Cosmoteer update 0.14.8 is now available for download! This update adds a new support "weapon" system, the Tractor Beam Emitter.
The Tractor Beam Emitter is a very large, very expensive system that fires a beam of gravitational energy at other ships and objects. It has two modes of operation, "pull" and "push", and uses considerable amounts of power in both modes.
In "pull" mode, the tractor beam can "tether" to any object within 200 meters and then slowly pull it in with a weak gravitational force. While useful for pulling in debris and inanimate objects, that force isn't strong enough to pull in an enemy ship that is resisting it with its thrusters. However, once attached, the beam can then stretch up to 200 additional meters, and as the beam stretches, both its gravitational strength and power usage increase greatly, making the beam act similarly to a rubber band.
In "push" mode, the tractor beam acts as more of a "spring", pushing away ships and objects with a strength depending on how close the target is; closer targets will be pushed away with more force and will use more power while doing so.
Once you add a Tractor Beam Emitter to your ship, new buttons will be displayed that allow you to target the tractor beam onto other ships:
By default, tractor beams will aim for the center of the targeted ship, but you can also aim them at a specific part by holding the Ctrl key while targeting. Tractor Beam Emitters also use "pull" mode by default, which you can change by selecting the Tractor Beam Emitter and toggling their mode to "push".
Unlike all other weapons currently in Cosmoteer, Tractor Beam Emitters are "roof mounted", meaning they do not need to be placed on the edge of your ship to function; instead, they fire the beam over-top their own ship. But you'll still need to be mindful of where you place the tractor beam because they exert an "equal and opposite" force on their own ship, potentially "yanking" your ship around and exposing a weak side. (Of course, you can also use tractor beams to "yank" enemies as well!)
While Tractor Beam Emitters are the main new feature of this update, there are also a number of additional balance changes, bug fixes, and modding features.