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Vendetta Online 1.8.479

VO 1.8.479 includes:
- Launching from a personal capital ship will no longer cause homing missiles targeted on that capital ship to "lose" their lock, and the missiles will continue targeting your capital ship.
- The firing field-of-view of the Capital Rail Cannon has been reduced from 180 to 160 degrees. This may help mitigate its value as a forward-facing "assault" weapon. The FoV of all other capital ship turret weapons have not been changed.
- The Centurion Superlight may now be purchased (if it is in-stock) in Latos N2, by pilots who have completed the Hive Research mission with Corvus. Prices for the Superlight may fluctuate considerably.
- Deneb battles are now off-limits to players who have not joined either the Itani or Serco Militaries, and who are not taking the Mission related to the specific battle sector. Un-aligned "neutral" vessels will be attacked, including un-piloted capital ships.
- New Weapon: the Corvus Ultra Positron Blaster, a small-port, 18-grid, de-tuned variant of the MegaPosi. It is available in Corvus stations to tri-KoS pilots at 8/8, who have passed the "Hive Research" mission.
- The performance of server-side Physics interactions, in large capital ship battles, has been improved significantly.

We've been trying to ship this release for almost two weeks, so we're happy this is finally out. I'm sure it will have some controversy, so let me touch on a few points..

The change to the Caprail FoV has been in process since September. I was concerned when we made the turret FoVs 180 degrees, that the caprail specifically would be overpowered, and that I had no real way to balance its value as a "single turret" against its new value as an "unified assault weapon". The FoV change was the simplest additional mechanic, but it actually took quite awhile to implement, because the FoVs of turrets were deeply hard-coded.

This change was not made because of any specific player, or usage, as I said it's been in-process for quite awhile. But it should be understood that Capital Ships are not yet in a place where they are configurable enough, from the developer side, to be rolled out as assault-craft. Basically, they can't be "balanced" very well yet. It's very easy to make such an "assault" level capital ship quite over-powered, which means they need to be mitigated with concepts like finite ammo, tradeoffs with energy versus shield strength (or choosing temporary shield shutdown) and other factors to make them intriguing, yet properly-integrated into the game. Capships should (sometimes) be awesome and fearsome sources of high-grade firepower, but also vulnerable to a greater variety of Torpedo class weapons, and with their own set of challenges and factors to mitigate their capabilities.

We have plans for all of this, and letting people use "turrets" as offensively-aligned weapons was just a quick tweak to see how it would work, and what the ramifications of fully-automated turrets might be. It's been interesting and helpful for this. But, there are very few aspects of Vendetta Online that are not subject to on-going tweaking and adjustment, based on testing.

Some people submitted tickets about the turret FoV change, which changed back on November 30th, as "bugs". Those tickets went un-answered because, frankly, we kept thinking the release was going to ship every day, which would clarify the issue, and it kept not-shipping. Sorry about that.

The changes to Deneb will hopefully improve the battles. If spectating is desired, we might add a "spectator" mode that one could take as missions from one of the nearby Stations. We'll likely be introducing other balance changes to Deneb, in general, and also greater ramifications to the side who wins or loses. But in the meantime, this mitigation was a starting point.

We intend to keep expanding the value and usage of the Latos N2 prototype economy, and fixing things related to that. Much like the Capital Ships, it actually needs more developer-side tune-ables before it can go fully prime-time. We are working on that. In the meantime, things like the Superlight are an interesting test-case, and we're open to hearing more about other challenges and enhancements of the system, via the Suggestions Forum.

The improvements to server-side Physics are quite significant, and will hopefully allow us to continue to expand the scale and scope of the game, and should have a long-term beneficial impact on both player and NPC capital ships.

That's all for now, Happy Holidays everyone.