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What is Jumpgate Evolution (JGE)?
If you are a fan of MMO games but you prefer futuristic space combat to Night Elves and forests then there is a new game on the way which you will definitely want to check out. Could it be a real competitor for Eve Online? Jumpgate Evolution (JGE) looks set to be an excellent title which promises epic battles amongst the stars with the focus firmly on combat and action.
The game is related to an old MMO called Jumpgate which was an online flight sim with combat, an economy and player run events. The problem with Jumpgate was the difficulty of piloting your ship which led to many a failed landing or take off and a frustrated explosion at a space dock. The game never really took off but now developers NetDevil are back, bigger and better with Codemasters onboard as publishers. They have learned from their mistakes, studied the genre and gone to work on a game which offers accessible action. The focus on reality is out the window and instead you can get into the action immediately.
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Nations and NPCs
There are three factions or nations in Jumpgate Online and your first decision is which one to join. Solrain, Octavian and Quantar each have different backgrounds and slightly different options in terms of ships but the developers have ensured they remain balanced. Whatever your primary activity it can still be catered for in any faction simply by buying the right kind of ship. There will be a number of different ship classes and options.
The ship control and combat has been designed to be accessible and joysticks are supported. You can get out into the action very quickly after joining a game and the developers have included enemy AI. The importance of NPC characters cannot be understated and the Jumpgate Evolution universe is full of patrolling pirates with asteroid bases. These hardened criminals provide the early target practice allowing you to level up in the traditional way and as you progress you’ll encounter much tougher foes. The addition of NPC characters means the game can be balanced on the fly, if one side is overpowered in a battle or an area of space is empty of players then NPC ships will fill the void.
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Economy and Missions
The game also has a player run economy with an auction house system where players trade with each other and set their own prices. If you have some spare cash you can upgrade your ship with all sorts of offensive and defensive options. You can pillage loot from the ships you destroy, you can also mine valuable resources and you may occasionally happen upon something of value which can later be sold. In order to get some upgrades you’ll need to have the right rank or earn a new license and levelling up looks like a straightforward familiar process of completing missions and killing plenty of enemies.
The missions will get harder as you progress and the developers promise there are some big, several stage challenges in store. The response you get from the enemy will also be affected by your own performance. Further into the game you can expect to be tasked with destroying a space station or a capital ship. The current plan is to take a gentle approach to death and so if you are obliterated in battle you get to respawn at the nearest friendly station with your experience and ship intact.
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Jumpgates, PvP and Beta
The universe is a vast one and as the name would suggest it is held together by a series of jumpgates which allow you to transition to other zones via a snazzy visual effect. In fact the game looks great generally with some interesting ship designs, environments you'll want to explore and excellent visual effects.
The game will also support PvP combat and the developers are trying to make it as exciting as possible. They aim to have 30 or 40 ships per side with AI controlled ships mixed in to give the battles a truly epic feel. If it works it should be fantastic. They are still undecided on exactly how the PvP portion of the game will be separated though there will of course be separate PvP servers.
The developers continue to release more and more snippets of information and you can sign up for the Beta right now and help shape the final game. It looks really promising; let’s hope Jumpgate Evolution lives up to expectations.