From: "cyberbillp" <cyberbillp at>
Subject: State or affairs
Date: 18 Jan 2006 08:46:33 -0800

I'm probing for some NeTrek info here.
Perhaps some background is in order, I'll try to be brief,
but I must forwarn that some of this is going to be

I've run a large game server for NWN for several years and
have many dedicated players. Many of them come and go as
their interest in NWN peaks and wanes. Recently seems more
players are tiring of NWN, myself included. So I've been
looking for a new game for us to play and keep our gaming
experience together fresh.

So....I stumbled across NeTrek. Haven't played this in
about 10 years. Last time I played NeTrek I related it more
to SubSpace than GEnie's Stellar Warrior, but this time I
guess I looked at it differently ( I really enjoyed Stellar
Warrior back in the day ).

NeTrek has WinXp clients for those poor people suffering
under that OS still. Plus it has a Java Client which I can
run on my web site. It all looks good. The Win client from runs great. But the Linux client is
bad and won't run. I find that the Java client isn't
"Blessed". This may mean I must run an unsecure server.
This sounds bad. So my first question is:

How "bad" is it to run a server that accepts unblessed
Will the game be overrun with idiots and turn the whole
thing into a really bad experience or is the blessed thing
just over active

On to the bad stuff. Frankly the Netrek world as far as I
can see if a complete mess. Almost every blessed client I
downloaded was expired. Most of the clients won't even
compile under modern Linux's. Even the latest Paradise
server won't compile under Slackware. The only server I can
even get to run is Vanilla. I see the psycosis (sic) server
is running patch level 8 and I can't even find ANY patches
for download.

In vanilla a robot player spawns each time the server is
logged into and just sits there, inactive. A new robot is
added to the game each time a player logs in. The robots
can not be shot or hurt in any way. Is this a bug? Is the
server setup wrong? I dunno because the server software has
virtually non existant documentation.

In testing, I tried taking planets, but I'm told that I
can't do that in T-Mode. I learn that T-Mode means you have
to have 4+4 players online. Who's the bright spark that
thought that up? Isn't it more incentive to go online and
actually play if you can take planets? The longer you are
online playing, the more chance you have of being seen
online, the more people are going to play. When you log on
and half your planets are wiped out, you have a whole
nights work ahead of you to catch back up. This leads me to
question 2:

Can NeTrek be setup to allow play like this or is T-Mode

Lastly after ALOT of searching I finally found a blessed
client for Linux that actually runs. I think it's the
Paradise 2000 client. This will do me for now, but how long
until it expires and I'm back to looking for a client
again? And from what I've seen so far that search might be
a long one. I shudder to think about how hard it must be
for Mac users.

To summarize: is a wreck. Virtually none of the
blessed clients are unexpired. The source code for the
clients won't compile on half of them and if it does
compile, you can't play on real servers anyways. NeTrek web
sites by the dozens are full of dead links, bad/confusing
info and simply out dated info. Http:// is
good if your are a windows player. But not for linux
players or server admins. I'm reluctant to start a server
or start herding players players into Netrek unless I know
that this is something that is really playable for a large
number of people across Win/Mac/Lin platforms.

Is there an actual linux Netrek server available that runs
well? Which one is "standard"? What is the "standard"
client for each platform (preferably the same one for all
three platforms)? Even more important; where can you
download blessed clients that actually run? If
isn't being maintained, them someone needs to step forward
and create a new repository of blessed clients.

Digging through 15-20 years of abandoned Netrek web sites
is just
insurmountable for most potential players. If anyone
wonders where the players are (I've read stuff like this
alot), the reasons above are why. The cost of entry in time
and effort is orders of magnitude to high to play a game
that frankly isn't very visually appealing.

This post isn't meant to knock anyones hard work. Obviously
alot of effort has gone into Netrek over the years. But
since I've had so much trouble getting into the game, I
thought perhaps a constructive view from a total outsider
might help. Maybe not.

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