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Thursday, September 14th, 2006   Premium Accounts
Exactly two years after Pardus was opened to the public in its Alpha version, it is now time for the most important announcement in the history of the game:

Pardus will leave the Open Beta version on October 1st and go Gold. At the same time, the Pardus Cluster will be opened.

Dangerous Viral Cloud

In order to finance server and other expenses associated with the maintenance of Pardus, without relying on voluntary donations and heavy in-game advertising, the option to sign up for a "Premium Account" is being introduced.

Besides the wave of new features which were implemented today - many of which were requested in our Feature Request forum - Premium Accounts will offer even more unique and helpful abilities to those who want to support the maintenance and further development of Pardus, for a small monthly fee. All Premium Features have been considered very carefully, to ensure that Premium Account holders will have no significant advantage over Free Account players and gameplay will remain balanced. Of course everyone is still welcome to play Pardus for free; Free Accounts will remain available as always.

One important Premium benefit will be the ability to enter the new (and very large) Pardus Cluster:
Lucidi Military OutpostThis cluster, positioned in the center of the Pardus universe, is blocked by the "Lucidi", a powerful race hostile towards all creatures and races. Premium Account holders will be able to pass these blockades with a special device forged and selectively distributed by the Galactic Council.

Because the sectors in the the Pardus Cluster have four times the size of usual sectors, it is technically a collection of four joint but different clusters: three of them, the faction contingents, will consist of 6 or 7 sectors assigned to one faction. There, players will be able to establish and defend their faction territories interactively, with the construction of starbases, and can even capture sectors belonging to their enemies!

But this is by far not everything:
In the core of the Pardus Cluster lies the Pardus Sector filled with around 25 new NPCs! And to put the Pardus Cluster's large size into perspective: An average sector contains about 400 fields - the Pardus Sector over 9000!
Since the Pardus Sector was once a sealed off zone where a deadly virus has spread from a biological weapon in an ancient battle, most of these new NPCs live and roam in a new field type, the viral cloud. Not only is this cloud deadly to every ship's armor, but the high radiation inside the Pardus Sector also slowly but steadily eats into all ship hulls residing inside it.

So, besides combating many high level NPCs and gaining skills, experience, and collecting loot, what are other benefits of visiting this ancient sector?
WreckFor one, the Pardus Sector is filled with numerous wrecks of ships and buildings from long forgotten battles and colonies. Trade ships may find numerous valuable treasure by scavenging through these fields.
Lucidi StationAnother aspect are the automated Lucidi armories and weaponries. Pilots may trick the Lucidi and trade the rare exotic crystals for the Lucidis' unstable Pardus Class weapons, or upgrade their own armors to Pardus Class.

However Premium players are going to direct the Pardus cluster's fate, everyone can bet that the fight about territories will be interesting and anything but peaceful.

Other Premium Features include:

  • Maximum APs: +500

  • Improved features for Combat and Jobs

  • Logging Features

  • Advanced PM and Chat Control

  • Renaming

  • Account Identification by default

Please visit the Premium Feature Page for more details and screenshots.

Related news:
We, Pardus developers Werner Bayer, known as Galactic Council member "Bladefist", and Michael Szell, or "Baldur", have recently founded an enterprise, Bayer & Szell OEG, for the purpose of maintaining all business related to Pardus and Premium Accounts. We fully intend to continue working hard on Pardus and further expand our fantastic community.

We wish everyone a lot of fun with all the new features, and look toward the future with these plans, amongst others:

  • Install new servers with separate universes when needed because of lag.

  • Implement new faction clusters when needed because of overpopulation.

  • Install a Premium-Account-only server/universe once there are sufficient Premium Accounts.

  • Add new or improve existing game features (both Free and Premium).

  • Advertise and otherwise spread the word for Pardus to grow our outstanding community.

Finally, we would like to thank all players who contributed to the test and development of Pardus with their time, energy and skills. Particularly, two of them have voluntarily invested an incredible amount of extraordinary work:

  • Ayanari - Advanced skill icons, most of the new NPC images, the viral cloud field images, all wreck images, all images for the NPC-killer ribbons, many good ideas, and a lot more...
    Coincidentally, the stars of two sectors in the Pardus Cluster have begun shining very brightly several days ago. Our players have noticed them with the help of the Map Pack: Aya and Nari, each containing two planets: Aya I, Aya II, Nari I, Nari II.

  • Meridian - Expanding the Pardus Background Story, uncountable language corrections, advice for legal texts and advertisements, and a lot more...
    Meridian has been promoted to a Super-Moderator.

The next big announcement will be on October 1st when all pre-subscribed Premium Accounts will be activated, finally ready to explore and colonize the Pardus Cluster.

Until then, see you in Pardus!
Yours as always,
Bayer & Szell OEG

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