E3 2002: Jumpgate Episode 2 impressions

Big changes are in the works for NetDevil's sci-fi MMORPG.


NetDevil's excellent science-fiction MMORPG will get some nice additions in the upcoming expansion, currently (and unfortunately) entitled Episode 2: Attack of the Conflux. We didn't get to see a demonstration of the expansion, but we did get to talk with the developers to hear what they have in store. There are two major additions planned, as well as the expected new ships and enemies.

The most exciting new addition will be the inclusion of an entirely new galaxy. This new region, full of jumpgates and sectors of its own, is controlled by the conflux, the alien enemy that veteran Jumpgate players simply call "flux." The new regions will include bigger, more intelligent enemies, as well as conflux space stations. The jumpgates in this new galaxy will be changed, disabled, and blocked by GMs, so players will have to team up to find ways to explore the new sectors. Moreover, the paths will be constantly changing, as would be expected in an almost entirely hostile territory.

The other major addition will be that players can now buy and operate space stations. Modules attached to these stations will let other players know what types of services you'll offer, and you can provide refueling, storage, as well as selling weapons and ships. You'll even be able to offer missions for other players.

And there's plenty more planned--new squadron options will let you have larger-scale battles with squad-specific rankings. There are plenty of new ships to research and build, and some of them are massive. The new Solrain freighter (the only new ship on display) was more than twice as big as the current largest ship in the game.

Now that Jumpgate is out of 3DO's hands, NetDevil has big plans to keep updating and expanding the game. Hopefully, such additions will eventually help the game find the wide audience it deserves. It may face some healthy competition from Westwood's Earth and Beyond and Simon & Schuster's Eve: The Second Genesis, both of which are promising similar features in similar settings. But Jumpgate Episode 2 shows that NetDevil is committed to facing the challenge.

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