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News & Features Discussion  » Ultima Online: Fifteen Years & Counting

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Advanced Member

Joined: 3/11/08
Posts: 695

1/09/12 3:08:34 PM#41
Originally posted by uohaloran

UO is still a very feature rich game.  It's a shame that there are a lot of players who still refuse to believe anything good came from the game after Age of Shadows.

There is almost a generation gap now, too, where an entire generation will not know what Ultima is; that just sets the game up to be "reinvisioned" for a new audience if EA even decides to bless us with that.

I can't think of a studio at EA that I'd like to create a new Ultima title, online or not.  It definitely isn't Bioware or the current skeleton crew running the game, though.

edit:  Also, what's with this website's formatting?  My post is separated here on the forums but in the comments section they look like a garbled mess?

There were some nice things added with AoS....but the itemized loot wasn't one of them.  It essentially made the one thing about UO unique (player's ability to play their character > Gear) into something more similar to itemized games like WOW.


People don't understand that the fact the items in UO were common is what allowed many of the sub-systems of UO to work so well.

One being the Full Loot system.  If the outcome of a battle is determined primarily by the gear you are wearing, then the stronger the gear is...the more rare it must be.

If the gear is rare, then it becomes unfair to loose it all when dieing.  Hence....the birth of Item Insurance.

If a player no longer has to worry about loosing items, then the cost of dieing is diminished.

If the cost of dieing is diminished, then the experience becomes cheap....and people are less likely to critically evaluate what they did wrong in an encounter and don't progress in the skill department.

As evidence...I give you exhibit A....."Any given World of Warcraft Battleground".


It also forced people that enjoyed PvPing (and not PvEing) to get the best set of gear available to keep up with the Jones'.  Otherwise, the damage modifiers (or lack of damage mitigators in your armor) would allow the better equiped player to put you down faster than you could reasonably respond or counter.

The new skills they introduced with AoS also contributed to this problem as well.....not to mention things like Jujitsu and Bushido that quickly followed.


So those simple changes (having nothing to do with sandbox play by the way) completely underminded some very core mechanics of UO that made it special among the other MMOs on the market.


P.S. Forgot to add....the itemized change to loot also killed the player economy for crafters.  Aside from some weak bonus stats applied to crafted gear through getting rediciously hard to get smiths hammers or sewing kits....all the best loot to be had came from dungeons. 


Advanced Member

Joined: 3/27/07
Posts: 17

Every virgin at heart a Witch the Devil is an angel too.

1/09/12 3:55:16 PM#42
Maybe everyone here should sign in again and play this game. Of all the current know mmo's this one is still imo the best

Apprentice Member

Joined: 10/27/04
Posts: 1848

"Pablo Picasso said art is a lie that tells the truth."

1/09/12 3:57:42 PM#43

Associate Producer on Ultima Online?

Does she even do anything?


Advanced Member

Joined: 3/11/08
Posts: 695

1/09/12 4:04:06 PM#44
Originally posted by CujoSWAoA

Associate Producer on Ultima Online?

Does she even do anything?

Supervises the EA summer interns they higher to work on UO? LOL



Novice Member

Joined: 1/06/07
Posts: 2541

Hype (noun)
1. to trick; gull.
2. exaggerated publicity; hoopla.
3. swindle, deception, or trick.

1/09/12 5:18:43 PM#45

Originally posted by BillMurphy

I'm just throwing this out there... but who WOULDN'T want a new Ultima?  Online or Off?  I mean, seriously.


Should have happened many years ago. Sadly, I doubt we'll ever see anything like it again because the industry has been watered down themepark-style.

"Censorship is never over for those who have experienced it. It is a brand on the imagination that affects the individual who has suffered it, forever." - Noam Chomsky


Novice Member

Joined: 6/14/11
Posts: 163

1/09/12 5:42:17 PM#46

Would love to see a up to date state of the Art UO..

I retired retroactively..Haha


Novice Member

Joined: 8/30/08
Posts: 4889

1/09/12 5:54:19 PM#47

Originally posted by RajCaj

Originally posted by Pharkas

I wonder if bank sitting at Brit and conversing with everyone about your recent adventures is still being done to this day.

Saddly, this part of UO wasn't there last time I decided to kick the old tires earlier last year.


Granted, I have been out of the game for over 5 years, and they've added a lot more cities & hotspots.....but when I logged in, the typical areas of West Brit Bank, Moonglow Bank were completely dead.  I even traveled to all the new cities and couldn't find the same "Farmers Market" scene where people stood around advertising their wares or showing off their "phat lewt"




This was moved to Luna. It's the new player appointed Capital or at least was 2-3 years ago which was when I left. 


Novice Member

Joined: 5/20/05
Posts: 2054

1/09/12 6:10:33 PM#48


Originally posted by Verum0
Maybe everyone here should sign in again and play this game. Of all the current know mmo's this one is still imo the best


I would never go back to the official servers, they are such a mess. WHy would you want to give money to someone that backstab you again, and again, and yet again? Not only it is ridiculous to do that by principle, but experience proof now how wrong those guys were. I mean imagine a single second those guy kept on the sandbox aspect alive, at least "mostly" let's say. I mean you could understand for example they listened the agony from the themeparks gamers just before EQ hit, but after, i mean years later, like AoS. And even now, i mean they put "slot" on bags some time ago, can you believe that? Do you really think the game got anything from that crap, wouldn't it would be today like a great game if it had kept some of it's original sandbox flavor? Some players manage better Uo than Ea ever did, that's sad to say but the fucking true, and old true tbh, way before Age of shadow came player was already managing this game better. EA should be ashamed tbh, that's so dump what they made its not even funny, even for them. Who would be so stupid to threat one of their cash cow and best IP so badly for more than a decade and not realize it's just not right for their own good?


Ultima is like a monument in gaming history, and Uo was the spear head of it. Thats just so damn sad.


Novice Member

Joined: 12/10/08
Posts: 3109

1/09/12 6:19:28 PM#49

Once a lord or lady of Sosaria, always a lord or lady of Sosaria.

Subscription or no subscription, the experience sticks with you.


Advanced Member

Joined: 8/17/04
Posts: 161

1/09/12 7:17:53 PM#50

Originally posted by BillMurphy

I'm just throwing this out there... but who WOULDN'T want a new Ultima?  Online or Off?  I mean, seriously.


Would easily become the most anticipated game this year (if it remained true to its sandbox nature)


Elite Member

Joined: 1/18/06
Posts: 2310

1/09/12 7:27:47 PM#51

UO is nothing like it used to be. It's full of gear grind now, and everything else is affected.

It's killed the fantastic craft/trade system UO once had, and all the social interactions that players used to enjoy.

Even dungeons are "zoned by level" now. The MOBs are for certain skill ranges, you don't get skill gain outside of your range. If you want to build your skills, you have to go to the right dungeon or you won't get any skill gains (or hardly any). So the old original dungeons are mostly training grounds for newer players, which means they aren't meeting many vets, which hurts the social aspects too. And there aren't many new players. The old dungeons are pretty much dead, when they used to be teaming with players who were meeting others, forming friendships, joining guilds, and learning the game's finer aspects.

Basically, now, players log in for special events (Event Master run events, world events which are just monster bashes) and that's about it. And the only reason they do is for any new loot to collect.

EA has not supported UO with very much funding. The result is a mish mash of new systems added on top of old. They added a quest system, then added 2 more quest systems over the years. That's right, they have 3 different quest systems, each with different functionality. They have different functionality in crafting systems for the same reason.

Similarly, they kept adding to items with new properties to the point that if you get even a mediocre magic item, if you aren't familiar with the terms, you don't know what the hell it is. I've heard of old timers going back, and looking at an item, seeing a list of about 25 different properties, and not understanding what any of them meant. And just walking away.

The reason for this is because various head honchos over the years tried to give the players something more than they had the funds available to clean up with, they wanted to change UO, and they all felt like they could do it better.

One thing a lot of people don't know about UO's subscription numbers. They had a lot of gamers try the game. Just as many, or nearly, as EQ and other games until WoW brought in that huge influx. It was the rampant PKing that drove most of them out right away. If not for the PKing, Sandbox would probably be looked at with much more hope for subscription numbers, at least on an equal basis with Themepark. And this kills me every time I think about it.

Once upon a time....


Novice Member

Joined: 11/14/09
Posts: 40

1/09/12 7:33:51 PM#52

i really want to love UO. i've tried playing it a couple of times, but the graphics, UI and controls are really backdated. it's charming in a way, but i wish the graphics could be cleaner and controls would be less clumsy. 


Novice Member

Joined: 1/09/12
Posts: 4

1/10/12 12:29:07 AM#53

Originally posted by jarzium

i really want to love UO. i've tried playing it a couple of times, but the graphics, UI and controls are really backdated. it's charming in a way, but i wish the graphics could be cleaner and controls would be less clumsy. 


I know this has been a long standing issue even in the UO community itself. What was once the tram/fel facet debate is now the classic/enhanced client  debate. Both are available with the enhanced client using a UI most are used to now with newer MMOs and even offering some legacy mode toggles as a hybrid of sorts to keep the "feel" of UO with a newer UI.

The thing is, recently titles like Minecraft seem to understand that as long as you offer players a bit of control over their world, graphics or lack thereof can be forgivable.

I personally play both clients depending on what I'm in the mood for and play all styles including PvP (where I try to leave some things lootable for my many deaths). 15 years is pretty cool and one UO players are proud of. After all, we're the ones that keep it going :)

Thank you MMORPG for highlighting grandpa. He can still kick some butt!

Airmid (Karina)!/KarinasTweets


Novice Member

Joined: 6/23/09
Posts: 95

1/10/12 12:44:06 AM#54

I played UO from 1998-2004 and I'm still searching for a game that grabbed me the way it did. 

Great memories. 


Novice Member

Joined: 11/14/11
Posts: 891

1/10/12 12:50:40 AM#55

man, i miss the good old days in Brit (up and around the bank) :) hehe



Novice Member

Joined: 11/01/04
Posts: 1719

1/10/12 12:51:27 AM#56
Originally posted by fenistil


in it's days (up to first few years after release) it was great game. Everything was player oriented , player-made , alot of freedom. Of course that also created alot of problems and game suffered from many bugs, etc - after all it one of first mmoprg's.

Still apart of maybe SWG no other mmorpg was so rich feature wise.

Maybe ArcheAge will share some similarities, even though ArcheAge will be more casual friendly and also bring many themepark elements.

Even so cannot wait for AA to hit western shores. For it to succeed very good company (caring & having very good GM support + reacting fast to exploiters, botters, etc) have to publish it.

It that kind of company will do it, then this game imo have a chance of success in west.

also pls P2P for AA. Sandboxy features would be ridiculed in microtransaction , item shop based game...


Play as your fav retro characters: My site: Blog:


Novice Member

Joined: 11/14/11
Posts: 891

1/10/12 12:52:20 AM#57

Originally posted by BillMurphy

I'm just throwing this out there... but who WOULDN'T want a new Ultima?  Online or Off?  I mean, seriously.


everyone who used to play UO wants it and you know it :p



Novice Member

Joined: 11/12/08
Posts: 4

1/10/12 6:18:36 AM#58

I would love an Ultima 10 or even a reboot like they do in the movies.

UO is the most unique game.  It's a true virtual world with freedom to do anything (house decorating, crafting almost anything, skinning deer,  ride your boat with the newer boat manuvering, etc). 

I still sub to UO although I don't get compelled to log in much anymore.  The world has gotten too big and although there are a million things to do, I feel it's in need of a real serious graphical & UI revamp that only a UO2 could offer at this point for me.  But EA is not the one who can do it.  Hence the problem.



Advanced Member

Joined: 3/11/08
Posts: 695

1/10/12 8:00:41 AM#59
Originally posted by Amaranthar

The reason for this is because various head honchos over the years tried to give the players something more than they had the funds available to clean up with, they wanted to change UO, and they all felt like they could do it better.

One thing a lot of people don't know about UO's subscription numbers. They had a lot of gamers try the game. Just as many, or nearly, as EQ and other games until WoW brought in that huge influx. It was the rampant PKing that drove most of them out right away. If not for the PKing, Sandbox would probably be looked at with much more hope for subscription numbers, at least on an equal basis with Themepark. And this kills me every time I think about it.

While a lot of people harken back to the "Pre-Trammel" era as the glory days of personal opinion is that the right balance was reached with the "Rennisance" expansion, that introduced Trammel.

For those not familiar, essentially EA introduced a PvP Switch to the game by making a carbon copy of the world where there were consentual PvP rules.  So one facet of the world was called Felucia, where there was Free For All combat, and had a very wild wild west feel to playing.  Almost all the PvP happend in this part of the game world.  The other facet was called Trammel, where players were protected from PKs and unwanted PvP (Most of the PvE happend in this part of the game world)

It gave players choice, and I spent most of my time in Felucia because I liked the excitment of having to look over my constantly aware of my surroundings, and of course the PvP.

With that said, I don't buy the argument that PKers drove people away from UO.  They had a whole "carebear" version of the world all to themselves to play in without worrying about player killers.


Secondly.....Themepark games would still be just as popular today if UO never had a FFA system. 


And the reason is because most of the casual gamers that tried, and were turned off, to sandbox MMORPGs back in the day went back to their consoles & other casual play games because there wasn't game mechanics to direct their every move.  The learning curve was high, and many of the tasks were repetitive and mondain to folks that were just looking for some quick gaming action.  The time it took to make progress in the game was way to long for the casual gamers that only had 30-40 minute play windows.



Now you have quests to direct people around the map....constantly re-inforce and reward players with gear & xp.   You had a simple UI that anyone could understand, and an extremely lowered learning curve that a 5 year old could pick up.  Marketing & Polish not withstanding, the reason WOW pulled in so many new gamers from other casual gaming generes is because it was designed for the casual gamer.  It's express intent was to make as much of the game accessable by the most people possible.  And the Themepark is born....and a precident is set in the MMO industry.


I'm not saying PKing wasn't one aspect of sandbox game play that turned some folks off.....what I am saying is that the Virtual World kind of MMO, like UO, was rejected by most mainstream casual gamers for ALL it's qualities, not just PKing.  The Themepark "sit back and enjoy the 30 minute ride" was something suited for the casual crowd and they responded by the millions.


Apprentice Member

Joined: 1/08/12
Posts: 28

1/10/12 8:48:51 AM#60

Birthed from a generation of dice rolling, choose-your-own-adventurists, the players of Ultima Online (UO) are given a massive list of skills in which to build their character, opening a world of options to create the one stop shop crafter, or powerful purist/hybrid class for your goals whatever they may be.  Many games of today have lost the flexibility to template one’s own character, to combine varying themes into a single avatar.  The choice of class now typically serves to simply limit your pool of abilities to choose from and your eventual “role” in any real scale combat. ..

During a time when we were amassing hoards of phat loots, spread out as Magic the Gathering cards, pewter, and bytes in a few text MUDs (multi-user dungeons) that actually saved your character, Ultima Online gave me a home where I could HOARD.  In this shelter for my hard earned pixels I was able to display my loots to /raise eyebrows, derive some oohs and aahs from the newbie I bring by to give some junk from the community chest, or display the latest murderer’s head I hunted down as retribution for killing my guildmate (or somewhere to safely run to hide from thus said red)... 


You remember when you first turned into a dragon?  I remember the first time I was a dragon, back when we were inputting /attack goblin and WPS (words per second) was your limitation, not ICD (internal cool down).  OK Granted you couldn’t actually BE a dragon in UO =P.  But you sure could have one as your loyal companion!  Why does it always have to be time to kill the dragon?

Ultima Online (UO) was at the dawn of time in the immersive worlds that brought fantasy to an online visual, virtual experience over the years.  The game offers exploration, treasure, and helping or killing-a-plenty of both monster and player; aspects which appeal and serve/d well to satisfy the desire of MMO players for all these years.


Much Appreciated,



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