What do we expect for a Ultima (4-7) like Solo game feeling?

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by Paladin Michael, Nov 9, 2017.

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  1. Paladin Michael

    Paladin Michael Bug Hunter

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    First of all, please, don't take this thread for annoyance or "but we need first ..."
    Please stay at the topic to provide CONSTRUCTIVE FEEDBACK :)


    As the launch comes near next year, and - equal how you turn the words - as it was said from beginning of this project, the Solo game "Ultimalike" is also an important part of the whole game.

    At first I think it is important to look at what was done for the story last time!
    A lot of things can be found since R40 (provided by DarkStarr, Mar 29, 2017) :
    R40: Anti-Virtues Obsidian Cabalists came in for the first time!
    R41: Solace Bridge Outskirts came in!
    R43: Blood River Outskirts came in!
    R44: Path of Oracle (4th and final path of Episode 1!) came in!
    R46: Highvale Outskirts came in!
    • No Respawn in Story Scenes: removed re-spawning of monsters and resources in certain story scenes that provide quest companions including Crypt of the Avatar, Necropolis, and Blood River Massacre.
    R47: Quest Reset for Online mode. Quest Items not tradeable.
    R47-49: Polishing Paths and new side quests for the paths!
    R48: We receive virtue-themed gear by completing quests!
    The first six of these are chest pieces and helms with the symbols of the three principles on them.
    • Leather Chest Armor of Love
    • Leather Helm of Love
    • Plate Chest Armor of Courage
    • Plate Helm of Courage
    • Cloth Chest Armor of Truth
    • Cloth Hood of Truth
    Beside this: every Release improved a lot of parts of the whole game!
    For example:
    1. load time reductions! A great work of the team was done in just two releases!
    2. more path relevant quests, more decisions having an influence to our virtues!
    3. uncloning and great design for a lot of scenes!
    4. If you can't believe, what happened, since you were offline and just used the forum part, have a look at this :)

    What do users need, who liked the old Ultima series?
    My thoughts about:
    1. No sparklings, showing where to find a questgiver (just put in a toggle mode!)
    2. Starting introduction after entering the world (an option to toggle it off to explore by ourselves!)
    2. No player houses in story relevant places (villages, towns ...)
    This to have a story supporting design and no mix of styles.
    For example: visit Celestis and Solania!
    NO POT on world map (no reason for in Solo (offline!) mode.
    Could be one of the great differences to Solo/Multi online mode!
    3. No respawning in main path scenes (makes no sense. Please see point above of R46!)
    4. Single-Player Combat Balance to adjust and balance combat for play in Solo mode with companions.
    5. outfleshing of the companion(s) we're meeting.
    So the one in Ardoris! (Just begin with her wardrobe, please -
    Well, there are great possibilities for, like the Assassin’s leather Armor, suggested by Majoria ;)

    Not needed, but my favorite - for every part of play style :)
    6. An overland map / scene map only showing parts, I explored to enjoy exploring the world!
    7. A Journal, with chapters for each path ...


    So, what is it further, you need as a Solo Roleplayer?
    Please no 100 lines of text. Bring it to the point. Thank you!

    And, what You, Solo Roleplayer fan, what all of us can do meanwhile the Developers do their hard work:
    provide constructive feedback like mentioned here...
    And be clear of this: providing bug reports (in the bug section!) AND good feedback isn't just for the Solopart - it is important for the whole game succes!
     
    Last edited: Nov 9, 2017
  2. LoneWerewolf

    LoneWerewolf Guest

    Don't have much time right now, but the most essential things for me would be:

    - more emotion in the dialogues. Right now we can only read what they say, not what they do. The NPC models don't deliver the visual clues for that either, so we don't have it at all right now, not written nor visually. If I read a book I would not want to only see dialogue.

    - more love to detail. Ultima VI and VII had many little things in there and they tried to make sense of them. For me the skeleton in the beginning of SotA, in the attic of a house that was attacked by the elves is a great example. This person obivously wasn't killed by the elves, the attack just happened. So having a skeleton in the attic is kinda something that should not just be there, but the player should be able to find something out about it. It could just be a clue there or at least a new dialogue option with living citizens there. But there is nothing, it's just a "cool" little decoration and that's disappointing. this is just one example.

    - consequences of my actions. I want to see results of what I did. I want to see the rescued child again in safety and so on.

    - not having to grind to be able to continue the storyline. I don't want MMO elements in the storyline. I also don't want to have to group up with other players in it.

    - minimal respawn

    - more detailed followers. Give them character

    - no areas that are full of player housing. Seeng juke boxes etc is just not very immersive

    - stop that blinky thing on everything. I want to explore, not look for shiny blinky clues (items, NPCs.. it's everywhere)
     
  3. Browncoat Jayson

    Browncoat Jayson Legend of the Hearth

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    - amount of content. My favorite single-player games have lots of hand-crafted content designed to reward exploration. SotA has some of that, with a few places in each scene that are hard to get to and may have references, but there is no *reason* to go there. Ultima (and before it, Kings Quest) used hollow trees and other hiding places to place rare (often not even valuable, but hard to find) items. This would be far more rewarding than the same chest that every Bandit encounter guards. Hopefully as we get polish, this types of thing happens more and more.

    - more refined dialogue system. I like the way the "type to talk" function works, except most NPCs tend to reply to each thing you say separately. the parser should be smart enough to notice keywords, but also to ignore filler words.

    - phasing of assets to make consequences apparent, but only to the player who performed the action.

    - natural respawn. There should never be pops where new enemies just randomly appear, but they should walk in from beyond the edge of the scene, spawn inside closed tents or guard posts and exit naturally, etc. What we have now is no better than EverQuest from 1995.

    I don't totally agree with this; there has been grinding in single-player games forever. Final Fantasy, anyone? I would like to see the companions added to SPO so you have the choice to group with them if you find yourself overwhelmed, but don't need to jump to MPO. Lots of us don't want to play another pickup-group MMO.
     
  4. Lord_Darkmoon

    Lord_Darkmoon Avatar

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    - A big world which was simulated and felt real

    - A high interactivity. Moving every object around, discovering hidden items underneath other items.

    - Every NPC had his own personality, background and place in the world. Being able to watch the NPCs do their daily work thanks to the NPC schedules and find out some secrets by following them.

    - The world felt so real as if it worked even without me doing anything.

    - Logical and well placed enemies with a reason to be in the place we find them

    - Reasons to explore areas, many things to discover. Find hidden secrets etc.

    - Wandering around with the party members felt so great as they commented on situations and all had their little backstory.

    - Choices with real and lasting consequences (Alagner was killed in U7, the Banes destroyed the cities in Serpent Isle)

    - No walls of text

    - Flavor text during dialogues

    - No grinding

    - A great interface (U7 had no HUD at all!)

    - A slow or natural respawn without enemies appearing out of thin air shortly after we killed them (even in non-story related scenes)


    I just started Ultima 7 again on my Raspberry Pi which I connected to my TV. This game feels so great. There is no comparison to the clunkyness and the "gamey-ness" of SotA.
     
    Last edited: Nov 9, 2017
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  5. LoneWerewolf

    LoneWerewolf Guest

    I understand what you are saying BUT we don't want a single player experience that harkens back to Final Fantasy but one that harkens back to Ultima IV-IX. If I want Final Fantasy I would play Final Fantasy (unlike EA, Square still has that series going). Didn't like the grind there either, that's why Ultima is my favorite RPG series and NOT Final Fantasy.
     
  6. Browncoat Jayson

    Browncoat Jayson Legend of the Hearth

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    Ultima III-VI sure seemed to have grinding. Have to be certain levels to cast spells, can't enter the Abyss until level 8. In U6 and 7, you didn't even "level up" until you visited shrines or a trainer. Sure, it wasn't grinding gold to build stats like in U3, but still... Yeah, Ultima had grinding.

    I'm not saying that I *want* grinding, by the way. Just that you have to be wearing some rose-colored glasses to say you don't want it because it wasn't in Ultima.
     
    Last edited: Nov 9, 2017
  7. Cordelayne

    Cordelayne Avatar

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    I totally agree, the early ones definitely had grinding and I am ok with it to some extent, but I think the key was in the later games, like UV-UVII, the grind wasn't really noticeable because those games were so much fun. Just my opinion anyway! :D
     
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  8. Browncoat Jayson

    Browncoat Jayson Legend of the Hearth

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    Well, U6's combat was so tedious that U7 gave you an "auto-combat" option by default. Besides which, earning xp was more based on finishing quests than defeating enemies.

    SotA's combat is better, but its really the only way to get xp. Quest rewards are smaller and far between. So yes, I agree that if the game was more fun (to me, that means less combat and more quest oriented), then it would feel like less of a grind.
     
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  9. Ristra

    Ristra Avatar

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    I will be the broken record here because I think it’s important.

    - Moral System

    To be Ultima it’s a must.

    SotA is a persistent world which opens up so much opportunity for this.
     
  10. Cordelayne

    Cordelayne Avatar

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    Couldn't agree more!
     
  11. LoneWerewolf

    LoneWerewolf Guest

    The story was really playable without having to fight just to become more powerful. The only Ultima of the later ones that had a grinding part was actually Serpent Isle - to win the tournament, but before and after that no need for grinding at all.
     
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  12. Bubonic

    Bubonic Avatar

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    I disagree with this. Combat to advance is not grinding on its own, forcing a player to repeat that again and again is. Almost all of Ultima 5 combat was story based and mostly in dungeons that you needed to complete to proceed through the game. To me, that is not grinding
     
  13. Gix

    Gix Avatar

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    NPCs with relate-able motives... lets start with that.

    @Lord_Darkmoon 's points pretty much covers everything I think most of us expect from Ultimas.... except for this:
    I'm not saying that SotA's UI amazing (and it certainly could take some cues from U7) but Ultima 7's UI is unwieldy and is significantly worse than SotA's. Not having a HUD means nothing if the act of playing it is cumbersome. That was --THE-- reason why I gave up playing the game before I even exited the first town of Trinsic. I can sort of understand how amazing it might've been at the time and I'll give it the 1992 game some slack... but lets not pretend it's anything near good.

    The font alone is enough to condemn U7's UI. I guess that's a staple of Origin games...

    ... horrible, horrible UIs...
     
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  14. Sir_Hemlock

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    U7 = Point cursor. Click. Drag. Click! That's pretty ******g efficient. Every discovery was interesting. The dialogue was efficient, clever, otherwordly. The font- beautiful.

    I consider U7 + SI masterpieces despite their lack of U5ish combat system.
     
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  15. Corv

    Corv Avatar

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    - I'm gonna join the "we want flavor / narrative text in the dialogue, like Ultima 7" movement
    - Can do without the sparkling on the items
    - Consequences, like others wrote already
    - secrets WITH attached story to discover. Doesn't always have to be main storyline, but interesting little tidbits that make the world seem more alive.

    There is more but most was already posted here.
     
  16. Bubonic

    Bubonic Avatar

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    RG's refusal to include this is one of the most depressing developments in this entire production. Like it or not, generic emotes ARE NOT ENOUGH
     
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  17. Lord_Darkmoon

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    I thought it was amazing.
    Just having to use a mouse and everything could be done with it alone.
    The world was so immersive with no HUD etc. Everything felt organic.
    In SotA all of those windows, lists, bars etc. rip me out of the immersive world and scream "this is just a game!"
    I want to craft something in SotA, I am ripped out of the world and brought into a window whereas in U7 I just used and combined the items in the world.

    And the looks of the SotA UI... It looks like a cheap assets bought in the store (which it probably is) and not something that was developed with the world and atmosphere in mind so that it really fits into the game.

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Nov 10, 2017
  18. Gix

    Gix Avatar

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    @Lord_Darkmoon I’m not disagreeing on the aesthetics of the UI as the minimalist approach is very appealing but I’m looking at it from a functionality standpoint.

    Stuff like:
    • Text is hard to read.
    • Text above NPC’s heads (dialogue barks) with no border disappears too quickly.
    • Lots and lots of clicks to do simple tasks.
    • Having pixel-perfect precision to select painfully tiny items in a grid-less bag and having to hold down the mouse button to drag the item.
    • Getting access to the game’s options menu from the character sheet.
    SotA’s inventory list may be ugly and might break immersion but it works in such a way that managing the inventory isn't a chore; taking minutes to do something that should take seconds... in a way, it gets you back into the game sooner so that you can stay immersed in the world.

    So, two sides of the same coin.

    Again, that’s not to say that SotA’s UI should stay as it is. It looks ugly, there’s too much of it and even in terms of functionality there's a lot to be desired. As far as UI is concerned, I'd look at other games.

    Generic emotes are not enough, sure, but I don’t want the game to tell me how I perceive other characters. I should be able to do that on my own.

    “He looks depressed”
    Does he? How about "I" tell you how I think he feels?

    ///

    To get back to the conversation, something I enjoyed about Ultima 4 was it's simplicity in character development. Mechanically, there was hardly any but at least I wasn't wasting my time training skills that, ultimately, never amounted to anything. You were given a class based on a series of questions and you'd play what you were given to the best of your abilities. That made me focus on what was important: the journey. Something that the Zelda series does really well too.
     
  19. Lord_Darkmoon

    Lord_Darkmoon Avatar

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    And how do you perceive if someone is depressed or deep in thoughts or sighs? The animations and facial expressions in SotA don't allow for us to see this.
     
    Last edited: Nov 10, 2017
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  20. Bubonic

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    Well, that's just it. Because the animations supplied are broad emotes with no facial expressions, you can't. Unless you make it up in your own imagination.

    And then you aren't experiencing the story of the game, you're making it up as you go along.

    If I want to write a story, I'll write a story. When I'm playing a game, or reading a book, or watching a film, I want to experience someone else's story.
     
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