The most recent Elite: Dangerous patch had some issues, starting with the fact that AI ships were rocking impossibly powerful weapons that would destroy player ships with speed and fury. It was kind of a massacre. Removing modifications from NPC weapons was a quick fix, but it looks like the developers have identified the core problem and will be fixing it by early next week.
Wondering exactly what the problem was? You can check out a detailed technical breakdown, but the short version is that the game’s modifications were allowing for weapons to combine values in ways that should not have happened, with none of the usual checks to make sure that everything in place would actually work together. The result was a more challenging AI rocking weapon combinations that seemed overpowered and impossible… because those weapon combinations were overpowered and impossible. FIxing it was thus a matter of making sure that the modifications could no longer fetch incorrect data for weapon stats.
Not really curious about why the bug was happening, but still in the mood to shoot at other spacecraft? Perhaps you’d prefer to watch a video (by longtime MOP backer Phoenix Dfire) on Assassinations missions in 2.1, which can be found just below. It’s as good a place as any to see the new AI in action without its weapons of madness.