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Is it just me...

Discussion in 'UHall' started by NuSair, Jul 6, 2012.

  1. NuSair

    NuSair Babbling Loonie
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    Or has anyone else noticed that the people that seem to actually interact with us are the ones that keep getting let go?
     
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  2. Viper09

    Viper09 Grand Poobah
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    Mes is still around, she interacts with us a lot and she got promoted.
     
  3. kelmo

    kelmo Old and in the way
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    They are merely the ones we know about. From what I understand, it is the nature of the business for folks move often. Job descriptions and requirements will often change. Personal needs and goals also change. Let us bid a fond farewell. Let us not make it a spectacle.
     
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  4. Nimuaq

    Nimuaq Lore Master
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    A list of developers who left UO for other games or projects in the past 10 months (as far as I know, correct me if I missed anyone):
    Calvin "Uriah" Crowner - Producer
    Billy "Axel" Teng - Engineer
    Brian "Argyle" Sobodacha - Engineer
    John "Kerlean" Thornhill - Quality Assurance Tester
    Bruce "Logrus" Bonnick - Designer
    Heather "Drummergirl" Cerlan - Lead World Builder
     
  5. Kylie Kinslayer

    Kylie Kinslayer Grand Inquisitor
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    When you think about it this seems more like a logistical thing than anything else, I could be wrong - would definately not be the first time. ALOT of companies would have parted ways with Grimm when they moved operations to Va a while back. The way I see it we were fortunate enough to have had him working with UO for a few years now.
     
  6. Tina Small

    Tina Small Stratics Legend
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    Did anyone in Virginia though know anything about UO and its "art pipeline" at the time of the move? I could be wrong, but I thought I read a post Grimm made somewhere where he mentioned developing or fixing up the existing tools for the art pipeline sometime AFTER that move. So I would imagine when the move was made, he very well might have been one of the few people with the knowledge and expertise to do his job specifically for UO.
     
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  7. Rupert Avery

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    I believe he Developed the tools they use for UO or at least made mega improvements to them
     
  8. Lady Silverbrook

    Lady Silverbrook Adventurer

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    UO's art as a whole with the exception of actual expansions has been spotty at best. The last large amount of art the game has seen was around 2009. Yes, we have had smatterings here and there, such as the boats, but nothing very substantial comparative to other onlines.

    So, that said, it is difficult (imo) to accurately gauge what was done concerning the art pipeline and how it may have impacted UO in an important manner.
     
  9. Martyna Zmuir

    Martyna Zmuir Crazed Zealot

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    This list really makes me wonder just who the hell is left working on UO...

    Mesanna is there, obviously, and Bleak posted last week... There is the new QA guy, Kyronix...but who else? Haven't seen a peep out of Supreem since January.

    Unless they get the new hires (are there new hires?) to poke their heads up every now and then to say "Hi!" before darting back into their warren, it really begins to feel like UO is in maintenance mode.
     
  10. TheGrimmOmen

    TheGrimmOmen UO Legend
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    Actually, as you all know when they moved production, the entire art staff was let go since no one wanted to move to VA. This actually included me. But our art director at the time asked "If you're going to lay everyone off, who's going to train the next artists?" I got a call the next day that they'd like me to stay on.

    I completely understand your point, and I'd have a hard time explaining the pipeline improvements in a way that's A) interesting and B) doesn't disclose too much of our proprietary tools. But, something that came to mind in your posts that might give some clue as to what I do. Because of improvements I made in our tile art creation pipeline, in the High Seas Expansion we were able to generate as many pieces of tile art in 6 months than all the pieces of tileart ever created for UO! That's something I always thought was pretty cool.

    -Grimm
     
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  11. Promathia

    Promathia EM Bennu Fanclub
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    Im pretty sure at least a few of those are still with EA/Bioware Mythic in some way.
     
  12. Nimuaq

    Nimuaq Lore Master
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    They are, mostly working on SWTOR. Stormwind also left EA but he was already working on other projects. Drummergirl is now working on The Last of Us, you might see her work on High Seas here: Heather Cerlan - Gallery: Ultima Online
     
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  13. Nimuaq

    Nimuaq Lore Master
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    Greg "Kyronix" Havlusch is actually one of the game designers.
     
  14. Martyna Zmuir

    Martyna Zmuir Crazed Zealot

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    Gak.. You're right. The other Dev should be Phoenix.

    So we've still got Mesanna, Bleak, Kyronix, and Phoenix. Not even a skeleton crew.

    Edit: Misk is the QA person.
     
  15. Flutter

    Flutter Always Present
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    Mark "Shade" Steelman - Designer was laid off last year before christmas

    Derek "Supreem" Brinkmann isn't working on uo anymore

    I think Yvette "MrsTroublemaker" Aarons might be gone too, not 100% sure on that one.
    By "left for other games" it sounds like it was voluntary which isn't always the case. Also, they may be working for other titles(instead of our beloved UO) but still with EA so that's why they haven't or couldn't post a goodbye.
     
  16. Nimuaq

    Nimuaq Lore Master
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    Yes, Michael "Misk" Armstrong is the software test lead. Bioware Mythic has more than 110 people (they say developers but I don't think that is the case) working on all three of their MMO titles but it doesn't actually mean that we get one third of that team. Both Mesanna and Phoenix have been working on UO for more than a decade now and I personally think that as long as the core development team have this much of a dedication for our beloved game, they can always use other junior or contracted developers from Bioware Mythic. The badly written C++ code (together with wombat) is also a major challenge for engineers but I think Supreem is doing did great so far. However, TheGrimmOmen leaving UO is a huge loss.
     
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  17. Uriah Heep

    Uriah Heep Crazed Zealot
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    If this is true, then there can't be too much to the 15th anniversary.

    And that would explain why you're not hearing about 15th anniversary everywhere you look.

    Might be a rough September, know wut I mean, Vern?
     
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  18. Nimuaq

    Nimuaq Lore Master
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    I couldn't verify Shade and Supreem, I remember seeing their names on Halloween cards though. So we have Phoenix and Kyronix as designers, Bleak as engineer and a new developer as artist.
     
  19. Pinco

    Pinco UOEC Modder
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    One by one they are all gone, seems that now the freeshards have more people working on it than EA... perhaps it's just an exit strategy to terminate UO...
     
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  20. Dermott of LS

    Dermott of LS UOEC Modder
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    ...

    Wilki, Leuro, Draconi, now Grimm, and going back further, Firedog and Pandemonium. All amazing devs not only in their professional abilities to improve the game, but to be a part of the community as well.

    Now it feels like the curtain has been fully lowered between the devs and the players. Who knows how many people we have working on UO because noone comes forward to be part of the community anymore. The curtain felt like it was wide open for a while (2005ish - SA release) but started to close when Cal was at the reins and now has been fully closed.

    Sorry Mesanna if you read this, but I can remember the constant shushing of Cal on the dev video chats when he was going to let out some information. That doesn't sit well with me.

    Right now the players/customers need COMMUNICATION. There is a significant portion of us who are watching and waiting for the high resolution update and it is to us one of the most important moves the game could make, but we don't even know if it's even moving forward anymore. We know there are anniversary things coming (including Grimm's final farewell and legacy to the game) and the bug sprint next year, but that's about it.

    We need a communicative dev team. We want devs that can follow in the footsteps of the people I mentioned above not only professionally, but community-wise as well.

    In 2006-2007 UO was getting exciting again. In 2010-2011, those hopes have been severely muted bringing out lowered attitudes towards the game.

    The course needs to change.
     
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  21. Flutter

    Flutter Always Present
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    Don't forget names like CatHat, Speedman, MrTact....
     
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  22. Uriah Heep

    Uriah Heep Crazed Zealot
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    I liked Darkscribe too...
     
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  23. wilki24

    wilki24 UO Legend
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    Three of my favorite people!
     
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  24. wilki24

    wilki24 UO Legend
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    Me too!
     
  25. Emma Silvermane

    Emma Silvermane Journeyman
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    what about jeremy? wasnt she one too? and cat hatt ? there was another one his name in rl is tim .. he was around when i first started playing .. wait i think tim was draconi .. and i dont think draconi was what grim and them are.. course im kinda unversed in who does what .. but i know what u mean on this topic.
     
  26. Woodsman

    Woodsman Guest

    Don't worry, the Ultima Franchise Producer will fill us in because he is a champion and advocate for his teams and products (never mind that he tweets more about console games than UO) and he believes in communicating a clear vision.

    Jeff Skalski | LinkedIn

    We do need communication now more than ever.

    This idea that we should be kept in the dark has gone on for too long.

    The only plausible excuse is that UO is in maintenance mode. It's been a long time since somebody talked about an actual future for UO. Bugfixes, pianos, and holiday gifts are not a future, they are distractions or things that should be in every publish.

    Part of a producer's job is to communicate an actual vision and future for their game. Producers can't get into their positions unless they can communicate that to their upper management, so I can't see why that can't be communicated to us.

    Unless it is in maintenance mode.
     
  27. Surgeries

    Surgeries Grand Poobah
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    You kicked Butt, Wilki! I met you at a Town Hall meeting, along with Fertbert! You weren't afraid to speak your mind!!

    I really liked Fertbert too!! And Leurocian!
    Ack!
    The memories!!
     
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  28. Promathia

    Promathia EM Bennu Fanclub
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    Oh yea, Mr.Tact was awesome with his failed Diminishing Returns system.
     
  29. Uriah Heep

    Uriah Heep Crazed Zealot
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    This is the troubling part. And I'm not hating on anyone particular at the moment, it's just that communication, and a game plan, and a direction, long term goals, whatever, would be nice to hear.

    Lets be honest, being told we are getting an anny reward, and that there will be gifts come Christmas...thats not news LOL. Being told that we plan to be around and actively working on the game in two years still, and that we are gonna go from this, to that, in that span of time, is news. Especially when someone in the know actually has a target they can guide us toward.

    It's how we ended up here, no firm and consistent direction, change producers and devs like underwear, and just go whichever way the wind blows, whatever the other games are doing. Let's back up a bit to our roots, let's do what we do best, Sandbox! We had such a head start, we should be leading, not copying nor playing catchup.

    But the problem is still communication. Everyone in Mythic knows this has been posted by now...but yet no one has spoken. And I don't buy into the "it's the weekend" bs, if something great was happening all of em would be here for the party.
     
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  30. Promathia

    Promathia EM Bennu Fanclub
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    Because back in the day, being told of all of the "secret" projects, and all of the failed or never come to pass plans really pleased alot of people.

    Id rather not be told anything, then to be told something and having it never come to be.
     
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  31. Lady Storm

    Lady Storm Crazed Zealot
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    Dont forget my best buddy Silvani she was a great person ... Look not every person can pack up and move 3k in miles across the country to restart their lives for work. Grimm has family and friends he has to think about. They moved already from Origins home in texas to Calif. I can just see the wife when he would go home and say pack the house hun we going to virginia.... yea right (takes out rolling pin and swats head). They are not gypses! geesh.
    Grimm and all of the personel of UO we have lost are sorely missed... I miss seeing Wilki and chatting him up ... Grimm's art is fantastic and his feeling for the players eye candy is a wonderous thing.. Draconi well...... his heart for the game was and is still amazing, I miss his posts.
    Mesanna is loosing a good member of her team... I for one am very gratefull for his work all these years and so glad they asked him to stay on this long... Why cant they see keeping him on would be far better but I dont run uo... JEFF get in here I got a bone to pick with u.................(remembers he is the team maker....)
     
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  32. NuSair

    NuSair Babbling Loonie
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    I believe in transparency, open communication and leading with integrity.


    uh huh
     
  33. Uriah Heep

    Uriah Heep Crazed Zealot
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    Then you should be Ecstatic playing a Mythic game...
     
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  34. Promathia

    Promathia EM Bennu Fanclub
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    Ive played most other MMO's, and let me tell ya, it sucks when they announce something really cool and it NEVER happens.

    Im not arguing that UO doesnt need more communication to players, but I dont think they need to be announcing stuff that may never make it in game.
     
  35. Woodsman

    Woodsman Guest

    That's not an excuse any more. I'm all too familiar with Ultima and UO projects that never came to pass. The UO team cannot be held hostage by a bunch of people who get their underwear twisted in knots if something doesn't make it in-game by a certain date or in a certain way.

    There comes a point at which somebody has to step up and be a firm leader and say that this is where UO is headed, this is what we are working, because every well managed MMORPG out there does this - communicates a direction.

    I would say it was an EA problem, since EA's longterm relationship with players is normally to crank out a sequel of whatever they play, but EA is making a hard effort to connect with the Star Wars community over the long haul, and they have been pushing out communications and plans on a weekly or bi-weekly basis.

    The guy who is one step above BioWare even used Ultima Online as a recent example that EA can build a relationship with players and keep an MMORPG going. He was using UO to defend Star Wars :gee:

    Unfortunately that guy thought UO had been around for 17 years, and last year he thought UO had been around for 10 years.

    Regardless, this lack of direction and communication is going to hurt this game as much, or more than laying off people like Grimm or maintaining an outdated website or graphics.

    Players coming from other games will not tolerate it, they'll see it as a sign that UO is in a bad shape.
     
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  36. Woodsman

    Woodsman Guest

    I refer to those things as "THINGS THAT HAPPEN EVERY YEAR" and that have nothing to do with UO's future, lol.
    The Mythic games in general are so incredibly lousy about communication, although the Warhammer players are getting a little more due to EA wanting Wrath of Heroes to succeed. If EA wasn't pressuring them, the Warhammer devs would be right back to their silence, with the official Warhammer forums being ignored or Kai stepping in every now and then.

    Regardless, Jeff never gave us a real vision, Mesanna has yet to give us a real vision. Mesanna has been working on UO for a decade. I can't believe she doesn't have a vision for UO.

    The more things change, the more they stay the same way, and the one guy who was giving us a vision of UO's future is being forced out.
     
  37. HD2300

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    The vision in the last couple of years is to focus on EM events for the 1% instead of develop content that 100% will enjoy. Now the 1% is 10%, and there are not many devs left, so you can judge how effective the vision has been.
     
  38. MalagAste

    MalagAste Belaern d'Zhaunil
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    I hate to say this but you know the old phrase: "You can please some of the people most of the time but you can never please all of the people any time at all.".... You just can't please everyone... and you can't develop things that EVERYONE is going to like or care about... that's just a fact.

    And it's not the DEV's fault that 80% of the population of UO NEVER looks at any of the boards. And it's NOT their fault that several of the players don't even read the stuff on the log-in screen.

    I know this because often it's those 80% of players asking the 20% "Say! What's that patch for?" "Anyone know what the patch is for?" Every time there is a patch... And folk who know me well enough are always asking "Hey Malag/Willa you know what that patch was? Did they change this?" And that is never going to change.

    What really gets me is how some people like that can say they "love" UO but have zero clue what is going on.
     
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  39. wilki24

    wilki24 UO Legend
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    I like most of 'em, then and now! :)

    I will say, it can be pretty tough watching something you designed or worked on in good faith be torn apart by people who think that you're a terrible person with horrible motivations. Or that you're a liar. Or that what you do is a "slap in the face". Or my all time favorite, that balance is the way it is because you play a certain type of character. All of the conspiracy theories get to be a bit much after awhile, as well. It's a fun job, true, but there are some days when it really does get to you.

    I do miss it from time to time, though. I miss chatting with you guys, and having the freedom to say whatever it was that I felt like saying. Though, we really only had that for a little while there, from March~August or so of 2006. Those were the good ol' days to me! I may not be a famous online community expert, but I knew this game and this community, and it was a pretty awesome time to be here.
     
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  40. Woodsman

    Woodsman Guest

    For me, a lot of changes I didn't like didn't make sense until after somebody had left and we heard the full story.

    If somebody does something you don't like, and you're thinking do they even play UO? all to often we find out much later that they were under intense pressure from people higher who probably didn't play UO.

    EverQuest launched in March of 1999, and within 8-9 months had passed up UO. Renaissance (which came out over a year after EQ was launched) was originally not supposed to be a duplicate land mass. You can't tell me that Tram doesn't feel like somebody was hitting the panic button to get non-PvP areas into UO while watching EQ quickly pass UO. EQ probably had EA flipping out.

    A lot of us wonder about Diablo's relationship to AOS. Diablo 2 sold 1 million copies in its first few weeks in 2000, and sold 4 million copies by the fall of 2001 (which was an insane number in 2000 and 2001). If UO2 and Third Dawn (and its client) hadn't been sucking up resources, I feel like somebody at EA would have been pressuring the UO team to add Diablo like systems once Diablo's numbers started coming in.

    A lot of us wonder about whether certain developers or producers or designers love UO, but we tend to forget that they also like receiving a paycheck. It can be very tough to take a stand against something you don't like if you risk losing a job, especially if you have a family.
     
  41. wilki24

    wilki24 UO Legend
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    Woodsman, what you're conjecturing is a good example of what I was talking about. I've been in this industry for almost a decade now, and I can tell you honestly that far more often what happens is the designers themselves are playing other games, we get enthralled with them, and that influences our decisions, either directly or indirectly, for better or worse.

    There really isn't some mysterious Elusive Man calling the shots, and ruining the game based on metrics in a spreadsheet generated by other company's sales figures. That's not to say that sometimes we didn't get overruled, or have things changed on us, because that's to be expected as a designer. But that came from our leads, or sometimes in meetings with other designers, very rarely was it from outside the team. One of the hardest things that newbie designers have to learn is to not take it personally when their stuff gets changed. It's going to happen, and happen a lot. That's the nature of the job. I can think of quite a few things off the top of my head that I didn't like, and wish we had done differently. Then again, I can tell you that some of the ideas I didn't like turned out to be pretty good in practice.

    It really is mostly an art form, rather than a process of steps that you can follow from start to finish.
     
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  42. Petra Fyde

    Petra Fyde Peerless Chatterbox
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    I have tried so often and so hard to get people to see how destructive this kind of criticism is.
     
  43. Lady Michelle

    Lady Michelle Sprite Full SP
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    Have you ever noticed the ones they keep letting go that don't iteract with us ?
     
  44. Promathia

    Promathia EM Bennu Fanclub
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    FINALLY

    Im glad SOMEONE said it.
     
  45. Warpig Inc

    Warpig Inc Babbling Loonie
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    Must be why the GM staff avoids us so much. At least they have a canned hot key.

    Player: "Need help with what color oranges are."

    GM: "The cows are out of the coral again."

    Sorta like two spies confirming the other is the one. When they want to talk in game need to figure what the secret chat key is.

    Face it the staff are doing a job. UO has been around in tech dating as long as dirt has been around. Sometimes grinding away making chairs needs to change up to making tables. And noone can agrue with making tables pays more being a bad move. Stay still to long is akin to havin typewriter repair experience on your resume. Few job openings at the typewriter museum. Why they need to slap a blown V8 in this Model T called UO and get this old girl moving and complain later about how squirrely it is. Just enjoy the ride and leave the factory models behind on our way to buy a nitro kit (ya that is another plug why EC is better then CC and waiting for 360)
     
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  46. Sevin0oo0

    Sevin0oo0 Guest

    Thank You for sharing, It's exciting to hear about back stage process. More post like that from the the current team could certainly go a long way in shaping thoughts and opinions of those out here in groupie land to something much more positive. But there seems to be a code of silence going on. Do you think there is one, or just our perception?
     
  47. Lady Silverbrook

    Lady Silverbrook Adventurer

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    Hopefully then one day we are able to see this art... because that is a lot of tile art to just leave laying around for at least a year and a half.
     
  48. DevilsOwn

    DevilsOwn Stratics Legend
    Governor Stratics Veteran Alumni Stratics Legend

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    loved your whole post, but...

    I've got a '49 Pontiac and gettin' it up over 45mph takes a while and she doesn't much like it there. Thing is, it's a really comfortable ride at 40 ;)
     
    Uriah Heep likes this.
  49. Uriah Heep

    Uriah Heep Crazed Zealot
    Stratics Veteran Alumni

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    Finally!! Got rid of that horse drawn carriage :devil: *ducks and runs*

    Wilki you need to drop in on us more often. I've said before you were always one of the more liked members, just because you would tell it like it is (or was). No political playing, heck, you got on my butt a time or two. lol
    Wish more of you guys could find time to drop in from time to time.
     
  50. Sevin0oo0

    Sevin0oo0 Guest

    Whether Dev or not, I think it shows there is another path to being well liked, in how they address player anxiety.
     
    Emma Silvermane likes this.