Natural Selection 2 is the sequel to the popular Half-Life mod Natural Selection. It is built on our own engine and will be distributed through Valve's Steam platform.

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NS2 Build 206 is now available on Steam. New Drifters, Oni and Clogs, oh my!

Posted by SgtBarlow on Apr 26th, 2012

Here is a short video showing off some (but not all!) of the changes:


Here's the comprehensive list of changes.


Features

  • Added new alien wave spawn. Aliens respawn in waves every 20 or so seconds.
  • Onos can now charge by holding his movement key (shift). If he hits a target, he does damage to them, but then gets angry. During his angry phase, he takes less damage but is slower.
  • Onos Gore no longer throws marines (unless he kills them, then he sends the rag doll flying).
  • Merged Smash and Gore to be on the same HUD slot: the correct attack will automatically be chosen depending on your target.
  • Gorges can now build Clogs! These are Minecraftian style building blocks of infestation that they can use to wall off areas or protect structures.
  • Gorges no longer pay resources to build anything, but instead have a set limit of each type of structure they can build. They get more with each additional hive.
  • Reworked Drifters. They no longer build structures - instead, the Commander can build structures directly out of the infestation. Soon, Drifters will given more support type abilities (thanks WorthyRival!). Read more here.
  • Added spike tracer effect (so you can see projectiles) for Lerk and Hydras.
  • Added Drifter Camouflage (when still, they fade away but provide line of sight).
  • Added new Cloak/Camouflage effect.


Balance

  • Reduced Lerk max speed by -15% (now 11...sorry SabaHell!).
  • Bumped up emergency spawn threshold from 4 to 5 players.
  • Further weakened Harvesters when they are built. Increased Harvester build time to 60. Watch out, they are very weak to start.
  • Lowered initial Hydra health and armor, and it now takes 2 minutes for Hydras to mature.
  • Increased Harvester and Whip build times to slow Alien expansion a bit (and increase Gorge help)
  • Changed Onos hide armor to 6 again to compensate for his slower base movement speed.
  • Added values for maturing eggs (200/0 -> 250/25 over 3 minutes.


Change

  • Removed ability for players to spawn on attack after a game ends.
  • Removed HydraSpike projectiles (it's now hitscan but inaccurate for fast moving targets as before).
  • Added subtle slowdown for Lerks when gliding and turning fast by 180°.
  • Eggs now mature.
  • Cysts will not grow until the cyst/Hive they are connected to has been built.
  • Cysts don't create infestation anymore when unconnected.
  • You can now connect unbuilt cysts with each other.
  • Hives can now only be build on infested tech points.
  • Rupture is now only avilable at mature cysts.
  • Increased Skulk bite range a bit to compensate for a previous bug fix.


Fix

  • Fixed server error where Whips would incorrectly retain pointers to Entities which were destroyed.
  • Fixed bug where logging certain non-ASCII characters would cause the server console to stop printing.
  • Fixed bug preventing the Gorge from jumping in some cases.
  • Fixed issue where network message hooks were not reset when reloading script files.
  • Fixed bug where the flinch amount wasn't taken into account properly on the server for hit detection.
  • ESC no longer brings up menu when escaping from chat (0002358)
  • Fixed limit on the maximum length of a log message.
  • Fixed crash when unpacking an Entity on the client whose class had changed since a previous snapshot.
  • Fixed bug where ARCs won't restore their previous armor when undeploying.
  • Fixed potential client crash when the server is trying to send too much data.
  • The red low health warning screen effect will no longer display if a player is a Commander.
  • Fixed bug where typing kill would show the wrong icon.
  • Fixed spamming of error sound effect.
  • Fixed bug where previously evolved upgrades would not be removed when entering the ready room and then joining a team.
  • Fixed recycling of powerpacks (they now correctly power down the structure they are conencted to)
  • Fixed bug where eggs from evolving Aliens won't play the idle animation.
  • Fixed minor issues with Marine HUD (showing random pixels)
  • Fixed bug where healspray ignored line of sight to target.
  • Disabled crosshair hit indicator when Commander controlled units are attacking.
  • Fixed bug with bullet tracers sometimes not showing up correctly.
  • Fixed bug where Commander assist menu was sometimes not working properly when using energy based abilities (scan, nano shield, nutrient mist)
  • Fixed bug where Lerk air friction was dependent on FPS.
  • Fixed bug where you could see health % of players in ready room.
  • Disabled showing of health % for unsocketed power nodes.
  • Fixed bug where stunned Marines could move their mouse and their view would suddenly flip after the stun is over.
  • Fixed Commander mouse cursor "hot spots", now the click spot on "select" cursors is in the middle of the cursor graphic instead of the top left.
  • Fixed crash when running the game on a single core machine.
  • The Upgraded Whip will auto-Bombard targets (Thanks Matso!)
  • Fixed bug allowing a Marine to build a structure while not facing the structure.
  • Improved the error detection/message when an out-of-date version of DirectX run-time is installed.
  • Various crashes related to collision objects being destroyed.


Improvement

  • The Skulk footstep sound on metal is now much louder for Marine players (you're welcome, competitive community!)
  • Added new view model animations when Gored as Marine.
  • Added custom spawning sounds for all Alien classes.
  • Ragdolls exist for 8 seconds now, they start to dissolve after 6 seconds.
  • Upgraded Whip now displays two circles, one for melee range and another for Bombard range (Thanks Matso!).
  • Whip Bombard ability now has the same range for both manual and automatic Bombard attacks (Thanks Matso!).


SDK

  • Passing in "info" to the Overview tool as the 5th argument will output info about the map offset and extents.
  • Setup the Editor to "sanitize" the level on load and remove errors such as invalid vertex locations.
  • Disabled post processing effects in 2D and wireframe views.
  • Fixed bug where the hot keys would be active when first opening the Editor but before clicking on the viewport.

Post comment Comments
Mkilbride
Mkilbride Apr 27 2012, 12:32am says:

Aliens Spawn in waves now?

Hmm, I kind of like that...it'll be easier to allow you to know when the enemy will be coming, which is vital.

Alot of Alien players might not.

Don't know how I feel about Clogs. Seem really cool and had nice vibe.

From a gameplay standpoint though, they sound incredibly over-powered, especially considering how small and tight the maps are already and that Marines have trouble traversing even without Clogs.

But honestly right now, with Aliens winning 80% of matches, it's obvious something needs to be done.

Doubt we'll ever see 50 / 50, but I would be happy if we could get least get 60 / 40. :P

Really looking forward to see how you guys will have this ready for release this year. Lots of nice updates lately, incredible speed up from the usual.

However...from it's current state, I feel like this year is way to optimistic, unless you've decided to take the whole "Well fix it after release" approach, most developers have these days.

+2 votes     reply to comment
koburamoe
koburamoe Apr 28 2012, 3:06am replied:

Hardly any teamwork , thus the 80/20 percentage . You also don't need to win all the time to have fun , I'd be happier if I lost a match where me and my team played cooperatively and gave the aliens a hard time :) .
About the fixing thing that you said : I think it's fine now , balancing a game of this calibre isn't easy at all , and I mean it. Expect loads of patches even after release ; it's a normal thing , look at other games especially team-focused ones .
It depends on what you want from a game , I personally want to have a blast .

+1 vote     reply to comment
Mkilbride
Mkilbride Apr 28 2012, 3:21am says:

Oh I know, I expect patches post release and all that, a continual effort to balance.

But I'm talking about alot of things just don't seem like they'll be ready for a release this year...unless they release without them and patch them in later, something not everyone is a fan of.

Aliens actually need the least Teamwork, unless that's what you mean. Marines require building structures and moving about in groups of 2-3 to be anywhere near effective.

But a Single Alien, due to the hitbox issues at current can kite around and kill all 3, even if you used a aim bot due to the melee hit detection. It's gotten better in patches, especially after the devs removed lag compensation for the Aliens. (Pretty much meant you could see your entire clip unload into them and not do any damage)

And yes, it's not about winning, but the issue here is, without a Commander, Aliens can still function to mostly their full potential.

But Marines, without a Commander, or a good one, are completely screwed.

Most games turn out with Aliens rushing and winning, because they can do it due to their unique mechanics, or Aliens rushing, badly damaging the base, leaving Marines spending all their time getting the base back up to par, then the Aliens have had time to actually do stuff.

+1 vote     reply to comment
Mkilbride
Mkilbride Apr 28 2012, 3:23am says:

Also, Evolution for Aliens to things like Fades, or Onos, come so easily. You can just die and Evolve again, resources on Aliens side are plentiful.

As for Marines, you die and lose your weapon you purchased, well, you're most likely going to be using all default gear for awhile, unless your Team is spanking hard.

The issue I see here is; Aliens do not need to defend their base. They have tons of cheap structures and easy ways to defend it, such as Hydra's and whips.

We got Turrets...which you need to keep supplying with ammo and fire in an Arc and have to be placed certain ways.

So, the Aliens, can focus purely on offense. While Marines have to balance Defense & Offense.

It's part of the theme of the game; totally get that...loved NS1 as well, played since 2005.

But it's horribly hard to balance. Trying to make each Team unique and a different experience while keeping it balanced? Really tough.

+1 vote     reply to comment
SgtBarlow Author
SgtBarlow Apr 29 2012, 7:44pm says:

Marines are having a hard time holding resource nodes, I noticed the games that Marines win on are when Aliens fail to keep on top of taking down Marine resource nodes.
I also see that the Aliens can branch out a lot faster than marines with the recent changes to the way Alien Command now works not having Drifters required to build means they are not waiting for it to not only reach it's destination but also survive it's journey as previously killing one destined for a node was a setback for the Aliens and a Push for the Marines.
Making Alien Command simpler to use has obviously had a drastic affect on balance and now requires to be addressed and will be addressed soon.

+1 vote   reply to comment
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Natural Selection 2
Platforms
Windows, Linux
Developer
Unknown Worlds
Engine
Spark
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Naturalselection2.com
Release Date
Released Oct 28, 2012
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