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[UO Herald] Producer's Interview on MMORPG.com

Discussion in 'UHall' started by UO News, Jan 9, 2012.

  1. UO News

    UO News RSS Feed
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    The 15th birthday of Ultima Online is approaching in 2012. MMORPG.com started the year doing a short interview with UO Associate Producer Bonnie "Mesanna" Armstrong.

    Ultima Online has been on the market for almost 15 years, can you tell us why you think it has such longevity?

    Ultima Online is the ultimate Sandbox. We have something for everyone from designing your house from the foundation up to slaying dragons. We are probably the only game on the market that you can still run on a low end computer, in addition to the personal one on one interaction with the players that has forged an amazing community. I personally have played UO since 1997 and worked on it since 1999 and I continue to learn or see something new and entertaining every day.

    Follow the link to read the complete interview.

    See you in-game!



    More...
     
  2. JoO

    JoO Seasoned Veteran
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    Saw "Producer's" from the forum list, thought it might be the producer's letter. I am sad.
     
  3. AdamD

    AdamD Guest

    Ah, nice of her to do interviews with "select" sites, then

    Still waiting on our uoforums interview from about 2 years ago, sigh. [​IMG]
     
  4. silent

    silent Lore Master
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    I don't blame Mesanna for this, but all I hear is blah, blah, blah. The UO team should really try and use these opportunities to offer some real information. Would it hurt to leak out what dungeon is next? Or anything to get people talking instead it's the same old rhetoric.
     
  5. AirmidCecht

    AirmidCecht twitch.tv/airmid
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    Good Lord but I cannot get over the debbie downers sometimes.

    Mesanna deserved the attention and interview she gave. It's nice to see UO highlighted anywhere and draw attention to our upcoming 15th anniversary.

    Sometimes a nice thumbs up is appropriate and goes a long way to show Mesanna her efforts are appreciated by us players. It's not always considered butt kissing to say something nice Sooo....

    :thumbup1::thumbsup::thumbup:

    Thank you MMORPG and Mesanna.
     
  6. Rupert Avery

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    I agree its nice to see them getting out there any way shape or forum! some people might come back or try it out because of that interview! I doubt anyone would leave because if it.

    I loved her twist on the fact UO's graphics aren't great by saying
    love that!

    :thumbup1::thumbsup::thumbup:
     
  7. Thrakkar

    Thrakkar Slightly Crazed
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    LOL. Me too.... :-/
     
  8. R Traveler

    R Traveler Babbling Loonie
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    Craziest screenshot I seen so far.

    ШУХЕР
     
  9. Spiritless

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    Despite the fact it's complete and utter nonsense?
     
  10. The Craftsman

    The Craftsman Lore Master
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    Is that it? 6 questions? Which must have taken what, 10 minutes?

    I especially liked the bit that went:

    "As far as bugs go the players play a large part as to when a bug is fixed."

    This wouldn't be the bugs that are still around for 10+ years then would it?

    I also liked how it had a World of Warcraft advertisement plastered right in the middle of the interview.

    Very poor. If you're going to do an interview, at least have something original and interesting to say.
     
  11. Kylie Kinslayer

    Kylie Kinslayer Grand Inquisitor
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    :eyes:

    The UO Team --- Damned if they do, and damned if they don't.

    :wall:


    Sorry y'all seem to be in a no win situation with some folks. However I am glad y'all still take the time to do interviews etc. After all it's not like it is a MANDATORY job requirement, I think folks would do well to remember it's a voluntary thing.
     
  12. Tina Small

    Tina Small Stratics Legend
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    Wrong.

    According to EA's own posted job descriptions, a game's executive producer does have the responsibility to "sell the value of [his] game across EA and [the] industry. This includes interviews & meetings with the press, partner companies, EA executives, etc."

    https://jobs.ea.com/roles/specialty/?id=a1R500000004CDiEAM
     
  13. Kylie Kinslayer

    Kylie Kinslayer Grand Inquisitor
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    Aight, I stand corrected, I was wrong. But, she has done interviews and met her obligation. My real point of the post still stands tho :gee:


     
  14. Rupert Avery

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    I agree with you there Kylie... Give them a break... you all moan about the game we love so much but how many other MMO's can boast 14 years online? I don't know any some people might I bet there is not a lot of them anyway!

    The team has changed over the years as has who runs it above them but we have kept going!!

    Show some support for the Dev team and their efforts... I would hate to think they come to work dreading the negativity we can see.

    as one Dev team personally said to me lately
     
  15. Tina Small

    Tina Small Stratics Legend
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    Wrong again. The dev team works for EA's owners, i.e., the investors who own EA stock.
     
  16. Woodsman

    Woodsman Guest

    No offense, but MMORPG.com reaches a larger audience of non-UO players than UO Forums or Stratics does. If they want to sell this game, they have to go preach somewhere else other than in front of the choir.

    It didn't feel like much was said. They would have been better off talking up new graphics and showing them off, because the old stuff ain't going to sell to younger players.
     
  17. Kylie Kinslayer

    Kylie Kinslayer Grand Inquisitor
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    Ok, let's just take everything literally from now on, instead of enjoying the analogy and sentiment of we work for our players because if you don't play we don't work.
     
  18. Celestial Knight

    Celestial Knight Adventurer

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    aye
    Will future issues be fixed or be sweep under the carpet?Only time will tell.Intill said time please hand me the gloves and shovel >I am staying with uo 13 year player and yes i am addictive to uo its the only game i play(yes i have played other's)uo offers me everything i need in one game .Keep in mind the carpet is wearing thin and the shovel is for the pile of dirt one step at a time with patience.
    Yes i know i am a trammie and whatever other names a few pple who read this will call me :(
     
  19. Petra Fyde

    Petra Fyde Peerless Chatterbox
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    There are multiple bug fixes in every publish. Reporting a bug and fixing it are two very different things. First they have to find out what's causing it - which isn't always straightforward.

    This interview wasn't aimed at us, therefore it doesn't have much information that's of interest to us.

    Are they treating us like mushrooms? Or avoiding the fall out if they say something is planned and the plans don't work out?

    Does this thread encourage Mesanna to come here and expand on what she said, secure in the knowledge that she would be among friends since we are all fans of the game? - That's why we're on a fan site isn't it?

    If I were her, I'd be avoiding this thread. There's too much of this in it.

    [​IMG]
     
  20. JoO

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    Every so often I come to the understanding that this game is on the backburner with EA. Simple as that. No matter how much I love it, want it to be great. They just simply can't share the same passion. It isn't in the budget. It isn't a good business decision. I understand that. Do I have to like it? No. It is a brand they acquired. It probably makes a few bucks. Its a good place for developers to train or go to die.

    I will play, it will never be the game it was. I will expect more than what they are willing to give. :wall:
     
  21. Mirt

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    These propaganda interviews as some call them are a good way for the devs to drum up free attention to UO. Lets say her 15 minutes of time helped bring a few new players into the game that would be well worth it in the long run don't you think?
     
  22. Kylie Kinslayer

    Kylie Kinslayer Grand Inquisitor
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    Agreed, or draw some players who left the game back. I know of a few returning vets who returned as soon as they heard of the legacy dungeon revamp.
     
  23. MalagAste

    MalagAste Belaern d'Zhaunil
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    Yes with a screenshot that is beyond poor? You honestly believe someone in todays market is going to look at that and go "Wow! That game looks awesome"..... and want to play it?

    *shakes head*

    Granted I'm glad Mesanna took the time to do the interview... don't get me wrong... as far as team members go she's above and beyond with how much time she obviously devotes to the game. I can tell from the many interviews with the EM's that she is very devoted... not to mention the many times I myself have spoken to her. (Though sometimes it's difficult to get my points across and I often wonder what good it does since many issues are still here)... But sometimes the issues that are brought up are fixed very quickly.

    But I agree with the sentiment that it was just the same old song and dance nothing new. But then I didn't see that anything new got asked either. In her defense I really can't see that given the questions she could have said much else besides what she did. One thing I'm glad of is she actually DOES play the game. I think that's important.

    That said I seriously doubt any of the DEV's play the game in the EC. If they did things there would get fixed sooner. I hate that the EC is treated like some bad stepchild. Reminds me of how 3rd dawn went... lots of hype at first then it just sort of lost it's steam. I know several don't use it but more and more are trying it thanks to Pinco's UI and other folk like myself who promote it often. From the poll done here on stratics it would seem that a bit over 1/3 of the players actually USE the EC daily... and around half use it on occasion... That to me says that with a bit more work and improvement we could gain a majority at some point. To me using the EC and improving it could certainly help the chances of bringing in newer players and keeping them.

    But those are just my thoughts.

    Happy for an interview sad it's the same ole stuff... wishing for more communication...


    And tired of being kept in the dark. (ie like a mushroom)...
     
  24. Lady Storm

    Lady Storm Crazed Zealot
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    Petra is quite right!

    Your what has she done for me lately attitude is very anoying to say the least.

    I have had the pleasure of having Mesanna in my home on Origin for over 30 minutes one day last year. In that 30 minutes she needed to be excused over a dozen times as her office was invaded by other Dev looking for guidence and help. The woman was soo busy she couldnt catch her breath much less deal with why she came in the first place.

    My hat goes off to Mesanna "Bonny", who works her tail off to keep our game running. Now I have no clue as to the new head honcho who to me has yet to show his noodle around here. But I for one thank the stars for Mesanna and her dedication to us.

    You all forget she is one of us! Bonny started in 1997 playing UO. I know of her from her days playing on Napa Valley. She has worked her fingers off to keep us entertained and the game up in working order. Yes this includes keeping content from us. Where would be the fun if you knew everything that was to happen...... the words "BORING" come to mind that I have heard before much too much.

    I might not agree with all the changes and things added and subtracted from uo but when it comes to dedication you cant get much better then Mesanna.

    Just my 2 cents....
     
  25. Zosimus

    Zosimus Grand Inquisitor
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    I agree :)

    UO recieved some free advertisment with the interview. No matter how a person(s) feel about a dev, they missed the point. Plus it's part of any producer to put their product out to be seen and heard. The interview was on a larger site for any online players to see.

    I agree with Woodsman also. I would of preffered more updated info not the same information being passed around to the current community if it was really directed to the current community only. Now it would catch the attention of ex UO players and possibly new ones but using old graphics and not a new updated version will not attract many new players.

    The information was more directed to former players and possbly new ones imo. We as a community can always ask when you see a brand new player post here on stratics where they may have found about UO. Maybe it was from an article like the above, or a friend, or just searching the interweb. If we can try to understand how players find UO maybe we could help the UO devs use that to advertise UO more :)
     
  26. Woodsman

    Woodsman Guest

    Many other MMORPGs have serious discussions with the players and talk about a lot of future plans.

    UO, Camelot, and Warhammer are pretty unique in that we are kept in the dark.

    BioWare's premium Star Wars MMO, they make sure to blitz us with all kinds of information, about the game as it currently is, and about future updates. Blizzard makes announcements about WOW many months in advance. The RIFT team does a lot of communicating about future changes as well.
     
  27. Woodsman

    Woodsman Guest

    It does serve to remind people that UO is still around, and might bring back some old UO players, but it would have been better served if they talked about the graphics updates and maybe showed it off a bit.
     
  28. Mirt

    Mirt Certifiable
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    Actually the first thing she said about it being a sandbox is what I though was useful. Your right graphically UO isn't the hottest thing on the market. It never will be but yet Mesanna managed to hit on the head all the things that make UO different. The sandbox. The fact that you don't need a super dooper rig to make it go. The interactive player events in the EM framework. She talked about what is changing. We need to accept that there are some coding issues that we are not going to overcome. UO is an isometric game. Which is fine but we are never going to win graphics awards. So any day the devs want to champion content I am happy about that because that is UO's selling point.
     
  29. JoO

    JoO Seasoned Veteran
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    Riot Games, who makes League of Legends. Has one of the best dev team to community relationships I have seen in any game I have played recently; and it is F2P.
     
  30. Martyna Zmuir

    Martyna Zmuir Crazed Zealot

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    Add to this list a plethora of F2P MMOs, including several that were designed to be played on smart phones (Pocket Legends and Star Legends being shining examples).

    And we share a "Community Coordinator" with two ther games, and he can't even be bothered to cross-post announcements to the Herald half the time, let alone actually interact with the UO community.
     
  31. Tazar

    Tazar Guest

    Not wrong... Mesanna is an Associate Producer - not Executive Producer...
     
  32. elspeth

    elspeth Guest

    They do fix things that we bring up. Just because they don't fix everything we want them to fix doesn't mean the bugs they choose to fix aren't "player-driven".

    The latest example I can think of are the mannequins (and what a great addition those were eh??). They had a fix for the "friend" problem like a week or less after it was first posted on these boards. And has anyone noticed that they now accept the major Tokuno arties? I was pleasantly surprised to find that. I think mostly they need to work on communication. When they fix this stuff, it should all be included in a comprehensive bug list and it should be added to the top of the patch messages as well as posted on the official webpages.
     
  33. unified

    unified Guest

    You are correct. And, as long as nostalgic players continue to cling onto the 2d client and threaten to leave if it goes away, then no further progress can be made towards getting new subscribers.

    I say EA should call their bluff. Sure, they may lose some subscribers, but let them go and take their cheat programs with them. If they concentrate on producing quality graphics and a quality client, those who love this game will certainly stay, and new subscribers will come.
     
  34. lucitus

    lucitus UOEC Modder
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    You are right the quality is lost, i dont like this word dungeon revamp, i hate the dungeon revamp, it shows how UO vegetating, there is no class in the system. Colored monsters okay no money for new ones, this lootsystem, i dont know a relic fragment creating system, little boss monsters on every level a good idea but a pink soulforge altar, all in all a lot of monster with much hitpoints but the same than before and it looks as bad as on freeshard.

    5 years of wasting client development, 5 years and nothing than a beta created, i wished they can see the error in their ways and reintroduce the old 3d client.

    I think also it can go wherever they want, the community now is satacsfied or not interested in all or who does really say the last year was anything good created?

    But iam still here complaining!

    It can only better, worse than last year it cant be ;)

    Long live UO!
     
  35. Woodsman

    Woodsman Guest

    This idea that the devs and producer have to be careful of what they say because somebody might get upset if things work out the way they were told, is very misguided.

    I don't know where it came from, but outside of UO, Camelot, and Warhammer, no other MMORPG teams act like this.

    None.

    I probably get half a dozen emails a week from various MMORPGs that I play or played, talking about future plans in an effort to entice me to come back.

    But UO? They don't want to say anything for whatever reason. It's all treated like it's national security.

    Sure they'll blitz me with information about Star Wars the Old Republic.

    And Blizzard will will talk about expansions that don't even have a release date. They released that press release and the videos and screenshots back in October, and here we are in January, and nobody knows when it will come out, but they continue talking about it. From forum discussions, it sounds like it will be out next summer, a good 8 months after announcement.

    It is really bizarre how UO, Camelot, and Warhammer are treated. That is the best word I can come up with. Bizarre.

    I think it's great Mesanna is out there talking to people, but let's start hearing details. Every other major MMORPG is out there talking about their future. We get buzzwords and vaguely worded statements that tell us nothing about UO.

    Where ever this mentality about not releasing details of future UO plans came from, I wish Jeff Skalski would end it, and talk to us and give us substantial information.

    BioWare officially controls UO, I wish they'd act like it. They pump out all kinds of information about games that haven't even been released yet, but UO? Apparently it's some kind of national secret.
     
  36. Shamus Turlough

    Shamus Turlough Lore Master
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    Greetings All,

    I have removed a few posts in this thread that were either zero-content, or served to inflame an already quite passionate crowd. I will not lock this thread (yet), but can we please keep it civil?

    Thanks!
     
  37. Martyna Zmuir

    Martyna Zmuir Crazed Zealot

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    Note: This post has some general rambling along the lines of Woodsman's points. :devil:

    It started early with UO as there were many systems that were talked about like they were just around the corner by the original Dev Teams...But nothing materialized or was mysteriously scrapped after being in testing a few weeks. The original coded design for necromancy and 'advanced alchemy' were on TC back in the day. They hit a few snags (such as invisibility and rainbow potions crashing the server) then pulled the plug without saying why. Then we have the Virtues... a few released, then the rest never made it past design docs.

    Players bitched about this...and rightly so. Now they are scared to tell us what they are doing in case plans change. *shrugs* It's sad.

    However, when we look back at 2011 and what was talked about by Cal.. we saw only a fraction materialize. Arenas and Shame. I honestly can't call the terrain update "finished," since there are still some that has issues (plus, there are people who can barely tell the difference). Where did the New Player Experience go? Where did the 3rd booster go? Where did the umpteen promises of "increased communication" go?

    Considering that the last major UO email newsletter that was sent out was borderline fraud, I think I can forgive them this one... :p (re: borderline fraud - it promised returning players access to arenas, something that wasn't actually released until over a year later...)


    Agreed. I like Mesanna and think she's done great things for/with the EMs, but I was disappointed with the 'interview.' It didn't tell us anything beyond the canned 15th Anny hype we've heard over the last year, and it sure as hell didn't say anything which would draw in new (or old) players.

    Speaking of old players, I think it's hilarious that people think they will come back in droves. Especially those who quit over AoS. The Shame revamp is AoS on crack tossed in a technicolor blender. Itemization on steroids. Yet now, we get items with even more properties. Yay? The bloom is already off Shame's rose after only, what, two months? This doesn't bode well for rolling the loot system out to all the dungeons...

    Speaking of new players... Sorry, but while the interview might potentially interest a few people still into sprite-based games, those who play anything modern will only laugh at us. We still have no NPE to teach any newbs the game (the EC's 5 min NPE is pathetic). I can only hope the NPE is what they're so silently working on.

    Edit: Malag's point about the screenshots they used for the article is correct. They are god-awful. The first one even has graphical artifacts dotted across it. I really hope these were screenshots taken by mmorpg.com and not ones set to them by a BioWare Mythic PR drone. And really, would it have hurt to have one of the screenshots be from the EC? Especially with the odd mention of 'high resolution' graphics?

    I wish Jeff would talk to/at us period. He's posted here 15 times here since 9/15/11 and a total of once to the Herald. Not an auspicious start.


    The only thing I can think of is that UO/DAoC/WAR carry the stigma of not originally being BioWare's products, but being ones forced on it by EA. Thus, these three games get the backburner treatment when it comes to the flow of capital and are not the 'first choice' for new hires at the studio. Even now that SW:TOR has launched, I highly doubt things will change. Why put money into something old when the shiny new toy has everyone's attention? I really hope I'm wrong.

    The Ultima Forever hype is just that. Hype. Seriously, who (here) really cares about a Facebook version of Ultima V? (Shut up, HD. Don't even start about 'Chinese UO') This website ties in nicely to your national secrets point, Woodsman. The site's been up quite a while now without any sort of substantive announcement...the Ultima wikis are FAR more informational.

    For those who cite all the "negativity" on the boards as the "reason" they don't post, I call BS on that - you're just making up excuses for terrible CS. They are adults. I'm sure they can handle criticism better than the average high schooler. They work for EA, after all.

    *sigh*
     
  38. Ezekiel Zane

    Ezekiel Zane Grand Inquisitor
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    I'm tired of this. So what!

    What does it prove? That UO's graphics still suck? That a majority of UO's players refuse to allow the game to move forward graphically or else they'll quit?

    The five year old computer my daughter uses runs the EC just fine. If it didn't I'd upgrade it. It currently is an AMD tri-core 3.0GHz and Radeon 3800 GPU. I could upgrade it to a 5000 or 6000 series card for less than $100 if I needed to. If it meant improved look and feel to the game and to attract new players I'd have no problem upgrading. Every other computer I have has a 4870 or better GPU.

    It is stupid for UO to continue to attempt to allow everyone with a Pentium and an AGP graphics card to play. Buy a new freaking computer.
     
  39. The Craftsman

    The Craftsman Lore Master
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    Ironically some people probably did go "Wow! That game looks awesome"..... and want to play it.

    Considering there was an advertisement for Wow plopped in there right after the first question!
     
  40. HD2300

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    EA has spent squillions marketing and advertising SWTOR. I wonder, when are they going to start spending money to market and advertise UO Too. ;)
     
  41. Picus at the office

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    Rarely do I read a post on the forums that deserves a total +1 but this is the winner. I'd love to see some real conversation from the dev team but it is so clear that this is just not going to happen. I'll say it again, and it will get deleted again?, this is the slightly official forum for the dev team to post and place ideas SO PLEASE POST HERE ON A DAILY BASIS.

    I'd love it if I could have Mesanna tell me to shove off, I'd be fine with that every day if it came about that we had some conversation but this is beyond silly. We are all grown ups, most of us have been playing the game for a very long time and we are excited to see it move forward but when you have no contact save for some random stuff once every two months you have to wonder if your sweetheart is shagging some other guy.
     
  42. LadyNico

    LadyNico Always Present
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    Considering where the interview ran, I think Mesanna pitched it just right.

    Like it or loathe it, nostalgia & low-spec 'pute requirements are two of UO's strong points.

    The CC screenshots serve as a warm, fuzzy visual reminder of UO for those gamers who had played or even dabbled in UO over the last 15 years.

    With no reference, amongst players with little to no experience of UO past *or* present, using EC screenshots would simply have raised snorts of derision particularly when unfavourably compared with modern gaming graphics.

    Thanks, Mesanna, for once again going the extra mile in promoting UO. I hope you'll continue to ignore the ingrates.
     
  43. DenAlton036

    DenAlton036 Guest

    Well said!
     
  44. soze

    soze Seasoned Veteran
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    without re-posting Martyna Zumuir's entire post....it was very well put together.

    More and more, i get the feeling that UO is unimportant to EA, and in fact, probably, soon to be unprofitable....the player base is shrinking. At the very least, we are not expanding.

    and I think that there may have been some "hope and change" BS associated with Jeff (New Producer)...but I think he only has one foot in the pool. A lot of talk, little action. An inauspicious start, indeed.

    I will admit, it's tough to be imaginative with Ultima...the player base is demanding and hard (at times) to please. But they are loyal, and love the game and (at times) easy to please...we are a complex bunch to say the least.

    all in all, this game requires more resources than EA is willing to commit. I fear they think that the game has ran it's course, and while they may not trash it all together....they will not go out of their way to improve it, or even fix some issues that exist.
     
  45. AdamD

    AdamD Guest

    I quite agree, but that doesn't mean you completely, 100%, ignore the fansites which have help kept you in a job and the game alive, for coming upto 10 years now.
     
  46. old gypsy

    old gypsy Grand Poobah
    Professional Stratics Veteran Campaign Patron PITMUCK

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    I may be an oddball, but I'm not unhappy with the 2d graphics in UO. Quite the contrary. And the game is so full of great content, it's a "sandbox" I could play in forever. With its 15-year birthday coming up, I'm feeling both happy and optimistic... and very grateful that UO is still around. :)
     
  47. Carharrt

    Carharrt Guest

    Right on,so sick of see`ing a bunch of disgruntled has beens posting their drama BS. You quit remember? Let it go and go proudly post on the forum of whatever game you migrated too. Bubaiktks.

    Those that post UO/EA/Dev hate but still play.... why the hate? its still online,still being supported and somehow thats not good enough. Its a low budget low revenue game. Get it thru the hard wooden heads that this will NEVER be a WoW contender. I for one am glad of that. **** and moan when the lights are off and you can no longer come here a drone on and on about how you would do it or how they should.

    Good job Mesanna thanks for the interview! GJ to those who help support UO as well. Some of us appreciate what you do and know it is a hard job that gets no kudo`s from your community.