Update 337 – Matched Play BETA

Posted by WasabiOne 3 months ago

The Development team never stops and although at times some updates don’t seem as full of changes, there is always behind the scenes efforts being made. One of those biggest efforts over the last year has been our new Matched Play system, code named Thunderdome. Update 337 is our big unveiling to the general public of the new Matched Play BETA and a flurry of other changes and updates throughout the game.

Matched Play in its current state will allow 12 players to be matched by region and skill levels to the best of HIVE’s ability. You then play two rounds on an officially hosted server. The intent of this system is to create a better experience for players looking to get in and play as soon as possible and not wait on servers in spectator mode for a slot that may or may not open. There are still more planned features for the official 1.0 release of Matched Play and you can read more about the system here.

Update 337 also includes an updated version of one of our earliest maps MINESHAFT. Kash and Maptesting Group have been hard at work getting this update ready and we hope you enjoy the new gameplay brought on by the changes. Many other maps have gotten updates as well and as always a special thanks to each of the Map Leads on those respective maps as listed in the log below.

A new Armory UI has been added to the game that more reflects the visuals and information we wanted to share and felt was better for players to understand equipment effectiveness and uses. An updated implementation for the graphics option Ambient Occlusion has also been added that should help with input lag and large fps drops, it also looks much better which is a major plus too!

As always, there are many other tweaks and improvements listed below. We look forward to your continued feedback and support.

Remember all sales of NS2 and DLC directly affect our development budget and allow our team to continue work on NS2.

Changelog

Gameplay

  • [Has been live since January] Cluster Grenades should no longer set enemies on fire and should no longer cancel abilities (Umbra, Crag heal etc)
    • Damage is now increased to 72 in order to keep the damage intended by the prior fire values

Tweaks / Improvements

  • New ‘Matched Play’ option in the Play menu. It is in a BETA state until the next patch. Feel free to provide any feedback on our discord server!
    • Focused version of the game for 6v6 only
    • System automatically groups 12 players based on their geographic location and their Hive Skill. With the aim of normalizing latency among all clients.
    • Matched Play ranks and skills will use the player’s current community rank until that player’s first Matched Play round is finished. Afterwards, the Matched Play skill-ranks will be handled separately.
    • Map Voting is a priority-choice system, which means your first choice (of max 3) gets the greatest weight.
    • Each Match is two rounds, one for each faction. Teams are automatically swapped for the second round.
    • Friends Invitations and Groups Queueing are not implemented for the BETA, but we are looking very closely at adding these features for the Version 1 release of Matched Play.
    • Players who intentionally leave an ongoing match will be penalized from using the feature, so as to encourage players to not create a detrimental experience for their teammates whom they match with.
      • 1st penalty is for 1 hour
      • 2nd penalty within 7 days time is 3 hours
      • 3rd penalty within 7 days time is 24 hours
      • 4th penalty within 7 days time is 3 days
      • 5th penalty within 7 days time is 7 days
      • If any incident occurs it resets the 7 day clock! So if your 2nd penalty occurs on the 6th day, you have another 7 days you have to complete without incident again, else you get the 3rd penalty.
      • Penalties are sequential in both directions, earned and lost. So without further incident within that rolling 7 day period your status will revert to the prior penalty step. Meaning if you’ve earned the maximum 7 day ban it would take 4 weeks to essentially “reset” your penalty level to 0, but you would be able to use the system again as soon as the first 7 days passed. But should you have another incident soon after that, it would go right back to a 7 day penalty
    • For more details, please read the FAQ: https://steamcommunity.com/games/ns2/announcements/detail/2993187041079882627
  • New Ambient Occlusion
    • No more input delay or large FPS drops!
    • No more “moving” pixelated shadows!
    • Give it a try.. After a while you’ll wonder how you lived without it

  • New Armory UI
    • Replete with stat bars for new players to consider and learn with
  • Main menu News panel is now at the bottom of the screen and will automatically hide in subsequent game launches.
  • New Mineshaft and Tram main menu background cinematics to accommodate their changes over the years
  • The game will automatically select your native desktop resolution by default now. This should prevent some new installs from being unable to interact with the main menu buttons without having to alt + enter
  • Sound options menu are arranged to be more consistent and intuitive (Thanks MiniMe!)

Fixes

  • Fixed fourth Infantry Portal being possible on one Command Station
  • Fixed the automatic spawning of an infantry portal once there are enough players on the team from occurring with the wrong amount of players
  • Fixed Marines rarely spawning at random locations on the map at round start
  • Fixed main menu background sounds not being controlled by the sound volume option
  • Fixed respawn music not being affected by music slider volume
  • Fixed “say” console command not working
  • Fixed the Advanced option “nameplates” set to “numbers” still showing health bars
  • Fixed that you could not queue a Drifter to patrol an area after a build order. The weekend seminar training for all drifters seems to have gone well as they now fully understand your priorities like creeping in hallways
  • Fixed Marine HP bar on HUD showing up even when disabled, if getting healed.
  • Fixed an exploit that could easily allow custom shaders on enemy players.
  • Fixed Cyst “ghost model” placement ring being too small. Responsible for confusing commanders since 2012. If you pop ‘em now you have only yourself to blame (Thanks Axtel!)
  • Fixed Marine tutorial errors when extractor blueprint is destroyed (Thanks Axtel!)
  • Fixed an inconsistent Hive Skill offset calculation 
  • Fixed Sound Occlusion geometry not being properly commander invisible
  • Fixed damage numbers not showing sometimes despite being enabled
  • Fixed a showstopping bug in Marine tutorial where the powernode could not be built. It now will automatically build after some time if the user is unable to, as a workaround. (Thanks Axtel!)
  • Fixed consuming Drifters causing server errors (Thanks Axtel!)
  • Fixed Hive Challenge mode eating itself alive by wave 7, like a galaxy’s worth of stars collapsing in on themselves to form a supermassive black hole containing a billion Marine bots deep beyond the event horizon. (Thanks Axtel!)
  • Fixed Infantry Portals not showing in post round stats Tech list (Thanks Axtel!)
  • Fixed that we never had a feature that was so beautiful that it could record structure location information in the post round stats file, allowing the community to create gorgeous heatmaps to share. (Thanks Axtel!)
  • Fixed that consumed Harvesters didn’t count as lost in the RT graph in post round stats, along with some other stat reporting oddities (Thanks Axtel!)
  • Fixed flickering lights and repetitive snow fx in Summit main menu cinematic
  • Fixed Origin main menu cinematic missing all of its sound events. 
  • Fixed that lights don’t immediately turn off when the power node is destroyed (Thanks Axtel!)
  • Fixed that Marine Commanders could issue Defend and Build waypoints on enemy entities
  • Fixed typo in color-blind mode option. You just didn’t notice it before because you were regular blind as well. The same reason for your KD ratio.
  • Fixed that the Options menu did not display the default values to the user. They now show an asterisk (*) next to the relevant options.
  • Fixed the scenario where if a player bound their Map key to an existing commander grid binding, you’d open the map while using commander even though it was a non commander binding.
  • Fixed that as a commander when you select a player in an Exosuit the Orders menu is empty. Now you can order those murder machines around to your heart’s content. 
  • Fixed Gorge “toys” (any that have ghost models to place) causing a server error if the Gorge died before actually placing them.
  • Changed the name of “Advanced Assistance”, the command chair upgrade, to “Advanced Support” to distinguish between the Advanced Armory which was more commonly used when one said “AA”
  • Fixed that Power Surge could be used on Sentry Batteries. One does not simply plug the power into another power source. That’s how new TSF safety regulations come about.

Sounds

  • Fixed Metro menu background sound effects not having client’s sounds setting controlling its volume.

Maps

  • Descent (Thanks Salty!)
    • Fixed Crew Quarters vent stuck spot
    • Fixed the planet
    • Fixed low and minimal lighting in silo and drafting 
    • Rebuilt Occlusion Geo for better performance
    • Old occlusion is now sound occlusion
    • Improved commander invisible group
    • Added no evolve onos, to non onos friendly vents
    • Moved around some minimap location names
    • Smoothed out collision in various places
    • Moved Ready Room to prevent edge cases where it could be seen from the map
    • Fixed the holo sign in the Ready Room 
  • Docking (Thanks Kash!)
    • Fixed unpowered location in Terminal
    • Altered collision geometry for railings in courtyard to hopefully prevent AI line of sight being blocked for no reason.
    • Added 2 extra sets of lockers to Locker Room on the eastern wall to provide more cover for upgrades against marines assaulting from Courtyard. 
  • Kodiak (Thanks pSyk!)
    • Improved Occlusion Geo and Performance
    • Removed OP ARC spots for Command and Hanger
    • Removed some plants for clearer visuals
    • Added more rocks for cover in the outdoor areas
    • Added more crates for cover in Tunnel B5
    • Replaced trees with Origin trees (clearer visuals and better performance)
    • Fades can now blink through the gap of the crossbeams and ceiling at various places on the map
    • Added half closed doors to the door frames in the long corridor between Central and Hydro
    • Re-routed Hanger ceiling vent
    • Moved Upper Rapids RT closer to Marine Start 
  • Metro (Thanks Mephilles!)
    • Added in Minimal Lights
    • Added collision to all of the ticket booth props. (Located in derelict station, atrium, ticket booths) 
  • Mineshaft (Thanks Kash!)
    • Rethemed Cave.
    • Raised Cave to be closer to the height of the Cavern RT/North Tunnels.
    • Relocated vent from Cave to North Tunnels, to North Tunnels to Sorting.
    • Moved Crusher RT to North Tunnels.
    • Crusher to Cavern vent added under the stairs in Crusher.
    • Disconnected the Crusher/Cavern and Cave connection, making Cave a 2 entrance TP like all the other TPs in Mineshaft.
    • Added vent and extra detail to Cart Tunnel.
    • Disconnected Brew Room from Crusher, now has its own entrance to Central Drilling on the northern wall.
    • Connected Sorting to Brew Room.
    • Turned Conveyors into a vent and removed from the power grid.
    • Added extra vent exit in Deposit overlooking The Gap arc spot.
    • Made the Gap window above Operations inaccessible to aliens (to prevent exploitation).
    • Removed the Gap arc spot vs Operations hive.
    • Rethemed the Gap.
    • Cleaned up the clutter and cover in the south of Water Pumps to make it less abuse-able by aliens.
    • Made the Water Pumps to Cart Tunnel vent marine accessible.
    • Removed the vent above Central Drilling leading into Water Pumps.
    • Added cover throughout the map.
    • Added wetmaps and fog to appropriate places throughout the map.
    • Collision Overhaul throughout the map.
    • Moved Operations south and altered some cover and detail in the room.
    • Updated lighting to include all quality settings. 
  • Refinery (Thanks Zavaro!)
    • Fixed stuck spot in Routing vent 
  • Summit (Thanks pSyk!)
    • Replaced snow cinematics with new ones that cost less performance.
    • Removed a few snow cinematics and reflection probes to improve performance.
  • Veil (Thanks pSyk!)
    • Fixed several pitch black areas/spots with Minimal Lights
    • Fixed Fade stuck spots in the vent entrances below System
    • Fixed Marine/Fade stock spot at vent exit in Dome/Neck corridor

SDK

  • Made No Evolve tool much more robust and reliable. Can select specific lifeforms. (Thanks Axtel!)
  • Added new Occlusion visualizer rendering mode, via ‘r_mode occlusion’ (requires cheats-mode enabled)

Known Issues

  • When you are penalized from using Matched Play, it will only show in complete hours sometimes, and cut off the minutes. So if you see 2 hours, it could very well be 2 hours and 50 minutes still. This will get fixed.

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