Last weekend I was down in Austin with a great group of people for an amazing 2 day LARP on +Richard Garriott de Cayeux
's property. It was a celebration of Ultima and the past, but I'm equally excited looking forward to his new game, Shroud of the Avatar.
It is an audacious project with a small team and a small budget. So I'm hesitant to over-promise and brag it up a bunch, but the concept does really excite me.
It is a spiritual successor to Ultima with selective multiplayer. Play it offline like a classic single player Ultima with a full campaign. Play it single player, but pull data from online. You can play online with friends only, or you can play online with everyone like an MMO, but no monthly subscriptions. You pay once per episode, and that is it.
If you back the game, you get immediate alpha access. The new release is out, and while it is far from feature complete, it is starting to come together as a fun game.
It is far more like UO than WoW and modern online RPGs (though it isn't a carbon copy of UO. It is a great community and if you love classic computer RPGs, I highly recommend checking it out.
If you do back the game, please consider putting my email address down as a referrer since they do referral rewards - firstname.lastname@example.org://www.shroudoftheavatar.com