Natural Selection 2 News Update - Alien Commander v2.0

FlayraFlayra Game Director, Unknown Worlds EntertainmentSan Francisco Join Date: 2002-01-22 Member: 3Posts: 6,821Super Administrators, NS2 Developer, Subnautica Developer admin
Please post comments on the topic Natural Selection 2 News Update - Alien Commander v2.0 here
Charlie Cleveland
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  • GadxGadx Join Date: 2003-03-22 Member: 14788Posts: 128Members, Constellation, NS2 Map Tester, Reinforced - Shadow
    Interesting changes, can't wait to play with them!
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  • scottyscotty Join Date: 2011-07-01 Member: 107400Posts: 115Members
    This is going to be a great game changer!
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  • PersianImm0rtalPersianImm0rtal Join Date: 2010-12-02 Member: 75414Posts: 641Members, Constellation, NS2 Map Tester
    I love whats going to happen, sounds good, cant wait!
  • ArkantiArkanti pub baddie Join Date: 2011-07-22 Member: 111781Posts: 694Members, NS2 Playtester, Squad Five Blue, Reinforced - Shadow
    Can't wait, I really like the direction this is heading!
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  • IeptBarakatIeptBarakat The most difficult name to speak ingame. Join Date: 2009-07-10 Member: 68107Posts: 2,118Members, Constellation, NS2 Map Tester, Reinforced - Diamond, Reinforced - Shadow
    Great to see the structures mature over time now. And forcing aliens to re-evolve structure upgrades sounds nice, although I hope it makes a return for the marine arms lab as well.

    Alien comm sounds fully fledged out now. Will be fun to experience in the next patch.
  • PekermanPekerman Join Date: 2010-03-07 Member: 70876Posts: 77Members
    i really like this, i can see ninja marines rushing structures
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  • SewlekSewlek The programmer previously known as Schimmel Join Date: 2003-05-13 Member: 16247Posts: 2,327Members, NS2 Developer, NS2 Playtester, Squad Five Gold
    i see myself as alien commander!
  • rhezrhez Join Date: 2005-05-14 Member: 51576Posts: 48Members, Constellation
    Great read, loving that gorges are going to become more important again.
  • Rudy.czRudy.cz Join Date: 2012-02-13 Member: 145410Posts: 442Members
    So what are the purpose of Tech Points and extra hives now ?
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  • HughHugh Cameraman San Francisco, CA Join Date: 2010-04-18 Member: 71444Posts: 1,608Super Administrators, Forum Admins, Forum Moderators, NS2 Developer, NS2 Playtester, Reinforced - Silver, Reinforced - Onos, WC 2013 - Shadow, Subnautica Developer admin
    Oh boy, I can see myself loggin alot of hours as Alien comm - I spend half my day watering plants around the office anyway!
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  • XariusXarius Join Date: 2003-12-21 Member: 24630Posts: 2,186Members
    edited April 2012
    I'm absolutely looking forward to these changes, though I still have some questions (I read through the entire document, good read):

    - AFAIK it's pretty hard to tell the difference between a cyst and a mini-cyst for the khamm, are there plans to make that difference more noticeable? I can imagine this can be quite confusing/frustrating (i.e when they're mixed up in an area you'd have to click them all to find out which ones you can rupture)
    - What's stopping an alien commander from spending all his energy on speeding up the expansion with nutrient mist? I.e the Khamm usually only has one energy sink early in the game anyway, this could result in not needing those gorges for faster expansion.
    - Does rupture and 'foresight' imply that hivesight is going to be removed/reworked? I see very little point in splashing infestation on marines when they're already on infestation and thus visible to the entire team (aside from the visibility reduction, which can be a big thing I suppose) Also at 1 p.res comm spreading cysts everywhere for free maphack is going to be as good as ever.

    Anyway, can't wait :) Great job
    Post edited by Unknown User on
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  • PlasmaPlasma Join Date: 2003-04-26 Member: 15855Posts: 605Members, Constellation, Squad Five Blue
    The ability mentioned the design doc ("Cyst Spikes") sounds very fricken cool, would love to see that happen while playing as a marine.
  • internetexplorerinternetexplorer Join Date: 2011-10-13 Member: 127255Posts: 1,369Members
    Some of the changes (like upgrades no longer costing pres) seem like they might not be necessary, and could overcomplicate your new model. Are you going to test with a minimal set of these new ideas, or just put them all into a build at once?

    Good ideas over all. It's good to see you guys pay attention to the big issues people are bringing up.
  • PsiWarpPsiWarp Gifted Gorge Richmond, B.C., Canada Join Date: 2010-08-28 Member: 73810Posts: 1,566Members
    Awesome, a surprising move on Khamm design. I can't wait to try this out soon :D
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  • Gravity GraveGravity Grave California Join Date: 2012-03-10 Member: 148556Posts: 81Members, Reinforced - Shadow
    This is why it's great to be part of the beta! Can't wait to play with these changes.
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  • Fluid CoreFluid Core Join Date: 2007-12-26 Member: 63260Posts: 399Members, Reinforced - Shadow
    QUOTE (Strayan (NS2HD) @ Apr 17 2012, 01:33 AM) »
    Oh boy, I can see myself loggin alot of hours as Alien comm - I spend half my day watering plants around the office anyway!


    That's where they got the idea? :P

    Hugh 'The Gardener' <insert lastname here>

    Sounds fun, and gorges too, especially reading through the high-level design document and seeing the ideas for the gorge with abilities encrust, clog and spiders :D

    Spent most of my time as a gorge in ns1, loved building forward bases and defended choke-points :D
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  • culpritculprit Join Date: 2005-01-07 Member: 33527Posts: 310Members, Constellation
    Can't wait to see how this changes the game. Sounds like there will be many more trade-offs to consider. I especially like that structures will be maturing to stronger forms, including the lowly hydra. I wish this would include it's attack strength or accuracy in the future. It will give the alien team more reason to invest in an area like a bottleneck or hive expansion early in the game so they can get strong, mature capabilities in that territory by the time marines come knocking. This will also make early game scouting that much more valuable to both sides.

    I really like the direction this is taking. can't wait to see where it ends up in 3-4 more patches.
  • JibrailJibrail Join Date: 2009-04-16 Member: 67200Posts: 865Members
    This looks like a step in the right direction, I dont want to say much untill I have tested it.
  • Unknown_SoldierUnknown_Soldier Join Date: 2002-11-03 Member: 6395Posts: 150Members
    edited April 2012
    My only concern is (I assume this wasn't missed or not included, or that I didn't completely read past it) that while the Gorge has been made more important, the flaws of the Gorge are still right up front. Mini-cysts generally aren't worth the resources outside of putting on a surface for Hydras. Hydras are rarely ever worth the resources for the lackluster performance they give.

    I mean I love that Gorges got bumped a bit to the forefront because of Alien team mechanics, but Gorge mechanics are still like nails on a chalkboard.
    Post edited by Unknown User on
  • olisisolisis Join Date: 2003-02-01 Member: 12944Posts: 311Members
    edited April 2012
    QUOTE (culprit @ Apr 16 2012, 06:45 PM) »
    Can't wait to see how this changes the game. Sounds like there will be many more trade-offs to consider. I especially like that structures will be maturing to stronger forms, including the lowly hydra. I wish this would include it's attack strength or accuracy in the future. It will give the alien team more reason to invest in an area like a bottleneck or hive expansion early in the game so they can get strong, mature capabilities in that territory by the time marines come knocking. This will also make early game scouting that much more valuable to both sides.

    I really like the direction this is taking. can't wait to see where it ends up in 3-4 more patches.


    Oh I didn't think about the hydra maturing! If they tweak it, they could trade off a "just more damage" upgrade on the mature hydra by making it more 'Hydra-y' and growing more heads for an attack speed increase. Any buff to the hydra makes me very happy though.

    This update is going to be so much fun. Sorry skulk buds, the marines can wait, I gots to heal me some harvesters.
    Post edited by Unknown User on
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  • XariusXarius Join Date: 2003-12-21 Member: 24630Posts: 2,186Members
    edited April 2012
    Will aliens still need 3 hives for 3 upgrade slots on lifeforms? Or will that too be possible with just one hive?

    QUOTE
    My only concern is (I assume this wasn't missed or not included, or that I didn't completely read past it) that while the Gorge has been made more important, the flaws of the Gorge are still right up front. Mini-cysts generally aren't worth the resources outside of putting on a surface for Hydras. Hydras are rarely ever worth the resources for the lackluster performance they give.
    I agree with this, and the heal nerf was a little painful too, especially in regards to keeping buildings up and running. Though AFAIK they have changes to gorge structure costs planned as well, hopefully we can get news on that soon too. (There was talk about making them free) As a stopgap, they should really consider dropping mini cysts to 1 (doesnt make sense for them to be 3 if comm cysts are 1) and maybe even hydras to 5 - 8 to be honest. It would already be a huge help to gorges.
    Post edited by Unknown User on
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  • MetalGarretMetalGarret Join Date: 2011-12-24 Member: 138953Posts: 15Members
    I like that you're trying to make the alien comm more useable and important. I've heard comments of people having full course meals while they comm with ease. That's too easy.

    Problem. Aliens are still OP as it is in 204. Especially the Lerk. There are now a more substantial amount of Lerks than there are Fades even late game. All the aliens really need to do is have everyone Lerk up and go at it in a group and the marines are screwed. I've seen games where 3 lerks destroy marines in groups with a combo of gas and spikes. Marines are blinded by gas and lerks are zooming around so fast that marines cant aim at em hardly at all as they get spiked to death while choking. It's OP. Except in rooms with low-level ceilings. But if your base is sub access, lerks will own you if they know what they're doing.

    Icing on this cake?:
    "2 Hives no longer needed to unlock Tier 2 weapons, and 3 for Tier 3 weapons."

    Unless something is done about Lerk's bile bomb, aliens are in huge favor. Beginning bile bomb runs would destroy marines within 5 minutes. The first 2 minutes of the game would be used for accumulating pres. The last 3 to end the game.

    Im certain you plan on giving the marines something in return to combat the above? I know that the exosuit (Heavy armor) would be something. But if you're not going to have them this build then what else?
  • PsiWarpPsiWarp Gifted Gorge Richmond, B.C., Canada Join Date: 2010-08-28 Member: 73810Posts: 1,566Members
    About the Newborn -> Mature visuals, I would like to suggest the following:

    image

    image

    From these images I assume that the Whip was designed with the Drifter in mind, due to the translucent scales-like carapace lining the back of the tentacle. As for other structures, they have bony opaque carapace, to put visual emphasis on their armor (Shade has no armor because of this).

    What I'm suggesting is a change in the carapace for the remaining alien structures, namely the Crag, Shift, Shell, and Spur, to reflect their Newborn status by using carapace similar to the Whip; their mature versions could then use the bony versions, depending on the decision for structure armor amount (Shade, Veil). It would be really cool and distinctive, but hopefully not involve a lot of work.
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  • douchebagatrondouchebagatron Custom member title Join Date: 2003-12-20 Member: 24581Posts: 3,509Members, Constellation, Reinforced - Shadow
    QUOTE (Xarius @ Apr 16 2012, 07:37 PM) »
    - What's stopping an alien commander from spending all his energy on speeding up the expansion with nutrient mist? I.e the Khamm usually only has one energy sink early in the game anyway, this could result in not needing those gorges for faster expansion.



    If you take a look at the spreadsheet, the initial numbers make it so it takes ~16 minutes for a hive to mature. That initially sounded like a lot, but it makes sense and opens up more strategies, such as:

    stay with 1 hive and 1 chamber until the hive is mature, focus misting on hive to get second chamber

    or

    put up second hive for some more tres, but doesn't require the misting, so the mists can be used on other chambers to improve map control.


    It's more of a tradeoff, t-res for energy. Also if you have a dedicated gorge then the second option would probably be better since the gorge can help build the hive, but that would take a player out of the game.
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  • BulletSponge51BulletSponge51 Join Date: 2012-03-06 Member: 148294Posts: 40Members, Reinforced - Shadow
    I, for one, welcome our new alien commander 2.0
  • rantologyrantology Join Date: 2012-02-05 Member: 143750Posts: 1,408Members, NS2 Playtester, Squad Five Gold, NS2 Map Tester, Reinforced - Shadow, WC 2013 - Gold, Community Dev Team
    So you can get t3 abilities on 1 hive? did I read that correctly? I hope augmenting takes a sizable amount of t-res, alien hives are so easily turtled in early game to a near invincible state with just 1-2 crags and a whip (umbra is OP imo- AoE nano-shield). So really the only reason to go for 2 hives is for additional upgrades. I like the general idea of the changes but further de-emphasis on multiple hives is a little saddening, they seem very trivial now- why spend 75 t-res on something like that when you could get 7 more defensive structures to turtle on 1 hive / fortify a few RTs and wait around for blink fades and stomp-nos?

    But since we don't know the t-res cost for any of this I could be totally wrong, will have to wait and see.
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  • Gravity GraveGravity Grave California Join Date: 2012-03-10 Member: 148556Posts: 81Members, Reinforced - Shadow
    Here's another tradeoff I like: aliens may want to make buildings closer together now so nutrient mist affects multiple buildings at once. However, this makes them more vulnerable to grenades.
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  • douchebagatrondouchebagatron Custom member title Join Date: 2003-12-20 Member: 24581Posts: 3,509Members, Constellation, Reinforced - Shadow
    edited April 2012
    Also, worth noting: hives probably aren't going to be 75 res anymore, from the spreadsheet it says they'll be 40. The goal sounds like it should be that getting that second hive or waiting for the 1st to mature are both viable options.
    Post edited by Unknown User on
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  • WheeeeWheeee Join Date: 2003-02-18 Member: 13713Posts: 4,160Members, Reinforced - Shadow
    wow! will definitely want to play b205 lots.
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  • thelinxthelinx Join Date: 2011-08-01 Member: 113495Posts: 8Members
    QUOTE (Unknown_Soldier @ Apr 17 2012, 01:48 AM) »
    Mini-cysts generally aren't worth the resources outside of putting on a surface for Hydras. Hydras are rarely ever worth the resources for the lackluster performance they give.

    I disagree.
    Mini-cysts are great for a multitude of reasons. One is helping your commander by placing them next to harvesters so the comm doesn't have to waste pres on a short cyst distance.
    Hydras are also very good harassment damage, but positioning is key.
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