WOW. So, another year gone... and very little real progress to report. Basically, I took a break from working on my own projects to try out some of the other releases that came out, like Inferno: Nostos, Inferno Classic with upgrades ships, the upgraded Sol: A History, as well as SA. Some of these got interrupted by me needing to replace my computer during August. Fortunately, in terms of Freespace, all I lost was a few of my newer pilots and their campaign progress. On the upside, my new computer leaves my old one in the digital dust.
I've recently begun the process of playing through my complete or semi-complete missions to see if I need to change anything. Again, finishing my loop missions looms over me like that fish that got away that keeps showing up to rub my face in it... that got weird. Anyway, to keep myself working on the project, and at the same time putting off finishing the loop, I've begun doing some more modding updates, such as turret sounds, adjusting subsystem strengths, and even adding new models. Some time ago I decided to include the Shivan Armaros corvette, planning to introduce it for Chapter 3, but after playing SAH I decided to include the Tyr as well. I liked the updated model from SAH and its Fenris-style fits with the time. I've decided to make it a fast attack cruiser with turrets that can switch weapon types on the fly, so light, fast pulses to engage fighters, or heavy pulses against warships. It can switch from FighterKillers to Fusion Mortars or Fusion Swarm missiles. It supposedly a new design built only in Sol so far, so that's why you don't see it later in the GTVA timeline. I've also decided to keep the Neith model, which was in the CH1 release but not used in any missions. I've decided that it's a new Spec Ops cruiser, with advanced long-range sensors (as evidenced by the large ventral array), a networked, redundant NAV system to plot fast and precise jump coordinates (since the model has 6 NAV subsystems), and a special turret on the front that can launch a rapid laser-pulse salvo over great range for providing fire support. Again, to explain why you never see these cruisers in the GTVA time-period, I've decided that their ship-yards were destroyed when the Lucifer attacked Vasuda Prime, and restarting development would be too costly, so the 3 or so in service are the only ones of their class. Some of these new ships will only be see in Loop 3... once I get that far. I am also considering trying to use those asteroid environment models used in SAH to make some asteroid missions feel a bit more real. I haven't done anything on that line yet though.
My New Year's resolution is to complete and release the merged Chapter1&2... with a finished Loop. This I vow!
Merry Christmas to all (if you're OK with it), and may next year not suck as much as this past one did (from a global perspective).