Announcement post: http://osu.ppy.sh/forum/t/98349
osu! and its community celebrated osu!'s 5th birthday on the 17th of September, 2012. During this time, all players were granted osu!supporter status for 24 hours, beginning at 2:00am UTC+8, which was osu!'s original release time in 2007. peppy had intended to distribute an early version of osu! in some form or another for the celebration, so players could experience osu! from an earlier time, where the roots of the program were. However, because of differing .dll file versions, peppy was unable to get it working. He has said he will get it working someday.
Announcement post: http://osu.ppy.sh/forum/p/1825880
The main event of this update is osu!mania. Many player flood in osu! just to play the osu!mania to try out the new mode. Some gave praise over the effort done while some question the score judgement being too strict and way too incorrect, comparing it to O2JAM. Issues were to be expected, as some players unable to update their osu! due to enormous size of the update (~20MB would be a good guess). Some felt and complained that the update was too rushed, as ranking, submitting osu!mania beatmaps, difficulty modification and even gameplay is not completely polished or completed. Some issues are later resolved somewhere at November with enough feedback from general public opinion while some are still in process.
Trivial note: For players who entered Multi's lobby before updating to the b20121008 build, they may see a comical appearance of osu!mania named as "3" without a symbol. You can't enter the room nevertheless without applying the update, let alone playing it.
Announcement post: http://osu.ppy.sh/forum/t/103427
A few notable changes to fix the previous update (osu!mania) and to give what the players really wanted, osu!mania ranking. As the osu!mania ranking system isn't completely tested for various aspects yet, the ranking would be reset each week or earlier to ensure no hacked scores were to be uploaded. The test lasted quite a while until the 13th of November update (20121113b).
For supporters, they are given the luxury to set their image as osu! background rather than the usual background colour. Practically speaking, this does not affect anyone and it is more to a gimmick if anything. However, the background change requires you to be online to actually work, as osu! needs to verify your osu!supporter tag in order to work. Gameplay is not affected in any way.
Button status overlay is considered a nice addition. Now, you can actually see how you/they handle your/their hit either by using the keyboard/mouse or repeatably using that one button. By default, this would only work in osu! during a replay or spectating a play. You can manually make it to appear during gameplay at the Options under Input Tab - General as "Always show key overlay". It was placed at the top of the screen initially but later switched to the right of the screen because it is obstructing the HP bar and player's concentration.
Announcement post: http://osu.ppy.sh/forum/t/105564
A simple update, osu!mania ranking is now implemented with pp ranking. To ensure no cheated scores stays at the ranking, the scores are reset one last time. A final fix to the previous osu!mania ranking.
Announcement post: http://osu.ppy.sh/forum/t/106677
A "Quick Join" button is added to Multi's lobby where you randomly join a room based on the beatmap you have when pressed. Since you are randomly "forced" to enter a random room, it would not be surprising when the beatmap in question was in the difficulty setting you do not want (Insane difficulty usually or difficulty you can't handle well). Unless you find searching a room manually yourself is troublesome, you can use it as an option instead.
Announcement post: http://osu.ppy.sh/forum/t/110459
According to the Mayan's calendar prediction, the world was supposed to be destroyed. Thankfully, it did not really happen. Onto the osu! side, osu! was given quite a major update. The most notable changes are:
Technical issues and bugs were expected. The widescreen support, despite being functional, caused some images and videos to look weird (head of a character not visible, missing or partly hidden text) as the top and bottom were cropped. Storyboards currently don't support widescreen, instead, letterboxes or black bars appear on the sides which caused them to look cramped. This created an issue for Catch the Beat as the fruit would go over the black bars that were supposed to be in the boundary when using widescreen. Some storyboards also do not function properly (some images do not stay in the playing area, but instead, extend out to the black bars). These issues are currently known and are being fixed as solution to the issues are discussed and found.
Announcement post: http://osu.ppy.sh/forum/p/2005499
Merry Christmas for the ones who celebrate it. A new version of bancho is released which "reduces the amount of traffic sent when connecting. This means you should experience 95% faster connection times". Being a special occasion, osu!direct is turned on for everyone for a day.