Introduction

Greetings! – I hope you are having a good day 🙂 I just wanted to let you know that Helia 0.2.5 has been released, and that it is a major content update! With new ships, modules, and the framework for a future giga economy there is surely something you’ll enjoy.

Electronic Warfare

Firstly, electronic warfare has been completed! This feature was intended to be in the last release but was unfortunately delayed. To recap, electronic warfare adds 4 new types of modules intended to allow a swarm of skiffs to take on a frigate (or potentially larger vessel):

  • Basic Cycle Disruptor – Kingdom-made module that causes cycle timers on the target ship to backtrack. This affects all module types, so there may be some interesting scenarios where it helps instead of hurts.
  • Basic Fire Control Jammer – Federation-made module that interferes with the ability of gun turrets and missile launchers to apply damage to their targets.
  • Basic Regeneration Mask – Accord-made module that reduces passive shield and energy regeneration on the target ship, potentially starving its modules.
  • Dissipation Mask – Coalition-made module that reduces passive heat dissipation on a target ship, potentially cooking it alive if it generates a significant amount of heat!

Besides being available to players, each of the four great nations has received new skiff NPCs equipped with their respective electronic warfare type. These could prove to be quite nasty!

Superfreighters

In the future, players will be able to construct (and destroy) massive space stations and outposts for their faction. In order to support this, vessels with a significantly larger cargo capacity were needed. Superfreighters are designed for hauling enormous amounts of material around the universe to facilitate giga-scale projects.

Given the risk-aversion of the four great nations, superfreighters are available from the two corporate factions (and thus don’t have schematics but must be directly purchased from them):

  • Zebra – Interstar-made superfreighter with a cavernous cargo bay and impressive defensive capabilities. This vessel maneuvers like a sleepy albatross, however!
  • Fetch – Alvaca-made superfreighter with impressive handling and speed, but reduced carrying capacity and combat capabilities. Just don’t get caught!

Both of these ships are rather expensive, and definitely shouldn’t be out alone. Unlike smaller transports such as the Emu or Gila, which can operate very independently, these vessels require scouts and escorts to detect and deter pirates and other hostiles.

The need for escorts will only increase in the future as cruisers, battlecruisers, and battleships are eventually added into the game.

Giga Economy

The “giga economy” refers to the construction and maintenance of space stations and the largest vessels. Although player-owned space stations are a while away, infrastructure for the giga economy has been put in place in this release for two reasons:

  1. Right now, appropriately sized fuel pellets and repair kits are needed for superfreighters. It would be rather tedious to refuel and repair a superfreighter using skiff/transport sized ones!
  2. In the future, enormous numbers of power cells need to be avoided when constructing massive projects. Nobody wants to haul tens of millions of 10 kWH Cells around!

So, the following item types and schematics have been introduced:

  • 3 PJ Pellet – These massive fuel pellets are appropriately sized for superfreighters and future battlecruisers and battleships. They can be used for refueling in a station, in space using an XL Field Fuel Loader, or for a burst of energy using an XL Burst Fusion Reactor (more later).
  • XL Nanite Patch Kit – A massive nanite patch kit for repairing the largest ships.
  • 1 GWH Cell (and the depleted counterpart) – Enormous power cells that make transporting energy more efficient. These are too large to be transported using a transport, but a superfreighter is more than capable of handling them. In addition, there are schematics to move energy between 10 kWH Cells and 1 GWH Cells.

In addition, a new Station Assembly Yard has been introduced with a cavernous workspace for constructing the largest objects in the game. While not terribly useful now, these will be invaluable in the future!

You are going to notice that the giga economy is expensive – of course it is! Do you think maintaining and constructing such enormous things is cheap? To put it in perspective, the cost of a single fuel pellet for a superfreighter is more than the cost of a skiff! Keep that in mind while taking one for a joy ride 🙂

Fitting Stats

Previously, the stats of your ship once fitted were very opaque. You could generally feel the change in performance, or lack thereof, but it was very difficult to quantity. Now, selected key stats about your ship are visible in the fitting window:

Note that experience is NOT taken into account in these stats at this time, and there currently isn’t a way of viewing the effective stats of a module with your experience. This is something to be addressed in a future release.

Non-EWAR Modules

Besides EWAR modules, covered earlier, two new module types were introduced:

  • Burst Fusion Reactors – These reactors consume a fuel pellet to recharge the energy reserve of your ship. Any excess energy is converted to heat, and they have a fairly long cycle time if unmodified, so be careful! Used at the right time, these could give you an enormous tactical advantage.
  • Thermal Capacitors – These modules increase the amount of heat that your ship can store before overheating. They don’t affect dissipation rate, and therefore fill a very different role than Heat Sinks. They may be rather useful when Dissipation Masks are expected, for example.

These modules aren’t favourites of a particular faction and can be found throughout the universe.

Feedback

Any feedback is appreciated! If you have any comments or questions, feel free to reach out here or on the subreddit. This is an open-alpha MMO, so things are going to be broken and unbalanced in places, especially given the incompleteness of the game. However, with your help it could be great 🙂

Source: Indie DB

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