Miner Wars

So this popped up on my Impulse list today and I think I am going to bite on it. I think that 11.40 isn’t bad and if they can really pull off the feature list then the game will be pretty damn awesome.


This post just made me bite on it. ;) I’d rather buy directly from them than on Impulse though. Dunno why, really.

Well developers certainly get more money when you order directly through them, since there’s not a distributor taking a cut. That being said, I ordered on Impulse. Having all my games/registrations tied to Steam/Impulse is a convenience that’s difficult for me to part with.

Is this an MMO? The Impulse page says I need an active connection and a Miner Wars account to play?

It is an MMO, but as far as I know, it’ll have a long single player campaign. I guess we’ll have to see what it turns out to be.

The basics of the game seem pretty solid. The physics seem snappy and responsive, and mining looks like it could be pretty good fun. I’m not digging the pixel-precise cannon shooting though, which doesn’t work well in any game where the enemies seem so tiny compared to you.

I played an hour or so of this tonight and really enjoyed it. It chugged a bit on my old PC at times, but mostly it ran fine and was fun. I drilled through a few asteroids and then dug out big caves inside 'em. Combat was a bit wonky and AI is weird, but hey, it’s an alpha.

Miners Wars is starting to become interesting. The recent alpha release has added an example mission so there is now a bit of gameplay to try out.

The mission starts with you entering a base which has been excavated out of an asteroid, and you are tasked with finding and destroying the generators. The base is large, constructed out of numerous hard-to-distinguish rooms connected by long twisting tunnels. Whizzing around inside gave me a flashback to Descent, complete with the accompanying feelings of disorientation and nausea.

I wasn’t having much success navigating my way to the final generator until I cottoned on to the fact that some of the wall panels are actually closed doors which can be blown up, giving access to more areas in the station and, crucially, the asteroid’s rocky interior volume. By this time I had run out of fuel, so I started again, now using rockets to blast through the rock and making my own easy routes to the generators.

Unfortunately, destroying all three generators causes the base to explode after a short pause, along with any hapless belligerents who happen to be trapped nearby. In my third attempt I made sure that I had dug a handy escape tunnel out of the asteroid’s interior before smashing the final generator.

This worked perfectly and, back into open space, I was tasked with defending my mothership from a pack of hostiles who, presumably, wanted to let us know that there were really no hard feelings about the incident with their space station. Sadly, my home made exit orifice was on the far side of the asteroid from the ship. Unless there is a stronger thrust level than afterburner that I don’t know about, it was impossible to reach her before she was destroyed, earning me another game over.

By this time my head was spinning too much for me to want to try it all again, but I think there is probably a lot more I haven’t yet seen. Miner Wars is still in alpha so I’ll hope the next test release will be a bit more forgiving.

So this is out today on steam. Anyone have anything to say about the final game?

Looks to me like a more open world Descent with lots of pew pew and destructible enviornments than a ponderous space sim. Is this the case?

I bought it back in 2010 but was waiting for release. I’ve got it installed now but haven’t tried it yet.

I toyed with the beta a little bit ago, had a good time. Looking forward to diving into the full version now. Sadly it’s not the MMO, yet, but it should still be a fun time.

I was interested until I learned it had always on DRM. If Blizzard can’t get me to buy into that, an indie developer has no chance whatsoever.

I bought the beta when it was on sale for $2.50 about a month ago. Played around with it for a couple of hours. Yes, it’s basically Descent-like but with an open universe with sectors, areas you can visit, missions etc. There’s some kind of persistence thing going on (hence the need to be online) but I’m not clear on how that actually works, haven’t really played around with it enough yet.

It’s easy to control with a mouse, a joystick / gamepad would also work fine. The combat doesn’t feel quite as slick and immediate as Descent, and it chugs on my 2500k / Radeon 5500 combo unless I turn the graphics down a bit, but there’s an interesting RPG / mining / upgrade element going on which I need to investigate further. You can spend hours tunneling away through asteroids mining ore if you like.

The beta I played a few weeks before release didn’t have any kind of tutorial, and the opening level was confusing as heck (and I say that as a Descent player). You’ll be using the “follow trail to next objective” button quite a bit! But once you get past that, it opens up a lot and looks more promising. It was slightly unrefined ore when I played it last, but check out the demo if you’re interested.

I think the MMO is a separate purchase as well, actually, when it’s about to come out. Miner Wars only grants you this particular game

I’ve played this game a little more now, plus a couple of hours of the beta a few weeks ago. Overall I’d steer clear of it. My comments above all stand, it still feels very much like a beta product several months from release. The overall design just doesn’t feel inviting at all, with no help, guidance or even a sense of what the hell you’re supposed to be doing, and having the opening level throw you straight into combat in a 6DOF game with twisting, identical-looking tunnels tells me the devs have lost perspective. Oh well, at least it only cost me a couple of bucks. I’ll check back in 6 months.

GMG has it for $3.75 now using the voucher: GMG25-CZPYL-D5MQ6


I bought into this a while back and tried out the release version finally. I largely agree with KK… there’s some interesting elements, and the open world portion is intriguing, but on the whole I feel like it’s a one trick pony.

It’s cool trick is being able to carve tunnels out of asteroids, and that is a pretty darn cool trick when you see it in action, but everything else in the game feels like an unpolished afterthought.

I’ll probably give it a few more tries and see if I can get farther into the open world elements, but the combat especially just isn’t grabbing be so far.

The concept is much better than the execution, frankly. I’m not even sure what the open world elements actually entail. There’s a galaxy map with a number of highlighted points of interest, one of which is the storyline mission (which I find almost impossible to complete because the turrets are so overpowered). If I want to improve my weapons and armour I need cash. Where do I get cash? Mining? Ok, so I visit a POI on the map to try and find an asteroid. I get jumped by about 50 enemy ships and die. Ok, try another POI. I get jumped by 50 enemy ships and die. Hmmm. I finally find an asteroid and mine it for 5 minutes, and pick up about $10 worth of ore. Cost of new weapon: $35,000. Ok, sod this!

I mean, the concept sounds great, and perhaps the game is actually there somewhere, but is there some manual / help file I’m supposed to read so I can figure it out? I didn’t mind this in the beta because it’s a beta and you understand they haven’t finished the tutorial, manual, tips etc, but in a released product it leads to some frustration. The forums appear to be a mixture of those long-term beta players who’ve found the game, and newcomers like me who are frustrated and bouncing off it.

Besides, I need to upgrade my PC first. Unless I dial the graphics down to 1994 levels the framerate is barely playable when there’s a lot going on.

Always-on DRM you say? No thanks.

Yeah, it’s basically an online game that you play in single player, though apparently other players can join your session (it defaults to co-op). They refer to it as a persistent game world, but I haven’t seen any evidence of that. Not sure how it works, or even if it’s working as advertised.