ELF – Eternal Lifetime Feud?

The ban has now reached the 600 day mark…

It’s quite admirable that Dragelet has stuck to his principles, and continues to deny me access to the only remaining SST server, yet still refuses to divulge the reason for the ban.

But that is where my admiration now ends… I now consider his server an abomination to the memories I had of SST.

SST began as a BBS text game, but you have destroyed it’s heritage by disabling this method of play… and your reason why? It’s the source of all things evil… bots, scripts, clients? Or is it because those were the tools that you used to rape and pillage the original SST game, and you’re worried someone may use your own tactics against your server?

I’ve been wondering why Ray shutdown his server and has been unavailable to explain why… I’m beginning to suspect that he was embarrassed that he didn’t do anything to prevent you from ruining the game.

So to wrap it up, if you’re a real die hard SST fan, treasure your memories of SST as there no longer exists any game servers that continues the true spirit of the game, and that the creator of the game would be proud of.

ELF challenge!

It’s now been over 500 days since I was banned from ELF.

But by using my mystical knowledge of proxies I do pop in there on occasions. 😛

My interest in all things SST is fading slowly… I’ve found a new online game to play that is consuming a lot of my spare time. The player community is extremely active and the game developer hasn’t abandonded his creations.

But I digress, back to ELF… I noticed a lot of familiar names listed on the history page. Seems a lot of players who disappeared in the last couple of years of TLF have started to reappear. ELF is doing a great job of continuing the SST legacy.

Now for my challenge… or should I say challenges?
There’s less than 3 days to go in the 000 game. I’ve logged my ship in (ANONYMOUS) and have left it parked somewhere.

  • Challenge 1: Find my ship!
  • Challenge 2: Get the kill shot on my ship!
  • The prize? Well… you’ll get exclusive bragging rights that you’ve found and/or killed my ship.


    SST Nostalgia

    In celebration of their 10th birthday, Google has for a limited time pulled out of their archive the oldest index of the web they have. This index goes back to the end of 2001. Being curious, I decided to do a search of ‘starshiptraders’ to see what I would find:

    Starship Traders Webgame: A free online realtime multiplayer …
    StarshipTraders.com. (There are 7 players online @ 02:29 KST). If you are a new
    player please read the information below. Enter your name or a pseudonym: … – View old version on the Internet Archive

    For a limited time you can go here: http://www.google.com/search2001.html and search the web as it was back in 2001. Click on ‘View old version on the Internet Archive’ to see any page found as it was cached back in 2001. I found the log in page for the game as well as the team page for Game 000. I believe the search will be up for the month of October so be sure to check it soon, and look up starshiptraders for a little SST Nostalgia.

    SST Revival?

    With the ELF game now being the only game in town, it looks like it is now finally getting some traction with more than 100 logins every day. It’s nice to put geographic locations to the various players with the help of the login history page. It is however, amusing or sad depending on how you look at things, that the more things change, the more they stay the same. It appears that the fear of client use there is also gaining traction, despite the fact that is highly unlikely to be even happening! With the game now being a browser only game, many of the browser related bugs are now coming to the surface.

    One such bug is the game reset bug which occurs when an impatient browser user is the person who initiates the reset. Fortunately for ELF, the games being reset are run on a fast server (ie. not likely shared or virtualized)and have relatively small active maps. Unlike when the game is initiated through a telnet/client connection, the browser user gets no notification that a game reset has been started. Believing that the browser has hung, logging back into the game before map creation is completed, aborts the message clearing step before it has a chance to run. There is at least one work around that I can think of, but I’ll leave that as an exercise for the game admin.

    It’s certainly worth dropping into the game for the entertainment 😉

    Tactic #1: Know your game server(s)!

    Here’s the first post in a (hopefully) ongoing series of hints and tips…

    What do you do if the game server doesn’t appear to be working? You try to browse to IOResort.com and your web browser times out or gives you some type of error message.

    Unless the server has completely died or the hosting ISP has gone out of business, there’s a good chance it’s only a minor problem with DNS or a rogue process on the server.

    That’s where this handy table comes into play… it’s got all the info that a player needs to access the games directly! 😀

    Game Server IP Address Http Telnet Client
    TLR ioresort.com 80 23 666
    TLF ioresort.com 1880 1823 1866
    ST ioresort.com N/A 9999 N/A
    ELF starshiptraders.net 1080 23 N/A


    Note: The problem this past weekend on ioresort.com only affected the TLR game… TLF & ST were still up and running, you just needed to remember what ports they use!
    Note: I’m unable to confirm the ELF information as I still seem to be banned/blocked… 😛

    SST sites

    One of the reasons I wanted to start this site was the slow disappearance of all things SST related.

    If you do a web search on the terms SST / TLR / StarshipTraders / IOResort most of the entries returned are links from Web Game directories. After weeding through all these you may (if you’re lucky) find a link to something like The Wog’s old website or similiar.

    The only other available sources of content are the two (three?) yahoo groups dedicated to these games… however, due to a lack of moderators, these groups only seem to be an endless source of spam.

    So what can we do about this, what are our options?
    1) Create new fansites! – Easy to do, however they never seem to last.
    2) Get some blogs going – Even easier to do, go to blogger.com, wordpress.com, live.com and start writing. Blogs don’t have to have a single author/owner, and most can be imported into other blogs if something better comes along.
    3) Share information and links – If you’ve got some info, get it posted somewhere!

    I did some Web trawling earlier, and found an interesting players guide written by EMPNEFSI about two years ago. The original guide can be found here, but I’ve archived a copy here as well.

    The trawling also turned up some blogs… World of Starship Traders, and a couple of old Vet’s appear to have started blogs. One of these vets appears to have had a Nimrod problem as well!

    If you know of any fansites I don’t have listed, let me know… If you have any (constructive) ideas for this site, feel free to pass them on.

    Speaking of ideas… I’m considering writing a Bunker Buster plugin for TLF. The idea is that a random bunker location will be revealed once a week… what happens to the bunker then is anyones guess. To be fair, all bunkers will be included, no Team or player favourism. No details of who the bunker belongs to, or the strength of the defences will be revealed by the plugin. Readers will be able to submit new bunker locations. 😀

    Online graphs problem

    Something strange is happening over at ELF… the number of logged in users is jumping all over the place which makes the graphs look very strange.

    I’ve done a quick workaround with the graphs, so they look a little saner.

    Sane Graph
    Sane graph
    Crazy Graph
    Crazy graph

    I’ve sent Dragelet an email about the strange figures, as I think it’s something that should be investigated.

    If (and when) the figures come good, I’ll restore the ELF data from a backup, which will remove the bogus data…

    New poll: Which games are you active in?

    Due to the popularity of the last poll, it’s time to start a new one!

    Is there still any life in the SST/TLR community?

    • The number of new players in TLR seems to have dropped off quite a bit, and a lot of regular players have started to disappear.
    • I’ve lost access to the ELF history page again, so I’ve got no visibility into what’s happening over there. The message boards have been quiet lately.
    • As for TLF… there’s a lot of activity going on over there… ship hijacking, returning conquerors (sorry vets), delusional captains, kamikaze ships… the list goes on (and on)!

    As another player pointed out, polls can be totally pointless… and exploited!
    If you can vote more than once, DO IT!
    If you can get an ex-player to vote, DO IT! (And get them to start playing again as well!)

    Which games do you actively play in?
    Total Votes: 10 Started: January 13, 2007 Back to Vote Screen

    Version watch

    The last article about the different tarballs got me thinking about which versions are running on the known game servers.

    Game Version
    TLR TLR 0.6.2
    TLF SST 2.1.0t
    ELF SST 2.1.0t

    Now all we need is a list of what bugs/features exist in each version…