Natural Selection 2 Build 256 is live on Steam!

Posted by 11 years ago
Natural Selection 2

G’day everyone! Build 256 is now live on Steam and your clients will update automatically over the next few hours. Official servers will drop offline momentarily while they are updated as well.

We’ve broken our own rule: Never patch on Fridays. We do not normally patch on Fridays because on the off-chance we blow up the game, it is much harder to fix on a weekend than a weekday. But we feel unusually confident about 256, as it as been gestating for several weeks and not undergone too many changes over the last few days. Regardless of the day of release, as with most new NS2 builds, many mods will break. We suggest disabling mods until modders have a chance to update, to prevent  bad behaviour by the game.

Build 256 is not quite all we wanted to be. There are still a few issues outstanding, which we may discuss in more detail in a future post. For example, the server will still occasionally hitch and 32bit players will still experience memory issues. We are working full time on rectifying both issues. 256 does feature a solid reel of smashed bugs and it is all around a much better experience than 255. For example, many of you will be happy to note that input lag has been reduced all renderers: D3D9/11 and OpenGL. Increased input lag was one of the most frustrating aspects of build 255.

Update: The Friday release gods got us – 257 was released soon after 256, with a couple of extra changes. They’re now listed at the top of the changelog:

[257 additions]

Grenade launcher animation fixes
Fixed different resolution/ratio between desktop and game causes mouse cursor to appear in the wrong position
Biodome and Descent work with consistency enabled now


Reduced input latency with all renderers
Hooked up missing hatch effects for the Hive
Improved Commander marquee selection logic
Drifters now inherit selection state from the Egg they hatched from
Cleaned up Alien tech map UI
Added a background color for the tech map UI for better visibility
Added additional error messages for cases when D3D9 fails to initialize
Added the Steam Runtime and instructions on how to run the dedicated server on Linux to the dedicated server installation


Reduced the overhead of setting up shader constants in D3D9
Old Umbra Clouds will get cleaned up when a new one is created nearby
Fixed 80ms hitch on the server when a player connects due to compressing file names for consistency checking
Improved the speed of compiling COLLADA models
Reduced memory usage for storing model indices (saves about 16 MB on ns2_summit)
Removed skinning information from Models is memory that don’t use it (saves 4 MB on ns2_summit)
Fixed choppy performance in D3D11 fullscreen mode


Gorge Tunnels no longer require a research


Fixed bug where vsync would be enabled in OpenGL on startup regardless of the value set in the options
Fixed bug preventing request voice overs from working in some cases
Fixed Whip Bombard triggering a Bile Bomb sound which wasn’t get cleaned up properly
Fixed wrong effect for Spores showing up for Aliens
Fixed bug where leaving an Exosuit and re-entering it could sometimes disable armor upgrades for that player
Fixed bug where suicides counted as a kill in the score board
Fixed Railgun cooldown display being imprecise
Fixed Shade Ink ability not triggering any sound effect
Fixed Whips resetting their position when Echoed while having an active move order
Fixed structures being able to “move under ground” while being Echoed
Fixed some pathing issues with Crags, Shades, and Shifts
Fixed entities being able to create multiple obstacles on the pathing mesh
Fixed alien structures not pushing each other away after teleported with Echo
Fixed ARC impact effect sometimes not being visible to the Alien Commander
Fixed most explosive weapons / abilities ignoring friendly units with friendly fire enabled
Skulks no longer lose leap while being alive
Fixed alive Fades losing Shadow Step when last Shade is killed
Fixed alive Onos losing charge when last Crag is killed
Fixed Skulks being able to unlock leap without having the required upgrade
Fixed inconsistency with burning Whips and Hydras sometimes being able to attack
Whips display now correctly the stop command while moving
Fixed land sound effect being suppressed while sneaking when moving at higher speeds
Fixed weapon pickup priority not working properly
Fixed Biomass progression for the next level in the Alien tech map UI
Fixed tech map UI sometimes showing the wrong tech tree to the player
Fixed Commander automatically attacking own Hive / Command Station when logging out
Fixed Crags being able to heal when they are already dead
Fixed bug causing newly spawned MACs to be visible on the minimap for Alien team players
Fixed script error caused by an Exo stomping an egg that the Alien Commander was researching into a lifeform egg
Fixed bug causing “Danger music” to sometimes keep playing when it should have stopped
Fixed main menu Twitter feed
Fixed issue where D3D9 would not properly limit the number of frames in flight on the GPU to reduce input latency
Fixed bug causing the Steam overlay to pop up while connecting to a server in some cases by accidentally clicking the store buttons on the main menu before joining
Fixed old versions of mods not being properly removed on Linux
Fixed bug where config files could not be written from Lua on Linux
Fixed mouse buttons 4, 5 and 6 not being recognized on Linux
Fixed bug where the game would not choose a valid resolution on start-up if the default resolution wasn’t supported by the device
Changed the game to always use the en_US locale to eliminate issues with string generation in Lua
Female voice overs now work correctly while in an Exosuit
Fixed issue where props from one map wouldn’t be removed from memory when going to a new map


Level autosaving speed improved


Lighting optimisations in many areas, approximately 300 lights removed.
Various other performance optimisations.
Added Alex’s glass containers in Analysis and integrated his carousel changes into Seeding.
Cleaned up commander view in some areas.
Patched up nav mesh on tech point in Falls.
Removed flickering face in Analysis.


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