Beta Build 263 Now Available
Shh, we have a secret for you. Just moments ago, a Steam Beta version of Build 263 was released. We are not promoting this release anywhere but here on the blog (Edit: Ok, and a tweet!) – Because we only want you, our most committed players, to find out about it.
Build 263 has been gestating for quite some time. Hard work from Andi, Lukas, community volunteer Brian ‘SamusDroid,’ and many others has combined to produce an update that could change the way you play NS2. For the first time, there is an organised play option available in game.
This system is not a ‘beta,’ and if you must use a term to describe it, ‘alpha’ might be generous. At the moment, it does not look like much. It does not yet have a visual theme or even a final main-menu name. But under the hood, it is very cool. It has the ability to allocate a party of players to a server in a dedicated pool. 25% of UWE’s server capacity is being turned over to this pool as this post is written.
Nothing in this beta build is confirmed for release – Even the organised play system. Everything could be reverted, and this is only a test. We have internal deadlines and quality goals for the organised play system that we have to hit, or we will remove it. That might sound harsh, but we would rather be open and honest with you, than tease you with something we cannot deliver. We will closely watch your feedback to determine what state the system is in. Please go ahead and abuse it!
To access the beta, right click on Natural Selection 2 in your Steam Library. Then, go to the ‘Betas tab’ and select ‘Beta’ from the drop down menu. To restore the game to 262 release state, select ‘None’ in the same menu. Please note that you may have difficulty finding a game in the beta due to lower player and server numbers.
Here is the provisional 263 changelog. It will change, is not final, and much of it may never leave beta form:
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
Always trigger “jump” sound together with improved jump sounds for Skulks (sounds for Fade jumping no longer cut out as well)
Fixed lifeform name being hidden behind the lifeform icon in the Alien buy menu
Doors now open from further away for fast moving players to compensate for the speed of the player
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 Exo’s
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
Smoother catpack view effect in dark areas (No more black oval when in dark places)
Steam friends nameplates and minimap icons are now highlighted
Added ammo bars for the Marine Commander to nameplates
Low light quality option. All official maps now have a “Low Lights” layer in which lights can be placed to allow for increased performance. The option can be changed in the menu and takes effect immediately. (Similar to how sv_nsllights works in the NSL mod). Thanks to Mendasp and Dragon for helping with the code
Chat will now wrap to next line for long messages.
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
Key bindings can now be unbinded/cleared
(Finally) hooked up interface sounds
Updated news ticker to open in overlay like everything else to give proper better web usage
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
Remove skill ranking from main menu
Reduced hitching when opening pages in the menu
Implemented option description tooltips and tooltips for various things using new hover tooltips. (Hover over the label on the left side to see)
Rearranged server browser tabs (all game modes are now grouped up on the left side)
Fixed main menu tip video layer being behind the tip videos content page.
Fixed tip videos not hiding when you close the training page.
Made microphone input volume progress bar color change depending on volume in the sound option page(yellow and red possible now)
Fixed bug in main menu with MouseIn / MouseOut events not handled properly
Moved HUD detail option to general options tab
Server list and chat font size now resizes for really small screen resolutions
Consistency checking now uses a much faster algorithm which in most cases should decrease loadtimes
Drastically reduced network traffic generated by scoreboard updates
Optimized cloaked effect
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 useless 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
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 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 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
***gather_server can now be added as a tag in ServerConfig.json
Send Commander time to Hive
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.
Removed center rail on Triad stairs
Pathing fixes in Maintenance
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
Smoothed out movement in Flight Control
Minor cosmetic fixes
Fixed bad collision in Dome
Removed buggy cable bundle from Logistics->South Tunnels connection.
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