1. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.
  2. Greetings Guest!!

    In order to combat SPAM on the forums, all users are required to have a minimum of 2 posts before they can submit links in any post or thread.

    Dismiss Notice

Lack of development spells trouble for the EC...

Discussion in 'UO Enhanced Client Discussion' started by Dermott of LS, Sep 15, 2010.

  1. Dermott of LS

    Dermott of LS UOEC Modder
    Stratics Veteran

    Joined:
    May 12, 2008
    Messages:
    5,320
    Likes Received:
    528
    ...

    First a repost from the UHall that I made after the Town Hall, then a few additions after:

    I want to take a few moments to give a comprehensive look at the problems with the EC from a dedicated user of the EC. Normally I do a lot on Stratics to support the EC, I’ve dedicated a lot of hours to helping others be able to use the client either through posting answers, macro concepts, or through the User Interface projects I have worked on.

    I generally try to stay away from “state of the game” type of posts because they’re generally written by someone disgruntled with a very narrow view of UO as a whole, so don’t consider this one of those type of posts.

    This is more an “I play the EC almost exclusively, so let me take a swipe at the issues I see with the EC in regards to what was said at the Town Hall” type of pot to go aside (or opposite) of the one made by non-players.

    First of all let me say that just because I play and favor the EC doesn’t mean that I don’t think it has problems. In fact quite the opposite is true. I think the EC has a LOT of problems and issues from many different directions. That is what the post is about, not blind defense of the EC, but an honest look of what I see are problems with it.

    So what are these problems?

    Artwork Resolution: Leaving out any arguments over the artwork style of KR vs Legacy, one direction that was correct in that regard was making the new artwork in a higher resolution. Quite simply, outside of a 640x480 resolution (1:1), Legacy graphics simply do not hold up well. Furthermore, the EC’s default zoom setting is much closer than the 1:1 setting of Legacy to adjust for higher resolution displays to show a roughly equal play area under default settings as the Legacy client. Because of that, new users’ (or potential converts from 2d) first look at the game screen can be a distorted mess. Zoom out carefully enough and you might be able to find the magic 1:1 level that makes everything clear, but even this does not seem to be consistent across all pieces of artwork. Zoom in and the pixilation is almost embarrassing. In the KR client, you could zoom in and everything would remain reasonably smooth even showing facial features on your character ingame. In the current EC, a character’s face is a pixilated blob. Yes, there was the argument for client performance, but even then, simply downgrading everything was the quick and easy way that solved little.

    UI downgrades from KR: Crafting menus, the Atlas customization system, and the Animal Lore gump are all downgrades or outright removal of more popular and useful KR UI elements. The Crafting Menus in KR were larger than the Legacy versions, however, they also had the Make X and Make Max features on the main page rather than 2 or 3 sub-menus deep. The Atlas customization allowed players to define what the various map pins looked like, the color, and the size of those pins. It also allowed the players to define what the waypoints looked like in the game window giving different options players could set to define those waypoints differently as needed. This was ENTIRELY stripped out and I have yet to see any rhyme or reason as to why. The Animal Lore gump wasn’t big in itself, however in KR it was moddable and a VERY popular mod was developed that put all of the information from Animal Lore into a single gump. Attempts have been made to replicate this, but as with the crafting menu, it has been relegated to the internal gump system untouchable by modders.

    EC “abandonment issues”: While I don’t share the pessimism of another poster here that plays the EC, I do have to mention that the LACK of continuing development on the EC and the attitude of “when we get back to it” does not help the image of a client that has remained in “perpetual beta”. Yes, we had an “EC Sprint” not too long ago, but it was more of a 40yard dash than a 400 meter race. Too quick and too little to make much of a difference. Much more needs to be done and the EC REALLY needs a team that can be dedicated to not only finishing the job but improving what the EC is and can be.

    “You cannot pick that up”: This has to be my BIGGEST pet peeve bug. Drag and release something either too quickly or with just the right timing and you are stuck unable to move anything else or Recall until you log out and back in. This is but one of many nagging bugs that have been present since the client was released.

    Freeform backpack issues: I think everyone knows about these whether they are users or not. First of all, I am still very much of the opinion that the Legacy freeform container is simply abysmally small in size and area, but that is only the first of many problems. Items are not as sharp as they should be inside the legacy backpack (which I believe is a function of the resolution issue above), they change size depending on your UI scale when you move them which can be disconcerting, precise placement of items in freeform is difficult, and displays of items in freeform containers can differ between clients making running a vendor in the EC difficult.

    Default UI is an eyesore: While the default KR UI wasn’t well liked, looking back, it was at least a lot less bright and garish in appearance. If there’s one aspect of the EC where I can see people getting eye strain, it would be with the brightness of the default UI. In fact that was why I created the Copper UI skin, just to tone down the UI to a more subtle colorset. People should want to change their UI based on personal preference not because the default is difficult visually.

    Magic Users: Ok, I'll be the first to say that I don't play magic users that much (at least not as a main skill), so I don't have all of the inside tricks and skills involved. I've seen plenty of posts about how a Mage is more difficult to play in the EC and while a BIG part of me wants to say "You have to walk before you run" meaning that you really do have to take some time to adjust to the way the EC handles everything, I think there's more to it than that. Because of that, what we need is a Magic User's EC Focus Group so that people who DO use magic-based skills can work with the devs to redevelop the EC to handle casting at least as well as the Legacy client does and actually have something come out of it.

    Random movement in combat Anyone who has at least played melee in PvM in the EC will make note of times when their character randomly "jumps" a tile (sometimes more than one in a short period) occasionally ending up out of range of a corpse they just killed.

    Beyond the problems with the EC itself is the fact that there has been little to no further development since earlier in the summer and none apparently on the horizon. Because of this, I have gotten word that we have effectively lost more than one of our active modders due directly to the lack of activity and vision of the EC.

    The current path by the devs and/or Mythic/Bioware/EA/whatever-it-is-today does NOT bode well for the future of the client and by extension the game itself. If the devs REALLY want everyone to be playing the EC, then they REALLY need to start acting like it and get some focus put onto the client and STOP listening to the naysaying trolls who aren't going to like the new client REGARDLESS of what they do.

    I can understand failure... so long as the chance is at least taken, and at the moment, we have a dev team that while doing well in some regards, does not seem willing to take that chance when it comes to bringing the game forward technologically. Instead we've had aborted attempts and then fruitless compromises and as a result, the current status of the modding community (small as it is already) has suffered which is a shame in my opinion.

    I think everyone here knows that I'm a BIG proponent of a new, updated client. I WANT this to work... I just wonder sometimes if the devs do as well.
     
  2. Martyna Zmuir

    Martyna Zmuir Crazed Zealot

    Joined:
    Apr 27, 2007
    Messages:
    3,052
    Likes Received:
    632
    I completely concur with all of this.
     
  3. Good post! I play the EC exclusively, and if it weren't for the player made Mods (you know who, take a bow please!) I don't know if it really would be that playable. It's just a bit too unfinished without the Mods. But with a 22" widescreen monitor and my bifocals, it's the only choice for me.

    I haven't had a problem with the “You cannot pick that up”: in quite a while. I don't know if it was the EC sprint that fixed it (I think it was), but that's no longer an issue for me. My backpack doesn't get "stuck" any more.

    And the Random movement in combat is perhaps one of the most annoying things in the EC!

    I saw that it was announced at the Town Hall meeting (or was it the Developer's post?) that there is going to be something happening with artwork - it wasn't specific, but I took this to mean improvements to the EC graphics.

    The developers haven't completely abandoned the EC, just haven't given it the attention it deserves. MAYBE once a few of the more notorious 3rd party programs no longer work in the CC, players will switch to a more playable client. MAYBE the developers will read this thread and tell us their plans for the EC.
     
  4. Taylor

    Taylor Former Stratics CEO (2011-2014)
    Professional VIP Stratics Veteran Supporter Alumni Campaign Benefactor Alumni

    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2008
    Messages:
    8,023
    Likes Received:
    1,714
    This is a fantastic post. Thank you.
     
  5. Fink

    Fink Guest

    This post is brilliant.

    What would really be refreshing is an open and frank discussion on the EC from the development team. A solid, extensive exchange dedicated solely to this client, regarding its actual development schedule. No cover-your-backside doubletalk, no stringing along, no vague, placating promises. They always come across as extremely reluctant to talk about it, or just flat out disinterested.

    Don't say "soon", because you can't promise that if you have little idea when.
    Don't say "after x", because when x is done there will be y and z in the way.
    Don't say "when we get to it", because that shows unwarranted contempt.
    Don't make glib wisecracks, because it's important to us. We want development from developers, not comedy.

    And if there is no clear, concise plan, form one. Put people on it. Make a dedicated team. This is meant to be the future of the game, at least for advanced players and new players. UO could reach so many more people if only the EC were done right.
     
  6. Merion

    Merion Lore Master
    Stratics Veteran

    Joined:
    Dec 1, 2009
    Messages:
    1,006
    Likes Received:
    9
    I completely agree with everything said above.
     
  7. Martyna Zmuir

    Martyna Zmuir Crazed Zealot

    Joined:
    Apr 27, 2007
    Messages:
    3,052
    Likes Received:
    632

    This would require a paradigm shift in the way Cal, and by extension the rest of the Team, speaks to the people who keep him/them in a job.

    In essence: cut the politician BS and don't run eveything past a marketing department that could care less about UO.
     
  8. MalagAste

    MalagAste Belaern d'Zhaunil
    Reporter Professional Governor Stratics Veteran Stratics Legend Campaign Supporter Royal Knight

    Joined:
    Aug 21, 2000
    Messages:
    18,957
    Likes Received:
    5,449
    Great post.

    I have multiple issues with the EC. Though I never ever liked the KR client one thing I did like was the housing menu which I'm told was a bug... but I don't care.

    I'm waiting for fixes to the EC which is still in Beta... that's just wrong.

    Something needs doing and I am feeling abandoned.
     
  9. IanJames

    IanJames Certifiable
    Stratics Veteran Alumni

    Joined:
    May 19, 2008
    Messages:
    1,769
    Likes Received:
    101
    Well said Dermott....

    I especially miss the KR gumps for crafting and housing and animal lore.
     
  10. Fink

    Fink Guest

    It's just so frustrating.

    Enhanced Client was supposed to launch with Stygian Abyss expansion. The client was set aside so they could focus on the expansion. It went public beta so they could officially dump KR and say "mission accomplished, kinda". We'll get to it, we'll work on it, fix coming soon, etc.

    It's now one year, one expansion, two major class overhauls, and a pending booster pack later, and apparently there's still no shortage of other things more important than doing anything with EC.
     
  11. lucitus

    lucitus UOEC Modder
    Stratics Veteran

    Joined:
    May 13, 2008
    Messages:
    1,426
    Likes Received:
    45
    Yes, every normal player would now say "time to say goodbye". And maybe this is the plan, you cannot say a paying community, we are bringing it down shortly, no you have first to destroy their game feeling and then when only a few are left you can say we are shutting it down.

    I dont know if this is the plan and i also dont know, what is going on in the minds of the responssibles for this, for me this booster pack is not more than a ripoff and what is better for that than a pirates of the caribbean dream.

    But one thing i can say for sure, the Enhanced Client, will never have a bright future, this is an illusion, dont waste your time creating mods for a dead client :sad4:
     
  12. Hildebrand

    Hildebrand Certifiable
    Stratics Veteran Stratics Legend

    Joined:
    Oct 12, 2005
    Messages:
    1,697
    Likes Received:
    1
    I concur, great post and to the point.
    After this HS Booster, it's about time to work on EC. Hopefully we'll be able to change music around like classic client, because that war music drives me nuts and dungeon music has me pulling my hair.
     
  13. Thrakkar

    Thrakkar Slightly Crazed
    Stratics Veteran Stratics Legend

    Joined:
    Mar 18, 2004
    Messages:
    1,357
    Likes Received:
    342
    Well, that surely is personal preference. I don't see that as an issue.

    You forgot one thing. If an item is placed in a container, it's not placed topmost and if the item is small, it's likely to land behind an item and you have to search your pack to find it.

    I.e. when dropping a rune from a rune book, it often occurs, that I don't see the rune, because it was placed behind an item.
     
  14. Dermott of LS

    Dermott of LS UOEC Modder
    Stratics Veteran

    Joined:
    May 12, 2008
    Messages:
    5,320
    Likes Received:
    528
    ...

    I don't see that as an issue.

    It's an issue when the artwork is in such a state that on any modern monitor (LCD high resolution), at the default (press *) zoom level, everything is distarted and pixelated. Zoom in further and it gets worse, zoom out and MAYBE you can catch that magic ratio.

    Again, leaving out the argument over which set of graphics are "better" (this is the real personal preference), the issue is that the current graphics used are horribly low resolution and simply do not work well in the client and on modern systems in their current state.
     
  15. covert

    covert Journeyman
    Stratics Veteran

    Joined:
    Jan 15, 2009
    Messages:
    157
    Likes Received:
    5
    I just had my absolute last straw with this client.

    Completely stopping my character at a dungeon entrance (on the inside of Destard, of course) and ignoring keypresses/mouse clicks is something you think would be pretty high on the priority list. My friends and myself have all encountered this bug a silly amount of times and I'm over it. I told them I'll be switching back to 2D and uninstalling EC.

    Thanks everyone for the mods and skins, I would've given up two weeks ago without them.
     
  16. gramarye

    gramarye Guest

    I began playing UO almost ten years ago, with the release of the 3d edition - Third Dawn. At this time the game had a thriving player base (I started and remain on Europa) to the extent that in an evening the area around the Brit bank would be absolutely packed with players. And this was in the days when tamers would line the bank there with various tames for sale. It used to be an interesting and sometimes amusing experience simply to log in and watch the huge amount of activity. I found it to be an absolutely amazing game and fell in love with it to the exclusion of all others. No other massively multiplayer came anywhere near it. The software had its problems of course, but over time it became more stable and playable and it was 3d. I'm not a computer games programmer, but to my eyes it really looked like genuine 3d. When my char was carrying something, perhaps a spell book, it stayed in the same hand no matter how that character moved and turned on screen. If I zoomed right in to my nightmare's face it had fierce, burning eyes and the face did not become blocky or fuzzy. We all moved around and interacted in a beautiful 3d world. As I expect you can tell, I just loved it despite the fact that, right up until it was pulled, Third Dawn did have its problems. That these did not affect my play too much is perhaps obvious from the fact that I never played the CC, or felt the need to play anything else. Others felt differently. Players who had played for years before I joined them would not use the new client. Perhaps they didn't like change, didn't want to change play-style or outright didn't like 3d. I don't know, and people will vote with there feet and are entitled to their opinions and will play as they wish. I got into the 'Why would anyone choose to play 2d over this beautiful 3d' argument on occasion, even here, on the forums. The fact is that, in general, and in my experience, and even right up to today as I write, and on Europa, I find that very few players us the new client. There are, today, in my experience, many fewer players than back when I started - of all those who started with me I know of no one still here, but when I ask which client a player is using the vast majority tell me that they use what has become known as the CC. The company who make this game do so to make a profit. We know that the profit comes from fee-paying players. If most players play in the CC the only motive to spend money producing, improving and promoting a new client is to bring in new players who they probably suppose would look at the CC with a modern players eyes and turn away from it. However, as mentioned above, ALL of this has been tried before with Third Dawn. Initially that brought in new players, but clearly not in sufficient numbers to justify the cost of maintaining and developing the client or they wouldn't have dropped it. So what is to be done? Existing players who use the CC tend not to want to change, new players who won't play the CC are hardly flocking to the EC, and if this client fails I fear for the future of the game I love. I don't play much now for many reasons, but I have heard and read all of the arguments that are being used about what needs to be done to the EC before - in relation to Third Dawn. And it failed. My personal belief, and it is only my personal belief, albeit tempered with a good few years of experience playing UO in its various forms, is that unless the company can persuade EXISTING players to move to the new client it is in danger of failing, just as did its predecessor. And I have no personal idea of how they can achieve that. This, in my opinion, is the problem and I'm afraid I don't believe that all the graphical updates/fixes in the world will achieve this. If the company had been sufficiently brave/foolhardy to have scrapped the CC at the same time as they did what had then become 3d, perhaps that would have worked - and of course, perhaps the 2d players would all have left and the company gone bust. But, leaving graphical issues, game-play issues and all else aside (the CC, after all, is hardly perfect) getting current players to leave the CC and move to the new client is, in my opinion the only way we will ever get away from the original, 2d version of UO and, ultimately, ensure the survival of the game we all love and wish the best for. I wish to make it clear that the comments above are only my personal opinions formed over some considerable time and are expressed in a desire to see only the best for the future of Ultima Online. If anyone is offended by any of the above comments I apologise, they are, as I say, my own personal opinion.
     
  17. Hardy

    Hardy Lore Master
    Stratics Veteran

    Joined:
    Mar 23, 2009
    Messages:
    1,192
    Likes Received:
    129
    Only the lack of new paragraphs offended me :thumbsup:
     
  18. Omega9

    Omega9 Guest

    I would be happy just to get the damn thing to connect!
     
  19. sherkborg

    sherkborg Guest

    Im a huge fan of the new clients and out of all of them, I think this recent one is the worst. I personally liked the 3d one (um ishner client whatever it was). I actually used this client whereas the others... I log in, I log out after a few mins. Trying to find out how to use an interface while a mongbat ****s you is not good. Most games there interfaces are logical and you can just go and find out on the run. Not this client.
     
  20. now if we could only get Dermott of LS to work for EA :)
     
  21. Llewen

    Llewen Grand Inquisitor
    Professional Stratics Veteran Stratics Legend Campaign Supporter

    Joined:
    Mar 3, 2006
    Messages:
    4,699
    Likes Received:
    200
    *This is a repost of what I submitted to the thread on Lucis Interface.*

    As much as I wish the EC was better, it is actually quite good as it is, and I see no sign that it has been abandoned. What we have in UO is a relatively small dev team working on a massive project. They have a lot on their plate and I really think we all need to have some patience.

    The EC is stable, provides good functionality, and is a long way from being abandoned. All of the really big nasty bugs that I can think of have been fixed, and some of them without a lot of fanfare.

    Has anyone noticed that the mobiles window in Lucis Interface is now working pretty much as it should? That was a fix that came in without announcement, but it was a big deal to me at least.
     
  22. Llewen

    Llewen Grand Inquisitor
    Professional Stratics Veteran Stratics Legend Campaign Supporter

    Joined:
    Mar 3, 2006
    Messages:
    4,699
    Likes Received:
    200
    Further to my previous post, I'm just going to list some of the things we've had this year:

    - Third party cheat detection. I don't think the amount of effort this required can be understimated. And from what I see it works even though there are still issues with regard to the TOS being enforced.
    - High Seas booster. This constituted a pretty major investment in dev hours and a significant addition to the game.
    - EM events by the dozens and scores.
    - Lots of bug fixes for the EC and some of them pretty major (black screen lockup, performance improvements, mobiles buffer, etc.).
    - T-map improvements.

    There's lots more I'm sure. This was just what I came up with in a couple of minutes as I rushed off to do something else. I've said this before, I think this is the most engaged, responsive and active dev team we have ever had. I think we all need to take a deep breath and cut them some slack.
     
  23. I don't disagree, Llewen. BUT... I am still getting the random crash-to-desktop critical bug that was introduced with the HS booster. The massive fire spell crashes the client 100% of the time, and it seems the EM's insist on using it at every event. There is also a lag bug that freezes the client for 10 seconds or more before either resuming or you get the dreaded "Lost Connection" message. MANY bugs have existed since Beta.

    And %*$#@! - WE STILL HAVE A BETA CLIENT STATUS!
     
  24. Dermott of LS

    Dermott of LS UOEC Modder
    Stratics Veteran

    Joined:
    May 12, 2008
    Messages:
    5,320
    Likes Received:
    528
    ...

    now if we could only get Dermott of LS to work for EA

    Probably not going to happen for several reasons...

    1. I don't have the coding skills necessary for any job working with UO. As it is, the only UO-based coding I can do is tweaking the XML and texture files in UI building.
    2. I don't live in Virginia much less Fairfax
    3. I'm basically "stuck" where I do live thanks to the real estate "market" that has eaten up over half my home's value and throwing us "underwater" even though we've paid nearly half of the original mortgage off already. Selling the house is difficult enough on top of that.
    4. The job I have now is the job that at the moment best fits me.
     
  25. I wish one of the developers would go through your list and let us know if they are at least looking into some of the issues and which ones. Like a list of what we can expect and not expect.
     
  26. Langeblan

    Langeblan Guest

    personnally, it's since 2007 i m waiting kr finished...

    i never played to uo2d client since i started to play in 1999, because it's ugly, horrible and unplayable!
    Kr got excelent graphic and respect the univers of world of ultima! Remenber me a lot ultima 8.

    Kr have always been fastest on my computer in 2007, and it's should be more faster with computer of now!The only probleme in 2007 with Kr was infernal crachs bugs. But it's was fast... of course, i imagine the head of idiots who crying when they tryed it on a old notebook. Sure, so i imagine how Kr can be unplayble for them :rolleyes2:

    Now we have an old client 2d where there is last players who are playing again to uo. And a second client player where lot of players crying after KR graphical and wait the OFFICIAL version.

    since 1999 i pay for be stole be promise of devs who like to create dream for our eyes.
     
  27. sibble

    sibble Lore Master
    Stratics Veteran Stratics Legend 151

    Joined:
    Nov 30, 2004
    Messages:
    1,058
    Likes Received:
    332
    Whenever I run past a house with a bunch of water falls in front of it (you can find one at yew gate on ATL) my client drops to like 10fps
     
  28. lucitus

    lucitus UOEC Modder
    Stratics Veteran

    Joined:
    May 13, 2008
    Messages:
    1,426
    Likes Received:
    45
    However development is over forever! ;)
     
  29. Llewen

    Llewen Grand Inquisitor
    Professional Stratics Veteran Stratics Legend Campaign Supporter

    Joined:
    Mar 3, 2006
    Messages:
    4,699
    Likes Received:
    200
    That's not even remotely true. The entire default UI is in the process of being upgraded, and bugs are being fixed. If you are having specific issues like that fps drop, submit a bug report.
     
    Storm likes this.
  30. petemage

    petemage Seasoned Veteran

    Joined:
    Oct 6, 2013
    Messages:
    460
    Likes Received:
    328
    The thing is, most of the bugs mentioned in this thread have nothing to do with the UI part of the client (otherwise Pinco would have worked around them long ago). I just hope Pinco is now able fix some core issues of the client which lie beyond the scope of UI modding.
     
  31. Llewen

    Llewen Grand Inquisitor
    Professional Stratics Veteran Stratics Legend Campaign Supporter

    Joined:
    Mar 3, 2006
    Messages:
    4,699
    Likes Received:
    200
    Well, I know he put all the bugs into their bug tracking system, whatever that may be. Let's hope it actually means that some of them get fixed. I know one bug I've reported is in the system, and it makes it extremely difficult for me to play any character that uses bandages for healing. But there are also some very serious performance issues which affect more players.
     
  32. LowdownandShifty

    LowdownandShifty Journeyman

    Joined:
    Nov 19, 2013
    Messages:
    177
    Likes Received:
    49
    All I want is for the client to recognize that when I hold a key down, I want it to do the command repeatedly until I release the key. CC worked this way and was great for spells; EC, not so much.
     
  33. Llewen

    Llewen Grand Inquisitor
    Professional Stratics Veteran Stratics Legend Campaign Supporter

    Joined:
    Mar 3, 2006
    Messages:
    4,699
    Likes Received:
    200
    Actually that's pretty easy to do. Just make a macro and put a X10 repeat on the spell. It will only cast until the attempt succeeds and it won't overcast. Sometimes you need to stop trying to turn the EC into the CC and work with it the way it actually works - which is, in most cases, better...