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Ultima Online Expansion Sept. 8, WAR Expansion In Near Future 40

Posted by Soulskill
from the bigger-and-better dept.
IndustryGamers recently spoke with Mythic Entertainment execs about the futures of Ultima Online and Warhammer Online. UO's newest expansion, Stygian Abyss, was recently given a September 8th release date. As for WAR, they say, "... we just finished up a major patch for Warhammer Online and there's a lot of stuff we're thinking about for improving and enhancing the gameplay experience and guaranteeing that the product lives up to the legacy of the Warhammer franchise. You should expect an expansion in the near future." The Overly Positive blog suggests that recent developer interviews have undergone a change in tone, demonstrating a greater willingness to acknowledge the game's flaws and work out ways to correct them.
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Ultima Online Expansion Sept. 8, WAR Expansion In Near Future

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  • I knew ultima online was still around but I had no idea they were still putting out expansions.
    Even EA can't kill this greatness, of course it weas cooler when Origin still existed and owned it. .
    • Re:Amazing (Score:4, Insightful)

      by Greyfox (87712) on Saturday August 15, 2009 @12:24AM (#29073887) Homepage Journal
      Our expectations were a whole lot lower back then. I think one of UO's strengths back then was that even though the whole thing outside town was PvP, there wasn't an insurmountable difference between a relative newbie and a geared-out character. Two or three fairly new people could ambush and kill a 7xGM if they played their cards right.

      It went downhill after EA took over and introduced the non-PVP zones, the WoW-like gear grind, insurance (To let you keep your items when you were killed) and the $20 expansions every 2-3 months.

      • by lovemayo (674154)

        Two or three fairly new people could ambush and kill a 7xGM if they played their cards right.

        Say that to my Corp Por, In Vas Flam combo!

      • Don't forget when ti came out you could not become a 7xGM because someoen would lgiht a campfire next to you and you'd gain a point in Camping and lose one of your GMs.

        Letting you lock skills was one really nice change they made over the years.
        • Re:Amazing (Score:5, Interesting)

          by ShakaUVM (157947) on Saturday August 15, 2009 @02:27AM (#29074357) Homepage Journal

          >>Don't forget when ti came out you could not become a 7xGM because someoen would lgiht a campfire next to you and you'd gain a point in Camping and lose one of your GMs.

          Yeah the skirmishing combat chefs were one of the best parts of the early guild battles.

          Don't look! He's cooking an omelet!

          (For those of you who didn't play UO, the above is not actually a joke. You'd send people in front of their army to cook in order to drop their highest skills - the game had a skill cap, and also a system where you'd learn skills by watching other people. And the first skills to be dropped were your highest ones, like grandmaster spellcasting. =)

        • by Greyfox (87712)
          Oh yeah, and grinding that last point back was like 4 goddamn hours. If I recall correctly (it HAS been a while) I got around that by having cooking as one of my GMs...
          • Yeah, Specially when it took stacks or reagents that were not cheap. Losing your GM was worse than the death sometimes.
      • by TheSpoom (715771) *

        Two or three fairly new people could ambush and kill a 7xGM if they played their cards right.

        The killing of Lord British, anyone? [wikipedia.org]

    • EA is the reason they are minting expansions, probably 3 different boxes a year.

    • Re:Amazing (Score:4, Informative)

      by IorDMUX (870522) <mark@zimmerman3.gmail@com> on Saturday August 15, 2009 @01:46AM (#29074225) Homepage

      of course it weas cooler when Origin still existed and owned it. .

      Agreed. I've recently been reading up on the Ultima IV - VII "Let's Play"'s [lparchive.org], and I am quite impressed at what Lord British (the programmer, not the NPC) was able to achieve in the late 80's and early 90's with the series. It was enough to make me forget that there ever was this EA nonsense... that is, until Serpent's Isle came out and all the NPC's walked around calling Lord British a bastard and a beast.

      *Ahem* ... CURSE YOU SHAMINOOOO!

  • Rule, Britannia! (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Draconi (38078) on Saturday August 15, 2009 @12:13AM (#29073829)

    What a day! We just launched the open beta, and now I get to come home and see UO up on the front page of Slashdot!

    This totally made my registration all those years ago worth it :P

    Seriously! A lot of people don't even realize UO is even around, when it still has a playerbase that outshines (in size *and* passion) many of the newest entrants, who're so quick to fade away while Britannia lives on.

    It's amazing, and humbling, when I think about how different UO is from the grindfests so prevalent these days, when all we do is try to let players live in the Ultima universe with some fun, tile-based physics and a penchant for interactivity (and in Felucca, a bit of brutality!)

    The Stygian Abyss expansion may not be 3D (awww, sorry Ultima Underworld), but there's plenty homage paid to our rich past :)

    • It's amazing, and humbling, when I think about how different UO is from the grindfests so prevalent these days

      So, what did UO do to get rid of it's grindfests?

      Seriously! A lot of people don't even realize UO is even around, when it still has a playerbase that outshines (in size *and* passion) many of the newest entrants, who're so quick to fade away while Britannia lives on.

      Yes, Britannia lives on - like an old actress hooked on drugs, but painted up to look pretty (momentarily) for her segment of a

    • Besides the merits of UO I cannot forgive that it was one of the reasons why Ultima as a series died, I know there were many others, but without Garriot abandoning the U9 project halfway for Ultima online and then finishing it in a lousy state because EA finally after years demanded a product the series probably still would be alive.
      It still is sad for me that the series died such a death, it still surpasses the modern RPGs in many aspects. Bring in another RPG game like U7 with total freedom and still yet

  • Why.. (Score:4, Informative)

    by Renraku (518261) on Saturday August 15, 2009 @01:22AM (#29074135) Homepage

    Why is Warhammer Online releasing an expansion? There's not enough players for the content that's out there, unless they merge to about five servers.

    Sorry to shit on their parade, but every time I check server populations, it's low/low or medium/low. Haven't seen any highs, except in the beginning.

    • An expansion brings new interest to a game, because it puts new boxes in stores. So, the stores have a reason to sell the new version of the game, which could bring in more people. This really is the best way for them to try to gain more users through typical means.

    • by donweel (304991)
      Perhaps they expect the Mac community to jump on with the new OsX version, and free trial. http://www.warhammeronline.com/mac/ [warhammeronline.com]
  • by The_Myth (84113) on Saturday August 15, 2009 @03:15AM (#29074509)

    I left UO to play SWG as in the Original days SWG was UO:2 with the Star Wars IP. UO's greatest strength was that you could change your class. Its not like WOW where a Mage is a Mage is a Mage. You could mix parts of the Mage skill set with that of the warrior and with the pet handler and create your own combination. Sure there were cookie cutter builds but by the time you changed your character to that build a new cookie cutter build had gained popularity. People became good at PVP not by changing their skills every two weeks but learning to master the skills that they had chosen to learn for best effect. IMO while UO stays away from Archetype based characters it will maintain its niche.

    • by obi (118631)
      A bit like Guild Wars then? In GW, you can choose a "secondary" profession, and later in the game, you can change the secondary profession freely. It becomes quite interesting to see what combinations of skills work well.
      • by Shihar (153932)

        No. Absolutely nothing like Guild Wars. The two games are basically polar opposites. UO is (or at least was as of a few years ago) a 100% skills game. No levels, no classes, and you could drop and add skills at will. Further, skills were learned 100% by doing. Slaughtering a few thousand NPCs didn't make your skills go up. Using your skills made your skills go up. If you happen to kill something in the process, loot to you, but that is it.

        Guild War is a generic Everquest style system. Levels, class

        • by obi (118631)
          You misunderstood me: you can pick two classes in the beginning, and later on, you can combine your primary class with _any_ secondary class. Also the system of attribute points means you can assign them to whatever skills you want - you get a certain number of points relative to your level, and then you just create specific builds for specific tasks. So one minute I can use a secondary healer build, and the next minute I can swap all my attribute points out and assign them to an offensive type magic for ex
  • To be honest Warhammer is dying out they have been basically ignoring the player base for the last 6 months and pumping out PVE content in a PVP game. They are starting to address PVP issues now but it might be to late. Most people have abandoned the game and they are down to like 7 or 8 servers from 40 in the begining. With Aion coming out next month and many people saying they will abandon the game when it does, leaves this title in question. Destruction is leaving in mass (due to nerfed classes not b

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