EA and BioWare announced the development of Ultima Forever: Quest for the Avatar last year at San Diego Comic-Con. The then BioWare Mythic, who has since divorced itself from BioWare back to just Mythic, was tasked with developing the title. Little was revealed about the game at that time, but a recently posted Gamasutra interview with Mythics Kate Flack helped illuminate a few more details about what's in store for players when they return to Britannia.
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Flack explained that the story of Ultima Forever is set 21 years after the events of Ultima IV and before the following games in the Ultima, allowing the team to create their own timeline and avoid changing any previously established story and lore. One of the more interesting aspects being added to the game also deal with something game developers and enthusiasts alike will be familiar with the Prisoners Dilemma.
We have a thing called an honesty box, which is just the Prisoner's Dilemma, where you're adventuring in a dungeon and there's a chest. You open it up, and you have a choice; I can either share this with the group, which means we all have five gold, or I can take it all for myself. Am I willing to steal from my party? My party's not going to know, but what we do is we take away your honesty because you stole. So it's interesting to figure out whether players will on average steal from each other or whether they will on average share. I don't know how it's going to work out, but we will have that metric; we will know.
In fact, little systems such as this, the virtue points, and other little things look as though they should help create some interesting dynamics for community interaction.
You can read Flacks full interview at Gamasutra to learn more about her work on MUDs and her development plans for the free-to-play action RPG, Ultima Forever: Quest for the Avatar.
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