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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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  • Ultima memory... (Score:3, Interesting)

    by deesine ( 722173 ) on Wednesday April 21, 2010 @03:21AM (#31919394)

    Finding the rocket in UII was a top ten gaming highlight.

  • by sopssa ( 1498795 ) * <> on Wednesday April 21, 2010 @03:32AM (#31919438) Journal

    The nice thing about these types of browser games is that they require real time to advance, meaning the game is playing even while you are not. I saw that your resources keep growing in the game and you can easily choose how much and how often you check the game. On the top it says my city is protected for the next 7 days until April 28th, and if I click on it theres a menu screen for Incoming Attacks (which will probably get populated if someone chooses to attack me). Perfect for playing even if you don't have that much time for it - just check every few days and issue some orders to queue.

    Another such "real-time" game I have played is a trucking simulator Trukz [], where you cant drive your truck more than a 10-11 hours at a time. Then you have to wait that time to drive more, and unless you want to you aren't really required to get to the company stuff or other aspects in the game.

    I wonder why more traditional games haven't had such systems much. There's auctions in MMO's but it's more like a side-effect of the system, not a purpose. Otherwise your character/nation/whatever doesn't evolve at all if you aren't playing.

  • Sorry but... (Score:5, Interesting)

    by zr-rifle ( 677585 ) <> on Wednesday April 21, 2010 @03:49AM (#31919536) Homepage
    if Lord British is not involved in the project it really doesn't qualify as a real Ultima for me. So it's merely an attempt to cash in on the Ultima franchise while it's still lukewarm. Oh, and by the way...

    > feared conquerors using armies of knights and mages to crush their enemies one by one in maniacal glee.

    Why... very Ultimish I would say... what happened to the eight virtues, making ethical decisions in order to become an Avatar (U4), resolving conflicts thorugh the use of peace and diplomacy (U6), etc...?

    Just call it 'WOW in a browser'.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday April 21, 2010 @04:13AM (#31919664)

    Skills don't progress in EVE if you aren't subscribed - this "ghost training" was removed a year or so ago.

    It doesn't really matter that you started later than some veterans - all skills are capped at 5. So it is very possible that you will have the same skills for flying particular ships, since the amount of skills related to flying each ship is finite.

  • by Plekto ( 1018050 ) on Wednesday April 21, 2010 @05:14AM (#31919920)

    Then you have EVE online where character evolves real-time regardless of whether you play or not. (or even whether you are subscribed if you queue enough stuff). It is also very economy-oriented game and majority of that action takes place outside gameplay time.

    It kind of sucks because you can never, ever catch up to veteran from day 1.
    Well, in a way you can. It only takes two people and 4-6 months of training one "class" of ship to really be able to punk all but the biggest and baddest ships out there. But with cloaks and such, it's easy to pick your targets. Obviously you're not going to street race some guy in a Ford F40 with your Civic, but that aging BMW might be possible to get close to with a few aftermarket mods... ;)

    In real terms, since the game itself is free to purchase, spend $40-60 up front that you would normally pay for the game itself on extra game cards. Use 2-4 of them to buy a 6 month or so old character to begin with. This saves you the initial grind for about the same cost and you can jump right into the game in hours instead of months. It's the initial six months that suck in the game. After that, there's much less that separates the older players from the younger ones.

    NOTE - they recently changed it, though, so that unpaid/inactive accounts stop training immediately - they don't continue any more while you are away. This, as expected, has generated a huge storm of complaints, but they are turning a blind eye to it.

    NOTE 2 - CCP, the company that runs the game are without a doubt some of the most anal and useless toads when it comes to customer service and bug fixes. They do what they want and simply never listen to the players or admit anything is wrong unless it's made major news. Just expect to play it as if support is essentially never an option and you're completely on your own. And I do mean completely. Think Wizards of the Coast support levels. Just don't even bother 99% of the time barring obvious stuff like getting stuck.

    But the game *is* fantastic once you ignore the company's irksome nature. It's without a doubt the best online game out there because literally anything you want to do is allowed and possible as soon as you step out of the newbie areas. Make money, make a guild, screw players over, lie, cheat, steal, bribe, or be a good guy(are there any left?) and hunt these scum down. Whatever you want to do... the company in charge pretty much ignores it unless you're literally breaking the game or doing real-life illegal acts.

    And that's why I still like it after all of these years. Most other games like it force you to be good, play along, and are as boring as a stick of chewing gum that you've been chewing for an hour. At least with this one you can head out to the bad areas and, well, BE as bad as you can manage to be. That's kind of refreshing, actually, given the idiocy and nannying that most games now suffer from.

  • by Jack Action ( 761544 ) on Wednesday April 21, 2010 @05:42AM (#31920080)

    If you are looking for a free to play browser rts, try War of Legends. The games is published by Jagex makers of Runescape, a company that generally treats its customers well.

    War of Legends was also launched at the beginning of April, so I wonder if EA is forcing Lord of Ultima out the door to compete. It's tough to compete with Jagex in the browser game space though. After all, Runescape has something like 6 million players (5 million free, 1 million subscribers).

  • Re:[long_no] (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Enderandrew ( 866215 ) <enderandrew AT gmail DOT com> on Wednesday April 21, 2010 @10:28AM (#31922700) Homepage Journal

    Richard Garriot said that EA demanded the entire U9 team move over to focus on UO, and then nearly 3 years into development, EA demanded they basically scrap the whole game to focus on a new 3D engine and start from scratch.

    That being said, EA owns Bioware, perhaps the best RPG shop today. Richard Garriot isn't working for NC Soft anymore. Can bridges be mended? Most people today have heard the name Ultima, but they've never played the old Ultima games. The original trilogy was all over the place to begin with. Hobbits and such just disappeared from existence.

    Why not reboot the Ultima franchise? No new worlds. No samurai. Just do Sosaria properly in an engine like Oblivion or Dragon Age.

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