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Default Ultima Forever - News Roundup

July 13th, 2012, 16:26
Ultima Forever is everywhere today and although none of the articles shed great light on the game, BioWare Mythic's Paul Barnett makes a few comments here and there.
An overview from GameSpot:
Ultima Forever: Quest for the Avatar is set to launch on iPad and PC later this year. The game, which Barnett said will be playable "start to finish" for free, is the second major free-to-play project from BioWare, the first being Facebook tie-in Dragon Age Legends. He said the team took several lessons from the EA2D project which was recently discontinued online.
"It had a lot of good ideas in it, it struggled to find a long-term audience, and perhaps was too aggressive with its monetization policy," Barnett said. So instead of "glass walls" preventing advancement through the game, Ultima Forever players will be able to buy additional means of transport or the ability to fast travel through the world.
Ultima Forever will feature the same set of virtues from its 1985 counterpart, but players will find new choices and consequences reflected in the game's fully integrated multiplayer. "Virtue is how you treat other people, in lots of games that's how you treat NPCs," said lead designer Kate Flack. "We want to take that same idea of how you treat other people and then apply it to the players."
Kotaku has the best information and has Paul Barnett saying "We've taken Ultima IV, and then we've re-imagined it. We've basically taken the Batman reboot option. The Spider-Man reboot option."
What we've done is we've picked Ultima IV, because we think Ultima IV is really cool, and it's neat, and it's ace, and then we've made it so it's small groups of people, three or four people down [in] the dungeon, going through the world of Ultima, going in to see all the famous towns and all the NPCs and the entire world's available…
Going into hot air balloons and flying over mountain ranges, getting into galleons [and] sailing across the oceans, surviving the great big storms, getting back to sea monsters, going to Stygian Abyss, and then competing to collect the actual Virtues, the eight Virtues that make you a good person, which is why Ultima IV is neat.
[We'll be] doing that by giving you quandaries, actual conversations that you have to solve. Which are things like… you find some money. You've got the merchant who lost the money, and you can give it back to him which is the Just thing to do, or do you give it to this poor person who's starving, which is the Compassionate thing to do.
They're both good answers. But they're both challenging answers. You've got to think about both of them. And that's basically the driving force behind this game.
He goes on to describe some basics:
In this case, that means a top-down isometric view, with hand-painted backgrounds and 3D characters. According to Barnett, "It plays fast, it's clicky, but the combat's fluid and fun rather than tactical and mind-numbing. The character progression is soft with a smooth up ramp… You're going to get in conversation trees which are much more like you would get in Dragon Age."
Read the full Kotaku article for Barnett saying it can be completed (slowly) solo and without paying anything.
Barnett tells IGN the game is almost finished:
While Barnett was unable to provide a release date, he did tell IGN that "it's mostly finished. We're in the polished phase." Hopefully we'll get to play it soon to find out if it lives up to the legacy of the Ultima franchise, but for now you can learn a bit more and sign up for the upcoming closed beta on the official website.
From Massively:
[quote]And what about the gameplay? Is Ultima Forever an MMO?

No, though Barnett says it has "a lot" of players in it. "It's very tribal in the way we're building it," he explained. The game is a small-group affair, with "tactical, positional" combat that is less about hotbar abilities and more about where your characters stand, what kind of equipment they have, and how you use your abilities together.

Barnett compared the game to the hunting areas in older BioWare titles like Baldur's Gate, and he pointed out that the essence of Ultima Forever is focused on improving your virtues…More information.
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July 13th, 2012, 16:26
"It plays fast, it's clicky, but the combat's fluid and fun rather than tactical and mind-numbing."

Sigh.

And I thought tactical meant fun and clicky meant mind-numbing.
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July 13th, 2012, 18:27
Neither way is inherently either "fluid and fun" nor "tactical and mind numbing". Nor is "tactical" inherently good or bad. Look at the second Pool of Radience. Tactical combat *and* totally mind numbing. Heck, it was a cure for insomnia.
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July 13th, 2012, 19:18
Originally Posted by BillSeurer View Post
Neither way is inherently either "fluid and fun" nor "tactical and mind numbing". Nor is "tactical" inherently good or bad.
Truer words may have never been spoken.
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July 14th, 2012, 00:21
"It's like when someone tells you to read Chaucer," Barnett commented. "I know it's supposed to be brilliant, but it's incomprehensible!" Shifting from literature to film, he compared it to Battleship Potemkin, a 1925 Soviet film that pioneered many techniques that nearly all movies have used since. "I mean, I'm aware that Battleship Potemkin defined modern cinema, but it's not a great view. You watch it and go, 'it's black and white and a bit crap, I'd rather watch something else.' And that's basically the problem we've been faced with, is how to reimagine and reboot a classic and make it so that there's a new generation that can have an Ultima."
Real talk.

I like how in the second interview the guy apparently didnīt bother detailing his parallels and just went
"It's like reading Chaucer," Barnett said in an interview with GameSpot. "The controls are deeply inadequate, the graphics are horrible, the input system is byzantine at best."
The Canterbury Tales with better controls (AB edition) sure wouldnīt hurt .
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Default Ultima Forever

July 16th, 2012, 05:09
Originally Posted by BillSeurer View Post
Neither way is inherently either "fluid and fun" nor "tactical and mind numbing". Nor is "tactical" inherently good or bad. Look at the second Pool of Radience. Tactical combat *and* totally mind numbing. Heck, it was a cure for insomnia.
Ultima Forever: Quest for the Avatar will be free to download on both PC and iPad. It generates revenues through the sales of ingame virtual items.
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July 16th, 2012, 05:10
Ultima Forever: Quest for the Avatar will be free to download on both PC and iPad. It generates revenues through the sales of ingame virtual items.
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July 19th, 2012, 20:51
Personally, I'm sick and tired of hearing this idea that Ultima IV is somehow difficult to play. It's a very small computer game comparatively speaking and can be learned reasonably quickly if you pay simple attention and write down the commands.

Comparing it to literature that requires a much more deeper set of literacy based skills and some knowledge of medieval linguistics, is simplistic and silly.

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Last edited by Pessimeister; July 21st, 2012 at 11:30.
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July 20th, 2012, 05:17
Originally Posted by Pessimeister View Post
Personally, I'm sick and tired of hearing this idea that Ultima IV is somehow difficult to play. It's a very small computer game comparitively speaking and can be learnt reasonably quickly if you pay simple attention and write down the commands.

Comparing it to literature that requires a much more deeper set of literacy based skills and some knowledge of medieval linguistics, is simplistic and silly.
This makes absolutely perfect sense to me (for what it's worth). Nevertheless I strongly doubt that the 'arteests' at BioWare would agree.

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August 31st, 2012, 08:27
Great…they've managed to turn Ultima into The Legend of Zelda.
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