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Whats The 1ST, 2ND And 3RD Changes Done To Uo That Caused A Decline In Subs ?

Discussion in 'UHall' started by olduofan, Mar 7, 2011.

  1. olduofan

    olduofan Guest

    Whats your Opinion ?

    And what could be done to fix it ?


    I would like add some rules If I could Please just post your opinion and how YOU feel about it. (I'm hoping we can avoid arguing and flaming here)
     
  2. copycon

    copycon Guest

    1. Richard Garriott and his development team selling / leaving due to EA takeover
    2. Trammel introduction and ruleset (there were better alternatives)
    3. The economic destruction caused by AoS itemization

    To be honest, the damage has been done at this point. Barring a miracle or a drastic change in direction, UO will continue on its current path until it is no longer profitable in my opinion.
     
  3. Tanivar

    Tanivar Crazed Zealot
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    1) Unrestrained PKing driving out other players & causing Trammel to be created.

    2) The AoS expansion.

    3) Screwing around for 10 years and not providing a Classic Shard, and so motivating many to go to other games for non-consesual PvP.

    Create a Shard with item effects taken out of the combat formulas and item info displays, and put the Fel ruleset in place on all facets of that shard.
     
  4. silent

    silent Lore Master
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    1. Trammel
    2. Too much landmass, t2a, malas, tokuno, stygian,
    3. Less engaged dev team

    Too late to do anything about it, the genie is out of the bottle...
     
  5. Madrid

    Madrid Slightly Crazed
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    Disagree with number 3. The Economy is what it is...

    Duping/bugs have done more damage to the UO Economy than the introduction of any items. Many times....the economy will balance itself out.

    I agree with 1 and 2.

    A few others I would throw out there are:

    1) The constant changes to PvP (Particulary the era of 1997-1999 when precasting was around). When special moves and dismount were introduced the PvP changed for the worse and has now become heavily item dependent where as during the 1007-1999 era it was skill oriented. Hence the outcry for a Classic Shard for almost 10 years now.

    2) How about the introduction of other MMORPG's? You can blast the Dev team for this and that but the competition has increased greatly. We're talking about a billion dollar market I imagine. It's pretty cut throat and UO really is the Mother of all MMORPG's and was the first of it's kind.

    3) Lack of marketing and a low resolution Client. Without a game that looks good your not going to be bringing in new players. Same goes with marketing. No one but us old timers seem to know about UO. Certainly new kids coming into the gaming market aren't likely to pick up and try UO as much as they would some other MMORPG's.

    4) The Jurassic Users: 2D users who have bitched and moaned about every client every Dev Team has tried to introduce. The Jurassics in their unwillingness to accept change may in fact be the Doom of UO unless the Dev teams come to their senses and realized there is no pleasing these longtime ever faithful UO players. Certainly the 2d client circa 1997 Ultima VII Black Gate graphics aren't going to attract new players. Attracting new customers is essential and vital to keeping any business solvent.

    With all that said I like what the Dev Team has done over the past 4 years since I returned. I'm not at all happy about pulling the plug on UOKR and I really want to see a high resolution option. Something along the lines of what Saphireena has posted on her website would go along way to pleasing players on both sides I believe and bringing in new players.

    The content added on the PvM side has been great. Stygian Abyss, High Sea, Mondain's Legacy have all been great additions for PvM'ers. Hopefully they'll continue to add to it.

    Overall content wise they've added alot of postive things there's just alot more competition out there than there was in 1997.
     
  6. Zosimus

    Zosimus Grand Inquisitor
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    1) AoS made UO a Calc exam.

    2) To much landmass with very little uses besides housing.

    3) Very little ingame support.
     
  7. Madrid

    Madrid Slightly Crazed
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    I disagree with the landmass. Landmass is not a problem... the lack of subscribers to fill the landmass is.

    Goto Atlantic or some other medium populated shard and try finding a location to place a house.

    Imagine if UO was bursting with new players and then how hard it would be to find a spot!?

    That was the case back in the day where people actually left the game because there wasn't enough space to place a home one of the really unique aspects of UO.

    I personally like new scenery and all for having more landmass. In fact I hope they continue to add more and more.:thumbup1:
     
  8. jaashua

    jaashua Guest

    Yup. Trammel actually brought in players.
     
  9. Storm

    Storm UO Forum Moderator
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    True/
     
  10. copycon

    copycon Guest

    While I do agree that the economy would eventually decline as the game ages and new games are released, that is not an excuse for the current state.

    By allowing players to gather unlimited amounts of resources with no counter balance and enabling them to create virtually indestructible characters is a bigger issue that no one seems to care about. EA has effectively eliminated almost the entire element of challenge which has increased tedium and caused players to become bored with the environment.

    Agreed. Duping and bugs are also big points, though I hardly believe that the bugs alone have caused very many players to leave outright.
     
  11. Martyna Zmuir

    Martyna Zmuir Crazed Zealot

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    1) Unrestrained PKing driving out other players & causing Trammel to be created. (Couldn't put it better myself, though I would separate out Trammel as it brought people back.)

    2) AoS (While I have learned to adapt, many others just don't want to tolerate it, however we all know it’s not going away now.)

    3) EA constantly dicking with the Dev Team. i.e. the move to Redwood shores gutted a good team. The move to Fairfax did this again. Then the IDIOTIC "cost cutting" measures being to fire their lead designer (Draconi).

    Honestly, once they got rid of the cream of the Dev Team, everything that the... remainders... have produced has been seriously sub-par.
     
  12. Nexus

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    1st) AoS I think it changed the feel of the game too much for many people, I don't mind it but that's just me personally.

    2) Economy, most people don't understand how it works in the game honestly it is functioning exactly how it would be expected to within the range of features the game presents.

    3) Idiots, There are still to many of them. I'll let each person decide who the think falls into that category.


    I actually disagree with this, I think Duping and Bugs have had a minor influence in the economy myself. How much gold has duping brought in and how much has vanished with 100K+ accounts that have left since AoS? It probably comes close to balancing out....

    I'm more on the opinion that AoS's item properties made the gold sinks that were part of the system negligible. How much gold does a champ spawn introduce into the game? How many spawns on your shard go down every day?

    Let me use Siege as an example of this....

    Siege has a smaller base of players, it has a better system of redistribution of wealth because of lack of insurance, but I can promise you this Spawns aren't done as often on Siege as on other shards, less gold is introduced into the system. The Sinks in place are still more effective when used. Gold simply isn't able to be horded in mass quantity as easily by everyone as on Production shards.
     
  13. copycon

    copycon Guest

    Sorry to go off topic, but I think that is a misleading statistic. I think that the combination of advertising, the year, the affordability of computers and advancements in technology (high-speed internet) had more to do with the influx of players over any specific change to UO. But, maybe that's just me. :)

    Obviously there is no way to prove or disprove anything...
     
  14. Nexus

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    That's true but you can also argue that subs peaked just after AoS launch.... Giving us a couple of years of Trammel while marketing in stores didn't stop til after SE launched.

    Me I think more than anything alternatives hurt UO. When it was released there weren't any other open network MMORPG's by 2003 there were quite a few..
     
  15. copycon

    copycon Guest

    Does anyone know for certain? I've often read people mention that Trammel helped UO gain subscribers, but I don't recall ever hearing or seeing subscription levels drop significantly before then. To me, it would seem that a player would first need to experience UO to know what Trammel is. So how could Trammel be the sole reason for increasing subscribers when they weren't there to begin with?

    Regardless, no one seems to know one way or the other. I have my beliefs and others have theirs, and thats fine.

    Agreed. Competition hurts, and UO fails miserably at stacking up in most categories. There is no denying that. :)
     
  16. MalagAste

    MalagAste Belaern d'Zhaunil
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    1) AoS itemizing the game and taking it from a game of community to a game of "gimme, gimme, gimme what do I get". I love the housing changes and the customization..... HATE the itemization changes to PvP... etc that made me want to scream and pull my hair out trying to build the "perfect" suit for all 40+ characters. Love Pixel crack hate the changes to armor and weapons.

    2) The lack of the DEV's to come up with a decent client... and the inability of the "prehistorics" to part with the old. I still think that had they just pulled the plug on the 2d client when they introduced 3rd dawn we would have a true 3d client by now.

    3) EA's constant downsizing and jacking with the DEV's moving the game HQ all over driving out the cream of the crop leaving a shell of the former team. I'm still under the impression that EA is CLUELESS as to how to manage an MMO and they seriously don't have any idea what they are doing.. They can't even manage decent support either in game or out. It feels almost as though they are "trying" to make UO fail.
     
  17. Woodsman

    Woodsman Guest

    To me, landmass became a problem because it divided players and communities geographically. When Trammel was implemented, there were too many communities that were uprooted. While many moved because they simply didn't like PKing, there were also many that moved because they were tired of living out of a bankbox or sharing a small house with a few other people. Housing prices prior to Tram were insane. A lot of those communities never recovered or they were altered in some way. On some shards, Tram basically made it feel like there were two different shards running on the same hardware, with little interaction between the two. That would be my first.

    While Tram was obviously needed, and as others pointed out, UO peaked well after Tram so Tram wasn't the reason for the decline, with the uprooting of established communities, it gave people less of a motivation to stick around.

    2) My second, AOS, and Pub 16 (I associate the two since they radically altered it).

    This. This probably should be my first choice. It is not a coincidence that UO started losing a lot of people at a time when EVE Online and Star Wars Galaxies launched with World of Warcraft just around the corner. EVE Online offered the kind of PvPing that many felt had left UO (And Draconi even considers EVE to be the spiritual successor to UO). A lot of people wanted a space-themed MMO, especially since EA wasn't going to follow through on Privateer Online. A lot of people followed Raph Koster to Star Wars as well.
     
  18. Nexus

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    Wikipedia page on UO lists peak subs at around 250,000 in July 2003 right after the AoS launch.
     
  19. Only 3 changes? Damn, I gotta pick from the 10 I already have. Anyway, here it goes.

    1) AOS and the item based system.
    For a new player, weapons, armor, jewlery, arties, marties, etc. are just overwealming, not to mention expensive. New players can't just raise skills and then find armor and weapons to equip, they practically have to figure out how to build a suit around skills and stats.
    Casting Focus? Mage Armor? Well, that's easy to us, but to a fresh new player, that's gotta be confusing as hell!
    Then you tell 'em some items have caps, some stats are capped, and some mods can be modified but only to a certain extent.....you just lost 'em.
    Nothing you can do to fix this at this point. Cat's outta the bag.

    2) Poor EA marketing, advertizing, customer relations, and a constant developer change at all levels.
    Seriously, when you change locations 3 times, fire GM's, outsource customer service, switch designers and developers, change artists, and combine departments, how can any progress get made?
    As for marketing, well, there is none. Honestly, the last time I saw a UO on the store shelf was the 7th Anniversary (2004).
    And I bet that if you put 1,000 people in a room and ask them if they've ever heard about Ultima Online, aside from current and former players, you'd hear crickets.

    3) For me, number 3 was a toss up between Dupers, Scammers, and Cheater, and Graphics. I give the slight edge to graphics.
    You just can't sell and market a good game today with old, outdated graphics. I use WoW for example. Nice graphics that are marketable and graphics that todays players expect in a game with todays technology and standards. But imho, nowhere near as fun or addicting as UO.

    Graphically, UO never kept up with the time. Games like UO2 were right on course, but when it was cancelled, UO would never again catch up. By the time Third Dawn was out, even those graphics were outdated.
    True most of us were in love with 2D, yet rather than fixing and polishing it up, the did nothing to it. When CRT computer monitors were being replaced by larger LCD monitors, screen sizes were never changed, resolution was never chaged and pixels were never polished.
    Instead, we got a half done, rushed product in KR with missing art and memory leaks.
    Now, we have the EC that's still buggy and not totally finished.

    In summary, the greatest game in the world destroyed by the worst comany in the world. Thanks guys. :rant2:
     
  20. UOKaiser

    UOKaiser Guest

    So did AOS. Only PVP players where lossed during AOS and the new players of AOS eclipse the number of pvp players losed and then sum making it the highest subscription rate UO ever had.
     
  21. jaashua

    jaashua Guest

    Except DAOC was 2001 and WoW was 2004. Basically, up until AoS, every MMO released actually BROUGHT players to UO. You'd have thought that the 10M players WoW introduced to the market would have caused a little splashover into UO, but that didn't happen.

    That tells me that there is indeed something about AoS that drove people off.....probably people who weren't interested in creating spreadsheet just to be able to formulate their suit of armor. As for why there was no spillover from WoW, my guess is that 1) the graphics crossed a boundry around that time, beyond which they could no longer be considered even quaint and 2) the game, thanks in part to AoS, has become so absurdly deep and complex that new players feel lost for up to a year after joining.
     
  22. UOKaiser

    UOKaiser Guest

    I know of things that lead up to UO destruction but I'll prefer to say what kept UO going and why.
    1) Trammel without it UO would of disapered before the year 2000. I was there and new palyers were leaving as soon as they came in. Without trammel it would of being over. There were other alternatives but something had to be done.
    2) AOS even though the older players hated it especialy PUB16 but UO was in a constant decline being unable to compete with item based games like Diablo. A new genration of item hunting was drawing any potential UO and current UO players away. So UO had no choice but to bring them back with item modifications. This brought many subscriptions of the PVM and crafting,collecting and adventuring type. This fueled UO subscription to new heights. This of course angered the remaining pvp players as this was a change from simple black and white to a more complicated system of battle. Many couldn't compete and couldn't adapt so they left. Though there departure didn't matter as this brought many players to UO that enjoyed diversity, finding different items, building and challenge of craftmenship and of course pvm for a reason and not just for Role playing purposes. Of course after this was life support mode which slowly drained UO population for other games.

    3)ML brought new life and SA. But SA had a flaw a big one. SA made absolutely everything from the beggining of the birth of the game obsolete. Previously expansions would just make a small part obsolete but SA went all the way back in time to try to revert the game into UO cave man days to gut it like a ultra reverse pub 16 on steroids. This time there just not going to be enough new players to keep up with those who are leaving. No advertising,no interest, too much competition, outdated graphics , and no support from the vets. There is no way they can pull another AOS especialy a reverse AOS.
     
  23. Zosimus

    Zosimus Grand Inquisitor
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    Subscriber numbers peaked at around 250,000 in July 2003, and in 2008 sat around 75,000 subscribers.[3] As of April 2008, Ultima Online held a market share below 0.6% of the massively multiplayer online game subscriptions


    With EQ out in 1999, DaoC ln 2001, WoW in 2004 after the AoS expansion in 2003, and the many games out today, UO cant compete without advertising. Cal mentioned about digital download but there are still many online games that still put out on the shelf.
     
  24. Nexus

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    Ok put screen shots of game play up side by side between UO and WoW or even DAoC. Tell me what you are going to market? History? Culture.. Tell me how many high school and college kids that are into the gaming culture really care about either of those..
     
  25. Derium of ls

    Derium of ls Slightly Crazed
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    /thread
     
  26. Zosimus

    Zosimus Grand Inquisitor
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    I already know that answer as you do. Hell lets go another step. Lets talk about kids games online. They are even graphically better then UO. So many games plus add the console games that have online capabilties the population is spread out. They all have one thing in common. They are seen and heard (advertised) versus UO is spread by word of mouth or by accidental chance.
     
  27. Derium of ls

    Derium of ls Slightly Crazed
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    it did yes, but it set the groundwork for ignoring PvPers. things like factions came out but they were not done well. Was tram a bad idea? Not completely.

    I would have made Tram a place for only homes. Let people enjoy being safe around their house, but still allow open PvP everywhere else.

    also tram was tied into his number 1 reason. Garriott hated the idea and was against the way it was going to be done.
     
  28. Kasumi_Chan

    Kasumi_Chan Guest

    I can't say for subs, but the 3 reasons I think the game in general has gone downhill...
    1 - 100% LRC standard
    2 - age of shadows (chivalry was the ONLY good thing about it)
    3 - power creep.. i.e. every expansion makes items from the previous completely obsolete (see the peerless craftable arties compared to imbuing)
     
  29. Liquid_Ape

    Liquid_Ape Guest

    1) AOS


    I am not sure about anything else specifically. Perhaps it was EA's decision to not promote UO anymore. New expansions are neither designed for, nor marketed to new players. They are designed to keep old players from leaving. You can't grow the game unless you come up with something people want to play and then spend some money letting them know about it. Right now UO is in a steady death spiral and it seems that EA only wants to slow the process, not reverse it.
     
  30. Lord Frodo

    Lord Frodo Grand Poobah
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    1. Origin Systems, Inc. Founded in 1983 by brothers Robert and Richard Garriott

      September 1992, Electronic Arts acquired the company.

      In 1997, they released one of the earliest and most successful graphical MMORPGs, Ultima Online.

      They never sold UO to EA. EA owned OSI for 5 years before UO came out.
     
  31. GalenKnighthawke

    GalenKnighthawke Grand Poobah
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    Without reading any of the other posts in this thread, I'm going to use magic to predict the top answers people will give.

    1. UO being taken over by EA.
    Problem: EA bought OSI years and years before UO, in the late 80s/early 90s.

    2. Trammel.
    Problem: The usual evidence people cite to say that Trammel caused a decline in UO subscriptions is one or more of those MMO data sites. And even if you accept their data, which there may or may not be reason to do, they don't show a decline that can reasonably be attributed to Trammel.

    3. Age of Shadows.
    Problem: Technically speaking, if you use those MMO data sites as your source, UO peaked after AoS. So if AoS caused people to leave it sure as Hell had a good lag period.

    And of course the biggest problem with any answer that anyone will give, and the problem with the thread in general, is that it is designed to assume that UO is the cause of any problems in UO. While doubtlessly the product must bear some responsibility for its own fate, no product, least of all UO or any MMO, exists in enough of a vacuum to be the sole determinant of its fate.

    For example, the AoS launch was associated with major lag on the LS shard, which at the time was a very major shard. The cause of that lag wasn't AoS, but rather (a dev from the time openly spoke of) a hacker launching denial of service attacks on it. Surely this mattered in terms of creating a frustration level, the kind of frustration that causes people to leave.

    Any decline of subscriptions post-Trammel is, by some, attributed to Trammel, neglecting the fact that UO had competition for the first time; doubtlessly competition caused some of that decline. Also please note that all of UO's PvP-oriented competition (Shadowbane; Darkfall) has either failed or not lived up to expectations. By contrast, Everquest is still around as a viable entity (more or less!) and WoW is...Well, WoW.

    Any argument that "so and so led to a decline in subscriptions" has to do a lot more than show it was correlated with a decline to be convincing. And a lot of the time people don't even have that much.

    So, what this thread really devolves into is....What 3 things do you, personally, hate most about UO. And God knows we have more than enough of that **** here on Stratics.

    -Galen's player
     
  32. Basara

    Basara UO Forum Moderator
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    We're still waiting for the FIRST change that caused a drop in subs.

    Changes causing a net loss in subs HAS NEVER HAPPENED - at least not in the 6 months after the changes.

    1. PKs were part of the game from day one, and caused a net decline in subs tat started pre-Trammel, and reversed itself after Trammel was released.

    2. Each released expansion has caused an increase in subs, then slowly declined as players tired of the games or found other things to do (school, real life, other MMOs, and even a measurable number of player loss through RL deaths). The only changes that may have initially hurt subs were the indications that 3D & KR would eventually cause the removal of the Classic/2D client - neither of which happened.

    3. Every increase in the decline in subs from #2 resulted from the latest "UO-killer" competitor being released, and when those failed to do so, some of those that left came back, while many others did not.

    So losses of subs have not come from game changes within the game, but

    1. Changes in the players.
    2. Changes in the technology.
    3. Changes in the competition.

    all of which were NOT changes to the game, but changes to the playerbase, player market, or LACK of change at EA.
     
  33. Basara

    Basara UO Forum Moderator
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    Galen:

    IF you look at the actual charts on those MMO sites, many of them change their Y-scale at around the time of the Trammel introduction.

    Actually regraphing the same points onto one chart shows a shap decline starting pre-Trammel, that turned into a RISE twice as fast as before the decline, with Trammel.

    Because of the changes in scale from graph 1 to graph 2 (a Y change of a factor of 10), that rapid increase appeared as a nearly flat line, before the dropoff that resulted from the release of competition that had NO PvP.
     
  34. Ill formed question premise.

    Is there One first change ... that caused UO to lose favor with the "market"?

    nope. :danceb:
     
  35. Derium of ls

    Derium of ls Slightly Crazed
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    1. OSI being taken over by Ea was part of it, but not until around 2000. Garriott was against the way they wanted to do Tram. He felt forced out and hence left (more reasons that tram). And EA also messed up A LOT of things in this game... major things. So I think it's a valid thing to say. Who cares when Ea bought OSI, what matters is how they handled OSI. period.

    2. tram was refreshing when it came out. However it was too much IMHO. If you want to speak of data go look at mmorpg and notice around 50% of players in polls want PvP to be involved in their MMO. In UO however it doesn't feel like that, PvP is an entire world away. I'm not against tram, but I think it was poorly done. So again I feel it's a valid reason, a lot of the thrill is gone from UO.

    3. AoS killed UO period. Ask anyone who no longer plays UO why they don't. 90% will say AoS. It's even killing the game now, noticed people on here starting to say "stop adding so many new and better items"... That's AoS. Everyone knows AoS is the number one reason people will not come back to this game. So that above all is the most valid reason ever. Playerbase might have peaked when AoS dropped, however, that was right at the time of the internet gaming boom. If AoS was a good thing we would have continued to gain subs, not spike really high really fast, then bottom out within a year.



    you need to remember, we can't consider something a success just because things didn't go poorly right away. you need to look at long term damage. If i planted a virus in your computer that slowly did damage over time to it, and 2 years later my virus lead to the death of your computer. There is no way you would blame your computer for its death, stating my virus happened so long ago it's no longer valid to blame.
     
  36. olduofan

    olduofan Guest

    After reading some of the commits here I feel I should explain myself better if I can.

    Im not a very well articulated person at all. So yes it was an "Ill formed question premise"

    Also I in no-way was looking for people to post about "What 3 things do you, personally, hate most about UO"

    And I should have said what changes where made that eventually was disliked by most people like AOS items based path for example.

    The thing that had me post this thread was reading anther thread/poll about the direction the devs are taking UO and trying to figure out why we are not growing like other huge games like WoW (which I dislike). I was kinda hoping it mite be helpful for the Dev team and give some incite as to what the general online gamer likes and doesn't like.

    So I apologize for that lack of asking the question in a more intelligent way.

    I also understand why some mite feel I was starting this thread in a negative way. I have been away for many months and I have had a chance to clam down and change my attitude. (I hope it last)
     
  37. Woodsman

    Woodsman Guest

    This is a very valid point. As UO gained in subs, EA should have expanded the dev teams and should have worked to keep them around rather than forcing them out, directly or indirectly. Dev team turnover is a part of why the 3D client development slowed down, and dev team turnover set UO back time and time again as new people were brought in and had to be brought up to speed. As the subs peaked after AOS, it was clear that UO needed a lot of work, especially in the graphics/client department, to keep up. At that point, UO was still bringing in enough money to pay for what was needed to keep it competitive. But instead, we got the usual dev team turnover and money being sucked back into EA.

    I guess you could say that if there was a point at which EA really blew it, it was post AOS. It wasn't necessarily because of AOS itself or what EA specifically did, it's what EA didn't do with UO.

    EA placed too much value on the short-term profits and not enough value on the long-term profits, and this is a big part of the reason why EA got their asses handed to them in the MMO game.

    Within the 2003-2004 period, you had EVE Online stealing away a lot of hardcore PvPers, you had Star Wars Galaxies stealing away Raph Koster fans (and both games stealing away space fans) and then you had WoW gaining momentum in the PR game until it launched in 2004.

    You also had plenty of AOS subscriptions that existed solely to place houses, just like you did with UO:R. There is no telling how many of those there were.

    There still comes a point at which there is too much competition with updated graphics. It is not a coincidence that UO started dropping as the choices in the MMO market exploded. Everybody got to see the numerous mistakes that EA management made as well. EA was still treating UO like it was a year-to-year property and not something that would be around in 5 years. From the start Blizzard treated WoW like it was going to be around for the long haul and they invested in it.
     
  38. RaDian FlGith

    RaDian FlGith Babbling Loonie
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    For what, nigh upon literally, must be the 5,000,000th time, by the time UO was even in development, Electronic Arts already owned Origin Systems Inc.

    I'm uncertain why people don't understand this simple, basic fact, but there was never a UO before Electronic Arts.

    As for the other two points, the first, Trammel, actually increased subscriptions.

    The second, yes, decreased subscriptions, but it was primarily due to the slow reaction time of the development team in fixing the bugs that went on for over three months for the initial fixes, and on into the first year after release for minors.

    For my response, I would identify:

    (1) Large periods with a failure to innovate and add to the game. Every period of transition between EA Austin to EARS, from EARS to Fairfax... these were HUGE periods of inactivity, with MONTHS of time spent trying to get "back up to speed."

    (2) The failure to bring the game to modern systems while still maintaining the uniqueness that is UO. Over the years, people left UO simply because it never grew up in terms of quality. UO:3D was a step in the right direction, but by the time the client was stable, there were fewer people using it than had failed to purchase UO:T2A when they decided to give it out for free. KR was a dismal failure, and the EC has taken years to even become something approaching stable. It's a bad trend that continues to drag UO down with it.

    (3) Shoddy development work. You can't release new systems full of bugs and then take literal months to fix them. Eventually your playerbase tires of waiting, and even the most loyal begin to leave.
     
  39. jaashua

    jaashua Guest

    Trammel was the simple-thinkers answer to the crisis. Not only did it lack elegence as a solution, it was also the kind of change that could never be undone or truly rectified if it didn't work out.

    Still, it bought them plenty of time to get something like factions worked out.....so I can't buy that Trammel, even in part, is responsible for the downfall of the game. The fact that they are incapable of coming up with any good ideas for factions is a WHOLE other matter.
     
  40. Viper09

    Viper09 Grand Poobah
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    1. AOS: started seeing a decline around here
    2. EA calling the shots and pretty much leaving UO with very limited resources
    3. Sooooo much landmass with absolutely no purpose! While tram did kind of peak for subs, a total copy of the original lands was totally unnecessary. It certainly helped for housing issues. Because that was when getting an avg sized house spot was actually rare. There should have been more creative options for tram.
     
  41. Derium of ls

    Derium of ls Slightly Crazed
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    this sums up my feelings, taken from the new thread in uhall:

    http://vboards.stratics.com/uhall/236893-interview-rich-vogel-former-associate-producer.html


    How much ability do you as the developer have to act? In theory you have the powers of a god inside these games, but equally the players can go "We're fed up with these changes and restrictions, we're off and taking our money and maybe our friends with us." How much of a balancing act is it?


    RV: It's a huge balancing act. One of the things we want to do is always have a fair playing field. Whatever we do we need to make sure we have a fair playing field and everyone has the opportunity to get where they need to be. If there's anything we do that is unfair we won't do it. So improper conduct is not tolerated. But it happens, right? People get corrupt and GMs get corrupt because they're people and GMs have a lot of power.

    Yes, we do have a lot of power in those worlds, we can do what we want, but if you don't listen to your player base and change things radically they'll leave and they will take their friends. This is a huge lesson because this is a connected community, so different from single-player games.


    You mentioned the reputation system in UO that you used to try and rein in the chaos. How did that work?


    RV: Basically we try to motivate people to do what you want them to do. You don't want motivations in the game that motivate people to do the wrong thing, the opposite to what you wanted. That was the balancing out of putting a reputation system in.

    Becoming a dark lord in UO was actually kind of cool, but that's not what we really wanted -- but that's what happened -- and we had to balance it out so there's friction when you become a dark lord, and there are things that will happen to you that make the game harder for you. But the game mechanics really, to be honest with you, in day one should have been where you want to promote the good behavior not the bad behavior, not the griefing behavior.

    Engineering at midstream is very, very hard to do because things start to get solidified in people's minds, and if you change the game too much people feel have to relearn things and people leave. I think the biggest thing that Blizzard did before they launched World of Warcraft was have a solid core game that didn't change much after launch. Additions happen, but the base game, the core mechanic didn't, whereas other online games changed drastically from when they first started.
     
  42. Dermott of LS

    Dermott of LS UOEC Modder
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    ...

    I wouldn't say that AOS caused a decline in subs considering that the known sub numbers topped out AFTER AOS was released. When posters whine about AOS, what they're referring to was the change to the item mod system. What they're for getting was the introduction of Chivalry and Necromancy (something asked for since BEFORE UO:R... Necro itself made it to TC was was shelved indefinitely as the original system was a bug filled MESS), a LOT of new housing area (the Malas "trailer park"), and the ability to completely customize houses from the ground up.

    The first "expansion" that lost subs was PRIOR to AOS and it wasn't UO:R or Third Dawn. UO:R started the gain in sub numbers rising again after they had nearly flatlined due to competition from EQ. Third Dawn showed a small bump due to interest in a new client but stayed flat afterwards. The first directly post expansion drop was LBR because 1. It really wasn't an expansion at all. It just added Ilshenar to the 2d client. Plus there was the whole issue with the boxes loaded with junk (Borgthorn toys) that people with multiple accounts had to buy a full box for each account... no upgrade codes.

    If you want to find a post-AOS reason why subs dropped, look at the next two expansions: SE and ML. I read a LOT of derision towards SE because of the Oriental theme. A LOT of older UO people saw the inclusion of ninja and samurai as a joke, a "jump the shark" moment. As for ML, consider what Heartwood and its quests are... scripter heaven or UO's version of Raiding... yeah THAT worked well.

    Secondly, I have to agree that the cross-country moves have done a LOT to hinder the quality of the game. Original assets LOST on the first move and the vast majority of devs that did the work on creating the KR client on the second before it could get completed enough to be considered truely viable as a client.
     
  43. copycon

    copycon Guest

    I used the "/" so I wouldn't offend people like you who obsess on technicalities of who owned what legally. Obviously it didn't work...

    My point was, while EA signed the checks, Garriott (OSI) "owned" the design and direction of UO because it was theirs to build as they saw fit. When that changed, UO changed for the worse.
     
  44. JoO

    JoO Seasoned Veteran
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    1. Lack of motivation (ability) to fix bugs QUICKLY.

    2. Lack of direction for the game other than give em more land and stuff.

    3. EA's treatment of this game as the kid under the stairs.
     
  45. Snakeman

    Snakeman UO Forum Moderator
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    1) AOS
    2) UO Not being present on store shelves in Box form (Can't sell something if it's not on a Store shelf in sight)
    3) The Constant changing this & that to what each Dev team thinks is best for the game & they hardly play if at all. (And we get the comment "We thought it was a good idea in theory" be it in PvP or PvM) Only a couple of Dev's hit things on the money but as soon as a new team comes onboard, they would be changed again
     
  46. Bombastic Fail

    Bombastic Fail Certifiable
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    1. Introduction of Trammel

    2. Introduction of AOS

    3. Introduction of... *Insert any expansion after AOS here*

    **Honorable mentions: Introduction of other MMO's such as WoW, DAoC, and Everquest**
     
  47. RaDian FlGith

    RaDian FlGith Babbling Loonie
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    Errr... it's not a "technicality." Electronic Arts owned Origin Systems for half a decade before the release of Ultima Online. Origin Systems Inc. was purchased in 1992 -- otherwise known as the year that Ultima VII: The Black Gate was released. Also otherwise known as "Before Richard Garriot and anyone at Origin Systems had even conceived Ultima Online."

    Also, your original quote was:
    Your use of a slash in no way rectifies the discrepancy of "due to EA takeover." Richard Garriot didn't leave because he sold Origin to EA, he left well after Ultima Online was published because of creative differences. None of this is technicality, it is fact.

    The problem with your statement is that it continues a legacy of disinformation that pervades corners of the internet. The fact remains that OSI was owned by EA LONG before UO hit alpha, much less the store shelves. EA was always, at some level, an influence in UO. The fact that EA still doesn't understand why UO was a success is a tribute to EA's continued lack of vision, but it doesn't mean that they didn't always own Ultima Online.

    Actually, given that Richard Garriot didn't leave until well into the development of Ultima Worlds Online: Origin, even that statement is silly. Certainly the first change in Development Teams had an affect on the development of UO, but Garriot and Starr Long were already off working on UO2 which became the cancelled UWO:O. Raph "Designer Dragon" Koster's departure from Ultima Online -- and several other key figures at the same time -- certainly had an effect on the development of Ultima Online, primarily that we didn't see "advanced" alchemy and necromancy for a great many years after their departure. However, make no mistakes that even Koster realized and was looking at the issues that plagued early Ultima Online development.

    By the way, Raph Koster didn't leave OSI because of Electronic Arts or anything so mundane. He left because he was offered the opportunity of a lifetime: The chance to head the development of Star Wars Galaxies.

    My point is plain and simple... It's one thing to attribute things to UO's slow demise into the state that it's in today, but it's an entirely different thing to use illusory correlations, misrepresented facts, and poorly based innuendo to point towards those deficiencies.

    Use facts, not make believe, to support your arguments.
     
  48. Derium of ls

    Derium of ls Slightly Crazed
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    I gotta say, Garriott hated EA. anyone who easter egg hunts in Ultimas knows that. And he hated EA before the buyout.

    also, EA gave him $250k to make UO. EA hd no part in making it, they actually hindered it by forcing Garriott to work on either his new Ultima, or UO. EA shot UO in the foot before it hit alpha even.

    yes yes it's all argument, this I know. Just image though, what if it wasn't EA who bought them? Would our Lord have ever left? Would he have did Tram the way he wanted? Would he have allowed UO to go from medieval to the current sci-fi game? And most important. Would he have allowed AoS or comic book mechs be added into the game?

    who knows, UO could have died back in 2000 if things were different. One thing I know for sure though, EA doesn't care about us the players or the game. Never has never will. period.
     
  49. RaDian FlGith

    RaDian FlGith Babbling Loonie
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    AOS definitely did not start UO's decline simply by a change of item properties. Sure, people had to get used to them, but it wasn't the end of the world. Most people who have come to appreciate that UO had to adapt look back at the way item properties were handled as "bad introduction, needed implementation," not as a wholly bad situation.

    Necromancy and Chivalry, as you correctly assert, were things that brought additions to the game that had never really happened in the game's history prior. Sure, our skills changed some, but this was the first time that two wholly new skillsets were introduced. Customizable housing, vast spaces open for housing (at a time when housing was ridiculously impossible to place even for small plots), and other minor features were all boons to Ultima Online.

    The true damage that was done by AoS was the trend of release crap, fix over the course of months. Now, don't get me wrong, it's amazing UO survived (and it wouldn't have had it not been the pioneer game on the market) the early days at all, because no one was prepared for how well it was going to do, so it was often "release crap, fix later" when it came to UO. However, the earlier days were replete with much regular bug fixes and addressing serious game issues as quickly as they could. By the time AoS came out, it was such a huge mess of bugs, and they made the extremely poor decision to QA a huge publish rather than pushing out smaller stuff as it was fixed. It was just a **** poor period of UO development.

    However, I agree with you that the damage came in further expansions. I don't think UO:SE by itself was a dark milestone, it just wasn't enough to draw people back for a long period. Mondain's Legacy on the other hand... yeah, an expansion pack for "elves" simply wasn't enough. It was nice to have a new player race, but the quest system (still) suck(ed)(s), Heartwood wasn't really impressive, and Peerless, while something new, not exactly a lot of content.

    Quick side note: Necromancy wasn't shelved because it was bug ridden... it's true only a single spell made it onto test center, but the shelving was due to Koster's departure from the game, and the departure with him of several other key folks. In short, the thing that has often plagued UO since hit in its first iteration: One DevTeam departed, and the next one came in without a clue of how to pick up where the last one left off. I sort of fault the lackadaisical environment at OSI for that though... my guess is that early UO was poorly documented, shoddily backed up (as evidenced by the complete loss of early development assets), and generally run as "We Create Fun Worlds" not "We Are A Serious Business." That last item, sadly, is probably what led to the death of EA Austin, formerly OSI.
     
  50. Storm

    Storm UO Forum Moderator
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    He also would not have let pkrs exist in the way they did! would he have created tram probably not! it was the players who made the game go in the direction the game did ! they forced it ! what they should have done is made it so if you went red and you died it was forever and you lost every thing or at least made it so there was very very sever actions for what you did!
    to force everyone to be a killer in a game that was creating a world was wrong and would never have worked!
    a world cannot survive with total chaos!