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Why Are There No Popular Ultima Online-Like MMOs? 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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Why Are There No Popular Ultima Online-Like MMOs?

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  • Haven & Hearth (Score:1, Interesting)

    by sopssa ( 1498795 ) * <> on Monday February 22, 2010 @05:47AM (#31227272) Journal []

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

  • EvE Online? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by OS24Ever ( 245667 ) * <> on Monday February 22, 2010 @05:52AM (#31227300) Homepage Journal

    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? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by AuMatar ( 183847 ) on Monday February 22, 2010 @05:58AM (#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.

  • Griefing was King! (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Jaybird1981 ( 1233974 ) on Monday February 22, 2010 @06:08AM (#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.
  • Siege Perilous (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Quazion ( 237706 ) on Monday February 22, 2010 @06:15AM (#31227416) Homepage

    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 ;-)

  • Re:Ultima Online (Score:3, Interesting)

    by bronney ( 638318 ) on Monday February 22, 2010 @06:18AM (#31227424) Homepage

    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.

  • by Tridus ( 79566 ) on Monday February 22, 2010 @06:33AM (#31227490) Homepage

    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.

  • by CarbonShell ( 1313583 ) on Monday February 22, 2010 @06:58AM (#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:EvE Online? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Calinous ( 985536 ) on Monday February 22, 2010 @07:07AM (#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)

  • by jth1234567 ( 514045 ) on Monday February 22, 2010 @07:10AM (#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.

  • Looting (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Aladrin ( 926209 ) on Monday February 22, 2010 @07:34AM (#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.

  • Re:Shadowbane (Score:2, Interesting)

    by zenasprime ( 207132 ) on Monday February 22, 2010 @07:52AM (#31227876) Homepage

    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 [] .

    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.

  • Re:Casual gamers (Score:4, Interesting)

    by stjobe ( 78285 ) on Monday February 22, 2010 @08:05AM (#31227942) Homepage

    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:EvE Online? (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Sobrique ( 543255 ) on Monday February 22, 2010 @08:07AM (#31227966) Homepage
    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.
  • by thoth ( 7907 ) on Monday February 22, 2010 @08:16AM (#31228030) Journal

    I played on a PvP server for several months, recently, and the bottom line is world pvp just sucks. It may have been envisioned as both sides battling it out over quest hubs, and that did occur, but in my experience (anecdotal, yes I know) > 80% of world pvp consisted of a highly unfair situation: either it was two or more vs one, one on one with a large level discrepancy, or a combo of both. And that just isn't fun for the outnumber and outleveled person. The final straw for me was getting one-shotted by a stealthed rogue. So I quit and when I came back, I did a realm transfer to a PvE realm.

  • Missing the point (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Moraelin ( 679338 ) on Monday February 22, 2010 @09:02AM (#31228274) Journal

    Methinks that's missing the point. Judging by the summary, what his friend misses isn't crafting or just housing, but the opportunity to be a griefing fucktard with impunity. He doesn't miss just housing (which half the games have nowadays anyway), but more specifically thieving, which in the context of housing really boiled down to exploiting some clipping bug to nick someone's furniture that per the game rules you shouldn't have had access to. Basically he's missing a game that's equally half-baked, buggy, exploitable, and with equally piss-poor GM support, so he can be as big a griefer as in the good old days of UO.

    And I seriously doubt that many games aim for the bottom of the proverbial barrel nowadays. Even those who end up there, it's not by design. They may end up an exploitable griefer's paradise by plain old fashioned half-arsed effort, but not by aiming to be a buggy exploitable mess by design.

    Arguably even UO didn't aim to be the mess it was for its first years. Lord British and later Raph Koster didn't as much aim to fuck up, but just found rationales as to why and how the players will do all the policing and content so they don't have to bother with that. (Raph Koster would then take this idea with him to SWG, and contribute to that one's ending up barely niche appeal, in spite of the millions of SW fans who awaited it like the second cumming of the Messiah.) UO was not _supposed_ to be a lawless griefer's paradise and driving almost all the player base off, as soon as the first competitor appeared. It was supposed to be the place where players form their own posses and do their own policing and enforcing the rules, so Origin and EA don't have to spend money and manpower on that. All that happened was simply that that idea didn't work: there was nothing you could do in-character to a griefer seeing his character as just a disposable harrassment tool. Even if you could get a bunch of people to form a posse to hunt him down, that just fed the troll, instead of deterring him.

    But anyway UO ended up a griefer's paradise more by simple fuck-up, than by design. People and social dynamics were supposed to take the place of coded restrictions, except they never actually worked that way. And the end result was just the result of that "it never worked as they intended."

    So, yeah, I doubt that the guy's friend will find many games which _aim_ to be what he misses.

  • by EmperorKagato ( 689705 ) <> on Monday February 22, 2010 @09:18AM (#31228400) Homepage Journal

    Yes but it is low risk PVP compared to other MMOs like EVE Online. Sure your armor will get damaged and you may lose experience points and gold but you won't lose the items on your character which always cost way more than how much you're carrying (in gold).

  • by NoSleepDemon ( 1521253 ) on Monday February 22, 2010 @10:16AM (#31228892)
    Here here! I made the massive mistake of rolling on a PvE server to join a group of chumps who I socialised with. I remember when we had a Christmas pvp brawl in GB arena and me and my Arena buddy wiped 6 of them out. Instead of backing off and regrouping and wondering why a Rogue and a Mage could decimate them, half of them just up and logged out.

    This seems to be the mentality on PvE servers, if you screw up, go home and cry. It's really sad, and when BGs and Arena came along, world PvP almost completely died. It got to such a point that a handfull of us got cried about on forums, and people would call us cowards and social failures and the rest, conveniently forgetting that when they finally did gang up on us, we stayed and fought.

    It's nothing to do with free time, people just don't like a challenge, they want to be spoonfed the latest purples along with 24 of their bestest buddies. I personally really enjoy playing in a lawless world, where a mistake can have real consequences. I've been griefed many, many times, sometimes by people 70 levels above me, other times by people 2 levels below me who were simply better than me. It makes the getting even that bit sweeter.
  • by sarahbau ( 692647 ) on Monday February 22, 2010 @11:36AM (#31229708)

    Maybe one way they could counter griefing is to give some kind of risk to the griefer. Most MMOs have no system of law. You can go around killing all the players/NPCs you want, with little more risk than being chased by few guards for 30 seconds. You can then go talk to the baker, who just witnessed you brutally kill 30 peasants, children, and low-level players, but thinks nothing of it. What if killing low level players had consequences, like your character being "executed" (obviously being killed just to respawn 10 seconds later isn't really a punishment, so it could mean something else). What's funny, is WoW originally DID have penalties intended for killing passive NPCs or low-level characters. The rule book talks about dishonor, and how getting enough dishonor would cause you own faction to stop talking to you, eventually even attacking you if you entered town before your dishonor wore off.

    By the time the honor system was implemented though, they had removed dishonor (I think initially they did give negative honor for killing passive NPCs, but not for killing low level players). There was no penalty for killing lowbies all day. I played WoW on an RP-PVP server for a while, thinking it would provide some of the world-pvp I missed on my PVE server after Battlegrounds came out. Unfortunately, pretty much the only PVP that exists on PVP servers any more is griefing. I leveled from 1-70 without encountering a single enemy player that wasn't a skull (more than 10 levels above me) until I got to level 61, where they would fly overhead on their flying mount, waiting for me to drop to low health so they could swoop in for the easy kill.

    Even though I'm not a "wolf," I wouldn't be opposed to a game including some kind of loss when killed, IF the person doing the killing faced some kind of risk as well. A level 80 player might not be able to get anything of value from a level 30, but they'd kill them all day just for the "fun" of causing them to lose something. In real life (most) people don't go around killing random helpless people because of morals, and a risk of imprisonment. In the game world, neither exists (most people aren't morally opposed to annoying someone).

  • Re:Missing the point (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Dolda2000 ( 759023 ) <fredrik@dolda200[ ]om ['0.c' in gap]> on Monday February 22, 2010 @12:27PM (#31230300) Homepage

    Methinks that's missing the point. Judging by the summary, what his friend misses isn't crafting or just housing, but the opportunity to be a griefing fucktard with impunity. He doesn't miss just housing (which half the games have nowadays anyway), but more specifically thieving, which in the context of housing really boiled down to exploiting some clipping bug to nick someone's furniture that per the game rules you shouldn't have had access to. Basically he's missing a game that's equally half-baked, buggy, exploitable, and with equally piss-poor GM support, so he can be as big a griefer as in the good old days of UO.

    As one of the writers of Haven & Hearth, I have to disagree. The reason me and my friend wanted to write the game is that we wanted a world where the actions that players can perform actually have an impact on the world itself, rather than just another theme park where you can just enjoy yourself withing the very strict frame set by the authors of the game; and those of our current players that seem to enjoy the game the most seem to agree with that. It leads naturally to a game world where the emergent phenomena become the most defining feature of the world, rather than the mechanics that we, as the game authors, build into it. The coolest thing about the world, if I may say so myself, is that there isn't a single structure in the world that hasn't been built by the players themselves.

    It is true, of course, that theft and raiding are important parts of that, and the primary enjoyment of many players is the politics that arise out of factions competing with each other; but mind you that theft and raiding does not necessarily equal "griefing". In Haven, despite only having a few hundred players, there are actual wars being played out without us authors having to write a back-story for them. We don't have to write a back-story at all since that can be done entirely by players; and it also leads to a story that the players can actually care about since they are part of it themselves, rather than having had it pushed upon them.

    I shan't pretend that Haven isn't buggy and exploitable, but those are things that we do plan to remedy before going into beta without having to rip out the most defining aspect of the game, viz., its mutable world. "Piss-poor GM support", as you put it, is an intended feature: We don't want to set the rules for the game any more than is necessary as a part of writing basic game mechanics, and in the end, we believe that it leads to a more meaningful player experience since players don't have to be bothered by any arbitrary rules of morality that we may set up. The point is that most of our players don't want to be "griefers" -- they simply want to be a meaningful part of the game world itself, which they cannot be in a theme-park game like WoW. I don't want to pretend everyone wants a game like that (there is obviously a reason why WoW has four or so orders of magnitude more players than we do), but it's not like it's just for griefers.

  • Re:EvE Online? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Plekto ( 1018050 ) on Monday February 22, 2010 @12:50PM (#31230674)

    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.

    Nor would I. But the easy solution is to buy a character that's 6-12 months or so old already(since the game is going on 6 years now, that's a non-factor). The game itself is free to download, so if you pay the $50 that you normally would have paid for the program itself for most online games, but apply that towards in-game credits to buy a character in EVE, you're half way to your goal of just flying and having fun right from the start.

    The way I see it is that if you were going to spend 6-12 months on fees to get to where you wanted/or get burned out and leave it anyways, why not spend that up front and save yourself the year of grinding? With a year old character that's reasonably well set up, you're able to skip all of the annoying nonsense and get right to playing the game. And without that mind-numbing boredom, you're more likely to remain playing as well.

    That said, EVE does have one major issue for U.S. players, and that is jaw-dropping lag. Everything is in Europe and the majority of players and guilds are also over there. So North American players are the night shift. So we get double-nerfed.

    Still, It's not perfect by any means, and the game as some serious flaws, but it's the best we have. The community keeps waiting for some new game to come out to replace it, but so far, nothing else has. The WoW/Everquest model of dumbed-down quests seems to have become the norm since it's easier and simpler to program and manage than a giant 50,000 player sandbox.

    BTW, if you do like the WoW type of game, try out the D&D version that's out. It's no better or worse, IMO, but is 100% free to play. This mitigates most of the problems right there.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday February 22, 2010 @01:05PM (#31230972)

    I disagree. Maybe I'm the only one? (I played the whole original series, BTW.) I spent the first 8 months of UO running around naked in the forest getting killed by *rabbits*. You call that fun? But little by little I grew stronger, faster, smarter, etc. And I RPed the whole time. I was that crazy backwoods guy from SB. Sure, I could have GMed in a few days using the legal (and illegal) tricks, but I didn't. I cut wood, made arrows, made bows, hunted and skinned and cooked animals (and the assorted weak monsters), got very good at taming and hiding, ran (or hid) from PKers and big monsters, helped other players who needed help, fought brigands and orcs, supported the local economy, etc. I eventually became extremely capable -- within the bounds of my style of gameplay; I could still be wiped off the map in a few seconds by a bunch of teenage jerks with too much time on their hands, but I rarely held it against them ("they know not what they do.."). I helped free Trinsic from the Undead Horde, defended Britain against the Ratman Army, the Troll Army, et al. I sailed to and explored all the distant islands, killed pirates and kraken and sea monsters. I explored the Lost Lands (financed through horse trading), and most of the dungeons. I also got both my kids playing; we bought a house, and had 5 chars between the three of us. We had a lot of fun.

    When EA raised the price, we quit UO, and moved to free servers. We played on Hybrid for a while, and several others. But I haven't played for a few years now. Despite all the orthographic weirdness, the half-3D, the lag, and all the other little annoyances, I miss UO. I toyed with the idea of setting up my own Sphere or RunUO server, but never found enough time to work out all the bugs, and tweak things to be the way I wanted them to be.

    While I also enjoy closed games like Diablo, D2, etc., I find the ease of advancement cheapens the experience. UO was far more "real" in that you could spend an entire afternoon wiping out savages or undead or whatever, and barely justify it, given the material rewards. But it was a darn hoot. IMHO :)

  • Re:Missing the point (Score:3, Interesting)

    by shadowrat ( 1069614 ) on Monday February 22, 2010 @01:45PM (#31231952)
    i agree. there was something "real" about UO. The experiences in it felt more dynamic and unique compared to the manufactured experiences of Wow and the MMOs that lead to it.

    Yeah, there were griefers and horrible fuck ups and oversights on the part of the devs. However, i've always felt it grew into a stable and fair system. Near the end of my time with the game i felt like i knew all the tricks to keep myself alive and my stuff in my posession.

    even with the griefing, i remember it as being not so bad. at one point, prior to the housing fixes, when a key to your house was all that gave you ownership, my buddy and i got our house stolen. it sucked. it was my buddy's fault too. eager to impress everyone with our new house, he invited people in, got his pocket picked of the key, and what followed was a weeklong battle to reclaim the house.

    In the end, we never got the house back, but my character became a vagabond. i wandered the world in search of adventure, and found it. It seemed to me, not unlike something that another game would script and force everyone through. In fact it's quite common for your character's motivation for adventure to be the loss of everything dear to them. Except in UO, this was totally unscripted and unique to my character.

    i know some people find that kind of thing aggrivating. i'm not saying my zen approach to the game is for everyone, but if i want to have stuff nobody can have, i can just draw it in photoshop or blender. nothing wrong with that. I play games to do something interesting. often interesting == challenges that i didn't see coming. If it's an mmo, i like feeling like i have a unique story. i've just never felt that wow and it's ilk give me that.
  • by shadowrat ( 1069614 ) on Monday February 22, 2010 @02:08PM (#31232402)
    When i first started wow, i felt that sense of adventure. I talked to the quest givers. I epathized with their plights. I went into the low level instances with a nervous band of friends actually looking to give those dreadful pirates what-for. I had fun.

    Then it became a level race. instances were lead by a high level char who told me, "stay here while i kill this guy." After a while, i was like, "WTF am i doing?"

    I wasn't having adventures anymore. i was just racing through everything. I wasn't savoring. I was leveling up and realizing that i hadn't felt like i saved the world in months.
  • Re:Casual gamers (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Tom ( 822 ) on Tuesday February 23, 2010 @08:40AM (#31243204) Homepage Journal

    mod parent up :-)

    Indeed, the griefers are always the first to cry if someone gives them a beating. They're the first to cry when their favourite trick to annoy others is nerfed. They're the first to cry when the game balance is changed so that pure griefing isn't as easy any more. They're the first to cry if they ever have to face any actual consequences for their actions.

    Which is what an FFA game should be all about - choice and consequences. Unfortunately, the first thing that most FFA games do is remove the consequences that help keeping real life afloat - the personal, immediate ones. I would love to take a game like Mortal Online and open a server with permadeath. Just to test it.

"Well, social relevance is a schtick, like mysteries, social relevance, science fiction..." -- Art Spiegelman