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More Time of Defiance
By: Robert F. Ludwick | Other | Game Data | 10:47am, August 4, 2003
OMGN was able to rouse up an interview with a member of Time of Defiance's development team, Mark Ashton (Thanks to Gary Wood).

The interview has been posted, enjoy! We have also been able to acquire the storyline behind the game, and we have posted it here for your enjoyment.

Ever wished you could send 50 warships 1000 km in an instant to attack a distant enemy? Ever wished you could magic up 50 tons of wood and metal? Ever wondered what the Quantum Gate was really for? If so, then maybe you ought to learn more about the Eighth House - this article explains the history, present and future of the Cog Eighth House and their trading post.

The Story of Nespanona
Once upon a time (well, about a million years ago) the planet Nespanona was a rich, green and blue world and home to the highly advanced Nespan civilisation. With their extraordinary quantum technology, they had almost everything they could want. Except just one little thing, of course: The ability to open space-time wormholes to anywhere in the universe that they chose to. They could already warp themselves around their own planet, but no further. One ill-conceived experiment led to another, and before the Nespan knew what had happened, they'd started the irreversible process of shrinking their planet's internal structure to the size of a small moon.

The Nespan bought themselves some time by fixing tens of thousands of anti-gravity machines to the underneath of the valuable parts of the crust, built some whopping spaceships and deserted Nespanona for ever (well, for the conceivable future, anyway ;-)). Over the following decade, the crust gradually fell away leaving the anti-gravity machines clinging on to islands of rock. As testament to the Nespan's quantum engineering skills, the majority of these machines still work today - a million years later. And that is how Nespanona came to look like it does today - a constantly shifting sea of floating islands, some just a few metres across, some a few hundred kilometres.

Nespanona today has two intelligent races (although in the case of one of them, "intelligent" may be the wrong adjective), the Cog and the Shadoo - both descended from stranded Nespan. Until now, both races had evolved separately, as neither had the technology necessary to travel from island to island. But things are changing. And not a moment too soon, it turns out.

The Mighty Cog Eighth House
The Cog are a violent, greedy, manipulating, lying, deceiving race of poor excuses for living things and yet are the most honourable people you'd ever meet. Whilst they have almost no laws for murder, they have a billion laws covering treason and dishonourable behaviour. The Cog have no culture to speak of, but possess an expansive knowledge of drinking, drinking games, fighting games and swear words.

The Cog are divided up into houses, each representing enlarged "families" with long histories. The houses maintain an uneasy peace by conducting their wars on distant islands through proxy, thus never actually having to take any responsibility for anything.

The most important house is the Eighth House. Many years ago, they did a little clandestine science (science is frowned on in Cog society) and figured out how to use the ancient Nespan Quantum Gate relics. They then sold "rights of passage" through the gate network so that other Cog houses could go out and claim land - safe in the knowledge that they held the key, and thus made all the real money.

Nowadays, wandering Cog Clans fight it out on the remains of the Northern Continent and trade with the Eighth House in order to conduct their battles. As a monopoly, the Eighth House are entirely satisfied with this arrangement.

The Shadoo
In the course of experimenting with the Quantum Gates, the Eighth House have encountered the peaceful, cultured, science loving and intelligent Shadoo. The Shadoo have made significantly more progress with decoding the Nespan technology. As you can imagine, they don't get on. The Cog Eighth House are currently at war with the Shadoo, and regularly sell the spoils of war to anyone who wants it.

Crystal Moss
The Cog, as you know, use coal as fuel. Their vehicles tend to be slow, heavy and over-engineered. The Shadoo use a substance called Crystal Moss to power their ships. Crystal Moss is an exotic element that, amongst other things, can open up the network of tiny wormholes that exist at a quantum level to sizes that you can fly a bus through - Crystal Moss is at the heart of all the Nespan relics.

Nespanona's quantum core is almost solid Crystal Moss. Crystal Moss also collects around the Nespan anti-gravity generators (and thus can be mined from islands), and can be distilled from water as well as extracted from ancient stone. The Cog cannot mine or process Crystal Moss, although their "brute-force" stone processing plant can extract a small amount of moss out of a surprisingly large amount of stone.

The Eighth House Trading Post
The Eighth House set up a massive trading post near to the Northern Continent to act as a common trading post for all the Cog Clan Empires (i.e., you!) fighting it out for world domination.

They offer a number of services to visitors, and have great plans for future expansion. Current services include:
Purchase of minerals. You can buy transport vehicles pre-filled with certain minerals, such as Wood, Stone, Metal and Coal.
Purchase of other vehicles. As well as a fully fuelled water transport (80 tons of coal!), you can buy fully stocked ready-to-go colonisers.
Purchase of captured Shadoo vessels. As well as the fantastic Shadoo Interceptor (real fast, and has water based defence shields), visitors can buy Crystal Moss miners, Water to Crystal Moss conversion distilleries and Shadoo transports.
Purchase of Quantum Gate co-ordinates. If you can afford it, you can buy gate co-ordinates that allow you to open a wormhole from any of your quantum gates to anywhere in the Northern Continent. Gate co-ordinates are only valid for about 20 minutes, so should be used carefully.
Purchase of Intelligence Information. Various pieces of intelligence information (gleaned from drunken ambassadors) are also for sale.
A variety of bars. These form the multi-user chat rooms in Time of Defiance - a collection of drinking holes where visitors get together and chat about their fortunes.

The trading post deals in Water and Crystal Moss as currencies. One ton of crystal moss is worth 8 tons of water. Empires can bank water and moss by using a Quantum Trader. Quantum traders can be flown through a Quantum Gate to the Eighth House. Any water or moss they were carrying gets credited to the owner's trading post bank account.

The Future of the Eighth House
As the battle hots up between the Eighth House and the Shadoo, the levels of technology are increasing rapidly on both sides.

Expect there to be many more vehicles and services available over the coming months and new services such as the ability to extract intelligence information on any player you wish as well as trading of moss between players and viewing a newspaper of major events occurring in your game. A spokesperson for the Eighth House even suggested that their bars may be outfitted with games to play.
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