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EA Launches Ultima-Based Browser Game 106

On Monday Electronic Arts launched Lord of Ultima, a free-to-play, browser-based strategy game that's based on the Ultima universe. Quoting VG247: "Set in the new world of Caledonia, players start the game as conquerors raising an empire, and then move from developing a village to evolving it into a highly customized capital. Players can be peaceful merchants by trading resources over land or sea and using diplomacy, or become feared conquerors using armies of knights and mages to crush their enemies one by one in maniacal glee."
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EA Launches Ultima-Based Browser Game

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  • [long_no] (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Xtense ( 1075847 ) <> on Wednesday April 21, 2010 @03:48AM (#31919532) Homepage

    As someone, who was with the series from the very beginning (Yep, Akalabeth and all the spinoffs too.), I think I speak for all fans of Ultima when I say...


    That said, I feel this particular title should stay buried under hazy, but beautiful memories, as one of the precursors of RPGs, and a very good series of games. Reviving this as anything other than an RPG game dilutes it's essence - it's amazing storyline, great set of characters and innovative approaches to quests.

  • Yet another clone (Score:3, Insightful)

    by DerekLyons ( 302214 ) <> on Wednesday April 21, 2010 @04:23AM (#31919700) Homepage

    Yet another clone of Hamurabi []...

    As to the claim that the player can expand "peacefully"? Yeah, right. If it's like other games of its ilk, the only way to be peaceful is to have the biggest, baddest army around or by being part of the biggest, baddest alliance around. Otherwise, you're just meat.

  • "We Create Worlds" (Score:4, Insightful)

    by thylordroot ( 1794396 ) on Wednesday April 21, 2010 @04:26AM (#31919722)
    Origin's motto was "We Create Worlds." I think EA's might as well be "We Destroy Them." The Ultima series was so masterfully crafted that I have shown it to hardcore Final Fantasy fans and have watched their jaws drop in pure amazement. I am not sure what others think about this, but I have noticed that just about every franchise that EA got ahold of due to acquisition has been adulterated in some of the most bizarre ways. I'm no longer surprised that even franchises acquired from Maxis are no longer worth keeping up with. Naturally there will be independent developers who will always fill the gap, but it is never good to see an astounding series go down the drain. I can only hope that gems such as Ultima are rediscovered by gamers and that they will begin to demand the kind of top-notch quality we expected in the 80s and early 90s.
  • Quick review... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by the_mind_ ( 157933 ) on Wednesday April 21, 2010 @04:49AM (#31919798)

    I have been playing this game for a few weeks now since the closed beta.

    I can safely say that the game at this stage is no where near release ready.
    Its definitely forced out of beta by some bean counter.

    Heaps of bugs, even more then your average EA game.
    No trading system. You can send resources but you have to trust the other party to send back what he promised. And you can't trade gold at all.
    Graphical glitches galore.
    Buttons to buy "power items" with real money everywhere.
    The artificial restraints put in place to encourage you to buy power-ups are way to strict.
    The ranking system only takes the amount of buildings you have into account. Nothing about army size.
    Poor graphics that are not much better then place holders.

    Having said all that, the game is still quite fun to play if you are in to this sort of game.
    After you have your cities set up, a 15min gaming session twice a day is enough to keep playing.
    So its perfect game to play on your lunch break.

    If you want to play, don't make the mistake of building a castle in your first city.
    You will get ripped apart by a large army within a day if you do.

  • Re:Sorry but... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Goffee71 ( 628501 ) on Wednesday April 21, 2010 @04:51AM (#31919812) Homepage
    It is indeed a cashless cash-in, having a game with the Ultima title and no RPGing involved, I was hoping for the classic 8-bit-era game, perhaps with a little tweaking. Alas, no.
  • by stjobe ( 78285 ) on Wednesday April 21, 2010 @05:10AM (#31919878) Homepage

    EA games, where computer franchises go to die.
    EA games, milking the last drop out of a franchise near you!
    EA games, if it makes a buck who cares about lore or canon?
    EA games, We Destroy Worlds(tm). (thanks thylordroot)

  • by dgym ( 584252 ) on Wednesday April 21, 2010 @05:26AM (#31919982)
    EA also produce Battle Field Heroes which is free to play. They originally stated that the premium content would be limited to perks, and not give a significant game play advantage. They later decided to change that, so although you can still play for free you are very much limited to being cannon fodder for those that have bought the extremely powerful abilities and weapons.

    Why should we expect anything to be different with Lord of Ultima? In this sort of game you can spend months building everything up, and someone else can destroy it in a week, so people are going to feel compelled to buy competitive advantages if they are available.

    Free to start but expensive once you are addicted, this is becoming such a common business model it needs its own word.
  • You're lucky. I played for 5 minutes, tried to buy a "Building Minister" and when I clicked on Shop it told me that my session expired. The game was interesting but it's not free-to-play at all, and it has a few bugs to iron out.
  • by Xerp ( 768138 ) on Wednesday April 21, 2010 @07:18AM (#31920636) Journal
    I believe the acronym here is P2W (pay to win)
  • by khallow ( 566160 ) on Wednesday April 21, 2010 @09:07AM (#31921568)
    The first hit is free.

In seeking the unattainable, simplicity only gets in the way. -- Epigrams in Programming, ACM SIGPLAN Sept. 1982