Ultima X: Odyssey Q&A
Along with a new video Gamespy features an extensive interview on EA's recently announced Ultima X: Odyssey. Rick Hall and Jon Hanna try to explain their approach on the MMO genre and how it is supposed to appeal to the Diablo fanbase among other things. You'll also get to read more information on the battle system and the implementation of quests and instanced dungeons. Excerpt from the answer on what happens once you become Avatar.
Basically, the idea is that once you max out your character in your stats and your skills and your virtue, you can "ascend" and sorta become this demi-god status. And what that allows you to do [in Ultima X] is it opens up other character slots, so that you can then make "disciples" to your first character. So, we encourage you to start new characters, because you're going to get a benefit to the first character you made, once you build those characters up. And as you build up those disciples, your first character gets more powerful and gets the ability to get more stats, more abilities...Further looking, asked about player-owned housing Hall mentions "hints for that in the first expansion."