The ORIGINAL Plot to Ultima 9 (pre-UO hiatus)

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Hetz

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Dec 9, 1999, 3:00:00 AM12/9/99
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Here is it, the original tale of political turmoil and manipulation that was
going to be the plot of UIX. The plot where the Avatar returns to a
Britannia on the eve of civil war, where the Guardian is a manipulator using
the war to distract the Avatar for his final take-over, where Lord British
is threatened by visions of the Avatar's actions in both Pagan and Britannia
resulting in his baring him from Castle British, where Blackthorne repents
and is put to death in Britian, where Shamino was a major character, where
Ravan was just another party member, and where the final conflict with the
Guardian results in the destruction of the planet.

Yes, the *real* Ultima IX.

-------------------------------------------------------------
FROM BOB WHITE:

Rather than releasing the whole script, which I could still get in trouble
for, I will synopsize the plot for you. When I came on board at Origin, the
original ideas for what they wanted from a script were in place but it had
not been written yet. John Watson, Brian Martin and Richard did the first
pass at it. I was given the script and told to find holes in it. We all
worked together (along with Chuck Zoch, at that time a designer...now
programmer) toward the first re-writes and clean ups.

So here goes:

(opening Flic) The Avatar arrives at the start of the game in Britannia. His
last thoughts are of being seized by the Guardian in Pagan. Suddenly he was
pulled away and arrives back in LB's realm. Unfortunately he doesn't
recognize where he is. Standing on a mountain overlooking the Guardian's
keep at Terfin. This is where the wyrmguard suddenly flies up and
incinerates the Avatar.

Cut to scene of dark throne room with Guardian in shadow talking to
Blackthorn. Blackthorn is happy at the Avatar's death but Guardian realizes
he was teleported away by someone and is now in Stonegate. Blackthorn wants
to go after him, but Guardian says to wait. He wants the Avatar to see how
he is destroying Britannia and wants the Avatar to despair.

Game opens: Avatar in bed in Stonegate with Hawkwind nursing him. Just to be
certain the Avatar is fit and unchanged by his trip to Pagan and the
teleport back here, Hawkwind asks the virtue questions, setting up the
Avatar character for the game. He then tells the Avatar about what has
happened since he left 80 years ago (time in Pagan ran so much slower).
Giant columns appear through out the land. Somehow the columns are affecting
the climate, drying up some areas and flooding others, in addition there are
tearing through the ground causing earthquakes and volcanism on a great
scale. These climactic changes have caused wide spread famine in some parts
of the world. In addition a plague began to run rampant through the land
probably caused by the deplorable conditions. The people of Moonglow were
able to produce limited quantities of food via magic, some of which the
export through the land. Britain monks found that the venom of the Silver
Serpent would provide relief from the plague, but was no cure. Something
happened (you discover later) and Britain refused to send serpentwyne to
Moonglow and Moonglow refused to send food to Britain. The army divided and
civil war is at hand. He then tells the Avatar to descend into the tunnels
under Stonegate and travel via those dungeon passages to Britain and see
Lord British. Hawkwind disappears saying he must rest a long time now since
the summoning drained him so. The area of Stonegate, now surrounded by
mountains and cut off by the sea, provided the training or tutorial area for
the new interface.

Along the way to Britain, the Avatar is knocked unconscious by a teleport
area that he must go through. He receives a vision (flic). The Guardian
taunts the Avatar and says he is glad he will be able to watch while he
shows Lord British what the Avatar was up to in Pagan. LB is has a waking
dream and sees the Avatar summoning Pyros.

Once the Avatar arrives in Britain he has already had to deal with one
wyrmguard (Damon) and is probably wearing the armor. People in Britain run
from him and once at the castle, Geoffrey asks him to get rid of it. LB
confronts the Avatar and wants to know about the dream but accepts the ideas
that the Avatar had to do what is necessary, but he seems disturbed
none-the-less. LB informs the Avatar that the world is almost at the brink
of civil war. LB's health began to decline rapidly a few years ago so he
appointed a tribunal. The leader of Moonglow mages (Verona), the leader of
the Valorian knights (Sir Corwin), and the leader of the Britain monks
(Amoranth). Things went well at first, but once the columns rose, famine set
in and the plague appeared they would feud with each other all the time.
then when the shipment of food, bought and paid for) failed to arrive in
Britain Amoranth accused Verona of treason and inhumanity, Verona screamed
the same story about a serpentwyne shipment. Ever since then the world
fractured into a group of city states. LB is worried since Britain and
Moonglow are building armies, one commanded by Corwin's daughter and the
other by his son. If it were not for Corwin's cooling factor with their
generals, they would already be at war. He implores the Avatar to stop the
civil war, stop the famine and plague and he thinks the columns are at the
root of it all. LB tires quickly and due to him being so old a frail, he can
no longer command the respect of his armies or people anymore and he still
thinks the Tribunal is the best thing for the country. LB warns the Avatar
to stay away from Asylum, that is run by dangerous, treasonous thugs.

The Avatar finds Shamino in the Abbey in Britain in a trance. He has to use
the Bell, Book and Candle to free him. He finds out from Shamino that the
rangers disappeared a few years back and he felt an unholy call luring him
away. He placed himself in the trance in hopes that if the Avatar returns he
could wake him and the call would be no more. Shamino no longer feels the
call and joins up with the Avatar.

The Avatar sets off for the closest column near Despise. On his way he is co
nfronted by wyrmguards in camp. During the fight a girl jumps into the fray
and ends up spearing a female wyrmguard through the eye and driving them
off. The Avatar is grateful and she introduces herself as Raven. Raven was
sent to find the Avatar and bring him back to Asylum (Buc's Den) and meet
with her boss Samhayne. He has some clues to the problems and he knows
the Avatar is here to help solve them.

In Despise the free one of the corrupt runes of virtue from the column, thus
stopping its power.

They journey back to Britain and then on to meet Samhayne. Samhayne is like
a benevolent Don Corleone. He has been running contraband food and
serpentwyne throughout the world, even running the blockades of Moonglow and
Britain. He knows that the war is closer than anyone thinks, but proof must
be taken to LB to get him to dissolve the tribunal and try to assume
command. Samhayne is not trustworthy in Shamino's view and he wants proof of
what is going on. Samhayne tells the Avatar to journey to Valoria and meet
with Corwin. He will tell you the truth. Then come back here and we will get
things going.

He travels to Valoria with companions and goes to see Corwin. Corwin and his
new aide Darkblade meet with the Avatar. He explains the situation and
confirms Samhayne's suspicions. The Avatar convinces the Lord of Valoria to
send word to his kids to disarm and meet at a negotiation table. He agrees
once the Avatar gets him over his despair. The Avatar heads back to Asylum
and meets with Samhayne. He tells LB that he must get more proof of the war
preparations so that LB can confront the factions. The only way he can find
out for sure is to make contact with Sam's guild operatives inside Britain
and Moonglow and "lift" some papers. Some of the guild objects to an
outsider making guild contact so Samhayne talks the Avatar into joining the
guild. The Avatar is branded with the secret sign and is sent on his way to
his choice Moonglow or Britain.

During the sea voyage he gets another third person dream (flic) courtesy of
the Guardian. This time LB sees the Avatar joining the nefarious Guild and
being branded. LB becomes more distraught and is now wondering about the
Avatar.

The plot branches here but funnels back together quickly. Avatar goes to
Moonglow/Britain. Makes contact with a guild operative and gets a disguise.
He enters the Court of Truth/Abbey of Love and during his riffling of desks
and such overhears Amoranth/Verona and their lackey Ebontyne/Shadowbriar
discuss the war preparation. Whichever is gone to first, the Avatar escapes
with no problem. When spying on the second one the Avatar is discovered and
is captured and knocked unconscious.

Here is another dream (flic). This time LB sees the Avatar thrown in prison
for spying on one of the Tribunal members. LB looks like he is getting angry
now.

Back to the game: The Avatar awakens in Wrong. Ebontyne/Shadowbriar stands
before the doorway and morphs into Blackthorn. He taunts the Avatar telling
him that he has been behind all the seeds of war, planting them in the mind
of Amoranth and Verona. He tells the Avatar that his only stumbling block is
Sir Corwin who is trying to get his kids to a bargaining table, thanks to
the Avatar's meddling, and by this time tomorrow Corwin won't be troubling
anyone anymore. Blackthorn leaves and the Avatar and Raven (Also caught
trying to free the Avatar while he was unconscious) their cell and dungeon
(turning off another column along the way). the find Shamino outside and
waiting. The run to find a ship and get to Sir Corwin as fast as they can,
but by the time they arrive it is too late and he is already dead, but the
body was stolen also. All that is left behind is an arrow.

Following the clue of the arrow and questioning Fletchers and Apothecaries
(it was poisoned) leads to a description of the perpetrator, the female
wyrmguard that Raven fought earlier. In addition one of the Apothecary is a
medium and through a trance locates the body in the Well of Souls on the
Ruined isle of Skara Brae. She tells the Avatar that a spell for speaking
with dead cast upon the body would reveal the truth behind the assassination
and that she foresees that this could stop the war. The Avatar and
companions head to the Well, retrieve the body, fight a bone dragon lots of
undead and turn off another column.

When they leave the dungeon a messenger arrives telling them the armies have
taken the field near the shrine of justice. Avatar and friends hurry to the
shrine in time to meet with Amoranth, Verona and the commanders. Verona
casts the spell. Dead Corwin reveals that his lackey Darkblade is actually
Ebontyne, Shadowbriar and Blackthorn and he is behind the war. Darkblade,
who is in the tent, suddenly reverts to his Blackthorn form and the whole
area is beset with wyrmguards and dragons. During the fight, Blackthorn
exits kidnapping Amoranth and Verona and taunting the Avatar to come and get
them at Terfin.

At the end of the fight Janna arrives with word that the other old
companions awaits the Avatar in the sanctuary of Cove. They think they know
where the Plague is coming from and what the columns are doing. The Avatar
travels to Cove along the way another dream (flic). LB sees the Avatar stand
before the armies of the world and now look to be swearing fealty to him. LB
is furious as the Guardian whispers to him that the Avatar is planning to
usurp the throne and seize Britannia. He will no longer allow the Avatar
inside the Castle unless he has a member of the Tribunal with him

Once in Cove the Avatar learns that the columns are causing the plague. As
long as they are powered the plague will continue. In addition they are like
clock springs, winding up. Even if they are unpowered their energy is not
released. In time they will "let go" and quite possibly rip apart the world.
They also have now received reports that the Guardian is massing his
wyrmguard and gargoyle army and is planning on attacking Britain and other
cities. They must perform a pre-emptive attack before all of his forces can
muster. Samhayne will provide ships and the army is ready but they need and
air force and the only thing that could help are the dragons of Destard.

The Avatar journeys to Trinisic and goes to see the Queen of the Dragons in
nearby Destard. He has to rescue her and a clutch of eggs from some new
wyrmguard raiders after which she agrees to help. Now with all the forces
moving to place, the Avatar sets off for the other dungeons in order to turn
off the remaining columns, except the Abyss. He needs one of the Gargoyle
lenses from LB to open the path . Once they are done a ship arrives to take
Avatar and companions to Terfin to meet the Guardian and Blackthorn.

Lots of fighting and wandering in Terfin, finally the Avatar reaches the
throne room and finds Blackthorn there, but the Guardian has already left
for parts unknown. Blackthorn grovels and pleads for mercy. Shamino suggest
bringing him to LB so he can confess. The Avatar takes Blackthorn to LB and
he confesses. LB has Blackthorn put to death. LB is getting some strength
and vigor back thanks to the shutdown of the columns (save one) and
Hawkwind's arrival in the castle a few days ago. Hawkwind warns that the
columns are primed and will release soon destroying everything and funneling
the power of that destruction into the Guardian making him greatly powerful.
He says that the plan had been to keep the Avatar busy and off balance long
enough for the columns to finish the wind up. Hawkwind says that the runes
of virtue can save the populace if we can get them to Skara Brae as soon as
possible. He says to place the runes at the carnal points of the compass
marked on the island and the virtues will take care of the rest. He then
indicates that LB and the Avatar must make a final journey to Stonegate to
confront the Guardian for it was from there that he cast forth the runes to
form the columns.

Before the Avatar can go to Skara Brae he gets the lens from LB (and one he
got earlier from Vesagralem ,the Gargoyle king...another story) and journeys
to the Abyss. He fights the Slasher of the Veils, turns off the column and
releases Amoranth and Verona which journey with him back to Skara Brae.

Lots of people on Skara Brae when Avatar, LB, Verona and Amoranth arrive.
Companions all stay while Avatar places runes and leaves with LB. They
arrive at Stonegate and face the Guardian in one of the lower chambers and
slay him, but LB is weakened in the battle. Hawkwind appears once more and
tells the Avatar that even though the Guardian is defeated for he moment
the power of the unleashed life energy when the columns let go will restore
him and power him up. The life force of Britannia must be eliminated to
defeat him for good. LB mentions the Armageddon spell. They must get to the
roof of Stonegate pronto! Once getting there LB is incapable of doing the
spell, he is too weak and decides if Britannia must die then he will go with
his world. The Avatar discovers that he too must infuse himself into the
spell and that he will "pass on" with its casting. Hawkwind's voice tells
him that this is but a step and that he will ascend beyond this realm to a
higher place. Avatar casts the spell.

(The really freaking cool flic occurs): Spell of destruction rips forth from
Stonegate moving forth in waves across the land. Deer flash into ashes,
trees blow up, cities are destroyed. Worried people stand on Skara brae as
they can see the wave of destruction heading their way. Suddenly waves of
light pulse from the runes and lines of power form a dome over the island
just as the destructive wave hits. Slowly the island pulls loose from the
planet (looks like an old Roger Dean painting form the Yessongs album) and
rockets out into space. A cut from above shows the speck of light zooming
off into the distance with most of Britannia and the companions on board.
Slowly we see the planet crack and tear apart, then a final explosion.
Closing credits...........................

-----------------------------------------------------------

---from Ultima Horizons Discussion Group www.allgaming.com/ultimaix/

Kevin Fisher

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Dec 9, 1999, 3:00:00 AM12/9/99
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[big snip]

All I can say is...wow. Feels like a totally different game from what
I'm playing right now. It has all the depth of plot I've been hungry
for since Ultima VII/SI. A pity it got watered down so much...
the civil war plot is much better than the Ultima-V-redux "everyone
is corrupt" plot.

That explains some of the cutscenes feeling so 'out of place' at times...
and some of the cutscene snapshots pre-1997 (the armies kneeling
before the Avatar, being one).

They should have kept the Hawkwind tutorial/intro instead of the
gypsy one on earth.

And as we've said a million times now, they should have kept the
companions instead of solo Avatar.


Steve Kostoff

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Dec 9, 1999, 3:00:00 AM12/9/99
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Hetz wrote in message ...

>Here is it, the original tale of political turmoil and manipulation that
was
>going to be the plot of UIX. The plot where the Avatar returns to a
>Britannia on the eve of civil war, where the Guardian is a manipulator
using
>the war to distract the Avatar for his final take-over, where Lord British
>is threatened by visions of the Avatar's actions in both Pagan and
Britannia
>resulting in his baring him from Castle British, where Blackthorne repents
>and is put to death in Britian, where Shamino was a major character, where
>Ravan was just another party member, and where the final conflict with the
>Guardian results in the destruction of the planet.
>
>Yes, the *real* Ultima IX.


<snip>

Whoa.

*sigh*

Steve Kostoff

Kevin Fisher

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Dec 9, 1999, 3:00:00 AM12/9/99
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In article <3850b43c...@news.m.iinet.net.au>, Brack! wrote:
>(snip)
>
>Why, oh why did they not go with this script? This is grand, this is
>epic, this is what we should have had. If they made it like this they
>would have had a story unrivalled in any game prior or since. It would
>have been the fitting capstone for the Ultima series.

I agree...what a script!

>
>Instead... we got cheated. The story I finished was not epic, was not
>grand on any sense or scale... it was pathetic.

I'm only part way through the 'real' Ascension and I'm having problems
just staying interested. The plot is dull, silly at points and
not very deep.

>
>So long Brittania. I'm just sorry it had to be this way.


It seems that many compromises were made on the road to U9. I was
really angry at Origin for scuttling the original Ultima 9 in favour
of PKill Online...this just makes me angrier.

What ever happened to the 'classic' way of designing ultimas...first
you build the engine, and then the story around it? It seems the current
beefed-up 3d-out-the-arse engine, for all it does, was just way too
limited in what it could do so the plot suffered as a result.
(No party, no NPC schedules, all because the engine was TOO COMPLEX
to make it feasable).

Jerry Morelock

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Dec 9, 1999, 3:00:00 AM12/9/99
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> What ever happened to the 'classic' way of designing ultimas...first
> you build the engine, and then the story around it? It seems the current
> beefed-up 3d-out-the-arse engine, for all it does, was just way too
> limited in what it could do so the plot suffered as a result.
> (No party, no NPC schedules, all because the engine was TOO COMPLEX
> to make it feasable).
>
>

I agree completely. I'm still playing U9, but I would have been much
happier with less eyecandy and a game engine that could handle the
complexities of a grand story. The game engine they have is barely adequate
for the game it's pulling--this is so far the shallowest Ultima of all.

Jerry Morelock

Brian Robinson

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Dec 9, 1999, 3:00:00 AM12/9/99
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Hetz <n...@way.com> wrote:
> (The really freaking cool flic occurs): Spell of destruction rips forth from
> Stonegate moving forth in waves across the land. Deer flash into ashes,
> trees blow up, cities are destroyed. Worried people stand on Skara brae as
> they can see the wave of destruction heading their way. Suddenly waves of
> light pulse from the runes and lines of power form a dome over the island
> just as the destructive wave hits. Slowly the island pulls loose from the
> planet (looks like an old Roger Dean painting form the Yessongs album) and
> rockets out into space. A cut from above shows the speck of light zooming
> off into the distance with most of Britannia and the companions on board.
> Slowly we see the planet crack and tear apart, then a final explosion.
>
Wicked. Of course, Britannia has been destroyed already, because
the Avatar already used Armageddon spell back in U6. Gotta love those
silly wisps.

--
Brian Robinson
brob...@ist.ucf.edu
Institute for Simulation and Training

Christoph Nahr

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Dec 9, 1999, 3:00:00 AM12/9/99
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On Thu, 9 Dec 1999 09:45:46 -0600, "Hetz" <n...@way.com> wrote:

>Here is it, the original tale of political turmoil and manipulation that was
>going to be the plot of UIX. The plot where the Avatar returns to a
>Britannia on the eve of civil war, where the Guardian is a manipulator using
>the war to distract the Avatar for his final take-over, where Lord British
>is threatened by visions of the Avatar's actions in both Pagan and Britannia
>resulting in his baring him from Castle British, where Blackthorne repents
>and is put to death in Britian, where Shamino was a major character, where
>Ravan was just another party member, and where the final conflict with the
>Guardian results in the destruction of the planet.
>
>Yes, the *real* Ultima IX.

Thanks a lot for posting this. Yes, I would have greatly preferred to
play a game with the complex political plot you posted instead of the
shallow soap opera I've been seeing so far (just arrived in Trinsic).
I guess the rest of the game will stay on the same level of Hollywood
silliness then.

Is this the work of Ed Del Castillo? Desslock mentioned that the
"worst" elements bear his handwriting. I'm not only thinking of the
general dumbing down but also of the gratuitous and cliched Raven love
story. It's completely out of place and serves no purpose at all.
And now you say that it wasn't part of the original plot... but it
sure contributes to "slaying the dragon and getting the woman," eh?
--
Chris Nahr (christo...@uumail.xxde, remove xx to reply by e-mail)
Please reply either on Usenet or by e-mail but not both!
Visit http://uuhome.de/christoph.nahr/ for Might & Magic information
and Star Chess, a strategy game with source code and AI documentation

J. Wang

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Dec 9, 1999, 3:00:00 AM12/9/99
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Wow....

You know, this is a better plot than in some movies these days...

This is entirely what Ultima IX should have been....


Hetz <n...@way.com> wrote in message
news:D7Q34.93431$7I4.2...@news5.giganews.com...

Dibbler

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Dec 9, 1999, 3:00:00 AM12/9/99
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"Kyle Haight" <kha...@netcom.com> wrote in message
news:82pj44$ntj$1...@nntp9.atl.mindspring.net...
> In article <QvX34.3775$Fn6.6...@alfalfa.thegrid.net>,

> J. Wang <dark_fenix@*nospam*hotmail.com> wrote:
> >Wow....
> >
> >You know, this is a better plot than in some movies these days...
> >
> >This is entirely what Ultima IX should have been....
>
> While I agree that the plot described definitely kicks the ass of the
> finished U9 plot as I've experienced it so far, I would point out that
> it does have some weaknesses. For example, it's pretty linear, and
> had it been implemented I'm sure people would be here now bitching
> about that and complaining that it wasn't a "real Ultima".
>
> Somebody save off a copy of that file, though; one of these days
> there'll be an open-source gaming engine powerful enough to implement
> it. You'd have to change the names though, to avoid copyright
> infringement.
>
> I suggest running everything through an Elmer Fudd filter. I want to
> see the Avataw save Bwitannia fwom a civil war cwafted by the evil
> Bwackthown.
>
> (I had a similar flash when talking to the NPC in Serpent Isle who was
> badmouthing Lord British. I wanted to reply "Ward Bwitish? I have a
> cwose personaw fwiend, a wuler fwom Bwitannia named Ward Bwitish."
> Cf. HISTORY OF THE WORLD PART I for those who don't get the joke.)
>

I thought that was from "Life of Brian".

Brack!

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Dec 10, 1999, 3:00:00 AM12/10/99
to
On Thu, 9 Dec 1999 09:45:46 -0600, "Hetz" <n...@way.com> wrote:

>Here is it, the original tale of political turmoil and manipulation that was
>going to be the plot of UIX. The plot where the Avatar returns to a
>Britannia on the eve of civil war, where the Guardian is a manipulator using
>the war to distract the Avatar for his final take-over, where Lord British
>is threatened by visions of the Avatar's actions in both Pagan and Britannia
>resulting in his baring him from Castle British, where Blackthorne repents
>and is put to death in Britian, where Shamino was a major character, where
>Ravan was just another party member, and where the final conflict with the
>Guardian results in the destruction of the planet.
>
>Yes, the *real* Ultima IX.

(snip)

Why, oh why did they not go with this script? This is grand, this is
epic, this is what we should have had. If they made it like this they
would have had a story unrivalled in any game prior or since. It would
have been the fitting capstone for the Ultima series.

Instead... we got cheated. The story I finished was not epic, was not


grand on any sense or scale... it was pathetic.

So long Brittania. I'm just sorry it had to be this way.

Brack! [begin anti-spam block] My e-mail address is *not*: <root@[127.0.0.1]> <postm...@1.0.0.127.IN-ADDR.ARPA> <postmaster@[127.0.0.1]> <ab...@mci.net> <MAILER-DAEMON@[127.0.0.1]> <abuse@[127.0.0.1]> <tos...@aol.com> <.@[127.0.0.1]> <..@[127.0.0.1]> UNSUBSCRIBE[end]

Kyle Haight

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Dec 10, 1999, 3:00:00 AM12/10/99
to
In article <QvX34.3775$Fn6.6...@alfalfa.thegrid.net>,
J. Wang <dark_fenix@*nospam*hotmail.com> wrote:
>Wow....
>
>You know, this is a better plot than in some movies these days...
>
>This is entirely what Ultima IX should have been....

While I agree that the plot described definitely kicks the ass of the


finished U9 plot as I've experienced it so far, I would point out that
it does have some weaknesses. For example, it's pretty linear, and
had it been implemented I'm sure people would be here now bitching
about that and complaining that it wasn't a "real Ultima".

Somebody save off a copy of that file, though; one of these days
there'll be an open-source gaming engine powerful enough to implement
it. You'd have to change the names though, to avoid copyright
infringement.

I suggest running everything through an Elmer Fudd filter. I want to
see the Avataw save Bwitannia fwom a civil war cwafted by the evil
Bwackthown.

(I had a similar flash when talking to the NPC in Serpent Isle who was
badmouthing Lord British. I wanted to reply "Ward Bwitish? I have a
cwose personaw fwiend, a wuler fwom Bwitannia named Ward Bwitish."
Cf. HISTORY OF THE WORLD PART I for those who don't get the joke.)

--
Kyle Haight
kha...@netcom.com

"Feeding on the blood of the working classes for fun and profit."

Quatoria (Blah blah blah blah blah)

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Dec 10, 1999, 3:00:00 AM12/10/99
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In the swirling mists of history, on Thu, 9 Dec 1999 18:39:28 -0700,
"Dibbler" <dib...@NOSPAMverinet.com> wrote:

>"Kyle Haight" <kha...@netcom.com> wrote in message
>news:82pj44$ntj$1...@nntp9.atl.mindspring.net...

>> In article <QvX34.3775$Fn6.6...@alfalfa.thegrid.net>,
>> J. Wang <dark_fenix@*nospam*hotmail.com> wrote:

>> >Wow....
>> >
>> >You know, this is a better plot than in some movies these days...
>> >
>> >This is entirely what Ultima IX should have been....
>>

>> While I agree that the plot described definitely kicks the ass of the
>> finished U9 plot as I've experienced it so far, I would point out that
>> it does have some weaknesses. For example, it's pretty linear, and
>> had it been implemented I'm sure people would be here now bitching
>> about that and complaining that it wasn't a "real Ultima".
>>
>> Somebody save off a copy of that file, though; one of these days
>> there'll be an open-source gaming engine powerful enough to implement
>> it. You'd have to change the names though, to avoid copyright
>> infringement.
>>
>> I suggest running everything through an Elmer Fudd filter. I want to
>> see the Avataw save Bwitannia fwom a civil war cwafted by the evil
>> Bwackthown.
>>
>> (I had a similar flash when talking to the NPC in Serpent Isle who was
>> badmouthing Lord British. I wanted to reply "Ward Bwitish? I have a
>> cwose personaw fwiend, a wuler fwom Bwitannia named Ward Bwitish."
>> Cf. HISTORY OF THE WORLD PART I for those who don't get the joke.)
>>
>

>I thought that was from "Life of Brian".
>

Biggus Dickus? Is that you? Tu es stultior quam asinus!

Quatoria
--
In the pursuit of knowledge,
every day something is added.
In the practice of Tao,
every day something is dropped.
Less and less do you need to force things,
until finally you arrive at non-action.
When nothing is done,
nothing is left un-done.

-Lao Tzu, Tao Te Ching

Llorkh Dragon

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Dec 10, 1999, 3:00:00 AM12/10/99
to

Hetz <n...@way.com> wrote in message
news:D7Q34.93431$7I4.2...@news5.giganews.com...
> Here is it, the original tale of political turmoil and manipulation that
was
> going to be the plot of UIX. The plot where the Avatar returns to a
> Britannia on the eve of civil war, where the Guardian is a manipulator
using
> the war to distract the Avatar for his final take-over, where Lord British
> is threatened by visions of the Avatar's actions in both Pagan and
Britannia
> resulting in his baring him from Castle British, where Blackthorne repents
> and is put to death in Britian, where Shamino was a major character, where
> Ravan was just another party member, and where the final conflict with the
> Guardian results in the destruction of the planet.
>
> Yes, the *real* Ultima IX.

i can only hope that some day.... mr garriott will explain to us why they
didn't use the original script which was no less than awesome. i would love
to see that game.

maybe they could make a 'ultima IX: the alternative ascension' that they
could sell with a 'super special dragon edition ultima: ascension' for 40
bucks more the regular version?

hell, i'd buy it. call me desperate if you will.


Kyle Haight

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Dec 10, 1999, 3:00:00 AM12/10/99
to
In article <JGVQOLk5N+7HY5...@4ax.com>,

Quatoria (Blah blah blah blah blah) <Quat...@bellsouth.net> wrote:
>>
>>I thought that was from "Life of Brian".
>
>Biggus Dickus? Is that you? Tu es stultior quam asinus!

Could be. It was a funny movie with Roman bits in it.

Kevin Fisher

unread,
Dec 10, 1999, 3:00:00 AM12/10/99
to
In article <82pj44$ntj$1...@nntp9.atl.mindspring.net>, Kyle Haight wrote:
>In article <QvX34.3775$Fn6.6...@alfalfa.thegrid.net>,
>J. Wang <dark_fenix@*nospam*hotmail.com> wrote:
>>Wow....
>>
>>You know, this is a better plot than in some movies these days...
>>
>>This is entirely what Ultima IX should have been....
>
>While I agree that the plot described definitely kicks the ass of the
>finished U9 plot as I've experienced it so far, I would point out that
>it does have some weaknesses. For example, it's pretty linear, and
>had it been implemented I'm sure people would be here now bitching
>about that and complaining that it wasn't a "real Ultima".

True, but from what I've seen the 'released' U:A plot is extremely linear
as well..everyone tells me it 'opens up' later, but as soon as I finish
one quest, I get forced into another (and another, and another).


>
>Somebody save off a copy of that file, though; one of these days
>there'll be an open-source gaming engine powerful enough to implement
>it. You'd have to change the names though, to avoid copyright
>infringement.

Heh...sounds like www.betterstarwars.com! Actually, this guy DID write
a better plot for Ep. 1 than Lucas did....I wonder what Origin would do
if someone used a home-grown engine and implimented the 'original'
script?

Steve Kostoff

unread,
Dec 10, 1999, 3:00:00 AM12/10/99
to

Kyle Haight wrote in message <82pj44$ntj$1...@nntp9.atl.mindspring.net>...

>In article <QvX34.3775$Fn6.6...@alfalfa.thegrid.net>,
>J. Wang <dark_fenix@*nospam*hotmail.com> wrote:
>>Wow....
>>
>>You know, this is a better plot than in some movies these days...
>>
>>This is entirely what Ultima IX should have been....
>
>While I agree that the plot described definitely kicks the ass of the
>finished U9 plot as I've experienced it so far, I would point out that
>it does have some weaknesses. For example, it's pretty linear, and
>had it been implemented I'm sure people would be here now bitching
>about that and complaining that it wasn't a "real Ultima".
>
>Somebody save off a copy of that file, though; one of these days
>there'll be an open-source gaming engine powerful enough to implement
>it. You'd have to change the names though, to avoid copyright
>infringement.
>
>I suggest running everything through an Elmer Fudd filter. I want to
>see the Avataw save Bwitannia fwom a civil war cwafted by the evil
>Bwackthown.


How about the Swedish Encheferizer?

"Avatar! *Bork* Know that a new age is dawning bork in Britannia! I have
bork come to take my bork bork rightful place as the head of my bork people!
Bork bork bork"

Steve Kostoff

Michael W. Daniels

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Dec 10, 1999, 3:00:00 AM12/10/99
to
kfi...@avatar.sympatico.ca (Kevin Fisher) wrote in
<slrn85269v....@avatar.sympatico.ca>:

>True, but from what I've seen the 'released' U:A plot is extremely
>linear as well..everyone tells me it 'opens up' later, but as soon as

>I finish one quest, I get forced into another (and another, and
>another).

The main plot is mostly linear, though you can do Minoc before or after
Yew and Trinsic before or after Valoria. The difference is that, in the
beginning, you (for instance) can't even go back to Britain before
you're done with Buccaneer's Den. Eventually, you can travel all over
the world at will, even though the main plot wants you to go to a
certain place.

--
Michael W. Daniels | "To see a world in a grain of sand,
dan...@ling.ohio-state.edu | and a heaven in a wild flower,
Dept. of Linguistics | Hold infinity in the palm of your hand
| and eternity in an hour..."

Twin Ion Engine

unread,
Dec 10, 1999, 3:00:00 AM12/10/99
to
In article <slrn85269v....@avatar.sympatico.ca>, kfi...@avatar.sympatico.ca (Kevin Fisher) wrote:
>In article <82pj44$ntj$1...@nntp9.atl.mindspring.net>, Kyle Haight wrote:
>>In article <QvX34.3775$Fn6.6...@alfalfa.thegrid.net>,
>>J. Wang <dark_fenix@*nospam*hotmail.com> wrote:
>>>Wow....
>>>
>>>You know, this is a better plot than in some movies these days...
>>>
>>>This is entirely what Ultima IX should have been....
>>
>>While I agree that the plot described definitely kicks the ass of the
>>finished U9 plot as I've experienced it so far, I would point out that
>>it does have some weaknesses. For example, it's pretty linear, and
>>had it been implemented I'm sure people would be here now bitching
>>about that and complaining that it wasn't a "real Ultima".
>
>True, but from what I've seen the 'released' U:A plot is extremely linear
>as well..everyone tells me it 'opens up' later, but as soon as I finish
>one quest, I get forced into another (and another, and another).
>
>
>>
>>Somebody save off a copy of that file, though; one of these days
>>there'll be an open-source gaming engine powerful enough to implement
>>it. You'd have to change the names though, to avoid copyright
>>infringement.
>
>Heh...sounds like www.betterstarwars.com! Actually, this guy DID write
>a better plot for Ep. 1 than Lucas did....I wonder what Origin would do
>if someone used a home-grown engine and implimented the 'original'
>script?
>
>

Why? There's really nothing great about Ultima series. If you have great idea,
just make a new game. I don't know why people endear to Ultima that much. Yes,
Ultima 4 and even 6 was unique in that you don't have that
kill-the-big-bad-boss cliche plot. Other than that, most of the Ultimas are
like that.

If Ultima 9 sucks, go on to other game. Don't cry over spilled milk. Instead,
rejoice that games such as neverwinter nights are coming out.

Besides, RPG really need a breath of fresh air. Why kill a big bad guy? Why
save the world? How about a romance RPG? Or just plain "discover yourself"
RPG? Why even fantasy? While we're having a sort of renaissance for RPG, I
believe it will degenerate again if all we have is this fantasy-magic theme.


Jerry Morelock

unread,
Dec 10, 1999, 3:00:00 AM12/10/99
to
<snip>

> Besides, RPG really need a breath of fresh air. Why kill a big bad guy?
Why
> save the world? How about a romance RPG? Or just plain "discover yourself"
> RPG? Why even fantasy? While we're having a sort of renaissance for RPG, I
> believe it will degenerate again if all we have is this fantasy-magic
theme.
>
>
>
Something like "The Sims"? If it's ever released, that is.

Jerry Morelock

Knight37

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Dec 10, 1999, 3:00:00 AM12/10/99
to
kfi...@avatar.sympatico.ca (Kevin Fisher) wrote:

>I wonder what Origin would do if someone used a home-grown engine
>and implimented the 'original' script?

I don't know, but I know I would LOVE to participate in just such a
project. It would be AWESOME to implement this script using a game
engine similar to Ultima 7 (but updated for Win9x). If only something
like that existed.

Knight37

Robert S. Gregg

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Dec 10, 1999, 3:00:00 AM12/10/99
to
Hetz <n...@way.com> wrote in message
news:D7Q34.93431$7I4.2...@news5.giganews.com...
> Here is it, the original tale of political turmoil and manipulation that was
> going to be the plot of UIX.
> Yes, the *real* Ultima IX.

Wow. That is good. That is really *quite* good. Yes, I think that would
have done it.

Too bad.

-Bob


RS

unread,
Dec 11, 1999, 3:00:00 AM12/11/99
to
Kevin Fisher wrote in message ...

>
>Heh...sounds like www.betterstarwars.com! Actually, this guy DID write
>a better plot for Ep. 1 than Lucas did....I wonder what Origin would do

>if someone used a home-grown engine and implimented the 'original'
>script?


Well given how I feel about Episode 1, I don't really consider that to be a
great accomplishment. Heck I almost sat down to start writing one myself
until I realized I couldn't write worth crap. :)

RS

RS

unread,
Dec 11, 1999, 3:00:00 AM12/11/99
to
Twin Ion Engine wrote in message <82r814$i26$0...@dosa.alt.net>...

>
>Why? There's really nothing great about Ultima series. If you have great
idea,
>just make a new game. I don't know why people endear to Ultima that much.

You mean other than the fact that all Ultimas (including U6, U7, and yes
even U8) really pushed the envelope of presentation, interactivity,
storytelling, and detail in RPG worlds? Yes of course years later when
compared to modern games such as Baldur's Gate they aren't that special
technologically (though the storytelling still rocks most of what's out
there today), but at the time very little could touch them. U9 continues
this tradition (system requirements be damned). :)

>Yes,
>Ultima 4 and even 6 was unique in that you don't have that
>kill-the-big-bad-boss cliche plot. Other than that, most of the Ultimas are
>like that.


Specifically Ultimas 1 to 3 are like that. But what about the subtle pokes
at corruption in organized religion in U7? Or the fascinating mystery of
discovering the secrets of an ancient civilization in Serpent Isle? Ultima
8 unfortunately was not fully realized but it also had some weighty themes
of whether it was acceptable to fight evil with evil. These are not black
and white Kill-the-Foozle plots.

>If Ultima 9 sucks, go on to other game. Don't cry over spilled milk.
Instead,
>rejoice that games such as neverwinter nights are coming out.


Well, I'll judge that when I see it. Baldur's Gate was a decent enough
game. They just needed much better writing and a more interesting story.
Other than the potential gold mine for people dying to hold their own RPG
campaigns I don't see a whole lot to get excited about in Neverwinter Nights
as a mostly single player CRPG gamer myself. I'm much more excited about
Arcanum.

>Besides, RPG really need a breath of fresh air. Why kill a big bad guy? Why
>save the world? How about a romance RPG? Or just plain "discover yourself"
>RPG? Why even fantasy? While we're having a sort of renaissance for RPG, I
>believe it will degenerate again if all we have is this fantasy-magic
theme.


Well Ultima 4 was a journey of self discovery, though it would certainly be
interesting to see it done differently in modern terms. As for romance in
an RPG, I thought FF8 (though not the type of game for all RPGers) did a
very good job with it (and you have to play to the end to really appreciate
it). Outside of that there is a large variety of unconventional RPGs coming
(Vampire, Deus Ex, Anachronox, Arcanum, etc).

RS

Twin Ion Engine

unread,
Dec 11, 1999, 3:00:00 AM12/11/99
to

I beg to differ on the plot in www.betterstarwars.com. Its a good plot,
especially if you like gratutious violence, soapy romance (Obiwan fall in love
with Anakin's mother?? *gag*) and I-will-return-another-day-villian. It may
even be a good TV series sci-fi show, but its not starwars. Lucas' starwars
may have its flaws (like the original starwars) but its still starwars.

Besides, to me, its Act 1 of a three-part act. Criticising it is like
criticising Ultima 7 for being an incomplete game (since the guardian wasn't
despatched and there were a lot of questions then).

Antos Dragon

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Dec 13, 1999, 3:00:00 AM12/13/99
to
All I can say is... WOW...

That would have been the U9 that really would have been the Ultima of
Ultimas...

I simply couldn't stop reading...it felt like a good book...

Now I am beginning to wonder if someone will actaully REMAKE U9...like
it SHOULD Have been....almost like what is happening with "Star
Control:Time warp", which is trying to make a better, alterntative
sequel to Star control II, instead of the horrid SC3.


Anyone think there is a chance in hell that someone will manage to
remake U9 with the original script, in 2D, with a party? :)

remove the "NOSPAM" in my email address to email me via
usenet reply...

Antos Dragon
-==(UDIC)==-


Christoph Nahr

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Dec 13, 1999, 3:00:00 AM12/13/99
to
On Mon, 13 Dec 1999 07:17:00 -0800, Antos Dragon
<kyle...@NOSPAMmy-deja.com> wrote:

>Anyone think there is a chance in hell that someone will manage to
>remake U9 with the original script, in 2D, with a party? :)

I don't think Garriott/Origin/EA would let anyone do this. That would
be tantamount to admitting that they screwed up with their own U9
release. And Origin isn't interested in doing any more classical
single-player Ultimas anyway, from all I've heard.

krom...@my-deja.com

unread,
Dec 13, 1999, 3:00:00 AM12/13/99
to
I find it amusing the replys from everyone such as "Wow, why didnt they
use *that*" and "Now that would have been a *good* Ultima".

The fact is, they had this story in thier hands at one point, and
scrapped it. They did this for REASONS, and I doubt any of them were
that the current storyline is a better narrative.

While I can only guess at the reasons, I can think of a few:

1)TOO BIG: You think U9 is buggy right now? Imagine how much more buggy
it would be if they had devoted more time to a larger-scale-plot like
that.

2)LINEARITY: A story like that would have virtually no leeway for side
quests, exploration, etc etc without it feeling cheesy and horribly out
of place.

3)SMALL SCALE vs LARGE SCALE: You cant have an "Epic Adventure" *and*
an "Immersively-Detailed-Bake-Me-Some-Bread" in the same game nowadays.
Not with the size and complexity of current software. Its just not a
feasible (read: profitable) thing to undertake. So, the question is,
which would you prefer? Judging from the years of ranting online about
this very topic, I think its pretty clear Origin had a good idea about
what people wanted, even if they didnt (and still dont, judging by the
postings)

Quit Bitching! :-)

Andy K.

In article <D7Q34.93431$7I4.2...@news5.giganews.com>,


"Hetz" <n...@way.com> wrote:
> Here is it, the original tale of political turmoil and manipulation
that was

> going to be the plot of UIX. The plot where the Avatar returns to a
> Britannia on the eve of civil war, where the Guardian is a
manipulator using
> the war to distract the Avatar for his final take-over, where Lord
British
> is threatened by visions of the Avatar's actions in both Pagan and
Britannia
> resulting in his baring him from Castle British, where Blackthorne
repents
> and is put to death in Britian, where Shamino was a major character,
where
> Ravan was just another party member, and where the final conflict
with the
> Guardian results in the destruction of the planet.
>

> Yes, the *real* Ultima IX.
>


Sent via Deja.com http://www.deja.com/
Before you buy.

Quatoria (Blah blah blah blah blah)

unread,
Dec 13, 1999, 3:00:00 AM12/13/99
to
In the swirling mists of history, on Mon, 13 Dec 1999 19:11:21 +0100,
Christoph Nahr <s...@sig.invalid> wrote:

>On Mon, 13 Dec 1999 07:17:00 -0800, Antos Dragon
><kyle...@NOSPAMmy-deja.com> wrote:
>
>>Anyone think there is a chance in hell that someone will manage to
>>remake U9 with the original script, in 2D, with a party? :)
>
>I don't think Garriott/Origin/EA would let anyone do this. That would
>be tantamount to admitting that they screwed up with their own U9
>release. And Origin isn't interested in doing any more classical
>single-player Ultimas anyway, from all I've heard.

OSI is as touchy with their properties as LucasArts is. I was on a
Doom TC, way, way back when, working on a star wars mod, and we
received a legal cease and desist order. From what I understand, the
guy who was working on the server emulator for UO received very
similar treatment. I was part of a project to create a free RP-only UO
server that was shut down because of OSI pressure. I can understand
completely if it was a charge issue, but shutting down a free product
that offers a service you don't and never intend to provide bugged me
a bit.

Steve Kostoff

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Dec 13, 1999, 3:00:00 AM12/13/99
to

Quatoria (Blah blah blah blah blah) wrote in message
<0T9VOE6PZH3Tfj...@4ax.com>...

>In the swirling mists of history, on Mon, 13 Dec 1999 19:11:21 +0100,
>Christoph Nahr <s...@sig.invalid> wrote:
<snip>

>OSI is as touchy with their properties as LucasArts is. I was on a
>Doom TC, way, way back when, working on a star wars mod, and we
>received a legal cease and desist order. From what I understand, the
>guy who was working on the server emulator for UO received very
>similar treatment. I was part of a project to create a free RP-only UO
>server that was shut down because of OSI pressure. I can understand
>completely if it was a charge issue, but shutting down a free product
>that offers a service you don't and never intend to provide bugged me
>a bit.


It's just more grist for the "Hate Origin" mill. I downloaded the UOX3
emulator and at the time wondered just how they were getting away with it. I
don't think it will go on much longer - I'm surprised they (Origin) haven't
moved against some of the free servers up and running now. Thinking about it
makes me angrier - I paid nearly $50 for that game only to give up in
disgust at the PKing and DuDeZ Rulz shit, and now a chance comes along to
recoup some of that and get some enjoyment from the game, and along comes
Origin to browbeat everyone into either playing with the DuDeZ or not at
all. Assholes, for lack of a more descriptive word. It's not like I am
running a warez copy of the game - I did after all pay $50 for the game.

Just thinking about UO removes any pity I may feel for Garriot and chums for
all the abuse they're taking now.


Steve Kostoff

Twin Ion Engine

unread,
Dec 13, 1999, 3:00:00 AM12/13/99
to
>
>>On Mon, 13 Dec 1999 07:17:00 -0800, Antos Dragon
>><kyle...@NOSPAMmy-deja.com> wrote:
>>
>>>Anyone think there is a chance in hell that someone will manage to
>>>remake U9 with the original script, in 2D, with a party? :)
>>


What we need is the remake of U1 to U8, using a BG or Diablo 2-like engine.


Steve Kostoff

unread,
Dec 13, 1999, 3:00:00 AM12/13/99
to

krom...@my-deja.com wrote in message <833i0c$l5o$1...@nnrp1.deja.com>...
<snip>

>The fact is, they had this story in thier hands at one point, and
>scrapped it. They did this for REASONS, and I doubt any of them were
>that the current storyline is a better narrative.
>
><snip>

>which would you prefer? Judging from the years of ranting online about
>this very topic, I think its pretty clear Origin had a good idea about
>what people wanted, even if they didnt (and still dont, judging by the
>postings)
>
>Quit Bitching! :-)


Depends on what 'people' we are talking about here. I think your statement
about Origin having a good idea about what people wanted is correct if you
assume people = UO dUdeZ and their ilk. Somewhere along the line, OSI
figured out (correctly) that those people far outnumber the people who enjoy
rich, complex storylines (i.e. their early fan base, role players) and
apparently decided to cater to the former. It's obvious that although they
shed Ed Del Castillo, they didn't shed his "slay the dragon and get the
wimmin" idea.

Do you work for Origin? I wonder, because the idea that Origin knows what I
want more than I do sounds a lot like the patronizing e-mail I got from OSI
when I mailed them complaining about the behavior of players on UO.

Steve Kostoff

RS

unread,
Dec 14, 1999, 3:00:00 AM12/14/99
to
krom...@my-deja.com wrote in article <833i0c$l5o$1...@nnrp1.deja.com>...

>
> While I can only guess at the reasons, I can think of a few:
>
> 1)TOO BIG: You think U9 is buggy right now? Imagine how much more buggy
> it would be if they had devoted more time to a larger-scale-plot like
> that.

The original plot was written for the overhead 3D version of the game which
would have been much easier to implement and build a world in. I'm sure
that engine would have been much more stable because the performance
requirements would be far less.

> 2)LINEARITY: A story like that would have virtually no leeway for side
> quests, exploration, etc etc without it feeling cheesy and horribly out
> of place.

There is no evidence of this at all. Any story in any RPG is linear to a
degree. The story they ended up using is very linear anyway.

> 3)SMALL SCALE vs LARGE SCALE: You cant have an "Epic Adventure" *and*
> an "Immersively-Detailed-Bake-Me-Some-Bread" in the same game nowadays.

They had a design for just that in place and were well on their way to
implementing it. They made a decision to go to the trailing viewpoint
instead and realized that the art and performance requirements would be
completely different and had to throw that original design out. But it
depends what you mean by immersive I guess...if the trailing viewpoint or
1st person viewpoint are necessities for immersion then you're probably
right. Had they been satisfied with the overhead engine I'm sure they
would have been able to complete their original design (which probably
included interactivity on par with UO).

RS

krom...@my-deja.com

unread,
Dec 15, 1999, 3:00:00 AM12/15/99
to
In article <01bf4654$c69ae3a0$9155129f@MIS/sha9354>,

"RS" <nospam...@torfree.net> wrote:
> krom...@my-deja.com wrote in article <833i0c$l5o$1...@nnrp1.deja.com>...
> >
> > While I can only guess at the reasons, I can think of a few:
> >
> > 1)TOO BIG: You think U9 is buggy right now? Imagine how much more
buggy
> > it would be if they had devoted more time to a larger-scale-plot
like
> > that.
>
> The original plot was written for the overhead 3D version of the game
which
> would have been much easier to implement and build a world in. I'm
sure
> that engine would have been much more stable because the performance
> requirements would be far less.

Well, exactly. There simply isnt enough time to concentrate so much on
the new 3d engine, and implement an epic plot like this.

I suppose you can then argue against using the 3rd person 3d engine in
the first place, but IMO this is one of the best things of U:A, being
able to immerse yourself in the environment. On that count Origin
succeeded (if not for the bugs)

>
> > 2)LINEARITY: A story like that would have virtually no leeway for
side
> > quests, exploration, etc etc without it feeling cheesy and horribly
out
> > of place.
>

> There is no evidence of this at all. Any story in any RPG is linear
to a
> degree. The story they ended up using is very linear anyway.
>

There would have been so much "do-this-then-do-this-then-go-over-there"
to implement that there would have been no time to implement side
quests and small details. I havent played much of U:A yet, but I get
the sense that there's a good amount of sidetracking in there, even if
the over all quest is fairly linear.

> > 3)SMALL SCALE vs LARGE SCALE: You cant have an "Epic Adventure"
*and*
> > an "Immersively-Detailed-Bake-Me-Some-Bread" in the same game
nowadays.
>

> They had a design for just that in place and were well on their way to
> implementing it. They made a decision to go to the trailing viewpoint
> instead and realized that the art and performance requirements would
be
> completely different and had to throw that original design out. But
it
> depends what you mean by immersive I guess...if the trailing
viewpoint or
> 1st person viewpoint are necessities for immersion then you're
probably
> right. Had they been satisfied with the overhead engine I'm sure they
> would have been able to complete their original design (which probably
> included interactivity on par with UO).

Yeah, thats fairly likely. But obviously the game engine change was out
of Origin's control (It was likely handed down by EA). Although today
there are many more 2D and top-view-3D games, 2 years ago it probably
seemed like a bad idea to spend all this money developing a game that
wasn't 1st person/ 3rd person. I cant fault Origin for that, and when
the bugs are fixed I *still* think they made the right decision.

Andy K.

>
> RS

krom...@my-deja.com

unread,
Dec 15, 1999, 3:00:00 AM12/15/99
to
In article <833jq7$m90$1...@reznor.larc.nasa.gov>,

"Steve Kostoff" <j.s.k...@larc.nasa.gov> wrote:
>
> krom...@my-deja.com wrote in message <833i0c$l5o$1...@nnrp1.deja.com>...
> <snip>
> >The fact is, they had this story in thier hands at one point, and
> >scrapped it. They did this for REASONS, and I doubt any of them were
> >that the current storyline is a better narrative.
> >
> ><snip>

> >which would you prefer? Judging from the years of ranting online
about
> >this very topic, I think its pretty clear Origin had a good idea
about
> >what people wanted, even if they didnt (and still dont, judging by
the
> >postings)
> >
> >Quit Bitching! :-)
>
> Depends on what 'people' we are talking about here. I think your
statement
> about Origin having a good idea about what people wanted is correct
if you
> assume people = UO dUdeZ and their ilk. Somewhere along the line, OSI
> figured out (correctly) that those people far outnumber the people
who enjoy
> rich, complex storylines (i.e. their early fan base, role players) and
> apparently decided to cater to the former. It's obvious that although
they
> shed Ed Del Castillo, they didn't shed his "slay the dragon and get
the
> wimmin" idea.

Huh? I get the distinct impression that this original story line was
more in keeping with Ed's philosophy than what the final product turned
out to be.

IIRC, Ed Del Castillo was more in favor of a "Heroic, Epic Avatar Saga"
that focused more on the grand scale of things than on small details
like baking bread.

Internet Fury rose to levels I have not seen in a while :-) about how
Ed simply "did not get it", that Ultima *was* in the details, and Ed
was eventually sacked. This to me implys that Origin was persuaded to
favor the small details of the game over the grand epic storyline.

Realizing that there's only so much time in the day, if you spend more
effort on the microcosmic aspects of the game, you spend less time on
the macrocosmic aspects of the game. So naturally it follows that the
story has to be less ambitious.


>
> Do you work for Origin? I wonder, because the idea that Origin knows
what I
> want more than I do sounds a lot like the patronizing e-mail I got
from OSI
> when I mailed them complaining about the behavior of players on UO.

Not at all, although I am a programmer and I understand all too well
the pitfalls of working on large scale projects, and the danger
of "feature creep". If you try to please everyone, you're screwed :-)

Andy K.

>
> Steve Kostoff

Steve Kostoff

unread,
Dec 15, 1999, 3:00:00 AM12/15/99
to

krom...@my-deja.com wrote in message <838ort$edo$1...@nnrp1.deja.com>...

>In article <833jq7$m90$1...@reznor.larc.nasa.gov>,
> "Steve Kostoff" <j.s.k...@larc.nasa.gov> wrote:
>>
>> krom...@my-deja.com wrote in message <833i0c$l5o$1...@nnrp1.deja.com>...
>> <snip>
>> >The fact is, they had this story in thier hands at one point, and
>> >scrapped it. They did this for REASONS, and I doubt any of them were
>> >that the current storyline is a better narrative.
>> >
>> ><snip>

>> >which would you prefer? Judging from the years of ranting online
>about
>> >this very topic, I think its pretty clear Origin had a good idea
>about
>> >what people wanted, even if they didnt (and still dont, judging by
>the
>> >postings)
>> >
>> >Quit Bitching! :-)
>>
>> Depends on what 'people' we are talking about here. I think your
>statement
>> about Origin having a good idea about what people wanted is correct
>if you
>> assume people = UO dUdeZ and their ilk. Somewhere along the line, OSI
>> figured out (correctly) that those people far outnumber the people
>who enjoy
>> rich, complex storylines (i.e. their early fan base, role players) and
>> apparently decided to cater to the former. It's obvious that although
>they
>> shed Ed Del Castillo, they didn't shed his "slay the dragon and get
>the
>> wimmin" idea.
>
>Huh? I get the distinct impression that this original story line was
>more in keeping with Ed's philosophy than what the final product turned
>out to be.


No, Ed's philosophy was to use cliched story lines that catered to the
lowest common denominator (slay dragon/ get the woman); the story line that
made it into U9 was of that type, the one posted here was a much more
complex and intriguing tale.

>IIRC, Ed Del Castillo was more in favor of a "Heroic, Epic Avatar Saga"
>that focused more on the grand scale of things than on small details
>like baking bread.


If you ask the average 5 second attention span 14 year old what his idea of
heroic and epic is, chances are the answer you get is pretty close to Ed's
idea of the same. The baking bread thing and the plot line aren't mutually
exclusive, btw.

>Internet Fury rose to levels I have not seen in a while :-) about how
>Ed simply "did not get it", that Ultima *was* in the details, and Ed
>was eventually sacked. This to me implys that Origin was persuaded to
>favor the small details of the game over the grand epic storyline.


See above - having a detailed game world and an epic story line aren't
mutually exclusive. It's been done before. U7 had a much more complex plot
than U9, and you still had the baking bread stuff. What Origin did, I think,
was dumb down the plot, probably because they realized their new core
constituency, the d00dz, wouldn't be able to make heads or tails of a
complicated plot. Besides, who needs a complicated plot when you have Gazers
rendered in eye-popping detail, right? ;-)

>Realizing that there's only so much time in the day, if you spend more
>effort on the microcosmic aspects of the game, you spend less time on
>the macrocosmic aspects of the game. So naturally it follows that the
>story has to be less ambitious.


Yes, but there are a lot of days in 5 years. Had they competent management
and utilized their time properly, I am sure they could have met their
original goals.

>>
>> Do you work for Origin? I wonder, because the idea that Origin knows
>what I
>> want more than I do sounds a lot like the patronizing e-mail I got
>from OSI
>> when I mailed them complaining about the behavior of players on UO.
>
>Not at all, although I am a programmer and I understand all too well
>the pitfalls of working on large scale projects, and the danger
>of "feature creep". If you try to please everyone, you're screwed :-)


The only way Origin wouldn't have known what its hard core fans wanted in
the game is if they had their collective head stuck far up the fourth point
of contact. Or they didn't care; they started marketing to d00dz. Anyway,
it's not feature creep if you identify your goals and priorities at the
outset and work from there. 5 years is a lot of time to implement things
you've planned for.

Feature creep comes from mismanagement. Read the outtakes from the
developers' chat that Chris Nahr posted; they were adding new graphics
features right up to the deadline! WTF? No wonder it was broken upon
release. I tell you, if that was a government contract they were working on,
they'd have lost it after that release (seen it happen to less bad
examples).

Steve Kostoff

Kevin Fisher

unread,
Dec 15, 1999, 3:00:00 AM12/15/99
to
In article <838s2n$lfn$1...@reznor.larc.nasa.gov>, Steve Kostoff wrote:
[snip]

>
>See above - having a detailed game world and an epic story line aren't
>mutually exclusive. It's been done before. U7 had a much more complex plot
>than U9, and you still had the baking bread stuff. What Origin did, I think,
>was dumb down the plot, probably because they realized their new core
>constituency, the d00dz, wouldn't be able to make heads or tails of a
>complicated plot. Besides, who needs a complicated plot when you have Gazers
>rendered in eye-popping detail, right? ;-)

Ah, so that explains why Pyros was wedged into Britannia...I figured
as much, a big d00m-esque daemon to make the weenies feel right at home
(plot consistancy be damned!).


>
>Yes, but there are a lot of days in 5 years. Had they competent management
>and utilized their time properly, I am sure they could have met their
>original goals.

Had they not axed the original team in favour of Ultima Online they would
have had the game out years ago, and been able to meet all the goals.

Ultima 9 died when UO was born.

>
>The only way Origin wouldn't have known what its hard core fans wanted in
>the game is if they had their collective head stuck far up the fourth point
>of contact. Or they didn't care; they started marketing to d00dz. Anyway,
>it's not feature creep if you identify your goals and priorities at the
>outset and work from there. 5 years is a lot of time to implement things
>you've planned for.

Exactly. Ultima 8 was the beginning of this...RG trying to reach out to
'new players' by introducing silly arcade nonsense into the game.

While attracting new players isn't a bad thing, it IS bad when you compromise
game playability and plot to do it. We're not talking about a new
game here...we're talking about the 9th in a long series. Imagine if
"Return of the King" had been dumbed down and softened "to attract
new readers"? Yuck.


>
>Feature creep comes from mismanagement. Read the outtakes from the
>developers' chat that Chris Nahr posted; they were adding new graphics
>features right up to the deadline! WTF? No wonder it was broken upon
>release. I tell you, if that was a government contract they were working on,
>they'd have lost it after that release (seen it happen to less bad
>examples).

I dunno, the guvmint is famous for wasting $$$ and time on big white
elephants as well. ;)


>
>Steve Kostoff
>
>


Steve Kostoff

unread,
Dec 15, 1999, 3:00:00 AM12/15/99
to
<snip>

>>Feature creep comes from mismanagement. Read the outtakes from the
>>developers' chat that Chris Nahr posted; they were adding new graphics
>>features right up to the deadline! WTF? No wonder it was broken upon
>>release. I tell you, if that was a government contract they were working
on,
>>they'd have lost it after that release (seen it happen to less bad
>>examples).
>
>I dunno, the guvmint is famous for wasting $$$ and time on big white
>elephants as well. ;)


Weeeelll, I can't really comment on *that*, but I will say, in light of
failure, consequences are usually drawn and people get fired.

Steve Kostoff

krom...@my-deja.com

unread,
Dec 15, 1999, 3:00:00 AM12/15/99
to
In article <838s2n$lfn$1...@reznor.larc.nasa.gov>,

"Steve Kostoff" <j.s.k...@larc.nasa.gov> wrote:
>
> krom...@my-deja.com wrote in message <838ort$edo$1...@nnrp1.deja.com>...
> >In article <833jq7$m90$1...@reznor.larc.nasa.gov>,
> > "Steve Kostoff" <j.s.k...@larc.nasa.gov> wrote:
> >>
> >> krom...@my-deja.com wrote in message
<833i0c$l5o$1...@nnrp1.deja.com>...
> >> <snip>
> >> >The fact is, they had this story in thier hands at one point, and
> >> >scrapped it. They did this for REASONS, and I doubt any of them
were
> >> >that the current storyline is a better narrative.
> >> >
> >> ><snip>

> >> >which would you prefer? Judging from the years of ranting online
> >about
> >> >this very topic, I think its pretty clear Origin had a good idea
> >about
> >> >what people wanted, even if they didnt (and still dont, judging by
> >the
> >> >postings)
> >> >
> >> >Quit Bitching! :-)
> >>

They are when so much of your time is spent just making the game work.
I'm not really defending the act that U:A was mismanaged, but we all
knew this 2 years ago, its a little late to be complaining now :-)

>
> >Internet Fury rose to levels I have not seen in a while :-) about how
> >Ed simply "did not get it", that Ultima *was* in the details, and Ed
> >was eventually sacked. This to me implys that Origin was persuaded to
> >favor the small details of the game over the grand epic storyline.
>

> See above - having a detailed game world and an epic story line aren't
> mutually exclusive. It's been done before. U7 had a much more complex
plot
> than U9, and you still had the baking bread stuff.

On a *much* simpler engine.

>What Origin did, I think,
> was dumb down the plot, probably because they realized their new core
> constituency, the d00dz, wouldn't be able to make heads or tails of a
> complicated plot. Besides, who needs a complicated plot when you have
Gazers
> rendered in eye-popping detail, right? ;-)
>

> >Realizing that there's only so much time in the day, if you spend
more
> >effort on the microcosmic aspects of the game, you spend less time on
> >the macrocosmic aspects of the game. So naturally it follows that the
> >story has to be less ambitious.
>

> Yes, but there are a lot of days in 5 years. Had they competent
management
> and utilized their time properly, I am sure they could have met their
> original goals.

its possible, but it wouldnt be the first time in history that there
was a case of poor planning. Its practically a prerequisite in the
computer industry!

>
> >>
> >> Do you work for Origin? I wonder, because the idea that Origin
knows
> >what I
> >> want more than I do sounds a lot like the patronizing e-mail I got
> >from OSI
> >> when I mailed them complaining about the behavior of players on UO.
> >
> >Not at all, although I am a programmer and I understand all too well
> >the pitfalls of working on large scale projects, and the danger
> >of "feature creep". If you try to please everyone, you're screwed :-)
>

> The only way Origin wouldn't have known what its hard core fans
wanted in
> the game is if they had their collective head stuck far up the fourth
point
> of contact. Or they didn't care; they started marketing to d00dz.
Anyway,
> it's not feature creep if you identify your goals and priorities at
the
> outset and work from there. 5 years is a lot of time to implement
things
> you've planned for.
>

> Feature creep comes from mismanagement. Read the outtakes from the
> developers' chat that Chris Nahr posted; they were adding new graphics
> features right up to the deadline! WTF? No wonder it was broken upon
> release. I tell you, if that was a government contract they were
working on,
> they'd have lost it after that release (seen it happen to less bad
> examples).

Yeah, and by the way, how's it coming with that Mars Probe? :-) :-)

Andy K.

>
> Steve Kostoff
>
>


Kyle Haight

unread,
Dec 16, 1999, 3:00:00 AM12/16/99
to
In article <slrn85els3...@avatar.sympatico.ca>,

Kevin Fisher <kfi...@avatar.sympatico.ca> wrote:
>
>Imagine if
>"Return of the King" had been dumbed down and softened "to attract
>new readers"? Yuck.

Four words: Return of the Jedi.

Led Mirage

unread,
Dec 16, 1999, 3:00:00 AM12/16/99
to
On Wed, 15 Dec 1999 19:06:48 GMT, krom...@my-deja.com wrote:


>Internet Fury rose to levels I have not seen in a while :-) about how
>Ed simply "did not get it", that Ultima *was* in the details, and Ed
>was eventually sacked. This to me implys that Origin was persuaded to
>favor the small details of the game over the grand epic storyline.
>

>Realizing that there's only so much time in the day, if you spend more
>effort on the microcosmic aspects of the game, you spend less time on
>the macrocosmic aspects of the game. So naturally it follows that the
>story has to be less ambitious.

Too bad they succeeded in neither one. U9 is neither ultra detailed
(as in NPC schedules etc.), nor does it have a complex, grand scaled
plot. It does have lots of eye candies, though.

Rother

unread,
Dec 17, 1999, 3:00:00 AM12/17/99
to
In article <JGVQOLk5N+7HY5...@4ax.com>,
Quatoria (Blah blah blah blah blah) <Quat...@bellsouth.net> wrote:
>In the swirling mists of history, on Thu, 9 Dec 1999 18:39:28 -0700,
>"Dibbler" <dib...@NOSPAMverinet.com> wrote:
>
>>I thought that was from "Life of Brian".
>>
>Biggus Dickus? Is that you? Tu es stultior quam asinus!
>

He has a wife, you know. Intercontinentia Buttocks!

Definitely life of Brian.

--
_________________________________________________________
Aaron Z. Rother
IBM Austin (512) 838-7048
aro...@austin.ibm.com -=/\=- aro...@us.ibm.com

Steve Kostoff

unread,
Dec 17, 1999, 3:00:00 AM12/17/99
to

Rother wrote in message <83doq3$cd0$1...@ausnews.austin.ibm.com>...

>In article <JGVQOLk5N+7HY5...@4ax.com>,
>Quatoria (Blah blah blah blah blah) <Quat...@bellsouth.net> wrote:
>>In the swirling mists of history, on Thu, 9 Dec 1999 18:39:28 -0700,
>>"Dibbler" <dib...@NOSPAMverinet.com> wrote:
>>
>>>I thought that was from "Life of Brian".
>>>
>>Biggus Dickus? Is that you? Tu es stultior quam asinus!
>>
>
>He has a wife, you know. Intercontinentia Buttocks!
>
>Definitely life of Brian.


That movie has one of the funniest scenes of all time - the centurion giving
Brian the pedantic Latin lesson as a result of his misspelled anti-Roman
graffiti <g>...

Steve Kostoff

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