Have a look at Vendetta Online

Hey there,

My name is Jacob Luttio (a.k.a. “Phaserlight”), and I’ve been a fan of the game Vendetta Online for a long time. Today marks 9 years since I signed up and I thought I would get a discussion going for those who are interested.

One of the things this game does differently is let users contribute to the direction and design of the game. There are a group of players called the PCC who have access to a mission editor which allow one to do some pretty detailed things. I’ve always been a fan of user-designed content; in any game where this is possible I relentlessly gravitate toward the level editor. What makes VO unique is that this happens in an MMORPG context. To get in to the PCC one must have 25 hours spent in game and write an essay written on English, Maturity, Trust, and Involvement. Another point of difference is the twitch combat. This is fairly uncommon in the MMO world; a game where one has full, realtime control over all of a ship’s thrusters, blasters, and navigation systems may be emulated in multiplayer games, but VO’s code is designed to allow thousands of players to interact in a single, contiguous universe. The devs are a very down to earth group of people from Milwaukee; I got to meet the lead developer John Bergman at a conference in Orlando last year, and I was impressed by his humility as well as his sharp answers to all my questions.

What has really kept my interest all these years is the level of detail that has been put into this game by a core few people. Despite appearing simple on the surface, the world has a level of history and immersion that would make Tolkien smile. As an example, there is a language developed entirely for the game, with its own alphabet, grammar, pictograms etc. You will see it on flashing neon billboards outside the stations, advertising commodities or slinging slogans. There is a huge backstory presented in the form of history with each entry taking place on such and such a year, beginning in the near future and leading all the way into the 45th century. It reminds me of something Isaac Asimov would do, although the devs have cited both the Star Wars universe and Neal Stephenson as influences in other places.

The combat itself is fluid, dream-like, and intuitive. Point, shoot, move, dodge: this is fundamental, however there is also a zen-like mastery of combat that comes over time. Certain players are known for their fighting styles, and are often sought after as masters by players wanting to learn excellence in a certain weapon or tactic. There is a touch of Street Fighter to the whole experience, against the backdrop of a space age MMO. Competition is fierce, and rivalries are common. In the larger context of the game world combat is a means toward territory control, blockades which affect manufacturing and the economy, weapon production, conquerable stations, and taking on the Hive. The Hive is a race of self-evolving NPC robots with its own hierarchy of breeds, each serving its individual function, that expands to take over areas of space that are rich in minerals. Players can band together by taking missions to push back the Hive in dynamic skirmishes, clearing up sectors of space to be mined for ore, or a savvy group might decapitate an entire branch of the Hive by killing a Queen or the Leviathan. In these quests, weapons might be found among the wreckage of the battle which can be retrofitted to one’s fighter, or valuable components which can be used to manufacture player-owned capship parts might be collected.

Despite being released over 10 years ago, Vendetta appears to still be in its early stages with many primary features planned for the future. I could go on and on about this game, but I think I will open it up for comments by anyone else who has had the chance to experience it.

I think many space sim jocks have indeed looked at Vendetta Online and got bored. ;-) I know I certainly did, and went back to Jumpgate (RIP). Have they added the fun since my last try maybe 4 or 5 years ago? ;-)

Many things have changed in the last 5 years, hopefully in the direction of “fun” (although this may be a relative term). I’ve always considered Vendetta fun so my definition may not match up with someone else’s. That being said, there is a lot more to do:

-Conquerable stations, requiring a team effort to disable defenses or maintain them
-Player-controlled cap ships, built through a series of manufacturing missions at aforementioned conquerable stations (and elsewhere)
-Dynamic warfare between the Serco military and the Itani military, resulting in territory control, blockades, and the availability of weaponry
-Individual achievements which can be earned through various activities
-The game is now available on Android mobile devices, allowing one to play a character over 3G, 4G or wifi and later return to exactly where they left off on a laptop or desktop
-More player created missions have been added

These are just to name a few, and by no means are a comprehensive list.

I appreciate your passion for the game, and honestly I’m interested to see how far it’s come, but it’ll be a while before I play it. See this list. I’m gonna play through all of those completed games in order. ;) Also, if you like space games, might I invite you to my blog? ;)

I second this sentiment, and I tried it about a year ago.

although my boredom did prevent me from playing more than an hour or two, so maybe the late game is better?

if it requires a big time investment to get to the fun, count me out.

Very cool, I’ve stumbled across Space Game Junkie a couple times but I did not realize you were the author. Nice to meet you here.

Regarding the opening game,

The introductory tutorials involve a lot of reading but are there to help new pilots become familiarized with parts of the game that might otherwise go unnoticed. They may be swapped out for something better at some point in the future, but right now they tend to prevent getting hundreds of “how do I dock?” type questions on channel 100. Luckily, you do get to shoot at some bots pretty early on, interact with cap ships etc.

Once you pass the Basic Flight Status Test, you are presented with a number of missions which take you in a variety of directions, or you can strike out on your own as a freelancer. The gameplay is sandbox oriented, with actions carrying consequences within the context of the galaxy. There are five licenses which you can earn experience toward including Combat, Light Weapons, Heavy Weapons, Trade, and Mining. Having a better license means having access to more sophisticated equipment and more involved missions. What standing one is in with the faction that controls the space around him or her also affects what missions and equipment become available. Many missions are not available until one has attained Combat license 3. That being said, the length of time one spends in the training sector is really up to the player. However, by the time one has read the text and explored the area an hour or more may have passed. Some players may reach Combat license 3 within their free trial, some may not.

Let me reiterate that Vendetta is a game which appears relatively simple on the surface, but holds great depth. It does not front-load its content and requires some patience of the user. I was hooked within about 10 seconds of launching from the starting station, so if it didn’t grab you the first time around it may not be the game for you. However, I would estimate a game like Vendetta probably requires four or five solid hours before one begins to get a picture of the world.

Nice to meet you as well. :)

Just wanted to encourage anyone who gets the chance to vote for Guild Software, Inc. (makers of Vendetta Online) in the “Gift a Rift” contest:


These guys work very hard, and I think they definitely deserve to be in the top 2.

The following is a link to a video I made last night and uploaded to YouTube, titled “Vendetta Online: Why I Play”


That video seemed like the game was a fun game :)

Last MMFPS (Massively Multiplayer First Person Spaceflight) I played was Microsofts Allegiance (RIP).

Thanks! Most long-term, core players think it is :-)

I’d include myself in that group.

Thanks for making that video man, I’ll be posting it on my blog in today’s news updates. :)

Wow, thank you!

Just letting you know a group of us PCC finished wrapping up a huge mission project (39 missions!) that is now in production. Find a summary of the project here:


Come check it out and let me know your thoughts! You will need Combat License 3 to get to the missions. Plot devices include malfunctioning cybernetics, shadow monastic organizations, undercover police work, virtual afterlife, social weaponry, and neuroscience among other things.

What’s a PCC?

And I read about that yesterday, looks nifty!

PCC stands for the §layer ©ontribution ©orps… anyone is welcome to join, but you need at least 25 hours spent in game, and a 500 word essay. Once you are in you have access to a mission editor and are allowed to see content before it is officially launched.

Ohhhh, very cool man. :)

I have no interest in this game, but I just wanted to say that I very much like the idea of requiring an essay from people interested in creating community content. That seems like a much better way to get hardcore fans involved than just letting anyone have at it through a lottery or RNG pick.

I subscribe to this game from time to time, I really want to like it. Especially now that jumpgate is down.

However, whenever I log into the game, it feels like literally 10-30 people are playing tops. There’s no way to see in-game how many people are actually logged in and I rarely see anyone flying around in the sectors I’m at. The chat isn’t very active either.

In addition to that, I just feel like the flight model is wrong somehow. Like, load up Independence War II, play that for a bit, then load up vendetta online. There’s no comparison. Vendetta online should feel like I-war II, but it doesn’t.

Hey, what was your handle in Jumpgate?