I know some of you like me and well... some of you don't. I am hoping you can put any personal feelings or grudges aside and listen to me for a moment.
I recently ran into This Thread and as I was reading the words I realized just how badly UO is now "Mythic" and not "Ultima Online" anymore.
While DAoC may be a great game for people who like that sort of thing, and while Warhammer might be fun for some others, it is not, nor will it ever be Ultima Online.
There is a post there made by Mark Jacobs. Some of you may not know who he is. He's the guy who used to own Mythic and with the buy-out he turned into a "VP" at EA.
He said some things that really bothered me.
First off he said
We will always speak directly to the community as ourselves (no aliases, no jolly pirate nicknames, etc.)
Now this has been part of UO culture since it was borne.
We are talking... Lord British himself.
Everyone who knows anything about UO knows this.
But alas! They have taken our dev teams monikers out of the credits.
I guess Mark Jacobs finds our dev teams "jolly pirate" nicknames unimportant.
Well here's one UO player who has played long enough to know it's part of the game itself.
Where do BNN articles come from? Archmage Leurocian wrote one recently. No developer has ever tried to hide his identity behind his nickname.
It's an important part of the core of Ultima Online and that is the reason for the loyal fans and people who play this game regardless of their playstyle.
Hell someone killed "Lord British" one day.
Which brings me to the next quote:
These things have been and remain part of Mythic’s core culture and they aren’t going to change under our watch.
Well that's all fine for Mythic. But what about OUR core culture ??
Is there no one left to stand up for the culture and history that is Ultima Online?
Are they going to simply stifle us until our fire burns out?
Why must Mythic take over and try to turn Ultima Online into a cookie cutter MMORPG.
This is NOT about Kingdom Reborn.
This is about Mythic kidnapping.
Really I (and anyone else I talk to about this) feel that Mythic has kidnapped our game and I don't know if we will be able to get it back.
There is no ransom.
They have taken our Game Masters away and redone the whole system.
No more do we get a red robed GM visiting us wearing "Sparkles sparkly slippers".
No more personality.
What could the purpose be to suck the personality out of Ultima Online?
Where is the "We will always speak directly to the community" at all anymore.
They aren't speaking to us at all.
Jeremy comes in and gives us "updates" but there's no interaction between the team and the players anymore.
Why is that?
Is that another Mythic change?
I'll bet it is.
If they can make a stupid asinine rule like "no 'jolly pirate' nicknames" you can be damn sure they can and will make a rule that says "no dev posts on any forum. That's what our community gal is for"
Well here's a news flash for YOU Mr Jacobs... and whoever else has taken over our game at MYTHIC.... that is not what our game is all about .
What can be done to help us.
Who is going to stand up and fight for UO.
Who is going to fight for the "core culture" of Ultima Online?
You're nothing without a handle.
Edit: Though in seriousness, It's probably simply an oversight, and no doubt due to KR reasons developers have been asked to keep external communication to a minimum. It'll all be over soon.
No hon it's not an oversight. It's the new directive. It's what Mr Jacobs said in his post. It's the way he (they?) feel it should be.
If that is indeed what they are trying to do, it's going to totally blow up in their face. When you have a game that's around for 9+ years, it's because there are players that feel extremely passionate about the game (it's a lifestyle). If you don't listen to these people, you'll create an uproar.
If it's not an oversight then it's a horrible, horrible decision and should really be thought twice about. Having your own little nickname is part and parcel of working with the internet.
It's one of those things that makes you a part of a community, not simply an outside observer cordoned off by RED TAPE.
Cheesy 90's hackers references aside, it really is a very important thing and if indeed this is the new mandate, I'd be very dissapointed indeed. As if there isn't enough upheaval right now.
I'm trying to figure out what part of that post has everyone upset? The fact that they post as themselves instead of using jolly pirate nicknames? The entire post was about honest and open communications between the staff and players. I like that idea. Or did I miss something?
Interesting that the VP of EAMythic takes the time to make posts to the DAoC and Warhammer communities, but can't be bothered to even come introduce himself to the UO community. Nothing from him here or on the UO Herald. Guess that right there shows where his loyalties lie and how he feels about UO.
I agree with you Flutter.
I feel the flavor of UO is slowly being leeched away.
My fear is we will become like every other MMORPG out there. A revolving door for players to slide in and out. Test us out then move on to the newer game. One of the things that has made UO one of the longest running MMORPG's out there is the flavor of this game. The community, which is a vague subjective term, but the interaction of players at things other than the latest dungeon grind. Part of that community feeling has been the interaction with the dev team also. That seems nonexistant now.
It seems like every few weeks we lose a little something that has made UO different than every other cookie cutter MMORPG game out there. The Gm service is absent. The EM's are gone. I think highly of Jeremy but it seems as if all we get, as you said, are updates. Little interaction. Few serious questions answered. An occasional, a patch is coming next week. It seems as if we are now losing the interaction between the devs and the players now too.
They ask for our feedback, but we get little if any feedback from them. The tunnel at Compassion has been broken for how many weeks now? It was certainly posted on the Feedback thread and been asked about numerous times on the forum. A small thing compared to all the things that need attention. But something simply fixed yet ignored. The list of things we have asked about is huge. But it seems to never get addressed and fades away as we tire of asking the same questions over and over. Even questions regarding KR face the same fate I have seen. Has there ever been a response from Jeremy or any dev regarding the female paperdoll? Even a, hey this is how it is going to be we aren't going to change it, would at least be an answer.
The ' jolly pirate nicknames ' thing seems just another step in the path to making us like all the others. Turning us into another Mythic game and losing the UO culture.
The question remains, what can be done about it, if anything. They seem to have their own agenda and have given little indication that they are receptive to questions asked by their current player base that does not fit into what they are currently planning. Perhaps our only hope is to wait them out, as we have done in the past.
No matter what is wrong with the game, no matter if you like PvP the way it is or don't and no matter what you think of current or past expansions, UO players need to unite under one banner and tell EA how we want OUR game.
EA bought the rights to Ultima Online and Origin went bye bye, but they have yet to truly succede in getting the hearts and minds of the player base.
Ultima has a culture all it's own, Ultima Online shares that culture while incorperating the online culture that is the players.
I started playing this wonderful addicting game, in 1998 at my best friends house, it is the sole reason I got a computer and the internet back then. Back then if you used the help option and talked about a suggestion for the game or comment be it good or bad, you'd actually get a GM to physically stand in front of you and talk to you sometimes at length about whatever it was. Now you get sent to a web site where you "might" find the answer if you have a problem. If you have a suggestion you get sent to that same web site where you send a message off into the ether of the WWW where you get an auto reply and have no clue if your message ever got read by a human being.
Customer support is probably in the top 5 complaints if not the top 3 of all players. I've worked Customer Support and even worse Technical Support both on the phone and as a Operations Supervisor, I know how difficult the job can be. But a reversion to the way it used to be would do a lot to aleviate the complaint of customer support. I don't want a message from GM John Smith or EA Representative Julie Franks telling me to go to that obscure web site, I want GM Kozmo to pop up in front of me red robe and unique items and all and tell me how to fix the problem and also "No you can't have my hat, staff, sandals etc..."
Bring back a personal feel to the game.
Ultima Online's code may belong to EA, but they have a long long long way to go before they can even pretend to have the loyalty of the Player.
We are Ultima Online.
I'd just like to back up your post, this is exactly why something that might be considered silly externally isn't to me personally.
I keep thinking about the old line, "We want to put the Ultima back in Ultima Online." or something to that effect. This, combined with the points you raise, most certainly is a giant step backwards on the path to that goal.
It's complete reverse logic.
She's protesting Mythics decision to forgo aliases and such (One, or group, whatever), and feels that it detracts from UO's 'feel' and additude.
Why this is important confuses me, since UO's communities and atmosphere were created and maintained primarily by the players.
While I agree that's there much the dev team could to help us bring back or strengthen -our- communities, I really don't think that how the devs show their faces to us impacts the feel of the game anymore. I would much rather see people protesting the fact there there are next to -no- tools available to the playerbase to aid us in our own communities.
Custom housing is all nice and such, but lets face it, there's nothing really special about it. What about finding a way to allow players to decorate their own towns, make roads, plant flowers, etc. What about the ability to help police/manage events? How about a system lets guilds actually tie into towns, (AKA factions style), where it might be possible to hire NPC's, that could function like the herald (Keywords, welcomes,. directions), with titles, or a 'Custom' vendor they could stock -in town- with goods, or event related items.
Maybe even temporary gates or teleporters, and heck, purchased town decorations.
There really is a huge list of things that would allow the players to give themselves greater immersion without requiring the devs to have aliases, or run special PC's and trying to keep the players happy not only on the content/engine sides, but also community wise.
There have always been people that liked to engage heavily into community, but like others have mentioned, we've only had so much to work with. Anything to help mix up events, be it decoration or location, or any number of things other than being limited to houses, or risk having.. butheads walking away with decorations, or causing other type of trouble.
That's what I want to see a petition for, tools and aids.
I don't know how much you're right and how much you're wrong tbh.
I think most of our devs are way too busy trying to prevent KR becoming the debacle it looks like being to talk to us much. I don't much like KR as it stands, it feels like they made uo.com fit the corporate image and now they're doing the same to the game. Whether I like it or not is a moot point, I can't play it anyway. My pc won't load it at all and though my husband's does, it's in no way actually playable.
However. Leurocian posted on 16th June, Spada posted yesterday, CatHat posts anytime he's waiting for his work to render and Jeremy runs around trying to find answers to our queries and worries.
Currently I'm feeling worse than I have for ages about the game. I can't play KR and my husband is saying 'what's the point in playing 2D when you won't be able to play the expansion with it'.
UO is the only game we play, no other has ever had the same appeal, the variety, the scope for different playstyles.
I have a very active online life, I chat on irc, I meet people in game, I post way too much here *looks guiltily at post count*, but it's all done because of, and through uo. If I stop playing I lose that life, and all the friends I've made in it. I'm one very very sad person right now.
I guess we'll just have to see how it plays out, once our developers are permitted to speak with us again. I can't be the only person who has noticed that all this wonderful community interaction that's been mentioned in this thread, actually appears to be on hold right now.
Ever thought that maybe the developers don't want to talk to the people? I sure wouldn't want to if I was a dev considering the way people talk about the devs in here. I'm sure a lot read the boards, but to what point would responding to most of them bring besides more bashing griping, lets face it most of the remaining UO community avoids these areas of the boards because the comments here by people do nothing but bring your faith in the game down.
It was never the game that made UO great, it was the community, something thats been lost for a while and is not the fault of any devs, company, or person alone. Its times like this I'm really grateful to be part of a guild that still understands the community aspect or I would be long gone.
but then, thats just my 2 cents.
(by the way, the original post that started this all was directed towards the Warhammer community, which is Mythic. So Mark Jacobs comments shouldn't be taken as aimed toward UO community because they are not)
I couldnt possibly paste all 10 pages of posts ,there was before Jeremy,responded.She made quite a lot of posts after this one,which I will post with the person she responds to.
Guys, you're not hearing much from the devs because they're putting in insane amounts of hours getting KR up to snuff. For the moment, you'll have to put up with just me (and CatHat - but CatHat doesn't sleep, anyway)
AesSedai correctly parsed the meaning of Mythic's "real name policy" - all the devs have their real names in their sigs. It's not a big deal, and it takes nothing away from y'all.
If you're concerned about previous credits going away, don't be - ten years of credits make for some insane scroll times, so we put them up here, instead.
E. Jeremy Dalberg
UO Community Coordinator
I do hope we get some clarification now that shes posted here.
There's a lot more to it than just King British not being included in the credits or the fact that they saw fit to actually go in and change the credits after they were done.
Who changed what credits? The KR credits? We're in beta - we're not "done" at all.
They look the same to me except they are missing the dev team monikers for the US/Euro base....
I'm confused - the same as what?
(We've revised the credits I believe four times since the beginning of closed beta, and another revision is going in with the next client build.)
I mean honestly Jeremy, lets look at the trend here :
- Removal of the volunteer program (Seers, Counselors, and Companions)
- Removal of Lord British
- Removal of the Fansite program
- Removal of the Event Moderator program
- Removal of aliases for the North American Ultima Online team.
-Used their powers for evil and corruption. Sued EA and won.
-Trademark name owned by someone with a competing business.
-Probably being recreated in light of company merger. Those things happen ya know.
-Too much drama. While some liked it many did not. Again favortism was accused of and may even have happened.
-Aliases are still around. Not in the blasted credits though.
I hear there is some spilled milk on the floor of Cathat's apartment. We need a seperate thread for that?
Nicks won't be going back in the credits - there are a number of reasons, but one of them is that not everyone has one. I mean, Pat Malott is pretty damn cool, but is he inherently cooler than Eric Correll, the marketing manager, just because Pat is also called Leurocian? Not everyone ends up on a pumpkin, but they all need to end up in the credits - so those two sets of names are separate.
(Japan, in this as in many other things, does things slightly differently.)
Lord British... is not credited on KR. For the obvious reason that he didn't work on it. (However, the lack of thanks for previous dev teams was an oversight, and is why we are editing the credits again with the next patch. Dunno how that chunk of text got left out... and as I said above, the actual contents of those games' credits are now up, imperishable and more easily googleable, on the website.)
Yes things are quite different in Japan and apparently it is all working for them quite well in terms of actually growing and expanding the Ultima franchise in Asia, why isn't the North American team taking note of what it is that is working for them over in Japan and try and actually apply some of the same concepts over in the North American, European, and Australian markets?
As for being able to Googling up the information and etc., why should you players have to refer to a 3rd party for this information when it could otherwise be provided by you guys with no question about its validity?
This is just another example of another bad trend being excercised by EA Mythic.
If trends like these are allowed to continue over and over again without any great deal of thought put into them is going to only result in the continual decline of the North American, European, and Australian markets for Ultima Online. Mark my words on that.
Time will tell who is right and who isn't here because staying the steady course such as EA Mythic is doing is just crazy in my opinion. It is no wonder that Dark Ages of Camelot never had subscription numbers like that of Ultima Online even when it was just Mythic Entertainment because of people like Mark Jacobs at the helm who are narrowminded when it comes to actually growing the product(s) under his control.
With Mark Jacobs at the helm my guess is Warhammer will not meet its projected expectations and maybe then Electronic Arts will demote or fire Mark Jacobs and Mark Jacobs can then go into early retirement or go off into another business venture or something.
The uo.com website is not a third party.
You really think Mark has anything to do with anything UO related? He might I suppose. But come with me through this magical door for a moment
*mists engulf you*
*you see a room with many nervous UO devs*
*a door opens and in steps Mark Jacobs*
Mark: Hi guys! How are all you?
Dev Team: We are good.
*shaking of hands*
Mark: You guys are doing a fine job.
Dev Team: Thanks!
Mark: Keep up the good work. Now, where is the Warhammer team?
As for those wanting to know why he's not here posting. How many of you post in forums for games you don't play or know very little about?
Mark Jacobs is the General Manager of EA Mythic essentially as he put it himself in his own words, and therefore you would think if he didn't know anything about the product that he would be spending time to familiarize himself with the product and interacting with the community for that product to get a better understanding of the product and the community driving and supporting the product and that has yet to happen.
So Mr. Mark Jacobs, its time for you to step on in and begin playing ball with us
Mark's a ways up the chain, but I'll introduce y'all to Walt in the next couple of days - he's generally the Evil Mythic Overlord in question
Perhaps I can phrase this a different way:
Starting with Lord British and the mythology upon which Sosaria was built, there is a desire to see the people writing the future history of UO to have a footprint within the game in the form of a character that represents the in-game source of that person's contribution.
Were I managing the game, I would prefer to see the developers (Draconi/Inocard, Wilki, Cathat, Leurocian and as many others as willing who work quietly behind the scenes) be represented by characters at the center (or slightly to the side of center) of the in-game events, characters who will eventually pass beyond the void as Lord British did when their association with the game reaches an end. It's more than just a job, it's a legacy in progress. If I could convince you, Jeremy, I would have you slip from time to time into the pseudonym of a town crier when communicating event information with the player population.
( thank you for engaging in these threads this evening - speaking on behalf of an estimated 0.008% of the game population, it is appreciated )
Maplestone, that's perfectly reasonable - the way we usually handle that is to post event stuff via the BNN, where we can be perfectly in-character. (I haven't posted there as "Jeremy the Whatever", but several of the more anonymous reporters have been aliases of mine - and I do have a *character*, I just haven't used it enough to be obvious.)
This is totally unrelated to the thread, but have you considered adding the BNN text (and the KB material, for that matter) into the game itself? Town criers could sell books, and posters could be pinned up!
Would rock, but localization is tricky - hmm...
Isn't "Jeremy" in and of itself a nickname? Or have you had your name legally changed to Emily Jeremy Dalberg?
Haven't done the paperwork, but have pretty much common-law changed it. I use it everywhere, not just on the internet. (The paperwork? Is a MASSIVE hassle)
I have another question for you Jeremy, since EA Mythic is apparently doing away with the usage of aliases in association with real life names then could you please explain to me whether or not you guys will be using your aliases in your demo presentations for things such as UO:KR and UO:SA at future Town Hall meetings that are coming up?
Rowin, you - and many other people in this thread - didn't hear what I said upthread. We are NOT "doing away with" nicknames. We aren't using them in the credits - that's all.
Lord British... is not credited on KR. For the obvious reason that he didn't work on it.
That statement says alot about the direction of the game, and why the game has lost the true feel of UO.
(He's not been with the company for YEARS. YEARS, people. I know he's Lord British and all, but he went away. It is nothing we can change! And crediting a direct competitor on a new release? Is an... odd idea, to say the least.)