So what is Netmelee? Well, as the name implies, it's playing SuperMelee from Star Control II over the internet against someone else. If you think you're a pretty hot pilot and you've got the awesome AI beat fair and square, this is definitely for you. And even if you're new, inexperienced and unsure of how those darn ships fly, it's still the place for you! Playing people is fun, and they can help you get better very quickly!

Getting it to work

Getting this to work isn't hard at all. In fact it's really easy. You just need to either know the IP of the guy you are connecting to, or be able to port forward for hosting. But not everyone is used to stuff like this, so melee superstar Gekko has produced a couple of very handy guides to help you get started. Follow the links below, or look in the blue bar on the side.

Gekko's Netplay Tutorial
Gekko's Netplay Router tutorial.

Courtesy and rules

Playing against a human is different to playing the AI. Humans want a fun game and care about winning, which is very different from being programmed to not lose. Because of that the netmelee players usually stick to a set of pretty standard rules, to ensure that the game stays fun for both players. Not everyone needs to adhere to these rules, but if you aren't going to it's polite to let people know in advance. The rulesets are collected over on the Ultronomicon, but the most common ones are:

- No Thraddash. The ship has the potential to stall matches and upset balance if played to its limit.
- Only one ship of each type, to a maximum of 200 points, often called "200 points no dupes"
- Stalemate breaker. If you have the faster ship and a stalemate occurs, you have to play the attacker. Otherwise the game never ends.

Still, keep in mind that most melee players are happy to play with many different rules, as long as you are both having fun.

Contact and assistance

We are happy to help you with any melee issues on the forums of course. However, most melee players hang out on #uqm-arena on the Freenode IRC network, and can generally give you a hand in real time with connecting to other players and setting up your router. This is also where you'll generally find people to play against. Not everyone will be sitting at their computer at the very instance you log on, so there is generally a lead time of around 15 minutes between requesting a game and getting one.

Balance Mod & Guide

For tips and hints on how to play Netmelee, check out Shiver's PvP Guide. It's incomplete, but has a few good pointers.

He has also created the Balance Mod, a modified version of Star Control II's SuperMelee that changes ship abilities and costs around to accomplish more balanced ships for human vs. human games. The Balance Mod is very popular among players of NetMelee, and well worth checking out.

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