Back in the day, MegaWars III ran on CompuServe under this name and as Stellar Emperor on GEnie. Stellar Emperor (not to be confused with Stellar Warrior) began to diverge around 1987 and ended up being a very different game. But initially they were as identical.
For me, this represents fond, if somewhat old, memories.
But why re-create this game today? Crimson Leaf Games says:
Mega Wars 3 had many aspects to the game not found in any current online games. First there is an end to each war. This allows players to gain an understanding of the game over several wars to learn how to play as an individual, a team member and a team captian to lead your team to victory. Second the game is always running any other player (even a team member) can attack and take your planets from you 24/7. If you worry about losing what you worked so hard to acheive, this may not be the game for you.
If you want to make life long friends, work together with others to achieve real goals or just spy on another team to help your team over throw an upset to win then MegaWars III the rebirth is the game for you.
Yes, you will need to learn to type simple three letter commands since there are no buttons to click your way to victory.
That describes what the game was like way back then. You could get 100 players on concurrently and the competition would become fierce. But what about today?
I had to go take a look of course, to relive a bit of ancient gaming history.
The game is not free. They were running a one week demo war last week, so I was able to poke around a bit during that. But participation in a real, four week war will run you $12. And the demo war was only last week, so if you want to see how online games were played over 20 years ago, you’ll have to pony up some cash.
I hope they’ll bring back the 1 week demo wars regularly, as $12 buys you a lot of cash in FarmVille or diamonds in Runes of Magic, and you can play either for free before deciding to commit any cash at all.
My first disappointment was that I had to play the game through a web page. Granted, things look about right in their web interface.
I was, however, hoping I could log in via a terminal program.
First, that would recreate the experience moreso for me. Hours staring at a 24 line, 80 column terminal emulator on my Apple //e was the way I played.
Second, I have a copy of ZMud sitting around, which would let me marco my heart out. ZMud would have been the dream program back in the day.
No such luck it would seem.
Still, I was able to get into the game and, with a little help from the commands list page, start running around in search of the perfect planet. The web rendition works well enough, and I don’t even have to obsessively hit return to get status updates. Well, not as obsessively as I used to.
There is even a version of the interface with buttons for some basic tasks.
And so the search for planets began.
Finding planets, growing them, and holding them, is the name of the game. In an active universe, it can be quite a challenge. In a quiet universe though….
Anyway, I will likely pay the fee at some point to give this re-creation a try. I think I remember enough planetary management to be a contender. We’ll see if there is anybody with whom to contend.
I’ll be on as Wilhelm Arcturus, ship # 2451.