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Several years ago, when I was heavily addicted to Wing
Commander: Privateer, I thought to myself, "How cool would this
be if actual people were flying all of those other ships?" Several
years later, near the end of 2000, I was turned on to a game called
Jumpgate, which looked to mix massive multiplayer online role
playing with space simulation goodness. After writing a couple
articles on the game, I was hooked, and I've been hooked ever
Imagine my surprise when our editor here at The Wargamer asked
the staff if anyone had heard of this obscure game. To say I leaped
at the chance to write a review on what has become a favorite game
of mine would be an understatement. While Jumpgate is a
personal favorite, I will still keep this review fair and balanced.
With that in mind, let's take a look at what might be one of the
best MMORPGs most gamers have never played.
Getting into your flight suit
While Jumpgate was once a boxed game, today the client can
be downloaded for free from the Jumpgate support page. The client comes in
two flavors. The first one includes the intro movie and music, and
weighs in at 121 MB. The second download is more basic, with no
music or movies, and weighs in at 53 MB. Once the game is installed,
and it updates itself, it can be played in offline simulation mode
before venturing into "real space".
Gamers should first venture to the options screen, by hitting
escape once the station screen appears. From the options screen, it
is possible to configure the controls and video settings, as well as
other miscellaneous options. Once that step is completed, and before
take off, gamers should read Jumpgate Flight Academy in order to
get an idea of what to do next.
Before gamers can create an account, however, they will need to
choose one of the three player factions (there are five factions in
total, three playable). The choice of faction is incredibly
important, so we'll look at them in detail below. Next gamers will
need to sign up for an account on Jumpgate's main page, JOSSH (Jumpgate
Operating System Shell).
The first playable faction is the Octavians. These are the
mercenaries of the Jumpgate universe. They specialize in
combat, and have ships with more weaponry and better armor. They
also get a large credit bonus upon signing up. Octavian ships are
well known for their durability and offensive capabilities.
The second playable faction is the Solrain. The Solrain are the
business men and women of Jumpgate. This is also the most
centric/balanced faction in the Jumpgate universe. This
faction specializes in trade and manufacturing. As money is their
main focus, they have the largest signing bonus once an account has
been created. Solrain ships are well known for their cargo-carrying
ability and better shielding.
The final player faction is the Quantar. These are the religious
zealots of the Jumpgate universe, and they specialize in
mining. They're also the only faction to get a mining beam by
default, and get a small monetary percentage upon their mined
materials. They also have the most maneuverable ships in the game,
as well as the fastest.
Once the gamer has chosen his faction, he'll find himself at his
faction's home station, with a small shuttle and a small amount of
credits to get started. From here, he's pretty much left to his own
devices. Luckily, there are several ways to communicate with other
players in Jumpgate, in order to ask for help.
While there's a main help channel, gamers can create private
channels with other players, create new chat rooms, talk to only
pilots in their current sector, talk to only factional pilots in
their current sector, or talk to squad mates from anywhere in the
universe. This communicative environment is really what separates
Jumpgate from its competitors, as it has a community that is
second to none in its support of the game as well as new pilots.
Flying away from Quantar Core Station in a
Escorting a squad mate, who is flying a
Chinook-class freighter, while flying a