Vendetta Online 1.8.608-609 and Server Side

VO 1.8.609 includes (tonight)
- Twelve new custom-made missions, available in varied trees.
- Major improvements to the sector startup process, which also help common sector-to-sector jump performance, but most importantly mitigate a scalability issue if the sector is under extreme CPU load (huge NPC count, etc).
- Additional server-side debugging and monitoring added, to further track down a few persistent issues and further enhance server stability.
- Fixed rare server-side issue that sporadically caused NPC navigational AI to not function properly, in certain sectors, for limited times.
- Fixed server-side memory allocation problem under higher load conditions (testing with 600 clients per sector).
- Migrated all server components to use jemalloc, updated server-side LuaJIT and other mechanisms.
- Fixed rare client Lua error when getting remote character information as a player is leaving a sector.
- Fixed some other unusual and rare client-side Lua error cases.

VO 1.8.608 included (July 18th):
- Twelve new custom-made missions.
- New server-side optimizations for players with extremely large and complex inventories.
- Fixed certain cases where resulting items could be "lost" from manufacturing missions.
- Fixed problem with some client CAPTCHAs appearing upside-down.

Vendetta Online 1.8.594-607 and Server Side

VO server-side changes:
- 150 new custom-made missions (total, since the last Newspost on February 5th).
- We have begun testing the process of manually-localizing mission content, but this is limited and hasn't yet expanded to the tutorials.
- Changes to NPC navigation (still on-going), to reduce problems with large ships or convoys being delayed under certain circumstances.
- Major changes to game sectors (still on-going), improving server-side memory usage, improving scalability, adding analytics.
- Major update of the core server packet-router (still on-going), resulting in significantly increased player concurrency and battle-scale capacity.
- Many other changes.

VO 1.8.607
- 1 new custom mission.
- Enhanced sector performance under very-large battle scenarios.
- Additional server-side analytics, for monitoring sector status.
- Improvements to sector memory allocation.
- Improved memory efficiency for certain types of sector activity.
- Fix for iOS crash relating to Trident Tech liveries on recent iOS devices.

VO 1.8.606
- 34 new custom missions for various mission trees released over the past few weeks.
- Fixed lua error when being bounced back to the originating sector if the destination sector fails to load.
- Fixed issue when a sector gets stuck if an NPC is too far away from the center of the sector.
- Core server scalability and performance enhancements.

VO 1.8.605
- 14 new custom-made missions branching off of existing mission trees.
- Fixed issue with collisions causing ships to exceed the maximum speed limit.

VO 1.8.604
- Ten new custom-made missions for various mission trees.
- Players are now warned of an imminent captcha in certain conditions so they can move to a less hostile environment when it does pop up.
- Fixed crash in the Vulkan driver on MacOS.
- Fixed issue with the velocity of turret projectiles being too fast.
- Internal fixes to the mission system.

VO 1.8.603
- Five new custom-created missions.
- Linux-32bit version now supports the new localization system.
- Fixed issue with Corporate Sector Race not finishing in certain circumstances.
- Fixed issue with sectors crashing when AI path-finding matrices grow too big.

VO 1.8.602
- Three new custom-created missions.
- Game account personal information on the website has been moved to its own separate password-protected page, under Account Info, and then Personal Information. This includes the user's email address, etc.
- Most PC platforms, other than Linux-32bit, now support the new "beta-test" of the language localization system. Language translations are still very early and will change significantly.
- Fixed lua error when attempting to take a mission just as it is removed from the list.
- To reduce forum spamming, new accounts that don't have any characters with Level 1 Combat license may only post to the Forums up to 2 times per 24 hour period.
- Community Projects Forum threads may now be posted-to up to 1 year after the previous post.
- Community Projects Forum posts may now be edited by the poster after more than 15 minutes.
- New "Account Deletion" feature, available from the game client (Purchasing -> Account Status) or website (Account Info -> Personal Information): Players may now flag their account for future deletion. Verified accounts with email addresses require secondary validation by email code confirmation. Once an account has been flagged for deletion, a 30-day countdown will begin. The deletion process may then be aborted by logging into the given account and choosing the presented option. Once the 30-day period has expired, and the account has been deleted, all characters and related data are gone forever.

VO 1.8.601
- 7 new missions branching off of two existing mission trees.
- Fixed issue with NPCs in Unknown System H-1 not flying back to the wormhole.
- Fixed crash on Android when attempting to display Tridents with Tech 1 livery.
- Increased time limit of how old threads can be posted to in the Community Projects forum to 1 year from 6 months.
- Posts in the Community Projects forum no longer have a time limit for editing.

VO 1.8.600
- Six new missions, branching off of existing mission trees.
- Fixed lua error when changing HUD settings and multiple-leadoff reticles are enabled when not logged in.

VO 1.8.599
- Ten new missions, building off of an existing tree.
- Shared Group Radar is now disabled when it is in NFZ.
- Fixed issue with the Nemeses mission not being winnable under certain conditions.
- Fixed issue where attempting to reload ammo fails for other weapons when an equipped weapon cannot be reloaded.
- Fixed issue where Shared Group Radar was not enabled when capship pilot launches from their capship and they are part of a group.
- Fixed issue where Shared Group Radar was not enabled when capship pilot docks and takes control of their capship and they are part of a group.

VO 1.8.598
- Ten new missions, building off of existing trees.
- Fixed issue where the No-Fire Zone volume didn't match the indication on the HUD.
- New Login menu on Windows properly chooses Play-Bold if another font is selected.
- Fixed issue where the Amazon Store version fails to read assets from storage.
- Fixed issue with sudden Grid Power loss, causing turrets to de-equip on player capships.

VO 1.8.597
- Six all-new custom missions, in various trees.
- TempKOS is no longer applied to a player for 2 wall-clock hours after they are given a Conquerable Station access key.
- Text on new menus on Windows now more closely match the designed sizes.
- Self-defense notifications should no longer leak information when a capship owner launches or logs off while controlling their capship.
- Fixed rendering issue with OpenGL ES 2 on Amazon FireTV devices.
- Fix for invulnerability issue when jumping into a sector and latency tracker engages.
- Capital Rail Cannon now correctly requires Leviathan Hunter II.

VO 1.8.596.1
- Fixed lua error in offline tutorials.

VO 1.8.596
- Ten additional custom-made missions, some building off of existing trees.
- Android now includes additional beta language support for native Ukrainian.
- Fixed rendering issue with certain languages on Android TV devices.
- Fixed rendering direction issue with Arabic text in Offline tutorials.

VO 1.8.595.3
- Fixed issue with loading navroutes.
- Fixed issue with settings not getting saved correctly.

VO 1.8.595.2
- Fixed issue with settings getting reset on Android.
- Fixed issue with getting stuck in a turret and controls stop working..

VO 1.8.595.1
- Fixed lua error.

VO 1.8.595
- Four additional custom-made missions.
- Fixed issue with missing or "invisible" turret weapons-fire, under certain circumstances.
- Fixed issue where a player-owned capship may disappear when the sector shuts down.
- Fixed problems with Enduring Content missions.
- Fixed potential issues with game config files becoming corrupted, binds sometimes being lost.
- Reduced the number of times the game configuration files are written on startup.
- Prevent /+Shoot2 command from being manually used to fire turrets, ActivateTurrets is now the standard.

VO 1.8.594.1
- Fixed crashes at startup on Android.

VO 1.8.594
- Twenty Six new custom-made missions, from both new and existing trees.
- Android version now defaults to a 120fps frame limit, allowing a high speed refresh rate on devices with supporting screens.
- Android language selection menu now has improved usability with the longer language list.
- Android includes additional beta support for more languages: Arabic, Hindi, Bengali, Thai, Indonesian, and Vietnamese. Translations are still limited (and flawed) for all non-English languages. More thorough and improved translations will come in time, as we redo the user interface. This brings total game support to 19 languages (including English), which is the extent of our intended language support for the time being.

Vendetta Online 1.8.592-593 and Server Side

Server Side updates (Feb 4th):
- Four new custom-made missions.
- Fixed issue with Queens failing to spawn properly under certain conditions.

VO 1.8.593 (Feb 2nd):
- Ten new custom-made missions, available in branching trees.
- Initial, Android-only "early beta test" of locale support for Chinese (traditional), Chinese (simplified), Japanese, and Korean languages. This involves technically complex font rendering of more than 30,000 unique characters.
- Fixed issue causing players to not see their own remote capship in the sector list, when docked to a station in the same sector.

VO 1.8.592 (Jan 22nd):
- Ten new custom-made missions.
- Debugging to help resolve problems on MacOS.
- Further diagnostics and logging of internal issues.

Lots of work continues on Localization and other areas of the game. Certain types of font rendering are quite challenging, for specific languages, and there are a lot of technical considerations (like maintaining a low memory footprint). Getting this localization development out of the way is important, so we can work on tweaking the interface and content translation in parallel; as issues will crop up with word-length and interface sizing based on the way different languages are structured.

Beyond this, there's also some other interesting development happening in the background, which will hopefully be something we can announce before long. Have a great weekend, everyone.

Vendetta Online 1.8.590-591

VO 1.8.591 includes (Jan 14th):

- Ten all-new custom-made missions.
- Fixed Vulkan driver crash on Windows devices that have both Radeon and Nvidia GPUs.
- Fixed lighting artifact issue on MacOS OpenGL 4.
- New installs from the Mac App Store on Intel macs running MacOS Monterey or newer will default to the Vulkan (Metal) driver with 2 dynamic lights and shadows to reduce stutter. Requires Mac App Store update, pending Apple approval.
- Fixed issue with crashes on MacOS Monterey when installed from the Mac App Store. Requires Mac App Store update, pending Apple approval.

VO 1.8.590 included (Jan 7th):

- Ten new custom-made missions, branching out into different trees.
- Added capship 'jettison' command. It jettisons items from the cargo hold, aside from ships in the hangar. It can only be used when the owner is in the same sector as the capship.
- Fixed issue with being able to swipe too many times for the Ship Purchase tutorial on Android and iOS.
- Fixed issue with custom items, like trophies, becoming blank if dropped by a player's remote capship when it is destroyed.
- Fixed issue with the font size of accented letters being too small when using non-English languages.

VO 1.8.589 included (Dec 31st):

- Ten new custom missions.
- Added the ability to change turret loadout during flight, on capships.
- Swapping any turret would drop shields for five minutes, and any turret(s) being swapped would be disabled for five minutes from the time of respective swap engagement.
- If multiple turrets were being swapped (in succession), the shield-down-timer would reset to 5 minutes from the most recent turret swap.
- Turrets and shields are restored when docking to a station.
- Turret cannot be swapped if it causes grid usage to exceed available
grid power.

Challenges with MacOS Monterey have apparently been plaguing a lot of games, and ours is no exception. Please continue to report problems on the Bugs forum, and we'll track down or work-around issues as quickly as we can. It is notable that, for the most part, these are "platform" problems (OS and driver bugs), and not actually "game" problems, which can make it a challenge to even figure out why they're happening.. let alone fix them. But, we'll continue to do our best.

More fundamental game changes will likely re-appear after we get out from under all the unforeseen "platform-change" bug-fixing. Thanks everyone, have a great weekend.

Mission Change: "Safari Cruise"

We recently became aware of an exploit to the "Safari Cruise" mission that could yield an unusually large number of drops, when coordinating tactics across multiple accounts or players. The mission has been pulled offline for the moment, and the drops that were improperly obtained have been removed from player inventories.

To reiterate what I wrote earlier this year, on the previous exploit: If you find something that confers an obviously significant advantage and yields an unusually high value in drops or rewards, REPORT IT.

For one thing, anything Manufactured or gained via content generated from an Exploit is just going to be lost anyway, whenever we trace and remove the content; and that could include items traded to other players (much like the risks of buying stolen merchandise in the real world, we do not "refund" player trades on exploited game content; so be careful who you buy from, limit your trading to other responsible individuals).

Plus, anything other than reporting the problem just ends up hurting the game. It absorbs time for us to do log forensics, it derails carefully-scheduled development plans while we do "emergency analysis" of potential gameplay problems, etc. We have lost months of development time to exploits in the past, which obviously could have been used instead to make the game better, if the problem had simply been reported.

We *could* also have a game completely free of issues and exploits, but it would require us to also stop making gameplay improvements. So, if you want to see the game continue to get frequent additions and changes, then you need to be on board with reporting the inevitable problems. We don't have the benefit of a large Q/A team, we rely on our players to behave responsibly and report issues as they find them. It's part of the basic reality of an independent, actively-developed MMORPG.

Please keep that in mind.

Vendetta Online 1.8.587

VO 1.8.587 includes:

- Seven new missions, available in several new trees that expand with completion.
- New capship command "turbo": engages turbo for up to 10km, on the current heading, then stops.
- New capship command "gather": Ship will pick up floating ore. Can also specify type of ore, then only that type of ore will be picked up.
- New capship command-chaining: Multiple behaviours may be engaged concurrently with the "add" command. So, a ship might be told to "patrol" and then "add attack hostile", causing the capship to both patrol, and attack enemies. Then one might also "add gather", causing the capship to patrol, attack hostiles, and gather floating ore crates.
- "Turbo" and "Stop" tutorial-arrows now vanish once the player touches the respective button.
- Fix for Strafe tutorial bug for older updating game installs where Roll was not bound to Tilt.
- Updates to the iOS version, adds +ActivateTurrets, Localisations, Async Asset Loading, new Touch-Look flight model, improved battery efficiency, other features recently added to the Android version. Requires App Store update for the features to be available.

As usual, the Holiday Promo is now active. Happy Holidays everyone!

Vendetta Online 1.8.586

VO 1.8.586 includes:

- Ten additional missions, building out in trees based on mission completion.
- Android adds very basic (alpha) tutorial support for Spanish, Portuguese, German, French, Italian, Polish and Turkish.
- Fixed issue with hidden HUD elements becoming visible when the HUD flashes.
- Turbo and Stop buttons now flash and have animated arrows pointing to them in the Strafe Tutorial.
- Capella can no longer be quickly destroyed by particular types of ship collisions.
- Fixed issue with PS4 controller not displaying correct settings in the editable controller menu.
- Fixed crash with Google Daydream VR mode.
- Reduced HUD Shake intensity by half, on both PC and Android.

A lot of other changes going on in the background, beyond what you see here, but this is what we were able to release in time for the weekend.

Please report any problems on the Bugs forum of the game website. Thanks everyone, happy holidays!

Vendetta Online 1.8.585

VO 1.8.585 includes:

- Six new missions have been added.
- Added "/tkostime" command, to print a list of where the current character is TempKoS, and for how long.
- Android and PC HUD (2D) will now visually shake slightly when Turbo is engaged.
- Android and PC HUD will now flash green if you pick up cargo.
- Android version will now auto-reconnect and use the last character, if the game was disconnected while backgrounded.
- Fixed capship turret gunner exploit that allowed players to halve the fire-delay of certain turrets.
- Fixed capship turret owner exploit relating to changing turrets quickly.
- Fixed scanners causing false NFZ warnings.
- Touch to Select on Android has been temporarily disabled, pending fixing a major issue.

A lot more changes coming next week. Please keep us posted on any bugs you find, via the Bugs Forum on the website. Thanks!

Vendetta Online 1.8.584

VO 1.8.584 includes:

- Four new missions: "Anti-Piracy Task Force", "Courier for Legal Documents", "Runaway Guardians", "Phase 1 Industrial Assay".
- Toggling "+ActivateTurrets" now visually adds a small red "AT" to the left of the Distance graph, and also shows a brief "Turret Control Online" or "Offline" message in the chat log.
- Android version now gives a small "haptic" (device vibration) when the user engages turbo, or when the user is struck by enemy fire.
- Android "Language" Options dialog has been made larger and easier to use.
- Android initial tutorial now starts with the HUD hidden, presents the text to the right, progress bar integrated into the text dialog.
- Android now includes a "tilt" tutorial, showing the user how to rotate their ship.
- Android "Back" menu is now unique for each initial tutorial.
- Android initial "offline" tutorials now disable any touch buttons and regions that are not specifically needed for that tutorial, to avoid accidental confusion in early gameplay.
- Android "Rings" tutorial flight-timeout no longer interrupts the Back or initial Continue dialog.
- Android players can no longer physically collide with the outer "Ring" objects in the tutorial.
- Android includes many other small tweaks to the initial tutorials, localization.

Some new missions, a few later-game improvements, and a lot of changes to the early tutorial experience. More features are in the pipe, but were not able to be completed for release-time. Stay tuned. As always, please report any Bugs on the Forums (only Exploits, that need to remain secret, should be reported via Support Tickets). Thanks everyone!

Vendetta Online 1.8.583

VO 1.8.583 includes:

- Four new missions: "Dragon Variations", "At the Heart of It All", "Nemeses" and "Safari Cruise".
- New capital ship command-set help, by messaging "help" to a capship that is owned by the player.
- Expanded Russian localizations on Android, including Gamepad controls and configuration.
- No Fire Zones in Nation space no longer allow any weapon to fire (including PCB or repair-gun). Mining is allowed. Special "unlawful" weapons may become manufacturable that will be able to circumvent this barrier, and require smuggling across borders.
- Added a notification when attempting to use weapons or turrets inside the NFZ of stations in Nation space.
- Improved "highlight" features for Missions to more easily display control information, for new Tutorials.
- Added "highlight" arrows that can point to the nearest docking bay, in space and on radar, for updated Tutorial usage.
- Additional Tutorial analytics, to help determine when new players run into difficulties during tutorial missions.

The NFZ changes were initially suggested by the userbase, to simplify handling of cases, including:

- A player hiding within a hostile capship's docking bay, in the NFZ, and using the Strike Force to attack the capship.
- A troll "attacking" new players using PCBs or Repair Guns to trick the new players into firing back and getting themselves Temp KoS'd.

But, aside from this, the new change also drastically simplifies the new-user tutorials, which is part of the current goal-set. Explaining the old NFZ system was challenging, and the prospect of then trying to translate that explanation across many languages was even more of a concern. Simply "locking out" weapons is a hell of a lot easier, and seemed to help mitigate a variety of problems.

VO is still fundamentally a "no absolutely safe place" game, and we may eventually offer special "black market" weapons that can be Manufactured in grayspace, and used within lawful No Fire Zones to attack, for instance.. in assassination type missions. But, this will at least be a controlled and rare case, compared to trolls taunting newbies, or various other challenges.

As always, everything here is a "work in progress" and shouldn't be taken as cast-in-stone. If problems emerge with the new system, we'll continue to evolve it. The "Suggestions" and "Bugs" forums are available if people want to contribute constructive (and respectful) feedback around any of these issues.

The current Russian localization can sometimes push the "old-style" interface out of alignment a little bit, due to longer words or phrases. It's still functional, but not ideal. The new-style interface is still in development, but we needed to start actively testing with translations, so this should all settle out and improve over time.

That's all for now, Happy Holidays!

Vendetta Online 1.8.581-582

VO 1.8.582 includes (11/20):

- New "Hive Queen Mining Beam": a new capital-class mining beam that is a rare drop from Hive Queens.
- New AndroidTV dialog, on devices with no gamepad or other input, allows re-scan for new input devices.
- Fixed problem with swapping right/left touch region inputs in Advance Options on Android.
- Additional Russian translated content on the Android version.
- New tutorial missions on Touchscreen devices.
- New disconnection dialog on Android, makes it easier to reconnect to the server.

VO 1.8.581 included (11/12):

- New experimental/prototype Russian localization for Android.
- Mission-based HUD Notification text is now displayed in the upper left over the chat region on Android.
- Mitigated issue with Deneb Border War and Hive Skirmish missions not giving out awards.
- Clarity and stability changes to some missions.
- More anonymous analytics on the Android version.
- Added support for localized missions.

Russian support on Android marks our first "prototype" localization. This is not finalized, at all, and a lot of text is still going to be changing as we release the new user-interface, so expect that perfect translations are not the immediate priority. We will be seeking player input on translation quality, as things get further along.

The new Hive Queen Mining Beam is the result of a Suggestions Forum thread, and now makes its way into production. These addons should further amplify the capabilities of capital ships for mining operations. But, the "drop" nature of the addon will likely keep it in demand for some time, and add further value to Queen Hunting.

As always, please let us know of any problems via the Bugs Forum. Thanks much!

Vendetta Online 1.8.577-580

A lot of changes in the last couple of weeks..

VO 1.8.580 includes (11/5):
- New tutorial missions in initial rollout on touchscreen devices, will eventually be coming to other input models.
- Improved client-side mission list refresh and update latency.
- Replaced Dentek Collectors with Orun Collectors in the Training Sectors.
- Players who take a Deneb Battle or Hive mission, but never participate in the battle, are no longer awarded any XP or credits.
- Changed jump-in point selection to reduce the chance that players end up inside or beyond the asteroid ring in Sol I-11 and other sectors with asteroids near jump-in points.
- Added ability for tutorials to highlight various HUD elements.
- Various PCC mission editor improvements and new features.
- Updated to Android Billing API v4.
- Android 6.0 "Marshmallow" is now the minimum required to install Vendetta Online from the Play Store, for a variety of technical and stability related reasons.

VO 1.8.579.4 included (11/4):
- Touch-selection now works through the new Touch-Throttle and Touch-Look input modes. Quickly tapping an item in space will select it.

VO 1.8.579 included (11/2):
- New Touch-Throttle input mode for Android Touch devices. It is enabled for new installs, and disabled for existing installs. To enable, go to Advanced -> Controls -> Touch and press the 'Defaults' button.
- Streamlined Android Touch-based initial offline training simulator, changed voice-over sounds.
- Updated client-side mission cache and start requesting mission info for missions not in the cache earlier in the login process, allowing the mission list to be populated more quickly when logging in.
- Added more anonymous analytics to the Android version.

VO 1.8.578 (10/27):
- Brakes now set the Flight-Assist Throttle when released on Android for new installs. Existing installs retain the previous functionality of resuming the set speed. A setting has been added to change this setting in Options -> Advanced -> Controls -> General -> Braking reduces F/A throttle.
- Added features to be used in future missions.
- Added more anonymous analytics to the Android version.

VO 1.8.577 (10/22):
- Two new Missions for beginner-level players.
- Player and NPC ships should now be less-likely to jump-in very close to asteroids.
- New mission-editor mechanics to better illustrate controls in tutorials (PCC).
- Game Website Support-Ticket system now prevents accidental double-submission of tickets.
- Game Website Support-Ticket system now uses a more mobile-scalable web design.
- Changes and improvements to the administration interfaces of the ticket and other internal systems.
- Game Website Forums now prevents users from editing or deleting posts after 15 minutes pass from the time the post was initially made.
- PCC members may now only "bump" very-old threads (greater than 6 months) on the restricted-access PCC Forums.
- New (anonymized) analytics to help assess new-user progress through tutorials, broken down by localized language and input-type, in preparation for localized tutorial missions.

Now a little more explanation..

This has been a really intensely busy period of development, as the above release log can attest. While we are using Android as the development test platform here, please understand that once things are proven to be stable, they will be propagated to other platforms.

The default controls for touchscreen have been improved again, with the left-side "throttle / strafe" controls now changed from a "virtual joystick" to an auto-centering linear input region, much like the changes we made to the right-hand steering area earlier this year. We've also made "touch-to-select" work for both sides again. Vertical strafe buttons are also now available on the default control layout. If you haven't played the touchscreen version in some time, we recommend starting with the new defaults, before experimenting with other customizations.

A lot of work is going into the improvement of the "early game", which is still on-going. This includes everything from the moment a user runs the game for the first time, through the end of the tutorial mission tree. The initial testing here is for touchscreen devices, but the new tutorials will eventually appear for all input models (mouse/kb, gamepads, joystick, etc).

This is also why there haven't been as many "later game features" being added recently, as we've been focused on bringing about these improvements for new users.

We have changed some of the mechanics of how players and NPCs jump into systems, and this should be helpful both for convoys and individual pilots, as we think there'll be better approaches stations, on average.

The Play Store Android minimum OS requirement increasing to 6.0 (for NEW installs) might be a little controversial, but "it was time". Supporting earlier devices was becoming increasingly challenging, due to a mixture of out-of-date system libraries and driver bugs. On the upside, any currently-functional existing installation of VO (on a pre-6.0 device) will *probably* continue to work for some time to come, through the game's own internal update mechanism. So this really just impacts new users, not existing installs.

Localization work is also on-going, and will hopefully start to emerge before long.

That's all for now. Have a great weekend, everyone!

Vendetta Online 1.8.575-576

VO 1.8.576 includes (tonight):

- Six new missions, three of them lower-level in Nation space, three
higher-levels in Grayspace.
- Leviathans are now excluded from the player-capship turret-drop
- Fixed a problem with missile turrets firing too quickly.
- Fixed issues when attempting to launch from a capship and enter a
turret at the same time.
- Fixed issue with storm exit points possibly being inside asteroids.
- Fixed UI issues with AndroidTV devices.
- Improvements to various game analytics.

VO 1.8.575 included (last weekend):

- Six new missions have been added to the game: two Itani, two Serco and two UIT. Each of them requires Combat License 4 or better.
- Android version now includes improved experimental background-threaded loading for ES3 renderer. All asset types can now be background-loaded into the GPU.
- "/report" command may now be used by Freemium players, and should be the preferred standard for reporting in-game toxicity or other issues.
- Android now uses the "logo-style" game patcher, and does not show the patch notes (for the moment).
- Further tutorial streamlining experiments with the Android version.
- Removed "Replay" options in Android tutorials.
- Button highlighting changes on the Android version, to make selection a little more obvious.
- Fixed issue with animated green line in the Nav Menu.
- Removed asynchronous background loading support from ES2 devices (Android) to try and fix reported ES2 problems on older hardware.
- Improvements to various game analytics.

Please note the "/report" system now being available to everyone, including Free players. People should use it thoughtfully and with care; but that is the appropriate way of reporting in-game abuse, toxicity and other chat issues, because it inherently includes the chat itself with the Report.

Hopefully everyone enjoys the twelve new missions in the game! Many thanks to Phaserlight for that. Anyone else who would like to try their hand at creating missions should investigate the PCC (Player Contribution Corps), linked from the game website (you must be logged into the site with your game account).

Beyond that, a lot of other development swirling around, as we try to wrap up some of our technical goals with background asset-loading and other features, which will prove critical to new content in the future.

If you find any Bugs, please post about them on the Bugs Forum.

Also, be sure to stop by for the Corporate Sector Run on Saturday, and Nation War on Sunday! Plus a mining Event called Corvus Mineral Research coming up on the 27th.

Vendetta Online 1.8.574

VO 1.8.574 includes:

- Added experimental CPU-side background-loading of collision models and textures on Windows.
- Background-loading of collision models added to Android's existing ability to background-load textures.
- Fixed crash on MacOS X 10.11 and earlier when reading the Locale.
- Changed Android model asset compression to now load more quickly.
- Added more internal analytics to the Android version, to debug loading-speed issues.
- Updated Android's background-downloading library.
- Experimentally removed localized-language warning dialogs from Android versions.

More tentative releases of major technical updates in the client, intended to make a lot of new functionality possible.

For example, while on first glance it may appear that the background-loading is primarily around performance during sector changes, it's also about adding the ability to offer more textural diversity to the universe. "Liveries", for instance, aka "ship skins", are far easier to increase in variety, and handle in large numbers, when they can be loaded in the background across all platforms. Visual differences of ships, enemies, even regions of space become simpler to accomplish, and seamlessly smooth to execute.

The final steps here will be improvements to the Vulkan, ES3 and DX11 drivers, to bring asynchronous texture updates, of all assets, completely into the GPU. That work is still on-going, and was not deemed stable for tonight's release, but should appear in the near future.

Have a great weekend, all.

Vendetta Online 1.8.573

VO 1.8.573 includes:

- Reduced PCB shot-lifespan from 3s to 2s (range from 645m to 430m).
- Reduced TU mine energy requirement from 500 to 100.
- Android has new experimental asynchronous background loading of game assets from disk, to shorten sector-jump load times, and reduce the need for pre-loading assets.
- Improved and fixed a variety of internal analytics, to help debug game loading times and other issues.
- Android: Updated Google Play Games Services library.
- Android: Google Play Games Services are no longer initialized on the first game runtime.

The new experimental "asynchronous background loading" should be very helpful to a lot of people and use cases, and seems to be considerably faster to load data during sector-jumps. It is in testing on Android, and will later be rolled out to other platforms. It's particularly beneficial in combination with the load-time improvements that were rolled out on Android last-week.

The system uses background threads, configured based on the number of CPU-cores offered by your device or system. Because the loading is a bit different to predict, the old "progress bar" for jumps has been replaced, at least for the moment, by "progress dots" that mainly indicate that something is happening. Given that the new system is still faster to load sectors *overall*, this was considered a worthwhile trade-off.

More substantial changes to gameplay are coming, but we needed to get through some of this technical development to make other types of gameplay possible in the future.

Have a great weekend, everyone!