The Ships: RKF-6C | HF-27 | STM-3 | FAS-2B | MMS-4A | MHA-1 | PF-12 | MDS-3A
The Weapons: Overview | Autocannons | Railguns | Plasma Guns | Missiles | Rockets | Mines | Plasma Torpedo | Grunts | PIDs | Radar Countermeasures
The Story: Original | Planetary Raiders?
Raider Wars*, created by Interactive Magic Online in 1997 based on the Planetary Raiders engine, was one of the earliest and most revolutionary online-only multiplayer games.
With support for at least 50 players per server, virtually lagless gameplay, a locational damage system, 3D-accelerated graphics that can still hold their own in 2006 and software graphics that could blaze along at 600x480 on a sub-100MHZ Pentium, Raider Wars was incomprehensibly ahead of its time for the late 90's. In some respects, it's even ahead of its time today. It was a true, albiet forgotten, classic in every sense of the word.
The game consisted of an infinite field of space, with 13 Carrier Vessels grouped closely in the center, all of which were devided between three corporations; Osis, Hast, and Vaught. The object was to ally with a specific corporation and capture every rival Carrier Vessel in space by launching crew-killing robots into its cargo hold from a FAS-2B "Penetrator" assault ship. Of course, with 7 other ships to pilot and each Carrier Vessel's armada of automated defense drones, it was much easier typed than done. When one coproration owned all the Carrier Vessels, the game would reset and start over.
Depending on the sheer feral viciousness of the players, matches could last minutes or span days. A single pilot defending one Carrier Vessel against multiple attackers for 5+ hours wasn't an uncommon sight.
The game continued until around late 1998, when it was temporarily closed down pending Interactive Magic Online's partnership with AOL. Ater a breif resurrection in April of 2000 that saw Raider Wars recoded to run through the newly renamed Imagic Entertainment Network's awful front-end software and its perfectly good netcode replaced by a substitute that rendered it literally unplayable from lag, it was once again shut down. To date, AOL has done absolutely nothing whatsoever more with it. Neither has IEN.
Since its death, the ex-players of Raider Wars have been trying desperately to find another game that can fill the void. But none have been found. No other game has so much as aproached its glory. In 2001, an attempt to make an opensource clone of Raider Wars called FreeRaider was made, but the project collapsed due to its developers being severly out of sync with eachother. However, if anyone wants to continue it, the source is still freely available.
Then, in 2006, I launched an ongoing project to modify Microsoft's Allegiance into Raider Wars as best I can. Barring some miraculous epiphany on the part of IEN that'll make them release the Raider Wars sourcecode, Epilogue is the best and probably last hope of once again playing what I consider to be the greatest online game ever made.
*(not to be confused with this)