Ultima Online: Kingdom Reborn
The Kingdom Reborn (UO:KR) expansion was announced as part of the Inu Storyline. It officially launched June 27, 2007. The main feature is a brand new client referred to by Darkscribe as being 2.5D, not 2D or 3D. The client is a free download to all UO players. If and when the client reaches 95% usage by the player base, the 2D client will be discontinued. The Third Dawn client was discontinued in May 2007.
The Kingdom Reborn Client, also commonly referred to as the KR Client, was discontinued with the release of the Stygian Abyss expansion in deference to the new Enhanced Client, also commonly referred to as the Stygian Abyss Client or SA Client.
- "In preparation for the release of Stygian Abyss, we need to streamline our patch process. Support for the Kingdom Reborn client ends today. For those of you using the Kingdom Reborn client, you will need to download either the Classic or upgrade to the Enhanced client."
- Link to Official KR Client End of Life Announcement
An early announcement on the Japanese UO website confused players into thinking the next race and other details were released prematurely. What was actually released was news on the next UO expansion called Stygian Abyss, which featured Gargoyles as a playable race and the largest dungeon in UO to date. Kingdom Reborn was mostly a brand new client with almost no server side content additions, except for those implemented into the client.
Enhanced New Player Experience
- One of the most difficult aspects of getting new players is the difficulty in learning the different systems and basic actions. Kingdom Reborn featured multiple tutorials to explain this to new players and help them get their UO legs.
- Everything about the interface has been rebuilt and redesigned to make UO easier to play. Fewer clicks and actions to get things done are a high priority for the development team.
- Players will have a new page in a Paperdoll which allows them to view all item properties affecting their character.
- Clothing and armor will be separate pages on the paperdoll.
- Containers will work with lists and slots to make organization easier. A classic interface option is being considered for implementation also.
- Hot bars will replace loose spell and skill icons. Drop in the actions you want to preform. Up to 5 hot bars are currently allowed. Potions can be added to the hot bar.
- Skinning the client may be possible, but is not definite.
- Targeting is described to be a "whirly 3D effect".
- A loot all button for corpses was mentioned as a possibility.
- Speech text will now be activated by pressing the Enter key first.
- Revamped housing placement and design tool
- Spells are particle effects like the 3D client, but resemble their original 2D effects more
- Firecrackers were spawned to demonstrate advanced particle effects
- Monsters may look very different from their originals and have unique attacks. For example, Earth Elementals throw rocks.
- The development team is looking at original design documents when enhanced creatures.
- A zoom feature will be implemented. Currently, it is being decided whether a mega zoom will be allowed showing 2-3x the current screen size. Zooming in will stop before items/creatures get pixelated.
- "Neon" colors are not going to stand out as they currently do. They will still be unique colors.
- To turn off the animations, go into the Options dialogue, scroll down to the bottom, check the No Idle Animations and from the drop down menu select "Minimal Animations". This enables very little animation and no idle movement.
There have been many points of criticism of the new client. For one, the new graphics have been met with a mixed reaction by players. The client launched with things not implemented, many bugs and performance issues. In addition, the 2D client underwent some undesirable art changes, mostly in respect to landscapes. The developers have address the later and continue to work on the first two items.
What is Ultima Online: Kingdom Reborn? Just a new client or more?
- We are re-drawing the graphics and building a new user interface that will be easier-to-use for players new and old. (At the same time, we’re working to give long time players UI options that will let them play almost exactly the way they play now.) We are also adding new content that you’d find in most other UO expansion packs, such as a new player race, new features, a new dungeon and other surprises. We will be polishing and improving some areas of UO game play, but the core sets of rules, systems and content will remain intact. The idea is to give current, former, and new players a vibrant, thriving world that looks and plays like it’s new, that also takes advantage of Ultima Online’s nine years of features, content and culture.
The videos all show KR being played in full-screen mode. Will we still be able to play in windowed mode?
- Yes. Windowed mode will still be available.
What will happen to approved third-party programs, such as UOAssist and UO Automap?
- Because Kingdom Reborn is a completely new client, any third-party programs will have to be re-engineered to work with it.However, Kingdom Reborn is intended to be a client with a full-featured, intuitive user interface, and as such will greatly reduce the need for third-party programs.
Will Kingdom Reborn affect gameplay balance/crafting/PvP/etc?
- Kingdom Reborn is a client upgrade, not a content upgrade. With one exception (see below) Kingdom Reborn is not intended to affect the balance or function of any feature, except in that the user interface will change - and, of course, that means it will have a profound (and positive) effect on the ease of use of many systems.
I heard about "Bright Paths" in an interview. What're those?
- "Bright Paths" is what we're calling our improved New User Experience design. While it is too early to go into too much detail, the Bright Paths system will help new players find their way through the vast number of choices they are presented with when they first enter the world and help them feel effective and have fun immediately.
How will Kingdom Reborn affect scripting, duping, and other methods of cheating?
- We dislike cheating. In fact, it is a seething, burning, boiling cauldron of dislike. Kingdom Reborn gives us the opportunity to make some changes - which we will not discuss in detail, for obvious reasons - that will make cheating more difficult. These changes will affect the entire UO service, not just users of the new client.
Will Kingdom Reborn affect account security in any way?
- While not directly related to Kingdom Reborn, we are working on adding several tools to help players protect the security of their accounts. Stay tuned for more details on this.
Darkscribe said something about old Seer, IGM, or EM-placed items going away with KR. Does this mean my favorite hangout will disappear?
- No. Seer, IGM, or EM-placed items will be not deleted by the introduction of a new client. However, not all of them may look exactly the same, and some may have missing or misaligned art. We will make every effort to find and fix major issues during beta; however, we are talking about close to ten years of hand-placed content, across more than two dozen shards - we may not be able to fix it all by launch, and some of it may not be fixable.
The inventory looks totally different, and I hate it! How could you take away our backpacks?
- Remember, the build that has been shown is a pre-alpha build - many features have not been fully implemented, including the inventory system. Rest assured that we will be seeking feedback throughout the beta process, and will do our best to create a UO that feels like home.
MrTact said something about "modal chat" - what is that? Do I have to use that?
- "Modal chat" is simply the system where you have two "modes" - chat mode and play mode. In many games you press the "Enter" key to signal the system that you want to use your letter keys to talk, rather than move or trigger macros. While we are including this feature to help players from other universes feel at home, we do not want or intend to alienate our current residents, and will do our best to include a "classic" option for chat.
What are the system requirements?
- 1 GHz processor
- 512MB of RAM
- Geforce 3 or higher graphics card
- 2GB of Hard Drive Space
Is the new client 2d or 3d?
- Yes! In a way, it is both. It’s a 3D engine that will look and play like a 2D engine, except for some special effects, lighting and other small details. Our goal was to preserve the look and feel of Ultima Online, while also providing the benefits of a modern graphics engine.
Will we be able to rotate or otherwise change the camera angle?
- To preserve the charm and feel of Ultima Online, we’re re-building the world with highly detailed 2D tiles. This allows us to have the visual detail we want, but does prevent us from creating a rotating camera.
Will the new special effects be scalable? If I have a fast computer, can I enable more cool effects to make the game look better?
- There will be some effects that will be scalable according to what 3D card you have. However, our goal is to give players with low system spec machine a visually vibrant and inviting game.
Will we still be able to play with the old 2D or 3D client after Kingdom Reborn launches?
- Yes, we will continue to support the older clients after the launch of Kingdom Reborn. However, the long term plan is to support a single client for the game.
Will there be new music?
- Yes. We have several new songs, but we’ll also be keeping many of the old favorites as well. We’ll release at least one of those in January.
Are we going to have to move shards? What about my house and all my stuff?
- Nope. It is an "in-place upgrade", drawn tile for tile to replace the current art. When you log into Ultima Online using the Kingdom Reborn client, you’ll see your house in all its higher resolution glory.
Click the image for full size view. You can also see more pictures of the client from the Atlantic Town Hall meeting here.
- Kingdom Reborn Client User Guide
- UO Stratics Kingdom Reborn Discussion Board
- Gametrailers.com - Interviews and gameplay videos
Atlanta Town Hall Meeting Demo Videos
New York Town Hall Meeting Videos