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What would draw people to Ultima Online? Discuss.

Discussion in 'UHall' started by WarderDragon, Aug 10, 2010.

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What could the developers do to bring people to Ultima Online

  1. Classic Shard(s) (i.e. pre-Renaissance.)

    30.0%
  2. Mature Rating (i.e. a dark and more savage world, mature storyline.)

    9.2%
  3. Dynamic Townships (i.e. more player control over the world.)

    23.1%
  4. Dynamic PvM (i.e. Raids, Achievements.)

    16.9%
  5. Dynamic PvP (i.e. Faction Changes, Siege Warfare, Bounty Hunting.)

    30.0%
  6. New Client and Engine (i.e. Diablo 3, Neverwinter Nights.)

    26.9%
  7. Naval Combat (i.e. Piracy, Oceanic Content.)

    22.3%
  8. Advertising (i.e. Steam.)

    44.6%
  9. Other (Explain.)

    14.6%
Multiple votes are allowed.
  1. WarderDragon

    WarderDragon Babbling Loonie
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    Simple Question.

    What do you think would be the single most important content addition the developers could make that would bring players - new and returning - to the World of Ultima Online?

    Discuss.

    I didn't create this thread to discuss F2P. Beat that horse to death in your own thread.
     
  2. Coldren

    Coldren Sage
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    Re: What would draw people to UO?

    A sequel?

    In lieu of that, I'd say a graphics update to accompany a more stable EC, ala Saphireena.

    Really, just about all of that would help. Don't know how to pick one.
     
  3. Dermott of LS

    Dermott of LS UOEC Modder
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    ...

    How about this... a Classic Shard, must use the 2d client, only lightly maintained (no patches or publishes once released, GM support), THEN ditch the 2d client for the rest of the shards and revamp with new technology for better, more dynamic (though I in no way count raids or achievements as "dynamic") content.
     
  4. DenAlton036

    DenAlton036 Guest

    The graphics.. People I know look at the screen shots, laugh, and never give it a second look. It never gets them in the door to experience all it has to offer.
     
  5. Sevin0oo0

    Sevin0oo0 Guest

    What DenAlton036 said..People would even play a bad game, if the graphics were killer
     
  6. sablestorm

    sablestorm Certifiable
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    Something is already drawing them. I've guilded 10 returning/new players in the last two days.
     
  7. lucitus

    lucitus UOEC Modder
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    New client better graphics thats for sure!
     
  8. Guido_LS

    Guido_LS Seasoned Veteran
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    1) Real advertising (no, a blurb on MMORPG doesn't count)
    a) Play off the longevity of the game
    b) Play off of the individuality of the player characters (read: not tied to cookie cutter classes)
    c) Play off the uniqueness of the game (ie; this is NOT EQ or WoW, and why)​
    2) Support on a website that is officially run by the EA/Mythic company, and not a 3rd party site that claims otherwise, until it's blue in the face, despite the facts in front of us.
    3) Graphics that aren't reminiscent of the Sega Genesis or SNes... and no, the EC isn't that step up. EA has license to the Gamebryo engine... use it... please?
    4) A track record of QA that isn't reliant on the paying userbase.

    Given the time and inclination, I could probably come up with at least a dozen other, less important items, but the above listed 4 are pretty much the top of list in importance of a very long laundry list.
     
  9. Lord Frodo

    Lord Frodo Grand Poobah
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    GREAT IDEA! Lets shut down UO right now. Force people to use a bad client with ugly graphics if you want to stay on the shard you are on or froce them to the classic shard. Glad you love the EC client and graphics so much. It is so great that you have to force people to use it. They tried this with 3rd Dawn, it didn't work then and it will not work now.
     
  10. MalagAste

    MalagAste Belaern d'Zhaunil
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    Personally I think they should build a special "Free to Play" shard that is your basic shard only for "free" play...

    Would be limited to 700 skill points, housing would be limited to 2 story dwellings only, limit of 1million gold on any one character, limit of 2 characters, and no SoT's or Alacrity scrolls, no Powerscrolls..... no gifts or rewards.

    If they decide to pay to play then they receive one transfer token per character and can transfer only what is equipped on their person and gold. NO transfers of resources or items beyond currently equipped armor and weapons.

    This would keep folk from trying to farm stuff on the "free" shard and transferring large quantities of resources to paid shards while allowing folk to try out the game and build up a character...

    This shard should also have LOTS of tutorials... for new players.
     
  11. Voluptuous

    Voluptuous Seasoned Veteran
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    a) advertise and let old players know of some of the changes...lots and lots left during that multi-year lull of no gms no new content action.

    b) customers support for hacks and stolen accounts.

    c) it's 12 years old people! make it CHEAPER!
     
  12. Sadrith Mora

    Sadrith Mora Guest

    - Classic Shard (Pre-Ren Historical & Static) to share UO's humble beginning's with newcomers, and/or die-hard vets.

    - Advertising: Since this great game continues onward, there is no good enough reason not to advertise. Even if it's a little. Simple advertisements such as: Come be apart of the MMO that started it all, etc.

    - Any mysterious/unique type of additions such as a new school of magic, a nasty new dungeon for vets with unique rewards, new crafting abilities, etc.

    - Overhaul of the old dungeon content to help make them more appealing again.

    - Overhaul of metal armor types that can be crafted or looted. Big fan of a knight in shining armor that looks like one vs. a mage that looks like a mage.

    - New races/character types/abilities. Love the complexity and possibilities of such additions.

    - Finding new use for currently useless items. Could be used in combination to create something new in game and give value again to existing items.
     
  13. Lady Storm

    Lady Storm Crazed Zealot
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    Stop the Graphics bull... graphics didnt make people quit uo.

    I can pointout the many atempts at advanced graphics we have suffered through to many dismayed players.

    We just are not WOW, EQ,Warhammer .... WE ARE UO a unique old game where people come to have what ever makes them happy.

    The older player came for the freedom and challenge UO gave them.

    They left for many different reasons, but graphics was not one of them. Houseing was one (little land (T2A era), limited house availibility(no room, then limited to one house per when new houseing came that made hard choices for many pub 16 +)
    Fustration in changes that made little sense ie taking tameable sales away from non tamers like drakes), Lack of Listening by past Dev(this Dev seems to listen to us an we gain by that comunication link)
    The list is so long I fear if I listed more you would fall asleep looking for the bottom of this.

    Our biggest need is getting the word out to the old and new alike that UO is unique. No big graphics to bowl you over but solid comuinty of players who play in a world you can mold to your liking. Uo is the hight of freedom in a game of its type (outside a player run shard).

    You can go far without pvp, factions, etc or with it. Creat as a crafter, hunter, Tamer of beasts. The sky is the limit. Multi lands and player char templates. Dungeons, quests, puzzles, from beginner to elete player.

    I'd say we need most right now is Advertising. Plain and simple there is a whole new age of possible players out there. If worded right the young and old would over look the graphics you so much contest to find the rare gem that is UO. UO is its players. WE make UO no the other way. WE are the drug UO has become. The freedom to meet people and live just for a few hours free of the real world and become a Sosarian.
     
  14. Lorax_Pacific

    Lorax_Pacific Lore Master
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    I think you are asking the wrong question. I think the question should be what would stop herds of people from leaving. The problem are the code mistakes and the code hacker mentality, lack of developers that play and understand the broad vastness of the game, the lack of test and product quality, the lake of forethought and no high level vision for the game that takes us 10 years into the future. The developers don't understand what mechanisms we need to communicate in the game to create a community. The team is too small to make a major impact on any development.

    If there weren't people quitting then the player base would be expanding. Players are like herds. If we find out there is good green grass somewhere there will be a mass migration to that. We would get on board the train soon or to the movie house just to be sure we get a seat. If there is a new product and we find out there is a line forming early then people will go to stand in that line just to be part of the mass that gets theirs. Other games have the momentum, but UO has nothing to start forming a line behind. The only thing a line could be formed behind at this point would likely be an insparational visionary that has the ability to publicly speak that vision and capture the essence of enthusiasm where each person would want to get in line even if it means waiting behind others for their chance at the product.

    -Lorax
     
  15. Uvtha

    Uvtha Grand Poobah
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    I really doubt any new content is likely to get many new players. The game already has tons of content. Its not like people don't play UO because they don't think theres enough content.

    Advertising would help, but again, I doubt it would help that much. The game is just too dated looking.

    I say going F2P, or Making a whole new game are the only options for getting lots of new players.
     
  16. hawkeye_pike

    hawkeye_pike Babbling Loonie
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    Since advertising got many votes (including mine), I want to add that advertising wouldn't help much if you leave the game in the current state. UO needs better graphics and a better guide for new players first, and several issues need to be corrected.
     
  17. Lady Michelle

    Lady Michelle Sprite Full SP
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    Advertising would help, if they target the right people. The right people would be those that sit in chat rooms looking at a boring chat room screen typing to each other day and night. If they knew that they could get on a game together able to ride animals, own houses,customize, and deco them. they can craft things, grow plants. even sit and chat at a bank if they want. UO is not just about PVP, and PVM, its so much more.
     
  18. TitusPullo

    TitusPullo Guest

    1. F2P servers.

    2. New server(s) that do not allow character transfers.

    I'd pay to come back for option 2. UO was the first massively multiplayer game I started with. I honestly miss it.
     
  19. popps

    popps Always Present
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    Graphics might attract new players but I think it is only solid content that keeps them playing it...

    How many games were released over the past few years which started with a number of subdcriptions and then had players leave them ?

    I think the best combination is a solid content, no room for cheaters and have the word out (i.e. advertisement) that the game is a good one to play.

    I would like to see Ultima Online back on shelves in game stores.

    Eye candy gets old after a while and if there is no content I think that it does not much matter how good it may look, players would still leave the game.
     
  20. Petra Fyde

    Petra Fyde Peerless Chatterbox
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    This may be a simple question, but it doesn't have a simple answer. For every 10 people you ask you'll get 10 different answers and what might attract some new people could also, conversely, drive some current people away.
    Everything is subjective.
     
  21. Minerva Foxglove

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    Its normal that people quit playing a game. Any game. My sons started with UO when they were 12 and 14 (and got me hooked on it for life) They are now 22 and 24 and have played most games on and off. Its fun for a while.

    The young people are more flexible and care more for graphics most of the time. Its hard to catch their interest for a game looking as UO unfortunately.
    Still people try it out , even totally new players. They arrive to our world and are completely lost very soon. The start means so much. There is so much competition out there so if they feel it too frustrating they just move on to something else.

    Startes need some gear and some gold and alot more guiding. Both from the game but also from us old players that are concerned about our player base! Nothing compares to being spoken to by a mighty vet, it has always been that way. Some advice and pointing them to some guide like stratics really makes difference, maybe a tip how to earn some gold.

    Lots of people return and many has pre AoS gear. They need tips on what changed . Fi how resist works theese days. That everything is very expensive but it also is very easy to make money. That its no prob to place a house and that its fun to build it from scratch.

    How about keeping contact with someone that you think will become your style of player and take him to your guild?

    Third group..atleast on Europa it could be the largest..is the free shard players that want to test the real stuff. They need Stratics and as they are fairly up to date and have trained skills before why not give them some better gear and things that can get them going a bit faster. LRC armour and runebook and direct them to a rune library .

    I have been "working"in Haven for years as I believe what we players do is very important and we need the new players more than they need us .
    We know what we are losing if UO shuts down. They dont.

    If this part goes well there is a good chance they get addicted atleast for some years and if they leave they may come back once more.

    Big reason we need new and returning people is that they are buyers of most things we dont need any more, and producers of things we have grown too busy or lazy to produse.

    Im afraid this became long and messy , maybe I should just have said that everyone of us is important for how many players there will be in the future.
     
  22. Aurelius

    Aurelius Babbling Loonie
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    Definitely 'other', and the biggest impact is probably something the Developers can't cause, but can certainly hinder...

    Knowing people who play and love the game, who can explain how things work and get people involved in the guilds, events, and general 'community', is probably the most effective option going to bring in new players.

    Simple marketing would fail (especially when it's done by a company who does not grasp the concepts of the product at all), a series of pretty pictures and standard PR hype will fall apart as soon as people see the game in action - it's not as pretty (in what is now the conventional sense of what people expect to see on-screen), or simple to get going in, as almost all the other mmos out there

    Dynamic anything works only if the players use it and take to it, and if it's made abuse-proof. All those options would be great to see happening in-game, but you won't draw people in by saying 'look, destructible terrain and town council elections'.

    New client and engine ... hmm ... If you were making a brand new mmo, you wouldn't start from here - but we are here, and as was demonstrated the investment needed to get a client that people accept as a faithful evolution of the 'classic' is massive, and probably way beyond EA/Mythic/BioWare/whoever we are this week to commit. What this option basically ends up with is - do we make a new game with the 'history' of UO, or not. The answer seems to be consistently 'not'.


    If the devs get things right, EA make small announcements rather than ridiculous PR claims, and they get people talking about the game in other forums around the internet, we will see people joining, because the enthusiasm of players will spark interest in looking at the game, or returning to it. But it all needs to be realistic... it's a game where you have so many options, things are so massively interrelated, and there are no 'sides' other than the ones you choose to make and play with, so it's a big culture shock to those experienced with and expecting the current style of mmo.

    UO will only keep those players looking for something 'more' than is on offer in other games, and it's keeping players that generates revenue for EA and keeps life interesting on the servers. Whilst that's probably a big market, it's not a 'top twenty' size market, so the best way to get it growing is for people to find other like-minded folks through the web and persuade them to try - don't overhype it, warn what the initial experiences of UO may be, and stress the longer term potentials of playing.
     
  23. Harlequin

    Harlequin Babbling Loonie
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    I have agree with this.
     
  24. popps

    popps Always Present
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    One thing that the game lacks, I think, is good reasons for players to just "hang around" in towns (other than Luna Bank, that is....).

    Basically most time players are scattered all over doing spawns and so, hardly can be of any reference to new players or returning players.

    There should be something in UO which makes players actually want to spend time not necessarily doing spawns.

    Personally, I think this is the problem or putting way too much emphasys on items.

    In an item based game where the win is determined by how many modifiers one has and how high they are, this pushes players to have to do spawns (either to get items or gold to buy items) and, therefore, spend less time hanging around and being helpfull to others.
     
  25. Beer_Cayse

    Beer_Cayse Guest

    You missed lack of CS personnel who know the game enough to not follow scripted/canned response sheets - who realize that not everything is in the damn knowledgebase.
     
  26. HD2300

    HD2300 Certifiable
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    Obviously F2P.

    But aside from F2P, a real 3D client and lots of focus on new PvE content. The reason for a focus on new PvE content is that 90-95% of former players were not PvPers and the large majority of MMO casual players are not PvPers.

    New non transfer shards would be cool, especially if they were PvE only or PvP only.
     
  27. canary

    canary Guest

    Yes, it has been a reason... and yes, it is an obstacle the game faces to make people WANT to pick up the game.

    As I've noted in other threads, my bf as well as most my friends refer to UO as 'that ugly game you play'.

    To say that graphics are NOT an issue is not just deluded it is incredibly short sighted.
     
  28. Evlar

    Evlar Guest

    I chose "Classic", though all the options were good.

    Simply put, I believe that classic shards would likely attract more returning subscribers, arguably for the least investment. The biggest challenge being actually getting shards up and running.

    Many of the other selections would help retain the existing player base longer, whilst advertising and/or a 3D client, or isometric client unrestricted by "tiles", would be the best ways to attract new players.

    I'm not sure a "mature" rating would make much difference. I've witnessed countless "mature" players who seem happier to unleash the 10 year old within them in UO gameplay.

    My "other" would tie in with using something like Steam to promote the game. That would be to reduce the subscription price, in an attempt to encourage returning or new players, to offset the dip in revenue from a price drop. Given the current "quality" of the game, I would say below $10 via Steam.
     
  29. Merion

    Merion Lore Master
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    Advertising. As simple as that.
     
  30. Flutter

    Flutter Always Present
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    Seeing it on the shelf at Walmart.
     
  31. Nastia Cross

    Nastia Cross Guest

    QFT.
     
  32. Gellor

    Gellor Guest

    UO has two problems going for it that are not mutually exclusive:
    1) "Outdated" graphics. In this day and age, most people want flashy frilly graphics. Content is second to them. Nobody is really interested in games using an isometric view like UO. They want rotating tilting make you vomit views.
    2) Advertising. In short, there is NONE and hasn't been in a LONG while. In my opinion, an in store display or presence is needed. I know some scoff at this notion with "nobody walks into a store to browse games". But obviously, without some eye candy, there is no reason to advertise.

    I know that many are going to reply with "get rid of all the cheaters and all the people who left will come back". Sadly, I don't think there has been a significant loss of player due to cheats... most of the people I know quit over poorly implemented "features", loss of friends, etc. I'd say of the people I know who have quit, less than 10% was over people cheating.
     
  33. Llewen

    Llewen Grand Inquisitor
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    /this

    UO is, in my opinion, highly, highly marketable. It used to be that old computer games were discarded and laughed at, that isn't the case anymore. There's a lot of nostalgia for old classic games, and I think a good deal of curiosity among the younger crowd. But there are still many that demand up to date graphics and I think an option for the KR graphics in the EC would also be a very good thing.
     
  34. canary

    canary Guest

    *sighs*

    The problem is that the KR graphics still don't 'cut it' given they look like 2001 graphics. New graphics are needed that can at least somewhat compete with today's games.
     
  35. Lady Storm

    Lady Storm Crazed Zealot
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    Petra is correct.

    The answer is all of the above. Advertising would help greatly. EC/KR graphics as I have said ok for those who want it, just dont force it on anyone let them choose.
     
  36. Llewen

    Llewen Grand Inquisitor
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    Well, I guess that's a matter of opinion, and you run the risk of alienating a large portion of your player base with an older game if you create a client with graphics that won't run on older hardware. So it's a bit of a catch 22.

    And I just wanted to add, making the EC available for download on Steam for the price of a one month subscription would be a great idea. Steam is a terrific marketing tool. Of course I always laugh when I post something like that because I remember it's horrific launch... :)
     
  37. Coldren

    Coldren Sage
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    The last thing they advertised was Ninjas...

    Yes.. Ninjas.

    Perhaps they shouldn't be the ones doing the advertising?

    Or, maybe they should really take advantage of the whole Twilight thing:

    "Why choose between Team Edward and Team Jacob when you can be on both at ONE TIME in Ultima Online! Or for you guys, how about a vampire NINJA?!! No other MMO offers this! And grow plants in your free time while you decorate your house with undead memorabilia?"



    Really, it's an open world concept. The problem today is the market is geared towards people who want a guided, scripted, simple experience in 3D they can enjoy.

    At best, you would only be advertising to a niche market, and that market hasn't been typically driven by marketing. MO and DF are prime examples of this. The premise and promises bring them in, the content, bugs, and small unresponsive development houses gets them out.

    But you don't need 3D high def realistic graphics to bring people in if you got the content. Stylized graphics work just as well. Darkfall, believe or not, has a very cool cell-shading kinda style that works really, really well. It's really weird to see it in game - It's like screenshots and videos somehow don't capture the way it actually looks when you play it for some strange reason. The world was pretty empty when I left, but it looked nice.

    UO (Classic) has it's own style - It just needs to be brought up to date by cleaning it up and increasing it's resolution. It doesn't need a radical re-visioning unless you plan on going true 3D, in which case, it's just a whole new game.
     
  38. chuckoatl

    chuckoatl Guest

    I have been playing UO since its introduction (with a 4 year break for college) The only way to get kids (yes thats who mainly plays games) to come to UO is graphics, plain and simple. Once they are here and get into it they will realize what and why this game has lasted 13 years. You cant make a second UO, people that have played since the inception wouldnt want to give up their items/housing. I would love to think that EA would invest some money into this. Everyone I talk to that games has played this game, 90% of them loved this game. It just got out dated and the new eye candy drew them in. Personally I love this game, and will probably never quit. Still the best PvP system ever made.


    I hope they get alot of people to come back, or get new players to play.
     
  39. Llewen

    Llewen Grand Inquisitor
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    /this a thousand times

    Even with all the debates over balance and fotm templates, insurance, Trammel, itemization, and so on, UO's pvp is still the most addictive and fun of any I have ever played in any MMO. There's just nothing out there that hits the sweet spot for me like pvp in UO does.
     
  40. Random adventuring.

    The ability to walk alone or with a group to a dungeon or in any directions and find something new and interesting.

    A dynamic environment that changes. Hidden rewards, odd items, wicked battles that come and go.

    That is... you never know what you might run into.
     
  41. Evlar

    Evlar Guest

    That's generally referred to as pre-Renaissance.

    You never knew quite who you might run into. :lol:
     
  42. Rotgut Willy

    Rotgut Willy Seasoned Veteran
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    The fact of the matter is that UO is a dying game for a dying breed of gamer (with the exception of pvp'rs.. who will thrive in any pvp scenario). No amount of improvement is going to create a rush of new subscriptions. Most gamers want the "latest and greatest" in graphics and content. Most gamers either want an "easy mode" with lots of eye candy, or they want a FPS shooter style game. UO is neither.

    Although UO has a solid base of loyal subscribers I don't think we can ever count on UO being the popular game it once was. At this point, new content is purely for retaining subscriptions, not gaining more of them.

    That said, the best way to recruit more players is by recruiting your friends. Explain to them the truth about the game. That UO is the most complex system in a MMO.. ever. That it has more options, possibilities and support for a wider variety of gaming styles than any other MMO. Let them know that it's difficult to learn but once they do, they will fall in love with it (hopefully). Also let any friends who previously played UO know that the game has grown massively in the past few years. That the explorable areas have more than doubled and new systems have been implemented. Maybe they will be enticed to return. I was! :D
     
  43. Llewen

    Llewen Grand Inquisitor
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    And I think you are dead wrong. I think there are a lot of people out there with active imaginations who are hungry for something that isn't all about twitch, or eye candy. I don't think UO could ever approach the numbers that WoW draws, but I think it could draw the kinds of numbers EVE draws if it was marketed, maintained and developed intelligently.
     
  44. Rotgut Willy

    Rotgut Willy Seasoned Veteran
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    Well we can agree to disagree on that. But I hope you're right and I'm wrong. ;)
     
  45. Llewen

    Llewen Grand Inquisitor
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    Ya, me too. The only thing is, implied in that "marketed, maintained and developed intelligently" is the need for continued investment, and that is probably the single biggest component that has been lacking.
     
  46. Aragon100

    Aragon100 Guest

    This.

    A classic shard would bring the most new subscribers and i can see it be done with little effort.

    Then advertise this classic shard.
     
  47. GarthGrey

    GarthGrey Crazed Zealot
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    I can only speak for myself, uhh, no I wouldn't. I wouldn't get in the car with someone that would play a bad game , because the graphics were killer...
     
  48. Llewen

    Llewen Grand Inquisitor
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    The great graveyard of computer gaming is strewn with the corpses of games that looked great but sucked in every other way, and most of them are outside the consecrated ground in the "commercial failure" section, and many of them are buried next to the corporations that created them...
     
  49. Franks and Beans

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    And I'd say that of the people I know around 90% of them quit because of all the cheating, but maybe that's because all my friends were honest players who got fed up with playing against a stacked deck.

    At this point there's not much that can save UO, it's become a bug ridden, cheat filled, outdated pile of crud with a skeleton crew of Devs. Really all that is left in UO are the cheaters and die-hard vets who can't let go of their pixel crack and houses.
     
  50. MariamATL

    MariamATL Guest

    So I voted for other and here's why......I think that real in store boxes with games would be the best thing for UO. It's a fun game (why else would we still be playing after 13 years) but how will someone learn about the game if they can go into EVERY game store and NEVER see a copy of it. I know that this was a cost saving measure and all but here's my story.

    I used to play UO back in the pre-Malas days and loved it. For several reasons, we had to stop playing for a couple of years. Now almost four years ago, I walked into a local Wal-mart one night looking for a new game to play. When I saw the box for 9th anniversary it brought back all the memories of the "good old times" so I picked up a copy and now 4 years later the rest is history!!! Had that box not been in my Wal-Mart I may have never come back to UO.

    Advertising would be a close second in my opinion.