Close Encounters of the Multiplayer Kind

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So I'm piloting this scout ship through the asteroids in Mars sector, going deep, real deep into the territory of my foes, the Arse Kickers. Their candid collective name is not the only clue that I'm dealing with unpredictable humans rather than computer intelligence. They seem to have left a mining vessel out here unguarded, ripe for the plucking. I'm busy filling it with holes like a tin can on a fence post when the enemy stealth fighters lose their cloaks. Trapped!

Nothing in my repertoire of swift turns, rolls and booster-rocket blasts can save my ship. Several jolts of force feedback later, I'm floating back to base in an escape pod. The Arse Kickers know that if they kill the pod, I reenter the game at my base instantly. They'd rather I took the long route home — which gives me time to ponder my next move: Shall I grab a fighter and seek revenge? Buy a bomber, ask two other players to man its turret guns and head out on a kamikaze mission to the enemy base? Or eschew the action for a backroom role as investor, chief technologist or even — dare I dream — commander?