Things I noticed:
1) Loads and runs fast and smooth.
2) No "ship lag" noticable at all.
3) I have seen fighters and bombers occasionally "jump" to a new position after attacking but its a minimal effect.
4) I have not had the Varsul problem at all and have played Vasari and against Vasari--albeit in SP mode vs one AI.
Anecedotally, had a great first game with a 1v1 against AI on a small map. I ran and grabbed a couple of choke point systems and was going to concentrate on initial fortifications there and fill in logistics on the rear area systems afterwards--holy cow! Pirates went for both point systems immediately. I noticed they "stack" better than I recall and the stand off pirate units have ranged ships now that really make them a threat if you don't have some mobile units to get them with.
I hadn't expected such wave after wave assaults and they burned my resources like cordwood just holding the systems--which gave the AI opponent time to build a small cap fleet. For two hours it was barely hold.
The pace slowed later and it was too easy to defend. I had a two systems serving as a bottleneck but the pirates never bothered one at all as it was an asteroid. I thinks some random factor should apply there. Knowing with absolutre certainty I didn't have to worry about defending against them there is a bit unbalanced.
No complaints. I found the Advent tougher in some ways to defend against but also found it harder to play myself than before.
Good work--love the pirates force mix now--much more believable. I would suggest each pirate base have a dedicated hangar in the system until their asteroid is taken. A little more believable I think and makes it a little challenging. Pirate bases now go down like a drunk Taliban on a U.S. Marine shooting range when hit with massed cap fleets.
P.S. Also noticed some of the planet textures seem much better seemed with clearer textures. Nice look and work there.