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UO: Age of Shadows Preview

Discussion in 'PC/Console Gaming' started by ethics, Jan 5, 2003.

  1. ethics

    ethics Pomp-Dumpster Staff Member

    Rred, you will probably find this interesting:

    Using the design tool, you will be able to construct each floor of the house, creating the floor plan and design and picking the style of each component, like walls, windows, and floors. Each floor of the house is broken down into a uniform number of tiles, upon which you can design your house. There are a lot of options available--for the walls alone there are 48 different categories of tile designs. In all, you can choose from more than 1000 different tiles. Once you've found the styles you're looking for, you simply paint your house with the different textures.

    The interface for the house design resembles the system used in one of EA's most popular franchises, The Sims. The house components are divided into major categories and subdivided into pages containing scores of different styles. The interface also includes an option to turn walls transparent to better see parts of the house that might be obstructed by objects. There are also some convenient tools borrowed from common art applications. For example, there's an eyedropper tool that lets you grab a style from any tile and apply it somewhere else.


    The simplification brought by the new property sign is indicative of the kind of interface changes in Age of Shadows. New for the series are context menus, which pop up when you click on specific things in the gameworld. For example, when you click on a vendor, a menu pops up where you can select the purchase screen. The old method of walking up to a merchant and typing "vendor buy" is still available for those who care for it. But the new context menus update the game's interface to a level of convenience most gamers would expect.

    Similar additions to the interface are generally aimed at allowing you to easily learn more about many facets of the game while inside the game. Previously, you were forced to find information on the Web at fan sites or through other documentation, but new elements in the interface, like books that list skills and spells with full descriptions and icons that allow easy casting of spells and include scroll-over text descriptions, alleviate that hassle. Floating damage numbers are also in. Now, when you hit a monster, a red number indicating the damage done will float up above the creature.

    Other new changes abound. The monster spawning system has been revamped so that enemies now appear in random locations. The creatures also appear with random loot, fostered by a new magic item system where thousands of different item attributes are combined to create an unending number of items. Also, you can now move your mouse over items for a pop-up description.

    The point-and-click interface changes may add up to make Ultima Online oddly reminiscent of Diablo--a comparison which Origin doesn't have a problem with. The comparisons between Age of Shadows and Diablo extend further to the new paladin and necromancer player professions. The new classes have plenty to offer for those looking for something different. A unique magic system has been created for the necromancer, including 16 new spells. Necromancers can also shape-change into four different forms, such as "horrific beast." Like with all transformations, there's a trade-off. In the case of horrific beast, the necromancer becomes more powerful but loses his magic. The necromancer can also summon five different familiars. A new combo system of special moves has been built for the paladin, along with 10 new abilities and various new skills. The two classes are meant to be opposites, one the defender of good and the other the menace of evil.

    There's also a new continent in Age of Shadows. Called Malas (pronounced "malice"), the new continent floats above Britannia in the stars. Instead of rivers, you see space. Malas will be the biggest land expansion to Ultima Online to date and will include enough virgin real estate to contain 40,000 additional player houses on each shard. Malas is also home to the new dungeon, Doom, which will be the largest dungeon in the game and will be the place to find the best and rarest items. You will also be able to find rare items much more frequently in player-versus-player areas, which Origin hopes will cultivate some not-so-friendly human interaction. To compensate for the added risks, a new insurance system has been added. For a flat fee, items cannot be looted off your body if you die.

    (There are two new player professions, the necromancer and the paladin. )


    Check it out here.
  2. Frodo Lives

    Frodo Lives Luke, I am NOT your father!

    They need more then just better graphics and two new characters to make UO better. Their is a discouraging lack of quests and dungeon crawling. Their is to much Role playing and not enough adventure in UO. I hope they work on that some.

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