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Why Are There No Popular Ultima Online-Like MMOs? 480

eldavojohn writes "I have a slightly older friend who played through the glory days of Ultima Online. Yes, their servers are still up and running, but he often waxes nostalgic about certain gameplay functions of UO that he misses. I must say that these aspects make me smile and wonder what it would be like to play in such a world — things like housing, thieving and looting that you don't see in the most popular massively multiplayer online games like World of Warcraft. So, I've followed him through a few games, including Darkfall and now Mortal Online. And these (seemingly European developed) games are constantly fading into obscurity and never catching hold. We constantly move from one to the next. Does anyone know of a popular three-dimensional game that has UO-like rules and gameplay? Perhaps one that UO players gravitated to after leaving UO? If you think that the very things that have been removed (housing and thieving would be two good topics) caused WoW to become the most popular MMO, why is that? Do UO rules not translate well to a true 3D environment? Are people incapable of planning for corpse looting? Are players really that inept that developers don't want to leave us in control of risk analysis? I'm familiar with the Bartle Test but if anyone could point me to more resources as to why Killer-oriented games have faded out of popularity, I'd be interested."

Comment Re:Role Playing (Score 1) 241

What are key things to keep in mind when designing a homebrew pen and paper system?

It's unlikely to be played outside your gaming group (if at all), so scratch your own itch.
Keep Godel's (First) Incompleteness Theorem in mind.
You get a really neat set of results by rolling 2d6 + 1d6*3.

Comment Re:Urban Planning (Score 1) 91

No, the Oxy Moron is the person who hires an urban planner.

No, the Oxy Moron is someone who does urban planning without hiring a trained urban planner. Most of the bad results you see are the result of letting other considerations (usually short-term financial or political) override livability.

(Disclaimer: I have an undergraduate degree in geography, specializing in urban and regional planning. However, I am not a certified urban planner.)

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