I believe that by taking breaks from a routine one can return later full force with new ideas and transform outdated concepts into revolutionary ones at a rate far higher than what constant "grinding" would accomplish. Witness the changes in the battlespace from V7 to V11 and you'll understand why I say that the V11 to V12 transformation will be nothing but spectacular.
Immediately noticeable for now would be the new Alessian Empire bringing to the naval warfare scene gravitic-effect weaponry (GEW) and the hunter-killer ship concept focusing on stealth, speed, and devastating short range firepower using the aforemented GEWs in spinal configuration: far more efficient than the HW/2 style turret ships. This means that a successful Alessian commander would stagger his strike cruisers such that the point squadron will hit the desired primary target and the following ships will cover them with supporting fire as they egress at maximum acceleration (V7.6 style).
Plasma weapons shall receive a significant revamp as recent studies into plasma as a weapon system have told us that in order to be effective, they would resemble a particle beam as opposed to the common "glowing blob" rendition. For the time being. V11 Beta 8 already treats plasma cannon fire as having beam weapon accuracy, so it seems speculation pays off.
The main role of ballistic (ie, railgun, etc) weapons are rapid fire close defense, transorbital bombardment of static targets and of course, mining. Their effective range against actively maneuvering starships is very short compared to the lightspeed "muzzle velocity" of lasers which in our universe are effective to a real-world range of 10,000km. So yes, railguns are devastating, if you're close enough to hit or the target is stationary.
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