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The most important change for the Alliance has been supplying them with enemies that are easier than the Federation Armed Forces and Colonial Republic Military. Many of the FAF and CRM encounters along the nav routes have been replaced with easier corporate NPC spawns. And the FAF encounters in the upper right quadrant of the Alaska system have been replaced with new Imperial Naval Forces NPCs.
The Alliance ships have also received a few changes. Most noticeably the Brite can carrier new heavy fixed weapons, giving it a significant increase in firepower over the Saul. The Ackroyd and Koontz however had their shield strength reduced by half.
The Alliance should still be a hard faction to fly for, but it should no longer be impossible to make a living flying for them. In fact although hard they pay a lot more for bounties now so good pilots might be able to do very well flying for them.
The beam weapons went through several variations during testing. The approach finally settled on was to make them more accurate and to just boost the shield resistances of smaller ships to them so they didn't become overpowered against fighters. They are now quite powerful and can punch through shields of larger ships fairly easily. This is balanced by their large energy consumption, and their slow turning rate which makes them less useful at short ranges.
Because they rely on energy and not ammunition the beam weapon free up space for more shield batteries and make for rather survivable ship that can deal a lot of damage. This was the goal for the beam weapons; however, they may require more downsides than just the lower range due to their energy use to balance them with the other weapons.
The Federation starships received large boosts to their turning rates and energy. This will hopefully let them take better advantage of the rebalanced beam weapons and new starship forward weapons added in this update.
In addition to these major changes there are numerous smaller changes that have been added as work on the major changes has progressed. These include the re-addition of flak weapons, new weapon visual and sound effects courtesy of Bubb9, and lowered thruster fuel on all ships, to name a few.
Changes in 0.4 beta:
- Re-added flak and proximity weapons
- Re-added missile jammers
- Added new weapon visual and sound effects
- Added debris field and nebula around Tau-31 Jumpholes
- Added new base for the Empire near the Tau-31 Jumpholes (faction still cannot be joined)
- Added Imperial Naval Forces NPCs
- Added option to FLMM activation for camera look ahead
- Added second variant of plasma guns with longer range
- Added proxy bases for capital ship docking with 88 Flak version of FLHook
- Added new starship forward weapons
- Added new heavy fighter weapons
- Removed precision lasers
- Removed most lasers from NPC loadouts
- Increased corporate NPC spawns
- Removed Federation NPC spawns in the upper right of Alaska
- Moved Alliance jump hole exit to underneath Douglas station
- Reduced accuracy of NPC pilots
- Reduced thruster fuel on all ships
- Added torpedo mount to Keta frigate
- Added fourth-rate starship weapon to Cadiz equipment dealer
- Added additional turret mount to Ghen corvette
- Increased energy of Federation starships
- Increased turning speed of the Defiant and Sovereignty
- Increased turret coverage of the Defiant and Sovereignty's turrets
- Reduced turning speed on the Helios
- Reduced the Helios to 2 fourth-rate guns
- Reduced the Helios to 2 cm/mine mount & 1 computer mount
- Reduced the Athena to 2 cm/mine mounts & 1 computer mount
- Increased the Athena to 2 forward mounts
- Merged the Herme's cm and mine mounts
- Adjusted the Saul's mounts to 2 guns & 2 missiles
- Adjusted the Brite's mounts to 4 guns/heavy guns & 2 missiles
- Allowed the Revolution to mount heavy fixed guns
- Made the Sovereignty cruise capable
- Reduced shield strength on the Alliance merchant raider by 1/2
- Anti-Starship rockets no longer fire in volleys of four
- Increased hit-points of starship weapons (so they aren't striped by one torp)
- Slowed torpedoes down
- Increased shield damage of energy weapons against similar sized targets
- Drastically reduced shield damage of energy weapons against smaller targets
- Increase energy use of energy based weapons
- Adjusted ion beams to be mid range and particle beams to be long range
- Fixed Shipdealer at Douglas Station
- Fixed impulse speed on the Brite's infocard
- Fixed firing arc on the Athena's forward gun
- Fixed Helios not dying