Post news RSS NS2 Build 188 released (Happy Thanksgiving!)

NS2 Build 188 is now live on Steam! Welcome to the biggest update to NS2 we've put out yet. Build 188 has many visual, UI and sound improvements, along with some critical game features and balance changes that it truly feels like a new game. We've been working like mad to get everything done and it looks like we just barely breezed under the holiday deadline. Happy Thanksgiving everyone! We know you'll enjoy this.

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NS2 Build 188 is now live on Steam!

Welcome to the biggest update to NS2 we've put out yet. Build 188 has many visual, UI and sound improvements, along with some critical game features and balance changes that it truly feels like a new game.

We've been working like mad to get everything done and it looks like we just barely breezed under the holiday deadline. Happy Thanksgiving everyone! We know you'll enjoy this.

Build 188 changes


  • Optimizations - server operators - ns2_tram is ready to run!
  • Atmospheric lighting. Added independent controls for atmospheric density for lights. Disable with "r_atmospherics false" in the console.
  • New optimized occlusion culling system.
  • Anti-aliasing support ("r_aa true" in the console, or change in the options.xml file to make permanent)
  • New animation system. Affects all weapons, structures, player models.
  • All new marine HUD - minimap, build notifications, location, power indicator, research notifications, more
  • Added MAC mines
  • Marine and alien starting positions can now be chosen randomly (map-specific).
  • Flamethrowers can now set every surface on fire
  • Power point impulse effect and interaction with structures
  • Marines can now jump while sprinting
  • Added anti-stacking for AI so MACs and Drifters don't clump up
  • Added Nano-Shield ability for marine commander. For a cost of 50 energy, the Commander can protect a marine or structure for 8 seconds. During this time, they take only 50% damage (blue glowy sphere around them).
  • Added non-flash GUI animation system
  • Added user defined tags that fire off when the animation graph exits a node
  • Added speed control to the animation graph (can be a constant or an input parameter)
  • New "socketed" power node system. Power nodes start out "unsocketed" and so can't be destroyed until marines build there.


  • Increased recycle time from 8 to 12 seconds
  • Increased hive cost from 50 to 100 to simulate cost from NS1. This isn't exact because the resource model is totally different but represents roughly the same amount of harvesting time: 8 minutes in NS1, 6.666 minutes in NS2).
  • Unrooted Whips now walk 3x faster on infestation.
  • Increased Whip health and armor by around 30%.
  • Slow marines by % when on infestation (not Exosuits)
  • Increased Whip movement speed
  • Re-balanced Command Station health, power point health and hive health. This should allow games to end early, as well as allowing the Command Station to be a target, allowing comebacks and promote multiple Command Stations in the game. These adjustments are also needed due to nano-shield.
  • Lowered Cyst energy cost from 20 to 15 and Drifter cost from 30 to 25.
  • Marine rifle fire sped up to be similar to NS1. Skulks, watch out.


  • Fixed an issue where if a structure was recycling you could still use its functionality such as beacon... only thing you can do now is cancel the recycle
  • Fixed bug where Skulks did not properly rotate around their center point when walking on walls
  • Hard to hit erratic Skulks because of wall-running animations (smoothed out zAxis and changed some values for smoothing the orientation when changing view direction or transitioning from wall to floor etc.)
  • Players can no longer log into a Hive or Command Station before the game has started
  • fixed grenade launcher endless firing
  • Mines not doing damage, prevent damage falloff in RadiusDamage() for mines
  • fixed flamethrower reload bug, impact effect bug and prevent self.secondaryAttack from changing (would have also broken the flamethrower)
  • Fixed a bug where the own player icon can appear wrong at the minimap
  • Aliens can activate the lights in an unpowered room


  • Removed portable power packs from the game
  • Team spectators are now forced to follow a player (prevents free scouting)
  • Marine spectators view are moved to the respawning IP when selected from queue
  • Flamethrower damage will heat up their target
  • Improved Marine sprinting (does not block any other activity)
  • Gorge can now heal spray at all times using the secondary attack
  • Added support for a "CommanderNoBuild" group in a map which prevents the commander from building without causing the surface to be invisible
  • Some animated props will now respond to power going down or up
  • Recycling gives % of cost back dependent on the health of a structure
  • Removed multiple commanders (, but it wasn't working).
  • Resource towers will now rotate to match the resource point they are attached to
  • Increased marine jump height to allow them to move over railings more easily
  • Attacking with the rifle will not cancel reloading anymore
  • Once something is seen, it will show up on the minimap for another 3 seconds, even if it goes out of sight. That makes LOS important, but also stops the flickering completely.


  • Skulk can now jump from walls to ceilings
  • Removed OnThink for Eggs (is now handled correctly by AlienTeam) and added optional minimum death timer to alien players (currently set to 4 seconds)
  • Changed flamethrower to use a trail system instead of creating a cinematic every 0.02 seconds (looks nicer)


  • More sci-fi sounding weapon empty sounds
  • Nicer Lerk spore sounds
  • Nicer jetpack sounds
  • Sound for turning on the marine HUD
  • Sounds for new nano shield
  • Nicer Marine chat interface sound
  • Updated Marine footstep sounds
  • Custom wound sounds for alien structures


  • Added atmospherics support
  • New ambient sound from Simon
  • Added power points to Tram Tunnel sections.
  • Moved res node in Repair Room to new corner.
  • Some optimisations/bug fixes.
  • New Elevator Room and Operations area completed.
  • Added a resource node to Server and Repair techpoint rooms.
  • Fixed dead end open vent from Alien Tram to Elevator.
  • Removed duplicate fans, set all fans to dynamic = false.
  • Added power nodes to Alien RT Expansion and Alien Start
  • Renamed Alien/Marine start for random start locations.
  • Added power points to Tram Tunnel sections.
  • Moved res node in Repair Room to new corner.


  • Added atmospherics support
  • New ambient sound from Simon
  • Renamed location Flight Control to Computer Lab.
  • Replaced Heliport with a new location Flight Control.
  • Renamed noname locations to Glass Hallway and Maintenance Access.
  • Added new area to Pipe Junction with a new route into Data Core.
  • Added power sockets to all locations.
  • Added random spawn locations (except Crossroads).
  • Addressed several bugs and annotations.
  • Added vent near marine start
  • Added vent at comp lab corridors

This is far from a comprehensive list of improvements, changes and fixes, but I hope it covers the main ones.


Mkilbride - - 2,785 comments

Oh wow, some good updates.

Can't wait to see it further optimized; especially since I'm getting an ew rig soon.

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Kokumotsu - - 528 comments

is the beta non public or something, i dont see it on steam

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RocketSurgery - - 185 comments

you gotta buy the game to get in the beta

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Mkilbride - - 2,785 comments

Yeah; but @ 35$, I'd hold off. While it is a great game, and will only CONTINUE to become a better game; release won't be anytime soon, and honestly to pay 35$ so you can play a game in two years is really hard to justify.

Though maybe they'll do what they did last Christmas; 2 for 1 deal. That is how a friend and me bought it; at full price I wouldn't have, but me and my friend went halfsies and it felt like a much better buy.

I know I'll get down-voted for all I'm saying here, but honestly, they're like two years past their projected release date, even accounting for a new engine, they talk about how they're running on fumes(fund-wise), and they undertook a task that was far to big for their very talented, but keyword is, SMALL, team.

Though since the 16x series of betas, the game has gotten quite better, but it still is far away from 35$ worth. 25$ would sell alot more copies. I don't like paying anymore than 20-25$ for games that are only SP or only MP.

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Mkilbride - - 2,785 comments

Red Orchestra 2 just slipped up with this as well. Fine game, but buggy, and rushed quite abit; missing features even listed on the sales page, which they say will be eventually patched in. They priced this MP only game @ 40$. Almost the price of a AAA+ game. They did pretty well, sales wise from what I can tell, but the playerbase dropped off shortly. The game has gone on sale for 20$ right now, and yet the playerbase is actually -dropping-. People saw the price and would not take a bet on it. 40$ for an Indie MP only title was -alot-, but that was their second title, so they had some leeway.

Given that NS2 is their first real retail title, they plan to charge quite highly for it, despite the fact that their popularity has waned significantly. Friends of mine thought it was dead, actually, when they see me playing it, they thought I was messing with them.

They deserve money; they deserve to be rewarded for their work. However, they have alot going against them, and I can't see how they'll pull out of it. Especially considering the massive delays, the game is 2 years past release date and is still INCREDIBLY buggy and nearly unplayable for most people. Server hosting takes 90% of an entire CPU core on a really good even a normal Machine which can host like 10-15 Battlefield 2 servers can only host 2-3 NS2 servers. Not alot of people wanting to do that.

I really wish them the best; I want this game to be huge at release, but the price point, content offered, the delays, it's hard to justify buying it right now.

Wait another year or two. It's just started to become playable then it should be released. I can't see it releasing soon though, 6-8 months if they somehow sped up their work speed 600%.

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Mkilbride - - 2,785 comments

Here is the thing about Overgrowth, realistically, they have one guy working on it, and it's coming along nicely. now NS2 has 4-6 people, and are going at a snails pace as well.

The issue is being almost 3+ years past the supposed release date and the game still not being anywhere near done, buggy, and half the content still isn't in.

They're trying to make AAA+ Engine, the likes of Source, or the Unreal Engine, with a small Team, that most companies usually have at least 30 people making, 12 hours a day, 5 days a week. Obviously they can't put that much time into it. Nor do they have anywhere near the manpower.

I played the original since 2004; so not the start, but awhile regardless., I had high hopes. First we were told 2007, but then they decided to make their own engine, so we were told 2008, then 2009, then "We don't know"

Then in 2010 they turned the Alpha into a Beta, and in their own words mainly because they were running low on money, they literally just renamed it into the beta to attract more customers, to seem like it was further along than it was. They said this in their own news post.

I've always thought they should have finished and sold NS2 on Source Engine. Less costs, done sooner, and huge fanbase right away. Then, with additional fame, popularity, and funds, they could have made their own Engine.

I feel like they skipped a step. Then again; I'm not a game designer, so I may not know what I'm talking about.

I wish I'd hit the lotto for like 50,000,000, I'd give them 500,000$ additional funds.

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