I have gotten a comment that this last bit may seem a bit negative and sarcastic. All I can say is… no kidding! It IS negative and sarcastic!

In other news, many people I know who have been playing for a long time (some since the beta, some who got me interested in it) are also leaving UO… not right away, they may find something useful in UO yet, and it IS a pain to drop those characters you worked so hard to create. There’s the insidiousness of UO… when you quit, you lose everything. At least The Realm saves your information for 6 months while you think about it. What happens if I quit UO, then read that all the PK’s have gone to Everquest and it’s a good game now? I’ve lost all of my characters, all of my gold, my irreplacable black dye tub, a few houses which might someday be secure (yeah right), etc. There are many disillusioned players like myself out there, who will pay $10 a month for a while for the hope of a good, enjoyable, playable game, while they log in once in a while to make sure their houses don’t decay and then log out again.

There are a lot of comparisons that can be drawn between UO and Battlecruiser 3000 AD. For those of you who might be unfamiliar with BC3K, it’s the flagship of vaporware and buggy software in the gaming industry. In development for about 7 years before its release, the brainchild of Derek Smart PhD turned out to be an unplayable, incomplete, undocumented nightmare when Take 2 released it. As the game was slammed (rightfully) in magazines and websites everywhere and it began to get slowly patched, the real entertainment value of the game seemed to live in the usenet flamewars erupting between Dr. Smart and his followers, and their enemies. I watched these flamewars go on for a loooong time, and participated in more than a couple of them, before I even laid my hands on the game (it was $10 at the time), and discovered that indeed it had the seeds for greatness, but as it was it was an unplayable unenjoyable mess, and each bug fix introduced more and more. See the comparison? I could have just read B0N3D00D and pLaTeDeWd and gotten most of my UO experience from that without being drawn into it.

The primary difference here is that BC3K eventually became playable and was given away for free. Ultima Online still costs $50 or more plus monthly fees.

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