[Video update] Line of Sight development continues, now server-side


Previously we have demonstrated you the working system of Line of Sight on UO: Quintessence, which is a fully functioning ‘rogue-like’ LoS system integrated in the Quintessence client thanks to the power of the Ultima Client Shell system. The LoS will greatly influence the gameplay in a number of ways, such as during fights, in the process of spying, while hiding or searching for a secret object etc. Today we would like to show you continuation in development of LoS, by demonstrating our latest progress in LoS on the server side (for the fully functioning system it has to be supported on both the client and the server sides).

The Line of Sight system, as is evident on the following video, will be influenced by the number of factors, including your headgear (such as closed helmets, while providing excellent head armour will also penalize a player in LoS), player Stats, environment, light level, time of a day, other factors such as spells or player’s condition etc.

P.S. Our scheduled for October 2017 pre-alpha was unfortunately (or fortunately?) delayed again, due to the fact that our trailer and the new website are still in development. Good news is, the website is 90% complete and the trailer will be ready in a couple of weeks. This is when we will announce a public pre-alpha test for UO: Quintessence, which will focus on the most sensitive issues at the moment, including early bugs, new movement system, combat and FPS. New systems will be added during the pre-alpha so you can watch the progress and contribute to the development of the project [by your support, of course ;)]. Stay tuned!


Link to the video update on our Youtube channel


[Devblog] Line of Sight preview, foliage drawing fix

It has been a while since we have released another update on the project of UO: Quintessence, but all these months the work was hard and we are [almost] close to an early pre-alpha stage! Today we would like to present you our latest development progress. This time it is an early preview of our Line of Sight system and a fix of an old [and nasty] bug in UO client! Enjoy and if you liked it feel free to share it with your UO friends 😉

If you are interested in knowing where we are right now feel free to subscribe on the twitter and the blog. New website and forums with international support are almost finished too and will soon be ready for public.



As you can guess the new system allows, quite literally, to hide objects (other players, items and NPC’s), which are located outside of the field of view. This makes the gameplay process more interesting, since players will not be able to know what awaits from on the other end or behind the corner in the dungeon, it also greatly improves the stealth aspect of the game. It changes approach the players use to ambush someone, make a trap or scout on something. Traps will be a real danger, since most of the time you will not be able to see them and will need to use available in-game resources and skills to effectively detect the trap before it ‘detects’ you. : )

Line of sight also implies that players should watch their backs. Imagine the fighting scene in the dungeon, and a player decides to make few steps backwards through the hall where he came from, but behind the turn (corner) a new pack of enemies awaits the player [on his way back], which came from another room or crawled out of somewhere else.
The line of sight increases the difficulty of chasing or spying on someone, allows one to crawl unnoticed behind someone’s back or to sneak away from the guards, or two enter the town at night unnoticed. There are quite a lot of scenarios how this will alter the gameplay UO fans are used to.

It also allows us to implement other systems, including our perception stat, which will allow players to instead hear certain voices or steps in the dark so the players could guess what exactly awaits them while they don’t see it. At the same time, many factors will influence perception, such as the type of helmet you will wear. Helmets like bascinet or close helmets will greatly decrease the viewing angle while still provide a great deal of head defense (armor rating is based on individual body parts rather than as a whole rating).

Other factors including exhaustion, thirst and hunger will also affect perception.
Overall, the LoS system changes gameplay radically and makes the feeling of immersion better. You won’t be able to know what is happening behind the walls while standing outside of the building, and player inside the buildings will have limited way of knowing what is happening outside, except for sounds and limited ways of seeing, such as windows, patios or towers.

Merry Christmas!

Dear friends, UO players and Ultima series fans, and the followers of Quintessence devblog

The team of UO: Quintessence wishes you a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New year 2017! Today I would like to talk about what is UO: Quintessence, then go through some key events, which happened on UO: Quint in 2016 and talk about our plans for the next year!

Before I move to the subject, I would like to briefly talk about what UO: Quintessence is and how this project was born. It all started in 2009 (2008?) as another custom Ultima Online freeshard. However, it soon became clear that even some of the distinct features of UO: Quintessence were not enough to create the new gameplay, which many fans, including us, dream about. It was still the usual UO freeserver. One day StaticZ (main developer behind UO: Quintessence, creator of Fiddler+, CentreD+ and the UCS) was watching someone killing dragons after a week of character creation. After StaticZ’s approach to the character, he complained that dragons were ‘too easy to kill’. After that not only an overhaul of initial UO gameplay, but a radically new concept of online gaming was born, which included new client engine and new gameplay systems, which were not seen in any other online RPG before. UO: Quintessence was born, not as another UO freeserver, but as an Ultima Online remake with new approach to online gaming. It became clear that new systems with old gameplay do not satisfy us anymore, we need something completely unique to create a new chapter in online gaming.

0092400Year 2016 was not an easy year in terms of development for UO: Quintessence. Many of our previous systems and game concepts were changed from their initial vision and we have switched development several times. For instance, the initial idea of character creation based on professions was changed to support more old-school RP-style character development by the means of tarot-like cards:



It is now a complete system, which randomly, yet not that ‘clearly’ generates your starting parameters. This, in turn, took additional investments, as we had to hire professional for an exclusive design.

This was a year when some of our extremely important goals were achieved. First, the release of UO: Quintessence client and first closed tests were conducted. We have tested our new FPS systems on desynchronization issues, tested our early “field of view” system and many early bugs were fixed. Another vast change on the project was a complete redesign of the user interference, including new gumps and features, which changed the old concept and added new client possibilities (such as possibility to change your FPS rate is now a client feature).

old paperdoll



It’s not just a client interface and new graphical features, which required a lot of designing work. One of the current problems is the choice of fonts. Since we are aiming for international community it is of upmost importance that our fonts support both Cyrillic and Latin symbols. In the past days we have been working hard on choosing “right fonts” for different game elements – static objects, speech text, journal text, emotions and other elements:


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It soon became evident that we need to integrate several fonts into the game, not just choose one. As you can guess, redesigning took a moderate amount of time of development, which is why our pre-alpha, which was forecasted months ago, could not be finished in time and we decided to postpone the open test until 2017. Redesigning is also not just an aesthetic option, but every feature is carefully prepared and is important, not just a placeholder. For instance, designing user interface also requires English version, which we already started to integrate in both client and the server-side.

Other recent updates include a new collection of paperdoll avatars:


More than 350+ PC and 105+ NPC avatars were added, which do not merely serve as something cool, but also influence the gameplay at some point (names are hidden by default, how else will the guards recognize that thief?!).

In 2016 many important UCS releases were also done. Finally, this is the year when we started to actually spread a word about UO: Quintessence, which for years remained mystery in UO/RPG communities, for several reasons. Many features had to be heavily adjusted before we could show something to the public, not to mention that the gameplay design was changed several times, and until we established a clear vision of what UO: Quintessence will be in the future, we saw no point in advertising. This include our stances on the real economy, permadeath, open world PvP, RP factor, and many other important gameplay issues, which took careful analysis before we could set distinct and precise development objectives, which we now have achieved. To summarize, one can say that 2016 was important year for development of this project.

Meanwhile, we are slowly moving forward to create the best possible UO-like experience for everyone who ever cared for the word ‘Ultima’ and are working hard to deliver countless of unique features to make online gaming great again. As of right now, we are almost ready to release the next pre-alpha build client patch and the work on the combat system has started. In 2017 we plan to:

  • Finally launch the public pre-alpha of UO: Quintessence, which at first will be an early test of the combat system, while bugfixes and new features will come out as the test progresses;
  • Formulate our vision of PvP and social systems that from the basis of gameplay;
  • Depends on how smooth the first stage of pre-alpa will be, start implementation of the real economy and crafting;
  • Continue on writing a global lore for the game – yes, UO: Quintessence will include the lore and global events associated with it;
  • Start implementation of international English-based version of the client and server (such as NPC speech and client-side text translation based on the client choice);
  • Hopefully a new website and forums will be complete in 2017 and open to the public;
  • Continue on creating a revolutionary online RPG experience and making UO great again!

We hope to see all of you and many more in 2017!

Merry Christmas everyone and let’s make online gaming great again – together!


[Devblog] Demonstration of UO: Quintessence’s complete redesign of game client’s User Interface

I would like to apologize to whoever is keeping an eye on the developer’s blog for not posting new content the last few weeks. Work at the UO: Quintessence is booming and today we would like to share a new update with you.

Today we introduce one of the new UO: Quintessence elements to make UO great again – a complete overhaul of UO game client’s design, which unlike many other redesigning attempts includes:

  1. A redesign of each in-game client’s features and visuals, which not only includes new gumps over the old ones, but also new features available in the User Interface;
  2. Bilingual support of the redesign – each new gump and the text is available in English and Russian languages to support respective playerbases in the future;
  3. A lot of changes in the client work and UI. For instance, once a player enters his or her password, he is either automatically moved to the world (skipping all previous screens that UO players got used to, including server choice and character selection screen) or a character creation process starts immediately;
  4. A unique character creation process which is not only server-side but is also coded in the client itself.

The following are some of the key points of the UO: Quintessence redesign demonstartion (video links are available in the end):

pic-20161201-185932English-based client version (work in progress)


pic-20161201-174532Character creation screens starts soon after first login, not in-game. New hair and beard style choices, starting clothing, race and gender, and the character’s name go here


pic-20161201-175118Tarot-like cards that randomly generate your characters starting stats and abilities in the process of character creation (on this screenshot, from left to right: the Hero, the Wanderer, the Hermit cards)


pic-20161201-175743Demonstration of a map selection screen with a map region-scrolling feature

Due to the fact that UO: Quintessence’s map is 4x time larger than UO’s original Felluca, we decided to divide the mainland map into several regions in the location screen by adding customly-drawn maps instead of the static map copies. Players will be able to choose from three different regions, each of a size of Felluca.




Animated paperdoll,  which displays the day-night cycle in real time (greatly affects gameplay)



Annoying “black aura” which is used in UO to remove hair on the paperdoll if a character is wearing plate armor is fixed on UO: Quint


pic-20161201-182025Complete Options menu overhaul with new features added and the unused ones removed

For instance, one can choose from and change different Upscale features which would change the drawing of pixelated graphics without having to restart the client.


New journal, which now features different text filtes and is no more limited to 100 messages as original UO client 


And many more! Please click on the video links and share with your friends 🙂


UO Quint devblog – User Interface Preview part 1 (video)

UO Quint devblog – User Interface Preview part 2 (video)

UO Quint devblog – User Interface Preview part 3 (video)


P.S. Soundtrack, which is featured in the videos is original UO: Quintessence soundtrack 

Ultima Online: The concept of PvP combat and the role of UO: Quintessence in promoting a new approach to online gaming. Part I

I decided to start a blog on the issues of Ultima Online, namely its combat-oriented gameplay mechanism that created a vastly open world PvP environment, which upon today is enjoyed by many online gamers, while also added a stratification between the players which eventually lead to UO’s demise. In part II I will describe what is the role of UO: Quintessence in facilitating player-run economy in the massive online RPG, which regulates in-game social interactions, unlike the strict mechanical regulations, such as the Trammel.

For years, UO has been considered one of the most fascinating MMO’s, which combined both game design simplicity, great social interaction, interesting gameplay and the atmosphere, which no other online world could offer during the time when Ultima Online was released in 1997. It was a brave attempt to introduce a living persistent virtual world, whose history is traced back to the glory of well-known Ultima titles. Upon these days many online players, who previously used to play UO struggle to find anything that is at least somewhat comparable to the great predecessor of online RPG’s. What makes Ultima Online so incomparable to other online games is perhaps its unusual way introduce the phenomenon of online gaming. The classic periods of Ultima Online, such as its release version (UO: Shattered Legacy) and the first expansion (The Second Age) are considered by many fans as the “golden days of UO”. Initially, UO players could (and still can) interact with other actors not merely by the fact of mutual existence within the online community, but also considering certain moral influences, which limited their conduct. Imagine somewhat soulless player-driven activities in such popular titles as the World of Warcraft or the Lineage II. Players gather for a boss raid, take a part in massive fights, farm different monsters, trade, and spend their time in long discussions. This, however, in the most if not all of the cases of popular titles feels trivial in comparison with UO. In fact, in Ultima Online players could be killed by other players or the so-called “player-killers”, who not only could kill you, but also possess all of your hard-earned belongings. This, unlike most of the other MMO’s created a special in-game atmosphere, where players could take different roles, yet also had to pay attention to their behavior as certain ill activities towards other players could easily provoke analogous reaction. The world was anything but safe and for this reason, social interaction became not merely an obvious feature of the virtual environment but a crucial aspect of UO’s online community which at some point almost fascistically dictated the “live by sword, die by the sword” wisdom.

Soon, however, the role of player killing became global while displacing other in-game elements, such as trading, crafting, running a household, or PvM (Player versus Monster) activities. Most of the player base notably participated in the game’s only ‘real fun’ option.

sasaasPlayers gather outside of Minoc (town in UO). (Presumably) player body parts (center), player ghosts (right) and people in “death robes” are seen, indicating a fight, which broke out shortly before the screenshot was captured. Source: Google Search Engine

It somehow became clear that Origins’s promises of the massive persistent world with deep storyline and actions, which have consequences on the rest of the world perished in vain. Direct PvP (Player versus Player) activities, such as player killing, “ganking” (outnumbering), “red hunting” (hunting the ‘red’ or player killers by the “blues”/non player killers) and PvP-based events, as well as indirect PvP, including luring players out of the guard zone, provoking monsters on the players, blocking dungeon entrances, house looting etc. became UO’s main forces which were driving gameplay.

saassaA screenshot presumably portraying the ‘justice’ of killing a player killer by the ‘non-player killers’ after the red character (apparently) tried to kill a miner. Source: Google Search Engine

In fact, most of other game’s features were poorly designed. For instance, crafting did not have much options during the early days of UO. In fact the colored types of metal ore were introduced only years after the game was officially released, and it took even more years to introduce the new types of wood and the new crafting skills. Fishing did not make much sense until the treasure maps were introduced somewhere between the first and the second expansion. Even then, however, T-Map or MiB’s (message in a bottle, sea version of t-map system) were merely mini games, which allowed some players to get quick cash and high-end loot in a little amount of time. Soon players learned to ‘mark’ (with magic runes that can be used for teleporting needs) certain treasure spots, where treasure chests can be found, and the “treasure hunting” became a “recall in>recall out” type of thing.

xxdsdTreasure hunting spots in Ultima Online, which players learned to mark so as not to spend additional time of “hunting” the treasure. Source: Ultima Online Stratics

PvM, for the most part, was grind-based, where players had to invest hours in the routine tasks of teleporting to the farming spot, spending time killing monsters, teleporting back to the city bank, storing the gold and repeating the task. In this regard PvP became both as means of having pure fun, building social interaction and the reason to stay in UO. Players who initially were not PvP-oriented had either to “integrate” or accept the tough reality of the harsh online world. Needless to say that characters which produced money, monster loot or other items such as PvM players, craftsmen and miners were in the risk group of being killed once they leave the guard zone. Often player killing happened in the guarded town areas too. This contributed to the rise of PvP-oriented players, which loved the game as it offered them almost never-ending sandbox possibilities, and, at the same time, made non-pvper’s quit, leaving UO community to ‘fun seekers’.

Ultima Online Commercial 1997

Origins early Ultima Online commercial, describing global in-game features, which never existed

At some point, Origins decided to regulate player-killing activity by introducing penalties for murdering other players, including an inability for the ‘reds’ to enter the guarded zones, reds being freely attackable by other players without penalty and the stat-loss system. The stat-loss system was meant to stop an out-of-hand player-killing tradition by introducing a permanent loss of player stats and skills upon the death of a player killer. Depending on how much ‘murder counts’ the PK had, he/she would lose a certain percentage of his/her skills and/or stats upon resurrection. Additionally, players could set bounty on the player’s head and, in case the PK’s head was delivered to the town guard, the one who delivers the head would get a certain amount of gold, depending on the amount of bounty placed. The system of stat-loss and bounty hunting was changing over the years, as well as the custom player-run shards (UO free servers) introducing their own vision of PK regulation. However, the key concept of stat-loss was based on prevention of imbalanced massacre what took place in the online world.

fdfdAn example of a bounty-based stat-loss system on a custom Ultima Online server, which replicates one the classic UO’s periods. Source: Google Search Engine

However, stat-loss did not lower the PK activity nor did it ever made the ‘reds’ think twice before killing a fellow player, according to my personal UO experience and the overall evidence. In fact, one can argue that the stat-loss system did provoke a greater aggression within the community in response to the overall flawed regulation. For this reason, on most of the UO free servers, which replicate classic Ultima Online mechanics, the shard’s administration purposefully removed or did not add the stat-loss in the first place. However, the main reason why stat-loss system failed has most likely nothing to do with the fact that penalty itself was somewhat trivial and even annoying rather than regulative, but the fact that it was pointless in the first place. There was nothing to substitute PvP as now a key element of UO’s gameplay, given the overall boring and grind-based aspects of the game. Soon the server’s administration, both on the official UO servers and the most notably UO free servers, started promote PvP events including well-known Capture the Flag option just to create fun, which UO veterans enjoyed the most.

dsddsdsdsdsdModern custom-based PvP. Highly customized colors of player armor, clothing and pets are interweaved in a promiscuous fight scene. Source: Google Search Engine

PvP in UO turned into type of a sport activity. Upon now there is not much UO can offer it’s players besides it. Most of the custom shards started introducing clothing, armor and even tamable pets of unnatural colors so the players could distinguish themselves. Of course, tamers (PvM oriented players) and crafters did not disappear completely, yet these professions became optional, where PvP’ers could also have additional crafting and PvM-related characters, which they could use to accumulate in-game resources, while their main in-game activity was limited to player versus player combat. The problem of constant irrational (in a sense that PvP had little to no economic value, besides other player’s loot) inter-player combat worsened with the fact that Ultima Online mechanics are close to the arcade genre. It focuses on the mouse-oriented movement, hotkeys and in-game systems, which strongly promotes teamwork unavailable in other in-game elements, such as the economy. Players learned to create various spell combinations which are based on synchronized spell casting that are needed for an effective team-oriented PvP combat. Players also learned to heal each other during the PvP so as to support soccer-like cooperation in “the field” (jargon. outside of town PvP combat). Unlike other popular MMO titles, where PvP is mostly based on the value and properties of one’s gear, in classic Ultima Online one can say that PvP system is purely “skill based”. This, in turn, created an unforgiving segmentation between the players who were ‘good’ at their hotkeys and teamwork and the actors, who seeked a more peaceful gameplay, were not interested in PvP, or were otherwise ‘bad’ at competing with established PvP guilds. The ‘wolf-sheep’ situation lead to many players quitting the game due to the fact that players which could not protect themselves either had to rely on the protection of other players or guilds or accept the reality that they had to share what they have invested their time into (high-end magic items, resources, gold) with others, who did not ask twice. Players could not use NPC’s (Non-Player-Characters) to protect them as the game’s dull artificial intelligence could not compete with its sandbox arcadish PvP system, which allows players to perform all kinds of different tricks, such as hiding in front of a tamed dragon, which then loses his target.

sdsdsdModern official expansion-based PvP. Source: Google Search Engine

It is hard to conclude which factors contributed the most to the rise of PvP and its complete domination in UO, whether it was the ‘arcadish’ game mechanics, the lack of other fun elements or the absence of any more or less appropriate sanctions to regulate the mass combat. It nonetheless became clear even during the ‘golden Utlima Online days’ that players that are interested in rather mindless PvP (in a sense that it was not backed by any real economic value) constituted the majority of UO-sphere, while others had either search for less hardcore alternatives or continue playing the role of victims.

Behavior within the Ultima Online community was transformed into the non-regulative factor, where players would often be carriers of anti-social patterns, given the overall simplicity of in-game mechanics and the lack of social moral mechanism, which could possibly regulate it.

dssddssdA screenshot depicting typical attitude among the players in UO community. Source: Google Search Engine

Often aggressive behavioral patterns in UO (as well as other MMO’s) from my point of view are related to the common lawlessness of UO’s PvP system, which, as explained above, forms a lion’s share of gameplay. Another reason for the popularity of player’s ill attitude might include the overall online anonymity of Internet-based platform.

Rage video (NB! Explicit content)

Video record of in-game ‘rage’ session by PvP players in UO

However, the simplicity of gameplay, an open world/full loot PvP and Internet anonymity, while obviously remain biggest factors of UO decline, I can also see the destructive social influence in the very beginning of the title. Even before Ultima Online was released, it had already set certain moral boundaries, which were based on the values of power, competition and egocentrism. At some point one can argue that the very human nature did play a major role in establishment of this gameplay transition. The systems mentioned in UO developer’s blogs, including the ecology system, the merchant guilds and better economy, political factions and the persistent world became forgotten, first 1) due to technical issues and limitations of the time when Ultima Online was released; 2) necessity to regulate a multi-thousand player population; 3) complexity of the systems which needed to be introduced and 4) the lack of previous experience in the online gaming design. For instance, the ecology system did work at some point during the early UO days, yet, the lowered performance in the form of lags it created by it did not allow it develop into a more-or-less stable system. Therefore, initial UO gameplay ideas soon transitioned from a fully persistent sandbox open world towards a more casual open world PvP alternative, which, while had an interesting sandbox open world PvP system paid little attention to the overall gameplay. For example, the map of UO is static with not so much to do and most players remember every tile of it. The cities, castles and houses designed by original developers are abandoned with little purpose besides decorative, UO’s economy is limited to the buy/sell option with resources being randomly generated and most items can be bought or sold to the NPC’s with static prices. Player-based trade is limited to artifacts, handouts and player vendors. Player vendor system, on the other hand, is an interesting sandbox feature, however, the overall world’s economy is still poor.

safdsfdssfA historical screenshot portraying the assassination of Lord British during the late Beta phase of Ultima Online (1997). Source: Wikipedia

PvP did not just influence regular players. The role-players who liked to…play a role of certain characters mostly executed player versus player combat as well.

Roleplaying guild the Shadow Clan Orcs, one of the earliest roleplaying guilds in Ultima Online – combined PvM and PvP gameplay aspects but was mostly PvP oriented. Source: Google Search Engine
The Undead guild fighting Yew Militia -two UO roleplaying PvP-oriented guilds. Source: Google Search Engine

From the 1997 Google Groups archives I managed to find a chat by former UO players, which discussed different types of player-killing in game:


Source: https://groups.google.com/forum/#!topic/rec.games.computer.ultima-dragons/Ef2X7MaQejc%5B1-25%5D

As one can see, many players did not agree with the UO’s policy of an open full world PvP, while the majority of PvPer’s choose between the primary non-RP pvp and roleplay-based PK-oriented characters. Unfortunately (or fortunately?) for the minority that wanted the game to introduce “tools to effectively control” player-killing, including the ‘two-universe’ solution, which was fulfilled three years after the release of the game, none of the actual social regulations were ever created.

By the end of the Second Age era, Origins decided to radically change the course of how PvP was established. The introduction of Trammel, which is an alternative world facet where none of the basic criminal actions, such as stealing or attacking another player work, is considered by many to be the end of the end of Ultima Online. Another facet, which preserved original open world PvP, Felucca, was now only meant for PvP-oriented players, who purposely entered Felucca for the fights, while craftsmen and most of the “farming player base” remained in the peaceful Trammel, where none of the previous dangers could harm them anymore. This stratification has created even more problems. Many veterans started leaving UO or moving on the private servers due to the fact that PvP did not offer them the “wolf versus sheep” model anymore. The world did not feel as live as previously, player population started to diminish and the game has finally lost its sense of community. Lowered population was now spread between several facets, which turned the lands of Britannia into a desert with static decorations.


An abandoned castle of Lord British in Britain (city in UO), which did not find any purpose beside decoration in the final game. Source: Google Search Engine

Trammel was not an attempt to change UO. Rather, I would argue that it was a logical outcome of UO’s gameplay, which was directed towards sandbox open world PvP, excluding or limiting social interaction and moral values. After the core UO ideas were let go, UO’s development was mostly focused on creating a balanced PvP game, and the Trammel was its climax. While UO has yet seen several other expansions since Trammel was introduced, however, the core idea, which UO follows upon this day has been fulfilled in the year 2000, when players could freely choose between an open world PvP setting and an open world casual environment.

The role of UO: Quintessence in introducing an alternative to common online open world gaming

At the UO: Quintessence we believe that both approaches represent the core gameplay flaws, which were made for the most part unintentionally by the original developers. Both, the open world PvP with the lack of social regulation and a complete mechanical prohibition of certain illegal actions are two radical opposites, which turned the game into a ‘wrong’ direction, at the same time, did dictate other modern MMO’s the ‘formula’ of gameplay. We strongly believe that the main flaw of game design, which lead to the creation of the analyzed situation, was the lack of a good economic system, which would regulate and simultaneously provide reason for player’s actions. The project UO: Quintessence is opposing the idea that mechanical restrictions of certain actions must take place. This, in our opinion, is against the idea of a UO remake and a new approach to online gaming, as that would not distinguish Quintessence from many other MMO titles out there. Mechanical restrictions limit player’s possibilities, which would be unforgiving for a sandbox setting. At the same time, giving full freedom the players would inevitable lead to the situation described above.

In order to introduce a “golden middle” in designing the PvP aspect of an open world game it is not enough to merely provide the tools, which would ensure player’s security. The core gameplay concept must be changed, and that is to include specific economic mechanism which would form the social system in many of its aspects, including crime and justice, feud and friendship, egocentric seek of benefits and altruistic support et cetera.

Part II of this piece will discuss specific mechanisms the development of UO: Quintessence will undertake in order to introduce a new approach to the open world online gaming to formulate a way in which Ultima Online Remake can be both tremendously fun while preserve the UO’s intial hardcore gameplay.


Bartle, R. Designing Virtual Worlds. New Riders, 2004.

Fullerton, T. 2014. Game Design Workshop: A Playcentric Approach to Creating Innovative Games, Third Edition. CRC Press.

Giovetti, A. Ultima Online: Kill the Player Killers? Retrieved from http://www.thecomputershow.com/computershow/news/uoplayerkillers.htm

Google Groups. rec.games.computer.ultima-dragons. 1997 archived posts. Retrieved from https://groups.google.com/forum/#!topic/rec.games.computer.ultima-dragons/Ef2X7MaQejc%5B1-25%5D

Kline et al. 2003. Digital Play: The Interaction of Technology, Culture, and Marketing. McGill-Queen’s Press.

Messner, S. 5 stories of murder and theft that prove Ultima Online was one of the best MMOs ever. Retrieved from: http://www.pcgamer.com/ultima-online-stories/

Tucker, J. 18 Years Later, Why Are People Still Playing Ultima Online? Retrieved from: https://www.rockpapershotgun.com/2015/06/30/ultima-online-retrospective/