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News & Features Discussion  » Ultima Online: AGDC Interview with Tim Cotton

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37 posts found
  Dana

Novice Member

Joined: 1/07/04
Posts: 2425

 
OP  9/23/09 4:47:10 PM#1

Mythic's Tim Cotton took some time during AGDC to catch us up on what EA is up to with the venerable Ultima Online.

Ultima Online is a shining example in the MMO world. It is the oldest running MMO right now that everyone remembers. Ultima Online just celebrated its twelve year anniversary and has twenty seven active servers around the world. Many MMO companies wish they could have at type of success. We sat down with Tim Cotton and talked about Ultima Online’s rich history, its most recent expansion, and its bright future.

Tim pointed out right away that “Ultima will live on!” Despite many changes including development teams and even publishers, the game itself continues to grow. With Stygian Abyss just being added in the game has seen a resurgence of players. The team is trying to make the game accessible to new and old players alike. Because Ultima’s systems are so open, the developers look more at giving players the tools to enhance the world they have already created.

Read it all here.

Dana Massey
Formerly of MMORPG.com
Currently Lead Designer for Bit Trap Studios

  Seilan

Apprentice Member

Joined: 7/30/04
Posts: 804

"Blue, blue."

9/24/09 2:15:49 AM#2

Nice article, but I did want to respond to one of your comments. You said, "It is often puzzling why so many MMOs have tried the Everquest model of game design and not the Ultima model, when you look back on MMO history."  There's a simple enough explanation for that and it comes in three letters - WoW. Blizzard proved that the EQ model, if done "correctly", is the most popular and easily accessible model for the mmo genre, with it's appeal expanding to a very large demographic. In the end, most developers seem to care exclusively about the bottom line. They want to go with the path most profitable, regardless at how tired and uninspired it is. 

Luckily though, for those of us who won't settle for the tired and overly done, we still have games like UO, AC, and even newer titles that aspire to be more like the old in terms of open-endedness and freedom of choice, ala Fallen Earth. And there seems to be quite a few others on the way (Mortal Online, would be one example).

Anyway, my point is, it's pretty obvious why the EQ model is the most widely used today. It's much simpler for both the consumer (many of which prefer simplicity) and for the developers themselves. In a business sense, it's a win/win; less work, more money. But, despite that, it's nice to see that there are still companies out there that genuinely care about the games themselves and strive to take the road less traveled in an attempt to create something truly special. That's what it's all about as far as I'm concerned.

 

 

  AureliusLH

Novice Member

Joined: 4/13/04
Posts: 24

9/24/09 2:20:48 AM#3
Originally posted by Dana

Mythic's Tim Cotton took......

 

Ahem. Think you'll find it's Cotten, not Cotton...

  User Deleted
9/24/09 2:34:50 AM#4

Most servers are in Japan if I remember correctly, about 60% of them are.
Anyway it’s always good to see an old mmorpg doing so well.

 

  AureliusLH

Novice Member

Joined: 4/13/04
Posts: 24

9/24/09 3:27:37 AM#5
Originally posted by SgtFrog

Most servers are in Japan if I remember correctly, about 60% of them are.
Anyway it’s always good to see an old mmorpg doing so well.

 

 

Your memory is misleading you slightly... 13 server clusters in the US, 8 Japan, 2 Korea,  2 Europe,  1 Taiwan, 1 Australia.

 

 

  warty

Novice Member

Joined: 3/02/08
Posts: 494

9/24/09 5:00:09 AM#6

Well this thread took longer than expected to start blaming WoW...

Playing polished, lag free, feature complete games is carebear. Whining about a game you hate but still play is hardcore man!

  Thamoris

Advanced Member

Joined: 11/29/06
Posts: 683

Never argue with idiots. They just bring you down to their level and then beat you with experience.

9/24/09 6:42:31 AM#7

Horizons is a lot like UO in many ways. It's still active but just barely with a cult - like following. It's horrible launch followed by the launch of WoW killed the game for the masses...sadly

 

  nekollx

Novice Member

Joined: 11/17/08
Posts: 573

9/24/09 10:55:26 AM#8

oldest MMO people remember?

 

What about The Realm?

  Skuz

Advanced Member

Joined: 12/25/08
Posts: 1041

"If you can''t laugh at yourself there''s always someone around to show you how it''s done!"

9/24/09 1:03:32 PM#9

For me the reason I left UO to go to EQ was the greater sense of immersion that EQ's 3d world gave.

 

Had they ever brought the UO universe to a 3d game I'd have rejoined it, I simply hated UO's forced isometric perspective even though I loved much about the game.

  UNH0LYEV1L

Novice Member

Joined: 8/09/09
Posts: 413

9/24/09 1:38:06 PM#10
Originally posted by nekollx

oldest MMO people remember?

 

What about The Realm?

 

Never heard of the realm but that doesn't mean I shouldn't know about it.  UO is pretty much back as far as my memory goes.


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  nekollx

Novice Member

Joined: 11/17/08
Posts: 573

9/24/09 1:47:14 PM#11
Originally posted by UNH0LYEV1L
Originally posted by nekollx

oldest MMO people remember?

 

What about The Realm?

 

Never heard of the realm but that doesn't mean I shouldn't know about it.  UO is pretty much back as far as my memory goes.

 

http://realmserver.com/

  markfromindy

Novice Member

Joined: 2/09/07
Posts: 35

9/24/09 3:09:17 PM#12

 You guys can split hairs on which was the "first" MMO all day ( I'd also throw Meridian 59 in as a consideration) , but UO was the first one that really had big numbers in terms of players, which came as a shock to not only the guys who made it, but to the publisher as well. I read some time back they thought if they could get 9,000 subscribers they'd be happy.

 

 I still remember all the excitment and hype leading up to the game.Remember that story about the beta tester who was able to kill Lord British ( Richard Garriott's avatar ) then got banned over it?

 Ahh, memories.

  nekollx

Novice Member

Joined: 11/17/08
Posts: 573

9/24/09 3:13:45 PM#13
Originally posted by markfromindy

 You guys can split hairs on which was the "first" MMO all day ( I'd also throw Meridian 59 in as a consideration) , but UO was the first one that really had big numbers in terms of players, which came as a shock to not only the guys who made it, but to the publisher as well. I read some time back they thought if they could get 9,000 subscribers they'd be happy.

 

 I still remember all the excitment and hype leading up to the game.Remember that story about the beta tester who was able to kill Lord British ( Richard Garriott's avatar ) then got banned over it?

 Ahh, memories.

 

and i still remember the realm, and the shere "WTF" notion of a game with people who character over level 500, over 1,000. Hell last i heard people were over level Five Thousand.

  Loke666

Elite Member

Joined: 10/29/07
Posts: 16745

9/24/09 3:44:06 PM#14
Originally posted by markfromindy

 You guys can split hairs on which was the "first" MMO all day ( I'd also throw Meridian 59 in as a consideration) , but UO was the first one that really had big numbers in terms of players, which came as a shock to not only the guys who made it, but to the publisher as well. I read some time back they thought if they could get 9,000 subscribers they'd be happy.

 

 I still remember all the excitment and hype leading up to the game.Remember that story about the beta tester who was able to kill Lord British ( Richard Garriott's avatar ) then got banned over it?

 Ahh, memories.

I played Meridian but I think UO was slightly earlier...

Great idea to actually make the dungeons into dungeons... But for me it is kinda too late, like 10 years or so. I just love 3D games too much.

But I hope more game devs will follow after that, dungeons should have so much more danger than just mobs.

  Ozreth

Apprentice Member

Joined: 2/26/06
Posts: 558

9/24/09 4:00:05 PM#15
Originally posted by nekollx

oldest MMO people remember?

 

What about The Realm?

 

he said oldest MMO that "everybody" remembers. And the vast majority of MMO players know about UO, far more than know about The Realm.

http://www.yeoldeblog.net

  nekollx

Novice Member

Joined: 11/17/08
Posts: 573

9/24/09 4:06:42 PM#16
Originally posted by Ozreth
Originally posted by nekollx

oldest MMO people remember?

 

What about The Realm?

 

he said oldest MMO that "everybody" remembers. And the vast majority of MMO players know about UO, far more than know about The Realm.

 

for me and my circle of friends The Realm is remembered before UO, YMMV but that's us so it is a legitimate comment.

i also remember Penumbra....
 

  Terminus-Est

Novice Member

Joined: 1/29/06
Posts: 353

9/24/09 5:03:25 PM#17

The first MMO that I ever played was Meridian 59.

  drbaltazar

Apprentice Member

Joined: 3/28/07
Posts: 7951

9/24/09 5:08:15 PM#18
Originally posted by Terminus-Est

The first MMO that I ever played was Meridian 59.

 

mm if your one of the very few that played that you are a fucking rare breed or you read that lawsut tyhingy that was speaking about that game

i put my money on the later

since not a lot played or had the machine to play meridian 59

  Seilan

Apprentice Member

Joined: 7/30/04
Posts: 804

"Blue, blue."

9/24/09 8:44:17 PM#19
Originally posted by warty

Well this thread took longer than expected to start blaming WoW...

Well, if you actually read my post entirely, you'd see that I was "blaming" the EQ model in the genre, which WoW strongly follows.

I'm just stating the obvious. If you have some sort of feasible counter argument, then let's hear it.
 

  SignusM

Apprentice Member

Joined: 5/07/06
Posts: 2279

9/24/09 8:47:29 PM#20

Too bad the current MMO hardly resembles the original UO at all. What was once special about it has since been patched away while it tries to immitate the EQ and WoW model. So few people try to follow WoW because in the battle between UO and EQ, EQ won. Thankfully we have people like Aventurine that still cater to the original MMORPG gamers.  

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