I will let the changelog speak for itself on this gigantic patch 😉 As you can see this is primarily a maintenance patch, but there is more to come on Thursday. Stay Tuned!
Tweaks / Improvements
Added force fields to the tutorial so players can’t wander off and get lost
Building with E while holding the welder will no longer cause you to lose your last weapon switch history
Customization options should no longer be reset when switching between servers
Swipe sound will not play on the main menu when it’s not meant to
Integrated fixes for the “Tis But a Scratch” and “Strategic Thinking” achievements
Continuing our theme of the week, Patch 287 adds some additional support to help new players learn about the game before joining the ranks. We are now able to guide new players through an on-screen checklist, to help them learn all the basics of the game. If they complete these tasks they are rewarded a new shoulder patch (‘Eat your Greens’). The other benefit in having this system hooked up is that we now have Steam Achievements for the rest of the players out there! So prepare yourself and see how many achievements you can collect, we will continue to add more over time and are open to suggestions on fun/harder ones to achieve too.
Next up we are working to implement some of the ideas and requests from the ‘Simplifying NS2 thread’[forums.unknownworlds.com] and document. Our continued efforts with the help of the community’s feedback should help both retain more players and allow current players to effect change. That’s a big positive for everyone. Check out the changelog below and stay tuned for what comes next!
Tweaks / Improvements
Added 48 new Achievements for you to collect
Added 5 tasks specially for new players and a new shoulder patch as reward for completing them (shown on the main menu)
Tip videos will no longer play while connected to a dedicated server, so new players can focus on the game. They are still accessible from the Training menu
Changed Trello button on main menu to link to our NS2 Discord[discord.gg] chatroom instead (come say Hi!)
Use an achievement to track if the tutorial was completed instead of a config option.
Tutorial improvements are now for everyone (no more A/B comparison)
Added more granular analytics to the Tutorial, to find out where people are getting stuck
If you have a welder, you will build with the welder instead of the build-tool.
Fixed issue with repairing destroyed power nodes where it would not bring out your build tool or welder
Fixed Linux clients getting a black screen on startup due to awesomium being less than awesome
Restored the old behavior of the rookie only server browser filter: It shows rookie only servers when ticked otherwise not.
The annotate command has been fixed (Thanks Salads!)
SDK / Editor
Added a Server.IsDedicated() script function to distinguish between local hosted (listen servers) and remote hosted (dedicated servers) from lua script
Fixed crash in Editor that could occur with the Trim Tool.
Fixed structures being un-powered in Terminal if placed in the upper-left corner of the room.
Fixed CommanderInvisible faces, cinematics, and props throughout the map
Fixed some odd faces clipping through areas where they shouldn’t
Fixed several holes in south-western portion of the map
Fixed some excluded OcclusionGeometry faces
Made vents more visible (and connected) on the map overlay by adding several missing props and faces to CommanderInvisibleVents
Fixed an issue causing Seasonal (and secret room) props to be visible on map overlay
Added addition line of sight block in the form of derelict_vines_2b in Turbines for balance
Decreased size of central tree in Turbines for sanity and balance
Pipe props moved in Alley for blocking line of sight for balance
Part of our goal as a development team is to look at player retention for the long term, not just how we stand now. A lot of our focus on this lately starts with new players to the game. We have continued to make changes to the game and mechanics in order to help new players better understand how to play NS2, while keeping the experience intuitive and fun. This patch is the first step in achieving these goals. We’ll likely be patching again later this week as we quickly move on to Patch 287 and beyond!
Tweaks / Improvements
Added an Introduction to Natural Selection 2 video. It will play on first launch, and can be watching again from the Training menu
In locations with no structures that require power, building the power node will become primed when fully built. This will not impact building resource towers or the normal course of play
Pressing E to build while you have a welder will now use the welder instead of the build tool
Made minor improvements to the tutorial, but only 50% of players will see the improved version, so we can measure the effects (A/B testing)
Reduced resolution of some specular textures to improve memory usage
Increase rookie level to 5 so new players can keep playing and practicing on rookie-only servers for longer before joining the non-rookie servers. You can still play on any server you want after reaching level 1 or finishing the tutorial.
Added a ranked server filter to the server browser
The server browser will now highlight ranked servers. Listed as GOLD NS2 in the gamemode column. (Thanks mendasp!)
The server browser now shows the total number of servers available as well as the total number that pass your filter settings (Thanks mendasp!)
Resource nodes and tech points are now highlighted on the minimap (Thanks mendasp!)
Rookies are no longer banned from commanding on non-rookie servers, but instead will be shown a warning
Commanders are now credited with the average score on their team at the end of a round, so they will continue to level up as fast as all the other players even while commanding
Play Now will now prioritize joining into a ranked server over an unranked one
Fixed awesomium_process.exe crash (occurred frequently in the tutorial, or for new players if tip videos were playing when they exited a game)
Fixed hangs on server join, disconnecting, and exiting the game
Fixed specular textures loading at a lower resolution than intended (shiny new prettiness)
Integrated fix for gorge tunnels not always opening when a player has dropped both sides
Throttled “illegal miplevel” error spam so if it happens, it won’t impact performance
Updated ns2_derelict overview to show new vents
Fixed another case of rifle jamming (Thanks xDragon and SamusDroid!)
Fixed looping rifle fire sounds while not firing (Thanks xDragon!)
Fixed Shared.SendHTTPRequest jobs not canceling properly when the lua vm is destroyed, which could cause hangs/crashes
New cosmetic items are now available in Natural Selection 2! Tundra adds ice-cold Shotgun, Rifle, Exosuit, and marine armor paint jobs to the battlefield. These items are available now in the brand new Natural Selection 2 item store.
Those of you with keen eyes might have noticed something different about these items. Unlike previous cosmetic items, which were Steam Store DLC packs, these items are available individually as part of the Steam Economy. Much like items in Rust. This means you can choose to buy only the pieces of the Tundra pack you really want. You can also sell and trade the items.
In fact, you can trade a whole lot more than just Tundra items. Skyler (Remi) has been doing some serious tinkering under Natural Selection 2’s hood. He has performed major upgrades to the way NS2 interfaces with Steam, opening up a wide array of you functionality. All the items you’ve purchased in NS2 are now tradeable. Reaper pack, Kodiak pack, Reinforcement Program – They are now all available in your Steam Inventory.
Don’t want an item anymore? You can sell it. Missed out on an item that’s no longer on sale, and really want it? You might be able to buy it from another player in the marketplace.
All this new functionality has great potential for Natural Selection 2’s future. Instead of just making and shoveling out packs of cosmetic garbage, the NS2 development team can take signals from the Steam Economy, and work on things people actually really want. We could potentially work together with community creators to put sweet new customization options into NS2. Specific actions – Such as helping new players, or winning a particular NSL tournament, could result in the award of dedicated items.
To fill up your Steam Inventory, run NS2 and then select ‘Player Customization’ from the main menu. NS2 will talk to Steam for a little bit, and then all your items will appear in your Steam Inventory. If you buy a Tundra Bundle from the Item Store, do the same thing and select ‘unpack bundle’ to unpack all the Tundra items into your Inventory.
We’ve tinkered with NS2’s guts with this update. There’s a good chance we’ve broken something or other. There may be bugs in our Steam Economy implementation, and crazy stuff might happen. If it does, please let us know and we’ll get cracking on finding solutions. Rest assured that all DLC and item purchases are tracked by rock-solid transaction databases – If we’ve broken something, you will not lose your items.
We are looking forward to hearing your feedback about all this. This is a big experiment, and the NS2 dev team is not 100% sure about how we will use all this new functionality. Do you have ideas for items, inventories, and economies? Could veteran players be identified with special items? Might new players receive items for completing tutorials and other training? Should Black Armor be tradeable? Let us know what you think in the comments below.
Added a bar on the main menu to show your progress to the next hive level
Added all new Tundra items (Armor, Exosuit, Shotgun, Rifle, and Shoulder Patch)
Changed all previous customization variants to be items instead of DLC (except Black Armor)
Added ability to open the Tundra Bundle from within the customize menu
Added simple event recording system, so we can track things like tutorial completion rates and if new players are viewing the tip videos
Fixed case where rifle could have the wrong texture
Fixed not being able to see skins of other players while spectating in first person
Commander dropped equipment will be of the commander's selected variant
Fixed animation issue with Rifles which may have caused issues with its animation graph (might fix gun jams, please report!)
Tweaked numbers again to try to fix redplug issues when a client alt+tabs (introduced in build 283)
Increased snapshot history on servers to 3 seconds instead of 2
Changed time until throttling of alt+tabbed clients to 2.8 seconds instead of 1 second
Fixed inconsistencies in the consistency checker causing consistency checks to sometimes fail
Deceptively small, but under the hood there are mighty things happening! Build 283 has some exciting new features to bite into. In addition to the opportunities afforded by the Steamworks upgrade, a new development tool called ‘Extensions’ is being phased in. Both of these changes continue to lay the groundwork for new features, faster bug fixes, and enhancements to the game.
Other highlights to this build include significant fixes server memory leak and performance issues, as well as tweaks and fixes to Bootcamp. By popular demand, we’ve reverted the “sneaky skulk” because of the inconsistent behaviors it introduced in certain scenarios. Check out the changelog below for more details. Enjoy 283!
Tweaks / Improvements
Reverted the “Sneaky Skulk” (introduced with build 276) by popular request. (Skulks could become exposed without noticing, or even partly glitch into walls)
Removed local talk bind due to it causing confusion to new players. Functionality still exists in engine, but the implementation needs to be reassessed before exposing it again.
Reduced snapshot history on servers to 2 seconds instead of 10, to reduce memory usage
Servers will now decrease send frequency to alt+tabbed clients after 1 second instead of 3 to reduce server bandwidth and cpu usage.
Added a filter for “rookie only” servers to the server browser
Lowered the speed with which the server browser updates the sorting to make it usable when you update the server list.
Added the new Extension System to Servers. Allows game-only updates to be released without the need for changes to be pushed through Steam.
Fixed that the tutorial windows was always showing up for new player with Play Now.
Fixed server performance issues introduced in build 279
Fixed server memory leaks when flushing network snapshots.
Fixed server crash after a failed map load.
Fixed that you couldn’t play the “vs Bots” mode as “non rookie”
Fixed disconnection pop-up message box garbled text in main menu.
Fixed some smaller script error of the new bot code.
Updated to Steamworks v. 1.35a (our first time updating in 3 years!)
Reworked some of the internals of the editor so that hotkeys will now be stored with their tool name instead of their tool’s ID. This means that your hotkeys shouldn’t get scrambled every time a new command is added to the editor. Unfortunately, this means there will be a one-time reset of all hotkeys in the editor to their defaults, so if you’ve got a configuration you really like, write it down!!!
Added an error message that prevents the trim tool from working if there are duplicate vertices present. Before, this would create an invisible, infinitely sized face that would make it nearly impossible to select any other faces. Bad stuff.
Altera News-Network Update: Reports of a winter storm headed towards your settlement. Experts have named this storm: Tundra. It is expected to hit land-fall next week. Stay tuned and bundle up!