MendaspMendasp I touch maps in inappropriate placesValencia, Spain Join Date: 2002-07-05 Member: 884Members, NS1 Playtester, Contributor, Constellation, NS2 Playtester, Squad Five Gold, NS2 Map Tester, Reinforced - Shadow, WC 2013 - Shadow, Retired Community Developer
edited December 2015 in NS2 General Discussion
This is going to be a long post, so I’ll go over what has happened recently and then go into nostalgia mode.

After a year and a half of work in the CDT, the team is effectively (not technically) being disbanded and some of the members are being contracted by UWE to do further work on the game. I’m not part of that team, but that’s not the problem.

The way this happened is the reason I feel I can’t keep contributing as it is. While UWE was having meetings with everyone and forming this team nobody met with me and I was never notified of this situation, so I was still doing free work while all of this was taking place in the background. I wasn’t alone in this, since as far as I know, other members of the CDT weren’t contacted either until long after the decisions had been made.

Part of being in the CDT meant that there was no pay, so while I accepted that there was no money to be made, and it was never part of my goals, at least I expected to be treated with some respect. After all the work I’ve put forward for this game, for its community, I think I deserved at least the courtesy of knowing earlier and the opportunity to share my point of view or prove my worth, and more importantly, to choose if I wanted to still contribute for free while others were getting paid.

I wasn’t given this chance, as I found out through other means and (at least) a month after these talks began, after it was all set in stone. I only got to have a talk after bitching for 2 days in not very subtle ways in the internal CDT channel. I did eventually get an apology for how this was handled, however, by that point, the damage had already been done.

Funnily enough, blind’s farewell thread got resurrected and I had a chance of reading what he said about me again, which was:
blind wrote: »
- Mendasp
My second favorite spaniard. You are the best entertainer I could ask for, fucking hilarious is an understatement par excellence. Thanks for all the joy, laughs and of course your incredible dedication to this community. Competitive community in NS2 without Mendasp? Hell, that's like NS1 without jiriki. We all can't thank you enough. Especially UWE who often underestimated your work.

Talk about great timing. I feel like they don’t realize the state the game would be in if they were to revert all the work I put into vanilla and NS2+ vanished from existence. Same with the work I put into the maps. Considering there’s a number of people that think that the mod is only a bunch of toggles and don’t realize all the improvements that come from it, I guess that’s how they might have seen it as worthless for what they wanted. But that also requires ignoring the work put into vanilla, so I don’t really know.

To me this feels like they don’t respect what I’ve done for their game, so I felt I couldn’t possibly do anything else, especially with the new conditions, thus deciding not to put any more time into it if I can help it.

I briefly considered taking down NS2+, but that wouldn’t be fair to the community which has actually showed me their love many times, especially recently, all of you have been so supportive of the decision that it’s really hard to express how much it means to me. I am VERY grateful, you guys have been my driving force to keep working on the game even after I stopped actively playing, which is why I promised to keep the mod alive as long as I could within reasonable limits.

While UWE has disappointed me plenty of times in the past, I never expected to be treated like this. I wanted to leave the community in a different way, but sometimes you can’t choose.

This post isn’t about my disappointment about not being in the team, and certainly not about money, but about how things have been done and what that implies. I, and the other people that weren’t contacted, deserved to know these kind of plans so we could make our choices based on it, especially considering other people that aren’t part of this team knew. If this was done fully knowing the impact I don’t know, but I can tell you, from my side, that this feels like I was taken advantage of, and it’s quite awful to be in such a situation.

And with that out of the way here goes my background!

I began following NS in June 2002, a few months before it got released, thanks to blueman (who would later get an official combat map in the game), I started doing some mapping before the release and kept doing so for a while, and getting good comments in the forums about the stuff I made.

So fast forward a bit, I take charge of remaking ns_bast with a team of mappers, it goes official to replace the old version as the source was lost. The maintenance of the map was done by me alone afterwards. At this time, I was also translating the game into spanish, and a bit later, I'd get my own map in the game, co_sava.

A bit later, we have the big forums crash that lasted about 2 years and nothing happens until NS2 is announced. Boy, was I excited, I immediately pre-purchased the special edition for the same reason everyone else did, even if the game never existed at least I'd give something back for all the hours of NS1 fun.

The first "playtesters" this game has are some NS1 mappers to test the tools, so I was part of this, I've seen this game from Build 100, which was only the level editor. Builds go by and the author of ns2_summit, psykoman, leaves, the level is in maintenance limbo and I offer to keep it up to date, this was in build 205. Since I was part of the competitive community I had no problem getting fast feedback to improve the map and I kept tweaking and even rebalancing the map (Data Core/Atrium overhauls).

A bit later, after FMPONE left, Veil would also be maintained by me, with another subsequent set of balance changes, this time for Pipeline, which was a very unfavourable starting TP for aliens. However, at this time I thought that I would only provide the greybox for an UWE mapper to do the detailing job, not because I didn’t think I couldn’t do a good job, but because I was starting to feel like this wasn’t my job as I was just a volunteer. After this I still did maintenance and small tweaks, as no other big changes were needed.

Eventually, I also took over Tram, thus completing the holy trinity of competitive maps under my wing, for this map there were no massive changes required as Olmy had already done a great job of revamping it a few times.

I translated NS1 into spanish, and thus, when the opportunity to do the same for NS2 came up, I went for it again, so I’ve also done the translation for both games and wrote the guide for translators and coordinated them for a bit.

For a while, me and some other people wanted UWE to act on the issue of close spawns, as it made the gameplay spammy, devoid of any strategy and a constant and boring zerg rush, however they never acknowledged the issue and claimed that the randomness was good, even though figuring out the enemy spawn takes 3 seconds. So since they weren’t doing anything, I decided I’d give it a shot, so I created a mod to allow server admins to define spawns, this would allow them to get rid of the issue.

I don't recall exactly why I tried this, but at some point I tested removing a good amount of lights from Summit and seeing the performance difference, and it was very apparent that there was a performance gain to be had, thus creating the NSL maps, competitive versions of the maps with reduced lights and no ambient sounds or clutter. Because there were (very rude and unprofessional) comments about how the maps looked like for broadcasting I created another mod so that spectators would get the original lights and could show the game in all of its glory. Players would get the improved performance, and casters would get the original pretty lights, a win/win situation.

These were my first 2 mods and both were used in the ENSL. The fun thing is both of these things that I did, ended finding their way into vanilla even though they were always shot down and argued against when brought up, both cross spawns and high performance lights.

Now, we get to the good part. There were discussions of having an officially sanctioned HUD mod for the NSL, but the NSL wouldn't allow it. Pretty much everyone hated how the UI looked because it was very intrusive and full of unnecessary effects. All we had back then were texture mods to remove the backgrounds and such (not allowed either!), so I thought I'd make a mod to let players customize the game in a way similar to what people were customizing when there was no consistency check, and thus Custom HUD was born (later known as NS2+), in part to push UWE into making the UI better, although this never happened.

This Custom HUD mod was a bunch of console commands to customize a number of things, there was no way to change settings in a menu, it didn't run in many servers and it required to restart the game for some settings to take effect. The NSL didn't allow it. However I still worked on it and implemented suggestions that I thought made sense.

It wasn’t until there was a change of admin in the NSL, and this one did allow Custom HUD, and it was a required mod for the NS2WC too, this changed EVERYTHING. At this point and considering that NS2+ is a big reason I'm still here, I'm not sure if I should thank or kill Zefram for this decision.

This boosted the popularity of the mod considerably, at least within the competitive community, and I started doing a bit more than UI customization just to make my life easier, namely, integrating the NSL lights into the mod, not requiring to keep a parallel set of maps up to date every build. I also added a very crude client-side accuracy tracker because I didn’t want to wait for round end for NS2Stats, this quickly evolved into server-side tracked stats and into what we have today with the full round details.

So with the first elements that weren’t exactly HUD customization, I started thinking about some of suggestions I had been hearing/reading for quality of life changes, basically stuff that’d be nice to have and would make the game more accessible and better to play. This first change was making friends names yellow when they were parasited, and if I recall correctly, I think it was Aioros that actually suggested this. A relatively simple change, but a great quality of life change. I also fixed a problem in a patch where the volume of skulk jump sounds was hilariously loud and another one where the skulks would do this annoying growl sound all the time. I fixed the hitboxes for the rock props in Summit as they were blocking shots that they shouldn’t. I made the ammo bars for Commanders colored like in the spectator system so it was obvious what weapon the marine was carrying. This is the kind of stuff that was making the mod essential to have in a server. Not only was it giving choice, but now it was fixing bugs and making the game overall better.

But what made the mod really explode in popularity was adding its own menu entry to make changes directly through the UI without fiddling with console commands. The very fast updates also contributed to it having a very good image within the community.

Some server ops wanted to run the mod, but were worried about some features, so finding a compromise I added server-side options to disallow certain settings from being used (namely the NSL features: lights, sounds, particles). In this discussion came up the topic of changing the mod’s name from CHUD to something else, this is when it finally became NS2+ to really cement what the scope of the mod was, to improve the base game as much as possible, this meant new features, more customization, and more bug fixes of the base game.

Finally, after the NS2WC took place, the CDT was formed and I was part of it mainly because of NS2+, so I started merging a lot of the improvements into the vanilla game.

These are some of the things that went from NS2+ to Vanilla:

- [276] Added extra bindings for voiceover options: "Weld me", "Follow me", etc.
- [276] Dropped weapon expire times now are displayed for the commander.
- [273] You can click on the scoreboard to check a player's Steam/NS2 profile.
- [273] Scoreboard displays if someone is your steam friend.
- [273] You can mute voice/text independently and it's persistent across map changes up to 6 hours.
- [273] The scoreboard now truncates player names if they overlap with the rest of the elements.
- [272] Modified vanilla scoreboard to make it usable at low resolutions. It will automatically scroll to your position if you are in RR or in a team. You can use the mousewheel, home/end/pgup/pgdn or click and drag to scroll.
- [272] Scoreboard shows the Commander background in yellow instead of the name, so you can identify rookie players that are commanding.
- [272] Medpacks, ammo, and catpacks can be picked up from any height difference.
- [270] Scoreboard displays the number of connecting players.
- [270] In the voice request menu you can now select items by moving the mouse past them (similar to NS1).
- [270] Building range circles now use decals instead of models.
- [270] Added an option in the sound tab to continue recording after the microphone button has been released for a fraction of a second to help ensure your last word isn't cut off (defaults to 150ms).
- [268] Marine weapons now reload automatically upon firing the last bullet.
- [268] Commanders can marquee select enemy units when there's no friendly units in the marquee.
- [268] Grenade collision radius is more representative of the visual model (proximity detonation radius is unchanged).
- [268] You can click on the player frames on the sides to autofollow a player. Click again to stop following.
- [268] Shotgun lights in the model reflect ammo count.
- [268] Weapon displays flash red when low on ammo.
- [268] Added unsocketed and blueprint states for Power Nodes in the minimap. You can now see all Power Node states.
- [268] Alien Commanders can see the energy for their teammates.
- [268] High contrast colors for health/armor in Insight spectator.
- [267] Marine players and the Marine Commander can see the time until the weapon disappears when it's been dropped.
- [267] Make the outline color yellow for parasited players and purple when they have received a catpack in overhead.
- [267] Added bonewall icon to map.
- [267] Items that disappear after some time on the ground now display an expiration bar for all Marine players (including the Marine Commander).
- [267] Server-confirmed hitsounds.
- [267] The armory and infantry portal arms don’t block bullets anymore.
- [267] Lerks can see damage numbers for the poison bite's damage over time.
- [267] When a structure bleeds out the killfeed will show the killer as whoever hit it last.
- [267] You can see the class of your evolving teammates.
- [267] The kill feed highlights your player kills. Icons in the killfeed are properly scaled too.
- [267] Dropped weapons outlines are color coded for improved readability.
- [267] Infantry Portals will show the name and progress of the player that is about to spawn.
- [267] Evolving alien players will show their evolution progress for their teammates.
- [267] Scoreboard keeps the time of the previous round until the next one starts.
- [267] Dropped marine weapons are outlined for the marine commander and spectators.
- [267] Spectators can see deployed mines highlighted with a blue outline, and the outline will turn yellow if the mine has been parasited.
- [267] Added slight impulse to dropped weapons.
- [267] Enabled weapon specific ammo models for dropped weapons.
- [266] Marine commanders can see the marine ammo bar with the color that's used in the overview spectator mode to easily identify the weapon the marine is carrying.
- [266] Commanders can see building ranges before dropping them.
- [266] Adds player upgrades to the Insight player frames.
- [266] Adds Lerk deaths to Insight alerts.
- [266] Alltalk displays the correct team color/background for voice chat.
- [266] Mods list is sorted automatically as Active > Subscribed > Alphabetically. You can also sort by column.
- [266] Connections between Phase Gates or Gorge Tunnels are now colored depending on the team. If there’s more than 2 PGs it will switch to lines with animated arrows.
- [265] Parasited players display their name yellow for teammates and spectators.

Have in mind that this is not a full list and that I have done other things directly in Vanilla without going through NS2+ first. Basically I’ve been doing map maintenance, quality of life changes, new features (hitsounds, for example), UI improvements (like spectator changes, revamping the entire interface so it’d work across all resolutions, etc), fixed awful hitboxes from props, and a lot of things I might not be remembering. It wasn’t until I wrote this that I truly realized how much I’ve done and how much it is all worth. Really makes the whole ordeal more upsetting.

I want to thank all the people that have supported me through these 13 years, I’ve made a lot of friends, I’ve met some of them in person. I’ve felt right at home in this community for a very long time. Lots of awesome things have happened to me during this time, so while I regret a number of things I’ve done and said, in the end it was all worth it, because of the community.

I’m not the first to quit because of the way the community has been treated, lots of people that were contributing great things in multiple ways have left, most of them during the alpha days out of frustration. I’m not a saint, I’m not perfect, but I don’t think I deserved this treatment.

I can’t rule out coming back, because in life you never know. I will lurk around since I still need to keep NS2+ from falling apart, so I won’t be fully gone, but I won’t be around in the same capacity either.

Once again, thanks to all the people that supported me over the years in various ways, you guys are awesome. It’s impossible for me to express what it means to me. I can’t thank you all enough. It means so much to me that people have liked what I’ve done and appreciated my work. It’s hard to express into words. If you’ve read this far, thank you.



  • KasharicKasharic Hull, England Join Date: 2013-03-27 Member: 184473Members, Forum Admins, NS2 Playtester, NS2 Map Tester, NS2 Community Developer
    Much love Mendasp, Thank you for all of your time and effort. /Salute
  • AeglosAeglos Join Date: 2010-04-06 Member: 71189Members
    I'm not really one for posts that have all the substance of "+1 to post count", but thanks Mendasp. Really appreciate your work.
  • YojimboYojimbo England Join Date: 2009-03-19 Member: 66806Members, NS2 Playtester, NS2 Map Tester, Reinforced - Supporter, Reinforced - Silver, Reinforced - Shadow
    We love you mendasp! Always been grateful for your hardwork, I hope UWE reconsiders their cockup or atleast put you on a 6 month probationary period like most work places would offer?
  • TinkiTinki Join Date: 2013-12-03 Member: 189715Members
    Sad day for the game... Thanks for all your work. I don't understand the lack of recognition, maybe an excess of ego from UWE with all the things you added/fixed.
  • PelargirPelargir Join Date: 2013-07-02 Member: 185857Members, Forum Moderators, NS2 Playtester, Squad Five Blue, Squad Five Silver, NS2 Map Tester, Reinforced - Supporter, Reinforced - Silver, WC 2013 - Silver, Forum staff
    I wish you luck, you'll find another games. You will have plenty of free time now to enjoy your Steam library. I told you already this but NS2 wouldn't have been the same place without you and I wouldn't have sticked around that long if it wasn't thanks to NS2+. Long live Mendasp!
  • MaxAmusMaxAmus UK Join Date: 2003-12-26 Member: 24779Members, Constellation, NS2 Playtester, Reinforced - Shadow
    No words can ever thank you enough for what you have done and added to the game, not only making it better to play, but just being there throughout the years, UWE has made a massive mistake in letting you go back into the shadows.

    #Thank you Mendasp
  • YaluzanYaluzan Join Date: 2013-07-30 Member: 186474Members, Squad Five Blue, Squad Five Silver, NS2 Map Tester
    Thanks for all your work mendasp, you'll be missed. Just remember "follow my orders and don't die, okay?" - jaivol
    Wish you luck with your life and future projects somewhere else :smile:
    NS2 and the NSL would have been off a lot worse without you, so thank you.
  • simple_simple_ Join Date: 2013-09-10 Member: 188102Members
    Mendasp, thank you.

    I think its important that you made this post. It shines some light on how thinks got handled and will be handled in the future from UWE and the CDT.

    I wish you the best!
  • FrozenFrozen New York, NY Join Date: 2010-07-02 Member: 72228Members, Constellation
    Thanks Mendasp!
    If it wasn't for your low-lights mod I couldn't have played the game at the level I played back in 2012-2013. And that was by far the best time I've had in the game. Everything else is huge for me now too, but that was my game changer. (40fps >>>> 20fps)

    Never got to play much with you outside mercing a couple scrims or mixes, but it was pretty generally hilarious and awesome how you kept the gameplay serious at the same time, great way to play.

    Thanks again!
  • JektJekt Join Date: 2012-02-05 Member: 143714Members, Squad Five Blue, Reinforced - Shadow
  • MisterOizoMisterOizo Join Date: 2013-01-08 Member: 178214Members, NS2 Playtester, NS2 Map Tester
    Thank you, Mendasp. I also have wondered a few times that why don't UWE integrate NS2+ into the game itself or hire you to do it - and now according to you it seems like they didn't even discuss about it, which makes me a bit sad too.
  • VindalooVindaloo Join Date: 2012-12-04 Member: 174127Members, Squad Five Blue, Reinforced - Shadow
    NS2+ or Death.

    Thanks for everything. Without ns2+ and all the work you put into vanilla and maps, I can't even imagine what kind of retention would this wasteland had, if any. I can't imagine ns2 without ns2+ now. When you stop updating, I will stop playing, please don't.
  • Kouji_SanKouji_San Sr. Hινε Uρкεερεг - EUPT Deputy The Netherlands Join Date: 2003-05-13 Member: 16271Members, NS2 Playtester, Squad Five Blue
    edited November 2015
    @Mendasp, we've stood alongside each other in the trenches and had our suggestions shot down and sometimes approved. And of course the usual banter which started the "Shenanigans and Sarcasm war" of 2003-2015 between us and I've enjoyed every moment of it :D I really want everyone to acknowledge the sheer amount of work you've done for NS2 and applaud you for all your efforts made!

    A few months back I've kinda stepped back in NS2 gaming on and off and was very surprised indeed, seeing how the game has developed, changed or rather improved with NS2+, the sad thing is that it looks like a "silly mod" from an average gamer's perspective, while it's so more than that...

    And your work on the maps from NS and NS2, revising and maintaining them was VERY important. What is a game without it's core set of maps and while we both created a few sets of rooms and hallways in Spark, which could in itself be a map hahaha. You took it upon yourself to take those official ones under your wing and also did the competitive stuff which was awesome. The gameplay or useability wouldn't have evolved, if it weren't for you!

    Thank you Mendasp, we/the community love you!!!

    In short :trollface:

  • TyrwingTyrwing Sweden Join Date: 2015-11-23 Member: 209435Members
    Thank you Mendasp for all the work you put into this game.
  • bonagebonage Join Date: 2012-10-13 Member: 162230Members, Squad Five Blue, Squad Five Silver, Reinforced - Shadow, WC 2013 - Shadow
    thank you mendasp for all the work you have done - your efforts were very much appreciated abroad in the AusNS2 community. Your mods/nsl maps etc were a strict requirement on all of our league servers and local servers, and were honestly a big part in keeping our core community active and enjoying the game. Cannot imagine where'd we'd be without them!

    Wishing you all the best with your future endeavors guy :)
  • philoglphilogl Join Date: 2012-10-24 Member: 163529Members, Squad Five Blue, Reinforced - Silver, WC 2013 - Silver
    Thanks for everything Mendasp. Without the work you put into the game I doubt it would have survived long enough to even see the creation of the CDT. You literally single-handedly kept the AusNS2 scene alive. The Aus comp scene had pretty much died by the time the CDT existed, so I thank you for working so closely with us (and actually implementing individual requests from myself on multiple occasions). The list of improvements chud and then NS2+ implemented cannot be overstated, this has taken 2-3 years of your time, painstakingly improving even the most minor of things to bring the game to where it is now. Without your work the game in my opinion wouldn't be worth playing and it's sad to think so many people don't even realise this. You deserve to have been treated better than this, but really, who would want to work for UWE anyway?
  • FlaterectomyFlaterectomy Netherlandistan Join Date: 2005-02-03 Member: 39643Members, NS2 Playtester, Squad Five Blue, Squad Five Silver, NS2 Map Tester, Reinforced - Shadow, WC 2013 - Shadow, Subnautica Playtester, NS2 Community Developer, Pistachionauts
    Hope to continue seeing you around, Mendasp. There will always be a crutch in my heart for you. <3
  • SamusDroidSamusDroid Colorado Join Date: 2013-05-13 Member: 185219Members, Forum Moderators, NS2 Developer, NS2 Playtester, Squad Five Gold, Subnautica Playtester, NS2 Community Developer, Pistachionauts
    I know we've butted heads in the past, but I truly appreciate the amount of work you put into the game. I know just how much of a pain it can be to develop for this game, and the amount of work required to do so. You'll be missed.
  • GISPGISP Battle Gorge Denmark Join Date: 2004-03-20 Member: 27460Members, Playtest Lead, Forum Moderators, Constellation, NS2 Playtester, Squad Five Blue, Squad Five Silver, Squad Five Gold, NS2 Map Tester, Reinforced - Onos, WC 2013 - Gold, Subnautica Playtester, Forum staff
    So with all this new free time of yours, what will you do now @Mendasp ??
  • LamboLambo Iceland Join Date: 2012-08-07 Member: 154915Members, NS2 Map Tester, Reinforced - Supporter, Reinforced - Silver, Reinforced - Shadow
    Thanks for everything you did bud, can't say I'm surprised about your decision due to how it's been for you.

    this 14 year old kid will always welcome you in my Viking party though.
  • DC_DarklingDC_Darkling Join Date: 2003-07-10 Member: 18068Members, Constellation, Squad Five Blue, Squad Five Silver
    Many thanks for all your work Mendasp.
    Seeing how many people use ns2+, including myself, I am well aware of how popular your work has been, and how it positively affected the community.
  • SammyGSammyG England Join Date: 2013-05-07 Member: 185160Members, NS2 Playtester, Reinforced - Shadow, WC 2013 - Shadow
    Wtf where are my beers after I donated beer money to you!?
  • CalegoCalego Join Date: 2013-01-24 Member: 181848Members, NS2 Map Tester
    Something interesting, a lot of changes to NS2 are controversial, but pretty much anything that made it into NS2+ was greeted with resounding applause. Here's to you for figuring out what our raucous community wants, sometimes even before we knew what we wanted.
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