Paradise 2000 Netrek Client RC5 review

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Paradise 2000 represents my bend of the Paradise Netrek client

License: GPL (GNU General Public License)
File size: 975K
Developer: Trent Piepho
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Paradise 2000 represents my bend of the Paradise Netrek client. Paradise 2000 Netrek Client is not a fork, because that would imply parallel development, but no one else has done anything with the client since about five years ago.

Paradise 2000 is in fact one of the most, if not the most, actively developed Netrek clients available today. It is for Linux (and FreeBSD) only, and is not open source*. Don't let the Paradise name fool you, it works just fine on standard bronco servers. Nobody has even played a game of Paradise Netrek for years!

The biggest new feature of the client, not found in any other, is the sound system. While the old Paradise client, Ted Turner, COW, and COW ports (Netrek1999,2000) have a simple sound effect system, it's crap. Especially the one used by COW. The Paradise/Ted Turner one is better, and is partially written by me, though you wouldn't know that*.

The Paradise 2000 sound system has psychoacoustic stereo effects that place sounds based on where they happen. If someone on the left blows up, you can tell they are on the left just from the sound. The newest version of Paradise-2000 has a sound system with speech output using IBM's ViaVoice TTS. If a teammate sends a carrying message, the client will actually say something like, "F one carrying five to org."

Here are some key features of "Paradise 2000 Netrek Client":
See weapons on galactic map
Auto-rotate galaxy to put playing teams on left side
Dashboard timer to show repair or refit time remaining
See the army count for the planet your are orbiting
Remap your keys via the help window. Just push the key you want over the name of the function you want to assign to it.
Use the same key for both bombing armies and picking armies. The client can tell by context with one would make sense.
You can set configuration options to different values for different server types.
Double buffering support for graphics. When turned on, eliminates flicker. Very useful for LCD monitors.
Extensive support for enhanced observer mode:
See all players' tractors and pressors while observing.
You can lock onto a cloaked player and observe them.
All your ship stats will reflect the player you are observing. Even torps out, kills, and army capacity.
Your ship and player letter don't get drawn on top of the player you are observing's ship and letter.
Observers won't have stats shown in your player list, cluttering it up unnecessarily..
Stereo sound effects!
Highly configurable speech synthesis!
Option to omit the team letter of ships on the galactic. Just show '0' instead of 'F0', since you can tell the team by the color of the letter.
Game score on hockey servers calculated and put on the galactic for easy reference.
Cool looking streaking background stars when transwarping on Bronco servers.
Flags on the dashboard gauges indicating the fuel/shields/hull needed to refit or transwarp.
Single key transwarp on Bronco servers. Push '-' to automatically lock onto your base and warp to it!
19FLAGS protocol enhancement. Reduces messed up flags from packetloss. Hockey players, this will eliminate stuck tractors and pressors.
Works with WindowMaker. Window manager delete buttons work.
Hockey bug fix, puck doesn't cloak at warp 15 or 31.
Support for short packets 2. Reduces bandwidth and improves playability with packetloss.
Supports SBHOURS feature, see how many base hours someone has.
Shrink phasers, like BRMH.
Support for wheel mice. The wheel will scroll the message windows, and can be bound to actions like other mouse buttons.
Re-enter the game after dying by pushing the spacebar, instead of clicking on the right team window. Faster and prevents selecting the wrong team on accident in 4v4 hockey games.
32 position ship bitmaps. Your ship rotations will look smoother.
Small red circle around ship shows det radius.
Tic marks to show exact ship heading.
Arrow on puck to indicate direction.
ID of player you are tractoring displayed next to your ship.
Configure what columns are in the player list, both the one-column and two-column list. You can also change the width of the each field, so show fewer digits for instance.
UDP portswap option that lets the client work through NAT firewalls, like Linux IP_MASQ, without a special module.

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