Jan 24, 2015: Server Outage
The SJGames login server experienced a DDoS attack last night, and as a result the secure login site is temporarily blocked. This affects UltraCorps logins. We expect it to be resolved sometime this evening. The Saturday tick for the New Year's Bash game has been suspended; ticks will resume Sunday Jan 25.
January 24, 2023: The Rare And Ignominious Bronze BadgeThe Rare and Ignominious Bronze Badge
One of the rarest and least awarded of the Ultracorps Achievement badges in the bronze badge. This is a race specific badge and is bestowed upon commanders who finish between 6th and 10th place in a Mega or Ring game. Being recognized for a top ten finish is usually a nice thing. With bronze badges, not so much.
Upon further reflection, is it really all that nice? It basically outlines the fact that five players or more, playing the same race as you, finished ahead of you. With a large player base, a bronze medal honors a significant achievement. With fewer players in a game, it highlights a certain mediocrity that does not often render a medal stand finish.
One should note that to receive a bronze medal, a player must complete the Mega alive. Bronze medal winners all have one thing in common. They are survivors. They took their hits and they lived to see another day.
Some players have no bronze medals at all. They have plenty of gold and silver medals but very few or no bronze ones. Why is this? There a several reasons; one being that if you are good enough to place in the top spot for your race, then you are not bad enough to finish outside of the top five.
Iconic player Sentrion has 37 unique medals. Only two out of the 28 racial standing badges are bronze. UC_Rommel, Agramer and Randiv have no bronze badges. Solitar has one bronze badge. Travail has one. Check through the standings and view some profiles. Bronze badges are rare. They are also getting harder and harder to acquire. If races are evenly played in a game, it takes close to a hundred players to support a bronze badge level.
Check your profile. See how many badges you have and whether or not you have silver and gold alone, or if you have bronze medals too. See what other players have as far as badges and note the scarcity of bronze medals. Check the dates. Lots of bronzes came along 10 or 12 or more years ago. They are even more elusive now and are nearly impossible to get with the current player volume.
Bronze medals are certainly rare and the dubious honor inherently attached to bronze medal holders can be a little embarrassing but not quite humiliating. It is certainly not an achievement about which someone would Ultramail back to their home sector. It is more the kind of recognition that creates a little bit of shame and then shines a spotlight on it.
Maybe all is fair in love and war, but it seems just a bit unfair to see a permanent record and recognition of an apparent subpar performance. The ignominious bronze medal is not only rare in number it is also rare in that it is one medal that many Ultracorps players would rather not have. The bronze medal is a double edged sword that keeps on cutting.
Starcharger Fleet Commander
Frequently Asked QuestionsUpdated December 31, 2009
. . . About Our Plans
- What's your goal for UltraCorps?
- To run a fun, classy, and profitable for-pay game, with paid, professional moderation, that appeals to the sort of intelligent fans who like our other games. That seems to be the same kind of people who like UltraCorps now, which is probably why Steve liked it so much when HE got into it.
- When will the open beta start?
- It is almost over, actually.
- When will the game go live?
- Real Soon Now. The list of things that must be finished before launch is now very short. We may have everything done by the end of the first week in January. The biggest remaining issues are PayPal payment (PayPal has had some bad system hiccups) and insuring that our own connectivity is reliable. The game code is basically, finally, DONE! Note . . . "beta test" does mean a TEST, and "beta" means "Still being messed with." We'll do our best to maintain the integrity of test games so the players can have fun, but if something breaks, we may decide that a game can't be continued . . . or we may continue a game even if a bug has completely and unfairly hosed some players . . . and that's the way it goes in a test game. So please be patient with us. <--->
- What will the game cost to play, and what will subscribers get?
- The best way to answer that is to link you to the subscription page.
- If I don't subscribe, will I get to finish the PUB games I'm in?
- Well, we really hope you'll subscribe! But if not . . . yes, you will get to finish any PUB games you are currently hosting or playing.
- Will we keep our points, badges, and avatars when the game goes live?
- You will keep your badges.
- You will keep your points. However, if you don't subscribe, you will not earn more points and you won't show up in rankings.
- Once we launch, avatars will be a subscription privilege, but beta-testers who already had avatars will be able to keep them (but not change them) even if they don't subscribe. But we hope you do . . .
- Will you change the rules?
- Yes. We have already tweaked starting setups and unit stats for balance, and we're continuing to do so. We've added a few new units and some special racial powers. As we run the game, we'll find ways to do things better, and we'll try them. But we won't make changes randomly, and some of the changes will probably be to provide a variety of different game scenarios, rather than actual rules changes.
. . . About Joining, Getting Started, and Reporting Bugs
- How can I get into a playtest?
- The playtest is basically over. Sign up here to be on a mailing list for UltraCorps playtest notifications. (This is not the permanent UltraCorps information mailing list, which doesn't even exist yet - this list will only be used for pre-release playtest.) To actually sign up for a game, follow the "Games You Can Join" link on the lobby page.
- Where can I read the rules?
- Right here.
- How do I get the client?
- There is no client; the game is completely browser-based. If you can read this, you can ALMOST certainly play. Follow this link and look at the bottom of the page for the UltraCorps system requirements.
- How do I log in?
- Click on the "Play Now" button. If you are already registered, this will take you to the login screen. If you are not registered, you will be invited to do so.
- Who do I contact if I think I see a bug?
- First, please check the known bug list to see if we already know about it. If not, please report it to email@example.com.
. . . About Gameplay
- Why is the FP on a world often not quite equal to the sum of the FPs of the fleets there?
- Firepower is listed for your guidance; the system uses different (and much more complex) code to determine battles. The "firepower" stat is an approximation, calculated on the fly by a quick-and-dirty algorithm. It doesn't take into account X-factors, and in the case of units that complement each other very well (like an E-class backed by lots of fodder) two fleets can combine into a single fleet with notably more FP than the sum of the original fleets. FP is intended to make learning easier and to make play a bit faster, NOT to replace the skill of the players.
- What happens if I miss a tick?
- Then you missed that turn. There's no way to set the clock back.
- What if the whole system misses a tick?
- Then something is broken. That shouldn't happen . . . but if it does happen, everyone missed the turn, so you aren't suffering any personal penalty.
. . . About Fan Involvement
- Can I help you run UltraCorps?
- If you were one of the game's original programmers or artists, we sure want to hear from you! Drop a line to firstname.lastname@example.org. Otherwise . . . We're already using volunteer moderators for the forum. We hope there will be enough demand for the game that we'll need a paid part-time GM position, and obviously that will have to be someone with experience with the game. But we don't know yet. Hide and watch . . .
- Will you link to other UltraCorps websites?
- Yes. SJ Games always likes to link to really good fan sites, and UltraCorps will be no exception. An online game is nothing without an active community, and fan sites are part of that community. If you're interested in setting up a fan site, please check out our online policy. And notify us when it's set up . . .
. . . About History and Stuff
- Who originally designed and programmed UltraCorps?
- View the credits page for a list of people who have worked on UltraCorps over the years.
- Why was UltraCorps dropped from the Microsoft Zone?
- It wasn't bringing in enough money. This should not come as a surprise; this game is not for everyone. It's not going to have millions of customers, and it probably could never cover its overhead on a mass-market system. But if we can reach even a thousand faithful fans who WANT a game with this level of challenge and involvement, we'll be fine.