Robota: Pistols At Dawn In Perpetuum

By Jim Rossignol on February 13th, 2012 at 3:29 pm.


A record of RPS’ ongoing adventures in robot-MMO, Perpetuum. To find us in-game grab the trial, and then find chat channel RPS.

So, we captured an outpost.

It was a fine moment – to be able to put our flag on the map of conquerable territories – and we felt pretty pleased with our progress. But we shouldn’t have felt too pleased: there was an element of luck involved. Danarchov, where our flag was planted, was the one outpost on the map which didn’t really have any major faction laying claim to it, so we didn’t face any kind of resistance. Since the exit of a large Russian corporation from the game, Danarchov had laid basically abandoned, held by a placeholder corporation with just a couple of members. Another corporation moved in just before we made out move, but they – and their allies – backed off and allowed us to set up shop in the game’s open-PvP islands.

You can see why they’d do that: we are a now large solo corporation and (almost) add a fifth player faction to the game. We’re aiming to remain independent, too. The existing factions want to encourage new player groups to be active, whether that be joining them or going it alone. Despite overtures from most of the major groups, our feeling is that going it alone is the best option, perhaps with just the occasional alliance of convenience made with some of the locals. We therefore represent a fresh batch of targets for the more experienced players in the game. Our miners and production teams have felt the brunt of that, with their industrial robots blasted to scrap on several occasions as they tried to exploit the valuable resources that lie hidden in the landscape around our new base.


The past couple of weeks also saw us run up against a new challenge: walls. The first of the game’s player-built structures, they were recently patched in and are… interestingly designed. With few limits on how they could be built (initially not even decaying over time) the rapid deployment of the walls, by players, was incredible. Surprisingly, the walls were designed so that it was even possible to log off, get walled up, log back on, and find yourself trapped. A pretty astonishing position to be in, and an issue that I am amazed the devs are happy with. Worse, perhaps, within a couple of nights entire islands were walled off, leaving our little newbie-gang PvP roams trundling along the base of them, wondering how we would ever manage to kill anything again. We could blow them up with bombs, or use some exploit where you can shoot stuff on the other side, but it all felt very slow and constricted. We began to worry that we’d arrived in the game just when the devs broke it.

We shouldn’t have worried, though, because the battles would come to us now that we were territory owners. Last week saw two major skirmishes and a batch of smaller shoot outs. The first of the larger battles was perhaps a little unfair on our opponents – it was a bait trap that I spent almost an hour setting up. We allowed our enemies to see a single mech with a couple of light bot scouts, and they were soon tempted to come after it. They weren’t beginners, so they checked we weren’t waiting on the other side of the teleport. Unfortunately for them we were waiting on the other other side of the teleport, and when their mechs engaged less than a kilometre from the teleporter site, in we jumped. Robots of all kinds surged around them as lasers filled the air. They didn’t last long.


The second major battle was the first time we’ve engaged a large number of mechs and won. Normally we’d died en masse, such as the time when twenty of us were killed by a single heavy mech. This time, however, things were different. A contingent of HUN found their way onto the island, blasted through the walls that we’d built, and headed into the interior. Fortunately for us some of the locals (folks who own the other outpost on the island) threw themselves at the invading force, despite being totally outnumbered. Setting up a hasty temporary agreement not to shoot them, we charged in too. The HUN gang retreated north, but soon realised they were running out of space. Backed onto a beach they turned round to engage, killing our vanguard of light, fast robots. Soon, though, our mechs were in range: lasers, railguns, and missile launchers flared into life. A single light bot escaped, to seven mechs down.

Fun times, but the real test is still to come. Now that we’re settled in, other factions are beginning to become interested in Danarchov. We’re beginning to feel the effect of more determined hostility from veterans who’ve been annoyed by our activity, and, for the most part, we don’t have the skill points or the resources to take them on. Can our band of newbies cling on to their new home? Will our robots burn on the field of battle? Will the hammer of skilled and resourced PvP players now come down on us? Exciting unknowns, all. I’ll let you know what happens.

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40 Comments »

  1. Maldomel says:

    That was a pleasant read, even though I’ve never heard of this before.

  2. AmateurScience says:

    So I get that this is satisfying in a personal narrative way, but how is it mechanically, is it ‘fun’ in that sense?

    Edit: I know I could just download the demo but I’ve just moved the ‘big-rig’ to the office so I can do some number crunching and my opportunities for gaming have been severely curtailed as a result.

  3. adelicatebalance says:

    *must mine more tasty pink candyfloss*

    It’s the most fun I’ve had in a videogame for years. Definitely not for everyone though.

  4. Benny says:

    The only thing stopping me really giving this a go is time. I started the trial (and unless you guys have kicked me for being inactive i’m probably still there) but too many things going on mean i’m limited to single player/the odd game of LoL.

    If you guys are still going in a few months i may hop in again and try it once more as it was bringing back the good memories of the RPSH eve corp.

  5. krankyboy says:

    How does it work when you are not logged in? How can you defend your base?

    • Walrus_Knight says:

      The bases have events called “intrusions” that happen at different times and involve doing different things, like standing around a pole and “hacking it”. If you win these little missions the control of the outpost goes up, if another group does them then the control goes down. If the control gets to zero the next group of people to do an “intrusion” get a little bit of control over the base.

      I think.

  6. McDan says:

    Didn’t notice these before, but this sounds like a hell of a game. Really enjoy EVE, I think I’ll have a try and join the mighty RPS gang.

  7. muesslikiller says:

    Dear Jim!

    The fight near to danachrov was a really luck for you guys, because a logn time ago, since HUN was anywhere to roaming. :) … And we got a head-on collision from your walls :/

    And this game isn’t a hell of a game :)

  8. mentor07825 says:

    Hey Jim, what would you recommend, for an ex-Eve player thinking of going back to the game. Give this a go or go back to Eve? Since you’ve played both I think you’re the best person to ask this question to.

    • mpk says:

      As an EVE player who has went back to it a few times now, I’d say play Perp – at least for the trial.

      It’s familiar enough that you’ll settle quickly, and different enough to be interesting.

      Also: ROBOTS

    • mentor07825 says:

      Robots ftw. A trial also wouldn’t hurt. I’ll give this a go on Friday or Saturday then. Is there any ratting? Or for combat specific people assignments are the only way to get money?

    • Torgen says:

      Yes, there is ratting and artifact scanning (think treasure hunting.) Three factions, with different innate weapons skills:
      Nuimqol (blue) = EM and railguns/kinetic, weak to thermal damage.
      Theodolica (yellow) = lasers/thermal, weak to seismic damage.
      Pelestial (green) = missiles/seismic, weak to kinetic damage.

      You can drive other faction’s robots, but you have to expend money and skill points to do so.

    • mentor07825 says:

      Excellent. From what I’ve read on their main website I was starting to think that mining and doing assignments were the only way to make money.

    • Nim Rodel says:

      Artifact Scanning is definitely my favorite way to make Niskies in this game so for. I’ve started to call the in-game currency NISK, just to amuse myself.

      15 day free trial. You’ve got nothing to lose. Just be sure you don’t start it during Finals week or something. /o

      It’s fun throwing EVE vernacular out while playing PERP. In my mind, Teleport = Gate, Outpost = Station, etc. Half the guys know exactly what you’re talking about, and the other half are completely clueless, so it’s a lot of fun for everyone.

    • HothMonster says:

      I still have fun hearing the blank stares when I say pounds(re: weight) and yards to a teamspeak full of British guys

    • JB says:

      It must be the young’uns, Hoth. We do have pounds (weight) and yards here too. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Imperial_units)

    • mentor07825 says:

      Don’t have to worry about that, as I only play games over the weekend. Kinda why I want to leave Star Wars. I know during the college week I’m progressing while not playing. Over the weekend I play nothing but Star Wars just to make up for lost time. Thank you guys for your comments!

  9. Nim Rodel says:

    “We will rule over all this land, and we will call it… ‘This Land’.”

    Let them come. We shall fight on the beaches. We shall fight on the mag-tracks. We shall fight in the hills. We shall never surrender. And even if, which I do not for a moment believe, this outpost should fall, then our corporation would carry on the fight, knowing well that in god’s good time, Statecorp, with all it’s power and might, would wrest it from it’s captors once again.

    On a slightly less melodramatic note, ex-RPSH Nim here confirming that this game is rather a lot of fun.

    \o/

  10. Galaxy613 says:

    I think I’ll try out the trial, I’ll be on the RPS whenever I’m on… never really played EVE before but I believe i have patience to play this game.

  11. Sweatypitts says:

    I’m going to give the trial a shot, anything I should know before I jump in? Like what to train first ect…?

  12. Torgen says:

    For those just trying out the game, do ALL the tutorials, and you get a light combat bot AND a mining bot for free. The skill Navigation increases bot speed, so you want that up to the max of ten as soon as practical. There are minimum skills for equipment and weapons, and you will likely want to spend some points in reactor expansion and CPU capability. Lots of help when you get in game from the corp, so ask!

    (Also, read your Corporation bulletins in the in-game email for important stuff.)

  13. SpinalJack says:

    While I was on my trial account doing a pvp roam with RPS pre-base capture we scouted some carefully laid out wall mazes which we thought would be really funny to block up with a single wall block at both ends. A few minutes work cost them millions of in-game money to blow up and replace.

    Sadly our plan to wall out their bots while we sneak into their base for a surprise attack didn’t end well.

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  15. DarkNoghri says:

    So when do ya’ll usually play? I started a trial account and popped on over the weekend, usually mid-afternoon to evening US EST, and no one was on. I would have thought that mid-afternoon would have someone on, as that’s evening for you people across the pond.

    • Torgen says:

      That’s weird, because that’s usually peak time. We had a major battle (which I arrived late to) where some elite heavy mechs showed up and gave all the new guys in light bots (and the month-old “old timers”) a horrible baptismal of fire around 6-7pm EST.

    • DarkNoghri says:

      Well, dang.

  16. Levanon says:

    Christ. I only just started playing Eve again, and then you go and make Perpetuum sound all great and such. Sigh. Life is hard.

  17. Blackcompany says:

    Every time I read about this game I become more interested in playing it. Willing to bet I would need a mic (real-time voice communication seems as if it would be essential in this game) and a chat client. Probably something like Ventrillo, I believe it is, give or take an ‘L”. Also, probably need about 5 – 6 free nights per week, I am willing to bet.
    .
    Still, game such as this feature the one big thing single player is missing: late-game challenge. In single player games, you just amass fortunes. Houses; loot; gear; followers. But no one ever challenges your hold on the world (save perhaps for RTS games, where you’re fighting a war anyway.)
    .
    Games like EVE and Perpetuum, however, adopt this ‘nothing is for certain’ position where you can lose big in a hurry. Dangerous but exciting. Might be time to finally take the plunge and leave the theme park for the wilds.

    • mpk says:

      You’d need Teamspeak, to listen in to comms but you don’t necessarily need a mic.

      You’d also need exactly as much time as you’re willing to give. Obviously, the more you put in, the more you’ll get out, in the short term, but in games like Perpetuum (and EVE), the brightest candles really do burn out fastest.

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