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Date: June 15, 2018

Patch 323


  • The Shadow Onos
  • Forge Shotgun & Flamethrower
  • Player Skill Tier Icons
  • Alien Upgrades Rebalance
Blog Post



  • Alien Upgrades rebalance
    • Auto-spawn with upgrades
      • Reapplies last used Skulk upgrades on spawn, even if you’ve since evolved into a higher life form, it will remember.
      • If no upgrades were last used, they’re assigned randomly (save for focus)
      • Has 4 second delay for each upgrade level, totaling a max of 12 seconds for all 9 potential upgrade chambers to take effect. Manually evolving is faster. But this mechanic keeps the QoL that is spawning with upgrades, without being overpowered or preventing Marines from locking down a hive room. (Thanks for the idea Handschuh!)
    • Removed Silence
      • The current implementation of this upgrade worked against some of the fundamental requirements for the Melee vs Ranged design. We felt it was easily one of the most frustrating things in the game to encounter, for all skill ranges. A proper solution couldn’t be implemented due to technical constraints, so this is the best path forward we believe.
    • Vampirism
      • Now on the Crag hive and it no longer cloaks you, this upgrade better fits the facerolling playstyle of aggro aliens by providing as good or better eHP benefits as Carapace, provided you’ve successfully landed 3-4 hits on an enemy. You’re more vulnerable at range compared to Carapace, but if you can close that distance and land your hits, you’re better off. It now restores a fraction of your eHP (health + armor) instead of a fixed amount of health per shell:
        • Skulk Bite: 6% (4.5-6.7 eHP)
        • Gorge Spit: 3.2% (5.1-5.9 eHP)
        • Lerk Bite: 3% (4.5-5.2 eHP)
        • Fade Swipe: 3% (7.5-9.3 eHP)
        • Fade Stab: 6% (15-18.6 eHP)
        • Onos Gore: 2.5% (22.5-31.5 eHP)
    • Regeneration
      • Tweaked to compliment the 3rd form of Crag Hive playstyle, the Hit and Run type, Regeneration now heals by 3% (was 2%) of your health for each shell every 2 seconds. (but is clamped to heal at least 6 and at most 80 hp). It only activates when out of combat (taking damage) for 3 seconds.
    • Adrenaline
      • This upgrade currently doesn’t provide enough benefits to higher life forms while being too good for lower lifeforms. So we started addressing that issue. However to fully resolve the issue we will need to fully rebalance the alien energy system which we plan to do in one of the next updates.
      • Increases maximum Energy levels by 20 per Spur for a maximum of 160, old energy cap was 100.
      • Removed increased energy regeneration of 1 energy per sec for each Spur (default energy regeneration is 10 energy / sec)
      • Lowered the Gorge ability energy costs:
        • Heal spray costs 10 energy (instead 12)
        • Dropping a structure costs 15 energy (instead 20)
    • Camouflage
      • In an attempt to make camouflage viable as its own upgrade, it now applies during all typical non-ability movement for an alien.
      • Leap, Charge and Blink etc will still decloak you, but a gliding Lerk or a wall jumping Skulk will remain cloaked at full speed, albeit at a higher degree of visibility.
      • Potentially useful if used in chaotic engagements. An idle ambushing alien is still difficult to spot. Typical decloaking rules when attacked or attacking apply.
    • Focus
      • We’ve heard your resounding feedback that Focus is frustrating to play against when it can one-hit-kill an unarmored Marine. So in an effort to address this we’ve made the following changes:
        • Decreased the damage bonus from 16/33/50% to 11/22/33% – this means a Focus Fade Swipe at maximum can do 99.75 damage to a Marine!
        • Only primary attacks are affected by Focus and consume 33% more energy to account for the slower RoF.
        • Vampirism heals 33% more health if Focus is selected to account for the RoF difference.
    • Crush
      • Moved to Shift Hive to replace Silence’s position, and allow for Vampirism to be on Crag Hive.
    • Celerity, Carapace, and Aura are unchanged from previous update.
  • Lerk
    • Increased personal resource cost to evolve into a Lerk to 21 (from 18)
      • This change was based on feedback from the community regarding a large amount of Lerk dominance early in a round often dictating the outcome. We believe the subtle lifeform timing difference coupled with the increased cost of re-Lerking will aid in marines being better prepared by the time they arrive on the field, as well as dealing with them less frequently, or giving more weight to their deaths.
  • Gorge Tunnel
    • A single Gorge now needs 12.5 seconds (from 5) to build a tunnel.
      • Should increase the requirements to set up a gorge tunnel base rush in the late game and give Marines more time to notice them. Should not impact most early game tunnel placements that are well defended like Nano.
  • Welder (Contributed by Katzenfleisch)
    • What you aim at will determine whether you repair or attack something, reliably.
      • The Welder was welding wounded friends first and ignoring any enemies nearby, leading to some minor issues when you wanted to get rid of babblers near an RT or wanted to finish off a low skulk when a friendly was nearby. This change is replacing the old targeting priority with one taking the closest target from your crosshair, so the mechanic works as you’d expect.
  • Now preventing players who joined a team in the first 60 seconds of a round from spawning instantly, because some players started exploiting it during early game base rushes. All players who join after the round has started will now be added to the re-spawn queue like normal.


  • Added the new shadow Onos
  • Added the new summer Gorge shoulder patch every player can unlock by playing 5 rounds during this summer until July 16th 2018
  • Added the Forge Shotgun and Flamethrower skins
  • Added player skill tiers (Thanks to IeptBarakat for helping out with this)
    • Your skill tier only changes after playing at ranked ns2 servers. All other servers do not update your Hive stats! Ranked servers show up with a blue gamemode field in the server browser. Otherwise quickplay tries to connect you to a ranked server whenever possible.
    • Your skill tier is based on lower bound of your skill value. This is a combination of Hive’s estimate of your skill, and its confidence in that estimate. This makes the tiers more stable than a skill threshold alone would be, and causes them to tend to trend upward over time as Hive gets more confident.
    • 1 tier for all rookies below level 20 (approx. 20 hours playtime)
      • Tier 0 – Rookie – green color
    • 7 tiers for all other players to group them by their skill:
      • Tier 1 – Recruit – blue color – ~20% of the weekly players
      • Tier 2 – Frontiersman- silver color – ~25% of the weekly players
      • Tier 3 – Squad Leader – gold color – ~25% of the weekly players
      • Tier 4 – Veteran – platinum color – ~15% of the weekly players
      • Tier 5 – Commandant- diamond color – ~9% of the weekly players
      • Tier 6 – Special Ops – purple “shadow” color – ~5% of the weekly players
      • Tier 7 – Sanji Survivor – red color – ~1 % of the weekly players
    • The skill tiers should help players to balance teams roughly on their own without having to rely on automatic shuffle algorithms.
    • Each servers mean skill tier is also displayed in the server browser sp players can avoid joining a server with the majority of players having a significant higher/lower skill tier.
    • You can check your own tier in the main menu.
  • Changed “Rookie Only” servers to “Bootcamp” servers, and opened them up to every player below skill tier 2.
  • Gorge Healspray will now show a healing effect on the friendly unit or structure the Gorge is targeting.(Thanks IeptBarakat for helping with this!)
  • Some structures have had their poor or awkward collision for player movement improved to allow for smooth traversal. This impacts the Observatory, Extractor, Shell, and Arcs. You might notice that you can move through the Observatory dish now, or that Skulks aren’t floating in air as much on specific parts of an RT.
  • Reflections no longer look “half-rez” due to incorrect texture coordinate derivatives. As a result, some reflections appear more/less visible than before due to the now correct usage of the gloss map.
  • The bulk of the art assets in the game were rebuilt using newer and better tools. This removed a lot of artifacts from them improving overall visuals of the game.
  • Specular Maps now render at full resolution, was half-resolution before. This help improve lighting fidelity of most surfaces in the game.
  • The refraction/distortion effects (glass, alien cloaking, etc.) now properly stack up. Before, only one layer of refracting objects would be visible, occasionally causing some more important information to be lost (eg. cloaked Skulk hiding on refracting glass would be quite literally impossible to spot because it simply wasn’t being rendered!). Also, parts of the Cloaked Alien would lose the refraction effect and become completely invisible in some spots during typical use.

The game now has a ‘RepairGame.exe’ utility in the ’x64’ sub-folder. This can be used to fix common issues clients may encounter. It will delete your Workshop and Cache folder contents, as well as deactivate any mods in your options.xml file and then validate your files the next time the game is run.

  • Changed the position of the Help Screen notification reminder to a more active screen area that will not risk obscuring your view. We found it wasn’t very noticeable in it’s previous position. A stroke was added to the text so that it is readable against all backgrounds.
  • Added a favorite server “Heart” button to the in-game scoreboard next to the server’s name at the top of the screen. Make sure to hit that when you found a server you really like to find it again later on in the server browser!
  • Added a numeric ping value next to the ping bars in the Server Browser because they might be needed if you live in certain regions like Australia.
  • Limited the ping filter in the server browser to a minimum of 100 ms, to prevent users from accidentally setting it to 0, effectively making all servers disappear.
  • Labeled the server rank column of the server browser with rank instead of # which most players didn’t understand.
  • Improved the server rating formula so that not all full servers are moved to the second page of the server list. We also introduced a new policy for ranked servers to improve the experience that players have on them.
  • Improved the “failed to connect” dialog to look better and offer a few more options, such as Retry or Try Another Server.
  • Added 3D visual hints on the HUD indicating the position of spotted Resource Towers for players with hints enabled. Hopefully this will help new players to know where to go, and to attack resource towers instead of the Tech Points which were previously the only thing shown with hints on.
    • Requires LOS established by your team before showing.
    • Shows a maximum of 2 resource towers on screen at any time to avoid clutter.
    • Prioritizes distance and direction you are looking to determine which RTs to show
  • Replaced the resource tower dots in the bottom right of the HUD with icons representing the actual resource tower structures of each team, to avoid any confusion.
  • Unlocked the maxfps console command from 200, so player can set it as high as they want up to 1000 – at their own risk. Also added a maxfps field to the system_options.xml so players can use that to change their maxfps permanently.
  • Damaged Exosuits that are not occupied now show damaged effects. If you hop into an Exosuit that has only 20 armor left, it was your own fault for not noticing.
  • Added the ENSL Season 12 badges.
  • Railgun impact decals properly reflect the size of the projectile now (Contributed by Nin)
  • The Cache and Workshop folders are cleared out automatically this patch for everyone – and will be again each time we ship patches in the future. This prevents some odd and rare performance bugs that could arise after these folders reached very large sizes.
  • Changed some default settings to prevent some disadvantages for newer players.
    • Field of View 10 from 0
    • Infestation Quality set to Minimal from Rich
    • Reflections set to Off from On (but do give them a try this patch)

Sound Effects / General Audio

For the past several months Sweets has worked with us to overhaul the playback, quality, and balancing of all the game’s sound effects. His herculean efforts of reviewing, tweaking, and tuning just about every sound effect in the game have yielded great results! It’s now easier to identify specific sources of sounds, be aware of what is happening around you, and gauge the distance of potential threats. Additionally, there are some small performance gains from what he’s done, as the amount of active channels have been reduced by an incredible degree. The culmination of Sweets’ work is a much better and more full soundscape. The following cannot cover the entirety of his changes, as that would require its own separate 10 page changelog. Outstanding work, Sweets!

  • General Sound Changes
    • Reviewed and changed over 1000+ sound events and their implementation to reduce global channel count. Optimizations to max playback behavior, steal behavior, max polyphony behavior, and several other properties for all events. Combined with a reduced global channel count, these optimizations should address sounds which stop playing or cut out which breaks immersion from the player and also prevents the player from hearing important gameplay information cues.
    • Re-balanced all footstep sounds for Marines and all Alien lifeforms for all material types in the game. Walking on a particular surface won’t suddenly seem much louder than other surfaces now.
    • Many additional minor optimizations to sound quality, volume attenuation over distance, reverb properties, and “under the hood” improvements.
  • Aliens
    • Increased the volume and distance for many structures. Hydras, Whips, Shades, Shifts, and others are much more audible to allow Marines entering a room to scout idle and active sounds.
    • All lifeform footsteps balanced for volume and consistency. For example Onos footsteps now travel as far as a Skulk and Skulk footsteps aren’t at the loudest volume at maximum distance on rock materials.
    • Onos charging into a Marine and an Exosuit sounds added.
    • Impact sound for Parasite added regardless of a successful hit.
    • Optimized gorge channel count.
    • Optimized fade channel count and increased the sound of blink so fades can be scouted more easily at longer distances.
    • Improved and tuned Hive pain sounds.
    • Volume roll-off added for Hive death scream so it doesn’t cut off abruptly at range.
    • Fixed Tunnel exit/enter sounds when inside a tunnel. Escaping aliens in a Gorge Tunnel will now hear an enemy chasing after them.
    • Tunnel exiting sound now emits from the Tunnel itself instead of following the player. (Thanks Steelcap!)
    • Balanced UI voice over volumes such as team notifications or “Base Under Attack” notifications.
  • Marines
    • The Marine Beacon sound should never cut out anymore during heavy combat.
    • Optimized all bullet ricochet sound rolloffs and balanced to make it easier to tell if shots are near the player and the material it impacts.
    • Rifle firing sound fidelity increased along with many channel usage optimizations.
    • Added sound for Weapon Upgrade Level 0, which was previously missing (Weapon 1 upgrade did not change the sound).
    • Pistol channel optimizations and balancing.
    • Shotgun channel optimizations. There is a new sound for shotguns at longer distances (removed click artifacts from shotgun distant sound and made it more audible).
    • Grenade Launcher fire and explode channel optimizations. Reduced the explode sound at max distance so it is not always at max volume, players can now hear how far away the explosions are.
    • Grenade bounce no longer max volume at max distance, but still audible at medium distances.
    • Grenade throw sound added.
    • Jetpacks reworked along with channel and fidelity optimizations. Jetpacks are much more audible at all distances. A Marine with a jetpack is extremely fast, threatening, and should not be quiet and stealthy.
    • Removed initial breathing Marine sound while sprinting which can be abused with strafe button animations.
    • Minigun Exosuit channel optimizations. Barrels now have a spin down sound.
    • Railgun Exosuit channel optimizations. Charged shots are now audible at max distance. You know when a Railgun is charging up near you now!
    • Changed Exosuit voiceover damage state sounds and increased the health required to initiate sound (35% and 50% for each warning). Should be a stronger indicator of low health rather than a warning that plays just a moment before death. A looping beeping sound has been added for the lowest health warning level for Exosuits.
    • Structures now attenuate volume sooner and do not travel quite as far while also being more audible at medium distance.
    • Volume balance changes to structures which are too loud or too quiet. For example a destroyed power node was too loud and the phase gate idle was too quiet.
    • Arcs firing will no longer deafen players and override every other sound nearby.
    • Arc charging sound is more audible.
    • Footsteps and Marine movement behavior should no longer cut out quite as much. A Skulk biting a structure should be able to stop biting and identify Marine positioning more clearly. Marine walking footsteps now travel as far as sprinting footsteps and no longer provide a stealth advantage.
    • Small improvement to Pistol idle flip animation sound.
    • Volume balancing and fixes to UI voice-overs so they do not interrupt each other and become silent.


  • Cached pathing map data no longer takes the build number into account (which was causing pathing meshes to be rebuilt for every new patch, even though the level probably hadn’t changed).
  • Fixed that some of the new player progressions menu entries did not work correctly and used outdated descriptions.
  • Fixed an issue with the team bot controller that caused it to start a never ending loop of adding commander bots at rookie only servers.
  • Fixed that Warmup structures, such as Armory or Prototype Lab, didn’t respawn after the first Warm Up phase.
  • Fixed issue where the material of the sound of footsteps was sometimes wrong (eg walking on a “metal” surface would sometimes result in “thin_metal” surface footstep sounds.
  • Fixed that dropped Marine Weapons would not make any sound on most surfaces.
  • Fixed that using a non 16:9 screen resolution or disabling hints in the options menu would hide the harmless loading screen tips. We are working on updated tips but those didn’t make it for this build.
  • Fixed issue preventing the game from using exclusive Fullscreen mode
  • Fixed an issue preventing changing from a low resolution to your monitor’s native resolution.
  • Fixed that Sentry Batteries were not visible in Alien commander view or on the Alien map
  • Fixed that Stomped Marines could occasionally use the Armory or other interactions, causing a race condition.
  • Fixed that by default the “Texture handling” option defaults to “nil” instead of “1 GB”.
  • Fixed that whenever a Powernode without armor takes damage from Infestation (even 0 damage) the lights in a Location slightly flicker.
  • Fixed that Babbler-mines hatched if an enemy is nearby but already dead
  • Fixed that Babblers are not ‘poofing’ blueprints, making them an easy target when they are stuck trying to kill it, and not targeting a built one.
  • Fixed an issue with Servers and Clients creating too many HTTP requests when calling external APIs. *Both Servers and Clients now use managed and throttle request queue.
  • Server ops can change the default value in ServerConfig.json
  • Fixed that fetching mod information, even through the server browser when looking at server details, would begin downloading the mods before you even connected to the server.
  • Fixed that the spectator round time display was unable to display a round time of more than 60 minutes.
  • Merged the UWE Extension fixes into the build, including Commander Bot loop fix as well as the Lerk poison bite fix.
  • Fixed that DX11 renderer could not utilize CTRL+ESC shortcut to reach the desktop


Summit (contributed by Psyk)

  • Updated with cosmetic improvements to Atrium, Crevice, and Crossroads
  • Updated vent connecting Reactor Core and Glass Hallway. It’s now more accessible to both teams.
  • Added support for reflections to the entire level


  • Tweaked reflection probes to work better with improved Reflection rendering



  • Added extra placement options from the Static Prop tool into the Entity tool (Contributed by Steelcap)
  • Fixed that using select-all would select types of objects that were filtered out.


  • Increased number of “recent mods” that appear in the open box.


  • Added this utility to perform reconfigure and repairs tasks that automatically fixes a number of common issues


  • HLSLParser now supports tex2DGrad() and texCUBElod().
  • Added some utility scripts to the ‘utils’ folder used to help migrate physics joints data from old 3dsmax 2009 reactor physics format to new fbx-friendly format that spark uses now.
  • Fixed a help-screen related script error that prevented modders from easily customizing the help screen. (Thanks Nin!)
  • Removed all code related to the old sabot organized play system and heavy rifles.
  • Added a new Client API call to get the address of the server the client is currently connected to.

Known Issues

  • Repair tool close button will not close, but instead run the tool just the same as clicking OK would.
  • There is a minor script error in the end of the Alien tutorial if you return through the gorge tunnel, inappropriately
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