My last encounter with MMORPGs was Ultima Online, back in the day. Well, ’00/’01 anyway. There is no doubt that World of Warcraft is far more refined and a lot more addictive than UO was. Proper questlines and instanced dungeons have a huge impact on playability, as do a myriad of other differences.
But sometimes I find myself thinking: “Well, right about now, I could really use that cool feature from UO.”
Some examples include:
Player housing. Now, players allowed to build houses in an uncontrolled way as it happened in UO was just a bit shy of a complete disaster. But players being able to set up their own shops (granted, that was in a world where there was no Auction House), a Guild Hall, maybe even a castle. That meant something. I’m sure if Blizzard wanted, they would find a way. Right now they don’t want to, but I’m still hoping they’ll eventually include it. There’s so much potential for customisation, player creativity – and the Blizzard Store as well, make no mistake in that regard.
Ships and boats. The size of the world is a problem here. In Ultima Online, you could board you own ship and sail all around the world, explore strange uninhabited islands, find a friendly port and then sail back again. In Cataclysm, they’re bringing flying mounts to the Old World, so I have my fingers crossed that maybe ships are next.
Runes. That is, without a doubt, the feature I miss most. Runes or Runestones were initially calibrated to the caster’s location and you were able to teleport (or open a portal) back to that location from the rune. From anywhere, to anywhere. Runes of the most dangerous and hardest to get to parts of dungeons were highly sought after and went for absurd sums on player owned vendors. There were players that had a whole library of runes open to the public, and finally marking your rune with the last chamber of some dungeon was a huge personal achievement.
I know that Blizzard has very good reasons for not including those features, at least not yet. And I know that they might even be completely inappropriate for Azeroth or would wreak havoc on game balance.
Even if I just want to hear “Rule Britannia” upon entering the capital city – sometimes I miss UO.