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Enhancing the New Player Experience

Discussion in 'UO Players Corner' started by FishinFool, Nov 24, 2008.

  1. FishinFool

    FishinFool Guest

    Seen a bit of talk about this here and there and I've been giving it some thought.

    If you had the ear of the producer, what would you suggest?


    For starters, I would say:

    Add more Haven tasks. The current ones just dump gold on the player, which by and large isn't sufficient nor does it really help. The god-awful NPC-"economy" is such that even the 500gp reward for taking Farmer Joe 30 steps to the west only buys the player about 20 bandages. Collection tasks that result in real usable returns would help teach. Also, the skill quests, while they give something to shoot for are fairly worthless. I'm sorry but getting what is basically a store-bought piece of armor with 1 or 2 low intensity mods that is blessed is about as useful as 500gp.

    Make Haven look good. This is the first place a new player gets dumped and it looks like a shanty town out of a bad movie. I do not care about the event that should have never happened there. Honestly, in terms of a 'newbie zone' for a game Haven was pretty well laid out. Haven is a reflection of the state of the game unfortunately.
     
  2. deadite

    deadite Sage
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    You know the whole Tome of Knowledge thing for Warhammer?

    Well, they need *that* for UO!
     
  3. Moreeg

    Moreeg Guest

    I dont know if pride is holding them back, but they should consider borrowing ideas from other, successful games out there... I respect that UO is the grandfather of MMO's, but others have built on the ideas UO laid down.

    I would love to see the golden age return...
     
  4. pavel.vesely

    pavel.vesely Guest

    Make ingame help and web information actual and current would be good start. I would add some information like how to train character or how to make money.
     
  5. Cailleach

    Cailleach Certifiable
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    Just a book in the backpack with http://haven.uosites.com and www.uoguide.com in them would be a good start. Both great sites and very useful when you've just landed and haven't a clue where to start. If you're on Europa, chances are HLP or one of my guild, Saor, will come across you and give you a hand to get started. I don't know if there's any other guilds out there that do stuff like that?

    I agree - the old Haven was so much better. It was easier to find everything, and it looked a lot more welcoming. I've never liked New Haven. Thing is with UO, even for returning players, it can be overwhelming. And if you're not the sort of person who'll wander up to another player and ask for help, you're probably going to find it very very tough to get going. The game has huge depth, and a massive variety. I've met newer chars with all sorts of bizarre templates, because the people playing them don't understand how certain skills compliment others and end up with a real hodge podge, none of them working properly because they're so mismatched. There needs to be some sort of book in the pack explaining how skills work, skill caps, that mages need int not dex, and some example templates would be a plan too. There's only so many youngs that the helper guilds can deal with, and at the moment, UO can be very new player unfriendly.
     
    kRUXCg7 likes this.
  6. sayler04

    sayler04 Guest

    I think the best way to improve the new player experience is first by discerning the holes in it. And the two biggest holes, I think, are first that new players graduate from the auspices of new haven with no more than 50% of each skill they have trained, and the fact that UO has extended infinitely beyond learning how to train skills and collecting gold from escort quests. Taken together, these holes ensure that new players will stay in the game for a week, but it is an act of faith to believe they will stay in the game for a month. If we want to establish longevity, if we want to make new players into old players, we must plug these holes.

    I don't think that better rewards for new player quests are going to help. First, if the rewards are good enough, one runs the risk of scurrilous vets creating new chars over and over and farming the rewards. Second, the new players don't seem terribly troubled by the rewards. I've been apprenticing a new player recently, and he gets very excited over recieving newbie blessed items in quests. Frankly, true newbies havn't been around long enough to know these items' attributes are nothing spectacular, and they're not yet strong enough to go up against enemies with whom it'd matter. Thus, there needs top be a transitional series of quests, perhaps taking place in other cities throughout sosaria. If I remember correctly, years ago your starting skills determined the city you started in. Perhaps the designers could introduce a secondary newbie system, kind of like uo high school, where new players move on to a city appropriate to their skills after new haven, but are still bound to that city by quests which will help them gain to 75. These quests could be comprehensive, in order to teach how skills compliment each other and other aspects beyond direct gain. For example, lets say a new player starts a basic mage in new haven. Pyranno, who i think is the career guide in the new haven magery school, sends them along to moonglow once they have finished the basics of magery, eval, and the like. When they get to moonglow, another mage greets them and offers them a choice: do they want to train up inscription to make the magery more effective, or would they rather add another skill that is also intelligence dependent? They make the choice, and the npc gives them a quest. So lets say they choose inscription. The NPC then sends them on a quest to X dungeon, maybe a crypt or something, where they have to fight their way to a chest containing a scrolls commodity deed that will only open for the new player quester. This quest can be repeated for as long as the player is under the tutiledge of the inntermediary instructor, supplying them with scrolls and placing them where they can continue training magery up to 75. Thus, they continue training, learn about complimentary skills and stats, and even incorporate a lesson about commodity deeds (which my apprentice didnt know about until yesterday.

    This is just one example of how an intermediary newbie quest could work. There are endless possibilities and combinations for every template. I'm sure it would take enormous planning and programming, far beyond my own capabilities, but that's why I'm paying ea/mythic instead of them paying me, lol.


    So what about the rest of training, and what about all the esoteric stuff bey ond just templates and skill gains? The idea of placing a book with links to more info in the new player backpack is a great one, but lets do more than that. When i first started, years ago, I didnt wanna read about UO, I wanted to play it. So maybe, after intermediate training, there could be an apprenticeship system. Vet players who meet a minimum account age could sign up to be paired with a new player, one-on one, and agree to spend a determined minimum playing with the new player. In the case of fighters and mages, the vet could accompany the new player in dungeons and hunts, guiding them and protecting them and answering their questions in real time. In the case of crafters, the vet could join the apprentice in crafting and resource gathering. Of course, this wouldnt simply be an act of charity. I propose that the vet would reap certain rewards. In the case of fighters, perhaps the vet could enjoy an increased chance of getting an arty in anti virtue dungeons, or have a chance to get one based on the apprentices skills and kills. Or perhaps there could be another community collection, in which the vet recieves points for kills made in his presence that can be redeemed for items. In the case of crafters, perhaps a certain percentage of the resources the apprentice gathers could be duplicated to the vet, or while crafting the vet could enjoy an increased chance of exceptional outcome in the presence of the apprentice. Thus, the apprentice would learn all sorts of interesting things in the presencce of the vet, including comfort in meeting people in-game, and the vet would still reap rewards beyond a warm snuggly feeling for doing good. Again, the possibilities are endless, and I think these sorts of systems would avoid economic imbalance or item flood.


    Okay, that's my two cents, or actually my three dollars. Dont get me wrong, i'm not some wierdo who has nothing better to do that write dissertations on welcoming new players into a reality that isnt real; in another post, I wrote about how boring it is to train inscription; this lengthy tome helped to break the monotony.


    rage
     
    Zanaver likes this.
  7. Wow that was a novel... lol

    The guardian system was once out a bit back i remeber getting one protecting me and teaching me everything that i needed to know, that person rocked :D but they vanished one day, for when i woke up in shame they didn't apear there :\ It would be nice if a system like that came back...

    i agree with it being a Strong and long jump from NH to Fel Yew.. or anyother placce... there should be something that slowly works them up until they become masters... 80 points since well that is when people are somewhat useful :|

    Really nice post sayler04
     
  8. Viper09

    Viper09 Grand Poobah
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    I know one good idea, bring back councilors! aka smurfs :p
    Those guys helped me big time when I first started. I remember using the help button, and 5-10 minutes later (yes, it use to be that fast :p ) the smurf showed up, in person, and helped me solve the problem! Also had a bit of fun himself by showing off, lol.
     
  9. Jhym

    Jhym Guest

    I agree with some of sayler's book (inscription +.5), but you have to be cautious in how you implement systems like that.

    I do think a middle-school of sorts would be great for most new players. Not necessarily to define templates for you, but to give you ideas on what you can do with your skills and to explain what the benefits are for having higher skill levels. Also it would help to have alternative escort quests, ones with a bit more variety. Currently we just have "take me to here" or "save me from the brigands". We really need some that introduce you to places and people in the game. For instance, a series of quests by "city tourist coordinators" that guide players through finding the more important parts of a city.

    Perhaps some that give you extra skill gains (through alacrity scrolls) for finishing a quest/escort until you are in the 80's. I also think escorts should become more involved -- I would love to see escorts made up of caravans, traveling down the road between Brit and Vesper, with multiple attacks involved (more if you're partied.) The quest/escort system hasn't really had any love for many years, it needs some heavy work to make it interesting for both newbie players as well as vets.

    We can't have the counselor/guardian system any more, but very honestly if people want to do that they can do it now. If I come across a newbie player I usually ask them if they need any help (well, depending on the character, some of my characters don't give a crap.) I don't hand them money, but will assist them in learning how to fight or give them advice on how to do things. Sometimes I'll give them a few pieces of good armor or a weapon if they seem to be otherwise trying to learn (and not just scamming another vet.)

    They rebuilt New Haven because they had to remove the old newbie area completely, as I suspect it wasn't getting much use overall. I don't particularly like it, and they definitely haven't finished it. It's obvious they intended to have a building for each trade/skill but ended up combining them, and there are multiple skills they haven't even put trainers out for. However, it does give newbies a place to learn and not be preyed upon much.

    However, part of the issue with the newbie experience is that some of the folks that would try the game will not be impressed with the client. A friend of mine tried KR, got completely lost in haven and frustrated, logged out and wouldn't try it again. Admittedly if I had been physically there with him I could have helped, but I SHOULDN'T HAVE TO. This alone tells me the new player experience needs huge work.
     
  10. DHMagicMan_1

    DHMagicMan_1 Guest

    Make it so when you create a new toon, you either don't choose a city to start in, if Haven is the only option, or you start where you selected....

    To me it's the hight of insanity that after all these YEARS since they implemented Haven and forced new toons to start there, the new toon creation screen still asks where you want to go and then dumps you in Haven anyway...

    If any new player ever tried to play UO, that would mess them up in the first 2 minutes!!! Where the heck am I?
     
  11. FishinFool

    FishinFool Guest

    Well, we already know they have the ability to flag items to only be used by Young players. The youthful treasure maps, the horn of return, ect.. These new items could be similarly tagged, as well as No Drop - much like the new faction items, so they do not become 'scam' rares or have unintended uses.

    But frankly, I'm not just talking about bumping up current rewards. Have things such as collect 20 zombie parts for 50 bandages, 10 rusted weapons for reagents, so on, so forth.

    It would be nice for a returning player to be Young again, by choice to learn the ropes again so to speak.

    And yes, I like the choice in words.. Old Haven was much more welcoming. It's a shame that new players are thrust into a pale shadow of a newbie town that was ravaged by an ill-advised event. I wish I was sitting at the table for that discussion.
     
  12. Maplestone

    Maplestone Crazed Zealot
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    First thing I would get rid of the choice of starting skills - drop the pretense that you are picking a class and start at 0 skill across the board. New Haven will get you to 50 quickly enough in whatever skills you need.

    The opening walkthrough needs a few AI and content tweaks. Getting food is nice, but distracting because food actually has no noticable effect. The sword quest illustrates (to me at least) that the marking of quest items is too messy for newbies (I would actually offer a choice of weapons here, this being where a person's prefered combat style gets started). The first battles (and first death) are reasonable, although I got lost with the scroll and toolbar the first time I went through it. The Dark Knight is an interesting challenge, but a new player has no clue at what point they are strong enough to attempt it.

    New Haven should be about getting the basics down - complete the trainers and add a little dungeon to the ruins that gives a simple overview of the concept of resists and damage types (I think that damage types inflicted and received need to be more noticable - even now if I character with a 50 fire/33 energy resist, I can't tell the difference between a creature swinging with 40 fire vs one doing 30 energy - in both cases all I see is 20 damage suffered). I do think that some of the quests (like tracking and hiding demonstrate that there are a lot of skills out there that desperately need some low-end gameplay attached to them to make them fun to play while training)

    (Oh, but as an aside, I really like the uncommon Delgor spawn in Old Haven - personally I think minibosses like that should be added to all zones throughout the entire game)

    Use the other Tram cities as focal points of different aspects of the game - crafting, combat, magic, role-playing ... have quests focused around finding the corresponding virtue shrine and challenging the corresponding anti-virtue dungeon, introducing some of the more advanced concepts (eg: runebooks, housing) along the way. This gives people a reason to visit cities and even hang out in them a little.

    I also think there also needs to be a quest path or achievement system that walks a person through the history of the game - giving a tour/explanation of the relics of past events, including books recording the events of each year (adding a new chapter on the anniversary publish each year).
     
  13. It was real didn't you see the people dropping leather down on teh ground in attempts to lag up new player experiences.. i mean give them some armour better than that which they started with hehe

    and the vets helping the newbie tamer and fighter :O why there was special thanks in the end...
     
  14. Redxpanda

    Redxpanda Lore Keeper
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    Fixing the economy will take some time and that is the main uphill battle that new players face and it is discouraging. Making items more random will not only make the game more exciting but it will make it fair for all players. Right now, you know you are getting nothing but junk as loot so you pretty much know what to expect so players tend to stick to what gives the best items while the new players are stuck bunny bashing and trying to save up for that great item while the price continues to go up.

    Make all items rare random drops from any kill. Loot need a nice bump in general but knowing you have a chance (no matter how small) to get a nice item with every swing of your sword just makes the game more addictive and exciting.
     
  15. EVs in sheep feilds?? fel lizard men??? way to easy to get tehm if they are on any monster :| so many new scripter bots would be out there :| not a good idea but good though since there does need to eb something done,.
     
  16. Redxpanda

    Redxpanda Lore Keeper
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    Not sheep, the monsters that attack first mostly but yeah there would be too much of an opening for scripters but then again what hasn't become a scripters paradise lately. I'm sure precautions can be taken to ensure that it isn't being taken advantage of.
     
  17. A new Dungeon with somewhat strong monsters, but not the best or worst... something that new person would have a hard time soloing, but fun with in a group and wouldn't be just an onslaught... make it only enterable to people with skills lower than X and the respawn rate low on the monsters... were when you get to the end of the dungeon you get an item that you can give to the person outside who will then give you an item that is really helpful to new players, but nothing good for vets, so that they do not fill up this spot...
    Then have a new dungeon that is X+10, rinse repeat, until the player gets a good item, and some even skill :\
     
  18. Moreeg

    Moreeg Guest

    The quest system is absymal.
    New players are most likely coming from another game, and every game out there is quest driven. I quit in 2003 and have just returned... and I find this questing system to be painfully vague.

    Sure, for things like "kill mongbats" it speaks for itself... but "kill a dreadhorn?"

    I dont know where a dreadhorn can be found, or even what it is (and the search features on UO.com are dreadful, stratics isnt a whole lot better). It wouldnt be that hard to change the text to say "Blah blah blah, and I would like you to slay a dreadhorn, some say they are often found near xxx."

    Another one was where the NPC wants blue diamonds and rocks. Come on, throw me a bone. I can understand that those whop have been here for years have no problem with that, but a new person is going to be lost and frustrated.

    The last couple of MMOs I alpha/beta tested really had the quest system done right, and I think UO could take a lot of hints from other MMOs without actually having to copy what theyre doing... but thats just my thinking on it.
     
  19. Oh and UO needs a better music system were you can create your own music and play the ones from the music box... *hint hint*

    that will get people playing.. trust me :p
     
  20. Maplestone

    Maplestone Crazed Zealot
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    I have mixed feeling about this. On the one hand, there's a lot of immediate gratification in the systems that give you path to follow. But on the other hand, it doesn't really fit UO's "get to know the world" feel of searching, exploring and talking to find information. Perhaps there's a middle ground somewhere.

    On the other hand, I don't think the ML quests got it quite right. I think the bounty quests should have been made more like the BOD system, where you first collect writs which could be bought and sold - then you take on the quest itself only when you're ready to do some hunting.

    However, it would be very cool to have something like the stratics hunter's guide built into an in-game library, listing information on each creature's strengths, weaknesses and location sightings. The trouble would be how to keep it up to date ... *dreams of a shard-wide census-taker quest*
     
  21. Moreeg

    Moreeg Guest

    The middle ground is what I would be suggesting... but with the dreadhorn as an example, you could wander the world for years and never encounter the dreadhorn. The quest, in its vaugness, makes it seem like it is a creature you might just see, not that it is a peerless boss only found at the very end in one particular dungeon. ESPECIALLY quests relating to dungeons... odds are you wont be running through one when you explore the world.

    It could even work on a roleplaying level, in that the questy giver, in knowing something about the thing her wants, should know enough to say "You might want to bring friends" when it is something you cant do solo.


    And lets forget the sematics... if we're looking to enhance the newplayer experience, and you know what, lets call this what it is and not just "enhancing the new player experience." What it boild down to is getting new subscribers in here to breath life back into this game and hold off it being cancelled.
    To do that, we need it to be accesible. People coming from ANY other MMO out there are going to be kind of put off by this. I can name a handful personally who were, and I myself was questioning my return as I struggled through quests. After a few hours of getting nowhere, I conceeded and checked uoguide... but how many people would just say "screw this."

    We're already at a disadvntage in that we cant offer the pixelated crack that is the graphics of other games out there... so we need a competitive game play experience.
     
  22. Xalan Dementia

    Xalan Dementia Slightly Crazed
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    Not sure if this idea has been thought of, but perhaps make a collection just for new haven. similar to cleanup, library,museum etc. have players recieve points by completing tasks around new haven and possibly from gaining skill itself. have rewards that are scaled towards new players. items that wouldnt be of much use to others, maybe even make them tie to the account so they cant be farmed/sold. Maybe have the new haven quests give points as well as a fair amount of gold. (preferably nonfarmable in mass quantities, perhaps repeat on timer.) Different collections would be nice, like one for each major template, (warrior,mage,necro,paly,tamer,bard,thief) I think it would make startup alot easier for the new citizens.
     
  23. A better music system :| oh wait that has been said..

    How about bringing back the gaurdian program... or whatever it was, so that within minutes of logging in you friend was there helping you, learn the ropes and getting to knwo the game and lands :|

    Oh and a better music system!@
     
  24. Shioni

    Shioni Guest

    Ive been playing UO for like 8 years when I started back then during Renaissance the learning experience was a lot more simple and straight forward, like learning how to walk following a trail and opening doors ect.

    Even AoS and SE had a lot better tutorials for using respective skills and suddenly those entire quests are cut out? EA should really stop trying to fix things that ant broken.

    The reason UO T2A didn't have everyone start in the same area was A. Lag and B. New players need some space to figure things out on their own before they get tossed up with the big kids.

    Also the young player status lasts like 48 hours per account after the first character is created... year that's just plain insulting to new players, what we need is a permament young status until 300 total skill points is reached or they leave (with warnings) the training area.


    As far as a common newbie learning to make money your best bet is to teach them how to harvest resources... wood, ore, wool, plants and sell them or offer suggestion like my favorite, Inscription as a profession to make and sell scrolls.

    The think if people want UO to return to the "golden age" as you call it then you have to make people painfully aware that farming items and power gaming where not exactly the full capacity of Ultima's scale they are smaller parts to a whole.

    Simple things like charging a small 10gp tax to enter the city gates unless your a sneak past the guard. Or quests not to simply go forth and slay, but to servery the beauty of the land.

    The hardest part about developing content for new players is that it needs to be simple and cant simply tell them what to do you have to show them.

    I think we all have dreams of how great Britannia can and will be, that's what keeps most of us here. But for our new players they must be show just how truly great it has already become in the past 11 years.
     
  25. Paidric

    Paidric Guest

    Hello guys, I rarely post on U.Hall, but this thread did sound appealing :)

    *Disclaimer* Sorry if I go through some things people have said previously, but since there is already a lot of posts (including some off topic ones) I think it's easier to rewrite rather than multiquote. So what follows is a mix of everyone opinions (or parts of them at least :D)

    I won't enter the debate of items, rewards and so on. I just think it doesn't hold much water since new players don't know what is good and what is not. Regarding blessed stuff. Let's get real, they don't even know what it means and if they do, then they're not new players and they don't really need them.

    A few things BADLY missing in the tutorial etc. :
    • Explain how to talk.. you can't image how many times I need to guess they try to talk to me but can't...
    • Explain how to train skills with NPCs
    • Don't give a crap weapon but something to choose for the weapon style the player did choose (I'd say DI 30 HCI 10 DCI 5). Eventually a spellbook with all level 1-3 spells would sound fair to me. Make the weapons from the skill trainers a bit better than the initial quest weapon (DI 40 HCI 10 SSI 20).
    • Tell them about escort quests in town. Most overlook it and don't know how to make some pocket gold. Maybe add a tag (which doesn't fade off) on top of the quest givers for chars who have a young status.
    • Change the way young status is removed. Remove the time limit. Make all the chars created in the first 2 weeks of the account "young". Remove the young status when they either hit 400 skill points (which is more than 7x50) or have 3 skills above 70 (which should avoid "youngs" with 3 legendary skills :D)
    • Add a "help" screen binded to the player skills where he can quickly find little guides on how to use or train his skills. For example : Chivalry, what are tithing points, how to tithe gold, how to cast spells, the debuff bar.
    • A link to some explanations on how the armor system works in UO so they see how bad their starting set is. I often meet young ones who tell me they don't need new armor because they still have theirs... I then have to go through many explanations. It doesn't bother me... but it would be easier for them to be able to actually read about it. Oh, and they wouldn't think their quest reward armor is more powerful than my GM made armors :D
    • A link to the EA approved fansite list accessible from the help window. And preferably have a language selection for non-english people.
    • Remove the city choosing in 2D.
    • Remove the "class" choosing in both clients, it just confuses them. You might want to make a screen with skill selections and add a box with "pre-made templates". They would see they can choose anything but still have the ability to start with the premades.
    • Make the new player quest accessible to 2D players. I understand it was a way to lure new players to KR before but from my experience (it's just me, not all of you guys!) only half start with KR.

    Now, how to make the new players feel more at home?

    A thing I'd like to see is the friend list implemented in 2D. I know they wanted to lure us to KR with all the new possibilities there, but let's get real, it didn't work well (Before the flamers/haters/bored people start, I DO like KR and I am eager to see SA).
    The friend list is something that will HELP making the new player experience a better one. Because it's the community that makes a new player feel home or welcome. And it would be easier for them to get in touch with their helpers.
    It would be also nice to have the ability to locate someone who is in your friend list. When a young is lost, it's impossible for him to say where he is... You can limit this possibility to KR :)

    Add a little dungeon to New Haven with some of the lower aggressive spawn like lizardmen and such and some "tough" spellcasters at the bottom. Why that you'll ask? Hmmm, mostly because dying into a dungeon is a new player experience... believe me :)
    Doesn't need to be a big one. Just need to have a lot of spawn :)
    There should be an adventurer NPC near the dungeon who teaches about some of the other dungeons and their approximative position. I would stick to the lower dungeons like Despise.

    I'll add more when I have some free time, now I'm between two meetings... *sighs*
    I'll edit this post rather than make a new one though.
     
  26. Ozymandies

    Ozymandies Guest

    Here is my idea for a new player quest(s):

    1) Put an "elven adviser" in the room next to the mayor of New Haven. This adviser will have a gate you can use if you except the quest.

    2) The adviser only offers you the quest if you have a certain number of skill points (maybe 150 total or one skill above 50).

    3) The quest is simply to go to the tavern in Britain near the sewers/alchemy shop and do a friend a favor. (Maybe get a Horn of Recall). The gate takes you there. Note that healer, inn, prov shop, alchemy shop are all nearby.

    4) The friend in Britain wants you to go to Sewers and kill 20 rats. I don't think we need a beginner's dungeon in New Haven when one like the Sewers already exists.

    5) Upon killing 20 rats, 2 more quests open up for you. First one, a guard in the empty tower north of Sewers (next to inn) wants you to kill 20 giant rats or spiders. Second, upon returning to the adviser, you are sent to Ironwood Inn in Vesper (no gate this time).

    6) Person in Ironwood Inn wants you to kill 20 wraiths or ghouls. Graveyard is nearby, but can be anywhere. Upon accepting the quest, you get "the luck of the elves", temporary +200 luck bonus. All these quests are once per char and vets can do it.

    7) Upon completing both those quests, two more quests open up. One is in the Guard Castle in Brit south of the moat, the other in the guard tower next to Ironwood Inn. One is kill 20 trolls, ettins, etc. the other is kill 20 gazers or reapers.

    Maybe a few more like this that get you going to different places, meet interesting monsters and kill them.

    The rewards: I am thinking of a set of items that get more mods once you get them all. Possibly with things like boots, cloaks so that you can wear them with some of the ML sets of suits that are mid-level.

    Just a thought.

    OZ
     
  27. I think OSI should require every Guildmaster or Guildmistress in the game to retain a certain number of "Young" players...or newbies...in their guilds at all times, or face some kind of consequences...like a tax, or a revocation of your Guild Charter.

    As the Guildmistress of PoV, I will freely admit, we have slacked on this over the last few years...but back in the Pre: AoS days, we had Guild sub-groups...and it was the responsibility of the ArchProtectors to make sure that each group was going out with a Sr Member (an ArchProtector), with as many members in that group as possible. As they moved up in skill, they would graduate to the next sub-group in the Guild...until they would reach the rank of Protector...or if they were really skilled, and showed leadership quality, they would reach the rank of ArchProtector and sit on the Guild Council.

    Ultima Online was never designed to be an A + B = C experience. It was designed to create a virtual society...a working world, in which the players themselves shaped the events of that world.

    With the introduction of Trammel, much of that was lost...and with the introduction of AoS and the more item based play model, it pretty much stripped what was left away.

    If OSI wants to draw new players, and they want new players to have a positive experience...they need to find a way to get PEOPLE involved in the process, as oppossed to automated NPC interaction.
     
  28. Maplestone

    Maplestone Crazed Zealot
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    um ... perhaps a reward rather than a penalty. I have a guild of just myself so that I can label all my characters to be recognizable as "me". I would hate to lose that because I couldn't afford a tax.
     
  29. I see your point. And like I said, PoV is not practicing what I am here preaching...so I know this would require some willingness on the part of community to change their outlook on things, and in today's UO, that probably won't happen.

    As for it being a reward vs. a penalty...

    That's not a bad idea. I do hate to see more worthless garbage added to the game in the form of more "rewards"...but if it would serve as an incentive for guilds to help new players, then I suppose it wouldn't be all bad.

    I have always thought that guilds should function differently than parties. And that most of the things done with guilds could simply be accomplished using the party system.

    Perhaps a new kind of guild that offers something more...something like factions? Where new player membership retention is measured, as well as the collective skill pool of the guild as an average per member?

    I am just saying that if more Guilds would invovle new players, and spend a little more time being social...instead of just collecting junk in the form of "rares" and "arties"...we may not lose all of our players to other games, like WoW...where you can spend all your time collecting "rares" and "arties", but with better graphics.
     
  30. Maplestone

    Maplestone Crazed Zealot
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    I do think that guild-systems have a lot of potential for improvement/redesign so that there is more weight and purpose in the little subcultures of the game. For example: allow a sufficently large and active PvP guild able to become a faction with a castle base, or designate certain areas a "towns" that a guild could claim and then only guild-members could place houses in it, while the guild gets to add decorations and monuments based on size and other measurements of their accomplishments.

    I like the idea of new players having a chance to explore and experience the game for a while before being sucked up into a guild. But I'm a little biased because I've always been a loner, sticking to myself and not aligning myself with any "real" guilds. I'd just hate for people to miss out on the richness of the low-end game by getting exposed too quickly to what endgame players are doing. But on the other hand, I do sympathize that there should be ways to better introduce people to the social aspect of the game.
     
  31. I certainly don't think it should be mandatory for a new player to join a guild...but think back to what it was like when you were new.

    Wouldn't it have been nice to have a Guild Hall...maybe with a trunk only you could access? Training dummies that only Guild Members could use?

    I know we have those things available now...but there is no incentive for guilds to start new player outreach programs and such. There is little to no incentive for guilds to do anything other horde artifacts, or fight in inconsequential PvP in Fel.

    Where is the true sense of community in that?
     
  32. drinkbeerallday

    drinkbeerallday Visitor

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    well one good thing is that they've been listing player run events in the FoF

    that is at least something. i think they should list them on the patch screen. each shard EM could probably compile a list of established events.
     
  33. Duskofdead

    Duskofdead Sage
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    I played UO from the very early days until perhaps a year after Fel/Tram came out. I haven't touched or seen or even heard much about UO since I left 6ish years ago, and got nostalgic for it when I found out it was still active. So I'm back on my 14 day free trial to check things out.

    Since so much has changed since I left, and so many new things have been added, and the UI is almost entirely different, in many ways I felt like a total fresh noob starting out again. I'll give a little bit of feedback -- I've only been back in game for two days now but that's long enough to have spent a good bit of time around New Haven. I actually have started using the other major cities again, but I feel this probably wouldn't be representative of a true new player who might not even know how to use the moongate right away.

    The beginner quest was okay for super basic stuff. All it really did was teach you to walk, inventory items, and use the new World of Warcraft style action/hotkey bar(It was painfully obvious immediately that UO has heavily incorporated influences from its descendant MMORPG's), and get resurrected after death. I still felt pretty clueless about where I was and what I was supposed to do.

    I picked up a few escort quests, but, I would have to agree with what some said in above posts --- descriptions about quest objectives are very, very vague. I got lost many times and couldn't find things, in fact I went around the "central hub" in New Haven at least 10 times trying to find "New Haven Bard" (the NPC asked me to take them there as if it was a shop name, so I was checking sign posts for that shop) and somehow of course that's one building kinda way off to the west from the main part of town and the useless "profession guide" guy standing in town square only tells you about class trainers. Being able to ask the NPC for a little more detail would be nice.

    Also, is it my imagination, or did they totally take out NPC interactivity? Didn't NPC's used to react when you used their name, or asked them questions? I can't seem to get anything to work other than "vendor buy/vendor sell." Didn't you used to be able to ask at least basic questions and have NPC's respond? I seem to recall NPC's giving out basic information about what services existed in their town or basic directions if you knew how to ask the questions, but NPC's seem totally lobotomized now. At least in New Haven.

    I would agree that there is insufficient information about how to go about building an effective character or progressing efficiently. I'm "experienced enough" in UO to realize, with the many changes taken into consideration, that I haven't a clue how to effectively combine the new skills or what I should be aiming for. I was never really a heavy powergamer but I'm pretty sure any new player would be aggravated to be told, by another player, 2 months down the line, that combining say item ID and tactics and swords and meditation was wasted effort. As for the many new skills -- bushido, ninjitsu, several others I glanced at in the list but haven't a clue what they do --- I have NO IDEA what they're used for, what they are good for, anything. Nor any clue how to get that information from the game itself or NPC's.

    I have had a lot of attention lavished on me for having the (young) title on my shard, which apparently is heavily depopulated from when I left -- it was at one time one of the fuller servers after the traditionally packed popular E. Coast pvp/big guild shards. But most of that attention has come in the form of throwing checks, gold and gear at me while people are at the bank, before recalling back to their house or wherever they were farming. No assistance has really been offered in terms of investing time or going out into the wild with me --- nor have I run into any other players who seem anything other than completely established and filthy rich.

    After tasting WOW and a few other games in the years I was gone from UO, I have noticed something that I think any level of design or dev attention really can't fix. And that's that, once a game stops getting an influx of truly new players, the system sort of collapses on itself. It's sort of like what happens to any social or public system when new people stop coming in (whether you're talking about investing or social security or healthcare or volunteer museums or whatever), growth stops, the bar for the newcomers gets higher and higher to reach as they are competing with a compact core of established older players, etc. There is no "middle class" or "working class" if you will, there's just a big top heavy elite class that doesn't need to play "the game" anymore outside of farming a few things or PvP'ing for fun. That's just my impression given how completely abandoned the world is.

    WOW, despite a bigger subscriber base and much newer age, has also passed the point where a big majority of its new character population are re rolls of older players, and not truly new blood. I noticed before I left (almost a year ago) that zones where you literally rubbed shoulders with other players in the starting areas and moderate-level areas players used as they levelled up, and made friends and found partners and guilds, were now almost empty virtually anytime of day. And the few low levels you would run into would respond to offers to team up with something like "no thanks, I'm just grinding it out till 58 and then going to Outlands and joining my brother's raid guild." There was no real interest in the "pre-endgame" so to speak, once you took the influx of new players out of the equation. Everything is about speeding to the end and only bothering with top tier stuff, because that's all any of the other players are bothering with, and it's where the "game" is.

    UO of course is further along this "decay rate" than WOW is, but I see the same basic patterns. And the worse symptom of it (and the most unfixable one by dev attention) is the low active player presence. The Britain bank today looks like the Yew bank did when I left years ago --- in other words, abandoned. Even on a weekend, which was mindblowing to me. Even Luna, which is where everyone told me "everyone goes now", wasn't exactly impressive. I saw maybe 8-10 people there at any given time. It looked like about what you'd expect to see..... at 3am, in like... Moonglow, during UO's first three years or so.

    Coming back and seeing this, not gradually, but very abruptly, makes me think that in a way we should all be careful what we wish for. Aside from the controversial debate of splitting Fel and Tram for playstyle purposes, its creation did vastly hasten the accumulation of wealth and people basically acquiring in game all the various virtual items and rewards they could work for, much more easily and much quicker. And now that I see the game is literally chock full of added in new "shinies"... mostly house decorations, I can't help but get the feeling that it's been like a pathetic begging for old players to stay once they didn't have something "meaningful" to work towards anymore. "Please, um, I know you've been a 7xgm for two years already, but , in six months we're adding neon purple tapestries you can hang in your house." Or whatever. I can't see what else a lot of the crap I see choking the wilderness framerate in houses was for other than to bribe longterm players to stay invested. Certainly it added little or nothing to attracting in new players or appealing to young players, who wouldn't be concerned with house deco.

    Let me be clear though that I very much dislike a design decision of simply making a progress system never-ending. One of the most aggravating things about WOW is that no matter how hard you work at accomplishing goals, the "finish line" will always be pushed back further -- either by increasing the level cap in an expansion, introducing progressive new tiers of gear which completely outclass everything already in existence, new recipes for crafting professions which capture all of the demand for that profession (and are very hard to get, or very hard to get materials to produce), etc. Essentially the carrot on the stick always stays six inches from your nose. And I see since I left similar paths taken by UO with ways to increase stat caps, skill caps, power scrolls I've been hearing about, and now the Diablo 2/ WOW style gear attributes (when I left gear was simply gear, other than quality level, which was a newish thing).

    Lots of levels of gear and rewards seems like a good, fun idea. The problem with it is that six or 12 months into an mmorpg, so many people have reached the highest fifth or so levels of equipment that the earlier four-fifths (i.e. everything a new player can reasonably access, create, find or buy) is rendered useless and has near zero demand. This has chronically undermined crafting professions in every mmorpg I've ever tried, because if there's a potion out there that heals 50 hit points, why are going to buy a potion that heals 25 hit points from a lower level trying to raise his alchemy? There is no incentive whatsoever, especially if the 50 hit point potion is being created in such enormous bulk that it can compete in price with the 25 hit point potion. This in turn leads to all sorts of economic problems I think we all are familiar with--- gold purchasing, account buying, e-baying, because new players "late to the game" (i.e. not in the first or second wave of joiners basically) realize that nothing they can do is profitable or meaningful in game, and so they see little point in playing the game "naturally" because it's not fun, so they try to rush to whatever the end game is... whether it's a max level, a minimum level or skill level to do the highest end activities, PvP, 7xGM, whatever it may be.

    I will be honest that I cannot say with any sincerity that I see great hope (especially under EA, to be blunt) for UO to see any sort of renaissance, especially with the issue of its technology being so dated. (Those who have stayed appreciate other aspects of the game besides its cutting edge technology, but someone coming to UO fresh from WOW would honestly not be able to stomach it, I myself even found myself jarred by the blocky, jagged lag and map scrolling as I ran around even on a modern system and broadband connection.) I consider it a wealth of information for future game design, though, and I hope that someone will "fall back" on learning some lessons from UO after the WOW style of MMORPG finally burns itself out. (I consider WOW to have emphasized many of the wrong things, while either minimizing or completely excluding many of the right things -- the design to me is an "if you can't beat 'em, join 'em" attitude in response to things like powergaming and unfair competition between old and new players within a closed mmorpg environment and rather than trying to restrict many unpleasant, unfun things that arise in mmorpg populations, instead rewarded and encouraged them. It struck me as taking a cynical profit geared mindset of "well we know other mmorpg's couldn't keep players interested forever, so instead of bothering, we'll just give each individual player incentive to play for as long as possible, by finding just the right mix of "you're useless at low levels" and "we'll try to drag out your reaching the endgame, but make it just rewarding enough along the way for you to stay addicted till then." I hope to see, in the future, someone , even if a small startup, returns to the idea of creating a persistent social world mmorpg building upon the lessons of previous ones, without giving in to the temptation to just make a powergrind heaven to milk subscription fees for five years but otherwise not worrying too much about the viability of the game design.
     
  34. The day UO:Ren went live, OSI suck a knife in the chest of UO, and cut out its heart...and left it to slowly bleed to death.
     
  35. I think there really needs to be abetter music system, that can compare with modern day games... :\
     
  36. Rotgut Willy

    Rotgut Willy Seasoned Veteran
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    I'm new to UO myself (well.. old vet from many, many years ago (pre-Trammel), recently returned) and I've spent a lot of time in New Haven the past month and a half.

    I'd like to see more skill related quests (the quests that get you to 50 skill for a nice blessed reward). Currently, Bowyer/Fletcher, Carpentry, Lumberjacking, Arms Lore, All Bard skills, Alchemy and many other skills do not have these types of quests associated with them. Why do mining and blacksmithing have them yet lumberjacking and carpentry do not? Why does Alchemy not have one? Fishing? Cooking? Etc.

    A newbie dungeon located in New Haven would be cool. The entrance could be inside a building in Old Haven... maybe a basement or something that leads to various tunnels beneath Old/New Haven. New Haven quests could lead new players into the dungeon for fun rewards. Seekers of Adventure could request to be escorted to specific areas of the dungeon. Quest items could be found within. There are so many possibilities. But I suspect something like this would never happen... the vast bulk of new content is geared towards the long standing vets with well established accounts, not the new players.
     
  37. i think a better music system :\

    But for the newbie dungeon i would recommend that there is a levels and floors to the stages that go from easy to somewhat hard... like start with rats, move to orcs, until you get to big things for new players like Ogre lords and Cyclops warriors and maybe even beyond that

    P.S. A better music system would really really really really!!! be nice... Really!
     
  38. One thing I would think that would be pretty easy for the devs to do would be to adjust the spawns in some of the "easier" dungeons.

    Places like Despise, for example...could have their spawns tweaked a little to reduce 'over spawn' so new players don't get attacked by like 19 lizardmen immediately upon entering the dungeon.

    The first level of many of the dungeons in Britainia were set up to be progressively more and more difficult for the exact reason of giving new players and new characters a place to work on their skills.

    Gates to some of the dungeons in the newbie areas might be helpful...as long as something, a sign, an NPC, warns them not to venture too deep into the dungeon.

    It would be nice to see someone using the old dungeons for something other than camping the one or two spawns that are good for farming gold.
     
  39. Duskofdead

    Duskofdead Sage
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    When I was "originally" new to UO years ago, I know that it wasn't until a couple of months in game that I even knew there were dungeons... I think by stumbling upon one in the wilderness and having my companion say "THAT'S DESTARD!!" in great fear. (Making me afraid, so I never tried to go in until much, much later.)

    I think the fact that a lot of the dungeons more or less correspond to the various virtue cities in terms of geographical location, and the fact that most virtue cities are 100% abandoned for 99% of the day, doesn't help in terms of introducing new players to dungeons or even forming parties or making friends to go there with. A new player is not going to "know" to go to Luna nor, frankly, from what I've seen, is a new player likely to run into anyone at Luna who'd care or gain anything from going to a lower end dungeon with a new player anyway.

    It's sad to see a lot of the same overarching long-term design mistakes that I remember from when I left UO still here, such as the horrible town attack ideas which did nothing but totally depopulate the old virtue cities (as each city would take its turn being "under attack", all the people who used to use it as a hangout would wind up relocating elsewhere so they could bank without being attacked abruptly.) Now it's to the point where you're really unlikely to run into anyone outside of Luna. Since returning I've run into a grand total of 3 people at Britain around the west bank area and zero in my old haunt of Trinsic, even though I'm insisting on using both cities and avoiding Luna. (There really is not much in Luna that benefits a new player anyway, it's a lot of very well developed, established rich players and vendors catering to the same.)

    I think some sort of incentive for players to stop treating Luna like the UO version of Orgrimmar ("the only place everyone goes to go do everything") such as perhaps things like (just throwing out ideas)

    1. Special extra capacity containers in the old virtue city banks
    2. "Specialized" NPC supplies/specialties like in the old days--- more regs for sale in Moonglow than in Luna or Britain, more tinkering items in Minoc, etc.
    3. Special rotating quests offered only in the old virtue cities with worthwhile rewards, possibly repeating quests which change and alternate so people have a reason to be in the vicinity of the older cities.

    I know this isn't a comprehensive or well thought out list, I was jsut making up ideas on the fly for how we could repopulate Britannia outside of Luna. Because honestly, talking about dungeons for new players is putting the cart way before the horse when the typical player is likely to have a hard time finding ANYONE once they leave New Haven, let alone forming parties, exploring, or thinking about dungeon diving.
     
  40. Moreeg

    Moreeg Guest


    Bank sitting has always been a UO pastime, back when I lef it was the bank at Brit that everyone was sitting at, now its Luna. I understand what youre saying, but its kind of human nature to want to congregate somewhere that other people are... Hell, the best buys in-game used to be found at the bank :)

    To me, the vendor situation in Luna is more troubling. I understand (to a degree) the benefit of a more centalized "mall" for shopping, but it seems to me that Luna has killed the vendor system for anyone who isnt a Luna vendor. I had three runebooks of vendor locations for the old days... when I came back, only one of those vendors still existed and it was a shadow of its former glory. Ive come to the conslusion that attempting to do ANYTHING in game with the hopes of setting up a vendor to sell on is pointless.

    Im sure Im not the only person who feels that way, so I would say that crafting is basically pointless. I can craft for myself, but have no viable chance to sell things. Im sure new player will see this as well. Its one less reason to play.
     
  41. Duskofdead

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    It's not a problem with bank sitting. It's a problem with everyone bank sitting in only one town. And yes, I know that since a couple years in from T2A or so all anyone ever went to was Britain. But that was because of the incomprehensibly stupid (and even more incomprehensibly stupid that they've continued it to the present day) town attacks/town takeovers that depopulated all the old cities one after the other. People just want a safe place to go bank, and while town attacks seem like a good idea, the only real long term effect of them was to completely gut the unique communities in each town which existed prior to the whole town attack concept.

    And yes, I am sure the Luna vendor system has created exactly the situation you describe, I've only been back for a couple of days and I can already see the deadness of the rest of the world. Unstocked vendors, or vendors being used only to store the homeowner's items, or only a small amount of insanely priced higher end probably PvP related items and potions, nothing for the typical player at all. It is NOTHING like the old days where you could buy ANYTHING while out in the wilderness.

    Sometimes, I wish they took a more aggressive stance from the beginning when it comes to UO. This whole pamper and baby the people and "grandfather in" things which later are learned to hurt the game is probably a requirement now because the subscription base is so small. A game like WOW I think would not give a second thought to revoking some sort of already handed out item or ability or privilege that got abused, or resulted in harm to the game overall. I'm speaking in this case about the few people with vendors near Luna basically killing the activity or even the NEED for the rest of the game to exist in terms of the economy.

    If those old cities aren't given SOMETHING unique be it exclusive resources or specialties or quests, I have no idea what is in the devs' brains as far as what would possibly ever revitalize the world or get people to do things besides hang out at their house and Luna's bank. Maybe they don't care. *Shrugs* Certainly it shouldn't have taken rocket science to see the effect that the monster town attacks had even YEARS AGO when I left the game, yet that hasn't stopped them from continuing them and givign people even more incentive to all just plant themselves in one place. What I just can't understand is why the devs see no problem at all with 98% of their content being totally unused.

    My newbie chars have been scandalized at being forced to sell craftables around 6gold apiece (frequently much, much less in all instances than the cost of making the items) to NPC's because they're not skill level 120 objects and stand no chance of selling to a player anyway, not that I have a house or vendor to sell them at anyway. UO's formerly "pretty good" crafting system is pretty horrible now, in part because the devs seem to have made changes to it as if UO still had a huge player base when it doesn't.
     
  42. Moreeg

    Moreeg Guest

    Sad isnt it? I used to love wandering around and stumbling upon a vendor I had never been to before... my brother had a small but loyal clientele of people coming to him and his one lone vendor for arrows and crossbow bolts. It didnt make him rich, but it made him enough money to get by.

    I miss the vendors and the people who would set up public crafting stations in the wilderness. Nothing like the ease of being able to smelt some ore while youre mining!




    That is intriguing! I would love to see the old cities revitalized! And from a new player experience perspective, it has to be disheartening for a new player to leave New Haven and wander the lands and cities and not see another person for stretches of time. Getting people back into the cities would be a big step in bringing playablity back, for new and old alike.

    Oh, Im not a fan of the city invasions either. Its nice as a once in a great while "Holy Crap!" event, but the current invasion... it just doesnt seem to have a point. It seems like its boiled down to item farming. Even the poison sack that needs to be used to stop the invasion seems to have become a pseudo-rare to be sold instead of used for the story line. I would prefer to be able to get into town at this point.
     
  43. Moreeg

    Moreeg Guest


    Actually, when I came back after being gone for years, it was disheartening to me. Until someone told me that everyone banksits Luna, I was beginning to think that I was the only one left on the shard. I think I saw a handfull of people in the first few days.
     
  44. Rotgut Willy

    Rotgut Willy Seasoned Veteran
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    When I recently started up, I met a few people in Haven. But when I began exploring the lands I was amazed at how few people I came across. Brit was emtpy. Minoc, Vesper, Trinsic, Yew, Skara Brae, Moonglow.. all the same. Empty. It was pretty disappointing.

    Then I discovered Luna and thought, "Wow! Here's where everyone hangs out." And I started browsing the vendors and thought, "Whoa... I can never afford any of this stuff." There are items priced well into the millions.. holy cow. It's like my dream to get hold of a Jackal's Collar. But the cheapest I've seen one sell for is something like 7 million. Um... I guess I settle for this barbed leather gorget I found on the ground in front of the New Haven bank. ;)
     
  45. Duskofdead

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    It was a wonderful "problem to have" when there were so many myriad stocked vendors all over the wilderness that your problem was that you had competition all around your house! No matter how much competition there was, though, and even though my house was not exactly near a major crossroads of any sort, I routinely made money off it. And I only ever had one 7xGM character and that was my primary fighter character, so he wasn't a crafter. Most of my crafters were more like the 50.0-80.0 skill range and just made normalish items, furniture, basic armor, basic potions, that kind of thing. It made me enough money to be comfortable, I never had (or seriously yearned after) more than my very small two story house though. (I don't know the dimensions, but back then you would have had a hell of a time placing anything bigger anyway, we were lucky to get the spot we did at all housing being the way it was back then... I'm pretty sure we had to camp all night at a decaying house site to even get a tiny plot in the middle of nowhere).

    I have to be honest that is my huge disappointment coming back. I can get over visually "readjusting" to the dated graphics and choppy rendering and laggy performance and annoying interface when it comes to having to double click doors open ("you can't reach that!") and such that I've gotten pampered on from such smooth running interface games like WOW. My huge disappointment is I wanted to hang around the bank and talk to people, maybe meet some other old players, etc. My experience thus far is I met one person in New Haven who was just passing through and then I met 2 people in Britain on Sunday (they were the only people who came through Britain all day Sunday as far as I could tell) and I am yet to see a living breathing person in Trinsic, my old hometown.

    I would really like to see those communities come back. And if that "broke" the backbone of some people who've gotten filthy rich in Luna because quests or some other incentive drew people away back to the old towns and bankrupted some of the Luna vendors, boo hoo. :)
     
  46. HeathBar

    HeathBar Guest

    This is one of my favorite features of Warhammer! I don't know how they would easily translate that into something usable for UO but it is really a great idea.
     
  47. Duskofdead

    Duskofdead Sage
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    Is that like an in-game openable encyclopedia of game concepts or something?

    *Puzzles*
     
  48. Oh...I have a fix for the Luna vendor problem...and I will get flammed to no end for saying it, but...


    1 House, 1 Vendor...no more.

    The vendor "malls" in Luna are out of control...and every ridiculous item from bent pieces of metal that do absolutely nothing, to nice rare weapons and armor are all duped, and horded into that one stinking pit of a city.

    If the devs wanted to crack down on cheaters, they should start by banning everyone that has a vendor in Luna.

    Yes, it would hurt legit players, but it would mostly affect 99.9% of the cheaters in the game.
     
  49. Duskofdead

    Duskofdead Sage
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    I think a lot of these lessons learned are "too late" for UO, and unfortunately, no other MMORPG's that I know of are making an effort to be a true successor to the type of MMORPG that UO is. Most (EQ and WOW coming to the forefront of my mind the most, FF Online would count as well several years back when it was in its prime) simply seek, in my opinion, to milk the addictive qualities and the long, drawn-out delayed gratification elements which keep those fees coming in. Gameplay development and design decisions seem far more motivated by what will be fun and addictive for a number of months, rather than what would create the most interesting or player-driven and viable long-term persistent game world, economy, or social community the way many of us remember UO to have been, or at least, to have had the potential to be.

    Evocare, for instance, is last time I checked head dev of WOW, and he was head dev of UO for most of UO's peak lifespan. I played WOW quite a bit and I really saw zero evidence that he carried much, if anything, over from lessons learned in UO, except in the area of keeping subscribers more interested in ongoing play by a constant progression of the character and things to work towards (a complaint about early UO from more "mainstream" RPG players who tried it). There is ample evidence on the other hand that he lived up to his whispered reputation (gotta be honest, I know little about the guy, this is just something I've heard people say about him over and over) that he's a diehard believer in the hardcore raiding system and that gear and progression for those who devote a lot of their life or effort towards playing the game should "matter" and should result in exclusive rewards unavailable to everyone else. (This of course leads to the pathetically imbalanced PvM and PvP systems in WOW's high level endgame where you either are, or are not, well geared enough to be competent at all in the higher end dungeons or PvP battleground events. This is where a lot of more casual players, myself included, reach the end of the line and realize there is nothing meaningful for us to do because anything we can do, the hardcore players are doing more, better, faster and satisfying all the demand for.)

    So my hope is for a "next generation" UO-esque mmorpg which doesn't focus so much on the candycrack action graphics market and the super casual market and the "I'm bored easily, lead me around by the nose" mainstream RPG market and instead returns to creating an environment where players will influence the economy, how justice is served, play the good guys and the bad guys, be the thieves and robbers and craftsmen and fighters-- instead of scripted NPC's doing all those things for the player to go out and interact with via monorail quests. Whether or not we can realistically expect such an mmorpg to ever surface again, especially with the addictive mass profitability of the EQ/WOW raiding model of never-ending "shinies" farming, who knows.

    I realize, the old cities were very near to complete abandonment even when I left the game six years ago. But sometime shortly prior to the introduction of T2A and then somewhat h eavily afterwards, the town invasion system was introduced and was pretty much all-new, aside from just single-event GM-run occasional spawns at town gates and such prior to that. And it was those town invasions which "cycled" through all of the major cities (at one point for instance Trinsic was "overrun" and they took away the guards and everything with high level undead running around and mass spawning for like two or three weeks... you can imagine what that did to the community that used to hang out there) which drove everyone to exodus to other towns, and basically ended the concept of town-based communities. I never saw it recover, either before I left and certainly not since I've been back.

    They should have done single events or multiple events over a short period-- not just tossed cities to the wolves for weeks at a time like they did to Trinsic and like they're doing to Moonglow right now. All it does is encourage players to find somewhere else to do all their business and then, once they do that for a period of weeks, there really is little motivation to ever return to a dead city. That's why everyone "only" used Britain by the time I left, and I think it was a very bad thing for the game. It's almost certainly too late to fix but what astounded me was that they still hadn't learned anything from that significantly game-influencing event system after all these years and the damage it did to the in-game communities.
     
  50. Viquire

    Viquire Crazed Zealot
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    Might it not be simpler to go ahead and complete new haven, its buildings and lists of quests? Could some of this task be farmed out for EMs?