New System and VO 1.8.517

As related in the latest Newsletter, a new Star System has been added to the game:- The system is "hidden", but can be found with a clue from an in-game News article (PDA -> Comm) about a rescued explorer.- The new system contains a particular type of bot that will occasionally drop a new weapon: the Gravity Mine Launcher.This new system can be expected to change periodically; everything from the risks and dangers, to the actual sectors themselves. We're looking to add unique minerals and ores that only exist there, more unusual bot types with drops, and other content.The wormhole may eventually become more challenging to locate, moving periodically. Threats to the main game universe may even pour forth from hidden strongholds.VO 1.8.517 includes:- Improved performance relating to instanced rendering on DX11, GL4, Vulkan and ES3. Most apparent with very dense sectors, using shadows.- Fixed a graphics problem on PC, where certain asteroids were not using existing higher-quality object assets.- Fixed a rendering issue with refracting ice crystals on Vulkan.Anyone who hasn't seen it already, should also take a look at the latest game Newsletter:

VO 1.8.514-516

Some really significant changes in the last couple of weeks, particularly expanding the new supply-based economy to include the entire Latos system. There will continue to be a lot of economic changes and tweaks, as time goes on and we continue to monitor how things are working. Feedback on the economy is welcome, via the Suggestions forum and the like.Server side issues fixed tonight:- Fixed rare issue with player getting stuck leaving a turret just as the capship leaves the sector.- Fixed rare issue with player attempting to launch from a ship with no launch bays, or in a ship that is not in the local inventory.- Fixed rare issue with player taking control of their capship and launching at the same time. VO 1.8.516 included (Tuesday, 5/19):- Next-generation dynamic economy has been expanded from Latos N-2, to now include all of Latos (C-2, N-15).- Target supply capacities for related min/max pricing values have been tweaked a bit, for the Latos economy. This will continue to evolve.- Convoy Escort missions will now only appear in stations where the "requested" delivery is Locally Produced. This changes the distribution and total number of available Escort missions.- Escort mission state, along with more dynamic factors of the economy, are now persistently saved and restored during server restarts. This means Escort missions are available immediately after restarts.- Fixed an issue where a source station may not continue supplying a destination station if that station was already supplied.- Updated targeted Character Info menu to display more badges. The region can also be scrollable, although no scroll bar will appear.- If an item that would otherwise disappear is sold to a dynamic economy station like Latos N-2, the item will be put into your station storage instead of disappearing and you will receive a message that it happened.- Player-owned capships being attacked in NFZ now enable the Self Defense mechanism for the owner to defend against the attacker.- Strike-force squads no longer accumulate (pointlessly) under certain conditions.- AI sector navigation and long-term learning algorithms have been changed. This may take time to impact the game visibly.- Server-side analytics have been improved and expanded for various AI, NPC and economic functionality. We can now simulate the economy at 100x speed, for testing.VO 1.8.515 included:- Destination sectors are now preloaded when a player begins a jump/warp/death animation for a smoother transition.- Optimized navmap updates when Hive/Deneb overlays change.- Trident livery textures are now preloaded to minimize stalls when it is seen for the first time.VO 1.8.514 included:- The cost of buying back your ship and addons when in a Deneb skirmish mission now displays the correct value of 0.- Fixed issue with hive indicators in the navmap not updating properly.- Clearing out Central and Critical Hives before the skirmish starts wasn't being properly counted towards the Hive Sector Hunter b

Server-side Release

Over the past week, we've made the following changes:- Fixed a bug that caused spawning far too many escort missions, under certain conditions.- Addition of new economy analytics, to further track millions of new data points relating to trade convoys.- Improved existing analytics that track the state of AI relating to NPC navigability.- NPCs convoys are less likely to be stalled for lengthy periods, while docking (although they can still take awhile on certain stations with limited docking bays).- Fixed certain rare-condition bugs with NPCs docking.- Furies will not become aggressive if a player repairs them.- Mitigated Furie issue with aggression when transitioning from Park to Follow, further work remains to be done.This work doesn't necessarily scream "gameplay drop", but we're still trying to expand on the new Latos N-2 test economy, and a huge part of that is making sure the delivery convoys actually work properly. Because we're actually delivering items in the NPC convoys "for real" and are not faking it in the background, it's fairly complicated to handle all the different edge cases and unusual circumstances.The actual individual ship carrying the actual item has to reach the destination. For a single given ship, that's fine, but across thousands of ships flying across the galaxy per day, there are plenty of problems that can arise.That's where the analytics come in, to help us monitor and measure that situation. Of course, monitoring roughly 135 stations delivering about 250 unique goods to another 135 stations, with various convoy states and success / failure conditions, can quickly blow up into tens of millions of data points to track. That's a whole other type of challenge. But, that's also why we spent a bunch of time building a new analytics cluster to handle this, last fall.Anyway, we're hopeful that next week we'll be able to do some more content drops. In the meantime, please let us know if you find any bugs or major issues, via the Bugs forum. Thanks everyone!