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UO's Current Development Choices

Discussion in 'UHall' started by canary, Mar 2, 2011.

  1. canary

    canary Guest

    Am I the only one that is concerned with the choices the UO team has made in what goes into UO?

    For example, Magincia. It appears a decent amount of programming time went into it. Oddly, though, it comes from things that I do not see people ask for. Like... at all.

    There are tons of questions, ideas and innovations that players ask for. Heck, some ideas have been tossed around for literal years and are widely wanted by the p(l)ayers of Ultima Online. Yet they seem to be ignored for other ideas that seem far less popular and pretty much out of left field.

    Do you feel that the developers currently have a good grasp on what many want from their Ultima experience? What would you like to see, and what do you find is wanted by a large number and seemingly ignored?
     
  2. LoL/Sonoma

    LoL/Sonoma Guest

    I'd have to wait and see what actually happens with Magencia before replying. At this point all i've seen is a bunch of conjecture and "the sky is falling" posts.

    The only concern i have with it is that they fix some of the worse bugs in High Seas before developing new content. I still can't place a ship with two of my chars. =P ... invulnerable pirate ships are a horrible problem as well (as you spend a ton of money in cannon mats before you realize it is invulnerable).
     
  3. ChReuter

    ChReuter Guest

    I'm just mystified how they hold onto steady employment.
     
  4. Nexus

    Nexus Site Support
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    You know, it's hard for us on this end to understand their time lines, and how the prioritize. I'm sure there are tons of things they would love to be able to put in from our postings and ideas, but.....

    We don't know how those ideas might conflict with things already scheduled, I know for certain that the Thanksgiving and Christmas events/items 2 years ago were already being worked on in August of that year for an example of how long it takes for things to go through the works, we also don't know how those ideas might conflict with existing things already in place in the game. There is also the thought that it's quite possible the benefit of a change would only effect a small portion of players while it has detrimental effects on a larger group, or it has a positive effect on a large group with a devastating effect on a smaller one.

    These are all a small sampling of things that they are having to weigh and consider, and we simply don't have the insight into their meetings to brainstorming sessions in order to judge their actions. It's pretty safe to say most of the things that come out in a publish have been in the works 3-6 months getting upset because something isn't in the next publish or two isn't reasonable on our end, we simply don't have the knowledge of how the process flow is going or where it is heading in the Bioware/Mythic UO offices. How long have they been talking about the Magincia rebuild? A year? 2 Years? You can pretty much assume as long as it's been mentioned, it's been in the works in one form or another.

    Sure there are some things that would be great, Like something similar to BoD books for seeds, but how many people does that effect? 75-100 per shard, maybe? I'd rather see them put in a fix for something that effects 80-90% of a shards population than something that effects less than 10%.
     
  5. ChReuter

    ChReuter Guest

    Can you really blame people for their anger? Nothing this dev team has done is developed, it's all in development. Halfway finish something, move on to the next project to not fully complete. Failed deadlines. Forgotten projects and promises.

    Of course my biggest gripe is treating people like idiots and thinking that the same tired responses will get over on them. The excuses have started to look like defense mechanisms addicts use while caught up in active addiction.
     
  6. Nexus

    Nexus Site Support
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    They are in a No-Win job, they aren't going to please everyone and they know it. Better to avoid an answer than to start a backlash that could draw attention away from the positive benefits of a publish. Other companies do the same thing, the company my GF works for is a prime example. Their board of directors made a statement saying they were hiring a consulting group to research if it would be a good thing to sell the company. The management in the companies, various locations tells the employees that they are researching how consolidate their stock to avoid a take over, it's all panic control.
     
  7. LoL/Sonoma

    LoL/Sonoma Guest

    I cant blame people for being *disappointed*. Anger is a pretty extreme reaction for a video game, but i can understand wanting something different than what you are given.

    The point of my statement is people are projecting past failures on the current project with no evidence (that i've seen). Should they fix the most recent addition's bugs first? Probably, but i dont set the development schedule ... and bug fixes dont generate the level of excitement that new content does. Also, as Nexus pointed out, while certain items are important to ME, they dont affect everyone where new content technically does (everyone at least has an equal opportunity to take advantage of the content).
     
  8. Woodsman

    Woodsman Guest

    The good news is, things like Magincia won't happen in the future. They aren't going to have these long-running events hanging over their heads. Moving away from those should allow them to do a lot more bug fixing, etc.
     
  9. LoL/Sonoma

    LoL/Sonoma Guest

    As long as they do another event where i can collect rubble ;)

    I missed that event and was bummed!
     
  10. canary

    canary Guest

    Yes, but anyone with enough months on their UO accounts know how quickly they flip flop their notions.

    6 month booster packs? 6 week publishes? KR will not be hampered by 2d client? Ilsh can only be accessible in the Third Dawn client? Etc, etc, etc.
     
  11. Heartseeker

    Heartseeker Guest

    Spot on.....

    Not sure why they are going in this direction at all.

    The new player experience is going to take some resources and most likely will be used by a handful.

    Same goes with Magincia... go figure.....

    They think they know what is best; unfortunately only a couple of devs actually play this game..:(
     
  12. Hanokh1967

    Hanokh1967 Guest

    This.

    Cal can barely write a paragraph that makes sense.

    I am still trying to figure out the thing about flying in a jet being related to him not being able to tell us yes or no about a classic shard in "print" vs. a video.
     
  13. HD2300

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    I am still trying to figure out what "Not Right Now" means. LOL.

    They should stay clear away from any live Q&A video. Seemed like they are just making up stuff as they go along.
     
  14. Dakkon Blackblade

    Dakkon Blackblade Seasoned Veteran
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    It's simple, there are a steady group of subscribers who will keep paying for this game no matter how much of a ramming they take to put it lightly. Some people are still deluding themselves by thinking this game is ever going to be taken seriously again in the market.

    Yes if only they advertised, or put the game back in stores it would totally sell right alongside it's betters.

    Just another dangled carrot, you know that as well as I do although at this point I imagine most of the classic shard supporters have finally moved on.
     
  15. jaashua

    jaashua Guest

    This. Just seeing how casual and disheveled, mentally, they all look made me wince.

    Also, there really is only one direction for UO to go in. Drop everything and get the EC up to 2011 levels in terms of graphics and animation. Even if it means no patches and no bug fixes and no new......housing deco sets. You give us UO:Diablo III and you increase the playerbase so substantially, that you now have the funds to drastically increase your development resources. Patches, balancing, content, bugs fixes.....all increase in pace.....which, in turn, brings in even more people. THEN, you can sit around thinking about hundreds of different possible potential ideas.

    Just looking at how utterly content the devs look with how things are going is beyond baffling and a little disheartening.
     
  16. HD2300

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    Mythic is going milk dry this old cow until there is nothing left, keeping it barely alive by feeding it only the cheapest scraps.

    How UO is now, is how UO will be in the next year or two. It is a Facebook game and this is not going to change. I have accepted this.

    The End.
     
  17. WildWobble

    WildWobble Sage
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    Don't expect 3rd rate programers / developers who were bannished from the good jobs to the 13 year old dino we know and love as UO to do much. If they don't play the game its just a job to them and they do what they are told by the big company calling the shots who listen to market resherch and data statistics to determine the direction their product will go.
     
  18. HD2300

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    A fair response is that because the team is now smaller than what it was a year ago, you would only reasonably and rationally expect them to deliver in the next 12 months, less than what was delivered in the last 12 months.
     
  19. copycon

    copycon Guest

    The funny part is, some popular free shard alternatives have literally made EA / Mythic / Bioware look foolish regarding the level of development progress they have accomplished in their free time and in a fraction of the time that EA has been given. Not only that, but free shard administrators are most often involved in shard activities and communication on a daily basis, and often design and run in-game events personally. FOR FREE...

    Yes, it is true that there are more chefs in the kitchen and more red tape in a corporate environment. But, that is no excuse for the level of neglect that UO development progress has shown and the paying subscribers have received.

    I have moved on completely from "official" UO with the latest announcements, and for anyone else who has an interest in experiencing more of what UO has to offer, I urge them to do the same.
     
  20. Woodsman

    Woodsman Guest

    LOL, you've never actually met any developers, have you, especially game developers? They look exactly what development teams look like in every place I've worked or visited, and if anything they are a little more dressed than a lot of the game developers I know.

    Do you think they should be wearing suits and ties :lol:

    They look like every UO dev team I've ever seen or known. If anything, they look a little more dressed up than when UO was being developed in Austin, but it's probably colder up there at this time of year.
     
  21. Woodsman

    Woodsman Guest

    Only to people who have never actually worked with large companies that have production servers and a multitude of responsibilities, many of which have nothing to do with in-game content.

    I'm not a fan of EA by any means, but seriously you need to stop and think about what goes into the production shards, the kind of beating they can take, the amount of redundancy and backups available, etc., versus somebody doing this on their own.

    I'm still surprised EA gave them the money for the new hardware.
     
  22. What is the point of a new player area anyway? They should allow Magincia to become a player (influenced) city like Luna if anything or just leave it destroyed and create some proper ruins for players to adventure in (like in Ultima 4 and 9).

    Why do we need a new player city? That's what New Haven is for! We don't want these "solo players" being attracted to areas hwere they can just do their own thing amongst others. We want social interaction. Heck social interaction is the only thing that will keep them in such an ancient game..
     
  23. copycon

    copycon Guest

    Obviously I don't know the day-to-day responsibilities that the current development team has, but I can tell that those responsibilities are rarely taken seriously. I'm actually shocked at how poor and unprofessional the development team handles nearly every aspect of their job (communication, presentation, current and future plans, development progress, meeting deadlines, etc). I'd bet that if EA ever considered issuing a customer satisfaction survey for general consensus, the result would be an embarrassment.

    The service level that EA has provided for their paying customers has been appalling and I'm surprised at the number of people who continue to endure.

    About the hardware? Don't kid yourself. Hardware is cheap, and it is costing EA less to maintain a modern hardware platform due to power savings, warranties, maintenance and virtualization. Hypothetically, if EA consolidated multiple 1-2-4U rackmount servers to a single blade chassis with an attached storage array or SAN, the cost savings are astronomical in comparison over a 6-12 month period.
     
  24. DENNAR

    DENNAR Journeyman
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    A better question might be:

    Why do we need a new player city? How many actual new players are signing up for UO?

    Is it on the shelves in stores?
    Is it being advertised in print or on TV?
     
  25. Tina Small

    Tina Small Stratics Legend
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    Canary, I don't know what to think anymore. I was able to watch the first 30 minutes of the House of Commons and just finished reading the entire transcript that Deckard posted on the UOJournal site. I will be extremely surprised if the EA public relations people allow the community folks to post a recording unless it is heavily edited first. The overall impression I got both from viewing the live discussion and reading the transcript was that the team was just flat out unprepared to talk about UO in any kind of detail.

    When you see two videos three months apart that make the team look like they are just winging it from day to day and when the actual size and composition of the development team is treated as being a huge secret, it is difficult to have a lot of confidence that UO's future will ever be any brighter than it is today.

    I get the feeling that the team is just playing it safe with what they pick and choose to do and trying very hard to not alienate a core group of veteran players who all gravitate towards the same playstyle that is centered around attending EM events and buying/selling/collecting so much stuff that they have to maintain multiple accounts to handle it all. I seriously doubt they will ever get around to trying to revamp factions or otherwise reviving PvP unless and until the power and stat scroll supply situation becomes critical. If that ever happens, maybe they'll finally make them available in Trammel or quietly find some other way to ensure the availability of a small supply for highly inflated prices. I also think they may be purposely ignoring Siege and Mugen and hoping the stubborn people who still play on those shards will eventually just give up and leave so they can shut down both shards.

    I give UO another year or two at most of being "collectors online." I just don't think there's enough depth, experience, and passion remaining in the development team right now for UO to ever again be anything more than just a game where you build your fantasy house, collect and sell "rares," and roleplay. It may be that the team has been told to just keep the game on life support long enough to see how the Chinese 3D version of the game goes. If it does well enough, maybe EA will give NetDragon Websoft the go-ahead to expand outside of their original market and that will effectively be the end of the UO we all know.
     
  26. Goldberg-Chessy

    Goldberg-Chessy Crazed Zealot
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    Is there a reason that damn near everyone in this thread is acting like a deranged & pathetic cry-baby?

    Deranged because who has such a lack of rl that they feel the need to continually post negative nonsense about a GAME on a forum.

    Pathetic cry-baby because who is assinine enough to believe that they alone know which direction the game should take & how to best spend its resources?

    Of course the most delicious part is that all the deranged cry-babies are doing so while staying amazingly addicted to the same game they are ranting about for many, many years.

    Can you not all just get a simple divorce from the game if you are so upset with EVERYTHING the Devs/company seem to do?

    If you are so unhappy stop wasting your time trashing the game on these boards and blow away please.

    It will be for the good of the game.

    The amount of whining people lost will easily be replaced(and more)by the amount of new people that decide to try the game and arent immediatley turned away by all the old whiners on these boards.

    *shakes head*
     
  27. Zosimus

    Zosimus Grand Inquisitor
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    This I agree on. They would probaly make more money on facebook though with players buying facebook money :(
     

  28. If you really believed any of that, you wouldn't have even made your post.
     
  29. Goldberg-Chessy

    Goldberg-Chessy Crazed Zealot
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    Sad but true.

    I wasted my own time with the post but every once in awhile enough is enough.

    Stop whining and start playing, or leave
     

  30. I did not whine once in my post. I posted a true and just opinion of the upcoming changes. I also continue to play the game otherwise I'd have just left.

    Stop generalising the entire population, calling them all cry babies and then singing their song anyway.
     
  31. canary

    canary Guest

    You know, saying people 'whine' because they express a viewpoint that might be negative or contrary to yours is pretty much whining in itself.
     
  32. unified

    unified Guest


    I know that the developers have a difficult job before them, and I have no complaints in that area. However, information is very valuable to most of us and too much time is passed before we hear something. It is sad that when we do, it is too brief and we are left without a clue as to whether a concern will be addressed. I know that this whole Magincia thing will require a great deal of their time, and I am saddened that the time cannot be used to squash more bugs.
     
  33. Goldberg-Chessy

    Goldberg-Chessy Crazed Zealot
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    Says the complainer that started this positive, happy thread :)

    I wonder about someone who uses the word "concern" when talking about playing an online GAME.

    You are concerned about Ultima? Wow.

    Bottom line is that if anyone thinks that all the negative posting here isnt hurting the game they are nuts.

    Potential new subscribers do come here to check things out & all the ridiculous whining about personal wants & needs is a turn-off
     
  34. canary

    canary Guest

    Yet you seem 'concerned' enough to chime in this thread. And again. And again.

    Funny how that is, hm?
     
  35. Martyna Zmuir

    Martyna Zmuir Crazed Zealot

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    A game that most of us have played for a decade or more, and have invested heavily in. i.e. money, time, friendships, etc.

    Watching the Dev Team continually make missteps is troubling. Watching them act like they don't know what they are talking about is just downright disturbing. The utter lack of preparedness and professionalism exhibited in the video is disgusting. Its not as if they couldn't have cheked multiple threads here on Stratics to get a heads-up on what would be asked - or *gasps* what the p(l)ayers want the direction(s) of UO to be.
     
  36. Heartseeker

    Heartseeker Guest

    QFT.

    The fact that they're committing time/resources for new players is enough to make you cry.

    How do they expect anyone to play this dinosaur when no one evens knows of it's existence.....
     
  37. Why not? We concern ourselves with a very virtual concept like "money".
     
  38. Woodsman

    Woodsman Guest

    Think about what you just said.

    You're not happy they are working on a new player experience.

    Then you turn around and say that no one even knows of its existence.

    So the solution to raise awareness is to....advertise? That seems like the logical thing to do.

    That sounds really good....oh wait, if they advertise, then new players will come in, see the graphics, experience the current new player experience which is not good, and probably not stick around, which puts us right back to square one.

    Look, the enhanced artwork is coming first. The new player experience is well behind that - they talked a lot about it over the past week, but they still have some final decisions to make about the new player experience. The graphics stuff on the other hand, the planning is done. It's rolling along. We are getting the artwork and then the new player experience, which is a very logical order to get those two things

    Next year is the 15th anniversary, lots and lots of game sites will be rolling out all kinds of articles talking about 15 years of mainstream MMOs. Those are the kinds of articles that they love to do, because they can do a few interviews, slap in a bunch of screenshots, and people are going to talk about and debate.

    That means that lots of people, including both UO vets and people too young to have played UO back then, are going to take a look. If they see decent graphics, that's going to interest them. If the new players have an experience that helps pull them in and give them a good taste of UO, then there is a very good chance that UO will make it to 20 years.

    Every UO player should be happy that they are making a serious push to bring the game up to a point where new players won't flee in horror.

    For the 15th anniversary/birthday gift next year, I don't want more pixel crack in my backpack.

    I want to see new players out doing the things that new players do.

    Notice that I said "players" as in the plural of "player" - I want to be wandering around Britain and having players coming up and asking me the silliest new player questions that we've all experienced at some point (or asked ourselves).
     
  39. silent

    silent Lore Master
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    If you were paying someone to cut your grass and you were not happy with the service would you communicate that with them? Of course you would. UO is an entertainment service we all pay for and when the dev team forgets to weed whack around the oak in the back yard our method of communicating the issues is here. You've been around long enough to understand this...
     
  40. Tina Small

    Tina Small Stratics Legend
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    It must be nice to have an alternate moderator's account or be best buddies with a mod that can clean up your posts for you so you don't get an infraction.... You originally said some stuff in your post about "jilted lovers" and people posting who no longer play. I see you took all that out or had someone clean it up for you but yet your post doesn't show that it was edited.

    Nice work.
     
  41. Goldberg-Chessy

    Goldberg-Chessy Crazed Zealot
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    Nice analogy lol.

    Has anyone ever read or paid attention to the TOS?

    Nothing is guaranteed and EVERYBODY gets exactly what they pay for. An online environment in which to play a game. Nothing more, nothing less.

    IMO all the whining is simply because too many people quite obviously are beyond addicted & are taking things way too seriously. Quite akin to a junkie calling his crack dealer & complaining that he was not satisfied with the high he got. Funny but sad stuff.

    I have played this game over 13 years and aside form a couple of minor account/billing issues I have never had the need to contact customer service.
    And I have maybe paged an ingame GM 3 times for issues such as getting stuck under a bridge.

    You pay your $13 and feel you have the right to complain & whine incessantly on a forum or a phone? Go right ahead & have fun. But don't wonder why customer service isnt as expeditious as you think it should be. At some point there just is not enough money and/or resources for a company to bother with pure BS.
    Especially when the addicted BS'ers are still paying and will obviously continue to pay :)

    And that's enough reality for today folks.

    Have fun!!
     
  42. copycon

    copycon Guest

    If this is what you think I've got some swampland in Florida with your name on it. Just sign here...
     
  43. Just because a TOS says "you might not always get good service" doesn't give them an excuse. That simply prevents someone from taking it further over a one hour server melt down.

    But a consistent lack of service, well your TOS will not hold up in court. That is a fact.

    Just like shop keepers putting up a "no refunds or exchanges" sign means squat. Infact it can also be illegal in some cases.
     
  44. Goldberg-Chessy

    Goldberg-Chessy Crazed Zealot
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    What are you talking about lol?

    You bought Ultima & it works as intended and as stated in TOS. Its that simple bud.

    No reason or need for a refund or exchange. If you are unhappy with it simply cancel your account & stop paying.
    Nothing is illegal and there are no excuses.

    If a server goes down or you miss a bit of gametime occasionally, oh well.

    We all experience temporary cable/satellite/cell phone outtages & dont go screaming bloody murder to the respective companies (at least us sane ones dont)
    Do you call your cell phone carrier and complain every time you drop a call? or every time the weather affects your satellite?

    What is this "consistent lack of service" you talk about?

    What SPECIFIC lack of service are you experiencing that is in violation of TOS or the god-given rights you referred to when you mentioned illegalities & things that will "not hold up in court"?

    *shakes head*
     
  45. Martyna Zmuir

    Martyna Zmuir Crazed Zealot

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    Simply because there IS a ToS, and you play the game it was written for, doesn't make it legally valid. If it benefits one party to near exclusion, potentially trampling on the ‘rights’ of say the ‘player’ then it is unlikely to be enforced in a court. One might be able to claim misrepresentation of some part of the service, but that generally gets into severe mincing of words.

    Unless someone is going to plunk down a law degree this line of conversation is moot. Armchair lawyering ultimately won’t get us anywhere.

    I do believe one game (or online service's) ToS was challenged about a decade ago and the company lost. However, I can't remember enough about it to give Google search terms that bring up more than sports games... :(
     
  46. Violence

    Violence Lore Keeper
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    Canary.. I have seen the error of my ways and now only wish to be able, one day, to challenge you in a Flower Duel, in a field of neon colours. :heart:
     
  47. First off, I never said I had any problems. Don't take my post out of context.

    And see this post just below:



    That is pretty much it.