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NEWS [UO.Com] Producer Letter

Discussion in 'UHall' started by UO News, Feb 5, 2014.

  1. UO News

    UO News RSS Feed
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    Community News
    2014 Feb 04 22:32 GMT
    Greetings Everyone!

    I come to you with some exciting news! Since its humble beginnings at Origin Systems Incorporated in 1997, through development at EA Redwood Shores and for the last 7+ years at Mythic, Ultima Online™ has been enjoyed by millions of devoted players around the world.

    Beginning February 1st, 2014, Mythic Entertainment Co-Founder Rob Denton’s new studio: Broadsword Online Games (http://www.broadsword.com) will partner with EA’s Mythic Entertainment to operate, support and develop Ultima Online on EA’s behalf. Electronic Arts will continue to provide billing and account services through its Origin™ portal. Broadsword and Electronic Arts will work closely together to ensure a bright future for Ultima Online. For future inquiries and support, you can contact [email protected].

    The UO team will continue to work as hard as ever under our new banner. In the immediate future, we will be putting out a publish for Valentine’s Day and a few bug fixes, along with polishing a final release of Vendor Search. I will be putting out a list very soon of all the features we will be working on this year to get everyone’s feedback as well as some updates regarding our ongoing projects.

    I know this has left everyone with a lot of questions, so I will try to answer a few right off the bat. As always we will collect any additional questions and try to answer them as they come in.

    Talk to everyone soon!

    Bonnie “Mesanna” Armstrong
    UO Producer
    Ultima Online



    Q and A

    Will this transition alter the plans for Ultima Online in the near term and the future?
    Yes! Both Broadsword and EA are heavily invested in the continued success of Ultima Online and our future has never looked so bright! Customers in need of help or questions should contact [email protected]

    Is Broadsword an Electronic Arts studio?
    No. However, for purposes of Ultima Online, Broadsword will be operating the game on EA’s behalf to continue its success.

    Will there be a change in the payment system?
    Nope! Players will continue to access UO through EA’s Origin™ portal. There will be no interruption or change in the payment service. Players may notice that charges on their bank statements will still indicate a payment to Mythic or EA - - and Game Time Codes will still be available via the EA Origin™ Store.

    What will happen to any information I’ve provided to EA/Mythic?
    Nothing. Since Broadsword is operating Ultima Online on EA’s behalf, all the information you provided and may provide in the future will continue to be managed according to EA’s Privacy Policy and Terms of Service.

    Will there be changes to the Ultima Online development team?
    Yes! Broadsword's additional investment into UO gives us the freedom to expand our resources for bigger projects, so again - the future has never looked so bright!

    Will emails change?
    Yes, they will, in the meantime you can reach out to us at [email protected]

    Continue reading...
     
  2. BeaIank

    BeaIank Babbling Loonie
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    I reckon that those are rather good news. :)
     
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  3. Frarc

    Frarc Stratics Legend
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    Interesting! :)
     
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  4. Eaerendil

    Eaerendil Professional Mall Santa and Legendary Piglet
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    WE ARE FREEEEE! AT LAST!
     
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  5. DJAd

    DJAd Stratics Legend
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    :(
     
    #5 DJAd, Feb 5, 2014
    Last edited: Feb 5, 2014
  6. kongomongo

    kongomongo Lore Master
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    Awesome!
     
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  7. Tina Small

    Tina Small Stratics Legend
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    Looks like Dark Age of Camelot is going to undergo the same change: http://www.darkageofcamelot.com/article/next-chapter-dark-age-camelot . It's interesting to note that their producer letter says, "Broadsword is made up of a people who are passionate about DAoC, and many of whom were responsible for the development and operation in the past." I wonder if there are any former UO staffers on the Broadsword team?

    Edited to add: I wonder if this also opens the door for EA to enter into an agreement to use another company to operate UO for it in areas that have previously been ignored or left mostly undeveloped, e.g., India, China, Africa, the Middle East, Mexico, South America.
     
    #7 Tina Small, Feb 5, 2014
    Last edited: Feb 5, 2014
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  8. Warpig Inc

    Warpig Inc Babbling Loonie
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    Not really. Just a new master that will at least smack us on the ass once in a while to show us they care.
     
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  9. virtualhabitat

    virtualhabitat Lore Keeper
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    I'm just glad I will still be able to log into my DAOC account when I need to get a GM to help in UO.
     
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  10. Nails Warstein

    Nails Warstein Rares Festival Silent Auctioneer
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    Nay saying... Sky is Falling... Wolf Crying... Chicken Littles, READ THIS AND STFU ALREADY, so tired of hearing it PERIOD, AMEN!

     
  11. Multi Dwagon

    Multi Dwagon Lore Keeper
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  12. sablestorm

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  13. sablestorm

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    So Mesanna, can we ask questions here? How exactly will this work? It sounds like Broadsword is basically being brought in as contractors to help support UO. Does this mean you and the rest of the Dev Team can crack the whip and delegate tasks to them or are you guys switching companies or will the current Dev Team be reassigned to different EA projects and Broadsword will be in charge of development?
     
  14. Lug

    Lug Lore Master
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    Talk is cheap.

    I've been playing to long to get excited about a Valentine’s Day patch and a few bug fixes. I'm playing on a shard that is completely void of players 22 hours a day. Lately it seems to be completely void of players. The sky is not falling... It fell along ago on Legends and many other shards.

    Vendor Search is a welcomed addition to the game, but it will not bring in new players to the game. New players is what UO needs.

    Please Dev Team, tell me that the focus of your efforts is to repopulate the shards. Teddy bears and chocolate boxes aint cutting it anymore!
     
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  15. Shakkara

    Shakkara Slightly Crazed
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    CONGRATULATIONS EVERYONE!!!

    Awesome news. I think it cannot be denied that UO had no future at EA, with all the staff being laid off and the game operating on a skeleton crew basically. It really excites me to read that the team might be expanding!

    I really hope for a modern client (doesn't have to be 3D, just modern in terms of UI conventions) and an overhaul of fundamental mechanics (combat, item stats) in the long run.
     
    #15 Shakkara, Feb 5, 2014
    Last edited: Feb 5, 2014
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  16. Aran

    Aran INFRACTION INFRACTION INFRACTION!
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    So you want UO to stop being UO. Have you tried playing a different game maybe?
     
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  17. cazador

    cazador Crazed Zealot
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    Lol it's still ran by "The Evil Empire"...move along, nothing to see here


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
     
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  18. Mapper

    Mapper Crazed Zealot
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    Sounds like possible good news! :)
     
  19. Shakkara

    Shakkara Slightly Crazed
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    Why is that?

    I want to get UO back to its roots. So no more items with 20 million properties on them, but items with maybe 3 properties max. No more stupid resistances, but back to AR and magic resist.

    Un-diablo UO! Streamline the game!

    And I don't see why a snappy, responsive UI is a bad thing. Unless you don't want any non-veterans understanding how to play this game. Even I think that the current way to control this game is just about as unfriendly as it can get (targeting in particular).
     
  20. cazador

    cazador Crazed Zealot
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    Ya that's called free shards!


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
     
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  21. Shakkara

    Shakkara Slightly Crazed
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    Why, freeshards have clients with decent UI? That's new.

    Last time I checked, they only supported 2D. Which I stopped using what, 10 years ago?
     
    #21 Shakkara, Feb 5, 2014
    Last edited: Feb 5, 2014
  22. cazador

    cazador Crazed Zealot
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    Hmm..maybe I should have been more specific. I was talking about the getting back to the roots with properties on armor etc...as for you wanting a more responsive client UO blah blah..please no more failed attempts at clients, what's that 3 they completely tanked on now?


    And as for supporting 2D only..that's a negative..there are 2D,KR,EC shards..just the only ones the "main developers" support are 2D..


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
     
  23. Petra Fyde

    Petra Fyde Peerless Chatterbox
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    Question: Will we still be at the mercy of Origin's idea of where and when we're allowed to buy? There are $100s in potential income for the game if only ALL the products were available in ALL the countries where people play.

    Origin™ is strangling our game. Can Broadsword do anything to rectify that situation?
     
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  24. Flagg

    Flagg Sage

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    Damn:) This is much more important and promising Dev letter than I dared to hope. Sounds exciting indeed. It is a beautiful thing to see the magnificent living dead beast that is UO escaping decapitation once more. Something tells me the axe has very recently apppeared nearer and shinier than ever before.

    I sleep easier knowing UO has taken steps away from Mythic. I'm happpy the remaining small dev team seems to have stayed intact. I think all in alll they've done awesome job within last 5 years or so. Certainly when we consider the seemingly appalling quantities of mismanagement by mid-level suits UO team under Mythic was exposed to.

    Is awesome to hear some more people are joining the team! I would imagine this time around, UO has place in the sun, so to speak. I'm pretty sure DAOC brings much less bread to table than UO does. At any event, a small company fully devoted to these two games is much better for both than being stuck in mediocre sized company mainly devoted to pooping out ****ty mobile games.


    Question:
    Is there any way for UO to get it's own shop back? It sucks how it is being suffocated by Origin. It is easy to imagine in-game shop could liven things up quite a bit.

    Question2:
    More love to Classic Cllient, yes?: )
     
    #24 Flagg, Feb 5, 2014
    Last edited: Feb 5, 2014
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  25. Magdalene

    Magdalene Stratics Legend
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    How many is 14 people for 2 games?
    Just asking...
     
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  26. Ruppy2

    Ruppy2 Journeyman
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    It appears to be a service agreement where EA wants to collect the income, but not the headache of servicing/managing. Payment is made to Broadsword to keep the game running....if they don't do a good job the plug gets pulled. Proof will be in the pudding.
     
    #26 Ruppy2, Feb 5, 2014
    Last edited: Feb 5, 2014
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  27. Goodmann

    Goodmann Babbling Loonie
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    rather odd but interesting
     
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  28. Uriah Heep

    Uriah Heep Crazed Zealot
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    But they retained the right to torture and antagonize us with Origin store and that account management system that HAD to be designed by a group of retired IRS agents...

    Maybe someday we will be rid of them too
     
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  29. Viper09

    Viper09 Grand Poobah
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    Interesting. Shall have to wait and see how this change will affect UO.
     
  30. MedeaDF

    MedeaDF Seasoned Veteran
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  31. cazador

    cazador Crazed Zealot
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    Maybe it effect it by giving us some damn static servers "that work"


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
     
  32. Taylor

    Taylor Former Stratics CEO (2011-2014)
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  33. Dot_Warner

    Dot_Warner Babbling Loonie
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    Interesting, but this really comes off like Professor Farnsworth's "Good news, everybody..." right before questionable things happen. UO has changed management teams several times, and each time UO has suffered.

    "Both Broadsword and EA are heavily invested in the continued success of Ultima Online and our future has never looked so bright!" I want to believe this, but I have a hard time overlooking EA's years of neglect, mishandling, and outright malice towards UO players. Saying that UO will continue to use EA's FAILURE of an account management system and the incompetence that is Origin isn't welcome news. UO players want systems that work, not ones we have to trick, wheedle and beg to function properly.

    I guess I'll believe this is good news when the size of the dev team increases, the website isn't laughable, and we objectively see forward progress on the game. Until then, I'm taking this with an Everest-sized grain of salt.
     
    #33 Dot_Warner, Feb 5, 2014
    Last edited: Feb 5, 2014
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  34. WarderDragon

    WarderDragon Babbling Loonie
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    Awesome!
     
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  35. a slave girl

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  36. a slave girl

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    Woohoo, Jensen Ackles!

    Broadsword please make all UO male characters look like WarderDragon's avatar, kthx!

    :)
     
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  37. S_S

    S_S Certifiable
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    Is that Dean from Supernatural?
     
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  38. Uvtha

    Uvtha Grand Poobah
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    Gotta be honest... I am not especially excited about this. I would need a calculator to figure out how many times I have heard "the future has never looked so bright!" only to see SSDD.

    I have to see it, or at least read some plans beyond valentines day content before I get too excited.

    As for the "as long as its not EA its better!" crowd, I think many of them fail to realize that UO was run by EA since before it went into development. If you ever liked UO, you like EA UO. So don't think that this change is instantly better for that reason alone.
     
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  39. Jerec KTM

    Jerec KTM Journeyman

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    The Positive:
    EA is at least trying to let someone else manage the game before pulling the plug. To me this indicates it is still pulling in enough money that they don't want to pull the plug, but also don't want to be responsible for day to day management. They just want to collect the check :)

    The Negative:
    As has been stated, management changes in the past have usually not led to good things for the game. I also get the feeling that if Broadsword proves to be horrible managers and subscriber numbers drop, EA is at the point they will pull the plug.
     
    Ruppy2 likes this.
  40. MalagAste

    MalagAste Belaern d'Zhaunil
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    The mercy of Origin???? They have Mercy?

    I couldn't agree more and I'm rather sad about the fact we will still be under that mismanagement system we currently have....

    *sighs*...... I'm going to take a deep breath.... Give Mesanna a great big hug and pray that she gets a solid team that can really let her idea's come to life...

    Heres to hope for the future of UO! :shots:
     
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  41. Tazar

    Tazar Guest

    Try the real site at broadsword.com
     
  42. DJAd

    DJAd Stratics Legend
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    From reading this again it just sounds like they are just jumping in to "help out" and maybe add some more people to the UO team. This is a great thing. Maybe stuff can get sorted faster and that elusive list of bug fixes looked into sooner.

    However with all the payment still being controlled by Origin I would imagine the store side of things along with the account management won't change much. I'd love to be proven wrong. In my eyes this (the account management / payments) setup is what needs fixing as a top priority. I would imagine many players that want to come back or start over just give up after battling with it.

    What I would like to see from the dev team would be a UO roadmap. Maybe some plans of what they are planning for the future and roughly when to expect it. High res art? The new faction system? Safe gold trading? etc etc. All these things have been mentioned as "on the list" and then that's is, you don't tend to hear much more.
     
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  43. Lady Storm

    Lady Storm Crazed Zealot
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    I have been here before and I can honestly say I am willing to wait and see what transpires.
    Past history of things EA has pulled on us run rampant in the background of my memory.
    I have a score of questions and would run around like a mad mouse asking the powers that be but knowing that only time will give me the answers.
    I refrain from the frantic feelings and hold my tougue.
    All i can say to others is: "Patience young grasshopper's... all will be as it is intended to be given time in our universe.."
    This means wait and give the Dark Lady of UO time to give us the all clear.
     
    startle likes this.
  44. Goodmann

    Goodmann Babbling Loonie
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    Insert Jim Morrison
    This is the end
    Beautiful friend
    This is the end
    My only friend, the end

    Of our elaborate plans, the end
    Of everything that stands, the end
    No safety or surprise, the end
    I'll never look into your eyes...again
     
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  45. startle

    startle Siege... Where the fun begins.
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    ^^^^^^ We really need a DISLIKE option ! *** Edit** The post I was pointing to has been removed...

    **Edit-2** Love that song, Goodman
     
    #45 startle, Feb 5, 2014
    Last edited: Feb 6, 2014
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  46. WarderDragon

    WarderDragon Babbling Loonie
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    Ayup.
     
  47. Lord Nabin

    Lord Nabin High Council Sage - Greater Sosaria
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    Good Stuff

    *Tips a glass of good old Moonglow Red*
     
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  48. Dermott of LS

    Dermott of LS UOEC Modder
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    ...

    It's interesting, but I don't think it's an automatic in any direction (good or bad). We'll have to see what the plans for the game will be. I've just been so impressed with Portalarium and the SotA team in contrast that it's been difficult for me to get autmatically excited about UO. Really, it comes down to one big issue for me which I haven't seen ANYTHING on in far too long. I hope it's a positive move though.
     
  49. startle

    startle Siege... Where the fun begins.
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    For my part, I see this as great news and not so great news.

    The great news is that Broadsword apparently see's the potential for UO (where EA apparently does not) and that more dev's/resources will be added to our already excellent, dedicated and overworked crew. Wonderful!

    The not so great news is that Origin will continue to be in charge of all things monetary. As many/most of you know, Origin's management there is nothing short of a complete disaster. (Yesterday I spent over an hour on the phone with an EA support specialist, simply trying to get Origin to take my money... It's not the 1st time for me, and many of you have posted here regarding your horror stories with purchases and account management.)

    I am hoping that Bonnie will get together with Rob and explain to him how horribly managed the Origin store is - and that Rob can investigate. Broadsword has a reason to make certain that anyone who wishes to subscribe or make purchases at the store- what is now part of their future - will be able to do so.

    One can only hope....... :cool:
     
    #49 startle, Feb 5, 2014
    Last edited: Feb 5, 2014
  50. Spiritless

    Spiritless Seasoned Veteran
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    Can we have official forums at uo.broadsword.com now or something? :D
     
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