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  1. #1
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus
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    Old MMO Neocron goes completley free

    So, what we have here is an old and effectively dead subscription MMOFPSRPG stopping the sub and making the game free to all to play (it had already been unofficially free for existing account holders for a while). There's no demand for money of any kind once your play, no cash shop or micro transactions - just a small gang of (presumably) volunteers making the game continue onwards.

    The actual developers of the game, ReaKKtor went bust after the deal they signed with Gamigo for Black Prophecy didn't pan out so well for them.

    I played Neocron for a good 3 years or so, and had an awful lot of fun in that time. I'm largely done with the game for a bunch of reasons, but I thought it may be of interest to some people. So I thought I'd talk about why you might (and why you might not be) interested in the game.

    Why should you think of playing Neocron?
    • It's Cyberpunk, if you like that sort of thing - and does a good job of the atmosphere too, even if it (like a lot of cyberpunk stuff) slightly misses on some of the core themes. It's also rather proud of it's gritty and future theme, once pushing a "no more elves" marketing campaign, that later got nixed by the studio owners who were pushy a very elvey game.
    • It's post-apoc, if you like that sort of thing - cyberpunk is much more the core theme, but the game is set in a mutant filled, radiated wasteland where surivival outside of the remaining mega-cities isn't really a possibility.
    • It's an FPSRPG - something you rarely ever see in the MMO space. I think the rather unusual Face of Mankind did something similar, and Darkfall probably did the FPS-ness better but was fantasy set so not that shooty. So if you don't like the standard cooldown and tab targeting MMORPG model, this provides and alternative.
    • It's got a fantastically detailed skill system. In brief, you have 5 main stats (Strength, int, etc) which all level completely independently, and for each level, you get skill points you can spend improving your abilities.
    • Vehicles, including tanks and a variety of aircraft
    • Heavily customizable player-housing system - you buy an apartment of one from about 20 layouts, then fill it with furniture placed wherever you want. Some people make their spaces very, very different to the original.
    • Strong player-territory owning system. A fairly deeply entrenched part of the game is the element that allows clans to own and to some extent control parts of the gameworld.
    • Genuine classic MMO persistent world. There's no instancing worth speaking of, other than a few permanent instances (player housing). If you go somewhere that somebody else is, you will see them there (well, unless they are stealthing). If half the server descends somewhere, you'll see a crowded bunch of people complaining of lag. You're reasonably likely to encounter a bunch of players fighting while traveling somewhere, and if you enable PvP, don't be 100% surprised if someone tracks you down wherever you are and takes you out.
    • PvP is possible pretty much everywhere (there are a few "safe" trading zones), with pretty much everyone, with one important exception: PvP is opt in. Those who don't want to take part, don't have to. Location and target effects consequences for kills.
    • Player driven economy - good items are made by players, largely. Players act as fences for various illegal deals.


    Why you may want to avoid this
    • It's hella glitchy. Expect some of the weirdest bugs you've seen this side of Soldner, and some regular frustrations to do with changing areas. Some stuff just plain doesn't work.
    • It's badly documented. The game Iwill often tell you things that were patched out long ago. It isn't new player (or indeed, just plain player) friendly. Handily however, players themselves have documented most things somewhere. In general, levelling is getting out there and doing stuff, rather than running quests - which can be a lot of fun, but does mean you have to find out what you should be doing yourself.
    • It's hella ugly. This is a 2003 game that looked old and awkward at the time. It's core engine is some fork of Quake/Quake2. The art direction nails some of the cyberpunk city elements, but misses wildly in some other places.
    • The FPS element is dissapointing. A relic of the time it was made, it doesn't use hitscan and projectiles the way you'd expect a true FPS to, instead using an odder system.
    • The economy is screwed way out of original intentions by a combination of years of exploiting and just years of accumulating more wealth in fewer and fewer players. You'll probably get help for free initally, but to make any real amounts of money, you'll have to provide services for other players.


    If anybody does want to pick it up, you can see the link at the top for how to create an account. For actually playing the game, you're really going to want to use http://www.techhaven.org and the attached wiki there. Many useful guides and the item database. Pick a heavy weapons using "tank" or a rifle or pistol using "spy" or "private eye" or a drone using "spy" for your first character, unless you really want to tradeskill. I'll also be available to answer any questions you may have, maybe even drop in game to give you a hand at some point (although I'm neither rich nor influential in game any more).

    The definitive guide to getting in game
    Last edited by CMaster; 29-08-2012 at 11:47 AM. Reason: Added getting in game guide

  2. #2
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Drake Sigar's Avatar
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    I played a demo (think it came with an issue of PC Gamer UK) back in the day and thought it was very interesting. Still got the poster too. I was planning to buy it until I found out it's actually an MMO, and being a teen I had no way to pay.

  3. #3
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Lukasz's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CMaster View Post
    but to make any real amounts of money, you'll have to provide services for other players.
    eh. even in virtual world...

    anyhow. thx for the info. wonder how it will work on my net connection (in australia)

  4. #4
    Lesser Hivemind Node johnki's Avatar
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    I tried this 2 or 3 years ago and was completely lost. It was intriguing, but really really confusing. That and it was just barren. Almost no one was online.

    Have more people joined up since account management opened back up? I might be willing to give it another shot if the population has grown a bit again.

  5. #5
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Cooper's Avatar
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    Really? I tried this a while ago, and for some reason I came across its website a couple of months ago. Will try tonight.

    Thanks for the heads up.
    Quote Originally Posted by CROCONOUGHTKEY
    KING GEORGE IS A FROG
    le BANG~__-MICHEAL FUCK OFF~~__-INTERPOL KNOW YOU WELLBIENG~—
    OFF
    NOT RUSHMORE MOUNTAIN
    KILL WESTON KILL MUST KILLTHEWESTERNINMYHEADDOESN’TEXSIST
    TEXASISDEADINPARISHEWASAMAN..BINGBING.TETTOHEAD.SP ACEOK,TIMEDEADANDSTOPPED1920HOKKAIDO.UNDERSTOODAT1 ONE.
    UNDERSTANDTHISANDFUCKOFFPIRATEBAY.TIMEDOESNTEXSIST FORMEASIMPATEKPHILLPE.
    BANG

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Drake Sigar View Post
    I played a demo (think it came with an issue of PC Gamer UK) back in the day and thought it was very interesting. Still got the poster too. I was planning to buy it until I found out it's actually an MMO, and being a teen I had no way to pay.
    That demo still exists in the form of the tutorial I think. It bares some resemblance to the actual game, but not enough to actually be a useful tutorial, sadly.

    Quote Originally Posted by johnki View Post
    I tried this 2 or 3 years ago and was completely lost. It was intriguing, but really really confusing. That and it was just barren. Almost no one was online.

    Have more people joined up since account management opened back up? I might be willing to give it another shot if the population has grown a bit again.
    Can't really tell you much here, except the two times I logged in tonight, populations are sitting at about a third of where I'd say they should be for the server to feel lively. However, the popular centres (Neocron Plaza district etc) seemed fairly buzzing.

  7. #7
    Activated Node Tres's Avatar
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    Oh, well, I remember reading about this one in a magazine. Ancient times.

    Any RPS guild/corporation/gang/reading club then?

  8. #8
    Network Hub
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    CMaster \o/ always assumed it was the same guy from NC/Furious Angels.

  9. #9
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus
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    Played the beta of this. Buggy mess but was fun for the time.

  10. #10
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Cooper's Avatar
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    I used a terminal which turned out to be a hacking terminal that took me to SS1-eque "hackspace".

    I promptly walked off the edge of a neon platform and landed at the bottom of the map in a sea of blackness. And now cannot exit.
    Quote Originally Posted by CROCONOUGHTKEY
    KING GEORGE IS A FROG
    le BANG~__-MICHEAL FUCK OFF~~__-INTERPOL KNOW YOU WELLBIENG~—
    OFF
    NOT RUSHMORE MOUNTAIN
    KILL WESTON KILL MUST KILLTHEWESTERNINMYHEADDOESN’TEXSIST
    TEXASISDEADINPARISHEWASAMAN..BINGBING.TETTOHEAD.SP ACEOK,TIMEDEADANDSTOPPED1920HOKKAIDO.UNDERSTOODAT1 ONE.
    UNDERSTANDTHISANDFUCKOFFPIRATEBAY.TIMEDOESNTEXSIST FORMEASIMPATEKPHILLPE.
    BANG

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cooper View Post
    I used a terminal which turned out to be a hacking terminal that took me to SS1-eque "hackspace".

    I promptly walked off the edge of a neon platform and landed at the bottom of the map in a sea of blackness. And now cannot exit.
    Type "/set reset_position 1" into chat ("set kill_self 1" is an alternative as well). If it's working, you shouldn't be able to move. AFter 60 seconds, you will be back on the platforms. Also, that is just a hacknet "dungeon". True hacknet, that traverses the map, is available by hacking a genetic replicator (the teleporter/respawner things)

    Don't be afraid to ask on the help channel about this sort of thing, somebody should be able to help (or summon a GM by clicking the ? in the top right)

  12. #12
    Moderator QuantaCat's Avatar
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    I played this for 1.5 months, back when it released. Was fun for that time, but the construction stuff was a tad too grindy for me..
    - Tom De Roeck.

    verse publications & The Shopkeeper, an interactive short.

    "Quantacat's name is still recognised even if he watches on with detached eyes like Peter Molyneux over a cube in 3D space, staring at it with tears in his eyes, softly whispering... Someday they'll get it."

  13. #13
    Moderator QuantaCat's Avatar
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    Oh wait, neocron 2? never played that one. only the first one.
    - Tom De Roeck.

    verse publications & The Shopkeeper, an interactive short.

    "Quantacat's name is still recognised even if he watches on with detached eyes like Peter Molyneux over a cube in 3D space, staring at it with tears in his eyes, softly whispering... Someday they'll get it."

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by QuantaCat View Post
    Oh wait, neocron 2? never played that one. only the first one.
    Same game, near enough. Although if you find construction/research grindy, just don't do it, and find someone else to do it for you (it isn't really practical to make a character that both tradeskills and takes part in combat, sadly)

  15. #15
    Moderator QuantaCat's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CMaster View Post
    Same game, near enough. Although if you find construction/research grindy, just don't do it, and find someone else to do it for you (it isn't really practical to make a character that both tradeskills and takes part in combat, sadly)
    Yeah, I found that out the hard way. What always got to me, though, was the cost of the necessary construction tools.
    - Tom De Roeck.

    verse publications & The Shopkeeper, an interactive short.

    "Quantacat's name is still recognised even if he watches on with detached eyes like Peter Molyneux over a cube in 3D space, staring at it with tears in his eyes, softly whispering... Someday they'll get it."

  16. #16
    Lesser Hivemind Node Harlander's Avatar
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    Requires mobile # and address to sign up? Are they planning on starting charging for this again or something?

  17. #17
    Network Hub torgen's Avatar
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    I was in beta for this, got promptly out-leveled by the people I was playing with, and decided it was no fun solo so I never subbed.

  18. #18
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Kadayi's Avatar
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    I was involved in the early beta to the extent that I ended up being a senior GM throughout the rest of the beta period and the first few months of launch (I went by the handle of Moonunit if that means anything to anyone). Reakktor had some interesting ideas, however they really didn't have the money or bodies to see things through (bug report turnaround was painfully slow), and the initial code wasn't great (item duping was a real issue). Ultimately GMing took over to the extent that I never got to play much myself with my friends (big up to Blue Tech) plus looking behind the curtain tends to ruin the illusion (I was seeing spawn codes not mobs), and it really was becoming a second job to the detriment of everything else in my life, including my real job (constant late nights taking their toll). Neocrack was an apt phrase. However I eventually realized that this couldn't go on and having witnessed a few other people allow the game to take over their lives I took stock of the situation and decided to call it a day. Surprisingly the cold turkey wasn't as hard as I imagined and I've dabbled with other MMOs since (SWG, WoW & APB) but I've never let any of them take over my life to the extent Neocron did. Fun times looking back, but I can't go there again.
    Why yes you're right I'm deliciously evil

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    *blush* I'm flattered by the attention boys, but please let's not make the thread about liddle old me


    Quote Originally Posted by Finicky View Post
    Kadayi will remain the worst poster on the interwebs.
    Gifmaster 4000 2014 Year of the Gif

    Their early work was a little too new wave for my tastes....

  19. #19
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus
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    Quote Originally Posted by Harlander View Post
    Requires mobile # and address to sign up? Are they planning on starting charging for this again or something?
    Although they explicitly don't rule out charging for the game again (although the game appears to be being run by former volunteers, the company behind it having kicked the bucket), I think it's mostly about making it harder for known exploiters and grefiers to just make endless new accounts.

  20. #20
    Lesser Hivemind Node Harlander's Avatar
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    Huh. In that case it might be the false info (although in fairness, 0 is the first digit of my mobile number) I put into the signup form that's causing my attempts to create an account to fail.

    Either that or the signup server's just broken.

    Pro tip guys, when reporting errors, it's useful to have more info than "this didn't work"...

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