Mythic’s Other Project

By Alec Meer on September 11th, 2008 at 4:24 pm.

Hello, I'm Brian Gargoyle

It’s all WAR, WAR, WAR around here, but lest we forget, Mythic Entertainment are working on a second MMO. As with Warhammer Online, it’s a project that began in someone else’s hands – Ultima Online. While I’d heard last year’s attempted reboot of the decade-old MMO didn’t go as well as expected – though I had a giggle in it – clearly the old man has enough blood in him to warrant a new expansion. It was originally due last Summer, but now carries a 2009 release date.

It’s to be called the Stygian Abyss, which is a name to send euphoric shivers down the spines of long-standing RPG players. It was, of course, the subtitle to the first Ultima Underworld, so its redeployment here suggests it’s a concerted effort to appeal to older gamers. Or to restore UO’s critical standing. Or to save someone from thinking up a new name. I dunno.

The big news is the introduction of Gargoyles as a playable race, only the game’s third after all this time. I haven’t played most of the Ultima games, to my shame, but RPS comrade, and former journo now turned dirty sellout soulless PR, Dan Griliopoulos, provided me with the following insight:

“I know Gargoyles were the enemies in Ultima VI. But then it turned out they were all actually nice and it was big trick. And they were kind of impoverished second-class citizens in Ultima 7. Blahblahblah.”

Mythic themselves are a little more flowery:

“Masters of Imbuing and Mysticism, these clawed and winged creatures find themselves facing certain destruction at the hands of the Abyss, forced to delve into the secrets of the lost city and the rift to their sister world…”

More importantly, they can only bloody fly. Which, given all the endless wandering UO seemed to involve during my own misadventures, sounds rather sensible.

I’m presuming this is a different Mythic team than the guys responsible for WAR, but it’ll be interesting to see if their current heightened status wins extra interest in The Stygian Abyss.

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29 Comments »

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  1. The Poisoned Sponge says:

    I’ve been playing a bit of the WAR open beta and while it is definitely a bit WoWy, it is a lot more fun than said game. And as I have quite a few friends who were big fans of Ultima, this is of at least passing interest. One eye on it and all that.

  2. Diogo Ribeiro says:

    It’s all WAR, WAR, WAR around here

    And drinking. Always the drinking.

  3. Ian says:

    Upon release of the game I vote for a return of the Worst Ninja.

    *Looks at Alec expectantly*

  4. Kieron Gillen says:

    Sponge: I lost the entire of today to a combo of hangover and Warhammer. There are worse fates.

    KG

  5. phuzz says:

    Sounds like a tough old life being a gaming journo then eh?

  6. fanciestofpants says:

    Resolutely keeping a lid on my WAR lust for the last few weeks.. cannot spoil the game for myself any further. The CE headstart starts in 4 days. I think I can hold on.

    As for a new UO? Sounds great, missed the boat on the first one, but some really interesting stories have emerged from there. One eye on it for sure.

  7. Acosta says:

    Kieron living the life of the videogame writer rockstar. I’m jealous.

    @phuzz. The “gaming journo” life is awesome once you sort the “how the hell I am going to get food this month” (and in all fairness, I am still doubtful this is not an inherent part of this life. Maybe is Karma).

    More on topic, I completely forgot about this. I wish there was a project like the original Ultima Online in development. There is a limit to what you can achieve with a Everquest model, I would love to see a developer aiming for a limited and passionate community (kinda Eve Online) taking and expanding over those ideas.

  8. Half Broken Glass says:

    Is the new UO a real MMORPG of old? Or the new pew pew instance bullshit?

  9. Schtee says:

    It’s not going to undo the years of terrible expansions of UO though. Just make it worse. God, that game was so good.

    @Acosta: yeah, the player interaction in UO is second to none, yet takes a back set in every MMO since. I don’t understand :(

    Edit: @Half Broken Glass: It’s just another expansion pack, a la all the rest. See their website.

  10. Danny says:

    Well, Darkfall Online has a lot of features that come straight from UO. The only problem is that it may turn out to be vaporware after 7 years of speculation. We’ll see.

  11. Inglorion says:

    Why is Warhammer Online abbrevated WAR anyway?

  12. Schtee says:

    Cos it’s Warhammer: Age of Reckoning, presumably.

  13. Inglorion says:

    Should be WOAR then. :)

  14. Butler` says:

    WAR or WOAR, either way, it’s f**king superb.

  15. Optimaximal says:

    Anyone else think that gargoyle looks strangely like Kieron?

  16. Nick says:

    Kieron baiting makes a return?

  17. Kieron Gillen says:

    Never went away.

    KG

  18. Dorian Cornelius Jasper says:

    Haven’t you heard? The beard’s now gone, replaced with plain old stubble. There’s bound to be a backlash from the hobo-beard fans.

  19. Ardbeg says:

    Apropos the WAR game (which really is j*lly good), shouldn’t there be an RPS guild popping up at some point?

  20. Erlam says:

    “Should be WOAR then. :)”

    I thought you didn’t capitalise ‘of’ in acronyms.

  21. Dorian Cornelius Jasper says:

    But “Online” was capitalized in the proper title.

    If you capitalize “of,” it’s “WOAOR.”

  22. Kieron Gillen says:

    Ardbeg: We’re waiting for the proper list of EU servers to go up, and then we’re going to try and set one up. We’ll hopefully have a working “thing” which will collate votes of whether the primary guild will be Destruction or Order.

    KG

  23. M.P. says:

    Inglorion says:

    Why is Warhammer Online abbrevated WAR anyway?
    To distinguish it from Climax’s Warhammer Online, cancelled 4 years ago.

  24. Konky Dong XIV: El Sexo mi Arriba! says:

    After WAR’s preview weekend and my time in the open beta, Mythic has my attention. I never hopped on the DAoC bandwagon but I’ll keep my eye on this and any other project the company takes on.

  25. Bananaphone says:

    Can we have Ultima Underworld 3 instead? It’s criminal that EA is holding onto the rights without doing anything with the Ultima license.

  26. Muzman says:

    If that dude up there put on a turtleneck he’d never be able to get it off. His pillowcases must be made of kevlar. His life is one endless wait for the ‘Will it Blend’ guys to move into the male grooming market. A flying ability would not make up for that shit at all.

  27. Subject 706 says:

    @Banaphone
    Agreed. UU3 would be a godsend. Failing that, give us Arx Fatalis 2.

  28. Grill says:

    Wasn’t Arx Fatalis 2 bought out by ubi and turned into that Dark Messiah of Might & Magic, basically? Or so Arkane said.

    But, yes, UU3!!! Please, please!

  29. Raff says:

    “Why is Warhammer Online abbrevated WAR anyway?”

    Because WAR sounds EXTREME and OFF THE CHAIN.