This update adds one of the new abilities I’ve been working on: fighter shields. All fighter groups now have an ability that allows them to switch between combat mode (they move and attack normally) and shielded mode, where the fighters form a wall of directional force fields to absorb incoming attacks, but lose their ability to attack while the shields are active.
This ability gives the player some additional tactical options and makes fighters more useful in late game situations.
In the future, the shield ability will most likely be unlocked via 2 or more ranks of upgrades in the research panel. (during the campaign, it will also be possible to unlock specific techs in the main campaign screen, which will unlock that specific tech in any node in which the player fights a battle.)
Shield Energy Leeching:
Currently, the shield ability will not only recharge over time, but fighter groups whose shields have been drained will actively leech energy from other nearby fighter groups. This means that having multiple shielded fighter groups in the same area will help support any fighter group that is actually taking enemy fire, this is a great benefit, even if the enemy is focusing their fire on just one group. This is a pretty useful ability, and in the future it will probably be unlocked by the highest rank of the fighter shielding tech. As with many things in early access, balance changes may also be made as needed.
For the next big update I’ll be working on improving some of the ship models, including the fighter models for both factions. I’ll also continue to add more campaign scenarios, (which will be a part of most updates.) A little further down the line, I’ll be updating the interfaces for handling unit abilities and the research menu, as the current versions aren’t up to the task of managing an increasing number of abilities and campaign-specific techs.