The Ultima Forever: Quest for the Avatar Website & Facebook Page Are Live

BioWare Mythic’s Ultima Forever portal has seen some…changes…in the last few hours.

Specifically, the former feature of the site — a brief history of the Ultima series — has been replaced with a registration form and splash page for something called Ultima Forever: Quest for the Avatar. Which, I suspect, we may well be hearing more about tomorrow! A brand new Facebook page for the game has also been launched, although there is precious little there in the way of content at present. Even the main website only bears this cryptic text:

The first great Western RPG has been lovingly restored in Ultima Forever – return to the Ultima series in BioWare’s new cross-platform action RPG. Accept the challenge from Lady British and save the land of Britannia. Play as the Fighter or the Mage and travel alone or with friends, restore virtue and become the Avatar!

Why not register for the upcoming beta today? And also, be sure to check out the Ultima Codex’s mostly-finished Ultima Forever portal, and the handful of pieces of Quest for the Avatar-related art that we’ve been able to amass thus far.

34 Responses

  1. unacomn says:

    “Accept the challenge from Lady British”

    Well, that’s unexpected :D
    For some reason, I still envision that character as having a bead.

    • WtF Dragon says:

      Well, it’s not like they could use “Lord British”; that is still Garriott’s trademark.

      • unacomn says:

        The fact that EA got out trademarked is probably the funniest thing I’ve heard all year.

        I hope this turns out to be good. The “Action RPG” part isn’t really floating my boat.

      • WtF Dragon says:

        It’s kind of old news. Garriott has always jealously guarded the name “Lord British”, and didn’t license it to EA, Sierra, or anyone else that ever published Ultima games.

  2. Sergorn says:

    That’s… rather weird.

    Why putting up a site for a project that as yet to be announced ? (Altough it seems the annoucement is gonna happen today)

  3. Thepal says:

    What I find weirdest is the complete lack of content on the site. It’s just so empty. And just listing two classes (as if they are just for combat) seems like the wrong way to go. They should have attacked the fandom with bucket laods of lore.

  4. Ecthelion says:

    Well.. Well… It looks very.. Ummm, kiddish.. I bet the fighter and mage screenshots there are taken from in game, if that is the case, NO THANKS!!! It’s obviously very low budget..

    However, I always imagined the next Ultima game if there was one to be a console game and having a good budget, but hell, it’s EA, they ruin pretty much every great franchise, I always imagined it would be a fable-like game that was very, very non-linear like in UO, this doesn’t appear to be the case now.. :(

  5. Duke says:

    If they want to appeal to/reassure the Ultima fanbase then this is REALLY not a good start. The artwork at the top looks nice enough but then the most exciting thing they have to tell us is that there are a whole TWO character classes.. Each of which has the most generic description possible… And maybe this is just me, but what is the deal with gigantic swords? That’s just absurd.

    Now I know we can’t really infer anything much about the gameplay from this but it’s just such a bad first impression.

    • Thepal says:

      The two character classes would just be the start. Remember, they are just in alpha stage at the moment (once Beta comes along I’m sure there will be more). But I agree with the giant sword comment… I can’t think of anything weirder than stumbling upon Sir Geoffrey and finding out he is an enormous man with a giant sword.

      • Dungy says:

        Sir Geoffrey WAS an enormous man. Ultima IV describes him as being 6 foot 5.

      • Thepal says:

        There’s a difference between being 6’5″ and being 8’5″ and wider than a tank.

      • Duke says:

        Yeah, I’m sure they’re planning on adding more classes and that kinda makes it even more strange to just come out and advertise just those two. As I said before – bad first impression.

      • Sergorn says:

        I honestly expect the game will have the Eight traditionnal Ultima classes.

        Now perhaps the game will start with only the two classes being showcased here and they’ll add more, or perhaps they already have other classes but they plan to reveal them gradually, but we’ll see.

        Either I see other classes happening in any case

    • Micro Magic says:

      TBH, how many classes were in ultima 6? Or 7? Or 8… I never saw Ultima as being a stat heavy rpg. Strength, Dexterity, Intelligence. Fighter, Archer, Mage. Besides, by the end you had maxed out in all stats and were totally bad-ass and cross class anyway.

  6. mark says:

    I can see why attracting new players is a must for them, since most real classic ultima fans are 30+.
    But really, this art looks like it is targetted at 12 year olds. Are they capable of enjoying the nuance of what made an ultima unique. Probably not.

    • WtF Dragon says:

      My 10 year-old self would dispute your assertion. Many here came to Ultima at a young age, and it left a very powerful impression on us during those tender years.

      Also, there may be another reason for the low-fi graphics. If the game is indeed announced today, we may end up learning more about it. Or, at least, such is my hope.

      • Sergorn says:

        Yeah, when I was 12 years old I was playing Underworld II and Serpent Isle and I was much younger than that when I discovered this series.

      • Duke says:

        I doubt any Ultima fan would be overly troubled by low-fi graphics and I assume it’s intended to look and play the same across multiple platforms, so somewhat primitive graphics are to be expected. But you have to separate graphics quality from artistic design. I… well I could say a lot more about this but I guess I’m not allowed to… yet. However, I do worry that those characters on the website look just so generic. I feel as though I’ve seen them a million times before in a million bland fantasy games.

        Aargh! So many other things I want to say!!

  7. mark says:

    12 year old of today is quite a bit different than the 12 year old of 1988, imho.

  8. mark says:

    In availability of entertainment for instance. I grew up on taped national geographic specials because cartoons were only in Saturday am. Kids now have multiple 24 hour channels devoted to them. How many 12 year olds would take the effort necessary to beat u5?

    • Duke says:

      And honestly how many do you think could have been bothered to do it in 1988? I doubt there would actually be that much difference. I would say that you were in a minority then, just as similar kids would be in a minority now.

  9. Micro Magic says:

    All I have to say is, if they’re call it ‘Quest of the Avatar’ it has some pretty big shoes to fill. If the lore holds stronger than u9, and the game play is similar, albeit not as frustrating as u4. I’ll be pretty dern happy.

    I’m kinda surprised the avatar has a beard and not glowingly blonde hair and presumably blue eyes. I guess they’re going for a slightly different demographic… which is fine.

    At least the mage has a cape! Thank GAWD! That is honestly so important to me to see the Avatar with a cape. He’s straight up not an Avatar without a cape. I guess I know which class I’m going to play as.

    Lady British eh? Maybe that’s the heir to the throne from Lord British’s death note in u7? She better be smokin’ hot…

    Oh, HEY! LOOK! BALLOONS!

  10. DCT says:

    Well it’s nice too see that people are being a bit more open minded about it then elsewhere. Most places all I see is sheathing nerd rage over nothing really. Well nothing yet anyway. I mean so what it’s a free to play game? big whoop, I see people acting like Richard wouldn’t be doing the same damn thing if he still owned the Ultima ip or that they wouldn’t be up in arms if it was a “AAA” RPG which let’s be honest is a bunch of bull because they would at either when it’s announced or when footage breaks no Ultima game done now would not result in a giant mass of whining and complaining. Oh Bioware is making it, Mass Effect 3 sucked so this one sucks,EA killed Ultima and now are going to molest it’s corpse, Obisdian oh Obsidian can’t make a good game so Ultima is going to suck, EA killed Ultima and now are yada, yada, yada. I know why they do it but like it or not no game done now will ever be the same Ultima we had back then no matter who owns it or makes it.

    Just had to get that off my chest. As for this I’m keeping a open mind about it at best I hope that it takes the core ideas and the things that made from Quest of the avatar so special adds in a more modern action based combat and more modern gameplay and questing like instead of just putzing around asking people where the rune and then just finding it laying around somewhere or worse in the corner of a forge and you actually have to earn it by completing a virtue related quest like say Valor,if you want the rune of Valor you have to show your valor by braving the cyclopes cave or something along those lines.

    • Sergorn says:

      Heh I think there’s a reason we’re more open minded here, though I’m not sure we can talk about it.

      That being said, I agree with what you say. The truth is I don’t think EA could do anything with EA that would be received with enthusiasm by gamers, no matter what. Had EA announced a AAA Ultima RPG by Bioware Edmonton, rather than a F2P RPG by Bioware Mythic… there’d still be a lot of the same nerd rage.

      And yeah people going about how it will suck without Garriott, how HE should be a new Ultima and so tend to make me chuckles: because we all know what Richard Garriott would be doing. He’d be doing the exact same thing he is doing now: a social media/tablet/mobile-based Ultima Online successor, except with the Ultima name instead of the New Britannia working title. And people would be raging just as much except they’d go “LORD BRITISH IS RUINING ULTIMA!”

      • DCT says:

        Yeah I kinda had that feeling after I posted that there was a reason for the more open minded atmosphere here.

        Still it does get tiring seeing all the knee jerk nerd raging over everything that even looks slighty diffrent or does something new when you reach at certain point in your life. It is one of the reasons why I stopped bothering with most competitive fighting game community hubs save for checking the dates for events because of all the silly nerd rage that goes on those like “Oh MK9 isn’t UMK3 with new graphics” RaGe! and other silly things like that.

        Not saying that this game will be any good, nor that it will be really awful as I have no experience with it yet, when I do then I will make my judgement and if it’s crap then I will just write it off and ignore it.

  11. mark says:

    I don’t think it takes budget anymore. Look at the new kickstarter projects painstakingly recreating classics. I bet wasteland will get the tone and art direction right.

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