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January 29th, 2012, 17:10
Virtual world? Were you drinking any coolaid while you were over Raph Koster's house?
Erm. No coolaid, just stating a fact.

Now I'm not going to argue about the quality of UO and EQ and their seperate elements in themselves because that's not the point (and you do do sound a bit biased as far Kostor goes actually ), but "virtual world" is very much the approach used by UO and (later) SWG.

What I mean is if you take EQ or the gazillion of clones that followed (including more recent endeavour such as WoW or The Old Republic), these are games which are basically about killing monsters, getting XP, levelling, getting loot, gears and so. It's all about battling stuff in a MMO environment, basically like a big massive Diablo kind of game. Which is fine if you like that sort of things of course.

Ultima Online was first and foremost about the virtual world : it was a big sandbox were people could come and go anything they wanted, so there were people who'd just go and kill monsters, but people who'd just go and become fishermen, miners, tailors, building houses and shops, players cities and so on. SWG was very much the same philosophy (which is no surprise since most of the team came fresh for OSI after Privateer Online got canned). And this is something that very much came from the single player Ultima series too of course.

As I said I'm not gonna argue about whether this was well handled or not, since we're obviously not gonna agree - but this is the kind of stuff that made people enjoy UO really - and sadly it's an approach that is not used in MMO anymore and personnally I'd take this over EQ 10.0 anyday of the week. And I know quite a few people who loved UO back in the day and never really got into later MMOs because none offered a similar experience.

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