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    by Published on 10-12-2015 05:32 PM




    Over the past couple of weeks, we’ve seen a flurry of activity surrounding NS2. UWE announced that they would be funding a small team of CDT members to work on the game again in an attempt to reinvigorate the franchise and grow the number of people playing the game.

    The announcement was met with mixed emotions, and a great dollop of community drama to go with it. Along with the excitement and drama of the new announcement, a variety of new ideas have been hurled around by both the new dev team and community. At face value, it seems like any idea, as outlandish as they may be, aren’t completely off the table anymore.

    The new energy surrounding the game is welcome return to the buzz felt during the old beta days before release. However, the new activity and re-focus also raises many obvious questions about the future of the game and of the franchise.

    Given the new dev team only has 3 months to prove their worth so-to-speak, one can’t help but wonder what they can possibly do in the space of 3 months towards the ultimate goal of growing the community. We’ve seen many posts by Hugh and others attempting to answer this by stating that these first 3 months will be setting up the framework/tools for community driven content as well as lowering the entry points for newcomers to the game and improving the user experience to retain players.

    This is all well and good and has merit, but it still does not address the elephant in the room - why are UWE trying to reinvigorate a game that is 3 years old? (more if you count the beta and alpha periods). Why not simply use this period in time to lay the foundations for NS3 and release all of these new innovative ideas under a new skin, which is fresh with none of the pre-conceived biases that come with NS2?

    We all know that the game is at its lowest player count since launch. We also know through various UWE comments that the game has sold many copies through steam. So it would seem odd that UWE is trying to lower the entry point for new players when a seriously large amount of people already own the game.

    You might argue that by working on improving the user experience for new players and new player retention, UWE is also in turn targeting past players at the same time and making it easier for them to come back and try the game again. Unfortunately, this line of reasoning doesn’t stick. Gamers are fickle people – especially FPS gamers. They are very particular about what they play, and first impressions are often lasting impressions. It would require a herculean effort to get these players to reinstall the game, let alone spend extended periods of time playing it, especially when there is no guarantee that player numbers will increase to healthy levels.

    From a marketing perspective, you can offset this difficulty if you have a large amounts of money to spend on things like tournaments, advertising etc, but UWE has none of these at its disposal. It is relying on world of mouth and the quality of the product itself to do so. It also doesn’t have the gravity that brand such as Valve or Blizzard has, so convincing people that UWE, an indie studio, has managed to turn around NS2 into something they might like to play again 3 years later is an uphill battle.

    We might also like to believe that people who play NS2 are different from those who play CoD or Battlefield or any of the other large franchises, but the reality is, we have all been preconditioned by these publishers and studios to want something new and buy into the short development cycle of the industry. There are exceptions to this rule, but if we are to try and draw in more new players to the game, we have to concede that there are indeed players out there that are more likely to try out NS3 than a rehashed NS2, simply because it is a new game with a new shiny label.

    At the very least, NS2 needs a big relaunch, or an expansion pack of sorts to be relevant again. Whilst the new development team has been trying to argue the case against monolithic updates, at least one large update is needed to create noise about the game’s new features and improvements.

    But even a big relaunch of NS2, at least in my opinion, would not be the best option. It’s a kind of middle ground option that would attempt to mimic the success that TF2 had when it relaunched. Speaking of which, the TF2 relaunch worked due to several reasons – the fact that it was valve doing it, the fact that thousands of people were still playing it and that fact that valve could support it going free to play all made that transition a successful one. This scenario seems unlikely to occur for NS2, which brings me back to NS3.

    NS3 doesn’t need to reinvent the wheel. It doesn’t need to be a brand new game with tonnes of brand new mechanics that feel completely different from NS2 or NS1. It just needs to take the best of what was in NS2, fuse it together with stable performance and the great new ideas that have been making the rounds and sell at a price point that isn’t unreasonable. It also makes more sense from a fiscal perspective as well – the potential income from a new NS game means that UWE could support paying more CDT members, as well as dedicating more resources to improving the game.

    The NS community has always been a generous and supporting one despite what some might say; The NS2WC was proof of that. The DLC packs were proof of that. The passionate discussion in the official forums, the various competitive leagues like the ENSL and AusNS2, some of which are still going, are proof of that. People want to support this game, and they want to help it grow, because it’s honestly one of the most unique gaming experiences out there that we all love to play.

    So the question is, after 3 months from now, what will the future be for Natural Selection?
    by Published on 23-01-2015 06:12 PM



    http://unknownworlds.com/ns2/build-273-live-steam/

    Hot off the heels of Build 272, we are happy to bring you our first update of 2015. We closed out 2014 with a bang, two months of sales bringing all sorts of new and old players back to NS2 and we have been retaining a good number of them. Thank you!

    While these last few patches have been smaller they have also introduced some great new stability and efficiency to NS2. We continue to work on this and refine the changes we made in hopes of making NS2 run better than ever and to make room for future changes and updates.

    What’s on the horizon? Well the Community Development Team is hard at work migrating some of the backend programming from Visual Studio 2005 to 2013. With this change we can finally move towards a new build system and a better way for the CDT to work on future patches and features for NS2! You will probably see a couple more smaller patches over the coming months, but in the background the CDT is working on something BIGGER. We have been thinking a lot over the last few months of some cosmetic and foundational changes that could really be good for existing players but also potentially spark more longevity from new players during sales. The CDT will bring you more information about these changes as we get closer to release, but as always you can check out our Community Trello Board to follow development and even vote on items that you think would be great additions or fixes to the game.

    All of us at the CDT thank you for your continued support of NS2 and our efforts, here’s to a new year and new possibilities!

    IMPROVEMENTS
    Added ability to click on a player’s row in the scoreboard to check their Steam/Hive profiles
    Added option to mute Text chat
    Added icon to the scoreboard indicating if someone is your friend on Steam
    Made it so the scoreboard shortens the player name if it overlaps
    Muting a player’s voice/text chat will last 6 hours so it’s persistent across map changes
    Rookies will always show the “(rookie)” tag in chat even if they’re not in your own team
    Spectators are now sorted above ReadyRoom players
    Dropping structures as a Marine Commander will display the location name and status of the Power Node for the structure
    Missing files will now show up in the log instead of being silently ignored
    Added a new variant of Alien Vision based on Huzes’ AV – Thanks Huze!
    Added no_ip material which disallows placement of Infantry Portals on this surface
    Added a separate bind for movement override for commander
    Added consistency checking for hmp files

    FIXES
    Stop sounds from playing on destroyed entities
    Stop Insert from running destructors on uninitialized memory
    Linux should now support non-ascii
    Fixed being able to tell who’s the enemy Commander by their chat color
    Fixed that commanders bots did not work or got kicked by the AFK kick
    Fixed that the Alien Buy-Menu messed up with some translations (e.g. Russian)
    Fixed embryos not having a taunt in the ready room
    Fixed Babblers being invisible when cloaked by a shade
    Fixed menu being unresponsive if mousing over webview while a window was loading
    Fixed sending blank chat messages causing messages to overlap
    Fixed being able to place an IP in eclipse where you shouldn’t be able to

    STEAM
    PROTOTYPE – Added Utils\WorkshopBackup, a simple server to allow servers ops to add backup download for mods. See ns2\utils\workshopbackup\readme.txt for details.
    Added support for servers to point clients to a list of backup servers and clients to download from backup instead of Steam
    Backup servers also solves the problem of the server running an old version of a mod
    Fixed bug that required all http request to finish inside 15 seconds
    Made clients more stubborn when it comes to requesting downloading mods (10 retries)
    Improved progress reporting

    PERFORMANCE
    Relevance calculation offloaded from main server thread, freeing up about 5-15% main thread CPU. It is now recommended to run the server on at least 2 cores.
    Servers running close to the edge will now show up as Loaded in the performance browser

    BALANCE
    Decreased max GL player damage to 132 from 165.
    Increased FT player damage from 15 to 16, and increased structure damage from 15 to 18
    Reduced Flamethrower cost to 15 pres

    [B]KNOWN ISSUES
    The progress indication on mod download is broken – it stays zero until download complete. Late build blocker forced a revert, should be fixed in 274

    MAPS
    Removed holiday themed ready rooms

    Kodiak
    Fixed stuck spot in hangar bay vent for fades

    Eclipse
    Fixed FPS problem in access alpha

    Docking
    Removed random pipe prop in locker room
    by Published on 19-12-2014 12:51 PM



    http://unknownworlds.com/ns2/build-272-live-steam/

    A very Merry Gorgemas to you! With the holiday all around us it wouldn’t be fair to not be festive in the depths of space too. Build 272 has been a monster to get out, and it nearly didn’t happen. So as always special thanks to all the folks at UWE and our many programmers and playtesters on the CDT. Below is a run down of what you’ll find in this patch, we hope you’ll enjoy.

    Now for a little update on where we are going. As always you can look at the CDT Trello Board for any work currently happening behind the scenes. This is a great way for us to stay open and transparent about where things are going, but also to allow you the playerbase to be involved and vote up items you want to see added into the game. With the new year comes new ambitions and the CDT is far from done with NS2. After the holidays we will release 273, essentially removing all the festive ready rooms and additional music. Then the real work begins, the CDT programmers have been hard at work focusing on some long term big ideas to help stabilize the game in its current state as well replace some existing pieces of the infrastructure to show that NS2 is far from done. How does the pun go? NS2 continues to evolve While we have no definite release schedule for these efforts yet, rest assured that you will be able to see the pieces fall in place as it approaches.

    It has been an exciting year for NS2 and there is more to come in 2015, thank you for your support. Merry Gorgemas and a Happy New Year!

    Changelog
    SEASONAL

    The main menu is now festive!
    All ready rooms have also got into the spirit of the season! (except tram not sure what happened)
    Snowballs!

    IMPROVEMENTS
    NS2 servers now also show up in the steam server list.
    Minimal infestation is now more visually representative of the range it should be, Improved how minimal infestation looks.
    You can now swap alien upgrades without first deselecting the previous one (it will do so automatically)
    Added new option to the sound page to let sounds continue to play while the game is minimized
    Meds, ammo, and catpacks can now be picked up from any height difference
    Made the scoreboard usable at low resolutions no matter the player count. The teams will be displayed vertically in low resolution and you are able to scroll through the scoreboard with the slider on the right side, or pressing Home/End, Page Up/Down, or using your mouse wheel.
    The scoreboard now displays the Commander background as yellow. This makes it easier to identify rookie commanders as their name will still display green even while commanding.
    Changed to only allow reset game votes in the first 3 minutes of a game to discourage using it as an alternative to concede
    Changed to allow conceding after 7 minutes instead of 10, and made it easier for mods to override
    The taskbar icon will flash when alt+tabbed when a game is starting or when it is time to pick a team (after map loads or after the previous game ends)
    Previous turns logfiles now saved as .old.txt on game start
    Output from p_logall now goes to the same directory as logs
    If steam is down, servers and clients will use already downloaded mods – if the client has the same version of a mod as the server, the client will be able to connect and play even when steam is down.
    Added customization menu to the main menu
    Added “Acknowledged” voiceover
    Combined “Let’s Move” voiceover with “Follow Me”
    The background of the commander button in the voiceover menu will scale to the commander’s name
    Pressing movement modifier key while commander will now toggle a movement override while press that allows the WASD keys (or whatever they are mapped to) to be used to move the camera (like arrow keys do)
    Faster grenade sprinting animation
    Made Babbler eggs highlighted in Alien vision
    Updated dkjson, so you can now use advanced json syntax in json config files (e.g. javascript comments)
    Resource loading can be configured. May increase loading speed for SSD users (sorry, will only slow down HDD users).

    FIXES
    Fixed issues with dropping catpacks on exos not feeling as responsive as dropping stuff for marines
    Fixed server crash related to picking up a jetpack and weapon at the same time
    Fixed kill feed being obscured by the death screen fade to black
    Fixed voting to concede with only one player on the team requiring more votes than there were players
    Fixed sound explosion caused by being alt+tabbed for a while and then coming back into the game
    Fixed echoing harvesters into locations with multiple resource nozzles not always working
    net_blackout now requires cheats
    Fixed linux client crash when shooting a shotgun (thanks CERIBIK)
    Fixed child entity positions when placed in an a non-moving parent entity.
    Fixed that some attacks would be silenced for aliens with phantom even though no veils were built
    Fixed that a single catpack could be used by multiple marines
    Fixed alignment of server entry names
    Fixed artifacts on the Exo and Jetpack textures caused by the marine outlines
    Fixed mapper placed team-related props being highlighted in Alien vision.
    Fixed fans having decals projected onto them

    PERFORMANCE
    (Thanks to Wooza/ATF for running some test code)
    Server now spreads out player updates better, avoiding updating them all at once (source of late joining player getting extra lag)
    Server now uses more threads to compute network updates to avoid blocking main thread
    Server now uses a faster way of calculating what entities should be sent to each client
    LuaJIT will dynamically adjust parameters to avoid resets in the middle of the game (a reset means that the game runs without LuaJIT for a little bit while it recompiles, which could cause a hitch and is now avoided)
    Server no longer runs updates for tunnels with no players in them
    Fixed relevancy for tunnel contents; don’t send contents of all tunnels to all players
    Client no longer runs updates for all props in all tunnels all the time – it no longer knows they exist unless the player is actually inside a tunnel
    Client: skip setting bones for entities not in FOV, except for dynamic props if shadows are on (cause otherwise the shadow of a fan stops rotating when you are not looking at the fan).
    Significantly improved performance of the marine colored outlines by removing several render cameras and optimizing the shader
    Improved performance of alien parasite outlines by optimizing the shader
    Reduced amount of http-requests used to get player data from the hive

    SDK / TOOLS / EDITOR/ART
    Added Client.WindowNeedsAttention() which will cause the taskbar icon to flash when called if the user is alt+tabbed
    Improved performance of Editor
    Added circle entity indicators for ARC range, IP attach range, and relevancy range in the editor to more easily visualize the the game relevant ranges from within Editor
    Added console command removeoption to remove the specified option from your config.
    e.g. “removeoption graphics/infestationQuality”
    Added BaseModelMixin:GetIsHighlightEnabled() to specify if an entity should be highlighted in alien vision
    Fixed collision on biodome_outdoor_rock_03
    Fixed path issues with some files
    New global function GetHiveDataBySteamId( int steamid ) to get hive data for the given users

    MAPS

    Kodiak
    Hangar Bay performance has been improved
    Altered vent route from Hangar to Observation to make it easier to traverse
    Added new rock formation near Falls RT to help marines get to the “top” level of the rocks
    Added occlusion geo to the ice pillar in water production to improve FPS
    fixed .model. error in water production (had been causing fps drops)

    Eclipse
    Moved Access Alpha RT to the top of the ramp
    Closed off Conduit exit vent (it still is open from Generator Monitors to Power Sub Junction)
    Improved Occlusion geo in Access Alpha in order to improve FPS

    Mineshaft
    Fixed missing wall in Cart Tunnel

    Refinery
    The vent in Containment has been changed to not overlook the room to prevent gorges from spit-harassing Command Chairs
    Fixed stuck spot in Turbine
    Lava under the walkway has been changed to a very high DoT instead of an instant death trigger

    Tram
    Power node in Mezzanine is now connected to the wall
    It should no longer be possible to hide cysts under the tram in Repair Room

    Biodome
    Removed random pipe props from the RR
    by Published on 15-02-2014 01:02 PM





    Changelog:
    Fixes
    Fixed “name” console command not working with spaces in names
    Fixed bug where a bad value in the options file for the player skin would cause the menu to stop functioning
    Fixed aliens sometimes not being able to hear distress beacon sound
    Fixed sounds cutting out on Skulks and Fades
    Fixed lifeform name being hidden behind the lifeform icon in the Alien buy menu
    Fixed some structures not immediately destroying collision when destroyed (most prominent with Resource Towers)
    Fixed power nodes not blinking red on minimap when being attacked
    Fixed requestweld console bind not working for Exosuits
    Fixed progress bar for Aliens having a tiny piece of texture being where it shouldn’t in the top of the progress bar
    Fixed players being able to see the enemy commander on scoreboard
    Fixed mouse wheel events always being blocked in unpredicted code when mouse cursor is visible
    Fixed room name on hud not updating when the game first starts
    Fixed being able to use commander interface while menu is open
    Fixed voice chat being stuck on when entering a Command Structure
    Fixed alien buy menu Fade description
    Fixed Armories giving health while stunned
    Fixed main menu tip video layer being behind the tip videos content page.
    Fixed tip videos not hiding when you close the training page.
    Fixed bug in main menu with MouseIn / MouseOut events not handled properly
    Features
    Added NS2WC emblems (Available in the Steam Store)
    Added NS2WC emblem stat tracking
    Added Organised play system (Organised play in main menu)
    Added subtle highlight to Steam friends nameplates and minimap icons
    Added ammo bars for the Marine Commander to nameplates
    Added low light graphics quality option (Thanks to Mendasp and Dragon for helping)
    Added random team console bind. j3 or jointeamthree in the console
    Added a new vote which tries to balance teams using previous round and hive stats
    Added previous menu theme back into the files under “sound/NS2.fev/main_menu_old”
    Added option to precache extra files. Default to ‘Off.’ (Allows you to balance load times against your desire to avoid early game hitching)
    Added queuing for servers with reserved slots in server browser. You can attempt to join the server if you think you can (i.e. you have a reserved slot)
    Added numerical values and input for sliders in options menu
    Added next / previous weapon keybind to main menu options
    Added evolve last upgrades keybind
    Added ability to unbind/clear keybinds
    Added interface sounds
    Added open/close fade animation to GUI’s on right side of menu (news box, logo, Reinforcement/store buttons)
    Added fade effect when opening credits
    Added line wrapping for long text chat messages
    Implemented option description tooltips
    Rearranged server browser tabs (all game modes are now grouped up on the left side)
    Added microphone input volume bar colours, which change based on input intensity
    Server list and chat font size now resizes for really small screen resolutions
    Optimizations
    Consistency checking now uses a much faster algorithm which in many cases may decrease loadtimes
    Drastically reduced network traffic generated by scoreboard updates
    Optimized cloaked effect
    Reduced hitching when opening pages in the menu
    Changes
    Player outlines now work in first person for neutral spectators
    Inactive/unbuilt structures appear now in a darker color on the minimap
    Observatories will now reveal nearby cysts on the minimap
    Rookies are now always highlighted green on the scoreboard
    Muting a player will now also mute voice requests (like need ammo / medpack)
    Removed Drifter icon from tech map
    Made unavailable color very slightly darker to provide better differentiation between unbuilt grey color
    Increased weight of exclusive Female Marine Shadow badge taunt from 3% to 8%
    Increased max chat length to 120 from 80
    Remove skill ranking from main menu and scoreboard
    News ticker now opens in Steam Overlay for improved experience
    Smoother catpack view effect in dark areas (No more black oval when in dark places)
    Doors now open from further away for fast moving players to compensate for the speed of the player
    Moved HUD detail option to general options tab
    SDK
    Added MouseWheelUp and MouseWheelDown as separate keys to bind (note for modders: InputKey.MouseZ is no longer being used)
    Added InputKey.None to allow clearing of bindings
    Added Client.GetIsSteamFriend(steamId)
    Added GUIHoverTooltip for providing tooltips offset from mouse cursor when hovering over something
    Added mapinfo console command to print out information like light and prop count to console
    Added MultiCheckbox form type which allow to have more than just true/false values
    Added console command chattime <number> to set how long chat messages display on screen. Must be at least 3 seconds.
    Changed profiler to use Left and Right key since old keybinds didnt work well with other keyboard layouts
    Added ControllerMixin:SetIgnorePlayerCollisions(time)
    Added client side loadtime console output
    Removed Cooked Mesh console output
    Fixed out of memory condition on Linux Kernel 3.12
    Fixed fatal error message box on Linux machines that didn’t have GTK
    Added gather_server tag in ServerConfig.json
    Send Commander time to Hive
    Biodome
    Lighting optimisations, approximately 200 lights removed
    Removed 2 glass sections in Falls to reduce render calls
    Moved Condensers power node away from Filtration
    Improved occlusion in Falls and Alley
    Fixed gap in Gallery
    Cleaned up commander view in Falls.
    Repositioned Condensers and West Route power node.
    Eclipse
    Hole fixes
    Removed center rail on Triad stairs
    Pathing fixes in Maintenance
    Docking
    [Note - There is a game-critical bug in Docking, and we recommend not playing it in 263. It will be fixed in 264.]
    Added additional vents to Ballcourt, Maintenance and Junction
    Reduced clutter around Maintenance RT
    Enlarged the space around Departures techpoint
    Fixed some CommanderInvisible around Departures
    Fixed the train in Departures not playing
    Slightly increased travel time to Maintenance through Courtyard
    Summit
    Smoothed out movement in Flight Control
    Minor cosmetic fixes
    Veil
    Fixed bad collision in Dome
    Tram
    Removed buggy cable bundle from Logistics->South Tunnels connection.
    Refinery
    Fixed Removed some unneeded collision geometry in Conduit
    Fixed pathing in Extraction
    Fixed gaps in location entities
    Fixed some unconnected pipes
    Fixed death trigger entities in lava falls
    Rotated smelting RT 180 degrees
    Fixed some flickering textures
    Smoothed out stairs in Falls Approach
    by Published on 20-12-2013 12:20 PM

    Return to Eclipse in Natural Selection 2
    http://unknownworlds.com/ns2/return-to-eclipse-2/



    Eclipse Gameplay Trailer


    Eleven years ago, Eclipse was one of the original Natural Selection battlefields. Tight corridors, multiple Hive spawns, iconic rooms, Eclipse was one of the greatest maps ever made for the original Half-Life mod.


    Marine Start

    Now, we can all return to Eclipse. Painstakingly recreated, the map is faithful to the original while allowing for the evolution of Natural Selection 2 gameplay. By taking advantage of Spark’s modern rendering techniques and UWE’s art resources, the mapping team has been able to remake every corner of Eclipse in exquisite detail.


    Triad

    The team that built Eclipse was led by Jake ‘Jonacrab’ Smith. Under the artistic direction of Cory, Jake drew together work from mappers Oliver ‘Dux’ Hobbs, Michael ‘Olmy’ Shouten, Andrew ‘Insane’ Jones, Marc ‘Sgt Barlow’ Newton, and art from Sergey and Yuri from Fox3D.


    Looking towards East Foyer

    Eclipse is included as part of Build 262, which was just released on Steam. Build 262 is free for all existing players of Natural Selection 2, and includes a bunch of other improvements to the game. Here is the full changelog:

    Fixes
    Fixed players sometimes being stuck in command station at round start
    Fixed Infestation blobs blocking commander view
    Server Browser now highlights player count yellow if the server is semi-full due to reserved slots.
    Removed texture streaming option from main menu since it wasn’t doing anything
    Fixed all structures being outlined blue when on overhead mode as spectator
    Fixed projectiles colliding with invisible movement collision group
    Fixed ECHO_HARVESTER tooltip missing when echoing an Harvester
    Fixed accidental use of voice order keys while ESC menu is open
    Fixed bug where marine buy menu did not close when player was Stomped
    Fixed Stab not having a custom icon
    Fixed round start music not playing due to incorrect path
    Fixed WhipBomb showing killed with BileBomb in console
    Fixed loading screens using the wrong art sometimes
    Fixed commander bindings reverting to default if a player joins a server before opening the options menu

    Features

    Added new map: Eclipse
    Added new main menu background
    Added egg counter for Alien Commander in the top of the commander interface
    Added Hive skill and level stats under name in main menu
    Added support for new structures in ScenarioHandler. Added one other check path that works.
    Added link to forums by clicking logo
    Added remixed NS1/NS2 main menu theme

    Balance
    Ammo packs now refill all weapons instead of only the active one

    Optimizations
    Limit hit effect messages to 100 per second
    Correctly limit max resources network field to 100 per player
    Reduced network traffic generated by static structures
    Implemented extra precaching to reduce incidence of hitching at the start of rounds
    Optimized network traffic produced by Insight spectator system
    Minor optimizations for skulk movement (optimized wall traces and removed predict wall walking)

    Improvements

    Insight spectator system now outlines players in overhead view by default
    Replaced “request enzyme” with “request drifter” in the Alien ‘commo-rose’
    Servers with cheats enabled no longer send data to the Hive stat tracking system

    SDK
    Revert auto-generation of overviews by Builder due to Overview.exe crashes
    Fixed crash in editor related to file type properties
    Allow mappers to define custom round start music in ns2_gamerules entity
    Added console command playmusic. Usage: sound/NS2.fev/pathtosound

    Refinery (Thanks SamusDroid)
    Fixed pathing in Lava Falls
    Fixed some textures and gaps
    Fixed some stuck spots
    Adjusted some death trigger scales
    by Published on 04-12-2013 02:27 PM



    Build 261 is here, it is sweet, and it wants your attention. Like 260, 261 is a collaboration between UWE’s very own Andi and the infinitely energetic volunteer SamusDroid. There are three stand out features: Improved collision, commander keybinds, and reduced early game hitching.

    Whenever a player hits something in the environment, an approximation of their model is used to calculate the appropriate physical response. Games do this because calculating physics for an entire player model would be too ‘expensive’ (i.e hurt performance too much).

    The most mathematically efficient shape to use for that approximation is a distorted sphere, or egg. Every NS2 player model is approximated to some form of an egg shape. This makes for movement with less hitches, collisions that don’t ‘catch,’ and a general feeling of being able to move smoothly through the environment.

    However, NS2 features lots of melee combat. In melee combat, you do not want to slide smoothly around other players. You want to have the feeling of hitting a player, and engaging with them.

    To give a feeling of melee engagement, Build 261 now features a slightly bipolar collision detection system. When hitting the environment, players still use their egg approximation. But when hitting other players, they now use a rougher approximation. Here is an example:



    The second big improvement in 261 is commander keybinding. NS2 is a very international game: It is played in countries all over the world, in a myriad of languages, and crucially, with lots of different keyboard layouts.

    Until now, users of non en-US keyboards were forced to use en-US commander keybinds. This made playing commander on non en-US keyboards extremely frustrating. Thanks to the great work of SamusDroid, you can now select your own keybinds for commander use.

    Samus didn’t stop there. He also turned his attention to early game hitching. By adding several key damage effects to the list of files precached by the game during loading, early game hitching has been significantly reduced. You will not longer have to endure an inevitable hitch during first contact.

    It’s not all collision, hitches and keybinds. There is a boatload of other stuff in 261, all manner of fixes that continue the inexorable improvement of NS2. It is hard to believe this game launched in 2012!

    http://unknownworlds.com/ns2/build-2...live-on-steam/

    Changelog:

    Fixes

    Fixed Hive steam effect looping instead of being endless
    Fixed overlapping server tabs on low resolutions
    Fixed player status overlapping on lower resolutions, and aligned icons with text underneath
    Fixed WHIPBOMB missing in gamestrings
    Fixed World Championship badges using wrong path
    Fixed ARCs not playing/stopping sounds/effects when they should
    Fixed ladders not working for Ready Room players
    Fixed drifters always turning east before completing a move order
    Fixed axe blocking sprint movement when attempting to use it before it’s fully deployed
    Fixed out-dated information, and typos in gamestrings files
    Fixed bug where the chat would not block the show map key from opening the minimap when typing, dead, and spectating
    Fixed tech map not showing tooltips for Contamination, Bonewall, and Rupture.
    Fixed being able to increase shotgun rate of fire when tapping primary attack in the right moment
    Distress beacon now guarantees that all players will be teleported when at least one spawn point or IP has been found (No, really this time.)
    Fixed Armory health bar offset not adjusting according to model
    Fixed ARCs not updating their target position
    Simplified rifle logic, possibly fixing some instances of weapon jams. (More testing required)
    Fixed grass clipping into a tree in the main menu
    Fixed health bars clipping inside the model on the Armory, Advanced Armory, Sentry Battery, and players in the Ready Room.

    Balance

    Removed carapace heal penalty
    Slightly reduced jetpack fuel replenish rate (It now takes 0.6 seconds longer to fully restore the fuel tank)
    Fade movement will now ignore air-friction immediately after using the Shadowstep ability
    Slightly reduced energy used by Boneshield ability
    Vortex ability now returns energy cost when consumed
    Reduced swipe energy cost by 1
    Increased enzyme cloud and mucous membrane cost to 2 (up from 1)
    Merged enzyme with storm
    Enzyme requires now a shift hive
    Drifters turn rate lowered slightly

    Features

    Added loading screen background on game startup
    Added Commander Bindings
    Spectators can now toggle with F (flashlight) outlining players on their team
    Added Chuckle and Request Weld console binds, to allow binding to a key. Type “chuckle” or “requestweld” in console to perform the action.
    Added minimal HUD option.

    Optimizations

    Damage effect decals are now precached (Mitigates hitching during first encounters)
    Added precaching for a few files causing big hitches when joining a team

    Improvements

    Never allow step moves onto other players
    Players now use separate physics models for melee and world collision detection
    Marines will now spawn closer to their spawning Infantry Portal
    Score popups are now green for kills to more clearly separate them from assists
    Made Gorge Tunnels easier to place in areas with suboptimal pathing information
    Gorge Tunnels may now be placed in areas with slightly greater inclines
    Changed Prototype Lab minimap icon to use an unused placeholder icon (was using the Extractor icon)
    Destroying a sentry battery now uses a different sound than destroying a power node
    Lowered waterfall sound effect volume in the menu
    Added Team res to Alien HUD
    Made server browser more usable for lower resolution users, especially in 4:3 resolutions
    Improved Boneshield ability hit detection
    Default consistency config now ignores shaders/DarkVision.hlsl (allows easier modding of Alien Vision)

    SDK

    Added teleport_destination and teleport_trigger entities
    Added console command “selecthallucinations” for debugging and testing purposes

    Refinery

    Fixed some pathing problems in Containment causing inability to drop Infantry Portals in appropriate places
    Fixed several other pathing issues around the map
    Changed collision geometry on several staircases to make them more easily navigable
    Removed some props from Commander view
    by Published on 21-11-2013 07:44 PM



    http://unknownworlds.com/ns2/build-260-live-on-steam/

    Balance

    Whips will now unroot when teleported by a shift (Won’t attach instantly anymore after a use of Echo)
    Reduced drifter turn speed
    Mucous membrane now heals a maximum of 65 (down from 104) per application, depending on target armour
    Reduced heal wave effectiveness by 15%
    Reduced whip slap range by 1 meter
    Reduce drifter armour to 20, from 80 (increased health to compensate)
    Stormcloud will now affect drifter turn rate slightly

    Fixes

    Fixed mouse over sound randomly being played as gorge
    Fixed missing goowallnode.model file not found error causing consistency failures
    Fixed a rare issue where backspace could mess up the server browser when bound to chat
    Fixed bug causing communication status icons to be offset from a player
    Fixed bug causing view model to spazz out when stomped/stunned
    Fixed Exosuit damage effects remaining on screen while spawning
    Fixed red command structure icons showing when in a Gorge Tunnel with hints on
    Fixed bug allowing bots to move around while evolving/spawning
    Fixed console spam under normal conditions when playing with bots
    Fixed exosuit claw not leaving a decal when hitting world geometry/props
    Fixed death messages being cut off in the kill feed
    Fixed a missing hookup preventing female marine sprint sounds from playing
    Fixed Skulk Xenocide sound continuing to play if the player dies before a successful Xenocide
    Fixed bug causing a script error when ‘spawn alien’ or ‘create alien’ was typed in console
    Fixed the leaf clipping through the wall in the main menu
    Fixed black void on the right of the screen in the main menu
    Fixed Shift’s not having flinch animations when damaged
    Fixed file not found errors when loading a map
    Fixed Lerk’s not having emissive properties
    Fixed Lerk’s not being highlighted in Alien vision
    Fixed dropship being highlighted in Alien vision
    Fixed bug where a mature bombard whip would damage you twice when slapping you

    Improvements

    Tweaked MAC build construct effect frequency to prevent excessive material loading
    Added missing communication status icons offset for Onos and Fade, so they are no longer at model origin
    Increased minimum distance-from-observatory to allow a marine to be beaconed (reduces instances of failure to beacon, and beaconing within the same room)
    When spawning a clog, it will now spawn the correct model depending on your Gorge variant
    Adding missing caustics effects to the main menu
    Added waterfall sound effect to the main menu
    Reduced excessive tree sway in the main menu
    Contamination icon will now look like Contamination (win.)

    SDK

    Fixed hotloading of textures

    Other

    Fixed a bug causing a failure of the playtesting GUI to refresh on report rejection

    Tram

    Generated new pathing mesh
    Generated new reflection maps

    Biodome

    Fixed some pathing mesh issues.
    Fixed structures going under glass platforms in Atmosphere Exchange
    Cleaned up commander view in Platform, Alley, West Corridor and Bamboo Pass
    Generated new reflection maps

    Refinery

    Fixed bugs in pathing mesh
    Fixed a few flickering textures

    Veil

    Fixed some glass to be reflective biodome glass
    Fixed signs near sub sector to use the correct names
    Hid all the steam particle effects from the Commander view.
    by Published on 31-10-2013 07:34 PM





    Along with an updated build, there have been some updates to the Shadow Reinforcement Package.

    Shadow Lerk


    Shadow Gorge


    As well as this, UWE teased a new map; Eclipse.
    by Published on 31-10-2013 07:26 PM



    http://unknownworlds.com/ns2/natural...r-anniversary/

    Changelog:

    Fixes

    Fixed crash in the animation system
    Fixed Biomass UI and tech map sometimes not showing tooltip info for Commanders
    Fixed Marine HUD health bar appearing corrupted when leaving Command Station at low health
    Fixed script error preventing an unbuilt Gorge Tunnel entrance from being consumed when a third one is being built
    Fixed Webs blocking bullets and projectiles (only Welder and Flamethrower will hit them now)
    Fixed Heal Spray effects being visible to Marine Commander without LOS
    Fixed Gorge Tunnels being droppable in areas which Marines can’t reach
    Fixed Skulk aligning their model in midair to other players / entities they are about to collide with
    Fixed some icons staying greyed out in Alien tech map once requirements have been reached
    Fixed wrong side of the Gorge Tunnel flinching when attacked
    Fixed main menu background sound continuing to play while the menu is closed (thanks Mendasp!)
    Fixed Nanoshield sometimes failing and possibility of applying to dead units but still costing resources
    A commander is no longer able to go to the ready room and rejoin their team to gain 20 resources
    The game no longer attempts to load female versions of Alien voice overs (Thanks Samusdroid!)
    Fixed bug causing sound volume to increase after failed connections
    Lerk idle sound will no longer play in 2D space (Thanks Samusdroid!)

    Improvements

    Improved hit registration of Flamethrower (damage application was slightly offset from crosshair)
    Improved behavior of Flamethrower fire effect when colliding with a surface
    Waypoints and Pings will now fade out while aiming at their direction
    Removed cooldown from Scan (old nearby Scans are removed to prevent effect spam)
    Improved behavior and client side misprediction of Grenades
    Dead end Gorge Tunnel entrances can no longer be entered. They will now show a specific pose depending on if they are connected or not to fix the confusion when having multiple Tunnel entrances in one room.
    Increase size of Hand Grenades when thrown to make them more visible
    Enzyme Cloud effect is less obtrusive
    Improved explosion effects for the Grenade Launcher
    Improved Onos Gore effects
    Linux dedicated server now requires the Steam runtime. This is documented in the Dedicated_Server_Usage.txt file.

    Additions

    Shadow Gorge + Toys
    Shadow Lerk

    Balances

    Reduced Nanoshield damage absorb to 32% (down from 75%)
    Increased Nanoshield duration to 5 seconds (up from 3)
    Removed marine dodge jump

    Optimization

    Optimized animation computations
    The score update network message now uses less bandwidth
    Compressed all audio which saves a lot of in game memory

    Editor

    Dynamic props now have a default model (Thanks Samusdroid!)

    SDK

    The default Builder setup will now generate minimaps and correctly copy CSS files (Thanks Samusdroid!)
    Fixed security issue where a mod could potentially read files outside of the sandboxed directories (Thanks Deco!)

    NS2_Refinery

    Moved location of Containment power node.
    Made some fixes to commander visibility.
    Adjusted detailing in Conduit
    Filled bucked in smelting with cooled ore to prevent gorge nest madness.
    Deleted empty prop_static entities.
    Changed death triggers on lava falls to do damage over time (no more lerk insta-death).
    Fixed flickering textures.
    Added power node to Falls Approach.
    Fixed exploit where you could build outside the map near Lava Falls.
    Raised pipes in Conduit to remove an exploit spot.
    Improved pathing mesh.
    Thanks to SamusDroid for his help bug-squashing.