07 Nov 2014 00:22
Pardus is a Free Space-based PBBG (Persistent Browser Based Game) with many classical RPG elements and an extremely well established sense of community.
In Pardus you begin with a tutorial that will immediately challenge your resolve to learn how to play the game. Now that I have mastered the game mechanics, I will admit that it took me a couple of days to complete the tutorial, though I’m not exactly proud of that. I compare myself to Jean Luc Picard from Star Trek The Next Generation series … though he failed the academy exam on his first try; he went on to captain his own starship. (Any Trekkie fans out there?)
As you fly you can see things such as other players in their ships, planets, buildings, nebula fields, and wormholes.
Pardus offers its players lots of options and how you play is entirely up to you. You can be a peaceful or rogue trader and focus primarily on producing legal or illegal goods to sell to others on the public market or the black market. You can focus on combat and rid the Galaxy of pirates (or at least try to), protect your alliance-mates, go to war, or become a mercenary. You can focus on piracy and be one of few, the proud, and the often hunted. You can focus on leadership and manage an alliance of countless members focusing on recruiting and diplomacy. You can engage in clandestine activities and work behind the scenes, hiring mercenaries to complete tasks that you might not be willing or able to do yourself. All of these options involve interaction with real people in this virtual realm.
Player versus player combat is a very real and sometimes a daunting experience in Pardus.
There are 50 ships to choose from, some will cost you a fortune in “credits”, the in-game currency one earns by producing goods, trading, killing, completing missions, hacking, or stealing. I would be remiss if I failed to mention the vast assortment of ship equipment available from tons of weapons and weapon types to armor types, and generic equipment such as fuel scoops and teleporters. Should I mention illegal items such as cloaking devices? There are planets to stock, starbases to build (or destroy) and 3 factions to join, The Federation, Union, or Empire … or none at all if you wish, neutrality is a viable option. Recently there have been feature additions that give you the chance to choose a “stance”, be it “good” or “bad”. This brings up another good point; the developers are often working to improve the game be it through realm expansion, or feature additions though not everyone is always pleased with the changes… When the winds of change come, some run-away, others build wind-mils, what will you do?
The realm is large and you can explore it in a fully walk-ble, or in this case “flyable” and visual galaxy. As you fly you can see things such as other players in their ships, planets, buildings (yes you can construct buildings too), nebula fields, and wormholes. Sure, this is a browser game so don’t expect any award-winning 3D visuals, but the realm is still represented in a 2D visual field and the content will keep you entertained … for years.
There are express reasons why Pardus has such a fanatical following of players.
Player versus player combat is a very real and sometimes a daunting experience in Pardus. After your “newbie protection” has expired, you can be attacked at will by other players unless you are safely docked, in orbit around a friendly planet or starbase, or on a friendly Wormhole. Likewise you too can attack or even rob other players at will. For this reason players form “guilds” (called alliances in Pardus) where like-minded pilots pool their experience to help fend off, or conquer others.
Pardus features a premium area of the Galaxy available only to paid subscribers. But access to the premium area is not necessary to participate and enjoy the game. Every item I’ve described in this article is enjoyed by all players, paid or not including myself for about two years now. Within Pardus I’ve gained real friends and virtual enemies and I will be the first to admit, that you will most definitely bump heads in Pardus. But this socially rich environment is part of what makes Pardus so appealing. It isn’t so much that you are dealing with game mechanics, but that you are dealing with real people. Needless to say you will run into people that you just don’t like … how you deal with them is up to you, you could destroy their ship or buildings, place a bounty on them, hire others to harass them or give them bad public publicity on the several Pardus communication channels. If you are an alliance leader you could declare war against their alliance or embargo them. If you own a military outpost you can block them from gaining access to areas of space you might control. The possibilities are almost literally, limited only to your imagination.
I have only given you a brief overview of Pardus and if you decide to try it, then you will see why Pardus has such a fanatical following of players. You can join at http://pardus.at/.