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Why is UO so extremely underdeveloped?

Discussion in 'UHall' started by hawkeye_pike, Feb 1, 2010.

  1. hawkeye_pike

    hawkeye_pike Babbling Loonie
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    I have spent the last 2 weeks examining the source code of an Ultima Online server emulation. (Basically, a few people re-engineered UO from scratch using the prgramming language C#, and created a server emulation which has 95% of the functionality of an productive UO server.)

    When I dug through the code and checked out some examples of what other people already programmed in their spare time, I was amazed and shocked at the same time:

    • Intelligent monsters that change their fighting strategy depending on the opponent.
    • Monsters swarming out or going someplace, triggered by certain events (hunger, nightfall, and so on).
    • Animals running from players/hunters, just like real animals.
    • Birds that are actually flying and can only be hunted with bow and arrow.
    • Animals and monsters interacting with each other in a real biological cycle (distinguishing herbivore, carnivore, omnivore etc.).
    • Hunger, thirst, weather affecting players.
    • A complete agricultural system, allowing players to grow and harvest different kinds of crops, brewing ale, making wine and liquor, planting fruit trees, breeding animals etc. (And those goods actually have a use!)
    • Guards that go off duty and go into the tavern to drink.
    • Intelligent and dynamic spawns in a completely dynamic wildlife. Compared to this, a champion spawn is a joke.
    • A system for spreading different diseases and providing different methods of cure. (From a simple cold to being bitten by a Vampire and turning into one, which results in daylight damaging you.)
    • And many many more.

    The list of the features is endless, and it is absolutely incredible what COULD be implemented into our Ultima Online with not too much of an effort. It makes me wonder why the UO Developers were unable to make UO the most exciting and dynamic MMORPG ever, and keep adding more and more static and boring content instead.

    Who needs another dungeon full of stupid and predictable monsters? Who needs another landmass? Who needs more creatures standing there doing nothing? Britannia itself is completely deserted (only filled with player houses), and so are the Lost Lands and Tokuno.

    Sure, many of the new features are great. But mostly they are targeted at feeding us with new content and pixels, instead of improving the quality of the game.

    WHY? IT WOULDN'T EVEN BE VERY DIFFICULT!

    P.S.: When I read all the fantastic ideas being discussed on this board, I now know that all this can actually be done, and most of it wouldn't even be very complicated.
     
  2. Warsong of LS

    Warsong of LS Seasoned Veteran
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    well lets take your points, one by one:

    Intelligent monsters that change their fighting strategy depending on the opponent.
    Monsters swarming out or going someplace, triggered by certain events (hunger, nightfall, and so on).
    Animals running from players/hunters, just like real animals.
    Birds that are actually flying and can only be hunted with bow and arrow.

    All of these would be great to see, turned on or added

    Animals and monsters interacting with each other in a real biological cycle (distinguishing herbivore, carnivore, omnivore etc.).

    UO had this one but according to the dev team at the time, they could not work it out, dire wolves ate all the deer :)


    Hunger, thirst, weather affecting players.

    players would totally complain on these, but maybe not so much on the weather affecting bows and magic?

    A complete agricultural system, allowing players to grow and harvest different kinds of crops, brewing ale, making wine and liquor, planting fruit trees, breeding animals etc. (And those goods actually have a use!)

    Thought I read that systems along these lines are not in because only a very few people would ever use it.

    Guards that go off duty and go into the tavern to drink.

    okay this would be good for rpers

    Intelligent and dynamic spawns in a completely dynamic wildlife. Compared to this, a champion spawn is a joke.

    better spawns is better for everyone.

    A system for spreading different diseases and providing different methods of cure. (From a simple cold to being bitten by a Vampire and turning into one, which results in daylight damaging you.)

    Ah, no thank you, I have enough trouble dealing with real life diseases, do not really want to worry about them in any game I play.


    Real nothing wrong with listing ideas and it is a great list, who knows why some of these things are not in game. Doubt you will get any answer from EAMythic though you can try.
     
  3. HD2300

    HD2300 Certifiable
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    Sometimes ignorance is bliss.

    IBLT.
     
  4. Mapper

    Mapper Crazed Zealot
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    For all you know this simulation could have been coded from the ground up in a newer language to make changes like this easy.

    I would imagine the actual UO servers are completely different and a total nightmare to make changes to considering the amount of upgrades they have had over the past 12 years.

    All these ideas are fantastic but I think to say they are easy to add without you knowing for sure the actual UO servers code or how they work is stupid.
     
  5. Silverbird

    Silverbird Slightly Crazed
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    Well ... it is a server emulation software. That really doesnt means that the software, that runs on 'our' servers has the same/similar abilities. Like you can simulate an old PC (the original one)/XT without problems on todays computers but it would be a problem to try the other way.

    But I have to fully agree, that Mythic/EA should have a look at what others can do in an UO based game. Imho they should try to hire/hijack some of those programers and start a rework of the original server software.
    Maybe they should simply get a license for those emulator software and use it themselfs. This includes also the Iris client. (I dont have any eperience with it but it really looks neat.)
     
  6. Drazasamus

    Drazasamus Guest



    • Richard Garriot (spelling?) wanted this when the game first came out. but it took to much for 1997 when he was designing the game for 500k+ people to play at that time with almost all of us on dial up. He was saying that a dragon had 3 wants at the time. Food, Gold, and a Home. Really a neat idea to... wish that would have stayed in.
     
  7. Zayin666

    Zayin666 Lore Keeper
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    As Mapper stated... the servers are probally running on another base!

    On top there is a BIG difference coding something on a private "free" server that goes wrong and requires a shard wipe compared to the mayhem it would releae if anything like that happended to a production server.

    "Testing" would be the big time consumer I guess....making sure noone can abuse, hack, exploit the new code.
     
  8. hawkeye_pike

    hawkeye_pike Babbling Loonie
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    That's because it was poorly tuned. Works pretty well on test shards.

    Look at the big picture. The effects on the player would not be annoying, but add a little more realism to the game. Imagine the potential. Cooking would suddenly make sense, if player made food had better quality and maybe some beneficial effects.
    Weather affecting bows and magic, that would no big deal to implement.

    Not if the goods had a use in game. This isn't just another deco system, it is an economical system. If food had a meaning in game, and animals would yield ressources you need and cannot buy from an NPC vendor for cheap gold, it would absolutely make sense.

    Again, look at the potential. Guards being invulnerable and one-hit-killing enemies? Come on! Imagine what it would be like when the changing of shifts would include an increased risk of monster invasion etc.

    Let's try not to be short-sighted. If I want a game where I can achieve everything I need without effort and risk, I'd play Sims. Ah, wait. UO already is like this.

    What makes a game fun, interesting and challenging are the unpredictable dangers and adventures that emerge from it.


    I know that they won't answer. They hever have been very visionary concerning UO, since Richard Garriot and Designer Dragon have left in 1999. All those things are not in the game, cause nobody really was visionary in the past 10 years, and they thoght that adding pixel crack was enough to keep the subscription numbers high. However, quality always prevails on the long term, but quantity won't.
     
  9. hawkeye_pike

    hawkeye_pike Babbling Loonie
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    Wrong, it is not an emulation, and the software our original servers are running on is Lua Script (to my knowledge). Lua is a very common language, and also quite structured. The only reason I can think of why nothing is changed is, that the scripts may be a total mess due to the constant change of developers.

    However, it took a handful of people not too much time to totally re-engineer a bug-free Ultima Online using a modern script language in their spare time. In comparison, cleaning up the old Lua code seems like a manageable effort.
     
  10. Fink

    Fink Guest

    Some of those ideas are great.. not new, but great.. and, yes, some might require rebuilding server code from the ground up. EA will never pay for it, though, not when they can put minimal effort into a minor publish if they want to add something. They won't rewrite the entire book just to add another page, not when they can just staple it on the back.

    But I think you can have all the realism in the world.. in the world.. and it won't mean anything until you accept extinction and permanent death.

    I know, gem of immortality, life beyond life, etc.. but death defines life. It's the punctuation mark at the end of the sentence. It's all pretty meaningless when you can be resurrected and fully recovered and equipped within moments of dying, as if nothing happened.
     
  11. hawkeye_pike

    hawkeye_pike Babbling Loonie
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    At least we agree upon that most of the things we do in UO are pretty meaningless. It has been made this way, cause pixels are easier to sell if there's no risk of losing them.

    What they obviously didn't learn is how to sell an adventure.
     
  12. Damien Softstep

    Damien Softstep Visitor

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    How about something easy and just fix the bugs and exploits before we bring new bugs and exploits in the game?
     
  13. Reximus

    Reximus Guest

    You've been a real negative nancy lately, calm down sunshine.

    But I have no doubt Mythic are stuck between a rock and a hard place, Spend money and HOPE you recoup your expenses or just provide limited support and get by on what you have available.

    FYI, That 'server emulator' software could never power a shard as big as Atlantic, It has no subserver support and .NET applications EAT memory and CPU.

    BTW, Sakkarah I think mentioned the scripting language they use is developed in-house and called 'Wombat'
     
  14. Damien Softstep

    Damien Softstep Visitor

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    Wow imagine that actually dying and losing your stuff...*gasp*
     
  15. Zyon Rockler

    Zyon Rockler Guest

    Because they are afraid to make the changes that would make the game better, because when they test it out they have to much trouble fixing the issues.

    What they seem to forget is that every time something is implemented into the game it takes time to fix, sometimes even years. Players are willing to deal with this as long as the content is there, as history would show.

    You would think the waters would of been added to years ago. Custom boats, pirates, spawns, the way the world was created, all the basic stuff, like a tree that has apples, you could pick and eat, leaves that change colors, leaves that fall on the ground, wood type, etc...

    I remember after playing not so long after AoS, we asked for a skill enchant that would allow a mage to place properties onto items. Why does it take so many years for all these things to be addressed? Is it possible we just do not have the technology or the capability to create a real world environment that is placed inside a solar system and connected to a universe. When will we be able to look into the microscopic world and actually see it reflected in our video games.

    Where these worlds are accurate to our own with the bonus of fantasy spread around to make it a wonderful place with their own added attributes and wonders.

    Adding intelligent system, you would think would be an easy plug in or that they would be able to take direct coding from other games that already do these things. How many years will it take to just have the basic taste, if i'm not reaching to high but some of the basic things you would expect would be a wild life or be able to talk to NpCs.

    I believe all these things would be built into an RPG and are not only great ideas but are the true presprective of the way things should be.
     
  16. Smokin

    Smokin Guest

    Maybe because they failed to redevelop it how many times, 8 or 9 I lost count. All those man hours put into UO2 KR UXO 3D every other thing you can think of, adds up when you cancel them all the time.
     
  17. Damien Softstep

    Damien Softstep Visitor

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    They need to stick with 2D it takes too much time to work with two clients in the end they both suffer...
     
  18. Llwyd

    Llwyd Guest

    That, my friend, describes the "perfect" shard I would move to in a heartbeat.
     
  19. Smokin

    Smokin Guest

    LOL isn't that what I just said.
     
  20. CatLord

    CatLord Guest

    Like always... you silence the audience.

    Good job Master Pike.
     
  21. Damien Softstep

    Damien Softstep Visitor

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    Thats what 90% of UO has been thinking you want credit for that too?
     
  22. Damien Softstep

    Damien Softstep Visitor

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    Im guessing you two are married?
     
  23. Nestorius

    Nestorius Guest

    I imagine the developers for the official game have to go through all sort of hoops to make alterations; perhaps it stifles creativity. Not to mention we get a new group of them replacing the old ones every few years so nothing ever gets mindfully created over the long term.
     
  24. Cogniac

    Cogniac Grand Inquisitor
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    Wrong. The server-side code is written in C/C++, augmented by a custom secondary scripting language called Wombat.

    The reason the devs have referred to the server code as "spaghetti code" over the years is because of the Pointer Hell associated with 12+ years of various teams working on the C/C++, cobbling random fixes and features on top of each other.


    That C# project you mention (I won't name it, but I know what it is and have looked at the code a bit) benefits from several things:
    • Unlike C++, there's no variable shadowing to confuse programmers.
    • Unlike C++, C# enforces single inheritance, removing the Diamond Problem.
    • C# has garbage collection for easier/safer memory management.
    • C# has no global variables with which to tempt programmers.
    • C# has greater type safety than C/C++.
    • The entire core of the project had a clear and obvious vision right from the start: make it do exactly what Ultima Online does, and when that's done, then start adding new features. UO itself has been built up over the past 14+ years from an amalgamation of competing systems and design visions.
     
  25. Llwyd

    Llwyd Guest

    We have short-sighted EA to thank for that.
     
  26. Restroom Cowboy

    Restroom Cowboy Visitor

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    The first problem is EA. The second is the coding originally used is quite antiquated. It has had layers and layers of loose code added to it throughout the years making things more difficult. On the other hand, emulators use a different set of base code instruction...which leaves us really speaking of apples to oranges. Third problem, its EA.
     
  27. Smokin

    Smokin Guest

    LOL sure why not. I just replied that incase you thought I was a SA KR 3D lover or something and miss understood my first post.
     
  28. Mitzlplik_SP

    Mitzlplik_SP Guest

    Wasn`t this thread just here with a different title yesterday? and the day before that and so on and so forth etc,etc etc.

    FFS if peaple would spend half the time playing they spend camping some forums just to cry over the same crap day in and day out the world would be a better place.

    I can`t wait to see this threads duplicate tomorrow under the guise of a different title.

    :sad3::sad2::sad2:

    Like a buncha kids stomping around because your baby sitters ignoring you. Go watch tv or something. :twak:
     
  29. Smokin

    Smokin Guest

    Well if they turned on an event or put a new one in then people will shut up for awhile, you know you got to give a baby a soother every once and awhile.
     
  30. Llwyd

    Llwyd Guest

    Not really. This post was focused on UO's coding and the built-in potential that was never developed fully.
     
  31. Reximus

    Reximus Guest

    How about stop trying to make the game into what you want, and accept it for what it is, if you don't like it, shut your whiney mouth and quit the game, EA/Mythic doesn't want/need you.
     
  32. Damien Softstep

    Damien Softstep Visitor

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    Youve gotta be a Dev...
     
  33. Reximus

    Reximus Guest

    The problem is like the 'too many chiefs and not enough indians' saying, everyone thinks they know what is best for the game, everything he listed in the OP I don't want ingame, same as plants/chocolate/all the other crap.
     
  34. Mitzlplik_SP

    Mitzlplik_SP Guest

    I see tomorrows whine thread is already open right under this one! w00t!

    To poll or not to poll......

    Naaaa

    You guys can play with your polls that represent the smallest minority of the game. Hope it makes ya feel better. I think warm milk or something would do better but.....
     
  35. Aurelius

    Aurelius Babbling Loonie
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    Points one and three are spot on. Point two only became an issue because EA didn't, and don't manage the game remotely competently - which has been their consistent failure, and still is.

    They keep realising they don't 'get' what makes a mmo work, since it's alien to their standard business model, and occasionally are even brave enough to say so in public - one of the reasons they claimed to be so glad to ally to Mythic was their own failure to develop UO into anything like it's potential.

    And then they have a management shuffle, a panic over profits (which is usually a panic that they won't make enough profit to meet their stupid promises to shareholders, not about failing to be profitable) and immediately insist that all projects run according to their tried and trusted formula for their other games..... and conveniently forget a mmo is just not like that at all.

    Instead of proper support, and development, and most of all management - we get PR, spin, and repeated hot air as a pathetic substitute for competence.

    When you think of all the reasons why you play UO, or would recommend it - do any of you ever, even in your maddest moments, consider saying 'and hey, it's run by EA' as one of them?
     
  36. Damien Softstep

    Damien Softstep Visitor

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    Promise?
     
  37. CatLord

    CatLord Guest

    Do you also have a pirate husband? :heart:
     
  38. Damien Softstep

    Damien Softstep Visitor

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    A vampire wife actually...

    Was you trying to be funny couldnt tell?
     
  39. siyeng0

    siyeng0 Guest

    No, he's an Oceanian.

    Our shard is small for a reason.
     
  40. Damien Softstep

    Damien Softstep Visitor

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    Ahhh ok i was wondering why he was so bitter...
     
  41. Reximus

    Reximus Guest

    Because of me?!

    I'm not the one who roleplays an old, misogynist, homosexual pedophile.
     
  42. CatLord

    CatLord Guest


    Makes sense then... you don't have a drop of humour...
    I'll blame it on her discriminating biting! Taking all the juicy stuff!
     
  43. siyeng0

    siyeng0 Guest

    It's all that sea water between us and the rest of the world. It fosters bitterness.
     
  44. siyeng0

    siyeng0 Guest

    Oh my god, I clicked on "Reply" before you added that last bit and for a moment there I thought I'd added it myself without realising it.

    He's not a paedophile. And I see nothing wrong with roleplaying an old homosexual.
     
  45. Zayin666

    Zayin666 Lore Keeper
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    Wrong! To get new players they need to scrap the 2d client and move on to the Enhanced Client.

    I have learned to play the new client and now I cant go back... there is just too many nice features in the new client that anyone comming to UO for the first time will expect from a MMO.
     
  46. Damien Softstep

    Damien Softstep Visitor

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    You want a enhanced client go play WoW...
     
  47. siyeng0

    siyeng0 Guest

    Edit: Never mind, looks like someone got there first.
     
  48. Damien Softstep

    Damien Softstep Visitor

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    I THINK this MIGHT be one reason im not sure thought...

    http://vboards.stratics.com/forumdisplay.php?f=480

    Has anyone blowed the dead crickets and dust off that forum lately?
     
  49. hawkeye_pike

    hawkeye_pike Babbling Loonie
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    Interesting information you got there! Never heard of Wombat.

    I didn't say that they should use the emulator for a productive shard. I just think it shows pretty well what can be done without much hassle when you have a structured code base.
     
  50. siyeng0

    siyeng0 Guest

    Wombats are Australian.

    Australia is the root of all UO's problems.