In this episode, I cover some of the new MERC stuff I have playing with over the past week. I have revamped the FLEET panel so that you can easily get an overview of all your mercenaries. You can mouse over each one to display additional information about their ship, and the modules they currently have installed. The station lounge has also received a few tweaks as well. It will now show additional information about the available mercs, in an easy to read format.
I have also added a the 'Entertainment' area to the station lounge. You can now purchase morale and loyalty for your entire fleet. There are various types of entertainment that you can purchase for your fleet, with each one having a different effect. Any station with a lounge will have some form of entertainment available. I will be adding this functionality to some of the structures as well.
I made a semi major change to the harvesting mechanics. No longer does the ore value of a resource drop based on the laser strength. Now the laser strength only effects the amount of ore that is collected from each mining laser strike. When a mining beam hits a resource, it will only reduce the resource by 1. The laser strength will only determine the amount harvested.
I have made some progress with a few of the basic tutorials. I still have a few more to do before I can start on some of the more advanced ones. Faction ratings are now effecting warp gates, structures, and stations. Fees and tolls are scaled based on your faction rating. As I continue to tie things up for the early access launch, I am flipping the switches on that effect various game mechanics with faction ratings. It definitely adds a bit more meat to the game when you actions have consequences. I wanted to wait for this, until I had most of the mechanics tested and functioning properly. The only one left to turn on is the NPC interactions. Once that goes live, you will need to pay much more attention to your faction ratings, since a negative rating will make them view you as hostile.
If you haven't yet, be sure to check out the new Steam Store page for Astrox Imperium.