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Ultima, or Ultima Online

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

  1. Hemisphere

    Hemisphere Always Present
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    I know there are a lot of Ultima fans here, and there are also a lot of people who had never heard of Ultima before they came to UO.

    We've all stuck at it, over the years, for one reason or another, be it our love of the game, the friends we have made, or our undying passion for arguably the worlds best RPG series.

    But I'm interested, what comes top of the list - The Ultima Online game, or the Ultima brand?

    If EA were to release another Ultima game which categorically sucked, and it's gameplay bore no resemblance to that of Ultima Online, would you play it? Deep and rich as the Ultima lore undoubtedly is, I for one would not. Even if they called it "Ultima Online 2" ;)

    Conversely, if another company released a game, the gameplay of which bore a great resemblance to Ultima Online, and, for the sake of argument, it didn't suck - would you play it?
     
  2. Crysta

    Crysta Babbling Loonie
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    For me, it's a combination, honestly. I wouldn't play a truly bad Ultima (the SNES BG for example), and I probablywouldn't play a UO-like game by someone else. Its the convergence of the two in just the right way I like: the game and creative design together (UO2 had it, UX:O didn't).
     
  3. Dermott of LS

    Dermott of LS UOEC Modder
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    ...

    To be honest, I think the Ultima series hit it's peak with Ultima 7 (with a continuous rise from 4 peaking at 7 although I LIKE 6 more simply because it was the first one I played).

    A "remake" of that timeframe in Ultima I would play assuming it's done well enough, but I'm not so certain about a new Ultima altogether given it's quality AFTER part 7.

    As for UO... it would really depend on the engine and game mechanics used. I didn't really like either UO2 or UX:O for different reasons (mainly I wasn't a fan of the cyberpunk stuff in UO2 and I REALLY didn't like the Disney-esque creatures shown in UX:O), and I would NOT like to see a "sequel" to UO be turned into a level/raid grind clone.

    Any new version of UO would need to retain the skill-based openness you have in UO. I should NOT have to fight creatures to "level up" my Blacksmithing character (as an example), however more work can be done within the skill structure to allow for specialist and generalist combinations via skill tree options.

    Just a few thoughts.
     
  4. Hemisphere

    Hemisphere Always Present
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    Haha, does that really happen in some games?

    I've actually never played an MMO except UO so that thought never even occured to me, but yes, that would be ridiculous!
     
  5. Maplestone

    Maplestone Crazed Zealot
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    It's a combination for me as well - but there are more factors - the community and accumulated history are a part of the experience as well, as is stratics.

    Of the original Ultimas I only played part of U7 (my save game got corrupted part way through and I couldn't bring myself to restart from the beginning) so when it comes to true ultima lore I know only the tidbits I've picked up and read along the way.

    I don't think I could go back to single-player games ... I tried the much-beloved Oblivion a year ago and found that although it was wonderful to get up on a hill and look out across the landscape, the gameplay itself felt shallow and bland and there was no sense of accomplishment since nobody else would ever see my house decorations.

    Conversely, if the UO engine was taken and a new world created with it, it would lack that weight of history - no matter how "well-designed" a game world is, it needs to age, to be played-in to feel alive to me. Of course, what really like is to create my own MMORPG for my RPG world, but alas I'm far to lazy to actually do it ( well, and I'd have to win a few lotteries :) )

    I do think it would be healthy for UO's brand to break out of UO - whether it is other games or novels. I think it would have been interesting to see New Haven implemented as a single-player game, scaled so that a character ended with UO's starting equipment and skills of up to 50 that then allowed you to import your character into UO.
     
  6. Hemisphere

    Hemisphere Always Present
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    Really? I agree that a world needs to be played in to some extent, but not that much. Once players start to group themselves into guilds and factions (and once a certain type of player decides that they don't like another certain type of player), then the process has already begun.

    I think how "alive" a game world feels has a lot to do with how it's designed.
     
  7. Yazman

    Yazman Guest

    As a massive fan of the Ultima series, and a UO veteran, I would have to say that a UO-like game "wouldn't cut it" for me. The systems are all well and good but the Ultima setting is part of what makes me enjoy UO so much, even if it was torn a new one over a few years (Mondain's Legacy especially did that).

    I would love another Ultima as long as the dev team had Lord British in it. I was a big follower of UO2 and was very disappointed when it was cancelled, although UXO did not particularly appeal to me I still might have played it.

    Its really a combination. A UO-like game would have to have an extremely interesting and appealing setting for me to play it.
     
  8. Hex_Europa

    Hex_Europa Sage
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    Perfect timing for this thread.

    Richard Garriott left NCSoft late last year just after his space flight making him a free agent!
    If EA dug deep into their pockets and got him back to design a Ultima X i would without a doubt buy & play it, i think if anyone else tried to create a new ultima they wouldn't be able to capture the original lore of the games that Garriott created.

    Also being a avid Ultima gamer IMHO Ultima VII is the best for originality (Back in it's day)
     
  9. Maplestone

    Maplestone Crazed Zealot
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    What I mean is that, to me at least, there's a very noticeable quality to a story or game that has been through years of edits and revisions and has endured conflicting visions. There's a sort of organic quality (or lack of a better term) that emerges as the rough edges are worn down and gaps are filled in with patches.

    Of course, it's hard to tell from the posts and rants around here whether I am in the minority or majority around here in thinking that UO has generally improved with age - I respect that there are many with deeply embittered paradise lost feelings, even though I don't share those feelings (well, at least not yet ... I've yet to have to endure a major revision where the dev team wanted or was forced to go in a direction diametrically opposed to what I wanted - eventually that will happen and we'll see if I still am as upbeat after).
     
  10. Hemisphere

    Hemisphere Always Present
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    Garriott back at EA making Ultima? Would be pretty cool I guess, but not cool as hell would be if it happened ;)
     
  11. Fogsbane

    Fogsbane Seasoned Veteran
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    For me - top of the list would be the Ultima Brand.
    I'd try/play anything called Ultima, but most likely wouldn't 'stick with it' once discovering it categorically sucked.
    If another company released a game resembling 'Ultima' i probably wouldn't try it unless it was made by Lord British himself (Richard Garriott) - but even then wouldn't stick with it if I didn't enjoy it (ala ~ Tabula Rasa).
     
  12. Setnaffa

    Setnaffa Certifiable
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    They both rank the same for me though UO dominates my current experience.

    I bought the orginal Ultima in a zip-lock back back in 1982. I still have the original disks and manual, but I no longer have the Apple II required to play it. It was by far a game-changing experience for me. For its time it was huge in terms of scale and complexity. Ultima II was OK, Ultima III was better, but Ultima 4: Quest of the Avatar was the penultimate Ultima Game. It took me around 40 hours to finish it (not consecutive). I actually recorded the final battle in the Abyss onto a VHS tape. It took me 5 or 6 tries to get all the way through (you couldn't save the game once you entered the Abyss).

    Everything after that was kind of down hill for me and I never finished Ultima 7.

    It's kind of hard to compare Ultima to UO because UO has no End-game. It more of an experience/life style.
     
  13. Farsight

    Farsight Crazed Zealot
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    My parents should still have the old Apple IIe that I played the first 4 Ultimas on. When they moved a few years back, they almost had the rest of the family mutiny when they wanted to get rid of it.

    My favorite was also 4, but to be fair, I never played 7.

    I started UO with the thought of, "Ultima, cool! I'm in!" and was completely disappointed by the total lack of Ultima lore apart from the map and existence of mongbats. So for me, the game is what keeps me in the game, and the fact that the new devs are bringing the Ultima lore back into the picture is just icing on my UO cake (IOU cake?).

    Now if they would only get a good virtue system going... that would be great!
     
  14. Cetric

    Cetric Grand Inquisitor
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    agreed!
     
  15. Draconi

    Draconi Most explosive UO Legend
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    That's how I feel about the series as well. Although I played III on the NES, Ultima VI was the first one that I played for weeks and weeks on end on my old PC. It remains my favorite to this day.
     
  16. As my museum demonstrates, I am a huge fan of the Ultima series. I agree with Dermott that U4-U7 represent the glory years of Ultima with 7 being the peak. Thanks to Exult, I have been playing my old copy of Ultima 7 again and thoroughly enjoying it.

    That said, the Ultima name by itself was hugely devalued by games VIII (Pagan) and IX (Ascension). If a future Ultima game were to come out (and I do not believe that one ever will from an official source; fan remakes like Exult and Lazarus are likely as close as we will get), I would have to look at it seriously before I would get my hopes up.
     
  17. BloodstoneGL

    BloodstoneGL Guest

    I picked up Ultima 8 off the shelf a long time ago and played it for a long time. Never beat it but I enjoyed it. I later tried Ultima IX but it didn't sit well with me. UO is the best game I have ever played, and even though it has changed so much away from the game I loved the most, it is still the best game out there IMO.

    When I see an Ultima name, UO is what I think about. For me it has to be in a mideval fantasy setting and can't be a grind game. If Richard Garriot and Starr Long got back to making another UO style game, I'd be sold.
     
  18. Gildar

    Gildar Babbling Loonie
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    I loved playing the old Ultima games back then... but now I'm too used to more modern (and much, much more user-friendly) UIs.
    Give me a game with Ultima lore and a user-friendly interface, and I'd play it.
    Give me a game with amazing lore (Ultima or not) and a U3 interface, and I wouldn't play it (but I'd greatly appreciate it if somebody would write up a summary about the lore so I could read it).
    Give me a game with UO game mechanics and a user-friendly interface, but no lore, and I wouldn't play it.

    I'm barely able to get myself to pick up Ultima Underworld and play through it again (and if I could remember everything from it a little better, I probably wouldn't be able to at all).

    If I had the choice between playing Ultima Online as it is today (ignoring the promise of better times to come), and playing a single-player Ultima X that had years of gameplay, amazing Ultima-rich storyline, and an amazing UI... I'd probably pick UO. I like the people too much :)
     
  19. I know very little Ultima Lore, so it would be UO for me.

    I am one that would love to take the current game, make it a 3d first person gamer like Anarchy Online. Imagine custom housing in that context for example!
     
  20. Harlequin

    Harlequin Babbling Loonie
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    I am an ultima fan. Started with Ultima IV Quest of the Avatar. During the Apple compatible era.

    Incredible game! Remains my favorite of the series.

    Even Pagan which came after U7, was pretty innovative as well, although not as absorbing as the previous series,

    And if you have a chance to give Ascension a second try, just give it a try. I hated it the first time I played, swore I would never play it again. Kept crashing, dropping off the dungeon floors and many other bugs. When I replayed it a couple of months back, I found that it's actually a very decent game. Well ahead of it's time. Any many of the performance issues was because it was meant to be played on systems with higher specs. Some of it I could even laugh at now -

    Prostitue - *happily asks in a fake russian accent* Want to party?
    Avatar - *replies in a very happy and suave voice* Suuure!

    So I'd give it a go if it's still based on the Ultima lore.