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Vendetta Online 1.8.361

VO 1.8.361 includes:

- Oculus Rift "Beta Test" VR support updated to the 0.8 SDK. As always, the presence of a Rift is auto-detected on runtime, and prompts for the option of starting the game in VR mode.
- New "VR Welcome" panel on startup, lists the currently known issues and workarounds.
- New "VR Options" added to Options area, when a VR headset is detected.
- VR game startup environment, for initial orientation and controller settings.
- Improved Windows gamepad support for Xbox One, 360, PS4 and Logitech F710.
- If you have a Rift, please consider posting feedback on the Windows forum of our site, vendetta-online.com!
- Temporarily disabled default anti-aliasing (in non-VR, 2D mode) for new installs with AMD GPUs, due to a crash with their most recent drivers. It will be re-enabled when the issue is resolved.

Our Oculus Rift VR headset support has been updated! We were widely reported as the first MMO to launch support for the Rift, back in July of 2013, and we're happy to now bring it up to the latest 0.8 SDK support, along with adding many new VR-specific features and improvements.

This is also concurrent with the launch of our recently-updated DirectX 11 rendering engine, adding a lot of new visual effects and image quality, with more yet to come.

This is still considered a Beta Test of our VR-headset implementation, and will undergo considerable change between now and when the Rift headset finally launches to retail in Q1 of 2016. For the moment, we'd appreciate feedback (on our Windows forum) from any early adopters of the Rift DK2 development device. We still consider our VR support to be "rough", it's lacking some of the more VR-specific interface solutions we intend to add, and the tutorials and mission system need improvement. But re-working our DX11 engine over the last year, getting the right performance and image quality has been the top priority. Once that is proven stable, it's easier for us to add in newer features (which may make a lot of non-VR players happy as well, since they've often requested "cockpit" interfaces and the like).

We've also spent some time improving PC integration of gamepad controllers, specifically targeting the Xbox One controller (Oculus's recommended default), as well as 360, PS4 and Logitech F710 controllers. Some aspects of controller integration are also still a bit rough, particularly navigation in the UI, but this will be improved. The benefits of this work go well beyond the Rift implementation, to help all gamepad users, across PC, mobile, AndroidTV, Steam "big picture" mode, etc.

Bringing the Rift implementation up to date has always been a goal of the 1.9 release, and a key part of our Steam plans, and we're happy to get this out the door. We made a lot of generalized improvements to game performance to help this development, which are also to the benefit of all players (VR or otherwise, including mobile).

Related to all of these changes, we recently updated the game's Official System Requirements. Please pay particular attention to the new VR requirements: if you want to do VR in the game, you will need very strong, recent desktop system with a big discrete gaming card. Oculus themselves specifies a Core i5-4590 CPU (or AMD equiv) with an NVIDIA GTX 970 or AMD R9 290 as the bare minimum. We'd suggest going further than that, if you can. You aren't going to want to do VR at the "minimum" settings. Laptops are not currently recommended for the Rift (not yet, anyway).

Players have periodically asked us if they should buy a one of the Oculus development kits, and we've generally said "no, wait for the finished product". Well, we've used the pre-release Consumer devices, and we think the experience is great. If you're an avid VO pilot, you will find an incredible level of immersion with VR. It can be pretty intense, you may want to try out VR in general before buying, to make sure it's compatible with your particular inner ear sensibilities (some people get motion sick).

To players looking at other types of VR headsets and the like, we are considering broader support down the road (SteamVR in particular). "VR" development is mostly a user experience and performance issue: once one integrates one type of headset, others should be pretty simple to add.

Lastly, to any wondering about upcoming gameplay changes and improvements, yes those are coming soon as well. We have a whole laundry list to get through before 1.9 drops, but it has been important to get the Rift update "out there" for testing sooner, so that can now be happening in parallel, while we switch back to other development. That's why the timing was prioritized.

Thanks everyone, hope you all had a great weekend and holiday!

- Guild Software, Inc.