Newer UO player perspective

Hey folks,

I'm new to UO somewhat. I've probably played around 500 hours. First go I played in 2020. The game has a lot of complexity and hidden knowledge so I started with a very basic pure fighter. Luckily people on Atlantic were extremely helpful. There's a lot of information of course on here and throughout the web since the release. As I asked question after question and spammed veteran players repeatedly for knowledge... I went from zero to 10 million plus gold. I got a house, some of the expansions and I took a break. I've returned again and am enjoying myself once more. Although I'm somewhat new to UO, I've been testing and playing sandbox mmorpgs since Shadowbane back in 2003. Probably docked a good 10-20k hours in them. I've always been interested in getting deep into the games mechanics and giving feedback to devs based on my experience and others.

I really think with the right formula UO could be so much more popular than it is. There really isn't another game in the genre that's still official out there with as much depth and community interaction. Feel like the new player experience and the current monetization is really stunting it's growth and making the game stale. Most players won't be as patient or persistent as myself in a game like this. Most people don't even know it still exists. The common reaction to me playing/streaming UO is... "This game still exists?".

Just from my experience and observing others. I feel like the current monetization model is just horrible, outdated and absolutely not conducive to people enjoying playing or progressing naturally. In games like this, you want to make the progression fun and rewarding. You don't want the monetization to be revolved around skipping the entire game and progression. It seems like they make their money from people skipping the whole game, buying gold, tokens etc.. This is very off putting to most players looking to start. There are so many cool environments, dungeons and areas. A great variety of monsters and animals also exist. Looting is fun, there is so much loot dropping to go through.

I feel like they need to boost the skill gains all across the board and tweak some skills to make grinding less painful. Especially the taming skill, it seems like they make a lot of money just charging tamers to level up with real cash. A nice boost to skill gain and also making taming raise slowly by just controlling creatures in combat would really perk up their progression. I'm not saying make it fast or instant gratification at all. Just enough so that it's not completely grueling. There are a few of the skills in the game that feel this way. I know that you can get scrolls of alacrity and transcendence. But, these are some of the items new players will not be able to afford naturally for some time. The days of people standing still clicking for hundreds of hours are long gone(for most, especially new people). Tweak some of the skills that require that type of tedious content so they get skill gain from doing more active and fun activities. Then, once you make the progression more fun... you take away the skipping monetization. You add monetization on cosmetics and boosting gains. Accelerate skill gains on subscription accounts, but, make F2P accounts still doable and sell boosts. Make the boosts purchasable through in game currency as well. Then focus highly on cosmetics! Look at the other popular and successful f2p and current models of games like: DotA 2, League of Legends, Runescape

There seem to be quite a bit of bugs still in the game as well. I was clearing deceit and noticed the stairs are really buggy and some of the mobs as well. A nice readjustment of dungeons and mob areas. Especially those that people straight up don't ever go to. One big thing as well would be new cyclical servers. Once they get the progression to be fun and organically playing the game... NEW cyclical servers! From playing so much Shadowbane we learned over time people love the rise! Look at Escape From Tarkov as well. I think if they made 4 server types per year it would be amazing. Make a Siege Perilous server that has zero pay to win, sub only and one that is also stock with the f2p/p2w system. You can see with the popularity of private servers a good chunk of people want to play on a server without Trammel. Then make two the same way but traditional server type, one without any p2w and sub only and another with the f2p/p2w features. I think people would really enjoy this. You could even call them "Seasons" or "Eras". Personally I would love to play a sub only without f2p/p2w. You could also make an "Era" pass for extra monetization purely based off of character and house cosmetics!

I know the game is old and the dev team is probably small. But, this game still has a lot of life left and there really isn't another official game out there like it. The art style is also timeless IMO. I would love to hear from others and especially long time experienced players on what they could improve to make the game more approachable to new players. Maybe send it off to the dev team for ideas. I just really needed to express what I feel could improve the game after learning to play in recent times from a new player, but long time mmo gamer. I recently got 2 new players into the game. The new player experience needs a big rework for sure.
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Comments

  • dvviddvvid Posts: 782
    There is a seasonal shard in development that is supposed to be live by the end of the year. It is called New Legacy. 
  • Arnold7Arnold7 Posts: 941
    Have to agree.with your comments about UO.  Have been playing about 4 years now.  It’s an old game in all respects including the thinking that goes into it on the part of the development team, sorry team.  Recent posts in this forum concerning issues you have raised and management’s response or lack of response to them often mystify me.  For example, look at the teams response to a recent post regarding confusion on the end date of the egg collecting part of the recent revenge of the fey event.

    Also, have to agree UO has a lot to offer.  I enjoy playing with the players I have gotten to know and like having a house here.  UO offers a lot things to do and you don’t need to be a keyboard virtuoso to play it well.  I was looking for a game that would be easier on my hands and I can play this one fine using just a normal mouse and my keyboard, if I have just with the mouse alone.

    UO also has more bugs than any other game I have ever played, sorry again team.  But, they are now just another part of the game for me.  I accept them and generally know now recognize most of them and know what to do when they occur.

    Your comments on training are right on.  Could not believe how tedious training many of the skills is.  Basically you just do the same thing over and over again.  Try training poisoning if you are a mage.  

    And, as far as the new player experience goes, and here a am referring to new players not returning players, i am pretty sure new players without an experienced mentor or guild mate that can provide them with resources and knowledge they need to play the game don’t last more than a few days if that long.  Not really sure attracting new players is high on management’s list.  But appreciate that continuing to provide the game to it’s established player base is.

    All in all have mixed emotions about UO.  Will likely stick with it for awhile.


  • UrgeUrge Posts: 935
    Grinding needs to go. 

    A game this old should only take a few days max to do any skill you want without doing things the EASY way. Resource gathering should take one click to strip a spot of resources and not click click click click click recall to click some more. 

    I understand high end rewards being grindy but since it's mostly boss item loot based now, skill gains and resources need to be made easier. 
  • McDougleMcDougle Posts: 3,741
    Urge said:
    Grinding needs to go. 

    A game this old should only take a few days max to do any skill you want without doing things the EASY way. Resource gathering should take one click to strip a spot of resources and not click click click click click recall to click some more. 

    I understand high end rewards being grindy but since it's mostly boss item loot based now, skill gains and resources need to be made easier. 
    Offer test center controls as a vet reward....m
    Acknowledgment and accountability go a long way... 
  • GarretGarret Posts: 55
    edited July 18
    If u know what are u doing almost every skill is about 3-5 hrs from 50 to 100,  i manage to skill up taming from 50 to 90 in 4 hrs, imbuing 50 - 120 took me 15 mins, tokens are just for some on who want catch up and have money and no time, almost everything u could buy from players like ss instant bond, ther is now aggressive monetisation that put u in situation like u are at 90 skill pay 20$ to reach 100, all pretty bearable pretty fast if u know what are u doing, that is only one problem the knowledge of new player, every one just want everything instantly, but there is 25 years playerbase with 25 year content but complaining about this is like not knowing quantum mechanic and trying to get in in 2 days, it's complicate, it's a bit rusty, it's not noob friendly with a lot of secrets, but that why we love uo, every secret solve is very rewarding, that what almost every game nowadays miss.
  • LilyGraceLilyGrace Posts: 627

    Two things were introduced in UO that were IMO huge mistakes. Power Scrolls and uber gear found as drops.

    Both automatically set new or returning players at a distinct disadvantage. Their introduction, despite the intended goal of forcing players to band together, ultimately created divisiveness. They rob from the importance of crafting. And they created an instant and ongoing, outside the game, market for real world money in exchange for virtual goods. I don’t believe any of this is good for the health of UO.

    In the ‘What’s Everyone Doing Now’ thread there’s a complaint about recycled pixel crack. Honestly, new, rare, and eventually reincarnated pixel crack is exactly what would have gone a lot further in creating a healthier more interesting and more interactive UO world than the PS and Artifact drops have.

    As far as the popularity of rare or once in a blue moon UO artwork goes. Look at how wild players are for EM event items. And those drops are often just recycled items, dyed poster paint colors one usually only sees under a blacklight.

    There’s been a habit of introducing new artwork very poorly. Fishing and treasure hunting are for sure nice ways to bring us new artwork. But for the life of me I don’t understand why such a flood of these items was created. What did it take? Like a week or two of casual playing before you had multiples of all the new art?  

     Blah blah blah blah (pretend I added a lot more words here about how to better introduce new and desirable artwork). Folks on this board are clever, have great imaginations, and no doubt can think of many ways to introduce desirable rares (that are not uber gear) into the game. But I will say, I wish the systems put in place for dropping artifacts had instead been introduced as ways to find rare and unique artwork instead of player gear.

    I’m not saying there shouldn’t be a path to obtaining legendary gear that will bring you toward building a more uber fighter. Or a craftier crafter. Or a wizzier wizard. But I wish the way to get there was through players needing to build those items.

     Again, instead of hunting for legendary gear, wouldn’t it have been a healthier thing for UO to find legendary resources? Blah blah blah…pretend I added a lot more words here about how hunting for rare resources for crafters to use to make the best armor and weapons and spellbooks and potions would be more interactive and create more of a need for player cooperation.

    Greetings, Inaliz and welcome back. Interesting thread. :-}

  • SethSeth Posts: 2,753
    One huge mistake imo is the game client. The reason why it still has a 1997 game client surviving in 2022 is the proof. 

    Most softwares that survived to this day already sunset several versions.
    If it ain't broke, don't fix it. 
    ESRB warning: Some Blood. LOTS of Alcohol. Some Violence. LOTS of Bugs
  • LilyGraceLilyGrace Posts: 627
    Kinda apples and oranges though. Game philosophy vs game mechanics. But I take your point. 
  • UrgeUrge Posts: 935
    Items obviously had some impact but for most of the game they've not offered alternative ways to get the items. The previous years of content are constantly tossed out when something new arrives. We've got a massive map that's hardly used for anything but housing anymore lol. 


  • keven2002keven2002 Posts: 1,576
    The tough part about UO for new players isn't really due to the "item gap" imo but rather the learning curve to attain it. 

    On most shards, people are willing to help new people out with free gear to get you started. I've been known to walk around Haven and drop random legendary armor all over. More recently (when I've actually logged in) I've been taking the greater/major artifacts I find in treasure chests and dropping those. Will a new player have a 1 plat suit in their first week relying on others generosity? No. But the suits they get will absolutely put them in a great spot to train skills and kill stuff to get more "phat lootz". 

    The biggest hurdle is that there is 25 years of knowledge and experience to catch up on. 20+ years we didn't have things like JOAT or automatic recall ability (and recall was the only method of travel aside from gate travel) so I'd often just run from place to place depending on where I was going, especially because there weren't a whole lot of rune libraries around then. That built understanding of the geography and where to look for certain things etc. Now a days majority of travel is magic and most shards have at least 1 rune library. That's just one example of learning things over the course of years. Someone new is on a steep learning curve to figure out not only how to build a tamer but also what to tame and where to tame along with how to train the pet etc etc. There are a few sites like UOGuide / Uo-Cah / UO Wiki which help but there are still "other things" that might not even be something people know to look for.

    A new player could easily spend a few weeks just brushing up on UO info without even logging into the game which can be a very tall mountain to climb for those people who don't want homework on a video game but would rather just "go". 
  • Arnold7Arnold7 Posts: 941
    edited July 18
    Keven I did what you said for a long time before getting an EJ account and a lot more after getting one.  But for all practical purposes the basic information just is not there in any accessible way.  New players don’t even have a clue as to what they are looking for, for the most part that makes finding what you need really difficult.  When I started I did not have a clue that I could buy a filled Spellbook in Luna so I just killed mages and liches until I had all the 5th through 7th level spells.  That’s the kind of task a lot of games would have required a new player to do so I just accepted that’s what UO required.  And, enjoyed and learned how to play my character doing it.

    That lack of providing players what they need to know just pervades this game.  Even when you buy up training you don’t get any clue from the trainer on how to do what you are training.  Overall, I consider this a moderately difficult game if you know what you are doing but UO’s lack of any in game effort to provide even basic information means new players miss out on opportunities they should be taking advantage of.

    Just don’t believe players without mentors that can provide them with the basic information they should be getting from the game last very long.  Maybe NL will be different but would not count on it.

  • UrgeUrge Posts: 935
    edited July 19
    Arnold7 said:
    Keven I did what you said for a long time before getting an EJ account and a lot more after getting one.  But for all practical purposes the basic information just is not there in any accessible way.  New players don’t even have a clue as to what they are looking for, for the most part that makes finding what you need really difficult.  

    Just don’t believe players without mentors that can provide them with the basic information they should be getting from the game last very long.  Maybe NL will be different but would not count on it.


    I agree on part of it. Info is rather hard to find information if you don't have a clue where to start. I still have to use the hunters guide, which is buried deep in that sewer of another forum. 

    I've got a good one for you. I started UO with a beta CD. I've taken a lot of 1-2 year breaks but i've always kept up with the game. To this day i still have no clue how to do a tmap. 

    I don't think your last point is right. There's a lot of us still around that started with about as much knowledge as Forrest Gump and we're still around. 
  • inalizinaliz Posts: 12
    Garret said:
    If u know what are u doing almost every skill is about 3-5 hrs from 50 to 100,  i manage to skill up taming from 50 to 90 in 4 hrs, imbuing 50 - 120 took me 15 mins, tokens are just for some on who want catch up and have money and no time, almost everything u could buy from players like ss instant bond, ther is now aggressive monetisation that put u in situation like u are at 90 skill pay 20$ to reach 100, all pretty bearable pretty fast if u know what are u doing, that is only one problem the knowledge of new player, every one just want everything instantly, but there is 25 years playerbase with 25 year content but complaining about this is like not knowing quantum mechanic and trying to get in in 2 days, it's complicate, it's a bit rusty, it's not noob friendly with a lot of secrets, but that why we love uo, every secret solve is very rewarding, that what almost every game nowadays miss.
    How did you level taming from 50-100 in 3-5 hours? With no gold or real money use? I tame the creatures at my 50% mark and only gain 1% every hour.
  • MariahMariah Posts: 2,276Moderator
    I wrote this section with newer players in mind. https://uo.com/wiki/ultima-online-wiki/beginning-the-adventure/
    I hoped it would help with some of the issues you raise, however if it's not accessed, it can't help. :(


  • Arnold7Arnold7 Posts: 941
    Mariah maybe more players would access what you wrote if the mage that greets new players in New Haven provided a link to it.  At present I think he just offers a service that costs 250,000 gold.  When I first met him I had no clue as to what he was selling but since I only had 1,000 gold in my backpack I could not buy it from him anyway.  Although he did ask me if I needed any help to be honest he did not offer any.

    Another example of were some information could be offered is from the inscription trainer.  When l learned inscription I would have benefited greatly from doing bulk order deeds but she does not mention them or sell them.  Believe you have to go to Britain to get one.  No one in New Haven sells them.  So really no way a new player that should be doing them would even know that possibility exists.  Am still upset about that one.

    A lot of games provide this basic stuff in game and UO should too.  You don’t need to provide step by step procedures on how to do things.  Figuring that out is part of the game.  If the inscription trainer simply mentioned you can do bulk order deeds obtained from certain scribes in Britain to obtain things you need that would have been enough for me.
  • UrgeUrge Posts: 935
    Mariah said:
    I wrote this section with newer players in mind. https://uo.com/wiki/ultima-online-wiki/beginning-the-adventure/
    I hoped it would help with some of the issues you raise, however if it's not accessed, it can't help. :(


    Players are more apt to read a forum post that grabs attention than try to dive into a wiki. 

    Would there be anyway to do a hunters guide here with resists and slayer type? 

    A suggestion would be a subforum with pinned closed threads and links to the wiki that would look like this:

    Post name: Starting Ultima: inside would be the wiki link

    Post name: Training (insert skill) inside would be wiki link complete with some mechanical knowledge ie what to train and when. 

    This could be something the whole community could pitch in on if you needed it. 
  • SethSeth Posts: 2,753
    edited July 20
    Urge said:
    Mariah said:
    I wrote this section with newer players in mind. https://uo.com/wiki/ultima-online-wiki/beginning-the-adventure/
    I hoped it would help with some of the issues you raise, however if it's not accessed, it can't help. :(


    Players are more apt to read a forum post that grabs attention than try to dive into a wiki. 

    Would there be anyway to do a hunters guide here with resists and slayer type? 

    A suggestion would be a subforum with pinned closed threads and links to the wiki that would look like this:

    Post name: Starting Ultima: inside would be the wiki link

    Post name: Training (insert skill) inside would be wiki link complete with some mechanical knowledge ie what to train and when. 

    This could be something the whole community could pitch in on if you needed it. 
    I learnt about how to build a sampire way back in 2015 from many good forum posts such as stratics. I used to study each comment and even save as html notes to read while on the plane flying around the world. edit: real world, not shards that has shard-bound....
    If it ain't broke, don't fix it. 
    ESRB warning: Some Blood. LOTS of Alcohol. Some Violence. LOTS of Bugs
  • keven2002keven2002 Posts: 1,576
    I will also say that that are several ways to approach something like "sampire" or "tamer" (which may just add another level of complexity). I did the same thing, read pages of forums, when looking to build a garg thrower.

    The great thing about UO is that you can take the base template (ie sampire) and tweak it based on your fighting style (or what you are fighting). So while Sampire might be one of just a few viable templates for all content; there are still things you can switch out based on what you want to fight etc.
  • MariahMariah Posts: 2,276Moderator
    edited July 20
    Arnold7 said:
    Mariah maybe more players would access what you wrote if the mage that greets new players in New Haven provided a link to it.  At present I think he just offers a service that costs 250,000 gold.  When I first met him I had no clue as to what he was selling but since I only had 1,000 gold in my backpack I could not buy it from him anyway.  Although he did ask me if I needed any help to be honest he did not offer any.

    Another example of were some information could be offered is from the inscription trainer.  When l learned inscription I would have benefited greatly from doing bulk order deeds but she does not mention them or sell them.  Believe you have to go to Britain to get one.  No one in New Haven sells them.  So really no way a new player that should be doing them would even know that possibility exists.  Am still upset about that one.

    A lot of games provide this basic stuff in game and UO should too.  You don’t need to provide step by step procedures on how to do things.  Figuring that out is part of the game.  If the inscription trainer simply mentioned you can do bulk order deeds obtained from certain scribes in Britain to obtain things you need that would have been enough for me.

    I wasn't sure what you meant by this, so I made a new character on test shard.  Sir Helper has no selling list, although he does offer the opportunity to convert 'mage armor', double clicking on him gives his dialogue which simply tells you where to find the various training npc's that offer accelerated gain quests.

    I'm not entirely sure how you came to access the 'convert mage armor' option.

    Inscription BoDs were not around when the accelerated gains quests were added, so that's why the inscription trainer does not include them in his dialogue
  • McDougleMcDougle Posts: 3,741
    edited July 20
    Now this might sound crazy but when bods were added shouldn't it have been updated???

    Not just this but when the changes were made to blackthorns shouldn't have the hunters runebook included in the new players package sold in the uo store have been updated??

    No blaming spaghetti code here...
    Acknowledgment and accountability go a long way... 
  • Arnold7Arnold7 Posts: 941
    Thanks for the information on the BoDs.  Always wondered about that. Think the alchemist sells the alchemy ones. Just seems odd the inscription trainer does not.  Neither talk about them.

    Think first time I talked to the mage he told me which direction to walk and offered to convert to mage armor.  Had no idea what kind of service he was offering at the time.  It’s been awhile since I talked with him so I don’t remember what I did to get the message.  But I got it every time I talked with him.

    Think the mage would be a good place to offer a menu that provided some basic information about moongates, vendor search and other information that would be useful to beginning players.
  • looploop Posts: 154
    inaliz said:
    [snipped]

    Your perspective is valuable. As I see it, there are two types of players who are jumping into UO in the year 2022:
    1. The Nostalgia Tripper. You've played UO before and have had a sudden itch to revisit it.
    2. The MMO Tourist. You've played other MMOs and are interested in something different.
    Each has the challenge of curtailing expectations. For the first, the player needs to come to grips with the fact that the game has changed, in some cases for better and in some cases for worse. For the second, the player has to entertain UO on its own terms. It's an old game unlike any other.

    Broadsword has a role in curtailing these expectations and easing the player into the way of things. While I think it's fair to compare the game with others, given the poor quality and predatory nature of the market as a whole I'm apprehensive to find qualities that I think Broadsword should emulate. The "skip-the-grind-for-purchase" mechanics you mentioned are hints of this, but I see them as less relevant to the new player experience as a whole and more as bones thrown to players with multiple characters who don't want to repeat the grind. To put it cynically, they're meant to extract more money from an already entrenched player base, rather than extract money upfront from a newcomer, who would likely be at risk of wasting a mythic token on a poor template anyway.

    As a Nostalgia Tripper who loves UO too much to be an MMO Tourist, there are a few things that come to mind that I would like to see:
    • Where repetitive actions are the mechanism by which the player advances in the world, I would like to see UO embrace automation as a legitimate means of playing. You should be able to cast a spell over and over again in an unlimited fashion. You should be able to mine an ore node automatically until it is depleted (New Legacy newsletter shows this is on the horizon). You should be able to do any number of things that third-party clients let you do.
    • Where automation leads to uninteresting gameplay, I would like to see meaningful objectives -- not quests -- guide the players actions. For example, I played a private shard several years ago where monsters would drop skill scrolls for your highest skills. You could, for example, gain blacksmithing by killing monsters.
    • I would like to see a return to viewing UO as a living world with more things to do than combat and collect gear. There should be easier ways and more incentives to group up. You should be able to direct message friends. You should be able to link gear in chat.
    In general, I think less can be gained by comparing UO to other MMOs and more by Broadsword focusing on a core audience who can sustain the game and by maintaining the grounded design philosophy that the same things that motivate this core audience to keep playing are the same things that will attract the two types of players I mentioned above.
  • McDougleMcDougle Posts: 3,741
    No amount of great ideas is going to get us anywhere when the department team is completely ignoring the player base ....
    Acknowledgment and accountability go a long way... 
  • PawainPawain Posts: 6,968
    Making NL is what they are doing. No amount of you saying the same thing over and over is going to speed up NL being complete.  The Queen has the Minions in the Dungeon and they are not allowed out until NL is complete.
  • McDougleMcDougle Posts: 3,741
    You continue to sugar troll painting me as a disgruntled complainer who has some strange vendetta against the developers while in reality I'm one of many customers who simply have expectations for a game we love 
    Acknowledgment and accountability go a long way... 
  • PawainPawain Posts: 6,968
    There is a definition of a word, I can't think of.

    Doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result.
  • McDougleMcDougle Posts: 3,741
    Pawain said:
    There is a definition of a word, I can't think of.

    Doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result.
    I don't know why you have appointed yourself the forum policeman or why the mods allow it but you've created a culture of it's all fine and squash anything you perceive as a complaint how many people have to post asking for communication or suggesting something might be broken before its  allowed in your rose colored world?? People shouldn't be afraid of being ostracized...
    Acknowledgment and accountability go a long way... 
  • PawainPawain Posts: 6,968
    Only one person posts the same thing in every thread. Sorry UO works every time I log in. It probably does for you also.
  • McDougleMcDougle Posts: 3,741
    I'm glad everything is working great for you so you really have no other reason to comment any further on any of my posts unless you're just trolling
    Acknowledgment and accountability go a long way... 
  • LilyGraceLilyGrace Posts: 627
    I'm truly not looking to give you a hard time, McDougle. I think we're on better footing than we used to be. But I do have to be honest with you, your delivery on the boards at times can be very off putting. 

    I'm apt to take kinda long breaks from both the game and the boards. After being away for some time, I came back to you having been a poster here for a while. The first post I read of yours was in response to a player (who, as I recall, was not someone who posted often) who'd written a perfectly friendly post that I no longer remember the gist of. What I do clearly remember is how unfriendly you were in response.

    You lambasted this occasional poster, telling them they weren't playing the game right. And proceeded to tell them how they should be playing. You made a pretty big effort to laugh at them and make them look foolish. My first impression of you was you were a real a'hole. Honestly, if I'd been someone in charge of policing the boards, I would have given you a time out. 

    Not everyone has an easy time putting themselves out there, publicly posting opinions and ideas here. I thought then and now, you have no right to address people in a way that's meant to make them feel a fool. It chaps my ass to think you could be chasing off a poster who, if treated better, might be happy to stick around and share some great ideas.

    I think you've toned it down a good bit. And that's great. Not that it amounts to a hill of beans, but I think you share some really interesting ideas when you feel like posting something constructive. But you really should lay off the fan boi crap. Stop ridiculing other players for not being as upset with the game as you are. Or players that aren't upset by the same things that upset you.


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