What's coming in version 0.7.3?

Sorry for not posting a blog yesterday, but I was feeling rather ill, and only woke up after 4 pm.

If you were one of our early testers, you'll remember the Newtonian steering model. Although we wanted the game to be as realistic as possible within a 2 dimensional space and still arcade-y enough to be a party game, the Newtonian physics seemed unexpectedly difficult for a large amount of our testers to comprehend. Thus we introduced the steering model that we currently have deployed on the live version: you drive the ship as if it were a car on tarmac.

Now, this isn't the most realistic representation, and leaves very little room for skillful piloting. The distinction between an unskilled pilot and a very skilled pilot is minimal, whereas with the old steering, the difference was huge. We missed that, but it was more important that everyone understand how the steering worked than a skilled pilot being able to out-maneuver an unskilled pilot.

So we decided that we need to figure out a way to make the steering more skillful, but not fundamentally different.

Currently we are testing a Newtonian + non-Newtonian hybrid. It's essentially Newtonian physics on the current steering model with friction. This allows for 2 very important things:
  • Tighter turning radius at lower speeds
  • Strafing fire, rather than head-on fire
but doesn't
  • Remove the speed cap
  • Add the need to cancel your own momentum
like the old, Newtonian model.

The effective use of these 2 new mechanics will make a good pilot far more deadly than a pilot with less skill, while not making the less skilled pilot unable to fly at all. The change is quite noticeable, but shouldn't change the vanilla piloting style, or make it any less viable.

We are still changing parameters, trying to hone in on a steering model that is a good middle ground between new and old.