NS2 Build 205 has been sent to Steam, and should be live at any moment (if not already).
This build contains massive changes to the Alien Commander and tech tree. As a result, the "alien commander as gardener" should be well on its way. You will be playtest this more in the next few hours than our team could've possibly tested it over the past week, so we are looking forward to hearing what you think about it.
Aliens will certainly have to play more as a team now, as they are forced to decide between expanding, teching up, attacking, or some mixture of those. The game plays quite differently, so prepare to play a bit before arriving at any conclusions!
Most alien structures take longer to build than in 204.
Gorges can help all build structures, not with their “e” key but with his heal spray (including Hive)
2 Hives no longer needed to unlock Tier 2 weapons, and 3 for Tier 3 weapons.
Now Hives can evolve Augmentation which does the same thing.
All built alien structures now “mature” over time. They start off approximately 20% weaker than in Build 204 and over time, they grow to approximately 20% tougher than they are in Build 204. The amount of time it takes, and the starting and ending health/armor varies by structure.
When a structure becomes fully mature, it is granted new capabilities.
The alien commander can speed the maturation process though a new ability called Nutrient Mist. This replaces Catalyze. Mist can affect more than one target at a time: affects everything in 3 meter radius.
Healspray can now also be used to build Alien structures (removed +use for Gorge)
There is no more “research” on the alien side: everything is an “evolution”. So if you lose a structure that had evolved an ability, and then rebuild that structure, you need to re-evolve it.
Aliens no longer have a free choice of initial upgrade category (Crag/Shift/Shade) - it is now an evolution on the hive.
There is a new Cyst ability called Rupture, which is triggered by the Alien commander for pres. It destroys the Cyst and splashes infestation on nearby enemy targets.
Flare and Fury have been removed.
Drifters only appear at base Hive for free - they appear before you log in.
New hives don’t get free Drifters - you must create them if desired.
So Aliens expand more slowly by default. They can expand faster with 1 or more Gorges working in concert with the commander. Aliens are vulnerable where they are building. Gorges really must be protected.
As a result of upgrades being more costly for the alien team, they no longer cost pres for aliens.
Flamethrower can now burn up spores.
Added Power Packs, which can be used to power a single structure.
Added enemy player names as crosshair text back in.
Commander chat appears now in a different color.
Added scan icon for minimap.
Added power nodes to minimap.
Umbra energy cost increased from 30 to 50 to reduce frequency.
Mature Harvesters have lower max health, which makes them more vulnerable for longer.
Alien evolutions are now FREE! That is, it doesn't cost a Skulk 2 resources to evolve Regeneration.
Changed ARCs to have different max health/armor when deployed and undeployed (they have no armor when deployed).
Power nodes are now only re-buildable after destruction when the aux power (red light after ~18 seconds) has kicked in.
Mines can now hurt their owner when detonating.
Changed Hive to spawn drifters on Commander login, but only for initial Hive.
Reduced Skulk air control slightly to prevent 180° turns in mid air (only noticeable when you perform such 180° turns constantly)
Removed slowdown from spit.
Fixed error caused by going to the Ready Room as an Alien with the regeneration upgrade.
Fixed script error caused by welding a wall.
Fixed bug where billboards were rendered upside down.
Fixed bug where Stomping the infantry portals while all players are in respawn queue ends the game.
Fixed rare script error that sometimes occurred while the Sentry was shooting at a target.
Fixed Marine sprinting speed, which was still higher as intended (from 7 down to 6 as in build ~197)
Fixed potential crash bug when unregistering an object from script.
Fixed crash in the Overview generator when the graphics device could not be initialized.
Fixed crash when passing a nil value or the animation graph.
Fixed bug where static props would not render in the Cinematic Editor.
Fixed a bug where the smashed state of the techpoint model revealed the Alien starting position to the Marine Commander.
Fixed bug where infestation blocks the Commanders view.
Fixed a bug where spectators and players in ready room could not see the game time.
Various crashes related to collision objects being destroyed.
Fixed bug where triggering stab directly after blink caused then attack animation/sound to be stucked in an endless loop.
Whip hit sound is only played when the Whip actually hits an enemy.
Fixed a bug where mines losing their owner and not accounting kills properly when the Marine who placed them dies.
Fixed a bug where Onos Stomp is stopped by small ledges.
Fixed a bug where you could give an attack order to units which are not sighted (and reveal start locations)
Fixed a bug where you would see the pilot effect on other weapons when dropping a Flamethrower.
Fixed a bug where Alien Commander could always see mines.
Health circles for players won't rotate anymore.
Fixed game rules script error when reloading a Lua file (thanks Matso!)
Removed problematic Egg mist effect.
Fixed a bug where Gorge could initiate belly slide while running backwards.
Fixed a bug where looping spore sound would not stop when you switch ability.
Fixed bug where wall walking Skulks would not play footstep sounds for other players.
Fixed a bug where Fade would remain cloaked when using shadow step.
Fixed a bug where you would see the umbra cloud on invisible units.
Fixed a bug were a Marine could shoot a grenade in his own back (thanks matso!)
Fixed bug which allowed you to parasite dead players (and get score)
Fixed bug where Commander would be visible sometimes to other players.
Fixed a but where Fade would enter blink mode without having to press secondary attack button again.
Fixed an exploit related to rapid jumping (with macros or programmable keyboards): whenever you attempt to jump to early, you lose all additional speed.
Holding down shift will not spam Shadow Step anymore. Instead you will need to press the button every time.
Changed Stomp to also affect ARCs.
Optimized calls to QueryPerformanceCounter (was slow on some CPU architectures)
Improved the performance of broad phase collision detection.
Reduced bandwidth usage for minimap icons.
Disabled PhysX visualization unless debug draw is enabled.
MAC weld/construct and order sounds and effects are now handled client side.
Bullets will now fire the immediately upon pressing the shoot button and will use the same exact angles that the player is viewing before shooting (thanks Matso!).
Improvements to the hitreg debug tool (thanks Matso!)
Added new blink effect.
Adjust Axe damage range to fit the visuals.
Adjusted Skulk bite so it will no longer be possible to miss a Marine who is directly in front of the Skulk.
Added shader for bilebomb hit.
Reduced network traffic regarding hit effects by ~75%
Fades now "fade" out instead of disappearing instantly. While fading out, they can be damaged.
Fade Blink sounds play now at world space instead of following the player.
Added Gorge and Lerk footstep sounds.
More lerkie bilebomb sound, added acid sizzle sound to bilebomb hit.
Whip has a swing and miss sound now.
"Central Drilling" lower level access tunnel now connects to the "Brew Room".
"Ore Extraction" No longer connects directly to Central Drilling.
Random Starts re-enabled: "Operations" and "Drill Repair" are Marine only random starts. Either team can start at "Ore Transfer". "Crushing Machine", "Ore Extraction" and "Cave" are alien only random starts.
Upper level doorway in "Central Drilling" to "Brew Room" removed.
Vent between "Crushing Machine" and "Ore Extraction" closed off.
Fixed cyst pathing issue between Server Room and Control.
Fixed some build issues on gratings and in the tram tunnels.
Fixed some issues where you could build outside the level.
Added unique icons for the different types of light (thanks Andrew!)
Fixed bug with drag selecting objects in the orthographic views.
Changed atmospherics to be disabled when "Show Post Processing" is unchecked.
Fixed bug where typing values in the rotation filed for texture mapping wouldn't update the mesh.
Fixed bug where the background in the Editor was rendered on top of emissive only surfaces.
Added "enter node" tags to the animation graph system.
Added CommanderBuild group for geometry that the Commander can build on but will be otherwise ignored.