The Unknown Worlds team have release a new patch they’ve been referring to as “Gorilla”.
The team have been teasing players about this mystery patch via Twitter, their forums and their Facebook page for quite a while now.
Here’s the changelog:
- You can now evolve to Onos when your team has three hives.
- The Onos can toss marines with his Gore attack, smash structures and Stomp on the ground, sending a shockwave that disables marine structures for 5 seconds. Upgrades are no longer available, sentries stop firing, Infantry Portals stop spawning, etc.
- Added Prototype Lab and the ability to research and buy Jetpacks
- Added new map: ns2_mineshaft
- Added camera animation and display during count down phase.
- Name tags now appear over the head of nearby teammates.
- Added lines for rally points.
- Mines detonate when hit by Stomp.
- Added an option to enable mouse acceleration (off by default)
- Infestation is now displayed on minimap (dying infestation is indicated red)
- Added some missing Marine structure icons.
- Reduced Rifle butt range from 1.5 meters to 1 meter (now same as Skulk bite)
- Shotgun damage changed to Light (armor is twice as effective against it). Made it lighter to carry and increased the damage to compensate (# of shots vs. base Skulks, Lerks and Fades should unchanged, 1 extra pellet vs. Gorges). So Shotguns should become less effective against heavily armored targets. (thanks Schimmel!)
- Bile bomb range and splash increased a lot, damage decreased somewhat and energy cost decreased a little (trying to make Gorge less vulnerable on front lines and also more able to do at least some damage to entrenched Marines). He is NASTY now, watch out.
- Increased Hydra health from 500 to 600 and armor from 0 to 75.
- Increased Lerk Spike cost from 1.5 to 2.5. Changed distribution of Command Station health and armor so it’s more resistent vs. Light damage (ie, Lerk Spikes).
- Disabled res for kills to simplify the game, remove confusion about what happens when you make a kill, reduce end-game stalemates with 1 tower and to increase the strategic aspects of the game.
- Armory no longer required to drop med packs (unnecessarily restrictive during rushes)
- Lowered bile bomb damage from 300 to 225.
- Increased repair rate for Marines repairing each others’ armor from 18 to 35 (to make it less annoying and to allow Marines to sustain attacks better).
- Reverted Fade carapace armor buff from 50 to 30.
- Removed Lerk "hide" armor.
- Reduced Shotgun research time from 40 to 20 (it was 0 in NS1). Helps Marines get a foothold with early aggression.
- Increased minimum egg spawn time from 8 to 10 seconds to less that early Alien assault (now it’s the same as Marines)
- Lowered infantry portal build time from 10 seconds to 7, and Armory from 15 to 12 (to try to lessen effectiveness of Skulk rush)
- Moved warehouse north.
- Removed north-east Warehouse entrance.
- Opened tram tunnel between Server and Warehouse.
- Reworked connecting corridors into Warehouse.
- Fixed drifter pathing issues between Server and Control.
- Fixed bug where the Gorge Bile Bomb ability used the Spit ability icon.
- Fixed bug where the Gorge Mini Cyst ability used the Hydra ability icon.
- Fixed script error if a Hive was destroyed while the Gorge that built it as Commander was a rag doll.
- Cleaned up some Client console spam when a Fade blinks.
- Fixed script error caused by a spectating player receiving points by getting a kill with a structure placed when they were not a spectator.
- Added placeholder icons for the Shell and Veil.
- Fixed bug where the game would randomly lockup while placing a Cyst.
- Drifter spawn sound effect will no longer play at world origin.
- Fixed a bug that prevented Skulks from leaping at maximum speed.
- Fixed bug where the physics representations for the Armory and Infantry Portal did not match up with the visual model.
- Weapon secondary attacks can no longer occur at the same time as primary attacks while coming out of a sprint in some cases.
- Armory buy menu will not instantly appear once construction is completed.
- Adjusted Skulk wall walking smoothing rates so that that the 3rd person model rotates more quickly to match the 1st person model (especially while jumping)
- Health and Ammo packs can now be dropped directly on top of a Marine player.
- Restored reloading of script files when they change on disk.
- Fixed Whip ‘grenade whack’
- Bombard projectiles will not collide with the Whip and nearby friendly structures anymore and is created at the correct attach point.
- Alien player names for Hydra kills will no longer appear in blue text in the death message.
- Fixed a bug causing Mini Cysts placed by the Gorge to be disconnected when created even in cases where the ghost model indicated the connection was valid.
- Fixed bug causing dropped weapons to disappear too quickly if they were picked up and dropped again after initially being dropped.
- AI units cannot attack friendly players anymore unless FF is enabled.
- Fixed bug causing script error when a Cyst died due to not being connected to a Hive.
- Fixed crash when too many objects are visible.
- PhysX scene now supports mirrored geometry.
- Initial team starting locations chosen with a more random method.
- Mine will detect enemies more accurately.
- Slime effect during sprinting will not show up in thirdperson anymore.
- The ARC will prioritize other structures before Eggs and Cysts.
- Player turn poses (arms moving with feet planted on the ground) reset once the player starts moving.
- Fixed multi-threading crash when using the o_stats console command.
- The "getting ready to spawn" blue spin effect now disappears immediately upon the Infantry Portal being destroyed.
- Fixed bug where the Spore cloud would be created improperly when a Lerk was not moving.
- Fixed bug where connecting to the localhost would cause the game to go into an infinite loop.
- Fixed bug where Marines would spawn above the Infantry Portal platform.
- Added "warp" console command to teleport to a position in space when cheats are on, "warp 0 0 0" for example.
- Improved Skulk wall walking (sticks better to surfaces, thanks matso!)
- Skulks can now leap from mid-air, ala NS1.
- The "locate" Client console command will constantly display the local player’s location on the screen if "true" is given as a parameter.
- Added Mine icon for death messages (Thanks Saba!)
- Reformatted Scoreboard so more player names can fit on the screen at the same time.
- Server name is now displayed at the top of the Scoreboard.
- Improved ScenarioHandler (Thanks Matso!)
- Removed Bile Bomb hit sound when Gorge creates a structure.
- Optimized network fields in Structure, CloakableMixin, ScriptActor and PowerPoint (thanks Matso!)
- Reserve memory for faceSets (prevents excessive allocation)
- Reduced networked bandwidth for Camoflauge by eliminating an unnecessary network field (thanks Matso!)
- Reduced networked bandwidth for Skulks by eliminating wall walking network variables (thanks Matso!)
- Optimized Door auto-opening.
- Reduced number of cells CollisionGrid queries look through.
- Reduced network bandwidth required to send which fields of an Entity changed (uses indexing scheme when only a few fields changed and a bitmask when many changed)
- Reduced network bandwidth usage for entities that have energy.
- Reduced bandwidth for transmitting attachment points for entities by 26 bits.
- Reduced bandwidth for transmitting angles.
- Eliminated lastTimePlayerMoved networked field in Player.
- Mines require less processing time to check for nearby enemies.
- Reduced bandwidth by 20 bytes per second for each Entity sent to the client.
- Changed particle effects to only update if they were visible last frame.
- Slightly more aggressive compiler optimization options.
- Added Vector:Add method.
- Added Shared.SortEntitiesByDistance.
- Removed ProximityGrid.
- Added sphere query to CollisionGrid.
- Added EntityQueryManager (fast queries for entities within range, uses CollisionGrid)
- Exposed EntityQueryManager to Lua, started converting script to use new API.
- Added support to ObjectTagQueryManager for testing whether entity has a specific tag.
- Entities get tagged with their class name (and base class names). Tag is prefixed with ‘class:’.
- Added time network variable type.
- Added "private" network fields which are only sent to the client controlling the Entity.
- Added support for networking floating point values as fixed point (specified as float (<min> to <max> by <step>)
- Added Client.GetServerName() function to return the name of the server the client is connected to.
- Added Server.GetName() function to return the name of the server.
- Added Server.GetFrameRate() function to return the current tick rate of the server.
- Added Mersenne twister Randomizer class to Lua, same API as Lua random functions but better generator.
We hope you enjoy this mega-build with us!
And here’s the trailer you can watch whilst the patch downloads:
The official Blizzard blog was updated recently. The bad news is, that there’s not going to be a BlizzCon this year. Instead, we’ll get something called the “Battle.net World Championship Event”.
Here’s the quote from Blizzard:
Blizzard Entertainment is proud to announce the 2012 Battle.net World Championship, a major global eSports event featuring some of the best pro-gaming competition in the world. Slated to take place in Asia toward the end of 2012, the Battle.net World Championship will host this yearÔÇÖs StarCraft II and World of Warcraft Arena World Championship tournaments. Blizzard gamers and eSports fans from around the world will be invited to attend and witness some of the most skilled pro players on the planet battle it out for cash and glory.
WeÔÇÖre excited to be showcasing Blizzard eSports on a truly global stage this year. We’re also heavily focused on getting Diablo III, Mists of Pandaria, and Heart of the Swarm into playersÔÇÖ hands as soon as possible. In light of our jam-packed schedule, weÔÇÖve decided to hold the next BlizzCon in 2013.
More details about the 2012 Battle.net World Championship and BlizzCon 2013, including specific dates and locations, will be coming in the months ahead.
This seems a little odd to me, why completely cancel an extremely popular event. It’s not cheap to host/set-up but it’s great advertising and people are more than willing to pay the hefty fees to attend.
Hopefully though, this will result in us getting Diablo III, Heart of the Swarm and Project: Titan a lot earlier. But this is Blizzard we’re talking about, anything can happen.
More news when we have it!
NS2HD and the Unknown Worlds dev team have uploaded a new video that talks about multithreading, what it does, why it’s important, how it’ll be used in Natural-Selection 2.
Interesting stuff, give it a click.
Diablo III developer Jay Wilson has updated the official blog with a very interesting post about “System Changes”.
While working on Diablo III we’ve been called out for messing around with systems too much, that the game is good as-is and we should just release it. I think that’s a fair argument to make, but I also think it’s incorrect. Our job isn’t just to put out a game, it’s to release the next Diablo game. No one will remember if the game is late, only if it’s great. We trust in our ability to put out a great game, but we’re not quite there yet. In addition to finishing and polishing the content of the game we’re continuing to iterate on some of the core game systems. So all that said, I’d like to provide everyone an update on some of the systems we’re currently working on.
There’s much reading to be done, I find it extremely interesting (I particularly like the decision to remove Scrolls of Identification) and Blizzard are doing a good job of keeping the Diablo III hype-machine running at full capacity.
You can read the full blog here:
As soon as there’s a release date (or even just a release “window”) I’ll let you know.
Natural-Selection 2 has been updated to include the following changes:
- Buying mines now gives you 2 mines instead of 3.
- Increased mine arm time from 3 seconds to 4 (to reduce them in-combat).
- Mine health, armor, and point value lowered.
- Mines now set off other nearby mines when they explode.
- Alien commanders are no longer able to see flamethrower effects when they don’t have LOS to the Marine firing it.
- Dropped weapons no longer collide with the player controller.
- Fixed bug where console commands on the server were not properly verified to be coming from a local client.
- Fixed bug where players were not always frozen during the round start countdown period.
- Fixed bug where sometimes ready room players could become frozen during the round start countdown period.
- Fixed bug where the game did not use the Lua entry points specified in the game_setup.xml file.
- Fixed rally points.
- Fixed various script errors (thanks dePara!).
- Prevent slowing down of leap when leaping off a wall.
- Removed additional resource display for alien buy menu.
- Restored docking props to the build.
- Changed nano-shield "create" and "take damage" sounds from 2D to 3D (so you don’t hear them everywhere).
- Skulks will not land on their back anymore when jumping from the ceiling in tight corridors.
- Less dubstepy nano shield damage sound.
Restart your Steam client if the auto-update didn’t kick in.
Restart your Steam client if your build hasn’t auto-updated. Here’s the changelog:
- Added Whip "bombard" ability. Mature Whips can throw ball projectiles to destroy metal structures and corrode marine armor.
- Added skill-based movement to Skulk: try jumping off walls and props for a small speed boost
- Added support for ladders
- Added loading screens
- Added the ability to connect to a server while it is still loading
- Added changemap console command to the server to change the map while keeping the clients connected
- Pressing tab when running the dedicated server opens the console window
- Added average packet choke percentage to the net_stats display
- Added net_snapshot command on the server to log information about the state snapshots being sent to clients
- Changed the net_classes console command to output information about the size of the individual fields in the class
- Changed the net_log console command to accept a number specifying how verbose it is
- Added net_log, net_loss and net_lag console commands to the server
- Added retry console command to reconnect to the server last connected to (Thanks acid_rain!)
- Added an option in options.xml to disable multi-threaded rendering
- Added an option in options.xml to restrict the number of frames the CPU can get ahead of the GPU (defaults to 1)
- Added multiple collision representations for objects to make some targets easier to shoot, movement collision smoother, etc.
- Flamethrower and shotguns don’t slow you down quite as much now
- Hydras have more forgiving collision shapes
- Reduced input latency
- Parasite is no longer removed when a Marine enters the command station (Thanks Motig!)
- Fixed teamNumber out of range error message for doors
- Removed duplicate error messages when a file could not be precached
- Leaping while Parasite is the active ability will now play the leap sound effect
- Fixed bug where ARC cannot deploy during attack mode
- ARCs will stop their charge up effects when undeploying
- Fixed issue where the server would choke client snapshot packets incorrectly
- Alerts that trigger when a Hive or Command Station are taking damage will now always be heard by players no matter how far away from the structure they are
- Fixed the mouse cursor not being properly displayed
- Voice over will no longer announce "Command Station is under attack" when the Infantry Portal is being attacked
- The backpedal step sound will no longer play while side stepping, the normal step sound plays in this case now
- Changed how potential Egg spawn points are calculated to ensure enough exist around each Hive (Thanks Matso!)
- Fixed bug in Egg spawn time calculation code when a player spawns from an Egg (Thanks Matso!)
- Whips will now trigger mines when walking over them
- Fixed bug where mines would play the spawn item effect each time they get revealed for a player
- Player names won’t get truncated anymore at the first space in the spectator message
- Mini-cysts may no longer be connected through walls and ceilings (Thanks Matso!)
- Flamethrower will no longer do more damage the faster the trigger is pressed
- Resource points will show the steam effect when the attached resource tower is visible
- Smashed tech points will now only adjust their animation state once they have been scouted (prevents early scouting of alien start point by marine commander)
- Egg mist effect will now be triggered client side only if that egg is visible (prevents early game hive scouting through the egg mist being visible)
- Med/ammo packs cannot be used anymore to scout alien start locations
- Gorge will no longer be spammed with messages if they hold down the build Hydra button in an area it cannot be built
- Marines that are Parasited or on standing on Infestation will now be sighted and show on up the minimap (Thanks Matso!)
- Fade may no longer stab while blinking
- Fixed calculation of ping times
- Fixed a networking bug with acknowledging reliable packets
- Marine rifle bash will no longer hit the wall behind the Marine
- Fixed bug making it appear that Parasite can be used more often than it actually can be used
- Structures/units will not update their energy anymore until the round has started
- Fixed a bug where marines blood effect plays at world origin when hit by spikes or heal spray
- Health circles will properly display for each individual entity selected as commander now instead of sharing one health circle
- Fixed bug where players were not always frozen during the round start countdown period
- Fixed bug where sometimes ready room players could become frozen during the round start countdown period
- Fixed unclean shutdown of the dedicated server
- Fixed shutdown process when exiting from a script error or an assert so that it doesn’t crash or generate additional errors
- Hooked up special hit sound effect for the Lerk spike played on the Marine
- Hooked up special hit sound effect for the Gorge spit projectile played on the Marine
- Path is no longer constantly generated for AI units (Thanks Matso!)
- Improved performance of code that searches for nearby usable entities for a Marine on the Client
- Inventory weight is only calculated when the inventory changes instead of every frame
- Some of the sentry effects are now handled client side only (reduces network traffic)
- Optimized Lua memory allocator
- Changed physics objects to use instancing and aggregates
- Server no longer simulates rag dolls unnecessarily
- New CSS-based UI layout system (not in use yet)
- Changed child entities to only be relevant if their parent is relevant (used to force the parent to be relevant if a child was relevant)
- Removed redundant Client.SetMouseCaptured function
- Added collision representation parameter to sweep API functions
Now we’re back to work on "Gorilla", which will include the Onos, Jetpack and some other juicy features…
Natural-Selection 2 gets better with every update! Some would say it’s evolving nicely…. Haha! Get it? Because Darwin… forget it.
Bashiok’s Twitter feed was updated earlier today with a post that confirmed Blizzard are working on porting Diablo 3 to consoles.
There’s no mention of which consoles but I think the Xbox 360 and PS3 are a safe bet.
We’ll be sure to post more news regarding all things Diablo 3 as soon as we have it.
NS2HD has posted a new Natural-Selection 2 video that looks at the technical side of things as they work on optimizing the game to improve stuff like load-times, frame-rates, etc.
The Natural-Selection 2 team is pretty small but their custom-built engine is taking shape nicely and I eagerly await the release of beta build 190.
The first patch of The Old Republic comes on 12/27, and with it comes a lot of bug fixes and a nerf to slicing’s rewards. The performance issues for some people on Taris has been addressed and stated to be resolved, as well as other notable issues such as┬áharvest-able┬ánodes being unable to be clicked and flashpoint/operation bugs. Below is the official notes (which can be located on SWTOR.com’s website┬áhere).
1.0.1 Patch Notes 12/27/2011
Classes and Combat
- Combat Bug Fixes
- Fixed a bug that could cause the global cooldown to display incorrectly in the UI.
- Abilities that require Companion Characters now always correctly require a companion.
- NPCs no longer attempt to engage vanity pets in combat.
- Imperial Agent
- Operative -┬áThe tooltip for Acid Blade now displays the correct information.
- Companion Characters
- Kira Carson -┬áFixed an issue that could cause Kira’s affection progression to become blocked.
- ┬áBug Fixes
- Companion Character dialogue now plays at the correct volume.
- ┬áGathering Skills
- Rewards from Slicing have been reduced to bring them into balance with other skills.
- Adjusted incorrect values for medium slicing boxes.
- ┬áBug Fixes
- Corrected an issue that could cause some gathering nodes to appear as unharvestable.
Flashpoints and Operations
- Mandalorian Raiders -┬áCrowd control immunity has been removed from several members of the Enemy Boarding Party.
- Colicoid War Game -┬áAn issue that prevented some players from mounting turrets in this Flashpoint has been corrected.
- The Red Reaper -┬áDarth Ikoral now uses his abilities correctly.
- Directive 7 -┬áMentor now resets correctly if he defeats the player group.
- Bug Fixes
- All players in a group who have a daily Flashpoint mission now get credit for completing that Flashpoint.
- ┬áEternity Vault
- Fixed an issue that could cause players to instantly die when affected by Soa’s knockback.
- Turrets in Normal Mode no longer behave as turrets from Hard Mode.
- Players are now able to properly obtain loot from chests.
- The Ancient Pylons now spawn enemies at the correct intervals.
- Karagga’s Palace
- Players no longer need to reset this Operation if they do not defeat Bonethrasher.
- Corrected an issue that caused some players to become stuck at the throne room door.
- ┬áBug Fixes
- PvP lockboxes can no longer be sold for credits.
- Fixed incorrect item rewards from PvP leveling lockboxes.
Missions and NPCs
- A New Master: Defeating Teeno no longer causes him to surrender on top of Phyne, making him difficult to interact with.
- General Faraire: All of Khourlet’s Elite Guards are now accessible by the player.
- Bug Fixes
- Fixed a mission-related issue that could cause poor performance and client crashes on Taris for some players.
- ┬áBug Fixes
- Corrected several instances of non-interactive NPCs appearing and disappearing from the player’s view.
- Rewards for winning Warzones have been increased.
- Warzone completion rewards have been decreased.
- ┬áBug Fixes
- Corrected an issue that could prevent some players from entering the Voidstar.
- Made adjustments to prevent attacking players from reaching the doors in the reactor core before bridges are extended.
- ┬áBug Fixes
- Fixed a bug that could prevent players from accepting pending mission rewards.
- Targeting a friendly player no longer occasionally displays incorrect text for the character’s name.
- Corrected an issue that could cause some auction expirations to behave incorrectly.
- The splash screen no longer displays longer than the “accept changes” dialogue when changing resolutions on some computers.
- Master Looter now works correctly for items being looted from chests.
- The server select screen no longer displays over the character select after being disconnected for being away.
- Corrected an issue that could cause mission mapnotes to disappear when a new mission is obtained.
Miscellaneous Bug Fixes
- Special characters no longer display incorrectly in the French credits.
- Remaining baby names have been added to the credits.
- Corrected a link that displayed in French and German versions when the servers are unavailable.
I was received my “Welcome to the beta!” email from BioWare on Thursday, November 24h. I spent Friday the 25th downloading the client and the weekend spanning 26th and 27th trying to find time to play.
So when the “Thanks for participating!” email arrived Tuesday morning from BioWare, I was a little disappointed. I didn’t feel I’d had enough time to explore the latest MMO trying to steal World of Warcrafts’ crown. I’d submitted bug reports and did as a good tester should do and shared my opinions through the in-game forms. Alas, I fired up the uninstaller and freed up 14 gig from my E:\ drive.
Thursday morning saw a new email from BioWare arrive… “You’ve been chosen for the final beta test!”. Good news: I get to play, properly this time! Bad news: I had to re-download 14 gig!
And download I didÔÇª
So here’s my experiences with the beta.
You can see a video of my chacter being created here: YouTube Link (opens in a new window). Your first choice in the character creation process, is “The Galactic Republic” or “The Sith Empire”. Star Wars fans will know what to expect from either side, newer players will be able to tell the “good guys”┬áfrom the “bad guys” from the colouring system (red and blue).
Next up is your choice of class (more on that in a minute), and when you reach level 10 you’ll be able to choose your Advanced Class. The classes are pretty straight-forward looking but I was surprised but large amount of customization options.
Galactic Classes are: Trooper, Smuggler, Jedi Knight and Jedi Consular.
Sith Classes are: Bounty Hunter, Sith Warrior, Imperial Agent and Sith Inquisitor.
There really is something here for everyone. I won’t go into detail regarding the classes as I simply didn’t have enough time to properly test them out.
Thankfully, this is clearly a PC game and not a console port. The UI is nicely presently, those of you with even basic experiences of MMO’s will find your way around the menu’s easily enough. The in-built help system is useful without being in the way and can be removed completely right from the get-go.┬áThe one thing I didn’t like was the combat log… or lack-of. Maybe I over-looked it but I couldn’t see a combat log/window telling me how much damage each attack was doing and what was damaging me. It’s something vital to the game so I think I just over-looked it. Time was precious so I spent it┬á completing as many quests as possible.
Here’s a look at the UI, click to enlarge:
Thankfully, there’s plenty of options for resolution, draw distance and so on. The environments look very good and the Star Wars galaxy means we’ll be getting plenty
There were some blurred textures here and there. Some close-up textures on characters looked like they’d been scaled-down for some reason. A lot of MMO’s will scale things back to reduce CPU/GPU/Server loads etc, but to see it done in a game that puts so much emphasis on close-up┬áshots of characters seems very odd. Maybe this won’t be an issue in the final retails product.
Music seemed a sparse, entering combat when you’re outnumbered seemed to trigger more dramatic music
and this worked really well.
The voice acting was varied nicely and well spoken. No-one stood out as particularly stiff or just there to fill-in. The creatures and droids were all accounted for too, each with their own unique vocals, beeps and boops. The one problem I had was with cut-scenes… those of you who play WoW will be used to simply running over to an NPC, hitting “ACCEPT QUEST” and running off to kill 10 boars or whatever is required. The Old Republic encourages you to sit through a mini cut-scene for many of the quests. If you enjoyed Knights of the Old Republic then you won’t have a problem with this (I didn’t! I enjoyed the extra lore.) But this is a game aimed at stealing players from WoW and RIFT, I doubt many of them will have the patience for the long-winded speeches involved in character-development. Even fewer will have the patience to search through the HELP system/Config Options to find which key is used to skip said cut-scenes.