Pardus is a free (with pay to play extras) Sci-Fi browser-based MMORPG (or Massive Multiplayer Online Browser Game - MMOBG) set in a future where traders, pirates and other pilots of various races and factions strive to gain wealth, fame and power in space. It has inspirations from classic computer games including Elite|Elite and Master of Orion II.
Basic Gameplay Edit
The interface of Pardus is browser-based. Players have a view of the local system they are in, plus various screens detailing the buildings in the area, the contents of their ship, and the skills of their character. A critically important aspect of the game is the Action Point system - almost all actions require Action Points (or APs), which regenerate at a rate of 24 APs every 6 minutes, up to a maximum of 5000 APs (or more with certain advanced skills and premium account holders). This prevents players who stay in the game all day from gaining an advantage over people who only log in once or twice a day for a short time, though those that do log in more than once a day are given a slight advantage as the total APs gained per day is 5760. Much of the skill required involves careful use of limited APs - there are many ways to waste or use them wisely. Additionally, there are ways to obtain a restricted amount of additional APs by using specific in-game items.
There are several ways to directly improve a player's character in the game. One example is trading, which involves buying commodities and transporting them to another area where they can be sold for a higher price, often benefiting the area as a whole. Fighting NPCs improves the character's various combat attributes. Collecting raw resources improves collecting skills, and practicing hacking or cloaking enables a player to better perform those actions in the future.
Combat in Pardus is turn-based - players choose how many rounds to fight against an opponent. The number of hits and damage per hit each round is based on the combat skills of their character and their equipment. Luck also plays an important role in combat. Some Non-player characters may hold a player for additional rounds of combat after a player tries to retreat.
In addition to the numerous NPCs roaming the galaxy, player versus player combat is frequent.
The economy in Pardus is primarily player-driven, however the economy is dependent upon NPC bases which produce the most important goods and provide entry points for new funds. There are no non-player owned buildings (aside from faction buildings, which play an extremely limited role), and there is no NPC trading mechanism. Players can trade in more than 40 types of commodities, which range from low-tech raw materials such as Food, Water, Energy, and Ore, to high-end finished products such as Droids and Hand Weapons. Some illegal commodities, such as slaves and drugs, also exist.
The game allows for collaboration between players; they may join one of many player-made alliances, which can have dozens of players, and each alliance has its own agenda and goals. Chat channels and forums are available for trading, alliance discussions, and other topics. Players can build buildings in a cluster so as to provide commodities for traders to trade or they can attack targets together.
The Pardus website describes the background thus: "Located in a technologically advanced but war-torn universe, you are an adventurer who roams through a multitude of diverse galaxies in your spacecraft while striving to obtain wealth and power - as are many others.
There are various ways to work towards these goals: Mining raw materials, constructing buildings which manufacture sellable goods, carrying out assignments, developing profitable trade routes, bounty hunting, plundering buildings and ships, smuggling illegal contraband, commanding a starbase and countless other possibilities." These can be broken down as follows:
Extracting raw materialsEdit
Raw materials can be harvested in space. Each tile (or "field") has a raw material associated with it; for example, open space contains hydrogen fuel, and asteroid fields contain ore. Each field holds a maximum of 500t of its respective material. However, the more a field is harvested, the slower the field regenerates, and less can be harvested from the field with further harvesting attempts. This often leads to fields that are "strip mined", meaning raw materials are very scarce - doing this requires a player to be careful, since that field will take a long time to have any considerable amount of raw materials again. Strip-mined fields are one of the most common "problems" found by players; but also one of the most realistic aspects of the game.
Constructing buildings which manufacture sellable goodsEdit
Buildings can be built that produce goods using material inputs at certain intervals during the day. Goods are typically produced every six hours for player buildings (called a tick in the game), provided the proper resources are within the building. Players may stock their own buildings, or they may leave their buildings open to trade with other players; likewise, they may collect their goods themselves or leave those goods for sale for passing travelers to consider. Buildings are classified as "Low-level" (including asteroid mines and fuel collectors), "Mid-level" (including Electronics Facilities and Breweries), and "High-level" (including Hand weapons Factories and Military Outposts.) Each have their own initial start-up costs and their unique necessary upkeep.
Carrying out assignmentsEdit
Planets and bases hold randomly generated missions that replenish at certain points in the day. There are a variety of missions; for instance killing mobs (NPC's), delivering packages, or transporting VIPs. When a mission is completed successfully, the player receives a reward of credits (the in-game money), if the mission was a faction mission, the player will receive an amount of rank increase, or if the mission was a standard (non-faction) mission, the player will receive an amount of "competency" instead.
Bounty hunting, plundering buildings and ships, piracyEdit
Another good way of earning credits is to rob buildings or other ships, or hunt for pilots or buildings with bounties on them. A bounty can be placed on a player or building by the system or by other players. If a player kills a bountied player or destroys a bountied building, he/she will receive the sum of all bounties that were placed on that particular individual or that building. This option is in no way recommended for any new player, since it WILL attract enemies. If a player is strong enough, however, to withstand the consequences, it might be one of the most rewarding ways to play the game - in both money and respect.
The traditional and often preferred method of obtaining wealth and power in Pardus is trading. Players buy goods on a planet, starbase or building, then travel to another to sell it in a "buy low sell high" fashion. Many players establish trade routes between certain buildings which they maintain regularly. This is probably the best option for beginners; since it is easy, and can be very profitable.
Buildings and starbasesEdit
Players can build buildings for other players to buy and sell at. Buildings are a very important part of the economy in Pardus, and a well placed building can make its owner a considerable amount of money. Players can also build starbases, which can be extremely lucrative in the right location, though a starbase is generally more difficult to maintain than a regular building, because they consume and produce goods every 3 hours, along with a changing rate of production.
There are three factions in the Pardus universe: the Federation, the Empire, and the Union. The Federation consists of the Humans and the Rashkir (usually described as reptilian, and occasionally as catlike). Empire consists of the crab-like Ska'ari and the lizard like Keldon. A long history of feuds and betrayals have created the current alliances. The Union, the last of the factions to be added, consists primarily of Rashkir and Keldon.
Outside of Federation, Empire and Union space, there are Neutral Zones which are often claimed by the various player alliances.
Each of the species of Pardus have starting bonuses to their skills, ship and equipment, as well as a starting homeworld appropriate to their species. Homeworlds may be changed within the game.
As of October 1st 2006, Pardus implemented premium accounts which, for $11.95 (USD) per quarter, give players access to new features and areas unavailable to non-paying players.
Premium accounts give access to a whole new cluster, the Pardus cluster, consisting of 21 sectors. Each sector is owned by a certain faction, however the ownership of a sector can change. Just one sector remains neutral at all time, the Pardus sector.
The Pardus cluster is home to a whole new range of NPC monsters, including the feared and unknown Lucidi.
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