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Do you want to improve the world? I don't think it can be done. -Lao Tzu
OP 12/01/13 10:53:40 AM#1
Cross-posted from here.
This is my own take on the game, and hence inhibited by my own limited understanding of the game. Vendetta Online has many systems, and it would be a monumental task to explore them all in detail. Some areas of the game may be emphasized due to my own play experiences, others may be de-emphasized. Approach this guide as a player of 10 years sitting down to chat for a couple hours with a new player just beginning her journey.
-THE CREDIT, AND WAYS TO EARN IT-
-FACTIONS AND FACTION STANDING-
Capture the Cargo
-PLAYER RUN EVENTS-
-PLACES OF INTEREST-
Aeron's Ice Field
Capital Shipyards Station
Vendetta Online has been released for over 11 years, and continuously upgraded. Consequently, it is a game that holds a lot of depth, and many different directions in which you can take your character. The purpose of this guide is to outline what you may encounter in your first couple days / weeks / months playing, and different possibilities to pursue along the way.
Here are a few basic things to get started:
When you begin, you will be in a training sector. This sector is unique in that it is guarded by powerful beams that will instantly kill anyone that tries to return to this sector once s/he has left. Hence, it is perfectly safe. You will be able to read chat from other players in other parts of the galaxy, and communicate with other players playing the game.
Vendetta Online comes with a 8-hour trial. This trial begins when you leave the training sector after passing the mission "Training III", and only counts down when you are logged in. Therefore, you can play for an hour one day, log in a week later, and still have 7 hours left on your trial. During this time you may want to ask for a 2-week friend key. If another player gives you a 2-week friend key, you may use this to extend your trial for unlimited play during a 2-week period. Only one friend key can be applied to any account. After this, subscriptions are either $1 per month "Lite" or $10 per month Premium (with discounts up to 33% for purchasing time in advance). Lite subscriptions are exactly like Premium subscriptions, except that all your characters will be capped at License 3 in all categories, and will not be able to take part in guild leadership (your characters will still be able to join guilds, just not create one, become an officer, or join the council).
Vendetta Online is a twitch-based game, meaning that you are in direct control of your ship. Your ship has 6 degrees of freedom: it can yaw, pitch, roll, and thrust along 3 axes. Spend time getting comfortable controlling your ship before leaving the Training sector: staying alive often means being able to dodge enemy fire, which requires good situational awareness and steady nerves. Your ship comes equipped with 2 radars: the left circle represents 180 degrees in front of your ship, and the right circle represents 180 degrees behind. Objects which are closer to your ship appear more solid on radar. Radar range for most objects is 5 km. Station docking ports appear as a solid 'S' on radar, regardless of range.
-THE CREDIT, AND WAYS TO EARN IT-
The credit is Vendetta Online's basic unit of currency. Credits are important, because they allow one to replenish one's supply of ships, repair, re-arm, purchase commodities, and pay other players. At first, it may seem as though credits are easy to come by; however, you will need them later. Some items in Vendetta (such as Samoflange) are traded between players at rates around 10 million credits per unit. Rare ores are often sold in bulk to other players at rates around 5,000 credits per unit. Pirates are common in areas of lawless territory (greyspace) and sometimes will charge 100,000 credits for safe passage. Members of guilds will often host events, and offer 10 million credits for winning the event. Therefore, it is important to build up a supply of credits, not just for purchasing equipment, but for trading with other players, hosting events, waging wars, etc.
Three common ways of earning credits are mining, trading, and missions.
Mining requires 2 basic pieces of equipment: the mining beam and the mineral scanner. You do not have to have a ship that can equip both of these at once, but it certainly helps (the Revenant is a multi-port ship you get access to early on after attaining Trade License 1). If you have a mineral scanner equipped on a ship, any asteroid that you target will display its mineral content in %s if you are within range. The most common mineral scanner has a range of 500 meters. These mineral %s will be what you extract from any given asteroid with a basic mining beam. The types of mineral ores in Vendetta are:
All of these ores can be found in asteroids. Some are much rarer than others. All ore types can be sold at stations for profit, or used in manufacturing for different purposes (depending on the ore type). To mine ore from an asteroid, you must fly close to an asteroid with a mining beam equipped. Once you are within range (usually 100 meters), press the "fire" key for whatever weapon group you have the mining beam bound to, and you will begin extracting ore. The longer you mine a single asteroid, the hotter the asteroid will become. This will gradually slow down the rate at which you mine ore; therefore, it is important to move from asteroid to asteroid as you mine. Don't get stuck in one spot for too long, or you may drastically reduce the usefulness of a given resource area. Asteroids will eventually cool down; the rate at which the asteroid cools depends on its mass, and material.
Vendetta Online has a dynamic market, which responds to players' activities. This means that the more you sell to a given area, the more the demand for items you are selling to that area will be affected. Commodities may be purchased from any station you are docked with under the "Commodities" tab. Once these are loaded onto your ship, you may go to your "Inventory" and click "Cargo" to see the best prices being offered for what you are carrying in your cargo hold in the current system you are in. If you purchase a single unit of a variety of different commodities, you can see what the best rates of profit are for a selection of commodities in a given system. Bear in mind that these rates will change depending on what you sell, and depending on what other players are doing.
Once you pick a good commodity, you can begin trading it within that system for profit by flying your cargo to whichever station offers the best price, and selling. After several runs, what you have been trading may no longer be the most profitable route, so it's important to branch out into a variety of commodities. You may try trading commodities between systems, but this can be dangerous as you will have to pass through wormhole sectors. Trading commodities in the capitol system is generally pretty safe (but not as profitable!).
It's important to note that different commodity widgets will occupy different amounts of volume (cu) in your cargo hold. Therefore, even if you see a widget that takes up 5 cu that you can earn 800 credits profit on, this would be less profitable than trading a widget that takes up 1 cu that you can earn 400 credits profit on.
Different commodities have different rebound rates; it may be easy to tank the market for a particular commodity, and that commodity may rebound fairly quickly. Another commodity may bear a great deal of trade, but be slow to recover in price.
Missions usually offer a credit reward for successful completion. After passing the Basic Flight Status Test, you will see a variety of missions. The Courier missions offer a nice credit package to get started, and the first Courier mission will give you a License boost as well. Missions usually will give you some idea of what the rewards will be before you get started, and some missions will give you additional rewards along the way for bonus objectives. There is often more than one way to complete a given mission, and missions are not always clear in how you must go about solving your objective. If you are unsure about something in a particular mission, ask around!
There are currently five license categories in Vendetta Online (displayed as 1/1/0/2/1, e.g.). The license categories are:
It's possible to earn experience toward each of these licenses individually through freelance gameplay, or by taking missions. Missions in Vendetta Online generally do not grant exceptional experience bonuses compared to freelance gameplay, except in a few cases (which will be outlined below). It is possible to advance in each and every license category in Vendetta Online without ever taking a mission. How to do so is as follows:
Combat - Kill a player of a higher license level than you
Light Weapons - Kill a Hive ship using a small-port weapon, or assist in a Hive kill with a small-port weapon
Heavy Weapons - Kill a Hive ship using a large-port weapon, or assist in a Hive kill with a large-port weapon
Trade - Trade commodities for profit from one station to the next
Mining - Mine ore from asteroids
Missions also sometimes give additional experience in each of these categories, depending on the magnitude of the mission (some are easy, some are difficult, some take a long time, some are over quickly). As you gain experience in each of these categories, your license will improve as follows:
(Gap between licenses)
1,000 XP - License 1
2,500 XP - License 2
5,000 XP - License 3
On a Lite sub, your Licenses will be capped at License 3 in each category; on a Premium sub, there is no upper limit to the licenses you can attain. License 3 allows you to pursue a wide variety of activities, and is a viable long-term plan to play the game. Because the game is Twitch-based, success in combat is less about the equipment one uses and more about the player's actual skill which develops with practice regardless of one's licenses.
-FACTIONS AND FACTION STANDING-
There are 13 factions in Vendetta Online, including 3 playable nations. The factions are:
These factions are further divided into station types. The types of stations in Vendetta Online are:
Some factions may have all different types of stations, others may have only a few. Different equipment is available for purchase at different station types of different factions, although some equipment (such as the EC-89 and Free Power Cell) is available across the board. Generally, the more specialized a piece of equipment is, the more specific the kind of station you will find it at (e.g. The High-Velocity Gatling Cannon variant is only found at the Corvus Capitol). Your standing in each faction ranges from -1000 (Kill On Sight) to +1000 (Pillar of Society). You begin with Admired standing in your own nation; this is important, because anyone who kills you in a part of space that is either monitored or guarded by a faction with which you are Admired will receive a large faction penalty, and may be persistently hunted by that faction's Strike Force.
If you damage another player who is Admired by the faction controlling the space you are in (in either monitored or guarded areas), you will see a yellow warning appear on your screen. If you kill that player, s/he will be presented with an option to "Forgive Kill" or not. If the victim declines, you will receive a large faction penalty. This works both ways; if you are killed by another player in monitored or guarded space and you are Admired, you will have the option to Forgive her or not. If your standing is Respected, Neutral, or Disliked in whatever space you happen to be in, you will not have much protection. If you damage another player in the No Fire Zone that surrounds every station, even a scratch, you will be hunted by that faction's Strike Force for 15 minutes. You can check your faction standings by going to "Your PDA", selecting the "Character" tab, and then the "Faction Standings" sub-tab.
It becomes harder to gain faction the closer you get to +1000 (Pillar of Society) in any faction. As your faction improves, that faction may offer you better prices, guard you more fiercely, offer you different missions, and give you access to special equipment. Some factions have mutually exclusive standing with each other (e.g. the Itani and Serco nations, which are at war, and Valent and Axia, which are involved in corporate warfare). One of the best ways to gain standing is by running bulk procurement missions, which can be found as an option under the ubiquitous Trade Guild mission at every faction. Other missions will also give you faction boosts (or penalties) at key points.
If your standing drops too low with a particular faction (-600, "Hate"), you may be shot on sight by that faction.
There are several dynamic objectives to pursue in the game. Some of these require Combat License 3.
When you reach Combat License 3, you will be presented with a mission option titled “Military Signup”. If you take this mission, you will join the military for your home nation if you are Itani or Serco. If you are UIT, you will have the option to join either side. Once you make this choice, it is final.
After joining the military, you will be able to take Border Skirmish missions. These involve battles taking place in the Deneb star system, including capital ships. Your name will appear on the main website if you take part in these battles, under the Deneb Stats tab, including Wins, Kills, Player Kills, Casualties Inflicted, Assists, PK Assists, and Casualty Assists. Your stats will be recorded for each battle, and include lifetime totals. However, your performance in any given battle will not appear on the main website until that battle is finished.
In a Border Skirmish, the number of casualties remaining for each side is displayed on the left hand side of the screen. If either side's counter reaches zero, that side loses the battle, and the sector the battle took place in is claimed for the winning side. Every day, whichever side owns more sectors in the Deneb War will send out a War Convoy to blockade the losing side from entering greyspace.
In a Border Skirmish, Heavy Assault Cruisers are worth more than Constellations, which are worth more than Teradons, which are worth more than Tridents, which are worth more than fighters.
Any pilots embarking on a Border Skirmish mission will be automatically grouped together on their respective sides, and will be able to voice chat with each other (provided they are using microphones).
Three dynamic Hives exist in game, which expand to take over territory rich in valuable minerals. Hive Skirmish missions become available at Combat License 3, which allow pilots to gain experience by taking part in battles versus these dynamic Hives. Battles which takes place in ion storms grant quadruple (4x) experience.
Hive Skirmishes range in size, from small engagements between fighters belonging to the faction giving the mission and Hive Assaults, Guardians, and Collectors, and huge battles involving capital ships versus Hive Queens and the central physical manifestation of the Hive, the Leviathan.
Any pilots embarking on a Hive Skirmish mission will be automatically grouped together, and will be able to voice chat with one another (provided they are using microphones).
Dynamic Hives sometimes drop extremely valuable loot, which can be picked up by players to be sold or traded to other players or used in manufacturing. Some of these items include:
Synthetic Silksteel (all Hive ships)
Processor Cores (Collectors, Guardians, and Queens)
Neural Nodules (dynamic Hive only; Seipos, Prosus, and Milanar variants)
Observer Optics (dynamic Hive only; Seipos, Prosus, and Milanar variants)
Defense Matrix (Queens)
Data Aggregator (Leviathan)
Avalon Torpedo Launcher (Arklan Guardian)
Hive Fast Charge Powercell (Assaults and Guardians)
Some of these items are relatively common, such as Synthetic Silksteel, and some are extremely rare, such as the Data Aggregator or Samoflange.
Three Conquerable Stations exist in Greyspace. When you have passed the appropriate mission, you will be given their locations (you can also ask in general chat, or look on the wiki). You must have an Access Key to dock at these stations. If you do not have an Access Key and approach a Conquerable Station, the station's defense turrets will begin firing on you. To check whether or not you have any Access Keys, you can go to “Your PDA”, check the “Inventory” tab, and the “Keychain” sub-tab.
To defeat a Conquerable Station, you must ensure that all 8 turrets are destroyed, and then dock with the station. This is extremely difficult to accomplish solo, and almost always requires teamwork with a group of players.
Many different items can be manufactured in the Vendetta Online universe. Some of the most common items are weapons, such as the Corvus Widowmaker, Firecracker Turret, and Concussion Railgun. Other more valuable items include capital ship and station components, such as Fluid Formable Silksteel Alloy and Fused Composite Plating. More information on manufacturing can be found on the wiki.
Most manufactured items require Conquerable Station access in order to create.
There are six racetracks in Vendetta Online:
When you approach a racetrack, you will see the top five times displayed for the current month. At the end of every month, any player holding the top time on any track is awarded a badge (no current in-game benefit) and is featured for all time on the main website under the Race Stats tab.
Centurion-class ships are generally the best racing ships, and it is very important to keep the mass low when purchasing a racing setup. Three very good Centurion variants for racing include the Centurion Superlight (obtained through a special mission at Corvus available at Combat License 4), the Orion Centurion Rev-C, and the Itani Border Guard Centurion.
When racing, it is possible to “drift” around curves by oversteering; on a straightaway, coming up to a turn after releasing turbo, aim around the next bend (rather than down the center of the track) and re-engage turbo. Your ship's vector will eventually correct itself to your heading, but not immediately. With practice, you will be able to effortlessly glide around curves and into the next straightaway, which will greatly improve your race times.
Colliding with tube walls at high speed can damage or even instantly destroy your ship, so be careful! Run each track until you have it memorized: sometimes you will need to repeat a track several times before your time improves, even by a few milliseconds. Racing is a twitch-intensive activity, and a lot is up to the individual pilot. A good racer in a Rev-C should be able to easily defeat a mediocre racer in a Superlight.
***Capture the Cargo***
Automated Convoys depart hourly from greyspace, bound for their respective national territories. The progress of these Convoys can be monitored on channel 202 and channel 201 (to join a channel, just type /join ###, substituting channel number for ###, into chat).
Automated Convoys are guarded by nationally-aligned Hive ships, and carry a valuable good called Purified Xithricite Ore, which cannot be found elsewhere in the game. Destroying the Transports will reveal the PXO, which appears as a white cargo crate. Picking up PXO will prevent you from docking at any station except for those that accept this ore (one on the Itani side, one on the Serco side). You will be amply rewarded for delivering this ore to your own nation (UIT can help either side), and your name will appear on the main website under the Cargo Captures tab.
At the end of every week, whichever side has accumulated more deliveries of PXO will be granted access to a special weapon. The losing side is able to keep 20% of the ore delivered as a surplus.
-PLAYER RUN EVENTS-
Player run events are commonly held in the galaxy of Vendetta Online. Player run events are a great way to meet people, become acquainted and get involved in guilds, earn credits, and participate in regularized Player versus Player activities.
Upcoming player run events usually appear on the front page of the main website under “Coming Events”, and in-game when logging in.
The Player Contribution Corps is a group of players dedicated to improving the game by designing and creating content, testing content before it becomes widely available, and improving the game's User Interface.
Vendetta Online's PCC has access to a web-based Mission Editor which is versatile and highly powerful. This allows player-designed missions to be submitted to a publicly-accessible Test Server, where they can be tested, and commented on. This allows missions to be polished, and brought up to standard. After a period of peer-review, the best missions are brought before the devs to be considered for implementation to the production server.
The PCC was officially launched in 2008, and has successfully contributed many mission trees which are now in production. To join the PCC, one must have at least 25 hours experience in-game, and submit an essay to the devs.
-PLACES OF INTEREST-
Much of Vendetta Online's universe is procedurally generated, however there are some areas which are hand-detailed and of special interest. Some of these include the following:
The Verasi star system includes a station built into the core of a huge, fragmented asteroid. This asteroid is rich with glowing green Xithricite veins, and bears the burden of hundreds of years of mining activities. The entire area the station is in is blanketed in a green cloud, limiting visibility.
***Aeron's Ice Field***
Some areas of the asteroid belts in Deneb are fogged, highly dense, and extensive. It is easy to get lost in these areas. Parts of the asteroid belt have a turret (similar to the ones found guarding the Conquerable Stations and National Borders) guarding them. If this turret is disabled, it will trigger a Fighter Skirmish between the Serco and the Itani.
***Capital Shipyards Station***
Somewhere in Ukari, there is a huge (25 km long) station that is clandestinely used to manufacture illicit player-owned capital ships. This station is carefully hidden, and is difficult to find unless you have a mission leading there. However, some players have improvised ways to find this station. If you ask around, you may even find a player willing to lead you there.
There are others.