Why Trammel was created - Forum post from Gordon Walton

Discussion in 'Era Discussion' started by Alvien, Aug 23, 2019.

  1. Alvien

    Alvien Active Member

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  2. One

    One Well-Known Member
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    Different games really, pre and post-Trammel.

    Before Trammel it was, in contravention of some other philiosophies, a "sociopath simulator". People killed, and stole, and lived for it because it was a competition without actual existential peril. UO is, to the best of my knowledge, the only game that's ever really done this and that's why it's never been equaled.

    Consensual PvP has been the rule of the day since, and it makes most other games boring to me.

    But one day there will be something like UO again. An actual fully fledged fantastic environment which includes a complete and persistent environment of risk.
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  3. Earsnot

    Earsnot Well-Known Member
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    Do we have a street address for this guy?
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  4. Pedigar

    Pedigar Active Member

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    Trammel was inevitable in a game that was for profit. UO was bleeding players due to an extreme onslaught of butthurt because in this game they could be killed, looted, insulted and whatever. While many hardcore Ultima fans could deal with it, a lot of people would rather play another game than deal with the risk of everything they had being stolen or their day ruined by getting pk'd.

    Trammel was how they stopped the bleeding from being a gaping wound to a few papercuts. Thats not an endorsement of it, but money talks and if people's sociopathic tendencies were cutting into EA's bottom line, the easy thing to do is keep them from doing said things via Trammel and risk alienating some hardcore fans in favor of thousands more new players who might stick around a few months longer.
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  5. The Professional

    The Professional New Member

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    Thanks for posting this, it was a pretty interesting reading through his posts and getting a look inside this game's life. I know people were upset about the change but reading his story there is no question that it was effective. They saw a 2x subscriber count and many were more likely to stay on for a year or two of sub time.

    I also liked someone trying to make the argument that if the PvP pop was 1/2 but was more loyal how could it be worth it, however he reiterated that the hardcore PvP population was small (didnt give a number but leads me to believe it must be single digits) so catering to them, while they are very vocal, is a foolish business strategy because there just aren't that many.

    The biggest problem with a game like this, as he mentioned, is that the "wolves" only want to hunt "sheep" and when they are left only fighting other wolves they aren't having fun. They are looking to bully easy targets, not PvP...the sheep in this case get virtually nothing out of the relationship. Tough problem to solve for if you want an audience that isn't numbering in the thousands instead of hundreds of thousands or millions. Could get away with this early on with such a new genre the sheep were getting a totally new experience out of a world and couldn't go elsewhere but as soon as new options arrived they flocked elsewhere.

    This era of UO will always hold a place in my heart but I don't think it will ever be commercially viable, at least not with this degree of freedom. Looks like he is making a new game and it is true that today a smaller game can exist but I suspect in any environment where they want to keep making money they will need new players and run into the same issue.
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  6. One

    One Well-Known Member
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    I agree with all of the above, I think. Although what I've hoped for in response is a system that incentivizes hunting murderers and makes PKing risky enough to hold its incidence at a reasonable threshold.

    Where the balance lies differs from person to person based on their appreciation of risk and bloodthirstiness, but I would say it's appropriate for the average player to encounter a PK about once every 5 hours of farming and actually be killed about 20% of those times. Of course newbies would die more often and vets would die less, but y'all get the idea.

    Indeed, the prospect of striking such a balance is daunting to the point of near-impossibility.

    Many years ago I proposed a system in which Forensic Analysts could use a murdered corpse, or piece thereof, to get sextant coordinates for the murderer.

    Similarly, I proposed (though I was not the first one) a system where murderers or those who kill them would have to pay twice the bounty on their heads in order to resurrect (capped at, ~500,000gp), negating the value of claiming their own bounties.

    Of course, like 99.9% of my ideas, these went nowhere. In fact I was told that people would use these systems to "grief PKs" which I thought was a ludicrous idea.

    Nevertheless it's interesting to think about how a balance superior to just turning the game into a pillow fight might have been struck.
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  7. Kermit

    Kermit Well-Known Member
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    Merdian 59 was more hardcore about PVP i'd say.
    So is the 4th prophecy game.

    Trammel was a good idea for the cash money.
    To many cheater during the start for normal people to endure it.
  8. Lightshade

    Lightshade Well-Known Member
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    I'm pretty harsh in my opinion of the whole "trammel" thing. So there's my warning. :p Yes, i'm still angry about it after all these years. What they truly killed with Trammel was the NEED of others. That NEED drove player interaction. That NEED made it as close to a real world as is possible in a video game. Everything since then has been a treadmill.

    • Subscriptions were NOT hemorrhaging due to rampant griefing, stealing, and PK'ing. The actual data did not support this.

      Help requests were spiking in regards to this, though, for the BRAND NEW players. Lot's of the typical, "I'm quitting if you don't change everything to suit my wishes and give me all my stuff back" threats that everyone pulls when they're angry.

      Lots of BRAND NEW players did quit without giving the game a true go. The ones that stuck it out became lifers....as no one actually quits UO. They just take breaks from time to time.

      The perceived problem with the griefing was also a communication issue and the spiking popularity of EverQuest at that time. A large portion were going into the game expecting to be coddled because of experiences in EverQuest and the rest simply had no idea what was coming.

      To me, this was a communication breakdown on Origin/EA's part more than anything. This was a pretty new concept in the gaming world and would take some time to get some people used to it. I don't think they ever actually gave it a fair shake and still await another game that does.

      As far as the people that wanted another game....well, that didn't really work out for UO.

      i would be interested in the general numbers of people that try a game, hate something about it, and move on across the board compared to the number of people that tried UO in this period, hated something about it, and moved on. I doubt there'd be a large disparity....especially if you put it against the release of another large game at the exact same period. I think they jumped the gun on this one, but unfortunately....we will never know.

      [​IMG]

    • Trammel, as a ruleset, was never successful in driving up subscription numbers.

      NEVER.

      House ownership changes and subsequent changes that encouraged multiple accounts were responsible for this. BoD's, etc... It was NOT Trammel.

      This former developer is full of crap and his motives seem to be self-serving....

      The growth numbers actually started to flatten with the release of Trammel....and then returned to their pre-trammel levels during the winter of that year before essentially flat-lining indefinitely forevermore.........aside from a few spikes around releases.

      The model with Trammel, and thereafter, was to introduce systems and items that encouraged people to start buying up more accounts for themselves.
    • The "I got griefed and rez-killed a million times and hated everything about UO then and I know from experience" guy is full of crap or insane.

      First off, its human nature to focus on that which is "wrong" if you never resolved the issue, worked through it, and got past it in a constructive and appropriate manner. "I Quit" is not a constructive and appropriate manner.

      Secondly, if you seriously kept doing the same thing over and over, kept getting the same results, and expected the entire paradigm of the world to change for your inability to come up with another path forward, then you were the problem.....not the game. That, and you're insane given some people's definition.
    Last edited: Sep 8, 2019
  9. Chadarius

    Chadarius Member
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    @Lightshade I agree with your assessment. The data doesn't back up their fears at the time.

    I would rather have 250k hard core players than 250k perma-newbs who all rage quit when they aren't allowed feel L33t enough. It was a horrible idea and it turned the game into a single-player circle jerk.

    UO2 was an stupid idea. It had just as much to do with the stunting of UO as Trammel did. UO Pre-Trammel is still one of the best MMORPG experiences you can ever have. No one has really replicated it since (except here!).

    I don't have the time to sink into the game like I used to. Its a shame really. Building real relationships in game because you had to depend on others to survive and get things done will make any MMO better. I was lucky to be a part of about a dozen guilds that were all part of an alliance and a town called Aryslan on Chessy. It was the bomb.

    One of the best nights we ever had was when we held a huge fighting tournament that was well attended (60 something people). After the first 20 minutes or so a huge group of PKs attacked. We called in all our allies. The PKs called in reinforcements and we battled for the next hour or so. It was... awesome! Bloodbath on both sides. Role players got a great taste of some hard core PvP. The town earned some respect from the PK's. We even opened some nice lines of communication with them. Something that could never happen once Trammel wrecked the game.

    All the role players abandoned Felucca to Trammel. The alliances and the towns all fell apart. No one needed them anymore, The PKs lost interest. There was no one left to kill. Felucca became a boring wasteland and so did Trammel. I called it CareBear Land. I quit soon after. The only game that came close was Star Wars Galaxies but Sony ruined that game too. Ugh!

    Thankfully the free shards continue to entertain us!
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  10. Mr. Green

    Mr. Green Well-Known Member

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    @Lightshade what is the source of your data/chart? I'm curious, as it wasn't cited.
    Last edited: Sep 11, 2019
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  11. Lightshade

    Lightshade Well-Known Member
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    Its from a website that existed back then. Its since gone away as companies stopped working with the guy running the site. Seems no one really wants these numbers out there anymore, heh.

    There might be a site with it still. Took me some digging to find this again.
  12. Lightshade

    Lightshade Well-Known Member
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  13. Rheanon

    Rheanon Well-Known Member
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    I agree with you guys, post Trammel the game became boring, so I eventually left. Of course I got PK'd on occasion but I had not much of a problem. I was a crafter on Great Lakes. That's what I love to do rather than dungeon hop and since I never carried anything of value on me, PKs generally left me alone and I went about my business. I left when crafting became obsolete because dungeon loot was better than what crafters could make. I also hated custom housing because the landscape was ruined by some custom architectural monstuosities that some players dreamed up. The one thing I miss about the original UO was gardening. The day the implement gardening here I will be golden. I tried EQ but didn't care for it much. Too many penalties on dying, then I went to DAoC. I loved that game. Played it for 5 or 6 years. I loved the RvR concept which kept the game always interesting once you hit level 50. Then they had the Atlantis expansion and that ruined the game for me. Again, dungeon loot was better than what crafters could craft. I've played many games since but when I found this server, that was set during UO's pre-Trammel Golden Age, I came back here and have been here for the last 4 years. I take breaks but have no plans to leave. There may be better graphics out there and more bells and whistles, but when it comes to the game core, nothing can compare to UO. The way I look at it, I'd hate to invest time and effort in a game that will eventually be ruined by the developers for X Y or Z reasoning. I'll stay here :)
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  14. PaddyOBrien

    PaddyOBrien Well-Known Member

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    Custom housing left unfettered like it was on OSI was garbage. I remember a time where houses would be replaced by empty dirt plots and would just sit there for months and months. I still cringe at seeing all the samurai stuff too
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  15. Pharoah

    Pharoah Well-Known Member

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    staff that played and got their rear ends whooped and to bring in more players/housing was the reason. When Richard sold the franchise EA shat all down its neck with shotty ideas.
    Trammel itself wasnt bad it is the Age of Shadows when all our hard earned Vanquishing weapons etc turned into +35 dmg equivalent to GM weapons and modifiers on all other weapons/jewelry etc, My blessed vanq spear kryss and katana wasnt blessed anymore. i was mad as hell.
    . They musta been on Cid when thinking that crap up. Dumb move and it eventually all but killed it, Not WoW and other games all the stupid expansions insurance. people would do nothing but blow through barbed/horned sewing kits and camp the damned elf area that Yew got turned into *Gheeey* only thing that came out of all that crap imo was archers got a boost
  16. Basoosh

    Basoosh Well-Known Member
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    Heh, the dev in the CrowFall forum is going on and on about "sheep to shear" and shit. No, it was 99.9% due to Everquest's meteoric rise in popularity.
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  17. Pharoah

    Pharoah Well-Known Member

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    i dont think 99.9% is a accurate accusation but it may have had a little to do with it, id say more WoW than everquests lame game.
    all the fancy shmancy item based detail had a lot to do with it as well i personally know whole guilds that up and quit over this. Me being one of them..Not to mention UO is STILL the best most unique MMO to date imo.

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