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New pledge levels, more rewards, new housing lots, stretch goal store...


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Portalarium have introduced a number of new things this week, so a quick summary...

 

New Pledge levels:

Due to popular and repeated demand, 2 new pledge levels have been introduced to help bridge some of the gaps between knight, lord and baron: knight marshall and lord marshall.

 

More rewards:

A boatload of new rewards have been added at all levels of Royal Artisan and above! You can go check it out in the store

 

 

New housing lots:

To accommodate for more players in the towns, there are now row lots. Smaller than village lots, and the special row houses fit exactly on them. They're also next to eachother, just like in town rows.

SotA Row Lot Property Deed thumb

 

Stretch goal store:

Instead of separate stretch goals, we'll now have a store where one can 'vote' for stretch goals by funding them. And when you do, you'll get an item immediately, which, if the stretch goal is achieved, will get extra functionality.

For example, at this time the only goal listed yet is the rideable mounts. If you buy a foal now, you'll have a foal pet. When the stretch goal is reached, that foal will grow in to a rideable horse...

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We're still in pre-alpha period, and they're not showing us a lot of things yet on purpose to not give away too much, so I think it is too early to judge the game on what's been shown so far...

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You are obviously entitled to your opinion!   ;)

It'd help if you'd explain how you came to said assessment, so we can understand it, and possibly discuss...

 

I was only stating that a pre-alpha game cannot be judged on final content, since a pre-alpha game is not feature complete. Furthermore - since RG/LB wishes to tell a story like in the old Ultima's - a lot of the actual game content is being kept under wraps until (close to) release. 

 

Also it was never intended as a "new UO", they've stated from the very KickStarter start until now that RG/LB is building SotA as the spiritual successor of *all* Ultima games, which *also* includes UO, but there's much more to that legacy than "just" UO...

(And obviously - since EA now owns everything UO except "Lord British" - they can only do so much UO without getting in to trouble to begin with...   ;) )

 

SotA is not an MMORPG either, it's a single, persistent world, where you can play alone, with friends or with others. The only instancing that takes place is if too many people try to go to the same 'hex', but the world will be persistent & consistent across these instances, it's primarily just the mobiles that are unique to an instance. (So a house placed in the world will be the same house for everyone, even if they get put in a different instance due to 'overcrowding' of a 'hex'...

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I'll not presume to speak for anyone else, but based on what *I* have seen so far, this game, for not even being released yet, is more monetized than any F2P offering out there - it definitely gives the appearance of P2W, because as any of us that have played any similar game already knows, home ownership is key, and that seems to be going to the highest bidder, er, backer.... it leaves a foul taste in my mouth, because it's tilting the playing field before the game is even offered to the public.

 

LB/Garriott made it well known just how incredible, cool and entertaining it was that people were willing to spend huge amounts of cash on UO via Ebay back in the day.  In truth, it wasn't cool then, and it isn't cool now, and it's even less so that the $$ spending is being encouraged before the proverbial horse is even attached to the carriage.  Unless there is a reasonable way to get each and every thing via in-game mechanics that are being sold up front, it's a pass for me.  And I'm not alone in that assessment.

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I guess I should have chosen my words better, replace "most of us" with "I" so that I only have to speak for myself. I wish I could explain better but words escape me right now. Just seems like SOTA is all about collecting money from what I feel is a nostalgic UO crowd that is captivated by Lord British returning to lead them home...blindly they follow. Maybe I feel that he should leave well enough alone, at this point all he is doing is hurting UO by taking away from it's already dwindling subscriber base.

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Yes, it is being monetized, because SotA is crowd-funded.

There's no big publishing house behind it. The pledge tiers and add-on and stretch-goal stores are the funding of the development.

 

Houses, lots, etc. will be available through in-game mechanics after launch. All the tools being sold can be crafted too.

 

Portalarium said they do not want to sell items for money in their store that have a big balance impact, so it will mostly be cosmetic items like hot tubs, birthday cakes, clothing, non-combat pets... All pretty pixel crack...

 

There's some cosmetic stuff that will be unique, to give value to backers, and to recognize their status in game (like banners, capes, badges) and which cannot be crafted, bought or gathered in-game.

 

I personally don't see houses as being key. I had a house on Origin, but it mostly served as a storage spot and decorating object. I didn't feel hindered on other shards where I didn't have one... Yes, it helps establish a "home", but they'll have bank boxes, and they've said we'll be able to provide access to friends, so it you're looking for a vendor spot, you can use that too. We don't now much yet about vendor mechanics and vendor placements...

 

Edit:

PS: I (and a lot of the backers I spoke with) already left UO before backing SotA, mostly due to EA's "love" for UO... SotA is buy once to play, so I don't see it as a big hindrance for UO's subscriptions (aside from time constraints, but if it really is no good, they'll not play SotA a lot, and stay in UO). You can throw a lot of money in to it, but a one time pledge of $45 (or buying after release for a higher price) already gets you in and have you playing Episode 1 until they shut down the servers somewhere in the (I hope distant) future. I've spent more on UO over the years than I have on two accounts (one for me, one for my son) in SotA (for all five planned episodes)...

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I'll be keeping an eye on it, but truth be told, I think the whole - It's not an attempt to re-create/compete with UO - rings very hollow.  You state that you and many backers left UO prior to backing the game - somehow, I get the distinct feeling that the vast majority don't have a clue what the 'spirit' of Ultima is, let alone have ever experienced it.  I guess we'll see which is correct when the end product is finally released.  Personally, I'm rather disenchanted with MMO's anymore, and I've been disenchanted with Mr. Garriott for far longer than that.  Not a good combination, and fair or not, not a good start for SotA (for me).  Yeah, yeah, I know it's not technically an MMO, but it is multi-player/persistent world.

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What my experiences are so far, is rather positive. Sure LB is trying to recapture a long lost legacy, but heck, go for it. I've not been a big fan of LB, but I must admit that I admire his effort and stamina.

 

There will always be a battle between those who like to pay more and those who want to work more (and everything in between), so no game will ever really be perfect.

 

Is it cheating and wrong if you've spend a year building a car and I spend 10 minutes buying one for more cash? Why should a persons time spent be sacred? Lots of questions in a never ending debate.

 

In the end, SOTA is shaping up to be a pretty good game. But what remains to be seen is whether it has staying power and can survive the long haul.

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Don't get me wrong, I *do* think they'll be competing with UO... But so is any other new online RPG that's worth anything!

 

I'm just saying that UO players won't leave UO for SotA if it isn't any good, and it's relatively safe to try (have you never thrown away 60 bucks or more on a game that turned out to be crap?) starting at $45 for episode 1... 

If it *is* good enough, then it may entice UO players to come play, but again, since there is no monthly fee, it would not impact the UO subscriber base until they're positive they want to play SotA more than UO. 

 

There's already a community effort to recreate PaxLair in SotA, and with the new ability to get player owned towns, this time around they'd have more control over who gets to live in PaxLair, enabling them to keep 'enemies' (or simply - wannabe - griefers) out of the town...

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