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Patches/Build 328

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Green check.png This is the current release build of NS2

Date: June 20, 2019

Highlights:

  • Focuses on optimizations
  • DirectX 11 updates
  • Screen resolutions improved
  • Unearthed balance fixes
  • Lifeform reminders


Blog Post

Gameplay

Merged balance changes we released live 3 weeks ago via our extensions mod

  • Undeployed ARC health decreased to 3000/200 (from 3000/500)
  • Babblers:
    • New maximum lifeform shield values (total):
      • Skulk: 21 (from 35)
      • Gorge & Lerk: 21 (from 42)
      • Fade: 40 (from 65)
      • Onos: 85 (from 150)
    • Increased spawn rate from 1.5 seconds to 2.5 seconds
  • Grenade Launcher:
    • Change structural damage multiplier from 5x to 4x (450 -> 360 structural damage)
  • Lerk:
    • Decreased Spike damage to 5 (from 6)
    • Decreased adrenaline energy refresh rate to 30% (from 60%)
  • Phase Gates
    • Increased armor from 600 to 800
  • Advanced Support:
    • Decreased research costs to 20 team resources (from 25)
    • Decreased research time to 60 seconds (from 90)
  • Marine weapons:
    • Dropped weapons expiry now refreshes when a marine is really close/walks over them. So you no longer have to pick them up)
  • Cysts:
    • Lower maximum base Cyst HP to 200. Cysts close to a hive (near the Alien naturals) can scale up to 350
    • De-cloaking camouflage Cysts (shade hive passive) should now feel a bit snappier and more reliable
  • Reduced Welder cost to 2 personal resources (from 3)

Optimizations

  • Improved various expensive world update routines to stabilize and decrease their run-time cost for both Client and Server.
    • Cache mixin methods for each class after first class instance initialization to speed up any further class instance creation (Thanks Las)
    • Avoid expensive closure creations in hot path calls via a loadstring trick (Thanks Las)
    • Precache beacon spawn points at map load so we don’t need to calculate them during runtime (Thanks Katzenfleisch)
    • Optimized tech tree data lookup calls (Thanks Las)
    • Changed behavior of non player entities to not run their update routine every world update tick specially when there hasn’t been any state change (Thanks Steelcap & Nin)
    • Limit the amount of time that the client spent on updating GUI scripts every frame (Thanks Las)
    • Added optimized implementation for set and queue data containers to reduce runtime of various hot paths calls

Tweaks / Improvements

  • Added badges for the ENSL.org Newcomer and Community Challenge Tournaments
  • Added new shiny material shaders for most computer monitors and displays in the game (Thanks RuneStorm!)
  • Update anti-aliasing code to latest version of FXAA. Grants a minor improvement to final image sharpness and run-time speed
  • Armories and Prototype Labs now has consistent Usable range for Marine and will no longer show the use-key when you are out of range
  • Improved the visual quality of shadows, notably when the light source was far away from shadow casters
  • Improved shadow rendering for Windows 8 and above clients using shadow comparison sampler features
    • Do note that shadows will have lower visual quality on Windows 7 clients. This is due to missing rendering features in the DirectX API, and those features are only available on Windows 8 or higher
  • Added a new “Refraction Quality” option to the graphics menu. “Low” acts like it does currently, while “High” uses some extra samples while rendering the refraction pass to reduce the amount of aliasing introduced (very noticeable in the railgun exosuit’s shot trails)
  • Added a Lifeform popup reminder for Alien players with “High HUD Detail” enabled. This popup reminds players to evolve to a higher Lifeform once they have enough personal resources and the team could use more of that type
    • Only displays when High HUD Detail option is enabled
    • Only displays when the Evolve Menu is not open
    • Only show for lifeforms when the number of them alive & evolved on the team is less than 20% of the total number of players on a team. (So that it’s only one Gorge on a team of 6)
    • Only show after respawning and player is not in combat, within a 15 second window of time
    • Does not stay on screen for more than 10 seconds
    • Does not show within 30 seconds of round start. (to prevent everyone going Gorge)
  • The Scoreboard Personal Resource colors are now yellow starting at 75 and orange starting at 90 because your PRes doesn’t overflow at 100 PRes. (Thanks Handschuh)
  • Lessened the likelihood of having duplicate bot names at the same time
  • Improved the new Alien Health Bars by ensuring the Upgrade Chamber icons no longer overlap with the Health Bar icons from 720p up to 4k resolutions
  • Improved the Alien Energy Bar by coloring white the section of energy that is added by the Adrenaline upgrade

Fixes

  • Fixed various DirectX 11 issues:
    • Fixed shadows not being rendered properly
    • Fixed emissive decals not being rendered correctly
    • Some textures would appear corrupted at lower mip levels
    • Fixed Exo Minigun Heat bars being distorted
  • Fixed weird “magic hands” animation bug when switching to another weapon after reloading the Machine Gun or Flamethrower
  • Fixed Alien Tunnels (including Infested versions) having differing HP values
  • Fixed Alien Tunnels not starting with 100% eHP
  • Fixed that attached Babblers didn’t cloak/decloak properly with their parent
  • Fixed that dropped weapons started to expire near an Armory when a player walked over them
  • Fixed that spectating players would rubber-band between players in first-person mode sometimes
  • Fixed that a number of Exo HUD elements were misaligned
  • Fixed a script error that stopped players from joining bootcamp servers (this was released live already weeks ago through our extensions mod)
  • Removed out-dated tip clips about Gorge Tunnels and Babblers
  • Fixed the mouse over tooltip in the Options Menu that said you need to restart the game if you apply new menu music
  • Fixed that the Lerk crosshairs had a tiny black bar near the top of them
  • Fixed that the Unearthed loading screen had an FPS counter in the top right of the last screen
  • Fixed that you could not scroll down far enough in the control bindings menu to change the Help Screen binding entry

Sounds

  • Fade Metabolize, Onos running rumble sound, and Lerk gliding sounds no longer play after their respective lifeform’s death

Maps

  • Unearthed (Thanks Kash!)
    • Move the RT node from Transfer into Toxic pool to prevent Furnace from having 3 “Natural” resource nodes (Thanks Zavaro!)
    • Moved the Briefing RT node slightly further to the west and moved the fencing to the east to make defending easier for marines (Thanks Zavaro!)
    • Added crates in briefing to allow access to the ceiling area more easily. (Thanks Zavaro!)
    • Fixed numerous Stuck spots throughout the map (and ready room/secret room) (Thanks Zavaro!)
    • Added invisible geometry to many areas of the map to smooth out the feeling of movement
    • Tweaked pathing throughout the map
    • Removed a small amount of the clutter in Purification to make play in the area more fluid
    • Increased the size of the raised platform with the RT node on it in Purification to make the area slightly more marine accessible
    • Removed the middle support pillar in Cavity and tweaked the remaining pillars to make the area slightly less alien OP
    • Moved the Cavity RT node to be more approachable for marines
    • Removed collision from railings without the panels and replaced with collision geo to make play feel better for both marines and aliens
    • Minor lighting tweaks throughout the map
    • Made the vent between Toxic pool and Exposure more obviously accessible to marines from the Toxic pool side
    • Made the vent from Toxic pool to Extraction marine accessible from both sides
    • Reduced cover in Transfer to make the room less alien overpowered.
    • Changed the bridges in both Toxic pool and Crevice to be more visually appealing
    • Removed the Passage exit from the vent that leads from Harvesting to Access
    • Closed 2 of the 4 ceiling covers in Furnace to allow for better movement through the room for Aliens
    • Removed the remaining girder arches from Junction to reduce marine frustration in the area
    • Moved the Filtration power node to a less frustrating location
    • Improved collision geo in multiple areas of the map to help bot navigation. (Thanks Nin!)
  • Veil
    • Reduced the opacity of the system waypointing hologram by 30%

Tools

  • Cinematic Editor
    • Fixed anisotropic filtering and particles sometimes not being enabled in the renderer
  • Viewer
    • Add support to view and test Material Swapping via the Materials Window. This only works when opening models. Note: There will be a delay when setting an override material, as it needs to load the resource before rendering it
  • Map editor
    • Added a new option for static props called “allowBullets”. It’s intended to be used on railing props and other small items like bottles or hanging wires that you may normally have to add collision geometry around. Note that this option will stop melee attacks and projectiles, but will not stop hit scan bullets, parasite, or flamethrowers
    • Added several new gobo textures to the build for mappers to use (Thanks RuneStorm!)

SDK

  • Added Las’ library for lua closures that are not as expensive to generate during run-time as normal closures. See core/lua/Closure.md for details
  • Added a command line option “force_renderer” which accepts either “D3D9” or “D3D11”, which forces the renderer to use DirectX 9 or 11, overriding the value in the user’s settings

Known Issues

  • Viewer – Opening Materials Window when the opened asset is not a model causes odd behaviors
  • As a side effect from a GUIScale fix that was part of the GUIManager optimizations, the size of GUI elements may differ on some resolutions compared to build 327 (Trello Link to the UI Issue)
  • Entering the wrong password when joining a server may incur a crash using DirectX 9
  • DirectX overlays (like the Steam overlay) cause performance issues under DirectX11 on some GPUs. We recommend to disable all DirectX overlays for now if you notice frequent frame time spikes (via r_stats)