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Be sure to watch this in full screen just to get the effect:
I just wanted to show you this video because I feel like a total badass in it. The predictive motions, momentum, distances all add up to a truly coruscating experience. Where else can you find a twitch combat MMO designed to be played over connections with up to 200 ms latency? One where after a decade of continuous practice, it still feels like getting the hang of the combat curve?
Imagine a line extending from the front of the spacecraft I am engaging, now imagine a line extending from my perspective. Staying off these lines is the primary goal of both pilots, especially at close range. The flares that are being thrown have proximity fuzes, such that if they come within a certain radius of the target, they explode - sending the target ship spinning, forcing the pilot to recover.
This type of combat is truly epic... and other games are beginning to take notice. In 2014, we will see a salvo of games being launched with this type of thing. This is a positive development from my perspective - more competition in a given market is often a stimulus for greater innovation. I really like VO's aesthetic, but the mechanics themselves have also stood the test of time and spawned several competitors.
You might argue that VO was inspired by some of the creators of these new games original hits (Elite and Star Citizen), and you would probably be right... however, I would counter that neither Elite nor Wing Commander (SC's predecessor) were designed toward becoming MMOs. Let me posit that it was only once the efficacy of this type of combat was proven online that it became a more attractive market. This may sound like a long shot, but then again... "what if?"
Furthermore, Elite: Dangerous looks to have more of a "planes in space" approach, whereas Star Citizen seems to be taking more of a Newtonian angle like Vendetta. Eve: Valkyrie, I am not sure about. I could go on and on about this, but I think I've procrastinated long enough for today in writing this post.