Lord British...Virtual Ecology

Discussions about Richard Garriott's versions of Ultima.
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Lord British...Virtual Ecology

Post by Djeryv »

This is an old video, but interesting on how Garriott was trying to design the ecology of the game and where it went wrong...


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Re: Lord British...Virtual Ecology

Post by Svovl »

Djeryv wrote: Mon Jan 03, 2022 4:55 am This is an old video, but interesting on how Garriott was trying to design the ecology of the game and where it went wrong...
That was one of the things that blew my mind when I first read about Ultima Online and made me count down the days until it was released.
I read about it before I went to school Thursday morning the 22nd of May 1997 in the weekly computer section of the Danish paper Politiken. I just found the article in the newspaper database of the University where I am working :-D
When I first started playing I think I was too overwhelmed with everything to notice that they had disabled this part of the game.

Here's a quote from the article (Google translated from Danish):
The game's built-in economy can also be felt if a city's population has cleared the area around the city of cattle and other edibles. The roaming dragons of the area go mad with hunger and begin to attack the city to suck the marrow out of the bones of the inhabitants.
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Re: Lord British...Virtual Ecology

Post by Iain »

Yeah, didn't they also want to do something similar with other resources and gold?
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Re: Lord British...Virtual Ecology

Post by ExodusDoom »

I do remember in the very early days of the game, that vendors would only buy your crafted goods for so long before they didn't want anymore of them. I think people bitched about not being able to sell their items because some other players already oversaturated the market with theirs so they removed that feature.

Controlling a virtual economy would start with something like, "this world has exactly 1,000,000 gold coins" and that is all there is. Once established, then you have to convince people to go collect gold and then spend it on virtual vendors, where it can then go back into the monster loot pool. Online virtual games don't work like that so they eventually crumble, because players would be pissed if they couldn't find anymore gold on monsters because some dude took 500,000 and put it in their castle and never spends it.

So when people like Adam Ant state that his server has a good economy because he tries not to make gold out of thin air, well, that probably only helps the economy from going nuts too soon.
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Re: Lord British...Virtual Ecology

Post by Russianranger »

I actually saw this video only a couple months back. It's really interesting to see an idea that would be considered immersive in this day and age just get upended in a matter of days upon launch. But, as someone mentioned in the comments, the fact of the matter was you gained skill just as easily on the rabbits/deer as you did the wolves and the bears. For newer/weaker characters, there was a definitive boon to slaughtering the herbivores from the get-go. If the herbivores didn't provide skill gain, and the carnivores did, then it would have lent to players leaving the little bunnies be. If the reward for hunting deer was limited to just being able to harvest some meat to save a few coins from having to buy it at the cook, then you'd stave off the majority of players from taking out the smaller fauna. You'd still probably have some bored players still hunting them, but its all about incentive.
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Re: Lord British...Virtual Ecology

Post by LadyEternity »

Richard was my hero growing up and I always enjoy watching his video's. His Ultima games have always been my favorites. I think The Black Gate and Serpent Isle were the best. Pagan was okay. I actually really enjoyed Ascension. Went through it 4 times, bugs and all. :lol:

It's interesting how players can break well thought-out systems. I find it fascinating. Players will never behave in a totally predictable manner. This is probably why Alpha/Beta tests and stress tests became a thing. To be fair, if the initial launch of UO would have had the shards and server caps they probably could have left the systems in. I believe it was the 'too many players' which caused the problem. World of Warcraft's use of instancing in zone area's was imo a clever fix for player crowding. Imagine if just that simple tech would have been in the launch of UO.
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