblers were a little bit useless. This uselessness boiled down to the fact that they were too slow to keep up with their host Gorge, catch friendly players hit by the baitball, and close distance with marines. Now, they are much faster, and much more useful.
Winrates in Gorgeous have been exceptionally good. After 25,798 games (on Sunday), the probability of a marine win in a randomly sampled game was 0.507, our best result yet, and a big improvement on build 239′s ~0.41. However, some of this improvement came from a bug causing Skulks to lose momentum when they hit the ground. That is fixed in 241, so we expect the probability of marine wins to decrease back below 0.5 for now.
Servers will update over the next hour or so, so if you cant find games at the moment, sit tight. Here is the full changelog:
Added super-sampling when generating reflection cube maps to improve quality.
Increased Babbler run speed from 5 to 7.
Fixed bug that prevented an Alien from evolving if they had Babblers attached to themselves. Eliminated uninitialized data when sending packets with strings less than the maximum length (may cause problems with some firewall rules) Fixed exploit which allowed Gorge tunnels to be build outside of the map. Fixed bug which caused Skulks to lose all their momentum instantly when touching the ground. Fixed bug where mines were ignoring damage falloff. Fixed bug where Alien attacks got blocked by attached Babblers. Fixed bug where fullscreen windowed mode forced vsync on. Changed the maxfps console command to only allow values above 30 FPS to prevent exploitation
Reduced overhead of isa method. Improved server performance. Reduced the cost of updating entities in the query manager.
Added •Railgun Exosuit now available at Prototype Lab. Explodes things. •Gorges may now spawn Babbler eggs, which hatch into Babblers! •Gorges may now create Gorge Tunnels •Bait Balls Direct babblers by flinging it at enemies of friendlies •New map: Descent •New contextual help system, TipVids. •Insight Spectator System Mk 2 Redesign and interface overhaul. •First Person Spectating •Damage decals •Reflections •Refraction effects •New alien cloaking effects •New main menu background scene
Change •Disabled wall walking on Command Stations. •Added one second cool-down between Gorge structure drops •Claw damage increased to 75. •Claw range increased by 10% •Rifles will now get destroyed when purchasing a new weapon at the armory to prevent a pile of Weapons in big games (manually dropping or picking weapons up is unchanged) •Removed foresight from Alien Commander. •Increased frequency of alert message when a base power node is under attack. •Whips no longer hit multiple targets with their melee attack. •Doors are no longer usable. •Removed exo backwards speed scalar. •Updated personal resource icon in Alien buy menu. •Reduced phase gate rate from 0.5 to 0.2 seconds. •Exosuit movement speed depends now on weapons weight (minigun heaviest, railgun lightest) •Slightly increased Axe range to prevent situations where you could not hit an enemy below you even when crouching. •Skulk movement adjustments Movement code now makes them slightly less erratic when dancing in your sights. •Cloaking system is now analog rather than binary Allows for more nuanced use of cloaking trait •Decreased the amount of time it takes for the game to start once both teams have a Commander. •Doubled the rate that the Game will not start until both teams have a Commander banner message appears on the screen. •Enemy players are now damaged while near the enemy Command Structure before the game starts. •Bile bomb can now destroy dropped weapons. •Reduced Bile bomb single target damage by ~20% (and reduced force from 13 to 11, so shorter effective range)
Editor •Added the ability for death triggers to do damage over time instead of instantly killing the entity. •Max distance that initial Cyst spawn points can be from the Hive increased by 50% •Changed the texture list in the Editor to and all of the search terms together by default (old or behavior can be reproduced by using ? in front of a search term) •Changed the texture list box to allow selection of materials in any directory (not just the materials directory)
Feature •Added -logdir command line option to let server admins override the location of log.txt. •Added pagination to the mod browser in the dedicated server web admin. •Added search capability to the mod page of the dedicated server web admin. •Added resource graph in Insight (Press Q) •Added commander research bars in Insight, replaces monolithic research block •Added player energy/ammunition indicators in Insight
Fix •Fixed bug causing Skulk hitbox and worldmodel to be misaligned on some vertical surfaces (Makes the buggers easier to hit). •Fixed bug where emissive only surfaces would not be properly bloomed (caused cloaked Alien structures to be somewhat visible) •Fixed issue where enabling double or triple buffering while in fullscreen windowed mode would cause the display to not update •Fixed swipe not triggering effects / draining energy when quickly tapping primary attack button. •Fixed script error when firing a Rifle that had been previously fired and dropped on the ground. •Fixed holo Marine model being visible for a few frames for the already respawned Marine. •The unban button now works in the server web interface. •Fixed health bars showing up in ready room. •Fixed bug where caps lock couldnt be bound in the input settings. •Fixed bug where tapping primary attack key with Skulk bite selected wont deduct energy / trigger sound. •Fixed clogs appearing for one frame at world origin. •Fixed bug where Marine Commander could select cloaked Alien units. •Fixed bug where the retry console command would not attempt to reconnect to the last server joined using the connect console command. •Fixed health/armor not being properly predicted for growing Alien structures. •Fixed bug where tech point remains smashed after the Hive got replaced by a Command Station. •Fixed camera hitch when crouch jumping as Onos. •Fixed sentry battery destruction effects. •Fixed unsocketed power nodes not considering LOS properly. •Fixed bug where units recloak when Marine who touched them is still in close proximity. •Text chat now displays above the Fade to black death screen. •Fixed Alien structures playing metallic sound when attacked by Skulks. •Ghost structures disappear now immediately when killed. •Commander no longer triggers a ping during entering a chat message. •Fixed Aliens losing abilities when a Hive gets destroyed and they evolve an upgrade without changing life form. •Fixed issue where chat text would sometimes be displayed escaped in the web server admin console. •Players can now damage each other after the round ends. •Changed behavior of Gorge build menu: You no longer need to re-select things to build more of them. •Fixed bug where hitting alt-enter would not cause the options menu to be updated based on the current windowed/fullscreen status. •Fixed bug where the microphone would be stuck on if the server changed maps while a player was recording. •Fixed infestation decal not showing up for Hydras. •Fixed bilebomb effect not showing up on MAC model. •When a team surrenders, everyone will be notified. •Fixed prediction error when jumping in rapid succession. •Fixed clogs blocking phase gates. •Fixed bug where Aliens could barely see cloaked units when dark vision is enabled. •Fixed welder ignoring the deploy animation. •Fixed bug where Commanders could drop structures when help mode is enabled. •Fixed Marine structures showing Alien blood when hit by flame throwers. •Fixed adrenaline / camouflage banner not being displayed. •All team members will be notified when someone votes to concede or to eject the Commander. •Robotics Factory cant cancel research. •Fixed bug which gave Aliens abilities which are not researched. •Fixed Editor bug that would occasionally cause a vertex to be created a large distance away from its intended location. •Fixed issue where a change to a shader template file would not necessarily trigger shaders to be rebuilt. •Fixed hitch when first encountering Infestation after the shaders have been updated. •Fixed issue where dynamic props wouldnt be animated on the dedicated server due to missing animation graphs. •Spectator Mouse Hover no longer misses. •Recycled/Refunded structures are no longer added to total team resource gathered. •Fixed exploit in server web admin (Thanks confused!) •Fixed issue where mods that specified a specific version build was required would not mount the file system in the proper order. •Fixed bug causing pre-placed Cysts to sometimes die at the start of the round. •Fixed bug where HTTP requests did not follow 301 redirects (fixes the mods list in the web admin) •Fixed bug where Aliens were able to evolve both upgrades from one Hive type. •Fixed exploit where selecting multiple shifts allowed it to bypass the global cool down for hatch ability.
Improvement •Exos display now the thruster duration / cooldown in their HUD. •Added smoke effect for Spike attacks. •Added missing minimap icons for shift, shell, spur, veil. •Insight text now much more legible
Optimization •Reduced the number of bits used for network fields. •Optimized determination of whether or not Orders should be relevant to a client (improves server performance) •Optimized querying the world for entities. •Infestation blob coordinates are now saved after being generated once (Thanks Mats!) •Sped up the compiling shaders process. •Reduced memory usage by compressing animations also reduces load times. •Tweaked texture streaming reduces load times.
Docking •Cafe is now now a random marine spawn again •Lockers is now a random spawn for both aliens and marines •Redesigned how Cafe connects to Bar •Redesigned Central Access so it now connects to cafe •Redesigned Back Alley •Moved Bar further west to prevent sieging of Lockers •Moved Cafe RT to the lower level to prevent LOS issues •Some changes to courtyard to fit the Central Access changes •Some cosmetic changes to Ball Court •Some cosmetic changes to Bar •Reflection Probes added
Refinery •Made Smelting a marine spawn. •Removed route from Smelting to Conduit. •Added new route from Smelting to Routing. •Bug fixes including building placement and power grid issues.
Summit •Improved Atrium RT location (less claustrophobic) •Added more cover and flanking options for aliens in Flight Control •Added missing lights in Crevice vent
SDK •Moved all processing of input into script. •Fixed visualization of the emissive map in the Viewer. •Added the ability to make an external cinematic loop in the Cinematic Editor. •Improved error reporting when a material as assigned in a model with an absolute path. •Increased the timeout for HTTP requests. •Fixed issue where defining a class on the server but not on the client would cause crashes and other bugs. •Added the ability to materials layered on models to inherit parameter values from the underlying material. •Fixed bug where the Ok/Cancel buttons in Create Mod window of Launch Pad would not be visible if the Windows font size was set to large. •Added animatable shader parameters for objects in the Cinematic Editor. •Added support for vertex colors in .model files. •Fixed bug where specifying a float2, float3 or float4 value for a surface shader input would corrupt the value. •Added the ability specify float2, float3 and float4 parameters in a .material file. •Added support for optional commas in SJSON files. •Added LocalPlayerChanged engine event when the local player on the Client changes. •Added ServerClient:GetSpectatingPlayer() and ServerClient:GetPlayer() methods. •Added Client.VoiceRecordStart and Client.VoiceRecordStop functions.
Change • Shotgun uses now a symmetrical bullet spread pattern. • reduced grenade launcher damage radius from 8 down to 6. • reduced spit projectile speed by 12% • arc menu will now always show both deploy and undeploy button. • Removed celerity sound and screen effects. • reduced Gorge spit damage from 40 to 30. • It is no longer possible to damage anything during the pre-game. Optimization • Fixed bug where some objects would be unnecessarily rendered using material techniques that had no effect. • Reduced the memory usage from keeping level data in memory. • Reduced the memory usage pathing information. • Improved Infestation performance on the client (thanks Matso!) • Improved loading times when vsync is enabled by limiting the loading screen frame rate to 30 FPS. Feature • In-game audio device selection. Fix • Damage arrows are now more accurate when multiple players are attacked by a Whip at the same time (Thanks to Joop for pointing this out!) • Fixed bug where request menu was not opening when your team has no Commander. • Fixed bug where grenades were not dealing full damage on direct hits. • fixed Whips being able to whack grenades through walls. • Fixed issue were client side and server side selection status are sometimes out of sync. • Drifters now uncloak when an enemy unit touch them. • Fixed bug causing Celerity effects to remain on when the Skulk was walking or standing still in some cases. • Fixed random number generator issue that caused inconsistencies in the bullet spread between the client and server. • Fixed Couldnt open error messages appearing in the log. • Fixed Gorge build menu not getting immediately cleaned up upon death. • Fixed bug which allowed more than 3 Sentries to be built next to a Sentry Battery in some cases. • fixed melee attacks not triggering effects when hitting world geometry. • Fixed bug where the main menu music would play over the tutorial videos. • The server will now reload the map if 10 hours have passed and no game is currently being played (Thanks Mats!) • Fixed bug preventing the MAC from attacking Hives. • Fixed crash on exit if the rendering thread was still processing a frame during the shutdown process. • Gorge Bile Bomb will no longer interrupt the Gorges Celerity speed boost after shooting the bomb. • Fixed the speed console command not affecting player movement. • Aliens may now evolve new traits if an existing trait is lost due to the upgrade structure being destroyed. • Fixed bug where alt-tabbing out of the game would cause the Exosuit to become opaque. • Chat will now display correctly in the dedicated server web interface (Thanks Sherman!) Improvement • cyst min range check will now pass when the vertical distance between cysts is too high, to prevent situations were Commanders could sometimes not infest resource nodes. • selection and hotgroup creation works now without any delays. • Commanders can now select enemy units. • increased number of allowed hotgroup to 9. • hot key icons blink up red if a unit in this group is under attack. • added shift+click for manipulating selection (add/remove units) • Cysts now redeploy instead of enforcing a minimum placement distance between existing Cysts. • phase gates now show a connection line between each other on the minimap. • phase gates show now the destination in their name. Sdk • Added support for distortion effects (like refraction) in surface shaders. • Added Client.GetMusicVolume. Veil • Blocked small vents in Topographical • Added cover to vents in Nanogrid
Feature - Added the name of the player being followed while waiting to spawn to the screen. - Added server browser filter option for passworded servers.
Optimization - Improved the performance of lighting calculations. - Changed fullscreen passes to be rendered using a single triangle rather than a two triangle quad to eliminate overshading pixels along the diagonal.
Fix - Fixed bug causing text in a message box on the main menu to overflow outside the box. - Fixed bug in the sv_ban command when banning a player not currently on the server. - Fixed bug causing the Fade to "teleport" to the ground while Blinking into walls and the ceiling. - Leading and trailing whitespace characters are ignored in the server list filters. - Filtered out duplicates when mounting mods. - Eliminated duplicate log messages when mounting mods for consistency checking. - Fixed bug where returning nil from GetAttachPointCoords would result in uninitialized data being used. - Fixed issue where having non-ASCII characters in the Windows user name would cause the game to not save mods, settings or cache files properly. - The Command Structure health will no longer be displayed for enemy structures when they spawn in a nearby room. - Fixed crash after alt-tabbing. - Removed the "Attack" button from the ARC as it is not needed and was causing some problems. - Fixed crash during precaching when a cinematic couldn't be loaded. - Signaled Steam to stop refreshing the server pings when connecting to a server to avoid cases where the routers NAT table overflowed. - Fixed issue where LaunchPad didn't properly specify the -game command line parameter when running NS2. - Crash when acquiring physics models from different threads. - Fixed bug where collision detection would fail on bodies which had extreme off-axis scaling applied to them (affected Harvester flinch animation) - Fixed bug allowing the Alien Commander to cancel research on a lifeform egg at the end of research, gaining back the resource cost but not canceling the research. - Fixed bug where ARCs didn't fire at targets when they had an attack order. They still need some work for actually listening to attack orders though. #3921.
Improvement - The "Update" button in the server browser now changes text when finished updating servers. - Steam overlay based web views moved over to in-game web view. - The load progress is now displayed as a percent instead of a count.
Editor - Removing the shift-hover-select thing that just spams undo items. Some other polish/fixes. - Fixed crash/bugs with copy/paste then undo. - Hardcoded hotkeys 0-9 for viewport settings (perspective, lit/unlit, etc.) - Made Tool Settings dialog taller to not hide stuff..heh. - Added an origin cycle mode to put the gizmo at the first selected object, so you can move a group of props without bad grid-snap. - Fixed editor bug where you could create empty props. - Fixed bug when undo-ing face merges. - Welding vertices will now auto-cleanup things like degenerate edges, duplicate edges (that were formerly different), etc. - Made camera acceleration an option (tools|settings|general|display settings). off by default now. - Fixing some issues with deleting faces, undoing, etc. Details: FaceIds are NOT reliable when faces are deleted, so each vertex now stores Face pointers rather than IDs. - Work in progress checkin for fixes to welding. Just adding some un-used stuff for now. - Fixed some bugs introduced by adjacent faces optimization. - Move operations, with/out texture lock, should now be a lot faster and smoother. Using a adjacent-faces-set per vertex instead of doing global face search. - On second thought, completely removing scale tool restrictions. Mappers use negative values. - Changed some scale tool parameters so it's less restrictive when sizing small-ish objects. - Added weld-selected-vertices command. Activate Select Tool, select a group of vertices, then Edit|Weld Selected Vertices (at the bottom of the menu) - New "knobs" for texture mapping (and other) spinners. purely mouse-movement-based. Up/down arrow keys still work if cursor is in text box. CTRL and ALT modifiers work on both. - Fixed lost-focus for hotkeys. - Feedback about how many faces were affected by texture replace. - Added ALT shortcut for texture replace; added F, C keys to move up/down when in first person camera. - Fixed annoying scrollbar reset with prop/texture browser windows. - Added Texture Replace tool (red paint bucket, all the way to the right of the toolbar) - Removed (-1000,1000) range limit on texture shift spinners. This fixes some of the texture lock-move blank-field issues.. - Grid snapping for texture gizmo. There is some weirdness with snapping, but it works. - Ctrl + doubleclick on face now adds a whole body to selection. - Paint(Texture) Tool now has moving handles, in addition to rotate and scale. - Switching to hash_set instead for faster "used asset" lookups. - Texture browser now has "show used only" filter as well. - Props browser now has "show used props only" checkbox. Same thing for textures browser coming soon. - Custom colors now saved to *.level files. - Custom colors now saved between selections. Next todo: save per-level custom colors to disk. - Autobackup filenames now include level name, e.g. ns2_refinery.autobackup2.level. - Tooltips for tool bar buttons now display bound hot key. Bug: If you change them, the tooltips won't update until restart. Ah well.
SDK - Added the ability to specify default values for settings in a render_setup file. - Added Clear Level menu option in the Cinematic Editor to clear out the currently set level file. - Fixed issues with COLLADA files that contained instance_material nodes. - Fixed issue where COLLADA files that referenced textures with spaces in the file name would not be properly loaded if the file name used a relative path. - Fixed loading of COLLADA models in the Viewer. - Enhanced the sound picker with a hierarchical folder display. - Added support for hearing sounds effects placed in the level in the Editor. - Added support for displaying cinematics in the Editor. - Added support for displaying web pages in game.
Balance - Changed combat time-out to 3 seconds (was 1.5) seconds (makes Regeneration and Cloaking less powerful and easy to use). - Reduced Shade cloaking radius from 20 to 14. - Re-balanced Crags so they now self-heal, but only give 3% health every 2 seconds (min 10, max 40). (was 5%, min 10, max 50).
Fix - Fixed error when starting Explore mode. - Fixed bug where Crags were getting too much health. - Fixed crash when a render_setup file could not be parsed due to improper formatting. - Fixed bug where text with multiple lines was not properly printed to the console. - Fixed bug where the spinner on the loading screen did not display if texture quality was set to medium.
SDK - Added a second parameter to the callback called from Shared.SendHTTPRequest in the case of an error, which specifies the error message. - Changed models to use a default material if one wasn't specified in the imported file.
Balance - Evolving Onos eggs now requires three Hives instead of two. Onos eggs are a complex matter, and are a work in progress! - Reduced Onos armor by 100 (-8%, effectiveness vs. Exos and heavy weapons impacted less because armor). - Welder research time increased from 10 to 15. - Exo armor changed from to 300/390/480/570 to 400/460/520/580. - Welder rate reduced from 125/sec to 90/sec. - Reduced shadow step cost from 15 to 10. - Increased blink momentum to be close to build 220. - Increase start blink energy cost from 8 to 12. - Shift Hatch now creates 2 eggs, but costs 5 resources and has a 5 second cool down (was 1 tres per egg, no cooldown). - Increased trait structure (Shell, Spur, Veil) mature health by ~20%. Also increased their base health to be closer to their previous mature health. - Reduced spore research time from 90 to 60. - Hive build time increased from 150 seconds to 180 seconds. - Reduced Onos Gore range by 0.5 meters. - Added cooldown to shift hatch ability. - Lowered max healing on Crag. - Added minimum healing from Hives. - Changed combat timeout to 4 seconds. - Reduced mega regeneration (max regeneration is now 10 per second instead of 120). - Doubled ARC rate of fire (halved damage)
Fix - Fixed bug where the server would leak memory under some circumstances. - The ghost Power Node no longer takes damage, fixes a problem where the Power Node could not be rebuilt after being destroyed in some cases. - Fixed rare bug where a Hive could become invulnerable if it was killed in the same frame as it finishes building. - Fixed sound bug causing ambient sounds in the world to not play correctly. - Fixed unbuilt shifts being able to generate eggs. - Fixed Exo and Mine tooltips. - Fixed regeneration effect showing up in combat. - Fixed the "filter modded servers" option not always working correctly in the server browser. - Fixed ARC targeting issues. - Fixed already recycled units still taking damage. - Added protection against speed hacking.
Improvement - Added more loading screen tooltips. - Added a display to the server browser to show the number of servers in the list.
Sdk - Added the ability to specify "passes" for build rules in the Builder to setup simple dependency relationships. - Added SoundEffectInstance:SetCoords() function.
Natural Selection 2 Build 228 is now live on Steam. This patch fixes crash issues some players are experiencing, especially those during the "pre-caching" phase of connecting to a server. If you do experience a crash in NS2, please submit the crash report via the displayed dialog; this information is very useful for us to fix any problems quickly.
Fix - Fixed issue where the game would run out of memory on 32-bit Windows. - Fixed bug where unicode characters could not be deleted in text inputs. - The server browser scroll bar now resets when the menu is displayed and when the "Refresh" button is pressed. - Fixed server crash caused by getting a new ability in the same frame an Alien was destroyed. - Reduced bloom flicker (thanks slime!) - Reduced visual noise when ambient occlusion was enabled.
Improvement - Added server list filter option to display favorites only. - Added option to disable camera animations. - Disabled automatic sorting of server list during refreshing.
Optimization - Reduced client and server memory usage by 200-400 MB