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To the Producers of Ultima Online: Please stop programming the Ultima Online game based upon any apparently popular public opinions. The basic core of any game design is challenge, thus EA's own slogan, "Challenge Everything."
Challenging and functional game designs and systems can only be programmed by creative and experienced game developers, not seemingly popular public opinions, and definitely not the minority opinions of the few that have enough time to troll a game forum with thousands of posts. The Public opinion is generally always that everyone wants everything given to themselves - this is in direct conflict with game design, that should by default be challenging for people. Yet, based on the current state of Ultima Online, it seems to have been developed over the years based off the apparent popular public opinion, leaving the game in a sorry state, with almost no challenge left. With very little challenge, competition, and unpredictability left in UO, it's become more of an activity than a game.
This is an extremely unfortunate situation for Ultima Online as a game.
After some time reading the Stratics U.Hall forum and other gaming forums on the Internet, it is clear to see that there is a small handful of Stratics Trolls there expressing a horribly small minority opinion regarding Ultima Online. Nearly every other gaming site on the Internet expresses opinions about Ultima Online that are exactly the opposite of these few Stratics Trolls.
These Trolls are lurking there in the shadows, every day, waiting to pounce on any thread that does not conform to their malformed philosophies. It is likely they spend more time in the forums than even playing the game itself. This is evident from many of their post counts, some approaching 10,000! Their main goal seems to be the derailment, lock, or removal of any thread that does agree with the ideals which they are inappropriately trying to apply to a video game. Rather than expressing their opinions in their own threads, nearly all of their posts are in reply, and in a trolling fashion. This undue influence of a dedicated few has undoubtedly shaped UO into the lifeless mass that it is today.
A good multi-player game focuses on, both the good and bad interactions, of the players and community. A good game involves taking risks and is competitive, challenging and exciting. Any good roleplay, story, or game, must have a worthy villain. Yet, what do these few Stratics Trolls preach?
The Stratics Trolls preach that nobody should have to compete for anything if they don't want to; an absurd notion for any game design. They preach that players should not have to interact if they don't want to - they should be allowed to play the multi-player game all by themselves if they want. They preach that everyone should have everything easily available to them regardless of effort or imbalance. They preach that a loss in a video game is just as bad as a 'murder' or 'robbery' in real life. In fact, the message they are often pushing is that nobody should ever have to lose.
Don't take my word for it though. Find the top gaming sties on the Internet, go there, read up on their forums about Ultima Oline and see what everyone else is saying about Ultima Oline. If your research is extensive, you will find that it is the exact opposite of the Stratics Trolls. When you want to know why people are not playing a game, don't turn to the few that still are, seek out all those experienced gamers that have left.
Now, I would not call them trolls if their opinions represented those of the general gaming community, but they do not. Nor would I, if they expressed their own opinions in their own threads more often than they troll the opinions of others with negative replies. The reason they are trolls is because they preach their minority opinion, day in and day out, as if it were truth with thousands of posts, which are almost exclusively made negatively within the threads of others.
Based upon the changes that have occurred to Ultima Online, the game has suffered as a result of these dominating troll voices at Stratics. It's not because they are right, but only because they have the most time to waste.
And, now I present the Stratics Trolls. Feel free to ignore any posts made by this bunch, as they are almost always trolling replies to someone else's thread and do not represent general gaming communities' opinions of Ultima Online -- for that you actually have to visit other gaming sites or sift through the numerous hollow posts at Stratics of these often thousand post-count Trolls.
The Stratics Trolls:
Connor_Graham - 6993 posts
Dermott of LS ; NMA - 8988 posts
Basara - 3585 posts
AesSedai - 5783 posts
phantus - 4486 posts
Fayled Dhreams - 3959 posts
Surgeries - 4148 posts
Microelf - 9257 posts
Kiminality - 331 posts (newbie troll)
As you can see, typically post counts alone reveal these abnormal humans and their abnormal behaviors.
Don't develop a game to suit the needs of these abnormal few! And, never develop a game based upon the apparent public opinion, which will not only result in poor game designs, but is often distorted as a result of these abnormal few. The game design should come from the minds and talents of the experienced few.
Long live Lord British!