What I think is going on with NL

Sorry about how long this is.
First off I have no inside info or have more then a hobbyist knowledge of programming. 

When I put myself into the position of Broadsword I see a number of problems.
  1. The core UO program needs a full rewrite. See note
  2. Any major change to the way the game is played will be seen as an attack and the end of the world by some/many players. This would include ending the use of game mechanics that were never intended or in hindsight a bad idea. Example the fight over EC vs CC graphics.
  3. Changing existing production shards over to a new game core would have to be done without players losing any items.
  4. If you did do the rewrite how long do you test it before you risk 25 years player experiences and items. If you did made the leap with a production shard would the game survive having to roll back a couple of months or more because of a catastrophic bug?
I hope what NL actually is Broadsword's response to the above issues and a way to implement some improvements. Because it's the way I would do it.
  • With a new game that gets wiped and restarted each year nobody should be too worried over losing stuff in a catastrophic crash/bug. 
  • If they do get it running stable for a couple of years then you could safely consider porting the existing shards over the the new core.
  • It's a "new" game so no fights about "but we have always done it this way". 
  • They can switch to a modern graphics engine. Hopefully fully 3D, it would be so nice to able to zoom in enough to really see some of the "pretty pixels" like the easter eggs.
  • Access to OS resources like letting players us MS windows (fingers crossed Mac) interface windows if they chose. Sort a container window of stuff alphabetically at whatever font size you want anyone? 
  • A modern program written to make use of up to date servers should do away with the need to have server lines and greatly reduce lag.
  • Written from core up to prevent 3rd party programs from controlling or replacing client so everyone is on a level playing field.
  • Include "machine learning" so game could spot player patterns and alert staff or take action on its own. Not only for bots but any encounter gets boring when you know exactly what the game is going to do next. I once played with someone who had the encounter so down she knew when, where and what monster was going to pop up next.
At least that's the way I see it so stop complaining about wasted time until we know for sure. 
Let the flame war begin  >:)


note:  Why I think they need a complete rewrite not just more patches.
  • 25 years of spaghetti logic programming and bug fixes (fix something with pets and brake something in housing)
  • Assumptions that made sense 25 years ago but not now (125 item container max)
  • Originally 2d then half assed 3d graphics that were state of the art at the time. Probably the cause of items on first floor blocking placement on the roof.
  • To me the game is starting to feel unstable. Example item that have been locked down for months suddenly disappearing.
  • Tied to Microsoft windows only. The Direct X requirement.  (I could be wrong about this, not a pro programer)

Comments

  • PawainPawain Posts: 6,956
    Sounds good from a let's start over standpoint. 

    But I think they are using what they have and NL will be just a different server. 

    A complete rewrite would have been nice.

    In that video with Richard Garriot on stratics. I think he said it took 3 years to write the core UO.  Which was a lot less complicated than UO is now.  And they did not have to deal with old code and they were the only ones that were writing the code. You can see it here:
    https://community.stratics.com/threads/cracked-article-on-uo-ecology.426397/

    That ecology and other stuff written by other programmers is still in the code that the current team has to work with.

    Plus they want to add new things.

    It takes a long time for two guys and an artist and a story teller to make NL. As we see.

    In a perfect world they would have redid UO. 

    If I don't pop into a world that looks like CC, I don't know how I will feel.

    We will see the results some day. Soon, not too soon, or at some future time.

    Good luck to them! And God willing we are all still alive to play it.
  • Arnold7Arnold7 Posts: 931
    edited July 3
    Yes generally agree with you Tim, but don’t expect things to change.  From what I’ve read here the enhanced client which was soundly rejected by players using the classic client was an attempt to do what you are suggesting.  Pretty sure the player base consists of older players like myself that are not really too interested in learning a new operating system.

    Also, agree the 25 years of spaghetti programming by various individuals has greatly convoluted the original program.  And, also agree some nights the program appears to be becoming unstable.  That worries me too.

    But have learned to accept the game the way it is.  Yes it has more bugs and idiosyncrasies than any other game I have ever played but I like the people I play with and to my amazement many of them are as old as I am so I will stick with it.
  • TimTim Posts: 712
    edited July 3
    Not to start the client wars again if EC had been presented as use this client or find a different game would you really have just quit UO?

    As to how long it took to write the original code the art has improved a lot. I can't say because I'm not in the industry but given the tools available now is a timeline of a year really unrealistic?  (Bug hunting a much longer process but I would let the NL players do that for me)

    If they did switch to a new 3D graphics engine the look of the game probably wouldn't be CC or EC but new graphics hopefully with a nod to what we have now. From what I have seen what ever NL really is a new look is implied.

    Edit
    I should add what they and players have done with the tools available is great. But in my opinion compared to modern games the graphics in both EC and CC are cra not good . Good graphics key to getting younger play this is a problem.
  • Arnold7Arnold7 Posts: 931
    Agree about the graphics.  Loved the graphics in many of the solo games I played,  Played the solo version of this game in the 90’s and the graphics have not changed much as far as I can see.  I don’t think giving much thought to attracting new players is in the cards.   Maintaining the current player base and bringing back returning players appears to be marketing’s primary focus.

    I think marketing is making some attempt to bring the original concept of group play on a large scale with NL.  But just don’t see a player base for that outside of UO’s current player base.
  • SethSeth Posts: 2,746
    edited July 3
    CC is still around because substantial users stucked with it either because of graphics or 3rd party.

    Removing both could mean a significant lost of the existing player base.

    So if they really want to upgrade, it's not just about new graphics engine, game core or client. They better be ready with a good budget for marketing to acquire younger players. And new hires to support the game with more coders and younger and active community managers. Not supported by some old fanboy, thread lockers or quiet team with no bug fix and zero response.
    If it ain't broke, don't fix it. 
    ESRB warning: Some Blood. LOTS of Alcohol. Some Violence. LOTS of Bugs
  • AmberWitchAmberWitch Posts: 419
    I'm in the middle of binge watching Yang Yang's 'The Kings Avatar' on Netflix and after watching it some I'm starting to like the idea of server wipes more so. I would hope that each server restart would be tweaked to be improved over the last.
  • McDougleMcDougle Posts: 3,741
    I'm in the middle of binge watching Yang Yang's 'The Kings Avatar' on Netflix and after watching it some I'm starting to like the idea of server wipes more so. I would hope that each server restart would be tweaked to be improved over the last.
    It can be fun but would you want your home wiped I've said it again and again it's the permanency that keeps UO  alive it's knowing that horse my son named when he was two is in the stable the sandals my bestie gave me before he passed away etc etc .it's not the graphics minecraft one of the most popular games ever. Its the bugs its the way too steep learning curve for new players coupled with aged and jaded player base  
    Acknowledgment and accountability go a long way... 
  • TimTim Posts: 712
    Given the age of the existing player base worrying too much about them is a losing proposition. I'm not really a social player and I know 2 long time player who have died in the last year and half dozen not playing because of health issues. I would really like to think the game will out last me.

    Marketing would look like exactly what? Give me 10 or more minutes with an interested potential player I might get him/her past all the antiquated BS we put up with in a 20 year old game to give it a real try. A Google add wouldn't get him past pick your client let alone talking to players about "helper" programs.

    A rewritten modern Game would be worth the money but as things are now no.

    The point I am trying to make is

    Trying to keep everyone happy will mean nothing ever gets done. Broadsword has to pick a vision of what the game should be and go for it. If I really really don't like it well to bad but at least the game will go on with out me. The customers do NOT own the game they simply decide if they want to spend money playing it.

    PS  Why would you spend a lot of time bug fixing a game you are actively rewriting?
  • McDougleMcDougle Posts: 3,741
    Tim said:
    Given the age of the existing player base worrying too much about them is a losing proposition. I'm not really a social player and I know 2 long time player who have died in the last year and half dozen not playing because of health issues. I would really like to think the game will out last me.

    Marketing would look like exactly what? Give me 10 or more minutes with an interested potential player I might get him/her past all the antiquated BS we put up with in a 20 year old game to give it a real try. A Google add wouldn't get him past pick your client let alone talking to players about "helper" programs.

    A rewritten modern Game would be worth the money but as things are now no.

    The point I am trying to make is

    Trying to keep everyone happy will mean nothing ever gets done. Broadsword has to pick a vision of what the game should be and go for it. If I really really don't like it well to bad but at least the game will go on with out me. The customers do NOT own the game they simply decide if they want to spend money playing it.

    PS  Why would you spend a lot of time bug fixing a game you are actively rewriting?
    See i might be fine with all of this IF the developers were communicating basically they been AWOL for months..
    Acknowledgment and accountability go a long way... 
  • AmberWitchAmberWitch Posts: 419
    McDougle said:
    I'm in the middle of binge watching Yang Yang's 'The Kings Avatar' on Netflix and after watching it some I'm starting to like the idea of server wipes more so. I would hope that each server restart would be tweaked to be improved over the last.
    It can be fun but would you want your home wiped I've said it again and again it's the permanency that keeps UO  alive it's knowing that horse my son named when he was two is in the stable the sandals my bestie gave me before he passed away etc etc .it's not the graphics minecraft one of the most popular games ever. Its the bugs its the way too steep learning curve for new players coupled with aged and jaded player base  

    For me NL would not replace my regular shard as I, along with pretty much everyone else have a lifetime's worth of memories associated with the various pixels I've collected and saved over the years. The way I see it, for me playing NL would be in addition to playing on my home prodo shards.
    I view this as an opportunity for me to learn different ways to play the game. I've always played the game in, what is for me, a safe way. This would be a shard where I could get out of my comfort zone and learn different templates. While that may be simple to do for many, for me it's not. I always drift back to the same templates. I've always wanted to learn to PvP but, well, there are too many buts. Knowing that the server is going to reset after a period of time puts me in the position of having to learn and build without it affecting what I've done for the last freaking 25 years. lol
  • TimTim Posts: 712
    McDougle said:
    I'm in the middle of binge watching Yang Yang's 'The Kings Avatar' on Netflix and after watching it some I'm starting to like the idea of server wipes more so. I would hope that each server restart would be tweaked to be improved over the last.
    It can be fun but would you want your home wiped I've said it again and again it's the permanency that keeps UO  alive it's knowing that horse my son named when he was two is in the stable the sandals my bestie gave me before he passed away etc etc .it's not the graphics minecraft one of the most popular games ever. Its the bugs its the way too steep learning curve for new players coupled with aged and jaded player base  
    I agree with both of you but I think I pointed out the biggest problem facing Broadsword is porting us over to new servers without us losing anything. Compared to that rewriting the game is child's play.

    My dream is to log on one morning with new client and server back end and find nothing in the world changed. I'd even want all my runes to work.
  • Arnold7Arnold7 Posts: 931
    I only have one account so I don’t have an extra player to play on the NL shard.  And, I don’t have the time commitment either.  I don’t see any long term benefit from playing on the NL shard.  I do see some of the established player base going that way because they can compete against each other for the title of who is best in various areas.  And, I can see how that would be of value to those players.  But I don’t see that of being of any value to newer players that don’t have the relationship with UO that the veteran players have.

    Not really sure what this discussion is about but if it’s about UO’s future as it appears to me that UO needs to be more open about what it expects it’s future to be.  And, yes I like playing a game with people my own age that love these kinds of games as much as I do.  And, yes it’s difficult as I see players I know no longer playing the game.




  • TimTim Posts: 712
    Arnold7 said:
    I only have one account so I don’t have an extra player to play on the NL shard.  And, I don’t have the time commitment either.  I don’t see any long term benefit from playing on the NL shard.  I do see some of the established player base going that way because they can compete against each other for the title of who is best in various areas.  And, I can see how that would be of value to those players.  But I don’t see that of being of any value to newer players that don’t have the relationship with UO that the veteran players have.

    Not really sure what this discussion is about but if it’s about UO’s future as it appears to me that UO needs to be more open about what it expects it’s future to be.  And, yes I like playing a game with people my own age that love these kinds of games as much as I do.  And, yes it’s difficult as I see players I know no longer playing the game.




    You do realize one account can have 6 characters per shard and they have said you can NOT transfer existing characters to NL.

    Also if you are "Not really sure what this discussion is about" please refrain from commenting until you are.
  • Arnold7Arnold7 Posts: 931
    Read that UO has 27 shards.  Are you saying I can have six characters per shard for a total of 162 in game characters for my $10 a month?  No was not aware of this.  Have you done this?
  • NorryNorry Posts: 505
    If you buy the expansions, you can have 7 character per shard( exceptions of siege and mugen?). And a home on 1 shard and either siege or mugen.  Most of us have characters on multiple shards, Either for gifts or events.

    New legacy will be the same, just not permanent.
  • Arnold7Arnold7 Posts: 931
    Thanks Norry.  Never imagined I could do that.
  • PawainPawain Posts: 6,956
    First they said one or two charters on NL. We will see how many when it comes out.

    With only GM skills I'll probably make my main a warrior. They can do more content with GM skills. At least mine can with my slow reflexes.
  • SethSeth Posts: 2,746
    edited July 4
    Tim said:
    Given the age of the existing player base worrying too much about them is a losing proposition. I'm not really a social player and I know 2 long time player who have died in the last year and half dozen not playing because of health issues. I would really like to think the game will out last me.

    Marketing would look like exactly what? Give me 10 or more minutes with an interested potential player I might get him/her past all the antiquated BS we put up with in a 20 year old game to give it a real try. A Google add wouldn't get him past pick your client let alone talking to players about "helper" programs.

    A rewritten modern Game would be worth the money but as things are now no.

    The point I am trying to make is

    Trying to keep everyone happy will mean nothing ever gets done. Broadsword has to pick a vision of what the game should be and go for it. If I really really don't like it well to bad but at least the game will go on with out me. The customers do NOT own the game they simply decide if they want to spend money playing it.

    PS  Why would you spend a lot of time bug fixing a game you are actively rewriting?
    If current player base is significantly reduced further, where do they get money to hire graphics and software engineer to build the new core, server and graphics? 

    Who would invest in this game and pay BS to hire more talents, if there is no marketing plan and targets to acquire new players for a good ROI.

    Marketing plan, cost money my friend. The best marketers earn 5 figures a month. I don't expect anyone to share their business plan in public.
    If it ain't broke, don't fix it. 
    ESRB warning: Some Blood. LOTS of Alcohol. Some Violence. LOTS of Bugs
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