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Natural Selection 2 has been updated again, and this time some essential parts of the game have been improved.

The latest update has improved the hit detection with better net code, so you could find yourself actually enjoying the experience a lot more.

It also now has a "Play Now" button, so you no longer need to waste time scanning a server list. Also a very nice addition. Although, it doesn't work all that was since every time I use it, it connects me to a server that demands 40+ hours playtime or it will kick you.

See the full update notes here. I love that they have a team working on it again, and I really hope it works out as I would love to play this more.

Issues
Sadly, on Linux it seems the experience right now is pretty poor. Every time I tried to properly get into a game it quit to the desktop. Sometimes it doesn't even get to the server loading screen, it just instantly crashes the moment I try to join a server. Not impressed. Especially since I came across this forum topic with people sending in traces using GDB, and it still hasn't been tracked down. From the end replies, it sounds like they badly need a 64bit version. Article taken from GamingOnLinux.com.
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scaine 6 January 2016 at 6:03 pm UTC
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I really tried to get into this about a year or so ago, but gave up in the end. Loading was too slow and if you don't get a decent commander, it's just a bunch of soldiers running around being mowed down relentlessly. The aliens left me a bit cold too.

Insurgency is where it's at for me at the moment.
ripper 6 January 2016 at 6:34 pm UTC
I started playing NS2 a few months ago (unfortunately just on Windows) and I have to say I enjoy the game very much, especially when there's a decent team in which people communicate with each other (you need to pick good servers and don't be afraid to change them when there's no communication going on in your current team). It is a great tactical game, not a mindless shooter. The developers also stated they return to the game and plan big changes to revive the user base, which is great as well:
http://unknownworlds.com/ns2/alright-mates/
http://unknownworlds.com/ns2/dev-update-new-communication-channels/

However, it's very sad that the Linux support is so problematic. On opensource radeon driver, I can't play this game at all, it crashes during map loading. After some debugging, it seems that the game runs out of memory (just 4GB available for the process, because it's a 32bit game). Mesa drivers are extremely memory hungry when it comes to shaders, and this game uses lots of them. I don't want to be too hard on devs for this though, because on Windows the game uses just about 500MB of memory, almost nothing. This is a technical issue in mesa drivers, not the devs fault. Still, 64bit version would help a lot with this, sure.

scaineLoading was too slow
That got improved massively recently:
http://steamcommunity.com/games/ns2/announcements/detail/42015035008941986
Changing the map or connecting to a different server is now matter of 5-10 seconds on my machine.
fenevadkan 6 January 2016 at 6:36 pm UTC
This port is a shame. I bought this game also a long time ago and I really have a good gamer rig with intel i7-4820k + GTX 770. But this game crashed in the tutorial right at first shot all the time.
If I skip tutorial I can join a server but after some minutes, i couldnt move properly. It seems that there is a keyboard delay bug. Sometimes you just stop, although you press 'W' to go forward, or it stucks moving or moves to the wrong direction. Unusuable.
Still not fixed...
Radegast 6 January 2016 at 6:56 pm UTC
I too have open-source Radeon drivers and I am happily playing Europa Universalis IV and other games, but Natural Selection 2 crashes during map loading. Shame, I used to like it a lot when I was on Windows. I might even load Windows to spend a couple of hours on this game again now that you made me remember it.
s8as8a 6 January 2016 at 8:13 pm UTC
About the open source driver users, while it is the case that the core OpenGL profile version support is increasing, from what I read, the Mesa developers do not intend to increase the compatibility profile from OpenGL 3.0, and Natural Selection 2 needs OpenGL 3.1 compatibility profile support (and not just core context).

I remember reading a while back that one of the Natural Selection 2 developers intended to make it so that the code is using the OpenGL 3.1 core profile instead, but I guess something must have happened that prevented that from being done.

I'm using Debian jessie/stable (amd64), and whenever I want to play Natural Selection 2, I install the proprietary AMD driver from the jessie/stable repositories, and the game works well for me. In fact, I played it yesterday, and it played fine. (I usually use the open source radeon driver.)

P.S.
I'm using an AMD HD 6970.

P.S.
For what it's worth, if I remember correctly, in addition to having the game crash at the loading screen, using the open source radeon driver makes the game's menu look less detailed and more white.


Last edited by s8as8a on 6 January 2016 at 8:15 pm UTC
pete910 6 January 2016 at 8:33 pm UTC
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Well just gave this a go on the AMD prop driver, Runs fine! They have certainly improved it since it went community driven/run

Makes a change with NV having issues and not AMD

Though it might not be driver/graphics related
mock²³ 6 January 2016 at 10:35 pm UTC
I played it for over 4 years now, have over 1200 hours in it. It barely crashes on me. A few month ago it wouldn't start any more after Arch updated to ALSA 1.1. I switched to Kubuntu after this, and since then I hadn't a single crash.

But I have to say that the devs don't put very much effort to fix Linux bugs. On the other hand there are only very few players using Linux.
Cestarian 7 January 2016 at 6:26 pm UTC
rkfg 8 January 2016 at 1:26 pm UTC
Yes, these issues are annoying and should be fixed. Some day. Until then, there are workarounds that allow me to play on a daily basis without any troubles. Try them!

Sticky/repeating/not responding keys issue: something is wrong with handling the ibus input method

Frequent random crashes: try to reduce the "texture handling" value

Crash on startup or having no sound due to sound initialization error: symlinking your system libasound.so could help

As with many other Linux ports you may have all sorts of weird issues if your system locale isn't en_US.UTF-8 or en_GB.UTF-8, I suggest setting it in the Steam startup script.


Last edited by rkfg on 8 January 2016 at 1:28 pm UTC
junktext 25 January 2016 at 4:23 pm UTC
For what it's worth, I've been playing NS2 on Linux for like 6 months with no major problems. I'm on a ZaReason laptop with NVIDIA drivers, using Ubuntu LTS. So, I'm sorry to hear that other fellow Linux folks are having issues.
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