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Ultima Online Forum » Britannia Tavern (General) » UO - where did the soul go?

13 posts found
  Rasputin

Apprentice Member

Joined: 7/07/03
Posts: 618

 
OP  3/26/11 11:39:23 AM#1

(from this thread: http://www.mmorpg.com/discussion2.cfm/thread/310978/page/4)

I just tried the Trial of UO for a few days, just to have a look. Last time I logged in was in 2002.

It is horrible now. It is heavily itemized, and they took out every single thing, that smells of effort. Today you can get armor that gives you bonuses, that allows you to cast spells without using regs. No item will actually break. It will go to 0 endurance and still sit on your body (and I believe that it will still give you the bonuses). Items can be insured, so there is no risk, not even when dying in PvE. The armor I got from some advanced player, that wanted to help me out, even made sure, that I never had to cast light or use torches.

In Trammel I could run through all monsters, whereas in the early days I would have to "shove through", which was only possible with full stamina, and thus alot of monsters could box you in, forcing you to react fast with stamina potions or a well placed teleport.

All tension is gone from the game. It is not dangerous to go to dungeons. The monsters can not really surprise you, as you can just run as you like (you cannot be boxed in). Even if you unfortunately die, you are insured, meaning you will have a small trip back, and thats it. No regs, means that you can level up your casting abilities for free. Since the casting was free, you spent no money on reagents, which was quite a big sink early on - so big, that it was very hard to start out your first character as a caster.

Earlier UO was so rough, that it was a battle to wring out skill points from it. You had to be careful when gearing up, you would have to be careful how many regs you brought - too little and you would run out, often in a critical situation, too many and you would be at risk if you died to monsters or to PKs. All the time in a dungeon would be nervously watching the edge of the screen, so you could react fast in case of incoming PK's. You had to at all times have your pouches trapped, to avoid PK Paralyze spell (and also some monsters used Paralyze), if they got in one, before you could recall. If you were well prepared, you were as good as un-PK-able.

Old UO was so damn exciting, that I could not log out, and only did so begrudgingly if duties called, and I would be eager to get back home to get back in. That feeling is completely gone now. Everything is safe, and there is no pressure anywhere, not even financially. I had tens of thousands of gold on a two day old character with 55 in Provoking and little else.

 

 

When my armor finally got worn down (that means endurance go to 0, it will not break), I went looking for other players or shops to get it repaired. I managed to run around half of the mainland Trammel world (Britain and north) without encountering a single player. Around half of the houses were empty, unbuilt lots (you see the foundation only). The few vendors on houses I encountered, were empty. I never met another player, and this was in late afternoon (4-6 PM), which would have been a very active time back in the days, after the kids came back from school. Britain bank I met two guys ever. The first was the one who gave me the armor, the other was AFK, and I never got in contact with him. I then went to Fellucca, because that used to be my home before I quit (I dispised Trammel), and also here it was completely empty. I had to go to a moongate to some new shard (I don't remember the name), that seems to exist only to hold player housing. It was a giant shopping mall, and here I saw some players, although not many.

 

UO has not failed because of aging graphics. The graphics are quite nice, and 2D has something that 3D doesn't.

UO has failed because it has no tension anymore. And with a very meager population, there is no interactions with other people. Add to that an enormous landmass (Trammel, Fellucca, 2nd age (or what it was called) and 3 other shards), and you have effectively a singleplayer game, when you enter as a new player.

IMO the biggest mistake they made, was to put in Trammel. With the harsh death penalties to reds (statloss), they had already curbed the worst PK'ing. By taking out the last risk, they took out alot of the tension, that is needed to make games exciting. Other mistakes were to one by one remove all cumbersomeness/negativities, such as blocking players/monsters, regs to cast spells, need for lights, loss of items (with insurance) and probably others, that I would have discovered, had I played longer than 2 days.

I don't know what lessons EA has taken from the failure of UO, but I am certain they are taking the wrong ones. If this game was good, it would still be able to compete to this day. The technology behind it is as good as other MMO's. Aging is not the problem.

  AlysenMinase

Novice Member

Joined: 11/16/09
Posts: 362

3/26/11 12:34:50 PM#2

I wish I was there before they split the world into two facets. It sounds like a game I'd put my sub money on. I don't have a problem with UO's graphics and such, but after playing a month, I had a full set of LRC gear (so I had to use no reagants), had all my items insured, etc. There's no endgame for UO so taking out items breaking and insurance is just a bad decision IMO.

Playing - EVE, Wurm

Retired - Final Fantasy XI, Anarchy Online, Mabinogi

Waiting - ArcheAge, Salem

  User Deleted
3/26/11 12:46:00 PM#3

That's what happens when people clamour for easy street all the time. The split may have bumped sub numbers up for a while but look at what it has lead to. Unbelievably some people still think Trammel was the best thing to happen to the game....

  Hrotha

Novice Member

Joined: 4/25/08
Posts: 840

3/26/11 12:47:11 PM#4

This has nothing to do with UO I can assure you.

 

It's a normal process in your Life. You will encounter this many many times from "now on".

You will always find things the best, you felt great with when you think Years back and compare those Things with the Here and Now. Music, Social-Connections, even Love (more or less).

A very good example for Computer Games is (if you maybe play Computer Games as long as I do -since 1998): "The Old Games where so great. They were so much fun. So colorful. So much Soul in it. Such a good feeling. Etc" - and when you compare it to the Games you have now? It's a total "Meh."

Same goes for "Man I remember this Game so well - I'm gonna re-install it an play it right away!" - Done and playing - "Wow, those grafics sucks and it doesn't feel like back in the days". You get my point :-)

I/we have overdone things. It's time to take a Break for a couple of Years and then maybe come back. With a Break I mean "No infos on new Games, no Consoles" - and maybe then you have a fresh and clean View to get into new Games.

 

Wish you the best.

  Rasputin

Apprentice Member

Joined: 7/07/03
Posts: 618

 
OP  3/26/11 2:47:33 PM#5
Originally posted by crunk001

This has nothing to do with UO I can assure you.

 

It's a normal process in your Life. You will encounter this many many times from "now on".

You will always find things the best, you felt great with when you think Years back and compare those Things with the Here and Now. Music, Social-Connections, even Love (more or less).

A very good example for Computer Games is (if you maybe play Computer Games as long as I do -since 1998): "The Old Games where so great. They were so much fun. So colorful. So much Soul in it. Such a good feeling. Etc" - and when you compare it to the Games you have now? It's a total "Meh."

Same goes for "Man I remember this Game so well - I'm gonna re-install it an play it right away!" - Done and playing - "Wow, those grafics sucks and it doesn't feel like back in the days". You get my point :-)

I/we have overdone things. It's time to take a Break for a couple of Years and then maybe come back. With a Break I mean "No infos on new Games, no Consoles" - and maybe then you have a fresh and clean View to get into new Games.

 

Wish you the best.

So you believe that it has nothing to do with a world void of life? Or there being absolutely no challenge at all? I did not manage to die once on my newbie character, 9 years after I played it the first time, whereas I would die non-stop the first time around, even to small critters (I remember an evil raven).

How many games do you find interesting, that pose no challenge?

  Hrotha

Novice Member

Joined: 4/25/08
Posts: 840

3/26/11 3:02:54 PM#6
Originally posted by Rasputin
Originally posted by crunk001

This has nothing to do with UO I can assure you.

 

It's a normal process in your Life. You will encounter this many many times from "now on".

You will always find things the best, you felt great with when you think Years back and compare those Things with the Here and Now. Music, Social-Connections, even Love (more or less).

A very good example for Computer Games is (if you maybe play Computer Games as long as I do -since 1998): "The Old Games where so great. They were so much fun. So colorful. So much Soul in it. Such a good feeling. Etc" - and when you compare it to the Games you have now? It's a total "Meh."

Same goes for "Man I remember this Game so well - I'm gonna re-install it an play it right away!" - Done and playing - "Wow, those grafics sucks and it doesn't feel like back in the days". You get my point :-)

I/we have overdone things. It's time to take a Break for a couple of Years and then maybe come back. With a Break I mean "No infos on new Games, no Consoles" - and maybe then you have a fresh and clean View to get into new Games.

 

Wish you the best.

So you believe that it has nothing to do with a world void of life? Or there being absolutely no challenge at all? I did not manage to die once on my newbie character, 9 years after I played it the first time, whereas I would die non-stop the first time around, even to small critters (I remember an evil raven).

How many games do you find interesting, that pose no challenge?

Well well well, I adore challenging Games and remember it quite too well with Dark Age of Camelot - which was a beast to me when I was a Boy talking of difficulty. And I really miss that a ton in modern Games.

But you know the deal: Games back in time where a niche product - now literally everybody plays it.

We were the Nerds from the first Second who were just a small Group. You could easily idenfity yourself with the Game-Developers, because.. well, they mostly were Backdoor-Junkies like ourselves aswell "Man atari Games where so much fun, let's make our own" drawing/writing stuff and finally coding and releasing it. Wam, you got a Game. And obv everybody loved it. I didnt even had a fav Genre - I played almost all Games released. Maybe skipped many Sports Games but the rest I soaked up like a wet towel.

 

People loved it because they were difficult, hard to master (yes, Kids - this was a motor - dying was fun! ...sometimes) and most important got a very dense/thick/solid storyline (sorry for my bad english, you get my point) which fascinates you all the time. Not like these days, where you play an MMO and felt "Meh the starting area suxx arse but everybody keeps telling after that it gets better. Well I'm gonna draaaag myself then to that certain point...sigh" and most important - and at this point I can't remember how I delt with DAoC and EQ1 Endgame - yes, the Endgame. 95% of every MMORPG Endgame is soo boring. Everybody knows it. "But standing around in the City and posing with my Epics is phun!!" - yeah...

 

Well if you are a gamer of the first hour - like I mentioned, you either could feel that - like you posted "no challenge" or could have overdone it. Like I did. Honestly. Or maybe both! Because I stated just one point above and didn't mentionened the other thing with "no challenge" like I do now, which is one big issue to me aswell. Like I'm constantly posting everywhere and hopefully getting heared by

 

YES, YOU DEVELOPERS!!

 

SCREW THE MONEHMONEHMONEH-

 

INDUSTRY!

 

GIVE US BACK OUR

 

NERDYNERD-HARDCORE-GAMES.

 

sry for that but thats my feeling atm.

 

ever played Super Meat Boy? Yep, hopefully my next MMO will be that frustrating again

 

But GW2 will be sorta casual aswell.... Fallout Online will be casual aswell.... I don't see a Light at the End of the Casual-Tunnel. Maybe I should release my own "Ideas"? Yes *looks in the Mirror* your brilliannnnt!

 

I need a niche again! :-) Pretty sure many people do

  vaultbrain

Novice Member

Joined: 4/07/09
Posts: 123

4/02/11 1:34:35 AM#7

I agree with the OP. EA screwed up big time when they put in trammel. They screwed up even worse with the powders of fortification, BODs, and ultimately Age of Shadows. After AOS, the game was completely intolerable. Gold spammers started to move in. Hackers and Macroers began to dominate the BOD trade, selling high end bods for millions of gold and selling the runic crafting tools for just as much. And since they were pretty much the only ones who could get their hands on them, they had unstoppable monopolies.

then the power scrolls, they completely killed everything. It was 120 or nothing. All of the hard work people put into 7x GMing out there characters was tossed out the window. 100.0% skill meant nothing. You were a joke unless you were Legendary this or Elder that.

Back in T2A, the game worked. GM meant something. Player crafted gear was the best. Players ran the economy. Everyone was on the same level when it came to crafting. This meant no monopolies, everyone could compete. The competition kept the economy on track and made sure pricing didnt get out of hand. The only time you'd see things priced highly is if they were a rare, like deamon bone armor. I remember a full suit of that sold for 100k. And back then, that was A LOT of money. Today, you can make 100k gold in a day easy.

The OP meantioned how armor and weapons no longer break. This too threw things out of whack. Originally, when gear used to break, you'd have to replace it. This made sure there was a constant flow of supply and demand. And if your gear didnt break, you lost it because either a player looted it off of you, a monster killed you and looted you, or you couldnt get back to your corpse in time and everything on it dissapated with it. It all balanced itself out.

I remember a battle I got into in Wrong once. I had just finished doing my morning dungeon run before work. It was my favorite time to hit Wrong. Not a lot of people were on, the chance of running into a PK was low, and it was just me and the trolls. I had managed to make about 1500 or so in gold plus the gems and other times the trolls used to drop. My gear was starting to wear down so I had to get out. It was then that a PKer showed up. He was a mace fighter wielding a magic warhammer. He hit me a few times and broke my chest piece, shield and arm guards. I equipped my DP hally and drank a dex and strength potion and fought back. After a 5 minute skirmish, I killed the PK, took his head, and looted his corpse then recalled out. I turned his head into the guards at East Brit bank (my old hangout), got a 3000k reward for his bounty, then headed over to the forge near West Brit bank. I had forgotten to replace my spare suit of armor and I needed a new one.

I knew some of the smiths who hung there. (Yeah, back then, it actually meant something to know people and interact and negotiate with them. It was called RPing, and we were good at it). I remember going there and talking to the smith I knew. He cut me a deal on a new GM iron Dex suit of chain and plate with a new round metal shield. (I liked the round metal shield because it had a good balance of deflect chance as well as damage absorbsion with a successful parry). I got a new suit plus a spare for 800gp. 800 gold pieces! Thats how much you could barter for back then!

You dont hear stories like this from Britannia anymore. And its when the game stopping being able to produce them that it lost its soul completely.

  Azdul

Novice Member

Joined: 11/11/09
Posts: 433

4/06/11 4:44:08 PM#8
Originally posted by crunk001

YES, YOU DEVELOPERS!!

 SCREW THE MONEHMONEHMONEH-

 INDUSTRY!

 GIVE US BACK OUR

 NERDYNERD-HARDCORE-GAMES.

The times of easy and simple MMOs have passed.

EvE, which is as nerdy as you can get in MMOs, has 300 000 subscribers. It doesn't mean that EvE is so good, it means that MMO audience has changed.

The MMOs intended for mass market, produced by EA, SOE and Cryptic does not sell good enough to recoup costs of gigantic marketing campaigns. Masses bored to tears with WoW buy new boxes, but unsub before first month passes.

Next big thing will be created by people passionate about games, not some soulless corporation.

  Rasputin

Apprentice Member

Joined: 7/07/03
Posts: 618

 
OP  4/10/11 4:48:06 PM#9
Originally posted by vaultbrain

I agree with the OP. EA screwed up big time when they put in trammel. They screwed up even worse with the powders of fortification, BODs, and ultimately Age of Shadows. After AOS, the game was completely intolerable. Gold spammers started to move in. Hackers and Macroers began to dominate the BOD trade, selling high end bods for millions of gold and selling the runic crafting tools for just as much. And since they were pretty much the only ones who could get their hands on them, they had unstoppable monopolies.

then the power scrolls, they completely killed everything. It was 120 or nothing. All of the hard work people put into 7x GMing out there characters was tossed out the window. 100.0% skill meant nothing. You were a joke unless you were Legendary this or Elder that.

Back in T2A, the game worked. GM meant something. Player crafted gear was the best. Players ran the economy. Everyone was on the same level when it came to crafting. This meant no monopolies, everyone could compete. The competition kept the economy on track and made sure pricing didnt get out of hand. The only time you'd see things priced highly is if they were a rare, like deamon bone armor. I remember a full suit of that sold for 100k. And back then, that was A LOT of money. Today, you can make 100k gold in a day easy.

The OP meantioned how armor and weapons no longer break. This too threw things out of whack. Originally, when gear used to break, you'd have to replace it. This made sure there was a constant flow of supply and demand. And if your gear didnt break, you lost it because either a player looted it off of you, a monster killed you and looted you, or you couldnt get back to your corpse in time and everything on it dissapated with it. It all balanced itself out.

I remember a battle I got into in Wrong once. I had just finished doing my morning dungeon run before work. It was my favorite time to hit Wrong. Not a lot of people were on, the chance of running into a PK was low, and it was just me and the trolls. I had managed to make about 1500 or so in gold plus the gems and other times the trolls used to drop. My gear was starting to wear down so I had to get out. It was then that a PKer showed up. He was a mace fighter wielding a magic warhammer. He hit me a few times and broke my chest piece, shield and arm guards. I equipped my DP hally and drank a dex and strength potion and fought back. After a 5 minute skirmish, I killed the PK, took his head, and looted his corpse then recalled out. I turned his head into the guards at East Brit bank (my old hangout), got a 3000k reward for his bounty, then headed over to the forge near West Brit bank. I had forgotten to replace my spare suit of armor and I needed a new one.

I knew some of the smiths who hung there. (Yeah, back then, it actually meant something to know people and interact and negotiate with them. It was called RPing, and we were good at it). I remember going there and talking to the smith I knew. He cut me a deal on a new GM iron Dex suit of chain and plate with a new round metal shield. (I liked the round metal shield because it had a good balance of deflect chance as well as damage absorbsion with a successful parry). I got a new suit plus a spare for 800gp. 800 gold pieces! Thats how much you could barter for back then!

You dont hear stories like this from Britannia anymore. And its when the game stopping being able to produce them that it lost its soul completely.

Sorry I haven't replied to any of  the messages. I thought I would get an email, so I assumed noone had written...

Anyway, thank you for the story. I love the UO stories, there is something special about them. There is always so much at stake in them, making them so exciting, and somehow there is so much nostalgia. The love shines from all of them.

 

I noticed this you wrote:

"then the power scrolls, they completely killed everything. It was 120 or nothing. All of the hard work people put into 7x GMing out there characters was tossed out the window. 100.0% skill meant nothing. You were a joke unless you were Legendary this or Elder that."

I never understood why you had to have 100.0 or 120.0 in a skill. Why not 60.0 if you wanted to be just a decent shield-wearer? 40.0 if you wanted to ride a horse in leather armor instead of full plate? Etc. etc. That would have opened up for a character with maybe 12-14 skills with less-than-GM skills. It could have made for more diverse characters and made less-than-GM valid. More interesting IMO.

About the powerscrolls: Ya, that was when I knew the game was going down. I first tried to arrange the PvP scene in a system, where we would war each other with max 110.0 skill characters, making it possible for everyone to compete with 7xGM, or a bit more (110.0 scrolls were pretty cheap and within everyone's reach - with 110.0 ppl were still forced to minimum 7 skills), making for a more interesting and more accessible game. However, PvP'ers are a special bunch, many min-maxers, that cannot ignore maximum power, and I had to drop the initiative. The game was still fairly enjoyable, although 120x6 GM's were dominating the PvP tournaments, excluding amongst other me from them (I preferred to PvP instead of using weeks in a dungeon hunting power scrolls).

When they introduced Insurance, however, it was the last straw, and I quit without looking back. And that held for 8 years until the test I wrote about in the OP. And that is the last time I will be on an OSI server, unless they re-introduce the classic servers.

I am so sad to see this world never exist again. It was unparallelled, and I made my best online friends (and enemies!) in it.

  xBludx

Apprentice Member

Joined: 10/02/10
Posts: 380

8/26/11 2:08:07 AM#10
Originally posted by Azdul
Originally posted by crunk001

YES, YOU DEVELOPERS!!

 SCREW THE MONEHMONEHMONEH-

 INDUSTRY!

 GIVE US BACK OUR

 NERDYNERD-HARDCORE-GAMES.

The times of easy and simple MMOs have passed.

EvE, which is as nerdy as you can get in MMOs, has 300 000 subscribers. It doesn't mean that EvE is so good, it means that MMO audience has changed.

The MMOs intended for mass market, produced by EA, SOE and Cryptic does not sell good enough to recoup costs of gigantic marketing campaigns. Masses bored to tears with WoW buy new boxes, but unsub before first month passes.

Next big thing will be created by people passionate about games, not some soulless corporation.

I really hope you're right. 

What OP said reminded me of how Darkfall felt to some extent. I don't know how that game will be if DF2 ever launches.

OP said:

"Earlier UO was so rough, that it was a battle to wring out skill points from it. You had to be careful when gearing up, you would have to be careful how many regs you brought - too little and you would run out, often in a critical situation, too many and you would be at risk if you died to monsters or to PKs. All the time in a dungeon would be nervously watching the edge of the screen, so you could react fast in case of incoming PK's. "

 

 

 

  User Deleted
8/26/11 2:35:01 AM#11

What happened to the soul? Basically EA and their braindead games for even more braindead players simple as that. Glad I quit back when they announced Trammel.

I would play the real uo with better graphics in a heartbeat again, same with Everquest 1 under Verant.

I also agree this genre is dying for another well made so called niche game, made for those that want to play and not jump from game to game.

Darkfall had some great ideas, but  after they gave up to the crybabies the game was all but doomed. DF 2 will be a carebear game, which is a shame cause I loved the original  one.

  User Deleted
8/27/11 6:20:21 PM#12

What happend to UO is true for just about every game out there.  They need to increase playerbase, so they dumb it down to appeal to people who just want to finish character progression as fast as possible with as little effort as possible.

It can really be felt in older games, that were meant to be challanging to progress in, and its what made them so fun, that it was an actual accomplishment to get to the higher levels.

 

Im sure with every game, even the easy themeparks, you can see that after a while they need to start appealing to younger people, people who are braindead stoned, and those who think that every mmorpg should be a FPS with instant easy to find pvp and no progression.

 

Its a sad state of affairs for any game, even the ones that start off as easy, to see them dumb it down to appeal to more people...in doing so the game loses its soul (if it had one to begin with at least)

 

 

Bottom line is the masses of potential gamers out there find character progression as a chore and seek out the games that eliminate any difficulty on their goal to achieve "endgame".

 

Some of us really miss games where the journey was the fun part, and was difficult...where making it to  "endgame" was an actual accomplishemt.  Not sure there are any of those out there anymore.

  EndDream

Novice Member

Joined: 12/07/05
Posts: 1170

8/27/11 6:23:12 PM#13

Back in the day in UO "end game" was not a term. I just logged in everyday and always has fun stuff to do... best game ever... but yes it's dead now.

Remember Old School Ultima Online