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Natural Selection 2

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My shrink says I need an outlet for my aggression.

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Natural Selection 2 is a hybrid shooter/strategy (FPS/RTS) game with two completely asymmetrical sides. Play as a Marine or an Alien!

Take over the map and control resources by coordinating with your teammates and commander, all while constantly evolving / upgrading / adapting to an ever changing battlefield.

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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.
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