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Escorts and Pirates

The work planned to be finished on Monday has pretty much taken until today (Weds) to complete. Much of the "NPCs and PCs treated similarly" code is in place, but there's still work that needs to be done before we can actually start rolling out new features based on this development. A lot of them are fairly simple technical issues, making sure a user taking a mission with NPCs is in the same group (to avoid aggression in case of a collision), or creating a way for NPCs pirates to determine a good intercept sector for a given convoy, and so forth. With luck, however, we hope to have a production-ready Escort mission by early next week (hopefully Monday). The Pirate missions will take a little longer, due to some added development needed for those cases, but they should follow soon enough.

In UI news, things are moving well. I'm actually able to use the new client on a regular basis now, giving Ray feedback on usability and design issues. The station menu is pretty much functional, but is still lacking some controls, and also lacking some graphical-prettyness in some areas. It's cool to see the client usable, though: 95% of the actual functionality is in place, but there's a whole lot of minor stuff that Ray is still implementing, as well as some "new" features that I want him to add. People may run into some issues with existing console scripts and special binds and things, simply because the new client interface doesn't function exactly like the old one, but it'll only mean minor re-scripting. I'm confident that it'll be a major improvement all 'round, and am happy to see the interface shaping up so well.

I've been doing a little administrative work here and there, as has been noted in newsposts on here. Most of my time is still directed towards the interface and other new graphics (like ships), but some server and site upgrades are going to be necessary, and I'm doing that when possible. I have a mailing list server up and running, to actual do regular (monthly) notifications of events and the like, but I'll be holding off on using the list until after the new client is out. I'm also working with Andy on some new mission interface / development stuff, which I'm very excited about but won't discuss in-depth until it bears more fruit.

Luis is still working on some new ships for us (potentially, a replacement for the EC-88, and perhaps a number of variants), I may post some concept art later this week (we'll see :).

That wraps it up for now. I will post again by next Monday, at least, to either announce the new Escort missions, or announce they won't be out on Monday ;). Keep your fingers crossed.