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UO, player base and subscription

Discussion in 'UHall' started by Splup, Oct 13, 2011.

  1. Splup

    Splup Guest

    Hello,

    Ultima Online will never regain its golden age player base with this 10-17 $ /month (Depending on your country, subscription length and currency) subscription. The rest of my post is wrapped around that.

    Many of us vets look back to early 2000:s, or even till as late as around 2006 while we still had a large and solid player base on multiple shards. Many think how the game was better back then, but in my opinion, we don't look back to the game mechanics like we often think. The times were Golden because we had such a player base. Now days UO would be still absolutely great, if we just had multiple times more players than we have now.

    If you look at the price-quality of UO now, there are many newer and cheaper games around. Yet, something keeps this game alive, and it is its uniqueness. UO would still have the potential to get back the player base it deserves.

    There has been many posts about the same subject, many of them probably better than mine, but I want to keep this thing on the table.

    Let me know if you have same kind of experiences, but from my UO friends many have changed to micropayment games (LoL, Conan, LOTRO etc.) because of two reasons:

    1. UO has too few players, it has lost its feeling from being a real MMORPG to empty cities, dungeons and in PvP fighting the same couple opponents every time. (Yes, I know Atlantic still has players but that is it.)

    2. The subscription just feels expensive compared to experience UO is now that the shards are quite empty, especially compared to micropayment games.

    Maybe the fact that I am European affects my experience, since both Europa and Drachenfels are Dead compared to what they used to be, and yeah actually quite dead even without comparing.

    If micropayment system was implemented instead of monthly subscription, EA would steal huge bunch of Freeshard players, and kill many of the freeshards. It would bring back many old players to try it out again, hopefully many of them would stay. These "Come back to Britannia" one free week of UO is just not attractive enough to get old players back.

    Bigger player base attracts more players, same power that rules in all business. With bigger player base the micropayment system starts bringing the income in for the company, and the UO could thrive back to its glory again. But yeah I am very aware, that the micropayment to work it would have to increase UOs player base dramatically. I am not sure if it's a risk EA would ever be willing to take, but I like to at least dream about UO with full shards again.

    I would like to have discussion, how would you like to see this micropayment system working, and the following is just one of my ideas and it is not me saying that This is how it Must work.

    The players who already have accounts, would have the access to the continent they have already paid for. New (and not more updated) accounts would have access to Trammel and Felucca for free. The extra continent you need to buy. And of course the players who already have some of the things I am suggesting to be for sale, would get to keep em.

    Account that have not been active for 2+ years would keep their current upgraded content, but otherwise counted as new Free Account.

    Free account would be limited:
    * 2 characters (Those old accs would get to choose which 2 are activated, rest you need to buy active again)
    * No housing
    * Smaller bank space
    * Tram and Fel only
    * Only human race
    * Only basic UO skills (Lets say skills before AoS?)
    * Only 3 soul stones can be linked to account

    By micropayments you enable things on your acc (and I mean like 1-5 $ things, not like 15 $ to active one of the new skills)


    Other things to sell in UO for $:

    Well, all the tokens etc. that are already for sale, I am not sure if some of these already are

    1. Special looking mounts
    2. Make your robe invisible token (I'm so tired of everyone looking the same since robes got mods lol)
    3. Other eye candy to make your character look unique
    4. Sandals and earring with minor mods (Weight on the word MINOR)
    5. Soul stones
    6. Alacrity scrolls

    Well, you guys keep the list alive, I am sure you have great ideas.

    But one thing:

    Please, do something about www.uogamecodes.com it looks so terrible that why would anyone ever want to buy anything from there. Except if they absolutely have to.
     
  2. Alvinho

    Alvinho Great Lakes Forever!
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    No I already paid for SA access ML access, and all the upgrades already asking me to pay for them twice is basically stealing from me
     
  3. Splup

    Splup Guest

    Well I wrote "The players who already have accounts, would have the access to the continent they have already paid for."
     
  4. Winker

    Winker Babbling Loonie
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    UO is on its death bed, EA/Mithic now pin there hopes on Starwars which is set to be released in about 8 weeks time. It may take a large chunk out of the exsisting UO population killing UO even faster. As sad as it is we have to face up to it, that we had a good run of it all these years. But everything must come to an end at some point.
     
  5. Ludes

    Ludes Babbling Loonie
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    Star Wars is not the same as Ultima.. Many Ultima players might also play Star Wars, but I doubt the game will "take away" many people from Ultima.

    I play on Catskills mostly and I find it to be fairly populated. Not as populated as it was back in the day.. but far from deserted.

    And new players will never come to this game with the existing client. Eye candy is too important to younger players that have been aquaintted with video gaming all their lives.
    Anyone that thinks Ultima Online will be saved by some mass exodus of new players is dreaming.
    We're it folks.. the people that play it already are what's keeping it afloat, everytime we lose a subscriber, for whatever reason, it brings us one step closer to the day that EA pulls the plug and we all have to go to free shards.

    It might be saved with a new client and some advertising, but too many people have stated in no uncertain terms that they would quit if we get a new client. Losing that many subscribers on the "chance" that you'd get a bunch of new ones is a gamble no company would take.. So Ultima Online is damned if they do and damned if they don't.
     
  6. RioGrande

    RioGrande Adventurer
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    In my opinion UO dont need younger players,most of my friends ingame are above 40,and some of them are not 10 year veterans.
    I think "older" players like the old UO graphic much more than the newer ones in other games.
    And i bet there will much more new (mature) players if the world know about UO,but with absolutly no sales promotion and our terrible new-account management to go first time ingame that will never happen !
     
  7. Mirt

    Mirt Certifiable
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    signed
     
  8. Ned888

    Ned888 Seasoned Veteran

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    So.... what would an actual subscriber get?

    Maybe it would be best to just drop the subscription fee to 5.99 a month or so and boost that income with a cash store of some sort.

    Higher population of lower paying customers = Lower population of higher paying customers... except for the fact that there will be more people and more word of mouth.
     
  9. Woodsman

    Woodsman Guest

    This isn't a free account.

    This is a trial account.
     
  10. Kayne

    Kayne Guest

    Exactly we need the game to be advertised. However now that I'm all sorted on the new account management thing its actually no harder to use than the old one.
     
  11. aarons6

    aarons6 Certifiable
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    i wouldnt mind if they made the trial accounts a free to play account.

    they cant do much. most people after they play a bit and want more they will end up paying
     
  12. Woodsman

    Woodsman Guest

    It would be a lot easier for them to just extend the time limit on the trials than coding up a new free-to-play system, which wouldn't be free anyways.

    They already said this week they won't be taking the BioWare MMOs free-to-play anyways.
     
  13. Tina Small

    Tina Small Stratics Legend
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  14. Zosimus

    Zosimus Grand Inquisitor
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    I play that. Never ever had I paid a cent for anything and still got with the guild and alliance Lord Of Ultima ona couple of worlds.


    Truly I think EA looks at it this way. Well UO lost more people so just add more to the subscription cost to make up for the loss of players. Just like the increase a few years back and the excuse for so called "better customer service." Makes you wonder if they will even try to make another feable attempt of an excuse.
     
  15. Woodsman

    Woodsman Guest

    It borrows UO placenames, but that's about it. I thought it was funny when the new Ultima producer said it wouldn't have happened if he was around, but that there's nothing he can do about it. Usually you don't see one part of EA criticizing another, especially since Lord of Ultima is under such a big group that is probably on par with BioWare.

    I don't want to drag up Ultima Forever drama, mostly because we don't know what it is other than social networking is probably involved, but when you look at the new Sims Online Facebook game, they have like over 50 million players within just two months. It sounded like Barnett wanted to do something with Ultima and facebook, probably like the D&D facebook game Dungeons & Dragons: Heroes of Neverwinter | Facebook

    If it was the old Ultima games converted to Facebook, it might be interesting, and that Neverwinter game is actually not bad as long as you expect it to grind. I was kind of surprised at what was possible with an RPG on Facebook, but I really wanted to play in real-time with friends.
     
  16. Prawn

    Prawn Journeyman
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    Your statement is horrible. If anything, Diablo3 will kill UO not starwars lol.. get your **** straight.. UO still has till the beginning of 2012..
     
  17. Woodsman

    Woodsman Guest

    And Guild Wars 2 and Torchlight 2 and the Kingdoms of Amalur MMO, and Blizzard's 'Titan' and any number of things. Star Wars is pretty far down the list.

    2012-2013 are going to be incredible years for MMOs and RPGs though. And just imagine if Bethesda decides to go MMO with Elder Scrolls after Skyrim.
     
  18. deadite

    deadite Sage
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    Bethesda (or rather Zenimax) is already working on some secretive MMO. Matt Firor, an ex-Mythic guy who was producer at the beginning of Dark Age of Camelot, is heading it up. I've been waiting for years to see what they're cooking up. Hopefully it's an Elder Scrolls MMO!
     
  19. Ned888

    Ned888 Seasoned Veteran

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    I know I said it before, but just to reiterate, I really believe they will keep UO going for a really long time. There's something to be said for having the longest running MMO in history under your corporate umbrella. It lends a certain amount of 'experience via association' to EA that they need.

    Just my opinion though.

    Anyway, I really hope they don't come out with an Elder Scrolls MMO. The games are too damned good to ruin by locking them down to a single game. Bethesda will spend all their time on the MMO and no more games will come out afterwards. That would be a crime!
     
  20. Woodsman

    Woodsman Guest

    I think UO and Camelot for sure.

    BioWare Mythic: WAR not in any danger from SWTOR, but not going F2P | PC Gamer

    Of course, he goes on to say that they care about the community of players, which is incredibly absurd when you look at all three communities and how they are treated.

    That guy is way up the chain - he's in charge of all three Mythic MMOs.
     
  21. Uriah Heep

    Uriah Heep Crazed Zealot
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    And after 12/21/2012 it won't really matter anyway! :mf_prop::popcorn:
     
  22. Splup

    Splup Guest

    Truedat lol
     
  23. Raptor85

    Raptor85 Certifiable
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    The sad part is that UO is even competing with diablo at this point, that probably lost them more players in the long run than anything....now that UO plays so similarly to other grind rpg's why not play one with better graphics?

    I want my freeform, non item-based MMORPG back!
     
  24. Ned888

    Ned888 Seasoned Veteran

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    I want your freeform, non item-based MMORPG back too! Unfortunately, it seems that the trend is going in exactly the opposite direction. A prime example is this bard suit that was posted this morning. Ridiculously OP and completely beyond reasonable.

    Sad....

    http://vboards.stratics.com/uhall/253188-bard-armor-set-[imbued].html
     
  25. soze

    soze Seasoned Veteran
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  26. statman

    statman Visitor
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    Wizardry Online is going to crush UO. Basically because both these series came up together and so WO will appeal to the old timers who play UO.

    Set to release in 2012 it will sport perma-death, and many old-style PvP rules that the original UO debuted. Plus it will be f2p! Good bye UO.
     
  27. Woodsman

    Woodsman Guest

    These two things do not go together:
    UO was at its peak well after consensual PvP was added with Tram.

    As much as I loved the Wizardry series, Wizardry Online is anime-looking as hell and I don't know if I can see myself playing it:

    E3 2011: First look at Wizardry Online | Massively

    Personally, I think Diablo, Guild Wars 2, the Torchlight MMO, the Kingdoms of Amalur MMO, and the upcoming MMO from Blizzard are more of a serious threat to UO. Plus the Neverwinter game has been pushed back a bit to turn it into a full MMO. God help us if Bethesda does an Elder Scrolls MMO.
     
  28. Woodsman

    Woodsman Guest

    These are a couple of good posts from a Warhammer thread that is applicable:

    Granted Warhammer had serious problems on launch, some of which still aren't fixed three years later, but not only are those posts perfectly valid, but they appy to UO as well.

    Obviously Star Wars is sucking up a lot of resources, but soon they'll be winding down. Furthermore, the BioWare executives have publicly claimed that they, not EA, decide how Bioware games are handled. They've got several hundred developers, artists, support, etc., but there is nothing stopping them from putting additional resources into all three games and building up their numbers.

    Nothing.

    In fact, if I were running BioWare, I would have been putting new/additional resources into all three games as a hedge against Star Wars having problems or losing a lot of subs quickly, because if Star Wars doesn't live up to the hype, people are going to go right back to any number of MMOs that are not UO, Camelot, or Warhammer. This is a valid point that has been raised many times for all three games.
     
  29. Kaleb

    Kaleb Lore Master
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    People do not play free shards because they are free, and for a majority they played EA at one time, the reason they play them is that they offer Ultima Online (the populated ones anyway). They offer what for the most part what Ultima was about(pre AOS). to say a lot will come back if UO was cheaper is absurd considering most of these people are hard core UO purists, meaning they would have more than one or two accounts (I had around 10-11 pre AOS). They would gladly pay the going rate if Mythic offered something to them to make it worth while, but that option is now off the table. There is only one thing that would bring those people back and it aint gonna happen.
     
  30. Dermott of LS

    Dermott of LS UOEC Modder
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    ...

    Yeah... heard this one before... 13 years ago.

    Perma-death + non-con PvP in a build-up fantasy setting = Perma-death to the game itself.

    Which MIGHT be the ONLY way they get people to play it... good luck with the buy-ins with Perma-death over your players' heads though.

    Doubt it.
     
  31. Trebr Drab

    Trebr Drab Guest

    UO is too far gone. With the exception of Draconi, they have wasted far too much time and expense on failure over the years. Today, we have a game that needs heavy work in all phases, and a dwindling player base that's left to like what everyone else left because of.

    It's a sad thing. UO could be the all time game, still today. Instead, it's such a wounded puppy that it should be put down, and just build an all new game based on the founder's game plan in a modern game. But few developers even believe in that game plan. There really is no hope. Maybe in years to come, with new people in charge and an industry rising from the ashes, maybe then.
     
  32. Kayne

    Kayne Guest

    Sometimes I wonder how much EA would sell for given the chance. Be nice if someone who loved UO (including tram) had the money that would convince EA to give it up.
     
  33. Woodsman

    Woodsman Guest

    EA would have to be in worse financial shape than they were a few years ago before they'd sell off properties. They'd have to be laying off like 30% of their employees.

    They would rather sit on properties that everybody knows could generation millions in profit if they'd do something with them, rather than get rid of them. Just look at all of the studios and properties that EA has acquired over the years that they've since buried.

    A part of me thinks it's because they have eventual plans to either revive them or license them (Syndicate is being revived as we speak, Chris Roberts is shopping a new Wing Commander around, and there is definitely a new Ultima project in the works), but a part of me also thinks that they are afraid that if they sell them off, that somebody will take them and make a ****load of money, leading EA shareholders to grill the EA CEO over why EA just sat on these properties.

    What's really crazy is that EA is still out there tossing around money on new IP - they just spent $750 million earlier this year to buy a game company. Just imagine if they sat down, drew up a list of all of the IP/franchises that they own, that are inactive, and then spent $750 million on reviving the ones that everybody are familiar with or putting them on iOS or Facebook. I've thought that when you factor in the licensing fees paid to George Lucas, that it would have been far more profitable if they had put $200 million into a Wing Commander or Privateer online game than Star Wars.

    Just a sample:
    Origin - Wing Commander, System Shock/BioForge, Strike Commander/Wings of Glory, others (they are bringing back Ultima)
    Bullfrog - Populous/Powermonger (they are bringing back Syndicate and Dungeon Keeper through third parties), Theme Park,
    Maxis - SimCity
    Westwood Studios - I don't even know where to start
    Kesmai - Air Warrior

    Those are just off the top of my head - there are so many titles that have never seen the light of day since EA kiled them or their studios off. Hell, there are a ton of games that they could bring back for iOS and Facebook. They did make attempts at reviving SimCity on iOS and a few others.
     
  34. Evlar

    Evlar Guest


    You know, in an era of "re-imagining" (the latest buzzword for "remake") in the TV and movie industry, it surprises me that hasn't been more "re-imagining" of some of the many classic games titles there are.

    EA are sat on a boat load and it perplexes me the huge sums they've gambled on new IP's, rather than take full advantage of all the existing "classic" IP's they have.

    Think about it...

    You're able to tap into at least two generations of gamers with some of these titles. Parents who played the original games in the 80's and 90's, plus their kids, who are the "current" generation.

    I look at the Elder Scrolls series as a great example.
     
  35. Woodsman

    Woodsman Guest

    It really doesn't make a lot of sense when you look at all of the IP they have tucked away somewhere.

    George Lucas is going to get his money from Star Wars: The Old Republic. How much of that $200 or $300 million is headed to Lucas, how much of those $14.95 a month subs are headed towards Lucas, who knows, but George Lucas is not a cheap date.

    I think a $150 million Wing Commander or Privateer online would make a lot more profit than a $200 million or $300 million Star Wars when you factor in the LucasFilm licensing.

    SimCity is another one - they botched it on iOS initially, they really botched it with the SimCity Societies garbage licensing.

    And you brought up Elder Scrolls. What about an Ultima with a budget of Dragon Age, Kingdoms of Amalur, or Skyrim?

    I don't understand EA a lot of times.
     
  36. Trebr Drab

    Trebr Drab Guest

    EA really has just been pithing away what they do have anyways. They're a game company and don't have a clue about building worlds, which used to be their motto (based on what someone they let get away had built).

    No, Garriott and his crew "built worlds". EA just tears them down for scrap. But EA isn't unlike any of the other big game companies. Companies don't have "vision". That takes special people.
     
  37. Zosimus

    Zosimus Grand Inquisitor
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    This is my opinion on the matter.

    EA buys any gaming company that is up and coming.

    After they buy them they tear them down and move people around or out the door.

    They sit with games they can make more $$$ with if they gave them enough attention but they rather make less $$$ with no resources.

    They rather pour a ton of money into EA games that were created by EA than the companies they buy out.

    Lets use Mythic Entertainment as an example.

    Electronic Arts purchased Mythic Entertainment and renamed the company EA Mythic on June 20, 2006.[1] EA Mythic renamed themselves back to Mythic Entertainment on July 10, 2008.[2] On June 24, 2009, it was announced that as part of EA's restructuring plan Mythic Entertainment and BioWare would come together under a new RPG/MMO division headed by BioWare General Manager Dr. Ray Muzyka. It was also revealed that current General Manager of Mythic Mark Jacobs had left EA on June 23, 2009 and would be replaced by Rob Denton.[3] According to General Manager Dr. Ray Muzyka the company is now called BioWare Mythic.

    Im waiting for the above to be updated just called Bioware like it never existed.

    The fact is customers are stuck between a rock and a hard place. You either just be content and continue paying for the subpar products or you quit paying and deal with another company.

    You are damned if you do or damned if you dont when it comes to UO.
     
  38. Woodsman

    Woodsman Guest

    For a while, it seemed like EA Sports was dominating EA (and Garriott and others have said EA Sports impacted them) and sports games just require that you make a few improvements and change the names on the jerseys every year, that's it.

    I still think BioWare will go the way of Origin in 10 years.
     
  39. Woodsman

    Woodsman Guest

    Ponder this, in an interview with the head of Sony Online Entertainment, UO is mentioned, as well as plans for the original EverQuest (to keep it going for years to come)

    EverQuest Next taking inspiration from Star Trek movie reboot - News at GameSpot

    "Our task now is to take the game and evolve it and make it into something new for today's fans."

    So anybody from BioWare listening?
     
  40. Splup

    Splup Guest

    EA seems to be too much just defending it's position rather than trying to invest resources to something which needs lots of work and devotion.

    It is sad that EA at the moment lacks ability to innovate and take risks, they are not able to go outside their comfort zone.

    At the moment thou EA is so big that it can do that.