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New players and client downloads

Discussion in 'UHall' started by Nimuaq, May 19, 2011.

  1. Nimuaq

    Nimuaq
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    From Ultima Online Dev Diary at 1:19:

    Getting new players into the game is very important to us. Being that our game is over a gigabyte in size, the download can take a while. We want to bring the initial download down to less than two hundred megabytes.


    EC is about 1.9 GB and I totally agree, it would be better if it was less. But how about the classic client?

    You can download the Classic Client from here which is about 955 MBs. After that, you need to download the following patches:

    7.0.11.0 - 64MB
    7.0.11.1 - 57MB
    7.0.11.2 - 62MB
    7.0.11.3 - 131MB
    7.0.11.4 - 57MB
    7.0.12.0 - 5MB
    7.0.12.1 - 18KB
    7.0.13.0 - 262MB
    7.0.13.1 - 1MB
    7.0.13.2 - 740KB
    7.0.13.3 - 1MB
    7.0.13.4 - 3KB
    7.0.14.0 - 3MB

    A total of 643 MBs. So, you need to download 1.7 GB for the classic client if you include the patches while it could have been less than a gigabyte.

    Checking the quote above, I think it would be a good start to put the latest version of this client to the web more frequently, at least less than every six months.
     
  2. Nexus

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    This is gonna have to tie into the New New Player experience they said is being worked on. The only way I can see getting the download to around 200mb is if they restrict new players to a specific area then have the rest of the game download in the background.
     
  3. Sevin0oo0

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    yes, "a new player area where all new players go that has a limited set of art assets; while they're playing there, they'll be downloading the rest of the game."

    I think a Current (or within a couple days old) up-to-date client should be on-line on-line at all times as well.
     
  4. JC the Builder

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    They should use the Enhanced Client patcher for the Classic Client. At one point the Classic Client download was almost 3 years out of date.
     
  5. Viquire

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    The icon I use for opening the CC without assist is from the 9th ani collection. It might be time to do something about that. *tips hat*
     
  6. Lord Raven

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    My concern with that is the impact on game performance while the player's computer is trying to download 1gb of files in the background. That strategy could backfire if it causes the game to lag.

    I think that the patcher should have a progress bar that shows the progress of the entire patch with a time estimate for completion.

    Another concern is how experienced players would help new players if they are in a special area. How long would the new players be isolated? I think one positive aspect of the game for new players now is how they are greeted when they pop up in New Haven. Free stuff and friendly advice sure beats interacting with NPC's.
     
  7. Dermott of LS

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    ...

    Most of the size of UO is due to its (rather outdated even with the EC) animation system. Since we have to download every frame of every animation, this sends client size sky high compared to using the Third Dawn client's polygon/texturemap system.

    JC is right in that they still need to update the patch system to work the way it does with EC because with the 2D client you have to start with the downloaded client version, then download EVERY PATCH from that point up to current. So if there's been 12 patches since the time they updated the client downloads, you have the following happen:

    2D: Download client at version 1. Download and patch version 2. Download and patch version 3. Download and patch version 4. Download and patch version 5. Download and patch version 6. Download and patch version 7. Download and patch version 8. Download and patch version 9. Download and patch version 10. Download and patch version 11. Download and patch version 12.

    If one or more of those patches are major, you're looking at a LONG patch process.

    EC:

    Download Client version 1. Download and patch version 12.

    Yes that means it's one big patch, but it's "one and done".

    Unless the client(s) ever get changed in terms of how they handle animation, installing and patching are going to be long processes, especially since UO seems to now be completely non-physical (no CD/DVD release to install from).
     
  8. Woodsman

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    That's exactly what they said it would do - new players would have a special area with limited assets to run around and do stuff with while the rest of the client was downloading.
     
  9. Nimuaq

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    Most of the new players that I met have already played similar games before and the first thing they ask is "Where is everyone?" I know in the past, players were usually around a certain place or a bank but today the population decreased and the players are scattered around. Even worse, now they can select different cities to start which means they can end up in an empty bank.

    I previously calculated the land in UO (out of boredom) as 66,600,512 tiles. If three quarters of those tiles are water, the rest is 16,650,128 tiles.
    (fun facts: if 1 tile is about half a square meter or 5 square feet, the whole map corresponds to roughly 8 square kilometers or 3 square miles. For comparison, central park is 3.41 square kilometers or 1.32 square miles and Gibraltar is 6.8 square kilometers or 2.9 square mile. With the same calculation, the base of a castle is 5,511 square feet or 512 square meters)

    While some of us have seen almost every single tile in the game, it is also quite understandable for a new player to get lost in this huge land space and start to feel alone in the game once he/she leaves New Haven. The chat system was a great improvement but most of us dont use it for various reasons and new players usually dont know about it at start.

    Establishing a special guild on every shard just like the NEW guild of Siege Perilous would help the new players more in my opinion. It doesn't need to be a guild, a system might also work which veteran players can toggle on to help new players by receiving a message indicating the location and the name of the new player. This might also be requested by the new player using the same system. Also, when new players start the game, instructions about the chat system appears and they immediately join a clean channel only used to greet and help new players.

    I'm just throwing out ideas.
     
  10. lucitus

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    1.9 GB is also not much these days and will not much in the future.
     
  11. Woodsman

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    It is not much these days, but we are starting to get artificial bandwidth caps from the ISPs, at least in North America, so people will start having to watch that stuff. Still, UO is substantially smaller than a full World of Warcraft download, which is well over 10GB.
     
  12. Raptor85

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    I'm in so cal and have the best connection available in my area (3 Mb), that's still a hour and a half (assuming full speed the entire time) for downloading, in reality closer to two hours. (not including the patching)

    This wouldn't be an issue if the client download was even remotely recent.....
     
  13. Zoeydamnies

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    I hope the new-player experience isn't some area where you're trapped until you finish some quest or something. Hated that in the game with the bare-footed short people in it.

    UO is more about freedom and choices.

    ZO
     
  14. Nimuaq

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  15. Ludes

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    Is there a Third Dawn client out there we can download and try to run?
     
  16. Nexus

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    Nope, and even if you found one, you couldn't connect with it.
     
  17. NuSair

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    Starting? This has been going on for YEARS.
     
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