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Vendetta Online 1.8.484-485

VO 1.8.485 (yesterday) includes:

- No-Fire-Zone TempKoS is now applied to players who self-destruct and damage others.
- Added options to enable dynamic lights and shadows for OpenGL ES 3, currently disabled by default.
- Improved performance in Daydream VR using a hybrid monoscopic rendering technique.

VO 1.8.484 (last week) included:
- The Windows version uses a new multi-threaded rendering back-end that scales better with more CPU cores. This is a really major and significant release, from our perspective, although our hope is that you "won't notice anything is different", as that's the best possible outcome. This is a big step towards next-generation content, however.
- Improved anisotropic filtering in the DX11 driver, which now defaults to 8x (note, there is apparently a bug where this isn't properly defaulting to "on" with existing installs, we're still investigating).
- Updated Windows Vulkan driver.
- Removed DirectX 8.1 support.
- Background detail settings have changed to include a quality setting and a resolution setting, "resolution" is not used if quality is "high".
- Audio limiter on the Windows version no longer affects music, only sound effects.

It should also be noted that we've made some other substantial changes to the Android version, and pushed out new "full install" APKs to the Play Store, for both the "HD" and "Free" versions. This includes a major re-work of the Android "permission" system that allows the game to be as minimally invasive on permissions as possible, requesting only when something is only absolutely required. So, for instance, you will be asked for Microphone permissions when you actually enable Voice Chat, but as it is disabled by default, you won't be asked on installation or startup.

Similarly, we've been doing some background work to elevate the performance of the Android version, with the ES3 and threaded renderers, and make it more of an "equal ground" build, compared to the PC versions. This includes many of the higher-end shaders, like dynamic lighting and shadows, which are now available on Android, but disabled by default. Android device performance is drastically increasing, and we may start to enable some of these graphical enhancements by default on hardware that can handle it.

The flip-side, is that we're also trying to make sure the Android version is fast enough to handle some of the next-generation "Universe Redux" content that's our overall end-game in much of this technology work. Making major, fundamental engine and shader changes on Android is kind of an arduous process, because it's such a fragile and fragmented ecosystem. Thus, we have to ship a lot of small changes, every week, and "see what breaks" (usually on some specific, buggy hardware) and then try and fix that. We cannot ship a single "big" release, as that makes the number of variables too great, and the bugs become harder to track down.

The reason why I explain this, is to point out that while we're publicly releasing for Android a lot lately, that actually has not been the primary focus of our development time, and that will start to hopefully become evident before long.

Thanks for your patience, please keep the Bug reports and Suggestions coming, we are actively reading them, even if we're too busy to be very directly communicative lately.

Have a great weekend, everyone!