The focus has been on getting 3.01 patch out as well as incomplete present features and performance optimizations
The development team went to a more encapsulated and complete model to prevent ping-ponging to better see the product from start to finish more efficiently
Quarterly releases will help speed up backer feedback as well as build up a cadence within the dev teams and prevent hold-ups to future build development
Besides working on the 3.0.1 patch the Live Team has been resolving about 25 issues including serious ones like the “white ball issue” along with issues with the rental system and ship shields, and pushing them out to the Evocati
Currently in the white box stage common elements for the hangar are being worked into the truckstop to be later used modularly through the PU (space stations and planets) in various sizes and via various forms of entry (straight in and via roofs)
The Weapons Team is currently busy working on more manufacturers, more different weapon types, and more different damage types for player selective use as can be seen with the new Gemini R97 shotgun
The UK Team has also concentrated on the Vehicle Manager (VMA) and Personal Manager (PMA) fixing bugs and improving features using both internal and community feedback and should improve the UI and user experience
The Gameplay Features Team has been working on the character customizer to allow for changes in the choices of head, skin tone, eye color, hairstyle and color within the first iteration with persistence
Engineering optimizations in the raw data system are being converted to the DATAForge system to take advantage of the Item 2.0 System optimizations
This optimization takes advantage of batch updates, update calling and optimizations over the last few months and with the Item 2.0 System it spins off logic threads and thereby speeding everything up
Future iterations will hopefully have optimizations in network calling and range calling as well as those that are unknown at this time
Weapon balancing is just one part of the whole balance cycle: shields, health, armour, item components, weapons, flight
To ensure that no weapon is overpowered or underpowered in all the key parameters and each weapon type is relatively balanced
Weapon balance is needed to make the game fun and competitive and to avoid the game becoming "samey"
They are looking to do a small shield and weapon balance patch for 3.0 based on community feedback
Shields were reworked for Item 2.0
They are working to being able to present various parameters to the player to enable easier comparisons
3.1 fix more known issues and community feedback for weapons, shields, armour, health, etc.
They've implemented armour: ship of the same size will now have the same health and armour will determine their "toughness"
Armour acts as a multiplier to reduce the amount of damage a ship takes, e.g. 0.9x or 0.7x damage
Armour is a more efficient way to make stronger (or weaker) ships as it doesn't require a different ship template
Ships are now in categories - civilian, racer, cargo, military - which determines their armour type
Armour strength can still vary within an armour type e.g. Super Hornet has stronger armour than Hornet
Armour also has an attribute that affects missile lock e.g. Hornet Ghost has "stealth" armour now
When an issue with a weapon is reported they first start at the weapon itself, and then work through shields, health, armor, and then other game systems to find the issue.
DataForge has helped limit errors that have previously been introduced by simple typos.
Balance is never-ending - always a way to make it better.
The current 3 types of weapon damage (kinetic/physical, energy, distortion) will be expanded to 4 or 5. That will take a fair amount of balancing.
Desire is to give plays the desire to mix and match weapons and not have one loadout that everyone uses on a given ship.