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UO's Impending Sunset.. Preventable?

Discussion in 'UHall' started by Wallenstein, Jul 4, 2008.

  1. Wallenstein

    Wallenstein Guest

    I was taking a look at MMOGCHART.com's subscription chart for MMOs and saw that Ultima Online has sank like a rock in recent years with subscriptions.

    The chart is: http://www.mmogchart.com/Chart2.html

    ..Going by that chart, which according to the site owner contains realistically accurate numbers obtained from game companies, Ultima Online has went from 250,000 (peak) subscribers to approximately 77,000 at this current time since the day AoS came out. That is a drop in nearly 173,000 subscribers, or about 69% of the players that played UO at its peak.

    At this exact time (July) in 2006, UO had approximately 135,000 subscribers. That number in just two years has nearly been sliced in half to 77,000. If this pace continues, UO will very likely not see 2010.

    Since the day AoS came out there have only been two slight subscription increases in UO, both of which came around the time of expansions. But, both of those increases shortly were eliminated when the game lost more subscribers than had re-joined during the time of the new expansions. This can't continue if Ultima Online wants to live past 2009.

    What is it as players that we can do to somehow revive this game? Lots of people have left and will do nothing but say negative things about this game because of EA and whatnot, but with that aside there has to be something that can be done to boost subscriptions.

    Stygian Abyss, the "new expansion", may increase the subscripton rate.. But going by the past two "expansion increases" in subscriptions we can only count on those numbers falling a few months after UO:SA is released.. if it is released at all.

    I was on MMORPG.com and read so many comments from past UO players about things that would make them come back in a heartbeat. The number one thing said by almost *everyone* was the creation of a classic server. Of course we all know EA has virtually ignored requests for this, but with UO's end in sure sight there really needs to be some steps taken to keep this game alive. If a classic server (or servers) were somehow created this game could easily re-reach 250,000 subscribers. And for the record, character transfers would not be able to be done from post-AoS servers to pre-AoS servers.

    I just re-joined this game after two years off and I'm starting to question the future of the game and am debating whether it's even worth starting up again. Hopefully this gets read, because the chart linked above tells the story of UO's past, present, and future if nothing is done.
  2. timbeOFbaja

    timbeOFbaja Guest

    Um, nothing. UO isn't bringing in new blood; it's just recycling old players. If you go to a neutral gaming forum and ask about UO, you'll hear from former players how awesome it used to be. From people who've never heard of it or got into MMORPGs post-WoW (which is 90% of them), you'll hear exclusively how horrible the game looks and that it can't be taken seriously. KR just reinforced that sentiment.

    UO is going to hover around the 100K mark forever until it gets a 3D first person client. It's that plain. The move to the new client will also necessitate some design changes and would be the perfect time to basically burn it to the ground and stop some of these one way tracks the designers have headed down.
  3. Lucy of Kenton

    Lucy of Kenton Seasoned Veteran
    Stratics Veteran Stratics Legend

    May 16, 2008
    Likes Received:
    sorry but ive played for over 8 years and i cannot remember a time when uo's demise wasnt predicted but hey we are still here. and 100k of players = *thinks hard for a blonde* 1 million in revenue. i doubt that it costs 1m to keep running so hey its profit.
  4. Desperado

    Desperado Guest

    Another doom and gloom prediction just like every bloody year since 1999 ah dear :confused:
  5. timbeOFbaja

    timbeOFbaja Guest

    In 1999 there was only one competing MMORPG. UO saw a jump in subscribers with each new MMORPG release as new people were brought into the genre. That pattern has stopped. In 1999, the game had client that only looked 5 years old.

    This game is no doubt profitable and will remain open, but it's not going to increase in userbase and we aren't going to see the kind of attention we'd like to see. If you're content with that, then good for you.
  6. Wallenstein

    Wallenstein Guest

    This is another big thing I was trying to get across but I kind of strayed off on the "UO is dieing" part.

    When I joined UO I used to lag like a SON OF A GUN walking through the Britain Bank on a Wednesday morning at 4:00am. God, hundreds of people and players selling mounts (Lava selling swampies, ahh the memories). Now on a Friday night at 5pm there will be about 10-15 people sitting, away from keyboard, on their ethereals wearing 300mil in armor.

    That isn't UO. Well, it is, but it's not what the UO community should be. Getting this game somewhat back to what it was in, say, anytime between 1997 and 2004, would be ideal for reviving it.
  7. hawkeye_pike

    hawkeye_pike Babbling Loonie
    Stratics Veteran

    May 15, 2008
    Likes Received:
    1. I don't know where these numbers come from, as EA officially stated that they won't release any numbers.
    2. The demise of UO has been announced by players since 1998. UO still lives, and many active players can be found on most shards. (However, the number and quality of players has somewhat lessened since 2001.)
    3. There's nothing the players could do to acquire new customers.
    4. To acquire new customers, EA should provide UO with a modern game engine and a nifty and bug-free 3D client. KR still has too many issues. The game itself provides more depth, versatility and adventure than any of the other MMORPGs out there. It is just the antiquated looks that keeps new players away.
  8. Minerva Foxglove

    Minerva Foxglove Lore Keeper
    Stratics Veteran Stratics Legend

    Jun 19, 2008
    Likes Received:
    8 years + here and no complaints about the 2D graphics. I dont want the look of my house spoiled or the way vendors work. WoW might look nice but thats it.

    What players can do to make the game fun is to help people start up. Just to get spooken to when you are new is a great thing. Also arrange events and take part in others events, the later helps the leaders to keep the spirit up.:thumbup: Look at what Lord Paidric does on Europa. Trade Caravans in Felucca for red and blue pvpers and trammies like myself. We have lots of fun and get to know people we never mingled with before.Lots can be done this way.

    Dont sit around like little birds in the nest waiting to get fed! Help your shard to be a popular one, it serves us all if we keep the population up.:cheerleader:
  9. hawkeye_pike

    hawkeye_pike Babbling Loonie
    Stratics Veteran

    May 15, 2008
    Likes Received:
    While it is absolutely a good thing to help new players, it definitely won't contribute anything to getting new customers. People already are helping new players wherever they can. But NEW CUSTOMERS, they decide at least 50% by the LOOKS of a game. UO really is the greatest MMORPG around, but be honest to yourself: How many kids will start playing this game when they see its graphics from the 1990s? Probably none.
  10. legendsguy

    legendsguy Sage
    Stratics Veteran

    Jun 7, 2008
    Likes Received:
    i actually thought the op's message was well-thought out. doom and gloom aside, it would be a good idea to try and bring back the old players.. and perhaps a classic shard is just the way to do it. (this coming from someone who wasn't even around before aos)
  11. Redxpanda

    Redxpanda Lore Keeper
    Stratics Veteran

    Dec 6, 2007
    Likes Received:
    I think the best part of this game is the content. People enjoy having in game events and activities and that is what keeps alot of people going in this game. Thats why i always have the upmost respect for WRR and such.

    The thing that turns people away is the uphill battle it takes to go from have not to have. It is discouraging to start with 1000 gold and rags and see people selling things for 8mil or 20mil. Then you add the fact that during that journey you may lose ground because your gear gets lost or you lose insurance or something you valued became worthless.

    I didn't start playing this game nor did i come back and quit again because of the graphics. I would be happy playing in 2D as long as the game itself is fine. I hated LBR and i hate KR and i am fine still playing in 2D. I don't want this game to turn into WoW. WoW is a Polished piece of turd. Yeah it looks good but you know it is just crap under all that polish from the second you do your first quest.

    PVP needs to be changed from a willy nilly griefer's paradise to an honorable battle system that is both challenging and rewarding. That alone will raise the quality of players in the game and make it more attractive to gamers. Seige is so empty because it is challenging. PKers on production shards don't PVP for a challenge. They don't want to have a chance of losing armor or have to work on their skills the hard way.

    Events (not to take anything from this event) should be constant and interesting with story arcs and random invasions. I miss the days when monsters would invade unexpectedly and the town crier would call us to arms to fight them off. Things like that were fun and exciting. They didn't have to be planned or announced. They didn't even have to be difficult, they just had to happen.

    Theres nothing we as players can do to change the future of Ultima Online. It's really up the the devs to really dig deep and take a chance and make this an overall better game for everyone. They know what has to be done and they know how to do it but they are not willing to take the chance. Right now they are playing it safe and doing what they can to try and please everyone and this game is slowly dying because of it.
  12. Heartseeker

    Heartseeker Guest

    The sheep are in denial.:lol:
  13. Eslake

    Eslake Guest

    Denial is an accurate description.

    Yes, UO is dying.

    I've always laughed (openly, and loudly) at those "EQ will kill UO" "DAoC will kill UO" etc types.
    But this time, there is no place to point a finger. The game's populations are in sharp decline and there is no new glitter pulling customers off for a few months.

    This time it is simply that the game offers no reason for new players to join or stay. Let alone any indication that the game exists (no store presence at all, no advertisement, no trials, nothing for a long time now).

    KR is a joke. It is little better than the catastrophe that was Third Dawn. If you're going to make a new client, do it right for crying out loud. I've created better without being paid! (and much better for the big bucks). It doesn't take that much when you already have a framework to build on (i.e. all the systems and rules are already in place, and the servers are already up and running.)

    What will save UO?
    Getting the word out that it exists for one thing. Word of mouth isn't going to cut it, since so many ex players badmouth it. It takes some form of advertisement.

    Making it new-player friendly would definitely help. New Haven's quests are fine, but did you ever notice there is absolutely nothing that would indicate to a Brand New player how to even interract with the NPCs? Or how to even walk to them! (yes, manuals blah blah, and everyone knows nobody ever reads the manual ;) )

    Repair or remove the damaged old stuff. There are bugs still in the game that have been around since pre T2A. We have faulty tiles that have been around since beta!!!! This stuff may be minor to you and me, but every little obvious flaw like that leads a new player to think the game is not being managed and will not be worth playing (if they don't fix that, will they fix the next thing?)
  14. Doomsday Dragon

    Doomsday Dragon Visitor

    Jun 11, 2008
    Likes Received:
    That chart is the most inaccurate pile of steaming dogshi* I have ever seen.

    You cannot tell me that FF11 has or has ever had that many players. Let alone some of the other statistics on that chart that I can tell you for sure right now are not and have never been true ever.

    Sure UO could be that low on players don't get me wrong but that chart is not a good way to find out just how many people are actually playing the game right now or in the past.
  15. Tyr

    Tyr Guest

    I do agree UO is dying. Then again everone here is dying to. Now that we got that out of the way.

    I believe EA will eventually turn UO into its first F2P game. The game will end up being supported by Cash Shop. It has one now to be honest. The game will make its money off of pixel crack, & they sell items that do skill advancement.

    Yes I know what an Advance Character Token is. They will probable do away with those. & probable turn around & sell Skill Gain scrolls in the Cash Shop. Only certian pets can be bought from the Cash Shop. You might have also buy a pass in a cash shop to enter certian areas. & turn skill gains back to the way they were 1999. Certian Holidays they will release specific pixel crack related to the holidays. & probable even have Uber items you can only get through the Cash Shop.

    All that stuff already occurs in 99% F2P games.
  16. Hoffs

    Hoffs Gilfane Keeper of the Hall
    Stratics Veteran Gilfane

    May 15, 2008
    Likes Received:
    I think the site is very professionally run if you actually sit and read what he has to say. He uses a variety of sources and gives an accuracy rating for his figures. While there may or may not be some glaring inaccuracies, he nevertheless rates the UO stats as top level meaning that they either come from official company announcements (such as public company reports) or reliable inside sources.
  17. GalenKnighthawke

    GalenKnighthawke Grand Poobah
    Stratics Veteran

    May 12, 2008
    Likes Received:

    This site used to be based on published subscription numbers.

    However, as the convention changed to not release subscription numbers publicly, most games don't I'm sure you've noticed, it became increasingly less clear where this guy's numbers are coming from.

    Frankly I think he's making them up half the time.


    The latest subscription number we've heard from an actual source is 100k, see the link above. He also described UO as "wildly profitable," a bold claim that business types are very reluctant to make these days without some kind of backing.


    Any business venture can be shut down at any time for any reason. Business ventures have risen and fallen on the basis of temporary mood swings since the dawn of Capitalism.

    So hey if UO dies tomorrow, let's just say I stopped being surprised a long time ago.

    But....In terms of rational criteria? We have every rational reason to believe that UO's doing fine.

    We as players have been predicting UO's imminent death since several months after its release. That's not a joke, I found an old Usenet posting to that effect a few months after UO's launch.

    And what made the guy predict this? Not lag, not balance, not the fact that back then warrior's needed magery or pots to heal......No, it was the fact that the boat service from Skara Brae to the mainland wasn't operative yet.

    Guys....Just play the God-damned game and have fun. Complain about stuff you think is worth complaining about, propose changes, etc....But for the Love of God, stop predicting UO's demise.

    UO's demise is kind of like recessions in the economy. The more people predict something as inevitable, the more inevitable it is, even though it wouldn't have happened otherwise.

    -Galen's player
  18. Gildar

    Gildar Babbling Loonie
    Stratics Veteran Stratics Legend

    Apr 22, 2004
    Likes Received:
    The desmise of UO was first announced during beta... if not alpha.
  19. The sky is falling!!!

    I have 9 years under my belt so I rank this as :bdh:. Hasn't happened yet ...
  20. Emil IsTemp

    Emil IsTemp Guest

    Everyone has excuses.. how about actually doing somthing rather than complaining?

    Solution: Every player (myself included) brings in a RL friend to the world of Britannia. They dont have to play for too long to become addikted.. and after a few months, you pass the torch to them. Its their turn to bring in one of their RL friends to the world.

    Now some will stay, some will leave, but its more than EA is willing to do.. and it just might work..

    Power to tha People.. happy 4th all.
  21. Ender

    Ender Crazed Zealot
    Stratics Veteran Stratics Legend

    Jun 12, 2008
    Likes Received:
    I've brought in 3, 2 quit, they are now playing the Endless Grind Machine (WoW) instead. They said UO has ugly graphics...
  22. Wallenstein

    Wallenstein Guest

    Yeah. My thought wasn't necessarily to just bring new people into the game, but to bring old players back as well. There are over 100,000 people who have quit this game since AoS, and I am positive that with some sort of "good" addition to this game some of them will come back.

    100% spot on. As I walk around New Haven I think to myself how impossible it must feel for a new player to make it in this game. A regular horse from the stable costs 600+gp on Great Lakes, and new players only start with 1,000gp. While horses aren't necessary, who honestly wants to run back and forth between the woods and New Haven every ten minutes? Nobody. I have never met a new player who knew what "bank" did when said. I never met anyone new to the game who could tell me how to call the guards.. I've never met a new player who knew how to get to other towns and banch out a bit from New Haven. I've never met any newcomer who could tell me the least little bit about placing or owning a house. Hell, I didn't even know what "recdu recsu" did until my account was 20 months old.

    The vocal commands in this game are too much. No new player will know to say "I wish to lock this down" in their house to lock their items down. Nobody will know what "I wish to place a trash barrel", "I ban thee", or "Remove thyself" means. Whatever you can do by speaking should be able to be accomplished by single-clicking as well (i.e. added to a drop-down menu when clicked).

    Another note: Lots of comments here have been about how PvP is too item-based, etc. This is one of the most important things that EA isn't understanding as well. What is with creating all of these new "suit sets", "artifact armor", "artifact weapons", and insane jewelry, spellbooks, and talismans with ridiculous stats? Stop with it already. Honestly. It's so damn old and it's killing this game. One of the things so many people loved about this game was crafting. Tailoring, blacksmithing, fletching, you name it. All of those skills are useless now unless you can afford a 2.5million GP Barbed Runic Sewing Kit or a 60million GP Valorite Runic Hammer to make "uber stat" armor. They are useless because the need to craft your own armor has virtually been taken away with all of the new artifacts being added.
  23. Belmarduk

    Belmarduk Guest

    1. UO IS dieing - Sorry but anyone who doesnt realise this is looking through pink-glasses !
    2. Mouth-Probaganda is NOT enough (otherwise the subs would be rising NOT falling...
    3. I dont care if its now 100k,90k or 70k - UO has LESS players than it did and is LOSING players fast !
    4. With the current clients there is ZERO chance of a rush of new players!!!!
    5. Get rid of many bugs,fix things like faction and pvp and curb down scripting and then introduce a few new things LEAVING the old things as they are !!! (voice commands etc as someone stated are FINE !- That makes the game interesting for a LONG time (I allways loved finding new things after years!) ) - Then the game itself is really good - Put a good modern client on top and lets see if the subs dont rise....................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................... (sorry key got stuck)
    6. Keep the game as it is now (only throwing in as little effort as possible) in 1-2 years the game will be gone or under 30k subs !
  24. Basara

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

    Jul 16, 2003
    Likes Received:
    You know, Star Wars must be one really, really, bad movie, since no one goes to see it in theaters anymore....

    (just applying a little of the logic of this thread to movies to show the absurdity).
  25. AthenePac

    AthenePac Guest

    and of those 77,000, i bet only 25% of those accounts have even logged in in the last month. I know I have 14 accounts still active, only 1 of which i have even logged into since march.
  26. I've brought in maybe 4 or 5, 1 still plays and 1 still maintains his account ... just in case. Most recent ... my son who nears his 1 year anny.
  27. Norrar

    Norrar Lore Master
    Stratics Veteran Stratics Legend

    May 25, 2008
    Likes Received:
    I tried this as well, tried to bring in about 6 or 7 of my friends.
    One i got to like it when i put UO's files from my comp onto a flash drive and played it from his comp. he liked its style. (unfortunatly thats when his brother came in laughed, they both are on the guild wars train now)
    Another tried UO right after SE, he thought it was decent but he to went to guild war train.

    Same thing with the rest. Except only 4 total are on the gw train, one is on the online pirates thing, the other is on some wierd runescapey type game.

    El Fin (and yes i to jumped on the guild war train but eh UO's better)
  28. Raina

    Raina Journeyman
    Stratics Veteran

    May 12, 2008
    Likes Received:
    Noone can really do anything to better UO other than EA/Mythic, and they've kinda already shown they have no interest in it.

  29. Chad Sexington

    Chad Sexington Lore Master
    Stratics Veteran Barter Town

    Jul 3, 2008
    Likes Received:
    I've always thought that the most practical way for OSI / EA / Mythic to create interest in Ultima Online is to continue to create more single player Ultima games.

    If there is interest in the Ultima world & lore, a lot of the flaws can be forgiven.
  30. Ender

    Ender Crazed Zealot
    Stratics Veteran Stratics Legend

    Jun 12, 2008
    Likes Received:
    Even if there was any need to continue the story, I'm not sure I would play any more after playing IX...
  31. Nexus

    Nexus Site Support
    Administrator Moderator Professional Stratics Veteran Wiki Moderator Stratics Legend

    Oct 1, 2006
    Likes Received:
    What's the average age of a UO player? 20? 30? 40? I'm thinking it's probably late 20's to mid 30's now that's "average"....most of us in that age bracket remember the internet becoming something readily accessible..you know 38.8 modems and all that...and unfortunately that's who UO was designed for. UO if it really wants new young faces is going to have to re-create itself for this younger generation of gamer.

    I'm not sounding a death knell here but it is something easy to see that if you want to continue you have to change with the times.
  32. Sunrise

    Sunrise Guest

    Thy end is near so drink more beer! :D :party: :beer::beer::beer: :pint:
  33. the 4th man

    the 4th man Lore Master
    Stratics Veteran Stratics Legend

    Jul 31, 2005
    Likes Received:
    Man if I had a knickel everytime some einstein came along and predicted UO's death, I'd be accused of duping millions.

    Lighten up francis, this kind of bushois has been floating around a good 10 years.

    And the yahoo's that post here saying it will die......well, what a fool believes.

    nuff said
  34. Deb

    Deb Guest


    Over 10 years here, and I love the graphics and the game...:thumbup1:

    It seems that every so often these forums get cluttered with "UO is dying"
    or "UO is on it's way out" threads. Been like this for as long as I can
    remember. I remember all the threads that said "WOW" would be the
    game that ends UO and gee here we still are.:thumbup:

    And with all the new activiity that has bveen going on in UO, I highly
    doubt that we will get a message saying that UO is being shut down
    anytime soon. But, I guess those that have long quit are alittle miffed
    that we are all still here. And to them I say "Get over it and move on
    to other things. And why do you still post here?":confused:
  35. Joyous2K

    Joyous2K Guest

    Yes game will end some day. What remains to be seen is how all the crazy's react. DO you think there will be a suicide from UO being shut down? Who knows? It will be exciting though!!

    I think the consensus is this chart stinks and is not accurate. He asks the janitor of Dev Office, "How many guys do you think play on computers?" Fair and Balanced!