So Deckard and I had some very nice chats recently.
I take that back, chat seems to indicate small lil anecdotal notes to each other.
So Deckard and I had some very nice discussions recently.
One of our topics goes around and around with the need to entice new players with the Enhanced Client while keeping old school players content with their classic ways. It seems as if everyone is expected to make a choice. Go New or Go Home. How do you introduce a new look and feel and expect everyone to understand that it is more than the graphical needs, it is also how newer gamers are used to a more advanced UI.
The Enhanced Client is essential to the growth and development of Ultima Online past it's 15yr prime.
EVERYONE is talking about this (see Deckards article: In Ink: UO in the Gaming Media)
UO is a measuring stick so many MMOs use when looking to accomplish the same longevity and yet UO seems to be losing more vet players than attracting new ones. At least that is the perception many have. I have personally encountered too many returning and new generational players (accounts handed down in the family like an heirloom) to truly believe it.
Regardless, the perception for many is there and should be recognized. It seems though many want to bring the EC vs CC into the Tram vs Fel debate. The reality is this: things evolve or they die. If you do not continue to progress you become static as if you are standing in tar waiting for someone to notice that you can't move.
It doesn't mean you can't look back, become nostalgic for the way things were and try to recreate that feeling now and then. It also doesn't mean this has to be a Sophie's Choice situation where only utter loss is felt by saying goodbye to the classic client. Ultima Online IS classic, why would you ever change that?
I've said this so many times, in so many posts and in so many emails that I feel maybe I'm wrong? Maybe the solution is not so simple as this:
Everyone is on ONE client. This is essential for development time and resources, not to mention bug fixes.
Currently with the Enhanced Client you can choose legacy options but it becomes frustrating to figure which toggle gives me the classic feel. In the end, its too much on the player to try to design his classic-ness. Pinco's UI has these options. Make them a part of the EC totally.
When you bring up UO you have the following gump pop up:
Vet player? Want NOTHING to change aesthetically or functionally?
New to UO and/or prefer a modern gaming UI?
No more anguish over what to do, what to do?? It's done. No debate, no tug of war, just push play.
The development time it would take to accomplish this is worth far more than developing yet another client and program that draws lines between players.
Which brings me to resources and development time. I don't look to the UO Team in VA to accomplish this major task on a tight budget. I look to Bioware in Austin to delegate the resources to those who may soon be out of a SWTOR job. Contract them out, say ,"Hey! Sorry we cut back as is typical after major launches but we do have this project you can work on in the interim....."
Win win all around.
Blog entry posted by AirmidCecht, Jun 20, 2012.