Post news RSS Dev Blog: Plans for 0.2.5

Electronic warfare, superfreighters, and more are planned for the next major release. Read on to learn about the exciting new features currently under development in Project Helia!

Posted by on

Introduction

Greetings! Now that the 0.2.4 release is out the door, I wanted to give an update on what's being worked on for 0.2.5! - hopefully you'll be as excited about it as I am :)

Note that this update contains mockups, not actual gameplay. This is because this blog is about concepts which have not been implemented yet, and getting you excited about what Helia can be in the future. Remember, this game is under active development and is in open alpha!

Electronic Warfare

Lets address the elephant in the room first - electronic warfare. This feature was planned for the last release, but did not make it in due to time constraints. Electronic warfare is slated as the highest priority feature for 0.2.5, and will be included in the next release.

To give a recap about electronic warfare from the relevant dev blog, electronic warfare is intended to allow skiffs to act as force multipliers against frigates - groups of skiffs carrying electronic warfare will be able to seriously hamper one!

These new modules will be quite small, and have a low individual effect. However, their effects will stack to become quite nasty! Each of the four great nations will have their own flavour of electronic warfare, although players will be able to fit them to any ship that has a compatible slot.

  • Cycle Disruptor (Kingdom) - Disrupts the normal cycling of modules on the target, causing their cycle times to backtrack. This will affect all families of modules.

  • Fire Control Jammer (Federation) - Reduces the ability of turrets and missile launchers to hit their targets. For turrets, this will reduce range and tracking. For missiles, range and reliability will be reduced.

  • Regeneration Mask (Accord) - Reduces passive shield and energy regeneration on the target, potentially starving its modules.

  • Dissipation Mask (Coalition) - Reduces passive heat dissipation on the target, potentially cooking it alive.

Oh the possibilities!

Superfreighters

In the future, players will be able to construct their own space stations and configure them to their liking. Station construction (and destruction) will also form the basis of the sovereignty system. However, a small transport with a cargo capacity of merely ~1000 would never be able to carry the necessary components! So, as a precursor to player owned stations, superfreighters must be introduced...

Each of the two major corporations will get one superfreighter model - these will not be available from the four great nations. This is for two reasons:

  1. The four great nations are quite risk averse, avoiding damaging each other's stations in order to maintain the power balance and focus on longevity and hedonism. Therefore, it wouldn't make sense for them to be manufacturing such vessels at this time as they aren't interested in building any new stations.
  2. It provides players with an incentive to venture into corporate space and stay friends with one of the corporations.

Names and sprites are still work in progress, but these new ships will have cavernous cargo bays, ample C slots, and fly like an atrophied albatross. Although they can be used for trading, their primary purpose is logistics and station construction.

In addition, larger power cells and fuel pellets will be added to facilitate maintenance and construction of these behemoths!

New Modules (non-Electronic Warfare)

What would a release be without new modules? Especially in an open alpha! You can look forward to these new modules...

  • Burst Fusion Reactor - A new Rack B module that will allow you to rapidly increase your energy reservoir by directly consuming fuel pellets. Beware of overheating!
  • Thermal Capacitor - A new Rack C module that will increase the amount of heat your ship can absorb before overheating. Note that this has no effect on dissipation.

These modules will be found throughout the universe, and not tied to any particular faction's space or NPCs.

Pirate and Corporate Frigates

This is a stretch goal for the next release - it may get pushed to 0.2.6, depending on how everything else goes. Although there are now frigates for the four great nations, pirate and corporate factions are missing out.

This feature is still in the concept phase, but ideally the two major pirate and two major corporate factions will each receive one frigate model and new NPCs to match.

As an aside, although each nation only has one frigate class at the moment, there will be more in the future to fill different roles.

Conclusion

We have a long way to go, but hopefully this update gives you a good idea of where we're heading. What are your thoughts? Is there anything you dislike, or didn't see mentioned that you would like to see implemented? I am always open to feedback!

Because Helia is in open alpha, you can currently play for free! Please consider reading the lore and signing up - big things have small beginnings :)

Post a comment
Sign in or join with:

Only registered members can share their thoughts. So come on! Join the community today (totally free - or sign in with your social account on the right) and join in the conversation.