Vendetta Online 1.8.306

VO 1.8.306 includes:

- Added support for Oculus Rift DK2 by updating the SDK to 0.4.2. The DK2 must be in Extended Desktop mode and rotated to 1920x1080. If you experience a massive amount of flickering, try turning off Anti-Aliasing in Options -> Video -> Antialiasing mode.
- The amount of Crystal your character has is no longer shown on Trial accounts and does on PC Lite accounts.
- Fixed clipped Sector Notes menu on 1080p devices.
- Fixed inter-sector loading screen size on mobile devices.
- The 5 minute Lite warning menu is no longer shown on PCs if you are subscribed as a Lite account.
- Training II mission's explanation of the No-Fire-Zone (NFZ) has been fixed to say 'damaged' instead of 'destroyed'.

Some much-needed bugfixes, and an important update for the Oculus Rift. Probably a raft of other bugfixes coming as well, before we can focus on new content.

Vendetta Online 1.8.305

VO 1.8.305 (actually released Sept 20th) included:

- Introducing "Crystal": Vendetta Online's cash currency for Free-to-Play mobile players! Crystal may be acquired in bulk via in-app purchase, or accrued more slowly through gameplay, such as gaining experience and levels, destroying Hive Bots, and reaching Achievements. Lower level equipment requires little or no Crystal, where upper level ships and gear may have increased requirements. Crystal is used for each individual quantity of item purchased, and is in addition to Credits and other factional and license-related gameplay requirements (ie, all regular gameplay requirements remain).
- Premium Subscription players do not need Crystal, and do not earn it through gameplay.
- All non-Premium mobile players will retroactively receive Crystal for experience and achievements they have already earned.
- As a special thanks to our supportive mobile players, everyone who previously made in-app purchases for access to ships and addons will receive double (2x) the Crystal that their funds would normally purchase. This has been automatically added to the most recently used character on your account.
- The "Crystal" system replaces the previous interim "ship-access" in-app purchase method, which has been removed. Thus, it is no longer necessary to make a purchase to gain "access" to a given ship. Because Crystal can be acquired through gameplay, it further mitigates potential pay-to-win advantages between Free-to-Play users. Crystal will also make it easier for us to increase the Free-to-Play license caps in the future.
- Free-to-Play mobile users who convert to Premium Subscribers will still retain any previously-earned Crystal if they revert to Free at a later point; but while the Premium subscription is active, the previously retained Crystal will no longer be visible, and they will not accrue additional Crystal until they have reverted to Free.
- Added a new "First Kill" badge for new users, with a notification and description pop-up the first time the player docks after earning the badge.
- New simplified account conversion menu and removed the captcha.
- Improved readability of some menus on mobile devices.
- Improved gamepad usability for most dialog boxes.
- Fixed issue with swiping not always working on initial Ship Purchase tutorial.
- Changed default framerate limit to 60 FPS from 40 for a smoother UI scrolling experience.
- New Snapdragon splash screen for Snapdragon-based devices.
- Increased default font size for high-res phone devices.
- Fixed potential sector crash when a mine times out and gets damaged at the exact same time.
- Fixed crash on iPad when docking after gaining the First Kill achievement.
- Fixed issue with seeing <crystalexplanation> when logging in for the first time on mobile devices.

The addition of a cash currency (for mobile/free-to-play users only) is obviously a huge change for us, and an important one. Some kind of "free to play" business model is a necessity on mobile, a non-negotiable expectation of that market, and this hybrid solution will let us bring in new players while maintaining our Premium subscriptions as the "gold standard" for our game experience. There is sure to be an extensive period of tuning and tweaking of numbers that will go with this kind of rollout, but it all adds up to a really useful step in the right direction.

With this out of the way, we intend to head back towards gameplay-related development (between bug-fixes), along with some engine/platform work that will dovetail into helping us add additional gameplay.

Shellshock vulnerability

It has been widely reported that a long-standing vulnerability has recently become known, under the name Shellshock. We would like to quickly state that no Guild Software or Vendetta Online servers were vulnerable to this specific issue at any time, past or present. How is this possible? Frankly, a combination of good luck and preparation. Our server OS of choice does not include the vulnerable software by default (luck!). In addition, we secure individual exposed services using privilege limitations to drastically reduce the scope of a potential unforeseen compromise (each service can only access its own minimized footprint, and not the OS software); this would have helped to mitigate a compromise if one had been possible.

Security is a game of minimizing uncertainty and "possible" exposure, with no absolutes. Moving forward, we will continue to very carefully handle and defend any data that you share with our company. Thanks for your support.

Raptor UDV update, Weekend Event.

Raptor UDV Changes, "Fastest Gun in the 'Verse" event on Sunday! (GMT 02:00).

As requested by the player base on our Suggestions Forum, the Raptor UDV has been changed from a two small-port vessel to two large ports! The first fighter-class ship of this kind. Only new Raptor UDVs will reflect the updated configuration change, existing ships will still retain their original small ports.

In other news, we're still deep in development on a project that has been dragging on a bit longer than expected. Hopefully we'll see this released next week. Have a great weekend, everyone!

Vendetta Online 1.8.304

VO 1.8.304 includes:

- Fixed station conquering issue when player docks to the station just as the last defense turret is destroyed.
- List control scrolling now follows the touch drag more precisely on Android devices.
- Mission icons are now colored based on their category.
- Fixed crash with multi-threaded renderer.
- Chat mode radio buttons have been moved to the right-hand side In Condensed UI mode on mobile devices.
- 'Press the Activate key to leave the turret' now fully persists
- The ship sell menu now only shows the local inventory instead of the whole inventory.

Still working on completing a lot of our bigger development, and pushing these smaller fixes and changes while we can in the meantime. Have a great weekend, everyone!

Vendetta Online 1.8.303

VO 1.8.303 includes:

- Fixed crash when logging in, mostly on the Android version.
- Improved scrolling vs. panning on small screen Android devices such as phones.
- Improved usability of a couple of menus on small screen high resolution Android devices.
- The Purchasing menu no longer shows that mobile free-play accounts are in Trial mode.

Some smaller, iterative fixes we wanted to get out there, while we're still working on the Big Stuff. Some of this development has taken longer than expected over the last couple of weeks (such is the life of software development), due to changes, tweaks in design, bug-tracking and so on. But, overall we've been making good progress, and the work is all the better for the additional time. Expect a few things:

* We're still experimenting with the mobile business model. This is a big one. More to come on that.
* Infrastructural changes are in the works, to make the game server scale even better.
* Additional polish to the early game, as well as a lot of other common cases. As many as we can hit in a short period of time.
* Improvements to station and national defenses, strike forces and the like, to improve balance in some situations. There will still be No Safe Place, but the implementation of that gradient may be tweaked a bit.
* Upcoming new release announcements.
* Lots of other things (yes, content drops, Trident stuff, bot stuff, other stuff).

That's all for now, we'll post more detail as it becomes closer to release. Have a great weekend, everyone.

Vendetta Online 1.8.302

Gray Space Rally and Nation War events this weekend!

VO 1.8.302 includes:

- Reenabled multi-threaded rendering for 64bit Linux. If you have previously disabled it by editing your config.ini, you will need to reenable it through the config.ini. If you experience crashes, manually disable multithreading by adding multithreaded=0 to the [Vendetta] section of your config.ini file. Please report any issues with the threaded renderer on Linux.
- Renamed 'Free-Play' mode to 'Offline Play'.
- Increased the default font size of 1080p Android phones.
- Improved client-side "targeting" tutorial on Mobile versions.
- The iOS and Windows Store versions now display a warning when attempting to perform an in-app purchase on an item instead of showing that the purchase was aborted.
- All background textures are now loaded when entering a sector instead of on-demand to prevent stuttering when planets become visible, for example. iOS and WinStore versions will have to wait for an app update.

We're putting a lot of effort into polishing up the game experience on smaller mobile devices, to help us take advantage of some time-sensitive marketing opportunities. Once that work is out of the way, we have a lot of gameplay development planned. Stay tuned!

Vendetta Online 1.8.301

VO 1.8.301 included:

- Macros in the virtual keyboard can now be saved when long-pressing the action button on gamepads on Android.
- Fixed multithreaded rendering crashes. To test it, edit your config.ini file to add multithreaded=1 in the [Vendetta] section. Please report any issues.
- Fixed the incorrect placement of layed mines relative to the port locations on your ship.
- Fixed the bouncing 'm' HUD mission icon location when it finishes bouncing.
- Fixed lua error and crash when attempting to swipe station/pda menus.
- Fixed issue with PDA menu showing back up when pressing 'Jump' or 'Jettison All' buttons in the PDA in Condensed UI mode.
- Fixed occasional crash when attepting to set a navroute to a training sector.

Beyond this, we've also pushed an Android APK update to provide some additional fixes and enhancements.

Vendetta Online 1.8.300

VO 1.8.300 includes:

- Fixed multithreaded rendering artifacts. We're still working on the crashing bugs.
- Save Password checkbox is now always present on platforms that support it.
- Touch-hover now works when dragging your finger from a listbox or textbox when they aren't scrollable.

More significant development has been wrapping up this week, much of it is still in testing. Thanks for your patience!

Vendetta Online 1.8.299

VO 1.8.299 includes:

- Added a 'Save Password' option to the Android version. It saves an
encrypted copy of your password to the private data area of the app.
- Updated OpenSSL library on the Android version.
- All small screen devices now default to a static background image in
the station menu so swiping between menus is smoother.
- Cleaned up more java reference leaks.

More polishing and background work in advance of an upcoming announcement. Stay tuned!

Vendetta Online 1.8.298

VO 1.8.298 includes:

- Only Premium subscriptions are allowed to pilot Tridents now.
Any non-Premium subscribers capships will be moved to the capship Shipyards in Latos M-7.
- Optimized Panning feature to switch between station menus on Android.
- Added macro buttons to the virtual keyboard. To set the macro, type in the text you want and long-press a macro button. To clear the macro, long-press when no text is entered.
- Changed Linux 64 version to default to single-threaded rendering until the multithreaded rendering problems are fixed. It can be manually enabled/disabled through the config.ini as usual.
- Fixed a very uncommon issue when attempting to launch from your own capship and you get an error saying that your grid power is too low.
- New capship turret assets. These increase the framerate on mobile devices.
- Fixed touch-hover overlay being displayed when it shouldn't be. For example, while rotating the ship view.
- The Close button in the PDA menu did not have touch-hover enabled.

Various other tweaks and changes in the works, including some big performance bumps that will be helpful on certain platforms, and allow us to expand gameplay.

VO 1.8.296, Capture the Flag event.

VO 1.8.296 includes:

- Added a new Condensed UI Panning feature to the Android version to be able to switch between station menus without the need for the Menu button. Quickly swipe your finger across the screen while in-station to switch between the different menus.
- Added a new touch-hover feature to buttons around the edge of the screen for Android devices. Touch-drag your finger over tabs and buttons around the edge of the screen to show a large version of what button is under your finger. When you release your finger, that tab or button will be selected.
- A 'Please wait...' msg now appears when showing the mission list for the first time to show that it may take a few seconnds to update the list.
- Fixed a problem with allowing players to In-App Purchase an item even though they can't equip or use it.
- The mission info dialog now includes the name and short description.
- Fixed a reference to Amazon GameCircle when using Google+ for achievements.
- Fixed issues with long-pressing the nav menu to add multiple navpoints.

We feel these UI changes are of major benefit to any touchscreen device, especially smaller devices like phones. We have some more announcements upcoming in relation to this, stay tuned.

Also, stop by for the CTF event on Saturday!

VO 1.8.295

VO 1.8.295 includes:
- Conquerable station defense turrets no longer fire on access key holders while the are leaving the sector.
- Friendly-fire deaths caused by Avalon explosions no longer kick players out of Border Skirmish missions.
- Added experimental network quality reporting. To enable report logging to your chat window, type /set nShowNetQualReport 1
- Added idle-detection captcha to non-premium subscriptions.
- Fixed problem where the player's persistent capship fails to leave 5 minutes after the owner logs out when the owner attempted to control their own capship but timed out or otherwise has excessive lag.
- Deleted characters are no longer listed as holders of access keys.
- Fixed some Java object reference leaks on Android.

Some widely-requested changes and tweaks, as well as further work towards feature improvements like network-quality detection. This is all working towards some larger launches later this month, stay tuned!

VO 1.8.294, Gray Space Rally

There will be a "Rally" style racing event held in Grayspace on Saturday (see the event schedule in-game for more information). Unlike the last race event, this will compete for the minimum total time from start to finish, eliminating client load-times as a factor.

VO 1.8.294 includes:

- Improved shaders for PC platforms. The secondary lightsource now uses the object's bump map.
- Hangar tab was still visible in the Tactical tab in ships with turrets but no hangar.
- Repair and Reload buttons were the wrong color.
- If a player attempts to lay a mine and the mine limit has been reached, the client no longer thinks the mine was layed.
- The password field no longer allows the text to be copied from it with CTRL-c. "************" is now copied into the clipboard.
- Dueling players are now notified if the duel will not count towards their duel ratings. For example, if one of the players license level is too low.
- When autodocking is enabled, the text on the HUD now says "Docking..." instead of "Press the Activate key to dock."
- Fixed occasional clipping of the speed and energy indicators on the HUD.
- Fixed various lua errors.

Lots of little fixes, plus some meaningful graphical updates on the PC. One more step along the road. We have some additional utilities coming soon, like tools to show player latency and packet-loss issues, to help people determine whether their internet connection is a problem (resulting in issues often blamed on the game itself). Those tools were slated for release this evening, but need a little more time for testing.

Have a great weekend, everyone!

Grayspace Race, development in progress.

Hey everyone, we're right in the middle of some major development that is making visible updates a little fewer and further between, so I wanted to explain a little about what's going on.

But first and foremost, please consider stopping by for the developer-run Grayspace Race event on Saturday! We expect it to be a lot of fun, and a step towards the return of classic recurrent race events like the Deneb Run. See the in-game Event system for schedule details and other information.

Beyond this, we have a lot of different development going on, most of which I'm not going to announce right now. But one thing you will start to see in the immediate future, is the availability of micro-transactional purchases on certain mobile devices. Keep in mind that premium subscribers will still get everything, across all platforms, without any need for these types of optional purchases. Micro-transactions will be exclusively for players coming in on Lite accounts, allowing them to push a bit beyond the current level 3 cap.

The exact mechanics and structure of the micro-transactional system are still experimental, and will require refinement and continued feedback from the userbase. But, it has become evident that some kind of hybrid "free to play" model is an expected necessity on mobile, so we're working to adapt to these markets and bring in additional players.

We also have a lot of game-related development in process, which will be revealed in future newsposts as we get a bit closer to each related release. But overall, our goal for "VO 2.0" is about enhancing and drastically expanding the game in many different ways that will mesh together, including the business model and other areas. So, please bear with us while we evolve and improve these aspects, even when don't have the most exciting immediate gameplay impact.

At the same time, please do show up for the Race Event! Have a great weekend, everyone.