As the saying goes, space can be a lonely place. Even with the occasional cargo hungry pirate or profit conscious traders, space lanes are known for their tranquility; at least until now. With the Vendetta Online 1.80 update, space has become a little less lonely. This update to the game has added new multi-player ships to the universe. These ships allow pilots to enter certain player piloted ships where up to four players (one pilot and up to three turret operators) can fit into a single ship. Turrets are already featured on each capital ship, although capital ships are not available for players to pilot. This new addition to the game promises to add more depth to travel, trade, and combat throughout the universe.
Since Vendetta Online is twitch based, the intricate flight and combat system is one of the main highlights of the game. Pilots must use a multitude of techniques while in combat such as rolling, diving, strafing, changing directions, and altering speeds. All of these different movements shift the direction and flight pattern of the ship, which is important in evading gunfire. Each ship has its own unique weight due to ship type, variant, cargo weight, and weight of weaponry. Since weight alters everything from thrust to spin torque, every flight, space battle, and war is a unique one. With the addition of multi-player ships with player controlled turrets, the combat within the game is even more diverse and complex than ever before.
Multi-player ships seem to have the potential to add a new dimension to trade, piracy, warfare, and even in travel. Some enterprising players have even been reporting using the new features as a means to transport players through dangerous territory. These so called "taxis" directly take advantage of the hostility in large swathes of gray space in order to make money in transporting weary travelers. So far, it is unknown how these ships will affect piracy and general warfare, but pilots have been getting more and more acquainted with the ships.
Turrets have a set of procedures that you need to follow in order to operate or invite someone to your turret. To enter turret mode, you must be in the same station to invite people to your ship or to be invited to someone else's ship. There, you can use the /gunner command line to operate the various functions of the turret system such as inviting people to man the turrets on your ship. The first turret release excluded making the turrets visible on the exterior of ships and it also lacked the ability for them to be damaged. The most recent update however, has alleviated those problems. All players within the ship are also now counted as player kills when a turreted fighter is destroyed. The high player kills make turreted ships even more of a target, but the fact that turrets add more firepower to ships make them a much more hostile target.
Currently, only the Behemoth and the Atlas type ships have turrets. Each Atlas is equipped with only one turret spot while the normal Behemoth variant has three turret spots. Other Behemoth variants, however ,only have one such spot (the XC variant does not have any turrets). Grouped players in the same ship also have the ability to take group missions where they can work together for mutual experience, factional improvement, and monetary gain.
This most recent update to the game falls in line with many of the new developments that have been implemented over the past few months. Trade has been increasingly pushed into the more dangerous and uncontrolled regions of "gray space", where piracy remains a constant threat. The developers of the game, Guild Software, have also created "training sectors" in Serco, Itani, and UIT space. These new sectors and stations are areas where new pilots will have more protection while learning the basics of flight, trade, and combat. Although no place in the Vendetta Online universe is entirely safe, these new sectors will go a long way toward increasing protection for beginner pilots.
The creation of the training sectors has allowed for the removal of friendly fire throughout gray space. The removal of friendly fire completes the opening of gray space as it allows all pilots to be able to attack each other, whereas nation space does not allow pilots of the same nation to damage each others ships. The removal of friendly fire ushers in a new era of increased warfare and lawlessness in the nine systems that comprise the gray space territories. Some limited crafting has also been released which allows the player to turn freshly mined ores and trade items into top of the line weaponry and ships. This has created the beginnings of a growing market for player produced goods and also it has increased demand for rare ores and commodities.
The universe has even undergone some "environmental" changes with the addition of "fogged sectors" within ion storms and heavy mining sectors. Fog reduces visibility but also creates an atmospheric effect, especially in the glowing asteroid station at Verasi I-5. Miners and pirates alike can equip "storm radar extenders" which increase the visibility within storms. These extenders allows increased mining and combat within fogged sectors, while also creating an environment where pirates can lurk and surprise trapped pilots.
The Hive, the A.I. rogue bot infestation, has also become more dynamic and aggressive toward expanding its domain. Hive infestations have spread from three major regions in the universe and have the potential to spread universe-wide. The Hive's expanse and overall strength depends heavily on player driven assaults on the various infestations that overrun asteroid belts throughout large quantities of space.
All of these recent updates to Vendetta Online highlight Guild Software's push to Vendetta Online 2.0. With the eventual completion of Vendetta 2.0, new features such as guild owned capital ships (heavily armored ships with multiple turrets) and guild owned stations will likely be added to the game. The future seems bright for Vendetta Online as these new developments push the game towards the next step in its evolution.