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What's the worst part of starting the game now?

Discussion in 'UHall' started by morPR, Mar 31, 2015.

  1. morPR

    morPR PRmeister
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    You have to stare at that ogre and his nipples on the Mondain's Legacy splash page. (Far left.)

    Uh, anyway, it kinds disappoints me that young players are begging for LRC suits. I do not have a trammel house and when I do bother placing, its in the same Fel spot. Because I like talking to the customer while I work. I think they'd best just collect the regs and learn like I did for the majority of my game time. And get UOassist so you know when you're low.

    Lately I have two crafters. I forget how they match up but one does imbuing/ blacksmithy while the other has tailoring and the other craft skills. So its a team effort to make a suit I guess you'd say....
     
  2. Giggles

    Giggles Forum Administrator
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    The hardest things about "starting fresh" is...

    1. Starting gold does not match current economy at all. The most you can buy is a horse and maybe a few regs.
    2. Starting gear is not gear you can really play with. Not all 70's hell even all 50"s would be nice.. no full spellbook, and no lrc suits.
    3. For a brand new player you spend forever stuck in haven without a soul in sight. And when people do run by you, they assume you are just a vet making a new character. When people start a MMO they want to know that other people play it. going to wack on zombies in a brand new game will not be much fun without other people there doing the same thing.
    4. The starter quest chains really don't give you enough support to direct you to the main population for assistance and player interaction. No basic tutorials of moongates or general chat.


    Those are the main 4 I can think of.
     
  3. Ender

    Ender Crazed Zealot
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    Zero form of new player experience (Souls games are known for not giving any guidance and still tell you more of how to play) and basically the most complicated system of item properties I've ever seen.
     
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  4. morPR

    morPR PRmeister
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    Okay, sorry to change the subject but I think I would like to do a real quick interview with whomever would like to talk to me about a quick variety of subjects such as "the good old days" or "how long I played the game before my first death in game" or this original subject. hit me up on ICQ 105851819. I will post the results on the forum.
     
  5. azmodanb

    azmodanb Grand Poobah
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    1. Need starter suits.. Warriors need to start with an all 55 resist ish suit.. With maybe some stats.. A weapon.. With like 10 self repair.. And at least 50k would be nice.

    Mages.. At least 500 of each reg.. And maybe a 80% lrc suit with 20 lmc..

    These suits would be player blessed... Account bound.

    A starter mount like the anniversary mounts...

    ....

    Some book that tells where to find information.

    A rune book with luna .. Brit bank.. And new haven.

    If you pick a mage.. A spell book with at least half of all spells in every circle..

    Same for necro etc.

    Just a few thoughts.

    Might help some.
     
  6. Acid Rain

    Acid Rain Lore Keeper
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    Starter suits at 55 resists? 80% lower reg suit instantly for new players? More gold? I've never done a tutorial so I cant speak on that aspect but I have to say no on most of the other things mentioned.

    I played the Souls Games, each for about 6-8 months non-stop. If its on Xbox or PS I've probably tried it or utterly crushed it (how many people do you know that have 100% achievements in all the Oblivions, Dark Souls, Dead Space and many other D&D based games). I only mention that to illustrate that I am very familiar to gaming. You practically start the CoD and BF games with a toothpick and gum compared to what opens up later to players.

    No games EVER give starter gear over 70% close to the the top end resistances. All 70's suits are pretty much top end for new players regardless of how easily they are made (with a trained crafter) or how cheap they are sold.

    Cant you do an in game search and find full spellbooks on most every shard for 5-30k? I know I've done this on at least 8.

    What sense of accomplishment are you giving a new player when you hand them +70% of their initial game on 1st log in? Accomplishment often drives players to make new chars and try different templates thus sticking with the game.

    Most persons know in any D&D game you talk to npcs for quests to get free stuff and level up. In 1 hour of taking escorts to towns you learn locations, directions, landmarks, and a dozen more things that can help you later in your game all while making gold.

    Maybe they can tweak the New Haven blessed quest armor/weps/jewelry rewards to better represent current weapons and armor. Those quests were made a couple expansions ago and are definitely now outdated. Nothing given should last a new player very long before they out grow it.

    The rung of a ladder was never meant to rest upon, but only to hold a man's foot long enough to enable him to put the other somewhat higher. - Huxley
     
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  7. Merus

    Merus Babbling Loonie
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    Personally I think the biggest barrier for a real new player is the lack of what "should" they do. I know its a sandbox, and that is the true beauty of UO... but a new player will just drown in all the information...

    Personally I would love to see a 1 page dynamic document. The first half could just just a quick reference on the interface... what do the buttons on the paperdoll due, what does each box in the character status mean.... generic FYI applicable to all players. The second half could have some generic class info. If you select mage... it tells you about LRC, LMC, SDI, FC, FCR... perhaps some complimentary skills like Med, Eval, etc and how they interact. If you select tamer it tells you about control slots, different pets, stable slots... complimentary skills like Lore, Vet, etc. If you select warrior... you get the idea.

    1 page that gives you at least a sense of what they "should" do to develop along a general class based character.
     
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  8. Larisa

    Larisa Reporting Manager
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    You don't need to give new players anything but a little guidance.

    After the character creation screen, you come to the *Chose a trade for your character* screen.

    If you mouse over each one, it gives a short generic description of each.
    Once a trade is chosen and you log in, the New Haven Profession guide helps out a bit more by telling you where to go to learn more.

    New Players should be directed to talk to this npc before doing anything else.

    Once you speak with him, he directs you to the next npc to speak too. Make sure New Players know they have to double-click on the npc to speak to them, right now it's not clear.

    There are only a few minor adjustments needed really, some direction and guidance and that's it.
     
  9. Nexus

    Nexus Site Support
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    The Learning Curve.

    UO isn't played like any other MMO out there. Most don't have the Point and Click interface, they don't have the largely non-intuitive game mechanics either. Crafting is a prime example, how you go about crafting basic items is simple, but once get into imbuing and reforging and all the rest things become much more complicated.
     
  10. Ender

    Ender Crazed Zealot
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    Oh please, starter weapons in CoD are just fine.
     
  11. Philly

    Philly Journeyman
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    I say all the time, to myself of course (17 years later) I could not imagine being a brand new player in UO. They would and are completely lost. telling them to read don't get it. They literally need to be taken under someones wing. errr several someone's wings ...
     
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  12. Yadd of Legends

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    When I started playing UO and wondered what to do, I used Google searches to find the answers. I never found it a major stumbling block. And there were always helpful players around to answer questions. I think finding out what you need to know as just part of the game.
     
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  13. The Craftsman

    The Craftsman Lore Master
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    Let's just face it. UO isn't a game for new players.

    Wasting time and money on enhancing the new player 'experience' is also a waste of time and effort unless UO goes F2P. Until then there won't ever be enough new players to make it worthwhile. We just don't get enough through the doors due to the antiquated game engine, outdated subscription model, lack of marketing and general ambivalence by EA to anything UO related.

    Sad but true and until all of those things are addressed there is no point even looking at the new player experience for the handful of people who would benefit it.
     
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  14. hirikawa

    hirikawa Journeyman

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    The worst thing is that game might be closed before new player will get to the "top player" spot ;) It's half joke of course.
     
  15. TimberWolf

    TimberWolf Babbling Loonie
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    Ya I think most new players are dragged in kicking and screaming by existing players and are slowly won over! I know I was!
     
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  16. Dopamine

    Dopamine Visitor

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    Just came back to the game after about a decade break and started a new toon on siege. I can deal with the noob starter supplies. Making gold is no problem with escort quests. What may be good is an obnoxious HOW TO gump that will pop up besides the useless help button on the paper doll. That thing is only useful when you get stuck.

    How to find and engage in escort quests will not only make the new player money, but will get them exploring the map.
     
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  17. morPR

    morPR PRmeister
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    Oh I hate seeing them escort NPCs. I would rather they gathered resources like meat or go picking cotton in Mooonglow..
     
  18. Acid Rain

    Acid Rain Lore Keeper
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    Ok you come at me with ur iron sites no grip pea-shooter while I sit back on my infrared, laser scoped, distance gauged, modified gripped beast with placed motion sensors and a gunship over your head. Yes, most all games starting gear is stupid weak compared to what you open up later. UO is no different.
     
  19. Dot_Warner

    Dot_Warner Babbling Loonie
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    And then they'd quit the game out of boredom.
     
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  20. old gypsy

    old gypsy Grand Poobah
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    In the beginning...

    UO was a new world filled with an amazing array of possible occupations, most of which had the potential to be at least somewhat profitable. The lumberjacks, the miners, the crafters, the fishers and cooks, etc. had ready markets for their goods and could actually earn a living. Also, role play seemed to be more prevalent than it is today (a significant yet often under-appreciated and overlooked aspect of the game).

    Much has changed since those exciting early days of UO. In a symbolic sense, technology took over, making basic professions nearly obsolete. Today, the little guy in UO is giving up in increasing numbers, convinced that only the most aggressive (fighters, tech-masters, mass-marketers and high-rollers) can look forward to any significant reward for their efforts.

    There are dozens of possible reasons for UO's decline. Some blame its age and old artwork. Some blame scripters. There are numerous factors that may be blamed. But in the end, I suspect that the soul of UO may have gradually evolved to become more reflective of the real world than the world it was originally intended to be.
     
  21. drcossack

    drcossack Babbling Loonie
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    Gaming in general is like that though. Look at how console RPGs have evolved since the 80's. Since it's an easy example, I'll go with Final Fantasy (the original NES release): You start off with low levels, crap equipment, and no money. Once you learn what you're doing, how to get around the annoying targeting mechanics (Did you just attack a dead monster? Nope, you don't retarget), and level up some, the game is easy. There are no rare drops to get, there's one super-powered boss you may or may not see, etc.

    Other games in the franchise built on that core, added rare drops (which is the part I hate, and most of them aren't even worth it!), and others added grindmode (*cough* FFX *cough*) because the superbosses would ANNIHILATE you otherwise.

    Even in UO, it IS possible to do endgame activities (high-end bosses or pvp) with "crap" gear (an imbued suit, for mages anyway), but for most of the playerbase, that would be difficult.
     
    #21 drcossack, Apr 4, 2015
    Last edited: Apr 4, 2015
  22. SexySosarian

    SexySosarian Visitor

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    TBH I'm not even sure they need to focus on new players anymore, as the influx of new players is mostly nil.

    I don't want to sound negative, just honest.
     
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  23. The Craftsman

    The Craftsman Lore Master
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    I agree. Its a waste of time. there are no new players and an enhanced new player experience wont change that. The numbers are just too low due to a whole host of things which have passed the point of no return and are pretty much unfixable now. UO is a niche game.
     
  24. Ender

    Ender Crazed Zealot
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    Demon's Souls was a niche game and that franchise has become immensely popular.
     
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  25. SexySosarian

    SexySosarian Visitor

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    That game got great reviews, is on a popular platform, sold more than 500,000 copies and does not have an engine that was made back in the mid 90s. You can't even compare the two.
     
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  26. Ender

    Ender Crazed Zealot
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    I would guess more people own a PC capable of running UO than PS3 and PS4 combined, to be fair. Reviews and platform base have nothing to do with niche though.
     
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  27. MalagAste

    MalagAste Belaern d'Zhaunil
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    When I started UO during Renascence I thought OMG this game is awesome! I'm going to own a castle! Within 3 months I was hardened to the fact that I'd never "own a castle" hell I didn't even think I'd ever get a 7x7 even ever. Things were hard... getting money was a nightmare and I was always losing my stuff to something or another. Typically not other players but most often because I couldn't get back to my corpse in time... constant hang-ups on dial up and so on.

    Now... I've started characters from scratch on a number of shards... it's not that hard for me because I already "know" what to get and where to go. I try to interest folk in playing UO. My son's friends are always looking in going "OMG Mom are you still playing that?" I tell them that yes I'm still playing the best game ever... they don't believe me.... we get to talking over dinner or something and they mention this and that they liked in their game.. and I say "Oh yeah we have that in UO..... only it's this." And they are like "Really? Oh that sounds cool." but they never think about playing... the graphics suck... they don't RP ..... they don't want to pay the sub... The game is too expensive mostly with having to buy the game, 2 expansions ...... etc... they just don't want to do that..... and pay a sub fee.

    Another thing that burns newer players is all the crap that was a "one time" only deal that all us ole Vets have... Bane Dragons, Dread Warhorses... and before the blackthorns dungeon.... the 140 luck robe...

    They scream about unfair... and it is.

    I own a castle now never thought I would.. didn't buy it ..... inherited it.... I even have a place in luna and placed my own castle. I think I'd trade most that to have people back in UO...

    At this point I think I'd give up everything.... to start over on a new UO with true 3d graphics... If I could ever find a game that had everything I love about UO with good graphics... I would be there. But many games just don't measure up. Maybe it's just the ole nostalgia that keeps me here... but I just can't find what I want anywhere else..... and the further and further that we get from where we were... the more disenchanted I am.

    We do need a change.... we need to take a step back and look at each aspect of UO and think about how we can improve it... make it less complicated and such without losing the magic. I mean .... going up to a sheep and shearing it... taking the wool and spinning it on the wheel and then making it into cloth.... Ok gathering wool.... that's simple.... we should leave that alone.... Spinning the yarn..... Can we not just spin the whole bundle at once? How about having a thing that asked how much of this wool would you like to spin into yarn? And you just input a number and bam done... keeps the track.... but loses the 900 clicks. Same with cloth.... it could ask us.... how much of this yarn would you like to weave into cloth? input number and be done. This way you can still make cloth the old way one click at a time.... or you could save yourself 900 clicks and do the whole shibang at once... Things like that would improve the game by leaps and bounds.
     
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  28. Victim of Siege

    Victim of Siege Crazed Zealot
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  29. Captn Norrington

    Captn Norrington Trade Forum Administrator
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    One of the big issues I see for new players is all the variables involved in starting the game. For example, CC or EC, if they pick one they don't like, they might quit never knowing the other exists. Once they pick a client, they have to pick a shard. The game looks dead unless they pick Atlantic which is probably around 1 in 25 chance since there are so many shards, and if they pick a dead shard they quit thinking no one plays the game. Once they pick a shard they have to know where to go on the shard, even if they did pick Atlantic they will never see people and think the game is dead unless they go to Luna, Britain, or Fel Yew Gate. Even if they do find people, they have no way of knowing which profession to choose or how to train any of the skills without someone telling them.

    That is a whole lot of completely random choices to make in the first 5 minutes of playing the game, and all of those random choices greatly impact a new players opinion of the game and whether to quit or not.
     
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  30. The Craftsman

    The Craftsman Lore Master
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    And how much were they charging per month to play it?
     
  31. SpellBreaker

    SpellBreaker Journeyman
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    Here are some ideas and ideas only -

    Starter Items
    Start with City Rune Book 20 charges
    - If no city Rune Book then perhaps move Moongates to the inside of each town like Luna, Unbra and Skara
    Start with a horse

    Have tutorial that once complete
    - they have journeyman skill level or higher
    - 5m ish gold

    New Vendor
    Gold/Micro transaction vendor that sells scalable pre-made suits starting at 5m-ish (not uber - similar to the turn in vendor)
    - Sorcery Suit
    - Archery Suit
    - Swordsman Suit
    - Mining/Lumber Jack Suit

    Quest -
    Questing should be easy to understand. Currently most quest require you to have a bit of UO Lore/Map knowledge to complete. Perhaps an arrow like the one used for tracking should show the player where to go. I recently did the ship wreck quest and it required me to focus and ask for the help of other players. Baja is pretty slow so you can image how limited player help was. (thanks Missy) We even looked for some online 3rd party site help... and we are experienced players!

    Other

    Moongates to dungeons

    I'm under the impression new players need small victories and a sense of achievement.


    Be blessed,
    spellbreaker
     
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  32. Rhiannon

    Rhiannon Sage
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    Being a new player today is obviously and necessarily different than it was 17 years ago. Then, I wondered into a dungeon by mistake wearing a dress and no weapon, no spellbook, reagents. A good Samaritan found me, took me to Moonglow and told me to stay there learning tailoring until I had enough gold to start buying reagents. And that's what I did. Then he trained me in my magery skills and I eventually became a scribe. I did earn a good bit of gold with my new found friends and over the years also inherited

    I think it's vitally important for the guilds and good Samaritan singles that are left to catch these new folks who wander in for whatever reason and give them a major hand up. Give them a full spellbook, some armor, recommendations on where they can hunt for their gold with the least amount of death possibility until they get stronger. As for learning curve, we all had one. It's just 17 years bigger today. But the way to learn is similar and we need to help those youngsters with that too. Direct them to Stratics, UOguide, and helpful people and guilds.

    I still don't know for sure who the target market is for UO. My step-son started playing when he was 17 and enjoyed for maybe a year. Perhaps the younger ones don't LIKE sandbox games or something they can't "beat". *shrug* I just hope whoEVER currently owns the game can figure it out and keep it going for those who love it and those who might grow to love it.
     
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  33. HoneythornGump

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    Having to download 2 Gigabytes worth of patches before even being able to start the game.

    The graphics...as long as UO retains it's classic "low resolution" without adding new content the game will continue it's downward spiral.
     
  34. drcossack

    drcossack Babbling Loonie
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    That's part of the problem. Yeah, it's nice when there's a definitive endgame, but when you figure out how to beat it (whether through leveling or trying different tactics), what is there to do, assuming no postgame content? Kill rare encounters for even rarer items? Boooooooooooooooooring.

    That's the best part of UO. If you want to pvp, you can. If you want to beat the crap out of monsters, that's an option. If you want to make armor, go right ahead.
     
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  35. TimberWolf

    TimberWolf Babbling Loonie
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    I think our target audience is older...30-40 somethings with disposable cash.
    99.9999999999% of gaming 17 year olds like more combat orientated pvp. And those few that dont want massive player base so they can always find people to fight! Neither of Which is UO
     
  36. drcossack

    drcossack Babbling Loonie
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    I was one of those at one point. I loved (and still do) UO's pvp, even though, as a newbie, I basically only ran a few steps out of the Yew Gate GZ, got targeted by a few people in the main guild there (NBK), then ran back.

    For me, fighting outnumbered/solo is the most fun part of the game. Whether it's a 1v1 or me fighting multiple people, I like fights that keep me on my toes.
     
  37. Rhiannon

    Rhiannon Sage
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    Ironically, me and nearly all of the UO folks I played with/still chat with are quite a bit over that 40 something mark. Many of them *ahem* are nearing retirement age.

    What I find really appealing about UO and keeps me paying faithfully rather I'm currently playing or not, is that there is nothing you can't be or do. If you want PVP, PVE, garden, vendor, whatever, it's there to do. You are only limited by your imagination.
     
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  38. Serafi

    Serafi Babbling Loonie
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    Yeah - I think the market for UO, and the current player base is somewhat older than other MMO out there. However, my son tells me that the market for MMO is declining. The young folks wants free to play and MOBA
    (massive multiplayer online battle arena) instead.

    I think any gamer knows how to find information, how to talk to people, how to check out the map etc. I think giving new players too much from the start would diminish their feeling of accomplishment when they are able to get it on their own.
     
  39. The Craftsman

    The Craftsman Lore Master
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    I dont think UO actually has a target audience. The game isnt 'pitched' at all due to zero marketing and there seems little appetite within EA/Broadsword to change that. Everything is stacked heavily against any new player actually getting into the game what with the poor new player experience, outdated graphics, subscription fee, dodgy account management, steep learning curve. I think long ago EA decided to concentrate solely on the existing players and keep as many as they can for as long as they can (although they are doing a very bad job of it) to milk them for as much as possible for as long as possible. So sadly, UO doesnt have a target audience other than the existing players.
     
  40. Zuckuss

    Zuckuss Order | Chaos
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    The worst part of starting the game now is the complexity of information to take in. Time is required to get your footing in UO.

    UO's biggest target audience is it's old players. Attracting even 50% of them back would be huge.

    The way to market this to new players is to market it as the original mass scale MMO. Mention the depth, challenge and complexity. I think these things can appeal to people who have conquered all games and want to conquer more. Kinda how I sometimes like to watch an old movie I've never seen but have heard its good. There are too many people out there who don't know what UO is and who don't know the great experience they can get from playing it.
     
  41. Kirthag

    Kirthag Former Stratics Publisher
    Professional Stratics Veteran Alumni Stratics Legend Campaign Benefactor Evergreen

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    Both of my sons (who played UO from 2000 to 2004 on accounts I paid for) prefer MOBA games, but do have inclinations to RP from time to time. They are in their mid 20's (omg i feel old now!).

    I asked them both if they would be inclined to return to UO, their responses...
    Son A - "Wow, you still play that Mom? Well, if the PvP isn't all a gank fest as it was back-in-the-day, I might consider it. Are there still role players? I might get into that again - but gotta have the PvP!"
    Son B - "Wow, you STILL play UO?! Tell you what, Mom - get an XBox account and play Halo with me, and I'll think about going back to UO. If not, use the account however you want, you paid for it anyway."

    Basically, both are amazed the game still exists. When I mentioned UO is going to Steam, they were even more amazed.
    We got to talking more about it, they do remember the fun and community aspects they say cannot be found in the games they play. Both stated that is the most memorable feature of UO and made an impression.
    Both also mentioned the graphics are "old school" and if they looked more like Diablo (even isometric) they'd be more interested.

    Son A started waxing in favor of the RP, but Son B would rather play something more akin to Halo or even Firefall (another game we have fun in sometimes - but he's into those shoot-em-ups anyway).

    Son A is what many would call a "hardcore gamer with tendencies to be a fanatical RPer if given the chance". He games 3rd Edition AD&D and owns every gaming console and handheld on the market. I think he still has the crystal dice he "borrowed" from me and several of my MTG cards. o_O

    Son B is the younger of the two and quite busy as he has kids of his own. (yes, i'm that old!) He just got a PS4 and started bugging me to upgrade my GameCube. Told him sorry, I like Spyro too much!

    Both of my sons live on the East Coast - one north and the other south.

    And both mentioned that if UO advertised, they wouldn't have been so shocked to know it still exists.

    Interesting.....
     
  42. MalagAste

    MalagAste Belaern d'Zhaunil
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    LOL your son A sounds like my son. He used to play UO on Pacific years ago... but now he plays FFXIV and is ALWAYS trying to get me interested in that. I'm forever going..... Um No housing not playing.... however a year ago they put in housing ...... and I was like... well it's not very customizable and housing is guild only.... then they made personal housing..... well now there really isn't any housing available..... so I have an excuse again.

    However I have no interested in playing Leveling style games like that much. There isn't any RP in most those games. That's what I play for.

    I've tried to get him to come back to UO..... mostly he just shakes his head and walks off. I've tried to get some of his friends to play ..... Infact one of his friends used to be in my guild years ago.... was a lot of fun. But he recently handed his account over and said he wasn't going to activate it again.... he simply doesn't have the time. Though they did talk me into getting and playing Diablo III with them..... and it is somewhat fun.. for a distraction when I'm not busy with UO. But it won't ever replace UO.

    Most his friends stare at my screen going.... "Is that still that same game you been playing for years Mom?" I'm like "Yes"..... "Oh..... wow it looks different." "Yeah I been playing in the EC... besides it's the super awesome monitor/TV" "Oh yeah the monitor is awesome." Sometimes they make like they might play.... but then they ask how much it is a month and then go.. meh. Especially after looking at buying all the stuff ...... SA + HS and getting the sub... And then they are quick to say NOPE.

    I've even offered to let them "testdrive" one of my characters... but they just don't seem interested. They enjoy listening to my Vent conversations though.
     
  43. Val'lyn De'ana

    Val'lyn De'ana Seasoned Veteran

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    I can see the worst part of UO currently being something that probably can't be fixed.

    Too many players play UO solo. Even if they go to events, the majority of their playing time is wrapped up within their own little UO world.

    I remember how much comradery there was when I first started. When the developers made the big changes (ie Trammel, publish 16, etc...) many of those people left (including me). Since my return, I have noticed on every shard I have visited that there are very few groups any more. I'm sure there are many reasons for this change, but like I said at the start...there probably isn't much that can be changed to fix this.

    -Val'lyn
     
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  44. Zosimus

    Zosimus Grand Inquisitor
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    Perfectly said.
     
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  45. Val'lyn De'ana

    Val'lyn De'ana Seasoned Veteran

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    Thank you Zosimus :)

    It probably has more to do with the length of time people have played in addition to the way other online games have been developed. With 6 or 7 character slots nobody really needs another player to get what they need.

    I suppose this is why I have chosen to play Siege Perilous, but even the one character per account can be gamed with the use of soul stones (not throwing stones in this glass house since I have purchased a few myself).

    UO is a sandbox, but if the developers don't create more content that lends itself to groups, they are losing out on something this game is missing.

    -Val'lyn
     
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  46. Zosimus

    Zosimus Grand Inquisitor
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    You're welcome!


    My views.....


    When a player becomes self sufficient who needs others to play with when you can do it all yourself.

    When you can solo everything why depend on others.

    UO sandbox has become a litter box per say with to much unneeded crap added and not enough content.

    Group content has mostly gone to the wayside because of the decline in population.
     
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  47. drcossack

    drcossack Babbling Loonie
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    Yeah. For me, it's a lot of solo play, if I'm not pvp'ing (where I have been known to play in a group, due to it being necessary. Plus group pvp is more fun), although I will help people out if needed. There is literally ONE thing I cannot solo on the pvm side of things, the Shadowlords in the Ararat.
     
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  48. Tina Small

    Tina Small Stratics Legend
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    I think there's a bit more to the issue of people not grouping up so much anymore than just "self-sufficiency."

    Over the years, other things have happened that discouraged a lot of people from doing a lot of things together:

    • Back around the time Jeremy Dahlberg was the community coordinator for UO, the dev team deliberately slowed down the rate at which monsters spawned in an attempt to slow down the rate at which gold was being introduced into the game. This made it very, very tedious for someone who had more experience in the game to take someone who was new to the game under their wing and go hit up a dungeon and help that person get their feet wet killing stuff. You would literally stand around for minutes at a time waiting for ONE monster to respawn, kill it, and then wait some more for the next respawn. A change that was probably made to discourage gold farmers ended up driving away a lot of honest players. People who quit at that time, I'm sure, remember how dreadfully boring it could be and probably won't believe you if you tell them the monster spawn rate isn't quite so hideously slow anymore.
    • For quite a few years, we had no access to guild or character search. We finally have guild and character search back, but the dev team has still not seen fit to return the ability to see which are the largest/most active guilds on any particular shard. In addition, there is no way for anyone to see the aggregate skill level for guilds so that guild masters and other officers of guilds that include newer players can see what the guild's strengths and weaknesses are.
    • General chat has in some ways made it less of a requirement for people to join guilds for companionship by theoretically making it easier to find other people to do things with. But not everyone enjoys using it, so those who don't and who belong to very quiet guilds or don't belong to any guild might end up being more isolated.
    • Before the introduction of shard shields, PvP guilds who decided to check out another shard had to pay the full freight of character transfers and that, in my opinion, made them more dependent on each other on their new shard because most people only transferred over a select number of characters and then shared a house together. When it was time to experience a new shard, more transfer tokens were purchased and off everyone went to rinse and repeat elsewhere. I think shard shields pretty much shattered that pattern, however, at least for the players who have been around the longest, but kinda left the "younger" players hanging and I think drove some of them away because they just couldn't keep up with all the movement without having to drop a lot RL cash or gold in the process for transfer tokens.
    • Faction artifacts more or less blew up the need for people to do a lot of PvM hunting to obtain artifacts to sell to other people. I think a lot of people who enjoyed grouping up for peerless or Doom to get artifacts to sell eventually just drifted away because they didn't want to PvP and there was little reason for them to stick around to run vendors. Imbuing and reforging pretty much cemented the situation.
    • The few times we've had story arcs in the last 4-5 years where there have been monsters that most people couldn't solo, the hit points on them have been ridiculously high and the drop rates for the items that you got for killing those monsters were ridiculously low, making for events that were not necessarily fun but were really just a grind to get items you could turn around sell at insane prices to people who had lots of gold but a low threshold for boredom or not enough time to go get the items themselves.
    • A lot of the tougher stuff that's been added have area or other types of effects that aren't exactly conducive to trying to clobber with a smallish group, especially when they spawn in small, closed-in locations.
    • New content other than EM events has been very sparse for quite a few years now. If you've done everything else multiple times and aren't into doing EM events, then you might not play very often anymore because you're just bored with it all and ultimately that can and does end up affecting how the other people you associate with play too.
    • [ADDED] New content like the Void Pool in Covetous that should have been wonderful for encouraging group play quickly became uninteresting to most after the novelty wore off because the rewards are too time-limited to be useful to most people and possibly because a lot of people are sitting on a glut of resources from IDOCing or scripting.
    Anyway, just thought I'd put those ideas out there. I'm sorry if I didn't express them very well. However, the real point I'm trying to make is that self-sufficiency isn't the only reason people don't play in groups anymore. It's quite a bit more complicated than that.
     
    #48 Tina Small, Apr 7, 2015
    Last edited: Apr 7, 2015
  49. Val'lyn De'ana

    Val'lyn De'ana Seasoned Veteran

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    Oh, I'm sure there is (thanks for the enlightenment) I've been gone quite a few years and really didn't keep up on the game during my time away. There is certainly a lot to catch up on.

    -Val'lyn
     
  50. MalagAste

    MalagAste Belaern d'Zhaunil
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    I've always prided myself on the Self-sufficiency... though I do know it's kind of a downfall but you got it right in your first paragraph... the spawn rate in most places is so dismal and slow that you can't possibly take a group into them... they would be bored out of their minds in no time at all.... Infact one or two people can pretty much obliterate all spawn from Destard... I can remember back in my early days when it took a whole guild to kill ONE dragon. Now one person can destroy them all in no time.

    There really is very little for a guild to do... most things and area's the spawn rate is so slow you can clear the entire dungeon alone. I recall going to shame and working spawn in one little area and you'd no sooner kill something and it would instantly respawn.

    I wish they could have some code that could adjust the spawn to the number of players in the area. If someone is actively hunting there then the spawn rate stays normal... another person joins the spawn rate increases a bit... 5 people enter the spawn rate increases more and the amount of spawn increases as well... So instead of 2 or 3 mobs in that area you have 2 mobs spawning per person.....etc.... making it more challenging and more fun... and if they really wanted to improve "community" and give folk reason to join a guild they could have it so when the spawn bumps up like that so does the loot... And they could make it so being in party wasn't a detriment by putting more special in your pack drops in for being in a party... Something like this would make it harder for folk who multibox... and better for normal players to band together...
     
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