This is the beginning of (hopefully) a series of posts that detail my experiences with an RPG I have often heard praised but never played: Ultima VII.
One of the hazards of playing older games is that you tend to run into paleolithic design elements that have, for better or worse, disappeared as games have become increasingly streamlined and user-friendly. To our modern gamer sensibilities, coddled as they are by elaborate in-game tutorials that hold our hands as they teach us to play the game — often infuriatingly integrated into the first half-hour of the campaign so that we are unable to avoid them — these design elements can often seem bizarre and unreasonable. We are no longer expected to Read The Manual; instead, a game should set the barrier to entry as low as it can in order to include as many people as possible. And if that results in the loss of some nuance and complexity from the overall design of the game, then so be it.