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UO has apparently given me the patience of a Saint

Discussion in 'UHall' started by SchezwanBeefy, Jan 11, 2011.

  1. SchezwanBeefy

    SchezwanBeefy Lore Master
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    So, to begin this thread, I will say this: I haven't logged into my UO account for probably 3 week now. I have not seriously played for maybe 2 months. This has been the case for several of my UO friends who have played the game for 10+ years.

    We're bored with the game.

    Sure, new things have been released. But with every patch, with every new addition, there are more bugs on top of the age old bugs that haven't been fixed for years and the systems that need fixing haven't been (i.e. housing system). Scripting is still an issue although we've been promised thing that will combat that. On top of that, most players have become incredibly greedy. The Devs just don't seem to listen or care, and while we shell out plenty of money for a game that is behind and buggy and full of cheaters, we can't even get adequate customer service, on the phone or in game.

    The community isn't a community anymore. I think we have lost some of our very best.

    I recently picked up the game League of Legends and it's a lot of fun. Bug fixes come a lot sooner. The Devs actually post a lot on the boards and actually PLAY the game (I've had Devs in my very own game doing testing on characters for bugs). It's amazing to me that some players, after the game is only a year old, want to quit because a new map or a few big features haven't yet been released. It's made me realize I have had a lot of patience with a company I've given a lot of money to in order to fix a dying game. Guess what? Fixes aren't really coming. LOL is F2P and they have much better Devs and customer support, in my opinion.

    I think that if UO wants to make any sort of come back, it needs to do the following:

    -- Decrease Monthly subscription charges to maybe $8.99 or make the game free to play with a system set around it for charged accounts. Example: Free to play accounts only have a certain about of skill, no houses, only 3 pet slots, etc.

    -- Decrease the amount of servers unless there is really a need for so many. Right now, there is not.

    -- Maybe condense what you have made. As it is, there is a lot of unused land mass (for example, I love Tokuno and Ilshenar, but really... who goes to them? I very rarely run into anyone there)

    -- Take a look at your customer service department, phone based and in game support. GMs need to stop sending canned message and appear in game again instead of everything just being text based. Customer service reps on the phone should be able to go in game and help you if need be.

    -- A new client with 2011 graphics is absolutely necessary. Having 2 clients, in my opinion, is a waste in resources. Make one and force everyone to use it.

    -- And for the love of god, LISTEN TO YOUR COMMUNITY. Get them involved!! Set up a system to help new players as there used to be. As the game stands, it is NOT new player friendly. Talk to them and explain why some decisions have been made as such and listen to some of the players and use some of their recommendations. For example, factions really need to be changed and some players have really great ideas for those changes.

    If those things were changed, I think I might get really involved in UO again. But as it is, I think I might be closing my accounts soon as many others here have done.
     
  2. Cloak&Dagger

    Cloak&Dagger Guest

    Won't really disagree here but...just to point out a few flaws....

    Your last statement is to listen to the community. But at least 2 (if not 3) of your points are counter to that argument. Lets review.

    Clients and graphics, a majority of the UO community does not want a new client, does not want new graphics(at ALL) and "forcing" them to use it is just a loss of money.

    Decrease the amount of servers. While valid, not a single player is willing to lose what they have on their current server in order to accommodate this change (same goes for removing Tokuno, although I think we could live with out ilsh). Also the only server out cry is for them to add more (well one, but still) Sure, everyone complains about to mush space and to few people, but none of them are willing to lose their houses/castle/items/characters in order to allow for such a thing, Sure they could offer transfer tokens but then still have a loss of houses.

    As for listening, I think they should poll some common bugs, and they get worked on in the order of the most votes (a poll that you HAVE to take on "first" log in, would be one of the best methods, or one on the account page if you wanted to make it optional.) When one bug is finished, go on to the next highest requested bug, obviously they would have to change the poll results some what often (assuming they FOCUS on bugs and stop adding sh*t to the game that we don't freaking need more than we need bug fixes)

    Can't disagree with the lousy Customer service. And I have posted so much on the F2P model, but a good portion of people seem to be against it. (goes back to listening to us)
     
  3. Smoot

    Smoot Grand Poobah
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    If the 2d client were disabled, i know i would quit. I have a feeling many others would too. All the other games i play have top of the line graphics, which is one of the reasons i still play uo, its different than the others. People still design houses with raising and lowering random peices of junk to make it look like something.

    UO was the first game i got up and running when i got a new gaming comp maybe 6 months ago. i was like "haha im playing a 2d game on a brand new computer." but thats one of the reasons i like UO.


    Now, if a totally new "UO" were introduced with all the latest graphics, i would buy it, but not if it replaced the 2d client.


    I agree with everything else you said, the last couple years have seen the most rapid decline of the essence of the game in my opinion, and i didnt compare the price i pay for UO to what i spend on cigarettes, yeah i would probably quit too. But i just like having it around, even if i go for a few months without playing, or only play an hour here and there.
     
  4. Cloak&Dagger

    Cloak&Dagger Guest

    A little resolution change would go a LONG way to improving UO...and would not change the "look" of the client, the client would maybe look a little more cartoony, but then again it sort of already does (just a really bad cartoony look...)
     
  5. Meat Elemental

    Meat Elemental Journeyman
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    I would also quit but if I was forced to play 2d only, I had to do that once from the transition from 3d to KR. Some people like 2d and some like ec and I don't have a problem with that...
     
  6. Cloak&Dagger

    Cloak&Dagger Guest

    Graphically? (as in the art work) Resolution? (as in how shard the image looks, or how "good) Or UI? If it is the UI and resolution...both could be incorporated into a client that uses all of the old graphics.
     
  7. Babble

    Babble Guest

    After playing UO I laugh at all the wow complainers. Bugs not fixed in 1 week .. or the 3 or four graphic bugs in the game.
    Or even a server queue where they often offer you free transfers off the server.
    Then remember fondly Trammel and AOS launch and bugs that did not get fixed in months or years and just shrug.

    Even Mortal Online did not seem that buggy after playing UO for years. It is unfinished and empty, but not really anything I have not experienced with UO. I still wait for the Ilshenar dungeon chests to be filled with anything :)
    :p
     
  8. Cloak&Dagger

    Cloak&Dagger Guest

    And still not fixed to this day....
     
  9. Meat Elemental

    Meat Elemental Journeyman
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    Mainly in the ui in the ec which i prefer , not having to use uo assist and cart, quick dress/equip macro's and pinco's mod's
    Graphically there the same just the ec uses cc graphics out of scale to make it look choppy that needs fixing if they ever get around to it...
     
  10. Cloak&Dagger

    Cloak&Dagger Guest

    Not all of the graphics (almost NONE of the monster models are the same as the classic models) also the paper dolls are ugly. Other wise I agree, I don't mind the graphics in either client, but both need some serious resolution love.

    But again they could recreate the UI using the actual graphics of the original client, just make them have much better resolution and the UI of the EC and you have a client that is better off than either of the two we have now. (of course the ec needs some other work...but meh, can't ask for perfection here)
     
  11. Smoot

    Smoot Grand Poobah
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    I remember i read somewhere here that the EC resolution was actually turned down from what it originally was. Apparently alot of people coulnt play it because of old comps probably. Meh, EC will always look like crap so i dunt care :p
     
  12. Cloak&Dagger

    Cloak&Dagger Guest

    What you were reading is the EC resolution is a down turn from the KR resolution, and that was a mistake, since people who are not going to use it are not going to use it now just cause they made it look worse....
     
  13. canary

    canary Guest

    Actually I played many F2Ps and the customer service, bug fixes, art and overall presentation are leagues more professional.
     
  14. Cloak&Dagger

    Cloak&Dagger Guest

    Why start off saying "Actually" as it makes it sound like more of an arguing statement than a reinforcing one, since it was present in the original post.

    On the CS subject though, we are dealing with poor customer server because of the company we are dealing with. They have the resources and money to offer better customer service, honestly even 1 or two dedicated GMs per 5 or so shards would be leaps and bounds of improvement over the current system.
     
  15. Warpig Inc

    Warpig Inc Babbling Loonie
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    I have to go with the smokes vs monthly dues. The transition might be to much for them to go to F2P like the RL can't get off the oil company nipple over night. UO is a form of entertainment or a hobby. And as far as a bass boat or golfing goes UO is a bargin. So much I'd rather see a monthly fee cost raised as much as 5$ if they make a promise written and signed in their own blood.

    Dedicated GMs and New Player assistance that live and breath only UO.

    Policing, investigating and trapping all that cheating that amounts to the game's hugest failing.

    The hell with new content. For one year all the issues and balances of UO are delt with. Code Mages listen to and argue points, be it here in Stratics, shard event gathering of minds or chat channel. Fix and make UO marketable.


    When it comes to even $15 a month at $180 a year. For 23 hours a day, 365 days of entertainment. Electricity and internet cost don't count, would have them even if there was no UO. Cheeper then a monthly bass boat payment or a new club purchase. After wrapping the old one around someones neck for playing on a green I was on first without asking my permission, Griefer. And I'd be getting no use of either with the snow and ice thats outside right now. The mailperson most likely wont be by in this weather but I do have my UO. At $15 you can spend one day a month for few hours at best watching a movie while washing down popcorn & Junior Mints with a soda. Only if you walked the 7 miles to the theater and went alone.


    As far as patience. Years of hurry up and wait for the Army learned me real good. Took them decades to get the uniform close to functional. Miss those Elvis collared woodland cammo jackets though, LOL.
     
  16. Cloak&Dagger

    Cloak&Dagger Guest

    I normally agree...but as of today I think 5 dollars might actually break me lol. I mean financially... But you really can't get much better entertainment for the same rate, just be nice if they offered some better services though.
     
  17. SchezwanBeefy

    SchezwanBeefy Lore Master
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    I think many players would love a high resolution 2d client as Saphireena has made threads on. The problem many 2d lovers have is not that they don't want change, but if they're going to change they want a client that looks good. EC doesn't look good. It may have many pros to it, like the interface and the ease of macroing and whatnot, but everything just looks god awful ugly on it. I remember downloading the client and just going "this is awful, but I like the set up. No one would have a problem with a client that looks as nice as the high res graphics Saphireena made, which were still 2d. Mind you, a nice client could still be made, but I think that something like what Saphireena made would have to be a first step.

    As for the server issue, I think it would easily be solvable by saying : Here is a server transferable bank box. Put everything in it and it will be transfered to one of these servers. If I had to move, it might be a little sad, but I would. Having a bigger community is better, and I think having so many shard is also another resource/customer service problem. With so many shard, it's harder for GMs to answer and takes time logging onto each server, and they also have to maintain each server. If you condense the amount of servers (I mean really, you'd probably only need to get rid of 5. Some of the shards really are dead right now), I think things would be more manageable. But these are just my thoughts, going from a game that has 2 servers that host thousands of more people.
     
  18. Cloak&Dagger

    Cloak&Dagger Guest

    I don't disagree with you about the servers, But people are not going to give up their houses. It has been said time and time again. I could transfer to atl today if I wished, but I would not have my castle, my wife's keep, or my other 2 accounts houses (one of which I could lose with out problem, but the other holds all resources for me and 5 other people).

    As for the client issue, the EC does look fairly bad...but the KR artwork was nice and sharp looking, it was only different, and this is the problem. They can not redraw the 2d graphics in the EC/KR style, they could make them high res(which I suggested). I mean really the EC is just KR downgraded in a HUGE way but yet more people like it? oddly enough. But I agree a good looking client would go a long way, I just do not feel the majority of players would switch (maybe half but that is not a majority) or basically not enough players to turn off the other client, unless they change it to high res 2d artwork and graphics, and models, and everything else.
     
  19. Sargon

    Sargon Seasoned Veteran
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    I'm sure I am in the minority, but I would give up my items to have the servers consolidated into one. The benefits of having an active shard population would greatly outweigh my personal lost items, but I doubt it will ever happen.
     
  20. SchezwanBeefy

    SchezwanBeefy Lore Master
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    I would also probably give up my very valuable real estate on my server for an 18x18 or a slightly smaller home on another shard that would be more populated. I'm sure the Devs could think of a way to make this kind of move fair to those that would have to move (be it more housing space, special housing spots, whatever. There is plenty of room on most shards for many more homes.)

    But this would also mean the Devs would have to get off their arses and delete the existing houses that are still standing in error. Many homes have no owners or decay statuses (ex. The Return to Brit homes), are stuck in eternal Owned by OSI states, etc.
     
  21. Cloak&Dagger

    Cloak&Dagger Guest

    Don't get me wrong, I am with the both of you, just was giving reasons why some things just won't work. The only way things MIGHT work is if they rewrite all the land and movement and placement codes, then manually take down each shard one at a time, manually moving all the houses to make other houses fit between the newly created land. They would not have to add land for this, simply change movement from being 4 degrees to being 1 degree, and suddenly enough land for 4 times the amount of houses. But again would be quite a lot of work, plus LONG down times for the shards that would remain, and people might lose their "spot" but more of the games population would be willing to live with something like this.
     
  22. :lol: Apparently you are wrong ...
    Patient Saints .... keep on praying WITHOUT complaint

    Come on god! I've prayed soooo many times !!

    give it to me!:danceb:give it to me!:danceb:give it to me!:danceb:give it to me!:danceb:
     
  23. Babble

    Babble Guest

    You could PK him as I think Saints have to be dead too :p
     
  24. depends on the church, i'm sure ...
    however ...

    he'd probably just self resurrect anyways ... un-repentant :thumbsup:
     
  25. Murdok

    Murdok Slightly Crazed
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    The day they force me to play a sub-par client is the day I take my two 150+ month accounts and 20 bucks a month and walk away. I don't play this game for the eye candy cause we all know there are better looking / better client games on the market. I play this game because I love that it looks for the most part like it did in 97 when I started playing!
     
  26. Lexx Merlin

    Lexx Merlin Seasoned Veteran
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    I honestly think they should eliminate the 2d client... Those who love the game will come back to it as I have. Getting rid of 2d is the best way of getting rid of scripters and hackers in the game. Like I said, those who love the game will come back. I play only in EC and love it, even though it has some serious flaws and user friendly issues.

    I could really talk about the downside of this game all day. But in the end I keep coming back... Upgrading the game should be the number 1 priority. Then work on getting new players to this game. If they can't do that, this game will die.
     
  27. frostbolt

    frostbolt Seasoned Veteran
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    No eliminate the EC client it sucks, 2d client is much better
     
  28. Babble

    Babble Guest

    Who cares which client they support. One is ancient the other one still sucks ....
    Both are crap in the eyes of new gamers
    :p
     
  29. Yalp

    Yalp Guest

    ACK! I love! love love! Tokuno. I have multiple houses there, I use the Tok vendors exclusively! :sad3:

    Just cause it's peaceful and idyllic and not constantly invaded by ugly hordes in the middle of the night doesn't mean it's not worth it's place in the UO world..

    I must go quiet my nerves now..
     
  30. Tanivar

    Tanivar Crazed Zealot
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    <laugh> Golliiiii.....geewillikers.... You mean those dirtry rotten, etc, etc, cheaters who can program just won't write cheat programs for the EC users to use?!

    Wow....


    Yeah.... <g> Graphics are one of the obvious ones. As for much of the rest of those flaws, try Pinco's UI for the EC. Talk about having a clue how things should be done! :)


    No doubt. Removing the effect items have on combat and making them all just pixelcrack would be a good first step, then take out a minmum of 50% of the programming bugs, followed by creating a downloadable PDF file Instruction Manual for the game about 500 pages long that gives new players a good leg up on climbing into this sandbox with a decent idea of how to do things.

    Until they are willing to advertise some and point out strong points this game has that most others don't, instead of trying to compete with other games strong points, no players will likely try it because all they hear is its old, with old graphics. How many of those potential players would like the sandbox nature of the game, the ability to make friends in game and always be able to hunt with them, no matter how many hours each of them play (not to far apart in levels)? To not be locked into one character classes skill set, but be able to vary your characters skills in all kinds of intriging combinations. EA needs to stress the things you can do in UO that you simply can't in the other, so popular, basically all the same flavor, games out there.

    Until they do, this game will just continue to survive until to many of the current players pass away from old age. Probably about 20 or 30 years?
     
  31. Meat Elemental

    Meat Elemental Journeyman
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    I would trademark this quote before ea steals for advertising..
     
  32. SchezwanBeefy

    SchezwanBeefy Lore Master
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    That is the problem though. The game looks like it's from '97, and most people won't play a game from '97. Things evolve. The game some evolve graphically as well. Have you even seen the High Resolution pictures Saphireena made? They're amazing, and I think having graphics like that really would do something for the game. Right now, the game has NO NEW PLAYERS. None. And when they do start, they'll quit after the first month because many of them don't want to train skills all day long and can't get the kind of cash to make suits, so on and so forth.

    Sure, you've been here for 150 months, but the game isn't just about YOU. The game has a community of players, and it should also be made so it brings people in and is easy to play. There used to be a tutorial in the beginning, a long time ago, but that doesn't seem to be the case anymore. But money and gold sinks are another topic for another thread.
     
  33. Warpig Inc

    Warpig Inc Babbling Loonie
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    We didn't quit when it was harder to train and may have to run for your life from a pk squad.

    Most the old stomps that got us old timers to where we are, are still there for them to make their own war stories.

    There is no need for killing trees to put out some UO Bible. New players already have UOStratics and UOGuide. And if they are still confused there is always chat once they unclutter it with a long ignore list.

    Get rid of both EC and CC. Just fly the RC version of UO. RetroClient. Cleaned up 2d graphics with all of ECs bells and whistles.


    I do realize those that still run a PC with screen keyboard and system are all one unit still. The internet conection is through a cloth insulated wire. Those left so far behind are getting so small in number maybe a good Ommish gaming site is the way to go.
     
  34. ingsmsico

    ingsmsico Visitor

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    Beefy this is the best post I have read all day. Thank you.
     
  35. Cloak&Dagger

    Cloak&Dagger Guest

    I agree with damn near everything you said. Although I have seen new players, true new players not ones returning from days of old. I admit they are not coming in droves but there are a few that trickle.

    And I don't know what "sub par" client anyone is referring to. If people seriously can't get the EC to work it is time to look at their computers, and ability to install things. Things evolve, things change, get use to it.

    There has always been a tutorial in the "other" client, be is 3d, KR, or now the EC. It is not....The best? As no matter what skills you choose in the beginning your tutorial is always the same, so yes it can be a better one, and should be a better one.

    I agree with you Beefy, and I have posted why some of what you suggested wont work, and if you look around it is all to evident (Take a look over at the shard gate thread about why consolidating servers will never work) But if they took the steps you suggested I would follow along, as I personally feel they are Ideal. I guess they could take another path...when it comes to the server issue, simply make some servers invisible to accounts created after x/x/x But they still have to do something about getting new players.
     
  36. Sorry in advance for what's likely to be a very long post. I'm a long time game developer, worked briefly for Origin many years ago in my travels, and this hits many nerves and pulls more than a few strings of my heart.

    You've run through the game content, you're bored, angry that you feel it's time to leave. You blame the developers...EA....someone has let you down as you seek UO Viagra. Alas, nothing can make the game fresh and fascinating for you again. For you, and I'm sorry this sounds heartless or glib, it may well be over.

    For eighteen years I was on the other side of things, losing sleep and time spent in the physical world - going so far as to make one of my teams work on the fourth of July one year - striving to make that crucial change that would keep long time customers from leaving an MMO I was working on. And I felt this the keenest when the games were at their most successful at times. Didn't matter. I wanted to keep those people - those customers who had kept me fed and housed for years - excited, involved, absorbed in the alternate world and life we all strove to create and continue to make meaningful to them.

    Over the quarter century - let's hope there will be a second - history of the MMO, this remains more persistent than any persistent digital world. No crime has been committed here. No one has thoughtlessly let you down. Behind even the worst expansion, or the most misbegotten attempt at further development of UO, were people who gave a sh*t. Driven by passion few occupations can inspire, it's never just a job...and countless people have applied their passion to it over the years, with good results at times, and horrid outcomes at others.

    First some history of UO from the other side of the server. Created in secret - meaning created without either the knowledge or approval of Origin's new parent at the time, Electronic Arts - UO was made by people who may have been among the very few in the industry to "get" the new medium, but they were not among the most technically astute.

    The client was written employing WinG and Win32s because Windows 95 had not yet been released when development of the game began. Host libraries capable of handling huge numbers of IPs per server had already been created elsewhere but were unknown to UO's original team. And nobody expected one hundred thousand people would try to squeeze through the door. In many ways UO was technically obsolete on release.

    The rest was scrambling to compensate for this and over 80% of every incoming dollar was needed just to keep the game running and properly supported. The shard scheme was a scramble. Each UO coin was a separate object that already maxed out servers had to account for. Inevitable lag as you crossed server boundaries created opportunities for exploits no one had foreseen. There wasn't even a support client in the beginning for GMs to enter the game world with the tools at hand to help customers....it had to be cobbled together too.

    Over a decade of catch-up. Not just with those problems but with a competing product, released not long after UO, that had five times the subscriber base. But unlike UO, which viewed online gaming as a narrative told by the audience (try to explain THAT to a traditional media exec), the leveling game provided a clear path for new users to play and feel a sense of accomplishment from the very first night onward. This, far more than 3D, explains the larger success of Everquest and subsequent games.

    We now come to the first instance of a fundamental change that existing customers, and the development team which, by then, was comprised of original UO players, felt would drive people away, just as certainly as many people here believe that retiring the old client would kill the game now. Renaissance: the division of the world in two. The lead programmer stormed into the office of the Producer to announce he no longer had confidence in the game's leadership. Others held a sort of wake for the game. Shortly after its release, though, subscriber numbers doubled. UO would never have a more successful expansion again.

    Horrid missteps followed. Rather than keep trying to plug the leaks and keep bailing water out of the boat, EA thought it best to start over. They assembled what they considered an "A Team" of developers to redo UO. They called it UO II. They canceled all other game development in the studio to focus on "fully leveraging the Ultima Property." We all know what became of that, just as we know what has become of all efforts to stick a II after any extant online world.

    More mistakes followed until no EA exec cared to champion Ultima. Doing so was viewed as a CLM (Career Limiting Move). Lacking an executive champion is usually death for any game. Yet UO survived and grew to over 300,000 customers...impressive, though small compared to a market where even a primitive game, like Runescape, could attract over a million.

    It's now in the autumn if not the winter of its life. 75% of its customers left in the past five years. Two thirds of its customers live in Japan and keep the game going. Along the way, though, it became a diverse amalgam of different environments, and the richest collection of game systems in the world.

    Sadly it's also become the most impressive array of game systems in search of a multiplayer game. In many ways UO is the world's only Massively Single Player online game. Nothing is connected to any larger metagame, all the quests are solo quests, and players are forced to create numerous characters on their own to explore and experience the game fully. There's lots to do but you will run out of reasons to do it. And that brings us to this moment, the core of this thread, and the question: what would best revive UO?

    Let's begin with an indisputable point. It needs fresh players and lots of them. More players mean more revenue and more revenue means more ongoing development.

    Long time players have, as anyone would, lost the ability to see the game through new and contemporary eyes. You may love it as you would your dearest friend, but the classic client is too classic. Many of you can't see just how dated it looks nor how it drives prospects off at a glance. Screen shots of it go around the world and videos showing it can be found on You Tube.

    It's also, as Raph Koster - the original designer of UO put it - "In the hands of the enemy." Its technology cannot be defended against hacks, cheats, and myriad exploits. When an 18 year old, who has no good old days behind him, chooses to employ a client that would looked dated to his grandparents, you know something is going on that's probably not good. Kids don't "get" quaint.

    It should not be offered as an option on the introductory free trial download page. Not saying the alternative is wonderful and eye popping but it will run on current machines in high definition, it looks better to the uninitiated, and new prospects have not grown fond of that charming (and it is charming), old UO look. Grandfather it for old accounts perhaps, but deny it to new ones and plan intelligently and thoughtfully for its retirement. Mods to the EC now have options allowing you to see runebooks and containers in their original form. You needn't kill off the artistic style of UO to update it.

    Second, you need to cease development of all new features for at least a year, focusing instead on bug fixes and the new player experience. Hell, how many of you using the EC constantly see characters suddenly running around stark naked? How many of you constantly run afoul of the UI due to its design inconsistencies? How many of you are burned nightly by its memory leaks, get kicked to the desktop or lockup and have to reboot? Just make sure the veteran reward for that year really kicks ass.

    Third you need to promote the game. Literally millions of people have tired of leveling games where everyone has the same gear and is forced to dress alike, where you own little, and can leave no lasting mark on the world. These games can only create so many character levels after all.

    The Sims was the most popular stand-alone PC game to-date, selling millions and millions of copies. The core of its appeal was player control over their housing and immediate environment. True, as on online game it failed horribly because this same audience didn't want their stuff messed with. Well, in UO, you can have a full, rich experience without ever having to endure a monster or seek a healer to rez you. The world should know that and, given the nature of the web, they can be led to discover that without millions spent on marketing.

    Make pertinent what you've created. My god, this world is so full of such diverse, wondrous places that rival any Myst (the second most popular PC game of all time) or Riven. Ten years away from it, I explore this place...these cities and ruins hinting at fascinating backstories of tales untold. Hell, if the only thing you did was let people place vendors in the towns, give the NPC vendors good stuff to sell and made those goods different and appropriately themed in each town, just that - only that - would make so much of the world relevant again. Oh, and revoke these new vendor licenses if they're not restocked every 30 days....sorry...personal peeve.

    Finally, as noted up-topic, create easy to find, one site sources of accessible and current information explaining this game. This can't be just text. It needn't be full multimedia. Just allow veterans to conduct regular open access webinars as they would for their guilds, record them, and store the best ones for later viewing. And, please, create links to these from inside the client itself. They already do this from the help menu but take you to a bottomless pit.

    There's more, lots more, that needn't mean huge new investment in either development or promotional funds. Yet, still, no matter what's done, all of us must face a day when it's over for us, when no change or new feature can make it as fun or as absorbing as it would need to be to press on. They may well be no solution for that.

    Again, please excuse the long post.
     
  37. kelmo

    kelmo Old and in the way
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    Nice post Jonathon Baron.
     
  38. Cloak&Dagger

    Cloak&Dagger Guest

    I concur.

    On note to one of the things he said, The town vendors...Could be part of a greater scheme (hint)
     
  39. Babble

    Babble Guest

    Hmm so the gist of it is that UO is really outdated and technically should be put down.

    But that if done for a smaller niche population you could salvage it still for years?
     
  40. Cloak&Dagger

    Cloak&Dagger Guest

    I wouldn't say that. For one, there are so many people out there trying to get away from the "leveling" system in most games. What I got out of it is basically all the same stuff in the OP hah. Just longer...and detailed, with explanations of why it is.
     
  41. kelmo

    kelmo Old and in the way
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    Outdated? No. I do not think so. Many games have come and gone. Some have done well. Some get by... Do you think chess will ever be outdated? Is it flashy? Sparkley? There are a million board games out there "flashier" than chess...
     
  42. Babble

    Babble Guest

    Skillgbased systems are a lot harder to balance and I cannot really think of any big skillbased system on the market these days.

    Themeparks deliver the best content for your fee at the moment and those seem to work best in a level environment.
    And the casual gamer wants content on an easy basis not a complicated game with hidden rules.
     
  43. Babble

    Babble Guest

    Chess is an offline classic, though scarily I don't want to know how many players play rts (starcraft and similar stuff) and how many chess .....

    is the chess league still bigger than the starcraft one?
     
  44. Not saying UO should be put down like a sick dog. Just noting its obstacles to gain a sense of the possible.

    What should be put down are people who resist needed change for selfish reasons - who want their world to never change regardless of the consequences. For them, their UO days will likely end on a static free shard somewhere....one that gives them precisely what they say they want....something that never changes and features a very large world, eventually devoid of people. One can understand the desire, however singularly unhelpful such input is.

    Then again, were I going with my personal feelings alone, I would beg and plead for Luna be be "Maginciaed" into rubble for vendors of rares to hawk along with all their damned skinned goats :)

    This week Sony released DC Universe Online, the first true console/PC cross platform MMO. It features fresh thinking in the new player experience, better instanced adventurers and combat systems, and breathtaking environments. True, it's a leveling game but when you experience it you get a good idea of contemporary aesthetics.

    It's not the sort of milieu by any means that would attract any but the youngest UO players, though they have been the one growth segment of new players of the game: the young PvPer. And, no, I see no salvation in UO for the Xbox 360 <shudders>, or believe that adding comic book heroes to UO is good idea. No number of forged pardons could burn off such a crime.

    It's just a matter of gaining a measure of perspective of the here and now.
     
  45. Tanivar

    Tanivar Crazed Zealot
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    The experience of UO is the Game Environment and the User Interface you use to interact with it. Change one of those things and the game experience is different. Might be more enjoyable, might be less enjoyable, but it will for certain be different.

    I favored the CC over the default EC because the EC made playing UO less enjoyable. The Pinco UI with it's extensive alterations for the EC has eased that problem signifigantly. The major minus the EC has left is it's shoddy graphics. Those 'graphics' might be in the so called 'modern, better, etc' style but they look bad. The 2D graphics far outshine them.

    I have no problem with change as long as it's not bad change. I've bought every expansion since joining UO in 2000 with the only one I really regret buying being this last one called High Seas. It should have died on the drawing board. It made the AoS change to item focused play look relatively good, and I dispise the item-cased play.

    Making bad changes for the sake of change is what is hurting this game. The UO:Ren change cost UO customers, The AoS changes cost many many more. I was here to see the number of players in game drop dramatically with the infliction of AoS on UO's customers. Few houses dropped, but clearly those many players had started spending thier playtime elsewhere. You no longer saw them playing UO. Change, merely for the sake of change, is a Bad Thing(tm).
     
  46. DenAlton036

    DenAlton036 Guest

    well said OP..

    They need to put Jonathan Baron in charge of EVERYTHING UO! That was by far the best post I have ever read regarding this topic. It all just makes way too much sense. Thank you Jonathan Baron.
     
  47. Cloak&Dagger

    Cloak&Dagger Guest

    While true it does not take away from the facts of the things that UO needs to "move forward" if you are a believer that we don't need to move forward then that is fine, and I agree with you as I pointed out your statement is very true.

    Just wanted to point out, this is the selfish reasons he was talking about....the defualt EC offers no less than the default CC. And you not liking the graphics is just further proof of selfishness.

    Good and bad are relative terms to the perspective of the person saying them. So to say you are ok with change so long as it passes your judgment is either selfish or...arrogant. Arrogant to think that you can judge for everyone. Question though, what mechanic of High Seas do you not like? I mean, I understand not liking the fact of all the bugs...but what actual purposeful aspect is it that you are against? (should ask this in another thread but it is here.)

    As far as anyone knows the time prior to UO:R was costing them more customers than the change did, of course this is only if you believe the developers. I agree with AoS but at the time, it was thought to be a good change...I suppose due to the nature of all other games and their success? I can not say what was going through the minds of the then developers and their bosses. Change is unfortunately needed, perhaps not every change ever made...but changes are needed for any game such as this to survive. If the game was forever static you would see the same results as AoS. (although I guess GM ran events or other story driven methods of involving the players in the RP part may have kept it afloat, but I do not think it would have been "thriving")
     
  48. Although the player base of UO doubled shortly after the release of the Renaissance Edition - this is a fact, and not subject to argument or dispute - you are far from alone in your belief that it had the opposite effect. I've encountered MANY players who believe this as firmly as with as much certainty as they do their own names. The reason: many people left. Chances are many of those many people were people you knew in the game. Thus it's natural to remember it as a time of mass exodus. It was. It was also a time of mass arrival. We all got little trophies celebrating the latter, though many on the UO development team itself grieved over the former.

    Another inarguable fact: any change in an MMO is disruptive. Folks who grin as if high while blithely saying, "Change is good," are fools. Periodic disruption, however, is not always necessarily bad and change, while not always good, is nonetheless necessary. That's what inspired this thread: a player leaving because he'd become bored and needed changes in the game.

    If nothing changes, everyone leaves.

    If something changes everyone is disturbed by it in some way. When people cease to be disturbed....that's when you're in trouble because that means they're ceasing to care. This doesn't mean that you your job as a developer is to **** people off. It doesn't mean you change things purely to change things or, as you put it, change for change sake. It means that keeping a game fresh will always make some players furious, alter the ways others play the game, be greeted by some with anger that it took you so long to do what you did, and the players for whom the game has been made more interesting...well...you'll never hear from them...they're too busy trying it all out.

    A further fact regarding change in MMOs: players always perceive more change than actually took place. After an update your scrutiny of everything is keener. As I said...it's disruptive, on many levels and in many ways.

    But you've got to do it. And it's ALWAYS a huge, but necessary risk.

    That's the subject of this thread. What changes are needed to please customers while growing the game. Pendulum like twinking and nerfing linger long in memory. As they say, "That'll leave a mark." Thus, as with the notion that Renaissance hurt UO's numbers, the belief that developers are constantly, thoughtlessly, stupidly and wildly messing with things is skewed usually....and understandably.

    In short, if you want no changes at all, you've been heard.

    Now, back to the topic at hand.
     
  49. Thank you Johnathan ... carry on as long as you care to
    The gentle breeze through the aspen bare branches caused me to huddle in closer to the dying embers.

    Kids don't get quaint. marvelous, though some what incorrect. Some do, its just more likely they're institutionalized in some manner.
    bugs, gotta go ... and they gotta go completely. that and some of the high rez graphics vis a vis a local talent Saphrenia(sp)

    and ya can SKIP the advertising and boxes ... a new epoch is here. yeah Digital over paper and boxes and brick and morter.
    Being a long(still) anti port to mac guy ... Gotta nuke for the rest of the crowd

    Bug free high def 2d on IPAD ... booyah!!
    just not likely to happen. The center has not held.

    Thank you Johnathan ... carry on as long as you care to
     
  50. Babble

    Babble Guest

    I don't fully agree with your philosophy that things need to be shaken up to grow.
    That only works if you expect more new customers than you lose and does not really consider polish and customer wishes.

    WOW does well with being not so innovative, but taking working models and polishing it. They did shake up their game with Cataclysm which definitely aims at players who left to bring them back, but then they hav surely millions which left and return just to see the new lands.

    I see no reason for UO to constantly add new things which make your character stonger just to fulfill the gear hunt addiction. WOW and most other item based games do that a lot better.
    Either UO should concentrate on giving players more items to decoratetheir houses/environment or decide to tell stories in intervalls to keep players interested.