GC3 has added in ranges of different weapons, rates of fire and has even changes to how defenses operate (example, armor, while protecting mostly from mass drivers, can also protect a little from beams and missiles though not as much). There are also support modules that can enhance certain ascpects of weapons, giving you things like greater range, ability to bypass certain defenses, speed upgrades. How you build a ship can also change its behavior. Give mostly weapons and it dashes off towards the most dangerous of targets. Give it mostly defenses and it hangs back and protects valuable targets. Give it enough support modules and the vessel becomes a target that needs protecting. Carriers have also been added.
There are weekly dev streams that are also posted on YouTube that can give you more insight as well and help you to keep up.