Ultima Online Interview

The Corporation has conducted an interview with Anthony "SunSword" Castoro, asking the Ultima Online producer several questions about the MMORPG. Here's a little something to get you started:
Q: Having worked on Ultima Online and Star Wars Galaxies, the two MMOGs most recognized as "virtual worlds" and player-driven gameplay, how do you respond to the opinion in the MMOG community that UO has turned away from it's roots and is now another version of the "phat lewt" style of online game?

A: Well, I'd say that opinion has some validity. When UO launched it was more virtual world than an online fantasy adventure game. That had some significant advantages but it also had drawbacks. The advantages were that it provided depth, open-endedness, immersion, a sense of ownership, and at the time, novelty. The drawbacks were that it tended to be complicated, mundane and perhaps intimidating. The best solution for UO is to focus on balancing the (living) parts of a virtual world with the (fun) parts of a traditional RPG. Admittedly, there are cases where this balancing act could have been done better. I think the current team possesses a unique focus and determination to retain UO's virtual world feel.