Alpha V2.4 has now been uploaded to steam. This update contains massive combat updates from simple things like scrolling combat text, new particle effects, enemy shield regeneration and even new targeting options. The changelist notes have the full details as well as some other minor fixes. These changes make the initial combat a bit more difficult but the game is intended to start with enemy ships having a bit of an advantage while you upgrade your weapons and ship.
The battle scanner has now been fully implemented. When researched the battle scanner will on use scan enemy ships for subsystems to attack. Attacking the enemy shields will reduce their ability to recharge them, targeting the engines reduces the enemy dodge %, and targeting the enemies weapon system will force their weapons to fire slower up to the point where they will be fully disabled.
Targeting these systems does comes with problems as targeting the hull will still produce the most amount of damage so choosing your target at the right moment will greatly affect the course of the battle.
Several additional graphic updates is planned in the next patch. This will mean more screenshots and a broader view of everything seen together at once versus the segmented screenshots now.