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Vendetta Online 1.8.172-4 and Capship Updates

VO 1.8.174
- Added Secondary Fire option for Android Tablets, as a selectable option for the Mission/Nav button on the right-side of the tablet UI (hold down until all options appear, then select Fire 2).

VO 1.8.173
- Rescaled the capship station (it is now very.. very large).

VO 1.8.172
- The Android tutorial no longer asks if you want to play the demo or tutorial.
- The demo is now run directly from the Android updater instead of through the tutorial.
- You are asked if you want to play the tutorial after the initial Android update (after the initial download) instead of after the initial download.
- The game should now be visible to more Android tablet devices on the Android Market, including the Dell Steak 7 and others.

An Update on User-Constructed Capships

User-constructed capships have been delayed until next week (again). What follows here is some background information as to why.

We've been promising some minimal form of user-owned capships (Trident Light Frigates) for some time now. The original intention was to release in January, which was then delayed (Android, Xoom release, OEM issues, trade shows, and so on). There is actually not a lot standing in the way of this release, but one change needed for functionality will result in altering the current plugin API, causing existing plugins to potentially cease functioning due to incompatibility. (Plugins, for those new users, are player-made programs utilizing an open Lua-based API for constructing new game functionality. There is more information here, some plugins are quite popular and complex).

Whenever we make a change that breaks the plugin API, we immediately get a bunch of "reports" from users about how the game is broken, when actually it is the user-created plugin that needs updating. This is essentially our own fault for not making the entire plugin apparatus a bit more robustly designed to support API changes and upgrades and the like. But, like many things, the plugin system was built to have something "working", with the idea of making it more elegant later, along with telling people that plugins were "user-beware". Having them give the appearance of our game being unstable, however, is not ideal.

Next week we will drop into place a new API that will automatically disable any plugin on startup that does not match the current API-version, as well as informing the user that the plugin has been disabled and requires an upgrade.

We're going to put this into place before we drop in the API change for capship control, in order to hopefully create a less confusing and game-breaking scenario for all our new users with plugins.

Aside from this, there are some new capship-related missions and objects need to be added to the production game, the current capship-station will probably be moved to a slightly more clandestine location, and a few optimized collision hulls added to improve server-side utilization where the new station components are concerned. We expect this all to be ready next Friday.

With a little luck, we'll also drop in some long-planned (and requested) improvements to Groups, Guilds and other areas. However, the release of player-owned Tridents is the main focus for the coming week, barring some other sort of Android-OEM-based panic (like the one that has been unexpectedly occupying us for the last few weeks).

Obviously this playable capship solution is well past due, and we appreciate your ongoing patience.