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Zugg
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PostPosted: Tue Jul 12, 2005 5:30 am   

Ultima Online Revisited
 
For some reason, I've become bored with the latest crop of MMORPGs. Even World of Warcraft that I was loving has gotten boring to me. I don't like the PVP "honor" system that was added, and I've seen a lot of the world with multiple characters now. The instance dungeons get ridiculously hard even for good groups at higher levels and just are not fun anymore.

So, I played with an old favorite this past weekend. I really enjoyed Ultima Online many years ago (10 years??). It was the first and had many problems, but it's skill-based system has always been the best in my opinion.

I found a 14-day free trial for Ultima Gold (UO plus a bunch of the expansion packs). Free download (big), and free trial. It is available on FilePlanet and GameSpot.

What drove me away from UO originally was the pkilling. I really hated hunting in the forest and then getting jumped by a high level killer and losing all of my stuff. So when I learned that UO had been split into two different worlds, and the default (Trammel) had no pkilling, I was excited to try it again.

The graphics have improved somewhat in their 3D client. They have a good "retro" look and I've always been a fan of the isometric perspective games like Ultima. There is a lot of loot, which is one of my favorite parts of these games, and the great skill-based system is still there.

I played for many hours this weekend and was having a lot of fun again...until I died.

For some reason, they never fixed the horrible death system on UO and I had forgotten how bad it can be. When you die, all of your stuff is left on your corpse and you are a ghost in search of a healer. Well, I died in the Vesper graveyard, and there is a wondering healer right in the graveyard. So I thought, no problem, I'll just rez right here. I forgot that when you rez you have less than 10% of your health.

So guess what, I immediately died again from the same specter that killed me the first time. I left the graveyard as a ghost and found another healer. But the regeneration rate is horrible. I just couldn't wait on my health to recover. I tried getting in to get my corpse again, and died again. OK, fine, this time I went back to Vesper, got some cloth out of my bank box and made some bandages. Got my health back up to full, grabbed a spare weapon and armor and headed back to the graveyard.

After fighting my way back in I got to my original death spot, and there was no corpse. Everything was GONE!!! I was still a new, poor character and didn't have insurance on anything. I don't know if there is a limit to the number of corpses you can have, or if the corpse timer is just really short. It was probably only 15 minutes from when I died the first time until I got back to the corpse at the end. My guess is that there is a limit to the number of corpses, which is just horrible and stupid.

So, everything that I worked all weekend to get...all of my armor and good weapons, are all gone.

What a waste of time. Why would they create a "carebear" server with no pkilling and then leave such a horrible death penalty compared to all of the other games out there. In 10 years have they not figured out that this kind of severe death penalty isn't fun at all??

Yeah, I know, the GM players are probably laughing. None of them probably die anymore. Maybe they've forgotten what it's like as a new player. It took a lot of work to get enough money to buy all of that good equipment that I had. And to rez you naked with no health is just plain mean@!

Good thing this was a free trial. I won't be paying to play this. Too bad...it could be so much fun.

I guess that's my comment about a lot of MMORPGs right now...each one has it's own faults. Everything is level-based grinding. Why hasn't anyone cloned the UO skill-based system? Or they either have an extreme death penalty like UO, or no death penalty at all (like WoW). Seems like a middle-ground is needed here.

I wish I had a bunch of friends who were talented graphical artists and had the time to invest in a game of my own. I've been in a ton of betas and none of them have listened to my feedback on what would make a better game. AC2 was a great example. I complained about the leveling system, the lack of space to carry stuff, the lack of loot, etc. They didn't listen. And guess what...the game was a flop.

Sure, everyone probably thinks they can design a better game. So why are we 10 years since the beginning of UO and still don't have a really high quality game?

Guild Wars? Got bored with killing the same scorpions all the time. I missed the green starting area and got tired of the "wasteland" feeling of the next part of the game that goes on for too long.

I guess I'll go back to WoW and see if I can find a way to make it fun again. Maybe someday someone will release a game that is fun instead of just tedious.

My question is: is this even possible? Are MMORPGs doomed to be boring level grinding treadmills? Will companies continue to make the game tedious just to force you to subscribe longer in order to make any progress in the game? Are their any other games out there that do it better that I should be trying? (I've already played the "big names" like EQ, DAoC, EQ2, AC, AC2, UO, AO).

Am I forced to conclude that MUDs are still better? Hasn't *anyone* taken a proven MUD game-play system and adapted it for a MMORPG?
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Rorso
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Joined: 14 Oct 2000
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PostPosted: Tue Jul 12, 2005 8:43 am   
 
The death system in Ultima Online isn't too bad but I think it has a very quick decay time. You should really go together with other people to graveyards in the beginning - after all it is a multiplayer game. Other methods is to practice on animals until your skill improves a little. What I find a little odd is that you didn't get the protection of young player status. A young player doesn't lose his stuff (http://guide.uo.com/miscellaneous_7.html) but you might have gone above the skill limit.

When you get very good stuff you should bank them in UO. That is why the bank is there. Going into dungeons or any hostile area involves a great amount of risk. If the banking of items was removed then the system would have to be changed. Players would need a higher chance to recover their items.

If you look at MUD then most times it works so that you always get all your stuff back. However often there's no bank where you can store objects.

What kinda destroys Ultima Online though is all the cheating programs that are avaible and basicully auto-plays the game for you. Then again all mmrpgs have their own flaws and issues.

Zugg wrote:

My question is: is this even possible? Are MMORPGs doomed to be boring level grinding treadmills? Will companies continue to make the game tedious just to force you to subscribe longer in order to make any progress in the game? Are their any other games out there that do it better that I should be trying? (I've already played the "big names" like EQ, DAoC, EQ2, AC, AC2, UO, AO).

Am I forced to conclude that MUDs are still better? Hasn't *anyone* taken a proven MUD game-play system and adapted it for a MMORPG?

The issue here is in the word RPG. While I have never played any RPG such as ad&d I believe I have a pretty good idea of how it works there. The difference between the MMRPGs and the real RPGs is that too much focus is put on levelling. Another interesting issue is if a RPG can be done on a massive scale.

If MUDs are better, Zugg, then why don't you seem to still play them? The level grinding is in most MUDs too and often with few good quests. Most MUDs seem to have "fetch object" quests. We often paint the past with more colours than the present. The only way to really check if your statement is correct is to try a MUD.
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Zugg
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PostPosted: Tue Jul 12, 2005 6:03 pm   
 
Oh, I was well past "young" status. My combat skills were in the 60's and I had an undead slayer weapon and could normally hold my own just fine in the graveyard. But a specter spawned right in the middle of another battle and got off a couple of lucky spells, and I couldn't cure the poison in time. After that it was a problem with having low health, nobody around to help, and everything respawned. It was a stupid decision to spawn in the middle of the graveyard the first time, but my guess is that this kind of problem would continue to haunt me throughout the game as I got deeper into various dungeons.

The decay time on corpses is too short, and I discovered that there does seem to be a limit on the number of corpses. I still believe that they should rez you with more health, especially as a newer character. Also, the "insurance" rate should scale by some skill level. 600 gold per item is waaaay too expensive for new characters. The shock of dealing with lost items after having such an easy time as a "young" player is just too drastic as it currently stands.

As I mentioned, once it happened, I finally remembered what a pain death was in UO. I had forgotten (playing too many other games with little/no death penalty). It's probably not bad at all once you are a high level character and can just auto-insure all of your good stuff. But as a new player (but past the young status), it's very rough. I guess they don't get enough new players anymore to make this much of an issue.

The main reason I don't play any MUDs anymore is really just because of the typing involved. I do a *lot* of typing as work (programming). So when I'm sitting with my laptop at night trying to relax, I just like to use the mouse and click on stuff. Yeah I know, that's pretty sad. I also admit that I like games with graphics. Although as I mentioned above, I'm a fan of "retro" graphics like UO, so I don't need something as beautiful as WoW (although the great graphics of WoW are one of the things that I don't get bored with).

You are right about D&D though. I just got done with a 2-year campaign (had to stop so I had more time to work on zApp/eMobius). I think we levelled about once every 2 months. Our characters were at level 12 after those 2 years. Levelling was never something that was focused on. It was all story driven, which is nearly impossible in a MMORPG setting.

But I'll go back to the skill-based systems. In UO, as you know, there are not any levels at all. You just have a bunch of skills and they improve with use. When you hit the skill total cap, then you can control which skills decrease as you increase others. Thus, you can become any character that you want. A warrior can learn a bit of magic, or when a new set of skills are released, you can start to learn them as well without re-rolling. I think EVE also has a skill-based system, but I was turned off by the long periods of time just staring at the screen waiting to get somewhere. But those are the only two MMORPGs that I'm aware of that are skill based rather than level based.

I remember playing a couple of skill-based MUDs years ago but forget what they were. But even the level based Realms of Despair didn't become a grind that I can recall, and I played that for at least a year. Don't know if any skill-based MUDs still exist, but someone else might be able to post on that.

Sure, in a skill-based game you still "grind" your skills. But that has a lot more variety than just grinding on levels, and there is more continuous improvement of your character and skills rather than waiting for the big jump when going up to the next level. I remember DAoC being horrible in this regard...when you increase your level, suddenly you can kill stuff that you couldn't even kill 2 minutes ago. I prefer a continuous improvement system, rather than a "jump" system like levels.

The largest scale I have seen attempted for RPGs is with Neverwinter Nights. It was somewhat successful, although certainly not in the category of MMORPGs. NWN2 might be interesting if they can fix the sheer boredom of the graphics in NWN1. I got really tired of seeing the same tileset used for each town, each forest, etc.
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Zugg
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PostPosted: Wed Jul 13, 2005 5:09 am   
 
I discovered a nice web site for discussing MMORPGs tonight: www.mmorpg.com There are many intelligent threads discussing the current state of MMORPGs and many people having the same "boredom" problem that I am having.

There are a few trolls there, like with any discussion boards, but for the most part the topics are interesting. It's a great place to see the scope of current and future games. It even had some threads about MUD games (although a post about zMUD was telling people how to run an old version for free, which was a bit upsetting to see).

I also learned that both Horizons and Star Wars Galaxies have undergone a lot of changes and improvements recently. I'm considering reactivating some of my old characters to see if things have improved enough.
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Rorso
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Joined: 14 Oct 2000
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PostPosted: Wed Jul 13, 2005 5:39 am   
 
I don't like wrap-copy-protection. The basic idea is that I believe a wrapper is more likely to be cracked as it is more rewarding(of course as I don't make commercial software I don't have any statistics revealing to me if my suspicion is valid). That is if you crack a wrapper protection you have a large amount of applications you can get for "free".

Zugg wrote:

The largest scale I have seen attempted for RPGs is with Neverwinter Nights. It was somewhat successful, although certainly not in the category of MMORPGs. NWN2 might be interesting if they can fix the sheer boredom of the graphics in NWN1. I got really tired of seeing the same tileset used for each town, each forest, etc.

The poor graphics in NWN was actually done on purpose I think. One of their goals were that users should be able to make their own modules. Because of that a lot of things were simplified so that basicully anyone could use the toolset.

NWN was never meant to be a persistent world game, MUD, or MMRPG even though some people try to run such servers. Something I like with NWN is how the developers have continued to support it. It really isn't the same game that was first released.

Edit: One of the really bad things with NWN is that it is based on ad&d. Something which I believe has prevented it from becoming really successful. For example when Bioware released Witch Wake for free they suddenly removed it from the site a few week afterwards. Appearently WotC had forced them to send all the stuff to them for validation - even though Witch Wake wasn't even based in Forgotten Realms.

As you might remember Witch Wake was unusual. It was more or less developed in the same way zMUD is. That is it was very openly discussed with the target audience and the developers even used custom made scripts. As the world is today though it seems many companies don't dare to openly discuss software - even though Witch Wake appearently became a huge success when finally released. Instead many companies seem to concentrate on lawyers and licenses and keep their game almost totally secret until release. I wonder if it is the lawyers they have as target audience for their game? Rolling Eyes

When I am at it I will mention that Bioware seem to have an internal beta testing group. That is a set of people employed full time to do beta testing. While this sounds good - it isn't necessarily a good thing in my opinion. Those beta testers aren't the end users and I believe there's much more to making applications than fixing obvious bugs. Only when a real end user use the application you can observe how he reacts. Also when testing software over and over again you seem to get used to it's odd behaviour :-). In Witch Wake it was the target audience who beta tested the module (there's also a danger in reusing beta testers which sadly was what I fear would have happened hadn't development ceased).

Development of Witch Wake suddenly ceased and after 1 or 2 years a commercial version was made. Why? Because it's too expensive to release free stuff like modules according to Bioware. My own belief is that the validation WotC does is what is expensive. The reason is that during the Witch Wake project it was mentioned that it wasn't too expensive to let only one employee work on it. Of course the reason could also be that the project was too successful and Bioware became greedy.
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Zugg
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PostPosted: Wed Jul 13, 2005 4:50 pm   
 
zMUD has a lot more than just simple "wrap" copy protection. If the eLicense wrapper is removed in any way, then zMUD will crash at various random times and cause all sorts of problems. The eLicense wrapper that zMUD uses is unique to each wrapped application. It's not a simple wrapper like some other competitors. That's why I picked eLicense and have stuck with it.

What disturbed me was that this forum has mostly "mature" adult posters, and yet they still think it's ok to hack software and use it for free. Just goes to show the world is going down the tubes and all of us small developers will be out of business one of these days. Then everyone will complain that software is all crap from big companies, without understanding that it was the users who cracked software that caused the problem.

I totally agree with your comments on NWN. What always annoyed me was that the advertised the ability to convert PnP modules into online NWN modules, and yet there graphics engine wasn't nearly good enough to accomplish this. I tried converting several of my D&D modules and never had any success at all. Computer RPGs are just very different than PnP roleplaying modules in many many ways.
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Vijilante
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Joined: 18 Nov 2001
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 14, 2005 12:05 am   
 
Live human interaction will never be fully emulated in any type of online RPG.

I remember the role playing group, that my social circle intersected with for a time, very fondly. All too often in the middle of paying attention to our characters someone would say just the right thing to get us all lost in laughter; or truly think about what our own lives are really like, if just for a moment. No matter how well the RP on an online system is preformed there is a barrier that simply will not be broken until the online environment moves at the same speed spoken word does. While game play is actually faster online, even the grind, what you actually miss in your online experience is those moments were IC shifts rapidly to OOC.

You also miss those rare moments where 2 people become so totally in character that the entire group falls silent, barely daring to breathe less they disrupt the moment, and events between those characters unfold; the goal of leveling or improving a skill completely is forgotten. This sort of interaction is totally impossible in a programmed environment.

In some ways such moments always made me uncomfortable, so I find my online experience more enjoyable. Lately I have been spending a lot of time with Wyvern. They have a skill and level conglomerate system. As you level you get skill points to improve skills. Each race is open in how its skills are chosen, but they are somewhate predilicted to certain callings. My particular design of skills and race is contrary to the norm and already has some people thinking about balance issues before I have even finished doing it. The graphics are 2D and there aren't really that many distinct items amongst the possible loot. However the world that has been made is quite large, I haven't even explored much beyond the main cities. They have a very retro feel, without the trully adult player base required for RP. I guess this just became an ad, but that is where I have been spending my time. Oh! and score lists, truly my bane. They compile scores about your character in a number of different ways, and being of my personality I love to find myself in those lists and figure what I have to do to advance.
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Zugg
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PostPosted: Mon Jul 25, 2005 3:54 pm   
 
Vijilante I completely agree. I really miss the live D&D sessions Chiara and I were doing with some friends. One of our group members moved away and with all of the time I needed to spend on zApp, we just took a break from gaming. But it was exactly those human interaction segments that made D&D totally different from anything else. And it's really hard to replace that live interaction with chat typing.

My guess is that we will see a new step forward in this when more games support voice chatting and commands. We experimented with voice using RogerWilco with Asheron's Call a few years ago. It made the game totally different to be able to interact with a group in real time and *in character*.

The problem, of course, is that most people in the game just wouldn't speak in-character. The chat in World of Warcraft is a perfect example of how bad it can get...I have to turn off my global chat in that game. But if you could limit voice interaction with guild members, or something like that, and easily "gag" annoying people, then it might be fun again. I think this kind of interaction could go a long way to making computer RPGs more involved in role-playing.

And yes, there are also times when you just want to play quietly alone yourself. But most MMORPGs don't come close to the gameplay of non-online RPGs for now. Maybe sometime they will try to improve the single-player experience so that there isn't any difference between an offline game (Baldurs Gate, etc) and online RPGs.

I'll take a look at Wyvern. I'm always interested in new skill-based systems.
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Rainchild
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PostPosted: Mon Jul 25, 2005 11:59 pm   
 
The trouble with voice chat is you can't be a hot elf chick :p
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nexela
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PostPosted: Tue Jul 26, 2005 12:04 am   
 
Sure you can, Just explain that you have a dwarf caught in your throat

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Fawl
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 28, 2005 8:36 pm   
 
I do not play any virtual games, nor would I waste my money on them. Why? You pay for the game then you have to pay to play the game, which sounds a stupid.

No, if I were to play a virtual game of any kind, I want to pay $100-$200 on a game system built specifically for one game. The system must have a link (infra red maybe I don’t care) built directly to the server via satellite.

The system would act as a virtual client similar to that of Z-mud to a mud. This would give the ability for Administrators or Immortals to change entire areas/equipment stats/major overhauls of the system without you having to buy stupid $20.00 expansion packs or downloading annoying patches.

The game would be free. How you ask? Smile Easy it will replace T.V. When you walk into a room there might be a banner on the wall “Cheerios the good for the Heart”. But who cares? It would be free.



back to reality....*SIGH* Sad
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theNerd
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Joined: 01 Mar 2005
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PostPosted: Sun Jul 31, 2005 3:20 am   
 
Okay, I never played MUDs or MMORPGs but what I use to play were the old Text Adventure (or Interactive Fiction) games. I recently came across a small company that still makes them. I purchased one of the games, Pentari: First Light. It's larger than Zork I, Zork II and Zork III combined! Howard Sherman, the author, has a very good writing style and has been favorably reviewed. I am enjoying it so far even though I am very rusty at these type of games Confused

You can check out his games here: http://www.malinche.net. They are not free but considering the amount of work and research he's put in them it is worth the money and they're better than most books (IMHO).
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Zugg
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PostPosted: Sun Jul 31, 2005 4:49 pm   
 
Thanks for the link...I'll definitely check out the malinche site. I've always like good interactive fiction.

Fawl, you might look at Guild Wars. It doesn't have any monthly fee and many people like it. There are also lots of other free games out there. Check out the www.mmorpg.com site.

However, you have to be careful wishing for everything to be free. These games take a lot of manpower and computer power to keep running. I can't imagine the resources of keeping something like World of Warcraft running...they have *lots* of servers, and with the reliability of computer equipment, something is *always* going to be broken at any given time.

I think it's important to learn that people need money to live in this real world of ours and you can't just go around wanting everything to be free. For example, how would I live if I gave zMUD away for free? How would I pay my bills for my house and food? And if I got a "normal" job, then I wouldn't have any time to work on zMUD would I? People should be compensated for their work, whether they are writing software, books, games, or doing other jobs. Younger people don't usually understand this until they have to go get a job on their own. Until people are out of school and have to deal with bills, jobs, etc, they don't fully appreciate why you need to pay for things. At least with small companies it's easier to interact with the author and see where the money is going. But as I've said many times before, the free software and open software movement hurts small developers like me a lot more than it hurts the "giants" like Microsoft.

Anyway, sorry for the rant...stopping now ;)
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Rorso
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PostPosted: Sun Jul 31, 2005 8:41 pm   
 
A lot of large mmrpgs I get the feeling have even worse staff than many MUDs. Just because it is commercial doesn't always make it better. It is in my opinion quite the opposit when it comes to mmrpg-like games. (and if you read the WoW forums the flames are very dense and very hot - worse than many MUD forums. Again many MUDs have less players.).

About free software. Blizzard patents stuff they make up for WoW I believe. This is in my opinion a real block in the software world. (I am pretty much against software patents. If they only lasted for 3-5 years or so I *might* change my views but as it is now I think software patents are more abused than they do good. An example is an old thread I found on usenet where Richard Bartle discussed a patent issue. Appearently the concept of multi-player games like MUDs and mmrpgs were patented in the US until about 2002 or so.).

So in a way I see free software as important at the current time even though I at the same time amazingly dislike a lot about free software. A kind of balance keeper to the large commercial companies power which they of course do abuse. Believing otherwise would be foolish as much seems to be controlled by potential return of investment rather on what could do good to the world.

There is a lot to be discussed about "to be paid for ones work". Some things are important that they remain free. Like what if Microsoft owned the Internet? Or what if, say, the telnet protocol was patented - then zMUD would be pretty much impossible together with the MUDs. It is always possible to argue on either side and throw pies in all directions.

Why not just "patent away" all competitors? :)
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Zugg
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 01, 2005 4:37 am   
 
I agree. Software Patents are generally a bad thing and are being horribly abused by a lot of companies. It's too bad that there are so many examples of the extremes (big bad companies, and then the free market) and not a lot left in between. I read an interesting analysis of this....

For example, take eMobius (or pick your other favorite "small" email client like TheBat, PocoMail, etc). With eMobius in the middle, you have Thunderbird on the free side, and Outlook on the "big bad company" side. So what happens in this situation? Outlook doesn't compete directly with Thunderbird. Outlook makes it's money with big companies that have the site contracts, and also from people who use it as part of Outlook and take advantage of a lot of work-flow stuff with Office and Exchange. Corporate customers mostly ignore the free product because they need support.

So the free Thunderbird doesn't hurt Microsoft much. But it certainly hurts the small companies trying to sell email. As Thunderbird gets better and better and adds more and more features, it starts competing directly with the eMobius, Bat, Pocomail products. Unless these products do something unique, the free software eventually puts them out of business.

Thus, the small companies are hurt a *lot* by the free software. If you extrapolate over a longer time period, you end up with just the two extremes: the free Thunderbird end, and the big-bad Outlook end. Stuff in the middle ends up dying away from lack of income.

The software patents are just another strategy that the big companies use to try and widen this gap against both the small companies and the free software products.

Anyway, that's one of my worries, and something I continue to think about with regard to eMobius. Fortunately, the email market is *huge*, so maybe a few good middle products can still compete with both the Thunderbird and Outlook extremes. But it's going to be difficult. zMUD certainly continues to be squeezed by the improving free MUD clients. It might only be a matter of time before people stop paying money for a MUD client.

So, you can see where this leads. Small companies like Zugg Software fall apart due to lack of income as more free alternatives appear. The people promoting free software aren't making a lot of difference against the big companies...Microsoft is doing just fine. But they are really hurting small business, and I'm not sure they intend that kind of harm, but it's happening.
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atlasmud.com
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Joined: 08 Nov 2005
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PostPosted: Thu Nov 10, 2005 9:42 am   
 
well i have to say that i am an old timer myself , i prefer the text base mideveil setting muds designed for all ages to play.
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SavantEdge
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Joined: 08 Jan 2006
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 08, 2006 1:05 pm   
 
Quote:
Am I forced to conclude that MUDs are still better? Hasn't *anyone* taken a proven MUD game-play system and adapted it for a MMORPG?


Well, I think the problem here lies with the interface. MUDs have a lot more action options because they can allow as many commands as you can type words and can be coded in, as opposed to a graphical game, which is limited to key combinations on a keyboard and a mouse. Its somewhat analagous to a tabletop game's possible actions to a MUD's.
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BlackSmith
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Joined: 08 Dec 2002
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PostPosted: Fri Jan 27, 2006 10:28 am   Re: Ultima Online Revisited
 
Zugg wrote:
Guild Wars? Got bored with killing the same scorpions all the time. I missed the green starting area and got tired of the "wasteland" feeling of the next part of the game that goes on for too long.
Ehm? In GW the idea for killing everything and doing every quest is same as you would try to do the same thing in any mud.
The PvE is there to introduce you how to play and what your character can do, not (WoW like) to grind & kill everything that moves for couple gold pieces that wont make a difference.
After you are familiar with your character and know the basics from other classes you go for the arenas and guild matches ("PvP").
As dying is not a big deal in GW, you wont get same kind of "aww crap, there goes 6h' of playing PUUF" feeling than in some other mmorpg's. Instead you get "aaaargh, does my team got the chance to get me back up or can they pull the rest of the fight alone?".

GW is more like tactical/strategy MMOrpg, having advancing and some of the fluff from rpg side and lot more of the paper-sicor-rock for fighting side than "i got 3m more expencive equs than you, i win".

If the scorpions seem booring, skip em and do some other quests or go too next mission. Realy, the idea is not to do them all in one seat.
Or if you feel that you have mastered your character and that is uber killing machine, go to arena and see if you are any good.
Thats where the game starts.

Zugg wrote:
Am I forced to conclude that MUDs are still better? Hasn't *anyone* taken a proven MUD game-play system and adapted it for a MMORPG?
Well the single main problem is that while mud's lack graphical output, graphical games lack the taste of "reality".
Yes in graphical mmorpg's i see lot and get immidiet feeling of reality/being there, but it quickly disaperas as the characters and things are horribly restricted. Even if im able to scratch my arse, i can choose witch hand i use and will i do it with nails or just to soothe my arrow filed butt.
In (best) muds you can do lot more, be it scracthing your arse with one nail or having sex with the nice looking elf or toss a rock trough window or whatnot.
In muds you see the nonvisual things trough imagination, while in graphical mmorpg's you have to use your imagination to try see more/different things that is shown at the screen while your logic keeps hammering "you are NOT scratching with left hand EVEN if you say so!! You SEE you are not!!".

Well to get a reason why graphical muds ...er mmorpg's dont have all the versatility coded?
Reality, or taste of reality is not (yet) observed as a key feature for mmorpg's. Fluffy world, elfs with big tits, immortal players, big bang bangs and swing swings is tought to keep the players sitting before the screen for ever, but anyone that has a wife/husband knows that it is not the looks that keep you enduring s/he trough the years but how he ...feels (thinks & acts & behaves) as a person to you.
Same thing here.
Majority of the mmorpg's are funn as long as you see the shell and dont go poking around the core. Eventually when all the fun is done and you would want to left a mark to the (game) world you find out that "so i got muscle, brains and magic more than half the planet but im not able to build a house? where was that log off button..." and so that game goes back to shelf.

_________________
BatMUD Best MMORPG around since 1990 telnet://bat.org:23
~ Magic & Mind beats Chrome & Meat anytime ~
Pattern(s) in PERL. Using Cmud 1.34/2.09 & BatClient.
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MarkL
Newbie


Joined: 22 Dec 2004
Posts: 3

PostPosted: Tue Mar 14, 2006 2:51 am   
 
I played UO back when T2A came out and got bored of it for the reasons you said. However, there is an entire universe of worlds ("shards") that use the UO software but are free to play and are run by players. You can check out the Ultima Online Top 200 or other UO shard lists. Each has its own rules, so you may find one that you like. If you look around, you may be able to find one that you like. Some are PK-focused; others are no-PK. Some emulate current OUO (offical) rules, some emulate old rules (say, 1999), others change every rule and make it a brand new game. There really is a good deal of variety out there. Setting up the software to work with a free shard is a bit of a pain, but there are programs like UOGateway that should do it for you. If you want more information or help, just ask!
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adamwalker
Apprentice


Joined: 12 Mar 2005
Posts: 195

PostPosted: Sat Mar 25, 2006 12:19 pm   
 
just so you all know.. you can LEGALLY play ultima online on a player run shard. well it does break the client contract, but its always a fine line. this link might explain more

http://uo.stratics.com/content/guides/emulatorfaq.shtml

often they have thier own set of rules, new code, etc. They do it by running emulation that EA have not had a problem with offically so far.

If you dont like the OSI (official) game because of xx reason the unoffical ones may be what your looking for.

I myself played UO for 3 months. Maxed all my skills (yes in 3 months), maxed all my items so i had the perfect armour and weapons (yes in 3 months!). something that in my beloved mud, avalon, would take well over a year, maybe 2 years. a real achievement.

ive never played on a player run shard but i hear that www.easyuo.com (the guys behind UO scripting) run thier own shard

but as with anything free or player run. its bound to be buggy or slow or not well supported.

the thing with MMORPGs is that the community is so large and the politics is so hard to control, it ultimately becomes a hack and slash. in avalon/imperian/etc the communities are of a size where people know people and real friendships and enemies develop. you feel a real attachment to your home city. in Ultima you rarely see the same person twice.. infact there was only one person i saw on a regular basis that wasnt in my guild.

Tried building an effective RP with 5000 other strangers?

just my 2 cents.
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