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What made Ultima Online feel right?

Mystic_FuzzMystic_Fuzz Member UncommonPosts: 36

Apart from the newness of the MMO category, apart from open world with free PVP... what made the game just *feel* right?

 

I've been thinking a lot about this lately as I've been looking at all the new games coming out and trying to find a similar product that fits my desire of a game that caters to both hardcore and casual players alike. UO pretty much summed up the market for selling a game that would bring in people who loved to PVP, people who loved to PVM, and people who just wanted to build houses, grow flowers, and craft. Of course, all that changed over the years as the game became more and more item based with no fear of ever losing anything. Since UO, no other game has been able to really bring that type of crowd into a world with no limitations.

I suppose I fit into a very rare breed of players. I loved all aspects of the game. I loved crafting. I actually enjoyed walking around the world (before trammel) and never knowing when someone would pop out and try to kill my miner. There was no safe zone, not even towns. Granted they were safer, but one wrong move like opening a trapped box could be the end of you. I enjoyed walking around a mountain mining, or spinning some wool to make cloth and then clothing.

On the other end, I also enjoyed spending time with my friends at EGY on Pacific and then going out for some PVP and PVM action, or having our tower attacked by NPKers from KGB. It was truly a game that catered to every play style and as much as people like to complain that there were loads of PKers running around, there were also whole guilds to hunt them down. It was more balanced than a lot of people like to admit.

Anyway, back to topic after a fit of nostalgia...

UO had a certain feel. It was the feel of being an unpolished product, I think. The graphics at the time were alright for what it was, but it had this certain ...what are the words I'm looking for... I mean, you could chop up bodies and turn people into jerky. You could, as stated, set trapped boxes all over town, you could rob people in the middle of a crowd... sometimes you got away, sometimes you didn't.

Even through the recreations, free shards that try to mimic the old game and new games coming out like Mortal that are heavily influenced, I have yet to see one that can pull off what UO pulled off in the beginning.

Thoughts?

Ultima Online
Mystic of The Fallen Lords (Pacific 98-01)
Mystic of Catskills (03 - 08)

Comments

  • MotearMotear Member Posts: 18

    LOL I just replied on a similar thread

    http://www.mmorpg.com/discussion2.cfm/thread/266680/page/29

    Make sure to clarify which UO.  I suspect UOT2a or UOSL  ... As expansions after that IMO ruined the game.

    Neon weapons, Neon Dyes, Skill adjustments, Bots, "Epic" armor/weapons, Insurance, ETC.

    I did like how EA tried to upgrade the looks with KR, but it failed.

     

    Im still waiting for UO2 lol - will never happen but UO3d with nice graphics, start from beginning, t2a feel, and a new publisher would be nice (BTW there was a UO3d and that failed badly lol)....

  • OutaiOutai Member UncommonPosts: 77

    Keep an eye on Dawntide. Gotta love indie studios, their honesty, innovativeness and all. I'm also in love with their stylish homepage.

  • Mystic_FuzzMystic_Fuzz Member UncommonPosts: 36
    Originally posted by Outai


    Keep an eye on Dawntide. Gotta love indie studios, their honesty, innovativeness and all. I'm also in love with their stylish homepage.

    Checked it out. Looked interesting. Wonder why it's not on mmorpgs game list.

    Ultima Online
    Mystic of The Fallen Lords (Pacific 98-01)
    Mystic of Catskills (03 - 08)

  • sacredcow4sacredcow4 Member UncommonPosts: 230

    What made Ultima Online feel right?  Simple...

    The community.  You felt like you were part of a WORLD.  Games like EQ or WoW can never emulate that.  You can't play UO without effecting the world and every other player's experience.  Maybe 1 in 1000 people in other mmo's can impact it to the point that more than just the players outside their friends are impacted.  In UO... every action you did changed the world.  That katana you dropped to make weight room to run from a pk might be picked up later by someone.  You dying could save someone who comes upon your corpse later.  If you craft 10 sets of armor... those sets of armor will be passed to dozens of players before finally being sold, smelted down, or breaking. 

    In summary:  You NEEDED player interaction to survive and function, and everything you did impacted the world you played in rather you wanted to or not.  UO was the best emulated WORLD, and the game was about the world and players as a whole, not the individual player.

     I've been here a while...
  • revan299srevan299s Member Posts: 1

    I totally agree with sacredcow4.

    And someone also mentioned about the crafting, and i agree with that too.There was almost a sense of pride when you see someone, who you never met, in the game using a weapon or set of armor you created. I sometimes wonder if there may be atleast a piece of equipment I created still somewhere in the game. Sitting in someones bank, or house lol.

    theres also something to be said for the pre-UOR content. I remember being very cautious and constantly having to stay on my toes(lol) when out of town, on the lookout for any reds in the area lol. (games like WoW even on pvp servers are not like this) Some of us may of complained abouy reds at the time. But now that I look back on it. I miss that feeling.

  • OclloOcllo Member Posts: 52
    Originally posted by Outai


    Keep an eye on Dawntide. Gotta love indie studios, their honesty, innovativeness and all. I'm also in love with their stylish homepage.

     

    I've been beta testing Dawntide for a while now, the game is ( NOT ) classic UO. There is no NDA on Dawntide so we are allowed to talk about the game. The game is a sandbox, dont get me wrong but the game is closer to EA Games version of UO.

     

    Edit: Also forgot to say that my guild and I go far back as classic UO, we started our guild when we were very young. Some of my guild have been beta testing Dawntide as well, the game has not made not one of us say wow or has sucked us in. My guild and I would rather play WoW than play a sandbox that is item based, gear based the same as a theme-park MMO. I did my best to enjoy Dawntide beta testing but does not do it for me. I do not think Dawntide will make any classic UO player drop their jaw. I think newer UO games who started playing EA Games version of UO will like Dawntide.

  • LoktofeitLoktofeit Member RarePosts: 14,247
    Originally posted by sacredcow4


    What made Ultima Online feel right?  Simple...
    The community.  You felt like you were part of a WORLD.  Games like EQ or WoW can never emulate that.  You can't play UO without effecting the world and every other player's experience.  Maybe 1 in 1000 people in other mmo's can impact it to the point that more than just the players outside their friends are impacted.  In UO... every action you did changed the world.  That katana you dropped to make weight room to run from a pk might be picked up later by someone.  You dying could save someone who comes upon your corpse later.  If you craft 10 sets of armor... those sets of armor will be passed to dozens of players before finally being sold, smelted down, or breaking. 
    In summary:  You NEEDED player interaction to survive and function, and everything you did impacted the world you played in rather you wanted to or not.  UO was the best emulated WORLD, and the game was about the world and players as a whole, not the individual player.

    Agreed, Origin also had a staff and agenda to support the community and how they play the game. The dev team focused on creating tools to allow communities to develop. The core design was such that players had plnety of ways to actually get to each other quickly in order to take part in their preferred communities.

     

    A lot of today's game design and today's gamers work against that in many ways, from the playerbase's strange desire to take forever to get places to the developer's static and unchanging worlds that are needed for contemporary quest driven MMO design.

    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

  • Mystic_FuzzMystic_Fuzz Member UncommonPosts: 36

    I recently started playing UO again to pass the time. There are some things that they have spot on with Pre-UOR and some not, but it's the closest I've found.

    Ultima Online
    Mystic of The Fallen Lords (Pacific 98-01)
    Mystic of Catskills (03 - 08)

  • SmartwhoisSmartwhois Member Posts: 58

    UO emulated a world, because it's population was as diverse as the real world. All types of players and play styles were combined into a single virtual world.

    Step inside one building and you might find a townie tailor sewing clothes, walk down an unguarded street and someone might try to mug you, venture into the Forrest and you might see a large guild war.

    You don't see that anymore in any game. Now games are all specialized to attract a certain type of player, rather than everyone.

     

  • obiiobii Member UncommonPosts: 799

    You said it UO emulated a world.

    Most other games just try to be games and do not bother emulating anything.

    A well done UO shard still could hold many thousands of interested players, despite old graphic.

  • BrianshoBriansho Member UncommonPosts: 3,586
    Originally posted by Smartwhois


    UO emulated a world, because it's population was as diverse as the real world. All types of players and play styles were combined into a single virtual world.
    Step inside one building and you might find a townie tailor sewing clothes, walk down an unguarded street and someone might try to mug you, venture into the Forrest and you might see a large guild war.
    You don't see that anymore in any game. Now games are all specialized to attract a certain type of player, rather than everyone.
     

     

    Exactly, immersion, uncertainty, randomness. No 2 log-in sessions were exactly the same. There was always something new happening every night.

    Don't be terrorized! You're more likely to die of a car accident, drowning, fire, or murder! More people die every year from prescription drugs than terrorism LOL!

  • BrueskieBrueskie Member UncommonPosts: 42

    Freedom and dye tubs.

  • markfromindymarkfromindy Member UncommonPosts: 36

     That's exactly it. UO felt like a world.

     

     If my armor needed to be repaired, if our guild's main crafter wasn't around, I'd head into Brit and look for one of the guys from United Blacksmiths of Britania ( UBB ).They'd always be hanging about  with a line of customers waitning for repairs or wanting something made. If you were into mining,  you might evenb be able to sell them some ore or get some other work through them.

     The same with all the crafts. I was never really into crafting except  I would occasionally go out and  make bows and arrows ( my guy was a ranger type). If I was low on gold bows was an ok way to make money.

     Or our guild would do stuff like sponsor regular dungeon crawls, or outings to the ophids lair. Sometimes I'd just log in and wander around the world, or get a group and go looking for IDOCs or go fishing or get some folks together and  hit Shame looking for PKs or go do a bunch of treasure maps, etc.. The sky was the limit.It wa s a true sanbox game. It could be frustrating at times. I remember once I'd just bought a nice power sword and was at the bank in Moonglow, some guy stole the sword out of my pack and when I foolishly attacked him, he killed me.With my own sword that he'd just stolen.It sounds funny now but damn I was pissed.

     Then again, when my guild mates heard about it, they helped get me re equipped and more than covered my loss, and we had a new dewd to put on our KOS list.

     Or I would play my alt and run around with the Shadowclan Orcs ( my server was Catskills) and have a blast playing with those guys, rp'ing an orc, defending the fort, playing goofy orc games, the Bootkamps, the Hidey game, Klomp games, making runs to the outskirts of yew to collect resources.

    The way the game was designed, players needed each other ( well until BODs came out, and for me that's when I saw the beginning of the end). Items could wear out or be destroyed or stolen, so you needed crafters ( or at the very least soemone who had a crafting alt).

     When you were on a dungeon crawl, you needed some people with high level magery or healing skills to help res people.

    One of my favorite things to do was show new people around ( every shard was just a tiny bit different too, because the shard's community was different ). On Cats, one of my favorite spots was just to the south of Shame woods, where you could find this white house with pillars around that said "Designer Dragon's House" , which was of course Raph Koster. I always kind of hoped maybe one time I'd walk by there and find him hanging around heh.

     Oh well..

     Ever since UO I've waited and hoped someone would make a real sandbox MMO again instead of going the EQ route, but nobody has really done it, not successfully.Or they call it a sanbox but they still make it item based, or they just focus on one tiny thing like pvp, pvm, crafting etc, and not look at the big picture.

     Still waitin'..

     

  • GrayGhost79GrayGhost79 Member UncommonPosts: 4,775

    I have to agree with others, it felt like a world you were able to be part of and interact with. 

     

    I had a home, I could sit down and play chess with a friend (furniture was pretty much all interactive), I could go where I pleased without any loading screens oO........... I could join friends and go out and adventure without having to world about levels oO............ there just wasn't a lot of immersion breaking in UO. Sure the graphics are dated as is the combat but the rest of the systems and mechanics in UO are sorely missing from most modern day MMO's. I mean something as simple as being able to sit on a bar stool adds a little something. 

  • sfc1971sfc1971 Member UncommonPosts: 421

    Originally posted by markfromindy

     That's exactly it. UO felt like a world.

     

     If my armor needed to be repaired, if our guild's main crafter wasn't around, I'd head into Brit and look for one of the guys from United Blacksmiths of Britania ( UBB ).They'd always be hanging about  with a line of customers waitning for repairs or wanting something made. If you were into mining,  you might evenb be able to sell them some ore or get some other work through them.

     The same with all the crafts. I was never really into crafting except  I would occasionally go out and  make bows and arrows ( my guy was a ranger type). If I was low on gold bows was an ok way to make money.

     Or our guild would do stuff like sponsor regular dungeon crawls, or outings to the ophids lair. Sometimes I'd just log in and wander around the world, or get a group and go looking for IDOCs or go fishing or get some folks together and  hit Shame looking for PKs or go do a bunch of treasure maps, etc.. The sky was the limit.It wa s a true sanbox game. It could be frustrating at times. I remember once I'd just bought a nice power sword and was at the bank in Moonglow, some guy stole the sword out of my pack and when I foolishly attacked him, he killed me.With my own sword that he'd just stolen.It sounds funny now but damn I was pissed.

     Then again, when my guild mates heard about it, they helped get me re equipped and more than covered my loss, and we had a new dewd to put on our KOS list.

     Or I would play my alt and run around with the Shadowclan Orcs ( my server was Catskills) and have a blast playing with those guys, rp'ing an orc, defending the fort, playing goofy orc games, the Bootkamps, the Hidey game, Klomp games, making runs to the outskirts of yew to collect resources.

    The way the game was designed, players needed each other ( well until BODs came out, and for me that's when I saw the beginning of the end). Items could wear out or be destroyed or stolen, so you needed crafters ( or at the very least soemone who had a crafting alt).

     When you were on a dungeon crawl, you needed some people with high level magery or healing skills to help res people.

    One of my favorite things to do was show new people around ( every shard was just a tiny bit different too, because the shard's community was different ). On Cats, one of my favorite spots was just to the south of Shame woods, where you could find this white house with pillars around that said "Designer Dragon's House" , which was of course Raph Koster. I always kind of hoped maybe one time I'd walk by there and find him hanging around heh.

     Oh well..

     Ever since UO I've waited and hoped someone would make a real sandbox MMO again instead of going the EQ route, but nobody has really done it, not successfully.Or they call it a sanbox but they still make it item based, or they just focus on one tiny thing like pvp, pvm, crafting etc, and not look at the big picture.

     Still waitin'..

     

     

    What made UO a world was that the people who played WANTED to play together. Many younger MMO players want a single player game with a chat room, or even worse a single player game with 24*7 unpayed game support.

    Gamers NEEDED each other, yes. Nowadays this is called forced grouping and people hate it. Lotro has been very busy removing its crafting dependencies. 

    The secret of UO was not the sandbox model, it was the "forced" community. You could not and most did not want to progress on their own. You can have the same feeling in a EQ-clone as in a sandbox model, but you can't have it in a solo friendly game. At least not for every class.

    End the drive for solo and you get community back.

  • PreponerancePreponerance Member Posts: 295

    I think the problem with new sandboxes is the classes.  The reason UO works and SWG before CU, they had non-combat classes. instead of being a lvl whatever warrior plus armor crafting, you basically made an alt just to craft..  SWG had dancers and crafters and that's what people played.  It made it a more social environment.  Now with cash shops and everything soloable there's no need for everyone else.  Why when you can just buy it or do it alone.  It's a sad time in gaming....

     

  • vaultbrainvaultbrain Member Posts: 122

    Its a shame the EA developers dont actually listen to people when they tell them what made UO good. It wasnt about the graphics or the gear, it was about the world and the people in it. When they tried to copy EQ and WoW, thats when they killed the game completely.

    I remember when taking down an ancient Wyrm required a group of 10-15 people. Now a days, thanks to the uber gear, you can solo two of them at once. It really is a shame what happened to UO. EA took something amazing and unique and warped it into another clone of the mainstream EQ model.

    What did it do for UO? Nothing. Did it increase subscription numbers? Did it bring in 12 million subscriptions? No. What was the point of the last 7 years of UO and all of the so called expansions? It was a waste. A complete and utter waste. They should have left UO alone after T2A and just focused on fixing duping and other bugs and exploits.

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