Natural Selection 2

Played a few games so far and it is a blast.

As has been mentioned the people I have played with (PUGs the lot so far) have been a pretty cool bunch and having fun and not freaking out (I was also exclusively on newb-friendly servers so perhaps they are more forgiving).

I tend to die a LOT more than I kill anything. Even fucking Skulks seems to own me (even when I see them coming but then I have never been good with my FPS twitch response). That said I seem to be a magnet for the enemy which allows the other people to kill stuff so perhaps I am of some use if even only as a distraction for the enemy (when I had a flame thrower equipped magnet barely covers it…no matter what the enemy bee-lined it for me, ALL of them and repeatedly, when they saw I had a flame thrower).

Commander is definitely a critical role. I have played some games with a shit commander and the results were easy to see (we got demolished). A good commander is crucial. It is not an afterthought pasted on to the game.

I love the “old style” system to find games. Have not seen that in a long time and have missed it.

Game looks great but definitely pushes the limits of my system. With everything maxed (except triple-buffering for v-sync) I am getting 90+ FPS but the fans on my video card ramp up considerably. This is the only game I have (so far) which for some reason seems to tax the video card this hard as judged by my cooling system ramping up to keep things cool (it is a very good video card too).

Anyway, having a ball and will toss in a recommendation for others to get it.

So, we had 8 of us on tonight, which pretty much always meant we had to split up teams. Lots of fun matches to be had.

We also re-discovered an old NS1 tactic. In one match nobody went alien commander, so instead everyone gathered together and made a single coordinated push into the marine spawn. We took out their IPs, then the comm station, and boom! Game over. It was pretty great. (And for me, at least, very nostalgic)

You were on the team that zerged our base and won in one minute? Bastard! :wink:

On the upside it is very easy to stop such a zerg and if they fail they are behind in other ways that will make it harder to catch up. Only really works when everyone spawns and leaves the base.

Would suck if rush tactics were really viable in the game but they aren’t unless your opponent gives you a big opening (as we did).

Still, was one for the books! :slight_smile:

Who do you think coordinated the rush? :smiley:

It was actually a desperation move on our part: all-or-nothing. When I joined, we had no commander, and it didn’t look like anyone was going to join. Consequently, you guys were pretty much guaranteed to win the resource war even if someone did go commander, which meant you’d win in eventually. Our only hope was to end the game quickly, before you could take advantage of your bountiful resources.

So we did the only possible thing: rushed your base, targeting the observatory first (no beacon), the infantry portals next (no respawn) and finally the command chair. And since we were lucky that you had nobody still in-base to defend it (you were out capping the entire rest of the map) we stayed alive long enough to finish off the comm chair and win.

You’re quite right that it’s not usually a viable tactic, which is a good thing for the game, in my opinion.

Yeah, it was a very fun night.

I want to say that I’m impressed with the community we’ve interacted with so far.

“I’m new at commander. If anyone wants it let me know.”
“No, you’re doing great. Here, let me give you advice.”

Another round:

Guy #1: Why did you do that? That wasn’t a good move.
Guy #2: It’s all part of our commander’s brilliant plan. I will follow him until the ends of the earth.
Commander: I have no idea what I’m doing.
Guy #1: I’m just messing with you. You’re doing fine.

So I think we’re going to be playing this enough that we should look at having our own server. There are a few benefits to this.

  1. We can hopefully figure out some way to make it easier for us to all get on the same team - temporarily disabling autobalance, or maybe the server control panel lets you move people from one team to another as many games do. I’ll have to look into this.

  2. Control of server settings. NS2 has an extensive modding system but from what I understand servers have their own whitelist. Meaning that servers can allow or disallow mods depending on what they do. Take this minimal alien vision mod for instance - it keeps the usefulness of highlighted enemies while not turning everything to green, preserving the beauty of the game. We could come up with our own whitelist of stuff like that. We could try out various gameplay mods, try out community maps, set our own maplist, etc.

  3. Stats. There’s an HLStatsX style ns2stats. I like that sort of stuff. Find out who you’ve killed most, win ratio, all sorts of interesting stuff.

  4. Dallas servers ping well to all of us, and we can always manage to make room if we need to. It’d be a good home base to work from.

  5. I can rule the server with an iron fist and ban anyone who dares question my authority, beginning with all of you.

Cheapest server I’ve seen is $1.20/slot if you order 3 months of service in advance, but I have to research the company. From more well known game servers the cost is generally about $2/slot/month.

So anyway, even if we go with the higher price and do an 18 player server (any opinions on this? More? Fewer?) we’re just looking at $32 per month, and if we split that 6 ways it’s just $5 per person per month which is very cheap to enhance the experience of a game we’ll end up playing a whole lot.

Anyone want to volunteer to be a supporter? Any suggestions about how to actually run the server?

I’m in. Good with either a 16 or 18 slot server.

I think at minimum a 16 slot server. We had what, 8 Saturday night? Will anyone else be joining our little group?

One thing I want to work on, once we get our own server, is getting others up to speed on how to be a good commander. I had my first experience last night. It didn’t go so well (as to be expected) but everyone was nice about it, giving me suggestions and such. I’d really like to get better.

And as Senor Beef said above it really does get fatiguing after a really short time. Our round was ~45 minutes or so and by the end I was drained. I would hate to force just one person in our group to be the commander all the time. We need others so that way we can all switch out.

We can run a private server and just do quick 3v3 games or something if the commanders want to learn how it’s done without being overwhelmed and screwing up a real game. You can get the hang of the basics pretty quickly, and we can give everyone at least a little bit of commander experience.

It’s rough on me because I want to be commander on somewhere between 1/3rd and 1/2 of games because it’s exhausting to do it more than that, but I’m often getting stuck on a team with no one else willing to command so I’ve been doing it like 80% of the time, then I get worn out and grumpy.

So some of you guys should definitely learn - it’s a very different gaming experience you should try anyway.

We’ve got an SDMB server now. 16 players, hosted in Dallas so that everyone pings well to it. We played on it last night and it seemed pretty good. It’s currently just set at stock, but we’re going to mod it I’m sure. The only thing that sucks about modding is that there isn’t yet a whitelist for mods. So any mod you implement makes your server filtered out if they aren’t searching for modded servers.

But there are plenty of cool mods so it’s probably worth it. We’ll see how many players we get.

So far we’ve had contributions from Whack A Mole, Krinthis, Mutton Time, and myself. I think 2 people said they’d send me some today. It’s only $28/month to run the server which isn’t bad, so if keep splitting it like 5 or 6 ways it costs almost nothing.

Mods and community maps seem like they’d be easy to do via the steam workshop mechanism but I’ve never actually used the steam workshop. Still, check it out and see what sort of mods you think we should run. I think minimal alien vision will be a good one, as well as the ns2stats mod.

Cuter Gorgie eyes mod please!

Our server got moved to a faster machine. The name will be the same, but since it’s a different IP, it won’t be listed on your favorites anymore. Just refresh, sort by name, and find SDMB Dallas again to re-add it.

I recorded a match from the commander position when we were all on marines. It’s worth watching if you want to see how the commander role works. Good communication and teamwork on the team that time even from the pubs - this game has a great community.

I’m in but it looks like servers are down today?

We had a great a great match tonight when we were all alien that had some big swings back and forth, some clutch saves, some great individual efforts, good teamwork, and… I screwed up the recording. I won’t be able to post them.

I also had a very cool alien game from Friday night where I accidentally deleted the last 10 minutes, so that’s not really usable either.

Oh well, I’ll keep recording and we shouldn’t have a shortage of good games, I was just hoping to have some good alien commander videos up by now.

We had a good alien commander in our server last night that just kicked our ass - or at least when we were on marines. He went for super aggressive cyst expansion and got outside the marine base on both sides, then used shift to spawn eggs so that the aliens spawned right outside the marine base. Shift eggs have the highest spawn priority. It kept the travel time on alien respawns down, and kept the marines turtling from constant attack. With his spare resources he’d build a second hive and then a relatively but not super fast ono egg drop. He ignored evolutions but with the constant barrage of skulks in the marine base it was more about keeping them busy than killing them. Marines would get locked down to 1-3 extractors most of the time.

We tried to adjust to it, knowing what was coming, but still got beat by it. I guess the proper strategy would’ve been to have sent 2-3 marines down to the main alien hive leaving just enough people around to defend the base, force them to pull back - but if he was really good he could’ve micromanaged when to spawn the shift eggs to distribution aliens between their base and ours.

I may try to play around with his techniques on alien comm.

The assholes at metacritic still haven’t taken down the gamespot review.

For those of you who haven’t heard me rant, Gamespot posted a horrible freelance review of NS2. By horrible I mean the quality of the review is garbage. Gamepot actually had to retract the review and delete it because of the outrage over how shitty it was. They’ve taken it down completely and it’s not even on the wayback machine, or I’d link you to it.

The best part, I think, was when the reviewer said that this game involved too much grinding. You see, you have to learn how the game works, then you need to learn how to shoot very fast moving targets, then you need to really pay attention to everything around you and really coordinate your team. That’s a lot of grinding, what a shitty game.

I know that sounds like I’m making that up, but I’m paraphrasing fairly accurately. He was actually saying that because the game requires some skill and rewards teamwork and playing smart, it’s a grind.

The irony is that it’s THE ONLY FUCKING FPS GAME MADE IN THE LAST 7 YEARS THAT DOESN’T ACTUALLY INVOLVE GRINDING. You don’t spend 50 hours playing so you can access some basic fucking perk or unlock your golden dildos or whatever the fuck you need to do. He took the only game that doesn’t have some fucking COD copying grind system and said it was a grind cause you know, you couldn’t play retardedly and expect to win.

There were other stupid things that made the review seem half assed and amateurish. They had the price wrong. They posted screenshots of like random walls where nothing at all was happening, there could be no reason to try to use those to review the game. It was pretty clear he played for about 20 minutes, had a bad team, and ragequit, writing up the review without really experiencing the game.

Anyway, it was so bad that gamespot retracted the review which I’ve read they’ve only done twice in their 12+ year history. But… the game only has 6 professional reviews listed on metacritic. Gamespot’s 6/10 dragged down the average significantly, everything else was 8-9.5. So a few of us e-mailed metacritic to show where they’d retracted the review and please recalculate the metascore ignoring that review and blah blah and they haven’t budged. So the game has sat with a 78 metascore for a week because of that shitty gamespot review dragging down the average instead of like the 88 it deserves.

For a game that doesn’t have much marketing and really only has the quality of the game and word of mouth to stand up for it, that’s more devastating than most. How many lost sales have they had because of an unfair metascore? Gah.

Fuck gamespot. That same reviewer is going to give call of duty 17 a 9.8/10 for its innovative gameplay and total lack of grinds and just all around warm fuzzies you get when activision lines your pockets to make a review. Meanwhile a truly unique and great indie game whose only marketing is the quality of their game gets shafted. Fuck metacritic too for not responding to this despite being notified. The game review media industry is utter garbage, burn the whole fucking thing down.

So gamespot put up a new review. 8/10.

But apparently metacritic doesn’t care.

Assbags. They’d rather link to a non-existant review that conflicts with the score gamespots site says they got. Not sure how that qualifies as a critic protection measure.

I was waiting on them to release a patch because supposedly they were going to whitelist some basic mods like stats. But the patch didn’t touch that, so I went ahead and modded the server anyway. This means that we’ll only show up if people tick off “filter modded” and we’ll be a yellow server - I’m not sure how much that will reduce our pub traffic, we’ll have to see.

I started out basic, just to see how mods work out. NS2Stats, dak admin mod for stuff like idle kick and map voting, minimal alien vision (gets rid of the green of the alien vision, but still makes other lifeforms and objects become highlighted) and a blood gorge texture. Once we see how that goes, we can mod it further.

Just wanted to update this to say I certainly haven’t given up on NS2. I know we played every day for long periods and then abruptly stopped, but that’s only because planetside 2 has been really awesome and we’ve all been playing that together. Once we’ve played that through for a week we’ll probably then start alternating between ns2/ps2 and play both.

You guys are of course free to organize something on our server even if I’m not around or playing it.