The life of an MMO far exceeds that of other game types, and Ultima Online is no exception. Though the game has been out for more than thirteen years now, BioWare Mythic continues to develop new content, work on game client improvements, and aims to entice players with a better starting experience.
In this developer diary, members of the Ultima Online team discuss some of the things they're working on for 2011. Included is a new player experience created from the ground up to make getting into the game more enjoyable. The area -- specifically for new players -- will allow for BioWare Mythic to also streamline the size of the initial download of the game. The team hopes to reduce it from its current 1GB size to around 200MB. They've managed to achieve those goals by setting up a limited number of art assets for the new player area, with a background download taking place for the rest of the game while you play through the starting zone.
"This game has touched developers and players alike, and it's really exciting to be part of the legacy of Ultima and Ultima Online," said Calvin Crowner, Producer on Ultima Online. "And I just got this sense that, everybody needs and deserves to play this game."
There's a greater focus on story in quests now as well, shying away from generic "go kill ten monsters" and instead engaging you in "why" you're helping a quest giver. But don't expect long, drawn out story arcs that take hours -- or sometimes days -- to complete. The goal is more bitesized chunks of content that engages you in the story and gets you out quickly.