Broadsword just announced Ultima Online: New Legacy on its 23rd birthday

    
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Broadsword just announced Ultima Online: New Legacy on its 23rd birthday

We’re updating this post with the big news down at the bottom!

All year, Broadsword’s been teasing something big for Ultima Online, which we’ve been assuming just has to be the long-delayed Steam launch. And we do mean long-delayed: As we’ve previously noted, the game was greenlit for Steam in 2014, back when Steam greenlighting still existed, but we were led to believe that EA (which licenses the game to Broadsword, which itself is a spin-out of the old Mythic team) was preventing it from actually happening. With EA’s recent about-face on Steam and SWTOR’s launch there, a launch may finally be imminent.

Maybe it’s not that, but we’re about to find out either way, as the game is celebrating 23 years online today, and Broadsword is running a live event to announce whatever it is and toast the seminal MMORPG. “To celebrate the 23rd Anniversary of Ultima Online and make an exciting announcement we would like to invite everyone to a special live stream event on September 24, 2020 at 1pm ET,” the team announced last week. The stream further suggests it’s a “much anticipated next big project.” We’ll be updating this post with this highlights, or you can watch along with us!

Source: Official site. Cheers, Panagiotis and Zeph!

Update
Broadsword just announced Ultima Online: New Legacy. Nope, it’s not a sequel or an expansion or a Steam launch; it’s a brand-new shard, but it’s not just a copypasta “fresh start” server or a “classic” shard (this is not, for example, going to be like the existing Siege Perilous hardcore shard).

The goal of the new shard is to allow players to experience the nostalgia of entering the game world, with a focus on onboarding brand-new players to the game. Yes, they’ve clearly been listening to complaints about the difficulty of starting up in a game this old and the current lackluster tutorial. New Legacy has a totally new ruleset, “getting back to the core” of the RPG, with changes to much of the original gameplay to make it more intuitive and immersive – like the skill system, which will still exist but won’t be exactly the same. The gear stat system will also be simplified. Players will not be able to transfer to the New Legacy shard, though it sounds as if the shard will have seasonal phases that will allow players to move from New Legacy to prodo shards.

Existing servers will continue on as they are, so if you’re an existing player, you don’t need to panic. Broadsword’s Bonnie Armstrong emphasized that the team is focused on embracing the game’s heritage, not gutting it, so dramatic changes to the game (like art) aren’t on the table. Counselors and Seers will not be returning, just GMs and EGMs. No release date is being announced; there will not be an extra cost. Free-to-play accounts will able to access the new shard, though they will not be able to place houses. And yes, it’ll work with both clients (yay!).

As for PvP, Broadsword said that it doesn’t have any plans to allow for a gankbox, as the game’s old school gankbox gameplay helped neither the population nor the community, as most veteran players know. However, the team says it’s trying to “thread the needle” by allowing some form of PvP in the world, though it doesn’t sound as if there will be separate Trammel and Felucca facets.

Worth noting is that the six folks in the stream image above? That’s the entire Ultima Online team. Six people. Puts all the content from the last few years in perspective, yeah?

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Pepperzine
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Pepperzine

Was really hopeful it’d be a sequel :(

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Croquantes

There’s always Shroud of the Avatar to cure you of your longing

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Mahyar Goodarzi

This is great news for someone like me who never had the chance to get into UO. I hated not knowing what not to do next, how to make money, what to kill. I personally need the hold my hand until I hit a high level so I can enjoy the game. Every time I would try UO I would say this is just too boring or I don’t know what to do next. Right now I’m giving Legends of Aria a shot because it’s a good homage to UO but it’s not quite the same.

I am looking forward to this and will be keeping an eye out.

Thank you UO team.

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squid

Still far more interested in Legends of Ultima. I think they should have pitched this as simplified UO and not “newbie island” UO. Keep it persistent, remove the bloat and get back to the game’s sandbox roots.

I love UO and I’ve played the absolute shit out of it since ’97 (easily 5000+ hours, on classic PRS post-Renaissance), but official servers are just a mess. Too many content patches have sunk the game.

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PanagiotisLial1

I wonder if the team of 6 devs and artists works on both games Broadsword publishes

Zeph
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Zeph

I really wanted to be excited about this, but I’m mostly just confused. A seasonal/temporary UO shard sounds like a bad idea. Who wants to build up a character, get a house, and then have to move all of that over at the end? The community that builds up on that shard just goes away as well.

Maybe it’ll work out for them, but I just don’t see it. It’s certainly not for me.

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Blake

Yea I’m kind of unsure how I feel myself right now.

Seasonal servers (seems like a year long thing) might be interesting but you’re right, any community formed during that year will just evaporate as the shard is imploded and characters move off to the production servers. Of course that can be mitigated by forming outside of UO (discord, etc.) and then reforming on whatever the Season 2 shard ends up being.

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Blake

Oh and boy do I feel bad for Levitica … cringy chat idiots … ugh.

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Blake

From the way Greg Havlusch is talking it sounds like it might be quite a bit ways off. They have ideas they want to share.