Ultima Online may be dead, but the heart and soul of the sandbox MMORPG lives on thanks to a dedicated playerbase and the Mythic dev team that is continually pumping out the updates.
In a new video diary, producer Calvin Crowner talks about a return to Ultima's roots in 2011 and says that doing so necessitates moving away from the checklist mentality that often permeates development cycles. "If we go through a checklist, there's no way we're going to appeal to everyone, so instead of doing that we'd rather really get back to that feel and that flavor that brought players to Britannia every day."
Associate producer Bonnie Armstrong agrees and points out that Ultima is moving away from MMO-standard kill quests and focusing more on stories (which are often helped along by the dedicated event GMs on each shard). Lead engineer Derek Brinkman says this will work well with the newly optimized client and the new high-resolution environment assets. Finally, the dev team talks about the redesigned new player experience and how it is expressly intended to get players into the world quickly while the meat of the client download happens behind the scenes. Hit the jump for the full video.