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Question for Mesanna

Discussion in 'UO Spiels N Rants' started by Penana Car, Nov 9, 2013.

  1. Penana Car

    Penana Car Journeyman

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    Hi Mesanna,

    I am a long time fan of Richard Garriotts' Ultima series and specifically Richard Garriott the producer of Ultima Online.

    In no way-shape-or-form am I saying World of WarCraft is a better game. In fact it's a far cry from the epic memories Richard Garriott's Ultima Online brought me during my childhood and teenage years. However, World of WarCraft is now on its third expansion since the High Seas booster-pack. With all due respect, patch 5.4 alone brought more content than the last 3 Ultima Online expansions combined.

    I am not questioning your role as a "game developer" but my question to you, respectfully, is when can we expect a new expansion for Ultima Online and/or a lowered subscription price fully reflecting the stagnant future development of this game?

    I am a firm believer that there is a lot of potential and a lot of overhauls that can be made. I realise you've changed the timing variables for weapon swing speed in RG's code but this to me is classified as a hot fix and not a real patch.

    I also do not see how your dream of a mobile vendor search application would be a solution for the future of this franchise, or an in-game store when you can access one on your web browser. Could you fill me in with a detailed explanation of why this is the direction you want to take?

    I hope you can respond on all of these issues to put myself and other members of the community at ease.

    Kind regards,

    Penana Car
     
    #1 Penana Car, Nov 9, 2013
    Last edited: Nov 9, 2013
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  2. Veldrane

    Veldrane Journeyman
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    I agree with your general question of when/if are we going to see another expansion for UO, but I'm not really sure what the point of bringing up WoW is as an argument for justifying the question. WoW is still boasting a subscription base of several million, the comparison between WoW and UO in that regard is like comparing an orange to a hammer.

    It is highly likely that we will never see another expansion to UO given the size of the Dev team and every indication that Mythic considers UO to be in maintenance or sundown mode. Sad really, the micro transaction model they seemed to be leaning toward with addon packs like High Seas could really revitalize the platform in my opinion.
     
  3. Viper09

    Viper09 Grand Poobah
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    WoW is on its third expansion you say? Guess it still needs to catch up with UO then...
    Need to remember that while WoW has a much larger subscription base, it is also still fairly new compared to UO as well as having a much larger dev team and supporting funds. So of course they can afford to make another expansion. Can UO afford it? Guess that answer would depend on what type of expansion...
     
    #3 Viper09, Nov 9, 2013
    Last edited: Nov 9, 2013
  4. Penana Car

    Penana Car Journeyman

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    Read again, third expansion SINCE the high seas booster pack release date.
     
    #4 Penana Car, Nov 9, 2013
    Last edited: Nov 9, 2013
  5. Veldrane

    Veldrane Journeyman
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    Again, a comparison between the two is irrelevant. You're talking two different games in different phases of their life cycle as well as vastly different budget sizes.

    Your overall question is a valid one, "are we going to see another expansion" but your argument for why we need one hurts your justification.
     
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  6. Viper09

    Viper09 Grand Poobah
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    Touche. However, that doesn't address all the other points...

    A quick look-up though shows that there are only four expansions? With a fifth expansion only announced. Still a way to go to catch up with UO, :p
    I think UO is at 8 expansions overall. 9 if we count high seas.
     
    #6 Viper09, Nov 9, 2013
    Last edited: Nov 9, 2013
  7. Penana Car

    Penana Car Journeyman

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    I've already addressed this stating one WoW "patch" offers more player content than 3 UO expansions combined. Mondain's Legacy, Kingdom Reborn, Stygian Abyss, High Seas combined brought less new content at an individual price for each than one free patch (patch 5.2 as a specific example) brought with the cost of regular subscription which is the same subscription cost as Ultima Online.

    If this development team is not going to commit to the ongoing DEVELOPMENT of this franchise, the cost of the product should drop to reflect that.

    I will re-subscribe to Ultima Online for what it is worth. I would rate $2.99 as a suitable subscription but I would pledge to re-subscribe for $7.99 monthly.
     
    #7 Penana Car, Nov 9, 2013
    Last edited: Nov 9, 2013
  8. NuSair

    NuSair Babbling Loonie
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    That isn't going to happen. UO makes money and the idiots at EA want to funnel the cash made from UO into new failures....er...products. They don't understand the concept of putting more money into something already making money to make more money.

    There is a reason companies like Blizzard continue to release top notch products and EA's products keep failing. And it has nothing to do with the size of the development team.

    Personally, I would have addressed this letter to Jeff, but either way, you won't be getting an answer.
     
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  9. Penana Car

    Penana Car Journeyman

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    I'm only comparing the two in terms of subscription cost. I want a lowered subscription cost, not because I can't afford UO (because I can) but because it is the right thing for Mythic to do to honor their long standing customers. I don't care if there is never another expansion (the game is already damaged goods due to the way it is being mishandled) just charge people what the game is worth.
     
    #9 Penana Car, Nov 9, 2013
    Last edited: Nov 9, 2013
  10. Picus of Napa

    Picus of Napa Slightly Crazed
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    This is the truth. For the people who replied I, personally, think he/she has some valid questions and to nit-pick on the content is silly.

    What is the go forward plan? Why devote resources to things that don't seem to increase revenue for the game or is the in game vendor expected to generate sales? WHY don't they reply to stuff like this?(Millions of valid questions could and should be asked of the team)
     
  11. Penana Car

    Penana Car Journeyman

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    Also, why did Mesanna dress up as a WoW virmen for Halloween and not a UO mongbat? What's with that?
     
  12. Winker

    Winker Babbling Loonie
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    Threads that criticize Mesanna will be locked. Stratics will not allow that Special relationship be questioned
     
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  13. Penana Car

    Penana Car Journeyman

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    I'm not questioning the relationship. I'm questioning matters that pertain to Ultima Online and her Halloween costume.
     
  14. Winker

    Winker Babbling Loonie
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    Didn't say you were, I was saying that's the way this thread is going to go and then its going to get locked or moved to rants
     
  15. Viper09

    Viper09 Grand Poobah
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    Why does this even matter? Sounds like you're trying to derail your own thread into meaningless rant against Mesanna.
     
  16. Penana Car

    Penana Car Journeyman

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    It seems any time there is a thread over the months posing a valid question to the representatives developing Ultima Online, you're readily sitting there to hijack it and shield your precious developers as opposed to making a known presence as a player in the game. It matters because I am another person willing to subscribe if there are changes. I've directed this thread at Mesanna as a Mythic representative and now I would like for her to come forward and address it. Thanks.
     
    #16 Penana Car, Nov 9, 2013
    Last edited: Nov 9, 2013
  17. Tazar

    Tazar Guest

    Cut the price? Wouldn't everyone like the cost of their products cut?

    Lets see...

    Cost of a gallon of gasoline - under $1.50 in 1997 vs. around $3.80+ in 2013.
    Cost of a postage stamp - $0.32 in 1997 vs. $0.46 in 2013.
    Tuition Price @ GVSU (random search result) - $1,644 in 1997 vs. $5,227 in 2013.
    Dow Jones high for the year - 8250 in 1997 vs. 15,761 in 2013.

    Lets face it - the cost of everything has gone up. It is called inflation. The fact that proportionally the price of UO hasn't really gone up anywhere near the cost of other products means you've had your "price cut". And they did it without the smaller portions some products now sell to keep the price appearing lower.

    While there may not be large-scale expansions, the overall service level (value) is still increasing with each and every publish. The value is there for me.

    As to why she wants to see a "vendor search" feature - and an in-game store - perhaps because these are two areas that seems to have a lot of complaints about from the player base. I see regular problems from members trying to make origin store purchases. I also see a huge issue with most homeowners being unable to sell well on their vendors due to the inequality of the "Luna vs. all other areas" factor that we all know so well.

    Personally - I don't see your post as anything other than a troll to stir things up. I'll let the thread run for a while, but I fully expect things to go downhill to a lock.
     
  18. Tazar

    Tazar Guest

    oh - I might add. I do not play WOW and never really have other than a 5 minute trial that I didn't care for... so I am not sure about your claim that her Halloween costume was from WOW. However - I had the impression that it was from:

    http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0399485/

    I could well be wrong - but it does appear that Peter Rottentail is the name of the costume.
     
  19. Viper09

    Viper09 Grand Poobah
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    Your main question is indeed valid and I am not hijacking, all I have done in this thread is point out that WoW has a large advantage in funding, size of developing team, and player base. So of course there will be large differences in how content is handled if you compare the two.

    However, I just don't see why her choice of costume for Halloween is at all relevant here. It really sounds like you're attempting to derail your own discussion...
     
    #19 Viper09, Nov 9, 2013
    Last edited: Nov 9, 2013
  20. Penana Car

    Penana Car Journeyman

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    UO as a service is supply on demand. UO's operating costs have dropped with the demand going away. The game costs less to run. They are providing poor service organizationally. It does not cost the same proportionately to run and maintain this game for a depleted # of subscriptions as it did for 250,000 subscribers in the past. They have less employees, they are paying less for bandwidth and server costs and the cost of maintenance is next to nothing. They are not improving the product nor is the service staying the same- there is far less service now than ever and the product and quality of gameplay is worse now than it has ever been. The argument that such a poor product, in the gaming industry, would hold its value is a completely false argument. Would you pay $40.00 for Street Fighter 2 in 2013? A game that has not changed for better or worse?

    EA lowers the cost of their console games each year. You would not pay $60 for NHL 11 now.
     
    #20 Penana Car, Nov 9, 2013
    Last edited: Nov 9, 2013
  21. Tazar

    Tazar Guest

    I think your argument there is completely false as well. Of course - some costs have gone down - but things like Payroll per employee, payroll taxes, electricity for the office, rent for the office, insurance, accounting and legal, etc. have still increased. In addition, as you stated, there are a depleted # of subscriptions paying for these costs meaning it could well be a higher cost per subscription than before.

    As to "not improving the product", I totally disagree. We still see regular bug-fix patches, new content, Developer Scenario's, Live event content from the EM Team, etc. The product is improving in my eyes and the quality of gameplay is what you make of it in a "sandbox".

    As for Street Fighter 2 - nope - not my type of game - but I do gladly pay my reocurring subscription cost for UO at around $40.00 per 90 days along with the expansions, boosters, theme packs, etc.

    And for NHL 11... really? when was the last time there was an upgrade to that 4 year old game... oh wait! There was! You got to buy NHL 12, NHL 13, and NHL 14 if you wanted the "new" content... and it still costs $60.00.
     
    #21 Tazar, Nov 9, 2013
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 9, 2013
  22. Flutter

    Flutter Always Present
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    I would read all the replies but I don't want to.
    I will say this, I am appreciative that the price has not gone UP. I find Ultima Online to be cheap entertainment.
    I appreciate that the devs are still adding content. I do miss expansions but not as much as I used to.
    I question anyone who sees things differently. The only thing I miss is the chatter of dev and player that used to happen back in the day. I miss the conversations about what we'd like to see and what is and is not possible.
     
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  23. Uvtha

    Uvtha Grand Poobah
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    Street fighter 2 -> Street fighter 4, outside of graphics, is far less change than UO launch to UO 2013. Far far less.

    And your initial query has been answered dozens of times already. Low subs + small team + non modern experience = no expansions. I still think its a good, fun game, but it's simply too old school in look and in play to ever seriously grow its subs base without a free to play set up of some kind. But lets not get into that debate.

    Dropping subs price to 9.99 won't change anything.
     
  24. Penana Car

    Penana Car Journeyman

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    Is your suggestion that the game should be either free to play it should be overpriced? I just feel it should be reasonably priced. Why pay for something that no longer has a return on investment? The developers no longer give back to the community. They appear to have an inner circle of a certain type of people that they befriend and interact with (take Petra Fyde as an example) and shun the rest of the entire represented community.

    I am only saying this from the perspective of one of the greatest UO players in history (myself). One of the greatest, unfazed players ever that refuses to play for such a high price. I feel my opinion should carry as much weight as anybody's.
     
  25. Tazar

    Tazar Guest

    Return on investment? It is a game! The return is whether or not you have fun. If you are not - then you should find something that you do enjoy. Given the options available in game - you'll have a difficult time finding more bang for the buck anywhere. See a movie? 2 hours and more money... etc.

    52 Posts by Dev's in the last 40 days is no longer giving back to the community? Check the "Dev's post" forum and you'll see that it is quite active. Of course - this goes in cycles along with major publishes and deadlines, but they are there interacting. The "Inner Circle" is not a group of friends - it is a group of fansites with chosen delegates to act as a "Community Liason Team". This team from various fansites helps facilitate communications with the Dev's by gathering info from players and the forums and passing it to the Developers so they don't have to wade through the muck - while also gleaning info (often through tireless hours of playtime) to pass back to the players. Do you think Mesanna just hands Frarc a manual on each new Scenario? No - Frarc spends his time documenting it for you to make your play time more enjoyable. It is a large part of what we do as fansites.

    If there is an impression of "Friends" maybe it is because of what those people do to assist the players and the Dev Team rather than the Dev's playing favorites as you are suggesting.

    At this point though - you've shown your intent with the first post and it has easily turned into a rant against the Dev's. I am moving the thread to SnR as appropriate.
     
  26. Flutter

    Flutter Always Present
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    lol @ Return on investment
    Sorry no. The "investment" is time spent in game and 12.99 (depending on your region). The return is entertainment. Like going to a movie or heading out to the casino. Going to the beach on a sunday night for a bonfire, or throwing a halloween party. You're not buying stock here, you're using your disposable income.
     
  27. NuSair

    NuSair Babbling Loonie
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    For me, it isn't so much as a return on an investment, but more of a comparison. Look at what other games are getting for lower (or no) subscription rates. And what do we get? Reduction in team and sporadic content updates and abysmal communication from what team is left. I am tempted to go back and track the communication from people over certain time periods. But, I am afraid what I would find would be so disheartening.

    I still stand by my statement that EA has been using the profits from UO to fund other failures while letting UO decline and give it less and less support. UO could do so much better with just a little support. Instead, it's being left to feed on by uncaring idiot vultures.

    I do like the direction the game has taken since Mesanna has taken the helm, in general.

    But, I would like more communication and more/better content updates.
     
    #27 NuSair, Nov 9, 2013
    Last edited: Nov 9, 2013
  28. Uvtha

    Uvtha Grand Poobah
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    It being overpriced is your opinion. As for paying for investment, I don't look at the video games I play as an investment... because they aren't. Its either fun or its not. If its not fun enough, I wont pay for it. They DO give back, the issue here is that you are dissatisfied with the quality and quantity of what they give, I am as well, but I know that my feelings are not fact, and its up to me to decide whats worth paying for.

    Then again, I'm not "one of the greatest uo players in history" so what do I know? :rolleyes:
     
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  29. Picus of Napa

    Picus of Napa Slightly Crazed
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    Everyone is the greatest play of UO in it's history if you still pay.
     
  30. Petra Fyde

    Petra Fyde Peerless Chatterbox
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    This is an 'apples to oranges' comparison. WoW is a game that runs on tracks. When you get to the end of the track they need to lay more track for you to travel onward.
    UO is a sandbox game, you use your imagination to create your own enjoyment from the tools the developers give you - if you have sufficient imagination of course.
    When you consider the amount of content that goes into the regular publishes, I tend to believe we are getting free 'expansions'. UO doesn't need new lands - there is plenty of land already.
     
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  31. Winker

    Winker Babbling Loonie
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    When you look at the free content on the free shards, created by unpaid Dev's you begin to wonder what our paid dev team are doing all day long.
     
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  32. Winker

    Winker Babbling Loonie
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    I'm not questioning the relationship. I'm questioning matters that pertain to Ultima Online and her Halloween costume.

     
    #32 Winker, Nov 10, 2013
    Last edited: Nov 10, 2013
  33. Penana Car

    Penana Car Journeyman

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    Ok, so you re-customize a house 50 times then what? You customize a new house?

    You collect useless rare items that are pixelated art and you have a false notion that they are rare.

    You grow plants that have zero behaviors.

    You kill a water elemental in 2 ebolts, or you kill the mechanicless harrower dozens times until you're flat out done with it.

    There is no reward for PvP. Who needs a 120 powerscroll when they've got 10 6x120 characters? The Britain mines and Wrong roof, without arena based rules, is better than the no-reward arena system.

    You stock a vendor with all of the same loot and there has been very little progression of that loot in a decade.

    There are no new craftables. In fact anything that is craftable is trumped by imbuing anyway.

    You take time out of your day to host a player event but nobody shows up because nobody plays.

    These "sandbox" mechanics are all old, stale mechanics that aren't even a worthy excuse for the present development team because they're not even the ones that were responsible for them in the first place.

    At least in WoW, there is more material to accomplish in one patch than you can even keep up to before a new patch is out. I don't think you're even capable of getting close to reaching the "end of the track" because as a hardcore gamer I'm admittedly not. A fair comparison would be if Blizzard had released Mists of Pandaria and released 2 patches in 6 years with no expansion announcement. Although I couldn't say that would be fair because one Blizzard patch = more than Mythic puts out in 6 years of expansion.

    By the way, if you do finish Siege of Orgrimmar on heroic, finish every available achievement, obtain every battle pet/mount, obtain max rep in every single faction, so on and then tell me you've done it before the next content is released I'd like to join the guild you're in.

    An expansion does not require new landmass. UO could use creative ways to make use of the useless land mass they've had for 5 expansions. That is what it is, utterly useless land with no "PERSISTENT STATE" (a term that defined OSI's vision for this game) environmental features.

    What I am presenting is a guaranteed opportunity for Mythic to gain myself and at least 3 other guild mates of mine as subscribers if they lower the cost of subscription to reflect what the service they're providing is worth (between $2.99 and $8 per month).

    Could somebody explain the mobile app/in game-store bit and tell me what that is going to achieve again?
     
    #33 Penana Car, Nov 10, 2013
    Last edited: Nov 10, 2013
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  34. Viper09

    Viper09 Grand Poobah
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    If you find all the content in UO old and stale, what makes you think anything the dev team could do for an expansion would even make you happy? The quote "if you're not happy with what you have, you wont be happy with what you get" comes into mind when I'm reading your posts. You're obviously unhappy with everything in UO (or at least you sound like you are), so I highly doubt anything they could do would appease you. I am doubtful that there would ever be any expansion that would revamp UO into something new, it will remain the same type of sandbox game it is until the very end. It really sounds like you'd be much happier in some other MMO like WoW.
     
    #34 Viper09, Nov 10, 2013
    Last edited: Nov 10, 2013
  35. Smoot

    Smoot Grand Poobah
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    Theres new content multiple times a week in the form of EM events. its near impossible to follow all of them, but even if you find one or two shards and actually keep up with the storyline thats Alot of new fresh content every week on top of the day to day year to year "hard" aspects of the game like new boss encounters and armor and junk.

    wow has none of that. ill choose personal interaction with real people who create new content in real time over the technicolor doldrums blizzard pukes up every few months.
     
  36. Petra Fyde

    Petra Fyde Peerless Chatterbox
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    I don't play WoW, I have no need to, I have enough going on in my UO life to keep me fully entertained for the whole of my leisure hours. Obviously I am more easily entertained than you.
    I go out with the alliance that I am part of, and the pleasure in that is not so much in what we do but in that we do it together. Most of the items I occasionally get from that go to the weekly Europa auction - it would be better if I could remember to attend the auction to see them sold though. I keep forgetting.
    I grow plants to get orange petals - which I'm chomping through while I fight the invasions. Sometimes I get seeds of renewal from those.
    I daily stock a pet stall for non-tamer pets, and yes, it does need stocking daily. It actually sells pets every day.
    Today I plan to make a new bow for my archer to see how an idea I had will work out. That char is fairly new and still training, so I'll be doing a little of that - NOT on a stupid, boring golem. For me training is part of playing.
    I also need to find time to mark 7 kinds of rune books, my vendor has sold out again.
    So much to do! and not enough hours in the day to do them. I'm sorry you're bored with UO. I'm not.
     
  37. cazador

    cazador Crazed Zealot
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    My accounts are in maintenance mode..have been for some time..the developers we have spend I'd say close to 80% of the thought process increasing deco type items in game..but hey we are getting a Dragon Bathtub!!!! Just curiously waiting on plumbing/electricity(which has been talked about)..maybe a singles chat area in Luna..all things I personally could care less about, but it does add to the game. Just wish instead of adding new king art (which is a good "side task") that they would fix issues with PvP..revamp spawns,doom..maybe raise specific skill caps..give the fellies something to fight over again..instead of catering to trammel, forum whiners about art..things of that nature..oh I don't know tweak MOB difficulties, tweak loot tables, high res for EC,make a PvP shard..ohh and please don't say siege..been there done that..Legends is more populated(semi sarcasm)..

    Oh btw I saw Jeff's name in this thread somewhere..he still has something to do with UO? *heads to twitter*
     
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  38. The Zog historian

    The Zog historian Babbling Loonie
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    Yup to all that. Some months back, I pointed out to someone that $9.99 in 1997 dollars is well over $14 in 2013 dollars. Don't take my word for it, it's directly from the Bureau of Labor calculated CPI. If anything, I believe inflation is understated.
     
  39. The Zog historian

    The Zog historian Babbling Loonie
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    Here's what you don't understand: it doesn't matter how much a business costs to run, but how much of a return it gives to the owners.

    Right now, UO yields enough net revenue that EA hasn't pulled the plug in favor of other things. You might invest $1000 with a consistent 10% return, but you'll pull it in favor of something with a higher return.
     
  40. The Zog historian

    The Zog historian Babbling Loonie
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    Well, it could very well have an effect: EA might pull the plug when revenues drop.
     
  41. The Zog historian

    The Zog historian Babbling Loonie
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    Yeah. Sure.

    Nobody said otherwise.
     
  42. The Zog historian

    The Zog historian Babbling Loonie
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    Since you are so unhappy with UO, why are you bothering to post here? Are you not getting enough attention in real life that you must post something epitomizing the forum name?

    There's so much for me to do, especially with the new invasion. I've had to make a couple of suits, which means imbuing various pieces, carefully laying out spreadsheets, and going hunting for ingredients.

    Please just go back to WoW, which you seem to find so superior. All your price-cut suggestion would do is make EA pull the plug on the game, which, considering your hatred of the game, could well be your dissembled intention. You don't know how a game business needs to be run, including that something like UO can't be converted to F2P or a base price model. With the population being perhaps a tenth of its peak, much of the game depends on people paying $120 a year to hold a house with a few characters they barely use.
     
  43. Tazar

    Tazar Guest

    Agreed. And it's not just the EM Events. Can you really even do a player run event in WOW? Create a maze for people to run through? Create a quest with clues, etc? I'll take UO any day over that. I'd much rather play in a sandbox where I have control than ride a predefined rail-road-track.
     
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  44. The Zog historian

    The Zog historian Babbling Loonie
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    Exactly so. That's why I gave up on EQ, did just two rounds of Diablo II (finished the second level, then redid the first level with a second char), never tried WoW or Diablo III, and have since tried just one level-based game (Android OS). Someone hosted a maze house contest on Sonoma last month, and it was a hoot as we dropped through traps, and dropped through them later on because we'd already forgotten.
     
  45. Captn Norrington

    Captn Norrington Trade Forum Administrator
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    personally, I find most other games to be a "level up, do it 50 more times, beat the final boss....then...delete the character and do it again" type of games however, The players, are UO, the friendships, the group hunts, the roleplay, the player run events. if you only want a game where you can log in, go kill stuff, and log out without talking to anyone, I would suggest a game like star wars the old republic, or a console game like assassins creed.
     
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  46. Viper09

    Viper09 Grand Poobah
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    Well put.

    I tried my hand at those "level up..." games, they were fun...until I hit the max level and visited every location. Then I got bored, canceled my account, and came back to UO.
     
  47. Captn Norrington

    Captn Norrington Trade Forum Administrator
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    Same here, I got 3 star wars the old republic characters to max level the first month the game existed...after that...theres just nothing, no new content at all, still none currently, about a year after the game was released, so ultimately got bored and quit.
     
    #47 Captn Norrington, Nov 26, 2013
    Last edited: Nov 26, 2013