Ultima Forever's free-to-play model explained, won't use energy

BioWare's upcoming Ultima Forever will be a free-to-play game. However, executive producer Jeff Skalski promises the game will differ from many of the other F2P games on the market.

For example, while free-to-play, the game will not employ the typical "energy" model found in other games. "You'll find no lightning bolts here, so keep playing to your heart's content. I never wanted to kick players out of our game and say, 'Hey, come back in 3 hours. Goodbye,'" Skalski said.

"The game is wide open. You'll need to level up to take on new challenges, but all of that can be earned by just playing the game," he told IGN. Purchasable items will include vanity gear, weapons, inventory space, and early access to abilities. "The only thing we won't sell is virtue," he said. "You have to earn that!"

Those virtues will begin with a set of questions that determine your starting inclinations, but earning them all will boil down to NPC missions and "how you treat other real players" in the game. Skalski cites an example of being sent to find an NPC's missing husband, and finding his corpse with a note from his mistress. You can either be honest or compassionate, and those answers will lend you virtues accordingly. "Neither answer is right or wrong, but it's your choice to decide what virtues you lean towards and ultimately the path you'll take to prove worthy of Avatarhood."