Here are some of the more frequently asked questions about the game.
Rules and How To Play
I am Completely Lost. What Do I Do?
It's probably a good idea to read the New Player Guide.
Nope. Still not Getting It.
Is There a Guide to the Interface?
There is! Check out this page, here.
How Many Characters Can I Play?
You get three character slots for free. If you want to play more than that, you may make a donation to increase the number of character slots available to you.
Can I Get Full Maps of the Zones?
There are no "in-game" maps of the planes and/or zones. The entries for individual neighborhoods on the wiki include large-scale maps to point out the location of the neighborhood in question, and there are maps of each plane available on their own pages.
Additionally, a great many player-created maps exist - some of them very slick. Most are linked from within this wiki and a great many more are available from threads in the official forums.
Are There Any Browser Extensions or Other Utilities?
Yes, there are, and each one is lovingly crafted by a member of the community. However, none of them are officially supported.
A list of all known utilities and extensions can be found on the official forums in this thread.
How Often Does the Game Update?
Difficult to say. Major updates seem to be ready about every six weeks. Usually, right after a major update, there is a flurry of smaller updates designed to plug holes that were opened by the major update.
I expect this to change, however. The volume of changes in an update will decline as the game approaches its higher levels of maturity. This means that time to code and time to test are decreased.
Can I See a List of Changes
Sure thing. Here you go.
What About Pending Changes?
Sure thing. Here you go.
Can I use Automated "Bots" to Play?
No, you may not. You may not use an automated script of any kind to access the game, crawl pages, or any other form of automated process.
This is a hard and fast rule and violations will be met with permanent IP bans. Bandwidth costs money and automated processes chew it up.
Crap! My Account Is Locked! Why?
Every now and then (and I ain't sayin' how often) a bunch of scripts get run that hunt down people who abuse the system in ways that aren't handled by the in-game measures (this process is called 'heuristics'). What's likely happened is that I ran the numbers and yours came up.
Lots of times (read: most of the time) these abuses are extremely obvious and are handled immediately: locking of the user account, followed by smiting of the characters, followed by possible character deletion at a later date.
Sometimes, however, the issue isn't so black-and-white and the account is simply locked. This allows the owner of the account to contact me and explain what's up - perhaps the system is wrong and you've been unfairly accused.
Typically what happens in these instances is that the offending multiple accounts is permanently locked, I issue a warning, put you on the 'watch' list, and unlock a single account.
Sometimes, though, we're done.
That's rare, however.
In the unlikely event that your account gets locked, send me a PM on the forums and ask why. I'll likely ask some questions, make sure you understand the rules, etc. The best thing you can do is not lie to me about anything. Come clean. Because I'll know. Maybe not immediately - but the heuristics get better every patch, and eventually I'll catch you.
Please don't insult my intelligence by claiming the extra account is your "brother's". Please. Seriously. I'm not ten years old; I won't believe your lies. If it gets to the point of locking, the accounts have failed the "possibly a family member" test and you're busted.
Is There an Official Forum?
There is! Unsurprisingly, it is located at http://forums.nexuswar.com. Sign right up and start jawin'.
Who Is In Charge of the Official Forums?
The Boss of the forums is SerialKillaSmile. Her word is law and I back any decisions she makes.
In addition to SerialKillaSmile, there are two other "global" moderators: BobGeneric and Stroth. Between the three of them, they make the forums go. There are a whole mess of forum moderators, but none of them have "ban" type powers, though they have a voice in the sekret moderators forum.
Whupz. I Got Banned from the Official Forums. Can You Fix It?
Wow. You had to have seriously screwed up to get banned, and if you did, coming to me and complaining isn't going to get you anywhere, as I will always back the decisions made by the forum bosses 100%.
Since most bans are temporary, just wait it out a couple days and come back and behave. If you get a permanent ban you know what you did and you also know that you deserve it.
Is There An Official IRC Channel?
There is! It is #nexus and it is located on our own irc.nexuswar.com.
If you don't know about irc, there is a great little guide right here on the wiki. It will get you up and running in no time.
Can I Make Changes to the Wiki?
Absolutely! That's what wikis are for: communities to work together on.
Can I Make A Page for My Faction?
Sure thing! Hop to it!
Can I Upload This Cool Image I Found?
Well, that gets a bit tricky. It's all about copyright, and chances are that, if you found the image and did not make it yourself from scratch, uploading it will be a copyright violation. That means we'll have to delete it from the wiki and everyone becomes a sad panda.
When in doubt, you can ask a question at NexusWiki talk:Administration and one of the wiki administrators can help you out.
I Want To Help Out! How Can I Become A Mod/Admin?
I run things with a "Fight Club" style of management: you decide your own level of involvement.
What Does That Mean?
It means that if you show interest in the community, a degree of intelligence, and a smattering of competence, you may end up getting asked to fulfill a moderator or administrator position.
Competence is punished with more work, as it were.
This does not mean spam the ever-living heck out of the forums trying to be "helpful" - quite the opposite. You'll know when you're doing it right but no one will tell you if you're doing it wrong.
I Want To Help Out! How Can I Become A Tester?
I don't really pick the testing crew, though I am involved with them (and have veto power in the end).
If you want to apply to be on the Testing Team, you can send your application to Kibbs on the official forums (same name) via PM. It's helpful if you write a short blurb about yourself, including things like why you want to be a tester and any other relevant experience or information. Chances are he'll say "no," so don't be disappointed.
I can say that each member of the testing crew has shown that they can keep quiet about changes and has proven themselves over time to be trustworthy. So if you're a brand-new player, you can expect that any application to join the testing team will be rejected.
Experience with coding or previous testing experience is not necessary. However, if you do have experience with any of these things, then let us know in your application.
Applications are received by Kibbs, and then put to the other testers for discussion. The process can often take some time, as we like to ensure that everyone gets a chance to provide their input.
There are no specific requirements on the amount of time you need to spend testing things, but obviously if you have no free time on your hands, you're not going to be a very helpful member of the team. Take this into consideration when you're applying. There are periods when we need as many hands on deck as possible, such as the lead up to and immediately after an upgrade/patch.
If you have any questions which haven't been covered here, feel free to ask Kibbs via forum PM.
Questions, Bugs, Stats, Cheating, Suggestions, Donating
Can I Send You Some Questions?
You can, but it's probably best you didn't. Here's why: I receive close to 8,000 emails a day, of which maybe several hundred are related to Nexus War. It takes me a pretty fair chunk of time to go through my inbox, and I cannot guarantee a response within any sort of reasonable time-frame.
However, all is not lost! There is a Questions board on the official forums and it is staffed by some of the smartest people in the game. They can usually get you an answer double-quick.
My Friend is Quitting; Can You Transfer His Characters to Me?
I don't like to do this for a gazillion reasons, so the answer is, unfortunately, no.
Can I Rename My Faction?
This is doable. Send Kibbs a PM on the forums. If you do so, include the name of your character in the faction as well as your username (both are required). If you aren't the leader of the faction, it won't happen.
Help! My faction has no leader!
If you are a member of a faction who has had no leader for an extended period of time, consult with your faction mates as to who you think would make an appropriate leader and then approach Kibbs with your problem. If he thinks your decision was reached fairly and that you are in desperate need of a leader, then he may promote the person you have nominated.
I Think I Found a Bug. How Do I Report It?
On the Official Forums, there is a "Bug Reporting" board. The fine members of the Nexus War testing team read all bug reports and process them. They can often tell you immediately if your issue is not a bug, a duplicate, a known bug, and so forth - as well as any possible work-arounds until a patch is published.
If you do report a bug, you may be asked for more information: how did you get this? What web browser are you using? Etc.
It helps to search the forum first, too, to see if someone else has encountered the same problem.
Are There Statistics Available?
Yes and no. Statistics about the game are compiled and tracked by me and I have them. However, I am not (at this time) making them publically available.
Why Not? Got Something to Hide?
No, nothing to hide.
The issue is that, in a game like this with lots of variables, statistics can be misleading if you are not aware of what something truly means. I've found that people tend to get into all sorts of arguments over statistics and use them to try to prove points - even when the statistics don't say that.
For example, only about 1% of all "tier 3" characters are members of the Lightspeaker class. It would be very easy to conclude that Lightspeakers are underpowered due to the lack of people who choose the class. However, that conclusion would be wrong: there are a whole host of variables at play there, not the least of which is that a) it's one of the more difficult classes to qualify for due to alignment requirements; b) it's one of the casting classes, which makes it difficult to play; c) it's a pet class, which makes it even more complicated to play. In general, players are drawn to the "simpler" character classes (such as the Eternal Soldier). 1% (for Lightspeakers) is, in reality, the expected result.
I Think I Found Some Cheaters. How Do I Report Them?
You don't - at least, not to me, and not really on the forums. There are some significant anti-cheating mechanisms in the game and more and more are added with each update.
While I would dearly love to track down and nail every cheater on the planet, the time required to do so is outside of the realm of sanity. As such, I'd prefer to spend my time improving the anti-cheating code that exists and covering new scenarios than playing detective.
If it makes you feel any better, feel free to post about it on the forums, but don't expect an official response.
I've Got Some Great Ideas For You. Where Do I Send Them?
This is sounding like a broken record, but you don't. You post them to the Suggestions board on the official forums.
Once you've posted a suggestion, people can then talk about it and help you improve it (if possible) or advise you to drop it (if needed). At some point in time after that, it will likely get "dumped" or "promoted."
My Suggestion Got "Dumped!" What Does that Mean?
I don't like the term "dump" for suggestions because it implies that the suggestion was completely unworthy. However, that's the slang that has developed and I'm kind of stuck with it.
A "dumped" suggestion usually means that the suggestion has been rejected. There are a zillion possible reasons why a suggestion gets dumped, and they range from "duplicates" to "technical feasibility" to "game balance" to, well, anything.
The shortest answer is "I do not feel that the change is right for the game." It's that simple. I don't feel it is fair to the suggesters to pussy-foot around about it, either.
Now, just because a suggestion of yours got dumped doesn't mean that you're a loser and I hate you - quite the opposite. Please, by all means, feel free to suggest more things (but, uh, don't spam a zillion things, because that will likely anger the suggestions moderators). Truth be told, I don't even read who makes a suggestion when I consider it.
My Suggestion Got "Promoted!" What Does that Mean?
It means that your suggestion has, either directly or indirectly, caused a spark to go off in the back of my skull and has been promoted into an official "Request for Enhancement." Once a suggestion is promoted, one of the suggestions moderators will open an "RFE" on the sekrit bug-tracking system and it will then show up in my face.
Having a suggestion promoted does not mean that it will make it into the game, mind you. In fact, it's highly likely that it won't show up at all, and if it does, it may be in a highly modified form. A lot of times people suggest things without knowing what is planned for the future, and the suggestion gives me an idea for a different tack. Sometimes things get promoted as reminders. Sometimes not. It all depends, and the only thing that can absolutely be counted on is that there is no guarantee that a promoted suggestion will make it into the game.
The sad fact is that the majority of promoted RFEs will eventually get closed, either because the balance has changed, the suggestion has been made obsolete, or a different direction was chosen. Unfortunately, if an RFE is closed as "won't implement," this information does not make it back to the suggestor.
How Can I Donate Big Bucks?
Easily, if you have a Paypal account. You can send donations to firstname.lastname@example.org.
What Do I Get For How Much?
Each US dollar is worth 100 Nexal Credits. These credits may then be spent on a plethora of other in-game and meta-game things (including character slots). To spend your credits, simply go to your character profile, and click the "Spend Credits on ..." button at the bottom right corner of the screen. You will be brought to a page with many choices of items to buy. Additionally, you may purchase character slots at the cost of 200 credits. This is done in the "Account" page on the top of the screen.
I Don't Have Paypal. Can I Just Mail You Cash?
You can. Here is where you can send mail:
- Brandon Harris
- 600 Portola #11
- San Francisco, CA
How Come No Credit Cards?
Because this is a one-man operation and I can't really afford the cost of opening a merchant account.
Why Did You Make Nexus War?
That is a very interesting question, and to really understand the answers, you first have to know the answers to the next set of questions. We'll pick this back up in a moment.
What's the Relationship to Urban Dead?
There is no "official" relationship, though I believe several of the NexusWiki administrators were (or still are) also moderators on the UDWiki. I've never spoken with Kevan Davis (the creator of Urban Dead), so there's that.
Now that the "official word" is out of the way, we can talk "unofficial" stuff. I was introduced to UD in September of 2005 and fell in love with the game. There were three major reasons why:
- It was simple to understand, easy to use, and was an interesting experiment in game design
- I got heavily involved in a community of zombies (the Ridleybank Resistance Front) and made a lot of friends
- I have been writing and designing games for years and years, and (bizarrely) had never thought to create a "browser" game and the concept floored me (mostly because I felt stupid for not having thought of it first)
Urban Dead is a great game. You should check it out.
Dude, Didn't You Rip This or That Off?
Well, not from my perspective, no. With a grid-mapped game, there is only so much that can be done in terms of the interface, and the simplest interface is often the best interface. So there's obviously lots of elements which are similar (or even identical) but at the same time are really the only way something could be done.
For example, take the "Attack" form. It's about as simple as you can make it and still have it make linguistic sense and be usable. Thus, it's a common format (and not just to NW and UD). Certain game-balance elements are pretty basic and so everyone uses them (not just browser games, but all games, from pen-and-paper RPGs to million-dollar computer games - it just so happens that the numbers are more visible).
That said, I would be lying were I not to acknowledge that Kevan broke a hell of a lot of ground - territory that I and other game developers (such as the guys at Shartak) are following in. My hope is that I will break some ground for others to follow after.
The "UD legacy" is explained a bit more further down, btw.
Well, Don't You Guys Compete or Something?
I don't see it that way at all. I mean, these are all browser games (NW, UD, Shartak, even Kingdom of Loathing) - they take about fifteen minutes a day to play. So I don't see myself as competing for time (or dollars).
I think that these games are fundamentally different at the core and each attracts a different style of player. It's that simple. Some people will find Nexus War too complicated while Urban Dead's simplicity is right up their alley (and I don't mean that in a bad way - quite the opposite). Other players want more humor, and so they'll play KoL.
In the words of Kurt Vonnegut, "So it goes."
Okay, Got That. So, Why Did You Make Nexus War?
For several reasons, but they boil down to two primary things:
- A challenge - to see if I could create a scalable MMORPG from scratch
- For my friends to play.
It's important to understand the second one, there. In late November/early December of 2005, the community I was part of in UD was suffering pretty badly. It was felt that the game balance was off in UD, and we (the higher ups in the RRF) were worried that our happy little group was going to collapse and disintegrate. This wasn't something we wanted: the community itself was the big thing for us, not the specific game. So I decided to write a game that we could play in order to strengthen the ties.
I mean, hey: I'm a not-entirely-incompetent programmer, am a usability nerd by trade, and have been building games for a whole mess of time. So I said to myself, "I can totally do this."
So, I set about designing a game. I had the following design goals:
- Provide as easy a learning curve as possible for the members of our community (which necessitated using UD as a model)
- Focus on community, both in-game and out of game
- Encourage flexibility instead of standardization
- Provide multiple outlets for character growth
The plot - angels vs. demons in a war for all the marbles - is a modified remix of an RPG campaign I ran back in, oh, 1989 or so. I want to say we were playing Mage but I think it was GURPs.
The RRF eventually bounced back (due in no small part to game changes by Kevan), but I'd already gotten a bootstrap game running, so I decided to continue it.
That's Cool. Do You Have Any Other Games Coming?
Short answer: Yes.
Medium answer: Muahahahahhaha.
Longer answer: Yes, but I'm not at liberty to speak about any games that are currently in development at this time.
What Language is Nexus War Written In?
This is going to get nerdful quickly, so feel free to skip it.
The back-end server is written in Java using Struts and Tomcat. It's backed with a MySQL 5.0 database and uses JNDI for communication. Web pages are served from JSPs with Struts Tiles.
What's the Hardware?
The core game server is a beast of a machine. I'd list the hardware but it actually changes pretty regularly, getting upgraded. It's multi-processor, though, and has $BIGNUM rams.
It handles everything - the forums, the game itself, the wiki, the databases, what have you. It's in a co-location facility in Texas.
There are several other "Nexus War related" computers but they are restricted to use by the testing crew: there is a development server and a testing server. Those are not co-located.