The free, nearly decade long, beta of Ultracorps continues with a new mega game: Valerian. This is a great MMO 4X Space MOO style game built circa 1997 and played, with a brief hiatus as it switched from the original developer to Steve Jackson games, ever since. This game introduced me to tick based games where the players submit their turns and at a specific point during the day or week, the computer calculates all the results and a new turn begins. Given the fact that a 12 hour LAN can only get through 30 or so turns of multiplayer CIV, and maybe over a weekend you’d be able to get through a game of HOMM3 with only a couple players, tick-based is really the only way to play heavy strategy games multiplayer if you have anything to do in real life. Give it a whirl and please don’t attack LORD GUNT!