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Default BioWare - Previews @ Joystiq, MMORPG.com

July 15th, 2012, 15:06
Joystiq asks Can Ultima Forever be a worthy entry in the legendary series?
But my alarm bells started ringing when I saw that only two classes were available in the game: Fighter and Mage. Character class in the middle Ultima games (IV, V, VI) was intrinsically tied to its Virtue system, which was equally connected to the game's geography, as well as individuals. Eight classes, eight virtues, eight towns, eight dungeons, eight recruitable characters. For example, a Bard was associated with Compassion and the town of Cove, with Iolo joining your bard.

The entire point of Ultima IV was to have your character embody those virtues, by either being or recruiting that class, by acting according to the virtue (for Compassion, donating to the poor), understanding the town of Cove in order to learn about the symbols of Compassion, and in proceeding to the associated nearby dungeon to cleanse the evil from the area. That formal symmetry gave Ultima IV power. It wasn't just "collect the seven runes to save the universe!" as so many games had, it was a structure that gave both the game and its world structure. In an interview with MMORPG.com, creative director Paul Barnett suggested that there would be more classes to tie into those virtues, although they might lie behind a paywall.
Moving on to the MMORPG.com preview:
The story itself is quite literally a reboot on Ultima IV. It begins 21 years after that title ended, with Lady British now on the thrown in place of her father Lord British. This makes sense given that the lead designer is no longer Garriott, but Kate Flack who’s been handling UO now for some time. It’ll sport the same isometric view we’ve come to know and love, and have all the cool stuff we remember from Ultima IV like hot air balloons, sea travel, and more. Paul says many on the team liken it to Baldur’s Gate with Friends in a lot of ways, getting back to BioWare’s roots in that way.
More information.

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July 15th, 2012, 15:06
Paul says many on the team liken it to Baldur’s Gate with Friends in a lot of ways
Uh. So it's rather BG with Ultima graphics ?

“ 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)
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July 15th, 2012, 15:36
Lady British now on the thrown in place of her father Lord British
hahahahahaha
oh well, I'm not into MMOs so I guess I gotta wait another gaming generation before I see another Ultima Reboot. Any body got a time machine I can borrow?
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July 15th, 2012, 16:28
One look at the image of the fighter they were using was enough suggest that I'd find the game more annoying and more of a deviation from the originals than anything similar, and nothing I've seen since has dissuaded me from that. Only two classes, and most of all words being thrown around like "re-imagining" and "reboot" tell me more than enough about this game, even if I wasn't already all too aware of where Bioware's priorities lie these days.

Not to mention the whole "free to play" model, which always includes a helluva lot more fine print than you'd expect (or would ever possibly want) when you play a game.

Given all of that, am thinking I'll simply pass. Even if the game itself turns out to be good, it's going to have way too much baggage associated with it for me to really enjoy it on its own merits.

I just find it a bit ironic that it's Bioware and EA — two companies that I now view as being on the stagnant, scummy side of the pond when it comes to both games and business practices — who are behind a game that's (ostensibly) about the Virtues.
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July 15th, 2012, 17:22
Why are we even talking about this? Seriously, this seems like a joke. It's like watching an old person get beaten up and not being able to do anything about it. It's just sad and disgusting.
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July 15th, 2012, 18:52
Originally Posted by killias2 View Post
It's like watching an old person get beaten up and not being able to do anything about it.
Heh, that's a pretty good way to describe it.
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July 15th, 2012, 20:48
It seems pretty clear that this game is targeted at younger players who are unfamiliar with the series because most of the information coming is irritating to those of us who know the history of the series. My only question then is why bother using the 'ultima' name when the people who will play and enjoy the game probably won't be the same people who played the single player games of the past.

If I'm right but there is no wife around to acknowledge it, am I still right?
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July 15th, 2012, 22:16
Originally Posted by TheMadGamer View Post
It seems pretty clear that this game is targeted at younger players who are unfamiliar with the series because most of the information coming is irritating to those of us who know the history of the series.
Yeah, that became very clear to me once I saw the WoW-ified art style they chose for this. Ultimas have always had a classic traditional fantasy art look. The exaggerated fighter's physique and oversized shoulder-pads simply don't fit in with what I consider Ultima. This is obviously a choice they made to bring in younger gamers.

I don't mind this kind of art style in other games where it makes sense but it's not Ultima.
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July 15th, 2012, 22:55
I DID get a chuckle about one of the posts on their facebook page for the game, tho. It says, and I quote:

"Return to Ultima in BioWare’s new cross platform action RPG. The first great Western RPG has been loving restored and is once again in peril."

Just a slip of the keyboard, I'm sure.
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July 15th, 2012, 23:35
Originally Posted by TheMadGamer View Post
It seems pretty clear that this game is targeted at younger players who are unfamiliar with the series because most of the information coming is irritating to those of us who know the history of the series.
Very similar to an Archaeologist watching Xena. Very disturbing.

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July 16th, 2012, 03:15
Originally Posted by Mithter Thibbs View Post
"Return to Ultima in BioWare’s new cross platform action RPG. The first great Western RPG has been loving restored and is once again in peril."
That's too funny. I thought you made it up until I checked.
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July 16th, 2012, 05:41
It sounds horrible, and looks even worse. Ick.


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July 16th, 2012, 07:32
I signed up for the Beta out of curiosity, but I don't expect much.
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July 16th, 2012, 10:26
Originally Posted by JDR13 View Post
I signed up for the Beta out of curiosity, but I don't expect much.
Thou has lost an eighth! Thou art a cad and a bounder! Thy presence is an affront! Get thee from thy sight!

Slightly more seriously; as an Ultima fan, I share many of the pained viewpoints expressed in this thread and have had to restrain myself from posting some admittedly pointless, vehement vitriol on the direction of this game and indeed the Ultima brand as a whole in recent times.

As it is, I'm trying to just compartmentalise it all away from my mind (read: ignore!) and just sequester my brain away with the real Ultimas, which remain close to my heart.

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You've a goodly way to go.
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July 16th, 2012, 10:56
I'm mostly just interested in seeing what their version of Britannia looks like in 3D and if exploration is any fun. Also, as a Beta tester, I'm thinking I might get free access to things that Bioware will charge for in the final release.
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July 16th, 2012, 10:57
Taking one for the team, that's nice

Let us know how Bioware Mythic does justice to the beloved franchise!
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July 16th, 2012, 15:04
I loved Ultima beyond anything that was normal. I am an UltimaDragon from UDIC (Emrys Dragon sends his greetings ), and I breathed, inhaled, ate and slept with Ultima. I am as big a fan as can be.

But still, times changed. I see no reason why a reboot should not make an Ultima light, as first baby steps and then see how far the franchise can be expanded later again. I welcome a return to Britannia, even if it's not as in the grand old days.


@Alrik, hey I am a historian, and I still enjoyed Xena, because serious person or not, I also have a child at heart.
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July 16th, 2012, 16:56
Originally Posted by elikal View Post
@Alrik, hey I am a historian, and I still enjoyed Xena, because serious person or not, I also have a child at heart.
I understand.

“ 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)
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July 16th, 2012, 19:46
I just wish people would wait until… you know… having actually seen or played the game before raging on, because it feels a bit silly to decide a game is gonna be shit based just on a couple of concepts arts.

I'll say this though: no matter how much some might believe otherwise, this is not a quick and shameful cash-in project to abuse a well known IP like Lord of Ultima. This is a true labor of love from people who loves Ultima as much as any fans and just want to offer their own take on the franchise (and yes I know this for a fact).

Doesn't mean the result will necessarilly be good of course, but that count for something as far as I'm concerned.

(And for those concerned about the game having only two classes, they have already confirmed Druid and Paladin. I think we can safely bet the game will eventually have all 8 traditionnal Ultima classes).

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July 16th, 2012, 20:20
Originally Posted by Sergorn View Post
I just wish people would wait until… you know… having actually seen or played the game before raging on, because it feels a bit silly to decide a game is gonna be shit based just on a couple of concepts arts
I think the raging is because it's casual and Pay 2 Win, rather than because it's "bad".

EA willingly brought this rage on itself by using the name of a landmark classic for this sort of reboot.
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