Two Interviews with Paul Barnett about Ultima Forever

Kotaku and both interviewed Paul Barnett. Both interviews discuss what U4E is and isn’t.

I don’t want to repost excerpts as I’m doing that quite a bit as is, so the Ultima Forever portal links are below. If you are logged in here, you are logged in there can comment there just as easily. articles interview with Paul Barnett
Kotaku interview with Paul Barnett

20 Responses

  1. Marquillin says:

    Pretty exciting; about as good as I hoped from all the rumors, though I hope one can play it offline as well (and not be dependent on their servers staying up). Mutiplayer sounds intriguing though, it’d be pretty cool to go back to Britania with my older brothers. I wonder if only one of you can become the Avatar, cause then it’s much more of a competitive/cooperative type of game, but one where you need to stay humble!

    “The story itself is quite literally a reboot on Ultima IV. It begins 21 years after that title ended, with Lady British now on the thrown in place of her father Lord British.”

    Is it just me or is that there a contradiction? If you say it begins years after the other one, that makes it sound quite literally a sequel to Ultima IV.

    As for Lady British, I suppose that’s due to Richard Garriot owning the rights to his digital persona. I’ll be able to live with that, convert him to a dude in my mind, but I hope they otherwise want to maintain history with the series.

    Seems like a bold move making the payment optional. Hopefully it’s as good as it sounds and it proves fun and lucrative enough for all parties.

    “Every generation deserves an Ultima,”
    Well said Paul.

  2. Ah, E.A. really is the kiss of the spider woman for good franchises, isn’t it? Origin was gutted and destroyed when E.A. acquired it, and then the ultima franchise went to hell. Then Bioware got gutted and Mass Effect… well, I needn’t say any more.

    So, of course, the most logical step in E.A’s progression to destroy franchises is two mash a franchise they destroyed over ten years ago and put a company they destroyed very recently in charge of it. Brilliant!

    Because, you know, nothing says “Ultima” to me than a cartoony Diablo clone. And on top of all they’ve got Paul Barnett, the Patron Saint of failed projects and false promises, on board… this is going to be a disaster

    • Micro Magic says:

      “Paul told me rather matter-of-factly that Ultima Forever (U4E) is aiming to be quite literally a re-imagining of Ultima IV, hellbent on bringing the Ultima series to a new era, for a new audience, while retaining its roots and pleasing its legions of hardcore fans.”

      -If- they pull this off, would that make you happy?

      • Maus Merryjest says:

        Considering that it’s being described as a Diablo clone? I will eat my words and my hat if they equal the quality of game that Ultima IV was in storytelling levels. I know there’s a better chance of the third Worlds of Ultima game to be published than for EA to actually pull an Ultima game off.
        Remember Paul’s song and dance hyping up Warhammer Online?

      • Duke says:

        Who has described it as a Diablo clone?

      • MausMerryjest says:

        It doesn’t take a rocket science to put two and two together, specially considering the market trend, what recent franchise has released a game, and EA’s propensity for targeting the least common denominator. You really think they’re going to go for an involved and deep system, versus a clickfest? They’re going for the casual audiences.

      • Duke says:

        So it hasn’t been described as a Diablo clone then.. You’re just assuming it is.

      • Maus Merryjest says:

        It’s a safe bet. Time will prove one of us right and wrong… but looking at the track record, as I’ve said… I honestly can’t see a single reason to get excited.

      • Bedwyr says:

        @Maus: Put… two and two together? Market trend? Look, Duke’s right. You’re making really strong generalizations not backed up by facts. If you’re predicting a Diablo clone, fine. Just don’t throw it out there as a certainty.

      • Thepal says:

        “equal the quality of game that Ultima IV was in storytelling levels”

        Really? πŸ˜› The later Ultimas might have had good stories, but Ultima IV didn’t have much besides the overall ideas. You went to the towns and there were mostly just random people with a few lines of random dialogue (which often fit in about as much as space shuttles).

        Y’know, if they did just ignore everything after Ultima IV and made a new game off of that… from what I know of Ultima Forever, it actually isn’t that bad a follow-up. And I guess that is their idea. Go back to the start, and create a different branch of the series.

      • Micro Magic says:

        I’ve shared your concerns about Mythic’s record in the past. Personally, I didn’t like DAoC, nor any other rpg for that matter.

        Gotta remember, there’s a new CEO in charge over at EA; sitting in Castle Grayskull as we speak. The lead designer has also not the same as War Hammer or DAoC. So the team isn’t exactly the same. Unless they’re there just to change Barnett’s diapers and refill his food bowl and water dish as he works like a machine.

        To me, it’s telling that they officially announce Ultima Forever by also having a sign up for the open BETA. Perhaps they want feedback from Ultima fans on how to make sure it feels the most Ultima.

    • Duke says:

      Maybe wait till you know a little more? I really don’t get this sort of response. A little skepticism is justifiable but really, their intentions are good and wouldn’t it be fantastic if they actually achieved what they are attempting?

      • MausMerryjest says:

        It’s speaking from experience and history. EA’s record (The Ultima abominations), Bioware’s record under EA (sub-par Mass Effect games) and Paul’s record (Warhammer?)– I’m sorry, but there’s not a single shred of competence there.

      • Bedwyr says:

        The degree and stridency of your certainty causes me to give you very little credence, I’m afraid.

      • MausMerryjest says:

        It’s speaking from experience and history. EA’s record (The Ultima abominations), Bioware’s record under EA (sub-par Mass Effect games) and Paul’s record (Warhammer?)– I’m sorry, but there’s not a single shred of competence there.

        The best intentions don’t make up for their track records.

  3. Micro Magic says:

    Out of curiosity. Does anyone know if it was Thomas Edison or Thomas Jefferson who had the ethics chart? I’m speaking of one of Richard Garriott’s influences on creating the virtue system. One or the other had a chart of virtues they would write down which ones they practiced from day to day. Just wondering, does anyone know which person it was… those two damn Tom’s get me confused…

    • Bedwyr says:

      I think you’re recalling Ben Franklin who basically originated the LifeHacker way of living in the US. His and other founding fathers’ sources varied but commonly you’d see Cicero and Thomas Aquinas’s cardinal virtues. Maybe Aristotle’s ethics.

  4. Kindbud_Dragon says:

    Been lurking a few months and now with this news, I’m not sure what to think. On another forum, at least three folks in alpha didn’t really care for what it was.

    If you go by the comments to the interviews on the respective sites, there is not a whole lot of love for either this venture, Bioware-Mythic, EA or for Mr. Barnett. Judging by Paul’s comments on literature and cinema, I’d assume this entry might not be made just for the casual gamer but the lobotomized one as well.

    To be fair, I’ve tried playing through Ultima IV again and, yes, the narrative I created in my mind is the story I treasure. Everything else counted towards fulfilling a virtue counter and lots of xp grinding. However, having a Bioware story doesn’t offer much either since its usually stale formulaic crap in my opinion. Perhaps we can have lesbian sex with our online friends since romance is a requisite? One can only hope.

    Personally, I’d rather wait on U6P 1.1, UIX:Redemption, and the Serpent Isle remake, rather than something that is more likely miss than hit. Oh, yeah, and the XCOM remake from Firaxis (I really hope that doesn’t suck).

    BTW WTF, I like how the site is less cluttered looking now.

  5. Blu3vib3 says:

    I’m actually rather excited about this. I didn’t terribly like the Age of Enlightenment trilogy (I know… I’m a philistine), and most of the enjoyment I got out of Ultima IV came from developing an elaborate head-canon around the sparsely defined characters, rather than dealing with the grindtastic and often boring combat (Not being able to flee without losing Valor made the whole process feel like a chore rather than an adventure).

    While I’m pretty certain I won’t like all of the ways in which Ultima Forever will expand on the world of Ultima IV, I’m curious to see where people will go with it. I like new takes on things in general when they aren’t straight adaptations and I think I’ll enjoy seeing how artists re-interpret the game.

    I also must admit that I take some impish pleasure in whining regarding Lady British. Given the sub-par treatment female Avatars got throughout the original series, I find it rather refreshing to see a genderswap going in the other direction.