"When anybody writes to you about your game, it's usually one paragraph of 'Hey, I really liked your game, really enjoyed it... but...' And then the rest of the letter, which could be anywhere from one paragraph to ten pages, is their personal diatribe of what was wrong in the game and what they would do to fix it. " - Richard Garriott
A Morality System in Ultima 4
“It was the fan mail that set Garriott on a path toward reimagining what a computer role-playing game (C.R.P.G.) could do.” - New Yorker.
The letter writers explained, according to Garriott, that “the easiest way to gain power was not to play as a good guy.”
He was despondent. “I inadvertently made games that drove the players to act dishonorably, as this was the path of least resistance.” What if, he wondered, there were a game in which your moral choices had consequences?
He wanted the next installment of Ultima to reward honor and courage, and to penalize players for casual depravity… “This was the art I was compelled to make,” he said.
The Next Generation
"Microsoft's employees worshipped the game, not only for its addictive qualities but for its enviable technical feats." Alex St. John has equated the game with a "religious phenomenon" at the Microsoft campus. (Masters of Doom, page 197)