NS2 Build 157 released
The biggest changes you’ll see in this patch are gameplay focused. In particular, we listened to what you had to say about impenetrable Crag/Whip/Hydra builds (making it hard for marines to expand early game) – the resource model has changed enough that you won’t see tons of those alien structures and there was a bug where Crags were healing twice as fast as they should have been.
We also addressed the "OP" grenade launcher and flamethrower turnaround later in the game – grenades can hurt the firer, they don’t go through walls and they bounce if they don’t hit a target. Flamethrowers have been toned down a bit and the particle effects toned down so you can still see in combat when you’re on fire.
Also, we’ve changed the MAC roles to be more support and on the repair side of things, instead of the commander’s main building force. Now players are the main way marines build and so you’ll be enjoying that traditional NS feel where you’re both building and fighting. I think we were all noticing that the marines felt a bit disconnected from the Commander but it wasn’t until we released it to you guys that we took more notice.
- Reduced flamethrower direct damage from 50 to 35 and clip size 25 to 20
- Grenades now bounce when they don’t hit a target and explode after a few seconds. Grenades no longer hurt targets through walls.
- Grenades can now hurt firer
- Reduced grenade damage radius from 10 to 8 (mostly so you don’t hurt yourself constantly)
- Changed starting resources from 100 carbon (team) and 25 plasma (each player) to 50 carbon and 25 plasma
- Added special first-person flamethrower effects when you’re on fire (they don’t obscure the screen)
- Grenade now looks like it’s coming out of the barrel instead of your face
- Focus on back on marine building: Marine commander starts with no MACs, MACsnow build a lot slower than players and added +use effects for building marines (your view model doesn’t go away at the moment, but it will soon)
- Removed marine "Replicate" ability (doesn’t fit the marines new focus back on player-building)
- MACs cost more energy to make and take 2x as much damage to kill
- Fixed bug where players that died while on fire spawned on fire
- Changed Crags to not self-heal and to heal every 2 seconds instead of every 1 second (this is how DCs worked in NS1)
- Rewrote marine sentries to function more like miniguns. They are nasty now, watch out! Fixed sound, animation and targeting problems with them.
- Increased sentry build time from 7 to 15 because a) they are awesome and b) there’s no turret factory
- Sentries now cost 20 plasma (Commander) instead of 10 carbon
- Changed Hydra cost from 5 plasma to 10
- Fixed bug where plasma was being checked before letting players evolve, but wasn’t being deducted (!)
- Fade blink ghost model no longer warps and no longer orients to face targets unless very close to them
- Added smooth skulk rotation when going on and off walls. Reduced interpenetration of skulk model with the world.
- Added team carbon and individual plasma display to the scoreboard
- MASCs are now known as ARCs (but not in the game yet)
- Revamped marine commander UI buttons to be simpler and more evenly distributed. Added uniform top bar of buttons that allows you to always easily access Build, Advanced, Assist + Squads (more like NS1)
- Moved marine armor2/ammo2 to tier 2 (Command Facility) and armor3/ammo3 to tier 3 (Command Center)
- Ammo packs now remove parasite
- Sentries, hydras, MACs and Drifters now always hit structures, no matter what animation or state they are in
- Capped structure innate regeneration at .5% of structure max health per second so eggs don’t count up like crazy
- Fixed alien structure innate regeneration
- Alien innate regeneration now heals a minimum of 1 health (like NS1)
- Added regeneration sound whenever an alien entity gets healed
- Brightened "out of power" red lighting a bit
- Fixed problems with rogue sounds being heard when they weren’t supposed to
- Lots of smaller bug fixes (death message icons, animations, etc.)
- Fixed bug where the game could not be run without a sound card
- Fixed bug where the game would not always shutdown on exit (process would continue to run)
- Fixed bug a new game couldn’t be joined after leaving a game
- Fixed "connection issues" when first joining a game
- Fixed bug where clients could timeout during the loading process
- Fixed disconnect messages on the server not indicating when a client times out
- Converted the pistol ammo display to use Lua instead of Flash (optimization)
- Converted the shotgun ammo display to use Lua instead of Flash (optimization) and fixed reserve ammo display
- Better Fade swipe hit sounds on various materials, better marine structure generic death sound. level tweeks + fall offs on organic ricochets. louder sentry sounds.
- Detail pass of Alien Expansion (ns2_tram)
- Fixed visible clipping geometry outside alien start (ns2_tram)
- Fixed map leak exploits (ns2_rockdown)
The next patch will be focused on more optimizations as well as making it much easier for the Commander and marines to find together, work together and know about what each other is doing. We’re also about to rework the alien commander UI to be much more clear and we’re also heavily optimizing both UIs so we should see a dramatic boost there.
Finally, if you might want to check out what more organized NS2 looks like. Here’s are two parts of an organized 6v6 Australian game. Even in this early state of balance, it’s really cool seeing strategies start to emerge:
If you haven’t bought the game yet and want to give it a shot, we can still buy a beta key here here.
We hope you enjoy the patch and see you online!