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Discussion in 'UHall' started by Tina Small, Jun 16, 2011.
Found it here:
Have fun. It's all in Chinese.
Edited to add: Forum is at UO .
The website for Dungeon Keeper Online, another EA title that NetDragon has been developing into an MMORPG, is here: µØÏÂ³ÇÊØ»¤ÕßÊÀ½çÖÐÎÄ¹Ù·½ÍøÕ¾-dk.91.com . I believe it is currently in a closed beta.
Also, if you want to know more about the game engines that TQ Digital Entertainment (they are NetDragon's game development company, located in Diamond Bar, CA, east of Los Angeles) uses for the games it is developing, some limited information is here: TQ Digital Entertainment.
Too bad NetDragon develops for Asian markets.
Which is actually a damn shame, because I would have played the Dungeon Keeper MMO.
There's some scuttlebutt I saw indicating they will be releasing an English version at some point.
I meant to add this earlier, Woodsman. NetDragon operates several games in English and accessible to US players, including Conquer Online, Crazy Tao, Eudemons Online, The Warlords, and Zero Online. Their games portal in English is here: 91 Community - us.91.com.
So you think EA is going to allow NetDragon is going to release another UO alongside the existing UO, thereby going after EA customers....
Or you think EA is putting resources into a graphics update for the current UO, while allowing NetDragon to make a 3D UO....
And Tina did you bother reading through those forums you linked to? I don't think you did, because it sounds like a whole lot of people pancakes about Chinese localization issues. It almost sounds like they are taking UO and just making a Chinese version of it, similar to what was done with Warcraft and EVE Online.
Okay, wow, those forums are horrible, they are pancakes about wanting a classic shard
I don't know what to think, Woodsman. I'm leaning towards EA is letting NetDragon develop a 3D version of UO and eventually it will replace the 2D version, worldwide. It makes no sense at all to me why EA would limit access to a 3D version of UO to just the Asian market. I found information on one of the NetDragon company websites that says they work with game operators around the world. Who's to say EA doesn't take advantage of those relationships NetDragon has to find game operators worldwide to run UO 3D servers? The original press release just says that NetDragon will have exclusive rights to run the game in Asia.
Of course, no one at EA is ever going to confirm or deny any of this. All we can do is watch what the UO team at EA does with the 2D version. Are they doing things to make such a migration easier? And where the heck is Cal these days and why do we hear from him so very sporadically? I really think he and several others have been tied up with working with NetDragon Websoft's game development team. That's my hunch and I'm sticking to it at this point!
Yeah, I did look at those forums. Doesn't sound like people who are actually playing anything new, does it? I think they were just set up for the development team to get some preliminary feedback.
Also, I think this is the log-in page to actually watch for any signs that the UO 3D version is in a closed beta: https://reg.91.com/NDUser_Login.asp...vbS8/Y29udHJvbGxlcj1Hcm91cCZhY3Rpb249SW5kZXg=. Click on the far left button at the top for its drop down list. If you translate what's showing there currently, you'll see the link for Dungeon Keeper Online (beta). That tab is where I expect eventually you'll also see a link for the Ultima Online 3D (beta). Or you'll find a link at the site I posted in the first post of this thread.
*leans forward* ... oooo netpolice1
what is th
Hey Woodsman ...
there is an old paradigm floating around UO ...
anyone BUT EA ... could do UO "better" ...
Gotta admit ... they got the requisite infrastructure ... electricity and schools and computers and stuffs
obviously, they gots internet access
(the icon at top ... IS pinging china ... just sounds "funny" when saying it aloud ... *shrugs* )
There is a cultural >understanding< of things magical and medieval and fantasy and struggle
(well, more so than say ... the Taliban or the Amish )
there is also a cultural disposition for taking a long term view of and for things ...
EA could do worse
is all I'm saying ... *grin*
I believe NetDragon Websoft is domiciled in the Cayman Islands, although their head office is in Hong Kong.
If you check the dates on that site I dont see anything current. I see March of this year as anything current. Thankfully with Google translator toolbar made it much easier to read lol. This post below I do see a reference they are not the official group and my interpretation of the classic remark was more keeping UO as it is not a classic shard.
It's just for the asia market only
Here is the link...EA and NetDragon to make a new Ultima Online for China | Massively
Or you can read this if you dont want to use the link....
...aaand ...what now? rolleyes:
The post you referenced, Zosimus, was made by one of the forum users, so of course any group they have set up (i.e., QQ group 611623) is unofficial.
If you use QQ, an instant messaging program popular in China but also used by many English speakers, the UO Operations team's QQ number is 1511926883 and they apparently also set up a QQ group for official follow-up, although I do not know what the number for that group is. (It may be 43844314, which was another QQ group # posted in the same thread.) I have a QQ number but haven't been able to get the software to install properly to investigate further.
I really think that UO forum was set up to give the NetDragon Websoft (or more likely TQ Digital) development team feedback from Chinese players about what they want out of UO. Since there has been no activity there in the way of posts since March, those developers are most likely past the point where they are actively soliciting a lot of feedback until they hit the beta stage. They may be using the QQ chat group for now to provide most of their communications.
It's interesting that the post you referred to says the engine will be the same as used for "Dungeon Lords." I'm pretty sure that's referring to the S3 game engine that TQ Digital is using for Dungeon Keepers Online. My guess is that the person who made the post got that information via the official QQ chat group set up by the "UO Operations Team" that runs the UO forum.
I would trust BioWare more than I would trust NetDragon, and BioWare is taking control of the Ultima brand in a big way.
Could you elaborate on this, please?
How are they taking control of the brand in a "big way", other than re-releasing old single player console games, without even updating them?
Not being snarky or sarcastic.. I honestly would like to know what you mean.
IMO, the NetDragon's version of UO wont be like what the current UO is. It could be more the F2P version many players (including me) wanted that and many games from the Asia region make the F2P games. It will be UO but not UO since it wont be in direct competition with each other. We would just have to wait and see in the future if this rings true. We all could speculate on this and that but in the end this really doesnt have anything to do with the original UO. As the article states...we'll probably never see it.
I know you are not being snarky or sarcastic. I've been keeping an eye on some of the Ultima fansites, and BioWare has been brewing up something. They did the UltimaForever.com thing, and the GOG stuff. Some of the BioWare employees have been quietly mentioning their support for Ultima.
Just as important or probably more important, BioWare hosted some of the Ultima fansites/bloggers in Virginia recently and they made it clear to those fansites/bloggers that they were planning on big things for Ultima.
When was the last time anybody at EA or its studios played host to Ultima fansites/bloggers to discuss Ultima-related stuff?
Zosimus, this is a cut and paste from the official press release from July 22, 2009 on the NetDragon Websoft website:
Hong Kong, July 22 /PRNewswire Asia/ -- Electronic Arts Inc. (NASDAQ: ERTS) and NetDragon Websoft Inc., a leading game developer and operator in China (“NetDragon”, with its subsidiaries collectively know as the “Group”; stock code: 777), today announced a licensing agreement for the development of a new massively multi-player online role playing game (MMORPG) based on “Ultima Online”TM from Electronic Arts. As part of the agreement, NetDragon will develop the new Ultima Online™ in collaboration with EA’s Mythic Entertainment, and have the exclusive operating license for China, Hong Kong, Macau and India.
“We are delighted to further our relationship with EA through the development of Ultima Online™,” said Mr. Liu Dejian, Chairman and Executive Director of NetDragon. “Capitalizing on our ability to create a strong online gaming experience, we are confident that Ultima Online™ will be a success in China and will also achieve remarkable results in the other markets where we'll operate the game."
Jon Niermann, President of EA Asia said, “Ultima Online™ is a well known EA property and we’re delighted to bring the game to fans in China, Hong Kong, Macau and India. NetDragon is a proven partner and we’re confident in their expertise to build and operate a great gaming experience for players”.
Rob Denton, General Manager and Vice President of Mythic Entertainment added “We’re thrilled to be able to work with NetDragon to bring the pioneering Ultima Online to a new audience in these exciting markets.”
I still don't read this as saying that NetDragon Websoft is building the new version of UO so it will only be accessible in China, Hong Kong, Macau, and India. I only see it saying that they will have the exclusive operating license for those countries.
For all we know, when "our" dev team says they are working on enhancing the graphics for UO, they could be working with NetDragon Websoft on graphics for a 3D version of UO. Heck, the comments about building a new "new player experience" would fit that scenario too.
Except that they are trying to re-use assets they already have and we are going to see terrain and walls first.
I have to admit, it would be hilarious if they gave us 3D terrain and walls first, and we were still running around with our 2D isometric chars and monsters.
I know you really want a 3D UO to happen, and to be honest, I think it would fix a lot of the problems UO has - it would probably help with adding content/artwork quicker, and it would draw in the younger crowd. I really wish that would happen, but the reality is that EA is doing this on the cheap, they are going to re-use older artwork where they can.
They are building a new UO. They wont be using the EC client or classic client like the "rest of the world" has to use. So with their new client the game will look and take a whole new perspective. Most asian game has the modern camera view. For them to attract new players from this region UO will have to be updated.
Why would they continue to keep the game as it is and compete with graphically F2P games that has much better graphics and better game play? UO is already available in that region as is. So that UO will not be the UO that we know. Hence why it is limited to that area for release.
mmmhhhmmmm ... kind of a non-sequitur though
Saving Dragon Age 3: A Simple Solution - gamrFeed
Bioware IS EA ... see?
annnnd here we go ... big things for Ultima.
I could make a strong argument that that should be Some big things for SOME parts of UO
Which IS what it is ... isn't it?
just saying ...
ONCE you start "parting out" differing segments OF "things ultima"
you have effectively and realistically (yep "literally" too!)
LOST control of all things Ultima
and history clearly shows: ONCE is long past lost
lost exclusivity to emulators
which was AFTER losing "individuality" TO EA (bought OSI)
Lost "the king/creator"
Lost direction (if not before AOS, then certainly after LBR (steam-punk derivative))
and a plethora of other aspects ... those are just for general drift
to re-enforce and support MY main point
China might have it
EA has never shown it ...
that is all ...
Gah Im kicking myself but I have to agree with Fayled Dhreams. He makes a very strong argument.
Plus with EA history to try to rake in fast cash and shoddy work in the past few years makes his point even stronger.
Good god Fayled, you of all people know that EA has owned the OSI and the Ultima franchise for 19 years.
What I know is this: BioWare employees started getting more vocal about the Ultima franchise. Then Cal said something changed in January and February, and not long after he said that, the graphics upgrade, new player experience upgrade, and quest upgrade were announced along with the next booster not being a full-blown booster (but costing just as much as one ). BioWare employees got a little more vocal about Ultima, then they opened up the BioWare/Mythic doors to some fansites/bloggers, then they announced UltimaForever (which featured UO in prime space) and GOG.com, with more announcements to come. Meanwhile some BioWare employee keeps pushing out twitters engaging the Ultima community and highlighting UO as well.
After the Stygian Abyss layoffs and after the switch to booster packs and dropping of expansions, I really thought EA was just going to let UO die off. Now things have changed and work is being done to attract new players.
As much as I hate what EA has done over the years to UO and Ultima, I'm willing to see how this plays out. I would feel more comfortable if there were some new hires and if BioWare would finally add UO and Camelot to their official forums alongside all of their other games, but things are at least happening.
If EA had been making a push for fast cash, we would not be getting the graphics, quest, and new player upgrades, we would have gotten a bigger booster/theme pack, and they would have already announced the next booster/theme pack.
I'm not defending them necessarily - I think the theme packs were a fast cash grab, but the other stuff is definitely not since it's going to take a while.
It will be some sort of profit sharing arrangement outside the Asian markets. What are they doing these days... spending 6 months looking at Excel spreadsheets... and astroturfing this forum re the Classic shard last year and all the stuff they are going to do this year. The graphics in the new boosters which you have to pay for are average, and magically you are going to have an incredible total revamp of the EC graphics. Yeah right.
Back on point, UO is being phoned in until NetDragon takes over.
Like it took a while to revamp factions, and remove cheaters, and build a Classic shard. Dangle some carrots, spam the forums re these carrots, 12 months later dangle some new carrots and repeat.
You truly believe that? The theme booster was unfinshed plain and simple. They got cash for an unfinshed product. High Seas buggy as hell and not all fixed and they got cash for it also. Its a continuing cycle. EA got its cash no matter how the product is. Even in Fayled's link it stated this....
The majority of gamers know how EA is. Unfinished, half arse, rushed out the door products is there company slogan.
Cal can say anything and give UO player base hope but the heads at EA can cut off that hope if it costs them a part of their bonuses. I dont blame Cal for false and empty promises. Its EA that does it and he is the scapegoat when things are not working right or it's rushed out the door. EA ruined Mythic Entertainment that Mark Jacob and company built. Then chase off Mark Jacob which in the end he may regret the day he agreed to merge with EA. Mythic will be remembered for there greatest game DaoC but failed on Warhammer. Bioware reputation will be measured on SW:TOR.
I know you follow UO very closely and the passion and hope that they will do something about it. No offence towards you but your other topic/post the other day about DaoC forums getting redone to me was kind of like how unfair to UO that DaoC gets some love. That was my take. DaoC was EPIC. In truth, I think most of these improvements for UO forever and DaoC sites are cosmetic looks not huge investments back into any of their games. Just to keep players happy and keep opening that wallet for them.
EA is about $$$$$$$$ as any business should be but for shodddy and sub par products it's hard to say where they will be at in 10 years. They ruin the name of former good smaller companies they buy out so why not theirs while they are at it .
heh! yeah ... I DO KNOW that ... so ... you must have missed the point I >almost made<
And You Go On to talk about what "you hope" will be a "possible benefit" from somethings said by some people (still mostly unidentified) and some coincidental "promises" about "work forth coming" ...
in light of the obvious down grading of priorities and performance ...
(Sock-Knocking_Expansions down to possibly two boosters a year to only one booster dropping right into mini booster$ of planters and incomplete(admitted) "themed" tile sets ... )
I say: if you are gonna "Help Ultima Online" you should control ALL aspects of Ultima ... soup to nuts ALL ... Sales, marketing, support, development >direction<, who-uses-anything-ultima-and-How-they-use it-and how much they pay for it ...
ya can attempt to do it by "committee"
ya can attempt to do it by polling for general direction desired
we're basically standing around in the forums Hoping things work out
some are hoping more than others
Factions..there are bigger problems with UO. Factions is kind of like a leaky faucet in a house that's got a shaky foundation. Yes, it needs to be fixed, yes you're leaking water (or maybe players), but if you don't fix the foundation up, you're not going to have anybody around to complain about the leaky faucet.
One of those bigger problems is the cheating, and I'm not happy over the cheaters thing.
The cheaters still run around Luna - the first post on Stratics I saw mentioning "Tim" was back in March, and I've reported him and I know others who have reported him, and I saw him several times earlier this month, still doing his thing three months on. I've avoided Luna lately, but I'm sure if I went there, I'd run into him. I even had a friend who was talking to a GM mention Tim being a script as Tim walked up and started scanning his house, and the GM said nothing.
I now think a classic shard could do some good, but the problem is it's risky because nobody can agree exactly on what classic is and it'll leave somebody pissed off. The people who want a classic shard the most are the people who are going to pancake really loudly if it's not pre-AOS or pre-UO:R or whatever they believe. If you could actually unite those people behind a common set of beliefs about what a classic shard should be, I think you might get a more receptive audience, but uniting the classic sharders over what a classic shard should be is like herding cats.
I believe the theme packs were a cash grab.
I don't think the graphics/new player/quest stuff is a cash grab. They might try and charge us for those things, especially after they charged for a game mechanic like the New Magincia Bazaar, but the graphics/new player/quest stuff is going to take a long time, and during that time they could crank out a few more booster packs.
If they were after quick cash and not concerned about the future, they'd have a better UO Game Codes system that made it easier to add stuff, and they'd be selling stuff individually. Look at the raised garden beds - they could be selling those for $2 a pop and rake in thousands for it.
Jonathan (I think) and I had this conversation a while back, and we discussed whether or not things were happening at the EA level or the BioWare level. This year, EA supposedly started to truly free the studios up a bit. If they were really and truly going to do what they claimed they were going to do, then this would be driven at the BioWare level.
On the other hand, EA also said they were going to mine their back catalog for under-utilized IP, and Ultima falls in that category. I watched a pretty good interview/videocast where the point was made that EA spends so much on licensing fees for sports, Star Wars, etc., that they are wanting to mine some of their old IP for material that doesn't require them paying somebody else royalties.
Something is being done though. My opinion is that it's BioWare, based on comments made by BioWare employees and based on them hosting some Ultima fansites/bloggers.
I'm sure Stratics had somebody at the BioWare Ultima gathering, but unfortunately the people who were in attendance seem to only be talking about what they are allowed to talk about.
I agree with all of this. Warhammer was launched too early, and to EA's credit, they apparently learned a very valuable lesson and are giving Star Wars some breathing room. With that said, if Star Wars goes down in flames, it could ruin EA's entire year financially, and the bloodbath that UO went through after Stygian Abyss, while probably not as bad, would leave UO incapable of seeing even booster packs released. BioWare would be gutted and the games divvied out.
It came off that way and it shouldn't have and I apologize. I know DAoC players were probably not happy to hear that UO was getting graphics and quest and new player updates while DAoC was hanging out.
Look I think the DAoC getting a new website and getting an improved new player process is a sign that somebody is getting serious about MMOs and it's good for UO. It might just be that the DAoC developers lobbied for it after seeing what's being done with UO, but they all work together and all talk together and they probably know what's happening between both groups. Both UO and DAoC teams have probably had people pulled off to work on Star Wars, and both teams probably shared a bunker mentality in the wake of Warhammer's failure.
They both share the same major problem - a lack of new players. Earlier this year, BioWare said they were going to work on their new player experiences because they weren't happy with the first few hours of some of their games and how they were losing some players during that time.
I agree and disagree. I got worried for UO when EA announced they were going to move from dozens of titles down to 10 or less major titles and were just going to focus on their most profitable franchises/licenses.
At the same time, BioWare probably has more sway than Mark Jacobs/Mythic did. BioWare makes EA a lot more money than Mythic did when Mark was running things, and BioWare has some ex-UO and ex-Origin developers (although Gordon Walton left BioWare a few months ago ). BioWare makes a ton of money for EA, and it may not be the kind of money that the sports division, but it's up there.
Hmm.. I must not have paid as much attention as you. Thank you for the explanation! I hope you are correct.
Ultima (related) yes. Ultima Online no.
There is no way all our devs are working full time on Ultima Online. They are being assigned to SWTOR or UltimaForever.
My belief is that the EC graphics revamp end result will be equivalent to last years State of the Game priorities, the factions revamp, the anti-cheater detection, and the Classic shard. Amount to little or nothing.
It is mid way through the year now, like many many months since they said they will redo the terrain. Someone like Sapherina would have finished them in 2 weeks, not 5 months. Fact is UO is very low on EA's priorities. Not only is the dev count is low, and it is obvious they are not working on UO full time.