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Theory about player activity, and reasons

Discussion in 'UHall' started by hawkeye_pike, Jan 8, 2009.

  1. hawkeye_pike

    hawkeye_pike Babbling Loonie
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    Let me pull out some memories of the first 3 or 4 years in UO (1998-2001):

    During the first years of UO, you would meet lots of people in EVERY town.

    • Britain as the capital was always full of people.
    • Trinsic was popular, too; it was a town with a very warm character.
    • My guild operated near Vesper, and we frequented the Vesper bank, a popular meeting place for Covetous adventurers.
    • Moonglow bank was busy, due to the many mage and alchemist shops nearby.
    • Miners and blacksmiths went to Minoc bank. Minoc was home to a small player army that was trying to defend the Minoc mines from murderers.
    • Yew bank (Empath Abbey) was mostly a meeting place for adventurers and elvish RP guilds, and of course the orc roleplayers.
    • Some mages frequented even the bank of Wind (many players today don't even know that hidden city).
    • Occlo was the town of newbies and newbie helpers, it was always busy.
    • Buccaneer's Den was the place where murderers, thieves and evil scum would meet and battle each other (although it didn't have a bank either, in the first 2 years).
    • You'd even meet people in Skara Brae, Jhelom, Nujel'm, Magincia and Serpent's Hold. Cove was less popular, as it DIDN'T HAVE a bank. Some travellers went there, nevertheless.
    • When The Second Age came out, Delucia was the home of tailors, tamers and lumberjacks (lots of animals for hides and trees around Delucia).
    • Papua was a meeting place of adventurers who hunted the Terathans, Ophidians or traveled to the northern desert.

    None of these places was deserted like they are today. And no, it's not like all those people only go to Luna today.

    The reasons for Britannia being deserted are quite obvious (to my opinion):

    • Less players in total.
    • The existing UO subscribers are much less active, and spend less time in game hanging out in a town, socializing. They concentrate on the essentials (making gold, getting arties, restocking vendors, raising skills).
    • People travel less and recall more.

    My theory is: UO still has a lot of subscribers. But those people spend MUCH LESS time online. Why? Because the average age of the UO player has increased by 10 years. Many players are 30-50 years old. They have family, kids, a job, whatever kind of commitment.Younger people play more and longer. -> Bring younger players into UO and you will see more active players.

    Which brings me back to one of the core problems: Younger players won't play a game with a 10-year-old game client. They want a game that looks cool and up-to-date.

    What do you think?
     
  2. Goodoljoe

    Goodoljoe Guest

    Besides a few named PvM activities you can count with one hand and organized PvP the necesity for teaming has been totally abolished by overpowered characters and useless monsters w years outdated drop tables that can be easily soloed either way.
    Also drop system encourages kill stealing and dumping as much dmg as posible on monster as healing gives no benefits whatsoever so even if most people find that boring,theres not even a reason to bother.
     
  3. hawkeye_pike

    hawkeye_pike Babbling Loonie
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  4. Bardie

    Bardie Lore Keeper
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    U just made me reminice thanks ;) how i would do anythign to get uo back to those days :( o well.....come on DarkFall :p
     
  5. TheScoundrelRico

    TheScoundrelRico Stratics Legend
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    Get rid of all of the ways to travel via magic (recall, gates and the like). Make players walk/run more, and I'd bet you would see more activity in towns. There is just too much land...too many expansions imo. The player base has been spread too thin...la
     
  6. Otis Firefly

    Otis Firefly Slightly Crazed
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    get rid of luna
     
  7. Babble

    Babble Guest

    Hmm younger players ....

    Check out Runescape or Dofus, Mapleleaf.... for example. Lots of younger players in games with worse graphics, but not the clients EA wants to have with this business model.

    And even older players spend some time in games or do you think all of the millions of wow players are teens? So that is no excuse for UO at the moment.

    A big problem is that less players attract less player, as WHO shows that you need a critical mass on a server so a majority of gamers enjoy the game.

    My guess would be that different subscription models could help UO a lot more than pretty graphics with buggy game play, but then it is EA's game to fool around.
     
  8. Maplestone

    Maplestone Crazed Zealot
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    Well, if there weren't stratics forums, we'd have to stand around in towns to gossip and grumble :)
     
  9. jack flash uk

    jack flash uk Crazed Zealot
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    i remember working on the set of one of the Harry Potter films and a paramedic told me about this Ultima online game, we told me of his "trade" as a smith and what he did

    to say he got me hooked that day was an understatement

    i got a copy of Blackthorn and created Dumbar, my Swordsman

    then AoS so i could make a house


    i have no knowledge of the "good old days"

    but i have seen a massive change in my 5/6 years

    one thing i am grateful for, is the age group, i agree, i feel the age group is higher than WoW etc, there is nothing worse than a dumd rude kid in game

    the graphics are old, but i love them, if i want state of the art i play left4dead, CoD4, fallout 3 and Dead Space, i don't want bettewr graphics, to me it just won't be UO

    deal with cheats dupes and other issues and i believe the player base will dramatically increase


    one hopes................................
     
  10. Flora Green

    Flora Green Guest

    So we need to get rid of Luna AND Stratics... :D
     
  11. Cetric

    Cetric Grand Inquisitor
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    MOONGLOW FOR THE WIN!
     
  12. Uriah Heep

    Uriah Heep Crazed Zealot
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    Regardless of what they say about the numbers, there are fewer people, way fewer people.
    And the reason for this is simple...(pulling numbers out of the air for examples)
    In the day, if they had 100k subs, they had 80k peeps playing. Very few of us had more than one account, and quite a few of us shared an account with family members.
    Then as the people left, and the interest faded, accounts were sold at first, usually (I believe) bought by existing account holders who didnt want to start a new account. When accounts became almost worthless, they were just given away or abandoned.
    Those of us who 9-10 years ago, shared an account, now find ourselves with 5 and 6 accounts we are paying for...
    But we can only play one at a time...so even tho EA says it has 6 accounts here, there is only one player. Repeat this with the majority of the playerbase, and its easy to see where that 100k number comes from, even when on most shards you can only find 20 people LOL

    I'm hoping SA will bring some peeps back, and bring some new ones in, but unless they finish it up right and it is usable, unlike our latest client, it will be a flop and quite possibly the deathknell for UO.

    And if it is true they are not gonna market it in stores, and IF they havent fixed that damned webpage where you can actuallyl create a new account, the dev $$ spent on SA might as well have been flushed down the men's toilet.

    [/opinion]
     
  13. Madrid

    Madrid Slightly Crazed
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    Spot on Hawkeye. Well said.:)
     
  14. deadite

    deadite Sage
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    Great post, Hawkeye.

    My first character in UO after the beta was a "paladin" from Trinsic.

    You are definitely right about players aging with the game. When I started playing UO I was 19, moving away from home, and trying to figure out a career. Now I'm 31, married with a 4 year old son... and still trying to figure out a career. ;)

    My playtime has dropped a lot over the years. I've left multiple times to try out new games, or just out of boredom, but I somehow keeping finding my way back to UO.
     
  15. Dalton4902

    Dalton4902 Guest

    Basically the same for me. Only when I started playing I was 13.

    And, yea, definitely a good post Hawkeye. Those were great days for UO. Unfortunately, I doubt if we will ever see them again. :sad4:
     
  16. Bara

    Bara Guest

    A very good post Hawkeye.

    I've said this before, but I believe the key to this is a true sequal. You can only reshape the same sandbox so much..

    But I don't believe mythic has the resources to do this, and I don't believe ea has the balls nor the innitiative to make a sequal. (you can bet that if we were talking about a sports game, ea would be all about making sequals, but it won't happen for a fantasy based game).
     
  17. Maplestone

    Maplestone Crazed Zealot
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    I respectfully disagree.

    *pauses*

    *realizes I support a whole new client*

    *wonders off to ponder how to avoid being a hypocrite here*
     
  18. the 4th man

    the 4th man Lore Master
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    Agreed.....you cater to the kids and this is what you get. The whole industry did it....look at the scum who play GTA series.....c'mon, that's for bottom feeders, but, it's violently realistic, so the kids partake in it. sad but true.

    Now we got a good game like uo, and the previous devs, probably a little older than the punks they heed to, made uo an item based game.....just like todays society.......


    later
     
  19. Tom_Builder

    Tom_Builder Slightly Crazed
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    There are some easy things to get people to play UO.

    1. Sell the game in stores. I wanted to give the game to my brother for christmas this year, but the only way to get it is by download. Sell a Box in stores.

    2. Get some in game support. I still remember getting met in game by some guy in a blue robe. He gave me lots of help on my first day. I thought "now this is cool".

    3. Get rid of all the cheats.

    4. Burn Luna down!

    5. Revert AoS.

    6. Revert AoS, while burning Luna

    7. See numbers 4,5,6.

    Numbers 1,2, and 3 would help alot. But I would still prefer 4,5, and 6.
     
  20. Flora Green

    Flora Green Guest

    Label much?
     
  21. Duskofdead

    Duskofdead Sage
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    I think your conclusion is pretty close to spot-on.

    However, we old people (29 here, started UO my summer after graduating high school, '97) don't like drastic change. :)

    Rather than continuously WOW-izing what's left of UO, I wish they would either drop the expansion stuff and focus more on support, bugs, exploits, cheating, GM service in game, and fixing and improving what already exists. (It couldnt' possibly take much dev attention/budget to just add some items or quests now and then, as opposed to huge expansions.) At UO's age, expansions and major overhauls only stand to alienate players who don't like the changes and were already very old players and perhaps less active anyhow, and won't seriously bring in people from the much newer MMORPG's, least of all young players.

    If they really do have the budget and inclination to revamp UO, then EA should get serious about UO2 and leave UO1 alone in terms of major graphical and UI reinventions. IMHO.
     
  22. Belmarduk

    Belmarduk Guest

     
  23. Arcades

    Arcades Sage
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    Towns other than Luna were populated because the simple fact was, there was no gathering place to pawn our wares, with the introduction of vendors, then Luna, it became a place that was the most convient, had a moongate within a few tiles of the bank, AND a shopping mall that housed thousands of vendors. Honestly, how many of you shop beyond the luna walls, dare I even say on the N and S roads of luna? Most of the top vendor spots are on the E road of luna...and its the same across all north american shards. If you want to re-populate the old towns, limit the vendor spots, limit the housing within the luna walls (or eliminate), OR remove the ability to recall/gate into luna. The new tram invasions would be a nice permanent addition to Luna to deter the unattended golem macroers, bank sitters, and murder count macroers.

    For starters, the town banks would require some additional help to bring back players...like an arcane circle for starters, then possibly NPC vendor additions specific for each town, with +area effects for places such as Brit Smith shop for example and Trinsic tailor shop (maybe a +5% exceptional bonus) when crafting within the walls of specific tailor shops, additional skill gain areas, that can be monitored for unattending macroing. Banks with part-time vendor spots on their roofs to pawn wares, selected at random with 1-week contracts, etc. Just a few ideas to re-invent the old towns I was once found of!

    Personally, I started off my adventures in UO 11-yrs ago, in the city of Trinsic. Before Tram/Fel, before any rules and any restrictions, before insurance, and I had the time of my life. That being said, the UO of today is still fun, but caters to the simple fact that most players are solo players, b/c of the age/time restrictions of the playerbase. I started this game at age 17, now 28...life changes, and most new players will not appreciate the older version of UO, unless they are exposed to it firsthand (not possible unless you try a freeshard).

    So to the DEV team, all loyal players will play regardless of the change, but please just keep in mind that some of us old folks in this community do have a voice and an opinion, and from time to time, wouldnt mind if you tipped your hat to some of our suggestions :)

    Cheers!
     
  24. Uvtha

    Uvtha Grand Poobah
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    Back when I started playing, and for several years there after people were MUCH more friendly and open than they are now with strangers. Back in those days we all depended on each other if not for barter or supplies, then for mutual protection. It was a daily occurance to meet up with a random person or group and go out exploring. Life was a lot less competitive, and more about enjoying yourself and exploring and enjoying the world.

    Now a days its all about getting the new or best piece of armor or weapons, and people just get in your way.

    Tie that to the decreasing subs...
     
  25. HD2300

    HD2300 Certifiable
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    This is why I believe a Tram only shard as opposed to a split shard is better community-wise. The win at all costs mentality results in winners and losers, and only benefits a small minority and not the majority.
     
  26. Nat/Bella

    Nat/Bella Guest

    I've been playing since the beta. The one major impact I noted was voice programs.
    I was out hunting with a group one day long ago, and it felt *different*. Finally, I asked, how come no one is talking. Turned out that they were testing Roger Wilco for the first time.
    Nobody talks via keyboard anymore. People may be out mining or lumberjacking or whatever, but they're in chan talking to someone other than people around them in the game. It took the friendliness out of the game imho.
     
  27. Maplestone

    Maplestone Crazed Zealot
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    I suspect the next generation of MMORPGs are going to have voice chat built right into the sound engine so that you'll have a "radius of hearing" mixing game sounds with the microphones of other players. I'm seeing a lot of bucks being spent creating the tech for it.
     
  28. Tyrath

    Tyrath Babbling Loonie
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    RuneScape has possibly the absolute worst graphics out yet their paying subcribers dwarf the UO community. All you have to do is hit a bank or town and you will find tons of people pretty much 24 hours a day.
    The so the 10 yr old client and outdated graphics argument just doesnt wash.

    Key differences Jagex In particular Andrew and Paul Gower (the creators and owners) and their team provide first rate customer service, weekly content updates, and continue to provide what people want.

    The biggest stumbling block to UO being a success is the corporate mentality of EA.
    Cutomer service is as far as I can tell a bot that sends canned messages that send the same response on every issue. Dev turnover do you know how many Devs have come and gone in UO in the 11 or so years ive been around. BTW I have been involved in RuneScape about as long considering I have one of the first 200 accts created there (I have seen a handful of people leave the Jagex team in that time.)

    Yes UO has deep and serious problems and it really isn't graphic or even game play. Want to talk about problems with UO maybe it could be the constant stream of nerfs and re nerf and then nerfing back to the original nerf. It could be about the constant fixxing of things that are not broken while ignoring major real problems in some cases for a decade.

    Of course Binky a few years ago stated "Fonts are the biggest problem in bringing in and retaining new players" pass me some of what he was smoking................

    Then there is the whole stop scripting campaign that as far as I can tell does more damage to the non cheating players. Love it or hate it RuneScape stopped the bot problem dead in its tracks by implementing trade limits, that killed Real world trading of Game items overnight, areas once infested of script bots were gone and have never returned. Harsh but effective and did not affect game play one bit. and the Paying sub number went up.

    Sadly UO and its crappy 2d client have more potential than most other games out there, It also has the reputation of being the game that won the award of cheaters choice. Crappy CS, A constant turn over of Devs, and a total lack of respect for the player base.
    Until EA either corrects those base problems no amount of graphics or gimick is going to bring in any serious numbers of new players.
    and a Cardinal Piece of Crap by todays game standards, like RuneScape will continue to grow. EA though will never understand that, SA is going to be the saviour LOL It doesnt impress me and doesnt touch the core problems.