Today is notable for the release of patch 1.5 for SoaSE:R, and for the game's first DLC, Forbidden Worlds. I'm sure the first question that will be on many people's minds soon, or is already something they've looked into, is whether the current public release of SoGE will work with 1.5. The answer to this is, yes, it should work without any noticeable issues, other then the UI reverting to vanilla Sins'. In addition, the DLC also shouldn't pose an issue at all. The UI issues have been fixed in the beta, and will be included in the next version, along with all the other entity/Gameplay.constants changes that 1.5 has brought about. Now, onto what the DLC actually adds. It puts in two things, planet specialization, plus new planets and their respective research groups. As you are all aware, SoGE already has specialized planets, and doesn't even make full use of all the planet groups currently ingame. Due to this, and as we simply don't want to force people to get the DLC, SoGE will not be making use of the DLC, however if you have the DLC installed, it will neither break SoGE or having any effect on how SoGE is played.
With a new patch, and an upcoming release, I'll take the time to announce three new addons to the pack that are coming soon; Invulnerable Supercap Factories, Extremely Reduced Weapon Ranges, and Hyperspace Anywhere. The former is rather self-descriptive, supercap factories would be indestructible, an option some have asked for as you cannot rebuild supercap factories. Extremely Reduced Weapon Ranges reduces the ranges of all weapons by 67.5%, or to put it in other terms, the ISD would by default have a range of 3250. In contrast, a TEC light frigate has a default range of 3500 and the TEC's cruiser has a range of 3150. Hyperspace Anywhere was initially something I did purely as a proof of concept, a side project I did for fun. It allows a player to jump from any one planet to another, assuming it can be seen at all, and this works on both random and premade maps. Honestly, it would probably just result in people rushing homeworlds all the time, so I can't say I think it's particularly balanced, but it's already been made so why not.
Scale. A contentious topic, something that's been around since the days of 1.0E, an issue there is no clear consensus on. Until very recently, I had yet to see any positive comments regarding scale, only numerous complaints. That's the reason why the 33% upscale was initially done, for those who noticed the pictures posted last Sunday. As .JAS put it, you "Can't please everybody unfortunately". Thankfully, due to Sins' mod stacking system, both opinions can be satisfied, by making the upscaled models into their own addons pack, so people can decide whether to keep the current scaling, or go with a bigger one that's much more akin to vanilla Sins. Due to the inevitable size of this group of addons, it will be separate from the main addons pack, once it is released. Once this is done, I sincerely hope that all will be satisfied with the scale of SoGE, though feel free to correct me in the comments section.
Also, a fun fact I realized with 1.5, by turning on Anisotropic (under Texture Filtering in the Video section), the higher the better, the planet pole pinching issue becomes far less problematic, and in a few cases is virtually gone.