Okay this thread has gained 4 pages in 2 weeks, so I think now would be a good time to summarise what has been discussed thus far and see how our proposal for a new Unreal Tournament is forming. Not only for those that have posted within the thread, but also for those new to the thread. For more indepth information regarding the elements below, simply read previous posts within this thread...
I think this really goes without saying, although the new UE3 editor makes the development of multiplayer maps easier with features such as Matinee, Cascade, Material Editor etc. a lot of people within the modding community have mentioned the difficultly they encountered when making mods and mutators, an element of the editor that was easier in past incarnations. Essentially, the next editor needs to be user friendly in regards to all areas of the modding community, not just wannabe level designers.
Furthermore, being able to create new assets within the editor (static meshes, textures, sounds, animations etc.) would not only mean that Epic and the modding community would no longer need to use third party software, but it would also encourage the creation of custom content within the community.
Not a replacement for the editor we all know and love but a second, streamlined editor included along with the standard editor for PC releases, and as an introduction to modding for console releases.
This Lite editor would allow console users to create their own multiplayer maps and mods using in-game assets, while also allowing PC modders and level designers to import their projects to the console market (removing any custom created assets). Because this Lite editor would only use in-game, official assets it would adhere to the strict rules from console manufacturers regarding user created content.
UT3 did allow us to customise the look of our in-game representative, but this feature was very, very basic. The very nature of Unreal Tournament begs for much, much more customisation and choice. Not just in regards to characters and their attire, but also with other elements such as team badges (handy for clans), weapon skins (maybe), weapons, music etc.
Unreal Tournament is, at its heart, a community based game. Hence, encourage the growth and expansion of the games community.
In brief, the general opinion is that the tournament should play as a series of ladders that take you from your humble beginnings, through the amateur leagues and all the way to the final match to become the grand champion. Along the way the player should come across rivalries, choices and challenges that allow them to determine their path through the tournament. Such a game plan would allow for a small, competition based cinematic story centered around the players character of choice, as well as gameplay elements that would allow for variation within the gametypes while allowing the player to use credits attained to customise their character/team.
Furthermore, the general feeling that the player should get from playing the game is that of being a participant within a spectator sport - crowds cheering, replays, sponsorships, popularity ratings, player progression, ranks etc.
Core Mechanics & Gameplay
Unreal Tournament needs to evolve to be able to compete against and poache the players from the mass of multiplayer shooters available on the market. The possible inclusion of Melee attacks are likened by many (probably due to Unreal Championship), whereas the idea of reloading weapons is not (yet I feel it is a viable option).
The simple nature of UT's gameplay should be built upon to further create and enhance its principal appeal, that of a competitive, community based, multiplayer shooter with attitude.
Game Modes, Playlists & Matchmaking
A recurring theme became apparent by this point - that unlike UT3, a new Unreal Tournament needs a wide choice and variety of content. Gametypes give players choices on how to play the game in varying ways, thus increasing the longevity of any game. A key way of encouraging the players to keep playing while further encouraging the community element of the franchise would be a custom match editor, in which the player could select from a plethora of options to customise existing gametypes and create new ones.
Furthermore, allowing maps to be playing across multiple gametypes was also mentioned, which would further add to the variety and longevity of a new UT.
UT Flash & DLC
Along with a long discussion about the story elements of the franchise, contributors to this thread have also mentioned two other elements regarding a new Unreal Tournament.
Firstly, there was the mention of the UT Flash Demo, which Epic games have revealed recently. This demo shows UT3 running within adobe flash player, supposedly within a browser. Generally, the general opinion is split as to whether this is a good move or not, but as with all things time will tell. Is this the next logical platform for this community based franchise, or is it a shameless technical showcase and the final nail in the coffin for our beloved franchise.
Finally, the mention of free/paid for DLC commonly appeared, which is no surprise considering the current trend on the consoles. All that can really be said about DLC is that many of the current market leaders encourages the use of "paid for" DLC for many reasons, but some do not. As with a flash UT, only time will tell as to whether or not this is the future way of things, or just a phase.
This thread has become, I feel, a mature and well mannered discussion/proposal as to what we, the fans, want in a new Unreal Tournament. So lets open things up a bit more, what do YOU want in a new Unreal Tournament...