Ultima Forever for iOS gets previewed at GDC 2013

We got to play around a bit with Ultima Forever: Quest of the Avatar at GDC, and here's what it does -- it brings the classic hardcore MMO model to a more casual audience. Players party up in groups of four to delve into dungeon romps and dragon battles that last five minutes and up, depending on how much time you and your buddies have.

You've got all of the standard trappings of a classic RPG in Ultima Forever - slaying monsters, gaining experience points, leveling up, unlocking abilities, and amassing loot - but there's a ton of storyline to chew through here too. You've got to remember that Ultima has been around for ages, and so there's a lot of lore to pull on. There's a tie-in with Facebook so you can keep in touch with any players there and coordinate your next raid.

By far my favorite mechanic of the whole game is how they handle virtues. Making certain decisions in dialog and completing quests will have players gain different kinds of virtue points. Every city values a handful of virtues, so the more highly-ranked you are in one of its associated virtues, the more quests are available to you in that city. You even earn virtue points for helping out your underlevelled friends on quests.

I've poured more than a few hours into Ultima Online, so it's great to see the world coming to iOS in a social, bite-sized way. The only downer is that there's no crafting or housing systems as of yet, which were major staples in the older games. Fingers are crossed that they'll bring those options in through a future update.

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Simon Sage

Editor-at-very-large at Mobile Nations, gamer, giant.

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Reader comments

Ultima Forever for iOS gets previewed at GDC 2013


So many interesting games that are soon to be release from GDC. This is interesting and should be exciting for someone.

If a particular mmo is designed to be played on an iPad, I think it's safe to say it wasn't "meant to be played" with a keyboard and mouse.

Nice and all, but I'm getting to old for this: I've already finished them - or played enough to have made a complete tour of what these games can offer. Maybe for my kids to share with them a part of my past...

This looks terrible. The straight-on view looks incredibly boring and bland. I'd have to see more of the game, but without Richard Garriot attached to the project, I don't feel I could support it.

I loooooved UO back in the day and for me it won't be as good unless they include a completely open world as opposed to this join a party of 4 or so and raid a dungeon crap. Also, theyve gotta add in crafting, skills, and open world pvp servers. Any UO game without these elements is just pocket-legends or any other crap mmorpg thats come out for mobile.

This looks horrible. Extremely boring. As Brad said, I do not feel this game will be worth much without Richard. Either most of this app is under-wraps, or this is the big jist of it and it's going to be a major let down.