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Happy Holidays from Vendetta Online!

As usual at this time of year, we're happy to welcome back previous premium subscribers between December 24th and January 1st, for a free period of subscription access (those who were last subscribed over 60 days ago). We've been doing this every year for many years, and it's always great to see who drops by to say "hi". Some of our veteran players have organized a whole bunch of different Game Events that will be happening over that period, including:

  • December 27th, 22:00:00 GMT - Nation War #427

  • December 27th, 17:00:00 GMT - Corporate Sector Run #8 (ship racing event)

Vendetta Online 1.9 progress, Virtual Reality, and more!

We experienced some unforeseeable delays in our plans over this summer, which put us a few months behind on our intended goals for the 1.9 release. But, despite this, things are moving forward in really exciting ways, including many of the important 1.9-related prerequisites that we mentioned back in June:

The DirectX 11 Renderer is now in Production. This means the new rendering system with dynamic lighting and shadows is now the default for all new Windows installations. It represents a serious jump in graphical fidelity, was a critical goal for Steam, and is just the beginning of our plans for new visuals. Check it out!

Oculus Rift in use

Revamped support for VR and the Oculus Rift. We were the first MMO to launch Oculus Rift support, back in 2013, and now our implementation has been thoroughly updated with the new DX11 engine and the latest public Oculus SDK (0.8). The experience of playing the game in VR is incredible, being able to simply look "up" while strafing upwards, or glance around in full immersion in the universe, is a whole other level of amazing. We intend to continue supporting VR, as much as we can, and we'll probably have more announcements about that in the new year.

Expanded benefits for Free-To-Play users on Mobile. Destroying different hive NPCs now gives different amounts of crystal, increasing with enemy difficulty, and we raised limit on total crystal earned per day from bot kills.

Improved Strike Forces, Station Defenses, NPC variants, etc. This is still in progress, as we've been adding in some new bot types, like a new "Power Seeker" included in strike forces, equipped with a powercell-draining weapon. We're also looking at adding some new Hive ships, with different behaviours and drops, possibly in large groups who attack en masse. For the moment, you'll want to step lightly in station sectors, as the new Strike Forces can be a bit more intense.

Prototype Supply-chain economy in Latos N-2. As mentioned in the last newsletter, this a major departure from the existing economy, but it's still very much in a prototype phase. It has been beneficial in enabling some more deeply player-driven economics, but it requires further work before it can be expanded to include all of grayspace.

EverSpace Kickstarter Followup

Thank you to everyone who helped make the EverSpace kickstarter a success! They're good friends of ours, and we're happy to see them taking off. We have a cool new exclusive ship livery for those of you who contributed, which we expect to go out to backers early in the new year. The whole "Livery" system (a custom ship-skin) is completely new in Vendetta Online, and we wanted to make sure it was solidly tested before pushing it out to a large number of people. We expect that to happen in the near future.

Recap of Recent Updates

We've made hundreds of changes since the last newsletter, but here are a few others we find interesting:

  • Major new 21-mission tree, from Phaserlight and other PCC contributers.
  • Trident owners may now remotely command to their capships when undocked, such as "follow", or "park".
  • Key lists are now sorted by ID, and new keys default to IFF and can-dock status.
  • Greatly improved D-pad navigation for all gamepads and platforms, with particular emphasis on Xbox, PS4, and Logitech F710 controllers in Windows.
  • New higher-fidelity "glow" effect is also significantly faster.
  • SSE2 is now required for the Windows version, enhancing speed for all supported processors.
  • Many CPU optimizations and changes to make the game run faster and more smoothly.
  • Physics engine is now multi-threaded by default, will utilize up to four cores.
  • Improved resilience of the update patching system, also new patch servers in Australia and Texas.
  • Greatly improved fog rendering on Android, enabled "fog blobs" for all devices with Android 5.x or newer.

Looking Ahead

Our plans for the first quarter of 2016 include pushing forward towards our 1.9 release, with further gameplay changes to bots, stations/sectors, and the release of new Trident variants. There also may be some interesting VR-related development and announcements, as well as work on the upcoming Steam launch and expanded support for iOS and the iPhone.

UIT Dau L10

A massive space battle in Deneb.

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