So many of you have noticed that the last released build for Planetary Annihilation came out in October. This for a long time led me and many others to conclude that Uber had abandoned the game due to lack of funds. Apparently a burst of players in January was enough to re-awaken the slumbering beast, and it's now groggily preparing to head to work and release a new patch.
Last Friday brought the first in a series of Public Test Builds, or PTEs. These builds are released shortly before an upcoming update to test new features and ensure against technical issues in the final build. For more information on what PTEs are and how to install them, please see this eXodus eSports article: Exodusesports.com
This first PTE brought two major changes: Custom Server support and the Community Mods Manager (PAMM).
Custom Servers are now view-able in the lobby screen without any mods installed (previously they required either the Faster Server Browser mod by MikeyH or the PA Stats mod by Cola Colin to be seen). Custom servers are player run servers that typically have better performance and have higher player caps than the official servers. The addition of them to the main lobby screen makes it much easier to host those big 40 player matches, and also makes it easier to host games with those fun Game-Mode mods like Phantom.
The second component of the PTE is the in-game Community Mods Manager. No longer do you need to jump through hoops and install the third-party PAMM application to download and install mods; it can now be done directly from the game. That's right, starting now, you can download all of the amazing community mods like the Legion Expansion and Galactic Annihilation directly from the game without having to install anything. This should do wonders to spread mods through the community and allow you to easily tailor your experience to your desires.
The PTE will continue being churned out for the next few weeks as additional features are added by Uber and by MikeyH, until a suitable number of modding and community oriented features have been implemented.