Natural Selection 2 gets a Christmas update with the help of the community

Natural Selection 2 Christmas Patch 272

Earlier this year, the development of alien vs marines shooter, Natural Selection 2, was handed over to the community. That’s not to say that developers Unknown Worlds Entertainment had abandoned it; rather that they approved and vetted a number of promising community programmers and designers to safeguard the games future.

Fruits of this partnership have been enjoyed ever since: for over six content patches to be precise. The sixth and latest one is themed around the holiday and festive spirits, where you’ll find that multiple maps have had the Christmas treatment, and much more.

Build 272 is chock full of more than just Christmas stuff; so much in fact that it nearly didn’t make it in time before the community devs retire for the holiday season.

“A very Merry Gorgemas to you!” opened a very excited WasabiOne. “With the holiday all around us it wouldn’t be fair to not be festive in the depths of space too. Build 272 has been a monster to get out, and it nearly didn’t happen. So as always special thanks to all the folks at UWE and our many programmers and playtesters on the CDT. Below is a run down of what you’ll find in this patch, we hope you’ll enjoy.”

The team is already concentrating on their next update, which will arrive sometime in the new year. “After the holidays we will release 273, essentially removing all the festive ready rooms and additional music.” continued WasabiOne. “Then the real work begins, the CDT programmers have been hard at work focusing on some long term big ideas to help stabilize the game in its current state as well replace some existing pieces of the infrastructure to show that NS2 is far from done.”

We’ve got the build 272 patch notes on the next page for you to feast your eyes on.


The main menu is now festive!

All ready rooms have also got into the spirit of the season! (except tram 🙁 not sure what happened)



NS2 servers now also show up in the steam server list.

Minimal infestation is now more visually representative of the range it should be, Improved how minimal infestation looks.

You can now swap alien upgrades without first deselecting the previous one (it will do so automatically)

Added new option to the sound page to let sounds continue to play while the game is minimized

Meds, ammo, and catpacks can now be picked up from any height difference

Made the scoreboard usable at low resolutions no matter the player count. The teams will be displayed vertically in low resolution and you are able to scroll through the scoreboard with the slider on the right side, or pressing Home/End, Page Up/Down, or using your mouse wheel.

The scoreboard now displays the Commander background as yellow. This makes it easier to identify rookie commanders as their name will still display green even while commanding.

Changed to only allow reset game votes in the first 3 minutes of a game to discourage using it as an alternative to concede

Changed to allow conceding after 7 minutes instead of 10, and made it easier for mods to override

The taskbar icon will flash when alt+tabbed when a game is starting or when it is time to pick a team (after map loads or after the previous game ends)

Previous turns logfiles now saved as .old.txt on game start

Output from p_logall now goes to the same directory as logs

If steam is down, servers and clients will use already downloaded mods – if the client has the same version of a mod as the server, the client will be able to connect and play even when steam is down.

Added customization menu to the main menu

Added “Acknowledged” voiceover

Combined “Let’s Move” voiceover with “Follow Me”

The background of the commander button in the voiceover menu will scale to the commander’s name

Pressing movement modifier key while commander will now toggle a movement override while press that allows the WASD keys (or whatever they are mapped to) to be used to move the camera (like arrow keys do)

Faster grenade sprinting animation

Made Babbler eggs highlighted in Alien vision

Updated dkjson, so you can now use advanced json syntax in json config files (e.g. javascript comments)

Resource loading can be configured. May increase loading speed for SSD users (sorry, will only slow down HDD users).


Fixed issues with dropping catpacks on exos not feeling as responsive as dropping stuff for marines

Fixed server crash related to picking up a jetpack and weapon at the same time

Fixed kill feed being obscured by the death screen fade to black

Fixed voting to concede with only one player on the team requiring more votes than there were players

Fixed sound explosion caused by being alt+tabbed for a while and then coming back into the game

Fixed echoing harvesters into locations with multiple resource nozzles not always working

net_blackout now requires cheats

Fixed linux client crash when shooting a shotgun (thanks CERIBIK)

Fixed child entity positions when placed in an a non-moving parent entity.

Fixed that some attacks would be silenced for aliens with phantom even though no veils were built

Fixed that a single catpack could be used by multiple marines

Fixed alignment of server entry names

Fixed artifacts on the Exo and Jetpack textures caused by the marine outlines

Fixed mapper placed team-related props being highlighted in Alien vision.

Fixed fans having decals projected onto them


(Thanks to Wooza/ATF for running some test code)

Server now spreads out player updates better, avoiding updating them all at once (source of late joining player getting extra lag)

Server now uses more threads to compute network updates to avoid blocking main thread

Server now uses a faster way of calculating what entities should be sent to each client

LuaJIT will dynamically adjust parameters to avoid resets in the middle of the game (a reset means that the game runs without LuaJIT for a little bit while it recompiles, which could cause a hitch and is now avoided)

Server no longer runs updates for tunnels with no players in them

Fixed relevancy for tunnel contents; don’t send contents of all tunnels to all players

Client no longer runs updates for all props in all tunnels all the time – it no longer knows they exist unless the player is actually inside a tunnel

Client: skip setting bones for entities not in FOV, except for dynamic props if shadows are on (cause otherwise the shadow of a fan stops rotating when you are not looking at the fan).

Significantly improved performance of the marine colored outlines by removing several render cameras and optimizing the shader

Improved performance of alien parasite outlines by optimizing the shader

Reduced amount of http-requests used to get player data from the hive


Added Client.WindowNeedsAttention() which will cause the taskbar icon to flash when called if the user is alt+tabbed

Improved performance of Editor

Added circle entity indicators for ARC range, IP attach range, and relevancy range in the editor to more easily visualize the the game relevant ranges from within Editor

Added console command removeoption to remove the specified option from your config.

e.g. “removeoption graphics/infestationQuality”

Added BaseModelMixin:GetIsHighlightEnabled() to specify if an entity should be highlighted in alien vision

Fixed collision on biodome_outdoor_rock_03

Fixed path issues with some files

New global function GetHiveDataBySteamId( int steamid ) to get hive data for the given users



Hangar Bay performance has been improved

Altered vent route from Hangar to Observation to make it easier to traverse

Added new rock formation near Falls RT to help marines get to the “top” level of the rocks

Added occlusion geo to the ice pillar in water production to improve FPS

fixed .model. error in water production (had been causing fps drops)


Moved Access Alpha RT to the top of the ramp

Closed off Conduit exit vent (it still is open from Generator Monitors to Power Sub Junction)

Improved Occlusion geo in Access Alpha in order to improve FPS


Fixed missing wall in Cart Tunnel


The vent in Containment has been changed to not overlook the room to prevent gorges from spit-harassing Command Chairs

Fixed stuck spot in Turbine

Lava under the walkway has been changed to a very high DoT instead of an instant death trigger


Power node in Mezzanine is now connected to the wall

It should no longer be possible to hide cysts under the tram in Repair Room


Removed random pipe props from the RR