Following is a press release from the Gnomes of Austin. My comments are in snooty italics.
Coming Soon for Ultima Online: The Next 6 Months
Origin is incredibly excited to be able to announce to you the latest plans for Ultima Online. Over the next 6 months, we will be expanding and improving UO. As features become ready, they will be rolled out to the existing playerbase in regularly scheduled updates.
We’ve detailed an assortment of our plans below, and will be providing extensive information on each as they are implemented over the next six months.
While the specific details of these lands are still being formalized, they will undoubtedly bring new opportunities for housing and adventuring.
…and new opportunities to put new UO boxes on store shelves. Undoubtably before Asheron’s Call’s launch. We’ve seen this before, haven’t we, boys and girls? Oh well, no matter WHY a new continent is implemented, it’s still all good.
Options for PvP
The addition of this land will allow us to geographically separate play styles within UO, meaning we can create areas for engaging, adventuring experiences without the element of player versus player combat. There will, of course, still be plenty of room for player versus player combat. In fact, PvP will be expanded and improved in the future.
…hmm. Obviously we’ll need to see details of this. Picture T2A as a guard zone.
A party system is being designed to allow group adventuring. We plan to allow you to easily share profits and resources with your party while hunting.
Wonder where they got that idea.
Improved Monster AI
We will be upgrading monsters with an improved AI to enable them to react to players in new ways, in addition to making them more challenging to defeat overall.
Nice theory, but can it be pulled off? We’ll see. UO’s current monster AI is such a joke, though, that pretty much ANYTHING would be an improvement.
Increased Veteran Player Volunteer Programs
We expect to have over 3,000 trained Counselors, Companions and Seers in place by February 2000 to support and enhance the world of UO. Interesting in joining us? Visit our Counselor Application area for details.
I’d be more impressed if they said they were hiring more GMs.
In addition to these upgrades, we’ve planned a variety of other smaller improvements and systems for UO and will release details on these as they are finalized.
Included among those are Necromancy and Alchemy, which will be released in time for Ultima Online: The Fourth Age.