This post is an update on where we stand with the ESF update, which we are targeting for release this month. What’s already complete? Based on the original ESF update forum post, here is what is already complete and on live: We completed a tuning pass on default and rotary nose cannons. We implemented the new lock-on mechanic that adjusts the lock-on speed based on the distance of the shooter to the target. We added the lock-on indicator for third person view and we made missiles appear more accurate on remote clients. We adjusted experience so that players are awarded with kills and assists for players that suicide or log out. We adjusted stealth so that each rank lowers the mini-map detect range and fixed the issue with it not always granting the lock-on increase. (This was fixed a few updates ago but we forgot to call it out in patch notes). We adjusted fire suppression certifications so they also provide a small repair over time. What’s Left? Based on the original ESF update forum post, here is what is still in the works. Some things are going as planned and other things are being adjusted. Creating Better Air-to-Air Gameplay The overall goal of the remainder of the ESF update is to create a better overall air-to-air gameplay experience, starting with the ESF. This ranges from feedback improvements, changes to help new players get into the air, and creating clearer and better roles for the ESF. For example, the engagement radar and feedback changes should help new players get used to how the air game works, and give them a better chance to stick with it. More new blood in the air game will do good to help keep it fresh and engaging. The changes to fuel tanks and the new weapons are all intended to add better and clearer choices for ESFs. The fuel tank adjustments should make the role of a highly maneuverable interceptor more distinct. There are now missiles good for long range engagements and the new coyote missiles good for close range dog fights. Liberators and Galaxies will follow suit in later updates. External Fuel Tank Certifications This is still coming, but instead of increasing top speed, they will increase regeneration rate and capacity of the fuel tanks. In addition, we are making some modifications to stock afterburners to coincide with the new fuel tank certification line: 1 - Stock regeneration rate is being lowered by about 15% it will take about 2 seconds longer to regenerate from 0 to full. The first (stock) rank of external fuel tanks negates this. 2 - Engaging afterburners while in hover mode will have a higher initial fuel cost compared to engaging them while in flight mode. This additional cost only occurs once; when the afterburner key is pressed. The amount is ½ second worth of fuel. The combination of these changes is intended to make the fuel pods a more powerful choice and to make how you spend your afterburner fuel more important. Feedback Improvements Some of our feedback changes we wanted for the ESF update are already live. But we didn’t get to all the ones we wanted to do. Displaying missiles that are tracking you on the mini-map is still coming. There will be a small red dot on the map for each missile currently locked on to you. This gives pilots information on which direction the missile is coming from, how far away it is, etc. We are also still working on displaying more detailed information about what is locking-on to you. Such as displaying what type of rocket it is or how many hostiles are attempting to lock-on to you. We are still finalizing what specific information we want to display here. Locust Cannons We've felt the design for this weapon made more sense as a nose cannon and have made a few changes to convert it. It will essentially be a nose cannon variant with a larger magazine size, but does less damage. It will no longer have a spin up time and it will be different for each faction. Although less damaging than other nose cannons, we think having less reloads will provide a bigger opportunity to land hits. Coyote Missiles These are still going to be a low damage, close range missile weapon, but we’re working on a different lock-on style for these. Instead of a lock-on, they will be heat-seeking, and will lock-on to targets if they fly close enough to them. We intend these to be a short range supplement to nose cannons. They should be useful in situations where a nose cannon shot is not practical. Mass Drivers We have some technical and balance concerns with this weapon so we’re putting these on hold and are no longer considered part of “The ESF Update”. Guided Missiles Instead of Mass Drivers, we’re implementing guided missiles. These missiles work like the current A2A missiles but are not fire and forget. They require the pilot to keep their target in the crosshairs until the missile hits. They are also capable of locking on to ground targets. These have a higher potential damage output than rocket pods against vehicles, but have several more downsides: They can’t be used against infantry; they are countered by both flares and stealth, they can’t be fired instantly because they require a lock, and because they aren't fire and forget, they require the pilot to remain engaged with their target. Other Stuff Stuff that was not mentioned in the previous post. Engagement Radar This is a new certification line coming for either the Utility or Defense slot for ESFs. This radar will cause a certain amount of enemy aircraft to receive HUD indicators, and those indicators will clamp to the edge of the screen, granting more situational awareness and making it easier to track a target once it goes off screen. The main intention with this certification is to help newer pilots get their bearings in the sky. Therefore the certification cost for this will be low. We are also considering that targets with Stealth equipped do not display on engagement radars. A2A Missiles Changes to A2A missiles for PU002 were not intentional and being addressed. After the fixes, they should be as dodge-able as other lock-on rockets. Edit: Added Creating Better Air-to-Air Gameplay near the top. To describe an overall goal for the combination of all the changes.