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

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

    Dismiss Notice

Why Is It.....?

Discussion in 'UHall' started by Tina Small, Feb 12, 2012.

  1. Tina Small

    Tina Small Stratics Legend
    Stratics Veteran 4H

    Joined:
    May 12, 2008
    Messages:
    7,535
    Likes Received:
    1,927
    I've been noticing so many threads in the last few months that seem to be focused primarily on increasing the number of castles in the game.

    Why is it that this is such a big focus in UO's 15th year of existence, instead of some other topic that might actually help the game exist a few more years?

    Instead of so much focus on helping a handful of people acquire the ultimate symbol of greed in UO, why aren't people building threads on how to bring in more players and getting them to stay around for a while? If I was someone who had been away from UO for a while and stopped in here and browsed threads, I'd really be turned off by so many threads that only seem to be concerned about how a player can get more "stuff."

    Why aren't people screeching at the producer and the developers to add more features to UO to help run guilds and alliances and to help new and returning players become immersed in actually playing the game (instead of just throwing a pile of stuff and gold at them and immediately making them think UO is only about greed)?

    A few years ago, Sarsmi kicked off a thread for rounding up some great tips for newcomers/returnees. The final, cleaned-up version of that thread resides here: http://vboards.stratics.com/uo-players-corner/136673-uo-tips.html.

    Surely by now, more could be added to that thread. Also, wouldn't it be helpful to the developers to have a thread dedicated to reporting broken/glitchy quests? How about a thread talking about New Haven and what would make it a better experience for totally new players? Or a thread tossing around ideas on how to get people more interested in PvP and/or factions? Or how about a thread with ideas on how to REALLY support casual players who only want to play UO for a few hours a week and don't necessarily want to get sucked into the idea that the only way to really have fun in UO is to end up sitting on multiple castles and keeps and billions in gold and artifacts? I know I'd love to be able to play UO that way, but it just seems like anymore most anything new that is added to the game is just a grind designed to suck you into playing far more hours per day or per week than is really healthy for anyone.

    Eh, I don't know why I'm even going to bother with posting this. I guess it comes down to having a hard time completely walking away from UO because of the many fascinating people I've met while playing it. YOU made it fun and I truly wish there was a way to stick around without getting so dangerously sucked into UO. I'd so love to just be able to sit down for an hour or two every other day and play, but it just doesn't seem possible anymore. I've also got old friends who used to play that feel the same way. And I would imagine that many people who have played and quit UO for a while know precisely what I'm talking about. I often think that if there was a way to play UO without getting so sucked into it and without being made to feel that you are a failure at the game because you don't care about trying to "have it all," maybe it would have more players than it does now.

    Sorry for the intrusion, folks. Just had to get a few of these ideas off my chest. Have a great day.

    :)
     
  2. flappy6

    flappy6 Sage
    Stratics Veteran Stratics Legend

    Joined:
    Jan 17, 2005
    Messages:
    605
    Likes Received:
    141
    Who would want to join a game like this (swords and magic) and cant even aquire the best house in the game(castle or keep)because some sorry people abuse house placement,place 400 houses blocking spots,and then it is aloud? Oh im sure your gunna drag a new player in for that small, house thats in a bad location.Oh wait they can save up a billion gold and buy it from a broker(prolly inside guy).
     
  3. Woodsman

    Woodsman Guest

    flappy6, RtB houses are not keeping new players from joining. I've talked to a few new/returning players, in recent weeks, and none of them were running around pulling their hair out over RtB houses.

    The things that would help - improved graphics, improved website, better new player experience, etc. are all things that should have a high priority.

    The website for instance, I was trying to find a link to an old UO site, and found a Stratics thread from 2010 that had a list of broken links on UOHerald that had that link, and that link is still up on the UO Herald.

    And like I said in the producer's letter thread, the only new thing the current producer has announced since he started last fall is the reincarnation tokens. Everything else he mentioned was stuff Cal was talking about. And half the stuff Cal was talking for growing the game about has disappeared. No revised new player experience for starters.
     
  4. Uvtha

    Uvtha Grand Poobah
    Stratics Veteran

    Joined:
    May 24, 2008
    Messages:
    6,528
    Likes Received:
    2,914
    If I were a new player (or an old player like I am) I wouldn't consider castles the "best" houses in the game, merely the biggest, and with no ability to customize, they would seem less appealing to me than a moderate sized customizable house.

    I really dislike castles. They are boring and take up far too much space.
     
  5. Tina Small

    Tina Small Stratics Legend
    Stratics Veteran 4H

    Joined:
    May 12, 2008
    Messages:
    7,535
    Likes Received:
    1,927
    I've never cared about owning a castle and the few keeps I've ever owned were shared with guildmates and almost had to be pushed on me because we'd outgrown the storage capacity of the customizable housing I've always preferred.

    I realize that at one point in the game's history, castles and keeps played an important role as guild headquarters. I wonder if it might be possible to perhaps institute a new type of guild headquarters, one that is truly built by the efforts of guild members and not owned by any one person. What if EA were to add a new type of building in towns throughout the land that could be rented by guild leaders? The storage capacity of the building and the features that would be available within it would be dependent on the number of members in the guild and their total skill level. Maybe new styles of crafting add-ons could be available only in town guild halls and perhaps they could give very small bonuses to crafting based on the guild's aggregate knowledge in a particular skill. In order to hang on to the building for any length of time, the guild would have to maintain a certain number of active members with a total skill level above a certain amount and also pony up a weekly rental fee.

    I dunno. Probably a dumb idea and maybe a rip-off from another game. (I haven't ever played any other real MMOs.) But maybe adding something like that to the game would enliven the towns a bit and make guilds/alliances thrive again.

    And maybe if EA is leery of ever putting game population information on public websites, maybe they could at least make that information available at guild and alliance levels in-game at guild halls through bulletin boards or books or something similar.
     
  6. PitrGri

    PitrGri Guest

    That would be very handy for us, alliance leaders, that have to deal with 10+ guilds... but there are always way to work around the system... :D
     
  7. Zosimus

    Zosimus Grand Inquisitor
    Stratics Veteran Alumni Stratics Legend

    Joined:
    Jul 3, 2004
    Messages:
    4,370
    Likes Received:
    720
    Tina makes a good argument and some stong points.


    My views:

    More items dont bring in new players.

    Bigger houses dont bring in new players.

    Paying EA more money for perks don't bring in new players.

    Enjoyable and consistent content brings in players.
     
  8. Shakkara

    Shakkara Slightly Crazed
    Stratics Veteran Stratics Legend

    Joined:
    Jul 27, 2003
    Messages:
    1,274
    Likes Received:
    475
    The game needs two things badly:

    * Consise and transparant game mechanics. Even veterans don't understand how half the game mechanics work, so what about the new players? The interface/gumps/item descriptions are about as counter-intuitive as it can get and doesn't provide any insight at all. It doesn't matter that the game is complex, the problem is that the game doesn't present the information clearly or at all.

    * Better graphics. I have several people that are actually somewhat interested in UO but refuse to play because of the graphics and outdated UI.
     
  9. Taylor

    Taylor Former Stratics CEO (2011-2014)
    Professional VIP Stratics Veteran Supporter Alumni Campaign Benefactor Alumni

    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2008
    Messages:
    8,023
    Likes Received:
    1,714
    Make March bug fix month.
     
  10. Zosimus

    Zosimus Grand Inquisitor
    Stratics Veteran Alumni Stratics Legend

    Joined:
    Jul 3, 2004
    Messages:
    4,370
    Likes Received:
    720
    and April! :D
     
  11. HD2300

    HD2300 Certifiable
    Stratics Veteran

    Joined:
    Apr 2, 2006
    Messages:
    1,783
    Likes Received:
    10
    I'm sorry but enhanced graphics is vaporware. If in the last 5 years nothing has happened... its the same team, well smaller now... it is not magically suddenly all going to happen in 8 months.

    The number of developers is proportional to the number of subscribers. The only way to get more developers is to increase the number of subscribers. F2P is what everyone should be pushing for.
     
  12. Dermott of LS

    Dermott of LS UOEC Modder
    Stratics Veteran

    Joined:
    May 12, 2008
    Messages:
    5,320
    Likes Received:
    528
    ...

    *whistles an ironic little tune*
     
  13. silent

    silent Lore Master
    Stratics Veteran

    Joined:
    May 12, 2008
    Messages:
    1,082
    Likes Received:
    186
    I don't recall seeing a flurry of posts about doing much of anytihng with castles. In fact castles havent tied up a minute of a devs time since they nerfed recalling into courtyards so I have no idea what you're talking about. You may be seeing an increased amount of buying / selling and that was only because of the IDOC fest. So you don't like castles, fine, enjoy your pretty 18x18 and be happy.
     
  14. Zosimus

    Zosimus Grand Inquisitor
    Stratics Veteran Alumni Stratics Legend

    Joined:
    Jul 3, 2004
    Messages:
    4,370
    Likes Received:
    720
    Thats has already been addressed in the Jeff's tweet post.
     
  15. elspeth

    elspeth Guest

    I think she's talking about the large number of threads about houses, specifically RtB houses and how everyone is pushing for ideas on how to get them to decay which would bring another big round of IDOCs perhaps and make more space available for housing so more people might have a chance to place castles. While something that should happen, it is true that it will not affect new players much at all and as such OP suggests perhaps this should be a lower priority.

    I agree that I'd rather see bugs fixed (like the runic tools giving wrong DI, website getting cleaned up) and some systems revamped (like removing the penalties of smelting high level ore, making aquariums more interesting, improving the new player experience in Haven) rather than getting houses taken down if it had to be that we chose one over the other.
     
  16. Dermott of LS

    Dermott of LS UOEC Modder
    Stratics Veteran

    Joined:
    May 12, 2008
    Messages:
    5,320
    Likes Received:
    528
    ...

    The only problem I have with the RtB houses is if they're standing without being on paid accounts. If we can only have 1 house per account (plus grandfathered plots), then it should hold true regardless. Any RtB house not on a paid up account needs to be demolished regardless of why.

    As for Castles and Keeps, it wouldn't break my heart to see them go away. They've always been the most inefficient use of land in the game, ugly and laggy beyond that.

    Finally in actual, non-flippant answer to the above post about the EC graphic overhaul, it IS being worked on, it just got delayed a bit due to the event publish. This is the latest I have from the source (Grimm):

    Ahh Concept Artwork - When it's going well, it's such a treat to do. Can't wait to blow you guys away with the upcoming artwork! @UO
     
  17. Lord Frodo

    Lord Frodo Grand Poobah
    Stratics Veteran

    Joined:
    May 12, 2008
    Messages:
    5,840
    Likes Received:
    2,324
    F2P does not mean more money for UO. Just because UO may have more people playing if it were F2P does not mean EA is going to give more money to UO. More paid subs would = more Devs.
     
  18. Nails Warstein

    Nails Warstein Rares Festival Silent Auctioneer
    Professional Stratics Veteran Alumni Stratics Legend Campaign Patron Ultima Broker

    Joined:
    May 28, 2004
    Messages:
    2,694
    Likes Received:
    1,153
    I agree with the original poster in that its more important to add content, fixes, and integrating new players with the old. However in life its about pleasing the customer, and we want it all. The best solution for extending the life of any video game is advertising. There needs to be new boxes on the shelf with CDs to load the game up with free gifts included.
     
  19. yars

    yars Lore Keeper
    Stratics Veteran Stratics Legend

    Joined:
    Jun 4, 2003
    Messages:
    956
    Likes Received:
    134
    We need more decor and event items,that's what brings the new player's in.gotta have a nice big eyesore to store it in,and there's not enough lag around them either.:p
     
  20. Minerva Foxglove

    Stratics Veteran

    Joined:
    Jun 19, 2008
    Messages:
    683
    Likes Received:
    327
    I dont understand why castles get the blame for the fact that oter things dont get done. The castles just stands there and devs spend no time working on them. I have one and would like it costumicable, sure. But I post more about new players than castles.
    I love to costumice and deco but after ten years in UO I had to sacrifice one of my two houses to buy a castle for storage. I had fun decorating it, with all plants and carpets and stuff it was easier nowdays to make it look like a home.
    The reason was, I spend lots of time in Britannia, was shop manager for a big old shop, ran 19 vendors and also gatrhered stuff for other vendor owners.We are crafters and hunters and sell what we get from that so always stock to store.
    The very small guild on Europa dedicated to informing and equipping new players was shrinking down to just me..and we had a keep full of donated equipment from a big bunch of dedicated europa crafters.. I needed to save all this..
    So two years ago I bought a castle and moved the donations ower. My crafters work there every day for hours. I rebuilt my old 16x18 at Trinsic gate to a New Player House with atleast 50 books with basic info for new players..just short essays for guidance and inspiration, added some cheap vendors selling essential stuff for when im not there , dye tubs, runebooks crystal portals, lockpick chests ..Basic items on display.. I spend hours each day talking to new and returning players..The EMs even locked down a book in Haven how to get to my place. I need my castle! Or rather the storage. I wouldnt mind if it was smaller . I have reapers spawning outside and inside..and gargoyles, its a weird building to move around in, Its not practical for really working in. Its built to fit for showing off , run museums and perhaps for big guilds..
    Being a castle owner feels ambarrassing to me tbh. Everyone that dont have one seem to have opinions about how we are. I have friends that are really nice good uo players with castles, and I have guildmates for years not knowing I have one. I call it my other place, not my castle.
    Just saying we are no special breed of greedy ppl that needs to be hated and blamed for anything and everything. Some of us mine our ingots and chop our wood as anyone else. We just happen to live in a big unpractical building that has the storage we need as long time very busy players:scholar:
     
  21. popps

    popps Always Present
    Stratics Veteran Stratics Legend

    Joined:
    Feb 27, 2004
    Messages:
    13,445
    Likes Received:
    461


    I think that after some 15 years, and with fewer players around, perhaps it is about time that a way to provide the same storage capacity of Castles also to smaller Houses is given.....

    Make it a purchaseable code to add a cellar to an existing House so as to provide new revenues to the game, make it a Veteran reward given to players who have been playing the game for some time, make it whatever, but I think that if a player enjoys, for example, living in a log cabin in the woods, they should also be able one way or the other, to eventually upgrade it up to make it possible to enjoy Castle capacity storage at some point.........

    Perhaps not right away, it should be a goal to conquer (that is why I mentioned Veteran rewards...) with some effort and over some time, but I would like smaller housing having the same storage capacity of Castles.
     
  22. A Thought Elemental

    A Thought Elemental Journeyman

    Joined:
    May 21, 2011
    Messages:
    270
    Likes Received:
    2
    I think the houses-everywhere thing is more complicated than RTB stuff.

    I know someone who has a castle and it looks to me (from his guild records) that he hasn't logged on to refresh it in years. It's hard to imagine that he's paid his account month after month for all this time without logging in once, but maybe it's the case.

    I wonder if all of the houses not associated with paid accounts suddenly dropped, if the servers would look kinda bad. More empty than players would prefer to see. Maybe all the extra housing sitting around makes for an illusion that is best left preserved. Some things can't easily be undone once tried, and that's one of them.

    As far as these threads on this board go, I feel like I see the best ideas for this thing come and go, and they are ignored. Stuff this thing could really use and it's like ppl may as well not have wasted their time discussing it. Can't help but wonder who is veto-ing stuff up there at mythic hq or wherever.

    PS: i haz a castle on drachenfels!!! :D
     
  23. Woodsman

    Woodsman Guest

    I know a lot of castle owners who no longer play or who just keep up on Stratics, who keep paying their accounts simply because they have castles. There's actually a kind of a phenomena about it - I think it was Raph Koster who said they took a look at home ownership in UO and found that castle owners were 4 times more likely to keep playing/paying than owners of all other houses.
    The servers already look bad simply for the fact that there aren't that many active players on most of them, or the players only concentrate in a few areas. Even if a third of all houses disappeared over night, the bigger problem is simply active players actually being in the game. That's what gives me a sense of how far UO fell over the past 10 years.

    I will say that I was surprised at how many IDOCs were replaced when IDOCs were toggled back on. I really thought a lot of the spots in non-prime locations would remain empty.
     
  24. Goldberg-Chessy

    Goldberg-Chessy Crazed Zealot
    Stratics Veteran Stratics Legend

    Joined:
    Dec 27, 2004
    Messages:
    3,160
    Likes Received:
    1,038
    Small house? Wtf are you talking about?

    An 18x18 is easily obtained for any level of player. You are calling 18x18 small? What fool thinks that a new player should be owning a keep or castle anyway?

    I have been playing 14 years. My first 3 years were out of a small house. Did not hinder my interest or gameplay at all even though players also had castles back then. It actually makes your gameplay better if you have goals to attain. Unless of course you are the ADD type that thinks everyone should start at the top, play for 6 months and then quit because they are bored. Plenty of other soon to be forgotten games can offer you that.

    Nobody should be playing any game of susbstance and obtaining the best items asap.
    If you dont understand this you are just a 'have not' whiner playing the wrong game IMO.

    There are cheaters abusing things in every game. The sad thing is that the cheaters really arent affecting the new players at all. It is only the vets that get all worked up. And in most cases the vets will even admit that they have everything they could ever want and are just worked up on principle. Kinda silly IMO. Cheating sux but when you let it consume you, you are no use to anyone ingame.

    New players are happily discovering some great stuff every day and they could care less about rares, castles, and all the other ADD nonsense. They most certainly dont need a few bored and disgruntled vets with cancelled subscriptions to tell them anything lol.
     
  25. Zosimus

    Zosimus Grand Inquisitor
    Stratics Veteran Alumni Stratics Legend

    Joined:
    Jul 3, 2004
    Messages:
    4,370
    Likes Received:
    720
    This thread by Tina is not just about housing. Her post has more substance but some have just focused on her first sentence only.
     
  26. Felonious Monk

    Stratics Veteran

    Joined:
    Jul 8, 2006
    Messages:
    671
    Likes Received:
    154
    How about..........wait for it...........
    Advertising?
    Or is ea games to ashamed of Ultima Online to draw attention it?
    Bug fix and Advert month
     
  27. Zyon Rockler

    Zyon Rockler Guest

    We would have to understand what the priorities are if there are parallel systems being worked on and what those systems are.

    If it came down to one thing or the other, I guess we would have to leave it up to the Devs to decide what is best. We don't have all of the facts and we don't know what else could be done after changes take place.

    If you look at UO as systems, you can be very unbiased even though you can form an opinion, it will not change the facts. Some of the problems with housing is that it is a high priority. You need a place to live and if you examine the system you will find that the possibilities are different than what you might think.

    For example: When Trammel opened, I had marked every available space for a house and I noticed that the Devs had planned out a certain amount of housing sizes. So, from that point I always wondered what the exact number is and I have always been concerned about the size of the map. I think it's to small.

    So, I marked all of the places you could put a castle or a keep, all the places you could put an 18 x 18 and from there I always wondered how the system is going to manage growth because the areas or terrain prevent any change in the number.

    So, it's kind of like saying the Devs pre-planned how many players the shard would be able to maintain.

    For example: If you place a small house in a small area that will only hold a 4 x 4 the system is dictating that forever, that house will remain a 4 x 4. Now, if the map had been drawn to hold a castle or we'll say an 18 x 18 and somebody placed a 4 x 4, the system would then say that growth is possible. So, basically this becomes unfixable without a new map or without doing the current map.

    Now, of course, you can allow for more items but how many items can you work with within a 4 x 4 space. So, the more opinions you throw at it, the more you'll find the fact will never change. Some houses are small and will remain small. Players who own small houses will be more likely to leave the game.

    It's funny that you brought up guilds because I was just thinking if it would ok to charge people real money to join my guild. I was thinking something like $10.00 a month, $100.00 a year. That would really show dedication to the guild.

    I guess GP is kinda the same thing. Imagine being able to set payments to maintain your membership. I really like that idea but what bothers me is when you start talking about guild systems, is that you just opened up the other thousand ideas that need to be taken care of. I mean think about it, we lost the guild stone and now you want a guild house. I mean that would be great but they took away our stones. Why would they give us a house?

    But then the 2 issues or the thousands of issues are almost impossible to prioritize, unless someone can show some real numbers it always seems to be anyones' guess and even when they have the numbers they don't care because it's going to come down to budget.

    Yeah, I would like to see alot of Forums covering different systems but I think Stratics already has to many of those stickies as it is. I think the best thing would be for everyone to get together in the game. Meet somewhere and talk with each other, I mean everyone but then Stratics would be out of business.
     
  28. Woodsman

    Woodsman Guest

    They'll get plenty of free advertising in September from all of the gaming websites. They already get a lot of free advertising every week from a few gaming websites that were started by former UO players. Massively/Joystiq mentions UO at least once-twice a week alone.

    I do think the bugfix pace picked up last year. The problem seems to be not enough developers. This summed it up:
     
  29. MalagAste

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

    Joined:
    Aug 21, 2000
    Messages:
    18,973
    Likes Received:
    5,458
    EA hates UO... It's very hard to find UO stuff on their website.

    If you didn't already "know" about UO I doubt you would ever come across any mention of it on the website.

    Even searching PC games on their site you don't see it.

    UO hasn't spent .02cents on advertising UO in ages. I seriously doubt that's going to change in the near future.


    Before they waste any time on that they seriously have got to update the new player experience.... I mean seriously if anyone is going to stick with playing UO beyond the trial 14 days I'd be amazed. The way things are now it's nearly impossible to keep anyone interested in it or even show off the true beauty of the game... There isn't even anything decent to help new players on the "official" website. If they don't know about stratics they aren't going to either... not that most who play ever read forums either.
     
  30. elspeth

    elspeth Guest


    Minerva, it sounds like you've done something truly wonderful. I'd love to come visit, what server are you on?
     
  31. LadyNico

    LadyNico Always Present
    Stratics Veteran Stratics Legend

    Joined:
    May 13, 2003
    Messages:
    14,719
    Likes Received:
    1
    This Minerva Foxglove's on Europa, and yes, she & her guild have done much for new players & returners over many, many years. Start in New Haven and you'll see the book locked down by the bank.
     
  32. Uvtha

    Uvtha Grand Poobah
    Stratics Veteran

    Joined:
    May 24, 2008
    Messages:
    6,528
    Likes Received:
    2,914
    Why do you assume it doesn't mean more money? There's a lot of good evidence to the contrary. Certainly nothing is for sure, but theres no reason to assume the negative in this case.

    But like was said, its not likely to happen any time soon if at all either way.
     
  33. Kael

    Kael Certifiable
    Stratics Veteran

    Joined:
    May 16, 2008
    Messages:
    1,728
    Likes Received:
    108
    If F2P meant just log in access with limited character numbers, no housing and limited access to locations to play I would be all for it

    If anything it would increase the population of banks and eventually people would feel the urge to at least pay for one account in order to place a house again and hit the new dungeons
     
  34. Minerva Foxglove

    Stratics Veteran

    Joined:
    Jun 19, 2008
    Messages:
    683
    Likes Received:
    327
    Elspeth and everyone else, ofcourse you are welcome to take a look. Its Europa Trammel Trinsic moongate. Its nothing spectacular but after spending many years in a helpers guild (HLP) having a great mentor/guildleader I think I know whats essential and try to make it simple and slim. We have so many people here with English as maybe 3rd to 5th language so better not make it too advanced.

    Why I posted was more that I always feel sad when I read castle owner = greedy ego tripped selfish ..you name it..that should shut up about having the option to make your building more user friendly. Its not at the top of my wish list but its on it for sure.:)