A fan-based Ultima Online-remake with a new approach to online gaming
UO: Quintessence is an exceptionally unique online gaming project. Project’s developers are old school fans of classic RPG titles, who, at some point in the lives, got tired of games and decided, that it would be incredibly interesting for them to change, enhance and create worlds of their own instead.
The very aim of the project is simple – to create the game of our dream. The dream itself is about going back to the ‘good ol’ days’ and, at the same time, refreshing that old school feeling we many oldschool RPG fans remember. It would also be great if that experience would last, without players getting bored after few months of playing. If you recall your first impression from your favorite games, then you can understand the feeling you had. The main problem, however, is the fact, that while nostalgia is still a case for many, years have passed since when popular RPG titles had their ‘golden days’, and the old mechanics do not impress us anymore. Since there are no other RPG projects like that, which would offer something new and, at the same time, preserve that sense of involvement, it soon became clear that if something you want does not exist, do it yourself.
Having said that, in our game we strive to achieve the combination of legendary RPG titles of the past century, such as Ultima and Baldur’s Gate series, preserving our originality thanks to our unique in-game world, with its own history and life, and quality game mechanics, incomparable with other games, not to mention online RPG’s.
Gameplay somewhat reminds Ultima Online, the core and graphics of which are taken for the basis of the project. There are, however vast differences between the Quintessence and Ultima Online. None of the Ultima Online gameplay aspects were preserved and the gameplay was overwritten from the start. One of the examples is a rogue-like’ish “field of view” feature, and the changes in the movement and system player/mobile speed. Most of that became possible with our own client Shell, which allows us to implement a lot of what has been considered impossible before in UO client. It also became possible to enhance the game graphically, remove sound limitation, increase FPS and perform other great operations.
Following are the major features of the project and directions, which we are taking during the course of our development. It should be noted that in-game world and systems are being constantly developed and enhanced, since it is impossible to accomplish all our goals in a reasonable time and without feedback from our player base.
- Complete overhaul of UO-based mechanics. Literally any feature, including client design, functionality, all of the gameplay elements and overall game design was changed from the core. Not a single feature of Quintessence is but a slight tweak of previously existing mechanics. The project enjoys a vast and complex customization of UO mechanics, including changes in the movement system and speed, introduction of the rogue-like “field of vision”, new sounds and animations, combat and magic mechanics and pretty much everything else. Quintessence heavily customized client is also reliably protected from the outer modding intervention. Which means that UO players that are used to stumps instead of trees or light level filters will now enjoy beautiful forests with new vegetation and fauna, and will actually learn to use torches at night or in dungeons. There is no simple way to describe what a customized Quintessence Client Shell is, but in an attempt to briefly define it, I would say that Client Shell is a new custom tool which made UO: Quintessence possible with all of its new complex mechanics and gameplay. A this point, UO: Quintessence has little to do with ‘UO’, and is oriented towards a larger player audience. It is an attempt to remake Ultima Online, in a way the original developers planned it, while also adding our own ideas and inspirations from many fantastic RPG titles.
- Great in-game world. More than 4x time larger than UO’s original Felucca map, as an example. The world map is highly customized, detailed, diverse, inspiring and, most important, interactive. No longer it is a static piece of land where nothing changes, which includes interactive spawns, political/factional territory controls, limited resources, random events and many more!
- Characters always stay in-game! In case a player log outs, his/her character will move into an NPC form. With an in-game task manager players will be able to set his/her character’s timetable. Thus, “logged out” characters may freely move between locations, sleep, eat, or aimlessly wander around, in case player did not set any timetable.
- No more exhausting grinding! Set your character to work for a certain amount of time and he/she will perform the tasks in the guild, in the mine, forest or anywhere else where production takes place. For obvious reason, this does not apply to PvM.
- In-game characters are exceptionally developed. Each NPC (Non-Player-Character) is not just a walking doll, but a full individual with his/her own history, character and goals. Players can interact with each of them, talk to and find out something new about the world, character itself, other creatures in the area or listen to news and rumors.
- All in-game creatures behave reasonably, according to their unique patterns and behavior. Such as, creatures possess various qualities and can measure environment they interact with, that would trigger behavioral patterns in them – creature will determine whether it should attack, flee, stay away from characters, ignore, act cautiously or friendly et cetera.
- Additionally on the NPC’s. They will not just stay and talk, or sell anything, but live their lives: visit their friends, gossip, argue, rest, play, work and react on the player character, according to his/her actions, place and time of the day.
- A lot of attention is paid to the combat system. The chance of successful hit or damage is not only determined by characters attributes and equipment, but such factors as covers, visibility, body part, which receives the blow, movement speed of a target, targets actions, weather conditions and so on.
- Graphics and sound effects are very diverse. Using own and side resources, together with original one’s, allows us to create unique static and dynamic objects, which upon these days have not been seen in other titles.
- In-game system of Politics. It is possible to be at full service of one of the world rulers, get a title and possess a land – not without consequences! (power comes with responsibility).
- Real economic model. In-game money is not randomly generated in loot of slayed creatures – you have to find other means to earn it! Complex stock market and guild system will provide a supply/demand and a competition-based economy never seen in the field of online gaming before!
- Risk vs Prosperity. Money comes in the hard way given a real economic model. People that choose to live their lives in the highwaymen fashion might get rich quicker than righteous farmers, yet will probably end up in prison or on the guillotine sooner than they will realize it.
- And much more than any other online world could ever offer!
Overall, we have invested into and continue to work a lot on an in-game atmosphere and design. We are using maximum of possible development resources, such as lightening effects, sounds and music, aimed at helping players to dive deep into the game world and really feel themselves in their chosen roles.
We fully understand a difference between a roleplaying game and a theatre. Roleplaying is encouraged, but not strictly required, yet some rules are imposed to limit real-life reference and obtuse discussions. We exercise the idea of detailed roleplaying characters, with possibilities to enhance the game world to support roleplaying guilds, as well as solo roleplayers.
We strongly believe that if we manage to accomplish our ambitions and constantly contribute to the development of the world, we will be able to win every new player, who has decided to give us a shot. You can help us make the dream come true!