New in version 1.8.318
December 26th, 2014
- In honor of the occasion, we have a few things to announce, including a newsletter update, and some graphical improvements in the latest versions (Shadows in DX11!).
- Additionally, we also are in our standard Holiday Promo, welcoming back any player who has previously had a Premium-level subscription to the game (more than 60 days ago), they may play for free between December 25th and January 1st! We hope we see a lot of older veteran players popping by to say hi!
- VO 1.8.317-318 included:
- Very "beta" prototype implementation of Shadows, for DirectX 11 only (OpenGL will require some changes and will come later). Contains numerous known artifacts, bugs and things that need tweaking. Made available as a demo-prototype only, to let people see something we have cooking.
- To disable shadows if the framerate is too low, type "/set rdoshadows 0" (without quotes) in the console or chat.
- For those interested in rendering tech, this is a test using cascaded variance shadow maps, and is not necessarily the final algorithm we may choose (and even if we did choose to use this, there would be many tweaks and fixes). We're in an R&D phase on much of this rendering technology.
- Tweaked the shadow cascade level distance calculations to improve quality.
- Decreased the darkness of the shadows.
- Removed shadows in fog sectors.
New in version 1.8.316 (December 14th, 2014)
- Fixed buffer overrun in prototype OpenGL driver for Linux.
- Added reminder to mobile version to convert the one-click account so character progression isn't lost.
- Added a periodic request to rate the mobile version of Vendetta Online.
New in version 1.8.315 (December 6th, 2014)
- New prototype OpenGL driver has been added to Linux. To try it out, go to Options -> Video -> Change driver... and select 'OpenGL 4 GKGL driver'. Multiple dynamic lights are enabled with this driver if your GPU supports the GL_ARB_ES2_compatibility extension. Dynamic lights include weapon fire, rocket/missile/ship exhaust, and explosions.
- Strikeforce are now launched when you have Temp-KOS against Corvus and you enter Corvus monitored space.
- Auto-aim can only be toggled up to twice per second.
- Fixed a bug where Capture-the-Cargo ended twice at the same time.
- Fixed rendering issues when changing Scaling mode on certain Android devices.
- Optimized nearby dynamic-light finding algorithm.
- Added optimization to consolidate multiple nearby lights.
- This new version continues the recent graphics improvements, now with a prototype renderer for Linux players. We expect there to be problems and artifacts on certain drivers, so please report any issues in detail on the Bugs forum (a thread has already been started). Linux drivers are unfortunately not quite as gaming-robust as Windows, simply because the chip manufacturers making the original drivers tend to put more time into the platforms with the largest gaming market share. The teams of volunteers working on the open-source drivers do a great job, but often have fewer developer resources than the huge teams placed on Windows and console platforms. Thus, we could really use everyone's help to track down and work around any bugs we discover under Linux OpenGL, to try and make the experience as stable as possible.
- Although the new driver is called "OpenGL 4", it does not necessarily require openGL 4.x native support. It does require the GL_ARB_ES2_compatibility extension, which for some chips is available even though the rest of the driver only supports OpenGL 2.x or 3.x (Intel integrated laptop GPUs, for instance). The GL_ARB_ES2_compatibility extension became required in OpenGL 4.1, but is also supported by many GPUs that do not actually support 4.x.
- As a final reminder, if you're interested in testing Vendetta Online for iOS, please sign up here! We are only taking a limited number of people, so sign up as soon as possible!
New in version 1.8.314 (November 27th, 2014)
- Trident Powercells now have 125 Grid Power, but very high mass.
- New Trident-specific turrets, requiring 25 grid power, available in certain sectors (Capship Swarm Turret, Capital Cannon).
- Added dynamic lights to the Jump and Warp animations.
- DirectX 11 dynamic light shaders are more efficient.
- Added screen resolution and anti-aliasing options to the DirectX 11 driver.
- Added support for x86 based Android devices.
- Added support for AndroidTV and the Nexus Player.
New in version 1.8.313 (November 22nd, 2014)
- Mine explosions no longer do double-damage to the person laying them.
- Weapon shot visual-effects are less likely to pass through objects.
- Re-arming free equipment during Deneb War military missions now includes text to say the purchases are free.
- Touch-screen HUD graphics slightly improved, to indicate the left input area is a region, as opposed to buttons.
- Initial single-player tutorial now uses the TPG Raptor instead of the EC-89.
New in version 1.8.312 (November 16th, 2014)
- Added dynamic lighting to asteroid mining effect.
- This was actually a very productive week, as Ray has been working really hard to back-propagate many of the newer DX11 effects to OpenGL. Unfortunately, this also uncorked a whole slew of new issues, related to particular chipset drivers and various incompatibilities. He's pushed through and straightened out much of it, but we still have more work to do before this will be production-ready.
- In the meantime, Curt has added some cool new lighting effects for those who can see it , with the mining impact-area now illuminating things (the asteroid, for instance). It is not currently colored, as the actual mining flare itself is always white. But, we may change that, to make the flare match the color of the mining beam, to add a little more color (and information) to the universe. For the moment though, we think it jazzes up those skyscapes of NPCs mining in the distance.
New in version 1.8.311 (November 8th, 2014)
- Improved two areas of player hit-checking to make hits more accurate under all circumstances. This should improve PvP for everyone, whether individual player ping-times are high or low.
- Added dynamic lighting to ship damage fire effects.
- Fixed problem with dynamic lights sometimes not being removed.
New in version 1.8.310 (November 1st, 2014)
- Fixed X-based multithreaded rendering crashes on Linux.
- Fixed problem with not being able to enter the universe on very lossy network connections.
- Changed the fallback MTU network packet size if MTU discovery fails.
- Dynamic lighting now supports DirectX 10.0 hardware using the DX11 driver.
New in version 1.8.309 (October 26th, 2014)
- Lightsources from weapons are now colored to match their visual effect.
- Added support for multiple lightsources to more ships.
- Fixed crashes when changing video drivers or resolution when in multi-threaded rendering mode.
- DirectX 11 driver now chooses window-mode if it cannot go to fullscreen-mode instead of falling back to the DirectX 9 driver
- Switching video drivers should no longer cause graphical artifacts.
- This release brings the new lighting model in DX11 much closer to its intended goal, although still missing a few things. Fire effects from damaged ships don't yet emit light, nor do station floodlights or "floating neon" advertising signs, etc. A few types of materials still don't receive dynamic lighting (station solar panels), although most of them now do.
- Many of the stability issues have been addressed as well. If anyone is still having problems changing to or using the DirectX 11 driver, please post to the Bugs forum and let us know (with screenshots, if possible). DirectX 11 will soon become the default driver for Windows, although we'll still retain the other driver as a compatibility fallback for a long time to come.
- But, before it can become the default, there's some optimization work that has to happen, as well as adding a lot of the well-known options to the driver. Once the optimization work has happened, and the shaders have stabilized, we'll begin back-propagating support to the other PC platforms (Linux and Mac). A much newer OpenGL version will probably be required for advanced graphics features, possibly OpenGL 4.1; although again, we will still retain the older driver as a fallback for older hardware.
- If the new lighting is slow for your computer, don't lose heart. Continue using the DirectX 9 version for now. We expect to speed things up quite a bit in the near future. We'll go into a bit more of a technical discussion about the nature of the changes once things have stabilized as well.
- If graphics updates aren't your thing, no worries, it'll only be a few weeks and we'll be back to other topics