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More From Cal - 14th May, 2008

- - - - - 14th 2008 cal

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24 replies to this topic

#1
Adam

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From UOHerald.com

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More From Cal
Calvin Crowner

14 May 2008 12:25:25

I’ve seen the slew of questions that arose from my last post, so I wanted to take the time to respond to a smattering of them:

What is the size of the team?

I will answer this as I answered the post to 4gamer.net: "As many as we need, but not as many as I'd like." I will tell you simply, I really enjoy the team as it is. The team relates well, plays well, and everyone enjoys their job.

Raining down fire on malcontents, or contributing to a legendary tale of good and evil that's lasted longer than any other community … yes, we do love our jobs.

Along with this subject, you may know that we lost a few folks in the transition from Redwood Shores. Fortunately we've been able to find other talent who both love the game, and are passionate about being part of the team. So what are we doing with these new people?
Three things: Fixing, designing, and training.

I will tell you we recently had to figure out where to put some new team members coming in next week without sitting them in Draconi's lap.

Next:

Why don't you tell us what's on the schedule?

Simply because the schedule is subject and subjected to changes every six hours to six days, and in the case of the Epic event ... six MONTHS. We discussed the content for the Epic Event last October, and had to postpone it. We are still on target for the bulk of the content by late May, and it's going to be a prelude to something realm-changing.

Some of the team saw the new art last week, and the Art Director himself was quite impressed. Our concept guys leapt at the chance to create this new content. Look for it in June.

"Hey! Wait a minute! You said in late May!" I just proved my point.

Why does it take so long to provide ?

We are constantly going through levels of refactoring while we're implementing fixes and content. Often, problems we expected to take several hours can extend to a couple of days. To make something worthwhile, and to fix more than we break takes time. We've actually been getting the Evil Eye from QA a lot the last few days. So we would rather make sure it's fixed -- when at all possible -- before releasing it.

In many ways you have all provided your own answers: "I've seen this for years and it's still broken." Historically, and presently the constant demand for content sometimes outweighs the time and resources to fix old features and systems. We'll try to do our best.

Not only for the community but also for the respect and love of Ultima itself, that’s what keeps us pressing forward. I'll try to avoid the kumbaya moment, but there is so much behind the scenes that we can't share and at times we tend to draw blood from our bottom lip because we can't.

I know you have all been very patient with multiple iterations of the Ultima Online team concerning bug fixes and content delivery. All I can say is thank you, and bow respectfully.

Finally:

What about KR? What about SA?

As far as Kingdom Reborn is concerned – We have a couple of fixes going in this publish: walking as a ghost across the bridge in the Wind dungeon, and a legacy toggle issue with pink tiles around cave entrances. I’m not a fan of the color pink, sorry about the delay on this. There are a few others, but know we’re still working on more goodies. Also, we’re still investigating most of the topics discussed here on the boards. To this end, in the near future we’d like to do some server load/stress testing. We’re discussing between 20-25 players chasing a few devs and GMs around. Please be prepared to share frame rates, machine and OS specs.

Also know all new content will be updated for both Kingdom Reborn and the Legacy clients for the Epic Event.
Sighs. So much for the light publish.

Begins to walk away...

"WHAT ABOUT Stygian Abyss?! ..." He pauses slightly, without turning, a mild chuckle pressing the corners of the room, “We announced the expansion over a year ago, and you should be hearing more news about it soon.” He continues a slow shuffle into a dark room, most likely to be eaten by a grue.
Door closes ... footsteps fade. Following you open the door to discover a beach at sunset. There is a blue page here.

#2
Belmarduk

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*Sees a little sparkle of hope far away in the dark and hopes he didnt imagine it*

#3
Himmelweiss

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Did i really read something about KR and SA ? i must be dreaming, it can't be real !

#4
JCtheBuilder

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tl;dr version

What is the size of the team?
Can't say.

Why don't you tell us what's on the schedule?
Because the schedule changes silly!

Why does it take so long to provide ?
Be patient please.

What about KR? What about SA?
We're working on these.

UOGuide -- The best Ultima Online reference, better than the T2A manual!


#5
elffyb

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Did i really read something about KR and SA ? i must be dreaming, it can't be real !


Not only did you read it, but if you read it again it may even forshadow an SA release at the end of this event chain.

Did anyone get that out of it? Or am I too optimistic?

#6
Farsight

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It may be foreshadowing an SA announcement. The release could be another year or two after that.

On the other hand, it has been obvious for quite some time that this current event chain is leading toward the next expansion, which for me is a good thing.

My only hopes is that they plan on at least the bare minimum of marketing outside the game. I want to see more newbies!

#7
Elitz

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Did he say "Realm Changing"?

Damn, i hope that is a positive thing, there have been see-saw changes alot, "looks at Fel" god i hope i can stay positive.

#8
buddy lee

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like i always say, "keep hope alive"

#9
Warsong of LS

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More of the same line from EAMythic.

Why bother? If other games can get new content in on time and some are more than monthly why can not UO? Cocoa trees/seeds are so hard to fit into a patch? Or the event publish?

The new (whatever you want, art, system) is looking really cool, we showned it in house and everyone was oooo and aaahhhing. Trust us, you are going to love it. It not like I have never heard this before.

SA - are you guys surprised? It is not like they were not going to release something. It been what? 3/4 years since Mondain's Legacy? They have to release something to keep us hyped about new things.
Hope is the first step on the road to disappointment

#10
Himmelweiss

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Why bother? If other games can get new content in on time and some are more than monthly why can not UO? Cocoa trees/seeds are so hard to fit into a patch? Or the event publish?


Well i know one valid reason, they have to work on 2 clients now, each client has different code in most parts/modules. So yeah, they have twice the work now for new patches, live events or addons.

Solution: Close one client, wether it is 2d or KR, but improve one of them up to 200% so nearly all players are willing to use that client. But that's kind of hard if you have to keep every 2d and KR user happy at the same time.

#11
Warsong of LS

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They have had 2 clients since the Thrid Dawn expansion (2001) when the 3D client was put in. To be the future of UO, since UO could not survive with just a 2D client.

To me it is a poor excuse. It gives them a ready made excuse why content must suffer?

Why have they not yet added in cocoa trees/seeds? I guessing its just going to be a rehued tree (palm maybe?) and seed (definitely a differnet color only). And I believe it was said it was coded, but they could not get it in because of the event. Why? It does not make any sense. Its not like this tree is adding in the gardening subsystem.
Hope is the first step on the road to disappointment

#12
Nok

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Did he say "Realm Changing"?

That was the key phrase I picked up on too... especially "realm". That word opens up a LOT of possibilities.

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#13
BBWalker

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tl;dr version

What is the size of the team?
Can't say.

Why don't you tell us what's on the schedule?
Because the schedule changes silly!

Why does it take so long to provide ?
Be patient please.

What about KR? What about SA?
We're working on these.


i agree with you JC!
just a "silly" post from uo again..=)

#14
Himmelweiss

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They have had 2 clients since the Thrid Dawn expansion (2001) when the 3D client was put in. To be the future of UO, since UO could not survive with just a 2D client.

To me it is a poor excuse. It gives them a ready made excuse why content must suffer?

Why have they not yet added in cocoa trees/seeds? I guessing its just going to be a rehued tree (palm maybe?) and seed (definitely a differnet color only). And I believe it was said it was coded, but they could not get it in because of the event. Why? It does not make any sense. Its not like this tree is adding in the gardening subsystem.


well the 2nd answer to your questions would be that the team is just too small... Ok the Live Team seems to have lots of devs/designers but what about the programmers, artists etc. ?

All in all, everyone knows the UO team is very small, just read the current UO news, no numbers were given and he basically said he wants more team members.

The thing with the 2 clients, this is no excuse, it's a fact. Back in 2001 Third Dawn it was no real issue, since the code other than some engine changes was all the same. Today with 2d and KR you basically do have 2 different games you have to work on.

#15
Gaurus

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It sounds like his staff has been cut to bare bones relative to what it was before and the time line for improvements and fixes has been stretched like a rubber band as a result. On the other hand, it would appear that nothing planned has been dropped from the production line which is a good thing and refutes the doomsayers feeding off that infamous quote about zombifying UO. Looking at the game as an investment, and the fact that it has always been profitable, I am amazed that the developers do not invest more to get a bigger return. Not releasing new content as quickly as before has predictable results in declining membership over the past 3 years. Yet the game is still resilient enough to turn a profit even after such neglect. I guess EA mythic is into the habit of investing in high risk new start-ups rather than old reliable blue chip stocks. Perhaps it would occur to the higher-ups that UO has found a unique niche market which could perhaps be further exploited.

#16
Silverfoot

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Personally I welcomed the post and got the feeling that SA ISN'T dead. Like anything else in print you can read between the lines any way you want.

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The crap has hit the fan
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#17
galefan2004

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Did he say "Realm Changing"?

Damn, i hope that is a positive thing, there have been see-saw changes alot, "looks at Fel" god i hope i can stay positive.


Yup. They seem to be pushing factions for pvp. I wonder if that has any hint of possible future pvp changes. I can only hope so.

#18
galefan2004

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More of the same line from EAMythic.


Could you be anymore negative? Yes we've heard this for awhile but we've been paying to play that whole while also.

Why bother? If other games can get new content in on time and some are more than monthly why can not UO? Cocoa trees/seeds are so hard to fit into a patch? Or the event publish?


Other games don't have 10 years of outdated code to deal with everytime they add something to the game. Also, when other games release stuff it is far from finished and it looks rushed. I'll take waiting over rushing ANY time.

The new (whatever you want, art, system) is looking really cool, we showned it in house and everyone was oooo and aaahhhing. Trust us, you are going to love it. It not like I have never heard this before.


Yeah, but its better they say it will look good than that it won't, and most of the time they live up to the hopes they have hyped even if they were low.

SA - are you guys surprised? It is not like they were not going to release something. It been what? 3/4 years since Mondain's Legacy? They have to release something to keep us hyped about new things.


They could easily pass up doing an expansion at this point. They don't really need expansions at this point. They can pretty much just keep everything going publishing and patching in new content. Also, I don't think it has actually been that long since ML.

#19
Warsong of LS

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Could you be anymore negative? Yes we've heard this for awhile but we've been paying to play that whole while also.



Other games don't have 10 years of outdated code to deal with everytime they add something to the game. Also, when other games release stuff it is far from finished and it looks rushed. I'll take waiting over rushing ANY time.



Yeah, but its better they say it will look good than that it won't, and most of the time they live up to the hopes they have hyped even if they were low.



They could easily pass up doing an expansion at this point. They don't really need expansions at this point. They can pretty much just keep everything going publishing and patching in new content. Also, I don't think it has actually been that long since ML.


Yes, I could be more negative. How about some straight answers for a change, and less blowing smoke.

EQ learned how to upgrade their look and code, it is about the same age, UO can not? EAMythic seems to like taking whatever is hot at the time and trying to cram it into UO with each release. Go compare the releases of UO versus times EQ release new features. I not saying they are exactly the same but many things from EQ and other games have made there way into UO.

You not serious with this line are you? You would rather wait for EAMtyhic? They overhype everything. How about KR? Do you really want to go down the line of things they have overhyped, talked about being really great, then on release, most people are like wtf?
Virtues? Never completed
AoS? Changed the game so much many players left the game
Elevn Bows? Beta testers told EAMtyhic they were overpowered before their general release. Beta players got told, no problem, its fix, went live, they were still borked, took too long to fix. Even when beta testers told them that the bows were still screwed up, EAMythic denied it and stated they were working as intended.
and the list could go on.


Mondain's Legacy was release in August 2005. Nearly 3 years without any major content release? And you are happy with that? I play for enjoyment. I am not bored with UO, even after 10 years, or I would have left a long time ago. But I do expect new content on a consistent basis. Why? for new challenges for vet players, buzz for new players, and most importantly shelf space in stores to keep the game in the public eye.
Hope is the first step on the road to disappointment

#20
Silverfoot

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I feel like your comparing apples and oranges. What other games out there support 2 clients, one in a total 2d state and the other in a hybrid 2d/3d state. None. As far as I'm concerned that equates to almost double the developing and testing time needed.

Three years since the last UO expansion pack, Mondain's Legacy. As compared to WoW, released 11/2004 with it's first expansion pack 11/2007. Three years. EQ has had 14 expansions since it's release in 1999, with a majority of them coming out 2x a year!

With all those expansions did/does EQ outperform UO and or WoW?
Is it better to get 1 expansion every few years that's chocked full?
Or is it better to get multple expansions a year?
Is multiple expansions a year just a way to geneerate more immediate income, gouging players?

Just some thoughts running thru me head.

[SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]
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The crap has hit the fan
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