unknown worlds

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:

Features:

  • 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.

Balance

  • 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)

ns2_tram

  • 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.

Fixes

  • 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.

Improvement

  • 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!)

Sound

  • Removed Bile Bomb hit sound when Gorge creates a structure.

Optimizations

  • 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.

SDK

  • 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:

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.

Natural-Selection 2 has been updated to include the following changes:

Balance

  • 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.

Fixes

  • 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.

Source: http://www.unknownworlds.com/ns2/

Restart your Steam client if your build hasn’t auto-updated. Here’s the changelog:

Features

  • 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.

Balance

  • Flamethrower and shotguns don’t slow you down quite as much now
  • Hydras have more forgiving collision shapes

Fixes

  • 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

Sound

  • 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

Optimizations

  • 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

SDK

  • 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.

Source: http://www.unknownworlds.com/ns2/news/2012/1/build_190_released

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.

Some quick Natural-Selection 2 news.

Firstly, Natural-Selection 2 won an “Honorable Mention” over at Indie-DB.com in their “Indie of the Year” category.

Having won last years event Natural Selection 2 has just managed to place somewhere within the top 5, however you cannot win twice, honorable mention it is!

Here’s the page with the rest of the winners:
http://www.indiedb.com/events/2011-indie-of-the-year-awards/features/ioty-players-choice-upcoming

Secondly, the Natural-Selection 2 team are looking for a programmer to join their team in San Francisco.
Interested? Head over to their jobs page for more information:
http://www.unknownworlds.com/jobs

Natural-Selection 2. The Marines fight some Skulks.

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