Natural Selection 2

Farscry wrote:

I felt totally badass for being such a successful Annoying Bastard. Haven't had that kind of fun since Tribes 2.

This is one of my favorite tactics. If I can time it right, it can wipe out a push that's about to kill our hive. EXO-suits pushing into the hive, supported by marines with welders to repair them, its hard to stop. But, if that Annoying Bastard can spook the marine commander, make him panic and Distress Beacon... Heh. The EXOs have a problem when suddenly all the supporting marines get teleported back to the base to save it, leaving them vulnerable to skulks chewing their ankles off.

The game play right now is great. People are willing to listen, and you don't have to be the commander to lead. The calm voice calling out suggestions, warnings, plans, rallying people to push this area for that reason, makes for a fun time. Just be willing to explain, quickly, on the fly, so people have at least some understanding why they should do what you want right then. The more they understand that you know what you are doing, the more they feel like what you are calling for is a good thing, the more they rally to follow when you call out 'follow me in!'.

I just may have to stop wearing my black armor, though, its making me a target, damn oni.

By the way, I have some friends going in on a four pack who have an extra copy if someone wants to buy in cheap, send me a PM.

EDIT: Still looking for a participant for the 4 pack.

Finally got a chance to try this today, and had a great time running around on the ceiling and biting stupid marines in their stupid marine faces. It definitely captures all the fun of the original game.

Redwing wrote:

Bah, same problem as in beta. I can join a server, but then get disconnected 10-30 seconds into the game, everytime without fail. I'm actually getting this sort of thing a lot with lower budget games, it's probably my router, stupid thing.

A way you can test: first make sure your software firewall is on. Then power off the modem (be it DSL or a cable modem), move the wire from the LAN port on the router to your computer (so you're connecting your PC directly to the Internet), and power it back on. Assuming you don't have to register your MAC address with your provider, which is rare these days, you should get an IP and be up as soon as the modem finishes booting. Assuming web browsing works, fire up NS, and see if you still get the connection problem.

If the problem disappears, it's gonna be the router, and probably not a port forwarding issue; it's most likely just a crummy router that's getting confused by the big server scan before you connect. Try updating firmware to whatever is most recent. If that doesn't help, go ahead and try a port forward, but I doubt it will work. You'll likely want to replace the router with something more current, preferably either something that runs Linux natively, or can take DD-WRT.

If you still have the problem when you're connected directly to the Net, drop me a PM and I'll give you some advanced stuff you can try -- I was going to post it here, but it's awfully involved for a non-techie thread.

Oh, when you switch from the PC back to the router, remember to powercycle the modem again. Most current modems will give an IP address to the first network card they see, and will refuse to talk to anything else until they reboot again.

"I need a suicidal marine to follow me now. Come on, we are going to go die."

You know you've done a good job leading your team when you toss out an order like that late in the game, and the marine its directed at doesn't hesitate, he just runs out the door on your heels.

LtWarhound wrote:

"I need a suicidal marine to follow me now. Come on, we are going to go die."

Hah, I'd sign up for that even with a lousy commander. Sounds fun!

Malor wrote:
LtWarhound wrote:

"I need a suicidal marine to follow me now. Come on, we are going to go die."

Hah, I'd sign up for that even with a lousy commander. Sounds fun!

Fun for us, yes, old school NS1 style assault with jetpacks and shotguns, the two of us took out the far hive before dying. Not so fun for the aliens, we kept killing hives all through the game, many hives... too bad we couldn't hold them, and eventually got pushed back to one base. At which point I rallied a handful of crazies to go out on foot with basic weapons and kill yet another hive. We were working on the second hive when they finally broke through and got the last command chair.

I think the alien commander got really tired of replacing hives. Crazy fun game, with a rookie marine commander. So I was coaching the commander, leading the rest of the team and killing things, many many things. Good times.

I think this is a game that would really benefit from a Lets Play video.

muttonchop wrote:

Finally got a chance to try this today, and had a great time running around on the ceiling and biting stupid marines in their stupid marine faces. It definitely captures all the fun of the original game.

I love biting stupid marines

Thanks for suggestions Malor, I managed to get into a game that stuck the other day, so perhaps the port forwarding worked, but I had some nasty lag despite a ping of 80-90, so that was odd. Honestly, I've been having problems ever since we got this new router, so I suspect it's the culprit.

I'd love to try connecting directly to the modem, but unfortunately it's not really all that easy, since I basically live in a seperate caravan off the side of my parents house and connect to their router wirelessly, and I'm not exactly supposed to be fiddling with it, not that they notice a thing I do to it wirelessly (the router still has the factory default login and password, to give you an idea of how tech savvy they are). It's obviously not an ideal situation, but I'm hoping to move out to a proper place early next year which means I can finally get a proper setup I can tinker with a lot easier.

Anyway, apologies for the derail, what I did play got me really excited to get it working properly. I never played much of NS1, so I'm a bit of a noob at the higher level strategy, despite my shooting being pretty solid. The skulk is a lot of fun to play, although I'm terrible at it. You'd think all my spy time in TF2 would be good training! I want to get some command practice in at some point while everyone is still pretty tolerant, I suspect that'll be a pretty short term thing...

I'm really enjoying this game. It definitely harkens back to the original aliens vs. predators. I'm still unsure of what i'm doing but chomping on marines is quite a bit of fun. Seems like maybe we need some gwj group time to give everyone some practice. Especially with commander.

I finally got some time to try this with Stylez the other night. I pre-ordered it not knowing if I would like it or not but the videos were cool and this is a passionate small team that deserved support either way. Holy crap, this game is barrels of fun! Granted, I was playing a marine team that was very well organised and had great commanders and I can easily see how immensely frustrating things could become if you didn't have those things. Nonetheless, I had an absolute blast and went to bed almost an hour late because I didn't want to stop playing. I'd definitely love to get a Goodjer night of this together. I see myself putting a lot more time into it, especially since there were lots of busy servers.

I have it too! Feel free to IM me on Steam so we can get a game going.

Yeah, I was nervous about the servers. I had heard that server populations were pretty low. That wasn't the case at all.
I played on the alien team all night and was equal parts killing and dying. Biting people is so rewarding that dying doesn't hurt so much.

I usually just look for people on my friends list who are playing NS2 and queue up for games they are in.

I am super bad at Onos. I get so used to being a disposable Skulk that I forget to watch my health and retreat to the nearest Hive/Crag before I die. It's still fun, though I think I prefer to be a Gorge during an Onos rush so I can hide behind the big scary monsters while healing them and spitting bile everywhere. Plus, the Gorge belly slide never ceases to amuse me.

For those looking for information or coaching in game, friend me up. I'd love to get enough GWJers playing to fill a team or a server, that would be fun.

A few tips: The flamethrower will burn the green gas the lurk leaves when he drops spores. Just wave the flame through the gas, it ignites and detonates immediately. Also, an alien on fire has reduced energy regeneration, which means they may run out faster and at the wrong moment.

If the power plug in a room has never been touched, you can just drop the resource tower down and the plug is built when the RT is finished. This isn't 100% reliable so sometimes you have to manually finish building the plug. Once a plug has been touched, you have to finish it manually. So, all repairs to a plug are manual.

The welder speeds up building as well as repairs. BUT it won't always build the last 1%, sometimes it looks like the item is finished but its still in an unbuilt state (check the name). Just hit E, and finish it, and its fine.

Weapon damage: The axe does more DPS to hives/harvesters/things that sit still and don't bite you than the rifle or pistol until you get Weapon Upgrades 2. So at WU1 or 0, use the axe. A handful of marines using axes on the hive will kill it fast, btw.

Your pistol does a lot of damage if you can reliably aim, its good for sniping. When facing an onos, empty the rifle clip, switch to pistol and hammer the mouse button. You can dump an amazing amount of damage out quickly that way, and a handful of marines can kill an onos before he can run away. With Weapon Upgrades 3, the onos has to be very careful or it will die before it can do anything of note.

If all that is in the room is a Resource Extractor and a Power Plug, kill the extractor first. The RT will cost the marines resources to replace, cost them resources by not being there to extract them, and take a lot less time to kill than the power plug. A power plug is free, just takes time to replace, and that time drops a lot if the marines have welders.

When doing a ninja run on the hive, kill nothing until you get near the hive. Killing cysts just leaves a big fat red warning sign on the map, alerting the aliens that you are coming. Once at the hive, if its just two of you with shotguns, both of you go for the hive and nothing else. If you don't have shotguns, or if you are alone, look around. Find the shells/spurs/veils. Those are the alien upgrades, the alien version of the Arms Lab. If you kill them, the aliens lose that upgrade and have to both rebuild the item AND research it again. Very painful. If there are no upgrade items in that hive, kill the pink eggs, which are the alien version of the marine Infanty Portal (IP). If you kill enough eggs, the aliens will become 'spawnlocked', their rate of respawn drops down, slowing down the rate at which they respawn.

The EXO-suit is a wonderful weapon. I absolutely love a marine that buys an EXO and runs off solo... if I'm a skulk. A skulk can kill an EXO one on one. So, never go alone with an EXO, wait for help. If you don't have an EXO suit, get a welder, follow them, scout for them, weld them. Oh, and WELD THEM. Did I mention welding them? If the EXO is standing and shooting at things (like a hive), then step back and wait. Pick off the skulks and fades that will get up close and personal with the EXO.

Shotguns are the answer to fades and onos. A few shotguns will rip apart an onos, and a few shots will drop a fade. You can damage a fade while he's blinking, if you can land the shots.

A gorge is a very important element of the alien team. A hive that is building can be healed, which speeds up the maturation process. So can anything other than an evolving alien. So healspray the harvestors, whips, hydras, etc to make them build fast, but don't bother healspraying that onos egg unless its taking damage. The alien commander CAN spray an evolving egg that is near a hive, so if you go fade or onos, go to a hive, evolve and ask the commander for a spray. If he's new, tell him he can click the hive you are by, and select it from there. It will speed up the evolution rate tremendously.

My tactic for a gorge early on is to pick a spot at or in front of the hive room where the 2nd hive is going up, put the hydras on the wall up and above me, then build a shieldwall of clots. Two layers high, and two layers deep. This is built where the marines have to advance into range of the hydras, so they can't sit off and snipe. Then I hide behind the wall, and pump out healspray. Occasionally peeking around the wall to snipe if the marines are trying to stand off. A gorge can instantly replace a destroyed clot, faster than the marines can kill them if the marines are foolish enough to just fire at a single clot at a time. Marine tip: spray bullets over all the clots, so several of them die all at once, exposing the fatty healing them. Gorge tip: that's why I build the wall two layers deep, to counter that tactic.

Support your onos. Gorge to heal them, lerk to cover them with umbra or spores, skulks to scout and rush in to draw fire before the oni charge.

Sentry guns. Mixed blessing. Biggest thing commanders do wrong, not placing the guns so they are self supporting. Ideally, build a triangle with the battery in the middle, and the guns at the corners facing inwards. This means any of the guns will be covered by the other two, and all three cover the battery. Also good but not as strong, having two guns facing in to cover the battery and the other guns, and the third gun facing out to greet anything coming through the door they were built to cover. As a skulk I love find a nest where the guns face out, and I just hop past them, eat the battery and then eat the guns. Personally, as a commander, I hate using res on sentries, I'd rather invest that res in upgrades for the team.

Distress Beacons. Love em, hate em. I love forcing a commander to 'bacon', it uses up 10 resource points, and disrupts his team, and it strips the backup off the EXOs (the EXOs don't teleport when the beacon goes off). Hate em when I'm about to destroy a marine base as a superninjapirate skulk. Or when the commander uses them to summon his team to a specific forward base for a full team rush to kill a hive.

A marine commander can 'ping' any spot on a map, a decent tactic to determine where the alien starting hive is. But, it takes scanning power, which is built up at observatories. The more observatories you have, the more you can ping. The alien commander can just wave his cursor around an area that has already been visited by his team, and see shadowy blobs where the marines and their buildings are.

***

So, its the first time in the commander chair for you, eh? Welcome, have fun, now is a great time to try it out. First thing, do you have a mic? No? Please get out. I'm sorry, that's rude, but the team really depends on the commander to be able to talk to them on the fly, and you can't type and click at the same time, and they can't read and dance with a skulk at the same time, honest. Second thing, is this your first time commanding and you are an alien? Get out. Seriously, you will thank me, command as a marine first, then try it as alien. Now, hopefully you are in the marine command chair with a mic, and you have spent time in Explore Mode (found in the training options pregame, hint, hint) so you have seen the menus before. Here is my first few minutes of the game as marine commander:

* Drop an armory. One, it lets your marines heal and get ammo. Two, you have to have an armory to build an observatory. Now, where to deploy it? Make sure the marines have access to all four sides if you can. Place it where there is clear access around it, so if skulks run up to attack the marines shopping, their team mates have easy effective shots at the aliens. Finally, don't place it right by the door, but near it, so the marines can easily run up to it, heal while out of the line of fire, and run back to the fight.

* Second thing I build is an observatory. Place it so its automatic scans can reach over as much territory as possible, and still cover the base its in. An observatory is crucial, it highlights any alien in range making it much easier to shoot at, it allows you to Distress Beacon and you need one to research Phase Gates. That's my personal command strategy preference, getting Phase Gates fast, along with Weapon/Armor Upgrades.

* A second Infantry Portal: This is where you earn your pay, commander. A second IP means the aliens can't kill your team by eating the solo IP you start with. But, resource points are so very limited right now. My rule of thumb: are the aliens rushing the main base? are the marines dying faster than the aliens (i.e. stuck in line waiting to respawn)? Yes? Second IP. No? Then wait.

* Right about now, your marines are bitching because you haven't dropped the 253 resource extractors that they are waiting for. Get used to it, there are always a few marines that will bitch at you, its their god-given right. Heh. Always remember this: An RT that is eaten by the skulks is about 25 to 40 resource points lost. So, never drop an RT that's not going to stay alive long enough to generate at least 25 points. Early on, I drop an RT in the hallway to a potential base room, then in that second base room, and stress to the marines that they need to be protected. No RTs, no team res, no new toys for Xmas.

* When do you research shotguns? Well, if the marines can shoot (i.e. its the aliens that are doing most of the dying, not your marines) then shotguns early can be good. If there is one or two marines on your team that are consistently killing the aliens, racking up a much higher kill count than the rest of your team, ask them personally if they want shotguns researched.

* And now an Arms lab. Get Armor 1 if your marines are dying faster than the skulks, and Weapons 1 if not. Warning, if you lose the lab, the upgrades are turned off. Build the lab again, and the upgrades turn on, no need to research them again. So, further down the road, might build a second lab as a backup or to let you research WU3and AU3 at the same time.

After that, you are on your own, commander. What I do next depends on the map, the aliens, the marines, too many variables to factor. Enjoy!

That's a truly excellent strategy guide, LtWarhound. Covers everything I've learned so far.

LtWarhound wrote:

Distress Beacons. Love em, hate em. I love forcing a commander to 'bacon', it uses up 10 resource points, and disrupts his team, and it strips the backup off the EXOs (the EXOs don't teleport when the beacon goes off).

Had this happen yesterday. Two exos with me and two other welders supporting them, about to make our final push into the last hive. Commander gets twitchy and hits the beacon. Our undefended exos get eaten by skulks, we never recover our momentum and lose shortly after. If you've got exos in enemy territory, never beacon unless you have no alternative whatsoever.

Thanks for that LtWarhound. I used to be my clan's go-to commander back in the NS1 days but sadly I have forgotten most of it. This was a really good primer. I appreciate you taking the time to write it up.

Aliens are still baffling me after playing for a couple of days. It seems they have changed a lot since NS1, either that or my memory is worse than I thought.

Been having a frustrating time lately when playing as a marine. It feels like half of my bullets aren't connecting, and I don't mean shooting through an Umbra cloud. Sometimes I will shoot at a target and see green splatters from the bullet impacts, but no damage numbers. Other players don't seem to have any trouble. When I get into fights as a skulk sometimes a marine will look in my direction and BRRRT I'm dead. It happens so fast you could snap your fingers and it's over.

By comparison sometimes I get into a fight like this: A skulk jumps at my face and I begin to shoot. I sidestep and smoothly track the skulk in a 180 degree arc as it flies past me (getting damage numbers the whole time). And then suddenly I go from 50 to zero bullets and the skulk lands, turns around and kills me in two bites despite armour upgrade 1 and full health. The heck? One thing you need to get used to is that the NS2 assault rifle has no shot spread, it fires like a laser beam. But I'm not *that* bad of a shot, it takes AT MOST 14 bullets to kill a single skulk and I started with 50. Something fishy is up.

It's not very consistent. Some servers are particularly bad and this problem will affect the entire marine team. Other times it's the aliens that get the short stick and they can't fight their way out of a wet sock because it seems like the entire marine team is aimbotting. Ping might help explain it but that's not consistent either.

Tamren wrote:

Been having a frustrating time lately when playing as a marine. It feels like half of my bullets aren't connecting, and I don't mean shooting through an Umbra cloud. Sometimes I will shoot at a target and see green splatters from the bullet impacts, but no damage numbers. Other players don't seem to have any trouble. When I get into fights as a skulk sometimes a marine will look in my direction and BRRRT I'm dead. It happens so fast you could snap your fingers and it's over.

By comparison sometimes I get into a fight like this: A skulk jumps at my face and I begin to shoot. I sidestep and smoothly track the skulk in a 180 degree arc as it flies past me (getting damage numbers the whole time). And then suddenly I go from 50 to zero bullets and the skulk lands, turns around and kills me in two bites despite armour upgrade 1 and full health. The heck? One thing you need to get used to is that the NS2 assault rifle has no shot spread, it fires like a laser beam. But I'm not *that* bad of a shot, it takes AT MOST 14 bullets to kill a single skulk and I started with 50. Something fishy is up.

It's not very consistent. Some servers are particularly bad and this problem will affect the entire marine team. Other times it's the aliens that get the short stick and they can't fight their way out of a wet sock because it seems like the entire marine team is aimbotting. Ping might help explain it but that's not consistent either.

This. Although I just assumed I have bad aim.

Haven't had the problem Tamren is mentioning, even when on the same server with him. Problem I have is marines with 3000 hp, two skulks biting the hell out of the same marine and he just won't die. And no, its not because medkits are raining down from the commander. Odd problem, too many glancing blows?

New tip: shift is your friend. You move slower, and you move silently. As a skulk, I run near where the enemy probably is, then hold shift down and walk on the ceiling. Silent, not where the marines are normally looking, effective combo. Sneaking right up to a marine before releasing the shift key and getting the first bite or two in tends to tilt the odds in my favor.

The sound of footsteps is loud and carries, way too often I've been alerted to a marine or skulk nearby just because of the noise they make running around. The Silence upgrade is tremendously funny, useful and effective. Chasing a marine down and stomping him before he knows my onos is there will never get old.

I had a revelation last night that really helped my alien game. That night vision toggle isn't just good for seeing in the dark, it's also amazing for getting rid of all the distracting visual clutter during a fight so I can focus 100% on killing the bright orange marines. It's made a huge difference for me, especially when playing a skulk.

I still suck as a marine, but that's mostly due to my terrible aim.

LtWarhound wrote:

The Silence upgrade is tremendously funny, useful and effective. Chasing a marine down and stomping him before he knows my onos is there will never get old.

Camouflage onos can also be pretty hilarious.

Had a match last night where the marine commander kept beaconing his team back and forth between his two bases, very effectively stalling the aliens. Finally I was able to sneak my silent onos into the Sub-Sector base and start chomping on the observatory while the rest of my team distracted the marines with an assault on the Control base.

A marine spawns in Sub-Sector, runs over to the armory, then runs over to the phase gate and joins the fight at the other base. I guess he completely missed seeing the huge alien standing about 10 feet away, silently destroying the observatory. Situational awareness, its not just for breakfast anymore!

Don't know how I missed out on this. Just picked it up, hoping to get some time in tonight. Anybody game?

I think I might have to get this game. Been on the fence for a while (big pile, little time), but these stories and tips are really pushing me over the top. Just sounds like too much fun (and the AvP reference a while back doesn't hurt at all).

Thanks for that excellent guide, Lt.Warhound. Hopefully helps me be a much better contributor.

Goodbye time, hello space infantry-war!

Got some time in on this last night. Really enjoying it. Really not comfortable playing commander yet, but it's a ton of fun playing a marine/skulk.

Some of those advanced alien units though have a decent learning curve to be used effectively. Anybody have any advice on how to use them correctly?

Does shift-to-be-silent work for human units too or just aliens?

Burnt Toast wrote:

Does shift-to-be-silent work for human units too or just aliens?

Shift for marines is sprint. Shift is also different for different aliens: Skulks move quieter, Gorges do a quick slide forward, Lerks cling to walls and ceilings, Fades do a quick blink forward, and Onos sprint.

Datyedyeguy wrote:

Some of those advanced alien units though have a decent learning curve to be used effectively. Anybody have any advice on how to use them correctly?

Gorge: Right-click heals aliens and structures, and will also help build structures faster. If the commander is putting up a new hive, if's a good idea to send a gorge over there to set up some defenses and help it build faster. If you're pushing into an enemy base, it's also useful to have a gorge hanging back to heal wounded aliens. Bile bomb is also fantastic for taking out marine structures.

Lerk: If you're not careful, you'll die really fast. Either stay out of sight or stay on the move. Hide out of sight on a wall or ceiling and attack things from a distance, it can be pretty hard to track where your shots are coming from - if the marine commander pings you though, get the hell out of dodge. If the marines have a sentry nest, hide out of range and shoot the battery that powers them. Once you get spores and umbra, you're a fantastic support unit. Spit umbra at friendly units to protect them, and do quick bombing runs to lay down some spores wherever marines are clustered. Spores do great damage, and ignore armor(?). Watch out for flamethrowers though, they can burn away your spores.

Fade: Wait until the commander researches Blink before going fade. Then, it's guerilla warfare time. Blink in, cause some chaos, and blink out. Blink behind sentries and take out the battery. Blink over to a base's power node and take it out while the marines are distracted. Watch your energy, make sure you always have enough to blink to safety if your health gets low.

Onos: Number 1 priority is STAY ALIVE. I die a lot, so don't follow my example. Watch your health, run away before it gets too low. Other than that, have fun smashing everything. Stomp will knock down marines, so use it all the time once you get it. You can charge into a group of marines, stomp, and kill them all before they have time to pick themselves up. Jetpack marines are a pain in the ass, so make sure someone else can take care of them for you, or try to stomp near them when they land.