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As was recently stated in the news, VO is celebrating its 10th year open to the public. In the first couple years of its incarnation, the game was simply known as "Vendetta" as the term MMORPG was merely on the peripheral of public awareness, and this was before 3D online gaming came into the mainstream scope of use.
One of the amazing things about the game is the twitch combat, and how realtime actions tell a story within the context of the game universe. The devs have stated many times that it is their intent to let players affect the course of the story through their own actions, and this is reflected in certain events that take place which can have many outcomes, as well as certain missions. If more players choose ending 'B' than ending 'A' for example, history may take an alternate path, affecting future events.
In a recent dev/guide hosted event, players were to either assist a Trident-class capital ship on a humanitarian mission, or lie in wait in ambush. The Trident was set to deliver a number of aid workers to the oft-troubled planet Ka-Tek in the Latos system. The mission got off to a shaky start when the Trident initially failed to budge, engine difficulties were to blame. Then, the inexperienced navigator made a jump error which led to the Trident having its engines disabled in an empty sector after taking a certain amount of damage by pirates. It was then a race to offload as many souls as possible to nearby stations owned by The Propellor Group, Orion Manufacturing, or Xang Xi, before the reactor went critical, either as refugees or hostages. Roughly 80% survived.
The outcome was by no means certain, and there were players both helping the humanitarian workers and pirates who opportunistically took advantage of the situation by taking hostages from the crippled vessel. The way the event was run was spontaneous, off-the-cuff, much like watching an improvisational skit. This was due to the nature of the uncertain outcome. There were even a few interesting moments near the end of the event in which it looked like the Trident might have been saved by delivering coolant from a nearby station, but to no avail. In the end the ship became an orange fireball of rapidly expanding gas and debris.
Player influence has always been a keystone of the Vendetta Online universe, and this latest event is an example of one way such content is delivered. Rather than looking on from some cloud above the devs are an active part of the universe, taking a hand in helping to evolve VO's story.
Comments, criticism, questions are all welcome.