A Newbie in Netrekland

Link to: Part one | Part two | Part three | Part four

Didn't you read the description of this essay in from the Essays and short stories index? No? Well, click here to read the teaser for this piece.

In the Beginning (again)

A few days ago, I decided to do a search on Yahoo for Netrek. What is Netrek? Basically, it's a 16 player game consisting of two teams of 8, where the two teams battle it out in a top down view of several dozen planets to eventually wipe out the opposite side. And that doesn't even come to describe Netrek, which is really its blessing, and its curse.

Anyway. I'm no stranger to Netrek, I used to play the game about 3 or 4 years ago. Unfortunately, it was so fun that my phone bill rose to extortionate heights within a few weeks and I either had to give up playing, or stop using the Internet. In order to make sure that I didn't play it again, I had to completely delete all the Netrek software on my computer.

Which is why I had to search for Netrek on Yahoo again, so I could find somewhere to download it from. And that's where my problems started. Out of about a dozen links for Netrek, less than a quarter worked. If I didn't know how good Netrek was, I would have given up there and then. When I did find a working link, I downloaded a new Windows 98 'Netrek 1999' client.

Yes, you guessed it, when I loaded up the client, it didn't work. More about that later. So I, rather disappointed, went to check out the rec.games.netrek newsgroup to see what was going on. It was there that I found a long thread discussing the demise of Netrek, and how the die-hard Netrekkers could go about reviving the game. I wondered how I might be able to help, so here I am, writing a newbie's eye view of Netrek, and how the Netrekkers might go about attracting more people to the game.

Maybe this guide could be useful to other newcomers to Netrek, to show them that there indeed is a light at the end of the tunnel. It might help them to avoid the same mistakes I made.

Okay, I'm not really a newbie to Netrek - I have played it before, and I've got a fairly good clue as to the mechanics of the game. But I haven't touched it for a few years, and I never played it long enough to gather any semblance of skill, so I suppose I qualify as an honorary Netrek newbie.

So here's the diary of a Netrek Newbie.


  On to Part 2