Cosmoteer update 0.14.2 is now available! In addition to a ton of bug fixes and minor improvements, this update has three major features: Heavy Laser Blasters, Boost Thrusters, and an advanced user interface for controlling your ship.
Heavy Laser Blaster
The "Heavy Laser Blaster" is a larger, double-barreled variant of the regular Laser Blaster.
In its primary firing mode, the Heavy Laser Blaster shoots two laser shots at once, each doing more than twice the damage of a single shot from the regular Laser Blaster. It can also be changed to an "alternating" firing mode which fires twice as fast but only one shot at a time.
If you need an increase in raw firepower, the Heavy Laser Blaster can be a worthy upgrade over the regular Laser Blaster, albeit at the expense of some versatility with its reduced firing rate, arc, and shot speed.
The "Boost Thruster" is a longer variant of the Large Thruster. Ordinarily, it provides exactly the same thruster force as the Large Thruster, but it also has a special "boost mode" that, when activated, triples its thrust force at the expense of greatly-increased power consumption.
When activated, not only does its power consumption increase proportionally with its thrust, but it also continuously drains power regardless of whether it's actually thrusting, making the Boost Thruster much less power efficient per unit-of-thrust than when not in boost mode. And when boost mode is turned off, any remaining power is immediately lost, meaning you need to think tactically about when to use it.
The Boost Thruster's boost mode is most useful for when you need to quickly get away from—or get closer to—the enemy, or to make a quick maneuver. Be careful though, because once boost mode runs out of power or is turned off, you'll have to wait for your crew to bring more power to the boost thruster before it's usable again even in non-boosted mode.
Advanced Ship Controls
This update also adds a handful of advanced ship controls that can be useful for performing special maneuvers or taking certain actions that can't be done by just right-clicking.
In the top-left of the grid of six buttons is the move command. Just click the button (or press its hotkey, which happens to be M) and then click in empty space to move your ship there or click on another ship to follow it. This isn't much different than just right-clicking in empty space or on a friendly ship to follow it, but it does allow you to "follow" enemy or junk ships without having to attack them.
Below it in the bottom-left of the grid is the force-move command. This is just like the regular move command but disables all collision avoidance, meaning you can use it to ram enemy ships. (And unlike the move command, clicking on an enemy ship won't follow it; it'll just tell your ship to move onto its location.)
In the middle of the top row is the attack command. As its name implies, this command can be used to attack enemy ships, but it can also be used to attack your own or other friendly ships if you really want to. (Doing so will turn on friendly-fire damage for the specific ship you're attacking.) And if you're already attacking a ship, this command doubles as a convenient way to quickly adjust the current distance and angle of attack—just click the command (or press T) and click in empty space to set a location relative to the enemy.
In the middle of the bottom row is the rotate command. This command can be used to quickly change your ship's rotation without altering its movement destination or attack distance/angle. Just press it or its hotkey (R) and then click where you want your ship to face.
In the bottom-right is the strafe command. This is a variant of the move command that can be used when you want to move your ship to a location while keeping its current rotation. It's especially useful when you want to make a tactical maneuver while still facing the enemy.
And in the top-right is the oft-requested halt command. Clicking this or using its hotkey will immediately cancel all current commands, causing your ship to slow to a halt.
Lastly, when you select a specific weapon (or weapons), there is now a target command (seen below in the top-right of the grid). This command is primarily useful for if you want a weapon to target a specific part on a friendly ship, or even its own ship.
By default, these advanced controls are actually hidden until "Show Advanced Ship Controls" in the gameplay settings is turned on. (This setting is also turned on automatically when the "Advanced Ship Controls" tutorial is viewed for the first time.)