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  1. #1

    CDT changes and UWE return to NS2



    Hi all,

    For those who haven't seen the news, you can check it out here:

    http://unknownworlds.com/ns2/ns2-dev...our-community/

    http://unknownworlds.com/ns2/qa-abou...g-back-to-ns2/

    http://unknownworlds.com/ns2/alright-mates/


    Cliff notes:


    • CDT as it currently is has been dissolved
    • key members of the CDT have been hired as part-time and full time UWE employees working in the new NS2 Dev Team over a 4 month trial period
    • UWE are wanting to establish foundations for growing the game to a much larger player count than current levels
    • UWE want to create a pipeline that allows for user created content to get featured in the game and for creators to be financially compensated for their work
    • UWE want to have a faster development cycle where ideas are tested quickly
    • UWE want to use the lessons they have learned from subnautica and future perfect to place a much higher importance on creating content and fixes that the community ask for



    It will be an interesting 4 months. There are many hurdles ahead and many issues they will have to deal with the current game before moving on to new content. At the very least, they are devoting time and resources to the game again, so we'll see what happens.
    Last edited by bonage; 23-11-2015 at 09:46 PM.

  2. #2
    I am excited about this endeavor. Of course it will take some time to see if there is any real fruit and for my confidence to be restored in UWE as far as NS2 is concerned. At the end of the day I stopped playing ns2 as much because it felt like the game was dying, but if the development team can breathe life into it then I am all for it. I remember being so pumped for the release of ns2. I remember trying to install build 189 on a 2010 dual booted MacBook Pro and somehow managing to get to crevice as a skulk on about 3 fps. I then went ahead and bought my PC just so I could run it properly. Every time Hugh released a new NS2HD video, I would watch it multiple times. Needless to say when release did come around and the performance issues as well as other things put a big barrier on enjoyment of the game for most people, it was quite disappointing. Even more disappointing was the way that UWE seemed to abandon ship on their product. I hope there is someway they can revive the excitement for the game through changes to the game itself as well as meta content like the videos and interviews that used to be released that gave a strong sense that the developers were making something that they cared about. If they do manage to revive it, so much credit must go to the CDT who have kept the wheels turning out of sheer love for the game.

    As as well as all that, it is good to understand that we as people who are already part of the community play a huge role in how it grows and how people feel when they play. Back in the early beta (the monash era) I remember there was a bit of a separation between those who would play on the public servers and those who were invited to pugs etc on the private server. I would like to think that after release and by the efforts of ausns2 it changed a lot, but I am just reminded that it is easy to forget once you are in the club what it feels like to be on the outside looking in so to speak. If new players do start to come in, I hope that I do my best to remove that barrier.


    anyway it's late and I am rambling, tldr good luck ns2 dev team. Don't break my heart again

  3. #3
    They going to have a hard time bringing the game back from the state it's in. But the real question is, will this revive the comp scene? Scatter now is the time to e-mail your mod to them. Realistically they're going to need a face pace game mode to revive interest in a game this old.
    Last edited by Visor; 24-11-2015 at 08:31 AM.

  4. #4
    Looks promising although it seems there were some casulties:
    http://forums.unknownworlds.com/disc...24/farewell/p1

  5. #5
    Senior Member kid's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ceribik View Post
    Looks promising although it seems there were some casulties:
    http://forums.unknownworlds.com/disc...24/farewell/p1
    From the sounds of things maybe Scatter should be selling his mod work to them

  6. #6
    Senior Member kid's Avatar
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    I think there are a varying range of thoughts on the future of NS2/UnknownWorlds/CDT and ultimately AusNS2 as well, and whether you agree or disagree with what people say regardless it's good to have input from both sides of the fence.

    I'm sure I can speak for all the currently active or semi-active NS2 players here... to us NS2 is a game which will probably always linger in the background for some time to come. Just as NS1 also stuck around somewhat for a select few people. It's a game which has a great level of teamwork and a high skill ceiling which can always be refined and that is what keeps people coming back, but it's also the downfall of the game commercially. NS2 is a game which will hold on to its hardcore fans and competitive players because there isn't really another game quite like it in terms of the amount of communication and teamwork required. However a hardcore playerbase of a few gamers will not magically attract a bulk of new players or casual gamers.

    New players will be attracted by marketing. The game's concept is strong being marketed as a hybrid RTS/FPS multiplayer game. I think the initial descriptions of the game being a "mix between Starcraft and Counter Strike" is one of their strongest. This one-liner alone is what attracted me to NS2 in the first place years ago. But as we know the downfall on initial launch was mostly performance. I can remember many upset people on NS2 forums complaining that they had just paid $25 for a game which cannot get over 30fps on low settings. But since then I think there have been leaps and bounds made to improve performance on low-to-mid range systems.

    A big problem with NS2 marketing for me is that the name is tarnished. It's been out talked about in the public since alpha, I believe that's 5 years of "NS2" already. As excited as I am for UWE to be ramping up NS2 again, their approach does concern me. The first thing that comes to everyone's mind is "you're flogging a dead horse". I believe that if UWE are not going to start work on "NS3" and wish to pursue leveraging NS2 then they need to re-launch NS2 under a new title which is disassociated with the "Natural Selection" name.

    Thoughts?

  7. #7
    I for one welcome the return of the dev's as the cdt felt more experimental and lacked direction, and as for patches (buggy as ) I herd they have already pushed back patches so I feel like it was needed there was a period there i was unable to play for a good 3 weeks due to a port swapping issue with mods .....

    I honestly dont know what they have planned or what direction they want the game to go in but I for one welcome they change and has filled me with a little more confidence about the game and its developers once again .

  8. #8
    Senior Member kid's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by openyafaceup View Post
    I for one welcome the return of the dev's as the cdt felt more experimental and lacked direction, and as for patches (buggy as ) I herd they have already pushed back patches so I feel like it was needed there was a period there i was unable to play for a good 3 weeks due to a port swapping issue with mods .....

    I honestly dont know what they have planned or what direction they want the game to go in but I for one welcome they change and has filled me with a little more confidence about the game and its developers once again .
    There has been mention of them working on implementing a Just-In-Time approach to patches, this means that instead of developing a whole set of 50 or so changes and then testing them all together and putting it into a big update every few months, they instead will release individual bug fixes and changes ad-hoc and have clients update more frequently, potentially every few days instead of months apart.

  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by openyafaceup View Post
    I for one welcome the return of the dev's as the cdt felt more experimental and lacked direction, and as for patches (buggy as ) I herd they have already pushed back patches so I feel like it was needed there was a period there i was unable to play for a good 3 weeks due to a port swapping issue with mods .....

    I honestly dont know what they have planned or what direction they want the game to go in but I for one welcome they change and has filled me with a little more confidence about the game and its developers once again .
    Not sure why you weren't aware of their plans. They've had a public tracker showing their progress and future plans for quite a while:
    https://trello.com/b/91ApENY6/ns2-cd...opment-tracker

  10. #10
    I was thinking more that i dont know what the uwe have planned not the cdt ..i dont give a rats about the cdt , should have made myself a little clearer soz .

    Basicly the long and short of my point was that the uwe have been called in because the cdt were stuffing it up?

    - - - Updated - - -

    i have my doubts weather we will se a soft launch or re release now that the uwe is back ...just a more stable game

  11. #11
    Waste of time imho. After 3-4 years (however long this game has been available), everyone that was going to buy the game has, anyone who was going to buy the game heavily discounted has and anyone that was going to try it when it was free has as well. What possible monetisation could they further extract from NS2? Use Scatter's mod of classic/combat hybrid Hire Mendasp Build a game-mode that requires maps 1/5 of the size and not as detailed or complex with a map making toolset Migrate to UE4 engine Fuck off commander Call it NS3
    Last edited by mf-; 27-11-2015 at 02:55 PM.

  12. #12
    Quote Originally Posted by mf- View Post
    Waste of time imho. After 3-4 years (however long this game has been available), everyone that was going to buy the game has, anyone who was going to buy the game heavily discounted has and anyone that was going to try it when it was free has as well. What possible monetisation could they further extract from NS2? Use Scatter's mod of classic/combat hybrid Hire Mendasp Build a game-mode that requires maps 1/5 of the size and not as detailed or complex with a map making toolset Migrate to UE4 engine Fuck off commander Call it NS3




    http://steamcharts.com/app/4920 There is a small gain there not much but , subnautica averages around the 950 mark atm
    Last edited by openyafaceup; 27-11-2015 at 06:16 PM.

  13. #13
    After all this time and with the current playerbase as low as it is, it does seem that without some kind of formal re-release and a more accessible gamemode it will be hard to get people back. It is a big shame that Combat was handled the way it was, it needed to be free and in the vanilla game because for a lot of people it is a stepping stone into the original game mode. It's like when you are trying to learn the bagpipes , you start with a chanter and progress to the full sack once you actually know how to play the notes. At the moment, the experience for a new comer is simply ridiculously bad. Too many vets essentially in such a small playerbase, which is no ones fault.

    It is pretty depressing that NS2 did so badly when compared to the other iterations of games it grew up with (i'm thinking in particular the CS and Team Fortress franchises, DoD to a much lesser extent seemingly). If we had even 1/4 of TF2s playerbase we would be laffin'. People spout bullshit like "Oh well you know, NS2 was just a niche shooter with a steep learning curve and a high skill cap..." Yeah whatever. Nothing can be THAT niche, like 100 concurrent players kind of niche, that would really be quite an achievement. I still believe there is a spot in peoples games libraries for this game, and that as a concept it is already quite desirable, interesting and accessible. Correct me if I am wrong, but it seems today that people are interested in games that are actually supported by their developer. We can only hope that this new investment into NS2 will yield some results.

    I will leave you with this last little tidbit though, it could be nothing at all or it could be a hint at what is to come. In the comments section of the Rock, Paper, Shotgun article about the renewed development which you can read here: http://www.rockpapershotgun.com/2015...2-development/ , Hugh interestingly replies to this comment:

    ..microtransactions incoming?
    I’m sorry, but Payday 2 has made me cynical about “renewed involvement” and staffing up.
    Hugh's answer:

    That’s valid cynicism RegisteredUser… It seems to me there’s good ways to introduce ‘microtransactions’ (‘Granularity of product’ perhaps another way of putting it?) and really crap ways of doing it. We’ve got to pick the good ways of doing it.
    This could just be Hugh answering an accusation against micro transactions abstractly with no reference to NS2, or it could be something more who knows. Only time will tell

  14. #14
    Senior Member kid's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kartoshka View Post
    After all this time and with the current playerbase as low as it is, it does seem that without some kind of formal re-release and a more accessible gamemode it will be hard to get people back. It is a big shame that Combat was handled the way it was, it needed to be free and in the vanilla game because for a lot of people it is a stepping stone into the original game mode. It's like when you are trying to learn the bagpipes , you start with a chanter and progress to the full sack once you actually know how to play the notes. At the moment, the experience for a new comer is simply ridiculously bad. Too many vets essentially in such a small playerbase, which is no ones fault.

    It is pretty depressing that NS2 did so badly when compared to the other iterations of games it grew up with (i'm thinking in particular the CS and Team Fortress franchises, DoD to a much lesser extent seemingly). If we had even 1/4 of TF2s playerbase we would be laffin'. People spout bullshit like "Oh well you know, NS2 was just a niche shooter with a steep learning curve and a high skill cap..." Yeah whatever. Nothing can be THAT niche, like 100 concurrent players kind of niche, that would really be quite an achievement. I still believe there is a spot in peoples games libraries for this game, and that as a concept it is already quite desirable, interesting and accessible. Correct me if I am wrong, but it seems today that people are interested in games that are actually supported by their developer. We can only hope that this new investment into NS2 will yield some results.

    I will leave you with this last little tidbit though, it could be nothing at all or it could be a hint at what is to come. In the comments section of the Rock, Paper, Shotgun article about the renewed development which you can read here: http://www.rockpapershotgun.com/2015...2-development/ , Hugh interestingly replies to this comment:



    Hugh's answer:



    This could just be Hugh answering an accusation against micro transactions abstractly with no reference to NS2, or it could be something more who knows. Only time will tell
    The game needs to generate more revenue streams than just the outright purchase alone, micro-transactions done "the good way" is how I believe UWE can do this. They saw the financial results from the reinforcement program and could implement a similar or perhaps more permanent feature into the game.

    The big problem with all of this however is that micro-transactions don't generate income if nobody is playing the game in the first place.

    I reckon there are 3 tiers at what changes are needed:

    Tier 1 - MUST DO's:
    1. Free to play.
    2. Micro-transaction non-pay-to-win items (badges, player skins, custom weapon sounds/skins, taunts, custom animations?)
    3. A proper progression system (achievements, level-ups, experience, stats, awards, rankings, etc... the more you play, the closer you get towards earning enough virtual cash to buy the non-pay-to-win items above).

    Tier 2 - SHOULD ALSO CONSIDER:
    1. Re-brand for re-launch.
    2. Continue tools development (sounds like they are doing this already).
    3. Merge Faultline and get NS2:Combat into vanilla and controlled by UWE (could be licensing limitations now preventing this).
    4. A proper match-making ELO system, look at Starcraft and CS:GO. Implement one which isn't rushed into the build like last time, but properly implemented alongside a new stats system. A proper match-making system will also make a more stable gameplay environment, as now balance can be further justified for focusing on a 6v6 format. In the past not only were UWE/CDT dealing with an asymmetrical game, but also one which was often varying between 12 and 20 players.

    Tier 3 - MAYBE's
    1. Abandon Spark for NS2 (this could be a huge investment to change engine, but perhaps UWE can leverage knowledge gained from Subnautica development. Due to the amount of time and $ investment with manpower and licensing I don't see this as a crucial requirement for NS2's future but an essential for "NS3").
    2. Address marine commanding. Having the RTS element is fundamental to this game, however having a bad marine commander makes all the difference in the game. There must be some way to place less "weight" on the marine commander, or improve the current marine commander tip/help mode to include dropping medpacks and ammo.
    3. Target gamers in similar games, find a way to market to those who play your CS/CoD games who can fairly easily transition over to NS2.
    Last edited by kid; 28-11-2015 at 12:25 PM.

  15. #15
    I don't mind if MTX make their way into NS2. We've already sorta had them with very low priced DLC and supporter packs. Like Kid says if they basically looked at the Path of Exile version of running purely cosmetic items for badges, skins, skill effects, blah. They could offer supporter packs with more custom effects, icons, new music, stuff like that as a bundle for $20/60/120 tiers. Idk it's just a thought. Most of the player base are generally older with enough free income to be interested in a meatier donation if there was enough perceived value attached. Heck, make a bundle with the gorge plushie guy and add a free gorge version of a surf map to the game.

    Remerging Combat and shifting from Spark to Unity/Unreal 4/Source 2 would be the best changes But I'm not sure Faultline would agree and an engine shift is so longterm that there needs to be something else to keep players invested.

    I think maybe some of the bigger smaller changes right now would be to make an agreement with a streamer from our community or someone more e-famous to make a set of tutorials and promotions of the game at its finer moments. I'd also like to see more promotion of streams and tournaments from the main client and if there isn't an outright spectate mode like Dota 2 or CSGO, at least make links to the VODs and Streams more visible. As for NSL tournament play there's a fair amount of digging involved to see a match outcome or a vod and that's after knowing that ensl.org exists which the average bear doesn't. It doesn't just have to be the comp scene being streamed of course, most players couldn't care less about that. There just needs to be more evidence of good, competent, fun games in new players faces so they stick through the hurdles. + it doesn't hurt to have something funny to watch.

    I think maybe another good thing to introduce would be more pub run tournaments. I know servers like Diamond offer something close to it semi frequently but something more free range that was promoted across servers in the client could be good. If there was a cash shop you could offer recoloured armour sets or something smaller as prizes with more fashionable tiers available to the better players in the tourney. You'd want to offer something that looks decent so people are interested but doesn't completely ruin the idea of buy a similar item set from the shop.

  16. #16
    Game lacks content, isn't balanced and is generally unfun. I have seen every iteration of build order and play there is to be had. The game desperately needs new content and probably needs to modernise itself to meet current gamers expectations in some fashion (micro transactions), modern GUIs and whatnot.

    This is all possible of course and I think it would be possible to grown the community again but it needs to be on an upward spiral not a downward one since people sense this and will join or leave more rapidly depending on this trend.

    NS2 Assault will ramp up dramatically next week in development since I will have more free time. The objective is to develop a fast paced game that can support the above, while also having a meaningful game mode beyond TDM (which is what you get when you strip the RTS from NS2). I am still ironing out the design and many of you have tested it and will note it's not quite there yet. I have a tonne of ideas so I am not too worried about it not getting there in the end.

    Unfortunately needing commanders has always been a barrier to fun in this game when realistically all the commander does is spam medpacks like the hand of god If this is all the commander does yet is continually the limiting factor to pub and comp fun (how many more teams could exist if we didnt need a com?).

    UWE wanting to invest resources into this is something everyone should be happy about. The worst they could do is lose more players which at 200 concurrent players is basically making it more dead than slightly dead. Time to roll the hard six on this one, and UWE is doing so. They just need to execute this correctly which is probably more likely to be achieved with constructive feedback and doing what we can to grow our own community.

  17. #17
    Senior Member kid's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Scatter View Post
    Game lacks content, isn't balanced and is generally unfun. I have seen every iteration of build order and play there is to be had. The game desperately needs new content and probably needs to modernise itself to meet current gamers expectations in some fashion (micro transactions), modern GUIs and whatnot.

    This is all possible of course and I think it would be possible to grown the community again but it needs to be on an upward spiral not a downward one since people sense this and will join or leave more rapidly depending on this trend.

    NS2 Assault will ramp up dramatically next week in development since I will have more free time. The objective is to develop a fast paced game that can support the above, while also having a meaningful game mode beyond TDM (which is what you get when you strip the RTS from NS2). I am still ironing out the design and many of you have tested it and will note it's not quite there yet. I have a tonne of ideas so I am not too worried about it not getting there in the end.

    Unfortunately needing commanders has always been a barrier to fun in this game when realistically all the commander does is spam medpacks like the hand of god If this is all the commander does yet is continually the limiting factor to pub and comp fun (how many more teams could exist if we didnt need a com?).

    UWE wanting to invest resources into this is something everyone should be happy about. The worst they could do is lose more players which at 200 concurrent players is basically making it more dead than slightly dead. Time to roll the hard six on this one, and UWE is doing so. They just need to execute this correctly which is probably more likely to be achieved with constructive feedback and doing what we can to grow our own community.
    Scatter I am keen to play your mod as soon as it's a bit more refined and will happily host a dedicated NS2 Assault server for you. I've only played an early version of it and I believe there are still a heap of features you were still developing. I absolutely agree that the gui of the core game needs an update/modernisation. I think they need to eliminate the "this doesn't feel like a modern game" factor when someone who has just come from playing the latest COD/Battlefield series jumps on board with playing NS2 for the first time.

  18. #18
    I just see this as them selectively rewarding the effort of the cdt volunteer work rip mendasp. The chance of success here is pretty low and there would not be alot of business incentive to undertake something like this otherwise. Seems more like a 'hey you deserve this anyway, and if by some unexpected chance you succeed we take the benefits'. It's not like in 3 months they will find a cookie cutter magical formula to make lots of money with minimal investment on pretty much legacy IP by this point that every other company in the industry has somehow not been able to find.

    The belief that you can revive a game simply by changing the paper it's wrapped in is pretty naive. Hugh talks alot about 'experiments', and definitely their first intentional one was the excuse to put out announcements that uwe is working on ns2 again. A pretty empty statement when you look at it objectively since it's simply the same cdt team though smaller and they arn't creating any new content either.

    Kool that they are trying something, but i don't think anything will come out of this other than learning what are the best microscale steps you can take to optimise the lifecycle of a dying game and eek out as much as you can.

  19. #19
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    Try posting that on the UWE forums and see how long it stays up before Hugh deletes it.

    - - - Updated - - -

    And then permanently bans you.

  20. #20
    Quote Originally Posted by Jekt View Post
    Try posting that on the UWE forums and see how long it stays up before Hugh deletes it.

    - - - Updated - - -

    And then permanently bans you.
    He doesnt read the forums anymore, and after Mendasp's thread people should speak their minds (as long as it's not hateful).
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