Vendetta Online 1.8.536

VO 1.8.536 includes:

- Triggering of a Strike Force makes all collateral damage done by that Strike Force have factional ramifications for whomever originally triggered the Strike Force, including a self defense flag against whomever triggered the Strike Force.
- All TempKoS timers are now operating on game-time (time spent logged-in, not wall-clock time) and do not end upon death.
- Added ability for players to report spybots using '/report "name" spybot'. The player being reported must be launched in space and located in the same sector as the reporter.
- Added Function and Page Up/Down/Home/End keyboard support for Android.
- Fixed issue with certain correctly-operated player store-bots occasionally being flagged as spybots.
- "Simulated" station-sector convoy traffic will no longer spawn while the sectors contain actual trade convoys, to avoid excessive traffic buildup.

Much of the above changes to Strike Forces and TempKoS come from Suggestions threads that were well supported, please continue to deliver your feedback and ideas there, and we'll keep reading them.

If you run into any problems or Bugs, please let us know via the Bugs forum (or a Support Ticket if the problem is exploitable in some way). Have a great weekend, everyone!

November Newsletter

The latest Newsletter is now out, covering recent changes in Enduring Content, Economy and Trading, updates for Android and Chomebooks, and many other features:

Be sure to Subscribe to the newsletter via your Account Info page, on the website.

Vendetta Online 1.8.535

VO 1.8.535 includes:

- Added support for mouse capture on devices running Android 8 and above. A Play Store App update is required to fully enable the feature.
- Chromebook support has been added, with the latest Play Store app version. Please report any issues on the Bug forum.
- Fixed Corporate Sector Run starting at the wrong time.
- Improvements to server-side performance and optimization.

We look forward to feedback on the Chomebook and Android Mouse Capture support. The latest Newsletter is also out. Have a great weekend, everyone.

Vendetta Online 1.8.534

VO 1.8.534 includes:
- Added Corporate Sector Run Leaderboard to in-game news and the website. These race stats and features will be expanded, in the future.
- Fixed an issue where capship hangars and turret lists were occasionally appearing empty, even when they were not.
- Station Guards in the Conquerable station sectors should no longer report the station is under attack if they ram into asteroids.
- Removed Text To Speech ability from plugin-accessible sandbox.

A lot of other behind-the-scenes development and debugging going on. The Newsletter has been delayed, but is expected to appear in the near future. More updates then. Have a great weekend, everyone, and be sure to stop by for the Corporate Sector Run!

Vendetta Online 1.8.533

VO 1.8.533 includes:

- Asteroid temperatures over 10,000 K are now reset to 10,000 K when the sector reloads.
- Fixed issue with capship speed and energy being displayed as zero in the HUD if the capship is renamed while in space.
- Added ability to continue a mission with the Activate action if the mission is waiting at a 'Continue' prompt.
- Fixed issue with rocket/missile turrets not dealing damage if the player who fired them launched from the capship before they explode.

We had some distractions this week with, administrative player issues cropping up, as well as fixes for bugs, like those above. But, we are still working to forge ahead on newer features and improvements. Be sure to stop by for the Events this weekend; and if you're based in the US, remember to Vote!

Have a great weekend, everyone.

Vendetta Online 1.8.532

VO 1.8.532 includes:

- Unaligned Pirate capital ships should no longer follow players into deep space.
- Fixed issue with Enduring History kill count not displaying properly.
- Fixed "Daily Trade Report" not being properly posted in-game.
- Fixed bugs and improved stability of NPC convoys.
- Fixed a rare problem where NPC convoys could excessively pile-up in a sector, under certain conditions.
- Fixed issue with spawning a persistent ship for a player, if a sector lags and the player relogs into a new instance of the sector.
- Improved account-creation flow on the website, made it more friendly to phones.
- Reduced memory and CPU usage of Kourier subsystem.
- Fixed issue with logged-in state of player characters.

Lots of other working going on in the background, both around advances in gameplay, as well as development to enhance the early game experience for new players.

Please continue to keep us post about the bugs you find, via the Bugs forum (several of the above fixes are thanks to player reports), and have a great weekend everyone!

Vendetta Online 1.8.530-531

There have been a number of fairly significant updates lately. Some of them introduce entirely new features, which merit further explanation and commentary, likely slated for the next Newsletter.

VO 1.8.531 includes (tonight):
- Text-To-Speech feature added for PC platforms. It can be muted in Options -> Audio -> Mission Text To Speech volume.
- Goliath Powercell grid power increased from 55 to 58, per Suggestions thread.
- Added 'Clear A Bind' button to Keyboard menu, so keys and commands can be unbound from each other.
- Efficiency and performance improvements to server-side economy and NPC management systems.
- Missions may now filter availability on whether a station has Capship docking bays.
- Improved error handling and automated reporting of server back-end economic systems.

VO 1.8.530.1 included (last weekend):
- Enduring History is now displayed in the information panel in the Inventory menu.

VO 1.8.530 included (last week):
- Added options in the Buddy Menu allowing the player to toggle whether
buddies can see their Online status on their Active Players web page.
- Fixed incorrect stacking of items in the Inventory menu when sorting
by Type.
- Fixed issue with Strike Force deciding to leave instead of attack.
- Fixed issue with NPCs ending their pursuit when you enter a player-
owned capship.
- New Enduring Content mission, for Trident owners.

Vendetta Online 1.8.529

VO 1.8.529 includes:

- Fixed issue with displaying too many missions in the new System.
- Fixed inaccuracies in the Best Price calculator for the Latos stations.
- Capships can now be renamed when docked.
- Fixed issue with empty Deneb Skirmishes.

There is also some other new functionality in this update, which is still in testing and hasn't been formally released yet. We'll talk about that in a separate post, next week.

Vendetta Online 18.525-528, A new rare drop.

Tonight's release brings a number of tweaks, including a new rare-drop, which will become relevant in upcoming content.
Beyond this, we've also made it easier for former-subscribers to play the game in Freemium mode, even when they have a Capital Ship using up their station cargo space.
You can now see the "Best" prices for goods you're carrying, throughout the entire Galaxy. We're still working on this interface and improving things, but you can expect more tools like this as we evolve the Economy. Obviously, the massive increase in NPC convoy activity (among other things) can attest to the Economy changes that are on-going.
We'll go into all of this in greater detail in the next Newsletter. In the meantime, please keep us posted on any issues you find via the Bugs Forum, as well as ideas on the Suggestions Forum.

We haven't been posting news about patch updates, for a few weeks (development has been very intensive), so please bear with the long list here..

VO 1.8.528 (tonight) includes:
- New rare drop: "Rarified Heliocene Alloy" can occasionally be found from certain NPCs in the Unknown System.
- Fixed error when using In-App Purchasing on Linux platforms.
- Buy-back cost now displays Crystal cost with the Credit cost.
- Fixed issue with the Prediction Monitoring system being triggered when jumping/warping.
- Added recurring Lite membership billing options to the Billing page of the web site.
- Added 12 and 24 month Lite membership Gift Keys to the Billing page of the web site.

VO 1.8.527 included:
- Players are always allowed to switch to a ship they have in storage, even if there's not enough storage space available.
- Players can always purchase a small ship if they don't own any at their current location.
- Players can now activate their capship even if they can't launch with it due to subscription restrictions. This allows the player to remove items from the ship's inventory.
- System best prices now include Galactic best prices and no longer include stations the player can't dock with. The profit/loss replaced the cost. The location is now a shortcut to that system's navmap.

VO 1.8.526 included:
- Additional trade items updated to have "Locally Produced" locations in Nation space, allowing proper fulfillment in the new Latos economy.
- Latos economy is now updating and engaging traders more often, both players and NPCs. This may result in an increase in missions and convoy traffic.
- Fixed issue with ships spinning around and then popping back into position.
- Trade Guild Procurement and Retrieve missions no longer ask for items that the local station has available for sale.
- Continued adjustment to the generation of Crystal (from XP, in this case). This process will be on-going as we evaluate different models.

VO 1.8.525 included:
- The winning "side" of Deneb is now able to purchase Neutron Blaster MkIIIs in their home nation for the following week.
- Deneb players are no longer kicked out of the mission for friendly kills.
- Friendly kills in Deneb no longer count against your nation's casualty count.
- Valkyrie and Prometheus NPCs in Deneb have been replaced by Vulturesin "Fighter" sized Skirmishes.
- Valkyrie and Prometheus NPCs in Deneb that previously carried rockets, now only carry Neutron Mark II weapons.
- Deneb "Battle Points" are now the determining factor for which side wins in a given week, the skirmish sizes have been separately weighted at 12 for Battle, 8 for Large, 5 for Medium, 3 for Small, and 1 for Fighter.
- Deneb "Battle Points" are now displayed on the website Deneb Stats.
- Fixed PC issue with some shortcut keys not working correctly in the station/PDA menus.

Vendetta Online 1.8.523-524, Uncapped Freemium on All Platforms

Some pretty major changes in tonight's release. Here are the patches from the last couple of weeks:

VO 1.8.524 includes:
- Secure In-App Purchase is now available in the game-client, on native PC platforms, using Guild Software's existing in-house credit card handling. See in-game Options for details.
- Freemium gameplay access is now possible from all platforms, including PC, along with the usage of Crystal.
- Freemium is now the default for new PC accounts, instead of Trial.
- Freemium and Lite accounts may now submit Events.
- Freemium and Lite accounts may now create Guilds, and serve as Council.
- All level caps have been removed for Lite and Freemium players.
- Lite Members now gain access to build and use Goliath-class capital ships (also retains 50% higher daily crystal limits from bots).
- Technically, all players may now construct Capital Ship components, but final assembly and usage is limited by membership tier.
- Added more internal analytics to help monitor the changes. On-going business model changes may be expected (crystal tweaks, etc).
- Premium access still includes: Tridents, less aggressive AFK logoff, LTS benefits, etc. New content will be added to the Premium tier, along with other benefits.

(Last week on 08/07):

VO 1.8.523 included:
- First-gen, non-public testing of a new cross-platform "In App Purchasing" system, tied to our own billing backend.
- Security updates and improvements for the game client, related to upcoming IAP features.
- Fixed problem on Windows causing threaded renderer to not properly utilize systems with non power-of-two core counts.
- Mitigated a rare concurrency issue with threaded job system.
- Players now respawn more quickly after death, particularly for high-ping players.
- Network protocol "streaming" mode is now enabled when a player leaves a sector, for faster transitions on high-ping connections.

Obviously, tonight's release includes very significant changes to the game's business model and availability, which have been planned for a very long time and we're happy to see them finally released.

We'll be discussing them in greater detail in the next Newsletter. Stay tuned!

Server Side Updates

The last few weeks have included a lot of purely server-side updates, as we've improved the robustness of the game, fixed a lot of bugs, and added internal features to give us better insights when there's a problem.

Changes include:

- Mitigated a bug with duplicate NPCs (Leviathans, etc) showing up in some locations.
- Fixed a bug causing some NPCs to "park" in the wrong locations.
- Fixed problem causing people to occasionally damage their capital ships when undocking.
- Optimized performance of the game server for certain cases.
- Added many new performance-monitoring analytics for the core game server.
- Made purchase experience more robust to upstream payment-gateway outages.
- Fixed a problem with AI path data being generated incorrectly on some sectors.
- Threaded AI path generation, plus other tweaks, to improve startup time on certain complex sectors.
- Added new analytics for monitoring a variety of connection and internal performance data.

We appreciate all the reports on Bugs and elsewhere, sometimes it takes us a few days to track something down, but we fix any issue as quickly as we can.

Newer game-content updates are slated to appear before long. It's been important that we focus on back-end stability and capacity for a little while, before the next round of content drops. Thanks for your patience in the meantime.

Vendetta Online 1.8.520, Prediction Monitoring

VO 1.8.520 includes:

- Players' positions are now reset if high latency transients are detected during combat situations.
- Added client-side prediction to the application of explosion-force on dynamic debris.

The fact that this is a "two sentence update" belies the complexity and development time that went into it.

- Update 1 - Firstly, this update includes a new system we'll call "Prediction Monitoring". To put it simply, this is a system that, under a very specific and narrow set of PvP combat conditions, will begin monitoring the movements of players, and if necessary, replacing player-client derived network updates with server-enforced positioning.

This should only impact people with *very* high latency (on the order of 800ms), or people who suddenly experience network dropouts (packets lost or delayed). If the server enforces a network update, the player may move or "drift" in a direction the server thinks is most appropriate based on their previously-accepted movement update. This prevents people from inducing lag that may cause them to "jump" excessively long distances, or become impossible to target.

People experiencing server-enforced positioning from the Prediction Monitoring system will not be "instant kills". They'll still be moving, and their momentary periods of linear motion will still be sporadic.

CHAT will also display a message to anyone who experiences server-enforced positioning, which says "High latency detected, resetting position."

See the Suggestions Forum for a more thorough RFC thread on the topic, and how the system is implemented. There are a great many factors that narrow the scope of the system to the smallest number of circumstances, specifically to minimize any impact of the system outside of PvP (for instance, PvE against bots is unaffected).

Most importantly, for the system to be engaged, players must currently:

A) Be able to harm one another (no same-nation players in a Capitol system).
B) NOT be grouped with one another. The system is explicitly disabled for group-members.
C) NOT be located in a No Fire Zone (NFZs exclude the system, as it could make docking too challenging for high ping players).
D) Weapons fire must be instantiated within 3000 meters of another player.

If this is all fulfilled, then Prediction Monitoring will be engaged for 30 seconds on the respective players. The expectation is that each future "shot" within 3000 meters will re-engage the system for another 30 seconds, and the timer will allow the system to "turn off" quickly when not needed.

Like everything in this game, the system is a Work In Progress, so real-world testing feedback is welcome on the related Suggestions Forum thread.

- Update 2 - Certain sectors, like Latos F12, have been testing new physically dynamic "debris" for some time. These debris can be moved by ship impact or explosions, and will physically interact with other objects based on relative masses, creating an interesting set of physical reactions based on gameplay (also leading to a lot of potential future gameplay).

The physical reactions are shared over the network, and we've recently improved the game's ability to instantly predict the physical impacts on the game client, before later re-synchronizing the results with the server.

This means that previous issues with "delayed jumping" of physics responses in debris, due to ping times, are now drastically less visible.

The combination of previous performance enhancements to the rendering engine (since April), along with improved network synchronization and fewer visual artifacts, may cause the "debris" to become much more widely employed in the game in the future.

Eventually we may even have options for players to move high-mass objects around, such as asteroids, to create strategic barriers. Similarly, miners might need to move surrounding asteroids to get their larger ships closer to higher-value ores. Lots of different possibilities emerge, with a more dynamic, physically-reactive environment.

Vendetta Online 1.8.519

VO 1.8.519 includes:

- Corporate Sector Run prizes have been added. 100k credits for each System the racer complets along the designated route. 50k credits for each kill of an eligible racer outside of Odia M-14. Top prize raised from 5M to 9M credits.
- Corporate Sector Run advertisement and registeration descriptions have been updated.
- Fixed lua error when displaying System Notes.
- Fixed issue with Trade mission's Procurement list being blank in the new dynamic economy sectors.
- Improved NPC path-finding persistence between sector restarts.

We intend to continue expanding and refining automated Events, like the Corporate Sector Run race. If you have feedback on how existing events work, or ideas for additional events, please feel free to post about that on Suggestions.

Server Side Updates, VO 1.8.518

The 06/12 Server-Side Update (last night) included:

- Leviathan weapon fire no longer goes through thinner asteroids. Should also impact Conquerable Station Turrets, etc.
- The NPCs no longer use the internal docking bays on the station in Verasi I-5.
- NPC AI path generation has been improved and adjusted.
- Our ability to visually debug problems with the NPC AI path generation has been improved.

VO 1.8.518 included:

- Added new NPCs to the Unknown System that may pursue you throughout the system.
- NPCs may continue to aggro on pilots after they dock and re-launch from capships.
- Queens now defend the Leviathan instead of drifting away.
- Fixed lua error when attempting to load system notes that plugins created.

The change to high-speed Gauss from large turrets should make for improved strategies in approaching Leviathan, Conquerable Stations and the like. Note that this is a physical-impact change; it's possible there are some long-lived visual effects that may still pass through objects, for the moment, but you won't be damaged by them.

Other tweaks to Queens and more elaborate cross-system NPC behaviour should also prove interesting, and lead to more content down the road.

New System and VO 1.8.517

As related in the latest Newsletter, a new Star System has been added to the game:

- The system is "hidden", but can be found with a clue from an in-game News article (PDA -> Comm) about a rescued explorer.
- The new system contains a particular type of bot that will occasionally drop a new weapon: the Gravity Mine Launcher.

This new system can be expected to change periodically; everything from the risks and dangers, to the actual sectors themselves. We're looking to add unique minerals and ores that only exist there, more unusual bot types with drops, and other content.

The wormhole may eventually become more challenging to locate, moving periodically. Threats to the main game universe may even pour forth from hidden strongholds.

VO 1.8.517 includes:
- Improved performance relating to instanced rendering on DX11, GL4, Vulkan and ES3. Most apparent with very dense sectors, using shadows.
- Fixed a graphics problem on PC, where certain asteroids were not using existing higher-quality object assets.
- Fixed a rendering issue with refracting ice crystals on Vulkan.

Anyone who hasn't seen it already, should also take a look at the latest game Newsletter: