Flack says that because most MMOs are based on a DikuMUD standard, they all more or less play the same. She says that there's a freedom to starting from a different standard and developing from there: "It's a way of playing that doesn't necessarily have the same assumptions underlying them. It gives you a breadth of background and heritage that you can pull from. Just because it's always been done that way doesn't mean I have to do it the same way."
Part of this design shift is in asking "sophisticated questions about ethics" to players, which is a vital part of the Ultima franchise. Flack says that Ultima Forever will be more nuanced and involve tough choices that will make a personal impact on gamers: "I want to make you stop, think, and go, 'Huh!' and then learn about yourself, because games can do that."