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Massively's Take on Jeff Skalski's Letter to the UO Community

Discussion in 'UHall' started by Woodsman, Aug 26, 2012.

  1. Woodsman

    Woodsman Guest

    If you are not familiar with Jeff Skalski (Ultima Franchise Producer) and his letter to the UO community that he announced a few weeks ago (Jeff Skalski: Just wrote a letter to the UO community. Hope to see it posted in the coming weeks.), you can read the letter on the UO Herald.

    So how did Massively, one of the largest MMORPG news sites, view it?

    Mythic: Help us convince execs to make Ultima Online 2
    You can read the comments at Massively - 84 and counting, and clearly people are still interested in UO.

    Bravo Jeff, bravo. I have to agree with Massively, by tossing in references to a UO2, and saying you're not making any announcements today, you have taken what was supposed to be a letter to the UO community about UO, and instead generated hype about U4E and a UO2.

    To add: I said some things that indicated that maybe you didn't understand what you were saying. I was wrong. You knew exactly what you were saying. When you said you weren't making any announcements today, after bringing up UO2 out of nowere, you told the world that you want to make a UO2.

    I ask two things of you: Make UO2 a sandbox, do not let the BioWare SWTOR devs get their hands on it. Allow us UO players to carry some of our possessions and characters over from UO.
     
    #1 Woodsman, Aug 26, 2012
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 26, 2012
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  2. Woodsman

    Woodsman Guest

    Since I'm not making it clear, I apologize to Jeff Skalski and I apologize for ever questioning his communication skills. I am very sorry Jeff.

    In light of looking at it from the point of view from non-UO websites, you just planted the seeds for a possible UO2. I mean this when I say it, you are brilliant when it comes to PR. Given that you helped get U4E made, I'm sure you will be able to get the money for a UO2, and I look forward to it.
     
  3. Dermott of LS

    Dermott of LS UOEC Modder
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    ...

    If the take away is a (non)announcement of the possibility of a UO2, I'll need to take a bit of time and put together the key aspects I believe such a title should bring to the table.
     
  4. Picus of Napa

    Picus of Napa Slightly Crazed
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    If this is the case and the letter was made to do this the above is the only thing I'm concerned with.
     
  5. puni666

    puni666 Slightly Crazed
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    This, and nothing to come besides cut and paste events. Unless you want to count us posting on multiple sources to display our interests in UO and why they should invest money into it. Otherwise if they don't invest it looks like we're looking at a stand still from what he said.
     
  6. Woodsman

    Woodsman Guest

    I thought he was just trying to sell U4E to UO players, which was tacky since UO's anniversary is so close, but if you take the letter and look at it from the perspective of floating the idea of a UO2, it's brilliant. Jeff instantly earned his paycheck.

    There are probably many things the UO team would like to do, but can't, due to the aging code. This kills a couple of birds with one stone. It instantly gets the attention of old UO players who quit. It allows EA to do a proper 3D UO and solves the high resolution issues. It explains why the UO team has shrunken over the past few years. It explains why they stopped working on the high resolution graphics for UO. It explains why they said that as long as UO was around, the Classic Client would be around - you don't have to worry about that commitment if you move to a new UO2. UO could never be converted to F2P either, but a new UO2 could be built with F2P in mind, just as SWTOR was. It explains why he and Mesanna have said so very little about big plans for UO's future over the past year.

    Everything starts to make so much sense if you look at it from the perspective of a UO2.

    It better be a sandbox and it better have good housing. That's all I ask Jeff. I would like to bring things over from UO, but I've taken breaks from UO a few times, and I've lost plenty of items, so not as important.
     
    #6 Woodsman, Aug 26, 2012
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 26, 2012
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  7. Woodsman

    Woodsman Guest

    Something else I thought of - I want it to be skill-based. It would be nice to bring things over - I don't expect to bring my house over or all of my things, but it would be nice to bring things over and bring characters over, but if the game was done right from the ground up using modern technology, I'm all for compromise. As long as it's a skill-based sandbox that has no involvement from the SWTOR team.

    My fear is that a UO2 would be directed by BioWare and would run into the same problems that SWTOR did.
     
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  8. Triberius

    Triberius Firefall Moderator | LotRO Moderator
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    Only issues with SW:TOR honesty is a player base with unrealistic expectations.
     
  9. Woodsman

    Woodsman Guest

    Well my issues are that I don't want a MMORPG that is based around BioWare's storytelling, because that takes away from time that could be spent making it a sandbox and it creates all kinds of endgame issues. I don't need 500 hours of voice acting.

    I want a skill-based sandbox with good housing and nice-looking graphics. In the span of two hours I went from wondering about UO's future to being excited that Jeff maybe trying to get a UO2 made. UO's 15th Anniversary is the perfect time to announce it as well.
     
    #9 Woodsman, Aug 26, 2012
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 26, 2012
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  10. Tina Small

    Tina Small Stratics Legend
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    Woodsman, I'm not gonna say, "I told you so." But, I just couldn't help remembering this old thread I started last year on September 26, 2011: Let's Play "What If".... | Stratics Forums . ;)

    NetDragon stopped mentioning a remake of UO in their press releases a few months ago and the placeholder pages for it on their Chinese gaming site became nonfunctional over the summer. And as you've pointed out recently, they've gotten heavily involved in other stuff since last year. However, NetDragon did earlier this month join a US trade association for game development companies. The other 3D MMO they have been working on with EA (Dungeonkeeper Online) has been in beta since April and is expected to go into public beta in a few more months. So, who knows what's really up with NetDragon. I'd probably be in hysterics if it turned out that their "Chinese version of UO" project morphs into a new version of UO, but at this point I really have little confidence that will ever actually happen. I'm not going to hold my breath waiting for it!
     
  11. Tina Small

    Tina Small Stratics Legend
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    By the way, Christopher Ondrus' LinkedIn profile no longer talks about a Chinese version of UO. However, it does say that since May, he has been the Producer for U4E. There are also two interesting bullets in the section of his profile under the job of Producer for Dungeon Keeper Online (which he is apparently still doing) (the bold italic emphasis is mine):
    Christopher Ondrus | LinkedIn
     
  12. Lindae Lives

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    NO I REFUSE TO BELIEVE THAT I WAS WRONG

    Seriously though, it is a good way of looking at it. Thank you for linking this. I have no grudge against Mr. Skalski and am prepared to believe that he is, in fact, a very clever man. I apologise for being so harsh in the other thread.

    Let's be friends.
     
  13. Flutter

    Flutter Always Present
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    I heard that, but I just dismissed it as wishful thinking. You guys have to realize if theres actually a game being paid by anyone to be made you're going to hear more about it than this. Right now I have to stand by what I said elsewhere. There is no UO2. Maybe someday? Maybe if U4E is a huge success (it wont be). They may have thought about it, talked about it, wished for it... but no one is going to fund such a huge project without having the proper PR and opening it wide. Grabbing interest from present UOers and past UOers during the 15 year anniversary would be a SPLENDED move. Still crickets. Exciting people to the point where they CANT WAIT to give it a try and are trying to find out the release date so they can put in for time off from work... that kind of excitement. Crickets.
    A comment from a producer saying "No surprise announcements about UO2 but if you buy my new game and play it maybe the people who funded this will think it's a good idea sometime in the future" does not mean that UO2 exists.
    I'll eat my words if I'm wrong. I would love to be wrong.
    I'm willing to bet it's going to be crickets.

    Besides, I don't understand how showing support for U4E shows any executive that I'd be interested in an Ultima Online 2. By playing Ultima Online yes. By playing a game he says at the top of his letter is a different game? No.
     
    #13 Flutter, Aug 26, 2012
    Last edited: Aug 26, 2012
  14. Tanivar

    Tanivar Crazed Zealot
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    Given the past record of EA dropping Uo projects, and leaving others unfinished and apparently abandoned, why would hearing of a UO2 with fireworks, banners, and all that routine make you enthused about a UO2? I seem to recall a past UO2 that was announced, invested in, then just vanished into some file cabinet never to be heard of again. The EC that never made it out of beta, the Gothic & rustic theme packs. and likely more others could point out.

    Believe in a UO2 when we are able to log into it.
     
    #14 Tanivar, Aug 26, 2012
    Last edited: Aug 26, 2012
  15. Flutter

    Flutter Always Present
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    This might just be the squirrel he was looking for. :lol:
     
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  16. popps

    popps Always Present
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    I would greatly love to see an Ultima Online sequel (# 2 or whatever it would be called) though, I would need to know, before playing it, that many of the problems which I did not like in Ultima Online would not plague my gameplay in UO2 also.

    Most importantly, I would need to be assured that cheating be it scripting, hacking, duping, whatever, would be fought hard and reduced to a tiny problem and not affect the game too much.

    I no longer want to see in a game I play, in game currency or rares duped by large amounts, nor do I want to see resources or Bulk Order Deeds or Library Collectibles or other repetitive tasks scripted to make items or resources which were intended to be scarce, become instead ubiquitous. I no longer want to see players be capable to get advantages in PvP because they can run faster on foot than their opponents mounted or because they can heal using scripts or run through obstacles and so forth.

    If I have to decide to start investing my time in a new Ultima Online I will need to know, before making that decision, that I will be able to play and compete with fellow players on an equal footing. So, at least for me, it will be very important how the new UO would be presented and what promises I will hear about a sequel to UO so that as a perspective player not wanting to see in UO2 many things which I hated to have to cope with in UO, I will be able to make my decision whether to play or not a sequel to UO, more informed.

    Another thing that I feel is important for my desire to play a UO2 is that I would like to know for sure, before playing it, that it will not be allowed to sell any game item for real money. I do not like this, and I think it actually hurts the game more than it may help it.
     
    #16 popps, Aug 26, 2012
    Last edited: Aug 26, 2012
  17. Lady Silverbrook

    Lady Silverbrook Adventurer

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    Woodsman, I expect so much more out of you than this.

    Of course Jeff would love a UO2. It would be nice and shiny and new.

    There is no UO2, however, nor is one being planned at the moment. He is merely saying that, maybe, one day, it might.

    Today isn't that day, and tomorrow doesn't look too good for it, either. They don't even have the manpower to work on the hi res art... Jeff himself in a tweet said that its still in the planning stages at the moment than the working stages, and he needs to get the new artist up and running on things. If they could not fix the male paper dolls, something that the UO team even acknowledged was one of the banes of the EC in 5 years, they surely do not have the man power to tackle anything truly important.

    I applaud you for wanting something so bad you try to find every angle to make it work in your favor. This simply isn't what you think it is, however.

    edit: You should also take note of the comments section where most of those chiming in deride current UO, Jeff Skalski and EA in general. I think you are one of the few who see this as being something more than what it is. After reading the article, I didn't get to the same conclusion you are jumping to. It merely says that 'one day there may be a UO2 if interest would be high for Ultima projects, so support Ultima especially U4E.'
     
    #17 Lady Silverbrook, Aug 26, 2012
    Last edited: Aug 26, 2012
  18. HD2300

    HD2300 Certifiable
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    Tina, in your linkedin link, vendor is mentioned a lot in the U4E project. Vendor = Outsourced, and I am assume that means outsourced to NetDragon, since C.O. is the producer and just produced his previous game with NetDragon.

    Ultima Forever – Erste Screenshots veröffentlicht :)

    [​IMG]

    Was U4E the Ultima project NetDragon was working on?
     
  19. zamot

    zamot Seasoned Veteran
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    I was wondering about this statement
    We have some new merchandise anniversary items in the works. See below for a sneak peek. Shhhhh... don't tell marketing! ;
    I only saw an image of a mean looking gargoyle below. Did I miss something, does he know that gargoyles were already added?
     
  20. blinkdog

    blinkdog Adventurer

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    Yeah, they expected it to be good.

    I don't want UO2, and I don't want Ultima Forever. I just want them to shut up, let the devs keep plugging away at UO, and leave us alone. EA/Mythic/Bioware/Whatever has proven its incompetence in MMO design over and over and over again. Warhammer, Star Wars, Sims, etc. all flops as MMOs.
     
  21. WildWobble

    WildWobble Sage
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    u4e is not uo2 so i say thanks but no thanks I will not spend a dime on that junk give me uo2 and I will happily spend a few hundred bucks.
     
  22. Uriah Heep

    Uriah Heep Crazed Zealot
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    KR, which got abandoned and became EC...in permanent beta no less.

    UX:O

    The previous UO2 before that.

    Nope no excitement here LOL. Show me, then I will believe. In the meantime, don't use hints and hype to try to get more accounts opened up. been there, done that...
    :sleep2:
     
  23. Penana Car

    Penana Car Journeyman

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    With all due respect if UO2 is not a Richard Garriott endorsed product, I won't pay for it. Why would I want the same people basically responsible for UO's current state building a new game? They're missing the target on what Ultima truly is. The only Ultima Forever is the Ultima that existed from the mind of RG.
     
    #23 Penana Car, Aug 26, 2012
    Last edited: Aug 26, 2012
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  24. Tina Small

    Tina Small Stratics Legend
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    I was wondering the same thing, i.e., is Ultima Forever the "Ultima China" project Chris Ondrus listed in his LinkedIn profile starting about a year ago and up to around the middle of this year?

    When NetDragon was still mentioning it in their press releases, they would say thing things like, "Our online games currently in development include Dungeon Keeper Online, TRANSFORMERS Online, Absolute Force, icombo, and a new version of Ultima Online. " The last official press release to have that kind of language in it is from March 26, 2012: http://file.download.91.com/down/ir_e_20120326_1.pdf . Subsequent press releases don't mention UO: http://file.download.91.com/down/ir_e_20120824_1.pdf (the one from August 24, 2012).

    Also, these old pages still exist on the English version of the parent company's website, but aren't linked to from elsewhere: NetDragon Websoft Inc.--Ultima Online--ir.netdragon.com and NetDragon Websoft Inc.--Ultima Online--ir.netdragon.com . Note that the first one says, "Our new version of Ultima Online is a 3D MMORPG, based on the theme, characters and other content of EA’s Ultima Online™. " [If you want to read one of the original 2009 press releases about the EA-NetDragon agreement regarding development of a new Ultima Online, here is the one from the NetDragon site: NetDragon Websoft Inc.--EA and NetDragon Enter Agreement to Develop Ultima Online--ir.netdragon.com . You haven't been able to find a press release about this agreement on the EA investor website for at least a year, if not longer.]

    I have my doubts that Ultima Forever is the project referred to above because, from what I understand, UFE is not a true MMORPG. I haven't played it myself, but from all that I've read, you play it with a few companions. Does that fit the definition of an "MMO"? Also, is UFE a 3D game? Are there any video trailers out that actually let you see characters moving around inside of it to see how it feels? And why isn't NetDragon being given any credit for UFE or taking credit for it themselves? If UFE = "Ultima China" = "our new version of UO that is a 3D MMORPG," why isn't NetDragon telling their investors the project has successfully reached the beta stage (or whatever you call the stage where UFE is right now)?

    I don't know what to think at this point. Is the reference to a UO2 just a gigantic "squirrel" (if you didn't see the movie UP, you might not get that), or is there really something in the works? Yeah, it is interesting to think maybe there really is something coming and maybe it's further along than we might suspect if NetDragon's been working on it in secrecy all this time. I just don't want to get my hopes up or be distracted from what is going on with the current version of UO.
     
    #24 Tina Small, Aug 26, 2012
    Last edited: Aug 26, 2012
  25. Woodsman

    Woodsman Guest

    NetDragon was not behind U4E (and by the way the screenshots were originally posted here). The NetDragon stuff was very clearly about an Ultima Online, and that's what they called it. Ultima Forever, Paul Barnett's baby was always going to be a re-imagining of Ultima IV, and it has always been a remake of Ultima IV from the very start. I'm not going to dig it up, you can find it on Ultima Codex,where Barnett was all but screaming that he considered Ultima IV to be the best game of all time and that he was going to get it made no matter what. There was a leaked map from like a year and a half ago that was from a presentation he gave, and it was an Ultima IV map.

    It's ironic. Some have suggested that somebody like Paul Barnett could have gotten more support from UO.
     
  26. silent

    silent Lore Master
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    How about focusing on UO ONE. You know the one with the dedicated fan base. Forget UO2, Forever, etc. I don't have time or desire to move to a new game or play more than one UO.
     
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  27. Tina Small

    Tina Small Stratics Legend
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    Also, don't forget that Jeff went to the gamescom 2012 conference in Germany earlier this month. I half-expected that if there was something "big" ready to happen with UO, he would have been up on the stage during EA's press conference to say something about it. But there was nothing. There wasn't even a mention of Ultima Forever.
     
  28. Woodsman

    Woodsman Guest

    I'm not saying it's going to happen over night. Look, Jeff in a letter to the UO community, brought up UO2 even though most UO players were more interested in the UO we play. This morning, Jeff tweeted about a UO2
    If the guy who makes the decisions about the Ultima Franchise, which includes UO, wants to make a UO2, you don't think that doesn't have an impact on the existing UO? The UO team shrank under his time as the franchise producer. Communication about UO itself as well as its future lessened under his time as the franchise producer.
    Ask yourself why they don't have the manpower. Look at the cheapest things they could get done - the website. The Mythic websites are maintained and designed by the same people, and the UO website has been a horrible website since not long after I took my last break, and nobody has cared enough to improve it. The Dark Age of Camelot website has over 90+ screenshots of just horses, and UO didn't even have a screenshot of a Mongbat. They didn't even really try to make more money from UO by tossing a bunch of things in the cash shop until a few days ago.

    I am not saying that they have been working on a UO2, I'm just saying that they didn't feel UO was important, and the evidence proves that point.
    What I want is a high resolution client for the UO we currently play, more players for the UO we currently play (and high resolution could help, and it doesn't have to be 3D, just high resolution). I also want better communication, and a better supported website, both of which can help make UO attractive to new or returning players ago. but I've seen the opposite of that since coming back last year.
     
  29. Woodsman

    Woodsman Guest

    If Ultima Codex hadn't been tracking Ultima Forever, and if Paul Barnett, and later Jeff Skalski hadn't been dropping hints about an Ultima IV remake, nobody would have known that Ultima Forever was being made. All people had was the EA Louse post from 2010 that said Barnett was trying to get an Ultima IV Facebook game made. Even though people knew that Barnett had been working on some Ultima project for nearly two years, screenshots didn't leak until late last month, after the game had been announced. If Barnett had kept his mouth shut on Twitter, people would have either forgotten about Ultima Forever, or figured it had been killed off.

    I'm not saying they've been working on a UO2, I think it might have leaked if they were, but I'm just taking the view that when the franchise producer talks about a UO2 in a newsletter to UO players, and ends that newsletter by asking them to play the new Ultima game, that he clearly has something in mind.
    There you have me. It doesn't make sense to ask UO players to play Ultima Forever if they want more Ultima games or a UO2. Unless the Ultima Forever people would be behind a UO2.
     
  30. Woodsman

    Woodsman Guest

    You are talking to somebody who has been closing accounts. Jeff Skalski is the one who brought up UO2 in the newsletter to UO players. He must have had a reason. Somebody who he talks to on Twitter should ask him why he brought it up in the first place.
     
  31. Tina Small

    Tina Small Stratics Legend
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    It's so seductive to think that perhaps the reason we're seeing so little hype for UO's 15th anniversary is that EA is planning to retire it after it hits the anniversary and it earns a Guinness world record (something Jeff has tweeted he's working on when asked if there are any interviews about UO's 15th anniversary in the works). It's easy to think maybe EA (specifically Jeff, Bonnie, and Kai) doesn't want to go on record talking to outside parties about UO having a glowing future when it really doesn't and/or they want to save their marketing budget to talk about a replacement product. Maybe Jeff, Bonnie, and Kai don't want to be known as people who blatantly lied about a rosy future for UO when they knew it's future was about to be cut off. If I was in their shoes and faced with that situation, I might just clam up too just to maintain some semblance of credibility for the future.

    It's also seductive to think maybe the people who make it to Fairfax for the town hall will be the first ones to see sneak previews for a new UO2.

    And if you look at the timing of the NetDragon-EA agreement to develop a new UO (made in July 2009) which was followed by the immediate cut in staff for UO after SA came out in September 2009, more layoffs from the UO team in the last year and an ever-growing wall of silence from the UO team, you might get the feeling that there's some kind of a link. In other words, maybe EA stops throwing much money at developing UO because they need it to pay NetDragon to build a replacement.

    You could also look at Mesanna's promotion and wonder if it was done because Jeff got another producer reporting to him at that time for a super-secret UO2 project. We know from looking at Chris Ondrus' profile that he became the UFE producer in May 2012 and Mesanna became the UO producer in June. Maybe Jeff has someone else that we don't know about already reporting to him for a UO2 project?

    You could also look at how long it took NetDragon to create from scratch and release to the public for testing their previous joint project with EA--Dungeon Keeper Online. The Dungeon Keeper agreement between NetDragon and EA was announced December 1, 2008. Public testingfor the Chinese version of the game started almost exactly three years later in late 2011. And after you see that project came to visible fruition in just about three years, you might say, "Hmmm, might it be just about time, i.e., closing in on three years, to announce public testing for the NetDragon UO project? And might the wall of silence NetDragon dropped around UO from their end coincide with a super-secret alpha testing stage for it?"

    Yes, you could spend a lot of time thinking about these things and trying to pull information from various sources to piece stuff together. But I don't think it's going to get you very far. If you say anything publicly, people mostly just scoff at you and threads to discuss it end up turning into heated arguments and being locked. So there's very little point in throwing out what you do know because it really doesn't amount to much except a load of speculation. And that leaves you still sitting there having to decide for yourself just what exactly do you want to hope and believe will happen to keep UO around. Personally, I'm not sure I'm ready to let go of UO. But it sure has become a lonely place to visit these days and I haven't seen anything from the UO team that gives me hope that it's going to ever become significantly livelier because there's nothing being talked about in terms of trying to bring back former players or to try to attract new ones.

    I think all we can do at this point is to keep waiting for more news.
     
    #31 Tina Small, Aug 26, 2012
    Last edited: Aug 26, 2012
  32. Flutter

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    I think he only mentioned it because someone else asked him about the potential for a UO2 on Twitter recently. It was more of a reply to people who were asking about it I think, like "to those of you asking I don't have any plans for an UO2 right now, but let's support this U4E and maybe someday we can discuss it"
     
  33. Tina Small

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    Just going to throw this link out there as a place to keep an eye on: BioHerald - YouTube . It is the "official YouTube channel for all things Ultima, Warhammer Online, and Dark Age of Camelot." There are some videos on there for UFE and a kinda funny interview with Chris Ondrus and some stuff with Jeff.
     
    #33 Tina Small, Aug 26, 2012
    Last edited: Aug 26, 2012
  34. Woodsman

    Woodsman Guest

    I don't think NetDragon is doing a UO2 for EA. If I gave that impression, I apologize, but Tina, you could make a good argument that it was happening! I doubt any of us would play a an Asian version of UO2 though, because I've played many Asian MMORPGs, and most are made for a completely different style of gameplay and the graphics would turn off a lot of people.

    This is a stretch, but just as Richard Garriott released a Facebook casino game and a Facebook item collecting game to build up the talent and systems to do his Ultimate RPG, what if Ultima Forever is to lay the groundwork for Jeff's desire for a UO2? It would explain why Jeff wants UO players to sign up for Ultima Forever. It would explain why Jeff mentioned UO2 multiple times in the letter to UO players, and he did say people asked why they did Ultima Forever instead of a UO2.

    Jeff clarified this morning that he wants to make a UO2. The best way for Jeff to get a UO2 made is if Ultima Forever succeeds. It would be too hard to get a UO2 made if it depended upon the success of UO, because the amount of money needed to really bring UO up to modern standards would probably nearly equal a UO2 built from scratch (although a UO2 could use the high resolution graphics that were already done for UO since they were rendered in 3D).

    If Jeff succeeds with Ultima Forever, it's easier for him to get a UO2 made. That's what I take from his comments on Friday and this morning and I think that's why he wants UO players to play Ultima Forever.

    Why else would he end his letter to the UO community asking us to play Ultima Forever?
     
    #34 Woodsman, Aug 26, 2012
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  35. Lady Silverbrook

    Lady Silverbrook Adventurer

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    It may have something to do with the fact that just last week someone asked him on twitter if there was ever going to be a UO2.

    edit: I just noticed Flutter beat me to saying this. But him having this as the basis for responding at such length in his letter while not acknowledging the host of other issues players want answers for just shows how disconnected he is from understanding Ultima Online.
     
    #35 Lady Silverbrook, Aug 26, 2012
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  36. Lady Silverbrook

    Lady Silverbrook Adventurer

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    Perhaps it rests with the answer that he knows some players are so fervent in their love for anything Ultima they will play it. Or perhaps that if he meets certain goals he gets a nice fat bonus. Or perhaps he wants at least one project to succeed so that he can maintain his job.

    All very logical to explain.
     
    #36 Lady Silverbrook, Aug 26, 2012
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  37. Woodsman

    Woodsman Guest

    He was asked a lot of things about UO on twitter and here on the forums. Odd that he talks about that one and doesn't talk about the other things.
     
  38. The Craftsman

    The Craftsman Lore Master
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    Woodsman, you are coming across completely desperate here.

    You are clinging to an innocuous comment and making the rest up. All Jeff said was that he'd like to see a UO2 happen. And even then he only said it because he was asked. Im sure he would like to see it happen ... a lot of people would. But him quite fancying the idea and EA investing the tens of millions of dollars that it would take to develop and produce the game are two completely different things.

    For starters EA would need to be convinced by a very robust business case that it was worth the investment and that they would get a long term return on their money. EA's recent disastrous forays into the MMO market will mean that they arent ready to jump in with the multi million dollar investment simply because Jeff fancies it.

    It isnt happening, and nothing has been said that suggests otherwise other than your imagination.
     
  39. Cetric

    Cetric Grand Inquisitor
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    is that seriously the "letter" we had been waiting for?


    *facepalm*


    But on the UO2 note... any uo2 talk should not be based on the popularity of that ultima forever crap.... it is nothing like what many of us play ultima online for.
     
    #39 Cetric, Aug 27, 2012
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  40. Martyna Zmuir

    Martyna Zmuir Crazed Zealot

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    The mention of UO2 was a squirrel, plain and simple. It was meant to distract us from the fact his letter was vapid and insensitive to the concerns of current UO subscribers, and the fact that he has no plans for (or, quite possibly any actual interest in) UO.

    Judging by the plethora of cancelled Ultima and UO-related projects of the past, UO2 happening anytime soon is about as likely as getting hit by an asteroid. BioWare still has way too much fail to overcome from SW:TOR in EA's eyes.
     
  41. Woodsman

    Woodsman Guest

    He made multiple comments about it, and even said that "we're not announcing it today" thing which Massively and others picked up on. There are so many more pressing things that Jeff could have talked about, but he focused mostly on Ultima Forever, even asked us to play it. It's very possible, as Martyna said, that all of the UO2 and Ultima Forever talk was just to distract us from talking about UO. That's really lame on Jeff's part if it was. I'm pretty sure people ask him about things other than UO2 on Twitter.
    I actually agree with you - BioWare blew their chance with SWTOR and Mythic blew their chance with WAR, and most of the same people involved with WAR are running Mythic, so EA's not going to give them the money for it. I'm still surprised that Ultima Forever got made given that it had WAR people involved with it.
    The problem is that EA put millions into a multi-player Ultima Forever and put it in Jeff's hands.

    If Ultima Forever had not been made, I would blow it off. But BioWare has been reducing UO's resources for at least the last year and they got millions to create a new online Ultima game under Mythic.

    I think, however, that any UO2 under Jeff would probably be closer to Ultima Forever than the UO and MMORPGs we all play. I never saw what Ultima Online 2: Kingdoms looked like (based on one of the Sims engines) so I don't know what it would have been like.
     
    #41 Woodsman, Aug 27, 2012
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  42. Driven Insane

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    I don't know if it's because I'm to old and invested to much time in UO, but I don't ever plan on playing another MMO again. Especially any game made by EA after the way they've treated UO. Given their track record with UO why in the hell would I ever want to invest the time, money and effort into another EA product knowing that they'll eventually treat it exactly like they've treated UO.

    This is the point that Jeff and the rest of the EA tards don't get and why I felt like they were insulting our intelligence with that piss poor letter. Do you really think we want to play yet another bug ridden, cheater filled game you put out when we've watched you treat our beloved UO like a red headed step child for over a decade?

    Maybe if you would have treated UO the way it should have been treated, then we would trust you and trust that your next product would be just as well loved. But nope, that ship has sailed and we've seen right through your politician speak and know that you're all talk and you'll never back up any of your claims.

    As the old saying goes...Actions speak louder than words. And your actions involving what should have been your flagship online game have told us everything we need to know.
     
    #42 Driven Insane, Aug 27, 2012
    Last edited: Aug 27, 2012
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  43. MalagAste

    MalagAste Belaern d'Zhaunil
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    I wouldn't want to play another EA game either.... though I do love Sims it's online sucked.

    I'm holding hope and waiting for Neverwinter Online to finish up and become available... I hear that you may be able to have housing there... If it's true.... I'm gone. Nothing would make me happier than to be able to play in Neverwinter and own a home there.... but we shall see. Even if you can't own housing it's something that may just draw me away from UO.
     
  44. RaDian FlGith

    RaDian FlGith Babbling Loonie
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    My only comment regarding the initial pleas to Jeff:

    Do NOT let anyone carry anything over from anything if a UO2 ever becomes a reality. It needs to be a standalone game that -- as a sandbox, I agree -- needs to start from scratch. There wouldn't be lines of import that would satisfy anyone, and if people don't want to play new characters, then they shouldn't be looking at a new game.

    On the other hand, with the base UO, it makes no sense that they couldn't just take the core of the game -- even if they rewrote every line of server and client code from scratch -- and simply set UO on top of a shiny new engine. In the end, most of what we live and breath in UO is just data, and as I once told the Vice President and CFO of a major gaming company when he asked me if a project I was the head of could provide him a pipeline between accounting and our existing server from the web, "It's just data."

    The thing is, the whole carrot on the stick of, "Hey, keep playing, and maybe someday we'll might actually do a UO2," is sort of a silly way of going about things. EA green-lit Ultima4Ever (by the way, I HATE that name... only thing that could have made it worse would be Ultima4Evah -- it sounds like 2 Fast, 2 Furious or any other number of poorly conceived titles that's cutesy in a marketing way in just enough ways to say, "We thought this would be cute but it has the lasting power of chocolate chip cookies at a fat farm" -- I can hear it now... Blizzard's next project: World of Warcraft: Powah 2 the Hord3!), which means that it's conscious that it has the Ultima franchise in its hands. That it used Lady British instead of Lord British says its aware of the power of names. And yet... Well... you decide.
     
  45. Dermott of LS

    Dermott of LS UOEC Modder
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    ...

    If it is to be a REAL sequel then this must absolutely apply. No character transfers of any type, everyone starts from scratch. Of course the entire economy would need a good overhaul as well.

    You would think so, but the whines and moans and complaints at ANY attempt to do ANYTHING to the 2d client shows otherwise, at least among the playerbase. That was one BIG plus I initially gave the vision of the KR Client, regardless of outcome, the original vision was correct.

    I disagree... U4E is simply a way to abbreviate the name of the game. The real name if Ultima Forever (which is a play off of the 4 in U4, yes, but it's not spelled with the number except maybe in The Twitter™). I'm interested in seeing how the game plays, and really looking forward to getting my hands on a map. I do wish they would have been able to make it a much deeper game than they claim it to be... maybe for a remake of U6? I can hope can't I?
     
  46. Woodsman

    Woodsman Guest

    I hope someday we find out how they got approval, given that many of the people involved were from Mythic/WAR and this was not even a year and a half after WAR's infamous launch and it was not long after the UO team had all of the Stygian Abyss layoffs. Plus SWTOR was sucking up a lot of money. That must have been a lot of salesmanship to pull that off. If somebody can pull that off, you'd think somebody else could get some resources put into UO instead of being taken from UO.

    As for the Lady/Lord stuff, well no rights to use Lord British and yeah, they understood they had to have a British in there. A son wouldn't have worked either, so Lady British it was I guess. It pissed some off, but they would have been more pissed if it was a completely different character.
     
  47. Samaira

    Samaira Lore Master
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    I'm a cynic, but when I read your letter, Mr Skalski, and all of the UO2 rubbish, I couldn't help but feel bitterly disappointed. Any time I have read anything about UO on another website (not counting our core fansites), without exception there have been numerous posts about the mytical UO2 from people who haven't played UO in ten years. I refuse to use Twitter, but I'd asssume it would be the same. "I'd come back if they made UO2" they exclaim, when their only memory of UO is of the Dread Lord days, of crashing at WBB because there were too many people on screen. I'd like to hope not, but it seems to me that you, our "Franchise Producer", would rather answer those people than the current p(l)ayers. Frankly, I find it insulting - regardless of whether this poor excuse for communication was just some bs marketing hype generation or simply narrow-minded selective 'hearing' - that the "Ultima Franchise Producer" only twice referred to UO without reference to U4E in your letter to the Ultima Online community. If I wanted to hear how awesome U4E is going to be, I'd have registered for Beta. Frankly, I don't care. Don't come onto the Ultima Online Herald (which, by the way, is a piss-poor excuse for a website in 2012) and sell me your new game under the guise of addressing concerns about UO. If you spent a third the time on UO that you do on U4E, maybe we'd have some of that improved communication you said was going to be happening.

    Skalski, if you want to "clear up some things", try coming over here to do your reading first. Because clearly you can't hear the concerns of our current p(l)ayerbase from the Twittersphere.

    /endrant
     
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  48. RaDian FlGith

    RaDian FlGith Babbling Loonie
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    Well, I think we'll forever disagree on whether KR was the right direction or not, at least graphically. Believe me... there are people on this forum who now embrace the EC as if it is the second coming of sliced bread, but when I was actually in support of the KR client -- hoping beyond hope they wouldn't be stupid and push it out the door before it was read -- my biggest complaint about it was the graphical representation of the game. On the other hand, I agree -- in spirit -- that many of the updates were necessary, structurally. I think they took a huge step backward by yanking most of the programmatic elements that were included in KR, and for some reason (I'd be the people who understood them are long gone, in all honesty) they have never returned to the EC.

    However, two things should not have been done.

    1) They should not have veered away from the graphic feel of UO. I know some disagree, but I also know that given an entire team of artists that had to redo all of the graphics anyway that they could have redone them in the style of UO. What happened instead is a re-envisioning of UO, and that's something you do for a sequel. Now, it has been done successfully before with EQ -- early on into EQ... I believe it was around the time of Shadows of Luclin, Verant did a texture update for everything in the game. Some textures stayed the same, but character models... they did something stupid with. Blonde elves became brown haired and so on. However, the pancakes died in six months and the game still runs today. Perhaps if the rest of the client had been up to par, KR would have been just fine from an in-game graphics standpoint. But the interface itself was (and remains in the EC, albeit completely different looking) hideous. That Pinco's UI is needed to make the client good is a sad testament to the state of the client. But... truthfully, since they were redoing the art anyway, and knowing the love and nostalgia for the game, it was unwise.

    2) They should not have adopted WoW's interface without adopting WoW's standards. By this I mean that -- as much as I dislike the slotted interface for bags -- the slotted interface should not use shrunken in-game imagery, but instead iconic representations that make it easy to tell what each item in your pack is. Now, yeah, that would be more artwork that would have to shift color based on the color of the item, but it would be tons better than what it is. I still think bags with scrollbars is a bad idea, but to each their own. Which is why they should perfect -- and it still hasn't been as of last week -- the usefulness of the classic backpack for those who want it.

    There are ways that they could keep the spirit of UO alive in a unified client without forcing people to choose. Will any solution please everyone? No. It never happens that way. But if the preponderance of what is done is done well, people quickly forget the reason they dislike whatever and go about playing the game for the game. Unfortunately, they have a LOUSY history of secondary clients... they release them too soon and then scramble to make them work, give up, and they're relegated to rare updates. It happened with 3D, it happened with KR, and it happened with the EC. At this point... as I've said elsewhere... more money on a new client is a hard sell... but if they did things correctly (according to a majority of players, even though others will say we should have no say at all in the process), the game could survive and thrive.

    One thing we can agree on: This game is not presently thriving, and it needs new life to breed new life.
     
  49. HD2300

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    It is highly likely that parts of U4E are being outsourced to NetDragon. Why? Christoper L. is involved, and words vendor, vendor, vendor is mentioned in the U4E section of his linkedin profile.

    UO2? If development hasnt started already and it is not U4E you wont see it for at least another 4 years. My hunch is it has already started or China Ultima is U4E.
     
  50. Woodsman

    Woodsman Guest

    Every UO expansion for quite a while has had parts outsourced, going back to at least Age of Shadows. Even SWTOR had parts outsourced
    Realistically though, after Warhammer and SWTOR, does anybody here think EA would trust Mythic or BioWare with managing a brand new UO2, outsourced or not?

    I felt it was important to mention that Jeff was showing interest and even enthusiasm for wanting to do a UO2 while UO is in the state that it's in, especially a month away from UO's 15th birthday.

    I would like a true UO2, not an Asian version of a UO, because I have played plenty of Asian MMORPGs, and it would not work for the most part, with the exception of ArcheAge. I would like a true UO2, because it's clear that EA and BioWare are giving up on UO - if you are enthusiastic about a game, you don't take an already small development team and make it even smaller like EA/BioWare has over the past few years.

    I believe Mesanna is probably very passionate about UO, Jeff much less so, but they can say a lot of things, and until EA/BioWare backs them up with new hires to accomplish what UO needs, it's very hard to believe, especially when they don't talk about specifics.
     
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