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UO in 2008 Reorientation

Discussion in 'UO Spiels N Rants' started by Duskofdead, Dec 6, 2008.

  1. Duskofdead

    Duskofdead Sage
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    Hello all,

    Please forgive me in advance if this post is in the inappropriate place. It's been ages since I've used stratics -- in fact, I'm pretty sure I haven't used it for anything since I left UO sometime back in 2003 or 2004. I remember the Spiels and Rants area being where I did about 90% of my posting so it was the most familiar place for me to return to.

    Basically, I'm posting this as the monster 2.29 gig trial client is downloading. I decided after years and years out of game (and, in fact, assuming that UO must be long gone or entirely Japanese/Korean by now and unplayable for an American) to give it another try. I consider this more of a nostalgia romp than anything else, and if things have really changed positively enough to give me a fun time, I may stick around. (I actually missed the skill profs, especially now that my WOW account is about 9 months cold in the ground and WOW's skill/profession system ALWAYS left me horribly missing old UO.)

    I was a Napa Valley player -- my primary character was named Starbuck. I was involved in a couple of "events" in game such as the infamous Trinsic undead attacks and at one point, very far back in the mists of history, I had a short stint as a Dread Lord back in the old notoriety system (I cleaned up my act prior to the introduction of the Reputation system, so I slowly earned my way back up to "blue" without having to deal with all the murderer death stat losses and such which were implemented later.) I was really, though, more than anything, a townie. Trinsic was my home city and I pretty much met all of my in-game friends there, either in stores or at the bank or hanging out just outside of guard range by the northwest gate. (The road to Britain.) I was around for the addition of Delucia and the new lands, and then the addition of Felucca/Trammel. I believe my original time in UO ended somewhere in the vicinity of 9 months or so after the Fel/Tram change. It had less to do with the change per se than because by that point, very few people came into towns anymore (everyone had a huge house and spent all day playing the UO version of "The Sims" in it and not really doing anything with anyone else) and the game had really gone off the cliff in terms of some pretty bad account ebaying and gold purchasing. At that point I felt like a lot of the things that I most enjoyed about the game (professions, particularly when some things started to cost more to make than they would sell to NPC's, forcing you to have a house and vendors and hope people passed it to buy stuff, and also the fact that towns were pretty dead with people only stopping there to bank and not answering you) were gone and it was time to call it in. It was a good long run and though I felt at the end that many of the design changes had contributed to the new "unfunness" (like power hour and other things which encouraged a powergaming playstyle) I mostly had good memories about my time in UO.

    So basically, I'm something like.... what, five expansions/major content patches behind the curve, I have not seen, touched, or watched anyone play UO since sometime in 2003 or early 2004, the last time I loaded it up basically. As I said I didn't even know it was still in active U.S. existence. So any pointers, tips, advice, or "hey you might wanna have a heads up about this" comments would be appreciated. What people who have continued to play in UO's current incarnation have to say about the game will factor into whether or not I stay after the trial period, as well.

    Thanks all in advance.
     
  2. Korso

    Korso Guest

    Oh this should be interesting. Please post your thoughts after you've had time to play UO again.
     
  3. Duskofdead

    Duskofdead Sage
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    I spent most of today in game, my first day back since 2003ish. I will write up some thoughts about it tomorrow.
     
  4. Duskofdead

    Duskofdead Sage
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    1. I don't really like the changes to crafting. I started off with a tailor and the stuff he made was selling (even when well made) for like 6gp to the NPC's. An item I know, for fact, used to sell for 28gp now goes for 6. What are new players supposed to do, sell plain shirts to other players? That's kind of a laugh. It also doesn't help that why bother when you can just do an escort every 5 minutes and make much more money with much less micromanaging than mass tailoring. It used to be at least moderately profitable pretty much as soon as you could start reliably crafting things.

    2. They added too much junk. Power scrolls, deco, uberpotions, Diablo 2 style gear enchantments, I'm lost. I came back to UO but it feels like a UO total conversion to a hybrid of D2 and WOW. The CHARM of UO was that gear was just gear and everyone was capped at 100 of anything. If I feel in the mood to play a game where "well yes there's a cap, sorta, but the hardcore players exceed it" I could just play WOW couldn't I?

    3. There are no players. This is a bad sign for an mmorpg.

    4. I am shocked (maybe I shouldn't be) that EA did not learn from earlier lessons. Back when I was a newish player, each town in Britannia had its own community, and Britain was regarded as like the New York Stock Exchange. Then they added these scripted automated "town attacks" which hit at first Trinsic I believe, and later included some of the other towns. But Trinsic got it really bad, like I think 2 weeks+ with no guards and high-HP elite undead wandering around. Well, of course some of us tried to fight for our hometown but you know how it is, to a lot of players town is just a place to hit the bank and some basic services. So all of those people during those weeks bled off and joined other towns. This was kept up for awhile and by the time I left, there really wasn't a substantial regular player population anywhere but Britain and then a very small population for the smaller towns that had mostly been left alone like Vesper and Minoc. Now everyone only hangs out in Luna (and even then it's not al ot of people.)

    5. The Tram/Fel thing is pretty bad today. It wasn't so bad in the beginning, but now, basically it's "you won't encounter anyone in 95% of Trammel" and "you won't encounter anyone in 99% of Felucca." I loudly defended Tram at the time it was new because griefing had gotten VERY bad, but I would have readily admitted to anyone that I felt it was the laziest possible extreme solution to the devs never bothering to make an actually sensible notoriety/crime system that wasn't exploitable in an obvious way. (like how Reputation made things WORSE with everyone ganking someone who attacked a thief or PK who stayed, or returned, to blue status.) I guess in the long-term now with the population much lower I'd have to view it as a mistake overall to create Fel/Tram, because nothing was really done to control or restrict antisocial behavior at all in Fel from being excessive, and then the game just gave all sorts of incentives to have to go there for things.... it kinda seemed self-defeating as an answer to griefing behavior.

    6. On the POSITIVE side, everyone seems extremely nice to a (young) player. In particular two people have been very generous with their time, and a lot of people have handed me valuable things for no reason. But from what I was told by one of them, "You wouldn't be surprised at this treatment if you knew how rare it is to see a new player. That's not surprising, but it's kinda :sad4:

    I know it should be expected that the game's population has really died off, I guess I was just a bit wide-eyed thinking that at least in some small part coming back would give me some of that UO feel. But I never realized how much having a lot of people crowding around you at the bank (much as you hated them and wished they'd all go get lives at the time, haha) were part of that and now that it's empty, it's just not the same experience at all.

    7. I read in another part of the forum that they're opening a UO Classic shard on 1/22. If this is true, I may have to go join it. I can't say I care for all the WOW-esque powergamer stuff they've added like scrolls and cap increases and such, nor do I think I'd get any enjoyment trying to "catch up" to the established players with 5 houses who already are all geared and powered up.
     
  5. 4th3ist

    4th3ist Journeyman
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    I can't speak to much about it right now, I'm on my way out the door, but I will say I've just returned after resigning around the same time as you (shortly after pub 16). I've been playing for about a week on and off now, and I've enjoying myself. Although, people are more anti-social and neon colored then ever... I can't even get people to say Hello to me. Ha.. So yes, the nostalgia is defidently a big part of me not having reclosed the account yet LOL. I'm just playing a big single player game with a lot of content (mostly new content in my case). I've visited every single Tram/Fel town during various times of the day and they are all dead.

    When I first recalled to West Brit bank to do my banking upon reopening my account, loading KR, and spending 20 minutes looking at the interface and grinning at the new client, I almost cryed when no one was there at 6PM. Heh. Made me feel alone in the world kinda. Then I realized Luna was the new place to be. That is, if you're eyes can handle bright neon colors blazing around on your screen this way and that.

    So far to keep myself interested this is what I have done. I found a nice house plot east of the Destard entrance on the other side of the mountain to play around with when I'm bored and set up a hub for all of my characters to pass items and runes etc back and fourth. I've been exploring the new lands (and there are A LOT of new lands). Revisiting many of the old towns which I spent the most of my time in (Jhelom, Skarae Bare, West Brit etc). Going through old runebooks and seeing if old friends still have the same houses (nah, probably all quit o_o). Interesting to note though that some spots I had like a destard stuck spot is blocked now.

    Anyways, if you're opening a new account as opposed to reopening you're old account on Napa, shoot me a PM and come over to Catskills. I could use some company on my adventures :)
     
  6. Duskofdead

    Duskofdead Sage
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    I was not under the impression that old (as in, years years years old) accounts COULD be reopened. I thought that was a relatively new thing that WOW did to encourage re-signups. Is that possible?

    At any rate, I signed up, and have been putzing around on Napa Valley again (my old haunt), but have not accomplished anything so great there that it's irreversible. I guess the only trouble is, if Cats is as dead as you say (and Napa is certainly no 24/7 party either) I'm wondering if sticking around is worth the subscription fee.
     
  7. 4th3ist

    4th3ist Journeyman
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    Just find some friends to run with, that sound illeviate the problem. Also, if you remember you're old account info, go to ultima-registration.com and everything should still be there. But either way, give me a hollar if you're ever on catskills :p
     
  8. Duskofdead

    Duskofdead Sage
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    Will do although I'm thinking if they open an Ultima classic ruleset shard (I heard whispers on other forums here of them doing that later in January but I have no idea if it's true) I may go join that one. I'm very nostalgic for UO 'the way I remember it' and while vanilla classic UO lacked a few good things that came later (like the ability to lock skills/stats-- you couldn't do that originally when I started so you never had "perfect" stats/skills) overall it's the game I really had the most fun in. And if they did open a classic shard hopefully a larger number of active players would return and play on it than we can presently find on most of the still existing shards. (I get the impression from the number of houses but the conspicuous lack of players that a very large number of players are either only playing from their game house and logging off, or even only maintaining their accounts at all just to keep their houses and not really playing.)
     
  9. I just logged in recently after a 3 year "vacation".

    I tried other massive online games since...WoW, Runequest, DnD Online.
    But quit after a couple months. Nothing quite compares to when UO was new and "hip". I started playing UO back in the beta testing days.....

    I'm amazed at how few players I see.
    I've been playing for a couple days and I've only seen a total of 20 players on various shards in that time.t used to be SO BUSY round Brit Bank now it's a ghost town. Are there more players in the NEW LANDS????

    I haven't loaded the ML, or Samurai stuff yet because it's like another 30 bucks.

    Lol....you can just park a house pretty easy now. I place one in like 10 minutes. We used to patrol and check house signs for decay......and when there was like 24 hours left there would be a crowd of people waiting to place a house (and get loot) once the old one decayed.

    I'm going to play my month away. I'm kinda antisocial and play on my own anyway...but it's pretty lonely and depressing.

    There needs to be players for it to be a massive mutiplayer online game....right?

    I was able to use my original account....it says its 61 months old....but that isn't right cause I created it in like 98? I have some GM's to play...and a couple characters lost some skills for some reason......but playing GM's can be somewhat entertaining.....

    Just Killin time now......I found one of my guilds Purple horde is still active !!!

    -Bear
     
  10. I just rejoined from a seven year vacation, too. I've gotten over the KR learning curve, and finding UI mods to deal with the bugs. On the community side, I've experiencing all the same issues. I used to play Pacific but started up on Chesapeake based on latency. As it turns out, it's fairly populated (on both facets). It's nothing like it used to be of course, but it isn't nearly as bad as on the other shards I've decided to play for a day. Not so much a single player game here :p If you can move on over, I do advise it. I have had a few guilds offer to take me in and many players lending a hand. The people here are not large in numbers, but definitely dedicated players.

    Also, nostalgia :D
     
  11. Duskofdead

    Duskofdead Sage
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    If you could recommend a good UI mod, or even better yet, if anyone knows how to play in the 2d client (I'm using the "full client" free download so I didn't get to pick and choose what expansions and such were loaded) that would be great, I can't say I care too much for the KR interface.

    I've already put a good amount of time on my NV chars, or else I would consider shard hopping. Honestly part of the experience is being here on the same shard where all my characters lived and died. Although at least compared to the description you are giving, my shard is much more dead. That's pretty sad, considering that Napa is consistently like fourth from the top in order of shards by population logged in. The ones further down must be completely abandoned or very near.

    I typically see maybe 1 person at a time in New Haven, and about 5-6 at a time in Luna (totally AFK and devoid of responsiveness, so it doesn't really feel like people are there anyway, none of them ever respond to questions), and that's it. The stupid faction invasion crap (please stop that junk, EA, it's pointless, if you need to give faction grinders some targets to kill spawn them elsewhere please) means that on the rare occasion I can actually safely walk through the old cities like Trinsic, Britain, Minoc and Moonglow, I do not see ANYONE. At all.

    It's sad. I want to reexperience that feel but it's just not there to be had. As someone once told me, in reference to my bemoaning the total abandonment of all the lowbie starting zones in WOW (when I was into that game), "what you really want is a time machine. See you in the next great mmo."
     

  12. The thing on your profile is based on the number of months that your account was active.

    You can find the exact account creation date on the account management screen at UO.com.


    And welcome back! It's good to see so many old timers returning.

    I guess a lot of people hit the ceiling in WoW and are looking for a more open-ended game.
     
  13. Tak

    Tak Guest

    What makes me smile is that developers finaly have realized the most important thing in an online game: 2008 people need a reason to do something.

    You just got the biggest armor in WOW, but nobody cares. You dont have a clue about the history of the item and no clue why you fought the enemy to get it. How interesting is that compared to a game where people hail you for beeing a freakin hero?

    Biggest mistake UO devs made was to take a look at the stats and eliminate roleplayers and people interested in UO's story. "Only a bunch participate in GM events? Cancel it". That clever decision was the beginning of a nice chain reaction and people left.
    Bliz..made same mistake and now they try to get the "My efforts are something worth" atmosphere back in that Lich Thing addon. But a nice and easy to follow storyline and classic RPG elements arent enough. That people willing to communicate that atmosphere which WOW had at its beginning are gone.

    Anyway, as more items in UO as better, its 2008!
    That new event programm will bring back many people. It will push pvp and serve item farmers well (new players).
    To introduce that kind of faction gameplay was right!
    To introduce it in a way that no casual player will ever understand it was wrong!
    Macroing in KR is a plain fun part of the game!
    Loosing your house AND items after three months is stupid, it kills every motivation to come back after a short break!
    Which isnt the case if that event programm works
     
  14. Duskofdead

    Duskofdead Sage
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    I ALWAYS missed UO, I would never want a fellow UO'er to be under the impression that I left for WOW until it got boring and then came back. I left UO... well, to borrow the cheesy political cliche, in the period after Tram Fel when they were implementing things like Power Hour and various other unpopular changes, I just felt like the game left me. It became more powergrinding and less community oriented. People would log in, do their power hour, log out. Or log in, solo with all their play time, and then just hit the Brit bank to macro trade. It really wasn't, even back in like '01, the same game I had loved from launch till then. The crowd had changed, more people had joined, I know a sentiment from a lot of us oldbies was that we had gotten "flooded" with kids who were playing the game like it was D2 or something, trying to build the max uber character and never bothering to get into the spirit of the game in the way we all used to.

    The crafting in WOW was particularly limp and always left me extremely nostalgic for UO. Especially since my favorite crafting prof in both games was cooking and WOW's cooking was so clearly inferior and just meant to be a pointless skill levelling timesink. There was virtually nothing practical you could make using basic food items, everything involved going out and farming some particular animal or monster and hoping a particular meat or ingredient would drop when it died. Although in both games I would have to say they underutilized food and it should have been required, I would have made health and mana regen and fatigue regen rates severely lower when underfed or in a hungry state. And I would have made hunger operate off game hours which means you'd have to eat at least every other Real Life hour or so to avoid this state, thus creating a demand for food. :)

    But yes, WOW is pointless, if you are casual like me and refuse to sign up like a part time job to commit to certain hours and take orders from 13 year olds in order to join the raiding community and "advance" once you are level 70, there is nothing meaningful for you to do. You can't even enjoy PvP because you have to be super well geared or else you are merely cannon fodder for the players who are.