This week's newsletter focuses on community response to the beta testing of the upcoming patch, and the reply comes from the lead designer himself - Sandro Sammarco!

"There’s been lots of great feedback in the Beta so far! Because of it, we’ve already been able to make a bunch of improvements:

Diminishing returns for heat delivery weapons

Turns out heat attacks were just too brutal (victims were getting thousands of times hotter than their ship could handle), so we’ve altered the way that weapons push heat onto a target. Now, the hotter a ship gets, the less effective additional heat becomes. This means that although heat weapons can still cook ships very effectively, the target has a fighting chance if they can avoid attacks or pop heat sinks, and ship total heat will never rise too high above the threshold for taking hull damage. Incidentally, we’re also going to improve the Retributor Powerplay weapon, to bring it in line with experimental effects that deal heat damage – it will now be more effective, as it should be (even more so if you load for bear with the thermal shock experimental effect).

Improved Cannons

These weapons had started to look a little dated, especially with all the fancy new modules making ships more resilient. So we’ve made them a tad better: their shells are faster, have no damage fall off over range, increased their ability to overcome hardness so they lose less damage when attacking large ships and have a better chance to penetrate through to attack modules. These changes should help cannons find their place in the pantheon of kinetic weapons: “hard hitters”, alongside “hosing” multi-cannons and “shotgun” fragmentation cannons.

Softened the feedback cascade experimental effect for railguns

they will now *only* prevent deploying shield cells from regenerating shields (heat from the cell still gets applied!) and deal some of their damage directly to all cell banks that are currently deploying cells. Still rather effective, then!

Missiles have been improved throughout the Beta

They do a little more damage, shields are a little less resistant to them, seekers are better at tracking, we’ve increased their health a little and we fixed a bug that was placing blast radii at the wrong point. They are now the premium method of applying damage to external modules such as drives and weapons; just remember to use subsystem targeting to increase the chance of hitting the modules you want to destroy.

Turrets are improved

We’ve increased their damage and rate of fire a little so that they now fit more appropriately with damage progression between gimbal and fixed weapons, which should make them more viable for large ships.

Added the ability to interrogate materials in recipes

Now correctly called blueprints! When looking at materials in the interface, you can now get a description, which includes hints on where to look and what activities to try to nab them.

Ice mining made more profitable

- by increasing the chance of rarer resources being generated. Nom, nom, nom.

More to come...

We’re updating the crafting process to bias values towards better results, especially when experimental effects are generated, the idea being that these upgrades are supposed to be just that – upgrades!

We’re going to add additional methods of reputation increase for Engineers, using specialised markets, exploration data and bounty claims, so when the update goes live, Commanders will have more ways to get into the Engineers’ good books.

Along with this, we’ll also be removing some of the lower ranked materials, allowing the remaining ones to be used in more recipes, so that across the board you’ll need to collect fewer types to start crafting upgrades.

None of these changes would have likely happened without all the feedback that the brave Beta Commanders have been providing us with, so lots of thanks and love to them. Let the testing continue, for there’s surely more changes to come!"