First of all, as a modder I just want to say that I really appreciate the work Ironclad is putting into improving gameplay performance and meeting modder requests with these post 1.82 updates that we thought we were never going to get.
However, with that said, it has long been assumed that with Ironclad's close relationship with Stardock that SoaSE 2 would be using the Nitrous engine funded in part by Stardock that we saw utilized in the Star Swarm demo.
These updates seem like an odd investment of manpower and time for a company that should be, hypothetically, full swing into trying to port SoaSE style gameplay into the Nitrous engine.
Does anyone else worry that these updates may be part of an endeavor to prepare the Iron engine for a another go at SoaSE? I'm hopeful this isn't the case because Nitrous appears to be an impressive engine ready for the next generation of strategy gaming - the kind of thing we'd need for SoaSE to be big again.