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What it means to be an Ultima Online player

Discussion in 'UHall' started by Priam_Sonoma, Aug 1, 2008.

  1. Priam_Sonoma

    Priam_Sonoma Guest

    I have played over eight MMORPG’s in my time. I have seen games that looked promising that failed. I have seen games that were released too early and failed. I have seen games that started out poorly and established themselves against all odds. There is no “perfect game”. Some of what I say may be misconstrued as an attack when it is simply honest observation and criticism.

    So what is Ultima Online now? Having been back a little under a month, and having had five years actual playing experience which started in 1997, I believe I have clarified the game for myself. Ultima Online is an older, outdated game with sub-standard graphics that is still unique and unmatched in the industry. Simply put, it offers game play that has not been matched yet. The game itself is fine. The promotion, packaging and graphical content is lacking.

    Graphics and packaging are important to a game. Often, it is what first attracts a potential player to a game. If a young adult picks up an Ultima Online box off a shelf (if he can find one) the graphics are so poor and outdated that he or she is likely to move to another title. The game package initiates the interest, the community and the game play secures the subscriber.

    So what about the game play? Ultima’s game play is still unique. Ultima does not subscribe to level caps or demand hours of grinding to gather specific gear to compete for top content. Granted you will want the best items you can come by, but between player crafting and easily obtained upgradable items, the game is friendly in those aspects.

    One glaring area of problem in Ultima Online is customer service. I would rank Ultima Online’s customer service among the worst in the industry. Often times, a problem in the game can be eased or resolved by simple Game Master and player conversation. For some reason, Ultima Online has chosen an isolationist approach. “Canned” responses and lack of email support are horrific.

    I have made a few brief points, but the main question if still not answered. What does it mean to be an Ultima Online player?

    Being an Ultima Online player today means accepting you will not be assisted by the game manufacturer in the game itself. It means you will have to accept errors and bugs either permanently or in a prolonged fashion. It means relying on the limited community for support and assistance. It means playing a game that while graphically bereft, is still technically a challenge. It means accepting that in the end, the game is on a downward progression rather than an upward expansion.

    Before anyone flames me, take what I am sayingpoint by point. My last paragraph sounds extremely negative, but if you wish to refute any of it give evidence; please counter with equal or greater proof.

    Finally, understand I have the choice of staying and playing UO, or leaving. And for now I have chosen to stay. The game may improve in time, but the things I am seeing now do not bare positive direction for this title.

    ~ Priam
  2. Coranthe

    Coranthe Guest

    Fair assessment. QED
  3. Salty Pete

    Salty Pete Guest

    I disagree about the graphics. People still play Star Craft, Diablo, and a host of other older games. Hell, one of the dudes I work with was playing Burger Time yesterday. Think about it, probably the most played video game of all time is solitaire. Graphics might draw attention to a game at first, but what holds people is good consistantly fun game play. You can put a pretty picture on the outside of the box, what will hold that player to the game is the game play.

    UO devs keep jacking up the UO game play chasing other games customers instead of building that consistantly fun UO game play that the original customers bought and expect.
  4. Silly Seadog

    Stratics Veteran It's My Birthday

    Jun 21, 2007
    Likes Received:
    Arrrr, BurgerTime be da best! Me loves to squish them condiments 'tween me buns!!!
  5. I would have to agree with the OP. The majority of the industry is played by young adults and kids (15 yrs and under). The most appealing aspects of games really don't have anything to do with the community its self, but the game play and graphics.

    Yes there are people who still play older games such as Diablo 2 etc. But how old are those people? Most likely older than the industries leading audience.

    The new age in gaming is graphics hungry. When you look at UO box art, its litered with hand drawn material that looks interesting, but when you turn the case over, you see poor lacking 2D graphics and pictures of a house for some reason. When you look at other new age MMOs, you see the box art is decorated with actual game graphics and game play screen shots.

    I honestly would have to say if I was a new MMO consumer, I would go with the new age versus ultima.
  6. Please note me as one who plays Ultima Online because of the (2D) graphics...among other reasons.

    As an artist myself, it was the original artwork in this game that I initially fell in love with. The graphics are truly what sucked me in...and I still love them. All of the rest is gravy.

    P.S. Were they to irrevokably visually alter Sosaria (say, by forcing KR down my throat, or succeeding in their piecemeal replacement of the original artwork), you would never see me here again. :)
  7. There are those who do like low graphic games. I definatly wouldn't call 2D graphics the selling point of a game like Ultima. In todays society, most new players I would say are being brought in by other veterans.

    But thinking in the mind of a modern day consumer who wants the newest hottest thing, games like WoW, Guild Wars, DAoC and War Hammer would defintaly appeal more to them than a game like Ultima.

    For one, those games have quality advertising. They have flashy graphics, and for the most part, they're fun. Maybe not to you (the UO veterans/old schoolers) but to the rest of the modern day society they are.

    Its time to draw the line between old school and new school. Ultima will never be able to justify 2D graphics as a new old thing, even with KR. It just wont sell. It may bring in a few numbers but hardly enough to continue marketing as a resurected from the ashes game.
  8. Nok

    Nok Lore Master
    Stratics Veteran

    May 12, 2008
    Likes Received:
    TMI! TMI!!! :bored: :D
  9. hawkeye_pike

    hawkeye_pike Babbling Loonie
    Stratics Veteran

    May 15, 2008
    Likes Received:
    Actually (although I always say UO needs better graphics) the original UO graphics is not bad. It just lacks certain features:

    The screen should move smoothly instead of choppy.
    The lighting effects should be improved.
    The spell effects should be improved.
    The character animation and movements should be enhanced and improved.

    They still could turn "old UO" into something that may not be nifty 3D art, but impressive classical art. I actually like the isometric view and the sharp, crisp details of the game. But hey, it could be much better!
  10. Belmarduk

    Belmarduk Guest

    Yes I agree
    2D also seriously lacks a friendly UI like old 3D had.

    Best option were to have ONE client running on the totally reworked KR engine with the best of all 3 clients in it with the option for legacy graphics for (ex)-2D users. (which it has to a small degree sofar)

    Everyone happy *sigh*
  11. Emil Ispep

    Emil Ispep Sage
    Stratics Veteran

    Oct 23, 2006
    Likes Received:
    What it means to be an Ultima Online player:

    When I started playing, UO was the one and only MMO, and well..

    Couldnt be more true.

    Id say the average age of an MMO player is about the same.. 14-young adult.. But they dont play UO because the graphics are older than they are. So what happens? They settle on a newer flashy MMO, in which you cant even drop items on the ground or place a house.. or steal anything for that matter. To me, those worlds lack that actual "physical" feeling.. since they cannot be manipulated. But alas, this day and age, its all about graphics, and sheer numbers.

    UO is out-dated.. has any thought been put into designing NEW SPRITES? Or tweaking sprites that already exist..? rather than a gawdy Klient? The technology is only 15 years young.. do somthing with it.

    Believe it or not, UO is one of the few MMOs that offer property for sale.. WoW cant even say that. (all the dwarves and alliance share the same bed and blankey at the Inn) The ability alone to have an entirely customizable house in a virtual world is just one albeit a very strong Pro for UO.

    Exactly. For most, its gameplay > graphics. Im not quite a middle-aged gamer (no offense to anyone here) ;) but i find myself all the time going back to old school games that i played growing up. The original Grand Theft Auto.. Metal Gear, Contra, Thief, even a lil Goldeneye. Was gonna install and play the first Half-life too.. couldnt find my cd tho..

    UO has, and will hold the record for longest running MMO for quite a long time to come.
  12. the 4th man

    the 4th man Lore Master
    Stratics Veteran Stratics Legend

    Jul 31, 2005
    Likes Received:

    then from one artist to another, you'd know 2D isn't 2D, the paperdoll is, and that's about it. The animals are truely fisher-price replicas....I'm old school and still pen by hand, none of the computer generated stuff.....

    The graphics are an issue as far as marketing goes, saddly KR is too fuzzy and dark.....the so called 3D, was , eh, I liked the animals better as well as paperdolls until the latter half when some idiot really, really butchered them.
    I still say he out to be whipped silly.

    Game content, I don't see anything else coming close. UO is more an adult oriented game, no, let me say pass-time......hobby, not a game.

  13. Surgeries

    Surgeries Grand Poobah
    Stratics Veteran Stratics Legend

    Mar 18, 2004
    Likes Received:
  14. Eht

    Eht Guest

    Graphics graphics graphics, why is it that's all anyone complains about? Honestly everyone, you play this game, and you seem to not be bothered by the graphics. The only people that worry about the graphics are the ones worried that UO will not gain any new customers. Everyone figures that if we have new flashy graphics it will attract new players. Honestly from what I've seen the complications of the entirety of this game are better suited for more mature players who are able to see past the graphics.

    Take for instance the movie business, if you want mass numbers of people to watch a movie, make it flashy with no underlying plot (insert any flashy movie with no plot), people will rush to it but in the end it won't be watched much more after that. Then take something old full of intelligent and witty plot, polished to a perfect shine; shakespeare's plays are still being played and rewritten and remade over and over and over since the 16th century. Was there any flashy effects? No! Maybe some for their time, and people were still entertained.

    Do I want people who just come to see the pretty graphics then move on to the next shiny bauble? No! I want people who will care about it and make it better with their input and presence. So stop the belly aching about graphics, I could see maybe a better interface, but honestly, content is what the game needs, more plot, a story, interactions between the developers and the players. Because honestly we are the actors and the developers are the directors and if there is not a connection with eachother and communication with what we all want then the whole thing will simply and painfully go to pot.

    That's my 2 cents.
  15. Erekose

    Erekose Seasoned Veteran
    Stratics Veteran

    May 23, 2008
    Likes Received:
    People don't pay a monthly fee to play those old games. Heck, I still dust off old DOS based games and play them. I'm not about to go out and spend money on them though.

    UO needs a new client, period. The deniers here can keep on denying it, but it's a fact.
  16. canary

    canary Guest

    Even games like Dofus have the good idea to rebuild the entire client over in order to avoid the current mess UO faces now.

    KR should have been the future... it was instead a mess they have yet to properly fix. As far as art on it, I'm still stymied that GrimmOmen has a job, seeing as he was the art lead for KR. He should be embarrassed.
  17. Mulch

    Mulch Guest

    Can you explain Runescapes' success then?
  18. canary

    canary Guest

    It's free. Much like UO should be at this point with the sad amount of content they add.
  19. Mulch

    Mulch Guest

    Not really. Much content is closed if you do not pay.
    And their graphics are worse than UO's.

    UO is apprentice of many things but master of none.

    Best graphic of mmorpgs ... probably AOC
    best PvW EQ2m WOW and dozen others
    best pvp from Shadowbane, Fury,Potbs, to wow to eve (whatever you prefer)
    best crafting eq2, Horizons (now renamed to something I forgot),TITD3
    best housing ... I guess SimsOnline though EA killed it, maybe UO has best housing but only maybe
    best thieving maybe as only shadownbane allows it as far as I know
    best events maybe AC (I hear they still have MONTHLY updates - once a month! - not like ea whenever they can be bothered), maybe others but I doubt UO is best for events

    But overall if you look for a game that does all a bit decently you only have UO or EVE.

    UO does not use its niche, is all.
  20. Erekose

    Erekose Seasoned Veteran
    Stratics Veteran

    May 23, 2008
    Likes Received:
    Almost every serious Runescape player I know pays for the extra content. That's it's business model.
  21. Mulch

    Mulch Guest

    Yes, they have a few hundred thousand to million paying players with really outdated graphics. Maybe it helps runescape more that you do not need a real instalation too. Still you do not need best graphic for a successful game, but it would help as AOC with a buggy start showed.
  22. Erekose

    Erekose Seasoned Veteran
    Stratics Veteran

    May 23, 2008
    Likes Received:
    I would agree that UO could live without a new client if they would kill the Program That Shall Not Be Named once and for all. I'd still probably stop playing though, because on my HD display the window is way too tiny and it looks even more like ass if I run in a lower resolution.

    That being said, KR has so many great features. I wish the haters would actually give it a few weeks and actually explore the macro system, etc. It really is so much better than the Legacy client.