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Ultima Online: Venerable IP Ultima-tely to Fly Again?

SBFordSBFord Associate Editor - News ManagerThe Land of AZPosts: 16,613MMORPG.COM Staff Uncommon

In The Free Zone today, MMORPG.com columnist Richard Aihoshi floats a rumor that breezed across his desk recently, namely that there is a possibility that a new Ultima MMORPG is being considered. Doubtless, that got your attention so keep reading and then let us know what you think.

What’s more, a couple of scenarios spring to mind that don’t immediately seem outside the realm of possibility. One is that Phenomic, now that it has dipped its toe into Sosarian waters, will shift genres. This wouldn’t be a completely blind leap since SpellForce did incorporate some RPG-like elements, albeit they were on the light side. If parent EA is leaning toward F2P, the studio’s experience in that area also includes a card-based strategy release, BattleForge.

Read more of Richard Aihoshi's The Free Zone: Venerable IP Ultima-tely to Fly Again?

Associate Editor: MMORPG.com
Follow me on Twitter: @MMORPGMom

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Comments

  • mcrippinsmcrippins Dallas, TXPosts: 1,069Member Uncommon

    UO was my first MMORPG. I also think it was the best. It kept my interest for many many years. I've always thought about what i'd like to see if they were to develop a new UO style game. Honestly, I think if they just had a better graphics engine, and the same core gameplay that UO had from 98-99, people would get excited. Even though I will say, the Gameplay is what made UO so great. I think if you had the UO world, with let's say HoN style graphics, it would look good, and play good. I also think they just added way to many features to UO. I quit playing before samurai, and all the other addons. They should just stick to the basics which work. You really don't need to add alot of fluff to win the hearts and minds of your followers. 

  • GrootGroot OKC, OKPosts: 87Member

    The problem is, nothing will ever be like UO.  UO was the only game to play back then and everyone from pve players, to pvp, to crafters, to roleplayers, etc etc all logged into the same world.  That's what made the world so great, the community so strong, and the game work.  The entire MMORPG niche was carved with that game.  There will not be a world like that again because all these different types of players have the option of picking a game that suits their playstyle, not creating their own role in a game in a world that they can do anything.  Laziness, the large influx of ultra casual players, and people interested in being the super duper hero all the time prevent a world and community like Ultima Online had from forming in the modern world of MMORPGs.  Our niche is tainted and won't ever recover.  

  • LoktofeitLoktofeit Stone Mountain, GAPosts: 13,666Member Uncommon

    After UO2, UOX and the Evony-esque Lords of Ultima, I gave up on EA ever creating a non-halfassed upgrade or a worthy successor to the game.

    EA would have to be at the point of playable beta before I get excited about another Ultima-based MMO.

    There isn't a "right" or "wrong" way to play, if you want to use a screwdriver to put nails into wood, have at it, simply don't complain when the guy next to you with the hammer is doing it much better and easier. - Allein
    "Graphics are often supplied by Engines that (some) MMORPG's are built in" - Spuffyre

  • OyjordOyjord Riverside, CAPosts: 372Member Uncommon

    Listen up, EA!

     

    I will PAY for a UO2!  Don't give me any F2P crap, I'm not a child and I have disposable income.  I will PAY for a UO2.

     

    You screw this up, and I'll never buy another EA product again.

  • SlampigSlampig Chantilly, VAPosts: 2,376Member Uncommon

    Originally posted by Groot

    The problem is, nothing will ever be like UO.  UO was the only game to play back then and everyone from pve players, to pvp, to crafters, to roleplayers, etc etc all logged into the same world.  That's what made the world so great, the community so strong, and the game work.  The entire MMORPG niche was carved with that game.  There will not be a world like that again because all these different types of players have the option of picking a game that suits their playstyle, not creating their own role in a game in a world that they can do anything.  Laziness, the large influx of ultra casual players, and people interested in being the super duper hero all the time prevent a world and community like Ultima Online had from forming in the modern world of MMORPGs.  Our niche is tainted and won't ever recover.  

     

     

    Damn gamers and their money...picking games THEY want to play....image

    That Guild Wars 2 login screen knocked up my wife. Must be the second coming!

  • Cik_AsalinCik_Asalin SoCal, CAPosts: 3,033Member

    Originally posted by Slampig

    Originally posted by Groot

    The problem is, nothing will ever be like UO.  UO was the only game to play back then and everyone from pve players, to pvp, to crafters, to roleplayers, etc etc all logged into the same world.  That's what made the world so great, the community so strong, and the game work.  The entire MMORPG niche was carved with that game.  There will not be a world like that again because all these different types of players have the option of picking a game that suits their playstyle, not creating their own role in a game in a world that they can do anything.  Laziness, the large influx of ultra casual players, and people interested in being the super duper hero all the time prevent a world and community like Ultima Online had from forming in the modern world of MMORPGs.  Our niche is tainted and won't ever recover.  

     

     

    Damn gamers and their money...picking games THEY want to play....image

    He's right in a sense, though.  Rather than walking into a world where you can be who you want, though a world that was organic, now all (almost all) worlds are inorganic single-player games and they've evolved into platforms that are exactly alike, where you cant be anything you want.

     

    Not a gross generalization, I think.

  • EndDreamEndDream orange county, CAPosts: 1,152Member

    Originally posted by Groot

     UO was the only game to play back then and everyone from pve players, to pvp, to crafters, to roleplayers, etc etc all logged into the same world.  That's what made the world so great, the community so strong, and the game work.  The entire MMORPG niche was carved with that game.  There will not be a world like that again because all these different types of players have the option of picking a game that suits their playstyle, not creating their own role in a game in a world that they can do anything. 

    UO is my favorite game of all time. I can truly say that it was some of  the best memories of my entire life. And unfortunatly, I have been chasing the virtual dragon ever since. But what Groot says is true, its IMPOSSIBLE for the world in which we played to come back. As Groot said, every type of player was in one world where players were given freedom. Thats what made the game amazing.

    There are many options  now, PvE players will play game X, PvP players will play game Y, crafters will play game Z. Some people love freedom in game, some people now hate it.. and they can play the game that tells them exactly what to do at all times.

    Archeage looks like it may be the closest we have come to what many of us are looking for since UO, but still with all of the options out there... it cant be the same, even if it is technically a better game.

    Remember Old School Ultima Online

  • bunnyhopperbunnyhopper LondonPosts: 2,751Member

    As much as I loved the game, i'm kinda hoping they don't make a new one.

     

    If they did and by some miracle they didn't fuck up the core mechanics and stayed true to the original, then you can guarantee the current breed of mmo player would bitch until it turned to crap.

    "Come and have a look at what you could have won."

  • ZekiahZekiah Aurora, COPosts: 2,499Member

    The fact that there is no UO2 just goes to show the pure fail condition that the MMO industry is in, and has been for a very long time.

    "Censorship is never over for those who have experienced it. It is a brand on the imagination that affects the individual who has suffered it, forever." - Noam Chomsky

  • kishekishe aitooPosts: 1,978Member Uncommon

    I dont want them to make UO2...at least not in the spirit of UO1...if they made UO2 in the spirit of the original...I'd lose another 7 years of my life to a video game all over again 

  • VengerVenger York, PAPosts: 1,318Member

    We can all hope.

  • ZandalfDJsZandalfDJs San Diego, CAPosts: 16Member
    I sincerely hope this rumor is true. I long have waited for another Ultima MMORPG and will continue to wait for it. I'm a little surprise they haven't turned Ultima Online into FTP by now.
  • WarzodWarzod Mesa, AZPosts: 312Member

    They had a UO2 and it was absolutely brilliant, the concept, the story, the art... and EA got cold feet fearing it would 'harm der pweshush widdle cash cow UO1' and cancelled it because they are MORONS.

  • TuxedoSLYTuxedoSLY Ultima Online Correspondent Cape Girardeau, MOPosts: 93Member

    Yeah, agreeing with a lot of what's said. Ultima Online was the greatest....WAS the greatest. It really isn't the same game anymore and if they made a new one they would just create a new formula for it. There is no way they would go back to the good old days with improved graphics and a better interface. Hell, they won't even do a classic shard with resources they already have.

     

    Le sigh.

  • fodell54fodell54 Posts: 309Member Uncommon

    Originally posted by EndDream



    Originally posted by Groot

     UO was the only game to play back then and everyone from pve players, to pvp, to crafters, to roleplayers, etc etc all logged into the same world.  That's what made the world so great, the community so strong, and the game work.  The entire MMORPG niche was carved with that game.  There will not be a world like that again because all these different types of players have the option of picking a game that suits their playstyle, not creating their own role in a game in a world that they can do anything. 

    UO is my favorite game of all time. I can truly say that it was some of  the best memories of my entire life. And unfortunatly, I have been chasing the virtual dragon ever since. But what Groot says is true, its IMPOSSIBLE for the world in which we played to come back. As Groot said, every type of player was in one world where players were given freedom. Thats what made the game amazing.

     


     

     

    You need to go outside and get some sun.

    image

  • MuffinStumpMuffinStump Frankfort, KYPosts: 474Member Uncommon

    Heck, give me another in the Ultima Underworld series for that matter.

     

  • Druid_UKDruid_UK RotherhamPosts: 58Member

    My first ever MMO game and still the one with the fondest memories.

     

    Would love it to be updated to make use of the technology of today and released anew.

    -----
    Pay-to-Win / F2P will be the death of real gaming, Boycott it !!

  • islandcoliislandcoli Tampa, FLPosts: 9Member

    The thought of exploring cities like Trinsic and Vesper in a true 3d enviroment gives me chills. Walking inside building and old towns, like re-viisint an old friend, or a dream. Except this time there's more dimensions and details.

  • FiredornFiredorn Montreal, QCPosts: 93Member

    Back then, the target market was thousands of people with an internet connection.  Back then, the target were a bunch of gamers, more dedicated to gaming, willing to fork over money per month to play a game.  Back then, Ultima was more popular amongst these gamers.

    Now, the target market is in the millions.  The internet is everywhere, gaming is everywhere.  Dedicated gamers are rarer fewer (in percentage) nowadays than they were when UO came out.  

    The face of gaming (especially online gaming) has changed forever.  It is for that reason alone that there will NEVER be a community in a game like UO had.  Especially not from an outfit like EA, who are still in the business to make money.  There's more money to be had catering to millions instead of thousands.

    I still hope Ultima will make a return to MMOG with a new title worthy of its name...not an Evony wannabe.

  • RajCajRajCaj Lafayette, LAPosts: 706Member

    Originally posted by afropuff420

    UO was my first MMORPG. I also think it was the best. It kept my interest for many many years. I've always thought about what i'd like to see if they were to develop a new UO style game. Honestly, I think if they just had a better graphics engine, and the same core gameplay that UO had from 98-99, people would get excited. Even though I will say, the Gameplay is what made UO so great. I think if you had the UO world, with let's say HoN style graphics, it would look good, and play good. I also think they just added way to many features to UO. I quit playing before samurai, and all the other addons. They should just stick to the basics which work. You really don't need to add alot of fluff to win the hearts and minds of your followers. 

     Great point afropuff!

     

    I was just saying in another thread that where the most recent indie developers who have tried to give Sandbox MMORPGs a go failed was that they tried to keep up with the Jones' (Blizzard, EA, NCSofts of the world) in the realm of graphics, features, etc, and ultimately failed because they didn't have the resources.

     

    Mortal Online & DarkFall Online both launched with buggy graphics, animations, and about half the features promised.  It took Aventurine years and years fo work and rework because they had to completely redesign their own custom 3D engine half way through because the technology they used when they started became out of date.  Star Vault ended up building their game around an old antiquated 3D engine that Lineage 2 made popular back in 2004. 

     

    The result is terrible launches with disapointed players.  Being as most sandbox games are so heavily dependent on the community, you've essentially gaurenteed failure before the game has had a fighting chance because the launch scared everyone back to what ever it is they were playing before.

     

    If someone could just lift Ultima Online's game mechanics and stick them ontop of a Battle of Immortals / Torch Light 2 type of graphics....you'd have a financial success on your hands.  They do this all the time in the F2P realm.  They lift another game's mechanics and graphic textures, put a ton of restrictions on free play and slap a cash shop on it.  It seems like one of these games comes out every month.  It can't be expensive to do (MUCH less expensive than SW:TOR anyway).

  • waynejr2waynejr2 West Toluca Lake, CAPosts: 4,474Member Uncommon

    Originally posted by RajCaj

    Originally posted by afropuff420

    UO was my first MMORPG. I also think it was the best. It kept my interest for many many years. I've always thought about what i'd like to see if they were to develop a new UO style game. Honestly, I think if they just had a better graphics engine, and the same core gameplay that UO had from 98-99, people would get excited. Even though I will say, the Gameplay is what made UO so great. I think if you had the UO world, with let's say HoN style graphics, it would look good, and play good. I also think they just added way to many features to UO. I quit playing before samurai, and all the other addons. They should just stick to the basics which work. You really don't need to add alot of fluff to win the hearts and minds of your followers. 

     Great point afropuff!

     

    I was just saying in another thread that where the most recent indie developers who have tried to give Sandbox MMORPGs a go failed was that they tried to keep up with the Jones' (Blizzard, EA, NCSofts of the world) in the realm of graphics, features, etc, and ultimately failed because they didn't have the resources.

     

    Mortal Online & DarkFall Online both launched with buggy graphics, animations, and about half the features promised.  It took Aventurine years and years fo work and rework because they had to completely redesign their own custom 3D engine half way through because the technology they used when they started became out of date.  Star Vault ended up building their game around an old antiquated 3D engine that Lineage 2 made popular back in 2004. 

     

    The result is terrible launches with disapointed players.  Being as most sandbox games are so heavily dependent on the community, you've essentially gaurenteed failure before the game has had a fighting chance because the launch scared everyone back to what ever it is they were playing before.

     

    If someone could just lift Ultima Online's game mechanics and stick them ontop of a Battle of Immortals / Torch Light 2 type of graphics....you'd have a financial success on your hands.  They do this all the time in the F2P realm.  They lift another game's mechanics and graphic textures, put a ton of restrictions on free play and slap a cash shop on it.  It seems like one of these games comes out every month.  It can't be expensive to do (MUCH less expensive than SW:TOR anyway).

     I don't think that is true.  IMO, the problem is choice.  When UO was a hit, how many mmorpgs did they have to choose from vs how many they have today.  The community was great because people were forced to play together AND they were trying to make the best of the situation.  Once other options opened up, well, we remember what happened.

  • RajCajRajCaj Lafayette, LAPosts: 706Member

    Originally posted by waynejr2

    Originally posted by RajCaj

    Originally posted by afropuff420

    UO was my first MMORPG. I also think it was the best. It kept my interest for many many years. I've always thought about what i'd like to see if they were to develop a new UO style game. Honestly, I think if they just had a better graphics engine, and the same core gameplay that UO had from 98-99, people would get excited. Even though I will say, the Gameplay is what made UO so great. I think if you had the UO world, with let's say HoN style graphics, it would look good, and play good. I also think they just added way to many features to UO. I quit playing before samurai, and all the other addons. They should just stick to the basics which work. You really don't need to add alot of fluff to win the hearts and minds of your followers. 

     Great point afropuff!

     

    I was just saying in another thread that where the most recent indie developers who have tried to give Sandbox MMORPGs a go failed was that they tried to keep up with the Jones' (Blizzard, EA, NCSofts of the world) in the realm of graphics, features, etc, and ultimately failed because they didn't have the resources.

     

    Mortal Online & DarkFall Online both launched with buggy graphics, animations, and about half the features promised.  It took Aventurine years and years fo work and rework because they had to completely redesign their own custom 3D engine half way through because the technology they used when they started became out of date.  Star Vault ended up building their game around an old antiquated 3D engine that Lineage 2 made popular back in 2004. 

     

    The result is terrible launches with disapointed players.  Being as most sandbox games are so heavily dependent on the community, you've essentially gaurenteed failure before the game has had a fighting chance because the launch scared everyone back to what ever it is they were playing before.

     

    If someone could just lift Ultima Online's game mechanics and stick them ontop of a Battle of Immortals / Torch Light 2 type of graphics....you'd have a financial success on your hands.  They do this all the time in the F2P realm.  They lift another game's mechanics and graphic textures, put a ton of restrictions on free play and slap a cash shop on it.  It seems like one of these games comes out every month.  It can't be expensive to do (MUCH less expensive than SW:TOR anyway).

     I don't think that is true.  IMO, the problem is choice.  When UO was a hit, how many mmorpgs did they have to choose from vs how many they have today.  The community was great because people were forced to play together AND they were trying to make the best of the situation.  Once other options opened up, well, we remember what happened.

     You make a good point, and I completely agree that there were people playing Ultima Online that "sucked up" a lot of things that they would have liked to see done in a different way because it was essentially the UO way or go back to your console or pen & paper. 

     

    But that was then......and just as the lay of the MMO land in the late 90s shapped the Ultima Online experience, there are certian key things happening in the MMO space now that makes another UO type experience right about time.

     

    I've been reading these forums (and others) a bit and I'm starting to get the feel that many MMORPG fans (and I mean "many" in the most relative term) that are just sick and tired of the linear themepark model.  Lots of the new MMO generation, that cut their teeth on World of Warcraft back in 2004, have graduated and are looking for something a bit more deep and challenging.  You also have a large crowd of old school MMORPG fans that have been looking for the second coming to UO. 

     

    But lets define success for  a minute....more specifically financial success.  I did some research on Battle of the Immortals and it looks like they spent a year in development and probably spent a few million dollars.  The system reqs are such that any computer built in the last 6-7 years can play the game well.  Slap the Ultima Online title on it and promise a revisit to UO's sandbox glory and you should have no problem getting atleast 100k subs.

    100,000 box sales @ $30 a pop = $3,000,000

    If they are able to maintain 50,000 subs for a year = $6,000,000 in a year's worth of monthly subs @ $10 a month.

    EA would of course have advertising expenses, hardware costs, etc.....but should easily be able to have financial success given these conservative numbers.

     

    Now compare those numbers to the precident Bioware is setting with SW:TOR.  State of the Art Graphics & Animation, Best in practice developers, social scientists, symphony composers & orchestra for sound track, and a massive marketing campaign...topping out around 300-400 million dollars.

     

    An indie sandbox developer (in the current MMORPG market state) cannot expect to go up head to head with those kind of costs and features and expect to come out alive, with a polished and complete product at release.

  • uohaloranuohaloran ., GAPosts: 811Member

    I share the sentiments that if anyone is going to do Ultima justice, it wont be it's current owners.

     

    EA had royalty in their hands and they just covered it with mud.

  • bezadobezado Palm Harbor, FLPosts: 1,148Member

    I doubt they can make UO again and do it like the original. With a 3D world and modern mmorpg concept. Because developers who remake titles usually remake a whole new type of game and just add in lore with bits and pieces here and there. To truly remake UO they would have to keep everything the way it is just update graphics and the world. If they did that I would play it in a heartbeat. We all know what happened to Ultima Online 2 that got scrapped way back.

    If they can do what SONY is doing with Everquest Next, the true EQ 2 then by all means go for it. EQ Next developers are keeping everything from EQ and just updating the world graphics and adding some new stuff. Pretty much what they would need to make this work for UO cause UO was just so good you leave stuff out on a remake it turns into a new game.

    *COUGH* remember Asherons Call 2, yeah that's what happens when Devs try remake a original and fail to keep the original intact.

    image

    image
  • finnmacool1finnmacool1 Corona, CAPosts: 453Member

    Originally posted by Groot

    The problem is, nothing will ever be like UO.  UO was the only game to play back then and everyone from pve players, to pvp, to crafters, to roleplayers, etc etc all logged into the same world.  That's what made the world so great, the community so strong, and the game work.  The entire MMORPG niche was carved with that game.  There will not be a world like that again because all these different types of players have the option of picking a game that suits their playstyle, not creating their own role in a game in a world that they can do anything.  Laziness, the large influx of ultra casual players, and people interested in being the super duper hero all the time prevent a world and community like Ultima Online had from forming in the modern world of MMORPGs.  Our niche is tainted and won't ever recover.  

    Yes its everyone elses fault for not playing a game the way you think it should be played. All the people playing games that appeal to them infringes on your gameplay. Maybe you should tell everyone the world revolves around you and they will play the game you want, the way you want.

    You sound like a bitter,grumpy,old man reminiscing about the good ole days of big bands and vinyl records. Change happens,adapt or die. There will never be another "first" love or game,or sexual partner. That doesnt mean everything that follows is somehow worse or that something in the future cant recaptures those emotions/feelings. It only means things that follow will be different.

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