But a complete reiteration of the classic game, such as what
NetDevil is doing with Jumpgate, could allow the hundreds and thousands
of gamers to return to the icy halls of Halas or the verdant fields of
Qeynos. A Norrath – and not the pseudo version that belongs
to Everquest 2
– complete with a modern graphics engine would be something
to behold and would probably make shake with excitement. Advanced AI
systems would allow those pesky gnolls to be even peskier and go out of
their way to kill adventurers that are waiting on the ramp in
Blackburrow. Spectres and Sand Giants alike would roam the hills of the
Oasis, looking for adventurers to destroy.
The problem, however, lies in the players still adventuring in
the Norrathian lands. This is where Jumpgate Evolution holds an
immediately recognizable advantage over the other older games. While
Jumpgate was not popular with a multitude of people, Everquest and its
brethren were and many remain steadfast in their loyalty to this day.
What would developers do with those individuals who wouldn’t
give up their maxed out character that owns loot from every plane of
UO: Kingdom Reborn hopes to draw UO fans back to the
game with an improved graphics engine.
Despite this problem, there could be a simple solution to the
dilemma. Give gamers that are still interacting in the old world a
chance to fill out a quick questionnaire and ask them if they would
mind abandoning their character in the hopes of returning to an
entirely repopulated Norrath. Developers could reciprocate those
players with some sort of bonus, item, or title depending upon their
characters and their level in the old game, but I doubt that there
would be any hesitancy to see a reforged Norrath go live in the MMOG
And Everquest is only one example. Several MMOGs are still
functioning in the mainstream marketplace today and they are crawling
towards that sixth, seventh, and eighth year of existence.
There is another group that is overhauling there original
game, and that’s href="http://www.uoherald.com/kingdomreborn/overview.php">EA
Mythic and Ultima Online.
However, there are a number of differences between style="font-style: italic;">Ultima Online: Kingdom Reborn
and Jumpgate Evolution.
With NetDevil’s space combat sim, gamers are being introduced
to an entirely new game, redeveloped from the ground up to be true to
veteran players, but to also introduce new players to the style="font-style: italic;"> Jumpgate series.
The team behind Ultima
Online: Kingdom Reborn decided to opt for a less thorough
upgrade of their game, and instead are simply reforging the graphics,
implementing some new features, and redeveloping the new player
experience for the title. For many UO fans that have gone out of their
old Brittanian homes, this sort of overhaul simply isn’t
enough. To get old players, you need to play to their nostalgia, but
also include something that will make them sit back and consider that
this isn’t exactly the game they played years ago.
Other games, like Dark
Age of Camelot and
Everquest, have href="http://www.trialsofatlantis.com/features.php">tried
this "graphics ugrade only" approach in years past, but there
never seems to be a href="http://everquest.station.sony.com/luclin.jsp">huge
response to the improvements. We never see the publisher
announcing enormous sales figures after a graphics enhancement
expansion, and you probably never will. The gamer might want better
graphics, but they also want improved gameplay as well.
Unlike the Kingdom Reborn enhancement to UO, I think that the
games of yesteryear should be remade completely and turned into games
that are familiar yet new, changed yet vaguely reminiscent of what our
initial gaming days were like. Other licenses – mainly old
cartoons – continue to refresh their looks and develop
another new group of patrons while still holding the interest of past
fans. Shows like
Joe, and Teenage
Mutant Ninja Turtles prove again and again that their old
market value remains high despite a fresh set of legs every other year.
For many gamers, we’re anxiously awaiting the
response that the revisioned Jumpgate
will have. If players come flocking to the servers and instantly dive
into the games new and improved content and features, we may begin to
see a host of older games begin taking a new look at their future
expansion plans. Instead of continuing to add content to an aging game,
perhaps they could just remake that aged game into something tremendous
and save their dying game from an eventual grave.
Ten Ton Hammer is your
source for editorials
about the MMOG industry!
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