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Ultima X: Odyssey Announced

Origin Systems Announces Development of Ultima X Odyssey is the press release officially announcing development of another MMO Ultima game. There was also a press event yesterday to unveil the project, and HomeLAN Fed's Ultima X Odyssey Press Event Report is a teaser article, pointing out that the assembled scribes will be exposed to the game first hand today (so expect one of those flurries of previews that typically follows such an event). Meanwhile, a 21 MB gameplay trailer has also been released, and can be found for download on FilePlanet (registration required), Gamer's Hell, IGN, Tiscali Games (where there's also a smaller DivX version), and Worthplaying, while the first screenshots from the project have been posted on GameSpyDaily. Here's a bit from the press release:

AUSTIN, Texas--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Aug. 22, 2003--Origin Systems, an Electronic Arts (Nasdaq:ERTS - News) development studio, today announced the development of Ultima X: Odyssey(TM) (UXO), a next generation massively multi-player online role-playing game (MMORPG) from the award-winning Origin studio team. Powered by the latest version of the UnrealŪ Engine and based on the renowned Ultima(TM) single-player role-playing series, UXO will enable players to create personalized legacies in a massive new online world and will be one of the first of its kind to offer private areas on demand within the game.

"Ultima X: Odyssey takes the genre to the next level through its innovative new Odyssey Adventure System ensuring that players experience a greater sense of adventure and reward from both questing and combat," said Andy Hollis, vice president and chief operating officer of Origin Systems.

UXO's proprietary and innovative Odyssey Adventure System delivers customized quests to players automatically and enables private adventure zones, providing adventures on demand as players journey through the world. An added bonus in offering players private areas is that they can't be interrupted by "griefers" and other uninvited guests.

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48. Re: Hmmmm... Aug 24, 2003, 00:13 Gdiguy
 
Oh yeah, private zones... the way it worked in the version we played, you accept a quest, then make it a group quest, and then go about the quest... when you reach certain points (in one we did, when you enter a castle to go kill this guy), when you gate into the castle, your group gates into a unique, private area; if another group does the same quest, and gates into that castle, they'll be in a different private area

(double post 'cause it wouldn't let me edit my last one for some odd reason)

 
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47. Re: Hmmmm... Aug 24, 2003, 00:09 Gdiguy
 
I was at the event (EA f-ing owns, by the way), so I'll clarify a few things...

First, the graphics - the video is actually fairly out of date, the ingame graphics now (and I mean playable now, everyone there got about 20 minutes of playtime) are very, very sweet, the Unreal Warfare engine is awesome... and the trees in that video are at least a few revisions old, trust me, they're really some of the most impressive forests I've seen in any game anywhere


All the quests (well, except for those that are main storyline things) in the game are going to automatically change based on your/your group level (and you can accept quests solo and then do them as a group, and it'll spawn different things based on your group's levels), and they're designing things so that they can be beaten by at most a group of 8 fully-maxxed people (so right now, they're not intending things that require 200 people to kill).

The level-able items are very cool... =)


Oh, and the characters look much cooler than in the video, the unreal unibrow guy is not a real character. =P

 
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46. Re: Hmmmm... Aug 23, 2003, 12:00 quazz
 
I've only played The AO:Shadowland beta for a few hours, but from what I can understand.

Player A get a mission Key from a Mission Generator (Said Key allow him to open a door (The mission needing to be acomplished inside).

Player A buy a Key Duplicator.

Player A duplicate Key and give it to one (or more) of his "friends".

Anyone with that key can enter the "dungeon" and they will be alone in there to make the quest.


Of course it didn't make any sense since a random mission/combination of coridors would appear behind the same door.

 
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45. Re: Hmmmm... Aug 23, 2003, 09:42 Furious
 
Hey Creston,

Let me just clarify my statement. I didn't mean that private zones would account for 10% of the server population, I meant private zones would account for 10% of the physical game world, ie. most of the areas would be general with a small amount that contain special items or MOBS being able to be privatized. Yeah, I agree that an instanced 'private zone' would handle 1-20 players.

Anyone out there know how AO does this? It's just certain areas that would be typically heavily camped that have private areas right?

Cheers,
Furious

 
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44. Re: Hmmmm... Aug 23, 2003, 00:08 Creston
 
MMO's are usually 3k-4k? I'm assuming as much as you are but I would think that 10% of the game would be private and the other 90% would be in the typical MMO model where everyone is together.

I think you are being drastically optimistic here, Furious. When Richard Garriot and Starr Long first started talking about this kind of setup, ie, personalized "private" zones for people to have their own adventures in, they were talking party sized adventures for groups of 6-10 people. If they make a private zone for 10% of 3-4K people, that means they'd have to fill that zone with enough adventure / stuff to do for 300 people. Something tells me that just isn't going to happen.

I doubt very much a private zone will handle more than 16 to 32 players MAX. I mean, if they handle more, and there's not going to be anything to do for those people, why put the private zones in in the first place? The whole idea behind the private zones is to address the issue that most players have with a MMORPG, that besides watching your character grow stronger, there is fuck all to do, and absolutely no storyline.

I think the private zones idea is actually a pretty smart one (and Richard Garriot should have patented it), but I can really see where people are coming from who say "Why bother paying 15 bucks a month to run around in a private zone, when I could be playing NWN and doing the same thing?"

It's a very valid question, and I think many people will be asking themselves that question when those private zones MMORPGs come out.

Creston


 
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43. Re: re Aug 22, 2003, 21:43 Michael Bolton's hair dresser
 
Just downloaded that Dark and Light video and damn that engine is impressive. Characters look kinda average but holy sheeeit the engine is awesome.

 
Dr. Michael Bolton's Hairdreser PhD, MD, LLP, DDS
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42. Re: Hmmmm... Aug 22, 2003, 20:35 BloodKnight
 
"And what's wrong with multiplayer NWN?
If done right NWN in multiplayer comes as close to pen&paper RPG as no other RPG, be it single-player or MMORPG.
And that's what RPGs originally are, pen&paper RPGs."

NWN is a disappointing two-bit gameplay RPG. Anyone who actually plays PnP RPG laughs at NWN.

What makes NWN worse is the badly made modules and DMs who can't think of anything better then "Kill orc, he be bad". The horror stories I had with NWConnections can be comparable to Lovecraft and Anna Rice novels.

 
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41. Re: Hmmmm... Aug 22, 2003, 17:02 Grounded
 
yawn

 
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40. Re: Hmmmm... Aug 22, 2003, 16:46 Furious
 
"Why pay monthly for something you can already do for free?"

Well, I think its comparing apples to oranges here. NWN and the likes are for up to a max of what?? 64 players? MMO's are usually 3k-4k? I'm assuming as much as you are but I would think that 10% of the game would be private and the other 90% would be in the typical MMO model where everyone is together. I think that these private areas are solutions to the problems of camping/greifing etc. I don't think the whole game is 'private' areas, just the points of interest that would cause the most traffic.

Edit: I'm not sticking up for this UO game, just debating about what private areas bring to the table. It's a nice thing for casual gamers

This comment was edited on Aug 22, 16:48.
 
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39. Re: Hmmmm... Aug 22, 2003, 16:14 LordSteev
 
And what's wrong with multiplayer NWN?
If done right NWN in multiplayer comes as close to pen&paper RPG as no other RPG, be it single-player or MMORPG.
And that's what RPGs originally are, pen&paper RPGs.


What im saying is: NWN multiplay = free
mmorpg multiplay = monthly fees

Why pay monthly for something you can already do for free?

Still, I personaly don't like NWN gameplay. I dont think it comes close to pen & paper at all. And in single player, your sidekick AI is screwy as hell. The texture sets are limited and boring. Everything is boxy. The character models are low detail. The voice acting is pathetic. The story line is lame and uninspired. The written dialog is way too small if you play at high resolutions. The camera is wonkey. The landscaping is uninspired. Other than those few minor quibbles, yea, it's a great game.
 
-LordSteev

Supporter of the "Unleash the Fredster!!" Fan Club
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38. Re: Hmmmm... Aug 22, 2003, 16:03 Lord_Darkmoon
 
And what's wrong with multiplayer NWN?
If done right NWN in multiplayer comes as close to pen&paper RPG as no other RPG, be it single-player or MMORPG.
And that's what RPGs originally are, pen&paper RPGs.

 
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37. Re: Hmmmm... Aug 22, 2003, 15:59 LordSteev
 
yea, exciting!!! it's like paying for multiplayer NWN!!!

LOL
 
-LordSteev

Supporter of the "Unleash the Fredster!!" Fan Club
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36. Re: Hmmmm... Aug 22, 2003, 15:42 Lord_Darkmoon
 
I am really excited.
The game is described as a MMORPG with single-player experiences, as you have your private areas with private quests you can do with a few friends.
This is great!
I really hope that the final product will be great, too.

 
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35. Re: Hmmmm... Aug 22, 2003, 15:35 Torlock
 
Those are not 'pretty good' for an MMORPG ... have you seen Star Wars Galaxies? I'm sorry but after playing SWG seeing pics of these look like crap. Why would you play an MMORPG that has medocre everything? I know don't judge a book by its cover but SWG defenitely set a standard for how MMO graphics should be.

 
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34. Re: Hmmmm... Aug 22, 2003, 15:12 El_Cristoir
 
Today's announcement is a huge disappointment for me personally. I've been following the progress of this game for over two years (it has gone under various guises, such as UO2.0).

The last thing I ever expected was a class and level based skill system, private zones, and playable elves, pixies and fuzzies. It's a terrible let-down. I just hope that we hear something else from the event before the end of the day that changes my mind.

 
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33. Re: Hmmmm... Aug 22, 2003, 14:54 Xombie
 
Don't worry, they'll cancel it in beta and have another Sims expansion made.  
Xombie x0mbie x0mb|e Xombie
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32. Re: re Aug 22, 2003, 13:56 quazz
 
How could they make it look so bad with the Unreal engine?
Look at Lineage2 (also with the Unreal engine) and tell me this looks good.

Graphics may not be all that matters, but since every MMORPG's gameplay is more or less the same, the only thing left to get better imersion in the game are the graphics. And this game fails.

 
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31. re Aug 22, 2003, 13:09 Praxus
 
I just realized that every time I thought 'wow cool' when I
watched the trailer was actually a pre-rendered scene.
I'm not impressed by the in game character models.

Whoever was talking about view distance has a point. Its
amazing how more realistic a large view distance is.
Check out this trailer for Dark and Light, they have a 30 mile view distance and the difference is huge.

http://www.darkandlight.net/videos/dnl_ingame_trailer_VHQ.WMV

 
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30. No subject Aug 22, 2003, 13:00 Michael Bolton's hair dresser
 
Heheh you can hear some of the monster sounds from UO in the UXO video.

 
Dr. Michael Bolton's Hairdreser PhD, MD, LLP, DDS
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29. EA Aug 22, 2003, 12:55 Creston
 
Once again EA shows that they really are the scourge of the gaming industry. They've raped the Ultima franchise to death, but hey, let's get another Ultima title out there, because it might bring us a few bucks.

Even more, I think it's rather pathetic that they are stealing ideas that Starr Long and Richard Garriot have been coming up with for Tabula Rasa, but EA has, as Susan Ivanova of Babylon 5 so eloquently put it "All the moral fiber of Jack the Ripper," so I suppose this shouldn't surprise me in the slightest.

I hope it bunks, and bunks big time.

Creston


 
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