Combat Mode Relaunch

MCMLXXXIVMCMLXXXIV Join Date: 2010-04-14 Member: 71400Members Posts: 508 Fully active user
edited December 2012 in Modding
NS2 Combat Mode Relaunch
Introduction to Combat Mode

Gameplay Video by Jibrail:


Download the mod here, after logging into Steam Workshop:
http://steamcommunity.com/sharedfiles/file...ls/?id=82684884

If you’ve been following the old thread about Combat Mode you’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 fsfod’s lua hooks implemented as part of his Menu Mod, we’ve been able to write most of the mod in a way that extends NS2’s game code instead of overwriting large parts of it - this means it should continue to work between releases for the most part.

Our task list: https://www.pivotaltracker.com/projects/211849
View the source code: https://github.com/AlexHayton/NS2Combat
Join the Steam Group: http://steamcommunity.com/groups/ns2combat

Our Design Aims:

  • Try and reproduce as much of the old NS1 Combat Mode’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.
  • We’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 shouldn’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

  1. Connect to a server running NS2 Combat Mode.
  2. When you join you’ll get a message telling you about how to buy upgrades, which you’re awarded every time you get a certain amount of experience.
  3. Use the buy menu to buy upgrades for yourself.
  4. 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.
  5. If you join a game in progress, you’ll get the average experience points and upgrade points of all active players, so you should be able to get right into the action.

Hosting your own server

  1. Get the dedicated server working with regular NS2
  2. Start your server with the following:
    CODE
    server.exe -config_path "C:\Users\<you>\AppData\Roaming\Natural Selection 2\combat" -modstorage "C:\Users\<you>\AppData\Roaming\Natural Selection 2\Workshop" -mods "5f35045 55e90a3 4d41f11 4fd7fd4 57c685f 57f5f9a 6523544 662442f 5faeac4" -map ns2_co_core -name "Combat Mode Server"
  3. I find that it helps to put the launch command into a .cmd or .bat file and run that.
  4. The server will download all the appropriate mods from the Workshop automatically!
  5. Close the server down and visit this folder with Windows Explorer: c:\Users\<you>\AppData\Roaming\Natural Selection 2\combat
  6. Edit MapCycle.json and put something like this inside it, then hit save:
    CODE
    {
      "mods": [ "5f35045" ],
      "mode": "random",
      "time": 30,
      "maps": [ { "map": "ns2_co_Core", "mods": [ "57f5f9a" ] },
                { "map": "ns2_co_stargate", "mods": [ "6523544" ] },
                { "map": "ns2_pulsecombat", "mods": [ "57c685f" ] },
                { "map": "ns2_summitcombat", "mods": [ "4fd7fd4" ] },
                { "map": "ns2_co_down", "mods": [ "5faeac4" ] },
                { "map": "ns2_co_veilcombat", "mods": [ "662442f" ] },
                { "map": "ns2_chuteout", "mods": [ "55e90a3" ] },
                { "map": "ns2_co_faceoff", "mods": [ "4d41f11" ] } ]
    }
  7. 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 we’ve gone with roughly the same values as NS1 so they are hopefully in the right ballpark.

Maps

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.

Future plans
  • 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 haven’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).
Post edited by Unknown User on
rehmeat_Electr0Drathek
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Comments

  • CodeineCodeine Join Date: 2010-11-22 Member: 75155Members Posts: 515
    Awesome, i know a few people who are strictly waiting for Combat mode to come out.

    Looking forward to it, i'd like to help you test it out in a few weeks time.
  • TimMcTimMc Join Date: 2012-02-06 Member: 143945Members Posts: 1,425
    Woo sounds good. Good luck with this.

    Is it possible to make 'B' the buy menu? rather than this chat command?
    My Steam Workshop:
    Arms Limitation Treaty - Whips, Sentries, ARCs and Hallucinations count towards MAC/Drifter limits.
    No Power Usage - Marine structures no longer require power. Power nodes only affect lighting, but are much weaker.
  • DghelneshiDghelneshi Aims to surpass Fana in post edits. Join Date: 2011-11-01 Member: 130634Members, Squad Five Blue, Reinforced - Shadow Posts: 941
    QUOTE (TimMc @ Jun 27 2012, 12:06 AM) »
    Is it possible to make 'B' the buy menu? rather than this chat command?

    He stated that he wanted this to be a purely server based mod (at least for the time being). Adding a menu to the client is obviously not possible that way.
  • JektJekt Join Date: 2012-02-05 Member: 143714Members, Squad Five Blue, Reinforced - Shadow Posts: 1,543 Fully active user
    If co_spendlvl is the console command than binding it to B would just be:
    bind B co_spendlvl
  • MCMLXXXIVMCMLXXXIV Join Date: 2010-04-14 Member: 71400Members Posts: 508 Fully active user
    QUOTE (Jekt @ Jun 27 2012, 02:29 AM) »
    If co_spendlvl is the console command than binding it to B would just be:
    bind B co_spendlvl

    In the long term we're planning to make changes like this too (as well as an experience bar, using the in-game-menu to upgrade etc.) but obviously until the support is there in Steam Workshop you'd have to install something to see them, so we're focusing on what is achievable right now instead.
  • JibrailJibrail Join Date: 2009-04-16 Member: 67200Members Posts: 867 Fully active user
  • MCMLXXXIVMCMLXXXIV Join Date: 2010-04-14 Member: 71400Members Posts: 508 Fully active user
    At the moment it's a chat/console command that you type in to buy things. When you first join you get a help message telling you how to use it, and hints that tell you what to type to buy various stuff.

    Unfortunately I don't think we can make a menu without client-side changes.
  • douchebagatrondouchebagatron Custom member title Join Date: 2003-12-20 Member: 24581Members, Constellation, Reinforced - Shadow Posts: 3,509
    you could probably create a server only mod, and then a supplemental client only mod.

    The server only mod would be playable by itself

    The client only mod would do nothing by itself

    but combine the two... and you get something pretty cool
    the artist formerly known as 6john
    and
    the artist currently known as d*uchebagatron
  • CodeineCodeine Join Date: 2010-11-22 Member: 75155Members Posts: 515
    The steam workshop works now and ingame i think?

    Would be easy now to have some data client side?
  • MCMLXXXIVMCMLXXXIV Join Date: 2010-04-14 Member: 71400Members Posts: 508 Fully active user
    I think we can put the maps on the Steam Workshop but not the rest yet - not sure it will be so long before it's ready.
  • TwiggehTwiggeh Join Date: 2010-09-24 Member: 74165Members Posts: 508
    Does anyone still have Rockdown? That could prob work as a combat map.
    image
  • JimWestJimWest Join Date: 2010-01-03 Member: 69865Members, Reinforced - Silver Posts: 528 Fully active user
    We have a small costum Combat map for playtesting, I would love to have a remake of the co_Faceoff map, but I can't map good enough.
    Anyway, we're getting closer to a Playtest, most features are now ready and most bugs are fixed.
    Can anybody host a small, good Server for the test?
  • endarendar Join Date: 2010-07-27 Member: 73256Members, Squad Five Blue Posts: 620 Fully active user
    Sure can! It's in australia though, but I think that's best for everyone involved. Add me on steam if you'd like.
  • CodeineCodeine Join Date: 2010-11-22 Member: 75155Members Posts: 515
    What is the exact date/time this play test will happen?
  • fanaticfanatic This post has been edited. Join Date: 2003-07-23 Member: 18377Members, Constellation, Squad Five Blue Posts: 1,727
    edited July 2012
    I would love a version of combat where; instead of gaining experience and levels (which you then use to pick upgrades), you gain pres (which you can spend on upgrades).

    The idea goes as follows (everything not mentioned is the same as it was in ns1 combat mode):

    - Both teams have a slow, but steady, stream of pres income.
    - You also gain pres by either (1) killing a member of the other team, (2) assisting in killing a member of the other team, (3) healing your teammates and (4) damaging the command station/hive.
    - No pres gain from simply being in the vicinity of somebody killing a member of the other team (NS1 had this, caused lots of problems).
    - Everything, except for spawning and playing with the basic machine gun or skulk, costs pres.
    - Players buy equipment, lifeforms, abilities, comm abilities, hive healing, and so forth, by pressing +use on their command station or hive.
    - Comm support abilities (medpacks, ammopacks, and so forth) are placed in the players' "inventory" and can be triggered by them at will (through a menu or button). Probably need to institute a max carrying capacity for medpacks (for example two) to balance this.
    - Players lose everything they've bought when they die.
    - No armory in the marine base, no free healing in the alien hive.
    - There should probably be some sort of objective tied to a timelimit, to prevent both teams from camping. Possibly just a simple "hold x location for x minutes to win". You also win if you kill the other team's command station/hive.

    I'm sure this could be improved on by implementing further changes, but I think just this would go a long way towards "fixing" the NS1 combat mode.
    Ghosthree3
  • CodeineCodeine Join Date: 2010-11-22 Member: 75155Members Posts: 515
    go make that combat version then.
  • JimWestJimWest Join Date: 2010-01-03 Member: 69865Members, Reinforced - Silver Posts: 528 Fully active user
    edited July 2012
    Well, that wouldn't be combat that sounds more like standart Ns without a commander.
    We do it more like the original Ns1 Combat.
  • fanaticfanatic This post has been edited. Join Date: 2003-07-23 Member: 18377Members, Constellation, Squad Five Blue Posts: 1,727
    It was just a suggestion. By all means, feel free to remake the worst part of the NS1 experience.
    Underwhelmed
  • duxdux Tea Lady Join Date: 2003-12-14 Member: 24371Members, NS2 Developer Posts: 597 Advanced user
    I do like the sound of Fanas version more.
  • CodeineCodeine Join Date: 2010-11-22 Member: 75155Members Posts: 515
    I seem to remember having a great experience from playing combat in ns1.
  • TimMcTimMc Join Date: 2012-02-06 Member: 143945Members Posts: 1,425
    Could you have server options that make a server use this if playercount is less than say 10? Once 10 people join, swap to NS classic?

    Obviously have the number be admin defined.
    My Steam Workshop:
    Arms Limitation Treaty - Whips, Sentries, ARCs and Hallucinations count towards MAC/Drifter limits.
    No Power Usage - Marine structures no longer require power. Power nodes only affect lighting, but are much weaker.
  • CodeineCodeine Join Date: 2010-11-22 Member: 75155Members Posts: 515
    Whats the point in that? when it swaps to NS classic and the people that want to play combat will just leave.
  • BroseidonBroseidon Join Date: 2011-07-18 Member: 110935Members Posts: 136 Advanced user
    QUOTE (Codeine @ Jul 4 2012, 04:55 AM) »
    Whats the point in that? when it swaps to NS classic and the people that want to play combat will just leave.

    You got something to do while you are waiting for the server to get filled up to play a fully saturated game of ns2. Most people including myself really don't enjoy playing a for example 3v3 game ns2. However it would be much enjoyable to play 3v3 combat instead Oh and to your question: if i wanted to play only combat i would play on an only combat server. But ofcourse a small window could be added on the side in the server list so you could see what gamemode the server is playing. This mod timmc is describing coulde be counted as ns2 in the server list instead of combat even if the server is playing combat cause of too few players. Or maybe this is not possible to mod :/
    Steam: Calleohr
  • JimWestJimWest Join Date: 2010-01-03 Member: 69865Members, Reinforced - Silver Posts: 528 Fully active user
    Update-System is now fully working, I think I will now start work for the optional Client GUI.

    MCMLXXXIV wasn't online for 5 days now and I don't wanna start a test without him so I can't tell when we will test,
    but it will be definitly soon.
  • MCMLXXXIVMCMLXXXIV Join Date: 2010-04-14 Member: 71400Members Posts: 508 Fully active user
    edited July 2012
    I'm back online now - I had to go for some job interviews and look at finding a place to live (we're moving out of London) and I managed to choose the only B&B in the whole of Bath that has no WiFi...

    I can see from Pivotal that JimWest has been nailing all the biggest bugs while I was away - I think we're looking pretty solid now. I can't give the latest build a try until I get back home tomorrow but I think we'll have an internal playtest in the next couple of days and then once everything is looking polished enough for a proper test we can have a try at a public game!

    I think the next step is to secure a server, and pick a time for a load of people to come online and test the server out. We've created a Steam Group (search for NS2Combat) and I think we can organise playtests via that. Anyone who wants to play, join our group!
    Post edited by Unknown User on
  • JimWestJimWest Join Date: 2010-01-03 Member: 69865Members, Reinforced - Silver Posts: 528 Fully active user
    edited July 2012
    The optional Client GUI for marines is now fully working, here's a small pic of it:
    image

    All combat Upgrades are in there, you can buy the by simply clicking on it.
    You see the available ups, the ups you already bought and the disabled ups.
    Oh and you can open it with the B-Button everywhere in the map like the alien buymenu.
    It's not beautiful, but it's working :-) .

    The old command style upgrade system is still active so even players with the normal ns2 game can play on our server.
  • CodeineCodeine Join Date: 2010-11-22 Member: 75155Members Posts: 515
    Looks good. How do you know when you've levelled though?
  • JibrailJibrail Join Date: 2009-04-16 Member: 67200Members Posts: 867 Fully active user
    edited July 2012
    QUOTE (Codeine @ Jul 7 2012, 11:21 AM) »
    Looks good. How do you know when you've levelled though?

    we will be putting in a xp bar + lvl up sound also, they are allready done just needs to be implemented into the game.
    Post edited by Unknown User on
  • JimWestJimWest Join Date: 2010-01-03 Member: 69865Members, Reinforced - Silver Posts: 528 Fully active user
    The server sends you a direct Message when you gain xp or get a higher Lvl.
    It remainds you when you got some Lvl to spend (even if you don't have the Client version).
  • douchebagatrondouchebagatron Custom member title Join Date: 2003-12-20 Member: 24581Members, Constellation, Reinforced - Shadow Posts: 3,509
    I saw there's a server running this right now. is a test going on? I'd be interested in helping out
    the artist formerly known as 6john
    and
    the artist currently known as d*uchebagatron
    Mr_Waffles
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