If youâ€™ve been following the old thread about Combat Mode youâ€™ll probably have heard that JimWest and I have been busy at work relaunching the NS2 Combat gamemode. The previous version was prone to breaking on each new NS2 build and on top of that required players to actually download a new version of the mod each week. Well, lessons learned... This version of Combat is a server-side mod so you can pick up and play without having to download a thing!
Thanks to fsfodâ€™s lua hooks implemented as part of his Menu Mod, weâ€™ve been able to write most of the mod in a way that extends NS2â€™s game code instead of overwriting large parts of it - this means it should continue to work between releases for the most part.
Try and reproduce as much of the old NS1 Combat Modeâ€™s game mechanics as possible but bring some of the new skills and game mechanics from NS2 into play as well.
Players get experience (score) for killing enemies or being around their teammates who are killing enemies.
You can level up ten times in a game, getting an upgrade point to spend each time. This buys you weapons, evolves and upgrades.
Weâ€™ve tried to balance support classes with offensive ones. You can specialise as any of the Alien lifeforms and as a Marine can choose to go Jetpack, Exo or some kind of ninja engineer.
We'll keep the mod server-side until client-side mod downloading support is working in Steam Workshop. The most important thing is that you shouldnâ€™t have to install anything to get the mod working as a player, and server operators should only have to do the minimum amount of updating (if any) to keep the game working.
How to play
Connect to a server running NS2 Combat Mode.
When you join youâ€™ll get a message telling you about how to buy upgrades, which youâ€™re awarded every time you get a certain amount of experience.
Use the buy menu to buy upgrades for yourself.
Killing enemies, damaging structures or being near your teammates who are killing enemies will give you experience points, which will eventually get you more levels and upgrade points.
If you join a game in progress, youâ€™ll get the average experience points and upgrade points of all active players, so you should be able to get right into the action.
Start the server again. You're now up and running with Combat Mode!
Playtests We've already done a few scheduled playtests, which have now stabilised on about one per week on Tuesday evenings. We run a few test in parallel for each of the major timezones (US, Aus/NZ/Asia and Europe). Jibrail is kindly helping to organise the Europe playtests but the others are something of a free-for-all. If you are interested in helping to playtest the mod or can provide a server for us (handily, people don't need to download the mod to play on your server) then please get in touch! We will mostly be arranging tests using our Steam Group so please join up if you are interested in playing with us!
Balancing the game will of course be difficult and will be an ongoing thing, so we expect to have a few iterations of that as well before we get it right. For now weâ€™ve gone with roughly the same values as NS1 so they are hopefully in the right ballpark.
We also would like to make a couple of small maps to better fit the fast pace of Combat Mode. At the moment we have modded ns2_tram (other maps to come) so that portions of the map are blocked off. This allows us to play the game even with the map downloading in the state it's in. In the future we will provide downloading via the Steam Workshop map mod support. If anyone would like to help us with this, or are interested in making a Combat map please get in touch on this thread or message us directly and we can make a list of Combat Mode maps here.
Current Maps: If you would like me to change your map's description, send me a PM! Official Steam Collection for Combat Maps co_junction_combat (Workshop page, id = 80882807) by UWE, modded by MCMLXXXIV and JimWest - A version of the old ns2_junction map with some power points and an overview map co_faceoff (Workshop page, id = 81010449) by JimWest - A remake of old favourite co_faceoff for the Spark engine. co_assault (Workshop page, id = 88975689) by WorthyRival - Another combat mode map with a Halo-esque feel co_summit (Workshop link, id = 83722196) by Arkanti - A carved-up version of Summit suitable for Combat play... ns2_lunacy_combat (Download Link) by Trainee.ger - A map for Proving Grounds and Combat gameplay co_pulse by Alex - A recreation of the classic NS1 combat map for NS2.
Jibrail has kindly done some texture and sound work for us, so that hopefully we will eventually be able to bring an all-singing and all-dancing version of the mod to your screens, when the support for client-mod downloading is ready in Steam Workshop.
We'll try and make the mod completely auto-downloadable, but are waiting for Steam Workshop support to be ready. If we can, we'll never make the mod require you to install something to join a server.
There will probably be some new features in NS2 Combat that we want to implement. We havenâ€™t had much of a think about what to do with power nodes (get points, team bonuses, dynamic infestation spreading?) and whether you should be able to sacrifice a level to re-choose upgrades.
Maybe we can also play around with some of the new game mechanics as well (welder locks doors, onos opens them etc).