Update 320 – Merry Gorgemas!

Posted by WasabiOne 4 months ago

“Twas the night before Gorgemas
when all through the base,
Not a creature was stirring
not even a MAC;
The Hydras were placed
by the Command Station with care,
In hopes that Saint Gorgie, soon would be there…”

Tis the season of gift giving and holiday cheer, so with that in mind we bring you Update 320. We’ve got some balance tweaks, visual improvements, and stability fixes for you this season. A huge thanks to Katzenfleisch for his many contributions this patch!

We’d like the take a moment and address some of the mod/client/server issues that started this week. Earlier this week Valve pushed out an update on the way clients access and use the version of workshop NS2 utilizes. As a result NS2 clients and servers can no longer access the workshop content. Thanks to some coding magic by Ghoul and McGlaspie, we have a temporary fix that will be released with Update 320, please be aware that some users may experience slightly longer load times as a result of this workaround (the more mods the longer it will take). We want to stress that this is a temporary fix and that server operators have been encouraged to setup mod backup servers to help keep games going if we continue to run into issues.

Our team is in communication with Valve and working to find a long term solution to the issue and we will be posting more in the next couple weeks as we figure out just what that permanent fix is going to be.

We hope you enjoy your holidays and stay tuned for more to come.
Merry Gorgemas!

Changelog

Gameplay

  • Exosuits – Based on resounding community feedback, these are temporary interim changes to slightly nerf Exos, to allow us time to redesign them entirely through proper testing in following updates.
    • Increased purchase costs to 55 pres (from 45)
      • So marines can’t get them too early into the round and to make buying an Exo a significant investment again, as well as potentially limiting the ability to just re-purchase after a quick death.
    • Decreased the base (0% charged) damage of a railgun to 10 from 33. Each railgun shot now deals only up to 150 (instead of 173) damage fully charged without any weapon upgrade researched.
      • A lower base dmg should help encourage fuller charges and diminish the likelihood of cheap “chipping” kills from immediately tapping fire, especially as follow up shots.
    • You can no longer simultaneously charge both railguns at all. You can only charge one at a time.
      • This, along with the base dmg decrease, should prevent the “Double Tap” issue that can result in a near instant ~250 dmg output by skilled railgun shooters. Feeling like you were being killed by one shot was an incredibly frustrating experience for the community.
  • Flamethrower – Based on community feedback, our previous Flamethrower buffs were not enough for the weapon to feel viable on it’s own. Please try these changes thoroughly before providing your updated feedback!
    • The flamethrower now deals light damage instead of “super light” damage
    • Increase the direct damage of the Flamethrower to 15 (from 10)
    • Increased burn damage to 8 (from 6)
    • Fixed that the flamethrower did not deal any direct AOE damage unless you hit an enemy directly.
    • The flamethrower can now set targets on fire up to 6 seconds. Each hit will add 2.1 seconds.
      • This should help with tackling the improved Whips
  • Dissolving ragdolls no longer stop or absorb bullets (Contributed by Katzenfleisch).
    • This affects Babbler, Resource Tower, Hive, Player and any other ragdolls from blocking any following damage or bullets. This is quite a notable change for the attentive shooter, and we think it feels much more responsive. Let us know what you think!

Tweaks / Improvements

  • Optimized the update routine for unit status HUD elements:
    • Health and armor bars of targeted units now update instantly.
    • Removed the annoying pulsate effect of the repair icons.
  • Improved map overviews
    • Fixed an issue where mini-maps would exhibit z-fighting, resulting in mini-maps that appeared to be missing certain details (eg crates).
    • Fixed an issue where the area the mini-map is rendered would not line up correctly with the minimap_extents object placed in the editor.
    • Added multisampling to greatly improve the quality of the generated mini-maps.
    • Fixed an issue where vent coloring would be incorrect/inconsistent.
    • Fixed an issue where some objects would incorrectly be colored vent-like (eg Repair room in Mineshaft had many yellow objects on the mini-map — yet has no vents).
    • All vanilla maps now have higher resolution mini-maps!
      • Note to Mappers: ALL CUSTOM MAPS MUST BE UPDATED FOR THE MAP TO BE ACCURATE! Before re-rendering the mini-map for your level, open the level in the editor, and re-save it. Otherwise, the newly generated mini-map will not line up correctly with the in-game icons.
  • Improved quality of cloaked aliens shader effect for Marines.
  • All models and props that were not hand-made by level designers that emit a glow, will now change to match the current light color when power nodes are destroyed or repaired (code contributed by Nin). As a result unpowered locations will appear to be much more consistent now.
    • Note to Mappers: Please read the SDK section, as there is an explanation on how this change impacts your maps. By default, no changes are need and it will work correctly with all maps.
  • Commander selection and entity moving improvements. (Thanks Katzenfleisch!)
    • Fixed that you are able to select both movable and non-movable entities at the same time, resulting in a “invalid” sound each time an order is given to that group (even if all the movable entities are following that order). This happens especially with cysts and crag/shift/etc.
    • Fixed not being able to cancel an action given while a group of entities was selected.
    • Fixed having all the movable selected entities going to the same exact point when asking them to move, resulting in entity stacking. They should now distance themselves automatically when arriving at their destination.
      • Note: It is still possible to *manually* stack entities if one tries hard enough, but it should no longer occur automatically when moving groups.

Fixes

  • Fixed client/server crash when checking file(s) consistency from multiple threads.
  • Fixed client crash with texture streaming when resetting render device or closing client.
  • Fixed client crash with sound system when device is reset or client closes.
  • Fixed client crash during physics update when collision objects were create or read from multiple threads.
  • Fixed client crash where in some rare cases, starting a listen server with a mod enabled that had model resource content would crash when loading a map.
  • Fixed that the curl multi interface doesn’t exit when the easy interface times out and thus the given network connection is never closed. Based on the number of players connecting this can cause a server’s network interface to overload / show redplugs.
    • This was a major issue that we discovered when Hive temporarily went down, and while Hive’s issue was permanently fixed, we wanted to doubly ensure it could not negatively affect servers going forward.
  • Fixed issue with LuaJIT memory allocator not having correct memory space available.
  • Fixed that spectator slot users could not join a playing team, after a player slot user joined the spectator team in a full server.
    • This also fixes spectators from joining a team while a player who was guaranteed a playerslot is connecting. As a result, this should also fix most cases where the playercount was able to eventually show negative numbers in the browser.
  • Fixed that veterans couldn’t spectate in rookie only servers.
  • Fixed that Auto pickup of a Welder would also auto switch to it, even in combat.
    • Weapon pickup now behaves much more like you’d expect : you still pick up weapons automatically when walking over them, but if you want to swap weapons, you can now look at specific dropped weapons to pick them up within a pile of different weapons. Additionally, standing on top of a pile of welders will no longer hijack your “drop weapon” key, preventing you from swapping out weapons within that pile for a welder you already own.
  • Fixed that the quickplay_ready server flag didn’t work. Also added it as an option to the serverconfig, which defaults to enabled. Server operators do not have to rely on mods anymore to remove their server from the quick play queue.
  • Fixed that entity ragdolls did not dissolve properly or on time.
  • Fixed that Babblers did not detach when their parent died. (Contributed by Katzenfleisch).
  • Fixed that the Babbler’s collision boxes were not removed correctly when an attached babbler got destroyed causing aliens to become invincible around the babbler attachment points in the world. (Contributed by Katzenfleisch).
  • Fixed that certain structure’s range circles did not show up while placing them. (Contributed by Katzenfleisch).
  • Fixed that phasing through a Phase Gate could fail due to a server/client time desync (Contributed by Nin).
    • Note: This only fixes one of the possible conditions where this bug can occur.
      Fixed that the lights flickered when a destroyed/unsocketed/blueprint Power Node was attacked by Aliens, or when any Powernode state was attacked by Marines. (Contributed by Nin).
  • Fixed that AI unit’s speed restrictions weren’t applied while turning (bye-bye Initial-D Drifters!).
  • Fixed that many entities did not display damage numbers upon killing them. This list includes Hallucinations, Veils, Shells, Spurs, Babbler Eggs, Drifter Eggs, Eggs, Babblers, Jetpack on ground, Clogs, Mines, Cysts, Exosuits, and Sentry Batteries. (Contributed by Katzenfleisch).
  • Fixed that net_lag, net_loss, and net_blackout console command values were maintained after switching servers.
  • Fixed that Skulk bots tried to evolve to higher life forms including all available upgrades even if they don’t have enough personal resources, causing them to stay still until they have the needed resources.
  • Fixed that buildings that require orientation before placement (Phase Gates, Robotics Factory) would change their *position* (not just orientation) when the commander clicked once and moved their camera. (Contributed by Katzenfleisch).
  • Fixed a script error occuring because the jetpack flying sound wasn’t stopped when the Jetpack was destroyed (Contributed by Katzenfleisch).
  • Fixed that the Kill-Feed did not show the healspray kill icon when they gorge had the bile bomb or the babler bait selected (Contributed by Katzenfleisch).
  • Fixed that commander couldn’t place new structures while having enemy units selected (Contributed by Katzenfleisch).
  • Fixed that some alien structures’ impact were not removed from the navigation mesh after they got repositioned (Contributed by Katzenfleisch).
  • Fixed that you can damage a un-fully repaired PowerNode with every Alien damage ability except with Bilebomb

Maps

All maps have been updated to better utilize the glow toggling effect (when power is destroyed). As a result, the auxiliary power will now be more visually uniform. Some additional changes were added to toggle objects like holograms on/off when the power goes out.

Changes contributed by Zavaro:

Tram

  • Fixed stuck spots in Repair around the tech point
  • Added missing occlusion to southern Repair entrance
  • Fixed occlusion issue in east vent in Ore
  • Added more robust collision geometry in east vent in Ore to prevent stuck spots
  • Fixed lighting issues in North Tunnels

Refinery

  • Removed two invulnerable Gorge locations in Conduit (NE and SE corners of the room)
  • Added method for Marines to jump into Chasm-Containment vent
  • Fixed stuck spot on stairs north of Flow Control
  • Fixed spots around Exchange where cysts could be placed inside pipes

Docking

  • Removed invulnerable Gorge location in Stability above the vent

Descent

  • Fixed stuck spot in Fluid Transfer

Mineshaft

  • Fixed unaligned props near Repair Room
  • Fixed hole in Deposit’s moving crates that allowed players to exit the map

SDK

  • Note to Mappers: ALL CUSTOM MAPS MUST BE UPDATED FOR THE MAP TO BE ACCURATE! Before re-rendering the mini-map for your level, open the level in the editor, and re-save it. Otherwise, the newly generated mini-map will not line up correctly with the in-game icons.

Graphics

  • Material files used as layered effects (eg the distortion material used for cloaked aliens) can now use “%inherit” as a texture name, meaning it will use the base material’s texture in its place. As a result, cloaked aliens now appear more detailed, since the normal map can now be used. Before, only the vertex normals were available for generating the distortion map.

Editor

  • There is a new “Emissive matches power” drop-down option for level-props. By default this option is set to true. All level Models (props) used by the game can now potentially be affected by a Location’s power-state. The emissive channel in said model’s materials is toggled off when there is no power or the auxiliary lights are active. Mappers have control over which props are affected at run-time. In order for this to be applied to a map, it simply needs to be open and re-saved. To control the effect mappers will need to selectively choose which props are excluded from being changed by a location’s power.
  • Added a new option to the texture tool that will cause it to attempt to align textures by their seams when copying the texture from one face to an adjacent on.
  • Added options for prop placement, including align-to-surface, and randomize \rotation.
  • Fixed a crash that occurred when trying to select a sound file.
  • Fixed that selecting multiple layers was difficult/impossible.
  • Fixed that sometimes the drawing tools would cut into invisible faces.
  • Fixed that double-click-selecting a large interconnected piece of geometry would sometimes crash the editor.

Known Issues

  • NS2+ percentage unit-status option updates too slowly (every 200ms)
    • While the flickering issue was resolved, fixing the update rate of this NS2+ option will require the base game to be refactored due to the way this option hooks into the game. This is a goal for our next patch.
  • Tram’s Logistics Hologram will be off when the power is in an unbuilt / neutral state.
  • The inability to charge your secondary railgun simultaneously is not currently communicated through the HUD.
  • Not all map overviews are 100% accurate, with some connecting room areas showing as not being connected on the map. This is going to require mappers making per item changes over the next few weeks through our extensions mod. We apologize for not having this feature in perfect condition upon release, but we felt the benefits provided by it justified the temporary downsides.
  • Not all room lights are updated to take advantage of the Emissive power state changes (eg: Hangar Bay on Kodiak). This is another issue that will require mappers making per item changes over the few weeks, and was a feature we felt while not perfect yet, should be included for feedback as it was improvement over the current state of things.