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Special Holiday Play

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 Game Events that will be happening over that period, including:

  • December 30th, 23:00:00 GMT - Behemoth Race
Teradon vs 500 Collector Drones

Hordes of Drones

We've made some major strides in server performance over the last few months, resulting in upwards of a 10x improvement in some situations. To help demonstrate and test this, we rolled a little test sector in Latos F-12, where 300 Collector drones will aggressively pursue any players through a large debris field.

Our ultimate goal here is to be able to drastically push our historical limits in the scale of battles and gameplay content, possibly up to thousands of concurrent NPCs in a single sector.

This could be useful for a lot of new content, including things like complex NPC "traffic" around giant city-stations, or making space battles even more epic, or creating complex Hive targets that require careful usage of stealth tactics (due to the number of enemies). On a more general level, there's a sense of immersion and "scale" that comes with large numbers of ships, both friendly and adversarial.

This kind of content has not been rolled out universe-wide yet, there's still more work being done, but we do expect a lot of visible changes in 2019.

Gameplay Tweaks and Bug Fixes

Our next-generation development has been occupying most of our time, but we've made a strong effort to also push updates and bug-fixes whenever we can, to remind people that we are listening "right now". We made one such release fairly recently, including a major new weapon (the Corvus Ultra Positron Blaster), as well as some substantial balance tweaks and bug fixes.

We intend to continue pushing these patches, whenever we can, and continue fixing and enhancing existing content, like Deneb Warfare and the next-gen Dynamic Economy (Latos N2). We're actively engaging with threads on our Suggestions Forum, so be sure to contribute there if you have productive feedback.

What's coming Next?

2018 has been an intensely productive development year for us, but unfortunately, much of the work we've been doing is not yet really "visible" to our players. This is sometimes a necessity of development, you have to re-work a foundation before you can make sure the building will stand on it, and that's exactly what we've done.

Here are a few things we expect to be near-term priorities in earlier 2019 (this list is not exactly "in order", because some things will happen concurrently, while others may depend on outcomes that are still uncertain):

  • Improving the tenor and content of public in-game chat; there will probably be a Suggestions "Request For Comments" post on this, in due course.
  • Vulkan renderer raised to Production Grade. This is a big deal, as it impacts how much we'll be able to change in-game content for the Universe Redux.
  • Next-gen shader and renderer updates. Once we have the scalable mechanics of the renderer in place (above), we'll begin using it to try doing more intensive visuals that directly serve and inform the Universe Redux. While I may be describing this as "visual", it really bleeds into Gameplay, because of the impact on the quantity of and nature of the content within a single sector of the game.
  • Experimentation with NPCs, in difficulty, loadouts, and (once tested) possibly drops that will factor into long-awaited gameplay additions.

That's as much as I'll comment on for now, although we're also still working on a system to keep people more automatically and directly "informed" about our development direction. This will still not be structured as a hard "schedule", around specific set dates, but rather as a set of generalized priority goals (which may unavoidably change if it's deemed necessary).

In General, we're really excited about 2019. In the last Newsletter, we hinted at a major release we have planned for the coming year. Players have been waiting for big changes in Vendetta Online for a long time; at this point, I hope they're prepared for the reality of that actually happening.

Have a Happy Holiday and New Year!

Download the Game

You can install the game client for Android, iPhone and iPad, Samsung GearVR and Oculus Go, Google Daydream VR, as well as find the game on the Mac Store. Or, you can directly download the game installation for Windows, Mac, and Linux.

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