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Vendetta Online 1.8.206

VO 1.8.206 includes:

- Added new 3rd-person flight camera modes for all platforms. It is the default for new Android installs and can be changed in Options->Game->Flight Camera Mode Turn off mouse-look when using them on PC platforms.
- Added Auto-Fire mode for Android version when in Touch-screen mode for a better new-player experience. Auto-Fire is default to on and can be toggled in Options->Game->Auto Fire and is an optional setting for the 'Activate' HUD touch button. Auto-Fire only fires when the selected target is an enemy ship outside the No-Fire-Zone and is close enough to be hit. Only the Primary Group is hooked up to Auto-Fire.
- Flight-Assist mode now has the ability to fly backwards. When the desired speed is zero, pressing decelerate further will cause the ship to fly backwards.
- Android HUD touch regions no longer release when dragging out of them. This mainly affects the Look Direction touch region in the lower right of the HUD.
- Escort, Border Skirmish and Hive Skirmish missions are now aware of partial damage and will credit players for "assists."
- Border Skirmish mission descriptions now include an indication that there are players in the opposing mission.
- Fixed Trade Guild missions to count ore given to the mission as being sold to the station for Mining Badge credit.
- Fixed a broken docking bay in the Training Sector.

A Few Comments:

The addition of "reverse" to Flight Assist has been requested for a very long time, and we're happy to finally add it for all those who favor this control method.

Third-person flight might not seem that useful to experienced people on the PC, and aside from the control of capships, first-person remains the best option (especially for combat). However, for new users on phones and tablets, the display of the ship helps bring across a certain rapid understanding of distances and helps make the overall experience a little more intuitive. Playing VO on a touchscreen is no picnic to begin with, so these improvements are pretty meaningful. It is notable that there are actually two different 3rd-person control models available, which can be selected from the Game area of the Options menu.

The addition of auto-fire may cause controversy in some circles. Generally we aren't big on automating the control of weapons or flight. VO is a very skill-driven game, and we prefer to stay pretty close to the recipe. For touchscreens, however, some improvement needed to be found, to let people play with only two inputs (fingers/thumbs). Auto-fire allows one to aim with one hand, strafe/accel/decel with the other, while leaving the firing up to the client when the ship is properly pointed to the target's leadoff reticle. The improvement in combat usability on a tablet is pretty dramatic. One can actually do some low-level botting of collectors and the like. Touchscreen devices will still be hilariously crushed in PvP interactions, this is no real "advantage"; and in any case, I don't think serious PC pilots would use the feature anyway (auto-fire overuses energy by firing constantly at the maximum rate, and is generally wasteful and inflexible). But as far as basic PvE, the ability to take on some bots with a touchscreen and actually succeed, it is a night and day difference.

The Escort and Skirmish missions properly recording "Assists" is a big improvement in the fairness of allocating XP and the like. Plus, it is also another step towards having a lot of cool stats on the website, showing off the Skirmish skills of pilots.

Border Skirmish missions now indicating when people are playing them will hopefully make it a bit easier to locate other player-pilots within the Skirmish framework.

Thanks all, please report any issues you find on the Bugs forum (or the Android forum for Android-specific stuff).