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Persistent Mines and Other News.

A couple of brief status updates on the development mentioned in the last few posts:

- Persistent Mines are coming along well. With some luck, we might even see them in the next release on Friday. We put in some time to try and make mines more flexible concepts (in the engine), and the overall addition of persistency has been a good thing, which directly fed into and influenced..

- Persistent Capships, which are taking a little bit longer. There are some complex concepts that we're updating in the game to make this all work robustly. In fact, we probably haven't done this much low-level client/server development in quite some time. But, we're proceeding carefully to minimize the potential for issues.

- Capship Variants and Changes are still on-going, and I want to state very clearly that no one should draw any "permanent" conclusion from recent changes to cargo space / docking-bay usage and the like. I've been very open on the forums that we would like continued feedback and input on a lot of these concepts, and that I'm willing to change values (as I did right after release, for the cargo-space-requirements of many smaller ships, bringing it more in-line with a player suggestion). One has to be careful how one spends precious development time, and when things are in constant change, and we have a lot of changes going on with capships; obviously the persistency stuff, but also the potential for things like player shields, new weapon availability and types, etc.

We want to retain all the good gameplay that has evolved out of player usage of capships over the past couple of years, but we're still headed towards a number of more advanced goals for capship capability that I think will make people very happy when we get it all released into the game (short-term, not Soon).

- New Vulture feedback is welcome on the Suggestions forum. For those unaware, there's an experimental prototype version of the new asset in the Corvus Capitol sector. The asset will eventually replace all existing Vulture variants, as the standard Vulture graphics.

- Automated Events are something I have on the mind lately, as a possible target for the near future, when some of the current projects are completed. These would work similarly to player-run or developer-run events, but would be common enough in interest, and simple enough in implementation, that we might be able to just script them to happen automatically on a regular basis. That way we can avoid a lot of the scheduling scenarios that often crop up with player-run events. These automated events would in no way replace player or developer-run events, but would persistently augment them and offer some guaranteed times to pull people together. If you'd like to see Nation War or some similar concept be implemented as an automated event, please feel free to weigh in on the Suggestions Forum. I have some very specific (large) long-term goals for automated events, but I'd like to start with something a bit simpler for now.

Lastly, for any who missed it, the point-release on Tuesday included quite a lot of stuff:

- Removed the ability to jettison cargoed ships.
- Ship Sell Price now includes the full price of ships inside the cargo hold.
- The mass of ships now include the full mass of cargoed ships and their nested cargo/addons. Passengers' ships do not affect the mass of the capship yet.
- Selling ships directly from the cargo hold of another ship no longer results in orphaned addons.
- Capship explosions are now visible when the pilot is controlling a turret and the ship explodes.
- Fixed a bug where a capship passenger gets a blank screen when they dock to a capship in space and then leave it when it is in a station.
- Valent A-3 Assault and Axia RA18 Assault bots that are created through the LAR Project mission tree should now fire all of their weapons.
- The currently active ship is no longer displayed in the Station List of the Load/Unload menu.