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.

Report article RSS Feed NS2 Build 216 is now live on Steam!

NS2 Build 216 is now live on Steam! We have just released the new NaturalSelection2.com site.

Posted by SgtBarlow on Aug 11th, 2012

NS2 Build 216 is now live on Steam and we have just released the new NaturalSelection2.com site. Look for lots of web changes around these parts as we race towards v1.0.


This build turned out to be extremely stubborn and difficult to release, but the biggest bugs have been deleted, squashed and or hidden until the next release (speaking of which, we're aiming for Build 217 to be released early next week)

This build contains tons of fixes, optimizations and balance changes. The biggest new feature is Insight, the killer spectating mod that was built by the community and which we've now integrated into NS2. Huze is now contracting with us, so he can continue improving it as much as he can before we release v1.0.

It's incredibly awesome watching a game through this lens. So if you see someone with a suspicious looking handle spectating a match and chuckling non-stop to himself...it very well could be me. I dare you to try it and not do the same.

Features

  • Added community spectator mod "Insight" to the game (thanks Huze, Dghelneshi and Rantology!).
  • Added an option to select the language.
  • Added support for "fullscreen windowed" mode.
  • Removed hard-coded loading screens (can be customized by script). Added new loading screen with animated spinning graphic.
  • Added placeholder shader for parasited marines

Balance

  • Armories heal armor. Armories now take "energy" to heal (1 energy = 1 heal = 1 second). Armories can have a max of 10 energy. So if an Armory isn't drained too much, it will heal everything full speed, but if a lot of marines start leeching, it will slow down. Armories start with 0 energy (so will be full after 10 seconds).
  • Evolving Crag/Shift/Shade hive reduced from 20 to 15.
  • Heal spray no longer builds structures at a simple fixed rate of .6. It now adds .25 + a scalar between .25 and .7, depending on the last time it was sprayed. This makes multiple Gorges helpful, but increasingly less effective.
  • Heal-spray tuning so Hives can't be rejuvenated so quickly.
  • Increased Skulk bite and leap costs a little they have to pause from destruction occasionally.
  • Increased energy cost on healspray from 10 to 12.
  • Parasite duration increased from 15 to 30 seconds.
  • Players on fire recover energy 20% slower (.2 instead of .25).
  • Reduced mature cyst health from 650 to 550.
  • Regeneration now takes 8 seconds to kick in instead of 5 and heals 20/second instead of 12%/second(better for lower lifeforms, slower for higher lifeforms.
  • Sped up Gorge speed with Celerity to make him better able to defend hives.
  • Tweaking Fade energy costs. Swipe takes less energy (-14%), shadow step (+27%) and blink (+33%) take more. Should decrease Fade dominance, esp. with long blink times with Adrenaline.

Improvements

  • Redesigned the create game menu screen.
  • Redesigned the options menu screen.
  • Added energy cost to belly slide.
  • Added small energy cost to flap for Lerk and Shadow Step.
  • Aliens keep their abilities after Hive has been killed until they change life form or die.
  • Aliens no longer lose an upgrade which they already have evolved once the upgrade structure is destroyed.
  • Changed vents to be colored on the minimap (requires vent geometry to be in a group called "Vents"). Maps will be updated soon to support this.
  • Current units are deselected upon selecting the Build, Advanced, or Assist Commander tabs.
  • Disabled % text on builder / welder (is shown as progress bar / crosshair text).
  • Eggs from hives under attack are now preferred for respawning.
  • Only upgrades from different hives can be evolved at the same time.
  • Removed Hive Sight.
  • Removed team color tinting from maximap.
  • Waypoints are now hidden when constructing something.
  • Welder is now also constructing during welding, to prevent confusion (same rate as builder).
  • Added arrow to ghost model UI when ghost structure requires an attach point (Hive, CC, Extractor, etc).
  • Added objective bar, displays always the health of nearest hive / command station under attack.
  • Improved welder hit detection.
  • Smoothed out lerk movement and model orientation (thanks twiliteblue!).
  • Added progress bars (showing up when building, welding).

Fixes

  • Added a few missing localization strings from the Commander selection panel and the Armory/Prototype Lab.
  • Added mouse wheel handling when raw input is switched off.
  • Added precaching for some shaders to reduce hitches during gameplay.
  • Adjust Monkeys to loss of game-name in OnConnectionPacket protocol.
  • Build tab is displayed correctly when a Commander first logs in.
  • Don't ever show help widgets in the ready room.
  • Don't reposition rooted whips.
  • Don't switch maps right away after game ends - always wait at least 20 seconds after Ready Room.
  • Fixed 1 frame hitch when starting the main menu.
  • Fixed ARC attack timing being inconsistent.
  • Fixed bug where "ns2_summit" was displayed as the default map name instead of "Summit".
  • Fixed bug where a Hive would fail to find valid spawn points for eggs in some circumstances.
  • Fixed bug where a MAC couldn't weld a Command Station.
  • Fixed bug where a structure would be unpowered if built in an area containing a dead Power Point after the point was welded.
  • Fixed bug where holding down the buy key while evolving to a new lifeform would cause the buy menu to get stuck on the screen.
  • Fixed bug where leap was not affected by carapace.
  • Fixed bug where losing the crag hive would prevent you from evolving the specific upgrades, even with the upgrade structures alive.
  • Fixed bug where players could switch weapons while using something.
  • Fixed bug where research at buildings was not canceled when the structure became unpowered.
  • Fixed bug where sound events were not cleaned up in some cases.
  • Fixed bug where the arrows on the left and right of a dropdown list would not be properly shown or hidden when the value was changed.
  • Fixed bug where the font in a text input could not be changed.
  • Fixed bug where the physics representation for cylinders was not properly constructed.
  • Fixed bug where the sound sliders would be reset to 0 in the options screen when the resolution changed.
  • Fixed crash when calling Client.PlayMusic during the loading phase.
  • Fixed crash when downloading a mod from Steam Workshop.
  • Fixed crash when playing back an incompatible replay.
  • Fixed error caused by placing all mines after the Marine had dropped their primary and secondary weapons.
  • Fixed hitching the first time a model is seen.
  • Fixed multi-threading and memory leak issues with HTTP requests.
  • Fixed parasite not marking enemies as sighted.
  • Fixed potential crash when accessing a precached model that was reloaded.
  • Fixed problem where LOS is not updated when a player changes his view direction and is not moving.
  • Fixed script error when a projectile moved outside the valid bounds of the world.
  • Fixed starting a listen server using a level mod.
  • It is no longer possible to stack structures on top of the Infantry Portal.
  • Jump land sound effects no longer play twice.
  • Raw input gets correctly enabled on startup.
  • Removed unused "lan" option in menu.
  • Smooth out lerk/skulk movement on slopes and stairs.
  • The MAC will now auto-weld Marine armor when they are near a Marine.
  • The Sentry and Hydra will no longer do damage to friendly units if they are between the target and the shooter.
  • The Sentry no longer makes a scanning noise while unpowered.
  • Unified the text for waypoints with the rest of the Marine HUD.
  • Update the navmesh when an entity is repositioned.
  • Use raw input to handle mouse buttons 4 and 5 even when raw input is disabled.

Optimizations

  • Added configuration for network vectors allowing efficient transmission of velocity.
  • Changed commander height maps to not be created for non-local clients.
  • Changed level height maps to only be loaded once on the client and server at startup.
  • Compile snapshots in its own thread.
  • Disabled double tap code and network fields.
  • Improved Cyst connection code.
  • Optimized memory allocation for particle emitters.
  • Optimized particle emitter vertex buffer updating.
  • Optimized the GUI animation system.
  • Reduced Infestation network usage by 8 bytes.
  • Reduced the complexity of determining the location of an entity for relevancy checking.
  • Send origin changes as deltas where possible.
  • Transmit times relative to current time, use fixed time steps.
  • Analysis of movement pattern to optimize network transfer of positions.
  • Speed up entity origin changes in EntityQueryManager.
  • Trim network fields to cut down bandwidth use.
  • Use less bandwidth for origin.


ns2_docking

  • Added a gap in the upper level railings in Maintenance.
  • Added reflection probes to the map.
  • Added some cover to Ballcourt.
  • Better player collision in Maintenance.
  • Detailed vents.
  • Fixed CommanderNoBuild in Landing Pad.
  • Fixed invisible barrier issue in Locker Rooms.
  • Fixed some CommanderInvisible in Terminal.
  • Fixed texture alignment issues in Terminal.
  • Modified East wing connection to Tram.
  • Modified Stability connection to Tram renamed to 'North Point'.
  • Modified the lower section of Tram.
  • Moved Cafeteria power node.
  • Moved RT and Power node in Tram.
  • Moved Tram techpoint further north.
  • Moved and rotated Tram to the north east.


ns2_summit

  • Fixed evolution stuck point in Computer Lab vent.
  • Fixed gorge stuck point in Crossroads.
  • Fixed skulk movement issues in Pipe Junction.
  • Smoothed out player movement in Crossroads.


SDK

  • Added an error message in the model compiler when a syntax error was detected in a model_compile file.
  • Added max particles field for particle emitters.
  • Added network logging to p_logall, extend PerfAnalyser with network traffic analyser.
  • Changed animated material files to specify numFrames instead of frameHeight to be independent of texture resolution.
  • Changed the texture quality setting in the Editor to update immediately (no longer requires restart).
  • Fixed bug where the font renderer did not take into account any padding that was added into the font when exporting.
  • Fixed issue where events at the beginning of a cinematic would be triggered multiple times.
  • Removed Shared.GetWebpage (use Shared.SendHTTPRequest instead).
  • Updated PerfAnalyser.
  • PerfAnalyser now handles large version 2+ logs.
  • Handle search for child-entities properly.


Sound

  • Harvester idle with added NS1 mud,.
  • NS1 tooltip in the docking welcome sound for nostalgia.

We hope you enjoy this!

Post comment Comments
paccoz
paccoz Aug 11 2012, 11:42am says:

Awesome.

+5 votes     reply to comment
ShrikeGFX
ShrikeGFX Aug 11 2012, 12:16pm says:

Looks good. You could update your indie DB headliner btw

+2 votes     reply to comment
Aeneas2020
Aeneas2020 Aug 11 2012, 9:51pm says:

finally picked this up today. Have to say your hard work really shows through...great game, friendly community. Can't wait for you guys to do a full release. Only two things i'd look at changing (and yes i'm aware i'll probs get yelled at, especially after checking the NS2 forums - by the community not the devs!)

1) Standard marine AR feels puny...maybe up the dmg and lower the accuracy
2) I think that tweaking the sound to make it sound more punchy might help a lot. ATM the weapons system feels like a bullet hose.

The ign preview was pretty accurate in their estimation. Keep up the great work guys i'm def a huge fan.

+1 vote     reply to comment
Mkilbride
Mkilbride Aug 12 2012, 1:39pm replied:

Can't lower the accuracy much more. It has more spread than a shotgun.

Damage wise, it is rather weak when you need 10 bullets to connect and a Skulk only needs 2, maybe 3, depending on upgrades. And they can dodge bullets far easier than you can dodge their melee.

And yes, the new weapon sounds are horrible. I'm utterly shocked. They used to be pretty decent and sounded good. Except the pistol.

Now they all sound rather bad.

And mm, I find a release before the end of the year hard to believe, despite what you've been saying lately.

Performance continues to go down, despite supposed optimizations and build's 194 / 195 running 2-3x better.

Glad to see you're working on fades.

But can you please get the Heavy-Armor Dual Wielding Mini-guns in? Cause that'd help balance it out pretty well.

+2 votes     reply to comment
Aeneas2020
Aeneas2020 Aug 12 2012, 3:51pm replied:

Agree on the year end release...and on the damage wasn't too sure about the spread but thanks for helping me out with that.

Anyway they seem a receptive bunch so here's hoping for a change

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