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Thursday, May 12, 2011

My MMO History Part 1 SubSpace

  I guess I can blame it all on PC magazine and the demo CD's they used to send out with their magazine. Innocently enough I put the disc into my NEC desktop and browsed through  the selection of games this month had to offer. I noticed one that said "internet connection required" which for some reason peaked my interest. The games name was SubSpace, and I had a fresh AOL account I had phished from some old woman who payed for the service but never used it. I was not planning on taking her credit card information-even though I could if I had wanted to. What I did plan on doing was using the dial up service to try out this newgame with a premise unheard of at the time... having to have a internet connection to play.
  The game loaded and I was told that I would need to select a user name, after some debate I decided 
on naming myself after one of my favorite albums at that time, They Might Be Giants Apollo 18. It seemed fitting as the game had a space theme, this was compounded when my friend named himself StompBox after one of the songs they played on the John Henry album. This was a new world for me, a persistent online world where I at least had a chance of being something great... and great I was. That summer I doubt I left the house for more than a  few hours at a time... the game consumed me with it's bi-weekly score resets and stiff competition. The game  seems devishly simple at first. A modern re-make of asteroids where your objective was focused around killing other players. 

     There were zones to choose from... Alpha, Chaos, Runnning, Jackpot, Warzone... and after some
testing I decided to make my stomping ground for the time Chaos Zone. Chaos Zone was a free for all romp fest where the objective was to kill other players. As players flew around the zone they would pick up little green power up's refered to as greens to power up their ship. With each green the player picked up their bounty, or points they were worth to another player would increase. Aside from ship upgrades which would usually be accomplished  in the early stages of greening you could also get re-usable items like bursts, repels, portals and rockets. These were activated with various keyboard shortcuts and could give you an advantage if used in the right situation. 
You could group with other players and even ride ontop of other players ships by being a "turret" for the
other player. Although the company who made it, VIE, rewarded the bi-weekly reset winner in most points scored by listing their name on a scrolling banner on their website, the game recorded many more stats. Some players would simply go for points, but others would go for the highest bounty kills which would create a high average kill showing you were able to kill the better players who had the highest bounties. Others would go for the best kill to death ratio. Kill to death ratio is something I ended up going for in the end, with the best I ever got being something like 150:1.
     Over time the game changed, VIE went out of business and the company stopped providing support for the game.A dedicated group of players took over the servers and the game was re-named Continuum. You can actually still play this game today and it was my first MMO. I had alot of great times playing it and it was a good introduction to the world of online gaming. I have decided to use this blog to record my gaming history, I will go from game to game and describe what went on. I suppose the highlight of subspace for me was being so infamous and hated that a player actually made a online comic about me and the nic name I had been dubbed "Afollo", which I got for trolling the forums acting like a yo yo thug. Next article we will discuss my next game, Ultima Online.  Oh and I even made a song about the nic name and Subspace :)

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