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Capships, weapon types and other development.

As I mentioned last week, we're working on a number of new gameplay features, including some new ship and graphic assets, as well as the ability to configure ships to "look" a bit more unique and different. I'll dig into that in a moment.

The improvements to the Shared Radar Extender (internally referred to as the "AWACS" system) have since been released on Friday. There have been some bugs that have cropped up with the radar since the release, most of which have been fixed by now, and we're aiming to have things entirely resolved as of the release this coming Friday. Unfortunately, the time spent on Radar bugfixes has delayed persistent-mine development (described in the last post) by about a week.

New Capships. As I covered last week, we're actively building some new variations of the Tridents, to allow our players to put a more unique "stamp" on these creations. Capships are one of the most complex and arduous achievements in Vendetta Online, so allowing people plenty of variation is a worthy goal. Here's a brief look at the upcoming Trident Type S (prototype, final version may have further variations in coloration, etc):

Expanding the role and value of Capships. It really isn't enough to make more visually distinct capships, or even variations in ship statistics, they sorely need the addition of certain features to make them more usable within the game universe. We are currently working in this direction, although I can't promise how quickly some of this will be released. Among other things:

- Adding the ability of a pilot to launch from and re-dock with their own capship. This will allow captains a lot more flexibility, to launch and mine from an asteroid, or trade with a smaller station. It will also allow people to share control of capships far more easily and rapidly, making further use of the existing Key system we use for conquerable stations.

- Adding more Capship Stations to the Universe. This is also a clear necessity, to allow people to be able to operate from different locations in the galaxy; trading, repairing, and securely storing their vessels. In this initial rollout, these stations will probably not be as large as the current capship station, but will rather be new components that will be added to, or nearby, existing Capitols and major trade hubs. Only a minority of stations will support direct docking of capital ships, and this is intentional. Smaller stations will require undocking and ferrying of cargo, etc.

There are other elements that I'm not going to delve into describing just yet, like the potential "capturing" of capital ships, or their increased persistency in the universe (not simply vanishing on the captain's logoff). There's a great deal that will feed into that, which is well beyond the scope of this modest new update.

As I said, while this is in the works, the development timetable is still fluid. The first feature (pilots launching from capships) will probably debut first, before the end of the year. The expansion of capship-stations in the galaxy requires assets we haven't even made yet, so that will take longer; I'm not going to put a timetable on that, as of yet.

Another New Weapon Class. Last week I described how we were in the process of adding the ability to separate weapon damage into varying "types", so we can make ships more resistant to "energy" class weapons, vs "explosions", vs "collision" damage and the like. This has been implemented, but not yet rolled out in any gameplay-accessible form as of yet.

Beyond this, however, we've also created a totally new type of weapon that is capable of draining energy from an impacted target. In other words, shooting a ship will deplete their power cell, preventing them from turboing, jumping through a wormhole, or even firing back. This should have a lot of interesting ramifications, to border control, piracy, station and territory conquest, and beyond. You can expect the first of these weapons to debut in the near future.

That's all for now, please keep us posted as any issues arise (Bugs Forum, or website Support Tickets).