Real-Life Origins of Outpost Hope One

So Star Trek: Borderlands is the longest running game on the web, hands down. In fact it predates the world wide web. It began as an NNTP feed called USS Pegasus in April of 1991. These earliest NNTP days - called the floppy drive days - were before they were known as the UFP (United Federation of Players). During the NNTP days, nerds wrote of Gorvosh Satation at the Hope One Dyson Sphere but it was just part of the setting and not an actual duty station. Players played in real time as members of the Pegasus Crew. They had a snail mail newsletter that informed them when to be on the NNTP feed to play. Your acceptance to the group and secret access to the net came in a handwritten letter. Only nerds and geeks knew how to get on the net back then.

They would later move to Prodigy, a private webserver that was becoming popular in November 1991, becoming the UFP. Pegasus became a Message Board and here they would make their second Message Board, the Ticonderoga, and remain there till 1993. In the summer of 1993, Prodigy began charging hourly rates for several of its most popular features, among which was it's most popular feature, the message boards. The UFP looked for a new, cheaper home. In late 1993 the UFP went over to AOL at the suggestion of Chris Spires. They changed their name to the UFPI, adding the "I" for International as they now began to recruit International players from around the world. Gorvosh Station became a DS and the Headquarters of Starfleet, though it'd been used as a backdrop for a couple of years already. The Pegasus and Ticonderoga changed their designations from NXX to NCC and were commissioned into the fleet. Pegasus first as the lead class ship. DS Saratoga followed as an upgraded Galaxy Class, followed by the Excalibur, another Pegasus... Each one a DS, and so it began to grow adding players and groups (ships).

The original ships (DSs) were built in orbit around the Sphere to fight in the ongoing Romulan Wars - which was most of what they wrote about. It would be a while before they decided to build Horizon and have a second base in the DQ and Phoenix would follow it's successful inclusion slightly later on. During those early years all of the stuff about the three sphere races was developed. The Lacosian race would remain unused until 2008 but the Johvan and Kharians were used by all the groups back then as peace with the Romulans became more of a theme. The Kharians provided for several "Bad Guy" plots for a while. Still... all the basic ideas were in place.

I was reading some of the posts from Mom's AOL days that she kept. I also found her old AOL billing statements. In April of 1994 she paid $120 in online fees to AOL... just to play that month along with an internet access charge of $25. They continued this madness until eGroups.com came along in 1997-98 which was free and later became Yahoo Groups. I wonder how many people would be paying to play today at those rates in today's dollars.

In between AOL and eGroups there was a brief flirtation with solaria.net, a domain owned by a player in the UFPI that caused a lot of the problems that led to the split of the UFPI into Borderlands: Federation and Empire and Quadrant Delta along with one other even shorter-lived splinter Group. Sol offered free domains to those who wanted them like Eagle's Nest.

Moving away form hefty bills made the transition to free groups like eGroups a better option. Sol, owner of Solaria.net and the first and now absent owner of the old Hope One BL Group was the first BL CO there. When he left he did not appoint another owner. He also shut down several of the free Groups he had provided on Solaria.net that a couple of the BL Groups had been using.

I heard that there was a lot of weeping and gnashing of teeth over the split and a lot of hard work went into drawing up a Constitution to do as much as possible to keep it from happening again, and to rebuild.

—Kait H