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 RSS Update 221, The Lockdown & Eurogamer

We have hit lock-down mode but what does that even mean? It means the team is working super hard on fixing bugs and doing optimization, no more features now until after release. Over the weekend some of our team took NS2 to EuroGamer!

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We had a great time at EuroGamer in London or as some of you might say, "Landannn".
Feedback from the gamers was very good, we where happy to see the game being well received by the players who came by our stall, We where of course situated in the Indie Games area with 10 PC's hosting some very interesting 5 v 5 games, Hilarious seeing people playing as the skulk and actually out loud going "Nom Nom Nommm Nom!" while chomping on marines and other players shouting with excitement at intense moments and jumping for joy at epic kills with switch axes and comical moments of death.

Compared to GamesCom in Germany this was a lot more relaxing for us. We where relieved that the atmosphere was not a deafening ear-piercing cluster of music from all directions and huge crowds screaming companied with CPU melting heat. We had a pleasant time and more importantly Hugh did not loose his voice! A human will slowly die running a booth at GamesCom from our experience there and that is evident in our NS2HD Video blog's where you can see us slowly whither away as each day went by, It is one of the most intense experiences.

Our NS2 stand was manned by the very Hugh (NS2HD) Jeremy - PR/Press Manager, Marc (SgtBarlow) Newton - Level Developer, Andrew (Insane) Jones - Level Developer, Liam (PogoP) Tart - Environment, Scott McDonald - EU Play-test Lead and Chris (Rebel) Cooper - Play-tester.

Shout out to a few of our community members for coming over to see us.

UPDATE 221 Patch details

This has been an epic patch for us. We hit "lockdown", where we aren't putting in any new features or big changes for v1.0. So we are now focused on bug fixes, balance and optimization. We are very much in a "That sounds GREAT for after v1.0" mode.
We hope you enjoy it.


  • Increased flamethrower "on fire" damage by 50%. Reduced on fire energy recuperation rate from 80% to 60%. Reduced cost from 30 to 25 so new players don't think of it as "better" than the GL.
  • Increased time that umbra "drags" from .2 seconds to .5 (so aliens in it can retain the benefits for a short time as they leave it).
  • Lowered Lerk speed from 13 to 11. Increased armor from 25 to 50. Increased spike accuracy quite a bit. Bite damage increased and does Normal damage (was Light).
  • MACs now repair Exos at half the rate that players do.
  • Reduced cost and research times of tier 3 alien abilities (Xenocide, Stomp, Vortex, Umbra).
  • Reduced egg generation rate at hives by 25% - to help address the "zerg machine of doom" (thanks Zeikko!).
  • Reduced high HP for mature Crag (700/350 -> 600/250).
  • Changed pre-evolved eggs and droppable equipment to have the same tres cost as the pres cost.
  • Disabled initial blink force, to give Fades a reason to use shadow step as well


  • Disabled initial blink force, to give fades a reason to use shadow step as well.
  • Ghost model effect no longer shows up for destroyed power nodes.
  • Increased Onos base speed slightly.
  • Marine commander can now manually cancel ghost structures and get 75% of the res back.
  • Nutrient Mist has been changed back to be an area effect.
  • Nutrient Mist now speeds up only maturation and life form gestation (research, construction is not influenced).
  • Player personal resources are no longer cleared out when switching teams.
  • Removed rifle butt stun effects and reduced range to be slightly shorter than skulk bite.
  • Removed slowdown after charging for Onos.


  • Added support for full code mods through Steam Workshop. Download and play SOUL CATCHER 2000! Soul catcher nets coming in future DLC. Seriously, this is just awesome. We think this is going to open up tons of variety and interesting changes!
  • Added "Go To Ready Room" button to the menu.
  • Added "Game Overview" video to the game. If you have never watched it, it will prompt you to do so before joining a game.
  • Added new commander help mode (shows most important buttons from the menu in the world).
  • Added icons that display above player's heads for when they are using microphone, are typing or are in the menu.
  • Added optional auto team balance system (default on).
  • Added support for Client file consistency checking.
  • Added support for client mods that pass consistency checking.
  • Added support for mods in the map cycle file.
  • Finished up Explore Mode. To access it, go to Training, Explore Mode. Right now it only works for Summit but we'll add in all maps.
  • Added new Command Station and Hive health bars.


  • Fixed bug where double click on server list didn't verify whether you've clicked on the same server twice.
  • Added more descriptive text about what's going on during the loading process.
  • Fixed animation snapping when the player transitions from idle to moving.
  • Fixed bug causing the random join area to sometimes cause the teams to be stacked.
  • Fixed bug preventing unbuilt structures from being powered if they are in a powered area.
  • Fixed bug were spike sound continues after Lerk died.
  • Fixed bug were the client could timeout when starting a listen server.
  • Fixed bug where damage number feedback pops up when shooting non alive targets.
  • Fixed bug where escaped new line characters in the strings file weren't treated as new lines.
  • Fixed bug where having different set of classes registered on the client than on the server would cause errors.
  • Fixed bug where third person thruster effects were overlapping with first person camera.
  • Fixed bug where umbra was blocking 100% of the bullets from a mini gun.
  • Fixed bug where you could not place whips next to each other.
  • Fixed client / server hitboxes being too different for client models.
  • Fixed incorrect camera axes used for death animation.
  • Fixed macs not being able to weld command stations.
  • Fixed point lights not properly casting shadows.
  • Fixed rifles being hold in a weird way when switching weapons.
  • Fixed unit outline being clipped in commander view.
  • Most graphics options can be auto-applied for easier tweaking in the options menu.
  • Fixed Patriot bug - engine now uses double instead of float internally. 1ms precision now lost in 16 billion hours instead of every 4 hours.
  • Send updates at 20 ups instead of 17.
  • The "Press E" icon will no longer display on unpowered structures (unpowered Armory for example).
  • The Armory arms and Prototype Lab screen will no longer "pop" open after it has deployed when a player is close by.
  • Fixed script error when making hotgroup 6.
  • Fixed bug where touching the CC when a player logs in kills you (trigger area was too large).
  • Fixed all ability icons (unified with death and inventory icons). Now all secondary abilities are drawn properly too. Fixed and simplified inventory icons by unifying them with death messages.
  • Fixed marine weapon animation issues when stomped.
  • Removed knockback part of stun mixin, since it was not used / relevant for gameplay anymore (only class affected was marine by stomp, but the force was tiny and just causing bugs).
  • Damage numbers work for projectile attacks and are more accurate.
  • Refactored damage numbers to use network messages - more correct and clean at the cost of slight delay.
  • Fixed bug where going back to Server List took long time. Recreation of SlideBar was taking a long time for some reason.


  • Add Lerk Spores help widget for new players.
  • Added "Welcome to the Ready Room" text when a player joins the Ready Room.
  • Added Minigun shell ejection effect.
  • Added check mark graphic that animates on the screen when a new player has completed a help widget.
  • Added first person burning shader effect.
  • Added tutorial window which pops up when playing ns2 the first time.
  • Renamed Infestation Spike to Bone Wall for clarity. It now has health and can be forced to retract when damaged enough (it was confusing to be indestructible). Also added new artwork and animations.
  • Tweaked Armory buy menu to make unavailable items more clearly unavailable. No longer show current weapon in main pane by default.
  • When spectating, start you off by following a target.
  • Removed last bit of ugly fonts: alien spawn menu now uses new nice font.
  • Added health and armor icons to alien HUD.
  • Increased size of health and energy indicator to help players notice it.
  • Fixed up alien buy menu with nicer health/armor/res display and final text for all lifeforms and abilities.
  • Exo hud elements turn red for a short time after taking damage.
  • Exo hud damaged effects trigger earlier.
  • Added new Infantry Portal spawning animation. [li]Added FOV adjustment in General options.
  • Adding FPS display to options.
  • Secondary graphics options always auto-apply. Removed option.
  • Options sliders can be clicked anywhere. Sound settings auto-applied.
  • Added progress bar for digesting structures.


  • Faster RestoreClient.
  • Changed network field memory layout to allow for faster interpolation/lag compensation.
  • Faster memory reordering in Sync.
  • Reduced bandwidth used for maturity.


  • Added collision under landing pad to try and prevent skulks hiding underneath.
  • Added detail decals to Courtyard.
  • Added new Courtyard to Maintenance corridor route.
  • Added static IP for marines.
  • Brightened Generator.
  • Brightened Maintenance.
  • Brightened Stability.
  • Deleted Ballcourt RT.
  • Deleted section of North Point corridor to shorten Tram to Stability travel time.
  • Fixed a hole in Courtyard.
  • Fixed a tiny piece of floating paper (thanks Toothy).
  • Fixed building collision bug in Terminal.
  • Fixed collision gaps in Landing Pad.
  • Fixed collision gaps in Stability.
  • Fixed collision issue in Ballcourt.
  • Increased scale of join portals.
  • Moved Maintenance RT closer to Ballcourt.
  • Moved Stability closer to Tram.
  • Moved Stability power node.
  • Moved Terminal Power Node to the south side.
  • Redesigned Courtyard to Locker Rooms corridor.
  • Redesigned Courtyard to Stability corridor.
  • Redesigned Stability to Generator corridor.
  • Terminal is now the only marine start location.


  • Added Explore Mode resources.


  • Added explore mode entities.
  • Added location volume for South Tunnels side corridor.
  • Fixed some building issues (thanks Rantology).
  • Fixed some wall gaps.
  • Small detailing changes in Repair->Logistics corridor, and Hub.
  • Some rework done on Warehouse.


  • Improved RR, re-added reflectivity, brightened Cargo TP.


  • Added Client.GetFrameRate.
  • Added Script.GetDerivedClasses function.
  • Added sv_autobalance admin command to toggle the new team auto balance system.
  • Fixed bug that would allow logged in users to access files that begin with a period in the dedicated server's web server (.htpasswd for example).
  • Fixed issue where opening a file for writing would not automatically create the necessary directories.
  • Server configuration files now auto generate with default values if they do not exist.
  • Added console command "debugcommander server/client/all" (prints for now only the build requirements checks).


  • A couple nicer alien Commander sounds.
  • Added an overheat sound effect when the Minigun is shooting.
  • Fixes to dual minigun sounds.
  • No more dentist drill guns :/.
  • Return of the NS1 tool tip sound for the help widgets!.
  • Hooked up alternate sound effects for the left minigun while using the Dual Minigun Exo.

Oh well, if you want to relax, dont visit the GamesCom :/
Sometimes I wish there would only be 10% of all the visitors and noise but I guess that will never happen.

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A 20% decrease in amount of visitors is enough for me. Although a 50% reduction in the loudness of music at stands is very appreciated, as I don't want to return from a day of GamesCom with only half of my hearing working for the next couple of hours >_>

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still no bots :(

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