From: Santa Rosa, CA
No, we haven't talked about map drawing tools, although agree that would be nice. Not sure what that would entail, so would need to talk it over with the programmers to understand the feasibility of it.
We are making decent progress, having switched over to our new AOG (air operational groups) and implemented 95% of the Air AI assist system. We've got a few features left to add in that area, but the amount of items left to be done there has greatly diminished. Marc has been working on our interface art changes, and we're trying to get most of it done by May. We're internally targeting adding in a new batch of testers around mid-May, but there are a few things we really want to get done first before we open it up to a lot of new testers. So as with all dates, this could slip. The more we get done before we bring people in the less confusion they'll be. It won't be at full beta in May, but there are a few items we can leave to be added later that shouldn't really impact most testing. We'd still like to get the game out this year. We'll just have to see how quickly these last items go in and how well things hold up once we add in a bunch of new testers.
We really aren't in a position to show you anything for two reasons. One, since we're getting close, as long as the art hasn't been finalized, we don't want to show you things still in construction. Second, Matrix understandably wants to have a plan for rolling out info on new features. Discussions about this should start soon, so hopefully it won't be too long before you start seeing some info.
I will say that player's will have to adjust some of their tactics to account for all of the changes. I'll say more about that later, but we are going to try to add some things to the interface to help players be more aware of the impact of their actions.
All understanding comes after the fact.
-- Soren Kierkegaard