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Official forum for UO

Discussion in 'UHall' started by Harlequin, Feb 6, 2011.

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  1. Harlequin

    Harlequin Babbling Loonie
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    Wanted to clear up some confusion over Stratic's role as the official forum. For posterity's sake, here's a link to the news archive on Mythic Entertainment | Ultima Online | Play the 14-Day Free Trial! when OSI closed their own boards and officially directed everyone to Stratics:

    ORIGIN - Ultima Online - Main



    That was back in 03. Stratics is now no longer the official forum. It is now simply a fan site. I am not sure why this has changed and am quite curious. Any one knows the details?
     
  2. Mapper

    Mapper Crazed Zealot
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    A good question, It's more the 'unofficial official forums' now. EA use the boards for EM forums and they also post here, They stated a while ago they would only post on Stratics.

    Would certainly be nice if they do something official and make the forums more known on UO.com.
     
  3. Jirel of Joiry

    Jirel of Joiry Certifiable
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    Beats me. :( They told me to go to Ultima Online Forums and said it was the "offical forums". I think they probably assumed that...and we all know what you get when you diagram assume.... ASS/U/ME ...lol I think that sums it. Thanks to one of my College instuctors for making the whole class diagram that. lol
     
  4. Lord Chaos

    Lord Chaos Always Present
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    It was afaik never really named officially as the "official board" for UO. Had lots of discussions with Joshua back in the days when I was part of leading Stratics. Now its simply a fansite like others and stepping back from my biased position from UOForums, I don't really see why that should change. Why on earth a serious game company should have a foreign forum with a non-UO name as an official forum? The answer is, they shouldn't. Stratics is functioning fine as a fansite.

    As for the popularity. That is mostly created by the presence of the devs and as such, shouldn't really count, as that would move wherever the devs went to.
     
  5. Harlequin

    Harlequin Babbling Loonie
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    I understand where you are coming from, in more ways than one. I'm not asking for any fan board to be named official, because I too agree that Mythic should maintain their own boards. I just want to find out what exactly happened.



    Now, while Stratics is currently a fansite just like UO Forums, thesecondage, etc if you read the announcement in 2003, specifically this part:


    "we’re going to allow one of our oldest and most dedicated fansites, UO Stratics, to handle message board moderation and administration for the Ultima Online forum community on the currently established forums at uo.stratics.com."


    This does indeed mean that they are officially selecting Stratics as the replacement for the official MY OU boards.


    The popularity part wasn't due simply to devs coming here. Stratics had the most complete info/stats on UO related stuff. UOGuide wasn't around back then. Neither was powergamers or that lumberjack guy. (There was however skunkworks if anyone remembers)
     
  6. Lord Chaos

    Lord Chaos Always Present
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    Or at the very least they should maintain themselves on a forum that doesn't drown their subscribers in ads for other games.

    Sure, it can be interpreted as such, but that still doesn't make it an official forum. That was afaik never formalized between any parties.

    Thats back then, I am talking now. MySpace was once the biggest and the oldest, does that make it better than Facebook?

    As things progressed and alternatives arose, it would be foolish to assume that UOS doesn't owe a large portion of its forum popularity (and we're talking forum here, as we're talking official forum and whatnot) to the developers being here. So as such, the point stands. The current usage shouldn't really be taken into consideration as it would move with the devs...be it on Stratics, another forum or an official Mythic forum.
     
  7. Well put.
    :scholar: Match to Harlequin.

    EA actual KB reference: My Notification Requests

    Now IF biowaremythic could get someone to SORT (preferably alphabetically, all things being equal in fandom .. *ding* :danceb: )

    Fansites | Mythic Entertainment | Ultima Online
    *AHEM*

    I'll be able to answer another threads query about:
    How will the young learn of history? ...


    burma:danceb:
    burma:danceb:
    burma:danceb: SHAVE ... [​IMG]
     
  8. Stickypaws

    Stickypaws Journeyman

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    Quite right sir. Mind you, could be worse, they could be directing people to a website that allows selling items for real life money. Though not illegal the head of Mythic doesn't like it much does he?
     
  9. Petra Fyde

    Petra Fyde Peerless Chatterbox
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    As stated, back in 2003 we were pretty much the only game in town.
    I can't remember which producer decided they didn't need to be linked to anyone 'officially', but the current fansite program was initiated in May 2009. I believe the sites are listed in the order in which their applications were received.

    Obviously both Adam and I applied as soon as the link went up, but where Adam was the owner of the site, I was not and had to wait for a reply to my email to the owner, and to discuss the terms we were agreeing to with the other admins.
    That didn't take long, since the terms were what we were doing anyway, so we're second on the list.
    I have been careful to appraise the new owners of the agreement we signed, so that it isn't inadverently breached.

    The list is in some need of updating, not all the fansites listed are still active. Not all of the sites adhere to the agreement quite as closely as we do.
     
  10. Lord Chaos

    Lord Chaos Always Present
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    Selling things in UO for RL money has been a part of this game legally ever since its inception. Nothing wrong with that at all and nothing wrong with people getting something out of their hard work or when they're quitting.

    Cal has not said anything at all against it either.
     
  11. Harlequin

    Harlequin Babbling Loonie
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    I don't mind the old static ads, but the flash ads were irritating and eats up too much resources when you open multiple windows. Though there are ways to bypass ads totally which I have been forced to do. And once I did that, I don't undo it just to see if they have switched back to using static ads...



    How would you interpret it?

    As formalization between the 2 parties, there definitely would have been official email communications between OSI and Stratics to make arrangements on moving their forums here.

    Although what you probably mean is that they didn't say the exact words:

    "We, Origin Systems Inc, hereby name Stratics as the official forum for the Ultima Online forum community".



    If we are talking now, yes, there are other sites and forums now. That also means that if Stratics didn't maintain a certain level of edge all these years, it would have long ago been over taken by the competition like what happened to MySpace.

    But similarly, if you look at Amazon and eBay, the biggest and oldest companies in their respective niches, they are still the best around.

    I know you mean to say that most of it is due to devs chosing to post here, which is true. I will address that in the next part.

    Part of the issue is that the competition is only focused in 1 part of it.

    UOGuide lacks an established forum. UOForum lacks an infomational main site with the data that Stratics and UOGuide provides. But as the CEO, you probably already know that and have your own plans.



    What you say is true. What you have to consider is why the devs chose to post here in the first place?
    - because Stratics have a larger reach to the playerbase.

    Why Stratics has a larger reach?
    - because OSI themselves released an official announcement to re-direct the users of their own forum here.

    Why OSI redirected players here?
    - because Stratics have a larger reach to the playerbase even back in 2003.

    Why did Stratics have a larger reach to the playerbase back in 2003?
    - because they had the most complete info on the game, from statistics of mobs, spawn maps, taming charts, weapon charts showing the dps of each weapon. Folks came here for data. It made sense to post here to request or contribute info.
     
  12. Lord Chaos

    Lord Chaos Always Present
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    Sure, but how many official sites do you know that the users has to take measures or put up with tons of ads?

    Hell, if you go here on a mobile phone, then you're screwed more or less.

    That they're directing people to go to the same place and selected the biggest one they knew of. But really, it doesn't matter, its ancient history now.

    UO Stratics was just running on fumes for many years. In recent years its experienced a surge of activity again, partly thanks to Petras hard work and her team.

    I do believe that most players are able to go to different sites.

    To your questions. Sure, they reach some players here, but honestly, looking around, the reach is pretty dismal for the game just about anywhere.

    Just look at numbers:

    Combined Stratics forum (all forums, both UO and non-UO)

    Currently Active Users: 499

    Official Lineage 2 forum (smaller game than UO in the west)

    Currently Active Users: 1199

    And thats despite the devs posting here and no devs posting on the L2 forum.

    Its pretty clear that the current approach is not so good and as many believe this to be official forum anyway, I really don't think even making it fully official would matter any at all.

    What other approach, I don't know.
     
  13. Black Sun

    Black Sun Grand Poobah
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    From the UO ToS:
    (bold italics is my emphasis)
    Despite what Cal might or might not say there are provisions in the ToS that prohibit the sale of items/accounts for RL cash. Legally you can't sell something you don't own.
     
  14. Stickypaws

    Stickypaws Journeyman

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    Ill be honest, I didn't know it was against the UO ToS, thanks for that I was about to start trying to buy game time codes with gold. Not sure thats entirely legal now ^^

    I was more prodding against the town hall from many moons ago where the head of Mythic expressed his dislike of gold selling. I will have a google and make sure its not my imagination or something later ^^
     
  15. Lord Chaos

    Lord Chaos Always Present
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    OMG, please read the TOS!

    The first bolded part is part of termination of your account, so not a general rule and the other one is that you cannot transfer or sell the agreement in itself. Its not talking about selling or buying items in UO in general.
     
  16. Stickypaws

    Stickypaws Journeyman

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    Cant find the old town hall pages >.< Nafflenom.

    From another forums notes, haven't quoted the name of the poster, if ya want ya name credited IM me or summit. Youll prolly know who ya are.

    Its from 2008, and this is rather 'some bloke / bird on the internet said' of me (sorry! ^^ ). Like I said a few posts up, the head of Mythic doth not approve :) Have a look at his stance on gold selling in Mythics other games to see how much he doth not approve :)

    Edit :

    Mr Chaos was this really worth another thread?
    ^^
     
  17. Trebr Drab

    Trebr Drab Guest

    That's not true (the "legally" part), and all you have to consider to see that it's not is that Ebay was asked to stop sales of UO gold and other items.
     
  18. Woodsman

    Woodsman Guest

    You may not have been around or read the UO.com forums back before they were closed, but the amount of angst and anger contained in them was through the roof. If a shard crashed or somebody lost something major, there was a heated thread made within minutes about it.

    Ditching the official UO.com forums wasn't done because EA felt it was better to utilize other professional sites, it was done to save money and get people who were angry at EA off on other sites. I'd have to stroll through archive.org and find the thread, but there was even an EA exec who had the nerve to ask what kind of impression people would get of UO if they looked at the UO.com forums and saw people going into full meltdown mode because a shard crashed or whatever. I saw people post addresses, email accounts, and phone numbers of EA executives.

    EA has a long history of aggressively going after customer support and relations when they want to cut costs. It didn't help that the UO.com forums made EA look bad.

    Nobody at EA said "let's find some other sites that UO players read", they said "how can we squeeze another $50,000 or $100,000 in cost-saving measures?" and people lost their jobs as EA did things like close the forums and reduce the amount of exposure and interaction between players and EA/UO.

    I was and am very good friends with somebody who worked in that area and who lost their job as some of these changes were made to save money. His view at the time was obviously "oh god I have to find another job" but once you got past that (and he found a better job), he felt very strongly that EA did not understand the playerbase. Obviously it bothered him that he was laid off, but it also bothered him as a UO player, because he felt that EA was making a mistake in the long run. During his time there, player/EA communication wasn't always the best, but it was a lot easier than it is these days, and there is a lot to be said for that. I'm not going to name names, but some of you old-timers probably will know who I'm talking about or have guesses.

    He tried to explain to an executive one time why all these people were emailing him and pancakes about Lake Superior crashing. There were LS players pancakes about LS being down. There were players on other shards pancakes about LS players gathering at the WBB and dressing all in red and protesting and trying to lag those servers. He spent like 15-20 minutes on the phone explaining the situation to the executive and the executive's response was "why don't those Lake Superior players just go play on another server?" It left him speechless, and it reinforced his view that EA didn't understand UO or the playerbase, because this executive was in the chain of command as you went from UO up to the head of EA.

    Ironically, that's probably changed. In 2010, EA had an overall revenue of $3.5 billion. Blizzard brought in over $2 billion just from WOW alone, give or take a few hundred million. Any EA executive around these days is fully aware of the 800 pound gorilla that WOW has become, and fully aware of how MMORPGs continue to grow even when the analysts predict we will all be overrun by Facebook games. They would probably have a better grasp of MMORPGs and why players feel the way they do. Then again EA got really burned by Warhammer Online, and they are probably nervous as hell about their upcoming Star Wars MMORPG.

    I'm not religious, but a small part of me prays that the upcoming Star Wars MMORPG that EA/BioWare is working on will wildly succeed, because I think it would help UO in the long run. Warhammer sure as hell didn't help things.
     
  19. Lord Chaos

    Lord Chaos Always Present
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    Ebay was not asked to stop the sale of UO gold or items. They did it as a blanket policy towards MMOs in general, regardless of it being legal in UO.

    See other thread instead of derailing this one.
     
  20. Trebr Drab

    Trebr Drab Guest

    Link?
    I'll reply where I want to.
    My memory is that UO asked them to stop it.
     
  21. Lord Chaos

    Lord Chaos Always Present
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    Then your memory is faulty. I can't link to something that didn't happen. You please link to an official announcement about banning sale anywhere.
     
  22. Black Sun

    Black Sun Grand Poobah
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    Look, I don't have the time, nor the desire to get into another pointless debate with you. I'll just say one more thing then I'm off to more productive activities.

    Section 5, part c of the UO ToS (that's rights and responsibilities, nothing about terminated accounts) says EA owns your account, characters and everything on it.

    So, go into best buy and try selling someone one of those TV's they have all over the place. You can use your one phone call to let me know how it worked out for you.
     
  23. Lord Chaos

    Lord Chaos Always Present
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    Of course they own it. This does not preclude you from selling it, as long as you are aware that you cannot take it from EA.

    All you're doing when you're "selling" an item, is to move it from one character to another. EA will continue to own it in any regard. This is for instance to prevent someone from actually have ownersship right over the items and as such claim liability against EA if anything happens.

    Just admit you're wrong, its really no good that you're spreading wrong information.

    PS. Your example is stupid. You try going into Best Buy, then play around with their TV's 24/7 and see how far that gets you too. This is not a good analogy to virtual items.
     
  24. Black Sun

    Black Sun Grand Poobah
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    When you sell something in game for RL cash you are taking money for transfer of something that is not legally yours. It's a fairly simple concept. But no matter how much I try to water it down for you, you won't get it because you don't want to.

    Have a nice day.
     
  25. Zyon Rockler

    Zyon Rockler Guest

    I don't think alot of people playing the game felt as if the internet had anything to do with it. I mean yeah, you need a modem to connect to the game and maybe it was mentioned in the book somewhere or there was a link but how many people really care? Basically you come home, load the game up and get in the game, then you start asking people questions. So, basically it was the player base who directed people to Stratics.

    You would ask a question like, What's the best item to make at 98 smithing or What's the best animal to tame at 86, then people would tell you the right answer and also refer you to a list at Stratics. I think I even printed out about 50 different pages.

    There were also apps, which were tied into Tmaps. So, you had to get the app. and then go online to some webpage to match it up. I don't think people really enjoy using external outlets or having to search the web for any answer. The best thing about Stratics, was, definately being able to talk to fellow players and the devs.

    I remember protesting and stories. It's a really unique history but it's ashame not everything is handled from within the game itself because there really is a deep, technical side and alot of the magic is lost. Imagine being able to see all of the designers in the game or devs wearing different colored robes. Each having their own unique powers and being able to actually talk to them, knowing who they are. So, the history in a way, has taken that away.

    Star Wars is a different type of game. It's in space. It has a large following because of the movies and of course the Power Of The Force and the Evil and Good. The mistake with Conan and the battle with WoW, in my opinion, is, because they are very similar. You know like, castles, knights, mages. There's really only room for one and UO is the best. It's just that people have trouble believing it. I'm sure we will see another remake, rather than a huge push to improve but I guess that has helped UO in the long run.

    Even today, though, if you ask someone, it just seems easier to say, Go to Stratics.
     
  26. Lord Chaos

    Lord Chaos Always Present
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    You just can't admit to being wrong.

    It is not and never has been against the rules of the game...and its never been against any laws.

    It would not bother me so much if it wasn't because you have a shield and as such some might take you as an authority on matters, even if wrong. :(
     
  27. Woodsman

    Woodsman Guest

    You're memory would be off a bit. eBay announced it in 2007 as a blanket policy and at that point UO would have been a drop in the bucket compared to other MMORPGs. It was over 9 years after UO launched. Plus there are plenty of UO gold sites still around - I've seen mention of them on Stratics and elsewhere. If EA went around asking people to stop selling virtual stuff for cash, then they've failed miserably.

    eBay's concerns were fraud, which was a serious problem, especially when you mix in overseas operations, gold farmers, dupers, etc. and because it was a virtual good, there was no way for eBay to track things if the deal went wrong. With physical goods, eBay can ask for shipping receipts, etc. They were also concerned about taxes and getting into fights with publishers.
     
  28. AirmidCecht

    AirmidCecht twitch.tv/airmid
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    Regardless of why or how policy changed regarding official UO forums I think what is important to highlight is whether officially or not, Stratics has always strived to provide all the UO information it can and a forum to discuss all aspects of UO.

    Petra took the application process very seriously in the requirements to be recognized as an official fansite. This includes the interpretation that selling items for real money was not something a fansite would endorse.

    We cannot speak for other individuals or fansites in their interpretations so arguing about it here is sort of unproductive. I would suggest the question of requirements be directed at UO itself and email James Nichols, Mesanna, or Cal. If they choose to in turn clarify it we would certainly post it as information though my guess would be the rules at Stratics would remain the same.

    Official or unofficial is not something that has changed our direction for the UO community. We just simply do, under the guidance of someone who truly is in it for her enjoyment of Ultima Online. Thank you Petra :)
     
  29. grig_since98

    grig_since98 Guest

    But it could be reasoned that you are selling the time to acquire that item. It doesn't have to have anything to do with the virtual items.
     
  30. Harlequin

    Harlequin Babbling Loonie
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    To clarify, when I said "Why OSI redirected players here?" I meant

    - Why OSI redirected players here instead of the other forums


    I posted exclusively at the OSI forums at that time :D

    And was probably one of the posters you saw screaming at the devs to get the shard back online or get the lag fixed mwuahahahaha
     
  31. AirmidCecht

    AirmidCecht twitch.tv/airmid
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    Stratics was sort of born alongside UO. Not that other forums weren't but with Strategies and Statistics being the thought behind it, I always thought of it as extended family growing up with each other even before I became a registered member.
     
  32. Lord Chaos

    Lord Chaos Always Present
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    If that is truly your goal, then I wonder why several of you are so busy elevating yourself well above other sites who strives for the same? This happens a lot and now its with "hey, we are the more moral and just network, as we interpret the rules such and such". I would think we're all here to help the community in each our own way.

    My concerns have always been that of a UO player just like any other.
     
  33. Calis M^N

    Calis M^N Guest

    i can only think that the reason they said Stratics would be something they had a link set up to would be because it was the busiest and had everything they needed
    Information about the game
    and an established and managed forum that didnt cost them a pennie to maintain


    the terms of service has nothing to do with this topic....

    personally i use all three mentioned sites on this all for different reasons

    i think all this pancakes is brining down the integrity of all the formentioned websites
     
  34. AirmidCecht

    AirmidCecht twitch.tv/airmid
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    We all should take pride in what we do. I would suggest we let our actions and reputation stand for itself regardless of what site we endorse. Everyone has a preference without having to elevate or put down something we all do for enjoyment.

    I personally don't have an us vs. them mentality. We all play therefore we all discuss. Where we take that discussion is personal preference.
     
  35. AirmidCecht

    AirmidCecht twitch.tv/airmid
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    I do have a more productive day in mind for myself Kingsley, I promise.

    *smiles*

    Have a great day all :)
     
  36. Petra Fyde

    Petra Fyde Peerless Chatterbox
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    Agreed, let's stop it.
     
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