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214
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Story - Diary of a Pirate Hunter

Diary of a Pirate Hunter
The captain was a miserable bastard. When he came on deck, generally holding a zero-g sip-flask there was a palpable drop in temperature and silence would reign, with interruptions met with a scowl. Rumour had it that he was once quite high in the Ranks back in the days of the Rebellion – though it was not clear whether this was the Republic or Confederate or even which side he was on. Either way that was half a century ago and nobody was brave enough to ask. Few ever entered his quarters and then they could only say than it was gloomy, like the old man himself.

How he ever ended up out here as a privateer was a subject of common discussion in the galley though the topic was always in the dark shift and then with occasional sidelong glances to the hatch. The topic was worth a week of extra shifts or if a few were caught mid-gossip, a full shift of battle readiness.

So, here we were on the edges of Brittanicus, having just maintained again at Westfall by Farmwhich – a place of scum, deserters and betrayers, though with the cheapest maintenance facilities in Halo. We had taken on three more crew, marines though quite what species they were, none of the existing crew were sure. The first few days of sanitation duty were horrendous while the toilets were refitted to accommodate the largest. Getting two/reg-spec tubing more than two days out from the nearest civilisation with a captain that won't turn around for anything less than having half the ship destroyed is no easy matter. Let's just leave it at popping anti-rad pills and being as quick as possible is a sensible precaution – and also don't use the back-up jump drive at the same time as flushing...


Clearly the new recruits were getting fed-up. Maybe Reynolds – the name of the old bastard, had promised them action, maybe even spoils but all we had done was move through the orbits of three asteroids at various quads. The action had become routine, identify the next asteroid, plot course, enter orbit and scan location. Does it need to be added that this was followed by find nothing and repeat – ad nauseum.

We had just finished scanning our third asteroid this week. The captain was in a particularly foul mood and all the flavoured organic binding agent ('Alalus's finest processed eggs' if the label was anything like accurate) had been stolen. While nobody has been charged, a definitely sulphurous smell followed one of the new recruits – no good ever comes out of hiring people from Westall. Anyway, we left orbit and made the ISR micro-jump out across the quad – a few light minutes was all and straight into a pirate. Its designation was Angel's Weep, Light Cruiser. Why it was stationed there, who knows, maybe a calculation error on the navigator's behalf or possibly it was itself the hunter – either way, it was alert and even as the crew scrambled to battle stations the first targeting systems were locked.

Had we been a simple freighter we would now be triggering explosive bolts and winging the cargo out to boost our escape, but not us. We may look like a crappy scout, but somehow the captain had managed to wrangle some armour upgrades and our weapons kit was pretty good. You could imagine the surprise on the faces of the pirates as the ship, almost half their size turned to face them and actually closed the gap.

Our ship was armed with launchers and kinetics – they don't give as big a flash for your stellar as standard missiles but they can punch a hole in the sort of armour affordable by your typical pirate. They fired three standard missiles – all being countered within a few kilometres of the ship. Shame really, not because they actually did any damage, but the flash meant that we didn't see our forty hammer home – not that there would have been much to see at that distance. Still, the sensors got the feedback – only a few had been taken down by point defence.

The second wave from them consisted of a single missile – seems our salvo gave them a bit of a kicking. Ours was still the full broadside – the captain always insists that we have sufficient for three days worth of combat.

Not even the flash could hide the sudden bright blossoming in the dark. Against the vastness of space it still looked a touch pathetic – lasting a few seconds though considerably brighter than the background stars. This did little more than elicit a grunt of satisfaction from the captain before he ordered a full scan and left the bridge.

We scoured the region for a few more hours following the battle – such as it was – before moving in. There wasn't that much left which seemed to piss the captain off. Not sure what he was expecting – they didn't seem particularly competent pirates.


It was as we were pulling the debris on board, a sheet of armour, few engines, that we were caught with out pants down. No less than three ships and these were definitely not configured for scaring traders out of their cargo.
It's the first time I have seen the old bastard smile in the three years I have served. He muttered something like 'Fuck you …..', though I could not quite hear the last word - probably a person or maybe a ship, I have no idea. We took a hammering. They hit us with nothing less than photon cannons and a spread of missiles, including a few kinetics. Reports came flooding in from different sections – we had lost launchers, some gatling lasers and a few crew. Armour was down but the brunt had penetrated and absorbed by the hulls.


In return we concentrated out fire on one ship – the one with the weakest armour. The captain once said during a rare lecture on tactics that it does not follow that the hardest hitter is also the toughest and vice versa. Taking out a weakly armoured enemy can quickly whittle down the number of targets attacking you and the damage you are incurring.
Seems there was something to his logic as we were re-targeting by our third salvo to one of the heavier designs though we were far from in the clear. I had already turned off the screen with the spiraling damage report.


We were finished, I was certain of it but then the battle had gone on for some time – we had let rip with four salvoes though the last one was down by a third of the original number of launchers. Hull strength was below half and two of the pirates were still firing but then a miracle happened – the cavalry arrived. No less then four ships, all privateers like us. They quickly formed a screen between us and the pirates soaking missiles and beamers that would have ended us.
The rest of the battle was short work for our saviours though as the adrenalin leaked out of our bodies, people lay slumped in their harnesses, occasionally smiling but looking utterly spent. Only the captain seemed unaffected by the events, standing rigidly in front of the main viewer and talking quietly into the communicator. Whatever he was discussing with the captains of the other ships we were not invited. The conversation was terminated with 'Damn them, I was assured they were here.' Then to us, 'Form a salvage squad in the cargo bay, include the new crew members.' Something was definitely up.


The grim face of the captain, still on the bridge could be seen in the viewer, watching our preparations. We had suited up and were at the rotating airlock. We only open the full bays when docked. To prevent risk of decompression in space, we use what is essentially a revolving door. A chamber has only one door – you walk in, the chamber revolves and the door now faces space. It was cramped, so the first three out were the new guys (though you can never tell, they could have been females, or something else). No sooner had they exited when we felt a shudder through the ship – it was moving on thrust and not very smoothly thanks to the battle damage.

We dashed to the external viewer and looked across the widening gulf between the ship and the three space walkers. I'm certainly no xenologist but I swear despite their alien appearance and being stuffed into space suits – they look surprised. One even reached for a magnetically attached side arm. I ducked aside of the viewer – the redundancy of the act only registering afterwards. Even from my place of safety I saw the flash of light and even a slight thumping sound as the hull was pebble-dashed. This was no side arm hitting us but missile fragments - missiles launched from us!

Two weeks later and we are undergoing repairs. The crew are angry at the captain's silence on the events. Why shoot up the debris (which happened to include three of our crew)? Who were the other ships? Was we bait for something else? Some are talking about quitting though for the moment I will stay on. He may be a bastard, but this bastard has guardian angels and besides, I am curious – who is Reynolds?

Key Features of the Story  [Recruit]

Pirate Habits
In Halo, pirates can be found in the outer orbitals and sometimes in the orbits of asteroids. They may be moving between them. Moving through the orbits and scanning location is a reasonable way of looking for them. Occasionally they enter other orbits, looking for trade ships moving between the civilised worlds and outposts.

Pirate Ships
Generally speaking pirate ships are designed to scare traders into dropping their cargo and fleeing. As such they rarely have a large amount of weaponry – just enough to deal with freighters. This said, some may be a little tougher as they prey on the bigger and better defended positions.

Debris
A ship may be destroyed by two methods during combat. It can be blown up – which occurs when its hulls absorb too much damage. The other type is an integrity breakdown – which can occur when integrity is less than 80% and the ship is sustaining damage.
Blowing up rarely leaves much in the way of hulls to salvage, though both types of destruction can leave behind some things worth carting off, including prisoners.

Battle Length
A day's worth of battle equates to four salvoes from a weapon, or rounds of fire. Battles are run after all other standard orders are processed. This allows tactics that can span days. In the above story the battle lasted three days. The ship left orbit and ran into the pirate in the first day – destroying it. On the second day it salvaged the debris field (not having sufficient TU's to complete that and move away). The three pirates also arrived on the second day and the ship suffered most of its damage though crippled one of the pirates.
The four privateers arrived on day three and finished off the pirates.

Tactics
There are combat options that allow the pre-determination of targets. In the above story, the primary target was weak armour while retarget if not firing allowed the ship to move onto another target when it has dealt with the primary target. It also targeted weapons – slightly less accurate though very useful if accuracy is high enough.
The cavalry also employed screen ship – this allows the ship to intercept damage aimed at a specific ship. It is a good way for escorts to protect freighters and command ships.

Weapon Systems
Some weapons have high damage values but low penetration. Penetration is the ability to get through armour and shielding in order to deliver the damage. A high damage but low penetration weapon is effective where there is little armour and shielding while a weapon with low damage but high penetration will be more effective at punching home through heavier armour.

 
News
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*** Inter Galactic News ***

NHS attempt to claim Solo away from DTR

In a shock move the NHS have contested the Solo claim with a huge garrison of 600,000 trained troops. In a move that nobody saw coming, especially as it was unknown the NHS had such a large force of troops to draw upon, the NHS seem to be provoking a response from the DTR. Currently there has been no word from the DTR in how they are going to deal with this claim jumping, although rumours are that they are pretending the Solo claim doesn't really matter to them and so action is unlikely. However this may be a smokescreen and we may yet see the DTR's powerful fleet cause havoc in the system of Solo, which has for a long time been an important junction and fought over by many different factions.

DNA Chairman TonTon resigns

The following communication has been leaked from the DNA to the GTT's PD.

Greetings CEO Fox.
It regrets me to have to inform to you that the DNA nation state will be renouncing its claim on Aladdin system following a ceremony planet side, shortly.
However, it gives me great pleasure to have to inform you that these ceremonies are being planned by Vladimir Tavikovitch, the South Road Traffic Coordinator. He is also responsible for all DNA and .ore. assets in the Outer Naplian (Capellan) periphery so if there are any further issues, please take it up with him.
For any and all other matters, please forward your request directly to the DNA directorate services at NexusID: DNA people.
The Foreign Ministry objects one last time to your illegal claim jump of Aladdin, but we realise it is time to de-escalate.
Normally i would sign off with Naambta, but doing so would be hypocritical. Let me say good riddance instead.
I hereby resign in protest!

Chairman TonTon,
Foreign Minister, DNA
cc: Directorate Services personnel coordinator - !urgent resignation!


DTR threaten WMB with fines for multiple breaches of DTR Law

Lady Sylvansight of the DTR has issued a fine of 1,000,000 stellars to the Wimbles for multiple breaches of DTR Penal and Territorial Law. This seems a very brave move of the DTR to risk upsetting the huge and warlike WMB when they also have the rival NHS Solo system claim to deal with. No word has been recieved yet that the Wimbles are going to pay, but if the formidable WMB warfleet is seen heading for the DTR home systems we will know what their thought are on the matter. The DTR and WMB fleets going head to head would be a sight to behold.

*** Affiliations ***

AFT Association of Free Traders (54) - Marion Tweedy
BLG Bolg Organisation (22) - Akhenaten
CIA Combined Intelligence Agency (64) - Laton CIA
DNA Displaced Natives Asylum (66) - DNA people
DTR Detinus Republic (58) - Morley Decker
DWK Dewiek Packs (19) - <Unknown>
FCN Falconian Republic (70) – Graspien
FEL Felini Tyranny (49) - Kr'Shan
FLZ Flagritz Republic (47) - Kayxaer
FET Frontier Exploration & Trade (56) - Cu Chulainn
GTT Galactic Trade & Transport (52) - Xavier Fox
HEX Hexamon (23) - Tranquility
KRL Krell (30) - Namica
KRT Krell of the Reverence Temple (37) - Cyn
KST Kastor Kastorians (12) - Kastor
MOH Mohache (73) – Listens
NHS Noble Houses (41) – Roy Roberts
NLF Naplian Liberation Front (38) - NLFHQ
SMS Stellar Mining and Smelting (53) - MikhailM
WMB Wimble Nations (25) - zz

* Leader MAY be inactive, affiliation may be active
** Only known contact, please update us if this is incorrect.

NPC / FoC: ARC, CIV, CGT, FRE, HBO, HEF, IND, ISP, JCN, MEK, MRC, PIR, PRV, TCA, TRN, KAS
Inactive: ANT, COD, BHD, DEN, DOM, GCE, HVE, IDC, IMP, RIP, RCF, SKW, TAG,

*** Submissions ***

By private message to The Editor or via Mica if you prefer to remain anonymous.
 
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*** Inter Galactic News ***

DNA and GTT clash over Aladdin system claim while Pirates look on.

The GTT have this week launched an attack on the DNA outpost in Aladdin, in what appears to be little more than a turkey shoot. Around 100,000 GTT Naplian Startroopers attacked the DNA position to remove the rival system claim. Reports indicate the DNA garrison were taken by surprise and lost control of the base in the first few hours of the fighting. The base has since been reflagged from [Free Naplian Capital] Peaceful Protest to [Loyal Naplian Capital] DNA claim Ended so it's fair to say there was a clear message being sent by the GTT. We have been waiting for the DNA leadership to comment but so far they have been unusually silent. No doubt when they have crawled out from under their desks they will have something to say on the matter.

While this attack was going on several pirate ships were also seen in Aladdin, according to the GTT in what may be true or may be a diversion, with reports of a pirate GP and scout being destroyed while a 150HH pirate warship slipped away and escaped from incoming anti-pirate patrols.

Secret meeting of the EEM

A recent communication intercepted by one of our top reporters today made us aware of a meeting of the EEM. This is underway in a top secret location called Black Pool, which sounds suspiciously like the lair of a pirate band. After pulling in many favours, we were able to identify some of the attending members. On the bases that they won't be named we were able to find out some slight information of the subjects to be discussed at the meeting and one thing is for certain, there could be huge impacts to the lives of everybody living in the galaxy. Details to follow. When the shadowy figures of the EEM come together with the top political players in a pirate base the possibilities are endless!


You are never more than 6 systems from a RAT 🐀

A new saying has arisen in the bars and spaceport of starbases throughout the many peripheries; you are never more than 6 systems from a RAT.

It is understood that this saying originated in Yank and spread by trade vessels to peripheries far and wide. Many starbases have heightened their security and added additional sensors and locks to various entry points including foul and grey water outfalls. Beer and drug stocks are undergoing increased proofing to avoid the critters gaining entry and consuming the stockpiles.

Will this present as a new plague of proportions never before seen or is this some simple urban myth being spread for the amusement of some mischievous entity? Who knows, but to be certain... check the shadows.

 
This year we will again be returning to the Briardene Hotel. They were welcoming, the bar didn't run out of beer pre-covid and there was room for quiet chats. Along with Wetherspoons there is the Victoria just down the road (Sam Smiths - last time beer was around 2 shillings per pint and a full round was less than £10).

Mostly drinking beer and talking toot though we have a good few things on the agenda.

Bookings are done directly with the hotel. Book by phone and say that you are with KJC Games

Briardene Hotel
Telephone: +44(0)1253 338300
All staff should be able to deal with the booking but if there are any problems ask for Tracy (manager) as she dealt with all our foibles in previous years.
 
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*** Inter Galactic News ***

Dog days are over

With the fall of the DEN and the implosion of their home territory as the AFT, DTR and GTT moved in, it was unlikely the Dewiek would rise again. The DWP gave the species a little hope with the Dewiek Pocket Periphery kept under lock and key. But news has reached us of the AFT's penetration of this private area of space that's been locked down. With a base and claim in one of the three visible systems it seems that the end of the Dewiek is near. A once noble and aggressive race, determined to make an impact on the galaxy is now little more than a species that lives under the command of others. A sad end to a once powerful species that used to control a significant part of known space.

Pirate activity continues

Yet more reports of pirate activity have been received, one from the WMB, losing a freighter in Solo and another from the FET who reported they had engaged and hit the attacking pirate ship with several weapons before it managed to make off with it's prize. Hopefully the pirate ship took significant damage and will now be out of action for some time. The Corewards periphery seems to have been plagued with pirates recently and many travellers would welcome a break from attacks.


MEK incursion into Corewards

The FET and GTT have mounted a joint venture into Nog-Kesri to tackle a MEK force. It isn't known where they have come from, with the only other MEK ships seen so far being located in the Orion Spur. The lack of a known link between where they have appeared in Corewards and the Orion Spur has caused some concern among planetary populations as who knows where they could turn up next! Fortunately the combined FET/GTT task force dealt the MEK a heavy blow and the threat has been eradicated. But we all know this is unlikely to be the last we hear of the MEK in Corwards and we would encourage ship captains to keep a keen eye on thier sensor screens when travelling near Nog-Kesri.

 
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*** Inter Galactic News ***

  • CIA freighter fights off overwhelming pirate forces

  • Fin Saine media broadcast, What is Hot in the galaxy?!?!

  • MEKlan forces attack in Corewards Arm


  •  
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    *** Inter Galactic News ***

    Aladdin faces ongoing DNA/GTT tension

    The tensions between the DNA and GTT in the Coptuv system recently spilled over into the DNA system of Aladdin. A significant party of GTT ground troops has reinforced one of their bases in the system and claimed it, forcing the system claim into turmoil as the DNA finds itself under threat of losing the system. With the DNA chairman asking for help, several affiliations have been seen sending ships to evacuate any in the local population that want to escape the GTT. But so far not a shot has been fired and despite the AFT, FEL and DTR assistance no reisistance to the claim jump has been encountered so far. It remains to be seen if the DNA and it's friends will scatter before this hostile take over or put in a last minute counter claim to thwart GTT intentions.

    Increasing pirate activity

    Recent reports indicate a new surge in pirate attacks with the AFT and GTT reporting ships lost. Knowing how some don't like to advertise losses we wouldn't be surprised if this is the tip of the iceberg. Reports passed to us show the ship PIR Scavenger running ID 43174 and another ship of the same name running ID 68668 have both been in action with successful boarding attempts. It's unknown whether these are seperate ships or the same ship reregistered, but our information suggests that it would be hard for these pirates to cover the space where these attacks happened with just one ship. One thing is for sure, be on your guard as open space is not as safe as it once was.


    GCE ships loitering in deep space

    After the fall of the GCE and a lot of their assets being shared or purchased it was thought that the affiliation was no more. Yet deep space scans indicate that there is still a significant number of GCE warships holding station in deep space between Coptuv and Yank on the transport route into the Corwards Arm. Nobody knows what these ships are up to and why they are still flagged GCE, but our best guess is that are captains either awaiting new orders or owners after the fall of the GCE command structure.


    *** Affiliations ***

    AFT Association of Free Traders (54) - Marion Tweedy
    BLG Bolg Organisation (22) - Akhenaten
    BHD Brotherhood (63) - de Molay
    CIA Combined Intelligence Agency (64) - Laton CIA
    DNA Displaced Natives Asylum (66) - DNA people
    DTR Detinus Republic (58) - Morley Decker
    DWK Dewiek Packs (19) - <Unknown>
    FCN Falconian Republic (70) – Graspien
    FEL Felini Tyranny (49) - Kr'Shan
    FLZ Flagritz Republic (47) - Kayxaer
    FET Frontier Exploration & Trade (56) - Cu Chulainn
    GTT Galactic Trade & Transport (52) - Xavier Fox
    HEX Hexamon (23) - Tranquility
    KRL Krell (30) - Namica
    KRT Krell of the Reverence Temple (37) - Cyn
    KST Kastor Kastorians (12) - Kastor
    MOH Mohache (73) – Listens
    NHS Noble Houses (41) – Roy Roberts
    NLF Naplian Liberation Front (38) - NLFHQ
    SMS Stellar Mining and Smelting (53) - MikhailM
    WMB Wimble Nations (25) - zz

    * Leader MAY be inactive, affiliation may be active
    ** Only known contact, please update us if this is incorrect.

    NPC / FoC: ARC, CIV, CGT, FRE, HBO, HEF, IND, ISP, JCN, MEK, MRC, PIR, PRV, TCA, TRN, KAS
    Inactive: ANT, COD, DEN, DOM, GCE, HVE, IDC, IMP, RIP, RCF, SKW, TAG,

    *** Submissions ***

    By private message to The Editor or via Mica if you prefer to remain anonymous.
     
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    *** Inter Galactic News ***

    Tension in the Corewards Arm

    With the DNA obtaining several ex-GCE bases in the Coreward Arm it has found itself in the middle of an asset grab of serious proportions and aggression. Our reporters witnessed several GTT troop carriers heading for the Corewards system as the DNA published information suggesting they were accidental owners of the system and that the assets were to be moved on. As the GTT ships started to arrive the bases were quickly passed to the CIA, thus thwarting the GTT intentions as they were hardly likely to start dropping troops on their allies bases. This shrew move by the DNA seems to have calmed matters in the Coreward arm temporarily, although the shift in relations between the GTT and DNA has taken a negative turn. When asked what their next move might be the GTT refused to comment.

    GCE collapse

    The GCE are no more, save for some scattered light freighters. The affiliation which enjoyed a sharp rise and profiltable relations with many has ceased trading. Rumors point to the GTT buying up GCE assets before stripping the rival corporation of anything of value. Although our reporters at the SSS have been quick to point out that any GCE assets not in GTT systems have been taken over by both the DNA and FET. So it seems many different affiliations were able to profit from this development including a new group called the HSH who appear to have taken over the GCE war fleet. No doubt many in the peripheries will be watching with interest where these ships are used, who the HSH are and how they were able to get thier hands on so many warships so quickly.


    Secudus trials

    In the Cluster Secudus has continued his trials, claiming to root out terrorists working against the Empire. With tends of thousands of beings being sent to the camps or worse. There is no sign of these actions stopping as the NHS clamp down on the locals and bring them under the harsh control of the Empire.


    *** Affiliations ***

    AFT Association of Free Traders (54) - Marion Tweedy
    BLG Bolg Organisation (22) - Akhenaten
    BHD Brotherhood (63) - de Molay
    CIA Combined Intelligence Agency (64) - Laton CIA
    DNA Displaced Natives Asylum (66) - DNA people
    DTR Detinus Republic (58) - Morley Decker
    DWK Dewiek Packs (19) - <Unknown>
    FCN Falconian Republic (70) – <Unknown>
    FEL Felini Tyranny (49) - Juris
    FLZ Flagritz Republic (47) - Kayxaer
    FET Frontier Exploration & Trade (56) - Cu Chulainn
    GTT Galactic Trade & Transport (52) - Xavier Fox
    HEX Hexamon (23) - Tranquility
    KRL Krell (30) - Namica
    KRT Krell of the Reverence Temple (37) - Cyn
    KST Kastor Kastorians (12) - Kastor
    MOH Mohache (73) – Listens
    NHS Noble Houses (41) – Roy Roberts
    NLF Naplian Liberation Front (38) - NLFHQ
    SMS Stellar Mining and Smelting (53) - MikhailM
    WMB Wimble Nations (25) - zz

    * Leader MAY be inactive, affiliation may be active
    ** Only known contact, please update us if this is incorrect.

    NPC / FoC: ARC, CIV, CGT, FRE, HBO, HEF, IND, ISP, JCN, MEK, MRC, PIR, PRV, TCA, TRN, KAS
    Inactive: ANT, COD, DEN, DOM, GCE, HVE, IDC, IMP, RIP, RCF, SKW, TAG,

    *** Submissions ***

    By private message to The Editor or via Mica if you prefer to remain anonymous.
     
    ******Empire Syndicated News Network (ESNN) ******

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    Welcome to the latest version of ESNN, giving the news and views from the ESNN's reporter and news anchor, Ainsley Moore, making this the peripheries' most favourite and most reliable unbiased publication in the known universe from our home in the Heartland,

    And so with the news from the last couple of weeks,


    Cluster War! DNA Gather Fruit
     
    ******Empire Syndicated News Network (ESNN) ******

    user image

    Welcome to the latest version of ESNN, giving the news and views from the ESNN's reporter and news anchor, Ainsley Moore, making this the peripheries' most favourite unbiased publication in the known universe from our home in the Heartland,

    And so with the news from the last few weeks,


    Cluster War! MZC attacks DNA
     

    Free Ship when you sign-up
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    Over 20 years of content development
    Persistent Browser-Based Game (PBBG)

    I’ve played on and off for approximately 10 years, over a 20 year spell. After some interesting debate on the in-game forum, I did wonder what, exactly, has kept drawing me back to the game, when for so many others I’ve generally lost interest after a few months.

    Ultimately, I think it is a combination of automation (that allows the game to handle thousands of positions to interact on a daily basis) coupled with Special Actions (that allow the story arc to develop in a way that could not be catered for by a set of predefined list of available orders).
    -Zigic