Ultima Worlds Online: Origin Hands-On

We saw Ultima Worlds Online: Origin in motion at this year's E3. Read our updated thoughts on this massively-multiplayer online role-playing game that mixes robots and technology with swords and sorcery.

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Ultima Worlds Online: Origin is the working title to what will essentially be the sequel to the original Ultima Online. As the designers put it, Ultima Worlds Online: Origin will be "the first second-generation" online role-playing game, and as such, the designers hope to incorporate much of what they've learned from the mistakes and shortcomings of both their own products and those of their competitors.

Ultima Worlds Online: Origin certainly looks good; though it uses a third-person, behind-the-back camera view reminiscent of Asheron's Call's default perspective, Ultima Worlds Online: Origin has a much more detailed world populated with much larger and more highly-detailed characters and monsters. All of the game's characters and monsters were carefully motion-captured with the help of professional martial artists. The game will also feature dynamic weather effects, such as moving clouds and lightning.

Ultima Worlds Online: Origin has three playable character races (humans, juka, and meer), but it will feature the same sort of open-ended, skill-based character development model as the previous game. However, unlike with other online role-playing games, the developers of Ultima Worlds Online: Origin are attempting to create what they described as a "much more dense world" than in other games; a world full of scenery and non-player characters, and where player-vs-monster battles aren't fought in pairs or small teams, but in groups of 20 or 30. Though the designers didn't go into detail about how the game will handle lag and server load, they did reveal one impressive detail about the current build. That is: even though the demo build ran fairly smoothly, it did occasionally become choppy, though it showed no serious problems - but it had been running on a 28.8 (!) modem the entire time!

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