We're wrapping up a massive fix patch which we aim to release on next Tuesday in an extended downtime. I really recommend that you read up on the Patch Notes, we're still adding to it and await the role-based deletion of mails. Other than that, we're good and our Quality Assurace department is going through the last stages to clear the patch for release.
We're really happy about this patch although we would have liked to get more optimisations into the client, but they aren't ready to go out at this point and require more testing. Optimisations in their nature change a lot of core stuff, so they always introduce some nasty side-effects but in the long run, they are certainly worth it.
One of the big optimisations we're working on is the Turret and Effects system. You can see how heavy it is on your framerate by disabling them in combat, so we hope to get a lot of improvements there. However, sometimes optimisations also have some pleasant side-effects.
The Turret and Effect optimisation means that the client is made better aware what everything is doing to everything, like what that Scorp is doing to that Apoc in a battle. We're hoping that we can utilize this data better and display it so that the pilot has a better overview of what is happening on the battlefield. Note, this has got nothing to do with what actually happens, this is just the visible part.
However, this is an optimisation and adding this additional overview would certainly cost a fair share of CPU, so we probably won't be able to show everything at the same time, probably just display it in the active item window. In any case, we're sure going to try, we always do :D
Another thing is the Factory and Research optimisation, which requires a rewrite will bring us the ability to create the Starbase Research and Manufacturing structures. It also allows us to differentiate factories and research more. A Shipyard is much better at making ships than a Station Factory and a Weapons Research facility is much better than a Station Lab. Fun times ahead there.
I really recommend you read our new Patch Notes section. It contains our Drawingboard, the In Development section and the Testing section. We try to keep regularly it updated and personally, I've been far more open about discussing ideas there than, for example, blurting something out on the forums. That's mainly because it's later taken out of context and not sufficiently explained what each stage is. In the new sections, it's explained in detail what each stage mean and how things develop. It shows a lot of what we discuss and what of that we're actually taking further.
Well, thanks for reading, I'm gonna leave the stage for some upcoming dev blogs on stuff we have in development from some of the crew here. NPC's, Mining Improvements and the improvements to T1 frigs and cruisers. I'll end this with another quote, "Private Joker is silly and ignorant, but he's got guts. And guts is enough". Sometimes guts is all you need.