EA's Jeremy Dalberg has posted another one of his "Five on Friday" Q&A features on the official Ultima Online website.
Ok why the HECK would you remove the clouds from KR?"
Our Lead Programmer Supreem says,
"Ultimately it was my decision to remove the clouds. *puts on flame retardant suit*
The clouds as they were implemented didn't achieve the desired effect. They made the game significantly less bright which doesn't fit with the style of Ultima Online. We plan to bring them back in the future once we bring them in line with the overall feel of the game."