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[Column] General: Revival

SBFordSBFord Associate Editor - News ManagerThe Land of AZPosts: 16,610MMORPG.COM Staff Uncommon

In today's Pokket Says, we revisit a classic MMO, Ultima Online, to discuss how some of the features that set it apart from all the rest, even today, are leaking back into the MMO space in 2012. See what Pokket has to say and then add your thoughts to the comments.

I liked that there were no factions. Instead it was a red versus blue systems. You wanted to kill others? You went red. Each short-term and long-term murder was logged on your character (“I must consider my sins”), but only the long-term ones would affect if you’d stay blue or go red. Going red meant you had killed over 4 players. In order to go back blue you’d have to work off long-term murder counts, each one counts as 40 hours of online time. A couple of my characters had hundreds of murders logged, to the point it was virtually impossible to work off without rerolling a new character. And as you can guess, there are negatives to going red, and not so many positives.

Read more of Hillary Nicole's Pokket Says: Revival.

the same skill combo on people so they don’t have time to heal through it).

 

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

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Comments

  • david361107david361107 chattanooga, TNPosts: 279Member

    first*

     

    good read pokket

  • SamhaelSamhael Huntsville, ALPosts: 696Member Uncommon
    I played UO for a while but don't see any need for it to be rebooted. If they were going to spend any time working on something in the Ultima universe, I'd prefer it to be on a single player game as I enjoyed the "standard" Ultima series much more than UO.
  • Greymantle4Greymantle4 Posts: 802Member Uncommon

    The good old days :) On my server we created a guild called Lord of The Rings. We had 9 people all named after the Nazgul in Middle Earth.  What fun we had in pvp fighting the what you call Blue team.

    I have been waiting on a MMO based on old school since SWG pre nge. I hope some day before this old man kicks the bucket my dream will come true. :)

  • IczerIczer Jita, MIPosts: 109Member Uncommon

    I played UO hardcore for the better part of 5 years on Chesapeake and I have yet to find a game that gives the same level of satisfaction in so many areas. EVE Online would be the closest thing to it but spaceships is totally different from a character running around. I'm all for games providing a safe place for players to live in (Trammel as much as I hated it) but the dangerous areas need to have things that can not be obtained anywhere else to draw people to them.

    Exploring, PVP, PVE, Dungeon Crawling that got downright HARD (Terethan Keep), Treasure Hunting, Gold Farming, Risk of being attacked anywhere, Revenge for others misdeeds, I owned my own small tower and decorated it how I wanted (with body parts from slain foes, pictures on the walls, chests, tables, chairs, other crap), I had 5 chars per account and 4 accounts, Stealth, Stealing stuff from others packs, looting bodies, dying and having to race back to your body before someone else found it and looted you, taming. I cant think of anything it didnt have.

  • Xstatic912Xstatic912 New York, NYPosts: 365Member
    As a player who came into mmo with the introduction of EQ, can't say I played Ultima Online but does anyone really think the mmo environment is heading back to such style from a big name dev.. For one mmo cost way too much and they are seen now as more than just letting the player have fun.. Such a system if implemented in todays mmo space will be dumb down, because they have try to please the most person possible..

    All the feature describe by the Op would be best put in an independent company game that don't need alot of return to stay open.. Maybe a dev like eves.
  • JerYnkFanJerYnkFan Kenilworth, NJPosts: 339Member Uncommon
    Never played UO, but my first MMO was SWG which seems to be getting a partial revival in the Repopulation.  My only concern which such things is the old saying "you can never go home again."  Even if a new game incorporates all/most of the mechanics of your favorite game, will it truly be the same?
  • Crazy_StickCrazy_Stick Privacy Preferred, NCPosts: 1,059Member

    Ultima Forever: Quest for the Avatar is in the works and coming from EA. It’s a re-imagining of Ultima IV material with four player co-op, HD Art, cross platform compatability, and will be free to play and supported by a cash shop. You can sign up for the beta through Origin right now.

     

    It’s not UO but as close as you are liable to get to a new MMORPG for the now. If its wildly successful though, who knows? However, any remake would be done in such fashion as to cater to the current MMORPG market to make a profit and by necessity that would kill many of the old features you are enamored with.

     

    And that raises an issue many will have with any such remake endeavor. Are you better off leaving the original lie rather than slapping its name on a new game to make a profit off the IP that would in truth have so little in common outside of cosmetics with its parent that it may as well be a different game series?

  • LaurannLaurann Vancouver, WAPosts: 45Member

    I started UO with the "F*ckheads" in alpha; beta and release I transitioned to LOP "League of Pirates." Man those were the days. Seems we are getting a revival of sandbox elements in mmo's nowadays, but the thing that is missing: is the timesink. It seems to be a bad word in the industry that seems to know their demographic which seems lately to be adolescent 32 year olds with adhd... Can't say I blame the industry - I don't have 16 hours a day to play anymore, so I get it.

    Taking two full months at 16+ hours a day macroing out a grandmaster thief meant you had time invested in that character, your guild, your monthly fee, your social circle, and your shard. As balance changes came down the pipe, you had to adjust your strategy, skills, locations, etc. (this was prior to +/-/lock buttons for skills.)

    Oh well, I miss old UO pre-tram. Hopefully those two castles I sold for over $8k each are still around :)

     

  • rmk70rmk70 Toronto, ONPosts: 397Member Uncommon
    To this day, best game I've ever played. Never felt more immersed in lore, community and gameplay. 
  • VannorVannor YorkshirePosts: 2,970Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by Samhael
    I played UO for a while but don't see any need for it to be rebooted. If they were going to spend any time working on something in the Ultima universe, I'd prefer it to be on a single player game as I enjoyed the "standard" Ultima series much more than UO.

    I wouldn't mind an updated version Ultima VII... I'd love one actually. Done like BG: Enhanced Edition, just make it work right and look proper on todays systems.

  • nethervoidnethervoid xanex, CAPosts: 528Member
    You don't seem old enough to have played UO when it released, pokket. Either that or you look a LOT younger than you are.

    nethervoid - Est. '97
    [UO|EQ|SB|SWG|PS|HZ|EVE|NWN|WoW|VG|DF|SWTOR]
    13k subs YouTube Gaming channel

  • MumboJumboMumboJumbo LondonPosts: 3,221Member

    Missed UO, regrettably: Computers were thousands of pounds iirc at that time not to mention dial-up. The graphics may be 2d, but it's no bad thing when the game design was v free and everyone was a sort of pioneer in the genre... lucky bstards.

    This particular blog might interest people looking for fantasy sandbox; Goblin Works Blog: Player-Created Buildings and Structures

     

    "Settlements are the atomic unit of guild organization in Pathfinder Online. There are no guilds per-se, there are Settlements. Below the Settlement level of organization we have a thing we call a "Chartered Company", which is a persistent group of several dozen people.

    Each Chartered Company is affiliated with a Settlement and they can be affiliated with NPC Settlements as well as PC Settlements. Members of a Chartered Company can be members of a Settlement other than the one affiliated with the Chartered Company. Being a member of a Settlement is not required to live in a Settlement (although the members or policies of a given Settlement may be hostile to outsiders)."

     

  • JupstoJupsto englandPosts: 2,087Member

    it annoys me that people call it permadeath when really its just full loot, especially in war z where u can actually bank stuff.

    but yeah i never thought full loot would appeal to a large/mainsteam audience. paves the way for other "revival" games like darkfall. and real permadeath like salem.

     

    My blog: image

  • xmechnaxmechna jax, FLPosts: 19Member

    Xsyon offers up some of UO style play  while in its first stage of release (prelude) its mostly a crafters mmorpg atm its being developed  by a indy company very freindly with devs that listen.

    offers a perminate free trial or $29 to buy and $9.99 a month to play 

    almost forgot  it has  full loot pvp house building terrane shapeing guilds  and other fun stuff

     
  • MumboJumboMumboJumbo LondonPosts: 3,221Member
    Originally posted by xmechna

    Xsyon offers up some of UO style play  while in its first stage of release (prelude) its mostly a crafters mmorpg atm its being developed  by a indy company very freindly with devs that listen.

    offers a perminate free trial or $29 to buy and $9.99 a month to play 

    almost forgot  it has  full loot pvp house building terrane shapeing guilds  and other fun stuff

     

    One of my favorite mmorpg stories comes from xyson (from second hand a/c): I was reading in their forums: "The great deforestation project" that was p*ssing off a whole load of other players because one player had decided they wanted to change the land (and reduce the supply of wood for settlements) by chopping every tree down.

    This sort of story is a great little illustration of the possibilities and problems of free sandbox mmorpgs and therefore interesting as a consequence. I still laugh everytime I see "Xyson". :) I know it was subsequently changed in an update to prevent this from happening... image

  • karter64karter64 Oregon City, ORPosts: 86Member

    "People that weren’t good at it weren’t invited into the guild."

     

    And with this comment we now see why so many games have gone solo friendly.

  • VirgoThreeVirgoThree Tarzana, CAPosts: 1,220Member
    Originally posted by nethervoid
    You don't seem old enough to have played UO when it released, pokket. Either that or you look a LOT younger than you are.

    There are a number of MMO vets from my generation. We were there, generally minding our manners and just trying to fit in with everyone else :) Of course I don't speak for everyone in my age group, but there are plenty.

    Heck I started in EQ Rise of Kunark when I was 11. Played until I was about 15-16. Unfortunately, I missed out on UO. Was too busy with EQ, AO, and DAoC at different intervals.

  • ScizyrScizyr Minneapolis, MNPosts: 15Member
    Originally posted by VirgoThree
    Originally posted by nethervoid
    You don't seem old enough to have played UO when it released, pokket. Either that or you look a LOT younger than you are.

    There are a number of MMO vets from my generation. We were there, generally minding our manners and just trying to fit in with everyone else :) Of course I don't speak for everyone in my age group, but there are plenty.

    Heck I started in EQ Rise of Kunark when I was 11. Played until I was about 15-16. Unfortunately, I missed out on UO. Was too busy with EQ, AO, and DAoC at different intervals.

    Oh the fun of being 13 playing the legendary pvp mmorpg, at the time a veteran to both ultima 7 and 8.  I miss my playground.

  • thinktank001thinktank001 oasisPosts: 2,027Member Uncommon
    I don't know why but everytime you post it just seems phony.   Maybe it would make me feel better if you actually used the name of your guild.     
  • Loke666Loke666 MalmöPosts: 17,975Member Uncommon

    You just cant make games like UO commercially anymore, only possibility would be to aim the game on people 35+ and even there it would be hard to get those 250K players UO had.

    People are just too used to easy games today and many of us who played the older games (I admit, I played M59 at the time instead of UO myself) probably still would get shocked today. I did play some old C-64 games I used to play as a kid, and they were really hard now. I guess all the dumbing down eventually got to me....

    It is rather sad but difficulty needs to be slowly ramped up again so people gets used to it, or they will continue to play they easy stuff. And we need to get the feeling of reward back in just playing for fun, almost all games today bribe us for playing, was no need for that just 15 years ago.

  • halo_0_1halo_0_1 Hong KongPosts: 8Member
    I started out on EQ/RuneScape. It seems to me that RuneScape is way underrated in the MMO community.. there are so many sandbox elements, yet nobody ever talks about them!
  • Mr_RogersMr_Rogers Trenton, MIPosts: 17Member

    Best sandbox MMO of all time.  Hands down.  The definition of a sandbox, really.  Many have tried to come close, and have failed (looking at you Mortal Online, Xsyon).

    The full-loot mechanic worked.  And it worked well.  It made the game so intense!  I miss those days.  There are people who STILL subscribe to the game, just to keep their house from falling.  In fact, my cousin won a contest on one of the major servers, and was given a full-size castle!  People were offering her $500 just to have it.  She ended up letting it fall just to spite...

    There are people who would play this game just to write LORE!  They dedicated their gaming lives to roleplaying.  This is how a interactive, online RPG should be.

    The stories that could be told!  I mean, who can forget when Lord British was killed by a firewall scroll in beta?  I subscribed to PC Gamer back then, and this was BIG NEWS! 

    Do you have a story?  We are sharing some here... feel free to join us!

    http://www.mmorpg.com/discussion2.cfm/thread/352702/Share-your-UO-Memories-HERE.html

     

     

     

  • ScizyrScizyr Minneapolis, MNPosts: 15Member
    Originally posted by Loke666

    You just cant make games like UO commercially anymore, only possibility would be to aim the game on people 35+ and even there it would be hard to get those 250K players UO had.

    People are just too used to easy games today and many of us who played the older games (I admit, I played M59 at the time instead of UO myself) probably still would get shocked today. I did play some old C-64 games I used to play as a kid, and they were really hard now. I guess all the dumbing down eventually got to me....

    It is rather sad but difficulty needs to be slowly ramped up again so people gets used to it, or they will continue to play they easy stuff. And we need to get the feeling of reward back in just playing for fun, almost all games today bribe us for playing, was no need for that just 15 years ago.

    DayZ is incredibly popular and its ruleset is even more harsh than UO ever was.  I've been saying the same thing for over a decade and I will keep saying it:  There is a vast, VAST market with hardcore gamers, and the softy's can't help themselves but try the hardcore games when they are done right.  Developers of mmorpg's need to understand that the rule set is paramount to the success of their games.  When they make compromises because they are afraid people won't like some harsher gameplay elements that come with a certain ruleset they end up with trash like WoW, SWToR, Rift, Vanguard, GW2, and every other watered down hand holding experience that has been released recently. 

    Darkfall had it right at first but screwed themselves by compromising, adding in a ridiculous amount of towers around towns to create safe-zones.  And the only reason Darkfall isn't way more popular even with the carebear attitude is because the combat system is terrible, and the interface was never fixed.

  • corpusccorpusc Chattanooga, TNPosts: 1,330Member
    Originally posted by Loke666

    we need to get the feeling of reward back in just playing for fun, almost all games today bribe us for playing, was no need for that just 15 years ago.

     

    yah, that.

    The End
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    i don't expect to like Darkfall, altho i may like it MORE than other MMOs. i know it is gonna have a very frustrating level of grind to it, even if its significantly less than most. waiting for a pure FAST action virtual world. dice rolling & character levels (even "skills") IN COMBAT should have never carried over from pencil & paper to a computer that can reasonably model 3D spaces and objects

  • NeherunNeherun St. MichelPosts: 278Member
    Originally posted by karter64

    "People that weren’t good at it weren’t invited into the guild."

     

    And with this comment we now see why so many games have gone solo friendly.

    People can't stand being less than above average in virtual worlds?

     

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