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Why Are There No Popular Ultima Online-Like MMOs?

Soulskill posted more than 4 years ago | from the risk-is-not-our-business dept.

Games 480

eldavojohn writes "I have a slightly older friend who played through the glory days of Ultima Online. Yes, their servers are still up and running, but he often waxes nostalgic about certain gameplay functions of UO that he misses. I must say that these aspects make me smile and wonder what it would be like to play in such a world — things like housing, thieving and looting that you don't see in the most popular massively multiplayer online games like World of Warcraft. So, I've followed him through a few games, including Darkfall and now Mortal Online. And these (seemingly European developed) games are constantly fading into obscurity and never catching hold. We constantly move from one to the next. Does anyone know of a popular three-dimensional game that has UO-like rules and gameplay? Perhaps one that UO players gravitated to after leaving UO? If you think that the very things that have been removed (housing and thieving would be two good topics) caused WoW to become the most popular MMO, why is that? Do UO rules not translate well to a true 3D environment? Are people incapable of planning for corpse looting? Are players really that inept that developers don't want to leave us in control of risk analysis? I'm familiar with the Bartle Test but if anyone could point me to more resources as to why Killer-oriented games have faded out of popularity, I'd be interested."

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Haven & Hearth (1, Interesting)

sopssa (1498795) | more than 4 years ago | (#31227272)

http://www.havenandhearth.com/portal/ [havenandhearth.com]

Still in beta but it has many things UO also had (building things, crafting, general freedom).

Re:Haven & Hearth (-1)

sopssa (1498795) | more than 4 years ago | (#31227384)

To add to this - The java client on the site is shitty - use the one from Pachos [pachos.tk].

That being said - It is beta. You have to click constantly to move (there's no waypoint finding), but building and crafting on it is great. The community is awesome too - we started playing with a friend and some nice guy who owned an awesome farm picked us up there and said we can have his food and other items whenever we want to. We started building our own farm next to his [yfrog.com]. Friend already went to sleep but I continued some. Later I wandered to travel the lakes and rivers with my boat to look for grapes so I could make wine - Stopped at some guys grape farm and went there to steal some, but I had to break his wall first which takes a lot of time. But I was desperate as it was the only place I could get grape seeds from. Suddenly he came with his boat and I had to flee fast.

Here's a Wiki and some guides and info for the game [wikia.com].

And if you go stealing or pillaging other peoples places, remember that it's permadeath and theres also boars around :)

Shadowbane (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31227278)

They tried it. It failed.

Re:Shadowbane (2, Interesting)

zenasprime (207132) | more than 4 years ago | (#31227876)

Shadowbane had a good run and there are still those of us that would log into it if it was still running. There's an attempt to back engineer the game's server at http://www.shadowbaneemulator.com/ [shadowbaneemulator.com] .

I'd love another sandbox fantasy game to come on that market that works as well as world of warcraft but all those I've tried since them have lacked the "flow" that blizzard put into their game to keep me coming back.

UO wasn't that much fun really (4, Insightful)

Captain Kirk (148843) | more than 4 years ago | (#31227288)

A lot of of the people who rave about pre-Tramell UO are people who fit the "Multi-player appeal to the Killer" label Bartle uses.

Sadly they needed 1000s of "Multi-player appeal to the Socializer" players to feed on. Beign griefed is not fun for such a person so UO failed to grow. No other game that allows griefign will be fun so you won't see them get developed or launched.

WoW allows griefing on PVP realms - you have to opt in. Most of those realms are empty for the same reason.

Re:UO wasn't that much fun really (4, Informative)

AuMatar (183847) | more than 4 years ago | (#31227324)

PvP realms are hardly empty- lots of people played on them, especially at launch. The problem is that arena and battlegrounds have killed world pvp, so there's little to no real pvp anymore. You can go 0 to 80 with only a handful of pvp deaths these days. In the old days you'd get a handful an hour, many of which were real fights you had a chance of winning. Since 99.9% of pvp happens in instances these days there's no reason to roll pvp anymore, that's why the pvp realms now have smaller pops.

Re:UO wasn't that much fun really (5, Interesting)

Tridus (79566) | more than 4 years ago | (#31227490)

Throughout the entire history of WoW all the way from release until today, PvP realms as a whole have been less popular then PvE realms.

That was true before battlegrounds, arenas, wintergrasp, and even before the gear discrepency between a level 30 and a max level character was so high that "world pvp" wasn't just a one shot affair. (Calling what goes on in STV these days PvP is a joke.)

The reality is that the number of people who find being griefed fun is smaller then the number of people who don't.

Re:UO wasn't that much fun really (1)

Shinobi (19308) | more than 4 years ago | (#31227608)

The interesting thing, however, if we take WoW as an example, is that the top PvE guilds in the world tend to come from PvP realms.

Re:UO wasn't that much fun really (1)

Chris Mattern (191822) | more than 4 years ago | (#31227708)

Thereby demonstrating that PvP is a great place to come from.

Re:UO wasn't that much fun really (1)

Shinobi (19308) | more than 4 years ago | (#31227826)

I was pointed at it by a WoW-playing friend, but in the current Icecrown Citadel progression race, only 2 guilds out of the top 20 are based on PvE realms. The rest are on PvP realms. In top 10, there is currently no guild from a PvE realm.

I think it's quite simply actually: A bit of diversity helps make the players who do not wallow in mediocrity better.

Re:UO wasn't that much fun really (3, Interesting)

jth1234567 (514045) | more than 4 years ago | (#31227678)

Throughout the entire history of WoW all the way from release until today, PvP realms as a whole have been less popular then PvE realms.

Interestingly, with European servers the situation was exactly the opposite at least during the first year after launch. I don't know if it has changed since then.

Re:UO wasn't that much fun really (1)

MoeDrippins (769977) | more than 4 years ago | (#31227814)

> Throughout the entire history of WoW all the way from release until today, PvP realms as a whole have been less popular then PvE realms.

The same was true of Everquest, which was arguably "hardercore", and predated WOW by a few years.

Re:UO wasn't that much fun really (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31228012)

Is the US the PvE realms were more popular, in Europe is was the other way around

Fuck world pvp (4, Insightful)

unity100 (970058) | more than 4 years ago | (#31227646)

what was that ? 10 minutes wait to gather some 10-20 or so people to create a raid, 10 minutes to go to the location of the raid, 10 minutes of killing lowbies there until the high levels come, 10 minutes of killing 2-3 high levels until a serious raid forms up from the other side and arrives in your location, then 30 seconds of pvp, death, 5 minutes of running from gy, rezzing and repreparing. after 10 minutes, going back again.

all that 1-2 hour hassle for only a total of 5-10 minutes of pvp. fuck that

there is a reason why pvp battlegrounds are accommodating over 8000 players at godforsaken 03.30 at night in eu servers alone - instant, incessant action.

Re:UO wasn't that much fun really (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31227338)

In my experience the PvP servers are where the action is. The most prominent guilds that do dungeons and raids play on PvP server. Getting killed by another player in World of Warcraft isn't such a big deal though. The battles that spontaneously appear outside the entrances of the popular raids are a lot of fun and doesn't cost you anything. It's a shoot-em-up.

Re:UO wasn't that much fun really (4, Insightful)

Tridus (79566) | more than 4 years ago | (#31227536)

Yeah, this. Griefing and thieving only work as gameplay when there are lots of victims. Unfortunately, for the victims it isn't very fun. Those people stop playing when it happens enough times to frustrate them.

Game companies tend to dislike it when people stop playing, and the victim pool massively outnumbers the jerk pool. So naturally they make games friendlier to that group.

Face up to reality. The number of people who actually want to do this type of anti-social behavior simply isn't large enough to support a big game on its own, and nobody else but those people actually likes it. Being killed and robbed is not fun for most players. Thus, most players go find games that are fun.

Re:UO wasn't that much fun really (2, Interesting)

CarbonShell (1313583) | more than 4 years ago | (#31227602)

TBH, I find the entire concept of PVP in MMOs totally BS.

It is like backyard basketball, either you play for fun or you play seriously.
In the first, it is a friendly match between friends and the outcome is irrelevant.
In the latter you will go up against people who do not know you, don't care about you and just want to show you who is best. And you might wind up hurt.
uhm .. -might +probably will

Either or.

The problem is that people in MMO want friendly care-bare style fights.
Let's beat the crap out of each other but still walk away as friends, each with their own stuff.

But you are correct that real PVP is not wanted because people would be pissed when they lose their stuff and/or XPs/levels.

Plus, death/defeat may not have ANY major penalties. Having to walk back to your body to collect your stuff is as horrible as it gets.

Then let's just cut the BS and stop calling them PRGs but CareBareWorld instead.

Re:UO wasn't that much fun really (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31227590)

EVE Online is a MMO that is based on griefing and death, and has been growing year on year since launch and is now one of the biggest. The problem with current MMOs is that the devs listen to whining players instead of keeping to a design brief. If the game is designed to be hard and unforgiving, then don't play if that's not your thing, don't whine and spoil it for others.

Re:UO wasn't that much fun really (5, Insightful)

dave1791 (315728) | more than 4 years ago | (#31227692)

And there were not many other choices in 1998. If you wanted to play online and were not interested in being a wolf, then you had to be a sheep. Now you have 10^7 other choices and the only people who really miss pre-trammel UO are the killers. It is no accident that Shadowbane, which was built to cater to exactly those people, failed in the market and Darkfall will never be anything more than a niche. I predict that it will fail in the long term because a world that only appeals to wolves will force most of them to be sheep (there can only ever be a few wolves, even if everyone aspires to be one) and they won't stay.

Also WoW keeps it sane (5, Insightful)

Sycraft-fu (314770) | more than 4 years ago | (#31228018)

While you can be griefed on a PvP server, all that does is make you lose time. You have to go back to where you were. In the event someone is camping you, you can't do anything until that's cleared up, but that's all. You don't lose gold, experience, loot, etc. So it is annoying, but little more. However in UO you stood to lose a lot, and most people don't like that.

You are correct in that what it comes down to is that there's few people who like this sort of thing. There are a fair number who like to be on the giving end, but less who are willing to be on the receiving end. So even if you decided to make a game that catered to grifers, you'd have the problem that many griefers wouldn't want to play it. Since it would more or less be a griefer only fest, they wouldn't have casual players to pick on and it wouldn't be fun for them. A large number of them aren't interested in an equal playing field where they might be griefed as well. They want a situation where they can band together with other griefers to pick on the weak, but that doesn't work.

As such there will be a small market for games like this. You can see this well with EVE. Not only is it rather small, compared to other MMOs, but many of the player base positively HATE WoW. I don't mean they dislike playing WoW so found a new game, I mean they hate that WoW exists and that people play it. Now why would that be? Shouldn't affect them. The reason is because they want all those casual people to come play EVE. They want weak, inexperienced people to pick on and take advantage of. They are mad that these people have other places to play.

What it comes down to is people play games to have fun. What fun is for various people is different, but for an extremely large amount fun means "Not losing everything because of a jerk." They want something akin to a single player game with checkpoints and quick saves and such. A situation where you don't always move forward, but you never move backward. They don't want the equivalent to a single player game that deletes your save if you die.

As such, game companies will make games like that. If they don't make games people want to buy, they'll not be in business for long.

People want their cake and eat it too (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31227290)

Constantly we see games becoming more "realistic". Player want more "realism". Want realism, stay with RL.

For me, games provide a disconnect from real world worries. I love cheats and truly enjoy doing the "impossible" stuff.

Casual gamers (5, Insightful)

stjobe (78285) | more than 4 years ago | (#31227292)

Casual gamers are what makes up the bulk of MMO subscriptions. These gamers don't want to be robbed of their progress by full-loot, robbery and other nasty things.

The casual gamer will happily spend his $15 if he knows nothing stands between him and the phat loot but time.

Re:Casual gamers (5, Insightful)

Xugumad (39311) | more than 4 years ago | (#31227396)

> These gamers don't want to be robbed of their progress by full-loot, robbery and other nasty things.

Also casual gamers are much more likely to be robbed, and much less likely to be able to rob back.

Re:Casual gamers (4, Insightful)

Tom (822) | more than 4 years ago | (#31227596)

I claim you are wrong.

I'm halfway a casual and halfway a hardcore gamer - due to job and hobbies, my time for a game is pretty limited, but when I like it, I put my teeth into it and my satisfaction is getting as much or more return in a few hours as a lot of the "hardcore" kids with unlimited time on their hands get in playing all day.

Most of the laid-back people that I play with don't mind losing progress. What they do mind is the constant grieving that goes along with it. Many of the thieves, PKers, robbers and yes, cheaters and exploiters in those games are not taking from your character to progress themselves. Heck, I've heard so many stories about thieves immediately destroying their stolen goods that it would fill a book. They're doing it because they can and because they enjoy annoying other people. Typical behaviour for a certain part of the 13-15 age bracket.

Casual gamers are usually adults. They've been there, done that, realized a few later how dumb and asine it all was, and cringe when they see it in others because it still is dumb and asine plus it reminds them of their own faults back then.

The other part that comes with it is why, in fact, for some cases many people do (contrary to my words above) hate losing progress: The stupid grinding to get it back. If there were less grind and more fun in progress, it would matter less if your progress is from 15 to 16 or from 14 to 15 - again. But since in most MMOs, losing progress or starting over means doing the same boring thing again, yes that is why losing progress sucks.

Re:Casual gamers (1)

bloodhawk (813939) | more than 4 years ago | (#31227770)

Could not agree more. I don't mind loss of progress or even some loss of gear or money, however in every friggen new MMO that tries to implement these things there are griefers that go out of their way simply to make the experience miserable for everyone else, using everything from spawn point camping, to things like killing people as they are zoning (man that one really pissed me off in conan) to just plain cheating and using exploits to make everyone elses life misserable, the end results is those MMO's fail as people like me who also enjoy the play style, but not the Morons it attracts, all leave.

Re:Casual gamers (3, Interesting)

stjobe (78285) | more than 4 years ago | (#31227942)

I claim you are wrong.

Claim away.

I'm halfway a casual and halfway a hardcore gamer

So you're not a casual gamer, which kind of invalidates your claim.


I'm not a casual gamer either, more like yourself in fact, but the bulk of MMO subscriptions are filled with people who DON'T want to lose any progress, be it from thieves, robbers, PKers, server crashes, whatever. They'll spend their time in the game happily as long as it's a constant progress.

You're right that it's the grind to get back what was lost that makes the casual gamer not want to put up with losing progress, but I'd wager that even if the grind was lessend, a full-on PvP game will never have the mass appeal of WoW. MMO players in general are quite protective of their shiny pixels and don't like to lose them.

Re:Casual gamers (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31227638)

So what's the challenge?
Surely that's like playing with 'God Mode' on?

Re:Casual gamers (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31227834)

Check out reading novels - nobody says "Man, how did this thing win an international prize for fiction? You just read one word at a time and inevitably you'll get to the end."

For most people, the possibility of outright failure is not a requirement for fun.

Games like WoW do contain objectives most people would fail, but they are a tiny minority, and that reflects the fact that only a tiny minority of players respond well to them. In fact they're outnumbered by objectives that rely purely on patience - anyone could achieve them, but most have something better to do with their time, a famous example is "the Insane" which involves repeatedly doing the same things over and over to "grind" reputation with factions that give little reward for it.

A lot of early games are actually MORE fun with "god mode" or "infinite lives" because the lives element was included only to suck quarters into an arcade machine. Bubble Bobble for example, gives almost the same feeling of achievement for completing it with infinite lives as without.

They've become games not worlds (5, Insightful)

jbb999 (758019) | more than 4 years ago | (#31227298)

My title sums it up really. Wow in particular has ceased to be a world full of adventure and exploration and has rapidly become just a game full of people who complain if there is anything to do that slows down their getting their loot. The whole game has shrunk from a huge world full of adventure into a tiny game with about 10 instances and raids that people do over and over and over, and complain if there is anything that slows that down. Many other games have followed WoW down this route, and yet I think it's success was despite that, not because of it. The other games may well be "obscure" but that doesn't mean they don't exist or they are no fun to play. Does it matter is there are 3 servers full of people you'll never meet in game, or 200?

Re:They've become games not worlds (3, Insightful)

flimflammer (956759) | more than 4 years ago | (#31227622)

I'm gonna have to call bull on a lot of this.

Rose colored glasses have always been a thorn in World of Warcrafts side. This world of adventure you speak of is the first reaction you get being in a world you don't know, filled with dangers you haven't yet seen. Once it finally sinks in that the big bad world is actually rather small, and once you reach the level cap there isn't much to do, then that's a whole other thing altogether. You're never going to get back that sense of adventure and it's borderline ridiculous to expect Blizzard to somehow restore it to its complete former glory.

You speak of the low instance and raid count as if it is something new. Those were all you had to do back in the early days too. Hit the level cap? Time for raids. You want to do something else? Too bad. Want to do something other than raids, like PvP? I hope you like being curb stomped by the guy in full T2. Hell right when release hit-- available options was even worse. All you had was Molten Core and Onyxia that you spent wiping to with 39 other people for weeks and weeks until the poorly itemized blue gear you were wearing was either buffed or the encounters were finally tweaked once Blizzard realized how bad they were.

There has always been complaints about progression and inhibitors. Always. Blizzard finally realized it was in their best interest as a business to start listening to some of the complaint that had been heard far and wide. The primary ones were progression for less-than-cutting-edge groups to see the new content, and Blizzard opened it up. Honestly given your argument about how few things there is to do, this should have been seen as a blessing.

EvE Online? (5, Interesting)

OS24Ever (245667) | more than 4 years ago | (#31227300)

As far as penalty driven PvP and PvE (your ship goes boom, no getting it back, and stuff you fit to your ship can go boom with it along with stuff you were carrying)

Owning space regions is expensive & cumbersome, but to be honest I don't remember the housing mechanic real well but it's similar. You can own a Station as well has have Towers referred to as 'POS' (Player Owned Stations)

anything outside of account stealing and real money stealing is allowed and not reversed.

But you're not an elf running around casting things, you're in a space ship.

Re:EvE Online? (2, Interesting)

AuMatar (183847) | more than 4 years ago | (#31227348)

The problem with EvE is that you're looking at months of real life time to fly a ship that's halfway fun. If you want to fly a bigger ship, it will take over a year to fly it T2 (and T1 is worthless for anything but making money in). THat's not time spent that can be altered by player skill and strategy, that's clock time due to their skill system. Give me a character with 30 million points and I'd subscribe tomorrow. Starting from scratch I wouldn't advise anyone to bother.

Re:EvE Online? (5, Insightful)

tero (39203) | more than 4 years ago | (#31227370)

That's just bullshit, starting from scratch is equally fun and you don't "lose" anything in the process.
EVE is a slow moving game and there's a point in not letting everyone fly everything from the start.

But to answer to your main point - it's /perfectly legal/ to purchase a character with 30M SP from the EVE forums (check the Character Bazaar part), if you don't feel like starting from scratch - you're allowed to buy a character.

So I guess I'll see you tomorrow then...

Re:EvE Online? (1)

AuMatar (183847) | more than 4 years ago | (#31227518)

No, starting from scratch isn't fun. First you have to spend over a month just learning the learning skills. Or you can skip those, but fall even further behind in real skills (admittedly, you'd probably do a mix of them over time, get a few helpful skills and do learning overnight). That'd be f

Secondly, flying a little tiny ship that can't kill anything serious isn't fun. Maybe you like it, but most people's idea is to fly something at least battlecruiser size, if not bigger. That takes years. And it isn't a fun ride getting there- it's a lot of doing things you don't really enjoy waiting to get a ship you will really enjoy. It's be fine if it was a WoW like leveling curve, but it isn't- its based on a real time system. If you want to fly a T2 battleship, it will take you X amount of clock time, no matter what you do. And X isn't measured in days or weeks- its in months or year+ for some ships. Its a horrible, braindead system. Any system where its impossible to ever catch up is idiotic.

And buying a character for a hundred bucks or more is not a satisfactory answer. Not to mention you get stuck with whatever rep the guy who made the character had- I have friends who did that and got fucked over because the guy who used to run the character was hated.

Hey, you like the game, go ahead and play it. But there's a reason why EvE is a niche game- it had some good ideas but its skill system means it will never hit the big time.

Re:EvE Online? (2, Interesting)

Calinous (985536) | more than 4 years ago | (#31227660)

You can fly a cruiser in less than two weeks (just ignore high level learning skills), and if you want to go battlecruiser route, it shouldn't take much more than that (less than half a year). To fly it well, that takes training (both in game skills and in your skills).
      As for fun, frigate plus warp scrambler (to block the target from warping away) plus web (to slow down the target) is fun if you know what to avoid. Remember that some of T2 ships are actually weaker than T1 ships in a one-to-one fight, and there are some very powerful frigates there, which you could fly in a week (skills and money-wise)

Re:EvE Online? (1)

CarbonShell (1313583) | more than 4 years ago | (#31227662)

Why are you complaining about an 'RPG' game not being a Wingcommander style game?

You seem to be the kind that do not want to do anything, but want all the nice bling.

Re:EvE Online? (1)

club (1698284) | more than 4 years ago | (#31227700)

No, starting from scratch isn't fun. First you have to spend over a month just learning the learning skills. Or you can skip those, but fall even further behind in real skills (admittedly, you'd probably do a mix of them over time, get a few helpful skills and do learning overnight).

You don't HAVE to do the learning skills, it pays off later if you do but even getting them all to level 3 is enough to begin with.

Secondly, flying a little tiny ship that can't kill anything serious isn't fun.

If you don't understand the value of a Frigate in a fight you really don't understand the game and should probably read up on it more before commenting. And you can get into a Battleship with less than 5 days of training, starting from scratch.

Maybe you like it, but most people's idea is to fly something at least battlecruiser size, if not bigger. That takes years.

My troll-o-meter is starting to go off. You can into a Battlecruiser after 4 days and into a Battleship in less than 5.

it will take you X amount of clock time, no matter what you do. And X isn't measured in days or weeks- its in months or year+ for some ships

A Titan, which takes the longest possible amount of time to train for and which there are less than 400 of in the game takes around 250 days to train for. That's the worst case scenario. Most people have no use for a Titan and would never need to train for one.

Its a horrible, braindead system. Any system where its impossible to ever catch up is idiotic. No, idiotic is complaining about a system that you obviously don't understand. There are only so many skills that can affect, lets say Battlecruisers. So even if I have over 10 million skillpoints and you have 1 million, only 1 million of my skillpoints after affecting what I can do in a battlecruiser - so if you're 1 million are dedicated to bettlecruiser combat than you're tied with me, even though you're a 2 week old character. Yes, there is still a hurdle and some catching up to do - like in any MMO, unless you start on launch day you will be behind, but it is not as bad as you're making it out to be.

And buying a character for a hundred bucks or more is not a satisfactory answer. Not to mention you get stuck with whatever rep the guy who made the character had- I have friends who did that and got fucked over because the guy who used to run the character was hated.

Your friends are idiots for not doing background checks on the characters they were buying. And you buy the characters for in-game currency (although it is possible to use the time-card system to convert money to currency). But your complaint is the same as the WoW equivalent: "Why should I have to grind for a month before I can actually play the game?"

Hey, you like the game, go ahead and play it. But there's a reason why EvE is a niche game- it had some good ideas but its skill system means it will never hit the big time.

EVE is a niche game because CCP designed it to be a niche game. If it wasn't niche it would have already been steamrolled by WoW, STO etc. The funny thing is that people are under the delusion that the player base acutally want WoW-convert carebears playing, we do really because their rants and tears are hillarious but we also don't mind when they leave. Unless they start spreading bullshit like you are.

Re:EvE Online? (5, Informative)

Xveers (1003463) | more than 4 years ago | (#31227734)

I'm always amazed about how ignorant people are about the system.

Yes, you do have a timed learning system, but you crucially forget that the time scales logarithmically but the bonuses are linear. You can spend a quarter the time skilling and achieve over 90% of the same performance as someone who's skilled for years. That last 10% can easily be made up by skill, some planning, or a friend.

The second thing is the obsession with T2 ships being OMGPWNZRS. You can credibly fight with a basic T1 frigate or cruiser for much lower cost and time investment. Hell, you can even make it a profitable proposition with some planning. Lost your ship? No matter, the insurance payout is more than the cost to buy and fit it! Can't do that with T2 in the least. T2 ships are specialized beasts. They do one thing and do it well, but at a penalty at doing anything else, and at a much, MUCH higher cost. You know what the most popular frigate is to go out and kick ass? It's the Rifter, a basic T1 frigate that you can be flying in less than three hours. With bad attributes.

Thirdly, guess what, there is only a fininte amount of skills that can help with anything. Myself, I have almost 70m skillpoints. Ooh I should be a combat monster. But I'm not. Most of it is industrial skills for manufacturing. Want to fly and make others die? You can have a character that can whomp me in less than six months by yourself. Fly with a friend and you can be in that same postion in perhaps a month.

But hey, what do I know about this anyways? I'm just a manufacturer....

Re:EvE Online? (3, Interesting)

Sobrique (543255) | more than 4 years ago | (#31227966)

1/ Learning skills don't do anything. You don't have to spend any time on them at all. If you do, they take days to get to an acceptable level (4/4 in each takes maybe a week in total).
2/ Flying a tiny little ship is lots of fun. Arguably more fun than flying a battleship. I've been flying a Merlin recently - a little piddly T1 frigate - and having much fun flying it, even after 5 years of playing EVE. Despite being able to fly really big ships, I rarely do, and find I'm flying cruiser sized hulls most of the time.
3/ You do catch up. There's only 5 ranks in each skill, once you've got there, you've 'caught up'. By then, you've probably overtaken most players already, as the 5th rank takes 80% of the time, where you can go from 0-4 in 20%. 80% of the benefit, 20% of the time. Even that doesn't make much difference though - square off two pilots, with one on 10x the skillpoints, and you can't predict who would win. The only thing that more skillpoints gives, is more options. It's like in other games, where you've leveled up to the level cap in one class, so you start a new character to find out what a different class is like. Only in EVE, you do it with the same character.
4/ It takes a while to hit the level cap on some of the top tier stuff. Yeah, that's so. So what? It's not like the intervening classes aren't interesting or useful or fun.

Re:EvE Online? (1)

club (1698284) | more than 4 years ago | (#31227520)

But to answer to your main point - it's /perfectly legal/ to purchase a character with 30M SP from the EVE forums (check the Character Bazaar part), if you don't feel like starting from scratch - you're allowed to buy a character.

Yeah, you typically find these people sitting in lowsec at a gate to highsec in a cap ship wondering why they can't jump :yarr: And yes, the GPP is full of bullshit, you can make a character right now, hop in frigate, fit it with a web and a warp scram and be useful in fleet fights.

Re:EvE Online? (1)

CarbonShell (1313583) | more than 4 years ago | (#31227644)

The only problem I saw with EvE was the near total lack of flexibility (trading sucked when I had played it, and mining was the best way to get credits) as well as the typical gang mindset often found in online games.

Though generally yes, EvE is a very nice example of a better gameplay.

Re:EvE Online? (1)

Calinous (985536) | more than 4 years ago | (#31227610)

Flying frigates can be really fun - if you know what you are doing (and usually if you are part of a group). There are frigate builds that can take on some cruisers and win - on the other side, with similar ships a new player is extraordinarily behind an experienced (skill wise) player, as the experienced player will have improved every skill that matters (5% here, 10% there, 15% there and so on). Longer range, improved accuracy, more energy, better armour, higher armour/shield regeneration. He could also have better things and could know how to use them better, not be lost in the rush of the fight and so on.
      http://go-dl1.eve-files.com/media/0903/learning_curve_of_eve.jpg [eve-files.com]

(these being said, I wanted to play a battleship but the time needed to be theoretically able to fly one was too long, not to mention the ISK or the beneficial skills needed)

Re:EvE Online? (4, Insightful)

cbhacking (979169) | more than 4 years ago | (#31227658)

Wow... you sound like you've actually played the game, but have some extremely odd notions about it.

T2, in and of itself, doesn't take that long. With a knowledgeable friend and/or careful planning, you could do it before finishing a three-week trial if they didn't limit those ships to non-trial accounts. You can certainly do it in a month or so. Sure, an Interceptor or Assault Frigate is no Black Ops battleship or Command battlecruiser, but it's Tech 2 and perfectly usable in PvP. Of course, well within the trial period (I've done it), you can have a powerful T2-fitted Rifter or similar. Sure, it's T1, and it's a frigate... but hell, with the right fittings you can kill interceptors (despite them being T2) in such a ship. That said, a tech 1 hull with tech 1 fittings can still be perfectly valid as a PvP ship, for roaming gangs or gate camping or scouting a convoy or any number of other things. If you want, that's a valid approach right up through battlecruisers and battleships; the largest non-capital military ships, and you can get to battlecruisers in about a month if you really push it.

For large ships, T2 does indeed take longer. A Vagabond (T2 cruiser) - one of the best PvP ships for solo or small gang warfare, due to its incredible speed, decent durability, and decent firepower - will take at least two months to train for (longer if you want all the support skills that such a ship's pilot ought to have, but not *much* longer). Of course, that's not really a *large* ship, although a well-fitted one can kill most battlescruisers. Command ships are at least a few months more, and at a guess I'd estimate 8 months for a T2 battleship. Of course, it's not like you can't do anything until you get there. Fly a T1 frigate until you can fly a cruiser or T2 frigate. Fly cruiser or T2 frigate until you can fly T2 cruiser (Vagabond or similar). Almost any combat ship can be valuable in PvP, and even relatively new characters can have the skills to succeed in solo PvP if they get a pointer in the right direction.

The times above are assuming you train straight for that ship's skills; after over 2 years of EVE I still can't fly Black Ops because honestly I don't give a damn. They're awesome ships, and fill a very valuable tactical role... and yet their hulls alone cost several times what I spend on a fully fitted fleet battleship or even T2 battlecruiser. Most of my PvP is in a T1 battlecruiser, because frankly the Hurricane is fantastic PvP ship; it's got DPS comparable to a battleship, can tank well enough, is fast, and full fittings, rigs, and insurance for one costs like 70M tops (of which you'll get 30-odd million back from the insurance if you die). I use a fully T2 fit (rigs aside), and the skills necessary for my exact fit would probably take about 7 months or so to train from a new character. Within three months though, you could be perhaps 90% as effective; it's not actually that important to have a T2 MWD, or even T2 guns.

In any case, the suggestion that you can't PvP for a freaking year is *complete* bullshit. It's not typically practical to try PvP in your first week, but I have a friend who tried the game and was brining his cruiser on roaming gangs with me before his two-week trial ended (you can get three-week trials now, and early characters now receive a bonus to skill training speed to get them started even faster). Hell, I don't even suggest rushing T2; cost for cost, T2 hulls aren't close to worth it. T1 is easier to train and typically the hull costs literally 1/10 as much, for a ship that is well over half as effective.

Re:EvE Online? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31227768)

Even online is has the most terrible PVP of any game. Because you lose your ship and all your gear when you get killed, it encourages people to never fight unless the odds are extremely in their favor. Eve online PVP consists of groups of ten ships flying around for a half hour to find one ship who had the nerve to fly around alone, resulting in a 10 vs 1 fight. Or a thirty man fleet stumbling into the ten man fleet for a 30 vs 10 match. Hardly, fun, even if you are on the winning side. Every large fleet has a person in a cheap ship scouting, so players are usually always aware of whether or not they will win the fight before engaging. I rarely ever saw any PVP occurring without the odds in one sides extreme favor. There is very little solo PVP. The solo PVP that does exists usually consists of a veteran player blowing up some newbie mining in lowsec.

The only thing mildly fun about EVE PVP is conquering territory. Even then, however, it usually involves flying in a 400 man fleet to fight some other 400 man fleet, which are laggy as hell. Most of the time you usually get killed before before your screen even finishes loading the system. If you do actually make it in, most targets that get called primary die before you even finish locking on to them and getting one volley of ammo off. If you are on the winning side, you have the joy of spending the rest of the night orbiting a defenseless space station and firing all your ammo at it until the station blows up many many hours later.

Re:EvE Online? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31227892)

The problem with Eve is that building up your character takes time. You cannot grief people straight away by waiting for when they are at half health. The benefit of crowds is bigger, and the death penalty as well.

The balance has therefore shifted in favour of the builders, and has forced the PKers to become builders as well. Not everyone likes doing this or relying on someone who does, so they leave.

It's therefore simply a sign of what an angry baby the PK mentality is. "I like kicking over other people's sandcastles. But no wait, in this place there's too many people with bigger castles than mine, let's go somewhere else. Wait, in this place it's too easy for the people to gang up on me to take revenge, let's go somewhere else. Wait, in this place everyone is out to kick down castles and there aren't any noobs that just build, let's go somewhere else. Can't you find me a place I like, like where everyone struggles with tiny shovels, and just me and my friend do the kicking?"

EVE: Online (1)

DylanDarko (1067596) | more than 4 years ago | (#31227316)

It isn't fantasy, but EVE: Online has all the things you mentioned. Thieving, looting, emphasis on killing other players. It is set in space instead of fantasy, but that is a plus in my opinion.

Re:EVE: Online (1)

ahaubold (1705608) | more than 4 years ago | (#31227390)

I also had some doubts towards EvE-Online because it is MMO in space nad not fantasy, but you get used to it really quick.

Re:EVE: Online (1)

Calinous (985536) | more than 4 years ago | (#31227676)

Also, you could stay in high-security space and not fear being killed by other players (frankly, decided players in groups could kill any beginner even in the highest security space, but it's not worth the effort and loss).

Re:EVE: Online (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31227974)


You don't play much eh?

The whole point of eve is non-consensual PvP, at any time a bored battleship pilot with a fully insured ship could just open up on whatever you are in, and if you don't have a good tank fitted, bye bye :)

That said, when playing eve, NEVER fly anything you can't afford to lose.

the way i see it (-1, Troll)

WalesAlex (1476335) | more than 4 years ago | (#31227340)

I still dont understand why blizzard cant release the WoW engine as open source, I mean if I just want to "steal" the game I'd pirate it and run it on a pirateserver, I wanna play the game however (interaction between people all over the world) and to do that I need the infrastructure they're selling (Physical servers built by people paid SHIT and maintained by devs standing in a sea of fire of corporate interest) Now.. if they'd release the code, free-devs could code whatever idea they come up with and present it the way the custom UI structure of WoW already works, incorporating new and novel ideas to the existing system without having giant penises all over the place the way it ends up on the pirateservers or games that fail at understanding how humans work /rant off, ex-WoW addict

Re:the way i see it (2, Informative)

AuMatar (183847) | more than 4 years ago | (#31227358)

Because any private server would suck some subscriptions from them. Companies open source things because they have something to gain from it, or because its EOL and they want goodwill (or want someone else to maintain it). Where's the upside for Blizzard in doing it?

Re:the way i see it (1)

WalesAlex (1476335) | more than 4 years ago | (#31227400)

But the pirate servers are already here, and the pirates will keep reinventing the wheel that was sold to them, wouldn't it save all of us a lot of time just accepting that there will always be order(blizz server) and chaos(pirate server) and if they'd just communicate more (the current communication cap is the user interface, limited by the players ability to write Lua or ability to find people good at writing Lua) we'd build a better playhouse for the children

Re:the way i see it (1)

gmhowell (26755) | more than 4 years ago | (#31227436)

It's not the private servers that would be a problem. It's new for pay servers that would be a drag to Blizzard.

Re:the way i see it (1)

therealobsideus (1610557) | more than 4 years ago | (#31227496)

It's a moot point, there is a lot of WoW content that has been reverse engineered and are now running on hundreds of shard servers, some with several thousand players playing :) Heck, I just re-upp'd to WoW and once my 7 day free subscription ends I'll probably switch my client to run on a shardserver and be done with it :)

Re:the way i see it (1)

Tridus (79566) | more than 4 years ago | (#31227510)

What's in it for them, other then absolutely nothing?

That's kind of the problem here. Blizzard has no reason to do that. They have enough developers, artists, and money that if they want to do something and it's technically doable with their infrastructure, they can. Things that aren't in the game are likely not there for a reason.

All you'd get with them releasing the code is more pirate servers, and people adding stuff to the open source version that Blizzard wouldn't add back into the main game anyway.

Re:the way i see it (1)

Svartalfar (867908) | more than 4 years ago | (#31227584)

Blizz will never *ever* open source their game or let players develop areas because of one main fact. Blizzard is extremely focused on their storyline. Say what you want about their servers, the graphics, or how terrible you think their pvp is. The company can tell a story. Yes, they kill off a bad guy every expansion and are probably running out of baddies to off.. but they stick to their lore. If you're curious about why anything happens in almost any part of the game you can pull out a book and look it up. If any Tom, Dick, or Harry could code an area, throw it up, and let people run wild over it, they will lose complete control over the lore aspect. If the dev's would shitcan anything that isn't 100% in keeping with the lore, they would probably deny 99.9% of areas. We'd hear more bitching about denials on /. then we do about apple's appstore. What's the point? They already have in house people who they can hand a book to and say, Read this, write an instance around the place between pages 55-70. As much as I hate how Blizz does things sometimes, they have reasons.

Re:the way i see it (1)

dave1791 (315728) | more than 4 years ago | (#31227634)

Reverse engineered gray shards are a FAR cry from what would happen if WoW were open sourced. If you could create your own WoW shard, would you play on any of Blizzards? Sure they lose people to gray shards now, but they would lose a lot more if they open sourced it. MMO are fundamentally a service business and open sourcing your MMO is essentiaslly saying, "feel free to skip using our service". Where exactly does Blizzard gain here? I know where players and those advocating that it be open sourced gain, but where does Blizzard gain?

The only way it might work is if the servers were still closed source, but the content was OSS ( with a restrictive license such as GPL) and modifiable and you essentially rented a server from the company. If you want your own highly customized world, then you can create one and pay the rental fee on the company's cloud. Richard Bartle advocated exactly this on a Terra Nova thread yesterday and I think it has merit.

Re:the way i see it (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31227714)

I still dont understand why blizzard cant release the WoW engine as open source, I mean if I just want to "steal" the game I'd pirate it and run it on a pirateserver, I wanna play the game however (interaction between people all over the world) and to do that I need the infrastructure they're selling (Physical servers built by people paid SHIT and maintained by devs standing in a sea of fire of corporate interest) Now.. if they'd release the code, free-devs could code whatever idea they come up with and present it the way the custom UI structure of WoW already works, incorporating new and novel ideas to the existing system without having giant penises all over the place the way it ends up on the pirateservers or games that fail at understanding how humans work /rant off, ex-WoW addict

Somebody please, for the love of God, mod this man.......... down. Seriously, what the fuck are you thinking? What in the world would Blizzard possibly have to gain by open-sourcing their game? Are you trolling?

Ultima Online (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31227352)

UOGamers is where everyone went. There will never be another Ultima Online. Those who have played and enjoy will never again find tha hole to fill. UO was like that one drug that once you do has you messed up forever. I miss UO!!!

Re:Ultima Online (2, Interesting)

bronney (638318) | more than 4 years ago | (#31227424)

And I agree. Spent 8 years from 1998 to 2006 on UO. Every other MMORPG I tried, guildwars, eve, etc. Didn't give me that warm feeling when I first started UO. Walking up from Vesper to Minoc and didn't know what I will see. And I tried hard, pretty hardcore I'd say spending way beyond normal hours on each games to fully explore the possibilities. Nothing came close to UO.

There's something about playing a medieval fantasy from Richard Garriott who knows his swords and knives. The amount of detail in the games, and mostly the carried over legacy of the Ultima series was what made UO so enjoyable. But even that only lasted a few years. The last few years of my subscription is basically just banking (chats at the bank), and script mining for fun.

Classic UO (5, Informative)

alex_royle (863264) | more than 4 years ago | (#31227372)

You can still play classic UO on independent servers. The biggest one is http://www.uogamers.com/ [uogamers.com]

Re:Classic UO (1)

ramprat (1264418) | more than 4 years ago | (#31227730)

I love Hybrid as much as the next guy (I've played it on and off for the last couple of years) and UO in general, but the client is the main drawback for me. With the 2d client (3d is still not supported by RunUO IIRC), the resolution is only 800x600 and the client screen takes up less than quarter of my 1920x1200 screen. Playing it in fullscreen shows how outdated it is as you have an 800x600 window blown up 5x and the pixellation is very noticeable. That, along with Razor not being able to work with Aero enabled makes the game unplayable for me.

Re:Classic UO (1)

Kethinov (636034) | more than 4 years ago | (#31227926)

Razor can increase the screen resolution beyond this. As for the Aero thing, as a gamer, what are you doing with those fancy effects enabled in the first place? ;)

I Guess Now Eve is Considered Hardcore (4, Insightful)

RobotRunAmok (595286) | more than 4 years ago | (#31227388)

In Eve, the PvP happens alongside (well, sorta -- too complex to go into detail about here) the PvE. Players can build their own "home" -- a space station (but it's not a home for one character, it needs to be built by -- and more importantly -- defended by, a group of people). You can steal from the weak, who in turn hire mercs to have their revenge. Pretty much a complete player-run economy.

No Elves in lederhosen frolicking about in the woods hoping to steal a kiss, but then again, there are the Gallente...

Re:I Guess Now Eve is Considered Hardcore (2, Insightful)

CarbonShell (1313583) | more than 4 years ago | (#31227684)

For todays 'RPG'-Gamers, actually (pseudo-)dieing is Hardcore enough. Their heads would explode if you did anything worse to them.

Bad enough they have to actually WALK 1 min back to their corpse and regain ALL their stuff...

Griefing was King! (2, Interesting)

Jaybird1981 (1233974) | more than 4 years ago | (#31227398)

I always wondered how long it would take before an Ultima Online post made its way to slashdot. I played several years on the Lake Superior shard, and after finally selling my account and moving on in 2003 i kept in touch with over 25 people that i was friends with from the realm. from those people 4 or 5 were still playing a UO Hybrid on a private server while others merged into other popular MMO's yet i never found anyone that is still playing a particular MMO. I've played Several MMORPGs after UO but i find the same thing to be true: You just cant compare 2D to 3D when it comes to Online Games like UO. The griefing was pretty widespread, even when OSI/EA released a mirrored world (Felucca/Trammel) for the PvE crowd to play in. Insurance on items so you wouldnt lose them quickly came after that, and the good old Ultima that we all knew started to dwindle and lose its sparkle. The Skill based characters with cap limits also made for more interesting PvP, Only the non-elite would complain about Griefing or PKing. Bringing Harrowers into the game with AoS ment actual boss fights with multiple people. And to think that was almost 6 years after they released the game. and its still going on what, expansion number 7 now? The 2D platform made larger fighters and group battles much more fun. Easier to see everything on screen but you have to know where to look to see where the danger is coming from. An old friend of mine once had a long discussion on why UO was so popular, and especially when it came to PvP i believe it to be the most skill based option for gamers out there. When it came to Dueling you had to time everything right, keyboard shortcuts with UOAssist over clicking spells were key, insta-switching weapons and knowing when to time that stun punch or arm a halberd. As for recreating a success of underground status with lost UO players i dont think it will happen... Most people that enjoyed it will just go back to a player run shard that was pre UO:R.

Tibia (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31227408)

Have you looked at Tibia (www.tibia.com)?

It was developed and released a bit before Ultima Online, and has somewhat similar graphics and gameplay. There are three server types: Full PVP where PVP is encouraged and unpenalized, Normal PVP servers where PVP is allowed, but players are penalized for murdering too many people in a short time span, and Optional-PVP servers, where PVP is impossible except during guild wars. The Tibia community is usually pretty hostile, especially on PVP servers, with players quick to kill and slow to forgive, and each server has its own politics. Besides the botting problem which CipSoft, the developers, have only just begun to address, it's a great game.

Siege Perilous (2, Interesting)

Quazion (237706) | more than 4 years ago | (#31227416)

I used to play UO on Siege, the only hardcore pvp server UO has left. I left Siege due to the fact that it didn't have enough players on when i was playing, hours of running around to find a player. Its mostly americans that play there and the europian all leave, because of lack of players in their timezone.

So, i started looking for a new UO like game just like you. I found Darkfall, which was a grindfest and didn't give me the same adrenaline shots UO gave me when running around its forests. Also the Europian server was full of cheats and they didn't wan't to do a server wipe. Recently i tried the open beta of Mortal Online, wow the combat engine really felt sluggish, i hope i was wrong and it will be better, but i haven't logged in after the first hour. Guess thats another game that won't give the UO feel, although its mechanics looked more promising.

But what all these new games lack is the roleplay tools, UO has all these small parts as tables, chairs, flowers, paintings, etc.. You can really build your own scenery to play your character in, combined with a death penalty which makes life in the world much more intense.

If you find a good UO like game, please let me know ;-)

Ultima Online; The Second Age. The way it was. (2, Informative)

AntiLaVista (1751160) | more than 4 years ago | (#31227432)

You want this. http://uosecondage.com/ [uosecondage.com] "Second Age is a free Ultima Online Shard that can be accessed by anyone with UO client software. Second Age is the most accurate emulation of the UO: T2A era online today. There are no giveaways. On UO Second Age you will build your character(s) from the ground up." Been running for about 2 years now, good user base and well moderated.

Of course they wouldnt work. need to be stupid (2, Insightful)

unity100 (970058) | more than 4 years ago | (#31227456)

to play and put every 2-3 hours of your daily life into a game to increasingly progress and then get jumped on by a random group of 2-3 somewhere and all your progress stolen.

it only works when you are a teenager and you have unlimited time in your hands, so you can stomach the loss. but doesnt work for people with little time.

back then in uo days we had that kind of time, and we were stupid enough to stomach that kind of gameplay. but, curiously, i see that contrary to what we did back then, kids of today's generation do not waste their time in that fashion. they just go play proper mmos.

that kind of gameplay only can work in a setting in which you are not required to put inane amounts of time to make progress. if you could make up for the stolen items/whatever in a single session (2-3 hours) that would maybe work. but, else, cant.

Re:Of course they wouldnt work. need to be stupid (1)

Tom (822) | more than 4 years ago | (#31227550)

It also works if you don't lose all your progress, but only a part that you can quickly recover.

Mortal Online (1)

carp3_noct3m (1185697) | more than 4 years ago | (#31227478)

If you want a UO like game, Mortal Online is where it is at. The summary is very unfair, because unlike darkfall, MO is still in beta, with plenty of want for polish. Despite this, I did a long evauluation of current and future MMO's, and keeping in mind I have little time to play in the first place, I wanted one and only one, I ended up getting MO. It is a great game, is very user unfriendly at the moment, but I really love having to theorize about this and that and not having everything handed to me in a cookie cutter style. So I highly suggest you ignore the quick dismissal of MO, and give it a shot. It should be noted that there are massive patches to the beta almost weekly.

balance (4, Insightful)

Tom (822) | more than 4 years ago | (#31227508)

I'm playing (well, trying to, it's laggy and buggy) the open beta of Mortal Online, and I've followed Darkfall a little, as well as playing EVE and a bunch of others MMOs. What I've learnt there is it is very, very hard to balance a game that allows players to act against each other freely.

Most MMOs restrict PvP to zones, disallow looting, etc. etc. - all those restrictions are mostly there because they make balancing a TON easier. Just read the Mortal Online forums and you can see how difficult it is to get thieving right. If it's too difficult, nobody will use it and you can just as well leave it out. If it is too easy, it attracts all the griefers and assholes who don't steal from people to advance their own character, but merely to annoy other players.

It is unbelievably difficult to find the correct balance once your game has a certain amount of complexity, because all those features interact with each other. EVE did one thing right, and that's why they are still top dog. By setting things into space and a SciFi setting, they eliminated a lot of complexities. The seperation of the game world into solar systems is a natural seperation that players accept. It solves a ton of technical issues without the disturbing portals of other games. The whole cloning and insurance system covers the looting, death and resurrection part from a believable angle that gives the designers lots of freedom in tweaking things. And finally, having security ratings from 1.0 to 0.0 with a smooth transition from "carebear space" to "free for all hardcore space" is a brilliant idea.

Any MMO that doesn't learn from EVE is doomed to fail, I say. And I don't play EVE any more, it's not my game. But they made a good number of brilliant design decisions and have the ability to learn from their mistakes. Kudos for that. Now if you look back at the failed or failure-in-progress games, you will often see devs fanatically defending an original vision that turned out to be impossible to implement. Those who can not adapt, fail.

I still hope MO turns out to be right, but my hopes are fading.

MMOs ain't what they used to be (1)

selven (1556643) | more than 4 years ago | (#31227522)

Everything on the internet starts off as a group of reasonable, intelligent people. MMOers in the olden days were willing to take sudden extreme losses like having most of their stuff looted and being camped for a few hours, with the understanding that they themselves, with their guilds, were responsible for retribution. Butt then, as with everything, the size grows and the quality of the users and community gets diluted down. Now, we have things like MMOs like WoW where 90% of the effort put into them is just there for the first 6 months of your playing time, until you get to level 80 and just teleport between your favorite instances. The only cure is to start over from scratch.

Re:MMOs ain't what they used to be (1)

RoFLKOPTr (1294290) | more than 4 years ago | (#31227724)

Everything on the internet starts off as a group of reasonable, intelligent people. MMOers in the olden days were willing to take sudden extreme losses like having most of their stuff looted and being camped for a few hours, with the understanding that they themselves, with their guilds, were responsible for retribution. Butt then, as with everything, the size grows and the quality of the users and community gets diluted down. Now, we have things like MMOs like WoW where 90% of the effort put into them is just there for the first 6 months of your playing time, until you get to level 80 and just teleport between your favorite instances. The only cure is to start over from scratch.

Good thing we have EVE. People hate it because it's exactly what you described in your first two sentences. That just happens to be why I love it.

Re:MMOs ain't what they used to be (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31228020)

I can't speak for all of Eve, but the Caldari starting corporation seems to be infested with nothing but trolls and people you'd stay away from in real life. Roll a character in that starting corp sometime. The local chat in Jita and recruitment don't seem to be much better a lot of the time.

Hearing the excuses people make up for why the game doesn't offer basic functionality such as UI scaling or font-size changing (other than the chat window) is always hilarious as well. The stock answers I see are: "get better glasses" and "get a bigger monitor." I've found forum posts going years back with the same stock answers and yet the functionality has never been put in.

I've also always enjoyed the parroting of "Eve is great if you don't have a lot of time. You can learn skills while you're not even playing." The one thing people fail to mention is that clones, ships, and ship insurance have a cost, so unless you plan to spend 24/7 in a space station, that money has to be grinded (or bought) from somewhere.

Anyone care to define? (1)

Lord Bitman (95493) | more than 4 years ago | (#31227566)

I've never played UO. What is "UO-like"? What defines it? What do current games lack? Are you sure that they actually lack it?

I can't help but be reminded of people who complain that D&D 3rd-edition focuses too much on moving little figures around a grid, as if it were somehow not the fault of the group playing the game, that they chose to focus on a minuscule subset of the rules.

Re:Anyone care to define? (1)

carp3_noct3m (1185697) | more than 4 years ago | (#31227620)

jump over to http://www.mmorpg.com/discussion2.cfm/thread/206045 [mmorpg.com] Basically UO was one of the first sandbox style persistent worlds. When we say UO like we generally mean the entire world is PVP and is full loot. Full loot meaning, when I kill Abe, and abe is wearing a sword and armor, I get EVERYTHING he had on him. It makes death a serious thing and not to be taken lightly. Also sandbox in that you are not forced intoa role, such as "tank" or "Mage". Actually it is basically about breaking down barriers of all sorts and giving the player freedom to choose as much as possible, their style, their skills, their adventures.

Re:Anyone care to define? (1)

LordLucless (582312) | more than 4 years ago | (#31227674)

It generally revolves around killing people and taking their stuff. With 1% doing the killing and taking, and waxing lyrical about how nobody queues up to the slaighterhouse anymore, as modern MMORPGs are less "realistic", and don't allow griefing.

Re:Anyone care to define? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31227776)

4e is *ALL* about moving things on a grid. There is ZERO emphasis on what RP actually means. 3e was the end of D&D as an actual Role Playing game.

DAoC? (1)

AlgorithMan (937244) | more than 4 years ago | (#31227568)

Some UO fans, that I know, went to "dark ages of camelot" after UO servers became to empty...

Re:DAoC? (1)

Xest (935314) | more than 4 years ago | (#31227720)

Yeah I did, I played it for 5 years in fact, but it still wasn't UO unfortunately, and even DAoC is now deader than UO ironically.

Heres why: (2, Insightful)

brillow (917507) | more than 4 years ago | (#31227616)

1) Getting your shit stolen isn't fun. 2) A game has to be pretty lame if you're spending time in your virtual "house." I don't need to log on to sit around my house.

Tibia! (1)

fadir (522518) | more than 4 years ago | (#31227654)

If you really are into Ultima-like gameplay then have a look at: http://www.tibia.com/ [tibia.com]
It looks really old compared to WoW & Co. but the gameplay is amazing and you have all you ask for in it: housing, thieving, looting - everything is there!

I play Tibia since 1998 (with interruptions) and always return, just started again a few weeks ago. I've played many other mmorpgs and they are all fine and nice for a while but grow boring quickly because it's just no thrill involved. In Tibia you'll have plenty of thrill because you can actually lose something. It's probably the hardest mmorpg that you can find on the market, so be warned!

If you need some assistance: drop me a message and I'll let you know who to contact to get started.

3D breaks the text/action connection (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31227682)

3D is the problem, and the usual solution, chat channels, only compounds the issue.

What worked about social interactions in UO is that you could read what people were saying only when you were close, and if they were close, you couldn't miss what they were saying if you were pointed the wrong way, because there was no wrong way.

With 3D you can miss what people are saying by facing away from them, and if you sticky the chat bubbles to your UI, identifying which text belongs to whom quickly becomes a real mess.

As soon as you have a chat channel to deal with the problem, you sever the direct connection between the player and their words, and you lose the dierect and potentially intense, interaction between a player's words and their actions.

When EQ came out it was clear to a lot of us what was going to be lost, but as we each in turn got exhausted with the intensity of the UO social experience, we drifted off towards the less-taxing eye-candy of EQ and AC.

I have yet to see social interaction in any 3D game come close to UO. Chat channels severed that connection.

Classless systems (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31227696)

The reason that games like UO aren't developed any more is partly due to the success of Everquest and their choice to go with the D&D class system. Classes are supposed to stop players from rolling a Tank/Mage with the best Health and Mitigation and the highest Damage. However even Everquest and WoW clones are finding out that it's just as possible to make an OP tank that can out parse a DPS class and DPS that can act as a tank. Class systems instead only resulted in the same old story and constant patches to try to achieve the fabled balance.

EVE Online (1)

gaggle (206502) | more than 4 years ago | (#31227702)

I put forth EVE Online as the new UO. As far as I can tell (I didn't play UO but friends of mine did) EVE has a similar cutthroat PvP oriented culture where exploits are allowed within the gamerules. I'm not judging either game, just drawing parallels between the two worlds and their willingness to let players make stupid mistakes and pay for it.

UO was a graphical MUD (1)

DNS-and-BIND (461968) | more than 4 years ago | (#31227736)

Before graphical, pay-to-play MMORPGs, there were these things called MUDs that were exactly the same thing, only played in a textual medium. Some of you might wonder how anyone could possibly enjoy a game without graphics - it's the same difference between a book and a movie. Ultima Online was the natural extension of MUDs to graphics, and wow it's set in Ultima land! With Lord British (stupidest name ever) as an actual character, really played by Richard Garriot! You could have a house and travel throughout the land having adventures. I remember crafting was a cool part of the game, and was included as early as Ultima VI. The idea was to have a "real world", but set in Ultima.

What happened? People started paying for entertainment, that's what happened. And when you pay for something, you expect to get it. People don't like it when the "real world" intrudes. In addition, there was a huge demand for *novelty*. People want something new, all the time, and Ultima already laid out. Sure, they can "discover" a new island or something, but that's just not the same. The newer MMOs have novelty in spades, for today's bored people.

Looting (2, Interesting)

Aladrin (926209) | more than 4 years ago | (#31227780)

I've only yet seen 1 game where I thought looting and theft was done 'right'...

Theft - Have to practice your pickpocket skill to get better at it. The better you get, the higher level person you can steal from and the better stuff you can get from them, and from shops.
Anti-Theft - Have to practice your 'perception' or/and pickpocket skills. The better you get, the harder you are to rob. In addition, if you see the theft but can't prevent it, you can report to the nearest guard and the town guards will be watching for them. Also, you can immediately attack the robber and killing them is perfectly legal.

Looting - Known as 'graverobbing' because when you die, you create a mini-grave on the spot. The looter has to dig up the grave (takes about a minute) and then can take whatever. The items are marked as being looted for about an hour. Logging off or hiding in a zone where find-magic doesn't work will see the items returned to their owner immediately.
Anti-looting - Killing a graverobber is fair game. For anyone. Pick on a newbie player and you'll likely find the mob has pitchforks and torches. And they are very eager for some excitement.

What you end up with is a -lot- of petty theft that people generally only lightly protect against, with a few people that go totally nuts and fly into a rage about it. And just a little bit of looting, which everyone gets excited about and has fun with.

I'm sure it wasn't easy to come up with the above solution, and it takes a strong community to make it happen... But it's the only one I've seen do it right so far.

You can try iris (1)

g4b (956118) | more than 4 years ago | (#31227812)

...plain old UO Shards with Iris2. There are a couple of them.

UO has in my eyes only one major drawback: the client. Since the protocol is fairly researched (see penultima online docs), and there are a lot of emulators very developped (runuo2, sphereserver, uox3, pol and the dead ones (nox, wolfpack, sunuo)), mostly even opensource, and there are a lot of freeshards with very different scriptpacks...

the ideas on freeshards are very cool, often copied by OSI into their own.
but mostly every combat and magic system is trying to mimic the old UO, which is also fairly the fault of the emucode being hard to tamper with at that levels.

knowing the protocol, you can say that UO is pretty much like a webbrowser only reacting on what the server tells it to do, since every drag, every click is transmitted to the server. So basically in my opinion servers are still underdeveloped, a lot could be still implemented, and you can see that because some of them have developed completely unique gaming experience, custom maps, graphics, and everything.

But it leads to one big drawback, and that's the client. The UInterface is somewhat tricky to get into nowadays.

Luckily I think there is hope: iris2
The iris2 client is built upon ogre, is pretty much evolved, uses custom 3d terrain with 3d graphics from UO:TD. It has a 2d rendering engine built in, is scriptable via lua, and could have the base for much more creative mmo's. Especially if someone would develop the graphics / models themselves, they would have a complete free platform (client and servers) to build their ideas upon.

Some servers/freeshards already use iris2 (see list at http://iris2.de). But the scene needs developers. Especially on the server side. Ideas are there plenty. From the simple DOTA-like buildup for a freeshard, to more complex OSI like worlds, the engine could support pretty much everything.

I am concepting a freeshard 7 years now, coming into first development stages, and worked as scripter/devel in some freeshards also in my 10 years of UO fandom. Graphics is not everything, UO has taught us. But a good client engine also allows different gameplay, more action oriented, or more sophisticated for customization.

UO is like the HalfLife of MMO's, completely building upon it's massive freeshard movement, where the game is modded a lot. So if you searching your dream-mmo-server, maybe take on your gloves+1 and try to help some of those freeshards giving you your gaming experience you seek.

Why no UO (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31227874)

Multiple reasons why no one has made a successful UO type game

First and most important, what many people forget is Pre Tram UO was a failing game (in subscription numbers), sure it had dedicated long term players (was one of them) but the drop out rate for new players was astronomical. Which basically meant, due to simple attrition, the subscriber numbers had started to decline. Any (levelling*) game that forces people to pvp and risk loads from day one is always going to have limited appeal and as the game progress's that appeal will decrease even more to new players due to being preyed upon by established players

UO only reached it's peek after the abomination** that was UO:R, which basically gave people the option to play two versions of the game, one safe (and all reward) and one with pvp and thus risk but with same reward as the safe version, obviously majority went with the safe option as there was no downside. Basically it broke the risk vs reward model

Next reason, a few people have made half hearted attempts to make a UO type game, but because they were all a mess and thus unsuccessful no company will put some serious money into developing a proper game. Every time I see another Dfo type cluster**k of a game (that always try to link themselves to UO) my dreams of having another real UO type game die a little more

Another reason is changing MMO player base, more jaded, younger, more tards. In early days of UO majority were trying to "be good", even majority of PK's picked that path not to be dick's but because they liked the risk (being everyone's legal target, some even liked stat loss *shudder*). Then as more people got online, always on connections became more available you started to get younger and more jaded players, the type who were 7*GM going to newbie areas every night in gangs to butcher the newbie's, just "because they could" (and then of course these were the first to cry when they had no more targets when everyone moved to Tram). 10 years later these types of players have only grown in number and each one can single handily put off dozens if not hundreds of new players

And lastly a personal one for me, fact no one has tried to do an decent Isometric view in a game, sure first person might be more immersive but for me isometric always added a certain "Je ne sais quoi" to pvp, there I felt like a individual combatant as well as a general. The feeling of "player skill" required to win has never felt as great in any other MMO I have tried

Until someone does a decent non theme park MMO, that lets people start off safe before having to cross swords with other players, then gives them reason (beyond just the trill of pvp) to take the risk losing something, keeps massive guilds from dominating thus allowing individual players/small guilds to not only compete by the weight of their skills but also flourish as well we will not see a successful UO type game (Big guilds in PvP games kill individual skill, it all becomes about who has the most people)

Until then, the closest (and also in many ways furthest) you can get to UO is EvE

*And yes, UO like any MMO is a levelling game. 1 day old character in hand's of experienced player still had no chance vs. a 7GM character in a newbie's hand. It just does not hard fix those levels in a straightforward way

**Don't get me wrong, UO:R was not an abomination because it created safe lands, they were more than needed to allow new players to get on their feet before they faced the established players, but rather because it just mirrored the existing lands and all content which meant players never had cross swords with existing players and were not penalised nor limited in any way if they choose not to

Runescape (1)

boweniant (1059252) | more than 4 years ago | (#31227982)

I play Runescape. It seems to have a much better following than UO does, and it does have much of the flavor of it. I am also a an Ultima fan, Finished Aklabeth forward, and did play UO for a time, it just cost to much for to little compared to the free / $5 month expanded of Runescape.

My guess (0, Redundant)

CrazyJim1 (809850) | more than 4 years ago | (#31227986)

Newer MMORPGS are more fun. You don't perma die. You don't get stolen from. Thievery is only fun for one person. And if you can steal from an NPC, you can just farm it, so there needs to be limitations.

Because most people are somewhat decent? (1)

EWAdams (953502) | more than 4 years ago | (#31227992)

I'm not a thief.

I don't choose to consort with thieves.

I don't like to live in thievery-prone areas.

Most people feel the way I do.

Simple, really.

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