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Brief Q&A with Ultima X developer

Posted by James Snietka on Dec 03, 2003  | Comments

Brief Q&A with Ultima X developer -

Earlier today I posted a message on our Ultima X: Odyssey forums to ask one of their lead designers, Jonathan Hanna (known as Calandryll on our forums), a few questions about their upcoming title, Ultima X: Odyssey. I was very pleased to get a response from him only an hour after I posted the questions. Below I have posted the questions asked and his response to them (my questions are in green):

  • How long has Ultima X: Odyssey been in development?
    • About a year and a half.
  • Many MMORPG gamers are interested in "solo" combat. In Ultima X: Odyssey, will it be possible to effectively solo your whole career if you choose to? I know that on your website you mention the Odyssey Adventure System (which sounds great by the way) granting individual quests based on your character's virtues, but I was still unclear besides these quests what a character's soloing potential can be.
    • Yes, soloing will definitely be supported. You can solo the entire game if you want to, including the quests. The quests scale based on the party size, so if you are soloing you'd be considered a party of one and the quest would scale accordingly.
  • If "solo" style gameplay is viable for Ultima X: Odyssey, what incentives exist to form parties?
    • Parties have the inherent benefit of having people to heal, res, and support you. They'll also be able to kill monsters faster. We want to encourage grouping, but not force it.
  • This is similar to my last question, will there be epic battles in which large groups of players must cooperate to take on powerful creatures?
    • You can get together with lots of other players to take down a powerful monster, but even the most powerful monster can be taken by a party of eight Ascended characters. So you could try to get 20 or so characters together to take on a monster like that before you ascend, but once you did, you wouldn't *need* to organize that large of a group. Organizing large groups can be very time consuming and we're trying to make a game that is more about just logging in and playing right away. :)
  • How is death and dying handled in Ultima X: Odyssey?
    • We haven't talked about the specifics of the death system yet, but we are going to on the site eventually. When you die, you won't lose XP or items though.
  • Can two or more players execute certain combat moves to create a combo between several players?
    • No. Players can create their own combos though using their own abilities.
  • How is traveling handled in Ultima X: Odyssey. Many MMORPGs require long traveling times to get from one spot to another. I'm sure there will certainly be some distance from point A to point B, but will there be any ways to facilitate faster travel (like spells to increase movement, teleportation points, etc.)?
    • We have speed increase spells, moongates that allow you to teleport across maps, and a teleport-friend feature that lets you teleport your friends to your location. This makes getting together to play with your friends very easy.
  • Could you give us a few examples of spells or special abilities (especially virtue abilities, they sound very interesting)?
    • Actually we're going to be releasing some examples of the Barbarian Discipline abilities on the site this week. We're going to release abilities on the site on an ongoing basis, so keep an eye out!

    -Jonathan "Calandryll" Hanna
    Lead Designer, Ultima X: Odyssey

  • You can view the original thread here:

    Thanks again for your time Calandryll!