1. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.
  2. Greetings Guest!!

    In order to combat SPAM on the forums, all users are required to have a minimum of 2 posts before they can submit links in any post or thread.

    Dismiss Notice

The Jeff 'Gryphon' Skalski Interview on UOForums

Discussion in 'UHall' started by Rupert Avery, Apr 6, 2012.

  1. Rupert Avery

    Joined:
    Apr 8, 2011
    Messages:
    616
    Likes Received:
    68
    Sevin0oo0 likes this.
  2. Woodsman

    Woodsman Guest

    Cool about finally adding in all the virtues, plus making garden beds a standalone purchase. I know a bunch of people who will be spending a lot of money on garden beds.

    Everybody should be happy and not feel rushed since Cleanup Britannia is officially permanent.

    But this left me slightly confused:
    I know we aren't allowed to say negative things about the devs here, but nobody seriously believes that's the reason why there aren't official forums, especially since Warhammer has official forums. There were tons of active Star Wars: The Old Republic fansites before STWOR.com forums went live as well, yet BioWare had no problem "competing" with fansites there. There are tons of Mass Effect and Dragon Age fansites, yet BioWare still has forums for those. UO and Camelot being kept off of the current BioWare forums has nothing to do with Stratics or UO Forums.

    I would challenge Jeff to name a couple of other mainstream MMORPGs besides UO and Camelot that farm out their forums to fansites.

    I'm going to quote Hannes Erich
     
  3. Martyna Zmuir

    Martyna Zmuir Crazed Zealot

    Joined:
    Apr 27, 2007
    Messages:
    3,052
    Likes Received:
    632
    You'd think they might want to post a notice about the interview on the Herald...
     
  4. Rupert Avery

    Joined:
    Apr 8, 2011
    Messages:
    616
    Likes Received:
    68
    I don't disagree there :)
     
  5. Meatbread

    Meatbread Journeyman

    Joined:
    Dec 19, 2011
    Messages:
    291
    Likes Received:
    230
    I'd rather they just skipped to revaming Doom and got the rest of the anti-virture dungeons later. A revamped Doom would provide a new endgame activity. A revamped Covetous (or whatever) is just going to provide a way to farm Shame garbage in a different place.

    LOOL! All hands on deck, incoming crapstorm!

    Even ToT1 didn't involve any actual new art, and as for new artifacts, well jeez. Thinking up item names and stats isn't exactly hard. Make it a forum contest and the players will do it for you.
     
    kRUXCg7 likes this.
  6. Sevin0oo0

    Sevin0oo0 Guest

    Gone back in time more than a few years ago and I'd be inclined to believe differently than what he has quoted, but today, this sounds as good as any, to me. Given the control, direction, and stability both major fan sites have developed, they are very well suited and manned vs EA starting from scratch. Considering the enormous amount of written resources alone, plus that which UOGuide can offer, each with their own established fan base, seems silly for them to wanna have their own - what a tremendous duplication of services, that could be end up under utilized in the end. I've been to some other game forums, but they also had a huge organized help database, much like Stratics, but run by the game company which might be farmed out, but it appears seamless and how the board help get paid is an unknown issue. I think he took the more efficient direction and also look for new lines of communication to happen between 'them' and 'us'. Just as Grimm's Corner was birthed, that may be just the beginning of things to come.
     
    eve likes this.
  7. Petra Fyde

    Petra Fyde Peerless Chatterbox
    Stratics Veteran Alumni Stratics Legend

    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2001
    Messages:
    30,882
    Likes Received:
    5,165
    That may have been true at one time. I don't believe it still is. Looking at the front page now, can you show me a thread that hasn't been started by a current, active player?
    We try very hard to find a balance between allowing people to voice their opinions and not trolling everyone who doesn't agree with them. Some people think we're too lenient, others think we're too strict. I have multiple pms from people who swear I am descended from a certain gentleman prominent in Germany about 70 - 80 years ago.
    Whatever else you believe, believe this. The uo Stratics staff care about uo, passionately.
     
    Lord Nabin and Lady Tia like this.
  8. AirmidCecht

    AirmidCecht twitch.tv/airmid
    Stratics Veteran Alumni Stratics Legend

    Joined:
    Apr 9, 2004
    Messages:
    2,297
    Likes Received:
    486
    I think the point Woodsman may have been trying to make through that quote is, official forums are less likely to be trolled with greater consequences (banned acct) for those that take things too far. I can't imagine anyone who has been an active part of any official forums feeling that is the case. You will see more raging and DIACF posts from people posting already on their way out.

    We've been accomplishing our goals rather well under Petra's guidance. No worries here :)
     
    Lady Tia and eve like this.
  9. Meatbread

    Meatbread Journeyman

    Joined:
    Dec 19, 2011
    Messages:
    291
    Likes Received:
    230
    Actually, I shudder to think of this dev team redeveloping Doom. Say hello to bosses with 400k health that hit for 90 damage, teleport everyone to them, and have that stupid anti-sampire field they put on everything now.
     
    Raptor85 and kRUXCg7 like this.
  10. Dermott of LS

    Dermott of LS UOEC Modder
    Stratics Veteran

    Joined:
    May 12, 2008
    Messages:
    5,320
    Likes Received:
    528
    ...

    I PARTIALLY agree with his statements here, specifically about having one client, but I would have taken the option to push the game forward technologically. I would have had each new client REPLACE the older client and go forward from there. Of course this is also with the very GLARING caveat that I would NEVER have allowed a new client to be released in the states that 3D,KR, and EC were (3D and KR being released FAAAR too early and EC being released in such a low resolution).

    Rather than think simply "what could be done with only one client", my thought process is "what could be done if all we had was the NEWEST client and were not anchored to a 15 year old technology?".

    As for Treasures of Tokuno, I think they should take the event, but rotate it between facets with unique rewards in each facet (i.e. each set of dyed would be a different colorset based on the facet when active, each facet would have their own minors and majors, etc). So for say 2 months of active time, you'd have one facet "active", then a couple of months of inactive everywhere, then a 2 month active period in a different facet. So for dye colors you could have:

    Tokuno: original ToT dyes and artifacts
    Ilshenar: Colors based on the current cleanup and Compassion dyes, use current Ilsh Minors, create new majors
    Felucca: The Metallic (ToT2) dyes from the original NPC armor colors as Felucca was the original facet, new artifacts
    Trammel: Dyes the colors of the current mined metals (Dull Copper, Shadow, etc), new artifacts
    Malas: ToT3 dye colors, new artifacts
     
    Nimuaq likes this.
  11. Vlaude

    Vlaude Lore Keeper
    Stratics Veteran Alumni Stratics Legend

    Joined:
    Aug 7, 2003
    Messages:
    817
    Likes Received:
    57
    He likes Zelda: A Link to the Past and Final Fantasy VI, good man.
     
  12. Mervyn

    Mervyn Certifiable
    Stratics Veteran

    Joined:
    Jul 25, 2009
    Messages:
    1,677
    Likes Received:
    372
    secret of mana, zelda a link to the past, the 2 greatest games ever made.

    What a guy!
     
  13. Woodsman

    Woodsman Guest

    I'm confused, nobody said anything about starting from scratch.

    The UO.com redesign that Jeff said is underway is based on the UO Herald and the previous 15 years of UO and OSI websites (and technically the UO alpha/beta websites although I think those were not public). That's not starting from scratch. If anything, it's finally getting the official UO website back up to where it should have been years ago before it started being seriously neglected.

    Forums? BioWare has well over 100 forums and subforums already located at BioWare Social Network.

    Moderators? BioWare has a proven process for finding unpaid volunteers and for setting up new forums. They do it every year or every other year.

    SWTOR.com forums. Won't even go there, but they dwarf the forums for any of the other BioWare games, and it wouldn't surprise me if they have twice as many moderators as Mass Effect 3 (ME3 has around 30 moderators, although ME3's moderators have been working under a lot more fire lately :gee: ).

    Nothing to start from scratch - adding the forums would consist of clicking on a button marked "Add Category" followed by "Add Forum", and using BioWare's established processes for finding volunteers to act as moderators.

    Look at the other Mythic MMORPG - Warhammer Online has nearly 30 forums and sub-forums, and well over 30 forums/sub-forums if you count the sub-forums for each major patch.

    Click on this link or I'll save you the trouble and point out that it's the official BioWare Social Network forums for Shattered Steel. Shattered Steel is an MS-DOS game.

    Warhammer Online, a game that has fewer players than UO has nearly 30 official BioWare forums.

    Shattered Steel, an MS-DOS game that is approaching 16 years old, has more official support forums than UO and Camelot combined.

    UO and Camelot have more players and bring in more money than Warhammer Online, Shattered Steel, and MDK2 combined. But you would never know they were considered BioWare games these days.
     
  14. Woodsman

    Woodsman Guest

    I was referring more to the end quote about the fact that EA is farming out its community relations to fansites and that UO and Camelot are the only successful MMORPGs that do this. I shouldn't have quoted his whole post.

    Other people that I know, have talked about this since I came back, both in-game and on other websites, and they talk about how it's not good for new players. I know the guy who was running UO Journal and who is now one of the people at UltimaCodex.com (Deckard). He's talked about it a lot. I know a few other people who have talked about it here on Stratics as well.

    They are right, but I don't think they fully understand why they are right, because most of them don't seem to have any major experience with other MMORPGs outside of UO (I won't name names because some of them may have had experience with other MMORPGs and I'd look foolish for thinking they hadn't).

    I have taken breaks from UO, or played alongside UO, the following MMORPGs: Star Wars Galaxies, EVE Online, World of Warcraft, Asheron's Call and EverQuest (and their sequels), Guild Wars, Rift, Dungeons and Dragons Online, Warhammer Online, Anarchy Online, Dark Age of Camelot, Lord of the Rings Online. There have been plenty of other MMORPGs that I've done the free trials and never played again, that are forgettable as far as I'm concerned, especially some of the Asian ones where I had no clue what I was doing.

    Everytime I started one of those MMORPGs, including the forgettable ones, the official websites and official forums are where I started out. All of the above games, with the exception of UO and Camelot, have currently updated official websites and forums. That's a huge part of how these companies show that they support their games and believe in their games and how they communicate their support of those games.

    Those people I mentioned that talk about how important it is for new players probably don't realize that new players to UO are probably not going to be new to MMORPGs. Any player coming to UO from any other successful MMORPG is going to expect an updated official website and official forums and PR people.

    When they see UO's website and click on Community and Live Events, what do they see?

    UO Herald Live Events

    I'll spare you all the clicking. The most current "live" event there is from October 2009.

    And fansites? A lot of those links have been broken for years.

    Forums? Not happening. If they find their way to BioWare.com, they'll find forums for anything but UO.

    PR people? Not happening either - nobody is making a serious effort to update the UO site with comments from devs. Hell, this interview is not even on the UO Herald, and it's probably the best interview with a UO producer in a long time.

    Folks, this isn't about whether Stratics or UO Forum or UO Guide are pulling their weight - they are, and they have been for many years.

    This is about whether EA/BioWare is pulling their weight - they aren't, and they refuse to do so.

    If you don't care about new players, you can get away with farming out your community relations to fansites.

    If you care about new players, you better prove it to them with the official websites and public support because first impressions are everything.

    It's why EA and BioWare spent a lot of money on Star Wars: The Old Republic and Mass Effect and BioWare | Dragon Age and Command and Conquer and Battlefield 3 and EA Forums
     
  15. Tina Small

    Tina Small Stratics Legend
    Stratics Veteran 4H

    Joined:
    May 12, 2008
    Messages:
    7,527
    Likes Received:
    1,914
    I bumped into someone about a week ago who had recently returned to UO. She was under the impression that the UOForums website was the official forum for UO and wasn't aware it's "only" a fansite (no disrespect intended). She didn't know about this site and I didn't think to ask her if she knew about the UO Herald website.
     
  16. Rupert Avery

    Joined:
    Apr 8, 2011
    Messages:
    616
    Likes Received:
    68
    That the trouble when they go into google.. whats the first thing you would looks ofr when looking for a uo releated forum?

    'Ultima Online Forums or UO Forums'

    I do disgree with his answer to the forum question but such is life... at least we are still about (Stratics & UOForums)
     
  17. Meatbread

    Meatbread Journeyman

    Joined:
    Dec 19, 2011
    Messages:
    291
    Likes Received:
    230
    I just want to point out again that I have absolutely no earthly idea why Jeff Skalski thinks Treasures of Tokuno involves new art. As for the fact that it involves new artifacts? Cry me a river. You guys had the time to code, test, and patch an "event" literally based in part on picking up garbage, for reasons nobody understands, to get rewards nobody cares about, complete with a hysterically overcomplicated reputation system that tracks like three different variables per city.

    Next time do something someone actually WANTS.
     
    RuSini Neb, kRUXCg7 and O'Brien like this.
  18. AirmidCecht

    AirmidCecht twitch.tv/airmid
    Stratics Veteran Alumni Stratics Legend

    Joined:
    Apr 9, 2004
    Messages:
    2,297
    Likes Received:
    486
    *raises hand as someone that had what someone really wants* :D
     
  19. Ludes

    Ludes Babbling Loonie
    Stratics Veteran Alumni Stratics Legend

    Joined:
    Feb 25, 2004
    Messages:
    2,382
    Likes Received:
    648
    Personally I don't see why they would try to compete with or replace Stratics or UOForums..

    The idea that their time would be much better spent elsewhere sounds perfectly reasonable to me.

    Also, count me in as another long time MicroProse fan!
     
    kRUXCg7 likes this.
  20. Woodsman

    Woodsman Guest

    The development team is not the same team that codes websites or engages in public relations or deals with the BioWare forums. Where do you all get such odd notions?

    In fact, if the UO developers were responsible for the UO website, it would have been improved a long time ago - it's just as easy to fix a broken link in Drupal on the UO website as it is to edit your post on Stratics and change a link.

    For those of you who have been around and/or don't care about attracting new players, I can see why you don't care about all of the problems with the UO website. You have no use for the UO website, especially since MyUO was removed (because the team responsible for UO's website doesn't have the expertise to address the security concerns since they aren't developers).

    But if you ever want UO to really grow again or if you had played other MMORPGs, you would be pissed at the shoddy state of the UO website and lack of support from BioWare.
     
    Martyna Zmuir and kRUXCg7 like this.
  21. AirmidCecht

    AirmidCecht twitch.tv/airmid
    Stratics Veteran Alumni Stratics Legend

    Joined:
    Apr 9, 2004
    Messages:
    2,297
    Likes Received:
    486
    Woodsman,

    I don't think anyone is disagreeing with the state of the UO website and whether there should be official forums or not. Both typically run side by side with the official sites supporting and appreciating fansites. Stratics has always thought of itself as an addition to, not instead of anything. I will say though, Stratics will be celebrating it's own 15yr Anniversary this October. In the same amount of years, even with the hiccups and downtime along the way, we have stood side by side with the oldest MMO (nods to MUDS) since almost the beginning. There are over 30 volunteer staff members for UO alone, not to mention the other portals we are growing.

    Until Ultima Forever and the whole Franchise concept, I think we could all agree that the UO Team was not getting much attention, certainly not in the website department. They may not be responsible for the actual website but it didn't seem that anyone was truly supporting the UO Team itself, so why the site? When the archives were on the chopping block, we arranged to host it for however long they needed so it wouldn't go away. Why? Because the staff here could handle it until they could.

    I guess my thought is, if you did not have all of our collective fansites all these years, UO very well may have faded to black long ago and I think that is acknowledged and appreciated by Jeff. There are other titles that had official forums like SWG and it didn't matter. UO is unique in so many ways and until such time that there is more support we all become the surrogates to support this team and let them know we are invested in whatever way we can.

    We know they are working on an updated UO.com (not Herald) which is needed more than anything. There is nothing any fansite can do to point players to the correct information at the official site. I'd like to see better use of the Patch screen that EVERYONE sees upon logging in that points them to the most current information.

    Official forums wise? They had them years ago and if they have them again we'll support it as before and still do our best as a fansite to report shard news, updates and events. Nothing will change for all of us fansites regardless of which players prefer :)
     
    Sevin0oo0 likes this.
  22. Woodsman

    Woodsman Guest

    Like I said earlier, this isn't about whether the fansites are pulling their weight - they are, and they have been.

    This is about the official sites.

    Fansites can help games survive, but Official sites are critical to whether the game brings in new players. Somebody who has been playing World of Warcraft and hears about UO on another site isn't going to think they should go to Stratics. They are going to go to the official site, and things go downhill from there.
     
    Martyna Zmuir and Nimuaq like this.
  23. Nimuaq

    Nimuaq Lore Master
    Stratics Veteran

    Joined:
    Jan 25, 2010
    Messages:
    1,017
    Likes Received:
    280
    This is unfortunately true, I personally don't care about an official forum at this point but it would have been much better if they had fixed even a single item on this nearly year-old thread:
    Updating the Official Website | Stratics Forums
     
  24. Woodsman

    Woodsman Guest

    Just so people know, I'm not criticizing Stratics, and I don't believe Stratics is paying to be the semi-official forums or keep official forums from happening or anything like some of the rumors.

    I was there when the UO.com forums were shut down, I saw how bad things got between some players and EA executives. Plus Camelot doesn't have forums.
     
  25. Petra Fyde

    Petra Fyde Peerless Chatterbox
    Stratics Veteran Alumni Stratics Legend

    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2001
    Messages:
    30,882
    Likes Received:
    5,165
    Really? Some people have said that? What kind of a mind comes up with a wild theory like that??
     
  26. Meatbread

    Meatbread Journeyman

    Joined:
    Dec 19, 2011
    Messages:
    291
    Likes Received:
    230
    Everyone knows you're paying kickbacks to ride the gravy train that comes with being a UO fansite! Post the pictures of the yacht you bought with your Stratics millions! :hahaha::p
     
  27. LordDrago

    LordDrago Certifiable
    Stratics Veteran

    Joined:
    Jun 26, 2004
    Messages:
    1,500
    Likes Received:
    393
    Petra's summer "home". :D
    If you look closely, you can see Petra working on Stratics in the 3rd window from the left on the second (Aloha) deck. :mf_prop:

    GalaxyMotor.jpg
     
  28. Woodsman

    Woodsman Guest

    The same kinds of people who think developers are being paid off by the gold sites to look the other way on scripters.
     
    kRUXCg7 and Sevin0oo0 like this.
  29. GalenKnighthawke

    GalenKnighthawke Grand Poobah
    Stratics Veteran

    Joined:
    May 12, 2008
    Messages:
    6,641
    Likes Received:
    1,163
    Extensive calls to revamp Doom didn't start until after they had responded to the many calls to revamp the Dungeons of Sin. Most I ever saw was requests for new artifacts there (and really there's no good reason I can think of to not do something like that; can throw, say, 10 more new artifacts into the rotation and leave the old ones).

    It makes an alarming amount of sense to do the revamping in the order the Dungeons came out in, and to honor the original dungeons. There's also no reason they can't put an Endgame into the Dungeons of Sin (Dark Fathers move to Hythloth!), and not everyone wants to focus on an Endgame anyway.

    -Galen's player
     
  30. Petra Fyde

    Petra Fyde Peerless Chatterbox
    Stratics Veteran Alumni Stratics Legend

    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2001
    Messages:
    30,882
    Likes Received:
    5,165
    Conspiracy theorists with cynical minds?

    To the best of my knowledge the only people getting any kind of payment from Stratics are the guys hosting the servers, and that's kind of essential if you want to stay online.
     
  31. Taylor

    Taylor Former Stratics CEO (2011-2014)
    Professional VIP Stratics Veteran Supporter Alumni Campaign Benefactor Alumni

    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2008
    Messages:
    8,023
    Likes Received:
    1,714
    Everything that doesn't go to the server guys goes to my swimming pool:

    [​IMG]
     
    Sevin0oo0 and AirmidCecht like this.
  32. Rupert Avery

    Joined:
    Apr 8, 2011
    Messages:
    616
    Likes Received:
    68
    Perhaps we could get back to topic...
    Jeff answered some very good questions with very honest answers.. For that us at UOforums are thankful :)

    He also replied to our thread for the questions with his idea of doing more Q&As every few months. which is fantastic :)

    He didn't managed to answer all the questions we sent him so I look forward to the next round which had some very good questions from the posters of UOforums :)
     
    Sevin0oo0 likes this.
  33. Coldren

    Coldren Sage
    Stratics Veteran

    Joined:
    May 13, 2008
    Messages:
    741
    Likes Received:
    115
    Am I safe in assuming that you are being even handed and saying not only the client should be new, but the 15-year old spaghetti code on the back end? Perhaps a modern relational database that could have endpoints to the web so we can actually have things like a detailed and working MyUO? Rewrite and properly documenting the code so there is no more guessing about how skills, stats, and other systems interact?

    Which would be the same as saying a completely new UO.. which I wouldn't disagree with.

    But if it's just a reiteration of the tired client discussion, then nevermind.
     
    Nok likes this.
  34. Dermott of LS

    Dermott of LS UOEC Modder
    Stratics Veteran

    Joined:
    May 12, 2008
    Messages:
    5,320
    Likes Received:
    528
    ...

    Anything that helps on the back end as well is also needed. Obviously the client is the biggest thing that the end user sees so is an obvious issue, and was the specific issue being discussed in the question, so that's what the response was dealing with. General rewrites and revamps that use better, more efficient code will help everyone regardless of client.

    One of the big things I learned in the EC/SA closed beta was that old code dating back 10+ years was still in the program itself, which was how the Carpet quest came about. This means that there's God only knows how many other tests, ideas, concepts, and failed projects that are simply commented out. Even the 2d client had unused artwork that sat dormant for a decade that was used in Alpha and Beta builds up until High Seas changed how the artwork was used in the game.

    The thing is though, UO, being a persistent game/world CAN becaome a completely new game, and really if you think about it over the years especially in the mindset of the various "Build a Classic Shard" and the different points in time that people put forward (T2A, UO:R, Pub 16, Pre-AOS, etc etc etc) UO HAS become effectively a "completely new game" several times over, just not all at once. The game has updated the systems and content within it for years, as well as the physical hardware, and Grimm is and has been reworking how the "art pipeline" works, so all of what you're saying has been and is being done.

    Nostalgia is all well and good, but not if you cannot accept the flaws in what you find nostalgic. I've been reading and watching a lot of stuff about Golden Age Video Games and systems and owned a ColecoVision "back in the day". Wonderful system, especially for the time, but it did have its own set of flaws... scrolling as horrible (when present) and the connection from the console to the TV was the old school "hold it in just the right spot or get a static-filled picture" style (complete with manual TV/Game switch). It also had the behemoth of behemoths of plugs/power supplies. So yes, I think I am being even handed, I even pointed out that the release of the newer clients have been sub-optimal, usually far too early causing too many issues with being able to move from an older client to a newer one.

    Yes, I'm rambling as the thoughts hit me... short version, yes, I am in favor of all of the above as stated Coldren, but was answering in the context of the topic/question provided, that being focused on the client and that the game would be better with a single client instead of multiple ones.
     
    Nok, Nimuaq and Coldren like this.