The latest patch for the Natural Selection 2 Beta is now available on Steam. If you have pre-ordered the game it should automatically update on Steam. If you would like to pre-order and get instant access to the beta, you can still do so here.
This is probably our biggest patch yet! This video shows all the visual changes in the build (don't forget to subscribe!):
...and here's the comprehensive change list (big breath):
Build 178 changes
Added new map: ns2_summit (thanks psyk0man!)
Added light bloom effect (can be disabled with r_bloom false)
Totally new alien "buy" menu
Added a blur effect when the buy menus are open (both sides)
New Fade blink - skill-based, no longer instantaneous
Marine tech tree no longer requires multiple command stations (marines are back to one base)
Reworked alien tech tree to use D/M/S style upgrades like NS1. Ie, each hive can support a crag, shift of shade. All are available at the start of the game, but once you build one, it is now supported by your hive and the others aren't available. Hives now are displayed to the Commander and players as "Crag Hive", "Shade Hive", etc.
Resources for kills added (get 1-3 player resources, check 5/31 from the design log for pros, cons and he thinking around this)
New screen shader effect
Small lighting optimization
Improved pathing (in the middle of a big rework from Andrew)
Commander can buy and drop weapons
Added Swarm upgrade (Whip) - gives aliens damage bonus when they attack a target that recently took damage from someone else)
Added Frenzy upgrade (gives overkill damage back as health, minimum 10). Researched at Whip. (no feedback yet)
Added Arms Lab and Robotics Factory. MACs and sentries now come from the Robotics Factory.
Hives now take 3 minutes to build (instead of 30 seconds, oops)
Added Phase Gates
Added ARCs - mobile tanks that come from Robotics Factory and function like old siege cannons from NS1
Extended pre-game countdown. Allow players on both teams to spawn for "free" (not through an IP or egg) for first 15 seconds of the game.
Fixed bug where repairing power nodes caused client frame rate to drop
Players in ready room are now what they last were when game ended (thanks 6john!)
Fixed bug causing the local player's Lerk spike zoom to change mouse sensitivity whenever another player's Lerk zoomed or died
Added warmup time to structures so they can't be built, used, phased through, etc. for a short time after they are built (1 second)
New fade blink sounds
Fixed problems with tab not cycling through Commander sub-groups
Fixed bug where objects would play the "on fire" effect even if they weren't damaged by the flamethrower
Hacks to make pathing work for now so that arcs/whips do not go through the ground; and take a slightly better path than before. Not perfect but will work for this patch.
Reverting back to Fades needing two hives and Onos needing three hives
Fixed players getting stuck when evolving on a slope
Reworked marine build menu to have no more sub-menus and to have a "select" option. Knowing what menu buttons come from your selection vs. the quick build/advanced/assist menu should be much more intuitive.
Got rid of separate infestation ability for Gorge.
Heal spray now creates infestation instead of healing nearby players when you're looking at a surface
Reduced Gorge infestation lifetime from 120 to 60 to prevent overly abusive behavior blocking marine building (and reducing total # of infestation entities)
If Gorge builds something while moving (hydra, infestation), increase friction but don't come to a jarring stop
Adjusted armor values of all structures. Kept total amount of damage they could take the same, but adjusted percentages of health to armor according to visual and aesthetic look.
Added random player resources for player kills (1-3 ala NS1)
Added visual indication for res received
Changed resource model to be the closest yet to NS1: Players get .25 personal res every 8 seconds. Teams get 1 team res every 8 seconds. Players start with 25 res. Alien res should be exactly the same as NS1. It is 8 seconds instead of 6 like NS1 to improve too-much-team-resources problem and counteract res-for-kills
Added disk caching mechanism for surface shaders
Added support for printf style formatted lines in StatisticsDisplay
Small change to structures if you are researching anything on a structure you cannot use any other buttons outside cancel and recycle as we do not support queuing of research/upgrades at the moment.
Recycling is no longer instantaneous and can be cancelled
DropPacks now have their proper physics which means they will drop to the ground when they get spawned. (yay which means you can picks them up!)
Added kicking of a client when they are disconnected from Steam
Increased hive cost to 40
Allow comm hotkeys to jump to position.
Deleted entities are removed from commander selection.
Fixed a crash bug in the Spark editor when you were trying to extrude an edge that did not have a face attached to it
Integrated fixes to Skulk biteLeap hitbox issues (Thanks Matso!). Feels a lot better! I can actually hit things!
Added estimated sound geometry memory usage to s_stats
Fixed bug where Alien hive sight blips were sent to Marine players
Gorges can now heal themselves (ala NS1)
Fixed problems where Drifters and MACs weren't attacking
Added reticle status text showing structure upgrades: For friendlies, show " (% complete)", for enemies, show " (in progress)"
Fixed an issue where if you were repairing a power node and you sprinted away it was possible that your weapon may not reappear until you built or went into the commander chair
Fixed bug in Skulk causing it to be attracted to the last surface it was attached to
Here is some NS2HD 178 game play footage:
You can always keep up to date with what we're working on for the next patch with our real-time progress tracker and don't forget to follow our Twitter account.