deepSpaceMMO enters gameplay-testing beta!

Log in to the deepSpaceMMO realm, The Maelstrom

(command line: telnet 2323)
(or, from the Windows GUI, you can use puTTY's telnet mode to connect to port 2323)

Welcome to 'deepSpaceMMO'. No, that's not the real name; it's just a code name. Nor is the name textMMOde, which is just an acronym for a purely TEXT-based Massively Multiplayer Online Deepspace Environment.

So, what is it, then? It's a beta version of the server engine for an upcoming mmorpg. It's a complete mmorpg backend server that implements the entire game in text mode. That lets us play-test the server while the client is being built. This server is configured to support a thousand concurrent players and includes only a single galaxy. When complete, the game universe will include many connected galaxies.

Here, you can make friends and enemies. You can work hard and be nice -- and you can attack anyone you wish. You can found and lead your own army or you can skulk about solo, keeping a low profile, and become a master of hiding, stealthing, espionage, and survival.

The more forces you accumulate, the less effective your natural stealth (ship cloaking) becomes. You can offset that decline in stealth by equipping your starship with stealth panels. Or, you can buy devices that increase your effectiveness in battle. Or, you can buy equipment that lets you move ports -- and even planets -- from one starsystem to another. There are also devices that partially offset stealth, as well as to attack stealthed starships more effectively. Each time you level up, you become eligible to install an additional device, up to the level cap.

But you must carefully consider the mix of devices that you install on your starship. Once you attach a device to your ship, it cannot be removed. Well, not without cracking the entire hull and destroying everything inside. And that would be very expensive. If, Heaven forbid, your starship were to be destroyed, you would only lose the installed equipment and the microbots and drones actually onboard. Your starbases, bunkers, and deployed drones throughout the Universe would be unaffected.

Don't bother trying to look for advice on the Internet. There are no meaningful and reusable questions. There are no scripted battles or puzzles to solve here; there are only other starship captains like youself. They range from brilliant and helpful to evil brutes -- and every shade in between. Neither the Internet nor Hari Seldon can predict what any one of them might do. But, perhaps you have a talent yourself? A flair for tactics, ship engineering, business analysis, or assessing people, possibly? A natural leader or a strategic thinker could do well here...

Let me give you a few quick pointers on basic operations, answers to the simple sort of questions that can be provided; those on the mechanics of being a commodity trader in deep space:

  • Industrial Microbots are as good as cash here -- and more useful. You can buy things, build starbases and bunkers, and salvage neutral drones to add to your fleet using microbots.

  • Tradingposts sell ship upgrades and other items and services. They are many throughout the bottom galaxy. There is a Tradingpost in sector 1.

  • Spaceports are what we call the stable wormholes that are scattered throughout the entire Universe. They link galaxies together. Spaceports are the only known way to travel to other galaxies. Note that the many galaxies have varying levels of wealth and different internal structures.

  • You can apply to join a player-run corporation. Once you've built up a bit of wealth and experience, you can create your own corp. Corporations have their own radio frequencies and can share defensive structures such as starbases and bunkers. Powerful corporations might take over and defend entire galaxies for their own exploitation.

  • Your ship gathers antimatter (fuel) from space in tiny quantities. All ships accumulate the same amount of antimatter per day. You can use it quickly but inefficiently by betting on the dice at Tradingposts, or you can spend it slowly and carefully trading at commodity ports and autoscooping planet/port combinations.

  • You'll sometimes find a salvagable neutral drone while trading. You can also salvage whole groups of them to grow your fleet with the huge numbers of microbots you'll earn trading.

  • Staying out of sight is useful to survival. You can park your ship under fleets of neutral drones for free protection. Unless someone kills -- or salvages -- the drones you'll be perfectly safe there. Stealth, both natural and augmented, is useful as well. It makes you hard to see as well as difficult to target and hit. Also, if you're looking for out-of-the-way places to hide, it would do no good to broadcast it here, would it? Let's just say, don't park overnight in Sector 1 and leave it at that.

  • Drones that accompany your ship will fight back against any attackers -- even when you're sleeping. A large fleet of drones always helps with survival.

  • At level 1 and above, you can build a bunker from the hollowed-out remains of a claimed planet -- and park your ship inside. No one can see you there, but someone might try to land on it. So don't forget to deploy your entire drone fleet to guard the bunker from within. They'll fight more effectively from there. [Note that neutral drones in the same sector as your bunker won't protect you from attacks against the bunker. Also, stealth makes no difference when your ship is inside a bunker and, therefore, not visible anyway.]

That's about all I can tell you about surviving here. Use the ? command on your starship console to display the operational functions of your ship.

You look like a sharp kid. I'm sure *cough* you'll do just fine.

Good Luck!

P.S. This realm hosts a complete galaxy and is free-to-play. You can only play 3 characters though. There is no intrusive registration; just pick a name and password and start to play.

For many years now, there has been fast and efficient starship travel between neighboring star systems. Recently, reliable travel between distant star clusters within our own galaxy became possible. As the technology develops into the future there will be longer and longer connections; soon, nearby galaxies will no longer be beyond our reach. Much progress has already been made; it's now just a matter of time before intergalactic travel becomes reality. Then, the galaxies will all be connected and starships will be able to travel between them. Most people think that will be a good thing.

I'm not so sure. Maybe it really means that life as we know it will change forever. But, at least for now, we don't have to concern ourselves with, say, the possibility of an invasion force warping into our quiet and peaceful galaxy...

...For now.