Ultima Online: Kingdom Reborn Design Document

The Kingdom Reborn expansion for Ultima Online — launched in July of 2007 — is mostly remembered for bringing a new client to the game. The KR Client, as it came to be known, was billed as a 2.5D client, and was intended to replace the venerable Classic Client; had 95% of the player base adopted it and used it regularly, the Classic Client would have been discontinued. (Of course, that didn’t happen; the Classic Client exists to this day.)

Kingdom Reborn also introduced a battery of tutorials for new players, to help ease them into the game. The game’s interface was also overhauled, and was generally made easier to use. Several of the monsters in the game also gained unique attacks. Of course, the KR Client had issues at launch; the new graphics it ushered in were not welcomed by all players, and the client itself was buggy and had performance problems. Additionally, several promised features weren’t available right at launch.

This gallery is a design document — actually a collection of several documents from late 2005 and early 2006 — for Kingdom Reborn, another treasure unearthed from the Mythic Archives.

Ultima Online: Kingdom Reborn Design Document

A 237-page design document, dating from between late 2005 and mid-2006, for the Kingdom Reborn expansion for Ultima Online.

This document is dense, and it encompasses almost all the technical details that would have concerned the Kingdom Reborn development team, in addition to outlining many of the expansion’s goals. It also includes some of the design documentation for UO Next; that overhaul of Ultima Online may have been cancelled, but some of its ideas were re-used in this expansion.

Thus, enjoy! Pull up each page of the document and pore over it; ferret out every little detail that you can. It would be interesting to see someone with more intimate experience of Kingdom Reborn (since I never played it) go through the above and comment on whether the developers at EA — for this is all from the time after Origin was shuttered — achieved what they were aiming for with it.

Leave a Reply