Post news RSS Where in the World & Build 224

We spend 99% of our time working to make Natural Selection 2 awesome, so we do not often think about 'corporate' stuff. We do however have an Unknown Worlds motto: 'Unite the world through play.' Throughout the development of NS2, there has always been the sense that the game was a global phenomenon.

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Where in the World

Our office is a prime example. The majority may be US citizens, but we also have an Austrian, a Pole, and an Australian here in San Francisco. Offsite, Indonesia, France, the UK, and many more countries are all represented by full-time off-site developers. Our volunteer playtest group is a rainbow of nationalities, with a plurality of accents calling out 'kill that Onos!'

Here is a graphic that proves that the phenomenon is very real in the broader playerbase. It is breakdown of three months of Steam sales data, showing per capita, total, and proportion of total by region:

Build 224 Patch Notes

Well, we're one week from releasing the game to the world and we're making some BIG technical changes. The networking and performance changes in this build are staggering. Ideally we wouldn't be making these changes this close to launch, but we felt that the improvements were worth the risk. Note: there is a "hitch" when you come to a stop. We know about this and will fix it shortly, but wanted to get all the other improvements out to you in the meantime.... Onward!


  • Added a mechanism where mods and replays can use historical versions of the game for compatibility.
  • Added first person tracer effects.
  • Added new request menu.
  • Added ability for players on the ground to "ping" a location in the map.


  • Skulk bite, Fade swipe and Lerk bite now do gradual melee attack damage depending on accuracy.
  • Increased Lerk spike damage (7-9 to 10-12) and increased spike accuracy.
  • Increased mature Spur HP by 53%, mature Shell by 50% and Veil by 47%.
  • Observatory now requires an Armory, Robotics Factory no longer requires an Armory.
  • Reduced Axe damage from 30 (structural) to 25 (structural).
  • Reduced Extractor health from 4,000 to 3,500.
  • Reduced Harvester maturation time from 3.5 minutes to 2.5 minutes.
  • Reworked sentries to fire faster and no longer do structural damage. They respond very quickly and are quite deadly...but you can only build one Sentry Battery per room, and only there Sentries per Sentry Battery. Sentry Battery cost reduced from 10 to 5.
  • Disabled Hyper-mutation and Feign Death for v1.0 until we have time to fix their problems.
  • Game mode in server browser filter options is now default empty and will be stored.
  • Removed knock back on damage for marines due to technical and game play issues.

Fixes and improvements

  • Unified and fixed many icons.
  • Restored old ghost structure behavior (commander can no longer drop on infestation and they will disappear when infestation touches them).
  • Add OverheadMoveMixin to Spectator.
  • Added a basic "loading" screen to the web server when the map is loading.
  • Added collision check after gestation to prevent stuck issues.
  • Crash on exit.
  • Fix "kill" command messing up armor bar in marine HUD.
  • Fixed -webdomain not allowing the web server to be bound to an IP.
  • Fixed Command Stations and Hives spawning at 100% health.
  • Fixed Explore mode not properly starting up.
  • Fixed a bug allowing some structures to "teleport" while the Commander was attempting to place them while setting the orientation.
  • Fixed alien HUD armor display being wrong when gestating.
  • Fixed alien vision flickering sometimes.
  • Fixed ambient occlusion not rendering in the Cinematic Editor.
  • Fixed bilebomb not detonating when logging in to hive after firing.
  • Fixed bug where client mods would not be properly mounted when joining a modded server.
  • Fixed bug where invalid command line options would not be reported unless they were specified in a file.
  • Fixed bug where left and right control couldn't be bound to actions in the UI.
  • Fixed bug where marine were able to see heal effects on cloaked units.
  • Fixed bug where rag dolls would not inherit the player's velocity.
  • Fixed bug where sv_changemap would not preserve mods.
  • Fixed bug where the game mode wasn't propagated to the Steam master server under some circumstances.
  • Fixed bug with calculating if the "exit" of a structure is blocked (Robo Factory and Phase Gate).
  • Fixed crash when conflicting mods generated an error in the main menu before it was finished loading.
  • Fixed crash when reporting Lua errors with local variables that contained recursive tables.
  • Fixed error causing the Alien evolve menu to be stuck on the screen while evolving if you held down the evolve button.
  • Fixed grenade launcher using rifle crosshair.
  • Fixed hives not uncloaking properly when scanned / detected by observatory.
  • Fixed issue where dropped onos eggs could grant stomp without having it researched.
  • Fixed issue where welder was prioritizing enemies instead of friends.
  • Fixed issue with gestating not using correct health / armor percentage values.
  • Fixed issue with ready room orders being visible when joining a team (they show now only when you initially join the server).
  • Fixed knock back force for marines when taking damage.
  • Fixed lay mines being outlined when carried.
  • Fixed lerk not losing velocity when impacting at a steep angle with a wall.
  • Fixed marine maxi map not showing alert blips.
  • Fixed move_speed pose parameter using vertical velocity when jumping (resulted in players jumping straight up to move their legs in a random direction).
  • Fixed pickup icon for mines appearing at world origin.
  • Fixed player pose parameters ignoring actual model alignment (on roof roosted lerks were moving their head up when looking down).
  • Fixed power points rebuilding time being shorter than intended.
  • Fixed screen flicker that would occur often when a nearby player died.
  • Fixed script error caused by Charging into a corner as an Onos.
  • Fixed script error caused by a MAC trying to weld a Marine that has entered the Command Station.
  • Fixed script error caused by tech button tooltips while playing Commander.
  • Fixed script error when connecting to a server through the "connect" console command.
  • Fixed sentry targeting issues.
  • Improved smoothness of other players, especially when those players have low frame rate.
  • Observatory ragdolls when killed.
  • Restored -webport command line option.
  • The Robotics Factory and Phase Gate will no longer use a random rotation while being placed.
  • Whip not attacking static targets after being echoed.
  • Added better feedback when getting healed / repaired.
  • Added dark background when main menu is open during playing.
  • Changed Commander unit selection to react to mouse down instead of mouse up for a more responsive UI.
  • More responsive gorge build menu.
  • Server selection wont reset anymore when resorting the list or when clicking on a server during refreshing is still in progress.
  • Smoother ARC movement.
  • Removed slowdown on Gorge when s/he creates structures.


  • Added entities for Explore Mode.
  • Added more cover into Generator.
  • Added vent leading from Central Access to Landing Pad.
  • Added vent leading from Tram to Courtyard.
  • Clipping under Landing Pad and ontop of Glass window removed.
  • Darkened Tram Hive.
  • Deleted Landing Pad RT.
  • Dopefish Lives!.
  • Extended Generator platform.
  • Fixed building glitches in Ballcourt.
  • Fixed multiple low priority CommanderInvisible issues.
  • Fixed multiple low priority CommanderNoBuild issues.
  • Fixed some readyroom problems.
  • Fixed stray sounds from moving things around.
  • Fixed stuck issues in Courtyard.
  • Fixed stuck issues in Maintenance.
  • Reduced corridors width around Central Access, Onos Bar, Courtyard and East Wing.
  • Renamed Tram Departures to Subway.
  • Restored vent from Maintenance to Stability.


  • Added minor details & tweaked lighting from Operations to Drill Repair.
  • Changed some location names.
  • Fixes & tweaks to "Drill Repair Room".
  • Specular lighting optimisations.


  • Added snow to the map.
  • Fixed collision in Atrium stairs.
  • Made the bridge above the RT in Sub Access commander invisible.
  • Optimised lighting throughout the map.


  • Fixed double node in Logistics.
  • Increased spawn weighting of Shipping.
  • Rework of layout of North Tunnels resource node area (now called Platform).
  • Tram tunnels replaced with new redesigned sections.


  • Better network optimization for onProcessMoveTime and m_angles (this is big).
  • Compiler flag tweaks for a small performance gain.
  • Decouple server updates from client framerate (this is big).
  • Server only reports information to steam when it changes.
  • Slightly faster matrix multiplies.


  • Increased volume of sentry "ping" so it can be heard from farther away.

Haha, Sweden is at the top :D

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So ?

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That's becuase Sweden loves to support indie developers and play awesome games. We invented pirating and we got Mojang. I didn't see Russia at the pie chart?

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By big, do you mean 300% performance increase? I hope so. It's staggering when GTX670 has trouble running this game, regardless of settings. That could kill the playerbase alone, despite being a good game.

Also, what this chart shows me:

Like so many Indie games, it's going to end up populated by the EU and 3 years from now, NA servers with good ping will be hard to find.

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Oh will you just try it out and give it a rest!? Every, and I mean every, NS2 post here you go on some tirade over performance as if it were something new every time, despite it being their #1 focus for many months. Just give em a chance! At this point it's just trolling. I got to say, it's quite tiring, and you haven't even played it yet!

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I have played it. Performance went up 10-15%. Pretty big, really, but not enough. You can read their official forums for more on it.

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I have a old intel 2 core quad 2.4ghz, with 4 gigs of ram a AMD Radion 6800, and windows 7 64bit. Not a real powerhouse but enough to get by. I tell you the game runs perfectly acceptable even in the heat of battle with virtually everything on max and a resolution of 1920x1080 except ambient occlusion off. Your system has a bottle neck somewhere and I would seriously consider talking to a dev to find out where it is.

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And only in this game?

GTX670 SLI, SLI forced and working, disable it, lose half 80 30-40FPS
2500K @ 4.5GHZ
8GB RAM, 1866MHZ
Windows 7 64-bit
128GB SSD.
850w Corsair HX850(Gold rated, stable rails, very low line stutter, Voltage tester says under max load I barely break 575watts.)

I can run a game such as Metro 2033 @ 2560 x 1440/w most settings on and it looks gorgeous and still obtain 90FPS+.

BF3 as well, maxed out and that's WITH AA. Granted these are from big studios with big budgets, but you get the point.

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My fps max's at 60 and drops to 25 for half a second during the most intense stuff but mostly stays 40 during the game. And I don't have nowhere near the power rig you do. I could start turning stuff off or lower the resolution a small tad and it would be more consistent, but over all I'm rather happy. I don't really notice it unless I am constantly looking at the stats. And as long as above a movie's frame rate i'd say it's rather good.

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An Austrian? Coool :)

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