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morrolan

Gordon Walton - are you the one who brought us Trammel?

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Please do, I think everyone would love to hear it. Daybreak as a company is obviously all about mass appeal and ripping others to shreds for profit, they don't care about the disillusioned minority of players from the past.

 

Without exaggeration I think for many of us here SWG NGE is a particularly painful experience standing out among others in our entire gaming lives and anything explaining the context and reasons for it, thoughts of it and reflections from it would go a long way towards building up confidence in this project.

 

This.

 

Let's just say I had a cluster of accounts that at one point would have been worth $50k USD if I had sold them for cash. To me it was never about the money but I had a LOT of time and energy invested in SWG.

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The MMO experiment was never one that could sustain all possible types of players in a single environment, and the way UO and countless others played out have proven this.

Great post.  You might say "I have met the enemy, and they are us."

 

Those of us who enjoy FFA PVP worlds have nobody but ourselves and some of our particularly gank-loving and asocial members to thank for the distaste among many MMORPGers for this genre.

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Yes, I'm the person who is responsible for bringing you Trammel and the dilution the original UO.

 

I guess that makes you uniquely qualified to participate in development of a PvP MMO title, because you already know how to destroy one.

 

I hope you take a hard look at Eternal Kingdoms and apply lessons from Trammel fiasco.

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The good:  After the change which broke the game space into PvP and PvE worlds, the player base and income nearly doubled (we went from 125k to 245k subs).  So from a fiscal responsibility standpoint it was a totally winning move.

 

Gordon, I can't let you engage in creative rewriting of history.

 

First, all published numbers (from EA investor documents or SirBruce charts) state that Trammel had only minor account bump. Nowhere near your claimed 125k to 245K. Unless you are also willing to add filing falsified investment disclosure statements to the long list of your UO sins, these are not the numbers.

 

Second, at the same time as you released Trammel you implemented "One house per account" rule. This forced people that held multiple houses to open additional accounts to retain houses.

 

Doesn't mean we shouldn't give you another chance to atone for your sins, but you messed up with UO, wrecked the game many enjoyed, and still apparently having issues taking responsibility for this. I can't speak for others, but your non-apology was extremely unsatisfying to me.

 

Then you went to SWG, and had NGE on your watch. Judging from what Koster said on the record about NGE, it wasn't his call. I understand career-ending potential of owning up for NGE, but weren't you the captain of that ship when it went down?

Edited by Sinij

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Great post.  You might say "I have met the enemy, and they are us."

 

Those of us who enjoy FFA PVP worlds have nobody but ourselves and some of our particularly gank-loving and asocial members to thank for the distaste among many MMORPGers for this genre.

 

I still feel that FFA PVP can work in a setting like that contemplated by the original UO.  But it would involve some things that many might feel diminish the fun and add tedium.   To wit:

 

- larger worlds with meaningful travel so that if you kill the crossroads ganker they don't just port right back

- game systems that emphasize players relying upon one another and reward cooperation

- game systems that provide for advancement through wider variety of activities not all tied to fighting and killing

- increased accountability through having only one character per account (not a panacea of course, since people can get more accounts, but it helps)

 

I realize the above is very unlikely to ever fly.  Most players want easy quick travel, don't want to have to rely on others, and value the ability to have many alts.  Advancing mainly through killing stuff seems here to stay.  Subscription seems to have given way to BTP or FTP.  Hence GW2 style games are very popular.  Someday someone may go there, but these concepts will remain niche.

Edited by cemya

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Ask me about the NGE when it's been 15 years.   :)   

Oh I will, I will...(marks calendar)

 

As much as PVP and PVE players disslike one aother the reality is when put into a proper circle of gameplay we enhance one anothers experience. The problem is it's extremely hard to pull balance that circle and keep both sides happy.

 

The tiny bit of UO2 stuff I saw looked way ahead of its time, sad it didn't get finished.

Edited by Tierless

I role play a wordsmith.

 

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"Housing was the highest correlation with retention of course for all types of players."

 

I have said this in blogs and on forums for years and I always get flamed. It's easy to leave a character that was easy to level, its hard to leave a character that took a lot of time and effort, its harder when that character is involved with the social structure of the game (its hard to leave friends) and its harder yet to leave behind your house that is laid out just as you like it and full of all of your accomplishments and treasures! I'd randomly re-sub to SWG just to walk around my guild hall art gallery and chat with old friends!

Edited by Tierless

I role play a wordsmith.

 

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First, all published numbers (from EA investor documents or SirBruce charts) state that Trammel had only minor account bump. Nowhere near your claimed 125k to 245K. Unless you are also willing to add filing falsified investment disclosure statements to the long list of your UO sins, these are not the numbers.

Link please? Now that we're getting into a significant disagreement on numbers, we need references.


Formerly Scin Karetyr, a native of Chilastra in Star Wars Galaxies

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Link please? Now that we're getting into a significant disagreement on numbers, we need references.

 

Trammel (UO: Renaissance) released mid 2000. You can see that up to that point UO was constantly growing, and sometimes around mid 2001is where it flattened out. As such, Gordon's claims are eye-rollingly unbelievable.

 

Subs-2.png

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Trammel (UO: Renaissance) released mid 2000. You can see that up to that point UO was constantly growing, and sometimes around mid 2001is where it flattened out. As such, Gordon's claims are eye-rollingly unbelievable.

 

Subs-2.png

I decided to look for the data myself. Wikipedia says it peaked in 2003 and this chart clearly shows a peak of 250,000 subscribers in mid-2003. The subscriber-base plummets between 2004-05. I don't know anything about the Trammel debate, but if you're going to talk numbers, you should supply references.


ncLez59.png

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Look at

 

Trammel (UO: Renaissance) released mid 2000. You can see that up to that point UO was constantly growing, and sometimes around mid 2001is where it flattened out. As such, Gordon's claims are eye-rollingly unbelievable.

 

Subs-2.png

Look at all those failed AAA mmo's.  Sad part is I played most of them along with a ton of Korean MMOs that flopped too.

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I decided to look for the data myself. Wikipedia says it peaked in 2003 and this chart clearly shows a peak of 250,000 subscribers in mid-2003. The subscriber-base plummets between 2004-05. I don't know anything about the Trammel debate, but if you're going to talk numbers, you should supply references.

 

I referenced SirBruce (Bruce Woodcock) chart. It is well-known in the early MMO industry and analyst circles. SirBruce started by pulling data from financial disclosure statements filed by public companies (EA that owned Origin and UO is/was public company) that they have to release to shareholders and regulators. Sometimes after 2005 he switched to analyzing peak logins and extrapolating to subscribers. None of SirBruce's data was ever challenged to best of my knowledge.

 

Gordon's claimed 125k number corresponds to late 98, and 245K number to late 2001. No matter what you think about Trammel, numbers in his claim strain credulity.

Edited by Sinij

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Strangely enough, 2004 was the next big thing in mmos.

With SWG in 2003 and WoW and EQ2 in 2004, the plummet might be explained


 

This game looks like a larger scale version of marvel heroes so far with forts.  - nephiral marts 7 2015

 

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Strangely enough, 2004 was the next big thing in mmos.

With SWG in 2003 and WoW and EQ2 in 2004, the plummet might be explained

 

it was also the time when they changed the game to a diablo clone and made it all about items...

that was sometime in 2003. Everybody I knew quit by that point.

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Early UO was a unique beast. It was vast improvement over MUDs (early text MMOs) and borrowed many concepts that worked in that medium. Unfortunately, what worked with 1000 players, failed to scale with 20,000+ per shard. Developers implemented many measures (e.g. statloss) to limit the worst excesses and it largely worked.

 

Now, what really happened around UO:R (Trammel) time is that EQ released and was much bigger success. Back then, EQ was WOW of MMORPGs. Now, following is my speculation, but what Gordon's team attempted to do is to move UO toward EQ to emulate its PvE success . There was no subscription crisis before Trammel, game was steadily growing and subscribers stayed for years. It didn't work - UO's PvE was awful (no quests, no bosses, no epic loot) meanwhile people who liked UO for what it was started to leave.

 

So if anything, Gordon is grandfather of cloning WoW. He attempted it before it became The Thing To Do.

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I feel like FF XI's number there are inaccurate.  A cool half a mil for four years straight?

Edited by rhone

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I referenced SirBruce (Bruce Woodcock) chart. It is well-known in the early MMO industry and analyst circles. SirBruce started by pulling data from financial disclosure statements filed by public companies (EA that owned Origin and UO is/was public company) that they have to release to shareholders and regulators. Sometimes after 2005 he switched to analyzing peak logins and extrapolating to subscribers. None of SirBruce's data was ever challenged to best of my knowledge.

 

Gordon's claimed 125k number corresponds to late 98, and 245K number to late 2001. No matter what you think about Trammel, numbers in his claim strain credulity.

 

The argument you are trying to make is that the release of Ultimate Online: Renaissance and the corresponding creation of the "Trammel" server killed the game, right? Trammel was released May-2000. Looking to the chart, mid-1998 through 2000 show a growth rate of 50,000 subscriptions. That's 25,000 subscribers per year. Mid-2000 through mid-2001, shows 100,000 new subscriptions in only a single year. After that, the subscription rates fluctuate between 200k and 250k up until Mid-2003, where the game begins to decline. It had nearly as many subscribers in 2006 as it did in 1999. 

 

You can argue that without Trammel the game may have slowly outgrew the 250k record, but according to the data that I see, it is quite clear that the release of the second UO expansion quadrupled the subscription rate.

Edited by halethrain

ncLez59.png

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