Cosmoteer 0.12.11 is out! And if you thought that 0.12.10 had a lot of improvements, then you will not be disappointed by 0.12.11!
The biggest and most obvious improvement can be seen when starting a new game:
When starting a new Bounty Hunter game, you are now given several options to customize your play experience...
First up, there are three difficulty levels that you can choose from: "Ensign" (easy), "Captain" (standard), and "Admiral" (hard). Each difficulty level affects what kinds of enemy ships spawn, the intelligence of their A.I., how much money you start the game with, and how much money you earn as a reward for destroying enemies. The "Captain" difficulty is the closest to the single difficulty level that's been available until now.
Second, you can also customize the size of the galaxy, which simply determines how many solar systems will be in it. "Standard" is the closest to the single size that was available until now, but you can play with a huge galaxy if you want a really long game or a small galaxy if you want a shorter experience.
And lastly, you can now choose between three different starting ships, each with its own advantages and disadvantages. Or if you don't like any of them, you can even start the game with your own design. The amount of funds you'll start the game with will depend on how expensive your starting ship is -- the more expensive it is, the fewer funds you'll start the game with.
Another big change to Bounty Hunter is the presence of enemy "fleets". Now, in some cases when a single enemy would have spawned in older versions, in 0.12.11 that single enemy will be replaced with 2 or more smaller enemies that will work together as a single fleet. This means that you'll have to design your own ship(s) to be able to combat multiple enemies at once. The chance of enemy fleets spawning depends on the difficulty level selected.
This update also has a ton of big balance changes that I hope will make ship design more strategic. These include a nerf to Point Defenses (to make them less effective versus swarms of missiles), an area-of-effect buff to missiles themselves (to make them a possible counter against parts placed directly in front of shield generators), cannons now have a random "spread" (to make them less effective at sniping specific enemy parts), and Electro-Bolts can now penetrate through shields (meaning they can drain from multiple overlapping shields).
Lastly, players complained a lot about how moving parts of ships to different locations cost money to move, and so I made a change that allows you to move a part from one location to another without losing any money. Basically, if you pick up or remove a part, you'll only get a 75% refund, but then if you place the same kind of part somewhere else, you'll only pay 75% of the base cost. Once your ship fights a battle or makes an FTL jump, you'll lose the 25% discount for any parts you've removed but not re-added and you'll have to pay the full 100% price.
There are a whole ton of other improvements and bug fixes in this update, which you can read about in the changelog.