Balancing and Weapons...
The balance system between 1.0 and 1.3 was centered around a representative system, but when we did it we had some inaccurate stats, so we've been revising the hardpoints for basically every ship, as well as the basic balancing system in the mod.
The new system, which has been applied to all ships, involves a similar kind of basis as before, but we feel it much better reflects how the ships should be. For those less interested, the short version of this is basically "we made things more representative," and you can now move on to the next paragraph. For those of you who do care, this system revolves around representing each canon weapon as a single pulse from a hardpoint. So, for example, if a ship has 60 turbolasers this can be represented as 6 turbolaser hardpoints firing 10 pulses, or 12 firing 5, etc.
To use the example of the Venator, part of its canonical armament is 8 Dual Turbolasers. Since we're not representing all 60 single turbolasers on an ISD with their own seperate hardpoints, it would skew the game hugely in the Venator's favour to have all 8 of those Dual Turbolasers firing at 10 full pulses like it used to, so how we have it now is 4 hardpoints, firing two pulses each. Hull strength and shields have all been adjusted to be more in line with their canonical characteristics as well. Similar balancing overhauls are being done to fighters and ground units.
Units and Heroes...
As with previous versions, in 2.0 we'll be redoing several units, and adding several more. Unlike in previous versions, however, we will be putting more of a focus on ground units, such as the Armored Freerunner for the New Republic, shown in this update. This includes the reinclusion of aerial vehiles, including the V-Wing for the New Republic and an earlier version of the AirStraeker used in the Swarm War for the Empire of the Hand.
The Empire is also getting a much more diverse hero set. In previous versions, the Empire of the Hand and New Republic outnumbered and outclassed them hero-wise in almost every era, but now we have expanded all of the Imperial hero sets thanks largely to community suggestions. Here's how they stand now, including heroes which were in previous versions:
Eirisi Dlarit, Blitzer Harrsk, Trigit, Krennal, Ait Convarion, Kirtan Loor, Evir Derricote, Malcor Brashin
Gethzerion, Melvar, Trigit
Rukh, Freja Covell, Niles Ferrier, Joruus C'baoth, Brandei, Dorja
Kir Kanos, Sedriss QL, Maxamillian Veers, Blitzer Harrsk, Sander Delvardus, Treutan Teradoc, Ardus Kaine
Gilad Pellaeon, Cronus, Turr Phennir, Brakiss
Tierce, Disra, Natasi Daala, Navett, Brakiss, Meizh Vermel, Maarek Steele
Similar steps are being taken with the Empire of the Hand for more era diversification both with units and heroes, and to reduce the Empire of the Hand "hero blob," which tends to annihilate anything in 1.0-1.3. These changes will be outlined in future versions.
The Beta Process...
So, anyone who's been paying attention for the last year or so has probably noticed that for 1.0, 1.1, 1.2 and now 1.3, we've done open betas before release, where basically anyone could get and test the beta. This always ends up with hundreds of beta downloads, but only a handful reporting anything (which is the entire purpose of a beta), so in the future we'll be using the more conventional method of hand-picking a few people (10-20) to test each version.
The best way to get picked is basically just to post feedback and ideas, either on Mod Database, Facebook or our forums. If we don't know who you are, we can't pick you. We've got a beta tester consideration signup thread on our forums for those interested.
The feedback we get, positive or negative, is crucial to the mod being good. 1.3 wouldn't be half of what it is without the ideas we've received from the community. If there's something you think should be changed, then tell us.
That's all for now. Next post will be about the first new Galactic Conquest in 2.0, the Black Fleet Crisis.