Raider Wars was a former online-only game killed off by the Great Satan - that is, iEN. Raider Wars was developed for AOL's premium game services; as such. it was on there for a while. Before it went public, however, it was in an extensive testing phase which allowed time for a community to grow around it. Today, at www.raiderwars.com, the page is a sad tribute to what once was a great game - IEN entered a brief testing phase in which the game client was ridiculously unstable - and then cut the testing phase, rendering Raider Wars dead
It was somewhat influenced by Wing Commander; 8 ships were available with each having their own unique cockpit style. 3D graphics were done entirely in software with no slowdown whatsoever. While this did have the unfortunate side effect of no texture mapping, the gameplay more than made up for it, with massive battles taking place between the three corporations. A keyboard and mouse did not do this game justice - you needed to have a joystick to feel the full effect
The story was average - 3 corporations battling it out for control of a valuable solar system. Hast, Osis, and Vaught were the three corporations you could pledge loyalty to. Switching a corporation incurred a 15-minute 'no switching' penalty, so most of the players generally stayed with the corp they were assigned to. The objective was to capture the enemy's CVs, or space stations. 15 CVs were scattered across the solar system with a certain number being assigned to each corporation at the beginning of the game. Battles mostly took place around the CV located in the center; that was embedded within an asteroid
The arena was quite big, giving defenders time to prepare to defend a CV; it took roughly an hour to cross the entire asteroid belt at full speed. In addition, 14 floating space platform turrets defended each CV. Teamwork was essential in this game - to capture a CV, you needed to have two players volunteer to pilot a slow, defenseless ship that carried the equipment necessary to capture a CV. This ship was also a favorite of defenders to blow up; thus these ships required escort. To make life difficult, mines could be dropped. These could be destroyed, but they were very hard to see.
Quite an innovative game with impressive network code; I played it on a 33.6k modem acceptably. This node can only describe half of what went on; you had to be there to witness the other half