Last summer, I was invited to a game of Neptune's Pride arranged by Second Person Shooter. In short, Neptune's Pride is a game about CONQUERING SPACE in real-time. You want a fleet to jump to a planet? Set the order, wait 30 minutes, and watch 'em go. Alternatively, change your mind in less than 30 minutes if something comes up (it will).
If you want to see what a complete playthrough from multiple perspectives looks like, Rock, Paper, Shotgun will lead the way. If you want a quick summation of what our game of Neptune's Pride felt like, Harbour Master has you covered. If you want my personal account, read on...
STARLORD TO REAL PERSON CONVERSION KEY:
Harbour Master/Joel Goodwin—Electron Dance—The Aspiration
Kent Sutherland—Second Person Shooter—Starspackle
Kerry Turner—Really Fancy—Seance
Laura Michet—Second Person Shooter—Facewizard
Miles Newton—The Machination—Baron Copernicus
Peter Riggs—Intelligent Design—Veret
Right-click on the images and pick "View Image" if you want to see them full-size. I'm still working some things out with Blogger. You can also make reading this more entertaining by imagining a burly man breaking through your walls yelling "WEAPONS RESEARCH!" every time the phrase comes up.
Our Neptune's Pride game begins the same day that my summer classes do. I feel mildly screwed. Hooray!
I'm going for Economy, because of both its long-term benefits for every other upgrade and to compensate for my rather lame real-life bank account. If NP provides an option to blow all my money on PS2 games, my failure is guaranteed. Barring that, I think I'll be in good shape; after money comes Science, and after Science comes WEAPONS RESEARCH.
Abacus and Switchbreak both want peace. Seeing as I prefer my own ass un-kicked so early, I agreed. Also, peace! And love!
Starspackle wants to trade tech. I don't seem to be developing it that quickly, probably due to my hideously low Science ratings that my Economy has yet to pick up the slack on, yet Abacus also wants to trade with me. He's also studying Speed and wants WEAPONS RESEARCH, so I think this could be the best decision I've made yet.
I sent a message to The Aspiration hoping to be allies, mostly based on the fact that I'm dark green and he's light green. I also hoped to appeal to his sense of being surrounded, but he has almost double my stars. So I think this won't quite work out. I also sent a message to the distant Facewizard speaking of her impending DOOM. Because I have to spice things up somehow. Though Veret is further away. I'm going to pretend this is part of some master gambit until it screws me over.
While I've been doing minor maintenance since yesterday, I haven't really made a big push in any direction. I've traded WEAPONS RESEARCH for Speed with Abacus, so one alliance is already paying off. Starspackle decided that instead of $50 for Scanning, he'd accept WEAPONS RESEARCH and $25. I should mention that my last round of spending left me at $22. However, I can tick off an additional $25 for my next turn because...
I jumped to Mimosa while it seemed unoccupied. It turns out that Copernicus jumped before I did. So now I'm going to arrive at the star and one of us is going to get it. Copernicus is at the same WEAPONS RESEARCH level as me, and I only sent five ships. He sent a message saying he doesn't want conflict, and I agreed, so at least I didn't trip and fall into a warzone. However, I'm going to need to fork over the $25 for another carrier.
I also checked the player stats, and it turns out that a lot of other players have the same WEAPONS RESEARCH level as me and higher stats elsewhere. I usually have the highest Science, but the point of that was to have the highest WEAPONS RESEARCH level.
Science has lied to me.
I'm at a point where I'm conflicted as to whom I can tell what to. Abacus wanted to trade Scanning for WEAPONS RESEARCH, but I just traded WEAPONS RESEARCH with Starspackle for Scanning. Now I'm one level higher than Abacus. I doubt Starspackle is enemies with Abacus, but I don't want to imply alliances that'll bite me in the end yet. Maybe I'm just predicting too many RPS-style debacles where one backstab is merely the prequel to another backstab. Though perhaps conflict is inevitable at this point.
I can sit back and upgrade for... a little while. War is in the air(less vacuum).
Not to mention Starspackle and I had this exchange a little while earlier.
I was a bit suspicious of The Aspiration, thinking that he was attacking Baron Copernicus earlier. Baron Copernicus said The Aspiration was just scouting. I just didn't assume he was scouting ME. I made the unfortunate mistake of immediately blowing my money on Industry when I should've built carriers to shift my forces around and intercept his ships.
I requested Starspackle and Abacus' help if things get worse. Let's hope I can push The Aspiration back before I am doomed. I hope my two-point advantage in WEAPONS RESEARCH is a match for his fleet that's twice my size.
Well, there goes my shot at empire.
I tried sending as many ships as I could to Sterope II, but by the time I got there The Aspiration had upgraded his WEAPONS RESEARCH to be a one-point disadvantage instead of a two-point one. Since he was the defender of the stars I attacked (meaning +1 to damage), we were suddenly tied. Except that he still had a fleet over twice my size. I attempted a few tactics to try and get around this.
Both Abacus and Starspackle were unable to help. Abacus was willing but Baron Copernicus' stars were blocking the way to The Aspiration. Starspackle was embroiled in conflicts of his own. I decided to directly request assistance from Baron Copernicus and Switchbreak. I offered to give up any stars they captured away from The Aspiration that formerly belonged to me.
They didn't bite.
Baron Copernicus wanted to maintain neutrality, while Switchbreak was already occupied with someone to the north. I offered up free techs, but I already realized I wasn't getting out of this one alive. I decided that since Starspackle had been my longtime tech-trading ally that had a good chance of winning, I'd give everything I had over to him.
Then I got a message from Baron Copernicus. I'll let my response cap off this entry. Hopefully I'll live long enough for one more.
Some.Time.Later (AKA I forgot to ever write this entry)
I ended up staying on life support for a while since The Aspiration didn't capture my last star for a while. So every two-odd turns I gave my $25 to Starspackle. I was finally wiped out a turn before the game ended, but Starspackle did win. So all in all, it was a good experience. I didn't quite set my sights on winning, and I didn't, but I got to be a thorn in the side of my conqueror for a while. Apparently, Baron Copernicus got screwed over down the line, which makes one half of me feel bad as the other half cackles in maniacal glee. Neptune's Pride seems to bring out that schaudenfreude side of me.
In conclusion, I was a man that had too much WEAPONS RESEARCH and not enough heart (Industry).