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Vendetta Online 1.8.283

VO 1.8.283 includes:

- Group owner's mines will no longer detonate on other group members if the mines were layed before the group was created.
- Mines will no longer detonate on a group member if the member joined the group while in the proximity of the mine.
- Fixed Voice Chat cross-talk.

A few fixes here, but much greater and more important development is currently in the works.

We've long planned to roll out a "universe redux", a far denser and larger assortment of asteroids within individual sectors, along with an expansion and potential explorability of the greater galaxy.

Our universe and game engine have always had this in mind, going back many years. But now with far higher densities of objects, we need to engineer some clever optimizations to allow us to still generate wholly "new" parts of a galaxy, without necessary needing to do a "patch" (ie, wholly new content that is dynamically added, while connected to the live game). This set of optimizations lately boils down to a couple of things, a way to effectively transmit complex arrays of data to the client very quickly over a network, and methods of optimizing our rendering of very large and complex environments over extreme view distances.

Right now, we're working on the first of the two, developing "smart objects" that contain programmatic information about how they're utilized, allowing a single object to expand into massive asteroid ring, or any other feature, once it has been interpreted by the client. This gives us a lot of flexibility for re-using assets in interesting new ways. Plus, the actual data sent across the network is far less, resulting in much improved load times.

From our testing over the past week, we found in the best-case scenario (connected to the test-server on local gigabit ethernet) that load times of a complex sector were cut to 1/10th of what they are when loading the sector content the "traditional" way. These improvements would be even better when used over the actual internet.

Beyond these next-generation changes, we're also doing capacity testing, to improve the responsiveness of the game under large battle scenarios. This should allow us to track down and squash any remaining bugs in larger multi-player environments, while also helping us scale up our battle situations and allow the ever-more gigantic battles that we envision for the future.

Plans are still in the works for rolling out new Trident variants, along with some cool new artwork and content drops that I'll be talking more about in the near future.