1. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.
  2. Greetings Guest!!

    In order to combat SPAM on the forums, all users are required to have a minimum of 2 posts before they can submit links in any post or thread.

    Dismiss Notice

UO's Search Popularity

Discussion in 'UHall' started by JC the Builder, Apr 28, 2009.

  1. JC the Builder

    JC the Builder Crazed Zealot
    Stratics Veteran

    Joined:
    May 12, 2008
    Messages:
    3,154
    Likes Received:
    708
    I was discussing the current dire situation on Darkfall with someone who thinks the game is actually going somewhere, when I remembered Google has a tool which lets you see the search level activity for a keyword. A few searches later and I've discovered Darkfall's popularity had declined to about UO's.

    http://trends.google.com/trends?q=Ultima+Online,+Darkfall,+Eve+Online&ctab=0&geo=all&date=all&sort=0

    More interesting is the UO results. In late 2004, UO was as popularity as Eve Online is today. For those that don't know, Eve Online has about 300,000 subscribers and is one of the only MMOs gaining them.

    Even more interesting is how clean the slope is in UO's decline from 2005 to today. Notice anything missing? The spike of activity when Kingdom Reborn was announced in late 2006 and launched in summer 2007.


    What does this mean? Well UO hasn't generated interest in searches on Google in a long time. When compared to how other MMOs generate interest, UO may be at the bottom but is not far away from other games such as Warhammer Online and Age of Conan. UO still remains competitive in today's MMO market.

    http://trends.google.com/trends?q=U...ine,+Everquest&ctab=0&geo=all&date=mtd&sort=0

    Final thought: the reason we ended up getting a new client might have had something to do with Mondain's Legacy doing nothing to stop decline in 2005.
     
  2. HD2300

    HD2300 Certifiable
    Stratics Veteran

    Joined:
    Apr 2, 2006
    Messages:
    1,783
    Likes Received:
    10
    For a monthly subscription game you need a real 3D client, or the majority of people will immediately not be interested. It isnt about expansions.

    Put yourself in the shoes of someone buying a new game. You can buy UO which is 2D, or 10 other titles which are 3D. You will look at the other 10 games first. So unless you are a fan of retro games or have a lousy computer, UO wont even get a look in.

    The good news is that UO has immense potential. It has the Ultima brand and proven core systems. It just to be made sexy.
     
  3. Kaleb

    Kaleb Lore Master
    Stratics Veteran

    Joined:
    May 12, 2008
    Messages:
    1,240
    Likes Received:
    0
    Too bad all the 3d mmo games out atm suk arse to high heaven, Pixels dont make the game kid the gameplay makes the game.
     
  4. D'Amavir

    D'Amavir Guest

    Couldn't agree more. Those games are nice to look at but once you get into them they don't have much to offer. Sorta like watching America's Next Top Model. With less rash and itch issues of course.
     
  5. kelmo

    kelmo Old and in the way
    Professional Stratics Veteran Alumni Dread Lord

    Joined:
    May 12, 2008
    Messages:
    17,378
    Likes Received:
    4,696
    Interesting. Thanks for sharing that. I did not know about that google tool. Yeah, I am old. I remember dialing numbers. 45rpm, and 4 channels.

    I am being sincere JC. Good info.
     
  6. HD2300

    HD2300 Certifiable
    Stratics Veteran

    Joined:
    Apr 2, 2006
    Messages:
    1,783
    Likes Received:
    10
    You are both right in regards to retaining subscriptions long term. Look at AoC and WAR. Both are now tanking, but they each initially had over 750000 million subscriptions each.

    To be a market leader, UO needs a real 3D client. How else can you raise subscriptions dramatically when 95% of new game buyers wont even consider purchasing UO because it is 2D?
     
  7. Maplestone

    Maplestone Crazed Zealot
    Stratics Veteran

    Joined:
    Jul 26, 2008
    Messages:
    3,657
    Likes Received:
    9
  8. D'Amavir

    D'Amavir Guest

    I think what he is saying is that, on face value, UO doesn't have anything to offer to new players. Sure, we as players know it has much more depth and enjoyment factor than those 3d games that are all the rage now. But, as was said, when people looking for new things to play online look at UO, then look at WoW, they are attracted to what they see.

    Those that take the time to actually play UO and dig into its depth usually find that it is superior to those others. Its just a matter of getting them in the first place. Its just how most people function. Most guys gravitate to that hot chick standing at the bar while the smart and funny girl doesn't get as much attention. But once you start talking to both of them you realize that the smart funny girl is a much better option.

    And a lack of shelf presence doesn't help either. We need more smart funny girls on the shelves already!;)
     
  9. Alezi

    Alezi Lore Keeper
    Stratics Veteran

    Joined:
    Sep 29, 2007
    Messages:
    754
    Likes Received:
    1
    Who cares about the majority? Even with 100k subscribers it still would be profitable and when these 100k people would concentrate on say 10 shards we'd have 10 shards with a healthy population at least.

    What UO needs is a proper tutorial because lets face it: this game is hard. Period. You're thrown in to New Haven with 1000 gold and you have no idea on what to do. I believe new players will lose their interest pretty fast as 1) they dont know what they're doing 2) it takes a long time to learn to play and 3) gear. Starting money should be at least upped to 10k.

    They should add new (easy) quests that would give out proper pieces. By completing a quest-chain should fetch you a full suit of armor that is competitive. Inferior to runic pieces and the Sorcerer's Suit for an example - but still something decent. Suits suited for training (100% LRC + decent resists), hunting easy to medium mobs etc.

    Hopefully they will "integrate" the options and macro possibilities that UOA adds to the Stygian Abyss client (binding mouse buttons etc.) and add a fair bit of customizability to the game client. Just to make it more user friendly in general.

    The path for a new player from zero to hero is rocky and harsh but it does pay off in the end.

    EDIT: There are also thousands of players playing on freeshards who would add greatly to UO's population if they would start playing on the official shards. My believe is that the largest freeshards have more players at peak times than the smallest official shards.

    EDIT2: The inflation should be taken care of as well. Add money sinks to the game. Delete all the money in the game, adjust all money drops to 10% of the current amount dropping and drop vendor prices to 10% of what they are now 8)

    EDIT3: Scrap the deleting all the money part. Adjust the relative amount of money by having players keep 10% of their money i.e. I have 10 million gold and after the patch when I log in I only have 1 million left. My friend has 1 million gold -> after patch he has 100k.
     
  10. Harlequin

    Harlequin Babbling Loonie
    Stratics Veteran

    Joined:
    Jun 11, 2008
    Messages:
    2,716
    Likes Received:
    32
    My views:

    Most vets would already know the couple of dedicated sites they need to go to and probably won't need to google UO as much.

    Meaning a good portion of the searches are likely made by newer/potential/returning players. So we are definitely still getting new blood, though not nearly enough.

    KR didn't make any dent in the google trends because it was not much advertised. People that heard about KR already knew which webpage to go to or googled KR. People that did not hear about KR, well, they wouldn't have known to google.

    I mean, how many people googled "swine influenza" last month prior to it breaking the news? Compare that to how many had people googled it this week it once people actually know that there's something called swine influenza.

    So again, marketing and shelf presense is very important. Please don't make the same mistake for SA...
     
  11. JC the Builder

    JC the Builder Crazed Zealot
    Stratics Veteran

    Joined:
    May 12, 2008
    Messages:
    3,154
    Likes Received:
    708
    Runescape has a completely different model. You can play for free. Wikipedia says the game currently has about 8.5 million active accounts. It is actually in the same league as World of Warcraft.

    http://www.google.com/trends?q=World+of+Warcraft,+Runescape

    UO only "competes" with MMOs in the 100-500k subscriber range. If you can call it that. And as the Google Trends data shows, it is not far behind most games in this category as some people assume. Thus, it might not take that much to give it a boost again.
     
  12. Maplestone

    Maplestone Crazed Zealot
    Stratics Veteran

    Joined:
    Jul 26, 2008
    Messages:
    3,657
    Likes Received:
    9
    That makes a good story, but the data shows instead that there is a huge, quiet market for 2d games out there.

    The 3d game market is saturated - there are a bazillion WoW clones, some of which are finding a niche large or small but most trying to muscle in now are dying a horrible death. In my humble opinion, it would be a mistake to try to swing for that market - it's too late (although there must be a lot of IP on the market from failed games that had solid engines).

    Personally, I'd look at Spore as a model for a next-generation game: interconnecting minigames which a high level of player involvement in constructing all levels of content. *sigh* if only I had a bazillion bucks and a stable of enthusiastic programmers.
     
  13. D'Amavir

    D'Amavir Guest

    Add up all the subscribers for 3d games and all the subscribers for 2d games and I think you will find that 3d games have a much much larger playerbase. Sure, there are tons of them out there so not all of them are going to do as well as the WoW's of the world. But anyone that thinks that the future of online gaming is in 2d games like UO needs to look again.

    We are talking about UO type games. MMORPG's, in this day and age, are run by the 3d games and not the 2d games. Are there free 2d games that have a decent player base? Sure. UO is not a free 2d game though. Most new players won't pay for 2d graphics when far advanced 3d graphics are out there.

    Does anyone have a link that shows current subscribers for all the mmorpg games out there? With something like that it would be easy to answer the question of 'what do most players want in their mmorpg'. Of the top 5 mmorpg's (when it comes to paid subscribers) out there, how many are 2d and how many are 3d? How about the top 10? I don't know myself. But I would be interested in seeing that information.

    WoW clearly blows UO away when it comes to subscribers. Does that make it a better game? Not at all. Does the visual appeal of it have a major impact on new player numbers? Absolutely. Does the lack of visual appeal for UO impact its lower new player numbers? Absolutely. Anyone that doesn't believe that is a bit misguided to say the least.
     
  14. Samaira

    Samaira Lore Master
    Stratics Veteran

    Joined:
    Jun 11, 2006
    Messages:
    1,116
    Likes Received:
    41
    The smart, funny girls are all taken :p

    A good friend of mine was trawling YouTube a few weeks back, looking at trailers for new PS3 and PC games out this year, and there were only two things we could agree on: there are too many post-apocalyptic war games out there, and Diablo should be an MMO. Out of the scores of trailers we watched, the only thing that interested me was an RPG with isometric POV. But it's Blizzard. They'll never put out another fantasy MMO that could take subscribers from WOW.

    My point is really a reiteration of what others have already said - the 3D market is saturated, and for those of us that know that many eye-candy games lack substance, it's very easy to look at a new game and give in to the same old disillusionment. Almost everything I saw on YouTube was pretty. And let's face it - new games should be. But they all look the same. The true battle for UO is convincing the eye-candy generation that what we've sacrificed in shiny, we've maintained in unique content and gameplay.
     
  15. D'Amavir

    D'Amavir Guest

    That's why guys like me have to settle for the good looking but worthless ones. heh


    I agree that the 3d market is saturated. And, for the most part, people reading the UO Stratics page already know that UO is more than just about eye candy. The 'convincing' part is what ends up killing us. "Hey, come play our UO game. We have really outdated graphics, there is a new post or a thousand where people are complaining about all the cheating, you won't see us on any game shelves and we have a very small and not very good team of developers. But we are unique!"

    A guy walking into a game store looking for a new mmorpg game to play won't look twice at UO (for one thing because it won't even be there) and I highly doubt they will say to themselves "Well, the 3d gaming market is saturated so, instead of buying this new game that has 8.5 million subscribers and and gets new content all the time, I am going to buy this 10+ year old game that looks like it can play on an etch-a-sketch and has less than a 1/10 of the players that this other one does."

    Trust me, I wish more people WOULD say something like that. If they did, we would see our numbers start increasing a lot more. It just isn't happening.

    Old graphics + small player base + no shelf presence + little focus on cheat/exploit prevention = a tenuous grasp on the market share.

    There isn't just one thing you can point as to explain why UO has such a smaller playerbase than the WoW's of the world. Its a combination of many things, old graphics being just one of them. But, it is ONE of them.
     
  16. Arch Magus

    Arch Magus Guest

    Well,

    I love UO and I hope the Dev team can get some advertising money and get our shelf presence back!:thumbsup:

    I believe shelf presence is the #1 problem with getting new people into the game. Without a doubt.

    *hugz Ultima Online*
     
  17. Jhym

    Jhym Guest

    Darkfall dropped off because something's a little weird there.

    They've done practically no real advertising and I seem to remember the US launch is not for months. I can't say I'm excited anyway, looking at the game play and logistics issues it will be tougher than in UO to establish yourself. I initially was looking at it as a replacement for my TR experience, but I've decided to wait and see how many roving gank squads there are before I bother.

    Tabula Rasa had a good 3D immersive experience, but the storyline just didn't work (plus they took too long to get the playerbase happy.) However, the engine was beautiful and showed a lot of promise. I'm still sad that my characters are gone.

    I'd love for UO to have two clients -- the rich 2D one and a pretty 3D one that would allow for some minor immersion. The funny thing is that they could display 3D textures on a full 3D client and still have it communicate the same as it does now. However, the amount of artwork is way more than they want to do for the return.

    I tried once to get my sweetie to join up in UO. The first questions: interface -- how do I move, how do I cast spells, how do I set up hotkeys (using a macbook); the tutorial was just not helpful enough.
    Then the big question --

    "When can I use the 3D client? I can't SEE anything"
    Um, KR -IS- the 3D client honey.
    "Oh. This is frustrating, I'm going back to WoW."

    It's very hard to convince people to play a tough game like UO when the first few minutes frustrates them. It's not a matter of pretty vs non-pretty, it's an interface model problem. KR was their first attempt to correct that issue, but they needed more work on it to polish it.

    You just don't release a client onto paying subscribers that doesn't have polished interfaces and pre-configured setups. UO/EA is NOT the Mozilla group. This isn't freeware. If they are going to give us powerful macroing and interface keys and xml modifications, they NEED to give us good, strong examples of how to use them OUT OF THE BOX.

    I am actually very interested in playing with the interface myself, but I haven't had the time. I do enough programming at work as it is, I prefer my home computer time to be relaxing and not debugging. However, that doesn't mean I won't get to it eventually, especially if I am shown cool functions that make me interested enough to configure them myself.

    I'm hoping SA will take the good parts of KR and 2D and build something completely different.

    We also should really get ready for the probability that they will HAVE to make a clean break at some point. Microsoft should have done that years ago -- stop legacy support and force people to update. UO is getting to that point.



    Anyway, back to the OP, I'd say that search popularity on google or yahoo really doesn't matter to ongoing gaming. People play old console games for years -- do they search for them? Not very often, and usually only to find cheat codes or alternate versions on other platforms.

    I'm fairly certain UO will be around another five or ten years, if only because they can virtualize the servers (if they haven't already) and drop their server farm costs dramatically. Not to mention add instant failover and cloning.

    Wouldn't it be cool for them to be able to pop up new facets on the fly, or for individual shards? Atlantic gets crowded, they add on an extra facet to handle the load.

    But I'm sure they've already prepped and done that, right devs?
     
  18. Schuyler Bain

    Schuyler Bain Lore Master
    Stratics Veteran

    Joined:
    May 19, 2008
    Messages:
    1,131
    Likes Received:
    1
  19. D'Amavir

    D'Amavir Guest

    I know this isn't really something to do with the original post but it does fit into the discussion. I think that UO has way too many servers open for the amount of people playing. Now, I don't want my server to close and I am sure no one else does. And I don't know what the 'fix' for this is. But I do definitely think that a sparse population is being spread too thin right now.

    Adding a new facet (SA) is just going to spread that population even thinner. It discourages newer players from continuing to play because unless you go to the 'Location Du-jour' you usually won't see a lot of people around. I know, I know, people are always at 'so and so' doing 'such and such'. But, new players don't pop into the game doing 'such and such' at 'so and so'. And they don't last long enough to get to that point.

    Like I said, I don't know an easy 'fix' for this but it is an issue that should be addressed.
     
  20. Gellor

    Gellor Guest

    Couldn't disagree more.

    You need what UO doesn't have currently: shelf presence. When was the last time you went into a store and saw ANYTHING UO related? I believe the last time I saw something was 9th age(3 years ago??) How about a nice fancy endcap display? I'd say even longer than that.

    When I got into UO(late 98), there were endcap displays and shelf presence like you wouldn't believe. I walked into Barnes and Noble and saw endcap displays;)

    Graphics are a secondary issue. As long as the graphics are clean, a "real 3D client" with all the spinning hairdo's, glittery effects, and other meaningless eye candy get you nothing but initial subscriptions. Graphics do nothing to HOLD subscriptions. And HOLDING subscriptions is what mmog's need to do.

    So short of having graphics from the early 80's, as long as the graphics are crisp and not looking like a 3 year old made them(ie the old UO 3d client), the second thing a mmog needs to concentrate upon content and game play to retain the players you hook:thumbsup:
     
  21. Lynk

    Lynk Grand Poobah
    Stratics Veteran

    Joined:
    May 13, 2008
    Messages:
    6,032
    Likes Received:
    145
    Anyone who thinks that "Shelf Presence" for an MMO is the best way to get new subscribers is kidding themselves.

    Who plays these games? Nerds. No one goes to Best Buy to browse computer games and sees WOW and scratches their head and says "Hmm.. I wonder what this is?". Anyone who buys an MMO from a store went to that store already knowing what they wanted.

    UO doesn't really need advertisement. If you read any gaming forum all games are measured and compared to UO. UO has the best, and cheapest, advertisement - word of mouth.

    Look at how many subscribers Darkfall has - and they never advertised and they are doing a digital distribution.
     
  22. D'Amavir

    D'Amavir Guest


    Yeah, word of mouth has made us the number one MMORPG in the world today. Totally. Who needs 8.5 million subscribers and tv commericals and games on the shelf when you can have word of mouth and 150k subscribers?

    Darkfall was a brand new game. People were interested in it because it was, again, a brand new game. UO is a game from 97 that still looks like it did in 97 and has no games in any stores for people to see and decide to try it out.

    And, hate to break it to you, many people do go to Best Buy and say "I want to play a new online game. Let me see what's out there and get one."

    What do they see when they get there? Tons of UO games for sale? Nope. Games like WoW that coincidently have millions of subscribers and also have name recognition based on TV and print ads. Hmmm. Makes you wonder.
     
  23. MalagAste

    MalagAste Belaern d'Zhaunil
    Reporter Professional Governor Stratics Veteran Stratics Legend Campaign Supporter Royal Knight

    Joined:
    Aug 21, 2000
    Messages:
    18,957
    Likes Received:
    5,449
    I'm old too.... I remember 45's, 33's... hell I still have some... 8tracks, Reel to Reel tapes... T.V. when I was my Fathers Remote!....

    I remember when you had to dial the phone but I also remember I lived in a small enough town you only had to dial the last 4 numbers! I also recall not having to dial the area code anywhere in the state...

    Sad.... but The reason UO is great is because it offers SOO much more than any of those other games..... as I said in the post the other day.... I have friends who play WoW..... and I always have to laugh when they come in ICQ and BEG me to come join WoW.... telling me how WONDERFUL they think it is.... And I always have to ask .... "Dude..... if WoW is that wonderful.... why are you wanting me to come there?????".... Seriously.... if it really was that wonderful... it'd be that way whether I'm there or not..... hell I should be forgotten by now if it really was that wonderful.... Then I'm compelled to say..... "You know..... UO GLRPC is my home.... when your tired of all your pretty pixel crack over there you come on back home.... and I'll be here."

    That's about when the conversation ends.... with the "Well.... I really miss you Willa... I'll talk to you later."..... It's like yep... they miss home... they know it..... they just don't want to admit I was right and they were wrong.

    *smiles* One day they will realize that pretty pixels do NOT make the game.
     
  24. EnigmaMaitreya

    EnigmaMaitreya Crazed Zealot
    Stratics Veteran

    Joined:
    May 12, 2008
    Messages:
    3,402
    Likes Received:
    0
    It is possible that you are not taking into account that the sorting of Client styles happened way back when, when Everquest went live.

    There tends to to be two groups, those that like the overhead projection of UO and those that do not.

    As a generalization, those who do not, left UO a long time ago.

    Those that do are here and have been here.

    Not to be negative, but there is going to be one hard sell for any "perspective" change client. I would even go so far as to say that any client that does NOT allow for the current Overhead Projection perspective, will never become the dominant Client in UO.

    Personally, I prefer the multi camera views of Everquest vs the Overhead view of UO. I prefer the "TRUE" 3D perspective of Everquest vs the 2D (UO has not had a "TRUE" 3D perspective) of UO.
     
  25. JC the Builder

    JC the Builder Crazed Zealot
    Stratics Veteran

    Joined:
    May 12, 2008
    Messages:
    3,154
    Likes Received:
    708
    If Darkfall is so great and new, why did it only reach the levels of UO in 2004, 7 years after release? The answer is that something old doesn't mean it is bad. UO only started going downhill after the mismanagement began in 2005, perhaps even 2004. The Samurai Empire expansion was not well received I suppose.
     
  26. D'Amavir

    D'Amavir Guest

    I agree with you. And I am just the opposite. I prefer the 2D (with nicely rendered graphics) as opposed to the true 3d. Its Street Fighter vs Virtua Fighter for me. Street Fighter all the way!
     
  27. D'Amavir

    D'Amavir Guest

    Who said it was good? I think its garbage. But it did draw in more NEW players than UO has in years. Now, imagine how many people would be playing UO now if we drew in that many NEW players AND offered them the depth that is UO.
     
  28. Gellor

    Gellor Guest

    Word of mouth only goes so far. Especially if one group of friends try it. Odds are they share a majority of common friends. As an example, all my friends and their friends are either currently involved in UO or have played UO. Word of mouth advertising does nothing from there.

    UO only has word of mouth advertising and has been that way for a few years now. Because of that, they do not have any steady influx of NEW players to offset the outgoing pissed off vets.

    UO needs more than word of mouth advertising to draw in NEW blood. They need shelf presence, radio ads, TV ads, magazine ads, online magazine ads, mob death threat ads... some sort of method to attract people other than just word of mouth.

    FWIW, you'd be surprised how many people just walk into a game store to browse. I do that commonly with games and movies. So if UO isn't on the shelf, it isn't there to jump into someone's cart.

    As for Darkfall, no advertising my rear. They had a BOAT load of online advertising in addition to word of mouth. I can't recall the number of banners I saw on websites bragging about Darkfall.:coco:
     
  29. Theo_GL

    Theo_GL Grand Poobah
    Stratics Veteran Stratics Legend

    Joined:
    Sep 2, 2003
    Messages:
    6,406
    Likes Received:
    678
    Thats unfortunate as looks fade quickly but smart and funny last a lifetime.
     
  30. D'Amavir

    D'Amavir Guest

    I absolutely agree. But when no smart and funny is available the choices are slim. Settle for less or have nothing?
     
  31. Orthus

    Orthus Guest

  32. NuSair

    NuSair Babbling Loonie
    Stratics Veteran

    Joined:
    May 21, 2008
    Messages:
    2,989
    Likes Received:
    999