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Suggestions On How To Increase The Player Population Of UO

Discussion in 'UHall' started by Captn Norrington, Jan 6, 2014.

  1. Captn Norrington

    Captn Norrington Trade Forum Administrator
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    It's been a while since I've seen a thread like this, and was wondering what peoples current thoughts would be, in an effort to try to get new suggestions and avoid getting the thread locked, please try to stay away from topics like "get rid of the CC/EC client" or "sell the game in real life stores" since that has been posted hundreds of times. Hopefully a developer will see a suggestion they like and add it to the game one day.

    Personally I think having a special event would help the game, by special event I mean something like "for the month of February all accounts, both veteran and new can play for free (or half price)" they would have to advertise the event on gaming websites for it to be effective of course, and yes EA will lose money at the beginning, however if a lot of new/returning players come back to the game and decide to stay, EA will make a significant profit in the end.
     
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  2. THP

    THP Stratics Legend
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    GIVE EVERYONE ... bring a friend to Britannia code.....and let US give FRIEND a proper free 30 day code were THEY CAN DO ANYTHING they like....ie they are not resrticted by the free trial crap...and maybe even have a advanced char code built into it......would bound to attract a few extra stayer on'ers after the trial ended
     
    #2 THP, Jan 6, 2014
    Last edited: Jan 6, 2014
  3. Thrakkar

    Thrakkar Slightly Crazed
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    Maybe the analogy isn't the best, but yeah, here we go:

    How do you sell a 16 year old car?

    You invest time and money, maintain it put it into a condition, as it if was new. You polish it, until it glitters. Yes, you said, we should leave out the CC/EC discussion. But it doesn't work without it. Every PR department can tell you that. Why do you think, there are so many prerendered CGI trailers of games around, even if the in-game engine also looks awesome these days? Because it sells. Because it adds to the hype.
    Besides, you want to sell this game to new players. Players, who are used to top-notch graphics. Players, who are used to 3D or whatever. Yes, in the end graphics do not matter. But just telling them, that this game is awesome, is not enough. Most people don't buy blindly.
    Also, the usability, the look & feel of user interfaces has evolved over the years. New players are used to completely different standards. In UO we still have 1998, usability-wise. That's the next barrier for new players. Yes, in the EC a lot has improved, but we're still not on par with current games.
    Then we have accessibility. In recent years, the phrase "easy to learn and hard to master" has been heard quite often. UO is hard to dive in. Hard to learn from scratch. And even harder to master. The new haven "tutorial" is not even worth it's name. It was a nice try, an experiment, but it doesn't get us anywhere. Heck, if you don't select haven as starting town or don't play the EC at all, you skip that completely.

    And the veteran players? Yeah, they might come back. Some of them doing it on a rgular basis, I'm sure, but they quit the game once. They won't be the long-term players you're looking for.

    All due respect for your efforts, but I can see no way, how to successfully sell this game these days in the current state.
    Every now and then we get new players, but you want to see full servers (at least that's the picture I get from your post), but this won't happen. I say, let's stick to your little community and be glad, that so many of us are still around. I for myself would rather go another approach, to bring back life to certain shards: Since merging is out of the question, why not connect shards. Connect all west coast shards, all east cost shards, all european shards, etc. How? Add char transfer just with a click. Just like char copy to TC, one should be able to hop to a connected shard. This way a lot of people or guilds wouldn't feel that lonely anymore on some shards. And people can meet others in the wilds or in dungeons, just like it was 12 years ago.
     
  4. MalagAste

    MalagAste Belaern d'Zhaunil
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    I wouldn't recommend doing ANYTHING to bring in new players until certain things are "fixed"":

    1. The High Resolution updates for the EC.

    2. Billing issues are resolved and it is easier for old players to return. Customer support MUST be a priority... and UO must be put back on the help menu when you call EA.

    3. Absolutely MUST fix the coding at the Origin store...... no more self fixing the codes after you buy them.

    4. UO needs its website back. MYUO must return. Some way to look up potential guilds, see who's in them and such. 90% of other games have such things.... Saying it's a security risk is BS no one can tell what account they are on or who all is on that account.... Just need to be able to see the guilds and who is in them. What their primary skills are etc... This sort of information is needed.

    5. Need an Official UO run forum and Data base. No more 3rd parties.



    IF all that is done then you might consider promoting UO. Until then UO is a lost cause and anyone looking at it will see it as such.



    Otherwise my best suggestion would be to try to convince EA that "we" the players can "buy" UO and fix it ourselves since we the players are basically asked to populate it by "word of mouth"...

    "If" I could buy UO on day one I'd hire, Pinco, Sarphina?, and Ra'Dian Fl'Gith..... Immediately!
     
    #4 MalagAste, Jan 6, 2014
    Last edited: Jan 6, 2014
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  5. CovenantX

    CovenantX Babbling Loonie
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    Refer a friend, as THP suggests, would probably be the easiest way to bring people back & get newer players.

    They've had it before, though, it was exploitable to have free-game-time, which I assume is the reason they got rid of it. If they were to restrict it somehow, maybe limit the amount of refer-a-friend codes that could be used per account, or have some kind of 4 month cool-down on it would probably work. Although it may still be a loss of $$ until these new/returning players get hooked :D.


    Though I do think many of the in-game systems need to be converted to newer-updated & working systems (that already exist), the Shame-Loot systems & Quest systems for instance.

    It can be very confusing when many of the same types of things don't work the same way as the others.
     
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  6. Uriah Heep

    Uriah Heep Crazed Zealot
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    I'm not sure EC/CC has a lot to do with it, tbh. I watch my kids and grandkids play games all the time, some of them are quite cartoonish looking...I've seen better Anime lol. Might be something to put on the list, not the #1 priority.

    Gonna piss off a lot of vets here (I been since '98) but we are no longer a new experience, a one of a kind, a grand social experiment, yadda yadda yadda. There are games all over the place out there. Fix skill gains, where players can get ingame and actually compete and play with a minimal build time. Seriously. If I were coming in today I'd walk right back out. Too many choices where I can go get an easier startup. Faster gains, for everyone, give the startup player some serious armor and equipment, not the "looted off an orc" crap we do today. That way they can get on with what counts. Give em a million, instead of 1000 gps, or even 10 mil. Their first month or so of gameplay shouldn't be worrying about how they are gonna buy regs or repair deeds or whatever. Put the everloving Powerscrolls on the Ilsh champs too, so the market will drop and new players can afford them. Remember, when they were introduced we were told we would never have to have one to compete. When's the last time you saw anyone compete consistently with less than legendary skills? right... They start a new game with 1k gps, realize they are gonna play forever before they can take on that dragon boss or whatever, then realize it's gonna take em 25 mil or so just for a magery PS. A daunting task, indeed.

    Anyway, I know I'm gonna hear stuff from some folks, "I can legendary any skill in the game in 6 hours!" etc etc. Not everyone can. Besides, did they buy the game to learn how to speed gain? Or did they buy it to play?! Do YOU really want an influx of new players in the game? then make it happen!
     
  7. Uriah Heep

    Uriah Heep Crazed Zealot
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    #7 Uriah Heep, Jan 6, 2014
    Last edited: Jan 6, 2014
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  8. Captn Norrington

    Captn Norrington Trade Forum Administrator
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    Thrakkar I do completely agree with the merging shards idea, but that would be hard for them to do since everyone has houses on their home shard. Also, I do know the servers will never all be full, but the goal would be to make as least 1 or 2 be as populated as Atlantic is now. As for graphics....UO will never stand a chance against modern games like assassins creed, call of duty, skyrim, but it can be a different type of game as it has been all these years, where it's mainly content and socialization based, definitely not as "pretty" as other games but content does keep players, otherwise games like runescape and minecraft would have died long ago.
     
    #8 Captn Norrington, Jan 6, 2014
    Last edited: Jan 6, 2014
  9. Doubleplay

    Doubleplay Lore Keeper
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    My two cents... It does not cost EA much to allow people to play the game. As such, I propose offering 6 months or a year of free play. Charge for upgrades as for Stygian Abyss and etc.

    I think many of the free players will choose to become paying customers after developing their characters. Those that do not choose to re-up could start another account from scratch for free. Servicing these players will give existing players much more to do. Crafting, vending, everything will be more vibrant. The only real restriction to the plan should be that existing account holders would be barred from having a second free account.
     
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  10. Thrakkar

    Thrakkar Slightly Crazed
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    That's why I suggested connecting them. You want action? You hop to the most populated shard or the one with your most friends on it. And you can still hop back to your home shard, where your house is placed.
    We wouldn't need global connections. Just across all shards in one region.

    Minecraft is a good example. Yes, minecraft doesn't rely on graphics. But the game is very accessible. The user interface is yet simple, but still effective. It does do justice to the term "easy to learn, hard to master" in every way.
     
  11. Wenchkin

    Wenchkin Babbling Loonie
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    I don't think graphics is such a big issue these days. People are deliberately making games now that are "retro" in appearance with graphics that even my old Commodore 64 could beat. If the game itself is compelling enough then the graphics are simply the look and style of the game now. At least in our house we play a mix of games from pixely retro, through cartoon and silly stuff and right up to some of the really realistic graphics. It's the game underneath that counts most.

    I do think price is an issue, nowadays there are too many cheaper and equally/more enjoyable games available. I'd like to see some price reduction on subs, or at least a week long option for those of us who like to dip in to UO for a shorter fix. Special offers like a free weekend each month or something would be fun too.

    The other issue which really stands out is the complexity of armour and weaponry etc now. So many items, stacks of properties, whole chains of crafting processes to make things. I love games with complexity, but put that into dungeons, monster AI and stuff that will challenge us when we're actually "playing" UO. I want to focus on my tactics and exploring UO to find fun content, not sat yawning over a spreadsheet and numerous guides while I figure out what I want and how to craft it. Once upon a time you could re-equip in a few minutes, now a new suit is like some long term project :D Looting corpses, my fella asks me if there's anything good... my reply is usually "could be, but I'm damned if I'd know what it looks like now!" lol.

    I also want to mention that the account management and Origin store are in themselves a huge barrier to returning or new players. My BF took over a week emailing back and forth to get his account re-activated. The last subscription I paid, I put a card on file and it billed one month then sulked and refused the card...*facepalm* These sites are the front line where returners and newbies try to get themselves into UO. It's like an achievement sometimes just logging in ;)

    Wenchy
     
  12. Tina Small

    Tina Small Stratics Legend
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    Here are my initial suggestions, not in any particular order. Most of them focus on the official website for UO, the place where you would expect most people who are thinking of UO to visit before they actually take the step of starting a new account or reactivating an old one. None of my suggestions involve having the developers, programmers, or engineers take on any extra work at all or actually changing anything within UO. All of my suggestions instead require the attention of people whose job focus is, at least partially, on building game communities.

    SUGGESTIONS FOR THE OFFICIAL UO WEBSITE:

    Bring back the character and guild search on the official website with no log-in of any type required to just look up characters and guilds and see which guilds are the largest on each shard. I often wonder what people who used to play but are considering a return think is going on with UO when they go to the "new" website and can't find this feature anymore. They have no way of being able to confirm whether old friends or old enemies are even playing anymore.

    Restore old publish and patch notes and various announcements to the official website. At the present time, you can only look back to about January 2012. As above, I often wonder what people who don't play anymore think when they visit the official website as they ponder a return and there is very little official information even posted there anymore.

    Add a lot more pictures and screenshots to the Media section of the official website and make sure they are for current game content. What's there is now 1.5 years old and also pretty limited.

    Update the page on the official website which lists the EMs by shard and gives links to their websites. Nothing on the page is sorted in alphabetical order and there are many inconsistencies and omissions, including the following:
    • Arirang isn't listed at all, yet it has an active EM and an updated website.
    • Asuka only has its EM listed.
    • Atlantic is listed twice in the section giving EM names, but only one of those two listings gives a name.
    • Balhae isn't listed at all.
    • Chesapeake is spelled correctly in one spot and as "Chessy" in another place and there is no way to find the Chesapeake EM information (i.e., the Stratics EM forum for Chesapeake) if you follow the links from the official website. The link to the Stratics EM forum on the linked page does not work.
    • Formosa has an active EM, but his name isn't even spelled correctly in the list and there's no link for the Formosa EM website.
    • Hokuto's EM website isn't listed.
    • I'm not sure the EM listed for Izumo (EM Orix) is correct and there is no link provided for the Izumo EM website.
    • Lake Superior is spelled out in one place on the list and as "L. Superior" in another spot and the list still shows EM Autolycus for Lake Superior.
    • Legends apparently doesn't have an EM because there's no one listed and the website hasn't been updated since May 2013.
    • Mizuho isn't listed at all.
    • Mugen isn't listed at all.
    • I think the EM listing for Napa Valley is out of date.
    • Origin's line shows "EM in training now" but it appears EM Claudius is assigned there now.
    • Sakura's EM website isn't listed.
    • The EM website for Siege Perilous (siege.uoem.net) isn't listed.
    • Sonoma's EM is listed twice.
    • Wakoku's EM website isn't listed.
    • Yamato's EM website isn't listed and in the list of EMs, the shard name shows up as "JP - Yamato" when the "JP" wasn't used for any of the other Japanese shards.
    Make it easier to navigate through the Player's Guide on the official UO website. The way it is currently set up, you need to keep returning to the first page at http://www.uo.com/Players-Guide, by whatever means you use, in order to find the link for the next section of the player's guide. There's no way to just start at section 1 and then click a link at the bottom of that section to go to the next section. There's also no link within each section to go back to that "table of contents" page.

    Add some much newer content to the Storyline and Event Archive page on the official UO website (http://www.uo.com/Storyline-and-Event-Archive). This page provides links to a number of old stories, but there's absolutely no way to figure out which are the most current stories or events. If you're just looking at the years in some of the titles, it seems as if the most recent story might just be from around 2004!

    SUGGESTIONS FOR OTHER ACTIONS:

    EMs copy the Europa EM activity for January 8th on other shards. EM Gotan and some players on Europa are going to make new characters and go through the new player quests in Haven for the purpose of making notes about what could be improved and to find spots where an EM could add something to help people feel engaged with the game or avoid feeling lost. http://europa.uoem.net/

    Mesanna and Jeff should do some interviews with some of the gaming websites to talk up what's new in UO after the vendor search feature is pushed out to all shards.

    EA should send out a new UO newsletter describing recent additions to UO from the last year or two after the vendor search publish goes live. They should send it to the e-mail addresses they have for all active and dormant UO accounts. Maybe they could also send it to the e-mail addresses they had for Warhammer Online accounts, since that game is now closed down.
     
    #12 Tina Small, Jan 6, 2014
    Last edited: Jan 6, 2014
  13. Warpig Inc

    Warpig Inc Babbling Loonie
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    It is about the have and have nots. Having to play catch up with someone with over a decade head start. All the ditching about the graphics cannot hold a candle to a good UI. 15 years of 3rd party programs debate supports that. Screw the GM support. The game needs a dedicated group policing the game (like making sure LS's Maximus is not getting bored with his 24-7 recall mining) with GM powered Judge Dread ruling honesty. Account Management system that doesn't require mashing buttons till you get what you want efficiency.

    Hard cold truth of achieving any of those old populaiton numbers? New near photo perfect POV game that uses the current world maps and image art. A way for vet players of the EC and CC worlds to have some unique swag for the POV world. A serious advert campaign for the fresh POV UO. It is really not a back stab if your in there field of view. GM team that lives and breaths UO only. Will take extreem changes for a large new blood following.

    UO is a pool. Behind a house on a back country road. Thin layer of green slime floating on the surface. Broken yard chairs tossed in with 3rd party parasites scittering about. How hard up is the need for a new gaming experience got to be to want to take a cool dip in what is UO? There is reasons so many left and they are the easiest way to improve the population. And half those are dead or unretrievable. Fear of loosing some of the current customers that are pissing in the pool is the biggest thing holding back any growth of population. There is a complete lack of realiziation that something was done wrong or no longer applies. Then a cleaning out of the nastiness.
     
    #13 Warpig Inc, Jan 6, 2014
    Last edited: Jan 6, 2014
  14. DJAd

    DJAd Stratics Legend
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    This.
     
  15. DJAd

    DJAd Stratics Legend
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    From my experience it is. I managed to talk 2 friends into downloading UO and give it a try. They are pretty hardcore PC Gamers. I told them not to be put off by the graphics when they first loaded up the game. As you say "It's the game underneath that counts most" which I agree with 100%. I explained all about the game and how its the best sandbox game EVER, and how its been going 16 years etc etc and they should just give it a try.

    They finally downloaded the trial, had a laugh about the graphics (or lack off) upson logging in. We then headed to buy some skills and went off to old haven. They played a few hours then sadly never played again.

    You can't judge a book by its cover, but it seems you can judge a video game by its graphics.
     
  16. Warpig Inc

    Warpig Inc Babbling Loonie
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    Have to look at the mindset of the new players of a younger age range. Want it all now, for the least amount of effort. Walking through knee deep snow uphill both ways to get to a goal is beyond them. Most game players that can pull their pocket change out, and find coins older then them, could ever really enjoy what UO offers. Sad to say gold sites and scripters are needed for new players to cash buy their way up to a happy place.
     
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  17. Veritas et Sapientia

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    :thumbup:


    Absolutely.

    Until UO does something with the graphics nothing is going to change to bring in new player becuase one look and no one will even want to try it. I've been playing UO since BETA and know how great the game is but I cannot stand the graphics. The game is ugly to look at (especially the CC).

    You people who think graphics don't matter think WoW would be successful if it looked like the CC client with blurry 2d graphics? How about XBOX and PS2? Why don't we still have Atari style graphics graphics on the console systems?

    While there may be some players who are okay with sub par graphics/cartoonish graphics (See UO jurassics) which is why some titles are successful there is an even larger market for those who want high resolution graphics.

    UO needs high resolution graphics and needs them badly in order to get new players.

    If UO looked like Titan Quest it would be a blockbuster game instead we're stuck with abysmal graphics from 1997 thanks largely in part to the Jurassics who scream bloody murder anytime something is done to change UO for the better in the graphics department.
     
    #17 Veritas et Sapientia, Jan 6, 2014
    Last edited: Jan 6, 2014
  18. Angel of Sonoma

    Angel of Sonoma Certifiable
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    You nailed it. I have a 15 year old son who plays UO on occasion but he spends most of his time on his xbox 360. Microsoft is rolling in the bucks. We pay for the xbox live subscription and point cards to buy more maps, gear, etc.

    So... what if EA creates a version of UO for the xbox and/or PS3? Put all the console players in Fel (since my son and all his buddies are only interested in shoot-em-up play). Then the PVP'ers have new blood to play with. The console players could still build houses, collect resources, make weapons, armor, etc. (think Mindcraft). EA could sell point cards just like Microsoft. If the game takes off, EA could consider opening up Trammel, Malas, and the other lands.
     
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  19. Thrakkar

    Thrakkar Slightly Crazed
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    Yeah, but the customers know, that the game aims to emulate the graphics from back then and tries to be retro. UO is 16 years old. There's a difference between retro and old.
    But yeah, you're right, it's the game underneath what counts most. But to see that, you have to see behind the graphics first. The graphics are the first thing you see.

    Besides, it's not just graphics. I.e. remember the menus for buying cleanup rewards or blackthorn arties. They're stupid flat lists, 5 items per page. In no particular order. And if you buy something, it throws you back to page 1. So much for usability. That's not user friendly, that's a joke.
    In a modern game for i.e. blackthorn arties I would first select the equipment slot (belt, robe, head, etc..), then the property set (Tangle, Crimson, Mace and shield glasses, etc), then the type of armor I want to have. Maybe nicely arranged in a tree, where I can expand and collapse each node. Not having to flip aimlessly through pages with just 5 items and having to hover over each item to actually see, what I'm buying.
    This is something, the UO player accepts, because we're not spoiled with a comfortable UI. The new player will not accept that. He'll laugh at it and quit the game for good.

    Sadly this is not the only example if bad usability. You'll find such things at every corner in UO.
     
  20. Lady Storm

    Lady Storm Crazed Zealot
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    Well something needs to be done.... just went to Balhea to check out where i got ot move gifts.... oi vey.... luna has one whole side bare of houses and where my castles sat is bare.......... when i sold them the place was castle rich....
     
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  21. Uriah Heep

    Uriah Heep Crazed Zealot
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    Hey!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I resembles that!
     
  22. Warpig Inc

    Warpig Inc Babbling Loonie
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    If EA had a clue about what is balanced game play and what drives players. Had the origins store up and running like CVC instead of a crack hole in a bad neighborhood. They could be using the store as a random deco token generator, crafter privilaged wares recipes and anything else that has no effect on how fast a player can kill sales boon. They could run the store taking F2P money from people already paying a monthly fee. We can't sell items on ebay. Nothing to stop EA from clearing fel and tram side castle size plots. Plots that are custom castle or larger size. And auctioning them off to the highest bidder with "FREE SHIPPING!" They could sell gold on eBay or in store auctioning to bend over the gold sites. Tracking how well goldsinks are run they would know how much gold to sell. They want to stop loosing money from current multi account customers is simple. Every 3 or 4 active accounts recieve a free account regulated to characters only on SP and a single standard shard. Or four accounts maintained in an active status for 6 months receives a 25% discount on renewals as long as none are deactivated.
     
    #22 Warpig Inc, Jan 6, 2014
    Last edited: Jan 6, 2014
  23. Yadd of Legends

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    Great suggestion - not merged shards but freely connected shards.
    Edit: My only concern would be how to compensate those veterans who waited for years for those shard transfer shields. If that can be figured out, I can only imagine how being able to jump around to other shards would invigorate the game - if that's even feasible with the game mechanics.
     
    #23 Yadd of Legends, Jan 6, 2014
    Last edited: Jan 6, 2014
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  24. RockoNV

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    Your idea is great for current players and possibly brings back former players. But what about true new players? They can add all the events and features that they want but that will not increase sales unless they market the product. The product is not marketed.
     
  25. RockoNV

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    Perhaps this is what EA thinks as well.
     
  26. Goodmann

    Goodmann Babbling Loonie
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    I have been working on a device to improve the UO population. I call it a Time Machine and once completed I will wisk away back to 1999 and enjoy a populated UO. If this fails the only other option I can think of are Shard Mergers :)
     
  27. Flutter

    Flutter Always Present
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    Putting the disks in stores would. Putting the game where people shop for games online would.
     
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  28. Pandora_CoD

    Pandora_CoD Certifiable
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    Activity is your key to getting people to either a) try this game or b) reactivate old accounts. Your shards need to not be ghost towns. The only shard that is active is plagued with server overload issues. How about incentives for the less populated shards? I don't know what incentives would help, but maybe raffle out placed castles in Malas or open up Ilshenar or the Lost Lands for unrestricted house placement on just those shards?

    But more than anything, give EM's the abilities that Seers had, quit restricting them and let them do what they feel would be good for their shards. If a group of folks want to WORK with the EM's on storylines or quests etc. etc. by all means LET THEM FLY!!! You have a group of very creative (you wouldn't even believe how creative --- I am talking PUBLISHED FICTION AUTHOR creative) people not only on my shard but in just about every shard. EM's should know how to balance that themselves and make it fair. Will some guilds step up and be more involved in such things? You bet!!! And so what?!?! S**T or get off the pot!
     
    #28 Pandora_CoD, Jan 7, 2014
    Last edited: Jan 7, 2014
  29. Flagg

    Flagg Sage

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    This is actually (partially!) true! If UO ended up in Steam with a good, inspiring description, I bet we'd at the very least see a spike in players. I'm pretty sure PC gamers are mostly donbe with buying their games on CD or blueray so physical copies would be waste.
     
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  30. Flutter

    Flutter Always Present
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    I dunno, sometimes I stop at gamespot and pick something out to try just for kicks. Truth is the PC shelf is tiny now though... but the point of getting the game more visible is still there.
     
  31. DJAd

    DJAd Stratics Legend
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    Fix the account management so even if players want to come back they can. At the moment the system is an absolute joke and I wonder how many old players try to come back but simply can't make it through the minefield that is account management. I mean they can't even send out codes correctly formatted. Ridiculous.
     
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  32. DJAd

    DJAd Stratics Legend
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    As for attracting new players. Hmmmmm thats a tough one. Maybe invest in an advert during the super bowl?
     
  33. DJAd

    DJAd Stratics Legend
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    I like this idea also. Hey aren't we due another RTB soon? I can't remember the last time there was one. Did it get the axe or something?
     
  34. MalagAste

    MalagAste Belaern d'Zhaunil
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    Sad to say but many games are moving away from consoles and PC's tying you to your spot and are going for the ever growing mobile app movement......

    If there were a way to market UO I'd say go...... however reading more and more posts this morning about people not being able to buy or use GTC's and how mysteriously the game stops autobilling without warning .... Just makes me wonder again does EA really want UO to fail? There has to be something behind this.... Why else would it keep happening? I've always felt that EA secretly wants to drop UO..... call it sabotage..... that's how it feels.
     
  35. Olahorand

    Olahorand Slightly Crazed
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    Last RTB was October 2012.
     
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  36. Tina Small

    Tina Small Stratics Legend
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    Yeah, that's the last one I remember too. It ran from September 5th. 2012 to the end of September 2012, or thereabouts. http://www.uo.com/article/Return-Britannia

    That RTB promotion worked a bit differently from previous ones in that if you logged in on an unpaid account during the promotion, you couldn't place a house and you didn't get the 15th anniversary gifts which were being distributed that month. Also, not all unpaid/inactive UO accounts could initially take advantage of the RTB promotion. When first rolled out, it seemed like only recently inactivated accounts could take advantage of it and EA had to, over a period of time, gradually make more inactive UO accounts recognizable for purposes of the promotion. ( http://stratics.com/community/threads/return-to-britannia.283984/ )
     
  37. G.v.P

    G.v.P Stratics Legend
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    Here's my take on a free to play (F2P) plan:

    Create a new user database to allow users to play UO on a free to play basis, with a few tweaks in mind:

    -Only 1 character slot for first month
    -Unable to place house or become co-owner to a house
    -Human race only
    -Fel locked
    -Accounts deleted after 15 days of E-Mail account inactivity (automated E-Mails sent out randomly throughout month which have to be clicked on to send account database a refresh, to prevent people registering with throw away E-Mail addresses)
    -Limit of 1 new account per IP per week

    UPGRADES:
    -Second Character (Production): $20
    -Third Character (Production): $20
    -Fourth Character (Production): $20
    -Fifth Character (Production): $20
    -Unlock Elves Race: $20
    -Unlock Gargoyles Race: $20
    -Unlock Fel: $20

    Upgrade Bundle: $125
    +5 Char Slots (Production)
    +All Races Unlocked
    +Fel Unlocked

    Account Upgrade: $100
    +Unlocks all content but requires monthly subscription fee plan

    What this plan would do would be encourage old timers to come back just for guild hunts or PvP at a quick premium, or noobs to come check things out for free. Maybe there could be other fees like a fee to use imbuing.
     
  38. Riyana

    Riyana Operations
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    No shard merges! Jeez. I don't understand why anyone ever suggests this. The unavoidable housing upheaval would LOSE players, and we want to GAIN them. Players invest a lot in their houses! You and another player have the same house spot on merged shards... who gets it? Can you imagine the drama that merging two Lunas would create? Having players bailing out... and telling other new/potential players "I played this game a decade and a half and lost the home I built over that full period of time when they merged my shard with another one"... would be the worst thing in UO since... I don't even know. Publish 16 bard nerf maybe. Bad, bad, bad.

    Thrakkar's idea to connect the shards is a much, much preferable (and easier) way to deal with both the issues of less active shards and (one aspect of) the badly imbalanced economy. Just add 'server' to the moongate system and be done with it. Limit uses per month or make a quest or charge a fee to do it maybe. Cross shard trading has already warped the economy, but the current methods of travel limit it to older accounts and players with lots of extra RL cash. ($40 for a single round trip?!) Making something that is such a game-changer be inaccessible to large portions of the population is discouraging and imbalancing. Let players trade in their shard shields for other rewards, open it up, and the servers will even out... maybe not completely, but moreso than now.

    And how cool would a cross-shard multi-EM arc be? (More EMs would be great too... EMs create content and interest, and that keeps people playing.)

    Everyone who has pointed out that the new player experience is overwhelming and frustrating is absolutely correct. I came back to UO after several years away, and even though I played obsessively for years before that I had no idea what I was doing until some other players helped me out a bit. Even then, if I hadn't had old, established characters I'm not sure I would have stuck with it. The initial learning curve is brutal and it's very hard to try to catch up. New (and returning!) players need to be eased into the sandbox, not thrown in head-first and buried in it.

    THIS. I have never seen a more impenetrable labyrinth of poorly designed, unintuitive web pages than the EA/Mythic account management system. I've gotten used to it... but good lord was getting there ever a chore. I've never had to work so hard to give a company my money.

    I've heard of multiple players who really wanted to play UO have such trouble with their account management that they were ready to give up. I'm sure many have. And the Origin store... I wonder how many players have spent money there and not known to come to Stratics or figured out how to use their codes and just concluded that EA had cheated/scammed them. Maybe even quit over it.

    We even have the beginning of a framework for this. This is how the governor system should work!

    Lots of great ideas in this thread! I hope the devs are reading.
     
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  39. Zosimus

    Zosimus Grand Inquisitor
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    Game is overly complicated to a new player. Simplifying it would be better.

    Newer graphics.

    FTP

    One client only

    A healthy and active game community

    Fairness to all players on the playing field.

    Dev interaction on state of the game, patches, content update, and such on a timely schedule as most modern games do now.


    ........ and the comment that newer and younger players want it all now is complete utter BS. That is a lame excuse to cover the real issue with UO. How many threads I can post on we need this or that, items, gifts and rewards that happen on these forums? I be here all day doing that.

    We game like the old gamers do. We just expect more from the games with today's technologies.
     
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  40. Olahorand

    Olahorand Slightly Crazed
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    I still don't understand, why EA doesn't UO to a pool of games which can be played for one combo subscription fee.
     
  41. MalagAste

    MalagAste Belaern d'Zhaunil
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    Because they want money but not ours.
     
  42. Lord Kotan

    Lord Kotan Slightly Crazed
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    I know they don't do disk very often anymore.. but maybe try to do a small disk presence.. only way I ever found this game
     
  43. Flagg

    Flagg Sage

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    If UO found it's way on Steam,around ten million people who ALL play and/or buy PC games would see the add for it every day. Assuming it'd get place in the sun on front page banner.
     
    #43 Flagg, Jan 8, 2014
    Last edited: Jan 8, 2014
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  44. yars

    yars Lore Keeper
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    most companys are going digital download from what it looks like, steam would be cool, or even make UO available through smart TV menu lol!!!
     
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  45. MalagAste

    MalagAste Belaern d'Zhaunil
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    Sadly for that UO would have to give up it's hilarious notion that it can do it's "own" version of Steam. This is why we ended up with the lousy account management system in the first place, remember.
     
  46. DJAd

    DJAd Stratics Legend
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    Yep 100% agree. I mean there is the new player tutorial that doesn't even explain how to travel using a moongate. The starting equipment is a joke. By the time you buy a horse thats half the 1000 gold spent which leaves a tiny amount to spend on boosting skills in new haven for example. As for getting kit for a new character that is a whole other post! There is nothing (in game) to even explain about the different item properties etc. so how the hell is a new player supposed to find out about the massive world they have just entered.
     
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  47. Tina Small

    Tina Small Stratics Legend
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    There is a kit of sorts for new players that EA introduced a few years ago. You can find a description of it on UO Guide here: http://www.uoguide.com/New_Player_Starter_Kit_Token .

    With a brand new account, you get a token that gives you 20k gold, a charged Trammel city bank rune book (no idea how many charges it holds or exactly how many banks and which banks it includes), and a set of blessed, brittle (can't use PoF on it) armor with 54% in all resists. And until your account is 1 month old or 1 week has passed (which I assume means 1 week of playing time, which isn't explained so is it 40 hours or something else), there's a skill gain increase for your character and any characters in your party, plus some limited stat regeneration.

    Calvin Crowner, Mesanna's predecessor, mentioned the kit in the very last UO newsletter that was ever sent out (August 2010, link for it no longer works). But there's no telling who actually got that newsletter (many of us who were actively playing at the time didn't receive it) and the kit certainly wasn't announced on the UO website with much fanfare. I almost think the kit was more publicized to the Japanese player base than anyone else. Also, as wacky as code generation for UO "products" has been, I wonder if anyone who gets the code in a welcome e-mail can even use it, or if it comes out borked like other UO-related codes seem to be since last summer.
     
  48. MalagAste

    MalagAste Belaern d'Zhaunil
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    Couldn't agree more! And you know how many new truly new players don't even know about their bank box??????? They have no idea it's there or that they can access it and NO ONE else can... Pathetic. Current players don't need to babysit..... we shouldn't have to teach new players such basic things... the tutorial needs to include things like the cirlce of transparency..... how to bank.... boats..... Mounts...... etc.... And honestly there ought to be more "templates" to choose when starting a new character.... that are more "modern" and useful. Like what mage uses wrestling anymore??? Not too many.... If they can't even discover the game for themselves without current players holding their hands all along the way, then how can we expect to keep new players?

    And quests need to be simplified.... we need ONE style of questing system..... re-do the old quests and fix them..... update them to the latest system so that there aren't so many types.....

    I'd like to see more quests added. Quests for skill gains, quests for new recipes... Quests to collect cool deco items that we can not craft. Quests that teach gameplay... and skill use.

    And for crying out loud someone needs to finish New Haven and add in the rest of the skills that aren't there!!!!
     
    #48 MalagAste, Jan 8, 2014
    Last edited: Jan 8, 2014
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  49. Lythos-

    Lythos- Lore Keeper
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    There's multiple reasons why UO is failing. I'm sure one could go from A-Z and find something for each letter. But you can't place blame on the Devs for the lack of advertisement, store and account management.

    You CAN however, place blame on how complex the system is now. The simplicity seems to stick out to me since we lost over half the subs due to AoS. It makes me wonder if they set up a non item based pre AoS shard if that would draw some people back in. If someone quits for an extended period of time it takes a solid half year or more to get back up to par with our current system. With the console game crowd they want to grab a gun,knife, weapon and do work. That's impossible with UO and even more frustrating on SP.
     
  50. Thrakkar

    Thrakkar Slightly Crazed
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    How many EA games are on Steam?
    How many EA games have been added to Steam after Origin came out?

    While it is a good idea, to add it to Steam, it will never ever happen.
     
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