In a completely unrelated thread/poll on the new booster pack (http://www.uoforums....-high-seas.html), a side discussion of UO in a F2P (Free To Play) arrangement would work. I posted a thought about revitalizing towns & cities via apartments.
Regarding F2P and empty cities - how about if you went the F2P route, you were assigned an apartment in an existing city? You'd get a room with a bed, some permanent chests for storage and such. Since you would have limited room, you would need to use the existing shops for your crafting work (anvils, spinning wheels, cooking, etc.) If they 'renovated' every city to include a set of apartment complexes - say 50 rooms in every city on each facet, maybe more in Britain proper, say 100 - you could really give people starting options without making housing a serious issue until they started paying monthly as we do, and you would liven up the cities quite well, with the influx of new players.
I think in just Britannia, there are at least 10 cities - so that's that's should be nearly 500 apartments PER facet, 1000 per shard - just in Britannia alone. Add in Tokuno, Ter Mur & the Lost lands, well, I can't imagine.
As populations ebb and flow, EA could always build more apartment buildings (25 flats in each) on the edges of towns. Instant free housing.
Storage space and character count could be kept low to help with server issues, if it came to that. Maybe give them the same storage space as a 7x7 custom (whatever that might be), and severely limited lockdowns (storage chests are permanent and do not count towards that).
I'm thinking rooms maybe slightly larger than the ones in the inn in New Haven. Don't need much since you will have to craft at the various shops in town, not in your flat.
If the continuing success of UO depended on F2P, how would you implement it?
Some of my further thoughts:
Skills perma-capped at 100 while in F2P
Stats perma-capped at n00bie level, whatever it is
Reduced follower count (pets, summons)
Unable to access premium (subscription) areas
One account per IP (prevent various issues)
Restricted to apartments - no owning/co-owing houses
No veteran rewards
Goal: Goad F2P gamers to convert to subscription. Once converted to subscription, account cannot revert to F2P (what if they made a 120 skill character and tried to F2P? Either they'd lose the 20 points permanently, and any other subscription priviledge (house, followers, etc.), or... something even more bad would happen. I don't know.)
Again, this is a thought discussion of what F2P MIGHT look like *IF* UO ever went that way.
How would YOU work F2P in UO?