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March 01

Ye L10N Patche – 16th March 01 – nocturne
Latest Game Update :: Server Publish
a taxidermy kit Taxidermy Kits
an interior decorator Interior Decorator
Rares :: Hairstyling NPC Hairstylists
The Lands of Ilshenar
Ilshenar is a third facet in the world of Britannia. Ilshenar will have different conditions from the facets of Felucca and Trammel. Player interactions on Ilshenar will be just like Trammel with the following exceptions:

1. Murderers will be able to travel to Ilshenar under the following guidelines:
  • Murderers will be able to go to Ilshenar once per month. If a player’s murder status wears off, and then they return to a murderer state, the “once per month” guideline will still be in place. Once the trip to Ilshenar is taken while in murderer status, the count starts and the player may not again enter Ilshenar until they are either not a murderer, or until a month has passed.
  • If a murderer has taken the effects of stat loss, they will not be able to gain skills while in Ilshenar until the reduced skills are returned to their pre-stat loss numbers. For example:
    • Player A loses 20% of their skills to stat loss.
    • Player A will not be able to gain any skills in Ilshenar until this 20% that has been lost has been regained.
    • Player A will be able to gain skills in Ilshenar once this percentage lost to stat loss has been restored.
  • Murder counts will not decay in Ilshenar.
  • Stat loss and murder counters are still in effect, with the same time durations per murder. These have not changed in any way.
  • Other players cannot attack murderers in Ilshenar.
2. Traveling to and within Ilshenar.

Players visiting Ilshenar will not be able to cast gate or recall within the Ilshenar lands. Travel will behave in the following manner:
  • There will be no recall or player created gating within Ilshenar.
  • Travel to and from Ilshenar will be via public moongates. The gates within Ilshenar will be scattered around those lands, and will connect to public moongates located within Trammel and Felucca.
  • There will be a moongate located on the Buc’s Den island for murderers to be able to use to get to Ilshenar.
  • Players will be able to use a menu system on the public moongates to select destination, including which facet.
3) Siege Perilous will not have an Ilshenar facet.

Note that in order to travel to Ilshenar, you will need to be using the Third Dawn client. Regular clients (2D) will not be able to travel to Ilshenar.
Bandage Creation Changes
2 clean bandages Players can cut multiple bandages at once using the following manner:
  • Players place an amount of cloth in their backpack. The cloth must be in a player’s backpack to be cut into bandages.
  • When scissors are used on the stack, it will be cut into a stack of bandages equaling the amount of cloth that was in the stack being cut.
Bandages will weight equal to that amount of cloth. For example, one bandage will weigh exactly the same as one cloth and likewise one thousand bandages will weigh the same as one thousand cloth.

All pre-existing bandages will be “grandfathered” with these weight changes, so that they equal a 1 to 1 weight ratio compared to cloth.

Previously, bandages weigh a stone each, while 10 pieces of cloth (10 yards of cloth) weigh a stone.
Item Identification Window
Information regarding an item’s magical or exceptional properties will now be displayed below the initial item information, once identified using the “item identification” skill. [Changed today – Displayed in a separate window. This separate window will allow for easier viewing of the item’s properties by players.]

The information display window will function in the following manner:
  • When a player clicks on a magical or exceptional item they will get generic text describing the item, such as “magic longsword”.
  • [Added Today] When the item is identified, the additional information for the item will be displayed below the initial information. For example, “a magic longsword” would read as (if these were it’s attributes):
    • A magic longsword
    • Silver/Accurate/Vanquishing/Massive/Ghoul’s Touch Charges: 5
  • [Removed Today] To the left of the text will be a blue button that will allow the player to get extended information.
  • [Removed Today] To the right of the text will be a brief numeric display of the basic four attributes. Something such as: “[Damage:Defense:Durability:Skill]” would look like “[9:0:5:10]”.
  • [Removed Today] Each of these categories will be color coded to quickly identify the basic properties.
  • [Removed Today] When the player clicks the blue dot (refer to above) extended information will be shown below the text being displayed.
  • [Removed Today] This extended information will have category information and provide more detail, such as weapon effects and charge info.
  • [Removed Today] This extended information will only show attributes that the item has, whereas the quick display at the end of the text will always show Damage, Defense, Durability, and Skill. They will be 0 on the quick display if not applicable, but will not show up at all on the extended info.
[Added Today] Note that maker’s mark is displayed outside of the “item identification” system and thus will appear without requiring the item to be identified.

[Added Today] If an item has not been identified, the quick display will appear as the text, "Unidentified” and the player will not have access to the extended info until he has identified the item.

[Removed Today] Note: The Damage, Defense, Durability and Skill data will also be color coded here as well to reinforce the colors associated with the base attributes.

[Removed Today] If an item has not been identified, the quick display will appear as question marks: “[?:?:?:?]” and the player will not have access to the extended info until he has identified the item.
Player-Owned Vendor Changes
Player-owned vendors will be able to give the gold they are holding to their owners in bank check form if the amount is between 4999 gold and 1 million gold. If the gold amount being held for the player by the vendor is between 4999 and 1 million gold, the vendor will hand this to the owner in the form of a bank check (as long as the vendor is actually carrying this amount). If the amount is less equal to or less then 4999 gold then the vendor will hand the owner the amount in gold form. If the gold held by the vendor is more than 1 million gold, the vendor will retain the amount over 1 million gold until the next request for gold is made by the player.

Player-owned vendors will give a more accurate description of their gold and payment status.

Player-owned vendors will properly “clean up” from a player-owned house, if they are removed from that house. This fixes a bug that caused player-owned houses to sometimes refuse re-deeding even when empty.
Faction Trap Changes
Faction traps will be modified in the following manner:
  • Faction traps will award silver to their placer when they successfully damage or kill an enemy faction member.
  • The silver being awarded will come from the victim, and will be subject to existing silver-award eligibility. Thus, the placer will not receive any silver from opponents not eligible to award silver.
  • The trap will award 20 coins for damaging an enemy, and 40 coins for killing an enemy.
Faction Trap Removal Tool
Faction tinkers will be able to create a faction-trap removal tool. This tool will be necessary to remove faction traps set by enemy factions. The tool will function in the following manner:
  • The tool will appear within the tinker creation window, if the character is qualified and carrying the necessary materials to make the tool (500 silver, master or greater tinkering skill, and 10 ingots).
  • The tool will have 25 uses, decreasing upon either success or failure to disarm the trap. The tool must be in the base level of the player’s backpack to function.
Localization and Macros –
With the update of localized language support for Ultima Online: Third Dawn, the way in which speech commands work, will affect the use of certain macros. Players will no longer be able to combine long strings of speech commands to use as a single macro, such as “Vendor, tell the guards to buy me the bank.” Macros using combined speech commands may not work in all cases. To use speech commands effectively, they should be limited to the appropriate command (such as “bank” when standing inside a bank, or “vendor buy” when purchasing from a vendor.)

[Added Today] Additionally, the appearance of certain text strings within the game will be modified to accommodate translation.
Good Creatures Attack Evil Karma –
Creatures of “good” alignment will react aggressively toward players with negative karma. These new creatures are specifically being introduced with the release of Third Dawn.
Various Fixes and Changes –
  • Fixed an issue with faction score loss.
  • Fixed an issue with housing sign text color.
  • Fixed an issue causing locked down trees to leave ornaments behind when automatically re-deeded.
  • Fixed an issue where pets could not be claimed by name from stables.
  • Re-enabled the “gold” command to allow players to collect gold from vendors.
  • Fixed an issue causing some exceptional items to lose the last letter in their name.
  • Fixed pricing for taxidermy kits and flipflop tool.
  • Fixed numerous error null strings.
Yes, there actually is a flipflop tool in your game.
Various Fixes And Changes –
  • A problem with players crashing when placing houses near server “boundaries” has been fixed.
  • Holiday trees will be changed in the following manner:
    • Holiday trees that exist in tree form will automatically redeed themselves. The tree deed can only be picked up by the deed owner or the house owner (deed owner is the character that placed the tree originally).
    • The tree deed will decay in seven days if not picked up by the house owner or deed owner. No other characters can pick up the tree deed, until the house owner or deed owner has picked the deed up.
    • Holiday tree deeds no longer function to allow placement of a holiday tree, until reactivated again.
  • Localization changes have been added.
  • Stablemasters have been fixed to sell the correct creatures. A bug has been fixed with stablemasters and their pricing. This bugfix will result in higher prices for creatures sold by the Stablemasters.
  • A change has been added to the tutorial, requiring new accounts to enter the tutorial at least once. After this initial entry, players will be able to exit the tutorial as desired. New players will also be able to review parts of the tutorial at will, via the help selection menu.
  • A bug with runebooks not closing properly upon a player’s death has been fixed. This caused runebooks after the death to fail to open.
  • [Added Today] A problem with escort NPCs not paying the reward if their desired destination is a dungeon has been fixed.
Unlisted Changes –
Dyable Pillows As you can see from the pic, all pillows recovered from a shipwreck can now be dyed. The undyed pillow in the upper-left corner was the only pillow that was dyable prior to this patch.

We have also confirmed ropes spawning on Krakens.

With the patch, all the gumps have been changed to an uglier, though presumably more L10N’d version.

Stacked items now say “item : #” instead of “# items”, health bars now turn green if poisoned (about bloody time). You can no longer combine text commands – “Vendor, move your status” has to be broken into “vendor move” and “vendor status”.

House signs can no longer be coloured, and, amusingly, coloured house signs are stuck in whatever colour they are currently at.

Ye L10N Fixes – 29th March 01 – nocturne
Signs of Dying Latest Game Update :: Various Changes and Fixes and House Decoration Tool fixes
  • Required skills for creating craftable carpentry and tailoring items have been adjusted to require the appropriate level of skill.
  • Certain high level creatures were not including treasure maps as part of their loot. This has been fixed.
  • House sign hueing issues were corrected.
  • A problem with the house decoration tool has been corrected in the following manner:
    • Yellow boxes are no longer flippable.
    • Stackables are no longer flippable.
    • Items over 100 stone weight are no longer changeable.
Dyed House SignsDying House Signs Now that all the signs have returned to normal, I’ll tell you how it’s done, for the record. I assume it went into the game with the code to make the vet reward banners dyable.

Some of the guild signs are dyable. All you had to do was change your sign to one of those guild signs, dye it, then change it to whatever sign you wanted. The special dye tub colours looked really good. And, yes, you can dye your sign with a black dye tub.

I doubt that OSI will officially allow dying of signs, mayhaps as a four-year reward, but I doubt it.


“Vendor, tell the guards to buy me the bank.” – 01st March 01 – nocturne
Testing for Next Update :: Localization and Macros
[160301] The localized support for Ultima Online: Third Dawn will affect the use of combined macros. Players will no longer be able to combine long strings of speech commands to use as a single macro.

Pixies! – 02nd March 01 – nocturne
Melantus has been busy lately.

Regarding Miniature Statues
There have been a lot of posts and questions regarding the miniature statues that have been appearing in UO. These items were introduced into the world by players through a flaw in the way items spawn in the world into things such as dungeon chests, shop barrels, etc.

There was some confusion in the community on whether these items were garnered through a bug or not, and whether people would have their account reviewed for abusing the bug. Use of this bug was not a detriment in any way to gameplay, though it did create service calls and put a greater demand on our support staff. For this reason, we must ask that players with statues gained in this way not contact game masters to remove them from containers or decrease their weight. Game Masters will not assist players with these items.

After our evaluation of the issue, we have decided to leave the currently existing statues in UO. This should not negatively impact the game itself, and we have fixed the way the statues were spawning within the game world. Our stance on bug use has not changed however and it is still clearly stated in the rules of conduct. The decision to not remove statues or audit accounts with statues does not justify the use of game bugs for any purpose. Use of bugs for personal gain is still against UO guidelines, and can possibly lead to account suspension depending on the situation. We ask you to report any anomalies you find. We thank you for any assistance you provide in helping to correct flaws or “game bugs”.
Miniature Statues: New Information
As many of you know and have been discussing here on the boards, one of the main topics of discussion the past day or so has been miniature statues. Player feedback has been and is very important to us, as we have said before. We are adding additional changes to UO that are part of this overall topic of miniature statues. The miniature statues will be added to pixies, in the methods listed below. A large majority of the statues that were obtained by players already cannot be removed from their containers. They are also heavy, thus even ones that could be removed from a container would be unmoveable by players. Gamemasters will neither remove them from a container for the player, nor will they move them for ones players have on the ground. Please read the information below regarding the addition of statues will be able to obtain.

Miniature Statues FAQ

Q: Will the statues from pixies be any different than the ones that spawned in crates?
A: The only difference will be that the statues from pixies weigh less, meaning you will be able to move them around, unlike the statues from the crates. They will need to be locked down as well. Overall, these statues are better than the ones from crates since they can more easily be moved and traded.

Q: Why not make them craftable?
A: Adding a new craftable is actually fairly significant. It requires far more design, coding, and testing than putting new loot on a monster. Given the nature of this issue and the community’s reaction, we felt it best to introduce these items into the world as quickly as possible, while at the same time, keeping finding them interesting and fun. Also, while pixies do hit hard, they are not terribly difficult to kill for most veteran characters… although you do need to be careful if a few of them attack you at once. ;)

Q: Why didn’t you delete the statues?
A: Deleting the statues is certainly a possible solution and one we considered. However, given the fact that these statues may have been bought by players who did not know they were the result of a bug, we felt it was better to simply make the item available to all players. This way, everyone has a chance to get a statue. Also, these items do not negatively affect game-play or generate service calls.

Q: Does that mean those who have the Third Dawn client will get statues first?
A: Probably. These items will appear on pixie corpses about as often as the other new items like deamon bone armor or glacial staves. However, there are plenty more pixies spawning in Ilshenar than the monsters needed to get those items. It shouldn’t take long before there are plenty of statues for sale and trade. Also, it is important to note that you will not need Third Dawn to use or see the statues, the art for the statues exists on the 2d client.

Q: Isn’t this inconsistent policy? Why not delete the statues?
A: Actually, in the past we have put items into the game that were originally the result of a bug. Black dye-tubs and blessed runebooks are good examples of this. Sometimes, if an item does not cause any service or gameplay issues, and it is something the community desires, it is far better to give the community an opportunity to obtain the items, rather than take them away from everyone. Each case is different, but we believe this is one of those cases.

Q: What about the other items like standing armor and tarot cards?
A: The vast majority of the items were statues. While we may or may not add new items such as those to the world again, right now, we are concentrating on the statues. At this time, we have no specific plans to add any other new items.

Q: Won’t I lose karma if I kill pixies?
A: Yes, you will. However, if reputation is important to you, you can still buy the statues from other players. Again, the statues will appear as loot on pixies and since there are a good number of them spawning, it shouldn’t be long before there are plenty to go around.

Q: If I have a statue from a crate that I cannot move, can I call a GM to get it moved?
A: No. GMs will not move or delete these statues. Please do not call a GM regarding these items.
Are 255 stone items illegal?
Any item that comes from an interest event or interest decoration is illegal to own. That would account for many 255 stone items. Any item or decoration placed by GM’s, that weigh that amount are illegal to own. In the past, players that have a brazier (metal stand with burning coals in it) have asked us to remove it from the packs that they are within. the braziers are 255 stones, and wound up in the packs by spawning on certain creatures very long ago. Players that asked about removing this item were told no, we would not remove it. This falls in line with what I said earlier.

Some items are not obviously part of a player-run town, or interest location. Khaldun counts as an interest location. However they are still illegal to own if the player somehow were able to obtain them. An example of this would be flowers placed to block perhaps a hole in the ground or other “bad” spot. While flowers are not as evident as perhaps a sign or large rock, in this example they were still placed there for the purpose of blocking that spot. It just happens that the one placing them there chose to use something that looked nicer then a sign or stone column.

We are allowing for players to keep the miniature statues obtained within the past few days, as I said in our update. Thus the answer to your question is not just a “yes or no”. Obviously there are different situations involved. It doesn’t mean inconsistancy, it means different situations. What is true in all the cases is that GM’s will not move these items for the players. If the item is blocking a pathway or a traffic lane, or causing a problem with gameplay, then the item can be deleted.
And finally, he wants your feedback on certain items In Testing.

Rats! – 04th March 01 – nocturne
Miniature Statues: New Info (updated Mar. 2)
We will make these also spawn on Ratmen Mages, that exist on Siege Perilous and exist within the old Britannia lands. – Melantus
Once a shard gets the new publish, they will start spawning on that shard. – Calandryll
And in this thread
Dark Thalon, you posted complaints before we announced that we were going to make the statues spawn on pixies, saying they should be available to other players. We changed that, so then you posted a complaint saying they weren’t available to 2D client users as easily. We changed that, and now there is a complaint that it is not being implimented in a timely manner. It’s on one of the test shards being tested, and is expected to go in with the very next publish. Let’s give the Dev Team credit for working closely with the players on this issue, and try to be productive even if complaining. – Melantus
FYI :: Client Patches 2.0.8 k, l, m –
We are currently releasing client patch 2.0.8k. This patch contains additional localization files, compatibility files for Third Dawn, an open container crash fix, and various other fixes.

We are currently releasing client patch 2.0.8l. This patch fixes an issue with fishing, and an issue with unmodified (ctrl, shift, alt) macro settings.

We are currently releasing client patch 2.0.8m. This patch fixes an issue with unicode text handling for Windows 95 users, and a fix for partial hueing of certain clothing items.
FYI :: Publish Update, Chesapeake Shard –
We will be publishing the changes and fixes listed in Testing for Next Update to the Chesapeake shard to be active following its Sunday, March 4th (local server time) maintenance period. Changes in this publish include:
  • The addition of the Ilshenar land mass
  • Taxidermy kits
  • Hair Stylist NPCs
  • Item Identification changes
  • Good creatures vs. karma
  • Player-owned vendor changes
  • And several additional updates and fixes listed at Testing for Next Update
Please note: as this publish includes a major number of changes necessary for Ultima Online: Third Dawn, including the addition of the Ilshenar land mass, the Chesapeake shard maintenance period will last approximately 6 hours on Sunday.

Important: While the publish will activate the Ilshenar lands on the Chesapeake shard, the Ultima Online: Third Dawn client is still in beta testing stages. Please keep this in mind before traveling to Ilshenar with any of your established characters. You will be unable to access the Ilshenar lands without the Third Dawn beta client.

We will be opening a Test Chesapeake shard later this evening for those players wishing to test the publish changes on a backup version of the Chesapeake shard. We urge Chesapeake players, as well as other interested players, to drop by and join in the testing.

We will monitor the Chesapeake shard over the remainder of the weekend, and barring any issues, will announce a publish schedule for the remaining shards next week.
FYI :: Test Great Lakes and Test Pacific –
We have opened a Test Great Lakes and a Test Pacific shard with recent backups of these shards updated with all of the items listed in Testing for Next Update. We urge that regular players of both of these shards, and any other interested players stop by and join in the testing.

Please note: while the Ilshenar lands are active on these shards, the Ultima Online: Third Dawn client is still in beta testing stages. You will be unable to access these lands without the Third Dawn beta client.

Client Patch – 05th March 01 – nocturne
FYI :: Client Patch 2.0.8n –
We are currently releasing client patch 2.0.8n. This patch updates several localization files, fixes an issue with speech commands, and resolves issues relating to clothing and sitting.

More L10Ns – 06th March 01 – nocturne
What’s New :: Localization and Ultima Online –
As Ultima Online moves closer to the official release of Third Dawn, many players may have noticed the word “localization” popping up everywhere lately. From client patches with localization files to changes in the way shopkeepers react and items are displayed, localization has had – and will have – a significant effect on the appearance of Ultima Online to players around the world.

So what is localization? Simply put, it’s creating a game that is as easily accessible for our customers around the world as it is for our English-speaking players. As one of the first massively multiplayer games to actively embrace a global audience, we’ve been working on this for a while now; and you can see evidence throughout Ultima Online Renaissance and the UO community. Within the game, certain parts of the client have already been translated to our five official languages: Japanese, Korean, Traditional Chinese, French, and German. Outside the game, we have a full Japanese website mirroring www.uo.com, as well as a fully translated New Player Center, and soon-to-arrive translated versions of our PlayGuide documentation.

However, with the release of Ultima Online: Third Dawn, we’re greatly increasing the amount of in-game localization. In addition to completing the localization of all of the in-game menus – such as the paperdoll, the options menu, shopkeeper menus, etc. – non-English speaking players will at last be able to fully interact textually within the game in their own language. For example, currently on shards that have not received the latest publish, players must say the English word “bank” – in English – to open their bank-box. To non-English speaking players, this means memorizing a list of words and commands that in many cases make no sense whatsoever. It would be similar to asking a native English speaker to remember the words “Je voudrais poser une poubelle” for use in placing a trash barrel inside their house. It isn’t easy, it isn’t fun, and it accounted for roughly 60% of the phrases necessary to play the game – making it something we absolutely needed to change.

Of course, this update would be easier if Ultima Online had been designed as a multi-language game in the first place – it wasn’t. We simply didn’t anticipate the global appeal of the Ultima Online world, and thus it was designed to rely on textual commands. Certain words and phrases that have been added to the game over the last few years simply don’t translate well to one or more of our official languages simply because of the way that languages work. Some languages use different grammatical structures from English, others require nouns to have masculine or feminine genders, and some such as kanji, the Japanese system of writing used in Ultima Online, simply describe concepts in ways completely different than English. To provide for these language differences, we’ve had to change the way some NPCs respond to text commands, or changed the way that certain items appear textually because there is no equivalent translation available.

We are pleased to have created a game that has appealed to players from different countries and vastly different cultures around the world. It is our hope that with these changes, Ultima Online: Third Dawn will continue to foster and support a global community and allow all our players to enjoy their time in the world of Britannia.
For a little more news and a lot more bitching, visit Lum the Mad and, of course, the MyUO Boards.

Getting Your Fix – 07th March 01 – nocturne
Testing for Next Update :: Various Fixes and Changes
[160301] These fixes will be active on the Chesapeake shard following its Wednesday, March 7th maintenance period and will be included with publish to all remaining shards.

UO3D Gold – 08th March 01 – nocturne
As posted to gonegold.com
Just a heads up that UO: Third Dawn has gone gold and will be shipping to retailers on March 27. Let me know if you have any other questions. Web site is http://www.uo3d.com.

David Swofford
Director of Communications
ORIGIN Systems
For those wondering, this doesn’t mean that UO3D is going to be nice and bug-free and up-to-expectations when it hits the store shelves in, oh, three weeks. It just means a bunch of people have bought (or in this case, pre-ordered) the game.

Events ? – 09th March 01 – nocturne
FYI :: Ultima Online Scheduled Events Conclude –
We’d like to thank everyone who participated during the last month of our scheduled Ultima Online events. We hope that everyone enjoyed the events!

We will be taking the time to assess running scheduled events of this type, and to that end, we will be keeping the Event message board open for a few more weeks to allow you to share your feedback with us. The message board is located at http://boards.uo.com/cgi-bin/postlist.pl?Cat=&Board=Events. (A registered UO Message Board account is required to post feedback.)

Once again, our thanks to everyone who participated in these event nights!
In Development :: Magic Weapons and Armor Identification
Magic weapons and armor will display descriptions in brackets once the item is identified, instead of the current numerical values. For example, if you identified an indestructible surpassingly accurate broadsword of force, the system would display it as:

magic broadsword
[indestructible / force / surpassingly accurate]


Before the weapon is identified, the descriptions will be replaced with the word “unidentified”

magic broadsword
[unidentified]


The identification information will appear under the weapon/armor name when the item is single clicked.

More information and exact details on this system will be released in the near future.
The damage numbers (1 to 5) currently on weapons only indicate relative power, not the actual damage bonus. The damage bonuses have not been changed.

Further information can be found at this thread.

Bye Bye Bad Circle – 10th March 01 – nocturne
FYI :: Client Patches 2.0.8 o,p,q,r –
Client patch 2.0.8r addresses some sound issues.
Client patch 2.0.8q addresses a crashing issue.
Client patch 2.0.8p contains additional localization files and updates to item identification.
Client patch 2.0.8o. This patch updates several localization files, fixes an issue with speech commands and vendors, and removes the ninth circle “bad spell” page from spellbooks.

New Fishing Lewd – 13th March 01 – nocturne
All freshly-fished pillows recovered from a shipwreck can now be dyed.

Ropes have been spotted as loot on sea Krakens (as opposed to normal Krakens you find in dungeons).

Before you go use up all the nets carpetting your house, note that this is in effect with the latest patch, and not all shards have been patched yet.

Pics and confirmation as soon as every shard gets patched.

Fishing Lewd Confirmed – 14th March 01 – nocturne
Dyable Pillows As you can see from the pic, all pillows recovered from a shipwreck can now be dyed. The undyed pillow in the upper-left corner was the only pillow that was dyable prior to this patch.

We have also confirmed ropes spawning on Krakens.

With the patch, all the gumps have been changed to an uglier, though presumably more L10N’d version.

Stacked items now say “item : #” instead of “# items”, health bars now turn green if poisoned (about bloody time). You can no longer combine text commands – “Vendor, move your status” has to be broken into “vendor move” and “vendor status”.

House signs can no longer be coloured, and, amusingly, coloured house signs are stuck in whatever colour they are currently at.

Napster is in its death-throes.
FYI :: Client Patch 2.0.8s –
We are currently releasing client patch 2.0.8s. This patch addresses updates changes to the magic item properties display, allows guards to be called using the word “guards”, and updates localization files.

Interior Decorating – 15th March 01 – nocturne
a metal box Do not use a flipflop tool to turn a golden box.

Should you do this, the gold box becomes a strongbox, a non-highlight, non-movable item. Also, the strongbox cannot be turned back into a normal gold box.

If you did it by mistake, I do not suggest calling a GM, they will probably delete it, along with whatever else in your house they decide they do not like.
FYI :: Client Patch 2.0.8t –
Client patch 2.0.8t addresses updates for certain default sounds as well as additional client localization changes.

Stuff and Bother – 16th March 01 – nocturne
Testing for Next Update :: Various Fixes and Changes
  • An issue with Inscription was fixed.
  • Some issues with the Faction system were corrected, including:
    • Joining multiple faction characters from the same account has been fixed.
    • Fixed an exploit with Silver accumulation and retention.
  • Guildmasters unable to remove players from the guild with names listed on the second viewing page of the guild menu has been fixed.
  • Required skills for creating craftable carpentry and tailoring items have been adjusted to require the appropriate level of skill.
  • Certain high level creatures were not including treasure maps as part of their loot. This has been fixed.
  • House sign hueing issues were corrected.
  • The new player tutorial will now accept localized speech commands.
  • Vendors will now change directions to face only the vendor owner when spoken to. Additionally, the distance required for owners speaking to vendors to change their directions has been increased. Players wishing to purchase from vendors will now be able to do some from an increased distance as well.
  • A problem with dungeon traps overlapping has been corrected
  • A problem with the house decoration tool has been corrected in the following manner:
    • Yellow boxes are no longer flippable.
    • Stackables are no longer flippable.
    • Items over 100 stone weight are no longer changeable.
What’s New :: Ultima Online: Third Dawn – Coming Soon! –
We are pleased to officially announce the upcoming release of Ultima Online: Third Dawn – bringing an exciting new dimension to the world of Britannia. Beginning March 27th (March 20th in Japan), Ultima Online: Third Dawn you’ll be able to grab your own copy and start exploring the new and dangerous land of Ilshenar on your favorite Ultima Online shard.

We will be offering a special upgrade offer to all of our existing Ultima Online customers. For 60 days, starting on March 26th, current UO customers with active accounts will be able to order this special upgrade for a price of $9.95 plus shipping and handling. This promotional upgrade version includes the final gold-mastered version of Third Dawn, the new retail version map of Britannia, the Lost Lands, and Ilshenar, and while supplies last – as a special bonus – we’ll include a collector’s edition cloth map of Britannia and the Lost Lands. This upgrade CD does not include a registration code and therefore cannot be used to create a new account nor qualify for new account free game time. Alpha and beta testers who do not wish to participate in the upgrade offer will be given the opportunity to order the Ilshenar and cloth maps for $5.95, with shipping and handling paid by Origin Systems.

In preparation for the launch of Third Dawn, we will officially close the beta testing period on Monday, March 19th. We will be closing the Third Dawn Bug Message Board at that time, and ask that any further issues be directed to tcbugs@uo.com. We appreciate all of the effort that our alpha and beta testers have given to the product and look forward to seeing everyone in this newest incarnation of Britannia.
Which just goes to show you that some people never learn. UO, T2A, UOR and now UO3D. Like, you can’t even say they’re following a winning formula…
Calandryll, Leilo, and LadyMOI (the Unholy Trinity) made a joint comment to OCR Comments.

Where is Melantus in all this shifty business? Who knows?
Update :: The answers are in this thread, some choice quotes follow –
Leilo has been in this department a lot longer then me, she is better qualified for the job then me, and she’s more organized then me. OCR is in good hands. – Melantus
Leilo has been in the community department for over 1.5 years and has been acting as the asst. manager for the department for quite some time. While Melantus has done an amazing job here on the boards, Leilo has been involved with the managerial side of things for far longer. You won’t find anyone in the industry more qualified to run this department than Leilo. – Calandryll
Ok, just to be clear. This actually isn’t a promotion, more like an opportunity. I’m “stepping down” from a management role to take a design position. The reason I put stepping down in quotes, is because in my mind there are no steps up or down, just steps forward. – Calandryll
Well while it may not be a promotion in the corporate sense… the chance to work as a designer with the current design team sure feels like one. :) – Calandryll
Even though I’ve been working behind-the-scenes for the past year and a half, the majority of it has been spent sharing an office with either Cal or Mel. The OCR teams (Mel and my replacement, Gbob and Cynthe) tend to work with one highly -visible Community Coordinator and a less visible, but certainly not less-involved, Content Writer. In the last few years I’ve followed the boards quite closely, but Cal, and now Mel, are excellent community coordinators and I have a great amount of faith in Mel doing what he does best.

That said, I’m sure I’ll be around a bit more often in the future, though probably still a bit on the quiet side while I get up to speed on the new job.

…Besides, I have a rather evil sense of humor that I must take care not to let out in public, feed after midnight, water… or, well, bad things happen. ;)

– Leilo
‘After Monday’ Manager of Community Services

Ye L10N Patche – 16th March 01 – nocturne
Patch March 01 I – Publish that included activating the Ilshenar lands, House Decoration Tools, Taxidermy Kits, Bandage cutting changes, and various other changes and fixes.

Doing the Wright Thing – 17th March 01 – nocturne
“Internally, ‘The Sims’ was a huge struggle getting it released, much more than ‘SimCity,’” Wright says. “We had an official product-selection committee, and I gave my spiel to the committee, and they actually rejected it; they thought we couldn’t do it. At which point I kind of took the whole thing underground. It became my black box project.”
CNet News.Com interviews Will Wright, Gaming God.
What’s next for “The Sims?” – Well, we’re doing an online version. That’s the big focus right now… It’s going to be a persistent online world.

More Stuff and Bother – 18th March 01 – nocturne
Testing for Next Update :: Various Fixes and Changes has been modified with the following –
  • Required skills for creating craftable carpentry and tailoring items have been adjusted to require the appropriate level of skill.
  • Certain high level creatures were not including treasure maps as part of their loot. This has been fixed.
  • House sign hueing issues were corrected.
  • A problem with the house decoration tool has been corrected in the following manner:
    • Yellow boxes are no longer flippable.
    • [Removed Today] Stackables are no longer flippable.
    • [Removed Today] Items over 100 stone weight are no longer changeable.
  • [Removed Today] Guildmasters unable to remove players from the guild with names listed on the second viewing page of the guild menu has been fixed.
  • [Removed Today] The new player tutorial will now accept localized speech commands.
  • [Removed Today] Vendors will now change directions to face only the vendor owner when spoken to. Additionally, the distance required for owners speaking to vendors to change their directions has been increased. Players wishing to purchase from vendors will now be able to do some from an increased distance as well.
  • [Removed Today] A problem with dungeon traps overlapping has been corrected
  • [Removed Today] An issue with Inscription was fixed.
  • [Removed Today] Some issues with the Faction system were corrected, including:
    • Joining multiple faction characters from the same account has been fixed.
    • Fixed an exploit with Silver accumulation and retention.
FYI :: Client Patch 2.0.9, 2.0.9a –
Client patch 2.0.9 addresses a crash fix related to certain localization files.
Client patch 2.0.9a addresses a crash related to viewing certain magic items while the items are in containers or are equipped.
I miss the old gumps, particularly the special dye tubs. The new gumps suxx0rs so much I see stars.

New Addition to Noctalis! – 19th March 01 – Lady Jordan of Sonoma
Hail and well met!

I am Lady Jordan of Sonoma and am looking forward to sharing ideas with you here on Noctalis. I enjoy playing UO very much and have – hopefully – acquired some knowledge in the 3 years since I started. Many on Sonoma know me as a ‘gopher’. hehe It sounds funny but I can locate or get just about anything there is to get on Ultima. I am best known for rares and decorating. Don’t ask me how many times I have RE-decorated the tower, you probably wouldn’t believe me. =)

I am available for questions, comments, suggestions, or even in-game assistance for advise on decorating. Please e-mail me at LadyJordan@noctalis.com.

Have a great day!
Lady Jordan of Sonoma

Real News! UO3D is Bug Free! – 20th March 01 – nocturne
FYI :: Client Patch 3.0.0 –
Client patch 3.0.0 synchronizes version numbers for the client in preparation for the release of Third Dawn.
FYI :: Third Dawn Beta Message Boards –
As a reminder, the Ultima Online: Third Dawn beta message boards will close later today, March 19th. We will be archiving the contents of the message boards to allow the QA team to address any open issues, however we will be shifting focus back to our regular bug reporting method using the tcbugs@uo.com email box. Please direct any additional bugs to either of these email boxes and include the following information:
  • Client Version Number. This is located at the bottom of the main UO login screen.
  • Server Name
  • Detailed Bug Description (step-by-step, tell us what you did and what happened)
  • Date/Time of Occurrence
  • Location (Sextant coordinates, facet, and city location)
  • On-site references (If you spoke with a counselor or GM, what was his/her name and what were you told?)
It is extremely important to include the necessary steps to recreate a bug, thus allowing the QA Team to promptly review it. We do recommend that you try to be as concise as possible when sending in reports as well. Try to tell us only those steps that were necessary to activate the bug.

We would like to thank everyone who took the time to concisely report bugs during this beta period. Your input was invaluable to Ultima Online: Third Dawn.
I guess all the players using the beta 3D client must be having reality issues. The client is bug free, OSI says so. You believe OSI don’t you? OSI is your friend. Got that? Good, Now go get your beta-test T-shirts, it’s a rare, now that the beta is over.

Stories from Ilshenar – 21st March 01 – nocturne
If you are interested in the backstory of the new facet, BNN has some stories regarding Ilshenar – An Introduction to Ilshenar : Part I, Part II, Part III, and Gilforn, which records the discovery of the new facet by a happy mage.

UO :: Stay on Target – 22nd March 01 – nocturne
This from Melantus, in this thread
I just wanted to give the players a status on our priorities with and after Third Dawn. Currently, the Dev Team’s top priority is focused on on shipping Third Dawn and any issues related to the launch of Third Dawn. Second to this, and after Third Dawn is shipped will be a re-focusing of attention on the Veteran Rewards program. The Veteran Rewards system requires a review of the system, and some additional retesting and evaluation. Third Dawn remains the top priority, after which Veteran Rewards will be addressed.

OWO:O :: The Shit Hits The Fan – 22nd March 01 – nocturne
And you wondered why noctalis.com doesn’t have a UO2 site…

Electronic Arts and Origin Systems have announced a plan that will increase their focus on Ultima Online and halt production of OWO: ORIGIN (UO2). The reason is simple, rather than creating OWO: ORIGIN (UO2) as a parallel world competing with UO, we’ve decided to put those resources into growing and improving the core offering for Ultima Online’s 230,000 loyal subscribers. In the near future and with the release next week of Ultima Online: Third Dawn, players will see new lands, new creatures, and a world that is continually evolving within Ultima Online.
So. EA.com/Origin has declared cancelling UO2 in favour of focusing all their efforts on UO.

I find that rather charming. The corporate culture there must be truly fucked. Sometime a year or two ago, they cancelled all projects ((including the fabled Privateer Online)) in favour of UO and UO2. Then they went and fired everyone, including Lord British. Then DD, Dupre and some Wing Commander guy left for Verant ((the three are currently on Star Wars Online)).

UO2 itself is a total joke. From the partnership with Todd McFarlene to the whole name change every month with an E in it trip. Last I heard you were randomly assigned a gender per account and couldn’t change it. Sure, if they had rushed it imcomplete to market ((as they always do)), it wouldn’t have failed. At least no more than AC can be considered a failure. But it wouldn’t have been a success either. Rather amazing that the big bad 3x3cs took so long to figure something that every gamer already knows.

I think Maxis is the only company surviving under EA’s yoke. Origin is empty, Molyneux left. For a games company that screws up games, it’s amazing that their stock is doing so well.

Oh yes, all facts presented here are off-the-top-of-my-head. Rumours are more fun, anyways.
Update :: Massive layoffs over at Origin, looks like Verant Austin is set to expand, mayhaps this time they’ll get Blackthorn. This from Lum, by way of Jinx
Latest update as of 3:30p: Massive layoffs throughout EA. 85 from OSI alone. Kesmai also gutted (at least 40, Battletech and Air Warrior 4 both cancelled) and 80 elsewhere in EA. Harry Potter cancelled. Jack Heistand (OSI’s CEO) gone. Gordon “Tyrant” Walton moved to Sims Online.
Our sympathies to the UO2 dev team. It sucks both to lose a job and to never be able to see the game you’ve been working on for so long on the shelves. Good luck, whatever you do.
Update :: Yup, EA fired Blackthorn too.

I feel really sorry for the dev team. They are, truly, the victims here.

EA, who put the $ in O$I, has shown a consistent lack of consideration for both their staff and their customers. UO lacks customer support because EA won’t fork out the cash. Every release of UO is buggy because it was rushed out the studio by EA.

All the dev team wants is to create great games. Just as all we, the players, want is to play them.

OWO:OooOOOoOooOo – 23rd March 01 – nocturne
You see, the whole problem with UO2 isn’t how far it was to completion ((by some accounts, it was really close)), but how much it would cost to launch, servers, after all, are expensive. EA just bought pogo.com and skipped two years into the future, so they no longer need to launch another game, particularly one which targets the same audience as UO1. Here’s a quote from an email a 1337 EA 3x3c sent out –
First, the acquisition of pogo.com put us two years ahead of schedule on our goal of having the leadership position in family-oriented online gaming. Pogo built a site that was judged by Media Metrix and others as one of the most heavily trafficked sites on the entire Internet. Integrating that content and expertise onto our site resulted in some duplication in our Pop Channel, tech support, quality assurance and customer service in EA/Redwood Shores, Austin and EA/Virginia. The headcount reductions announced today in those locations reflect that consolidation.
Bolding added. The entire email can be found at fuckedcompany.com. Go read it.

I think this one will keep me laughing for the rest of the week. EA.com, because you don’t have to think long term to see your share price rise.

But it gets better, LB himself was spotted at GDC and said this to gamespydaily
As everyone else has heard, I have heard that Origin is now shut down both as a name, which happened a few months ago, as well as the product Ultima Online 2, and the Harry Potter game and a variety of other services. For me, on the one hand, its very sad to see the company that I founded and sheparded for 20 years to basically be coming to a close as an era, so that’s kind of sad. And also to see all of my friends… I’ve got 85 of my best friends that just got laid off. On the other hand, personally, it could be an opportunity in the sense that my non-compete [agreement with EA] runs out here in about 8 days, and I was debating how to hire a team to get back into the business and I know a lot of the best people, a lot of my best friends who were at Origin, were very committed to their team and to their project and to the leadership around them within that company. Of course there was a non-solicit clause in my non-compete, so it would have been difficult for me to build a team. Well, suddenly now its not so difficult, so its going to be interesting for me to go back to Austin and start up discussions with the large stable of close friends who are now looking for something to do, right about the time that I’m looking for something to do, so that should be fun.
Is da man back in the biz? I bloody hope so. Is he willing to hire a ready-built dev team? He certainly can afford it. Will we see X by any other name…? Only Time will tell.

Propz to Lum and Jinx for the links.

PS. For those of you who really believe EA’s “putting those resources into growing and improving UO”, I have a bridge in Britain you might want to buy. The UO2 dev team was fired, so were a lot of other people. Unless your idea of a better UO has something to do with pogo.com or The Sims Online, I really don’t think so.

PPS. Time to do a site for the Sims. Will Wright is God. ((He has to be, to still be working for EA.))

And Now, Back to Boring Britainnia – 25th March 01 – nocturne
FYI :: Client Patch 3.0.0c –
Client patch 3.0.0c addresses and updates more localization as well as some language files.
Melantus posted this on a Khaldun level 2 thread
As it currently exists, there isn’t a second level. That rumor came about because of a stairway covered up by stonework, while in the process of creating the dungeon.
When asked why some GMs (and other OSI staff, for that matter) maintain that there is an undiscovered level 2, he replied –
I wasn’t completely sure myself until just the other day. I think part of the confusion comes from part of Khaldun being referenced as “the second level” when it’s actually just another area of the same level. I know that is getting a little technical on wording, but that could have caused some confusion.

Cynthe Join UO, Players Get Clothmaps – 26th March 01 – nocturne
FYI :: Upgrading to Ultima Online: Third Dawn –
Due to unexpected issues, the Ultima Online: Third Dawn upgrade site will be launching at approximately 12:00 pm (Noon) CST, March 27. We will make public the upgrade site address shortly before the site goes live.

This promotion will last for 60 days, during which current UO customers with active accounts will be able to order this special upgrade for a price of $9.95 plus shipping and handling. The promotional upgrade version of Ultima Online: Third Dawn includes the final gold-mastered version of Third Dawn, the new retail version map of Britannia, the Lost Lands, and Ilshenar, and while supplies last - as a special bonus - we’ll include a collector’s edition cloth map of Britannia and the Lost Lands. This upgrade CD does not include a registration code and therefore cannot be used to create a new account nor qualify for new account free game time. Alpha and beta testers who do not wish to participate in the upgrade offer will be given the opportunity to order the Ilshenar and cloth maps for $5.95, with shipping and handling paid by Origin Systems.

We look forward to seeing everyone in this newest incarnation of Britannia.
Cynthe, former-Melantus of UO2, has joined the UO Live Team as a designer or something, you can read what she has to say in her four posts on the Official Boards.

Jinx is still reporting on the UO2 Fallout, but it seems that everyone is, if not exactly happy about it, at least not going to join the ranks of the unemployed on a permanent basis.

Including Firedog, who just recovered from the previous Fallout.

UO, UO3D, UO2 – 27th March 01 – nocturne
Cynthe is becoming quite the profilic poster. Here, she introduces herself to the role-playing board and maintains how important role-playing is in a role-playing game. Spirit of the game and whatnot. Right.

Lum the Mad continues to post anon emails from bitter ex-staff telling us how short-term EA.com is. Spirit of stupidity and whatnot. Right.

What else is new?
What’s New :: UO: Third Dawn Upgrade Site Open –
The Ultima Online: Third Dawn upgrade offer site is now open at http://www.uo.com/upgrade.html. This promotion will last for 60 days, during which current UO customers with active accounts will be able to order this special upgrade for a price of $9.95 plus shipping and handling. The promotional upgrade version of Ultima Online: Third Dawn includes the final gold-mastered version of Third Dawn, the new retail version map of Britannia, the Lost Lands, and Ilshenar, and while supplies last – as a special bonus – we’ll include a collector’s edition cloth map of Britannia and the Lost Lands. This upgrade CD does not include a registration code and therefore cannot be used to create a new account nor qualify for new account free game time.

Stop by and order your copy today!
Followed by this, five hours later, FYI :: UO: Third Dawn Alpha/Beta Tester Map Offer –
As previously stated, UO: Third Dawn Alpha and Beta testers who do not wish to participate in the full upgrade offer will be given the opportunity to order the Ilshenar and cloth maps for $5.95, with shipping and handling paid by Origin Systems. Due to processing issues, this offer will be available within a couple weeks. We will post additional information prior to making this offer available.
Testing for Next Update :: Various Fixes and Changes
  • The maker’s mark not appearing on legacy (older) items has been fixed. The maker’s mark will now appear on older items that are supposed to show a maker’s mark.
  • A bug was fixed that prevented craftable items requiring grandmaster in a craft skill from being crafted properly.
  • A problem with guilds being unable to rescind or remove a war declaration once issued has been fixed. Now guilds can rescind a war declaration after it has been issued, before the guild being declared upon accepts the war declaration.
  • Problems with item identification have been fixed, and will now function in the following manner:
    • Items will now retain properly the list of which player or players have recently identified the item. As new players identify the item, playerw that have not identified the item recently might need to re-identify the item again to see the full description of the item’s attributes. The owner (defined as the player holding the item in their main backpack or equipping the item) will not need to re-identify the item unless the item is removed from their inventory and identified by other players enough times.
    • The players who “owns” the item will never be removed from the list, as long as they own the item. Ownership is described as holding the item in possession, or within the topmost backpack container.

Can We Fix It?! Yes, We Can! – 28th March 01 – nocturne
Testing for Next Update :: Crafting Bug Fix
A fix has been added to fix crafting for anvils and forges. Also, abbattoirs and pentagrams are now fixed to properly check against the carpentry skill. Thus, these items can now be crafted as intended. The fletching requirement for forge and anvil making has been fixed (removed).
GameSpot UK has a feature, The Ten Best Gameworlds, of which our belov’d Britannia is number four.

Britannia, born on the Apple II at the dawn of personal-computer gaming, is the oldest and one of the most historically rich gameworlds.
It may not be the first, but it sure is the oldest. Quaint thing is that GameSpot spells “Blackthorn” with an “e”. Not a very educated article, all in all, no mention of UO, and they consider Britannia and Sosaria as two seperate lands. Norrath, the world of EverQuest, is number 10.
GameSpot UK has another feature, The Godfathers of Gaming, crediting Lord British for introducing morality into RPGs. Corrections – Garriott has two “t”s, and LB worked on the mysterious “X” before he got fired from EA, not after.

Also on the list is Warren Spector, producer of Deus Ex, who cut his teeth through eight years at Origin, where he worked on Ultimas 6 through 7 part II, Martian Dreams, and both Ultima Underworlds.

Ye L10N Fixes – 29th March 01 – nocturne
Patch March 01 II – Various Fixes, including House Decoration Tool fixes and a fix for the bug that allowed house signs to be dyed.

UO:3D Released + Origin is Dead – 29th March 01 – nocturne
It’s official. Today is the release day of UO:3D.

Also today, and much more momentous, Origin is Dead.

A wake was held, attended by Lords British and Blackthorn, along with a bunch of ex-OSI staff, in the woods of Austin. A funeral pyre, made out of UO2 design notes, was lit with torches in the form of a pyramid, sphere and cube (EA’s old logo).

ORIGIN
We Created Worlds…
1983–2001

Pictures, pictures, more pictures and mad propz to Jinx for the links.

The Flipflop Continues – 30th March 01 – nocturne
Testing for Next Update :: Additional House Decoration Tool Fixes
The following changes to the House Decoration Tool have been added:
  • Fix to the Decoration Tool usage with large crates.
  • Added the ability for the Tool to turn the easel without a canvas.
  • Added several paintings to the item list that the Tool can manipulate.
  • Removed the ability to manipulate the training dummy and pickpocket dips.
Testing for Next Update :: Various Fixes and Changes
  • Problems with item identification have been fixed, and will now function in the following manner:
    • Items will now retain properly the list of which player or players have recently identified the item. As new players identify the item, players that have not identified the item recently might need to re-identify the item again to see the full description of the item’s attributes. The owner (defined as the player holding the item in their main backpack or equipping the item) will not need to re-identify the item unless the item is removed from their inventory and identified by other players enough times.
    • The players who “owns” the item will never be removed from the list, as long as they own the item. Ownership is described as holding the item in possession, or within the topmost backpack container.
  • A problem with guilds being unable to rescind or remove a war declaration once issued has been fixed. Now guilds can rescind a war declaration after it has been issued, before the guild being declared upon accepts the war declaration.
  • [Added Today] Guildmasters unable to remove players from the guild with names listed on the second viewing page of the guild menu has been fixed.
  • [Added Today] The new player tutorial will now accept localized speech commands.
  • [Added Today] Vendors will now change directions to face only the vendor owner when spoken to. Additionally, the distance required for owners speaking to vendors to change their directions has been increased. Players wishing to purchase from vendors will now be able to do some from an increased distance as well.
  • [Added Today] A problem with dungeon traps overlapping has been corrected.
  • [Added Today] An issue with Inscription was fixed.
  • [Added Today] A fix has been added to fix crafting for anvils and forges. Also, abbattoirs and pentagrams are now fixed to properly check against the carpentry skill. Thus, these items can now be crafted as intended. The fletching requirement for forge and anvil making has been fixed (removed).
  • [Removed Today] The maker’s mark not appearing on legacy (older) items has been fixed. The maker’s mark will now appear on older items that are supposed to show a maker’s mark.
  • [Removed Today] A bug was fixed that prevented craftable items requiring grandmaster in a craft skill from being crafted properly.
The whole Various Fixes and Changes thing is a total mess. They keep adding and removing items. Just fix it already, geez.
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