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Ultima Online Growth

sempiternalsempiternal Member UncommonPosts: 1,082


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There are two distinct eras of Ultima Online development, pre and post Renaissance.  Renaissance was an expansion that dramatically split the Ultima Online game world and community, forever changing the gameplay and development of the game.


Renaissance, also known as Trammel, was a consensual only environment ala EverQuest, only in old 2d graphics.  The Trammel expansion was ignorantly piggybacked onto the original Ultima Online virtual world game design in a scheme to compete directly with the far superior consensual EverQuest.  Trammel offered a less competitive easier set of game rules within the same Ultima Online game world, with no cost, disadvantage, consequence or limits for players that chose to take advantage of it.  As can be expected, many players chose to play by the easier set of rules within the Trammel environment where they seemingly had "more to gain" and very little chance of loss.  All new players would also be introduced and grow accustomed and familiar with playing in the Trammel game environment and have no reason to leave.  A side effect of Trammel was that unattended macros and scripted robots were able to outperform actual players, running all day long, flourishing in the protective consensual only environment.


Of course, with much of the challenge removed from the game and little chance of loss, Ultima Online was not as worthwhile or rewarding to play.  The focus of the game shifted from a competitive multiplayer online virtual world community to an online graphical chat room where the main competition involved collecting and trading virtual items and competing for the limited Non Player Character (NPC) content and monster spawns.


The performance of these two different eras is compared side by side in the above two graphs.
 

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Comments

  • MikeMongerMikeMonger Member Posts: 196


    Originally posted by sempiternal


















    There are two distinct eras of Ultima Online development, pre and post Renaissance.  Renaissance was an expansion that dramatically split the Ultima Online game world and community, forever changing the gameplay and development of the game.







    Renaissance, also known as Trammel, was a consensual only environment ala EverQuest, only in old 2d graphics.  The Trammel expansion was ignorantly piggybacked onto the original Ultima Online virtual world game design in a scheme to compete directly with the far superior consensual EverQuest.  Trammel offered a less competitive easier set of game rules within the same Ultima Online game world, with no cost, disadvantage, consequence or limits for players that chose to take advantage of it.  As can be expected, many players chose to play by the easier set of rules within the Trammel environment where they seemingly had "more to gain" and very little chance of loss.  Further, all new players would be introduced and grow accustomed and familiar with playing in the Trammel game environment and have no reason to leave.  A side effect of Trammel was that unattended macros and scripted robots were able to outperform actual players, running all day long, flourishing in the protective consensual only environment.







    Of course, with much of the challenge removed from the game and little chance of loss, Ultima Online was not as worthwhile or rewarding to play.  The focus of the game shifted from a competitive online virtual world community to an online graphical chat room where the main competition involved collecting and trading virtual items and bickering about the limited Non Player Character or computer program monster spawns.







    The performance of these two different eras is compared side by side in the above graph.



    And it has nothing to do with the fact that, according to that chart, the game had already been out for almost 3 years.

    Get a grip.  While the so-called "easy" mode that you describe might have driven away some of the hard core gankers, it didn't lead to the ultimate decline in subscription numbers.  Dated graphics, newer products, and loss of novelty led to the decline in subscription numbers.

    You enjoy FFA PvP.  More power to you.  MOST people in this country don't.  That's why the US playerbase of games like  Lineage and Lineage 2 is a minute fraction of their Asian playerbases.

    I mean, I played UO for about in year in 2000, and I remember that even by the standards of that time, UO looked OLD.

    Why do some people seem to feel the need to come up with every excuse in the book for the downfall of an MMORPG?  Can't they understand that people simply don't play the same computer games forever?  Instead of pointing fingers at why the game isn't as big as it used to be, you should be singing it's praises that it's still alive and kicking after almost 10 years in existance.  Few if any other MMORPG's will last that long.

  • HocheteHochete Member CommonPosts: 1,210



    Originally posted by MikeMonger

    And it has nothing to do with the fact that, according to that chart, the game had already been out for almost 3 years.
    Get a grip.  While the so-called "easy" mode that you describe might have driven away some of the hard core gankers, it didn't lead to the ultimate decline in subscription numbers.  Dated graphics, newer products, and loss of novelty led to the decline in subscription numbers.

    You enjoy FFA PvP.  More power to you.  MOST people in this country don't.  That's why the US playerbase of games like  Lineage and Lineage 2 is a minute fraction of their Asian playerbases.

    I mean, I played UO for about in year in 2000, and I remember that even by the standards of that time, UO looked OLD.

    Why do some people seem to feel the need to come up with every excuse in the book for the downfall of an MMORPG?  Can't they understand that people simply don't play the same computer games forever?  Instead of pointing fingers at why the game isn't as big as it used to be, you should be singing it's praises that it's still alive and kicking after almost 10 years in existance.  Few if any other MMORPG's will last that long.

    Get a grip.  While the so-called "easy" mode that you describe might have driven away some of the hard core gankers, it didn't lead to the ultimate decline in subscription numbers.  Dated graphics, newer products, and loss of novelty led to the decline in subscription numbers.

    You enjoy FFA PvP.  More power to you.  MOST people in this country don't.  That's why the US playerbase of games like  Lineage and Lineage 2 is a minute fraction of their Asian playerbases.

    I mean, I played UO for about in year in 2000, and I remember that even by the standards of that time, UO looked OLD.

    Why do some people seem to feel the need to come up with every excuse in the book for the downfall of an MMORPG?  Can't they understand that people simply don't play the same computer games forever?  Instead of pointing fingers at why the game isn't as big as it used to be, you should be singing it's praises that it's still alive and kicking after almost 10 years in existance.  Few if any other MMORPG's will last that long.


    This has to be just about the most non-sensicle post i've ever seen posted on any forum, ever.

    What the HELL are you on about? UO subscriber figures DIDN'T decline due to the carebarefication of the game?! You can't even dispute it, it's a solid fact. Graphics have nothing to do with gameplay, infact I actually loved UO's simple yet effective graphics. They lead to some of the most lag-free, enjoyable gaming i've ever experienced. UO's graphics had nothing to do with the decline, EA screwing the game over and attempting to create something that UO was originally fundamentally opposite to was the cause for the massive failure.

    UO relied on good pvp, not just hardcore PVP 'gankers' think so, I myself rarely pvp'd in T2A UO, however I know it was the best era by far. UO's entire social system was based upon forging alliances aswell as enemies, people were literally forced to make friends, to stick together through thick and thin. When UO:R was released, this necessity to bond with fellow gamers was completely stricken from the game! Leaving nothing but bank sitting carebares and the odd PK still living in denial that UO may, one day, return to it's former glory.

    Don't even attempt to suggest the decline of UO was due to anything other than EA's tyranny, I find the idea quite offensive TBH.

  • MikeMongerMikeMonger Member Posts: 196


    Originally posted by Hohbein




    Originally posted by MikeMonger
    And it has nothing to do with the fact that, according to that chart, the game had already been out for almost 3 years.
    Get a grip.  While the so-called "easy" mode that you describe might have driven away some of the hard core gankers, it didn't lead to the ultimate decline in subscription numbers.  Dated graphics, newer products, and loss of novelty led to the decline in subscription numbers.
    You enjoy FFA PvP.  More power to you.  MOST people in this country don't.  That's why the US playerbase of games like  Lineage and Lineage 2 is a minute fraction of their Asian playerbases.
    I mean, I played UO for about in year in 2000, and I remember that even by the standards of that time, UO looked OLD.
    Why do some people seem to feel the need to come up with every excuse in the book for the downfall of an MMORPG?  Can't they understand that people simply don't play the same computer games forever?  Instead of pointing fingers at why the game isn't as big as it used to be, you should be singing it's praises that it's still alive and kicking after almost 10 years in existance.  Few if any other MMORPG's will last that long.

    Get a grip.  While the so-called "easy" mode that you describe might have driven away some of the hard core gankers, it didn't lead to the ultimate decline in subscription numbers.  Dated graphics, newer products, and loss of novelty led to the decline in subscription numbers.
    You enjoy FFA PvP.  More power to you.  MOST people in this country don't.  That's why the US playerbase of games like  Lineage and Lineage 2 is a minute fraction of their Asian playerbases.
    I mean, I played UO for about in year in 2000, and I remember that even by the standards of that time, UO looked OLD.
    Why do some people seem to feel the need to come up with every excuse in the book for the downfall of an MMORPG?  Can't they understand that people simply don't play the same computer games forever?  Instead of pointing fingers at why the game isn't as big as it used to be, you should be singing it's praises that it's still alive and kicking after almost 10 years in existance.  Few if any other MMORPG's will last that long.

    Get a grip.  While the so-called "easy" mode that you describe might have driven away some of the hard core gankers, it didn't lead to the ultimate decline in subscription numbers.  Dated graphics, newer products, and loss of novelty led to the decline in subscription numbers.
    You enjoy FFA PvP.  More power to you.  MOST people in this country don't.  That's why the US playerbase of games like  Lineage and Lineage 2 is a minute fraction of their Asian playerbases.
    I mean, I played UO for about in year in 2000, and I remember that even by the standards of that time, UO looked OLD.
    Why do some people seem to feel the need to come up with every excuse in the book for the downfall of an MMORPG?  Can't they understand that people simply don't play the same computer games forever?  Instead of pointing fingers at why the game isn't as big as it used to be, you should be singing it's praises that it's still alive and kicking after almost 10 years in existance.  Few if any other MMORPG's will last that long.

    This has to be just about the most non-sensicle post i've ever seen posted on any forum, ever.

    What the HELL are you on about? UO subscriber figures DIDN'T decline due to the carebarefication of the game?! You can't even dispute it, it's a solid fact. Graphics have nothing to do with gameplay, infact I actually loved UO's simple yet effective graphics. They lead to some of the most lag-free, enjoyable gaming i've ever experienced. UO's graphics had nothing to do with the decline, EA screwing the game over and attempting to create something that UO was originally fundamentally opposite to was the cause for the massive failure.

    UO relied on good pvp, not just hardcore PVP 'gankers' think so, I myself rarely pvp'd in T2A UO, however I know it was the best era by far. UO's entire social system was based upon forging alliances aswell as enemies, people were literally forced to make friends, to stick together through thick and thin. When UO:R was released, this necessity to bond with fellow gamers was completely stricken from the game! Leaving nothing but bank sitting carebares and the odd PK still living in denial that UO may, one day, return to it's former glory.

    Don't even attempt to suggest the decline of UO was due to anything other than EA's tyranny, I find the idea quite offensive TBH.



    Graphics have nothing to do with gameplay, eh?  Oh...is THAT why game companies keep putting more and more money into game developement to acheive better and better graphics?  Is that why Nvidia and ATI are able to remain profitable companies primarily through gamers upgrading their graphics cards?

    To YOU, graphics aren't important.  To ME, they're not important.  But to MOST gamers, they are.  Put out a game with UO-level graphics today...it could have the greatest gameplay in the world, AND not be carebear in the slightest, and it would flop.

    Now, did I say that some hard core gankers might have left because they could no longer grief ANYBODY they wanted?  Absolutely.  But people who still wanted to play FFA PvP didn't play in Trammel. 

    Be offended all you'd like, but you're not making any sense at all.  Basically, because most players chose to play in the non-FFA zone it killed the game, because most players wanted to play in the FFA zone?  Huh?

    No, it killed the game for YOU, because you and your buddies no longer had the option of killing every non-buddy you saw in front of you.  All I know is, that when I played UO, both realms still had a lot of people in them, but Trammel was significantly more populated. 

    Way to avoid the point I made about the US numbers for the Lineage games vs the Asian numbers....

    And just to offend you even more...UO's numbers went down for no other reason than the  GAME GOT OLD!!!!!!!

    Sheesh!

  • HocheteHochete Member CommonPosts: 1,210


    Originally posted by MikeMonger

    Graphics have nothing to do with gameplay, eh?  Oh...is THAT why game companies keep putting more and more money into game developement to acheive better and better graphics? 

    Your saying that graphics directly effect the gameplay of a game? Games companies are throwing money into making graphics rediculously realistic now because, quite simply, there are ALOT of simple minds out there to please. Unfortunately, thick people seem to heavily outweigh more intelligent gamers nowerdays, which is why games companies create games to quench this thirst for meaningless eye candy.

    Is that why Nvidia and ATI are able to remain profitable companies primarily through gamers upgrading their graphics cards?

    No, it's not. Nvidia and ATI are able to remain profitable companies because, as stated in point one, many simple minded gamers unfortunately still exist. You seem to be suggesting that by creating a game with good graphics, a game automatically has excellent gameplay, which is of course absolute nonsense.

    To YOU, graphics aren't important.  To ME, they're not important.  But to MOST gamers, they are.  Put out a game with UO-level graphics today...it could have the greatest gameplay in the world, AND not be carebear in the slightest, and it would flop.

    If you released a game today, from scratch, with the same graphics as UO I quite agree it'd be laughed off the shelves. If UO had kept it's old gameplay system, however, it WOULD still be just as popular as it ever was, people would have had no reason to leave the game.

    Now, did I say that some hard core gankers might have left because they could no longer grief ANYBODY they wanted?  Absolutely.  But people who still wanted to play FFA PvP didn't play in Trammel. 

    Be offended all you'd like, but you're not making any sense at all.  Basically, because most players chose to play in the non-FFA zone it killed the game, because most players wanted to play in the FFA zone?  Huh?

    The above two paragraphs make no sense, as such I can't answer.

    No, it killed the game for YOU, because you and your buddies no longer had the option of killing every non-buddy you saw in front of you.  All I know is, that when I played UO, both realms still had a lot of people in them, but Trammel was significantly more populated. 

    Are you SURE you were playing UO? I seem to remember felluca remaining populated for around 25 minutes after UO:R hit, within the hour the entire gaming population had shifted over to trammel, effectively making PKers extinct and useless (forcing them to quit the game). People that wouldn't necessarily wish to play in Trammel were also forced to play there, simply because the Felluca population was so low even bank sitting in Trammel would be more fun.

    Way to avoid the point I made about the US numbers for the Lineage games vs the Asian numbers....

    Sorry, I wasn't aware there was a point there. Mainly because, once again, your point made no sense.

    And just to offend you even more...UO's numbers went down for no other reason than the  GAME GOT OLD!!!!!!!

    Feel free to look up the figures yourself. The fact is, UO was around for THREE YEARS (1997-2000), with steady subscription figures, before UO:R was released. Sure, immediately after UO:R was released the figures seemed to remain stable for a short while, but entering into 2001 they began to steadily decline. Are you honestly trying to tell me that the release of UO:R had NOTHING to do with this drop in player figures? Are you honestly trying to tell me people suddenly thought, after 3 years of blissful gaming, this game is old, I'm gonna go try something else!

    Don't be rediculous.

    Sheesh!

    Indeed.


    Utter, utter, utter, utter, utter, utter bollocks.

    I won't argue on this point any further, your points are based on opinion and you have no facts to back your argument up.

  • MikeMongerMikeMonger Member Posts: 196


    Originally posted by Hohbein




    Originally posted by MikeMonger
    Graphics have nothing to do with gameplay, eh?  Oh...is THAT why game companies keep putting more and more money into game developement to acheive better and better graphics? 
    Your saying that graphics directly effect the gameplay of a game? Games companies are throwing money into making graphics rediculously realistic now because, quite simply, there are ALOT of simple minds out there to please. Unfortunately, thick people seem to heavily outweigh more intelligent gamers nowerdays, which is why games companies create games to quench this thirst for meaningless eye candy.
    Is that why Nvidia and ATI are able to remain profitable companies primarily through gamers upgrading their graphics cards?
    No, it's not. Nvidia and ATI are able to remain profitable companies because, as stated in point one, many simple minded gamers unfortunately still exist. You seem to be suggesting that by creating a game with good graphics, a game automatically has excellent gameplay, which is of course absolute nonsense.
    To YOU, graphics aren't important.  To ME, they're not important.  But to MOST gamers, they are.  Put out a game with UO-level graphics today...it could have the greatest gameplay in the world, AND not be carebear in the slightest, and it would flop.
    If you released a game today, from scratch, with the same graphics as UO I quite agree it'd be laughed off the shelves. If UO had kept it's old gameplay system, however, it WOULD still be just as popular as it ever was, people would have had no reason to leave the game.
    Now, did I say that some hard core gankers might have left because they could no longer grief ANYBODY they wanted?  Absolutely.  But people who still wanted to play FFA PvP didn't play in Trammel. 
    Be offended all you'd like, but you're not making any sense at all.  Basically, because most players chose to play in the non-FFA zone it killed the game, because most players wanted to play in the FFA zone?  Huh?
    The above two paragraphs make no sense, as such I can't answer.
    No, it killed the game for YOU, because you and your buddies no longer had the option of killing every non-buddy you saw in front of you.  All I know is, that when I played UO, both realms still had a lot of people in them, but Trammel was significantly more populated. 
    Are you SURE you were playing UO? I seem to remember felluca remaining populated for around 25 minutes after UO:R hit, within the hour the entire gaming population had shifted over to trammel, effectively making PKers extinct and useless (forcing them to quit the game). People that wouldn't necessarily wish to play in Trammel were also forced to play there, simply because the Felluca population was so low even bank sitting in Trammel would be more fun.
    Way to avoid the point I made about the US numbers for the Lineage games vs the Asian numbers....
    Sorry, I wasn't aware there was a point there. Mainly because, once again, your point made no sense.
    And just to offend you even more...UO's numbers went down for no other reason than the  GAME GOT OLD!!!!!!!
    Feel free to look up the figures yourself. The fact is, UO was around for THREE YEARS (1997-2000), with steady subscription figures, before UO:R was released. Sure, immediately after UO:R was released the figures seemed to remain stable for a short while, but entering into 2001 they began to steadily decline. Are you honestly trying to tell me that the release of UO:R had NOTHING to do with this drop in player figures? Are you honestly trying to tell me people suddenly thought, after 3 years of blissful gaming, this game is old, I'm gonna go try something else!
    Don't be rediculous.
    Sheesh!
    Indeed.



    Utter, utter, utter, utter, utter, utter bollocks.
    I won't argue on this point any further, your points are based on opinion and you have no facts to back your argument up.


    Yup.  More or less what I expected.

    I asked a simple question, and that question "didn't make sense."

    I'll ask it again.

    If MOST people wanted to play in an FFA PvP environment, then why DIDN'T most people play in an FFA PvP environment?  Why did most people flee to Trammel?

    You don't seem to be able to comprehend that simple question, and how the answer completely invalidates your entire argument.

    (the answer being that most people DIDN'T want to play in a FFA PvP environment, and therefore, allowing people to play in a non FFA environment WASN'T the primary cause of the decline of the game)

    And you ended up SUPPORTING my point in the end:

    Feel free to look up the figures yourself. The fact is, UO was around for THREE YEARS (1997-2000), with steady subscription figures, before UO:R was released. Sure, immediately after UO:R was released the figures seemed to remain stable for a short while, but entering into 2001 they began to steadily decline.

    So, game numbers started declinging after UO had been in existance for almost FOUR years.  Find me another MMORPG who's numbers HAVEN'T significantly declined four years after release.  Oh, wait...you can't.  I guess the developers ruined all those games as well, huh?

    And that's why this argument is pointless, because you'll just make the same argument...that the devs ruined all of these aging games and drove people off. 

    Everquest's numbers declined after 4 years.  Oh, wait, devs ruined that game too.  SWG's numbers declined after 4 years.  Oh, wait, devs ruined that game too (numbers were declining BEFORE the CU, so don't mention the NGE).  DAoC's numbers declined after 4 years.  Oh wait, devs ruined that too.  Even Lineage's Asian numbers have declined in the past 4 years.  But, oh wait, the devs ruined that game too.

    Because, your ultimate point is, that people will always play the same computer games, forever and ever.  Which is why single player games released four years ago are still topping the sales charts.  According to you, gamers aren't a notoriously fickle lot, and aren't always going with the newest and greatest stuff.

    This is, by the way, the concept you're basing your entire argument around.

    I'll say it again. UO declined because it got old.

    The funny thing is, you say MY points are based only on opinion, when my only point is, fewer people play older computer games.

  • HocheteHochete Member CommonPosts: 1,210

    /disagree
    Can't be bothered to argue any further about this.
  • MikeMongerMikeMonger Member Posts: 196


    Originally posted by Hohbein

    /disagree
    Can't be bothered to argue any further about this.



    Or, translated another way:

    "Mikemonger has made some good points that I can't refute.  To avoid acknowledging this, I'm just going to leave the discussion."

  • AznAndyAznAndy Member Posts: 17
    For those who think Trammel "killed" UO...

    Why do you think a consentual PvP game like WoW is extremely popular? I'll have to side with MikeMonger on this one. People migrate to what's new and what's hot. Also, people get tired of a game they've played for almost 10 years.

    And also why are you folks whining about the production shards when you can play on Siege Perilious (or Mugen if you're Japanese) where there is no Trammel, and every facet has the Fel ruleset?


  • EffectEffect Member UncommonPosts: 949

    I hardly think Trammel killed Ultima Online. Stop and think what it was that caused Trammel to be created. Ever consider it was that that might have causes UO's population decline?

    Also is there any figures to show just how many people quite after Trammel was released? I doubt that there was an exodus of players.

    I think a big part of why UO doesn't get a lot of sales in recent years is that it's an old game. You can not deny that. It's graphics engine is horrible and needs a complete revamp. It doesn't matter how deep the game is, the engine is horrible and that is a significant factor stopping a lot of peopel from getting or staying with the game after a trail I feel.

    I don't understand the hate toward Trammel. You still have the orginal game with Felucca. It's not as pretty but it's still there. I still feel a lot of what some people complain about when it comes to Trammel is that they lost all of their easy prey. That's what it comes down to I feel. They lost their ability to act as griefs and to have victims for their idea of roleplaying. I can't see any other reason. They can still open PvP but among those that want it. Those that choose to PvP and are prepared for it. I don't think some want that though, I don't think some people that complain about Trammel, want an honest challenge or a situation where they themselves can very well be killed and have things taken from them but want to be sure they can kill others.

    All Trammel did I think was cause them to lose their prey and they are upset about it. Like said there is also Siege Perilious and Mugen servers where you can have the original UO. The way I see, the original UO and those that loved it forced Trammel to be created. There is a reason why majoirty of the players are reported I believe to play and live in the Trammel part of the UO world.

  • DoubleGDoubleG Member Posts: 13

    No matter what anyone says, UO in August of '97 was the greatest time of my life in MMORPGS, I was 14, I remember waking up EARLY before school (what?) just so that I could get that extra .1 that I wasnt able to get the night before.  The introduction of UO:R was what killed the economy that everyone loved.  It was the ultimate fight of good against evil, Dread Lords vs Great Lords, Order vs Chaos (there were no tags either, you never knew who was on what side until you tried to attack them), macroing 'round the clock telling your horse to attack a monster you had gated into your house to gain noto.. Gating through doors to loot houses, stacking tables on the ground to get onto the top of towers.  To get in your house, you had to have your key on you, there was no house menu, ownership was who was holding a key. 

    I could go on and on, but I will say this, Origin's UO was released in '97, and its now 2006 and I STILL PLAY THIS GAME, not the EA version, but Pre UO:R emulated servers.  What other game can YOU say YOU'VE played for 9 years?  Aside from Diablo 1 or Warcraft 2, I cant think of any other game that has left such a lasting impression, and I know that thousands of people continue to live on the legacy of Pre:UOR through emulators.

    The game concept from '97 is still alive, someone just needs to ressurect it into a 3D world, I wish I hadnt grown up cause I dont have the time to do it.

    Someone who reads this, who can pull strings, please listen to this post, and anyone else that feels this sentiment, just say "AYE"

    DoubleG - Lake Superior - MMORPGS for life, the precursor to the real 'Matrix', we're making history

  • sempiternalsempiternal Member UncommonPosts: 1,082

    MikeMonger, you're full of hot air.  I could care less about UO's graphics, it was the gameplay that made it fun and I would still be playing today if there was an official pre-Renaissance classic server.

    Are you aware that EQ and AC were released halfway through that pre-Renaissance graph of growth? They both climed to a total of over 300,000 subscriptions before Renaissance was released.  Both had far superior 3d graphics and much greater advertising, but do you see any significant drop in growth of the pre-Renaissance Ultima Online game? Absolutely not.

    Players kept playing and joining Ultima Online because of the superior gaming experience.  Once EA took over direct development and production of UO, appointing their own third-rate developers and causing the talent that created UO to depart, they Released Renaissance putting UO in direct competition with the prettier consensual only EQ and AC.  Six months after Renaissance was released, the game had only gained 15,000 more subscribers.  Within a year, the game stopped growing and never recovered, other than temporary spikes surrounding releases aimed at getting players to open additional accounts for housing and that included free game codes.

  • MikeMongerMikeMonger Member Posts: 196


    Originally posted by sempiternal

    MikeMonger, you're full of hot air.  I could care less about UO's graphics, it was the gameplay that made it fun and I would still be playing today if there was an official pre-Renaissance classic server.
    Are you aware that EQ and AC were released halfway through that pre-Renaissance graph of growth? They both climed to a total of over 300,000 subscriptions before Renaissance was released.  Both had far superior 3d graphics and much greater advertising, but do you see any significant drop in growth of the pre-Renaissance Ultima Online game? Absolutely not.
    Players kept playing and joining Ultima Online because of the superior gaming experience.  Once EA took over direct development and production of UO, appointing their own third-rate developers and causing the talent that created UO to depart, they Released Renaissance putting UO in direct competition with the prettier consensual only EQ and AC.  Six months after Renaissance was released, the game had only gained 15,000 more subscribers.  Within a year, the game stopped growing and never recovered, other than temporary spikes surrounding releases aimed at getting players to open additional accounts for housing and that included free game codes.


    Oh for the love of....

    Unmitigated, unadulterated, inarguable FACT:  fewer people play older computer games.

    I honestly do find it completely mind blowing that people like yourself can't understand this simple concept.

    Like the poster above you, your entire argument is based on the concept that people ALWAYS play the SAME computer games forever and ever and ever.

    Obviously, UO has done more things right than they've done wrong, since it's 10 damned years later, and it's still alive and kicking.  How many other MMORPG's will be able to make that claim?

    I can't believe we need to even discuss why a 10 year old computer game doesn't have as many players now as it used to have.

    EDIT:

    UO was over 3 years old when it's decline started.  Let's list some of the hot games of 2002 and 2003, shall we?

    Battlefield 1942

    Age of Mythology

    Call of Duty

    Sim City 4

    Medal of Honor Allied Assault

    Zoo Tycoon

    Rollar Coaster Tycoon 2

    Now, according to your argument (that game changes, and not age is what killed UO), shouldn't all these games still be in the top 10 lists?  None of them have had any changes to any of the mechanics that made them popular in the first place.

  • obiiobii Member UncommonPosts: 804
    Nice graph, pity it does not interpret anything.

    You should have take the comparative graph from Everquest which in 6 months topped UO's playerbase who had tried for almost 2 years then.

    Imagine an EA producer struggling to earn more money for UO only to be topped in 6 months by another game, so they had to do something.
    We can agree that the introduction of a Trammel ruleset was crappy done and with not enough afterthought, but I think that a consentual only PvP environement then was the way to go. They grew with an increasingly old game and topped with AOS at 250.000 accounts, where Shadowbane and Asheron's Call both enhanced PvP games are now dust.

    UO's advantage was that it was designed as virtual world, while all others are just games.

    One thing you have to think through though is that UO opened somewhen to the asian market and got lots of growth from there. (more than 50% of the UO playerbase is now in Asia).
    It may be around the Trammel opening, but look it up for yourself and then interpret your graph again please and back it up a bit more too.



  • sempiternalsempiternal Member UncommonPosts: 1,082

    MikeMonger, comparing other games to MMOGs?

    UO began dying when the concept was changed and the game destroyed and removed.  That is a fact.

  • sempiternalsempiternal Member UncommonPosts: 1,082


    Originally posted by obii

    UO's advantage was that it was designed as virtual world, while all others are just games.


    Is it more than just coincidence that when the focus changed the growth stopped.  Consensual only is non virtual, fake, only for video games.  I for one, despise a game I once loved to play because it turned from a virtual world into just another piece of garbage consentual only, non-virtual world of never-ending rule changes.

  • lyonman24lyonman24 Member Posts: 855

    semp how in hell can you say its consentual pvp??? have YOU BEEN TO FEL??? i have not yet once had anything pop up asking if its ok that this other guy attacks me.

    as of right now pvp is alive and kicking just fine on sonoma and lake superior not as bsy as pre tram but still good ammount of pvpers.

    basiclly all your complaining about is that its still not just FFA. am i correct??

    i like pvp but i like the fact i can pve raise my char so i can live in fel without some 7x gm char going watch me one hit this newb. its a pain. i play to have fun and relax and to kill time sometimes not to keep getting rez killed by someone so they can have fun.

    my fighter on sonoma is perma red so i do know how to pvp.::::20::::::28::

    p.s i have been playing off and on since 98

  • MikeMongerMikeMonger Member Posts: 196


    Originally posted by sempiternal

    MikeMonger, comparing other games to MMOGs?
    UO began dying when the concept was changed and the game destroyed and removed.  That is a fact.



    Oh, for the love of...

    See an earlier post, one you Trammel posters refuse to acknowledge.

    1.  You say Trammerl and consensual PvP destroyed UO.

    2.  And yet, when Trammel was introduced, the BULK of the UO community fled to it.

    3.  Therefore, your argument boils down to...because the bulk of the UO playerbase chose to play in a consensual PvP environment, consensual PvP destroyed UO.

    Which doesn't make a whole lot of sense...

    And I actually do find it amazing that you can't grasp the concept that older games (MMO, single player, WHATEVER) have fewer players than newer games.  The only FACT that anyone can agree on here is that UO was out for OVER THREE YEARS before it's playerbase began to decline.

    OVER THREE YEARS.  Name me ANY COMPUTER game, EVER, of ANY KIND (MMO, single player, etc), that has either the same or a larger playerbase after over three years of it's release.

    The ONLY game that MIGHT do it is WoW....and from what I'm hearing, their playerbase is actually starting to decline, so even it won't match the acheivement of UO.

  • MikeMongerMikeMonger Member Posts: 196


    Originally posted by sempiternal


    Originally posted by obii

    UO's advantage was that it was designed as virtual world, while all others are just games.



    Is it more than just coincidence that when the focus changed the growth stopped.  Consensual only is non virtual, fake, only for video games.  I for one, despise a game I once loved to play because it turned from a virtual world into just another piece of garbage consentual only, non-virtual world of never-ending rule changes.


    Nope.  Isn't it coincidential that the focus changed once the game had been out for a very, very long time, and faced new competition from newer games with much better graphics?  And isn't it coinidental that growth stopped right around the time the game was 4 years old, and anybody looking for a cool new computer game would have chosen the much less primitive looking Everquest?

    It...really isn't complicated.  UO stopped pulling in new people.  It looks like it was designed for the NES. 

    I don't understand why this is so difficult to comprehend.

     

  • sempiternalsempiternal Member UncommonPosts: 1,082


    Originally posted by MikeMonger
    OVER THREE YEARS.  Name me ANY COMPUTER game, EVER, of ANY KIND (MMO, single player, etc), that has either the same or a larger playerbase after over three years of it's release.
    The ONLY game that MIGHT do it is WoW....and from what I'm hearing, their playerbase is actually starting to decline, so even it won't match the acheivement of UO.



    Linage
    Eve
    EverQuest
    Asheron’s Call
    Runescape
    Dark Age of Camelot
    Final Fantasy XI


    You have no idea what you are talking about and you are ignorant of the industry, but I knew that from your first post.

    Go learn something before you continue with your worthless speculations.

  • sempiternalsempiternal Member UncommonPosts: 1,082

    Hello, MikeMonger where have you been.  Both AC and EQ were released  far before the community was split with Trammel and UO continued to grow right through both of their releases and subsequent growth to over 300,000 subscriptions.  The growth of UO continued on the same pace, regardless.  Once again, you don't know what you are talking about.  These are facts.

    The reasons many players migrated to Trammel:

    1. New housing area.

    2. Easier rules.

    Introduce easier rules for any game and most will always take advantage of them.  That is basic.  It's not because Trammel was a better game, it was because Trammel offered an advantage over playing in Felucca - complete and absolute protection from other players. 

    I'm done with you, you're a waste of time.
  • MikeMongerMikeMonger Member Posts: 196


    Originally posted by sempiternal

    Originally posted by MikeMonger
    OVER THREE YEARS.  Name me ANY COMPUTER game, EVER, of ANY KIND (MMO, single player, etc), that has either the same or a larger playerbase after over three years of it's release.
    The ONLY game that MIGHT do it is WoW....and from what I'm hearing, their playerbase is actually starting to decline, so even it won't match the acheivement of UO.


    Linage
    Eve
    EverQuest
    Asheron’s Call
    Runescape
    Dark Age of Camelot
    Final Fantasy XI


    You have no idea what you are talking about and you are ignorant of the industry, but I knew that from your first post.

    Go learn something before you continue with your worthless speculations.


    What the hell are you babbling about?  With the exception of Eve, EVERY SINGLE ONE OF THE GAMES YOU LISTED have gone through a significant population drop after it existed long enough.

    And Eve Online JUST turned three...lets see where their numbers are at six months from now. 

    But I'm the one who doesn't know what they're talking about?

    Riiiiiight.


  • MikeMongerMikeMonger Member Posts: 196


    Originally posted by sempiternal


    Hello, MikeMonger where have you been.  Both AC and EQ were released  far before the community was split with Trammel and UO continued to grow right through both of their releases and subsequent growth to over 300,000 subscriptions.
    The growth of UO continued on the same pace, regardless.  Once again, you don't know what you are talking about.  These are facts.
    The reasons many players migrated to Trammel:
    1. New housing area.
    2. Easier rules.
    Introduce easier rules for any game and most will always take advantage of them.  That is basic.  It's not because Trammel was a better game, it was because Trammel offered an advantage over playing in Felucca - complete and absolute protection from other players. 
    I'm done with you, you're a waste of time.


    Heh, I'm a waste of your time?  You're the one who seems to believe that people will ALWAYS play the same computer games forever and ever and ever.  You're the one who can't understand an industry proven concept...that older computer games attract fewer players.  You're the one who seems to feel the need to blame the decline of a game on the loss of a primarily FFA environment, while at the same time ignoring the fact that 9 out of 10 of the most successful MMORPG's DON'T have a FFA environment.

    I also love how the root of your argument is...because most players didn't want to play in a FFA environment (as demonstrated by the large bulk of the population moving to Trammel), the additon of a non-FFA environment killed UO.

    See, the difference between you and me is...my argument actually makes SENSE!

    EDIT:

    And by the way, have you ever heard the phrase "if it ain't broke, don't fix it"?  Please explain why the UO devs added Trammel if UO was just fine and dandy the way it was.

  • grimmbotgrimmbot Member Posts: 302
    You both lose for suckering each other into an internet flaming match.




    I should also remind people that the decision to make an entirely new
    facet was also heavily marketed as a "doubling of UO's land mass for
    player housing." Real estate was a major issue in the game at that
    point.


    If Trammel was never introduced, I heavily doubt that the design team
    wouldn't have seriously screwed something else up along the way anyway.
    Really, if the original poster was correct in his assumption that
    Trammel was introduced to try to compete with Everquest, then NOT
    having introduced it would have killed their subscription numbers too.


    No, Trammel itself was not the prime factor. Trammel was a snowball.
    The snowball became an avalanche after a myriad of bad design changes
    followed that by the development team.



    However, Monger isn't right by saying the game being out for 3 years
    was a major factor in its decline. Runscape is nothing to gawk at but
    after years its numbers continue to go up. Everquest's numbers are
    still strong and its graphics are atrocious now. Age DOES factor in
    somewhere else though -- after a certain point, an MMO can't be
    marketed; it has to rely on word-of-mouth, reputation and the retaining
    of existing subscribers.


    EA could not *market* its game well due to its age -- it couldn't
    *retain* its subscriber base well because of boneheaded decisions.
    Those decisions started with the introduction of Trammel.

    image

  • MikeMongerMikeMonger Member Posts: 196


    Originally posted by grimmbot
    You both lose for suckering each other into an internet flaming match.



    I should also remind people that the decision to make an entirely new facet was also heavily marketed as a "doubling of UO's land mass for player housing." Real estate was a major issue in the game at that point.

    If Trammel was never introduced, I heavily doubt that the design team wouldn't have seriously screwed something else up along the way anyway. Really, if the original poster was correct in his assumption that Trammel was introduced to try to compete with Everquest, then NOT having introduced it would have killed their subscription numbers too.

    No, Trammel itself was not the prime factor. Trammel was a snowball. The snowball became an avalanche after a myriad of bad design changes followed that by the development team.


    However, Monger isn't right by saying the game being out for 3 years was a major factor in its decline. Runscape is nothing to gawk at but after years its numbers continue to go up. Everquest's numbers are still strong and its graphics are atrocious now. Age DOES factor in somewhere else though -- after a certain point, an MMO can't be marketed; it has to rely on word-of-mouth, reputation and the retaining of existing subscribers.

    EA could not *market* its game well due to its age -- it couldn't *retain* its subscriber base well because of boneheaded decisions. Those decisions started with the introduction of Trammel.


    I never argued that some of the changes the devs have made have made some people decide to quit.  That's how it is with every MMORPG on the market....something gets nerfed or buffed or changed one too many times, and the flustered and irritated finally get around to doing what they've been threatening to do for a long long time...they quit.

    But your post, while you dismiss me as wrong, actually makes my point.  Game populations atrophy over time.  There are any number of reasons for this....

    After 10 years, I'm sure more than a few of the players now have jobs or families or whatever, and no longer have the time to play the game.  Also, people simply get bored with computer games...there's nothing you can point your finger at that causes this.  After awhile, you've already been everywhere and done everything, and the bulk of the new stuff is really the same old stuff...it just looks different.

    Then you have the gamers who only follow what's newest and prettiest. 

    The point is, that over time, the decline of UO's subscription numbers is INEVITABLE, simply because, as people leave, there are fewer and fewer people to replace them.  It's ridiculous to sit there and say "the devs ruined UO"....asking them to maintain the same subscription numbers for a decade is an insane and impossible request.

    I mean, say I was a fanatic UO player.  I go up to another gamer who's never seen the game and start singing UO's praises.  I show them the game.  What are they going to see?  Something that looks like it should be played on a cell phone.  Now, what's going to happen at that point?  Are they going to dismiss the game outright, or are they going to get into the game and play until all the "scewups" of the devs drive them right back out?

    And please, enough with the "graphics don't matter, only gameplay" argument.  While that might be true of a lot of people, the bulk of today's gamers won't even touch a subscription-based game unless it looks good.

    The fact is, UO is still profitable after almost 10 years on the market.  How many of the newer MMORPG's are going to be able to claim that?  I'd be willing to bet that the number could be counted on one hand.  So obviously, the dev's haven't done EVERYTHING wrong.

  • obiiobii Member UncommonPosts: 804
    Meridian 59 is also still about and looks profitable.
    Runescape, not sure how old that is

    And let us not forget everquest that still topps UO.

    One thing you guys do not consider is that half of UO's playerbase now is in ASIA.

    So from the 160.000 to very optimistic 200.000 accounts -80.000 to 100.000 are in asia.
    Most of them in japan.

    That means 80.000 to 100.00 accounts that use english as way of communication.
    Now guess that on average each player has 2 accounts and then you are down to 40.000 to 50.000 players in the USA/europa area.

    Nothing really to brag about here.

    The real census will come september when housing gets changed and many will drop their second accounts and also punkbuster will probably move in.

    Will see how full/empty shards then are and then we can talk about success or failure.


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