So as you all should know by now we have plans to release a basic beta in november and update it over time with more units and bug fixes/balance tweaks based on your feedback.
Things to expect in the beta:
A basic UNSC force - The UNSC frigate, longsword fighters, scimitar drones, the UNSC frigateyard and a basic Anchor 9 style "mothership" station.
Re-enphasis with resources - We can't impliment the resource system yet. Still. But we will be reworking resource costs and availability/distance for collectors to travel to try and mimic some of the key points of the system - Travel lanes from your base to your resource point that are stretched over a fairly big area, forcing you to move in micromanaged convoys with escorts, or set up patrols so you can leave the collectors to do what they want. Economy is going to play a rather large part of the game, and harrassment or successful defense of your trade lanes will be key in keeping up production with your enemy.
A more paced out game - Ships will be constructed alot slower than you're probably used to, you definitely don't want to just throw in a big fleet for trivial tasks and risk your enemy laying out an ambush. Things like frigates or small ships will eventually be able to be constructed en masse late game by building lots of production facilities, but losing a cruiser or a carrier is always going to hurt.
Longer, more varied fights - Some fights will be shorter, some will be alot longer. The nature of both side's weapons means that fights will naturally be varied, for example the UNSC's damage will be very spikey as a result of long recharge, high damage MACs and fairly low damage archer missiles/heavy turrets. The Covenant's will be mainly reliable damage from a steady stream of plasma weapons over time, though there will of course be some spikes via energy projectors, though we're going to make them fairly rare.
Over all, we want fights to be more drawn out to give you time to use tactics and will be thinking of mechanics that will reward people who sit and micro their ships in an engagement rather than those who simply order their ships to attack move and sit and watch.
We're going to keep things high poly in the beta for a while to see how people react, and see what we can set our limit at.
Things you can expect in the future:
A properly scripted resource system
Balanced gameplay and more units and systems to draw the game out
Fully working AI (Though we can't promise that it'll be too good, we're aiming for multiplayer)
Completely redone weapon fx and behaviours
New enphasis on fighter tactics and harrassment, as well as carrier warfare.
And most importantly, things we expect from you:
Sign up to our forums, be active with feedback and suggestions. Don't post feedback here on moddb, it'll make it impossible to keep track of anything.
Give as much information as you can in terms of balance, gameplay, and most of all, fun
Keep in mind this is going to be unfinished when you try it, think ahead and take into account things such as the Covenant not being in game yet, lots of units not being there to fill the gaps, and nothing heavier than the frigate being in game. We're going to build from the ground up, so we'll be adding lighter units first and then move onto cruisers.
We haven't quite got a solid release date, but it looks like it will definitely be some time in november. There's not much else to say, but we look forward to the feedback and actually giving you guys something to play.