Ultima Online has to many Shards

The amount of UO Shards is actually a negative when it comes to this game's potential to see player growth. Currently there is 27 active servers + new legacy coming and speaking realistically it would take roughly an immediate influx of 20,000 players to populate these servers to a marginal level. The only shot UO has to see 20,000 players is if New Legacy is an overwhelming success and if that's the case you would have to imagine that New Legacy content will continue to take priority over current live shards to maintain those players.

I am not suggesting they shut down servers or merge servers but population decline happens in all MMO's and the solutions other games use probably don't work for Ultima because of it's unique housing system. In New World they are able to merge servers together with minimal negative impact due to names being unique to the region and only thing lost is territory which can be regained if your guild is good enough.  In WoW low population servers are connected to each other to form effectively one server cluster and the majority of the content is now cross-server enabled.

Obviously server mergers are not an option due to housing. I can't even imagine what connecting UO servers would even look like if it was a possibility and even then can a 2 person dev team figure that out and implement it? UO needs to find its own unique approach to deal with the decline in players and as a 'pvp' main perspective this is my thoughts.

The development team needs to identify a select numbers of Shards (5?) and designate them as official 'PvP Shards' that will have exclusive PvP content and activity not available on the other shards. We have already seen this attempted recently with the Treasure events being active on Atlantic Felucca. So for example take Atlantic, Lake Superior, Pacific, Europa and Yamato and establish them as the main PvP servers going forward so players know that things like Treasure of Deceit events will be active in Felucca on these 5 servers only so they know where to play and equip characters.

In Isolation this alone doesn't change much but it is a step in the right direction to get the PvP scene more competitive. This is not even a radical suggestion as we've seen it happen already but it's the first step we need to take to see growth.

Comments

  • GrimbeardGrimbeard Posts: 2,122
    A central shopping shard would solve many issues 
  • I am curious how you got your numbers?
  • TimStTimSt Posts: 1,817
    There are already 2 full time PvP shards: Siege Perilous and Mugen.

    If you are having a hard time finding players to PvP with on other shards there is a reason for that and it is not the number of shards.  A lot of people, like myself, do not like PvP game play and will avoid putting our characters into situations that may involve PvP.

  • Not really a shard population solution, now is it. More like a "I want content exclusive to my playstyle" solution. Also who's to say shard population is really a problem. If folks valued big populations over other things they'd go to larger shards and take their chances. They don't.

    Also anyone who used to play UO before remembers the constant complaints about lag.
  • Arnold7Arnold7 Posts: 1,347
    Game has too many unpopulated shards but agree existing housing would prevent most shard mergers.  Maybe allowing players to move more freely from their home shard to another and back again so they could visit vendors on other shards, and play events on shards having enough players to support those events would resolve this issue, at least for players.  Am starting to find this restricted movement aspect of the game to become more and more frustrating.
  • SethSeth Posts: 2,904
    edited August 2023
    Firstly, there is no need to merge shards, we are already linked by shard transfer that smart people created long ago when UO was still populated. Recently, the small pool of UO population (what is left that is NOT so smart) decided shard bound item is the solution! Wow!

    Secondly, what makes you think there will be 20,000 new players for NLS? It will be 1000 players from "existing" player pool struggling to split their time to play on NLS while trying to bank sit in prodo shard with another account to make their shard look "crowded". Maybe NLS is the mother of all dead production shards in future, edit: and including Atlantic.

    Thirdly, have you been looking at what the community did to the PVP in terms of whining, nerfs, bugs, cheats and 3rd party exploits, etc. Its easier, faster, enjoyable and cost effective to just switch to other games to get instant PVP joy than wait for the Dev to nerf more when some crybaby cries. This is a 25 year old game and nowadays it just takes one loud whiner to nerf. Nothing has changed to PVP except nerfing for 25 years!!? Another big WOW! I wonder if they are still nerfing the good old Streetfighter game that was 30 years old. Maybe someone cried they lost a fight today and the Dev will nerf Ryu or Ken LMAO.

    I am getting more fun playing PVP on mobile game - instant gratification - no need for crap long forum post like this.
    If it ain't broke, don't fix it. 
    ESRB warning: Some Blood. LOTS of Alcohol. Some Violence. LOTS of Bugs
  • HippoHippo Posts: 280
    edited August 2023
    Grimbeard said:
    A central shopping shard would solve many issues 
    That makes sense! Maybe this Bazaar shard could sell gypsy wagons or booths in UO Store or sell as a gold sink on NPC vendor.
  • Lord_FrodoLord_Frodo Posts: 2,314
    Arnold7 said:
    Game has too many unpopulated shards but agree existing housing would prevent most shard mergers.  Maybe allowing players to move more freely from their home shard to another and back again so they could visit vendors on other shards, and play events on shards having enough players to support those events would resolve this issue, at least for players.  Am starting to find this restricted movement aspect of the game to become more and more frustrating.
    There is no such thing as an unpopulated shard because if there were then that shard would have ZERO houses.  Every house has a PAID account connected to it.  There are enough players that enjoy playing on less populated shards,  PLEASE leave our shards alone.
  • MariahMariah Posts: 3,031Moderator
    I think one thread discussing this already vetoed idea is enough?
This discussion has been closed.