146: Allegiance


"The game was a money loser for Microsoft. Additionally, Microsoft was diverting marketing dollars and manpower from Allegiance to support another space game, Freelancer. Allegiance was subsequently thrown to the wolves. Understaffed and rife with bugs, cheaters began exploiting issues they knew wouldn't be fixed. 'Microsoft Research and The Zone just got fed up with people ruining it for everyone and always felt one step behind' says Alderman. Eventually, Microsoft gave up and pulled the plug."

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Reminds me of www.empiresmod.com

With spaceships

I've played Allegiance a few times, on and off during the last four years or so (haven't played in about a year however). The game itself is great, considering how old it is it was way ahead of its time when it came out. I think the only game I could compare it to is Battlezone, but in space. You can pilot individual craft or even larger capships that your commander allows you to purchase, while the commander oversees the tech tree and station/building construction in different sectors. The community is very tight knit, but not very large (at least last time I checked), which can be in some ways great but in others intimidating since most people playing have known each other for years. Anyway, if you're looking for a fun space sim with tactical/strategic its a great game, plus you'll definitely be challenged with the amount of experience that most players have

This was a very interesting article. Indeed, I had not heard of this game before. I was intrigued enough to do a Google search on Allegiance right after I finished reading because I wanted to try this game out. I would have installed it, but it looks like it's not Mac compatible. Still, Nick, nice start as a contributor for the Escapist.

I have been playing Allegiance since the beta was released in 1999.Before that I had discovered a game calle "Raider Wars" that was released by IGN.It had a great 3D engine that really impressed a geek-type like me.When IGN shut down that project,some of the players suggested that I try Allegiance as it was about to be released.I have been addicted ever since.Once you get over the learning curve,and get to the real game play experience, you can't let it go.Any one who is into real military strategy MUST appreciate this game.The entertainment factor is un-limited.The community is a great bunch of people.This is a great game that was almost lost in the sea of medeocre (I think I spelled that correctly)games that don't count for squat compared to Allegiance.If you bother to try anything new in the future,this is the game.Not only is it better now that most people have high speed internet connections,but 56k dial-up users can still play it.That testifies to the efficiancy of the code.Go to http://www.freeallegiance.org and find out for yourself. Don't worry if you die alot in your quest for CyberSpace superiority .. you will get there quickly with all the help the community provides you.The force will guide you to absolute entertainment!

HOLY CRAP!! I beta tested this game way back in the day! I had all but forgot about it until this article. Can anyone tell me where I can find the client? This and Starsiege were the two most fun multiplayer games I've ever played! I really want to play again. Is there still alot of lag during play? It's kind of hard to hit someone flying through space (especially as a gunner on the skycap mark 3's) when it's really laggy.

EDIT: Never mind about where it is ,just read the complete post above this one. I'm dumb.

Hey,everyone suffer "blog reading ADD" once in a while :)

"commanding a game of Allegiance has been compared to playing StarCraft, the main difference being that your units all hate you."

Heh, yeah. The amount of times I've blatantly ignored a direct order, like a mutinous drone ... good times.

Allegiance is still around and kicking? Amazing!

Yes,all past players need to get over there and D/l the game.It's so much better now.

(Several months later)

I liked Allegiance alot, but I'm not surprised it had a hard time achieving market success.

The trouble with the game was twofold. On one hand, it had a very steep learning curve, having tough inertia-based movement and stealth mechanics at the very core. On the other hand, the balance was never quite right because the ambitious design left it open for exploitation.

However, I nonetheless felt a sense of gratitude towards the division of Microsoft Games that made Allegiance. It was a game with a lot of soul made by people who enjoy games. I often wonder what happened to those people.


The steath system is extreemly intuitive. It works like so
Every ship has a scan range (upgrade able after commander reasearches appropriate technologies)
which is basicly how far it can see. eg. 2000m (scout ship)

Every ship also has a signature (also upgradeable)
Which is basicly how easy it is for another ship to detect it.

lets say we have 4 ships
Ship A : Scan range of 1000

Ship:B Signature of %100

Ship D: Signature of %50

ship D: Signature of %200

Ship A is looking for all the other ships. and will detect ship A at %100 of its scan range (1000m), ship B at %50 of its scan range (500m) and ship D at %200 (2000m)

Some ships can equip a cloaking device that lowers the signature of ones ship as long as that ship has remaining energy.

allegance is awsome, takes a bit to learn it, but its gameplay mechanics make up for it, that is why it has survived so long.

I remember beta testing this as well then moved on... Microsoft hasn't done to well with space sims with this and Freelancer. These games only staying alive due to the old player base.


Is this the space sim I've been waiting for?

With multiplayer and

Oh my GOD, it's like Tachyon online all over again!

Downloading now, thank you for bumping this, CatinHat....

AS another long time player and a current Squad leader(some call these group clans in other games) I can tell you its an awesome game that just never gott he support it deserved

The #1 reason Allegiance failed was two fold.

1) MS did not support it enough and
2) In 2000 hi speed internet was rare. Today its the norm. MS servers at the time could not keep up with demand. At least thats my opinion.

What the group that runs Allegiance now has dont is nothing less of remarkable. This small goup of guys took it upon themselves to keep allegiance going using their own funds. While also using many hours of their own time without pay. Not to mention the cost of the servers.

You must remember then as now there are bad apples. Those people who make it their mission in life to ruin everyone elses fun. We had them in 2000 which caused the games to crash and someof the player base to bail on an unstable game. MS got most of the blame when in fact it was those bad apples. But today while we may still have a few bad apples who try to screw everyone else to get their kicks, we have a much more secure player tracking system in place to root out those bad apples.

If your reading this comment you have nothing to lose. Go play 10 games and you too will fall in love with the game and the hard core players who have kept this game alive even though a multi-billion dollar corperation bailed.

Rules for new players to increase the chances that you will stay and make your gamming experiance better

1) Read the Alleg Wiki
2) Listen to your commander and higher ranked players
3) Join the Allegiance Flight School (AFS)to lesson the learning curve
4) Then join the cadet program )@CDT)
5) Learn the controls and concept of what this game is. That is a TEAM BASED Space sim. While a single player can make a huge difference, those players are rare.
6) There is no I in TEAM
7) Ignore some players ego's:)

After you have played 10 games with a minimum of 30 minute game time, if you still have not fell in love with Alleg maybe you never will

Unlike most games out there, where a new player has little chance to compete with a long term player do to them having better ships and equipment, this game only gives a new player a disadvantage because of SKILL. If my team has HEAVY INTERCEPTORS and YOUR team has HEAVY INTERCEPTORS we are on EQUAL terms. It is then only a matter of the players SKILLS and his teams level of TEAMWORK.

Thanks you for reading and hope to see you in game


Squad Leader


Trust me if you give ALLEGIANCE a chance you will LOVE IT.


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