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You are the head of Mythic? What would you do?

Discussion in 'UHall' started by HD2300, Jan 2, 2011.

  1. HD2300

    HD2300 Certifiable
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    Your UO target is to double UO revenue within 2 years, x10 within 5 years.

    R&D budget is limited to several US developers. You can use developers in EA Shanghai and get 5 developers for the cost of 1. You can move developers to/from WAR and DOAC.

    What would you do?
     
  2. Restroom Cowboy

    Restroom Cowboy Visitor

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    I would market a *classic* shard as free to play...with a one time purchase of a *classic* client. Would take a dent out of the free servers to say the least...and would offer another doorway for people to work their way back into the game.
     
  3. puni666

    puni666 Slightly Crazed
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    I would do what makes the most money and keeps my pay checks coming on a regular basis. It's a job not a passion.
     
  4. Sevin0oo0

    Sevin0oo0 Guest

    Now that I have the 'Title' I BS 'em long as it takes to get a job elsewhere that has reasonable performance expectations
     
  5. Kylie Kinslayer

    Kylie Kinslayer Grand Inquisitor
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    Not a clue what I would do honestly. I MAY take a look at slashing the initial fee on start up. Say run a special, client and adv char token for $9.95. Get them in the door and HOPE my content was enough to keep them paying the monthly fee. I do wonder how marketing a classic shard as free to play and only charging a one time fee to download would increase the profit beyond the initial rush. I think they are pushing for continued residual revenue, not just initial pop. I could be wrong tho.
     
  6. Meat Elemental

    Meat Elemental Journeyman
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    Start and finish a new client with graphics that you could advertise.
     
  7. Trebr Drab

    Trebr Drab Guest

    Under those circumstances? I tell EA to stick it and move to a tropical Isle inhabited by cannibals, and teach them to program and make my own blockbuster game. That's gotta be easier.
     
  8. unified

    unified Guest

    I'd do the following, mostly as a means of attracting new players:
    1. Create an online bug-tracking database so that players who have submitted bug reports can actually see if we are anywhere within a few years of fixing the bug;
    2. Assign the EA Shanghai developers the task of fixing the bugs and updating the database with progress;
    3. Rework the GGS tables so that skill point gains will be a little more rapid, but not too much;
    4. Align or create some logistical quests so that some skill points can be gained up to a certain level from doing them;
    5. Allow temporary residency in inns so that new players without houses can store things up to six months; and
    6. Hire a writer to actually create an accurate player guide with real information, and stop relying on players for this.
    Oh, well ... There's so much more, but this will have to do while I interview for that next job. :eek:
     
  9. koris

    koris Adventurer
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    Make this GrimOmmen's mandatory work uniform. ...pants optional
    [​IMG]
     
  10. Fat Midnight

    Fat Midnight Visitor

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    Make all sorts of stuff illegal and start banning everyone.
     
  11. Skrag

    Skrag Visitor

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    1) F2P with cash shop. Sell soulstones with skills already on them. Sell mounts, vet rewards, whatever. We've all seen the sites, anything in the game can be had for cash money right now anyway. Only difference is now the money goes to EA.

    2) Subscription of $10 required to place any house above a certain small size. Subscription of $20 lets you place two houses on one account.

    3) Print moneyhats.

    [​IMG]
     
  12. popps

    popps Always Present
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    Personally, I'd do the opposite which means forbid any and all sales of any UO item or skill for real money and enforce it as much as possible. Only allow the sale of accounts.

    As a player, I do not see the point of playing a game where most everything, including skills, can be bought for real money.

    I can understand a few (very few, though...) items here and there but not a generalized scenario where one can buy everything, including skills.

    Should Ultima Online become that type of a game that would be for me, after many years of playing it, the time to quit it for good.

    I endured a lot of things I did not like, including cheating which I never see getting eradicated from the game but cash sales of widespread UO items and skills no thanks, that would be something I could not stand.

    I mean, I would never want to be in the situation where I need some armour or weapon to be competitive in the game but its spawn drop rate is way too low and I feel I have to spend cash to buy it to be able to play the game, competitively. No thanks, I'd rather stop playing the game for good, instead.
     
  13. JC the Builder

    JC the Builder Crazed Zealot
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    I make a glacial mount and sell it for $29.99.

    I should get a promotion for accomplishing a 2 year goal in 2 days.
     
  14. Skrag

    Skrag Visitor

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    In other words, not at all.

    Free-to-play + cash shop is pretty much the future of the MMO genre. Lord of the Rings Online and D&D Online have already switched over. Blizzard has said they'll probably do WoW that way someday. The benefits of actually having people on the shards again would outweigh the "poops will quit if he can pay money for items instead of paying money to spend time getting items" factor.

    God forbid someone pass EA a few bucks rather than script up magery for the 4537984398th time.
     
  15. Stickypaws

    Stickypaws Journeyman

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    Make pretty graphics that would attract non UO players.
     
  16. Zyon Rockler

    Zyon Rockler Guest

    I agree with popps. If the game is done wrong where people can buy a better game experience or it is made necessary to purchase something to maintain a higher level of game play, would destroy UO.

    On the other hand, there are alot of things that these games do that are very necessary, such as, log in bonuses. This concept alone, is probably one of the most important incentives for people to do things.

    The money is a big deal when you look at the fact that they're actually not selling anything at all. They're simply collecting money from people.

    If you look at BTO $9,999 real dollars=9,990 gold for the game. Some of the higher ranking people, who own jet planes, mansions, have purchased this gold to reach that level, possibly numerous times. So, people are willing to spend money for nothing but one of the nice things is that you're able to work up slowly to that same level, without having to buy anything.

    Things like, an item of the day, buy for $10.00, where they could add a different currency into the game, that you use real money to purchase or you use gold, that you can earn in the game. Now, you're able to make money off of different items, everyday.

    Skill gain, for example: you can gain in skill by working the skill or maybe you could buy skill boosters for $5.00, that might give you 10 skill points. Now, here's where you have to ask yourself, are you willing to allow people to use real money to advance in a game, knowing that money would go back into the game, or would you rather, not allow it at all?

    As far as making it a free game, I don't think you would really need to. You could still allow ways for people to buy items and enough other things without having to go free.
     
  17. Uvtha

    Uvtha Grand Poobah
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    Probably be confused why I'm not focusing on a more viable game under the mythic umbrella with some kind of foothold in the modern mmo market. :p

    In a serious answer to the question I would bring back the dude who had the free to play set up all planned out (or Draconi, he seemed to know the drill) and let him do that. Done.
     
  18. Tanivar

    Tanivar Crazed Zealot
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    Tell the Dev team to set up a mid United States UO shard and remove all Resists, except for Physical, from the Item/Monster displays, from Imbueing, and from the Combat Formulas and offer it as an AOS-free shard for all the players who complain about AOS making the game item-based.

    We would have all the pixel-crack items but they would have little, if any, effect on combat and we could have a grand old time figuring out what monsters were tough for us to fight, and which were not, after the change. Any future publishes could be put on the shard and any Resist alterations would have no effect.

    If it proved popular, after several months I'd have the shard duplicated in Europe and Asia, and then have another mid continet shard set up in the USA and have Trammel removed from it and the Fel ruleset put on it for all landmasses. If it drew players and did well, after several months I'd have more set up to limit PvP lag problems.

    Then I'd advertise about the AOS-free and PvP only shards and see if people who were tired of playing through the set pattern of quests games would like to try playing in UO's sandbox.
     
  19. Babble

    Babble Guest

    Apply for the Bioware MMO job?
    :p

    Isn't Mythic history?
    DAOC and Warhammer are uhm failing at best ... so isn't Bioware taking over and can we bury Mythic as we buried Origin
     
  20. popps

    popps Always Present
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    I am all in favour of supporting games paying for the subscription service.

    I am not in favour of supporting funds item by item.

    The reason for this, is that #1 shifting from service to items will disadvantage greatly those with less funds to spend on a game not to mention those playing from other countries in the world where the cost of living is not the same as in the western world.

    A US dollar is not worth the same across the world. the differences can be huge, depending on the country.

    So companies will now basically cut out player base from those countries who will not be able to afford the cost for the items ?

    Or will they price items differently, depending from which country the player is located ?
    In such case I already foresee waves of purchasing of times in those countries where they cost the least rather than in countries where they cost the most.....

    Bad idea.

    Game time, instead, can well be priced differently depending on the country of the world the player is connecting from and adjust it to the cost of living of that given country.

    The second reason being that allowing items' and skills cash purchases will mean basically no training, no characters in development and so forth. Depending on how much funds a player has, in theory all players could be set up at full throttle speed right away. Not good at all, IMHO.

    The third reason which I mentioned already, is that I would hate to feel obligated to buy an item with cash (if I wanted to be competitive and the item is needed for that...) because the drop rate is too low to bear with.

    I am not against "occasional" items sold for cash, particularly when they are optionals and not really a must to have but no, as a general thing, I much more prefer monthly subscription and get rid of all cash sales for game items as well as scripting and cheating in the game.
     
  21. Cloak&Dagger

    Cloak&Dagger Guest

    To address this first, it is now "Bioware/Mythic" So yea basically mythic is gone and they only keep that tag there to show the game is still with the same company.

    As for the free to play issue, popps needs to realize the game is already like that, except EA is not the profiteer of the sales. The drop rates are already considered to low by more than enough of the player population, proven by the fact that most people either buy things for cash or buy things for gold from someone who has bought it for cash. Just because things are purchasable does not mean they need the drop rate reduced to nothing, also no one said to put everything possible for sale, the current items that they sell are already enough to support the game, not to mention charging monthly for a larger house or more than one house.

    Main problem with this model is nothing is stopping people from making 200 accounts and placing 200 approved "free" houses. I suppose charging cash for houses instead of subscriptions might lower this issue.

    But I guess we should all also consider the greed that has overwhelmed this game for awhile, so game play could suffer from this model, then again they could just do like they been doing and simply put things that are most wanted on the site and never introduce them in-game as a drop or reward. Also for this to work would have to remove the vet-reward system, which would most likely upset some of you out there, but it is required and could put those for sale on the site as well.

    As for the rest of the topic, UO has one of the highest "potentials" but it will never be achieved due to the limitations put on the resources.
     
  22. S.P.A

    S.P.A Journeyman
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    Just an FYI, the cost of English-speaking staff in Shanghai these days is not nearly as cheap as you portray! You'll just about get 2 for the price of 1 American at the moment.
     
  23. popps

    popps Always Present
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    Personally, "if" I could be sure to play a Ultima Online that is cheat-free (no scripting, hacking or other cheating allowed and this strictly enforced) and where no cash sales were allowed for in game items (only full accounts can be sold) and also this be strictly enforced, I would have no problems in paying a higher monthly subscription, even double what it is now, like 20 bucks per month.

    Besides, I am not sure that "free to play" comes cheaper to players as compared to monthle fees. If one wants to play the game competitively. In the end, the toll for players might come higher than with monthly fees.

    And, even if it was cheaper, this would mean reduced resources for the game overall over monthly fees and thus, not help the game much.

    So, either way one looks at it, free to play either might heavily penalize players costing them more to play the same game or it would penalize the game due to reduced revenues.

    Sure, one "might" think that free to play, if it was cheaper for players to play the game, might increase the number of players playing it and so increase the revenues over quantity.
    Personally, though, I think most of these new players will just enjoy the free play, occasionally, and disregard the purchasing of items saved from one here and one there, occasionally.

    What I am trying to say, is that I am not much sure that increased players with free to play will mean necessarily more revenues. It could just mean more people to provide support to and, who knows, differentiated customer queues for Game Masters whith those playing with free to play having to wait longer times than those who actually are paying for the service.

    I am sceptical, in the end it divides players even further in "haves" and "haves not" depending on how much they can or are willing to spend on an item by item basis or skill by skill basis.

    Nope, I may be a conservative in my thinking but I much more prefer the traditional monthly fee subscription.
     
  24. Pinco

    Pinco UOEC Modder
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    Here it is my plan:

    1) rebuild uogamecodes by adding a vendor search, artifacts, consumables, ps, gold and many other event items for sale (when the event is over).

    2) add a bug tracker where player can check in real time what is going to be fixed

    3) chop down CC and EC and make an isometric full 3d client with physic with a custom zoom that switch from isometric to third person.

    4) rework the game sound and music.

    5) complete the unfinished things

    6) rebuild the home page and update the player guide (and keep it update ad every addition)

    7) add the world history page into the home page

    8) start to sell UO manga

    9) use videos and comics graphic for the live events

    (there is much more that I can think about but I stop here for now :D )
     
  25. Cloak&Dagger

    Cloak&Dagger Guest

    Will address this by paragraph.

    My comment about the limited resources was not a comment on the limit of how much they make from UO. in fact they make more on UO than they put in, my point was in the general scope of developing games they limit the resources for UO. example is the sharing of the Development team.

    "free to play" is cheaper to a player who plays the game to play it. Currently your competitiveness is still measured by how deep your pockets run. You can buy everything you are against buying right now, means that with enough money and 3 or so days you can have a brand new character fully trained and equipped. There is also the option of buying accounts that have characters with the set up you are looking for, and then purchasing the equipment for them. So the only thing that changes is the subscription fee goes away. Why you think it is different now than it would be, is beyond me.

    Everything else falls under the category of "it works for 90% of the mmo market" Competition in this market comes down to who has the prettiest most advertised product. Simple as that.

    Look at it like this Currently 5 players spend "roughly" 50 Dollars a month to play the game. Take the same 5 players, 4 of which spend maybe 10 dollars every 5 months to play, and 1 spends 50 every month for w/e reason (lets take the original argument into play and say they own 2 houses and purchase items to sell in game for gold) we now go from making 5*50 For 5 months to 5*50+10 for the same 5 months, revenue has increased. Consider all of the items that are purchased currently for cash, all the ones purchased to sell to other players, or to outfit/advance their own characters and accounts, take that money give it to EA and subtract the subscription Fee's from it, Do you think it will balance out? Do you think the money from subs is actually higher than the money from the various websites and the UOgamecodes store?

    If they actually put some....Effort into UO I would be willing to pay more for my subs. Better yet I would be willing to pay just for extra work on UO, say normal subscriptions is 10 dollars but if you want to promote something being worked on, you can pay a fee for that until it is done, they only charge you for things being worked on, so basically it would be using your account as a polling method, the thing with the most votes/money backers would be the thing that gets worked on first and those people charged x.

    Sure my concept is very dependent on them actually being honest and fair, but still it is a concept.
     
  26. G.v.P

    G.v.P Stratics Legend
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    lol I like this one :)

    I'd get LB, Draconi, Mr Tact ... get Bioware to make a Dragon Age engine MMO based on current UO, except make it "Fel only" under a strict factions system in which NPC vendors/guards control whether or not you are able to kill others in addition to the traditional murder system. Want to kill the Bane? Well, then you can't buy ingots anymore without fighting the blacksmith union, controlled by the bane faction ;P etc etc ...

    Oh, just to be sure, I'd keep Cal, too :) ... all the collective minds
     
  27. Aragon100

    Aragon100 Guest

    I support this idea.
     
  28. Demonous

    Demonous Rares Fest Host | Ches Jul 2010
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    improve customer service immensely
     
  29. unified

    unified Guest

    No matter how you chop it up, there will always be disadvantaged players in this game.

    Example, someone who does not work or go to school has a greater advantage than other in that they can play more and achieve more than someonoe who does work and or go to school. Training skills will be relatively quick for that player compared to others.

    Also, skill points can already be purchased via Advanced Character. While charging a premium of, say, $500 for a full character would be out of reach for some, it may not be for others. People already buy full accounts for less.

    You would have to be creative in attracting new players and returning players, which means open to ideas of items for sale, classic shards, etc.
     
  30. MrWilliams

    MrWilliams Visitor

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    I'd fill that huge gap in the market for a much needed 'real' sandbox game, the likes of which have not been seen since before AOS. Take UO back to its roots. A classic style framework ready to evolve in a different direction one true to original UO.
     
  31. [JD]

    [JD] Guest

    i agree with this dude. long term sustainability means getting NEW customers in the door. not just reactivated ones, who get sick of UO and quit again 6 months later. to get new customers you need to advertise. to advertise you have to have something worth advertising. right now they cannot advertise 13 year old graphics. UO cannot compete in the graphics dept with other games out. it does have great playability and flexibility. but you need to get people in the door SOMEHOW. graphics are one way.

    of course, there will need to be other changes. like taking bugs and makign bug priority lists. also providing helpful GMs, and get rid of the form emailing "I cannot help thee" guys. uo has to understand, that while this is a game, it is also a SERVICE like your cable bill. if your cable were to go out you would expect a prorated refund. they cannot treat people like they dont matter.

    Changing the business model might also help to get people in the door. A lot of the free to play games, but then you can buy stuff to enhance your experience along the way, do quite well. i would have to know the #s for subscriptions vs types of things people buy (expansions, account upgrades, items, tokens, etc) to see if it would work.

    I also agree with reduced fee reactivations to entice old customers back. as in FREE. one month free or something, cause the 2 wks they offered free reactivations wasnt enough to re-hook someone.
     
  32. Set up a secure trade window with reciepts and allow an ebay type auction of all items.

    Run by EA of course. They get the % of the sale and list.

    The secure window is a bonus for trades.
     
  33. I'd look for another job as soon as possible.
     
  34. Felonious Monk

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    ^Winner!^
    Best answer possible.
    Seek no further.
     
  35. Sunchicken

    Sunchicken Guest

    Look into the option of combining some of the low population shards.
    I would discuss a classic shard more seriously.

    Definatly look to increase advertising. I would make sure there was Ultima Online on the shelfs at some major game retailers.

    I would also attempt to have free shards shut down.
     
  36. HD2300

    HD2300 Certifiable
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    Awesome idea. It is amazing how with some ideas just 2 days work can pay for one developers yearly salary. If you have new 3 different kinds of mounts...

    As many have posted above there are huge revenue making opportunities with a cash shop and JCs idea just highlights potentially how easy it can be.

    Also Babble previously posted a link elsewhere that DDO doubled its revenue by going F2P. UO essentially has F2P already for 14 days, so it would be easy to make the F2P duration 100 years instead of 14 days. I like the LOTRO F2P model, seperate servers for subscribers and f2pers.

    ... So now that you have doubled revenue, you get a massive big fat bonus and the dev team gets a nice bonuses too, your ops budget doubles, what now?
     
  37. Magdalene

    Magdalene Stratics Legend
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    OMG, I agree with RC...

    This plus - leave the current servers to EMs for events and added items (shiny! shiny!), wherever applicable merge Ilshenar, T2A and other non-housing lands between 2-3 shards in the same area, eventually drop subscription prices and keep item purchases from the site. It should at least break even for some time.

    Gear all other available resources towards something akin to Ultima 2 - totally new, yet appealing to those who played the old Ultimas and UO, but at the same time marketable to those who did not.
    New beginning - no character transfer, no "seniority" for veterans - it's one of the things that discourages new players... OK, maybe offer a discount price for those who hold a paid old UO account.
    Advertise it. Sell it. Develop it in good rhythm to keep people interested and entertained. Show players you care, for a change - listen, learn, provide support...
     
  38. Lady Storm

    Lady Storm Crazed Zealot
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    Hmmm............ If I was the head of Mythic.. (dreams of being the boss)

    First off I'd get with full support of Bio and Ea to do what ever it took to make UO a money maker again.
    Once that was done..

    I want all department heads in my office, CS too. WE NEED TO TALK.

    To make UO back to its high performance of the past we need a few things understood.
    The players are the goal, ladys and gentelmen.
    They make UO and there fore are UO's prime concern. Without them there would be no UO. You might say they pay the bills, as with every other game in our stable.

    As of this moment I would like to install a new player/game tracker. This would enable us to again reinstate the replacement of items in game. Secondly to this also a data base of player character ability for the home consumer for "lost" character due to accidental removal from the system. (deletion) Other games have good track records in this area and go out of the way to ensure good gaming experience. I want the same to be said of UO. Its good for the bottom line.

    I liked the High Seas xpac, and would like to see more in this line... its cheap and gives bang for the dollar to the players.

    On the cost front, a small ad campaign in many web based game mags, Stratics and small tv spots will be on the docket for the next pac.

    Also to note for returning and current players a small drop in the game account fees. $9.99 back to almost the original cost, but with this we hope to double our gross income for the game in under 6 months.
    Triple that in under 1 year with the following changes.
    To this add in the repeal of the 1 account, 1 house ruleset. We need to make money, this hampers that in the long term, I dont care what bean counters say, they are wrong as usual. You cant replace 1 seasoned worker with 3 new hires with no experence and hope to get things done right. I mean to fix this problem now.

    We have a global world of gamers and we need to address the need to expand. China and the asian market is a fast growing ecconomy we need to tap it. I want ideas on my desk by the end of the week concerning a China expantion in UO. No idea is too small so get yoru people to think and write up anything that crosses their minds.

    The clamor of a "Classic" shard has been heard by this office and with that said I want to have one up and running by mid June. We have the power to do this. So.. Back to the beginning is wanted, give it to them. Make "1997 Classic".

    I am authorizing a full revamp of the Gamecodes store, expanded products line with gold sales. Price reductions and overall monitoring of sales. Make it costomer friendly. I want to takeover the market in it. Make the money where it should be made. In our own house!

    I want to reopen positions for full time GM's exclusive for UO and every other game we have under our belt. Major complaints are being heard and I mean to address them here and now.
    We go back to original with GM's who know the game inside out. Past that was shall we say riddled with infedelitys will be made impossible to do as a monitoring system by security will be installed for both corparate and customer protection. No one will be imune.

    EM's have been in place for sometime and are working out, I'd like to see an expantion of this. I am quite sure Mesanna has ideas.

    The game has many areas that need a overhaul or minor changes that have over the years been left hanging. I want to have these cleared up and under way by years end. UO will survive and thrive.

    In the future as in our past our main goal is to make UO the best time a player can have.

    I want status reports of each department on my desk by mid week. Good job people. Lets get this ball rolling.

    (wakes up knowing its all a dream..............oh well)
     
  39. Kylie Kinslayer

    Kylie Kinslayer Grand Inquisitor
    Stratics Veteran Alumni Stratics Legend

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    Kinda makes me wonder if HD2300 is really Cal's alt doing some research to see how he can meet the benchmarks EA/Mythic has set.. :eek: