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EA/Myth passing up an historical opportunity

Discussion in 'UHall' started by Eslake, Aug 8, 2008.

  1. Eslake

    Eslake Guest

    In another recent thread, people mentioned several times that Warhammer is getting more attention and news simply because UO is over 10 years old. A valid argument, but it got me to thinking.

    These game companies all hold a common belief that a game has a life cycle. That no matter how good it is or how popular, it will eventually decline into extinction.

    EA/M is in a unique position to prove them all wrong.

    Many of us have been around for years -some since the beginning- and it is easy for us to say there is nothing wrong with the game other than their failure to support it.
    But it simply is not the truth. :(

    I love the 2D client. Of all of the online games I've played, including those I helped create, none have ever had that sense of... . For lack of a better word - Home.
    Something about the client just 'Feels' right. You can see just as far as you should, the angle is just right to interract with the world, and everything fits in the world as it is shown.

    But 2D/ThirdDawn/KR are never going to allow the game to be great again. Even if they peak up to 250k players again, it won't be for long, while other games are boasting 10million.
    We can say UO will be around for ever, and to some degree that is probably true. But when the game reaches the point it is 2 shards running with minimal support and no new content is ever added, is it really still running? Or is it a memorial to what the game once was?

    Many don't like the idea of a real 3D client, but without one the game will continue to decline. New games in 2D draw people out of curiosity, and then fail. Old games in 2D hold a few dedicated players (as UO does) but they too eventually fall to more of a memorial status than actual Game status.

    Game development is expensive. To make a game that can compete on the current market is an investment of millions, in some cases 10s of millions. But a large portion of that goes to design. The creation of the world and its lore, the creatures and their placement and nature, and so forth.
    But all of that work has already been done for UO.

    A complete rebuild of UO could put it both in direct competition with games like WoW AND maintain the core systems that have held so many of us since the '90s. The crafting systems, the skill-based game play, housing and pets, etc.
    With a little care, it could be the best of both.

    I fully expect to see reponses that contain (possibly direct quotes) "If I wanted to play WoW, I would play WoW, not UO."
    But if there were a game out there right now that had WoW's graphics and UO's unique game systems, it would no doubt be one of the top 3 games on the market today.

    And the creation of exactly that would cost them only a small fraction of what they are investing in Warhammer. There is no question that Warhammer will be popular, but no guarantee that its popularity will last, while UO has already proven it will.

  2. Actually, I don like WOWS graphics. Sort of over the top.

    UO should have just upgraded to KR type graphics and kept all the interfaces the same.

    Made a simple transistion.

    Instead the took it all on.

    step 1 upgrade graphics.
    step 2 work on interface changes.

    Now that got more then they can chew.

    UO is dynamic. They need to build on that and create more diversity in the realms. Lots of ideas out there. Pump up dynamic spawing.

    I should be able to walk in a direction and find something new. Not the same old same old.

    Boss monsters
    Events (though fun)
    all are become recall, fight, recall, fight.

    Its the going to the same place issue, they need to change.

    Create dynamic events all over.
  3. deadite

    deadite Sage
    Stratics Veteran Stratics Legend It's My Birthday

    Jun 17, 2004
    Likes Received:
    The fact of the matter is that EA's handling of UO's 10th Anniversary was a complete and utter joke. UO was the first "real" MMO to turn 10 and EA didn't even *try* to capitalize on that.

  4. Ravenspyre

    Ravenspyre Guest

    Nothing to capitolize on, whether you want to believe it or not.
  5. Mistura

    Mistura Lore Keeper
    Stratics Veteran

    May 29, 2008
    Likes Received:
    Maybe reducing the current landmass or trimming it could be an idea.

    Take away some of the deserted areas and re draw some maps, add some new bits etc. Then randomize spawn and make it fun to hunt around for things rather than just recall to one spot and bash for hours on end..

    Shouldn't take too much work.

    Would be nice to have seen just a graphics upgrade for our current client, but is that possible? im not sure.
  6. Amber Moon

    Amber Moon Seasoned Veteran
    Stratics Veteran

    May 16, 2008
    Likes Received:
    There is a huge challenge for older games, one that in fact is probably not surmountable for a game of this age. And that is this:

    Players bases are self selecting. People are here, play here because they like the game the way it is. If they didn't they'd be playing something else. The older the game, the more consolidated the player base.

    Any major change brings the danger chasing off your core. I think the 2D/KR problems are the perfect illustration of this, although I understand many people would argue quality of implementation was a big issue.

    Sorry to be such a pessimist but I see little chance of a ten year old game growing in any substantial way. Holding it own? Let hope.
  7. I run KR with legacy graphics. Legacy everything the offer. Its not bad.

    You just can vend as easy as in 2d. Till they fix that. I cant really play KR.

    I dont even thing they need to trim the land.
    Just create 50 events that can pop any where.
    No warning nada.

    Create 200 or 300 stealable items that have "stolen" tag on them. These items can be stolen and looted in every land. You are dealing with stolen good so you cant protect them anywhere.

    Let them spawn randomly all over.

    Create 100 differnt unique items that spawn on vendors.

    Add new loot items.

    If you kill the big cheese in one of the new events, the items says AWARDED to your characture's name.

    There is a lot the can do.
  8. JC the Builder

    JC the Builder Crazed Zealot
    Stratics Veteran

    May 12, 2008
    Likes Received:
    I believe what happened was they did plan to have a big blowout for the 10th anniversary..............centered around Kingdom Reborn. But then Kingdom Reborn turned out to be Third Dawn 2.0 and even after months of nothing but weekly patches it just wasn't in any shape to show off.
  9. feath

    feath Guest

    Dahaym, those are good ideas.* i vote for this lot!

    *and im not saying that to suck up right now, didn't notice you were the poster until i hit 'quote'
  10. Hoffs

    Hoffs Gilfane Keeper of the Hall
    Stratics Veteran Gilfane

    May 15, 2008
    Likes Received:
    That was my reading of it exactly.
  11. Maplestone

    Maplestone Crazed Zealot
    Stratics Veteran

    Jul 26, 2008
    Likes Received:
    *votes NO*

    (I like the other ideas though)
  12. Ravenspyre

    Ravenspyre Guest

    No, just that the developers and EA came to the reallization, the player base of UO is so spoiled and self-centered, it wouldn't matter if KR was actually perfection incarnate, the UO player base would denounce it no matter what.
  13. Vor

    Vor Grand Inquisitor
    Stratics Veteran Stratics Legend

    Nov 2, 2003
    Likes Received:
    I try more or less every modern game around.. but I still use 2d. KR is a joke. End of story.

    Sure, some refuse to upgrade for the reasons you say, some can't upgrade due to old computers, but the majority are in the same boat as me I'd expect. Had KR been a good client I'd have long since switched over full time. It has some good features, don't get me wrong, but not enough to outweigh the many downsides.

    I agree they could do much better without 2d around... but for that to happen they need a decent client to start with.

    Circle of transparency is my number 1 gripe with KR. If they fixed that, and some of the other key bugs, I'd put up with the others I think.

    Most of the graphics are nice.. but Character and NPC models are rubbish. Reminds me of balders gate 2 at times:)
  14. Ravenspyre

    Ravenspyre Guest

    Thank you for prooving my point and why UO will never, ever again be in the spotlight. Simple fact of the matter, you denounced it already, even though KR is indeed better for UO as a whole.

    And your point on Balders Gate 2, many players out there would consider Blader's Gate graphics much better than UO 2D's graphics by any stretch of the imagination.
  15. Eslake

    Eslake Guest

    hehe if AoS didn't shake them lose, getting a new client that actually is a NEW client isn't going to do it. ;)

    Besides, the majority of what makes UO unique would not need to be changed. Housing, 720 skill points system, the skills themselves, almost everything could be left unchanged.

    But the interface would. A real 3D engine would even allow them to offer settings to keep a view very much like the current 2D client.
    A fully reworked server to make new content/changes/updates faster and easier.

    I think the main reason so many dislike the idea of a 3D client is that they are under the (very) false asumption that it would mean the game had to look like some other specific game. But that is just not the way of it.

    3D does not impose limits, it removes them.
    If they chose to allow it, you could play UO in true 3D with it set to view Exactly as the current 2D client does, while a guildmate has theirs set to FPV like Doom, and another guildmate has theirs set to look like 3PV WoW, and so on.

    The only limits to it are the ones they put on it.
    If you ever looked closely you would notice that not only does every character in the game look identical, men and women even share the same face.
    3D could allow that to change. Not only that but you could be taller or shorter, heavy or thin, your arms could be smaller or larger based on your strength and change as the attribute does.. instances of the same monsters could look different based on the skills and attributes they were spawned with.
    The posabilities for customizing apearances are limitless.

    There are only 2 arguments for staying 2D.
    The appearance - which could be duplicated in 3D so it is an invalid argument.
    Old PC - which is barely valid any more since the game isn't supporting 486 processors now, and the client can easily be allowed to disable particles and other such features to run on lesser systems.
  16. DevilsOwn

    DevilsOwn Stratics Legend
    Stratics Veteran Alumni Stratics Legend

    Oct 27, 2003
    Likes Received:
    I will select this and completely agree :) the graphics need more work (yes, I have logged in recently with KR) but keeping the 2D interface would have been the single best move they could have made

    just my two gp
  17. Would have may me a lot happier if they had done that like with 3d came out, the same interface was there for us older folks that have a hard time relearning new. Maybe the biggest reasons we do not play in KR is don't wish to learn a new interface, besides the motion makes me ill to watch, and the older PCs we have here could not even get in game on it.

    As for these other games it sure looks like we will not be playing any of them, just do not like them, I am happy to remain in 2d till they pull the plug, and when that happens we go look for one of those other places to play UO.
  18. Eslake

    Eslake Guest

    Certainly good to have events, and unpredictable events are all the more fun.

    But those are all sustainment changes, only to appease the current players. None of them are going to attract new players, which is the problem.

    If you give them the generous estimate of 100k subscribers, that is only $1.3 / month. It may sound like a lot of money - until you consider that hosting this many shards is probably costing more than $300k / month before utilities or salaries.
    To put it simply - if they don't find a way to bring new players into the game, the natural attricion is going to soon force them to begin consolidating shards.

    If you think a lot would leave due to a new client, imagine how many are going to quit when they lose their houses because there are already houses in those spots on the shard theirs merges with.
  19. Exactly.
    My RL job has to do with human behavior.

    For transistions, do it slow.

    Leave the interfaces.

    Would have been easier programming wise and less disturbing to the playerbase.

    The second thing would be to upgrade the interface over time and let us turn it on.

    A patch could hold upgrades.

    Cause right Lord D, relearning is hard to do. And you also need to keep the some of the familiar while you introduce change. Maybe EA would like to hire a behavior specialist.
  20. Ravenspyre

    Ravenspyre Guest

    Yea, if your choice was to continue alienating new players. One thing the old guard can't accept, UO's old interface is clunky, un-intuitive and garbage for all intents and purposes. Besides, players don't like the old interface because of the old interface, they like it for UOA.
  21. Well thats your opinion.
    Thats fine.

    You have no idea what alienates all new players, new players might be the old guard. Dont be so self centered.

    Dealing with a game is addressing all parties. Never said dont go to interface. Just transistion it in. Phases. One step.

    How many new players flocked cause of KR. No one knows.

    As for the old interface, how much simplier can you get.
    Open Spell book, drag spells, click icon.
    Pretty easy. And you only need to be shown 1x.

    The new interface is less intuitive. Can be learned. Just saying it one's point of view.

    I guess you assume I use UOA. I dont.
  22. DevilsOwn

    DevilsOwn Stratics Legend
    Stratics Veteran Alumni Stratics Legend

    Oct 27, 2003
    Likes Received:
    nope, don't use UOA

    as for intuitive, I'll relate a story... met a new player last year sometime, who was logged in with KR ~~ he was paladin, and standing at the ankh at Spirituality in Ilshenar ~~ he asked if I knew how to tithe at a shrine, and, not knowing he was in KR I told him to simply click the ankh and it would give him options ~~ after sorting out that we were using different clients I logged in with KR and together we finally figured out a way to tithe, which was click on the ankh and then click the little ankh lifebar (?!) that comes up and THAT gives you a dropdown menu......

    intuitive, right
  23. Uriah Heep

    Uriah Heep Grand Poobah
    Stratics Veteran Alumni Stratics Legend

    May 26, 2008
    Likes Received:
    Well call me the old old school player then. If the KR interface is "intuitive" then I'm a total dumbass.
    KR came on the scene early, flopped, and needs to be forgotten about. We tried it, we hated it. So either fix it where the people playing the game like it, adn will use it, or drop it, for Cryin out Loud! Cause KR, regardless of how the fanboi wanna play it, AIN'T gonna draw a new crowd. That train left the station a year ago. Unless they make it playable, "more intuitive" and better looking, and then remarket it, maybe the "Rebirth of the Kingdom Reborn."

    2D 3D KR, it doesn't really matter anyway, no new players (in any quantity) are gonna be coming ingame anyway, cause there is NO MARKETING AND NO SHELF PRESENCE!
    Repeat the capitalized words, over and over, a mantra if you will, until y'all finally understand...

    And for the umpteenth time, I dont have and never had UOA. I can't believe that some peeps are so daft they thing UOA is the end all be all of life. 2D user, does not necessarily equal UOA user!
  24. Im the double dumbass right behind you.
  25. RaDian FlGith

    RaDian FlGith Babbling Loonie
    Stratics Veteran Stratics Legend

    Jun 19, 2002
    Likes Received:
    This is not to say I wouldn't love for UO to adopt a fully 3D client, because I would.

    However, Diablo and Starcraft do show that "2D" games (ie: isometric 3D) are still very much in the running, because while I believe both Diablo III and Starcraft II are being built on fully 3D engines, the gameplay is the same top-down experience we get from UO.

    The problem with UO isn't that a new client couldn't revitalize it. It's that the right people with the right vision, both on server and client side, have not been responsible for the game.
  26. Vallend

    Vallend Sage
    Stratics Veteran Stratics Legend

    Feb 16, 2005
    Likes Received:
    That was one of the biggest things I disliked about KR that I had to try and learn a new interface. It took me a long time to fine tune things to the way I like them. I have my macros set to certain keys for my own ease of use, and do things out of habit now. I did try and play some with KR to see what I could do with it, but it just was not UO to me.

    Here are some other things that made me decide KR was not for me.
    1. Evening though I built a complete new computer to play KR on I still had huge lag problems.
    2. I hate having to hit a key before I want to type any speach in game. I love the old way of just typing away and the words appear above your head.
    3. Many people love the new artwork. I found a good portion of it to be disapointing. I have gotten use to seeing my characters and how I have them dressed in 2D. In KR they look how do I say it.. Really bad.
    I find the KR artwork to be very cartoon like and I think that the 2D artwork seems more realistic. (DAoC 3D artwork looks nice to me. Where as WoW artwork is very much cartoon like to me, and I want graphics that suck me in and make feel like I am part of a movie. Not graphics that make me flash back to Saturday mornings as a kid watching TV.)
    3. For almost 11 years all the monsters have looked the same to me and I have accepted them that way. KRs new creature graphics just don't look right to me.
    4. KR graphics have me half the time wondering what they are suppose to be. I have to highlight them just to find out what they are.

    So like others I think they should keep the interface we have now and go for a full 3D upgrade. (Not this half and half thing we call KR, where static items are still in a form of 2D.) I want everything in the world to be 3D and to be as realistic as possible.
  27. Uriah Heep

    Uriah Heep Grand Poobah
    Stratics Veteran Alumni Stratics Legend

    May 26, 2008
    Likes Received:
    Party of two, wanting 3D with a usable interface! *high fives*

  28. RaDian FlGith

    RaDian FlGith Babbling Loonie
    Stratics Veteran Stratics Legend

    Jun 19, 2002
    Likes Received:
    Yeah, considering that WoW is a much more graphically intensive game, and I play it in highest sliders without lag, the fact that KR still has issues at times for me IS a reason I don't play it.
    You CAN turn off modal text, but trust me on this one, once you get used to modal conversation, it's much better, because you open up a whole new set of convenient macro keys.
    I don't think there's "many" people who love the new artwork. While SOME of the new artwork is pretty decent, most of it is not, and I think pretty much everyone agrees that it is not even as well detailed as the 2D client was.
    That's a matter of style, I guess, but I don't think KR is much different in overall cartooniness than 2D.
    Some do, some don't, I'll agree there, but honestly, that wouldn't be too hard to get used to for any of us.
    And that's the MAJOR problem with KR for me too. Heck, even things like statues and spellbooks and the like all just look blurry, and while I don't have perfect eyesight, I know it's not me. heh
    Well, the interface we have now could use some overhaul, but I agree that the interface is not the issue that people make it out to be. And, if UO, like other games, took the time to acclimate you to the interface (NOT just the game itself), things would be fine. But they don't. The closest it came was that old offline version of UO that was on the UO:R disc I think (?) that walked you through some of the basics. The interface tutorial should be part of the actual game itself. But without a consistent interface, it does no good.
  29. canary

    canary Guest

    You can thank GrimmOmen for the blurriness. He was the art lead and defended the decision to make it all look like play doh.
  30. Ravenspyre

    Ravenspyre Guest

    That's called expectation, and pretty much automatic thought processes. You are use to doing things one way, and are not use to the changes presented. So of course, after year's of messing with it, you are going to think the old interface is better, you are use to the garbage.

    But damn, what's more intuitive than drag and drop macros and the same drop down menu interface that someone else tried. Really, new players are not going to like that interface no matter how great you think it is, and it's not. KR's interface just involves pictures and drag and drop, you can't get anymore intuitve than that without being plugged directly into the system itself.

    Here let's demonstrate;

    To make a macro for a spell in 2d UO, I gotta open the options menu, click the macro tab, then I gotta scroll down a list of of items in my list till I find the particular function, in this case cast spell.

    Then I gotta scroll down a list of spells, that inculdes the 64 spells for mages, the spells from necro, the bushido powers, the chivalry powers, and so on and so forth. basically any power that is a spell is there.

    Then I gotta assign it to a hotkey.

    For KR, all I do is open my spell book, drag it out, place it on a hotbar, and if I want ot go the extra mile right click to assign a hotkey. Done. I can even say the macro effects current target, pulls up a targetting cross hair or even just auto casts on me.
  31. Now i cant argue the hotkey.
    I dont use them. I can see that point though.
  32. Hotkey
    Oh yeah.
    I used some... spell casting, open bank, disarm and all that.

    Nothing to complicated I guess that it bothered me.

    I did try the macros/hotkeys in KR a bit back. Thats when I kept losing them each time I logged off or some weird bug.

    Maybe Ill try again.
  33. drinkbeerallday

    drinkbeerallday Visitor

    Jun 4, 2008
    Likes Received:
    They should re-release UO as "a classic game with the best and most unique PvP out there"

    because that is what it is. it is sad they keep trying to re-invent the game when they have a good product. they just need to market it properly.
  34. Ravenspyre

    Ravenspyre Guest

    LOL, oh that's funny. Oh, you're being serious, LOL.
  35. Basara

    Basara UO Forum Moderator
    Moderator Professional Governor Stratics Veteran Wiki Moderator Stratics Legend Campaign Supporter

    Jul 16, 2003
    Likes Received:
    Those with blurriness problems in KR: It's because you need to play with the settings of the game, ranging from the zoom level, to some of the stuff in the options.

    RavenW.: You can avoid the "hotkey loss" in KR by "logging out" instead of exiting the game, THEN closing KR. It appears that the "exit game" option bypasses the step where it saves the hotkeys and macros (on the upside, if during a KR game you really screw up your hotkeys somehow, you can "exit game" and pop back to the settings you had two logins before - man, there's been times when I wish I could have done that in 2D...).
  36. drinkbeerallday

    drinkbeerallday Visitor

    Jun 4, 2008
    Likes Received:
    dead serious.

    i find it funny you are trying to criticize me when you are a person who was a key player in a huge failed pvp event in trinsic a few years back.
  37. Ravenspyre

    Ravenspyre Guest

    Actually it works the same for macros to. If I want to make an arm macro, I just go into the macro interface and set it up pick a picture I would remember, name the macro, and pick all the nice little functions I want.

    You can even make a macro and assign a hotkey without ever dropping it in your hotbar. Everything from changing clothes, to opening particular backpacks to many other features and functions. If you are so inclined you can even make a bandage macro, but it would jsut be easier to drop that on the hotbar and assign that to self.
  38. Ravenspyre

    Ravenspyre Guest

    Was this before or after Age of Shadows? The last PvP event I remember being in was before Age of Shadows, but eh, what do I care anymore. UO PvP is definitely not it's best feature anymore, housing was. Before Age of Shadows, I might agree with you that UO had some of the best PvP out there, after, not really anymore.
  39. Eslake

    Eslake Guest

    I agree the right people need to be handling things, absolutely.

    Starcraft and Diablo are free to play and not really the same sort of games. But using those as examples, compare the popularity of the old 2D versions to the popularity of the new ones. ;) That would be a better analogy to UO's need for a revamp.
    More people are willing to pay money to play the newer games than play the older for free.

    They should release the game period.
    If you go to the website and try to start up as a new player, you end up at the gamecodes center to buy ML. But if you try to buy it, it tells you you have to subscribe for a month first.

    That surely isn't helping them get new accounts. ;) You have to have played a month before you can play.

    As to the PvP.. I could agree that UO's PvP is a unique experience, :) but it is far from the best in its curent state. Games designed with PvP at their core are far better suited to it. (Lineage for example)

    UO was designed specifically for PvM, PvP was simply the option of exacting player justice on thieves and grieffers. RG tried to make that clear repeatedly, but people continued to cry for nerfs and balancing until they had no choice but to modify systems to accomidate PvP as a playstyle.

    *goes in search of his C++ and Lightwave CDs*
  40. Lefty

    Lefty Lore Keeper
    Stratics Veteran

    May 17, 2008
    Likes Received:
    My thoughts on this subject.

    There should be a UO flavor for each player, meaning there should be

    1. Pre UO:R shard(s)
    2. UO:R
    3. And a true 3d version of UO with up to date graphics and cross plateforming

    Clients would be standardized on classical shards (no updates, and no new content)

    Only current production shards and the fictional 3d version would be updated.

    The result would be tons of subscriptions.