This game has been Greenlit by the Community!

The community has shown their interest in this game. Valve has reached out to this developer to start moving things toward release on Steam.

Ultima Online
Mandrake Apr 19 @ 9:33am
Feedback to the developers:
This title has opened up quite a few cans of worms, so to be fair (as I don't envy anyone who still works for EA) let us try for some of that creative independence that is claimed of Broadsword Games.

1. If UO does not require the O***** client itself, please do make mention on the FAQ pages for both UO and DAoC. "Portal" can also refer to a client, and the bit about accessing the game via the portal makes us think of something like Steam, so there is a bit of ambiguity for those who are hesitant to even try making an account based upon that O***** is mentioned in any way.
2. The monthly price. Absolutely bonkers. Those price points will not attract many to stay if there isn't more incentive in either game that definitely could use more population. The subscription price itself is precluding some from trying out the trial. Knock them both down to $5 a month (along with reducing some prices for the tokens) and you'll have a far warmer response and subscription base. You would also likely have folks playing BOTH games to experience a slice of the past that are still great in a few ways.
3. As with DAoC requiring the Origins servers to bring a lot of people back, UO would likely need pre-Ren/pre-AOS server types to attract back that player base. Those folks are important, because they remember the games during their heyday and would likely bring along others.
4. You might discount the lost playerbase of both games from long ago as EA has for years, but let me show you how important they are - they are your most vocal and more passionate, whether the like or hate EA, potential customers around. They are also the ones who probably know a lot more who used to play, and could probably draw in some of the younger crowd along with them as it becomes a lot more feasable for all to enjoy a beloved classic MMO.

There are many obstacles to overcome, and if it's true that Broadsword Games has absolute creative control, then the least of problems would be the involvement of EA (I'm still not going to hold my breath on that one, I don't like resembling a smurf.). Solving many long-standing problems with both of these games then becomes achievable, and something that may be worked upon.

Any other obstacles than the ones I have mentioned?
Showing 1-15 of 35 comments
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=CBK= Zhuge Apr 19 @ 10:43am 
Great writeup.
HiTheron Apr 19 @ 12:30pm 
You seem to have several good points there. It's a shame they do not have some shards with older rule sets like many players want. Maybe one with pre Trammel and another with pre AoS? Instead the players just got into the hundreds of free servers due to being ignored and that's that. I doubt that this will attack many people in the end...hope to be very wrong.
Mandrake Apr 19 @ 1:05pm 
Originally posted by HiTheron:
You seem to have several good points there. It's a shame they do not have some shards with older rule sets like many players want. Maybe one with pre Trammel and another with pre AoS? Instead the players just got into the hundreds of free servers due to being ignored and that's that. I doubt that this will attack many people in the end...hope to be very wrong.

Exactly so. Many of those who express fondness for this title (and DAoC) have a point where the game just alienated them. The majority of those who left went with AoS, as the fun of the game didn't compete with the newer titles coming out at the time, and core parts of the gameplay were being changed all the time. Asheron's Call grabbed a lot of folks around UO: Ren, as did DAoC greatly around UO: AoS by becoming more alluring than a routine eyeroll in Evocare's direction.

Those who still wanted to play something of the UO they remembered went to the free shards. Disregarding the obvious licensing potential, the publisher then decided that ignoring the players would be the best course of action while trying to EA the hell out of anyone who infringed upon their already mangled IP, further alienating the fans and potential (and previous) customers.

If they were to bring back the gameplay that it is often voiced - demanded - to be brought back, then it would seem to be a solution to bring in players from both the free shards and those who left the game because of a certain point in development.

Then, selectively based upon community feedback, some other features may be added if they fit within the spirit of that point in UO's design history. Such as races other than human and classes can be omitted (along with the split of Trammel for some server types), but High Seas and custom designed homes might still be welcomed.
Broseidon Apr 19 @ 3:33pm 
Had a look through the stratics thread for this greenlight earlier, noticed several old faces I recognized (Petra Fyde, Kas Valentine) and also a general confusion as to why anybody could be negative about the current state of UO.


I'll sum up the main 3 things for you guys that are stopping the majority of us returning;

UO problem #1: Trammel (and to some extent all new lands)
No risk same reward floods / inflates the economy far faster than it can be taken out again and trivializes the effort needed to get anything in particular, letting any one person gather 95% of what they need all on thier own with next to need to ever interact with other players. The other effect of this is that the population gets spread ever more thinly across the ever expanding new lands and towns, no area feels fun if you're the only sentient thing for 20+ screens in any direction.

UO problem #2: Varied item statistics (and item insurance)
When you have a thousand different possible variances in just a single weapon or piece of equipment as well as numerous artifacts and a cheap + reliable way to keep from losing any of them, it creates a large rift between the haves and the have-nots. Want to be in any way competitive in PvP? Be prepared to fork out everything you have for an ornament of the magician + a host of other artifacts. Too poor? Too bad for you. It doesn't really matter how much the crafting system has been improved or anything like that when just about the only solution is to rip the entire system out with a return to just power / vanquishing / fortification and so on.
Once upon a time, a player could venture out into the wild with little more to their name than a few newbie blessed items / regents, a handful of bandages, some GM made equipment, their character skill and their wits. Item insurance wasn't needed because you didn't use things you couldn't afford to lose and you used things you didn't mind losing because nothing more than that was ever needed.

UO problem #3: Monthly subscriptions
Ultima Online has been around a long time now, having a monthly subscription fee just like many other big name MMOs means that UO will inevitably have to be compared next to them for value - a fight it is almost certain to lose as things stand. Speaking personally, almost every single problem I have with UO would have to be fixed across the board and then some before I could justify spending money monthly on UO again - for the new generation of gamers who may not have ever even heard of UO before they won't know how breathtaking it once was and possibly even could be again. I can't see most of them ever wanting to commit to a monthy fee with all the competition around in this market.


Not all changes to the game are bad, things like Necromancers and Paladins, customizable housing or "High Seas" (once I looked what that did) were all a nice addition I have no complaints at all there, the problems came from the things they were packaged with and how those extra changes would greatly worsen things for just as many as they helped, or even more than they helped.

Once upon a time, Ultima Online was the most fun I've ever had with a computer game. It is not yet impossible for those times to return.
Last edited by Broseidon; Apr 19 @ 3:37pm
Mandrake Apr 19 @ 4:19pm 
1. Excellent point. The economy is an important consideration for any MMO, item/material economy even more so in a game of UO's design. Much of that design revolved around player interaction, and unfortunately until the population can rise again, it's going to have problems. You did need to have a material sink in order to promote more supply and demand, and guilds were quite often very willing to take on new folks willing to pitch in and help along.

2. THIS. A core part of UO's fun WAS the risk, the danger, of having to decide if going out in your best gear set was worth it, or just leave it in the chest and use your usual wandering gear. Gank-poaching for armor was a constant danger because of this. If someone doesn't have the combat skills to back up their gear, it was good as gone.

3. This game could turn into a cosmetic F2P, without ever having to go near P2W mechanics. There is justo so much VANITY opportunities in the game, through housing objects to obtainable items that otherwise have little (small buffs for a limited duration) to no effect upon the gameplay and could be wearable upon one's character, that can be sold as microtransaction fodder. Cosmetic items should be the ones that do not drop on death, not the risk vs. reward of life in UO. There are already some in the O***** Store, but at prices that are hardly in a microtransaction model. They want HOW MUCH to do WHAT? (https://www.origin.com/en-us/store/browse-ANW.html?q=Ultima+Online)

No...not quite THAT committed to being committed for paying what could buy a hell of a lot more in a modern game.

Without being able to draw old players back nor introduce new people easily to UO with the current pricing scheme, it would seem that the game would be condemned to a slowly-declining holding pattern, trying to cling to the balance line in accounting.

As it has been doing for years since a mass exodus or two. (See what I did there? )

So far, all I have seen in action is an attempt to have this title be sold on Steam. It would still require an O***** account and to log in through O*****'s servers.

So uh...why is this on Greenlight? We need more from the developers about their future plans with the titles, because I could guarantee that once UO or DAoC hit the front page of Steam...get out the asbestos underwear, kiddies, because it's gonna get hot.

It is going to take a lot more than Vendor Search and toying around with New New Frontiers.

-==(UDIC)==-
Last edited by Mandrake; Apr 19 @ 4:25pm
=CBK= Zhuge Apr 19 @ 5:39pm 
Dont forget the shops that just sell items and gold with no penalty that basically kill the game for newbies since they are already paying for sub, why are they gonna dish out more money to try to catch up to people with a decade + of spending money on websites like www.searchuo.com
Broseidon Apr 20 @ 2:07am 
Zhuge, I didn't forget it simply didn't exist back in the days I used to play. Pretty sure I quit in early 2004.

If Broadsword are up to date on the current state of MMOs and find a way to shake UO out of the subscription rut it finds itself in (amongst other things) then it can rise from the ashes. If however they're willfully ignorant or stuck in a different decade (Speranza + The Zog historian for two easy examples.) like Stratics appear to be (some of them don't seem to even have a clue what Steam is! I'm now pretty glad I quit going there when I quit UO.) then this is the twilight hours of UO and it will fade into the night.
Mandrake Apr 20 @ 3:24am 
"Subscription rut" describes the problem with the game and population quite well.
  • The content has been turned into something that UO players of old don't really care for.

  • The price and content aren't something that would attract new players easily, even with the nostalgia goggles of the old saying how good it was years ago.

  • IF this title and/or DAoC reach the front page of Steam, because of the above there is going to be the reverse of what was hoped for by bringing this game to Steam. It is going to get hammered into the dirt mercilessly.

  • It might spark up a bit of heat between the die-hards still playing either game (plus those in denial who have become acccustomed to shoving themselves up EA's backside for token pats on the head like Stratics) and those who might have been interested, but ultimately do little to nothing for the developer aside from a few more trial account being made.

  • So then it becomes a practice of adding token features to milk the gold selling accounts still subscribed to the game, slowly losing accounts as dwindling population makes the game feasibly unplayable as an "MMO".

  • This is a common issue between UO and DAoC.

That all makes for a catch-22 of a self-screw in the MMO industry, condemned to a lingering, slow death as the game has been dying for years.

Breaking out of that rut will take some investment and a bit of guts. Either this game can be shown some love so it can be approachable again, or it can go back to squeezing their customers like David Lynch's Baron Harkonnen for what little it can limp on and slowly die out on as the customers get fed up with the EA treatment.

youtu.be/rspzLknkdIs

Those still playing the games might see this attempt to get them on Steam as a way to bring in more game population. But there is the problem with the assumption that It Is On Steam = It Will Sell: unless the game is approachable to new customers as well as the old, putting these titles upon Steam is only going to illuminate the problems with the games, not bring people to playing them long enough to pay for a subscription.
Last edited by Mandrake; Apr 20 @ 3:47am
Mandrake Apr 20 @ 5:08am 
Originally posted by Broseidon:
If however they're willfully ignorant or stuck in a different decade (Speranza + The Zog historian for two easy examples.) like Stratics appear to be (some of them don't seem to even have a clue what Steam is! I'm now pretty glad I quit going there when I quit UO.) then this is the twilight hours of UO and it will fade into the night.

I had to take a closer look. Wow, you were right:

Originally posted by Speranza:
LOL WHUT? How is a 16 year old game, one that is accredited for laying the ground work to make the industry what it is today, one that is often taught, discussed, and referenced in many conferences, and put many people into the jobs they have today NOT ready for the public eye? When I started my career in the gaming industry in 2009 the entire company was based on how cool UO was. I was hired because of the exposure UO had brought me since 1998 (and Stratics too!). My boss's boss is a friend of Richard Garriot and worked with him many times in the past. This isn't some game in pre-alpha shaking out the bugs, it's a well vetted game that desires all the exposure it can get. Sure there are bugs, but who cares? While this game still lives and breathes and is operated by someone willing to develop for it, it would be a CRIME to NOT putting it out in the public's eye is as much as physically possible.

You know what, I haven't ranted this long in a while. If you are troll, good job, if not then I hope you understand where I am coming from because you are so far off the mark. If you are seriously worried about problems with the game then a larger player base that brings in more money is just more reasons to fix these issues.

This kid is a comedy goldmine. A career starting in 2009, based upon UO? Doing what? Forum mod or human RSS feed for Stratics on a game that already hemorrhaged out most of its playerbase through publisher/developer incompetence? Definite resumé material, there!

Captain Clueless there doesn't realize that by the time he went to board the ship it had already sailed off into the horizon. The bit about Lord ♥♥♥♥ is particularly rich, because by then RG had ABSOLUTELY NOTHING to do with UO.
Last edited by Mandrake; Apr 20 @ 5:19am
Jolt Apr 20 @ 6:28am 
I don't think it's realistic to complain and nag for a shard based upon xxx patch or expansion. Everyone has their golden era for the game that we remember through rose tinted glasses and forget how bugged other areas of the early patches were. Yours might be preAoS, his might be preTrammel, mine might be preMurderer and stat loss.

I think the main barrier to the game achieving a stable future is the unrealistic subscription cost.

First I'd like to say that I concede that F2P isn't the right option for UO. The game is many years old and any cosmetics or account benefits that could have been used to base a F2P model on have already been flogged to death so they'd have nothing to incentivise people paying money for, particularly the older, loyal players that are keeping the game alive at the moment.

That said, the current subscription cost is so unrealistic that although I have been tempted to reopen my old accounts pretty frequently I never actually go through with it. With the current competitiveness of PC gaming pricing I can buy several indie games or an A list steam sale title for what it costs to play UO for a month. And that is to play those games indefinitely.

But you can see the dilemma for the UO team. Say they have 50,000 accounts paying their monthly subscription fee, the team has a reasonably steady income from which to pay their developers and pay the server costs. They might lose a few subscriptions each month, but it's a slow drip and nothing too severe. If they were to cut the subscription cost in half and didn't manage to double their subscription numbers then they're gonna have to make massive cuts.

It's my guess that the UO team is made up of mainly older guys and gals that want a stable income from which to support their families and are aware that the game isn't going to make them all rich, but want to maintain it for as long as possible.

So there's the quandary. If they maintain the current subscription model and price they are doomed to a slow death as the old subscribers slowly trickle away and they're unable to attract new players because of the subscription cost. If they cut the subscription cost they risk going bust within months unless they massively increase subscriber numbers.
Mandrake Apr 20 @ 6:43am 
Originally posted by Jolt:
I don't think it's realistic to complain and nag for a shard based upon xxx patch or expansion. Everyone has their golden era for the game that we remember through rose tinted glasses and forget how bugged other areas of the early patches were. Yours might be preAoS, his might be preTrammel, mine might be preMurderer and stat loss.

This would be a good point except that AoS was definitely where most players left, and what most old veteran cite as their reason for leaving. Free shards more often emulate the time previous to that with their own additions.

Evocare was perhaps the worst thing to happen to the game. Bugs are a minor nuisance compared to ♥♥♥♥ design.

I think the main barrier to the game achieving a stable future is the unrealistic subscription cost.

First I'd like to say that I concede that F2P isn't the right option for UO. The game is many years old and any cosmetics or account benefits that could have been used to base a F2P model on have already been flogged to death so they'd have nothing to incentivise people paying money for, particularly the older, loyal players that are keeping the game alive at the moment.

That said, the current subscription cost is so unrealistic that although I have been tempted to reopen my old accounts pretty frequently I never actually go through with it. With the current competitiveness of PC gaming pricing I can buy several indie games or an A list steam sale title for what it costs to play UO for a month. And that is to play those games indefinitely.

But you can see the dilemma for the UO team. Say they have 50,000 accounts paying their monthly subscription fee, the team has a reasonably steady income from which to pay their developers and pay the server costs. They might lose a few subscriptions each month, but it's a slow drip and nothing too severe. If they were to cut the subscription cost in half and didn't manage to double their subscription numbers then they're gonna have to make massive cuts.

It's my guess that the UO team is made up of mainly older guys and gals that want a stable income from which to support their families and are aware that the game isn't going to make them all rich, but want to maintain it for as long as possible.

So there's the quandary. If they maintain the current subscription model and price they are doomed to a slow death as the old subscribers slowly trickle away and they're unable to attract new players because of the subscription cost. If they cut the subscription cost they risk going bust within months unless they massively increase subscriber numbers.

Yup, as I mentioned before, it's the catch-22 of a slow self-screw. If they can't attract new accounts, as they are hoping to do with this merely being "released" on Steam, then they will have to milk all the faithful until the faithful get sick and tired of holding out for better times ahead and trickle away. Their biggest hope is to pick back up the old players, but if the game is still a mess as it was cemented into with AoS, they have no reason to come back. Especially not at this price.

There is either going to have to be some investment and/or risk involved to bring this title into being attractive to more subscription old or new, or this game is just going to keep slowly swirling down the can. It Is On Steam will not save this game, and in fact may cause them a lot more headaches than they realize by bringing attention to many of the long-standing problems that have served as an elephant in the room for years.
Last edited by Mandrake; Apr 20 @ 6:45am
Jolt Apr 20 @ 11:20am 
Originally posted by Mandrake:
This would be a good point except that AoS was definitely where most players left, and what most old veteran cite as their reason for leaving. Free shards more often emulate the time previous to that with their own additions.

Evocare was perhaps the worst thing to happen to the game. Bugs are a minor nuisance compared to ♥♥♥♥ design.

That's what I was relating too though. From your point of view AoS was killer and made most players leave. From my point of view I recall a bunch of the people in the community I was in quitting when they introduced the rep system with stat loss. I remember even at that early time people demanding 'pre-rep patch' shards. Then I remember the remainder of the players having enough when then introduced trammel.

I also remember some resubbing for AoS to try and grab some big land plots and people getting bored quickly again and leaving.

It's relative to the time you started playing, the group of people you played with and the time you quit. Realistically neither of us have actual stats to back it up so we'll never know.
Jolt Apr 20 @ 11:27am 
Originally posted by Mandrake:
Yup, as I mentioned before, it's the catch-22 of a slow self-screw. If they can't attract new accounts, as they are hoping to do with this merely being "released" on Steam, then they will have to milk all the faithful until the faithful get sick and tired of holding out for better times ahead and trickle away. Their biggest hope is to pick back up the old players, but if the game is still a mess as it was cemented into with AoS, they have no reason to come back. Especially not at this price.

There is either going to have to be some investment and/or risk involved to bring this title into being attractive to more subscription old or new, or this game is just going to keep slowly swirling down the can. It Is On Steam will not save this game, and in fact may cause them a lot more headaches than they realize by bringing attention to many of the long-standing problems that have served as an elephant in the room for years.

Yea. I agree with this completely. One of the advantages to being on Steam (and I'm sure their motivation for trying to get greenlighted) is that you can often see people on your friend's list trying a game and decide to give it a go yourself. The difference with UO is that these new players will immediately see the ridiculous subscription costs and laugh and change their mind.

I applaud that Broadsword are actually trying to do something to bring back new players, but they're not addressing the main barrier that prevents people from playing UO.

What boggles my mind is that they've not done a 'Return to Britainnia' promotion in so long, where you get a free week/month on your old accounts. The only reason I can find for this is that they rely on a number of 1-month-only resubs of people coming back to have a look around but not returning full time, so are too conservative to even give up that income.
Mandrake Apr 20 @ 12:25pm 
Originally posted by Jolt:
That's what I was relating too though. From your point of view AoS was killer and made most players leave. From my point of view I recall a bunch of the people in the community I was in quitting when they introduced the rep system with stat loss. I remember even at that early time people demanding 'pre-rep patch' shards. Then I remember the remainder of the players having enough when then introduced trammel.

I also remember some resubbing for AoS to try and grab some big land plots and people getting bored quickly again and leaving.

It's relative to the time you started playing, the group of people you played with and the time you quit. Realistically neither of us have actual stats to back it up so we'll never know.

Over the years from what I have seen (and even on here), the most-often requested or stipulated for a return item was pre-AoS shards. Second would be pre-Trammel. The free shards seem to reflect this as well.

Originally posted by Jolt:
Yea. I agree with this completely. One of the advantages to being on Steam (and I'm sure their motivation for trying to get greenlighted) is that you can often see people on your friend's list trying a game and decide to give it a go yourself. The difference with UO is that these new players will immediately see the ridiculous subscription costs and laugh and change their mind.

It is going to be seen like owning a turkey, like The War Z, Citadels, or Miner Wars 2081...among many others. "You really pay that much a month for what that game turned into?" will likely be the start of many discussions over what someone is playing.

I applaud that Broadsword are actually trying to do something to bring back new players, but they're not addressing the main barrier that prevents people from playing UO.

I'm not sure there is anything to applaud as of yet. There is Vendor Search and New New Frontiers, both of which are really being finished from Mythic's initial design. The only purpose the new studio really seems to serve is to slip this onto Steam without the EA stench following it too badly.

What boggles my mind is that they've not done a 'Return to Britainnia' promotion in so long, where you get a free week/month on your old accounts. The only reason I can find for this is that they rely on a number of 1-month-only resubs of people coming back to have a look around but not returning full time, so are too conservative to even give up that income.

Funny, huh? It is almost as if they are trying to pretend that the rest of the industry doesn't exist. Tried and true is skipped over in favor of what the hell are they doing? It is almost like a little culture bubble similar to backwoods Mississippi, sealed off in a doldrums of denial.

Give that Stratics thread a read, it's...illuminating. That is the core current fan base.

You may weep openly on this one without losing any man points.
HiTheron Apr 20 @ 2:52pm 
Some very good points in this forum.

I took a 10 year hiatus from the game and returned recently purely due to nostalgia. The existing players are great and help in any way they can including giving away rares, etc. Their support has been amazing so far in my return!

I'm having some fun playing it and it's great to some extent, but....(there's always a but):

- I found that my shard was quite empty. Still lots of houses due to people who still pay to maintain their stuff but are not that active in game. Felluca is completely dead on my server (or at least it looks like it)...I can go there to mine, etc and barely see anyone. I am a complete Trammie I admit it, but something should be done to attract PvP players back.

- Seems like some older players like myself are returning, but again just veterans. Little new people, although there are some who are curious about the legend that the game became (for better or worse). It's true that a +/- 13$ monthly fee is a turnoff. I do not defend that it should go F2P as I have played F2P MMO's before and didn't like the vast amounts of cash you need to pump into the game...maybe just lower the price?

- Found lots of payers moved to free shards for the reasons already discussed above.

- Economy is on its knees and everything that's worth having costs millions or even billions - that's a major turn off for a new player....or even someone like me coming back who didn't have all that money when they last left.

I think the game will still last for some years at least, but it sure seems like it's in its twilight years and it was already mentioned here.

I remember someone on Stratics saying that this looked more like "Old Timers Online" rather than "Ultima Online" and it was scary how right they might be. There's nothing wrong with a mature population, but it isn't good when that's pretty much all there is...I wonder what's the average player age in the game...40 maybe?

There are so many great games out there to play...why would someone new play this game? No matter how much of a genre defining title this may be, in the end newer generations of players will look for something that's recent and that they can relate to and IMO this game isn't what they are looking for. Newer games aren't necessarily good because they are more recent of course, terrible crappy stuff all around.

The fact the Broadsword took over is a good sign as it seems they are not willing to let it die just yet.

Hopefully this new change in management will bring new things and changes that will make this game as great as it deserves to be. That, however, will never happen without addressing the players needs and requests, IMO, may it be pre Trammel or pre AoS rules, etc.

That's the longest thing I have ever written about a game in my live :)
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