From Hell’s Heart I Stab at Thee

“…to the last I grapple with thee; from hell’s heart I stab at thee; for hate’s sake I spit my last breath at thee.” – Captain Ahab, Herman Melville…

…or Khan Noonien Singh in Star Trek: The Wrath of Khan if you are  a Star Trek fan. In the book Captain Ahab goes on to curse the white whale:

“Sink all coffins and all hearses to one common pool! and since neither can be mine, let me then tow to pieces, while still chasing thee, though tied to thee, thou damned whale! Thus, I give up the spear!”

 

More appropriate in this particular case would be Khan’s version. After all, it is his self-destructive behavior that I have seen represented what is left of the Starmade community.  These days if you try and log on to the multiplayer version of the game you will be hard pressed to find a server with a population that rises much above 2 players. There is, however, a last bastion of hope for the multiplayer version of the game. There is one last place where at least 25 players gather on a regular basis.

 

Too true, it is a sad demise for a game that once chat room once garnered the attention of thousands nightly. With this in mind,  you would think that those who still seek Starmade voxel strewn shores would treat each other open arms, welcoming each player into the fold.  With so few players still interested in the game,  you would think each new player would be a cherished commodity.

But not so.

 

Even with such a few player left in the herd, there are still those who prey on new players; heaping grief upon them in what I can only assume is some ego driven self-destructive behavior. And when those last 25 players are gone that is pretty much it as far as the game Starmade is concerned – or at least the multiplayer version of it.  All this, and the game hasn’t even come out with its final version.  Like many games before it, Starmade seems to have risen and fallen in popularity while still being in “early access”.

 

While we can certainly see that this typifies what early access games have become.  They are not a way for developers to garner more funds for game development. They are not a way to hold the interest of an audience. While they may once have been a tool to see what the audience wants out of the game what they are now is overexposure of a game that is certainly not ready for prime time.  Starmade, for all its promise, still has more crashes then a demolition derby.

 

Saddest of all is the way player treat each other. Not all to be true, but we can see this reflected in other games.  CCP’s  Eve Online is now “free-to-play” or “free-to-gank” as our own Chris Dodson calls it.  Back in 2009 a band consisting of developers from CCP calling themselves “Permaband” sang a song which called for players to “harden the fuck up” (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VgvM7av1o1Q).

 

But oh how things have changed.

 

One restructuring, two cancelled games, and one closed office later the same band sings “Come Fly with me” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PXKVnXFQuUA  You can almost hear Frank Sinatra singing the strains of his famous song, “come fly with me, come fly we’ll fly away”.   But as the old adage goes, fool me once shame on you, fool me twice shame on me.  Just like the last remnants of players in Starmade, some few bad apples are running out of the rest of “a bunch” to spoil.

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