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EDIT: This thread is probably obsolete now. The devs and admins have probably disappeared and no longer care, leaving the players FREE to play and shape history! Considering my bitter past, I consider this an opportunity instead of a bad thing. You only need good players and patience to generate content in this game. The publisher doesn't meddle with in-game affairs and has even lifted bans on old players, so as long as enough of us pay the monthly fee, the game can continue however we see fit.
From the game description: you and players like you will shape this world and its history into whatever you make of it. The designers of StarQuest Online have created the starting point, it is up to you to bring the world to life.
(Read the last 2 sentences to get the gist of this post)
Unfortunately, the above game description isn't quite the truth, as countless players have attempted to make a dent in this game's history in their own unique way, only to have the administrators completely wipe their efforts from the game either because it made other players unhappy or because it didn't mesh with the admins' own arbitrary view of how the game's story should unfold.
I'll give two potent examples of this:
#1 The most common occurrence is pirating. In terms of gameplay mechanics, you are completely free to pirate other players. In reality, the administrators restore assaulted ships and usually ban the pirates from the game. A friend and I spent a great deal planning a pirate assault of a manned military vessel, and when we actually pulled it off, our efforts were completely reversed by the admins, and we came within inches of being banned even though we had played our parts perfectly without any foul play. (Also keep in mind that military players get everything for free, so it was a very slight "death penalty" even if the admins hadn't restored them) According to my friend, his group of pirates had all been banned over time by simply playing the game as a pirate, which I now completely believe.
#2 The Government. Originally, players made up the entire political body of the Alliance and filled all of the positions in its military, allowing players to shape the game as the above description depicts. In 2009, the admins became the permanent President of the Alliance with elections for that position permanently suspended. Not so long ago, the admins took over the highest ranking military position as well instead of assigning it to another player. The reason I decided to write this post revealing the ugly truth is that these actions are in direct violation of the Constitution of the "democratic" Alliance most players live in. When I attempted to bring the current dictatorial form of government into the game's wiki documents, the admin president (who does virtually northing in the game itself) was very quick to remove them all.
I have other examples, such as taking a war to the home system of the enemy which is heavily frowned upon. (See the "I was suspended" post. A very similar thing happened to me when I attempted to end the war with the Klinshayans with a final battle. Despite the amazing victory, it was reversed, and the war was ordered to never end, by the order of our permanent president)
In short, you are free to do what you please in this game as long as it doesn't run contrary to what the game admins want, and they have very, very specific desires for what the game will and will not do. If you are a mover and a shaker at heart, this game will most likely frustrate you when you find out you are NOT free to shape this sandbox as you please.