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It's time for a shameless, unpaid advertising plug. Since DarkSpace has been recently added to the list of great MMORPGs here at MMORPG.com (because you do only control one ship at a time, thank you very much), I thought I'd give everyone a quick run-down of what's going on in the DarkSpace community as of late.
DarkSpace is a freely-downloadable, faction-based Universe simulation RPG or a fast-paced, timed match between random sides, depending on which servers you decide to hop onto. You control one ship on a side of many, with three total sides to choose from: the oppressive United Galactic Trade Organization, the rebel Interstellar Cultural Confederation, and the cloaking aliens known only as the K'luth.
The Metaverse is the stuff you guys would go for the most; the universe simulation. This 20+ system starmap features hundreds of capturable and managable planets, and the closer you get to the borders and the core of the MetaVerse, the more intense and frequent the battles get (Some of the screenshots on our homepage show you a mere glimpse).
Again, you pilot one ship at a time and have a 3rd-person perspective that is, by default, behind your ship. You'll find, however, that the camera easily and quickly manipulated. Ships are customizable and upgradeable so that certain classes of hull (ranging from scout to destroyers to dreadnoughts) can be programmed for their maximum potential... and of course, you purchase your upgrades with hard-earned money from mining (*hears the EvE players SNOOZE*), or from payment through the soon-to-be-reinstated Mission System.
You also have the option of joining fleets, sub-guilds among the factions. There are multiple dozens of guilds on each side to join, ranging from venerable 3-year Veterans to those in their first days. However, there is just as much profit in being a freelancer (possibly for more than one side) as there is in being a faction-contained fleet.
DarkSpace has a full ranking system going all the way from Midshipman to Grand Admiral, and promotions/badges are based on "Prestige", DarkSpace' equivalent of the EXP system. As you gain points by one of several means (combat, bombing, construction, planet capture, and more), you are awarded medals for achievement in each category, and each category also contributes to your prestige total, which will increase your rank over time. Together, these two combined allow you access to new and more powerful/efficient ships as you gain influence. Rank applies to all servers and is permanently stored.
The game has a steep learning curve, and we aren't afraid to admit it... the reason for this is just how deep DarkSpace is. This has a tendency to scare some people and anger others, but be not afraid! The Online Manual has finally been rewritten to comply with the newest version of DarkSpace to hit the servers, v1.481, and is written so that all of you new folks can dive in and learn DarkSpace from start to finish without having to skip around. You'll find the community and PaleStar staff very easy to get a long with.
Speaking of community, one of the reasons I'm sayin so much about DarkSpace is that we are a low-budget project with a small, faithful community of a few hundred very active players. Many of us have been around for years, and those who leave always manage to come back and say hi, or even get sucked in again... a testament to the staying power of DarkSpace's community. We discourage bad sportsmanship and prohibit foul language... our server mechanisms prevent "hardcore" cheating and the more easily spotted exploits are dealt with swiftly and severely by our volunteer Moderator staff, of which I am one.
In short, we may be what you've been looking for all along... a solid community of good people and good developers responsible for what we all consider (and have considered for years) to be the greatest Space MMOG ever created. Pay us a visit, flip through the Manual (shameless plug :-P), and dive in... you may never play another space game again.
DarkSpace is currently running a free trial until early April, allowing all accounts free access to the servers. Accounts are free to create, the game download is free, and gameplay is currently free to all players. Normally speaking, we humbly ask you for $9.99 US a month for the head Developer's efforts. [Edit] Oh yes, silly me... we also allow ALL NEW ACCOUNTS a FIVE DAY FREE TRIAL coupon specific to that account... we urge anyone whose interest has been piqued by this post to use those five days to dive as hard and as far into DarkSpace as they can go. We may be small, but you will enjoy it.
DarkSpace.net - There you are!
We hope to see you all there!
Galactic Navy Founder and Commander in Chief
DarkSpace Manual Editor
Galactic Navy Founder
Get sucked in! Visit DarkSpace at DarkSpace.net.