Ultima Online has a streamer problem

(Bail out of this thread now if you don’t want to read an essay.)

Let’s talk about a problem that OSI UO has in context to the greater gaming landscape. OSI UO needs streamers.

To preface this, I’m late to the video game streaming party. I’m from the generation where nothing is more aggravating than watching your cousin hog the NES controller as he gets Mario killed over and over. Watching others play a video game was a very foreign concept to me for the longest time, but over the past year I’ve begun to grasp how integral to modern gaming it has become. I want to discuss why it’s so integral and why there is a tremendous issue with UO OSI streaming on Twitch.

In short: there are not nearly enough OSI streamers, these streamers are not supported by the game’s marketing strategy (such as it is), and what streamers there are are completely choked out by bootleg shard competition.

First, let’s take a quick survey of what OSI streamers are currently at work on Twitch. I know there may be other platforms but I’m only going to focus on Twitch here because of the ways in which the platform’s affordances help illuminate the issue. Twitch is a problematic platform for many reasons, but one can’t deny the place it occupies in modern gaming. Also, this is not an indictment of the few UO OSI streamer’s efforts. They are small islands within a sea of content and do their best.

On Atlantic we have Waffles_McGreggor who does stream semi-regularly, articulates specific goals for the stream, and uses the EC. They’re probably the largest remaining Atlantic streamer. There were others who have left for bootleg shards, ones who stream Atlantic so inconsistently so as to not bother mentioning, and ones who unfortunately have stepped away from the activity.

KittieKitsuneko mostly streams EM events. Unfortunately, while their content is tagged under the Ultima Online category they limit viewing their past streams to only people who pay to subscribe.

Southern_dreams is a small channel without a lot of followers, but also seems to mostly stream EM events as a record of the proceedings. This is a needed function and I’m glad they do it, but there’s not any “putting on a show” with them.

For a hot minute, EpicLuteGaming was probably the OSI streamer making the most hay on the platform with a very active community, 100+ viewers on streams, and regular content. Things seemed to be going great here but it looks like a hiatus and some life changes have forced them away from UO streaming and streaming video games in general.

These are just some of the few I’ve found by scrolling back through the Twitch Ultima Online category. Which brings me to the first major issue OSI UO streaming has. There is no category distinction between OSI shards and bootleg shards. This is a monumental issue as “Ultima Online” searches either on the platform or in Google will bring up bootleg shards first. I’m not trying to knock these other shards, but, for the health of our game it would be better if there was a clear distinction between OSI and other shards on the platform, beyond what the creators put into their video titles and metadata. On more than one occasion I’ve watched people come into EpicLute’s stream and ask “which shard is this?” or some flavor of “Is this BOOTLEG shard?” just to need to be corrected. Now, is this a Broadsword issue or a Twitch issue? Who determines how these categories are joined? Could this issue be resolved with someone from Broadsword speaking to the Twitch gaming representatives and asking for a fix? It’s hard to find these few OSI streamers as their content is consistently drowned out.

A second major issue is there is no public engagement from our team with what streamers are out there. I think this sort of “hands-off, no favoritism” policy works in an internet 1.0 era, but we’re well into the age of community engagement with creators. OSI streamers should be encouraged and supported, even if in minor ways. Our team should be comfortable with the potential benefits and, of course, likely warts to arise from throwing a little light on the community. This could be accomplished with a streamer spotlight on the homepage and/or launcher. They could intentionally reach out to creators before the TC publishes hit and invite them to preview the content on the day so creators have some notice to prepare. There are many, many ways a more “community managed” mindset could benefit the game via the involvement of streamers.

So what do we lose by not doing these things? What is so wrong with the status quo? Not amplifying the ways that modern gamers discover games is a choice that our team has made and can continue to make. Don’t mistake me, I believe that this choice is probably intentional and not made in haste. They likely have very valid reasons. I’m simply arguing that as gaming has changed so should the ways our game finds an audience. I do not believe that new gamers can not come to UO. I do not believe that the only people who can find and stay in our game are returning vets. We can find both these kinds of people, though, by going to where the audience is. The audience is out there, right now, on these gaming platforms. 



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Comments

  • GrimbeardGrimbeard Posts: 1,272
    Do we really want the world seeing how broken and poorly ran things are?
  • JepethJepeth Posts: 478
    Grimbeard said:
    Do we really want the world seeing how broken and poorly ran things are?
    Hi. That's not what I'm discussing in this thread, and I'd prefer you not try and derail the conversation right off the bat with another shallow critique of the game's dev team. You can start your own thread for that, or, close your accounts.

    If you want to talk about what you'd like to see the dev team do to appeal to streamers constructively, please, go for it. Or, if you have no ideas to contribute there, maybe share what streamers on twitch or the other platforms you're in to and discuss why their content works.

  • KittieKittie Posts: 18
    edited March 27
    Let me add to this, since I'm Kittie Kitsuneko on twitch.
    All of my streams are uploaded to YouTube as KittieKitsuneko as Twitch deletes all streams after 2 weeks. So I have over a YEARS worth of streams on there.
    I have moved to doing also adding the Atlantic EM Event as well as the Great Lakes EM event and am ALWAYS open to suggestions for other EM Events or other things that someone would like me to stream. So please, send me your suggestions!
    Finally, while there is a calling for UO streamers, unless someone does it on their own time off from work, there is no way to benefit from it long term. So it has to be impromptu or timed streams (IE: Unless there are donations and subs, there's no means to make money while doing it. So it's merely a hobby for most of us.).
    So again, if you want to see more UO and other shards, etc. Please, let me know. I'm always open to stream when I can! <3

    Lady Kittie
    Duchess of Moonglow
    Governor of Moonglow
    Royal Subject of the Britannia Zoo
    Leader and Liaison to the Meer
  • Arnold7Arnold7 Posts: 1,142
    UO does not really market itself to new players or provide them with any reason to play the game once they are here.  New players without mentors or friends that can provide them with the resources and knowledge they need to play the game simply leave for games that provide a much better playing experience to new players.  Returning players know how to play the game and they enjoyed it before.  Also, the game offers them something.  They can get their developed players and old accounts back.  That’s my opinion.  As a new player about four years ago, I only stuck with the game because I enjoyed the UO stand alone games I played many years ago and I needed a game that was easier on my hands than a more modern game would be.  I have not seen any evidence that UO is making any attempt to attract new players.  UO’s attitude seems to be more that players have to prove to UO they deserve to play the game.  Maybe, that marketing strategy worked years ago when there were not many alternatives, but do not see it being very successful  today.  Maybe NL.

    I have watched YouTube videos from time to time.  They run the range from very good to not so good.  Generally they are hard to follow for a newbie as the text is small and moves fast making it hard to read on screen.  It’s often hard to figure out what’s going on, on screen.  But, some of the narrated ones are quite good and UO could use these kinds of videos to attract new players if it had someone on staff that knew how to make instructional videos.

    I guess to one line it, I just don’t any evidence UO is even interested in attracting new players.  I appreciate that EA continues to make the game available to those players that have enjoyed the game for so many years.
  • JepethJepeth Posts: 478
    edited March 27
    Kittie said:
    Let me add to this, since I'm Kittie Kitsuneko on twitch.

    I was aware of your backups on YouTube, but I didn't want to be like "go there and get around their paywall!" as I figured you had the past streams set to subscriber only for a reason. Looking back at some channels, is there like a difference in tier support or something for archival? I see that some of Patrick's streams go back two months, and others, like you said, go only a few weeks.

    And, yes, my comments above are more about what the game could be doing as opposed to trying to rouse people to be streamers. I certainly couldn't be one. But at the bare minimum that category distinction on twitch would probably do a lot to help creators like you and encourage others into the space. 
  • VioletViolet Posts: 363
    You had so many ads when I used to watch your stream, are you a UO streamer or a NordVPN salesman?  The fact your stream is behind a paywall now is very distasteful to me.  Can people just do things because they love something instead of trying to make money off it and running 5 minutes of ads on their streams?  Also, when I watched you always seemed to be very critical of the EMs on Great Lakes, which are actually great EMs.  I'd love for you to stream the Chesapeake EM events and see your critique of their events.
  • KittieKittie Posts: 18
    Jepeth said:
    I was aware of your backups on YouTube, but I didn't want to be like "go there and get around their paywall!" as I figured you had the past streams set to subscriber only for a reason. Looking back at some channels, is there like a difference in tier support or something for archival? I see that some of Patrick's streams go back two months, and others, like you said, go only a few weeks.

    And, yes, my comments above are more about what the game could be doing as opposed to trying to rouse people to be streamers. I certainly couldn't be one. But at the bare minimum that category distinction on twitch would probably do a lot to help creators like you and encourage others into the space. 

    No worries, I literally put them up that for that reason, so people could still watch them, they would be archived longer and not have to pay to see old stuff that gets deleted every 2 weeks. It's not set for any other reason than Twitch recommendation. A moot point IMO, if they just delete old streams anyway.
    So, I am an affiliate, so my streams last 2 weeks, I believe Partner, theirs last longer. But to get Partner, you have to have x amount of followers, stream x amount of days for x amount of time. At that point, they consider it, you're making it your JOB to stream. And for most big name streamers that's absolutely true. But for us small fish, no way.
    And even then, most of those streamers have other means to make up lost wages if they get sick or if their numbers start to dip (merch, donations, etc). Most of us streamers are moving to Patreon now to make up revenue, since it's a solid means for people to support  you with out someone in between taking most of that money (Twitch and YouTube take a CHUNK of any money you make.. making it seem like you are getting no where as a dedicated streamer. For example, I WOULD be making money streaming, But I see NONE of it, because of "Twitch Fee's" and what not.).
    Unfortunately, this is why a lot of people don't stream older games, because it seems only the PvP games and newer games make the best content.
    I stream UO because I LOVE UO and I love interacting with people! I find the events SUPER fun and the stories really involved! So for me? It's a hobby. A well LOVED hobby. :)

    Lady Kittie
    Duchess of Moonglow
    Governor of Moonglow
    Royal Subject of the Britannia Zoo
    Leader and Liaison to the Meer
  • KittieKittie Posts: 18
    edited March 27
    Violet said:
    You had so many ads when I used to watch your stream, are you a UO streamer or a NordVPN salesman?  The fact your stream is behind a paywall now is very distasteful to me.  Can people just do things because they love something instead of trying to make money off it and running 5 minutes of ads on their streams?  Also, when I watched you always seemed to be very critical of the EMs on Great Lakes, which are actually great EMs.  I'd love for you to stream the Chesapeake EM events and see your critique of their events.
    I do not put the ads up, Twitch does. They decide when an ad goes up, I do not. I COULD, but I simply don't. It would break the stream up and people would miss things.
    I do not sell NordVPN, I am an affiliate, which boils down to, if people click and use it, I make a couple bucks. Nothing more, nothing less.
    The idea of a "paywall" I didn't agree with, but that was Twitch's recommendation after making Affiliate. Which is why I upload to YouTube, so people CAN watch them for FREE.
    I am a bit critical when it calls to be. I'm not going to shout everything is perfect, kittens and rainbows at every moment. People like me (so I've been told in messages and on streams) for my honesty. I'm not going to say "x did something, that's GREAT!" when it's clearly NOT.
    If you want kittens and rainbows 100% of the time, then I'm NOT the streamer for you.
    I can definitely add it to my "requested" list along with a few others.

    EDIT: I'm not sure why people think that I add ads, as TWITCH is the one that determines when an ad plays and for how long. Streamers DO have the power to place one, usually we do when we need to go AFK, I don't, because I find them disruptive.
    I'm also not sure why people think that attempting to make money off streaming a BAD thing. Streaming isn't something that comes for FREE. If you want to stream, you need good equipment (Mic, Camera, software, PC... ). I pay $50 a month just in fee's TO stream with the software and stuff I use. Which is why I add Affiliate links, as a means to PAY for those fee's each month. Do I ACTUALLY make that each month, NO. The fee's from all of these places and Twitch just take it all and I'm left with paying the bill out of pocket.
    So yes, this is a HOBBY. There is NO shame in trying to make money to fund the hobby. I'd be honestly happy if I just made enough to cover the cost TO stream. But not having that doesn't mean I'm going to stop either.


    Lady Kittie
    Duchess of Moonglow
    Governor of Moonglow
    Royal Subject of the Britannia Zoo
    Leader and Liaison to the Meer
  • drcossackdrcossack Posts: 145
    Kittie said:
    Jepeth said:
    I was aware of your backups on YouTube, but I didn't want to be like "go there and get around their paywall!" as I figured you had the past streams set to subscriber only for a reason. Looking back at some channels, is there like a difference in tier support or something for archival? I see that some of Patrick's streams go back two months, and others, like you said, go only a few weeks.

    And, yes, my comments above are more about what the game could be doing as opposed to trying to rouse people to be streamers. I certainly couldn't be one. But at the bare minimum that category distinction on twitch would probably do a lot to help creators like you and encourage others into the space. 

    No worries, I literally put them up that for that reason, so people could still watch them, they would be archived longer and not have to pay to see old stuff that gets deleted every 2 weeks. It's not set for any other reason than Twitch recommendation. A moot point IMO, if they just delete old streams anyway.
    So, I am an affiliate, so my streams last 2 weeks, I believe Partner, theirs last longer

    Slight add-on to this since I stream as well (not UO, though I did think about switching to it for the LS event last night): If you have Twitch Prime/Prime Gaming, you also have the ability to save your vods for 2 months.  Saving them as a highlight is an option, though I admit that it's not really feasible for every stream (Especially when Twitch doesn't allow for comments on vods anymore)
  • KittieKittie Posts: 18
    edited March 27
    drcossack said:
    Kittie said:
    Jepeth said:
    I was aware of your backups on YouTube, but I didn't want to be like "go there and get around their paywall!" as I figured you had the past streams set to subscriber only for a reason. Looking back at some channels, is there like a difference in tier support or something for archival? I see that some of Patrick's streams go back two months, and others, like you said, go only a few weeks.

    And, yes, my comments above are more about what the game could be doing as opposed to trying to rouse people to be streamers. I certainly couldn't be one. But at the bare minimum that category distinction on twitch would probably do a lot to help creators like you and encourage others into the space. 

    No worries, I literally put them up that for that reason, so people could still watch them, they would be archived longer and not have to pay to see old stuff that gets deleted every 2 weeks. It's not set for any other reason than Twitch recommendation. A moot point IMO, if they just delete old streams anyway.
    So, I am an affiliate, so my streams last 2 weeks, I believe Partner, theirs last longer

    Slight add-on to this since I stream as well (not UO, though I did think about switching to it for the LS event last night): If you have Twitch Prime/Prime Gaming, you also have the ability to save your vods for 2 months.  Saving them as a highlight is an option, though I admit that it's not really feasible for every stream (Especially when Twitch doesn't allow for comments on vods anymore)
    Yea, it's not feasible for every stream, as you said, especially when twitch doesn't allow for comments. :/ I just find it easier to upload them to another platform, where anyone can watch for free and comment.
    I really dislike the idea that Twitch makes it increasingly more difficult for Affiliates to become Partners by further hindering what they can offer and do. They think that making everything "pay only!" for the streamer is going to "help" them, when in turn, it just turns people off and away. This is why I just move things to YouTube for people to still interact without the idea of paying to do so. I'm all about saving a buck here and there, why wouldn't the people who watch me want to do the same?

    Lady Kittie
    Duchess of Moonglow
    Governor of Moonglow
    Royal Subject of the Britannia Zoo
    Leader and Liaison to the Meer
  • Arnold7Arnold7 Posts: 1,142
    Sorry I don’t watch streamers or twitchers or for that matter even know what they are.  Thought we were talking about YouTube videos. Maybe for the benefit of at least one older player can you explain what we are talking about.  Would like to know were to look for your videos.  Thanks.
  • KittieKittie Posts: 18
    Arnold7 said:
    Sorry I don’t watch streamers or twitchers or for that matter even know what they are.  Thought we were talking about YouTube videos. Maybe for the benefit of at least one older player can you explain what we are talking about.  Would like to know were to look for your videos.  Thanks.

     I believe it was basically about that Broadsword/OSI needs to stream the game more in an effort to gain more of a following(?). That there are a few Twitch Streamers, but not many who are well diverse in all areas of UO. But Jepeth could answer that better.
    I'm personally on Twitch and YouTube as KittieKitsuneko. (twitch.tv/kittiekitsuneko and youtube.com/@kittiekitsuneko)

    Lady Kittie
    Duchess of Moonglow
    Governor of Moonglow
    Royal Subject of the Britannia Zoo
    Leader and Liaison to the Meer
  • AmberWitchAmberWitch Posts: 551
    What the!!!

    You mean I could get paid big bucks while getting people to want to happily die? You mean people would WANT to listen to me outside of game even though they're tired of hearing me inside of game?
    <3 <3 <3
    Where do I sign up?

    All kidding aside I think it's cool that people are streaming UO. Think about it... streaming a 25 year old game. Yeah, that's cool. My hats are off to you brave souls doing it.
  • keven2002keven2002 Posts: 1,920
    @Jepeth - Might have missed it in your original post but what do you hope to get out of streaming on a platform like Twitch compared to something like uploading a video on YouTube? Exposure to UO or tutorials to make the game more approachable? I'm not familiar with Twitch (although I did help Epic out with one of his posts) but I'd imagine YouTube would fall in the same category; unless it would be specifically targeting people who never have played?

    As much of a broken record as McDougle is; I think he kind of has a point on this topic. I think some of the reason the Dev team probably isn't interested in getting hooked up with Twitch type playing is because I think this might push for a little bit more of a manual/guide on how things work in the game because not everything works the same as you'd expect. Example would be for some quests you need to drop an item on the NPC to move forward with the quest while others you need to "toggle quest item" and yet others you need to speak certain words. That would either need to be explained or changed to all work the same (IMO) if it was being broadcast to a group of new players thinking about playing. We have 25 years of stuff that's similar but has different functions so that's a pretty large thing to take on.

    That said, maybe the Dev team contracts out a few players to make tutorial videos on YouTube showing how various things work (calling out when things work differently)? I think in order to make streaming/videoing an avenue for UO, people would need to be compensated somehow (as Kittie mentioned) because churning out different videos would quickly become work for the average UO player. For most, average gameplay is basically repeating the same X things given that UO, by design, isn't a 1 and done type game (ie you aren't getting a cameo your first run of Shadowguard). I wouldn't have a problem recording something when I play but my recordings for the last 3 months would only consist of maybe 4-5 things (the past month has only been harvesting green thorns); I feel like this would be the case with majority of the population unless they were compensated to do something else.
  • JepethJepeth Posts: 478
    Kittie said:
     I believe it was basically about that Broadsword/OSI needs to stream the game more in an effort to gain more of a following(?). 
    Let me be clear, I'm not advocating for Broadsword to hire streamers or anyway astroturf a steaming community. There's a world of difference between community management where streamers factor in to the game's plans and putting streamers on a payroll. There are pros and cons to this kind of system that I think we could all discuss, but for now I'm advocating for:
    1. Broadsword working with Twitch on the Ultima Online category so as to differentiate between OSI shards and bootleg shards.
    2. A policy where active OSI streamers are encouraged to talk about new things in the game. The example I gave was something as simple as (via a DM or a mailing) "Hey Streamers! Just FYI we're releasing Publish 116 onto TC this week if you'd like to take a look at the content." 
    3. Offer the means for a "streamer spotlight" or something on the patcher or home page to drive players to this content. The model for this system already exists, there are fan pages listed on the homepage. I'm saying this system should be modernized for where gamers are now. 
  • JepethJepeth Posts: 478
    keven2002 said:
    @ Jepeth - Might have missed it in your original post but what do you hope to get out of streaming on a platform like Twitch compared to something like uploading a video on YouTube? Exposure to UO or tutorials to make the game more approachable? I'm not familiar with Twitch (although I did help Epic out with one of his posts) but I'd imagine YouTube would fall in the same category; unless it would be specifically targeting people who never have played?

    So let me back up and maybe explain a bit more about twitch streaming cause I'm seeing a disconnect here in how folks view this.

    Putting videos on YouTube is great, and excellent. As mentioned, they can be a resource to refer back to later for those to return to the game. I'm not advocating for tutorial creation, I'm advocating for community building.

    Being a streamer implies an active community. It's not a passive experience for the viewer, like a YouTube video. A person watches the streamer stream the video game live and, ideally, takes part in the comments and community as it happens. If you haven't sat down and watched a live twitch stream, you probably aren't aware of how active and engaging of an experience this is. 

    This is what I failed to grasp, too. As mentioned, I didn't get why folks liked watching others play video games until I sat and watched it happening and the community of viewers give and take with the performer. As an example, Patrick of EpicLuteGaming was pretty great at responding to the live comments during his live streams, answering questions, taking advice, and generally being active. That's the key difference between YouTube as a passive archive and Twitch (or similar platforms) and live content. Communities form around the broadcasts of the game. 

    Maybe the best model for this is the difference between watching a comedy act live versus recorded. Both can be fun, but a live experience always offers more to the viewer. It's just straight up more fun.
  • keven2002keven2002 Posts: 1,920
    Jepeth said:
    Kittie said:
     I believe it was basically about that Broadsword/OSI needs to stream the game more in an effort to gain more of a following(?). 
    Let me be clear, I'm not advocating for Broadsword to hire streamers or anyway astroturf a steaming community. There's a world of difference between community management where streamers factor in to the game's plans and putting streamers on a payroll. There are pros and cons to this kind of system that I think we could all discuss, but for now I'm advocating for:
    1. Broadsword working with Twitch on the Ultima Online category so as to differentiate between OSI shards and bootleg shards.
    2. A policy where active OSI streamers are encouraged to talk about new things in the game. The example I gave was something as simple as (via a DM or a mailing) "Hey Streamers! Just FYI we're releasing Publish 116 onto TC this week if you'd like to take a look at the content." 
    3. Offer the means for a "streamer spotlight" or something on the patcher or home page to drive players to this content. The model for this system already exists, there are fan pages listed on the homepage. I'm saying this system should be modernized for where gamers are now. 

    I agree with all 3 things you listed but I think right now only 1 & 3 are realistic. Again I don't want to come off as a negative Nancy but 2 would be a real hurdle given the Dev team's track record on communicating (period) and pushing out new content. Don't get me wrong I'm all for it and would subscribe simply for #2 to see what's new but I think that #2 would require more than 2 publishes a year & the same recycled dynamic content twice a year. The treasures of Archlich went onto TC back in like Sept 2022 and the newest content wasn't put on there until Feb (and even that was very limited)? I don't think the Dev team can wait 4-5 months in between "new" things for that to be successful.
  • JepethJepeth Posts: 478
    keven2002 said:
    I agree with all 3 things you listed but I think right now only 1 & 3 are realistic. Again I don't want to come off as a negative Nancy but 2 would be a real hurdle given the Dev team's track record on communicating (period) and pushing out new content. 
    I hear that, but that was just an example I gave. #2 could be a grand as the big dynamic content cycles or even as granular as the EM events and community events of which happen every week.
    The point here is what can the team do to help encourage and support streamers to cover this content?

    Here's me just spit balling an idea, but we have the EM calendar, and it helps. Obviously streamers are using it. But there is no community calendar for events that players could submit to. Put that on the homepage and give streamers an avenue to find other content to cover without them having to scour this forum, Stratics' forum, and the myriad of UO discords. That would be a community-minded policy which helps grow UO and addresses the streamer problem.

    Because to be frank, bootleg shards are doing these things.
  • JepethJepeth Posts: 478
    All kidding aside I think it's cool that people are streaming UO. Think about it... streaming a 25 year old game. Yeah, that's cool. My hats are off to you brave souls doing it.
    Retro game streaming is huge. Again, I really struggled to grasp why until I sat and explored the Twitch platform for awhile. To be clear, I'm not a twitch salesman as I do think there are a lot of issues with the platform (let's just put aside the risque content in some pockets of Twitch). I don't think I'd let my young niece or nephew watch it Twitch without supervision (the same goes for YouTube or the internet at large). But there are real gems when it comes to huge, passionate, and  active communities around super niche games.

    What could possible be more niche than our ~26 year old wizard MMO? And further, what has more in-built nostalgia than our ~26 year old MMO? You only need to look at any of the Ultima facebook groups to see how deep people still care about the game, even if they're not actively playing it. 
  • GrimbeardGrimbeard Posts: 1,272
    Jepeth said:
    All kidding aside I think it's cool that people are streaming UO. Think about it... streaming a 25 year old game. Yeah, that's cool. My hats are off to you brave souls doing it.
    Retro game streaming is huge. Again, I really struggled to grasp why until I sat and explored the Twitch platform for awhile. To be clear, I'm not a twitch salesman as I do think there are a lot of issues with the platform (let's just put aside the risque content in some pockets of Twitch). I don't think I'd let my young niece or nephew watch it Twitch without supervision (the same goes for YouTube or the internet at large). But there are real gems when it comes to huge, passionate, and  active communities around super niche games.

    What could possible be more niche than our ~26 year old wizard MMO? And further, what has more in-built nostalgia than our ~26 year old MMO? You only need to look at any of the Ultima facebook groups to see how deep people still care about the game, even if they're not actively playing it. 
    Did you not see the stream where they couldn't even figure out how to buy something from npc vendors free shards do it because they have quality products with developers who communicate 
  • PawainPawain Posts: 8,099
    What the!!!

    You mean I could get paid big bucks while getting people to want to happily die? You mean people would WANT to listen to me outside of game even though they're tired of hearing me inside of game?
    <3 <3 <3
    Where do I sign up?

    All kidding aside I think it's cool that people are streaming UO. Think about it... streaming a 25 year old game. Yeah, that's cool. My hats are off to you brave souls doing it.
    Ya. I do talk out loud to myself while playing. But does anyone want to hear me curse every 6th word. More if I just died.

    I have the time and a real mic and camera that I bought for my wife to work from home with. She never used them. I doubt I have the content and mannerisms needed. I would love to curse at the commenters!
    Focus on what you can do, not what you can't.
  • JepethJepeth Posts: 478
    edited March 27
    Grimbeard said:
    Did you not see the stream where they couldn't even figure out how to buy something from npc vendors free shards do it because they have quality products with developers who communicate 
    But, what does that have to do with my argument? If you are, like before, saying that because UO is not to your current taste and it should not be promoted, you're entitled to your opinion, but it is not what we're discussing here. You'd do better making your own thread of grievances than trying to to derail this one. This thread deals with 10,000 foot view of Ultima Online's place in modern gaming, not whether or not a specific system is too hard for you. Again, if you don't wish to engage with this, please post your own thread or unsubscribe your accounts. You have lots of choice in the matter!
  • This is one heck of a well written post. 
  • Let me follow that up by telling you some of the stuff I learned streaming OSI on Twitch. 

    1 - Most UO players have no idea what Twitch is or how to access it. I had a lot of viewers who made accounts there for the first time to come watch me and participate in the giveaways. 

    2 - The one thing I wanted more than anything was for the devs to acknowledge me or any of the other OSI streams and get us involved like the free shard devs do with their streamers. I wanted to know they see us trying and want to help us help the game. 

    3 - The community ONLY WANTS UO which makes it hard for streamer growth in general outside of UO. So if you build a community and try to introduce them to other games you enjoy as a streamer, they want nothing to do with it. That makes it hard on you as a streamer to push more content. 

    4 - Each shard has become set in its ways outside Atlantic. You come in and shake things up, bring attention to activities, or point out things that are not ok and you as a streamer are asking for trouble. The folks who play UO can take things so serious that sometimes you have to remind them this is just a game which a lot of people did not like me doing. 

    In the long run its a tough landscape for an OSI based streamer and not one that is best for growth if that is the overall goal of the streamer. I think anyone who is dedicated to only playing UO and has the time to stream OSI should do it though as it is a great adventure and the die hards to do love the OSI stuff. 
  • JepethJepeth Posts: 478
    edited March 27
    Let me follow that up by telling you some of the stuff I learned streaming OSI on Twitch. 

    1 - Most UO players have no idea what Twitch is or how to access it. I had a lot of viewers who made accounts there for the first time to come watch me and participate in the giveaways. 

    I appreciate hearing these takeaways, and getting your vantage on all this. In particular let me address the first one. I was always so pleased to see this happen. And for awhile it was happening like every time you were on. Whether they were coming in to your space via the category from a bootleg shard or getting connected from another MMO, it was consistently surprising to see how many people were taking notice and coming to Sonoma. Simply streaming OSI and you or your admin answering the "which shard is this?" question did a huge service to our game. I know it was making you go broke doing those gold give aways, but it sure was driving a lot of attention for awhile.
  • drcossackdrcossack Posts: 145
    edited March 27
    Pawain said:
    What the!!!

    You mean I could get paid big bucks while getting people to want to happily die? You mean people would WANT to listen to me outside of game even though they're tired of hearing me inside of game?
    <3 <3 <3
    Where do I sign up?

    All kidding aside I think it's cool that people are streaming UO. Think about it... streaming a 25 year old game. Yeah, that's cool. My hats are off to you brave souls doing it.
    Ya. I do talk out loud to myself while playing. But does anyone want to hear me curse every 6th word. More if I just died.

    I have the time and a real mic and camera that I bought for my wife to work from home with. She never used them. I doubt I have the content and mannerisms needed. I would love to curse at the commenters!

    I wouldn't mind.  Some of my favorite phrases while streaming the FF4 randomizer: "Oh.  ****" or "that's a massive pile of **** no" (both of those said when I run into a boss where they're particularly powerful.)  Whenever I get the "wanna be famous" spambots, it's "I'd like to offer you the opportunity to GFY" right before I ban them.
  • drcossackdrcossack Posts: 145
    Jepeth said:
    All kidding aside I think it's cool that people are streaming UO. Think about it... streaming a 25 year old game. Yeah, that's cool. My hats are off to you brave souls doing it.
    Retro game streaming is huge. Again, I really struggled to grasp why until I sat and explored the Twitch platform for awhile. To be clear, I'm not a twitch salesman as I do think there are a lot of issues with the platform (let's just put aside the risque content in some pockets of Twitch). I don't think I'd let my young niece or nephew watch it Twitch without supervision (the same goes for YouTube or the internet at large). But there are real gems when it comes to huge, passionate, and  active communities around super niche games.

    What could possible be more niche than our ~26 year old wizard MMO? And further, what has more in-built nostalgia than our ~26 year old MMO? You only need to look at any of the Ultima facebook groups to see how deep people still care about the game, even if they're not actively playing it. 

    That too.  I originally became more active on Twitch back in 2017 (I made an account in 2012 but forget why.  I did watch Twitch Plays Pokemon and had a little participation in it), when I followed a Diablo 3 streamer & was pretty heavy on playing it.  Towards the end of 2017, I started watching retro games/speedrunning - the NES/SNES era in particular.  And still do, though not as much these days.  It's more of a niche community to be sure (Especially compared to something like Call of Duty), but I see a lot of the same people and even met a bunch of streamers 3 years ago at Games Done Quick when it was in Orlando.

    UO, despite the issues it currently has, is still a solid MMO.  But I acknowledge that it isn't for everyone - some of the people that I knew from back in the day still play the game (or have come back in recent years
  • SarkonSarkon Posts: 61
    Here's the real problem streaming UO.  UO is not fun to watch.  Let me explain.  UO is all about skill-raising...the repetitious skill use...not fun.  While it is fun sometimes to watch a new player run around casting magic arrows at ettins, it's not something you want to do all the time.  The only real use of a stream for UO is to see someone do something that already has end game templates and end game gear.  Something new players will not easily get behind.  Most training needs to be done between streams because macroing magery for 2 hours might just be a .5 gain in the later levels.  Most other games have something to do at 10/20/30/40...etc. that is a streamable thing, like low level dungeons or farm areas.  Having 70 swords in UO still means you suck, and it took hours to get to that point, but no one wants to watch you kill a billion earth elementals to raise those skills.  There is no intermediate thing to do that is fun...or rather, fun to watch in UO.  "Ok, guys, today I am going to equip this wand and cast Magic Reflect for 4 hrs.  Enjoy!"  Even 100 is not enough in a lot of cases to be 'fun'...having 100 magery, you can still fizzle an EV like 15 times in a row lol...super not fun...even more not fun to watch someone else lol.  Has anyone watched a stream where the streamer was trying to make a crafter and was working on blacksmithing? Imbuing?  LOL no, of course not.  YouTube is fine, you can cut from this is me at 50.5, to this is me at 120.0...now this is what I can do.  There are about 3 usual stream watchers.  The ones that want to learn how to play, so they want to watch someone make a character and walk them through it.  The ones that have finished templates and want to watch someone play that template to show what it can do.  And the ones that are looking to get into a community to talk about the games they love.  As a UO streamer, you have to focus on that last one, due to the others being such a niche thing and is better when there is an editorial process.  I think Patrick had it right when it was just a 'UO and chill' type of stream...and shameless giving away of loot didn't hurt either.
  • JepethJepeth Posts: 478
    Sarkon said:
    Here's the real problem streaming UO.  UO is not fun to watch.  ... Has anyone watched a stream where the streamer was trying to make a crafter and was working on blacksmithing? Imbuing?  LOL no, of course not.  
    Yes? Actually? I hear what you're saying in that there are some parts of the game that are visually uninteresting and grindy. (Grind? In UO?!) but what you're describing is more a performance problem than a game problem. And, again, my goal here isn't to malign streamer's efforts. But the right performer and an active community can make anything interesting. The thousands of folks watching chess on Twitch every night can attest to that. 

    UO content that you think wouldn't be very interesting absolutely can be. I watched Waffles buy up a ton of resources on Atlantic the other day to try and manipulate the market via vendor search. Just simple vendor searching, teleporting, buying, repricing. Content you wouldn't think was fun but like I mentioned in my initial post, he's got stated goals for his streams around making money and that drives a lot of the "plot" so to speak. 
  • SarkonSarkon Posts: 61
    Absolutely.  A good streamer can make anything interesting.  I’ve watched Waffles and he’s a very likable fellow.  His UO content is very good, but I wouldn’t watch hardly anyone else play the market in UO.  Commentary and community makes things like that watchable.  That’s the problem and point I was making.  UO needs more streamable content.  You can’t just rely on a personality to get it done.  A point comes when actual content needs to be available for the everyday player.  Not just the brand new or endgame.  That bridge is what will attract players.  A dungeon revamp maybe where your skills are capped, but rewards are nice…maybe could shake up some templates to farm in certain areas.  Personally, in a game like UO, I don’t want to see Sampires or common templates.  I like seeing the weird and creative stuff (even though Sampires were weird and creative at some point.). The road less travelled has always appealed to me, but we don’t get to see that much anymore.
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