The CharactersThe character system in UXO should be complex enough to satisfy most RPG gamers. There are 6 main races, and many classes to choose from. The races are Human, Ogre, Elves, Phodas, Pixies and Gargoyles. Some of the classes (or diciples as they are called) that we managed to take note of were: Fighter, Barbarian, Knight, Necromancer, Mage, Sorcerer, Tinkerer, Ranger, Druid, Shepherd, Bard and Paladins. Also, all races are equal…the only thing that is different is the appearance…in other words, a ogre barbarian is every bit as tough as a gargoyle barbarian. Although you will be able to select many attributes to make your character look different - such as skin color, hair styles, and heads - many of the advanced character sculpting features found in newer games will not be present in UXO.
Characters have a very "cartoonish" feel and I found it refreshing and new. You will see the developers great sense of humor shine through as characters and monsters do humorous animations while left idle - some examples are headless monsters looking for their heads and doing "end zone" dances in your face. Monsters and characters have high complexity ranging from 1000 to 3000 polygons per model - the result is very detailed models that look at feel lifelike.
The Game FeaturesThe game play in UXO shows that the developers know some of the pain that players experience when playing MMORPG's. One of the exciting features is the "Odyssey Adventure System" which allows the developers to create powerful quests quickly and easily. It will also give the ability to have your quests span into private zones to protect you (and your party if you have one) from having your quest experience ruined by "griefers".
One of the most exciting parts about UXO is that quests will come to you - that's right! Unlike other MMORPG games you will not have to tug on the shirt of every NPC to find one willing to give you a task. NPC's will come up to you while you are adventuring and request your aid. Quests will also have many possible paths and outcomes…which will in turn affect the "virtue" or path that your character will follow.
Many players will be saddened to hear that UXO will not ship with crafting or housing features. They have made it clear that their primary focus will be on questing and combat. Later expansion packs are planned that will add crafting and housing to the game - once the developers feel they can make the process as fun as the rest of the game.
The design team was aware that their real-time combat engine would likely result in a lot of deaths for inexperienced players…so to encourage people to get into combat they have made death a not-so-bad experience. When a player's health is reduced to zero they will fall unconscious - within the next 20 seconds certain classes will be able to "stabilize" the player and bring them back. After this the player will either have to be resurrected or journey back from their last bind point. However, there is absolutely no penalty in terms of experience or virtue - and all of your items will stay with your character.
Here is a quick rundown on some of the highlights of Ultima X: Odyssey:
- 55 massive and interactive zones to live your adventures in
- Real time combat
- Private zones for you and your groups
- Items can be modified by virtue points
- Items will level with you
- 8 paths, and 9 skills/spells per path
- Consensual PvP combat
- No death penalty other than returning to your bind point
- Instant teleport to meet up with people on your "buddy" list
- Moongates to teleport you to all the zones you have visited in your journeys
- No more camping, important quest items will be in private zones
- Bazaar system will be incorporated to aid in player trading
Lastly, I would like to thank all of the people at Electronic Arts for allowing MMORPG.COM to experience and share their game. The event was a huge success and everyone there seemed extremely impressed. The development team did an excellent job in their presentation, answering all of our nagging questions, and left us with a clear view of their vision. As I prepare to board my flight back home, I can't help be excited about this game and what it might bring to the entire MMORPG community.