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
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)
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.
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.
Gorges can now place tunnels behind the counter in Terminal.
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.
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
Alien Egg Spawn
Every hive spawns an egg every 13 secs instead of only one hive at a time.
Decreased damage bonus against players to 150% from 200%
Decreased costs to 20 pres.
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! 🙂 )
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)
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
Declared some missing optional constants for the ScoringMixin and BaseModelMixin
Added proper support for Lua style multi line comments
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.)
Due to recent Kharaa invasions, we are in need of reinforcements on the frontlines of testing! Enlist HERE [forums.unknownworlds.com]to join the Natural Selection 2 Playtest Team to ensure smooth battlefield updates can occur for the rest of your fellow brothers and sisters.
Keep in mind that we only need the most dedicated of enlistees to jump aboard this mission, with availabilities to strenuously test and provide thorough reports. If you think you can take up this honorable task, you’ll be awarded with a designated badge that demonstrates your commitment to the TSF.
This is an short update for last month post about the ENSL.org Season 11.
The sign ups for the 11th Season of the ENSL will close today. So this is your last chance to sign up. The season will start at the 22nd of March. It will take 2 to 3 months with around 1 match per week. Matches will be schedule by the teams through the match pages.
Each Team needs at least 6 players on their roster until the 17th March to participate in the 11th Season of the ENSL. Also each player has to make sure they only signed up with one team for the season. Otherwise the ensl.org admins will remove them from all teams except the highest seeded one.
The final teams seeding will get published on the 17-18th March via a forum post at ensl.org .
Since the holidays we’ve seen an influx of both new and old players coming back to NS2. We continue to receive lot of positive feedback to many of the changes we’ve made over the last year. With this update we’re focused on some maintenance but also continuing to improve smaller features in the game to enhance the player experience.
Beyond update 314 we’re looking at ways to help players quickly find and play games. We’ve noticed more and more people at peak times around the globe are idling in the server browser, trying to join the populated servers. This long wait can cause them to quit; an improvement is clearly needed. To that end, we’ve been working on ideas on how to better seed servers with these idling players and have been making good progress on a potential match-making system. Keep your eyes peeled for more info on that soon!
Lastly, I am happy to announce that we will begin public testing of our 64-bit server sometime in the next week. Our amazing community of server operators seem to be very excited to get their hands on this BETA server and we are just as thrilled. We hope that the 64-bit client beta will be coming to you all soon as well. The move to 64-bit will open up a lot more opportunities to our development team, such as better utilization of more modern hardware and adding more content to the game. Sadly, we’ve reached the limits of what 32-bit allows the game to do. Many other games are facing the same transition; you may have noticed similar announcements from other studios recently on this topic as well.
We’re always looking for ways to build our community of players, modders, operators and playtesters. Without you, we wouldn’t be here. We have the excitement and desire to keep moving forward and hope that you will join us in the journey!
Improved Babblers (Contributed by twiliteblue!)
They are more likely to attack nearby enemies now.
They cloak and uncloak now properly.
Improved attack distance calculations which makes them more effective against stationary targets
Power surge now also surges powered structures, so you can cast it before the power goes off.
Tweaks / Improvements
Added the “All” tab back to the Server Browser and introduced a new server ranking system for the default sorting:=
The rating is trying to find the best server for you by player count, skill, latency, performance. It will also prefer your favorite servers and servers with steam friends playing on them. (Thanks moultano!)
Also made the game mode tabs visually noticeable.
Added a dedicated label for the number of players that are actively searching for a server to the server browser.
Improved Play Now:
Uses the new server rating as well for better search results
Validates servers now before joining them so it doesn’t pick full servers anymore
It will ignore servers you have or tried to connect to in the last 10 minutes.
Fixed some smaller bugs with querying the server list.
Re-wrote a large part of how clogs work, so there should no longer be any jittery movement or the dreaded "phantom" clogs.
Gorge tunnels will now "eat" clogs to prevent entrances from being blocked.
Local clients can now execute all admin (sv_*) commands at a listen servers without having to set up the serveradmin.json.
Added an option to add bots (will add 12 bots incl. commanders) to the “Create Server” interface. Bots still cause serious performance issues, especially on listen servers! Use them at your own risk! We will try to optimize them with the upcoming updates.
Improved the sleep behavior of the ns2 threads for Windows OS to resolve scheduling issues.
Optimized the TechTree class to minimize its functions execute times.
Added routine in Hive to retroactively update players levels to correct for XP update bugs (does not impact Skill)
Improved how weapon pickups work. The weapon you are looking at should now be the weapon you pick up, as well as the weapon that appears in the popup.
Added the March Mod Madness badges to the game.
The player’s badges are now displayed below the player’s hp bar in-game in pre-game only and will not be shown while a round is played. (Thanks Brute!)
Added tooltips with the badge names to the badge selection menu. (Contributed by Keats!)
Removed the Play Now button at the Training menu.
The game is no longer reset when switching between warmup and pregame state.
Fixed a minor rendering anomaly which caused specular-lights beneath a surface to still somehow appear to be reflected by that surface.
Fixed that the ensl.org newcomer tournament badges did not unlock properly.
Fixed a bug that would make the build tool flicker on and off rapidly when building a new power node in most cases.
Fixed a bug where sometimes clogs would not be able to be destroyed by the gorge who placed them, at least not until the gorge exited and re-entered relevancy range.
Fixed a bug where sometimes a gorge would attempt to consume a hydra, but instead the hydra would continue to live, but would no longer be consumable.
Fixed a bug where the holographic marine being "printed" (respawned) in an infantry portal might not accurately reflect the actual spawn progress.
Fixed that Shifts could not echo themselves (was hotfixed via extension).
Fixed bug in Hive that prevented new players from earning new levels (no effect on Skill calculations)
Fixed bug in Hive that prevented players above level 100 from earning experience (no effect on Skill calculations)
Fixed bug where gorges could place gorge structures and bile bomb from inside a clog.
Fixed the final fade-out in tutorials 1 and 2 to not flicker off before disconnecting.
Fixed many bugs in the alien commander tutorial, including bots blocking structure placement, or the gorge getting stuck under the floor in crew quarters.
Fixed a bug that would prevent the "Hold E to Digest" popup from appearing with clogs.
Fixed that the level progression in the main menu didn’t update properly.
Fixed a bug that allowed players to reach very high speed with the Exosuit via “bunny hopping”
Fixed that the warmup structures spawned multiple times.
Fixed that Onos hallucination interrupted a marine from firing his weapon when using Gore. (Contributed by twiliteblue!)
Fixed a script error that occurred when dead players directly joined the spectators and a round ended afterwards (Contributed by Brute!)
Fixed that you could load/inject code via the game’s css files without being detected by the default consistency check.
Fixed some minor style issues of the server browser.
Refinery (Contributed by Samus!).
Fixed stuck spot in the vent of Heat Sink going into Containment
Fixed spot in Transit where some structures could be placed inside map geometry.
Fixed spot in Transit where geo/decal z-fighting occurred.
Fixed some seasonal geometry not being assigned to correct seasonal group as a result showed when not in Fall season setting
AddFieldWatcher can now be used in Predict VM. NOTE: This should be used very conservatively, and keep in mind it can fire more than once due to how prediction works. I recommend only using this for cases where a predict world network field update requires further action (e.g. an update to "modelIndex" should be accompanied by a physics update to ensure the model is actually changed). -- Beige
Fixed a bug (clog digest bug above) that would prevent an entity from being properly picked up by the GetEntitiesInRange function, or any of its variants.
Added a second “hidden” parameter to the map command. So “map hidden” will now start a hidden listen server that works offline. Perfect to test mods locally.
Commander.Logout now returns the new player entity (Contributed by Las!)