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A News Update

Hello everyone, a few updates on the.. last news post that I made. The universe-redux work has been a little delayed by a few architecture issues that had to be addressed here and there. This has all been happening in the background, and I've been making extensive use of the new dynamic object editor to bring you new addons and ships and thing in the meantime. So, a bit of a recap of background developments:

Universe Redux

This is still in the works, we'll hopefully be seeing it taking shape before the end of September. This won't be a massive "reboot" to all sectors and asteroids, contents and locations, this will roll out first in one system, then begin to happen in others. I think this will be very cool, and am rather jazzed about it.

Border Defenses

I put some "test" turrets on the Verasi border a few weeks ago, mostly to gauge feedback from the community and get an idea of their relative utility. One of the most common suggestions was to instead place the bulk of turrets on the "outside" of the wormhole, facing gray space, where they would be more effective in their intended application of keeping Bad Guys At Bay. Unfortunately, this hasn't been technically feasible, because turrets have always been tied to stations. So, I couldn't put them anywhere that a station was not already present. This is being changed and worked around, and should be completed by the end of the week. I may not have border defenses in by the end of the week, but probably next week. This will change some game dynamics, but not tremendously so. I fully expect pirates and other baddies to be able to pass these defenses. As I've mentioned on the forums, I intend to use a layered approach with various different levels of lethality to make Nation space a bit "more safe" while also protecting newbies in core Capitol systems. However, I'm sticking to the "no absolutely safe place" philosophy that has underscored VO since the beginning, and this is just another aspect of that. As I mentioned on the various threads, border defenses are a critical step towards dropping all Friendly Fire restrictions.

Border Skirmish and Other Excitement

A redux of Border Skirmish will move hand-in-hand with some of the "universe redux" work mentioned above. Michael and Andy have been putting in some time on the back-end of Kourier, which powers the Hive-based gameplay, Border Skirmish and other areas, to improve our ability to debug problems when they arise. Michael has engineered a whole new logging system, hopefully appearing in production this week, which should make it a lot easier for us to track down problems that occur in this highly complex system. We're going to be drastically expanding Kourier's responsibilities to include dynamic warfare amongst minor factions, linking demand to supply to manufacturing in the economy (making station blockades relevant), etc. This is a lot of heavy stuff, so clearly we're going to need some powerful tools to debug the inevitable issues that arise.

Early Level Tweaks, etc

I'll probably be changing around some aspects of ship availability and other areas, in the near future, to try and streamline the new user experience.

Anyway, that's about it for now. I've been trying to make content and mission drops on a weekly basis, since we've had all this other invisible work happening behind the scenes; but now that I can actually move forward with some the universe-redux work and other areas, these might become a little less frequent. When my time gets occupied with bigger development, I have less time for content development. Hopefully our PCC people will also continue coming up with cool new missions and such, which I will also be doing from time to time.

To reiterate, I am shooting to have many of the above mentioned topics, visible within the game before the end of the month (some within the week, perhaps). So, you can expect some significant changes in the near future.

Take care, everyone.