Tradewars 2002 Lives

Are you growing tired of playing all those high-framerate first person shooters? Perhaps you long for the days of blocky graphics and text-based play. You’re in luck because Tradewars 2002 is still around. Many of you will remember this 1980’s BBS based game, playing a limited number of turns per day in an effort to rule the galaxy.

The game may be around, but the way you play it has changed drastically. The advent of custom scripts that interface directly with the game system makes this more of a who can write a better script rather than who is better at the game. A hacker’s challenge if you will.  Using programs like TWX Proxy or Swath, scripts can be written and executed to perform just about any task you wish. Mapping out the galaxy, automatically trading for profit (cashing), automatically colonizing planets, and much more can all be done automatically. The most advanced script writers have produced advanced team scripts that several people run at once to coordinate team based strategy and hunting scripts that try to anticipate where enemies will end up so they can be ambushed.

There are plenty of resources for learning to play the game, the basics of the scripting languages used, and finding servers to play on. Dust off your coding skills and get down to some ASCII graphic goodness.

20 thoughts on “Tradewars 2002 Lives

  1. Its stuff like this that got me turned off of this and other games. I used to play this game almost religiously back in the day. However once the scripts started showing up it just took the fun out of the game, I stopped playing it, and more or less forgot about it. – peter

    1. Good news! I understand the distaste many have for the highly scripted games. JP began working on the game again 2 years ago. It’s now up to 2.16 and there have been delay options added so sysops can offer games more suited for Players at the Keys! Gives you a chance to get in and play without needing anything but basic scripts.

      Check it out, I run classic style games with delay settings that take the “sting” out of aggressive attack scripts, and I do enforce turn and time limits. It’s OK to come enjoy the game as it once was in the ’90’s again.

      telnet:// port 23

  2. I love old BBS door games. There was one on the old WWIV boards where you controlled skeletons, elementals, etc. i can’t remember the name of it, but that game seriously rocked. truly fun stuff.

    FPS games more or less all seem the same – smoother now, higher frame rates, but its still essentially the same gameplay as doom or duke nukem 3d of damn near twenty years ago. play any genre of game that long and the life just goes completely out of it.
    when do we get some games with real playability back?

    I’m gonna go fire up the amiga emulator again.

  3. OMG! I wonder if they still have the feature/bug/exploit where you can rack up gold. I remember I had an entire notebook filled with port and pricing information… those were the days, until a member of my so-called alliance pillaged all of my schtuff.

  4. Tradewars 2002 is one of my best younger-days memories in gaming. Running an evil corporation, taking part in a couple tournament games with hundreds of players, bringing an intradictor cruiser loaded out with 100,000 fighters down on a well developed planet bubble, it was good times.

    Nowadays it’s virtually unplayable. Get into any TW2002 game that has banged more then 3 days ago and try to get started, you’ll run almost immediately into some script kiddy who’s already got stardock (the only place you can buy ships) blocked and blows you to hell before you can get out of your original merchant cruiser. This kills the playerbase and the end-result is lack of competition and fun.

    Even if they don’t have stardock blocked (some games disallow this), there is nothing stopping them from dropping defensive or offensive fighters everywhere in large numbers, and the end-result is exactly the same. The second you run into a stack of these he’s already been informed and his script has him sitting in your sector blowing you to hell inside of half a second.

    Game Over, it’s not really fun anymore.

    1. There are plenty of public scripts – you don’t have to write your own. It’s just part of the game now. Instead of moving back and forth between two ports twenty times, now you fire up a script to do it for you.

      Running scripts is just part of the game now. In my opinion, it makes it more fun because there’s more strategy and less tedium.

      There is a steep learning curve in figuring out how to set up the helpers and learning which script does what, but in my opinion it’s worth it.

      Don’t let these others discourage you – they haven’t really tried. There’s no point in trying to join an unlimited-turns game a few days after bigbang – that’s too late. Either find a turns game, or if you want to join an unlim, join a truce unlim, and join it shortly after bigbang. There’s a site called (telnet port 23) that rebangs unlimited-turns games several times a week. However, if you’re just getting back into it I suggest joining one of the ‘friendly’ games until you get your trade wars legs.

  5. I used to love this game! I had a BBS running on my Amiga 500. Then there was a huge sale on fighters or something. I stocked up, kicked ass, and some of the players accused me of cheating. I distinctly remember one of the them saying I should be “strung up by the nuts and dropped on [my] head repeatedly”. I have since adopted that phrase and use it every chance I get, so it was worth it.

  6. The game StunMonkey is talking about was Mutants….i think…anyway…TW isnt what it used to be..Its all about he who has the best scripts…They like the unlimited time and high turn counts these days…Not fun anymore..

  7. I believe the game Stunmonkey refers to may be MajorMUD. That or other MultiUser Dungeon‘s ruled the day in BBS door play.

    Anyway, TW2002 is nowadays all about writing the best script and executing it in the fastest time, which kind of defeats the purpose of the game IMHO. Like many here above have mentioned, no fun. They should have disabled scripts somwhow and only allowed manual play, then it may be worth playing again.

  8. Game is still around everyone! Go to Cruncher’s TWGS and log in there. She has some games formulated towards anti scripting and what not. Most of the games have the pauses of old ship settings even a 56k modem feel. I suggest you check it out. I don’t have the twgs right off hand but do a search for Cruncher’s TWPage and you’ll find it. Good luck

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