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Ultima Online: The New Life of Ultima Online

GFullsGFulls Hillsborough, NJPosts: 475Member

The recent EA Mythic Press Event was an eventful one for the ten-year-old Ultima Online. Managing Editor Jon Wood fills us in on the details.

Ultima Online is one of those rare MMORPGs that almost everyone has heard about at one time or another in their gaming careers. You don't even have to have been a gamer when the game was released (nearly ten years ago). In fact, it has always been a bit of a legend in the industry and when MMO people get together, you can bet with pretty good odds that someone will start telling a story from the "good old days" in UO. It's a game which, if it were a human, would be likeable, charismatic and wise in its advanced years. Unfortunately, for many of the new generation of MMORPG gamers being brought into the genre by games like Guild Wars, Dark Age of Camelot and World of Warcraft, the wizened look of age leaves the game unappealing to many 3D gamers.

Read the entire article here.

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Comments

  • OgrelinOgrelin JonkopingPosts: 636Member

    Interesting!

    I played UO for almost 5 years until my community died off and I started playing DAoC instead, I will most certainly visit UO again and take a look at the new look!

     

  • jeppahjeppah VejlePosts: 56Member
    Meh.. UO died for me when they started brining robots into the game
  • PlagemanPlageman IllzachPosts: 12Member
    Well I'll certainly give it go just to see how much it has changed. The last few expansions didn't really catch my attention, so maybe KR will draw me back to Sosaria, who knows...
  • RainStarRainStar Florissant, MOPosts: 638Member
    Hmmm, might have to check this game out again!
  • ZitchZitch Centreville, VAPosts: 129Member


    Originally posted by GFulls


    the wizened look of age leaves the game unappealing to many 3D gamers.


    Actually (for me) it never would have been the look of UO that I'd find unattractive or uninteresting. Possibly at first glance were this my first entry in this day and age, but I'd still play it just to see what it was. I did play UO from 97 till about 2000, quit for a year and came back for power scrolls, that lasted a year.

    Unfortunately, UO had changed. It changed and the reason I had left the first time still remained, so it was only a matter of time (realization) until I'd leave again. This much I knew. What made UO, and most of the stories people tell at parties, was the meaningful fun and mechanics. The rewards and penalties, and the community! (lets not forget community).

    I left UO when I was a tamer on Siege perilous, the new hardcore server. I logged on to see the skills patch that transformed skills earned into something entirely manipulated by players, thus trivialising skills progression. "The final straw" for me, So I just logged off and quit abandoning my characters and account.

    A year later I came back to see Trammel and Felucia with a new account. Logging in placed me in Trammel, but everything seemed different somehow. I realised later when I entered Felucia, that this was the "old world" where all of "my stories" took place. Felucia was a ghost town, Cities abandoned by players, and player vendors left to decay with nothing on them for sale. It was for all intentions an empty world... half the game empty.

    Turns out Felucia was the only area eligable for PvP, That thieves had been made useless, and so many other things (item insurance, no scribing penalties, meditation, etctra) had changed that had made UO a fun game. So it never stopped with trivialising character progression, the game had become entirely trivial compared to what it once was.

    You see, I'd never have quit UO. I'd still be playing today with my 2D buddy. I've been looking for a "Fun game" ever since then. Were I a new player and were UO as fun as it once had been? I'd not need the graphic enhancements or 3D world. I'd be playing a fun game and having fun.

    Well, the point of my comment here is, "Pretty does'nt make Fun", you can dress up a dog but it's still a dog, or cat or whatever your preferance is...

    UO changed.

    No more Trivial MMO's, let's get serious "again". Make a world, not a game
    What I listen to :)

  • SUMB44SUMB44 Waldorf, MDPosts: 182Member
    I think if they made UO Free to Play (F2P) then I think it'd be worth it.  I think as a free game it would be outstanding.  Beyond that, in the modern market I see little value except for nostalgia.  It's kind of like how when I go home to visit my parents I'll play a few games on my old NES or SNES just for old times sake. 
  • pyros98pyros98 Elk City, OKPosts: 267Member
    I left because everyone was botting/scripting for skill gains.  Most of my friends weren't online, but mostly afk.  Then I started to do that and the game became meaningless because I didn't earn any of those skill points.  And ultimately AoS release was just so horribly implemented, and then they wanted more money.  If I go back for a free trial, it'll just be to look around...I doubt I'll stay.
  • JK-KanosiJK-Kanosi Seaside, CAPosts: 1,357Member
    I'm real happy for the UO players out there. The game needed a face lift. However, I still won't be playing it. UO is exactly the type of game I want, but it still is not 3D in the way I like to play my games. I like the way EQ, DAoC, and WoW does the 3D. On top of that, the game has still been around long enough for everyone to be skilled out to the max and rich. People probably wouldn't want to explore everything with the newbs coming to the game. I have the money and the rig to play new releases and I will just have to wait for a newer type UO to come out. Hopefully Dardfall will be out soon to provide this for me.

    MMORPG's w/ Max level characters: DAoC, SWG, & WoW

    Currently Playing: WAR
    Preferred Playstyle: Roleplay/adventurous, in a sandbox game.

  • LynxJSALynxJSA Sarasota, FLPosts: 2,601Member
    I've still got an active UO account that I playnow and then. I've really enjoyed almost every 'era' of the game. hen AoS came out, it kinda killed PvP for me for a while because it changed to gear dependency, but the disparity berween player equipment has reduced a lot since then, as more items are a lot more accesible.



    I play Europa and Pacific, and UO is the only game that I've found where I can log in and say, "Hmmm... What do I want to do today? Do I want to RP, PK, rebuild the house, go hunting, or just shop?" and then be doing that inside of 2 minutes. It's biggest attraction for me is that each character has its own history. If you take WOW or DAoC or most other MMOGs, every character has the same old story and fits one of 6-9 basic molds. Valley of Trials, then the 11 Barrens quests (bird beaks, lion paws, zebra hooves, lizard claws, etc) then... yadda yadda yadda...



    In UO, there's more freedom of choice in travel, in character development*, and it is one of the few games where your character can take up an actual role in the game world. If i want to be a tailor, I can be that... and only that. I don't need to increase my fighting gear to increase my fighting level in order to weave better capes.



    UO has stuck around not simply because of nostalgic people paying ten bucks a month because they are afraid to let go - it's still around because it offers choices that are not available in most other MMOGs. I believe that, given a few more years, modern MMOGs will eventually catch up to the level of complexity and mutlitude of choices that UO has been offering players since the turn of the century.







    *cue the guy that posts "omg evry1 makes same fotm all tank mage that ganked my miner andtook my stiff"

    EVE Online: 'Dominion' Trailer Now on YouTube
    "...if there is a fair fight happening in new eden, both fcs did something wrong." - batolemaeus

  • ZitchZitch Centreville, VAPosts: 129Member


    Originally posted by LynxJSA
    UO has stuck around not simply because of nostalgic people paying ten bucks a month because they are afraid to let go - it's still around because it offers choices that are not available in most other MMOGs. I believe that, given a few more years, modern MMOGs will eventually catch up to the level of complexity and mutlitude of choices that UO has been offering players since the turn of the century.

    I agree here, that UO had "then" what other MMO's are just getting around to doing NOW.

    Houses and boats (non instanced and persistant), and mounts... but the trivial type of "pocket pony" That UO introduced later. UO was revolutionary in so many ways. and #1 on the list was player freedom.

    I'm waiting for another "UO", but one that has the original meaningful play and "fun" intact. Darkfall has these possibilities and I'm willing to wait as it's the only option.

    UO declined, but why is what developers need to understand. It was'nt because of an old engine, or anything close. Sure players will leave to check out the next best, but they will return also if the game is still fun.

    UO lost it's fun factor, it became just as trivial as other games only it also had it's aging problem as well. So not only was it unfun, but it was old. So what's there now (players) are the ones that cling, and the ones that enjoy this changed game of dress up and collecting, but not the same adventure and reality that once was UO.

    It changed from what it was. In that change, it lost forever the players that made it live and breath. Now we (most of us) are MMO refugees, wandering from game to game looking for the fun we once had in a world long since gone.

    No more Trivial MMO's, let's get serious "again". Make a world, not a game
    What I listen to :)

  • MrbloodworthMrbloodworth Newport News, VAPosts: 5,615Member
    Stygian Abyss!!!!!!!!



    OMG i loved ultima underworld!!!!!!

    ----------
    "Anyone posting on this forum is not an average user, and there for any opinions about the game are going to be overly critical compared to an average users opinions." - Me

    "No, your wrong.." - Random user #123

    "Hello person posting on a site specifically for MMO's in a thread on a sub forum specifically for a particular game talking about meta features and making comparisons to other titles in the genre, and their meta features.

    How are you?" -Me

  • FraekFraek StockholmPosts: 249Member
    Even though I think the state of the game has declined over the years, Ultima Online is still worth its fee.  I've been thinking of getting back to the game, and I suppose this may be an excellent time to do so.

    I loved the Gargoyles in the single-player Ultima-games, so I'm certainly looking forward to seeing how they're implemented.



    [gargoyle]

    To be hopeful!

    [/gargoyle]
  • KaneKane Seattle, WAPosts: 780Member
    Originally posted by Zitch


     

    Originally posted by GFulls


    the wizened look of age leaves the game unappealing to many 3D gamers.



    Actually (for me) it never would have been the look of UO that I'd find unattractive or uninteresting. Possibly at first glance were this my first entry in this day and age, but I'd still play it just to see what it was. I did play UO from 97 till about 2000, quit for a year and came back for power scrolls, that lasted a year.

    Unfortunately, UO had changed. It changed and the reason I had left the first time still remained, so it was only a matter of time (realization) until I'd leave again. This much I knew. What made UO, and most of the stories people tell at parties, was the meaningful fun and mechanics. The rewards and penalties, and the community! (lets not forget community).

    I left UO when I was a tamer on Siege perilous, the new hardcore server. I logged on to see the skills patch that transformed skills earned into something entirely manipulated by players, thus trivialising skills progression. "The final straw" for me, So I just logged off and quit abandoning my characters and account.

    A year later I came back to see Trammel and Felucia with a new account. Logging in placed me in Trammel, but everything seemed different somehow. I realised later when I entered Felucia, that this was the "old world" where all of "my stories" took place. Felucia was a ghost town, Cities abandoned by players, and player vendors left to decay with nothing on them for sale. It was for all intentions an empty world... half the game empty.

    Turns out Felucia was the only area eligable for PvP, That thieves had been made useless, and so many other things (item insurance, no scribing penalties, meditation, etctra) had changed that had made UO a fun game. So it never stopped with trivialising character progression, the game had become entirely trivial compared to what it once was.

    You see, I'd never have quit UO. I'd still be playing today with my 2D buddy. I've been looking for a "Fun game" ever since then. Were I a new player and were UO as fun as it once had been? I'd not need the graphic enhancements or 3D world. I'd be playing a fun game and having fun.

    Well, the point of my comment here is, "Pretty does'nt make Fun", you can dress up a dog but it's still a dog, or cat or whatever your preferance is...

    UO changed.

     

    You hit the nail on the head, here. I LOVED the game until they started implementing all the changes you mentioned. The "skill teeter-totter" pissed me off to no end. It was too easy to max a meaningless skill then make it lower so the points would go into the skill you wanted and boost your stats along with it. The game became about a character template destination than a fun trip through a fantasy world.
  • KyleranKyleran Tampa, FLPosts: 20,008Member Uncommon

    I don't see this bringing a lot of folks back, they (mostly) left for other reasons it seems.  New players won't go for it either..we're spoiled by the more modern games.n  Launching a new server would be one way to attract new folks....another would be to put up a Classic version... ala DAOC... but otherwise.... not seeing this as being a big success....

     

    In my day MMORPG's were so hard we fought our way through dungeons in the snow, uphill both ways.
    "I don't have one life, I have many lives" - Grunty
    Still currently "subscribed" to EVE, and only EVE!!!
    "This is the most intelligent, well qualified and articulate response to a post I have ever seen on these forums. It's a shame most people here won't have the attention span to read past the second line." - Anon

  • GungaDinGungaDin Philadelphia, PAPosts: 514Member Uncommon

    Well I finally jumped back into UO after a 5 yr abscence and I'm really enjoying it.  I left for some of the above reasons, soon after trammel was introduced, the emptiness of Felucca , etc.  However, I realized that a game like UO was will most likely not be created again.  Its was too raw for new players and most people to adjust to.  Lets face it, dumbing down the game did increase its player base.  Alot of people couldnt hack being player killed and then looted.  I smaller percentage of the players prefer this type of game.  They want a consensual system in place.  I myself perefered the old system but nowadays if you want a larger player base , its not gonna happen. 

    Thats why I returned, since most of the games have followed this philosophy, I figured I'd return to the game I liked the most.  Simple as that. If they are all gonna have uber loot and safe zones to hunt etc, might as well play in the world I loved best.    I prefer the graphics in someways when compared with the newer games, and this reborn graphics engine is exactly what i've been waiting for (diablo2 like).  So once I heard about Reborn I reactivated my old accounts and got back into the game. 

    The community has been great, the roleplaying still viable and the amount of content is overwhelming.  Tons to do.  Plus its still a skill based game so once your character's skills are set, you can just dive into all aspects of the game.  No leveling system to waste time on.  You develop your character (may take sometime) and then just dive into playing. 

    I'm glad i'm back playing UO after a one yr vaction from any MMORPG.  The friends and community i've interacted with this past 4 weeks have been top notch.  UO Reborn already brought me back and its not even out yet.  I can't wait till its implemented. 

    Cheers to EA for continuing to support UO.

  • VagelispVagelisp AthensPosts: 448Member

    -"excuse me... Are you A person?"

    - "Hmmmm what do you mean?"

    - "are you a human?"

    - "LOL you F....... newbie! Of course i am!"

    -"Sorry i thought you are a computer character. What does LOL mean?"

    -"Muhahahaha!!! It is short for laugh out Loud. Come out of town let me help you around."

    -"Thanks! can i have some weapons please?"

    -"Sure! come to my house it's just out of the eastern corner of MoonGlow's Bank."

    -Corp Por! Corp Por! Vas ort Flam!!  

    -" OOOOOoooOOOOo, OOOOooooOOOOO! OOOOoooOOOOOO OOooooOOOOO!"

    "December 1997. Chesapeake server."

    It took me 2 hours to find out what was going on. Everything got gray and i was a ghost. Suddenly a bunch of guys appeared and took everything i had in my corpse (2 loafs of bread and a knife i think) (this was called the newbie's revenge). I realised that on December of 1997 everything about computer games and entertainment was about to change for ever. And Alas there was no "Load game" button!

    9 Years ago i was living in a dream. 9 Years after and i still remeber some of the "words of power". Amazing! It is a shame that modern game designers never played Ultima and learn how to make online games.

    On the other hand it is a shame for Ultima's designers to isolate themselves in something that many years after seems like a portal to the past.

    I miss it too. But after this 3D MMO mania, i have been seduced to more "appealing" graphics and Environments. This is what only UO is missing right now to become Top 1 MMO along with classic PVP servers. No Felluca, no Trammel, no Siege perillus.

    Just UO. 

    Thou hast mine attention UO Developers. Cal Ort Por.

  • ZitchZitch Centreville, VAPosts: 129Member


    Originally posted by Vagelisp
    On the other hand it is a shame for Ultima's designers to isolate themselves in something that many years after seems like a portal to the past.
    I miss it too. But after this 3D MMO mania, i have been seduced to more "appealing" graphics and Environments. This is what only UO is missing right now to become Top 1 MMO along with classic PVP servers. No Felluca, no Trammel, no Siege perillus.
    Just UO. 
    Thou hast mine attention UO Developers. Cal Ort Por.

    I can't tell you how many times I've thought about returning.

    But you are correct, all UO needs to be "just like" every other game out there is 3D enhancements. It seems the whole MMO genre has been doomed to one trivial theme... give everyone exactly what they want.

    I'm sorry, this is stale. I won't support stagnation in gaming.

    I'l sit in Darkfalls forums and wait...

    No more Trivial MMO's, let's get serious "again". Make a world, not a game
    What I listen to :)

  • Foot1281Foot1281 Plaquemine, LAPosts: 17Member
    What's funny is that i also remember an experience like that being a newbie.  I remember like it was yesterday when i picked up the game from EB.  I was a sophomore in high school, and remembered reading about the game in a pc mag.  I wanted a new game so i picked it up, not realizing that you had to play online and online only.  The clerk informed me that it was actually a game he had been playing.  So i still bought it and was hooked.  I basically spent the rest of my high school days playing this game...even waking up an hour and a half before school JUST TO PLAY.  I was addicted.  I stopped playing in May of '00 and started back about 8 months later only problem was that everyone i knew had quit and my old guild (The Silent Council on Europa) had disbanded to play other games.  So i stayed for another 5 months, then quit again.  I was looking for something NEW and actually 3d.  Well i ended up doing the restart and quit thing for about 4 years...until switching to SWG.  They redid the whole game and i quit...wasn't fun anymore.  So i beta tested a few games  WISH (RIP), Matrix, and some others...but none were UO.  UO was the past, but something about the gameplay still caught my eye.  I guess b/c you don't have a mold you HAVE TO follow.  You want to be a blacksmith fine...you don't HAVE to be a miner...wanna be a tinkerer, fine.  Didn't have to be anything you didn't feel like being.  Could still be a craftsman and a swordsman at the same time and thats what i liked.  So i found out about the KR expansion coming up and after 1-2 without an MMO, i decided to come back and to tell you the truth....its not bad even before KR is here.  Only thing i miss is everyone being at good ole Brit Bank.  I used to dread the lag at brit bank when using dial-up, but now i almost miss all of the spammers and the hordes of people.  I'd deal with the lag if i could go back.  Hopefully we'll see an major increase once KR is released but if not i think i'm here for a while.  I don't have the free time i had when i was younger (25 now) and didn't have a full-time job and stuff, so i'm really not looking for a game to play 8+ hours a day.  2 hours a day is enough to keep my satisfied and since i have my old char from 98, i'm basically just trying to get my gold back so i can have a home again.  If anyone is in Europa look me up, Forge Blackman.
  • starlessstarless Pocomoke, MDPosts: 14Member
    I've never understood the camera angle in this game. It sorta disorients me.
  • killerwigkillerwig BlackpoolPosts: 236Member

    It's great to know that the most addictive game I've ever played is getting this overhaul. I played on Chesapeake as a miner and blacksmith - completely defenseless mind you, but the runs to the local mine with my pack mules in PK infested lands were nothing short of nerve-wracking. I used to hire other players for protection on these runs, and we'd always come up against a bunch of PK's on the way back, wondering whether or not they could gank us and kill my pack mules.. lol

    There was always something about UO that was incredibly addictive.. though I could never work out quite what it was.

  • xfakturxxfakturx otsego, MIPosts: 1Member
    When i think back the "the good ole days" i remember chatting with everyone in britian untill powerhour came around, fighting for an hour, and going back. they released pub 16 and took away power hour, ok so that didnt hurt to much,then they released AoS,this expansion is what ruined UO for me, they turned the game into a p2p diablo 2, if i wanted to play diablo 2 id play it for free. Powerscrolls were never even thought off back in the "good ole days" yet they managed to ruin the game with these too, the graphics never mattered to me, never will, this game was all about customizing your character and just simply having fun, with all the changes they implemented its hard to have fun anymore.









    Anyone else remember powerhour :-p
  • VhalnVhaln Chicago, ILPosts: 3,159Member

    I'd love to see Ultima Online somehow changed into a 1st-person view game. It's cool that they're still building on it, but shinier top-down isometric graphics don't really impress me at all.

    When I want a single-player story, I'll play a single-player game. When I play an MMO, I want a massively multiplayer world.

  • ZitchZitch Centreville, VAPosts: 129Member


    Originally posted by xfakturx

    Anyone else remember powerhour :-p

    I do, but can't quite place the time period or what my characters were doing.

    I remember I was'nt a fan of it, and felt it was somehow a corruption. To me it was un-natural to dedicate an hour server wide for "training up". Training was for me something that came with just playing my characters.

    I never macro'd or ran scripts. I remember bards in vesper and all the racket they made. I used my thief to silence them, carpenters also.

    All this had only made me miss the game more...

    No more Trivial MMO's, let's get serious "again". Make a world, not a game
    What I listen to :)

  • SNievesSNieves Cleveland, OHPosts: 22Member

    I remember powerhour.  Heck, I perfected it's use (thanks to the help of "friends").  UO was great.  I stuck around way too long.  I wish AoS had never been released.  I would have kept playing it.

    Hasta,

    Nieves

    For more memories: www.uopowergamers.com

  • Havoc-PKHavoc-PK palmdale, CAPosts: 118Member
    I can't wait for this to come out, I wonder how much has changed.
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