Dominance: The Throne of Elders was originally developed 1999-2001 by Ultitech, later Omega Software. In the space of two years the game reached a stable beta release that included a dedicated client, game server and a handful of useful utilities such as Combat Simulator, and a few fan-made but generally accepted tools like Colorssus.
In-house alphas were performed (with 30 second ticks), and the first beta followed soon later that was played by over a 100 players.
Beta rounds 2 and 3, gained ever increasing number of players (reaching 500 players at its peak), but due to lack of financing and uncertain future, development was mostly halted during beta 3.5. After that beta ended, for a period of time the server was left online in an un-moderated 3.5 demo, and then turned off. Some time later, on the insistence of fans, two more betas – Beta 4 and 5 – were ran but with minimal changes, while attempting to find investors. This failed, and the server was finally shut down in May 2004.
In late 2007 development was resumed semi-officially by fans. Goal was to port the game away from its current platform and old libraries that the game server and more importantly game client relied upon, and then actively continue development. This effort produced three more rounds; Beta 5 3/4, Beta 5 7/8 (a.k.a. demo 2) and finally Beta 6, that ended in early 2009. During this time some semi-major changes were made to gameplay, half a megabyte of MSSQL code was ported to MySQL, however the team failed to find a source of financing, and was hampered by inability to port the game engine itself. The effort was again reluctantly abandoned.
In September 2016 development started for the third time (V3 moniker). This time development is official as the game changed ownership. Though the developer pool fell from approximately eight (V1) to four (V2) to just one (Entity.self), this did not hamper the resolve to finish the game and let it run once again.
Entire 2001/2007 codebase was scratched, and work started afresh with a game engine written in Python, database in Maria, and a browser-based client using HTML5 canvas for graphics and websockets for communication.
In February 2017 a first prototype was ready for alpha-testing, however since the alpha and beta cycles were used up it was dubbed Gamma 1. It ran for three weeks and proved the game was stable enough and quite playable after all these years.
By July 2017 development caught up with 15 years of stored suggestions and gameplay changes proposed by fans and old developers alike and once again is ready to open its doors. Gamma 2 awaits.
Goal of V3 is to produce a free-to-play MMO up to modern specs, with the retro look and feel of the early 2000s. Financing is less of a concern this time around and the game will never feature any kind of ads or dubious marketing. This time, love for Dominance prevails.
Why do all of this? Why invest effort in bringing back a 15 year old MMO?
Why, what else is there? Dominance is in our blood. Dominance is our blood.
There is only one Dominance.