msleeper's server is back to celebrate the upcoming NS2 alpha! 188.8.131.52:27016
Alright guys, let's play some de_dust-- er, ns_eclipse!
There are spoilers for "Alien" and "Aliens" in this post, as if you care.
Natural Selection Trailer
What is Natural Selection?
Natural Selection is the best Half-Life mod. It is multiplayer. The two teams, the TSA Marines and the Kharaa, fight against each other in an effort to destroy the other team. The gameplay is a mixture of real-time strategy and first-person shooter, although mostly it's a first-person shooter. The Marines have a commander who gives them orders, while the aliens act as a unified team, with nobody in charge. It is fantastic. Teamwork is essential. Communication is essential. Climbing up on the wall and then jumping in to the middle of a Marine squad and biting one of them to death is essential. Looking at the jawdroppingly beautiful maps is not essential but is encouraged.
What do I Need to Play Natural Selection?
First, you need Half-Life. If you don't have it, something is wrong with you, but whatever. You can buy Half-Life off of Steam
. Half-Life: Source will not work.
Then you need Natural Selection. Grab it from this list of mirrors
. Many are still functioning! Choose wisely, though.
He chose poorly.
Then you should join the Penny Arcade Natural Selection
Steam community group. It has an acronym that reminds us of cookware, and as a side benefit it will make it easier to find people to play with.
Finally, if you're new, you're fucked because the game is tough to get in to. JUST KIDDING! There are two Natural Selection manuals
to choose from, both slightly inadequate. I'd read #2 first. Also, you might want to play a few rounds of *shudder* Combat first.
What's Combat? Good question...
What are the Different Game Modes?
Natural Selection has two game modes, or "flavors" if you will. The first game mode is Classic, or "vanilla" flavored. It is awesome and I will go into more detail about that later. The second game mode is Combat, or "shit" flavored. This is the Natural Selection equivalent of taking Starcraft and removing all the resource gathering, base building, tech choices, and expansion. Instead, the Terrans get 10 marines, 5 firebats, and 3 goliaths, whereas the Zerg get 20 zerglings, 10 hyrdalisks, and an ultralisk. Then they fight.
Combat isn't quite that boring but basically it's just Natural Selection Team Deathmatch. On the plus side, though, it's a great way to learn how the guns work, how the alien lifeforms work, and how to whine about losing which is an essential part of NS.*
What if you don't want to play "shit" flavored NS, though? Well, that's what this GAME ON (er, EVOLVE ON) thread is for: NATURAL SELECTION CLASSIC WOOOOOOOO
What is NS Classic Like?
Oh god it's awesome. The game takes place on one of many different large maps, generally a space station or a planetary colony. The Marines start in Marine spawn. One of them hops into the Commander chair, and from now on, he's in charge. He issues orders to Marines, assigns them to squads, drops them weapons, equipment, armor, and medpacks, researches the tech tree, and places buildings around the map for Marines to build. He is also the leader of the team, in that he uses voice comm to tell everyone what to do, generally. At least, if he's good. The Marines spread out around the map, securing resource locations and establishing forward bases with automated turrets, mines, motion tracking, and phase gates to allow them to teleport around the map.
Meanwhile, the aliens have spawned at one of three hive locations. They are all Skulks. You'll learn what that is soon. They move around the map, harassing the marines and (if they evolve into Gorges) securing their own resource points. Their objective is to attack the marines and to secure the other two Hive locations. Securing Hives allows them to tech up to higher levels of evolution.
So while this is going on everyone is fighting, which I kind of forgot to mention. If you're an NS pro, you're ready to hop in and get to fighting, but if you're a noob, things will be overwhelming. That's why I have created a sort of list/flow chart thing to go through to determine EXACTLY what you should do in-game once you play NS for the first time. It relies on the highly scientific method of asking you what your favorite parts from the movies "Alien" and "Aliens" were. I put it in a spoiler because it is long.
How Do I Know What Team to Play As?
Q: Was your favorite part in "Aliens" the time when the aliens slaughtered the marines when they first met, or when they charged mindlessley at the marines later on and got shot up?
I liked it when the aliens killed the marines!: Go to the "I will play as an alien" section!
I liked it when the marines killed the aliens!: Go to the "I will play as a marine" section!
I Will Play as an Alien
Q: Was your favorite part in "Alien" the part where it turns out the Alien was hiding behind that redneck guy, and it dropped down silently and ate him?
Fuck yeah! I want to climb on the walls and ambush people!: You will play as a "Skulk." The Skulk is the starting alien for all the Kharaa players. He is dog-sized and can climb on walls. Every wall. He excels at ambushing enemy players, scouting for the team, and harassing things that can't fight back. Or that can fight back!
No that part was boring I wanted more of the cat hissing: Go on to the next question.
Q: Was your favorite part in "Aliens" the part where the Queen made noises at Ripley as she moved closer to the Queen? This is when Ripley has just rescued Newt.
Fuck yeah! I want to make angry noises at people while I sit there on my fat ass helping the team in gross, alien ways!: You will play as a "Gorge." The Gorge is the size of a pig and is related to the pig in other ways. His job is to run around the map building things: offense chambers that shoot spikes at enemies, defense chambers that heal everyone around them, sensory chambers that cloak an area, hives, etc. He can also spit acid at people and heal his fellow aliens, and lay webs to trap Marines and stuff.
That part was boring: Yeah it was. Next question.
Q: Was your favorite part in "Alien" the part at the end where Ripley sent the alien flying off into space?
Fuck yeah! I want to fly!: You will be a "Lerk." The Lerk is the size of a GIGANTIC bat and can fly. He harasses Marines by shooting clouds of acid gas at them, and also he FLIES INTO THEM and fucking BITES THEM and FLIES THE FUCK AWAY like a bat on crack on steroids on cocaine.
Uh, no, that wasn't my favorite part of the movie, Tycho: Okay fine next question.
Q: Was your favorite part in "Aliens" the part where the Aliens were running around killing people?
Fuck yeah! I thought I'm supposed to be a Skulk, though: Uh no man, you want to be a "Fade." The fade is the size of Darth Vader and has claws for arms. He teleports around the map at lightning speed and rips apart humans with his death-arms. It takes practice to not get shot to death but this guy is terrifying in the right hands.
This wasn't my favorite part when you asked the first time either: NEXT QUESTION!
Q: Was your favorite part in "Alien" the part where the alien turned into a giant alien rhinoceros and killed everyone?
Fuck yeah! I was really high when I watched that movie!: You will be an "Onos." He is gigantic and can kill everything forever.
My favorite part of Alien was the cat: Me too.
I Will Play as a Marine
Q: Was your favorite part of "Aliens" the part where Ripley told the marines about how badass aliens are, and they didn't listen and all got slaughtered?
Fuck yeah! I want to tell people everything they need to know, then watch them disregard it: You will be a "Commander." Wait, no you won't. NO NEWBIES IN THE COMMANDER SEAT. Try it out offline if you want to see what it's like.
No my favorite part of that scene was them mouthing off to Ripley: Yep you're definitely a Marine. Next question, soldier!
Q: Was your favorite part of "Aliens" the part where one of the characters was firing at aliens and then they ran out of ammo?
Fuck yeah! I was like 'get the knife out dude' or something: You will use the "Light Machinegun" or "LMG." Every Marine spawns with this. The clip is 50, the damage is moderate, and the design is reminiscent of the FG-42. Get used to it.
That part of the movie made me wonder why a Pulse Rifle needs ammo: Yeah that was kind of weird. Next question.
Q: Was your favorite part of "Aliens" the part where whatever his name was had that big old mega-gun in the harness?
Fuck yeah! That thing was a converted MG-42 from World War II: You will use the "Heavy Machinegun" or "HMG." It holds more bullets than god but it fires them faster than god so it evens out. This can shred everything it can hit.
That part sucked, they took the dude's ammo away 10 seconds later: Yeah that was pretty lame.
Q: Was your favorite part of "Aliens" the part where everyone was crawling through the vents to escape the aliens?
Fuck yeah! It reminded me of Die Hard: You will use the "Shotgun." It is good in vents, and other close engagements. Nailing a Skulk with this thing feels awesome.
I am claustrophobic: Okay no shotgun for you.
Q: Was your favorite part of "Alien" the part where the chestburster was nailed through the eyes at 100 meters with a sniper rifle?
Fuck yeah! I think...: Yeah you'll use the "Pistol." Everyone gets one but it's actually incredibly accurate. Good damage too.
That didn't happen: I guess not.
Q: Was your favorite part of "Aliens" the part where Ripley used the grenade launcher to kill the Queen alien's eggs?
Fuck yeah! Alien omelette motherfucker!: You will use the "Grenade Launcher." It can kill aliens pretty well but mostly it's for taking out their hideous, alien bases.
My favorite part was hoping she would hit Newt in that scene: Too bad. We're out of weapons. We can still choose your equipment though!
Q: Was your favorite part in "Aliens" the part where Bishop established the remote uplink to the dropship and flew it from the control panel?
Fuck yeah! Oh god I'm a huge nerd: You can carry the "Welder." It fixes buildings and heals other players' armor. It also welds shut (or open) certain doors, and does tiny damage to aliens that are stupid enough to stand still and get welded.
Why would that be my favorite part?: Uh, next question?
Q: Was your favorite part in "Aliens" the part where it looks like the dropship will come in and save them by flying them all away?
Fuck yeah! False hope for the win: You will use a "Jetpack." It lets you fly. Great for chasing down Lerks.
I actually liked the part where it turns out there was an alien on the dropship all along and then KABOOM: Maybe you ought to have joined the Kharaa.
Q: Was your favorite part in "Alien" the part where Sigourney Weaver stripped down to her underwear at the end?
Fuck yeah! You could see her ass: You will use "Heavy Armor" because you are not hot like Weaver. It covers you up and keeps you very, very safe, as long as you have a buddy to weld you.
She was too skinny: Fine, you can weld the guys with heavy armor.
If you had to read all that just to find out you're welding the more important teammates, sorry
TL;DR I JUST WANT TO PLAY
Yeah sorry. Got carried away. Join PANS,and play with PA people! If anyone wants to set up specific times, this is a nice thread. Most of us are playing at msleeper's sweet, sweet server:
Basic tips for newbies:
THIS SOUNDS AWESOME BUT I SWORE NEVER TO PLAY HALF-LIFE MODS AFTER THEY KILLED MY FATHER
- Stick together! Just do what your teammates do and it is unlikely they will yell at you
- Ask for help on voice comm! Anyone who is not friendly can be muted
- Resource nodes (brown circles on the ground that spit out steam) need to be secured for your team. If an enemy has a building on the node, kill the building.
- As a Marine, if you have a welder, weld teammates. It will keep them happy.
- As an alien, stay as a Skulk for a little while to learn how to ambush. Ambushing is a very basic skill: stay out of sight, then approach from behind.
- Listen to teammates!
Eh, sucks to be you. Luckily Natural Selection 2
is on its way, and it's a full retail game made by the same people. So, it should rock the house.