"Which is meaningless when Ultima 8 was dogshit, Ultima 9 was dogshit, Tabula Rasa was dogshit, and Shroud of the Avatar is seemingly dogshit as well."
Ultima 8 was not dogshit. I remember it as being darker and creepier than the past Ultimas. Remember the head chopping at the beginning ? That impressed me as a kid
They just tooks the game somewhere else. Artists are expected to stray from repetiveness.
Ultima 9 was not dogshit. Seamless 3D engine, enourmous land size for the time, placeble objects, waving 3D water, day/night cycle, wonderful music, and so much more. Are you f**in kidding me ?! Ultima 9 influenced games like Gothic and all 3rd person RPGs like that.
Tabula Rasa. Welp...