Build 310 is now live on Steam!
Today we have a treat for you. New first person animations have arrived for all the core pieces of a Marine’s basic kit: Rifle, Pistol, and Axe! Every single animation has been rebuilt completely from scratch and ran through a new modernized pipeline to improve the weight and feel of the weapon handling and movement in NS2. In addition, while updating the animations, we have also fixed many issues in the animation graphs that control which animations play and how they blend together.
For many, playing the game with new animations may feel like a bit of a shock considering we’ve all been used to the same animations for upwards of five years; but give it a chance and I think you’ll come to love them.
In addition to new animations, we also are switching the game over to Hive 2. This is no miracle fix for team stacking issues, but it does give us a lot more control over the system and ability to fix issues as they come up. There are many technical improvements to the new system, some of which you can read about here.
Although Hive 2 is not going to fix team balancing, it does bring with it some significant improvements to the underlying skill learning algorithm. Moultano has provided a great description of how this works, and an image showing the difference between how the two algorithms might perform when trying to discover a player’s underlying skill value.
Moultano’s Sage Words: “Imagine a mountain covered in fog…”
Notice how the Hive 2 value gets closer to the target value much faster (with many less games played) than if the same set of games is recorded by Hive 1.
This week we are also working on putting together a 64 bit beta build, which you will be able to opt in to and play with on build 310 servers so that you can help test the stability and performance of the 64 bit version of NS2 in actual games. Come join us in Discord for more details. The more people that help us test it, the better we will be able to make it.
Update 310 Changelog
- Onos cost increased to 62 pres (was 55)
When pres gain was increased to 1.25 per tick, Lerk cost had to be decreased to maintain the same initial timings. Because of how late into the game Onos arrive, their cost needs to be raised to account for the additional pres gain and restore the old timings. By pushing out the Oni by a minute or two, aliens have a larger need for Fades, and Marines have a little more breathing room and time to prepare.
- Increased the Shotgun spread slightly to decrease the one-shot range to approximately what it was prior to the alien hit box changes
- Lerk movement tweaks
- Increase non-celerity flap force to match celerity to reduce Lerk’s dependence on Celerity
- Improved crouch diving mechanics to help with ambushing and spiking
- Increased strafe flap force to help with spiking
- Decreased Gorges off-infestation belly slide friction so that Gorges can maintain their speed a bit longer (0.2 to 0.1)
Tweaks / Improvements
- Hive 2.0
- Algorithm Changes
- Instead of a constant learning rate, Hive now uses both an AdaGrad-based learning rate and a constant learning rate. This makes skill values change faster initially, but change slower once they’ve converged. Expect large changes to your skill value for your first several games in the new system.
- Skill values imported from the old hive system have been modified using a function of play time. (Thanks Nordic!) This fixes the issue where some new players started with a skill of 1000, and others started with a skill of 0. This has the effect of reducing all skill values, particularly those of newer players.
- Exploits involving switching teams mid-game have been fixed. Players that switch teams will be credited with both a win and a loss, and the skill updates will be proportional to how long they played on each team, weighting the beginning of the game much more than the end.
- Games with few human players no longer cause anomalously large skill updates. Games with fewer than 12 human players will have a very small effect on skills.
- Algorithm Changes
- Added graphical element for mucous shield
- Added an additional diagnostic icon which will appear when a server’s performance dips to yellow or red
- Fixed that script error icons would flash on screen after map loads
- Fixed exploit that allowed players to regain all energy by exploiting the “Evolve Last Upgrades” feature
- Fixed that you couldn’t hit cysts at your feet with the Axe while standing on top of them
- Fixed a client crash caused by trying to read from a model that has not finished loading
- Fixed an scripted error occurring when bot commander got kicked
- Fixed that alien bots tried to evolve upgrades on higher lifeforms even though they couldn’t afford them
- Fixed that commander bots would try to build RTs in a weird order due to it using birds-eye distance rather than path distance
- Fixed that command chairs could not be built by bots
- Fixed a bug that would cause a babbler-covered gorge to have a more difficult time heal spraying structures
- Improved how cyst chains are placed. This should make cysts more reliably connect to the closest cyst
- Refinery : Stuck spot in Chasm <-> Lava Falls vent fixed (Thanks Zavaro!)
- In Viewer’s Animation Graph Editor, you can now press the spacebar to recenter your view on either the selected or starting node
- Fixed that LiveMixin:DeductHealth was not using the correct formulas for applying normal damage types, as it advertised