Tuesday, July 26, 2005

Fellowship of 419 ep III: Invasion of Planetarion pt 1

In the beginning, two members of 419 NiGHTs and Kv were engrossed in the web-based online game Utopia. The best thing about the game was that it only required the player to log on at most an hour a day to do reasonably well.

Then one day, Kv suggested that NiGHTs and Akiramike get into this new web-based game called Planetarion. For those unfamiliar with web based games, you basically create an account and play for whatever duration a 'season' might be. In the case of planetarian, you basically create a planet, with something like 11 other planets in the same system. There are hundreds of systems in the same galaxy and probably something like 20 or more galaxies in the whole game. Kv even recruited some of his friends from Malaysia to play and we got into the same system.

Anyway, you start off by deciding which buildings to build and and which tech-tree and units to go for, similar to any RTS like Starcraft or Command and Conquer.

Now, the main difference between Planaterian and other web-based games is that everything truly happens in real time. You are alerted when a hostile fleet is sighted coming your planet/system. It takes about 9 hours in real time for the attacking fleet to reach depending on your location. If the enemy is from a different system or galaxy it would take a bit longer and of course, ships from your own system take something like 2-3 hours.

Furthermore, the game allowed fleets to attack or defend together. The attacking force is definitely going to be much more powerful than ur defence so one always needed to ask for help, which was hell for us.

Usually we would get attacked early in the morning while is when Europeans (who constitute a huge number of players) go to sleep/think people are sleeping. We would spend the whole morning going on icq/irc and alliance forums organising defences and pleading for help. Hopefully the battle would happen in the afternoon, unless the server lagged.

Battles lasted for 3 hours/rounds and we were always waiting, hoping that the attacking fleet would not pull out so we can inflict lots of damage and gain lots of salvage. We also had to message allies that the attackers had gone and thank them.

Sometimes, people would be smart and launch attacks in mutiple waves. Not only did we have to make sure that there would be defence for however many rounds there was need, we had to calculate there was adequate defence and out allies would not be wiped out.

Example of typical planetarion day:

Akiramike: Kv, NiGHTs, wake up! WE'RE UNDER ATTACK!

Everyone rushes to the pc to find a huge wave of attackers.

Kv: Mike, you go calculate what defence we need, me and NiGHTs will go asking for help.

One hour later.....

Akiramike: fuck, we got new incoming fleet. And they just pulled out of attacking xx:xxx:xx (planet coordinates) Tell our help for xx to pull out and see if they can resend to xx2. And we need 500 more spiders for the following planets.

We'd have a piece of paper with attacker ships types so we could calculate how much and what type of ships we needed for defence.

NiGHTs: I got tons of defence for mine. I'm going to roast those bastards alive.

Kv: We've gotta abandon the defence for the smaller planets and concentrate on the bigger ones.

Akiramike: shit, its already been an hour and the round hasn't moved yet. Stupid laggy server.

Kv: Damn, I just realised that I haven't eaten for the whole day......

Our theme song during this Planetarion era was 'I will survive'. The lyrics really spoke of our kiasuness (unwillingness to lose) in defending our system from overwhelming attacks everyday. A lot of times, we would be half dead in front of our pcs just hoping that another wave was not coming. Someone had to be awake at any time of the day cause one lost hour could mean a huge loss. Despite all our hardships, after every succesful defence we would play 'I will survive' at full blast, sit down to cigarettes and coke and laugh at all our salvage.

Of course, it didn't mean that we did not attack. There were two main alliances in our galaxy at that time. One was an alliance of the powerful systems and one of the weaker ones. Little did we know that we would be playing both of them...........

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