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Wednesday, March 4, 2009

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Vendetta Online: Bug Fixing, Expanded Dynamic Warfare
6:00 AM | Cord Kruse | Comment on this story

Guild Software has posted a new development update for its sci-fi MMO, Vendetta Online. The post details recent debugging efforts as well as plans to expand and improve Border Skirmish dynamic warfare options.

We've been a little derailed from my previous post. As some of you are aware, we've been trying to debug some Border Skirmish issues for several months. These are the sort of bugs that give any developer a headache: they only happen when you're not looking, not simulating, and not otherwise trying to debug the issue. Over the last few months we've added some significant monitoring and instrumentation to the server-side, to let us see what is happening in Border Skirmish, and try to correlate the sporadic issues with other evidence.

The problems became a bit worse, recently, which is actually good news. Common problems are much easier to track down than occasional, sporadic problems. It was my hope to be releasing new and updated BS gameplay this week, but instead we're firmly on the course of tracking down the issue. The entire company (other than me) has been allocated to locating and squashing this particular problem, so in the meantime I'll be providing whatever releasable content that I can. We hope to have this resolved this week, although it's difficult to say with problems of this kind. Our goal is to track it down and mitigate it as much as possible within this current week, before getting back to "improving the game" tasks. One way or the other, it's going to be critical to expand Border Skirmish into Dynamic Warfare, as well as any other battle-driven gameplay, so it's best that we resolve it sooner rather than later.

Border Skirmish is planned to be expanded and improved in a couple of major ways. For one, we're looking at having several skirmishes of various types, some at the same time, some during off-times. Different battle scales will allow people with slower machines to participate in the war, and also potentially create different gameplay. The lowest-scale battle, for instance, will probably be fighter combat that takes place in dense asteroid fields (where the caps cannot go). Add the possible combination of sector fogging (another thing in development) and you get some pretty wild close-quarters combat requiring good piloting skills. Each battle scale will still have the same general parameters as existing Border Skirmish: the first to lose a certain number of casualties will retreat. The casualty limits will be considerably smaller for the smaller skirmish types, but the battles themselves may still be lengthy (we may start to impose player limits on some sizes). The effects of multiple skirmishes will be added together, to have a more far-reaching impact over a larger arc of time. The plan is to have a greater and more visible purpose over a given week, and then perhaps over a month. The winners and losers potentially gaining and losing access to some interesting and significant resources. I don't want to go too far into the specifics there, because things are still a little fluid and I dislike over-promising in content (I have enough problems with deadlines, obviously), but you probably get the general idea. We intend to couple this with in-game notifications (game-news, etc) as well as some web-status page, to try and keep people aware of the status of the ongoing war.
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Vendetta Online News
Guild Software
Strategy First
Vendetta Online

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