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Default Richard Garriott's "Ultimate RPG"

November 12th, 2011, 00:57
Richard Garriott posted a lengthy on Wednesday asking 'What is Lord British "Ultimate" Role Playing Game'. It covers his journey through the Ultimas is some depth and criticises EA's use of the property, so here's a cut from the end. It's clear (unsurprisingly) that Garriott sees social gaming as the future and his "ultimate" RPG is some sort of FarmVille meets MMO:
The Third Grand Era of Games – Social & Mobile gaming
Today, with my new company Portalarium, and with the talents and skills of many who made Ultima an Ultimate RPG, we set forth to forge a “New Britannia,” a new world from scratch, internally self-consistent, deep and refined. We have lofty goals as an Ultimate RPG. An Ultimate RPG does not fear going where others fear or have failed.
Few believed I would find success during the years I took to craft Ultima IV: Quest of the Avatar and its deeply introspective plot. Fewer yet believed in “MUltima” when we began that design journey, and it opened the doors to the MMO space. Many traditional gamers are concerned about the growth of the new social and mobile gaming and its impact on games with meaning and depth. They are doubtful that this era will provide them the Ultimate RPG experience they crave. But this new era has unearthed some powerful new tools that add to the value of an Ultimate RPG.
For example, let’s look at two hypothetical versions of Ultima Online. Version A is the version that was shipped. You drive to the store to buy it, pay $50, drive home, go through a lengthy install, subscribe for $10+ / month, create a character, get dropped into the virtual world, and about 4 hours later, you have explored the game far enough to know it’s amazing. Now imagine version B of the same game. You receive a link from a friend and click on it. You start to play immediately for free. The install and intro to the game has been written in a way that you understand the game within minutes…not hours. After you have played long enough to know it’s worth the money, you are asked to pay by whatever method you find acceptable. I would argue that with these otherwise identical games, version B would totally dominate, because it was in fact a better game and better game experience.
There are staggeringly important new features unearthed by some of the early movers in this space. Powerful new asynchronous tools allow friends in the real world to aid each other and “play” together without being forced to play online at the same time every day or risk falling out of the leveling curve and ultimately losing the ability to play with friends. Instead of paying huge upfront costs, it is better to let players try before they buy, and for those who wish to play for free, it’s fair to ask them to help you bring others to the game in return for continued free play. Proper social tools are compatible with the Ultimate RPG.
So when traditional gamers look at all the “Ville” clones out there in the world, take heart! See not what is popular now, but rather what is happening in this new era that also would benefit them! A great game, like a great movie, need not be inaccessible to the masses. Great story and depth need not come at the cost of up front effort, pain and cost. Free to play does not mean the game has to be riddled with advertising and calls to spam your friends. But, for those unwilling or unable to pay fairly for what they now play, asking them to work for the developer and find us players is not unfair. Great games can and will be made in this new era, to the benefit of all, traditional and new players. We intend to be a leading maker of such games.
Thanks to Xian via Rock, Paper, Shotgun.
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November 12th, 2011, 00:57
I dunno. I'd love to see some kind of really great RPG offering by Garriot. But his vision has really departed from what I wish he'd want to do.

One big divergence is the notion that everything has to be simple easy-peezy and be playing a game in 30 seconds as if you have played it for 30 years.

One of the joys, at least for me, is learning all the intricacies of a fully fleshed out fantasy world. I don't want to know the ins and outs of every single aspect of the game in 30 seconds.

I want a gaming world that is so complex that I could still be learning new things about it (not just lore) many tens of hours in.

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November 12th, 2011, 01:11
Hmm this looks strangely like a thread in the rpg section…

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November 12th, 2011, 01:17
Social gaming isn't in my future; it's in my past. Have fun with Farmville.

Originally Posted by TheMadGamer View Post
One big divergence is the notion that everything has to be simple easy-peezy and be playing a game in 30 seconds as if you have played it for 30 years.

One of the joys, at least for me, is learning all the intricacies of a fully fleshed out fantasy world. I don't want to know the ins and outs of every single aspect of the game in 30 seconds.

I want a gaming world that is so complex that I could still be learning new things about it (not just lore) many tens of hours in.
Preach it, brother.
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November 12th, 2011, 01:45
This just makes me sad.
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November 12th, 2011, 03:38
Proper social tools are compatible with the Ultimate RPG

Whatever….So when is Risen 2 going to be released?

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November 12th, 2011, 03:46
Sigh…. I had some hope for his new project based on his past hits. This though? No.

Sometimes having a game where it takes a while to get used to is because it is a deeper and more complex game. Complexity is not always a bad thing.
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November 12th, 2011, 09:29
I had held onto a tiny bit of hope that perhaps this new game by Mr Garriott would be at least somewhat okay, but after reading that post I see that hope was in vain. No interest in this game at all. None.

This is like watching one of your old favorite rock bands (of your teenage years) turn into a tired, mellow synth pop group. You can always listen to their old records, but it breaks your heart to hear their horrible new songs.

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November 12th, 2011, 10:45
Originally Posted by skavenhorde View Post
Proper social tools are compatible with the Ultimate RPG

Whatever….So when is Risen 2 going to be released?
My personal vision is a little bit different, but also contains the word "social" : Future offline RPGs (if there'll ever be some [left]), will include much, much more social components than "modern" RPGs of today have.

I think we can indeed divide video game role-playing into several eras; one of them is the "Dungeon Crawling" phase of which Ultima Underworld and Stonekeep are the pinnacles, and the last ones of their era as well.

Since then, classic Dungeon Crawling still exists - but only as one element among others within games.

My personal view of the future contains much, much more social interaction within games. "The SIMs Medieval" or how they are called are to me what BG's bantering is for social interaction : An early experiment, vision, perhaps arriving too early (like Apple's Newton arrived too early) because the time just isn't right yet.

My personal vision is having the buyers of The SIMs (which is in my opinion a certain, yet very special kind of role-playing, too) an the ones of traditional RPGs.

So-called "Shooter-RPGs" are in my opinion just nother sub-genre, and therefore not significant on the role-playing genre as such.

Following my own, personal Qvision", Mr. Garriott is in a way right and in another way wrong : He is right that social gaming as such will habe an much higher impact in the future - but in my opinion he is wrong insofar that he underestimates social components/interaction in RPGs.

By the way, what I never understood is why RPG makers seem never to visit sites like The Forge, sites where RPG Theory is discussed.


Edit : An overview on fashions in role-playing (not wear fashions, but instead styles of playing) : http://www.darkshire.net/jhkim/rpg/theory/fashions.html

Edit 2 : This article isn't bad, either (at least while I'm browsing through it righrt now) : http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Role-playing_video_game

“ Any intelligent fool can make things bigger, more complex, and more violent. It takes a touch of genius – and a lot of courage – to move in the opposite direction.“ (E.F.Schumacher, Economist, Source)
Last edited by Alrik Fassbauer; November 12th, 2011 at 10:55.
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November 12th, 2011, 16:08
Richard Who??? I never understood the fascination with Garriott as the RPG Guru. For me the number one guy is Jon Van Caneghem (Might & Magic). I played all the Might and Magics but only a few of the Ultimas. And Might & Magic 6 said more to me than Ultima 4 ever did.

Of course everyone is entitled to their own opinion and if Garriott want to move his game design to social gaming - he should go for it. But my gaming interest follow another road.
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November 12th, 2011, 16:46
Well, he invented the MMORPG genre as we know it…… damn you for that Garriott! but he made some of the greatest single player games ever made too……..
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November 12th, 2011, 16:47
The earlier Ultimas are highly overrated imo. Ultima7 I + II and expansions + Ultima Underworld I + II and UO are ofcourse classics. Might & Magic doesnt even come close if compared to Underworld II..
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November 12th, 2011, 17:38
Originally Posted by vurt View Post
The earlier Ultimas are highly overrated imo. Ultima7 I + II and expansions + Ultima Underworld I + II and UO are ofcourse classics. Might & Magic doesnt even come close if compared to Underworld II..
I think Garriott had only a minor role in the Ultima Underworlds, at least not on part two?
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November 12th, 2011, 17:51
Social gaming = boring as Hell. I'm a solo gamer and will die a solo gamer. Never saw the attraction in it and it has Zero appeal. All I want is a large world I can function in and explore by myself. I've never played online games and avoid them at all costs.
I guess that's why turn-based party type games don't do much for me. Give me the good old Gothic series or FO3 kind of games.
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November 12th, 2011, 19:47
Originally Posted by GhanBuriGhan View Post
I think Garriott had only a minor role in the Ultima Underworlds, at least not on part two?
He was a Director and Voice Actor for UUW2.

Social gaming is fun with close friends, WoW and UO, probably some the best gaming experiences i've had. Social gaming with unknown people / kids = horrible.
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November 12th, 2011, 19:55
Originally Posted by GothicGothicness View Post
Well, he invented the MMORPG genre as we know it…… damn you for that Garriott! but he made some of the greatest single player games ever made too……..
did ya ever hear of Neverwinter nights (1991) on AOL. It was just as genre defining as Ultima except you had to play NWN on the AOL servers. There were a couple other MMOs that were also popular prior to Ultima. But if I were to define the MMO that broke the genre defining bank, it would be Everquest.

As far as some of the greatest single player RPGs ever made, well, we'll just have to have different opinions on that. Actually, none of the Ultima games even make my top 10 list.
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November 12th, 2011, 19:57
Originally Posted by Zephyr View Post
Social gaming = boring as Hell. I'm a solo gamer and will die a solo gamer. Never saw the attraction in it and it has Zero appeal. All I want is a large world I can function in and explore by myself. I've never played online games and avoid them at all costs.
I guess that's why turn-based party type games don't do much for me. Give me the good old Gothic series or FO3 kind of games.
I'm with you there brother. Make sure you get Skyrim - it has just what you are looking for.
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November 12th, 2011, 20:16
Originally Posted by vurt View Post
Might & Magic doesnt even come close if compared to Underworld II..
I guess that depends on what you prefer. Personally, I'd take M&M 6-8 over either UU any day, but I really think those games are too different to compare directly.
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November 12th, 2011, 20:51
Originally Posted by JDR13 View Post
I guess that depends on what you prefer. Personally, I'd take M&M 6-8 over either UU any day, but I really think those games are too different to compare directly.
Yeah maybe. I did play M&M (from 4-7 i believe, one of the games in the series had a HUGE pink box i remember), it was something i played when there was absolutely nothing else interesting out. UUW2 and Ultima7 Part II i completely worshiped.
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November 12th, 2011, 21:34
Originally Posted by GhanBuriGhan View Post
I think Garriott had only a minor role in the Ultima Underworlds, at least not on part two?
Yeah, for Underworld 1 he was the one who suggested turning the game into an Ultima and acted as Executive Producer but by all account his role remained very secondary as he was far to busy with Ultima VII at the time. Of course he also voiced Baron Almric in the Intro

Regarding Underworld 2 while he was no doubt consulted, he is not even mentionned anywhere in the ingame credits, which suggest he had a minimal involvement with it.

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