I fear I’ve just inadvertently run off one our precious few players..
I’ll tell this tale, and hopefully you, the community, can find some forgiveness in your hearts for me:
We’ll call him Player X.
I logged in tonight with my shiny newish bop, and the # revealed that there was another human player on- A 1.5k (I think) br5. So of course, I challenged, “fight?”… No response. A quick scan of all of the observer devices revealed nothing, so an esc-@ confirmed, he was in another quad with a meaty DY bot (8-9k gold 100k dgmgvn). It was only natural to head straight over to Beta and attack.
Being in the slower ship, I was gambling on achieving some element of surprise. After popping through the wormhole, I messaged the bot, and the reply was, “ping”! Got him! I intercepted the message and crossed my fingers.
05 33 15]
(all stop/unload, esc-l, max cruise warp)
While cruising through Beta, hopefully towards my quarry, I made a few quick adjustments and preparations. I verified the scan range difference with a &-[shipletter] command. (yup, rbop has 8000 scan range, while br5 has only 7500) I cranked my shields down and locked them at 54%. Firstly, lowering my shields will slightly lower my total power consumption to 85 instead of 95. (thus ever-so-slightly lowering my effective visibility) Secondly, at 54% shields, a fully-crystalled bop can still travel warp 14 while cloaked.
Having placed all of my chips on this visibility/scanrange trick, I focused all of my brain powers on watching for Player X to appear on my tac and I hovered my finger over the “z”. Pop! I saw Malibu Beta 6. (A lonely Antimatter planet in Beta quad) Seconds later, Pop! I saw the bot… but no Player X. Realizing I had instinctively cloaked when I saw the movement of a ship appearing in the top row of my tac, I breathed, stopped, and decloaked. I didn’t want to run headlong into Player X’s scan range while under that pesky 3-second decloak/recloak delay.. Forward again at warp 14, just another few seconds, and Pop again! I cloaked with Player X at about 9200ish distance away.
A scan showed that he had 190 energy in damage control. (strangely, he had 0% shields, and no damage.) At least that meant he very likely didn’t see me coming at all. As I closed in, I formed the best plan of attack that I could. I fully expected him to move as soon as anything happened, so I slid in for the ram before trying to mine. RAM! Mine! Of course the ram nailed him for 22-25 ints, and the mine, since he was a shield-less br, yielded 18(!) ints. A couple of seconds ticked by while I waited for my next mine to become available, and Player X bolted. Warp -16 from nothing in particular. (visible anyways) I immediately followed at warp 14 and decloaked. As the hapless br pulled away, 300, 400, 500 distance, my decloak/phaser 3-second timer counted down, as well as my next mine being ready to deploy. So I overwarped.
scan nearest ship, full stop/unload, intercept, intercept, warp 18, [return]
At close range, I zapped hime with a phaser/mine/intercept
o. 05ii@-.2r 14PPPPPpM
scan nearest ship, full stop/unload, intercept, intercept, warp -.2, [return], lock weaps, load phasers, fire phaser, drop mine (directly in front of myself)
and continued to follow at warp 14 again. By this point, Player X was up to 70+ damage, but was again pulling away from me at warp -16. In my last ditch attempt, I dropped a plasma moving in his direction
full stop/unload, intercept, intercept, unlock weapons, load plasma, fire flasma, move forward at warp 14, show torpedo count
and then overwarped at warp 18 again. Hopefully, by doing that, if I could have gotten on the other side of him, he would have backed away from me again and backed directly into the plasma. Unfortunately, it didn’t work; he just kept moving in the same direction. I had no hope of getting far enough in front of him to put a plasma there either. With my dwindling warp energy, (50-something) I settled for a second light phaser tap and slowed to warp 14, preparing to dash for the nearest xtals or sb. Assuming he was carrying a full load of torps, I was now the seriously vulnerable one.
I was baffled by what happened next:
“Receiving subspace transmission from Player X …
[o] the cheater ship eh?”
I’m pretty sure that’s what he said, anyway.. Did he mean the rbop is a “cheater ship”? Did he think I was flying some souped-up secret admin vessel? (I do have one of those) Before I could form a response; I barely managed to press the letter “m” and… poof.
He was gone, and there was the gold. A miserable lump of just over 1k digitally-dehanced gold-pressed latinum bars.. Of course I beamed it aboard.
But I pondered, what just happened? I still don’t know, and only time will tell.. Did I witness a little bit of mtrek dying before my eyes? Did a potentially great player (someday perhaps) abandon all hope of finding “mtrek” for good?
Considering we may have just lost about 10% of the entire mtrek playerbase in the span of 20 minutes, I have been thoroughly re-motivated to bring this game back to life!
For starters, I pledge to revive and revise the dreaded docs. New and returning players alike, need accurate, user-friendly reference material, if they are to ever stand a chance of attaining a full sense of fulfillment (heh. what?) from playing this game. I will bring back the clickable FAQ. I will delve into the crypts and tomes and lines of code of mtrek knowledge, to produce ass-kicking strategy guides, and finally, with the help of the few remaining players (I hope), I will advertise this game to the world.