Welcome to Io, once a beautiful moon of Jupiter, developed into a grand resort world for asteroid miners of the old Sol system. Now it is about all that is left in the old Sol sector. These days Io is a dangerous, semi-abandoned, post-apocalyptic wasteland crawling with desperate loners just trying stay alive long enough and earn enough microbots to get launched back into space. In short, people just like you.
There are automated ScrapBins, MiniBars, and ToolShops spread throughout the hotels on Io. Those are vending machines that sell Iron, Alcohol, and Hardware, respectively. Each machine type must buy the types of goods that is doesn't actually produce itself. Therefore, you can make a tidy profit in microbots by buying hardware from ToolShops and selling it to ScrapBins, etc. There are also Pantries in the hotels -- with their locks long since broken off. You can take free goods from a pantry and sell them to the vending machines. That will increase your profit margin substantially.
There are also Gambling Kiosks scattered around the hotels of Io. Kiosks sell all manner of equipment to make your stay more pleasant. You can upgrade your fannypack to a nice, roomy backpack for a few thousand microbots and you can then outfit the pack with additional boxes to carry more cargo. Kiosks also sell directory services; for a few microbots they'll tell you the location of the nearest Pantry, Transport Booth, or neutral Milibots. Oh, and you'll want to make some milibots yourself, too, for safety. You'll need microbots and iron (get iron at a ScrapBin or Pantry, remember...) to make milibots.
Milibots can be used to attack other players, but that's probably a bad idea for a recent arrival on Io. Rather, build as many as you can and just keep them with you. They'll defend you -- even when you sleep.
Now, your first priority should be to get off of Io -- it's crowded, dangerous, and economically depressed due to the large numbers of new arrivals trading there. Fortunately, Io has a working spaceport accessible from room 2000001 of the first hotel. You can buy a jetpack at any kiosk and just fly straight to the spaceport by typing in the room number. Or, you can save your microbots and find the first room of the hotel you are in. That room will have a doorway to the first room of the next lower hotel. You can keep going from hotel lobby to hotel lobby -- always to lower room numbers -- until you reach room 2000001. Once at the spaceport, it costs 100,000 microbots to purchase a railgun launch into space. Of course, you'll need a starship; a fannypack just isn't appropriate equipment for space travel. Unfortunately, the spaceport won't take fannypacks in trade. You'll have to upgrade to some kind of backpack before the spaceport will accept your gear in trade along with the 100,000 microbots, and outfit you with deep space equipment. Note that you become much more visible to the other denizens of Io once you trade in your Camouflaged Fannypack for one of the larger, brightly colored backpacks. Also, you'll need to pass through room 2000001 to reach the spaceport. There may be unsavory types lurking there. Don't loiter at the Spaceport; type T to (T)rade with the spaceport quickly -- or click on the spaceport if using a browser -- and get out of there fast! Once launched, you'll again be a sitting duck in Sector 1 of space. There will be a wormhole there. My advice is to take the wormhole immediately and keep moving from wherever it takes you. Only when you're several sectors away from the wormhole exit should you stop to ponder your next move.
Now that you've put some distance between you and the wormhole exit, you can look around. Type I from telnet -- or click the Inventory link from a web browser -- to assess your situation. You'll see that you are in some galaxy, possibly a spiral or cluster or any of several other common galaxy types. You'll see the size and location of the galaxy as well. You may also notice that the spaceport exchanged much of your terrestrial gear for equivalent deep space equipment. Here are some of the things that might be useful in space:
You may encounter enemy starbases in your travels throughout the Universe. Generally, starbases are built to guard a sector to keep other ships out. A starbase may guard a normal planet, a nice TradingPost, or an enemy bunker. A very large, expensive starbase usually is hiding something important. Perhaps a whole team of battleships or a resort world is behind that Level 14 starbase. Starbases can be configured to attack any enemy ship that enters the sector, so be careful out there. Stumbling into an attack-mode starbase might cost you thousands of fighters, most of your cargo holds, and your military equipment. Attack-mode starbases are the main reason you might want to carry a sector scanner while trading in unfamiliar galaxies.
There are 25 resort worlds scattered among the galaxies. You already know about Io, the resort world in sector 1 where you started out. The other 24 are somewhat randomly spread across the universe. Each resort world contains hotels with a total of 80,000 rooms. Unlike Io, these lost worlds are far less crowded and are likely to have far more lucrative trading possibilities as a result. Further, a resort world might be guarded by a single starbase. If you find a completely uninhabited resort world, you might not want to advertise the location!
Space is huge, but sooner or later you'll encounter other starships in your travels. Most ships you see will be inactive and will show the captain's name followed by the tag [asleep]. If you see a ship tagged [awake] you might want to quickly move out of that sector. The captain may be an enemy, an opportunist, or may mistakenly believe that you're there to attack! If there is a huge fleet of fighters accompanying the ship, leave very quickly! Of course, if you're the aggressive type, such an encounter may be an opportunity to make a new enemy...
Some captains deploy fleets of fighters to guard a sector or the ships within a sector. A defensive fleet will prevent any other ships from entering their sector. Also, fighters can be deployed as spies to report the passing of other ships. Even spy fighters, which will peacefully allow you to pass through the sector and even to trade there, will defend any other ships in the sector.
Wormholes are naturally occuring short-circuits in the mesh of space. The useful thing about wormholes is that they can be used for a free trip to another galaxy. It is also possible to artificially create a temporary wormhole -- if you have enough microbots. TradingPosts have the technology necessary.
TLR is a free game and anybody can create an account and play. The web login page is at Ioresort.com
You can telnet to Ioresort.com(220.127.116.11), port 2323 to play via a pure text
session. The Linux command to connect is:
telnet ioresort.com 2323