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Not that excited about a Booster?

Discussion in 'UHall' started by Yen Sid, Sep 1, 2010.

  1. Yen Sid

    Yen Sid Guest

    Am I the only one that thinks that now isn't the time for one? I'm not that excited for one, and two, we just had an expansion a year ago. It seems a little ridiculous to come out with new content when the content we have now isn't finished. How about finishing the EC? Scripting? Hacking? Bugs? I would think that all of these things should come first before new content is even thought about let alone released.

    Lets just try and distract from the issues that plague the game we have now by adding eye candy. Hate to tell you, but while it might work for some, it won't work for all of us. I for one will not be purchasing this "Booster" right off the bat, not until the aforementioned things are at least semi-worked on with actual visual results. How long has the EC been in "Beta", how long has there been the same bugs plaguing the game? How long has scripting and hacking been taking place? The answer is too long for those of you that may be slightly lacking upstairs.
     
  2. Taylor

    Taylor Former Stratics CEO (2011-2014)
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    I would also like to see current content debugged...but common, it's a pirate expansion! :p
     
  3. Mapper

    Mapper Crazed Zealot
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    I really needed the Treasure Hunting update to keep me playing each day, I had already 'done' SA if you like. So I think this coming out in a few months is perfect timing for me.

    Of course I would love the EC client to be finished, But it is playable for me, So I would rather they devote MOST of their time to new content.
     
  4. UOKaiser

    UOKaiser Guest

    The problem of making things so easy and quick. If things where like before you wouldn't be done with SA for at least another 5 years.
     
  5. SA Will dive, It will last like Third dawn for awhile then boom gone, they will discontinue support then we will have

    this, *The look across the lake from my home*


    [​IMG]
     
  6. Sturdy

    Sturdy Guest

    Your post made my head hurt- too complicated.
     
  7. lucitus

    lucitus UOEC Modder
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    Hehe i think he wants to play alone, next step i see is boom UO is gone.

    What is the difference between a free UO and a 2d only UO? Better support? New Interface? OR maybe nothing?
     
  8. Basara

    Basara UO Forum Moderator
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    Most of the stuff you are saying "They should be concentrating on 'X' instead of 'Y' ", are done by different parts of the team, with about the only overlap being when GrimmOmen has to do art assets for both.

    Not doing one thing will NOT shift work priorities to the other. IT was the reduced work load from completion of SA that led to the layoffs after SA's release, of people that were from the Content side of the project - people not really all that qualified to be engineers working on Systems.

    Strange how this exact same thing comes up with every new product announcement, new product release, and also with the inevitible down-sizing from each ("why are they laying people off instead of having them fix "x" system?")...
     
  9. puni666

    puni666 Slightly Crazed
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    Lol no, keeping the majority interested is the major priority! Got a few bugs that only 10-20% notice... oh well we'll get to that, but for now lets keep our profit interested! Eventually we'll fix the prior stuff, but we gotta keep the cash coming. Then we can add some skills/spells/features that work well in one rule set, but completely destroy the quality of the other rule set. Then we'll buff it out so EVERYONE uses the new content then adjust it accordingly. Rinse and repeat.
     
  10. Entheeya

    Entheeya Seasoned Veteran
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    Nope, not a bit, its not anything I'm going to get excited
    about. Not for $15. Well not even if it was free...

    This will just create even more bugs and hacks that
    will never be fixed.
     
  11. Verthandi

    Verthandi Guest

    This is how I feel. :) The game thrives on injections of content, not just fixes. Between treasure hunting and finally getting around to working up an imbuer, I still have some new things to do to keep UO fresh while waiting for big live events to kick into high gear.

    I'm really pleased that the pirate booster has caught the attention of several UO friends who were thinking about cancelling their subscriptions soon out of boredom. If there's always a promise of interesting new stuff on the horizon (and enough of it to justify a $15 charge), players will have a better reason to keep accounts open after older content has become stale.

    That's not to say that bug fixes and improvements with regards to customer service etc, etc, etc aren't critical, though.
     
  12. Beer_Cayse

    Beer_Cayse Guest

    I'm not tickled about things like this either. As pointed out by others ... fix the damn bugs.
     
  13. Warpig Inc

    Warpig Inc Babbling Loonie
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    The booster seems to be another plug to keep most the current population going. There is no need for all the flag waving and horns it should of been slid in under the door for the players to discover. Want to impress try doing a few of the things asked to be done. Want to do something new with a huge media splash? Then make it something targeting those wearing pull ups when the game was launched. Pull in those gamer groups out there that didn't have someone to tell them about the game. Go to the EA start page and you have to dig around just to find UO. Sure there is a larger group of X palyers then current players out there. And what kind of "Word of Mouth" do you think that is generating? If the current staff was farmers they'd be hard pressed to keep a catus farm going. And that would make a small group of Tequila drinkers insanely mad. Mmmmmmmmm next booster introduces brewing and monk skills ....... bring in the Drunken Masters.
     
  14. Yen Sid

    Yen Sid Guest

    Who are you talking about? I hope it's not me cause that certainly isn't the case.

    If you mean because I don't think there should be new content right now and everyone will leave if there isn't then I think your a little off lol. How long was it between our last 2 expansions? And how many people left just because there was no new content in that timeframe? These are rhetorical questions but the point is, I know many more people that have left due to hacking and scripting and bugs and etc. then having nothing to do.
     
  15. Yen Sid

    Yen Sid Guest

    Oh I hadn't realized you work for Mythic's team(s)...

    That may be true but throwing flashy new content at us only distracts from the problems for a little while. Give it a month and most of the population will be so sick of boats that it will just be a waste of money. You know why it's called a "Booster" right? Cause it boosts profits for a little bit and doesn't do much else...

    I don't remember people saying anything bad about having a new expansion, people were excited because it had been years since anything had been released. Now its only a year later, it just seems too soon when all it is, is a distraction from the issues we currently face.

    This isn't a flame war, just opinions being expressed. I know I won't be purchasing this "distraction" for a while and thats that.
     
  16. Aurelius

    Aurelius Babbling Loonie
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    Income from the booster helps fend off the idiots in EA management/marketing who are currently doing headless chicken impersonations looking for ways to 'save money'.

    The content keeps a lot of our interest, which maintains and maybe raises subscriptions, whilst justifying keeping on all the current development team - idiots in senior management who can't grasp what a long term investment like a mmo needs compared to their usual 'stick on shelf and sell' games can see improved cash flow, so go back to worrying about other things for a while and leave UO alone for a few months.

    Dev team carry on bug fixing as much as they can, never fast enough to keep us happy but they do what they can do with the resource available, whilst also getting the next 'booster' ready so they have a good argument in place for funding when the idiots come back in a few months wondering about cash flow again.

    It isn't really about keeping us distracted about anything at all, it's a way to keep the show on the road which also, to me, looks like it could be a lot of fun.
     
  17. It Lives

    It Lives Lore Master
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    No not excited.

    From what I read thus far, leads me to believe that we will experience some rough water.

    Another Year passed for my characters, what a let down. Thin content, unfinished story arcs and more promise of less content at increased cost.

    Go figure.
     
  18. Lord Frodo

    Lord Frodo Grand Poobah
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    For $15 I get 20% house/bank storage (UOGamecodes $20) save $5 and content is now free. That is the way I am looking at it. 60% storage increase on houses and bank.
     
  19. Arcus

    Arcus Grand Poobah
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    What? No sharks with lasers?
     
  20. Tina Small

    Tina Small Stratics Legend
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    I wonder whether Draconi and the people who worked on the pirate expansion back in 2005 and perhaps earlier will receive any credit for their work when the booster pack is released later this year. ( http://vboards.stratics.com/1776333-post60.html )
     
  21. Yen Sid

    Yen Sid Guest

    I would pay the $15 for just the storage increase. They can keep the "Booster."

    I already bought the storage increase once without extra content, don't need content now to buy it again.
     
  22. Coldren

    Coldren Sage
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    Several problems I see with this statement:

    "Not doing one thing will NOT shift work priorities to the other."

    So if I understand this statement, you're implying that if Grim, Mark, Logrus, or any of the other developers were NOT working on this booster pack.. They'd have nothing else to do?

    It most certainly would shift their priorities.. Or it better for their sakes. Can't get one of them to write a script so they can easily change the Town Crier messages? No one knows enough to put a spell icon for the Consecrated Weapon buff? If they weren't working on the booster pack, what else SHOULD they be doing? Even us board warriors could answer that.

    I'm certain they have the capabilities to fix and address current issues, not just create new content.

    "IT was the reduced work load from completion of SA that led to the layoffs after SA's release, of people that were from the Content side of the project - people not really all that qualified to be engineers working on Systems."

    That's a blanket statement that we both know is blatantly false. I don't think they brought Draconi on just for SA. Maybe you could get away with saying they laid of QA testers who were testing the content, but not core developers like Draconi.

    It may be true that the people they hired for SA might not have made good system engineers.. But they laid off people who WERE fit for their jobs as well..
     
  23. Yen Sid

    Yen Sid Guest

    QFT :thumbup1:. And Make Conjurer's Garbs Tok/Haochi Dye-able! lol. And fix my Snake Skin Boots so they are dye-able!
     
  24. Basara

    Basara UO Forum Moderator
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    Wow - that went REALLY over your head, didn't it?

    EVERY game I've ever read about has a team down-sizing after the game/expansion goes gold, because typically they don't already have the next expansion already storyboarded out. So, rather than pay people to sit on their hands, people get laid off - especially when the console side of the company is in the red, and is ordering everyone to make cuts, whether their division is losing money or not.

    In fact, I've heard of a couple cases, by word of mouth/rumor, where companies did attempt to plan 2 or more story arcs out - and it resulted in people neglecting the current one, to work on things for the later ones that were their pet projects, causing massive delays.

    REPEATEDLY, Draconi and others stated that when they were working on one set of content, they had little to do with the others' work. Designing new monsters, animating them, etc. uses programs designed ONLY for that purpose. CREATING AND ADDING CONTENT DOES NOT MAGICALLY GIVE ANYONE THE ABILITY TO ANALYZE THE CODE THAT RUNS THE MAIN SYSTEMS OF THE GAME.

    Jesus.

    As for cross-training, it doesn't really work that way in big companies. You're hired in as a "(Job description)". While you might be able to also do "(job 2)", typically you're only asked to do so when the division/subdivision is pushing against a hard deadline.

    If you get caught being allowed to do "(job 2)" because your own job designation currently has little work, or is between work cycles (and "job 2" is doing its normal job, not against deadline), it can get you AND your boss(es) fired if one of the corporate accountants finds out, and has a snit. Even worse, if "job 2" is one of a much lower pay scale ("why are we paying a designer to do a code monkey's work?").

    Typically, in non-urgent situations (which corporate bigwigs just don't get that the time debugging a release of ANYTHING after its release should be considered even more urgent than meeting the release deadline, to keep the customers happy), anything that smacks of waste (a designer/lead helping on coding without a demotion, or keeping staff hired on for "Expansion S" after the game goes out the doors, to bug-fix more than a few weeks) gets a staff gutted.

    You should try working for a multi-national corporation with gawdawful bureaucracy sometime - it would open your eyes.

    (BTW, most of my examples were not originally gaming references, but real-life examples with an international company bought out last year by Xerox - Just replace "Designing/Coding" with "Data entry and quality control" - even a friend - the one who introduced me to UO, in fact - was told to go to school to get a certification (as he was the main in-house tech support and server guru for the multiple departments in the building), and the company was paying for it. Then, he got a new boss, who fired him for not abandoning those very same classes, weeks before completion, because the new boss wanted him to work the same shift as the classes, for no apparent logical reason.)
     
  25. Wenchkin

    Wenchkin Babbling Loonie
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    I've wanted a pirate expansion for years so although my fisher is a bit concerned what fishing in Fel will be like soon, I still want to get in there. Like yesterday :D

    But I do agree that deliberate or not, new expansions and boosters are a great distraction. And time fixing bugs in new content probably does take time away from fixing older long term bugs and problems. As well as creating new unexpected glitches, exploits etc.

    Until the current projects like the cheat detection thing are further along though, I'll just stick with my subs. If it goes well I'll throw more than just sub money into UO again and try getting friends and such back in game. Not before that though.

    Wenchy
     
  26. AirmidCecht

    AirmidCecht twitch.tv/airmid
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    Hey Draconi, good to see you *smiles*

    On the booster stuffs and whether its a wise time:

    I think it is always wise to keep new content rolling and it is just as wise to keep fixing ongoing issues. My take is this is what the booster packs are designed to do.

    If you are working on the next big expansion that takes lots of hours away from the fixes you want to see. By focusing on smaller 'boosters' a year, I believe Cal mentioned at the Town Hall that these boosters will roll out with content AND fixes.

    Sounds like a win win solution to me.
     
  27. cdavbar

    cdavbar Lore Master
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    While I do agree that there are many issues/bugs etc that need to be finished and completed, I am in full support of the fishing updates. I wish that they would have it as a "free" upgrade as was the treasure hunting/maps update but hey what can you do right?

    Being a long time fisher/thunter myself this is a much needed upgrade to the treasure hunters way of life. Although it is fun to do it in groups and such, fishing especially is a solo job, a lonely profession to have. The lack of loot upgrades, creature upgrades etc has driven our profession insane and this is something that will have a lot of good things for us.

    The devs cant please everyone at once. No matter what they do or what they work on someone will always be there to complain "why dont you do this instead?"

    the devs I Hope are still working on these issues at the same time but time will tell.

    But as far as the booster, there is nothing but excitement brewing for most people.
     
  28. Coldren

    Coldren Sage
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    *Looks down at his ankles*

    .. Not yet.

    And it always starts, and hits QA hardest. Maybe support staff if you've beaten the rush of tickets. But developers? CORE developers?

    Did Blizzard fire Tom Chilton once WoW was out? Burning Crusade? Lich King? Ok, better yet, name ONE WoW developer that you've ever head anything about that was fired after an expansion. CR's on the boards aplenty, but never heard of any layoffs for developers at Blizzard or the WoW team in particular. But I guess that's not a fair example, because I'm sure Blizzard has bought some money-printing machines from the US mint..

    Has Mythic gotten rid of Paul Barnett or Jeff Hickman yet? Sure, Josh Drescher and Adam Gershowitz, but when your game closes 2/3rd of its servers, and it's premise is so flawed that well over half of your subscribers bail out in the first 6 months... Well.. Expect heads to roll..

    If the teams are small, inept, uncoordinated, or the outcome/tools/arc of one directly impacts the other, of course it will cause problems. It takes good management, resources, coordination, enough people, aptitude and patience for everyone, developer and manager alike, to have concurrent development. Concurrent development is very difficult for large scale projects, and few are likely larger than MMO's. But just because they can't and are not developing concurrently doesn't mean they have noting to do and are heading for the chopping block.

    Clearly, if they are so focused on this booster pack that there are so many NO's on that list, they have issues with concurrent development, and no amount of positive thinking is going to change that.

    You can call him Draconi, and he responded well enough.

    Splitting work between a client and game content makes sense. No, your UI/Client designers are designing content, and they shouldn't be.

    But the people, in this case, writing new content, I'm 99% certain are the EXACT SAME PEOPLE who would be addressing and fixing issues with the game, or working on free patches and content. Ask Mark and Logarus (sp) what they'd be doing if they weren't working on the booster. I guarantee you the answer isn't "Nothing", or they would be gone before you know it.

    My good sir or madam, you assume too much. It's dangerous, although slightly entertaining. I'm going to take this opportunity to gloat... Just a little bit. I better mark this as a spoiler, so if people don't want to read it, they don't have to.

    The company I work for is privately held and has 16 sites in.. Lesse.. China, Brazil, India, Japan, Australia, Switzerland, England, Singapore, France, and South Africa.. (Got rid of Mexico, Canada, and Germany - They weren't turning enough profit.) We employ well over 3k people globally.. It's probably more, I think that's the lost number I saw.. We are a multi-billion dollar company.

    Our IT team? Maybe about 50 people globally. 15 at our corporate headquarters, where I work.

    Our accountants, HR, the business? They love IT PRECISELY because our IT team is able to be cross-trained to do so many things at no extra cost... Ok, well, training costs, but that's minimal to hiring new/more people. We write our own software when needed, support third-party software, maintain our own network, virtual servers out the wah-zoo, all on a global scale.

    We have time management skills, we have good managers, we're flexible, we work as a team, and most importantly we are actually able to communicate issues to the business so they understand.

    In short, we kick ass. I'm proud of the team I work for, even moreso to be a part of it. My official title is Database Administrator. I can tell you that I'm doing the work of a Database Administrator, Database Developer, Report Developer, Application Developer, work with our Help Desk supporting users with PC issues globally (Remote Desktop'ing to South Africa SUCKS, by the way), and I'll soon be doing more work with Data Warehousing/Data Architecture, developing better BI and reporting solutions for the business using modern warehousing techniques and getting much, much more into data cubes.

    I've managed projects, sat in on board and budget meetings, shareholder meetings, and coordinated global projects. Sure, there's a lot of bureaucracy, red tape, bull**** HR policies, politicking and inane bull**** issues. And unless your company has all these traits and is held by a single family, with other family members or co-owners family members in key positions, you ain't seen the hardcore bull**** bureaucracy that can go on.

    But you know what? We push through it and get the damn job done. We have a great team, great management, and the support of the entire business behind us. And in the end, time to be slackers from time to time and have Koosh Ball wars in our cubicles.. (OK, HR doesn't ALWAYS like us or our managers.)

    The difference between where *I* work and UO is my company actually gives a damn about us, and aren't trying to take advantage of us. They listen to us. If we needed more people, they'd find a way to get us the people we need. If we need more time for some new project or crazy passing thought one of the owners had that he threw our way, they're SANE about it. If something breaks, they know for sure we're busting our asses to fix it, because literally, all our sites around the world depend on our core team not dropping the ball, because every second something isn't work, we're likely losing ridiculous sums of money. They know we're serious about our jobs, and they give us the latitude and support we need to do it.


    My point to all this?

    UO is a red-headed step child to EA. It doesn't REALLY need UO, so it gets treated appropriately. Look at the money they throw into failures compared to what they throw into UO. UO is not given the proper support to hire the people they need at wages that are competitive, tools to increase productivity and address key issue, or in short, do what is necessary to do what's best for UO even though it's lasted 13 years in an incredibly competitive market. They are only given enough to maximize it's slim margin of profits.

    If they fire people,they firing to improve the bottom line, not because they wouldn't be doing something else. It's kept them limping along, I guess. If that's what they're happy with, well, fantastic. UO is definitely a niche game, and as Draconi has already pointed out, they have to wear many hats in order to survive. Taking from one almost assuredly takes from another in the UO dev world within reason. Yeah, the UI guys aren't doing quests, but you can be sure that without new content, there would always be something for them to be doing, and Draconi seems to back that belief. And they don't fire people like Draconi as post-expansion bloat - They fire the nameless QA people who tested the content and did bug reports, or the writers the brought on expressly for an expansion.. THAT is fat that should be cut, and often times is..

    Personally, I'd like to see UO do better, and saying that they wouldn't be spending time fixing things that have been broken forever, and addressing long standing issues if they weren't developing new content isn't exactly an encouraging thought.

    Can you imagine if EA was like Blizzard?

    Then the statements you made would be valid. But EA doesn't treat the UO team like Blizzard treats the WoW team.

    [EDIT]

    Here's a quote from GrimmOmen in Ask the Devs:

    "Seriously though, we have put a lot of time into this Sea Booster, but are looking forward to being able to start putting some time back into the EC."

    That sounds suspiciously like they weren't working on EC issues, but rather, only the issues related to the booster.... But I could be reading that wrong. I mean, I know he does artwork, and likely needed him to do some for the new booster.. But fortunately, it looks like he has something else to get back to!