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Discussion in 'UHall' started by Sprago, Jul 9, 2010.
why doesnt uo advertise it would bring players, it would have to.
It certainly couldn't be worse than the non-advertising that UO has had for years.
Because you simply can't market a nearly 13 year old game that hasn't seen a valid, significant overhaul that would enable it to compete with new, flashy games.
Heck, you are lucky to see UO news even on websites like MMORPG and other sites dedicated to online news.
The had an awesome opportunity with KR and the initial SA follow up but dropped the ball so badly few news places followed up after the initial announcement. It was still clunky, unwieldy, bug ridden, released too soon and still horribly outdated graphically (not to mention to many, UGLY).
Because it would be a waste of money.
There are hundreds free to play games there with graphics simiar or better than UO.
And most players don't see the advanatage of having a house to pay monthly when sims 3 offers that for no monthly fee.
Indeed there are. And to naysayers who keep repeating 'graphics aren't everything'... they ARE a way to get people interested. I could convince my boyfriend to try WoW and Runes of Magic, but UO was 'that ugly game you play' and he wanted no part of it. A lot of people feel the same. Heck, even DOFUS had a significant graphics overhaul.
In order to compete, you need something that is going to be visually enticing. It's almost akin to dating someone. Do you go up to the ugliest person to ask them out? No, you go for the most attractive. It's only later that you find out more about their personality.
UO needs to adapt a free basic account set up with an expanded purchasable items/features shop, as well as an account option.
It would up player base VASTLY, as well as game income.
Doubt it? Read this:
UO is losing players. A well conceived free account set up would propel UO forward another 10 years easy.
You do not nedessarily need graphic superiority.
I doubt farmville got big by graphics, but you need something special to get customers.
UO did not play to its strengths over the years, but then most games do not (EVE I think is the big exception). Company greed and the integrity of a game do not mix well.
No, but they are 'cute' graphics, and far 'crisper' looking than UO's. In addition, Farmville is a free social Facebook game. Ultima is a game with a paid monthly subscription. That's why Farmville is highly popular, because they marketed a social game you can play in minutes, not only for free but using the largest social networking site to make it popular, and get your friends involved. The model used for them is entirely different.
because they are closing UO - they closed it this morning for an hour to see if anyone would call them and ask for it to be re-opened.
next time is for real!
When UO began to assimilate aspects of other games, it lost what made it truly unique.
That because UO's always seems to half ass make their way through the copy of other systems and rush it to make it garbage. If we didn't go through producers and staff every year or move every 2 years in between said changes they might not have been so bad. I find it remarkable the game has made it as long as it has. If it was not for player housing this game would be dead.
I think a lot of people in the industry tend to agree with what you said in the last sentence. Housing was one of the greatest implementations. Giving players ownership of a patch of the online world. Customisation enhanced that, involving player creativity.
Just seems that elsewhere within the game, changes that weren't perhaps as welcome, didn't have quite the desired effect...
Some current players might disagree and say that evolutionary change has been just peachy. Continual decline in player numbers would suggest otherwise. Is it also not fair to assume, that there's a considerable number "active" accounts, that only remain "active" (paid but not played), because of housing?
Back to what I said in the first paragraph though. It's highly surprising other developers haven't taken the housing model concept in UO and worked it into more games. As well as the PvP input from UO developers for Star Wars: The Old Republic, don't be entirely surprised to see some form of housing or player controlled custom spaces.
If it's going to have longevity for the investment by EA/BioWare, then it needs something that brings players back. Custom housing and "ownership" of a piece of an online "real estate".
I have to agree, F2P is the way to go, please let this be made so.
Draconi can show us the way!
If he were around still...
I keep saying this and keep being told this can't possibly work for UO.
This modern online world is spinning very quickly. You either keep up with it, or fall by the wayside.
If some of the "old" industry names and visionaries out there are jumping in on the action, there must be something in it. FTP "social networking" games are where the money seems to be at.
Because you simply can't market a nearly 13 year old game that hasn't seen a valid, significant overhaul that would enable it to compete with new, flashy games.
he had an awesome opportunity with KR ... but dropped the ball
Sorry, but regardless of how much many people HERE like the graphics, you're wasting time trying to advertise 12+ year old graphics running in 12+ year old resolution settings for a pay-to-play game.
The TV commercials aren't going to be there, nor will the boxes sell when they look more dated than the $9.99 or less budget jewel cases.
Like it or not, flash (i.e. graphics) brings in the initial sales while the gameplay is what keeps people involved. The reason why UO worked when it started and for a few years afterwards is that when UO was released, 3d graphics were GARBAGE. They were like seeing the old 80s vector graphics only with a few (usually distorted) wrappings. The plantlife looked like a cardboard cutout toy version, and the animation was wonky. By comparison, UO at the time WAS lush, smooth, more alive and more realistic.
Unless there's a HUGE push to (again) update the graphical nature of the game, we're going to have to be content with the fact that UO is now a niche game and not a powerhouse in the MMOG world.
I always thought the reason that they decided not to put UO in shops for SA is that the really bad graphics devalues that Mythic and EA brands.
If they do go F2P, I think that the reason would be that the subscriptions are a lot lower than many of us think and the numbers floating around include tons of trial accounts.
What UO needs is a household name. Some kind of hook to make more people aware of it. It needs performance updates and graphical updates if they are going to bring in alot more people. They should look at other angles, like maybe, giving to the education systems where the MMO becomes something like a field day and a social experience for learning. UO probably needs to see the future one step ahead of the rest to understand what will bring the people and keep them.
Not just game mechanics and spawns but the way people will interact with the internet and what the internet is actually going to become. All we see now is the tidbits, no one really understands what is happening but the people who do will be the ones who corner the market and control the future.
Online gaming is actually the small part of what the internet is. The systems in the game itself will also need to be flexible with peoples demands or expectations of that future.
EA's Ultima Online marketing manager, hard at work on the next advertising campaign...
I think f2p would work REALLY well for UO. Because if people play UO a large portion of them WILL get into it, and will pay for extras, and I can see tons of opportunity for modularization of the game on many fronts.
I would bet every cent I have that UO would flourish with an F2P subscription paradigm.
The key isn't really in the game itself or how it plugs in, it's actually how the internet will change. I think it's that company that will lead the way because it will be the one that will be in control of everything.
The different ideas that are happening right now are part of the consolidation because they allow us to see how money can be transfered but really it's the rewriting of the internet that will contain the ability of our virtual worlds.
It kinda takes the magic away from UO when you look at it as being a web browser or a simple web page with a Windows system, point, click, drag.
It's kinda like the race car that stays in the middle of the screen while the rest of the world is moving. You don't realize the car is not moving at all.
I would really love to see UO rebuilt from the ground up. A completely new game with all the ideas and concepts that have been designed into it over the years. That's my dream.
I don't think it would be possible to do UO justice unless that was done and of course the beauty of the continuation of the game evolving.
Graphics are only important for games you cant play for free. The reason facebook games are so popular is because they are a) free b) on a site people go to everyday anyway (and can access anywhere without installing a program) and c) designed to give people a seemingly casual (but in truth demanding) routine to enjoy.
But the most important reason is reason a. They are free. People will try pretty much ANY free game because people have lots of time to waste. Web games will always do better because you can play them at work and or from any computer.
That said, UO's only REAL problem is the graphics roadblock. But if its free literally millions of people will try it, and with the depth of UO many will become hooked and be willing to pay for SOMETHING.
They've long since announced that players will have - from the get-go - their own private starship that serves as player-housing. While they haven't really released too much information on it, since they did use the word "housing" I'm going to assume you can indeed decorate the place as fits your tastes.
I could be wrong, though, and it might just be a mini-hub from whence to get to other areas, a la the Normandy in Mass Effect or those ships what names I forget from Knights of the Old Republic. But it being Bioware, I'd like to think they're smurt enough to include housing mainstays... like decorations!
They don't need to advertise. Here are things they could do...
1. Sell a device that attaches to a phone that provides glasses with a full screen view
2. Port the uo client to a cell phone. No 3d game could do this, but UO can be since its processing is less.
3. Use the gyro movement of the phone to move the character
4. Use the keys as normal for texting
5. Use a voice chat as main connection for players
6. UO needs to be more of a social outlet for connecting people. We need a way to advertise what we are doing so others can come to participate and so friends can find us
7. I just met someone today and made him a great suit. We would like to stay in touch, but we are both in guilds. So now how do I connect? I have to use an external program to connect, but in my experience that doesn't always work. Besides I use icq and he uses aim.
8. Make a way to post a blog of where I am in the game using the game.
The best thing about UO has always been the ability of players to interact and create worlds from the game mechanics. What we are lacking are improvements in the tools to maintain or connect.
The best thing for UO is not to advertise, but improve the method to connect. Maybe higher a visionary and that would be someone that understands the game is just a chat program with a game background used when there are no friends around.
You are all wrong.
UO is a good game. I pay for it, and so do you. If they want more paying customers they have to let them know the game exists. This is called advertising.
If all the comments above reflect what you think why are you posting on these boards? Go play "one of the hundreds of free" alternatives. Or spend your money on something you like.
I get the feeling that mindless strident comments constitute the game play for a lot of the posters here. And no griping and complaining endlessly does not add anything to the discussion or inspire improvement. It just grinds people down and makes them feel bad.
Mythic Folks, please advertise this great game.
I posted pretty clear reasons why a F2P pay style would net players, and if you noticed, a former UO head developer said that that would be one of the things he would focus on if he were at the helm, and F2P is also the method he is choosing in his own post UO endeavors.
I would bet 482387594302854025892534 dollars that setting up a free shard, or method or whatever would net waaaaay more profit and way way way way more players than just advertising a game with 10+ year old graphics. I love UO as much as anyone, but I can also be honest about how it looks.
F2P isnt some hair brained idea, nor is it only advocated by people who don't want to pay for thier accounts (I would still pay for full account status). Its just a better way to bring your game to people, and to make money off of it. If I were starting a game, this is the method I would use.
Just ask Dungeons & Dragons online that was on the verge of shutting down, decided to make thier game F2P, and now have a million+ players (from under 100k) and a 500% increase in revenue. Thats 500% not 50%. And that's in like a years time. And its not even as cool a game as UO.
No insulting UO here, no griping or complaining. I want UO to be around for years to come. A F2P set up would do this, of that I have zero doubt. UO Seems perfect for it.
This guy should be working on UO!
Without proper client it would be waste of money... When UO gets client that is capable of attracting ppl who Don't have nostalgia effect for UO then it could be worth advertising.
I really like this guy.
That's great, but WE are telling you that you cannot advertise an old game that has no new perks, bells or whistles.
Do you see Warner Brothers still advertising BLADERUNNER on Blu Ray? No. It sits there on the shelves if people choose to pick it up. They advertised it when it first came out, it did well and they moved onto discussing the next big release.
Now, when they cleaned up the movie drastically, made a 'Final Cut' version, and added TONS of content, the Blu Ray was heavily advertised. Like, all over. It was a big deal. Well, at some point they stopped advertising it and went on to the next project. At some future point they may have something better than Blu Ray, or a new version of BLADERUNNER, and at that point they could advertise again. But now? No.
You can't market something old. You can't market something that looks like UO does currently, in CC or EC. You just can't. It isn't realistic. You need to start at looking at new ways to get your product noticed. D&D did a GREAT job at hyping their change to F2P at various news outlets. UO just needs an angle that they can corner.
Right now, they have: a 13 year old game, OLD graphics that would be embarrassing to showcase on a retail box, and no new things to promote. Realistically, Sturdy, you just can't do that.
Yeah, most of us did while he was here. And he's hot (just saying).
Not everyone thinks you're Kevin Costner. Just because you build it, doesn't mean They will come..
But if he doesn't build it, he'll never know.
Or 2) Give it a 3D treatment like Iris.
I would hope a 3d treatment would be a LOT better quality than Iris. I mean it's an interesting concept, but the execution in many areas that I have seen REALLY need some work (i.e. one screenshot showing a potted plant had the 2d artwork in an X pattern which just looked dumb, and one video I watched, the animation was painfull to watch).
Keep in mind Iris was developed by like 2 or 3 people in their spare time as a hobby. Imagine what you could have with some actual investment and a team of people.
So, a quick web search reveals close to 100 shops selling the baderunner blu ray and thousands with the DVD. This is whatmy people call call advertising.
Back catalogs do not exist unless advertised. Define advertise internet! "Ok Sturdy, will do!" "A public promotion of some product or service." Thanks internet! You rock!!
'Being sold' and 'the company is investing in advertising' is two TOTALLY different things.
You can get UO on the EA website, just as you can get Bladerunner at, say, Wal Mart or Amazon. But NEITHER is receiving advertising or any sort of promotional push from their respective companies.
BTW, who are 'your people'? rolleyes:
- Very nice to hear, Draconi. So, wild guess... but, if you are in Austin with Portalarium I'd love to buy you a beer and maybe take a tour of the big eco log cabin on the lake
(Shame he's a former employee... )
Have there been any significant player initiatives in promoting UO?
I think it's in our own interest to get involved somehow. Apparently EA don't want to showcase UO, so we won't ever see boxes on shelves, cover discs, magazine spreads, or commercial other media ads.
But there are free alternatives to these outlets. I wonder if we could do any good promoting the game ourselves.
I think Draconi was probably the best lead designer UO has had. If only his vision of KR and the Enhanced Client would not have been boo-ed at, I think UO would have taken a leap forward even in silence. I applaud his work but apparently something went wrong or it's just the way things work. It just seems sad to think that all designers will end up on the way side, even after such a great run.
That's the problem with advertising, that's the problem with UO, that's the problem with the world. There's always something that offers us a challenge and for some reason we turn away rather than facing it.
All is not lost though and the things that have been done are not gone. Just still waiting to become a part of our reality or of our fantasy.
My understanding is they are already working on this(browser based games), but just not for UO right now. It makes their games truly Portable, and w/o distribution costs - no more 300+ mb patches either.
Have there been any significant player initiatives in promoting UO?
I think it's in our own interest to get involved somehow.
I was ready and starting to do this during the KR run... after the SIGNIFICANT downgrade in graphical quality that became the EC, I don't feel like I can do this anymore... not because I don't like UO, but because of the inevitable "the graphics suck" that will come from new possible players. Meanwhile, ex-players of UO have other reasons above and beyond the graphics as to why they no longer play and are FAAR too varied to get into here.
I wonder though...
What if they took the original look of UO, made it F2P/micro-trans as discussed here as "UO:Unlimited" or something of the like as a web-based system, revamped UO itself (again) from the ground up (client, server, and a LOT of gameplay) and re-released as the new UO that would be fee based.
Of course you'd be looking at effectively ending UO as it is now and reopening new servers to handle each system... or maybe transfer current UO into Unlimited and start new UO fresh from zero again. Maybe even have aspects of the Unlimited version give benefits to the new paid version in some way.
I dunno, just throwing out a few brainstorm concepts here and there, nothing really that I would say "Yes, this is absolutely how it should be done".
And of course a lot of this is at issue with the current economy being down the toilet as much as it is right now (which is another issue entirely for which this board is not set up anyway).
I'm not sure I could consider UO client programming in ANY language to be "basic"
I mean he has a very basic login screen, no loading graphics.
No Paperdoll it seems too and possibiities for macros.
But it seems one guy tried it.
It actually seems the german UO 'modding' scene is pretty big
Scripting program seems german, this one, just the first KR possible SA shard seems russian
I think what propelled UO forward is now what holds it back; it's a persistent world.
There's so much legacy baggage that we're not prepared to sacrifice to a new and more successful game. If there weren't player towns, rares, homes, shard history, em fixtures, characters, guilds, pets, etc - if it were just another generic mindless grind/hackfest - we could move on to UO2 or UX:O or whatever, clean break, no qualms or nostalgia, no twinges of remorse or loss. But UO isn't generic, it's unique, worthwhile, and deserving of perpetuity.
I think we need to at least put some lipstick on the pig, if we want to hang onto the same old pig we love so dearly. We need to attractively package and present our world to a broader player base, either through a new business model, a quality mainstream client, a clever marketing stratagem, or some combination of those elements.
And this isn't some pro-enhanced client rant because, as much as I prefer using the EC, I'd say it's far from being an attractive package as it stands. It's unfinished, inconsistent, buggy, and occasionally ugly, which are roughly the same complaints leveled at the old client.
I think we have to do better than that. Then we figure out how to make UO good value to a newbie who has no knowledge of the game other than how it looks and how much it costs.
UO can't be advertised if the developers don't add new innovations to the game. The last time UO saw anything big was back in 2003 with the Age of Shadows. Since then the developers seem almost scared to try and make any big changes to the game which could have a chance at revitalizing the player base. Even on a completely dead system like Factions they drag their feet. At this point they could can the entire system and bring something brand new to the game but they don't.
A great example of why the current development model does not work is the recent addition of Imbuing. It should have helped fix the crafting problem, but they avoided addressing issues such as item decay and economy, thus it failed.
Tell that to nDoors Interactive, for the past 2 years they've not only made enough money to pay their developers, and maintain rather good GM Support, they've made enough money that for the game Anniversary they have ran in game contests with real world prizes. Grand Prize last year.. New Toyota Scion. This year New Chevy Camaro.
I'm of course talking about Atlantica Online, their entire income for the game comes from an Item Store.
UO Could do this, it would mean revamping all Artifact drops to be extremely rare in comparison to now, and put these items on an Item Store, Removing 120 Scrolls completely and double scroll binding requirements, and adding 120's to an Item Store, and creating special limited use buff items to be available only from the Item Store, and adding all Runics to an Item Store. Personally I'd add non-blessed copies of all the Vet Rewards usable by anyone as well but that's just me, and I'd add Bulk Resources....
Few thoughts on thing that doing this would do, Bring back TONS of old players, to start, kill off the Items for $$$ market outside the UO Store.
A game that has certain items exclusively available in the item store (or other out of game means) is not free to play.