It seems like half an eternity ago that I played Jumpgate, but still I feel that it’s been a very remarkable MMORPG.
For one, the community really took the “RPG” part of the acronym quite seriously. I immensely enjoyed taking part in the factional conflicts of this fictional universe, in no small part thanks to the warm and collegial atmosphere of the squadron I was privileged to be a part of. Thanks for all the fish, Quantar Alliance!
Almost equally as strong a factor, this game was a thoroughbred space simulator. You had to think about mass, inertia and specific impulse (thrust), and master these concepts before being able to successfully fly your spaceship. It mattered both in combat and in cargo hauling… I remember priceless moments of horror when you realized that your cargo tow, fully-laden with heavy uranium ore, was going to slam into that station no matter what – two minutes before the crash – because you over-accelerated and couldn’t slow down or evade the obstacle in time.
This was a hardcore simulator, in its way, and a better game for it. The illusion of being a pilot, not just a gamer, made for a very strong appeal.
And it could be modded! Back then I made a HUD replacement, to enhance the immersion factor.