• MassimilianoMassimiliano -
    GL dear Yorlik!
    And tnx for help me this months <3
  • SupreemSupreem United States Administrator
    Fare thee well Yorlik. You will be missed.
  • I'll preface these comments by saying that I'm here for the official server and have very little interest in the Community Servers. Why? Because after spending 15+ years on player-run UO servers, I've seen too many just vanish as those running them grew bored with them or couldn't dedicate the significant amount of time it takes to develop and maintain one (not to mention dealing with everyone's shit). While I'm grateful for the opportunities offered by those servers (shout-out to Angel Island, in particular), right now I'm looking for something more permanent.

    My relationship with LoA began on MassivelyOP, where I'd catch the occasional article about Shards Online and how someone was finally making UO2—a game similar in style and structure to UO, but without 20+ years of bloat and ancient code. I didn't buy in, however. While UO got me hooked on MMOs, 22 years and oh my god I don't even want to think about how many tens of thousands of hours of my life later, I'm pretty fiercely anti-kickstarter/preorder/etc., so I filed it away in the back of my mind with several other "Maybe Some Day" games. Once LoU started getting attention, I realized that CS had reached the point where they where they were almost certain to deliver something playable, so I bought-in.

    I know this is a niche game. I know it's developed by a small team. When I remember UO, I remember the T2A era—where the game was stable, new content was pouring out and there was a very healthy ratio of blues to reds. LoA won't be like that. The game world (as it existed during the last beta) is stale; it obviously doesn't have the decades of lore that UO had to prop it up; and it's not bringing anything new to the MMORPG table like UO did. I accept that. I'll be playing LoA with the hope that the foundation is strong and content and systems get fleshed out over the next year. I like the new direction that housing has taken, I like the ideas behind the karma system (though it remains to be seen how players will break/exploit it) and, frankly, I like the idea of CS taking the best ideas from Community Servers and implementing them on the official servers. You may consider it stealing, but I see it more as crowd-sourcing development. I see nothing wrong with it, provided CS gives credit where it's due.
    At some point, somewhere in 2016 / 2017 IIRC, there was a big influx of former UO players who were thrilled about the game. This brought in some money and of course helped CS. So far - so good. What happened was, that more and more PvP oriented players came in, many of them nice people, but amongst them was a significant portion of straight assholes who started a ton of flaming and demeaning of less PvP oriented players. CS let things go on for a long time and many PvE oriented people just left disappointed. CS started to cater more and more to that crowd and let the zealots do their thing. It gained positive feedback from that (pretty loud) portion of the community while others silently left. The direction became clear: SO/LoA was drifting more and more into a pure naked monkey PvP game, survival of the strongest, etc, yadda yadda … This also somehow swapped over into the admin community and the official admin channel turned into an asylum where mostly bloated egos and trolls played their games for a long time.
    Regarding the influx of "PvP-oriented" players, this is a direct result of the enduring existence of UO player-run servers over the past two decades. They are the ultra-vets who have played UO for so long that they've mastered every aspect and have turned to the only thing that offers variety, drama, and something of a challenge: fighting other players. Some of them are good people, but I agree that many are complete asshats. It's the result of a no-consequences game management style that developers and publishers have adopted over the years. Gone are the days of EQ1's Play-Nice Policy (though Amazon/New World are attempting to enforce one during their Alpha...we'll see if that holds up) and the efforts of customer service teams to police the players. Such efforts are under-prioritized, either because they're not cost-effective for publishers due to staff requirements—and the likelihood that you're most...competitive..players are probably the most likely to drop money on the game—or, in the case of player-run UO servers, because populations tend to be so low that removing such players could effectively kill your server.

    LoA is going to have these people. This "UO2" is a natural step for all the wolves who have preyed on player-run servers for the past 20 years. We can only hope that they'll either grow bored with the game and its restrictions on such playstyles or that the blues will be an influential enough group to render the asshole-PvPer/griefer/troll crowd largely impotent. Much of this depends on CS, however, and where they focus their efforts once the game hits Steam and new players really start churning through the game. I'd strongly urge CS to launch with an official PvE (or opt-in PvP) server. It may not be their vision for the game, but there are a lot of players like myself who hate the kind of players that PvP attracts. I'm seeing a lot of that now as I play the New World alpha—people being driven away by the endless griefing, exploiting and shit-talking of the PvP crowd...and that's just in its NDA closed Alpha state. UO was never more popular or profitable than after Trammel was added. Us day-one vets might think it killed the game, but all it really did was let people play the game they wanted to play instead of letting other players ruin it for them.
    I was wrong not seeing the deeper attitude problem behind what I considered normal development issues for a really long time. It was not just a lack of money and resources (which admittedly plays a certain role - but just a ~certain one), but also a fundamentally wrong mindset, lack of vision and imaginative power while constantly overselling what had been achieved and painting a picture of the game which was and is far from reality. Tons of vapor and pointing at “the potential of the game” without actual delivery.
    I'm not as invested in this game as you are. I've haven't been enmeshed in it for years or spent countless hours building a Community Server. That being said, I think some of what you see as the "fundamentally wrong mindset, lack of vision and imaginative power" is a result of seeing the sausage get made. CS isn't going to release the game you've always wanted to play on 4 December. It won't be everything for everyone and it won't live up to the hype of CS's marketing or our nostalgia-fueled hopes and dreams. I'm reserving judgement, however.

    To me, the future of the game has less to do with what has happened over the years of development that have gotten them to this point and more to do with how things change over the next year as players (and hopefully money) start coming in. The real question that will determine the direction CS takes is how many people will move beyond the official servers and make their home on Community Servers. If those numbers are strong, resources should shift to providing Community developers with better tools and support. If the numbers are weak, I expect Community Servers will be put in maintenance mode. That looks more likely now with the loss of Arcanima and the potential for legal issues to sink Legends of Ultima.
  • or....

    Their money is tight, and they need to temporarily shelf the admin mod tools development and focus on getting their game (which it is their game) out the door so that they can bring in more funds to continue working on the modding tools.

    I don't think that CS would survive if they didn't have a solid core game that competes with other MMOs first and foremost and then after getting their own name out there letting the community go wild on modding.

    I think perhaps the only problem (and don't think it could have been prevented really) is that CS was excited and promised a bunch of stuff but didn't have the money or team to deliver it fast enough. All it comes down to, is that they didn't develop fast enough for you. I don't think that they are just abandoning their dream of making the game all those things you quoted as lies.

    But what do I know, I am just a naked monkey running in a circle.

  • Oh, also I forgot to mention, I will miss you too Yorlik, we had some good conversations despite differing on many points.

    Gonna put it on the record though, that I bet you'll be back. =]

  • ISVRaDaISVRaDa Comunidad FURIA []
    edited November 2018
    I also had to learn things I didn't know, like use UE and Unity as a CG artist to show part of my work and thats good, everything new you need to learn, more knowledge for future new challengues :)

    About CS and the game itself, I played and modded NwN1 for many years and being honest, I never expected to find here what Bioware achieved. Bioware budget and resources focused on tools and custom servers were like x10 compared to this. If I find a good custom server, that will be awesome, but I'm here to see what these guys can do with their own game, and see how the game goes for the first year.

    Wish you and your team the best o/
  • Nobody can deny the level of passion and effort you put into the project. I don't see this as negative. I see this as learned criticism and you working through justifications for the decision you made; you owed that to the people that have worked/played on your server.

    You came to this game with a vision and like an artist who is painting a landscape, you came to realize the canvas on which you were working was far too small. There is no shame in knowing when to let something go... on the contrary, it would be far more damning for you to abandon your inner truth. If this is not going to work for you and your project then the right thing to do is to walk away. For the record, you were always one of the more positive voices where it concerned development - even when others (myself included) were frustrated with the level of progress.

    I look forward to seeing where you go from here, man. Best of luck.
  • SachaSacha [Reino de Aldor]
    Hope we keep in touch, would love to play arcanima on UE4 :smiley:
  • Wow Yorlik... it is sad to see you go.

    You have been here since the beginning and stood behind this project as well as being a positive member of the community. Considering all the time and dedication I totally understand your reasons. After all you came on board with certain expectations which have yet to be properly fulfilled.

    As someone who stood on the outside, I'd check up on the state of the project every so often. So while certain promises were not met I have to say I am still impressed how far game has come. Just to be clear I have not given up on this game, I moved to linux years ago so I am patiently waiting on a linux version to be available.

    Personally I backed this project as it offered a legitimate alternative to runUO along with an up to date game engine. While I had concerns, they were in most cases solvable by creating customs tools and re-writing the base scripts to fit my needs. However only a slim minority would be able or even willing to undertake this level of custom development work which sadly does present real limitations to most of the content creators. The one serious concern I had was the size of the world / map and that was thankfully addressed.

    I cant say I am a fan of the re-branding but I understand the reasons behind. Content creators are too few to form a viable market, they needed something with more mass market appeal to bring in enough players as to bring in enough funds to complete this game. Does it really matter to shard admins? After all we are here for a toolbox to allow us to create customs worlds and content.

    Sadly the shortcomings affecting shard admins are hard to avoid due to a layer of dependencies between core server to script customisation and finally external editors and tools. A serious change in the core may require extensive re-writes of the scripts as well as the content editors. In something complex like this its hard to predict problems in advance and in most cases the unexpected interactions of future additions can simply become problematic. This means putting a lot of effort on things like content editors early on can lead to wasted work. Hammering down the core layers is critical before investing the time and energy to explore new kinds of game play, content / lore creation and building an easy to use toolbox for shard admins. While UO may not be original it serves as a complete model that will allow rapid implementation to get that core hammered down a lot faster.

    I have no doubt that it must feel like being stuck between a rock and a hard place when it comes to prioritising development for shard admin features vs the main game player base. Sacrifices will always have to be made on the short term in order to be able to fulfil the long term vision. Being a little hands off and especially patient is probably helpful for future shard admins from burning out and getting disappointing by failed expectations.

    While your journey here may not have yielded any fruit, I am sure you have learned a lot and developed your skills. After all your going to tackle the Unreal Engine to make your vision a reality. Nothing worth doing is ever easy but if you seriously apply yourself and consistently work at it you will make progress and ultimately succeed.

    Legends of Aria will steadily continue towards its grand vision, hopefully some day it will fulfil our initial expectations. Maybe someday in the future it might be worth another look, especially after a long break. Regardless I wish you the best of luck in your future project.

    Take care Yorlik
  • I'd like to know where all our money went...
  • Zaheen said:

    I'd like to know where all our money went...

    By game budget standards they didn’t get much. I’m sure they’re in the hole at this point, profit wise...

    Hopefully steam EA will bring in more funds.
  • DominusDominus I always start my day with a Special K, for breakfast.
    Good luck Yorlik, you put more energy and passion into helping this community than anyone else I know, it's truly saddening to hear you leave.

  • YorlikYorlik
    Thanks a lot, everyone, for the nice words.
    I must admit I had expected more something like a shitstorm
    for breaking the taboo of quitting and doing that with some harsh critique.
    That not happening is a good thing, imo.
    I am not going to answer the different posts here, because
    I feel it wouldn't be appropriate to blow up this discussion here,
    on the place I am leaving and criticizing.

    Just saying - the feedback is appreciated and it feels like a good end to me,
    which surely helps with the new beginning coming out of this.


    ... waves and fades into his new old area of work ...
  • Sorry to see you go, I really hope CS does live up to their promise of creating a spiritual successor to NWN where we can all play on our own worlds if we choose. I would also be curious to hear Derek's official response to this post.
  • Well, this is very upsetting... I have been observing this project from a distance and I'd also hope it would be more well developed by now.

    I admit I was hoping for something like Ultima Online (which I started playing I think in late 97) but only because I love that game so much, I would like to see a modern version of it (adapted to the new internet reality).

    Is there any official roadmap with tasks/dates concerning community servers?
  • BatlinBatlin United States
    Bye. Good luck.
  • I regret to have spent so much money in this project, that has failed to be what was supposed to be. At least it's a good lesson for me
  • edited December 2018
    I am quittin because its announced as an open world mmorpg with full loot pvp. The pvp is non existant due to red mechanics, everyone is blue and pvp just doesnt happen, only the ocassional gank by the casual red player who logs in to get some kills and logs off when killed.

    Game will die because of this.
  • MhikhailMhikhail United States
    emanemm said:

    I am quittin because its announced as an open world mmorpg with full loot pvp. The pvp is non existant due to red mechanics, everyone is blue and pvp just doesnt happen, only the ocassional gank by the casual red player who logs in to get some kills and logs off when killed.

    Game will die because of this.

    And on the other hand, lots of blue players complaining about getting killed over and over. The blue areas are really quite small, when you consider what's there. Either starting areas, or just empty shit with wolves and bears and an occaisonal bandit. All the good areas are in the red zone.
  • BelmontBelmont United States
    i will have to say that alot of people like myself are enjoying the grind and getting there skills up for end game pvp. There is still alot of places i have not seen. I'm new to the scene of loa so forgive me if im wrong but i would say alot of peeps are still in the 60- 80 points in with whatever they are doing.
  • BelmontBelmont United States
    ooh point is there will be more pvp comming when everyone is comfortable to do so.
  • edited December 2018
    Glad i found this thread. Your write-up is confirming more of my doubts about the vision of the game. Also lately i've been more and more frustrated with the lack of content, communication and lack of testing before release.

    I wouldn't mind it to be a UO clone but even that i definitely don't see happening in the first few years. The magic that UO had isn't here. It's far too unpolished.

    Releasing this early was a big mistake. I believe they should have focused more on the game itself first, before ever thinking about community shards. There's no flow in the game, no sense of purpose or real progression, real content, challenges, ... Too static and clumsy the whole experience.

    Specialization is key. Developers should focus on code. Not involve themselves in marketing, playtesting etc. Think somewhere along the line here things went wrong. Hard to say when you aren't there to witness it, but a customer can sense these things. The kickstarter could have raised more money easily. I used to have my own company and failed. It's not easy being an entrepeneur. So i have respect for Supreem, but i also feel he needs help.

    Still hoping for the game to become that gem i hoped it would back when i helped kickstarting it. But at the current rate of things, i predict it will die down quick. Definitely not ready for steam. Wasn't ready for release.

    Good luck with your adventure. Takes a brave man to walk away too.
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