|Faction Fixes – 03rd May 01 – nocturne|
|Latest Game Update :: Two New Fixes –
|Latest Game Update :: Various Fixes and Changes April 25 –
|Latest Game Update :: Faction Election changes –
Factions elections have been re-written to correct several problems. Elections will proceed in the following manner.
Normal Election cycles will be 9 days. They will consist of 3 sub-cycles termed “election pending”, “campaigning”, and “open voting”. Each of these election cycles can last from one to five days.
|Comments – 03rd May 01 – nocturne|
|Web Group Comments has a new post by Marketing, which, though we’re getting used to strange handles, actually represents the entire Marketing Dept.. Then again, judging from the results, Marketing at OSI is probably just one guy. How else can you explain releasing software before it’s ready…?|
|Dev Team Comments has yet another post, this time from Adrick, who fesses up to being behind the two most fucked up things in recent history – Factions and Localistation. Oh, wait, Vet Rewards was a fuck up too, and Third Dawn… mmm. Adrick actually does a rather good job, relatively speaking. Go Adrick!|
|And someone got fired – FYI :: Ultima Online Customer Service Employee Terminated –
On Wednesday, May 2nd, Origin Systems (OSI) was alerted to the possible misconduct of an individual employed within the GM Support Department. Upon investigation, OSI found reason to believe that this employee was engaging in activities that breached the trust that must exist between a company, its employees, and its customers. The decision by OSI management in this case was immediate dismissal. All actions that are taken by members of our support staff are logged and monitored, and we investigate all reports of GM misbehavior that we receive. We are grateful to players who bring these incidents to our attention, as these reports are used to ensure that OSI representatives are providing the best possible service at all times. If you believe that a GM or any OSI representative is behaving in anything less than the highest standard of service, we ask you to please email firstname.lastname@example.org with the details of your issue. Only the most senior representatives of our support staff read this mailbox, and we assure you that your issue will be thoroughly investigated. We take our responsibility to our customers very seriously, and we will not allow anyone – staff or otherwise – to abuse our terms of service or the trust of our customers.Personally, I’ve yet to receive “the highest standard of service”, but that’s probably just me.
|Get your Player Events here!|
|Faction Fixes – 03rd May 01 – nocturne|
|Patch May 01 – Fixes to Maker’s Mark and requirements to some craftable items requiring grandmaster skill to create, Facial Hair/Beard menus, Disguise kit menu, Faction joining problem with certain characters and changes to how the Faction Election System works.|
|Cloth Maps – 04th May 01 – nocturne|
|FYI :: Third Dawn Alpha and Beta Tester Map Offer –
In appreciation for participation in the Ultima Online: Third Dawn Alpha and Beta Tests, we are extending the following special offer allowing Alpha/Beta testers to order one of our collector’s edition, full-color cloth maps of the original and Lost Lands of Britannia. This offer includes the map and cost of shipping for $5.95 domestic (U.S., Hawaii, Alaska, Guam, U.S. Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico) or $6.95 International.
|Dev Team Comments :: Prophet Speaks on Veteran Rewards –
Hail Citizens of Britannia,
|What’s New :: Veteran Rewards in Testing –
After addressing several issues affecting the Rewards system, we have activated the Veteran Rewards system on the Test Rewards shard as of Friday, May 4th. We urge that all interested players stop by to participate in testing!
|Rumors and Such – 05th May 01 – nocturne|
|FYI :: Prequel Fiction: Rumors and Such –
Rumors of orc sightings and talk of missing sheep has been percolating through some of the towns of Britannia. Could this be a natural migration? Some of the resident orc experts don’t think so.Looks like Calandryll’s events thing is coming up.
|Ultima Online Program Changes – 09th May 01 – nocturne|
|FYI :: Ultima Online Program Changes –
In the coming weeks and months, Ultima Online players will begin to see changes to the UO experience that will affect and impact the game in many ways as we update systems, introduce new content, and continue to grow and expand the world of Britannia.I’m really wondering how much of UO Japan has to do with UO proper. It seems they follow a whole different set of rules.
As for the “permanent acknowledgement”, on Brit Tram Sonoma, at least, I saw a pair of statues, along with three “an ornate plaque”. I guess they acknowledge that the Counselor program did nothing at all.
|Counselor Closing – 10th May 01 – nocturne|
|Some really good reading on the Counselor Program being cancelled is here in this post on LtM, along with its discussion thread.|
Volunteer Relations has no comment.
Turns out you have to double-click the plaques to see the tribute, here’s a Screenshot. My own thoughts, for those poor souls bored enough to be interested, have not changed, I still believe OSI ought to get kids in China.
|Destination Games – 11th May 01 – nocturne|
|Lord British will be at E3 to announce his newly formed Destination Games. As you can see from this article, Lord Blackthorn and LadyMOI are no longer unemployed.|
Visit their under construction page, you’ll see something that will look quite familiar.
|Lines of Communication – 14th May 01 – nocturne|
|It’s Melantus’s turn at the comments thing, where he talks about how he can’t talk about stuff, because after the whole Alchemy and Necromancy thing, OSI really doesn’t want to compromise its integrity any farther. Because, you know, not delivering on a promise is a bad as delivering half-way on a promise and all. Or something.|
|2D Patch 3.0.1a + 3D Patch 3.0.1d Build 63 – 15th May 01 – nocturne|
|FYI :: 2D and 3D Client Patch –
We will be releasing a client patch on Monday, May 14th at approximately 2:30 pm CDT. This patch will contain art changes and updates, an updated credits file, and a bug fix to allow players to sell items to vendors in Ilshenar.
|Sage on Sat Loss – 16th May 01 – nocturne|
|Sage, 1337 Designer, posted the following, on Stat Loss and the bad ’ol days, to some email group I’m not on –
Stat loss. Those two words strike fear into the heart of every PK in the game. To understand why stat loss was put into the game, you need to analyze the past of Ultima Online in an objective manner.
|Sometimes the Destination comes as a surprise to the destined. – 16th May 01 – nocturne|
|GameSpy interviews Lord British, in which it is explained the silver serpent on Destination’s homepage, the choice of the name ((a juxtaposition of Origin)) and other bits and pieces pre-E3, which is most interesting.|
|The British Lineage – 17th May 01 – nocturne|
|GameSpy’s E3 Coverage –|
In somewhat of a strange twist of events, Richard Garriot (AKA Lord Brittish and founder of Origin Systems) announced today that his company, Destination Games, would join Korean-based online game developer NCsoft. Garriot gave further details on his plans for his development team, which apparently involves NCsoft’s game, Lineage: The Blood Pledge.
|I’ll just post this here on the off-chance that you haven’t been to any of the many many UO sites already quoting Jinx.|
I’ve heard from a few sources that Paul “Sage” Sage and Kirk “Runesabre” Black are leaving UO. As always this is a rumor, but with Sage going to E3 “unofficially” to hang out with an “old friend who is not in the business”, it stands to reason (in my deluded mind, anyway) that he is going to see about hooking up with Richard “My Alter Ego is a Registered Trademark” Garriot’s new company or possibly to hook up with the Star Wars Galaxies team (either way he’ll be with former friends from OSI – OSI has more or less supplied every MMORPG development team in existence with at least 2 or 3 warm bodies).Sage is the 1337 Designer, as mentioned in yesterday’s post, Runesabre is Producer, LB is LB, and forever will be.
In other moderately interesting news, Cynthe is still around. She’s married to Sage, btb, if you’re wondering about the name.
|ASL ? – 18th May 01 – nocturne|
|This LA Times article makes a big issue out of gender identity. Here’s a clue – if you’re looking for something not game-related, download mIRC. If you’re looking for something game-related, it doesn’t matter if the avatar you’re dealing with is male or female.|
As an afterthought, table-top RPing is a lot more fun, anyways.
|We Have Arrived… – 18th May 01 – nocturne|
|The Destination Games page has been updated, with the Press Release of the NCSoft partnership and Bios of LB, Robert Garriott and Lord Blackthorn.|
And it looks like LB has arrived in whatever-the-Lineage-world-is-called, at least, according to this Wired News Report.
He also plans to make an appearance in the Lineage world with his electronic alter ego. “In Ultima Online fiction, Lord British has already left Britannia (the fictional land he ruled in Garriott’s games), so this is a great opportunity for him to go and visit new worlds,” he joked.
|Got Orc ? – 19th May 01 – nocturne|
That Orc Thing is getting some attention from Calandryll in this post, along with a promise to surprise tamers, bards and everyone else as the scenerio moves on.
Also, I think the Shadowclan orcs (and other orc RP groups) will find the masks themselves to be of great interest.The message after this post tells you exactly what the mask does, if you want a spoiler. Also word of a new Orc creature, the Orc Avenger, or something. The pic in this post is unused art from the 2D client. Hyper, isn’t he?
Calandryll also wrote a pretty cool post in this thread on the Lum the Mad Forums, about Marketing, Hype and stuff.
|FYI :: Sign up for the UO Newsletter! –
Want to keep up-to-date on all the latest news in the world of Ultima Online? From spotlights to shard openings, to news about patches and new systems, the Ultima Online Newsletter is sent out once a month, and only to those who have subscribed. It’s coming next week, so make sure you don’t miss it – click here to sign up today!
|Tabula Rasa – 20th May 01 – nocturne|
|WRE reports from E3 –|
Garriott, Starr Long and NCSoft’s Jake Song (the creator of Lineage) will work on creating a new multiplayer title that will attempt to capture both U.S. and international audiences. The game, currently code-named “Tabula Rosa”, won’t be out for roughly another two-and-a-half years, but WRE was able to uncover a few details.For the terminally bored, you can check out the meaning of the phrase at dictionary.com.
GameSpy also has an article covering the founding and immediate acquisition of Destination Games. Interesting news is that Jake Song and Taekjin Kim, CEO of NCsoft, will be relocating to Austin. Lum the Mad has a write-up, as well as some pictures of all the folks involved, in his E3 report. GameSpot has more pictures in its report.
|Sage and Runesabre have left the building. This and more in this article from GameSpy –|
When I was originally scheduled to meet with David Swofford to discussion the future of Ultima Online, he mentioned that Paul Sage, Ultima Online’s lead designer, would be with him, and Kirk “Runesword” Black, UO’s lead programmer and executive producer, might possibly even join us. That was about nine days ago. Since then, both have voluntarily left Origin Systems for parts unknown. So instead of meeting with them, I ended up meeting with David Swofford and Rick Hall.
|On Quests – 21th May 01 – nocturne|
|Calandryll clarifies a statement made in the article in this thread on the Lum the Mad boards –
“It will even be possible to have different outcomes to the storylines per shard and world, although it doesn’t sound like the branching stories will be long lasting. It seems as though once a new cycle starts, all shards and worlds will begin at the same place once more.”
|On the Boards – 22th May 01 – nocturne|
|Tyrant, like Big Brother, is still watching –|
I’ve recommended that when UO is no longer profitable that we license the shards to the remaining players (since it is their world). No guarantees of course on this, but it seems like the smartest move. We don’t have to worry about this for at least 5 more years though as UO is still growing. :)Melantus is back from E3, and assuring you that everything is alright –
Vet Rewards – Still in testing. We expect them to be in the next main publish, but that could change depending on if we find anything wrong to delay it. So far the test is doing well, and we will keep working on it.
|Tabula Rasa – 22th May 01 – nocturne|
|More Tabula Rasa news in this GameSpot article –|
One of the main features that Garriott stressed about the game is that it will not be designed to reward devotion. That is, the phenomenon seen in many popular online role-playing games – that you need to invest a very substantial amount of time each week in order to be as experienced as other players – won’t be inherent in Tabula Rasa.Also of note, RPGvault reports that Paul Sage has, indeed, joined Destination. I’ll quote the entire relevant bit, since the page hasn’t been archived –
Among the other Destination Games team members introduced last week were technical principals Jeremy Gaffney (Asheron’s Call, UWO: Origin), Bill Randolph (C&C, Ultima IX: Ascension) and Jay Lee (UWO: Origin, Navy Seals), plus creative principals Carly Staehlin (UWO: Origin, Ultima IX: Ascension), Victor Meinert (UWO: Origin, Ultima IX: Ascension) and Scott Jones (Ultima IX: Ascension, Ultima Online: Third Dawn). And another recent addition is Paul Sage, formerly of the UO Live team.Cynthe is still with UO, as she mentions in this thread –
I am indeed staying at OSI. :) I enjoy my job considerably, and still feel very strongly that this community and this game are worth supporting. We have a lot ahead of us, and we still have extremely talented people at the helm.
|Skara Brae – 23th May 01 – nocturne|
|While we’re on the topic of game-design in Tabula Rasa, and narrative-design in UO, we have this article on Replayability in Games, from Gamasutra.
And if you take the ferry over to the Orkneys, you can visit dozens of ancient stone monuments left by people hardier than we: Neolithic farmers, Picts, Vikings. Among them is a beautifully preserved little village, Skara Brae, where all the walls, floors, and even furniture are made of flagstones. Nowadays you can stand on the wall-tops, look down into the roofless rooms with their beds and shelves and cupboards all of stone, and try to imagine what it must have been like during the icy howling darkness of a North Sea winter’s night, five thousand years ago. People dressed in skins, huddling around the hearth in the reeking gloom, burning such driftwood as they could find, the only light coming from the fire.
|The New Yorker has a very long article about UO. She covers some history, chats with LB, DD, Dupre and Blackthorne, and finishes off by attending the wake. Pretty cool.|
|Gromm on the Stage – 23th May 01 – nocturne|
|Gromm speaks in Dev Team Comments, about how the scenerio now playing out is a lot like acting and all. Obviously doesn’t have a background in traditional RPing. More comments in NetOps Comments, about how great working at UO is and all, or something.|
|In Development :: Faction Changes and Corrections & Additional Fixes and Changes To Factions –
Word is Adrick is being considered for 1337 Designer. God knows he’s the only one not on the scenerio team who seems to be working.
|Bowed Over – 24th May 01 – nocturne|
|Orc Scouts, along with orcish bows, coming soon to a town near Yew!|
|Here’s the text you get when you Arms Lore an Orcish Mask –|
This item, a mask of orcish kin, provides almost no protection. It looks unused.
|Just a quick note – the new distributed backup system will be activated on GL and LS today following maintenance. The new system is already on AOL and Atl, and will reduce backup time to between five and fifteen minutes. So, don’t do anything thinking it won’t “save”.|
|A man walks into a bar… *ouch* – 25th May 01 – nocturne|
|In Development :: Player Owned Bartenders –
 [Barkeeps] Players will now be able to purchase and own a barkeep, that can be placed in the player’s house. The barkeeps will serve as a method for players to support and announce their own events and quests, as well as give out scenario hints like town cryers.
|Bitch about wanting to place one in your small house here. Oh, new orc story in BNN. I’ll probably put up a new section for the scenerio sometime soon.|
|Jake Song Speaks – 26th May 01 – nocturne|
|RPGVault has an interview with Jake Song, the other big name in the new Destination Games, being the creator of Lineage and all. You know, I actually like the guy, for some strange reason.|
|Baja Tram :: Made my first trip down to the Ogre Lord island today. I haven’t been there more than twice since it was the Luprechan island, however you spell that.|
I must say it’s totally shocking. I mean, I knew from reading the boards that it was bad, I just didn’t imagine it was this bad. It’s wrong – yes, wrong – that someone can be a Lord or Lady with skills that low. Sorta gives a new slant to Despise.
Ah well, lots of people have registered their comment, so I’ll spare the rant. Honestly, though, if you aren’t GM, displaying your title to the world is just weak.
Hi to Samantha [+V+], who brought me there in the first place.
Hokuto Fel:: I ran into “a paladin”. Or, to be more precise, “a paladin the mystic llamaherder”. Totally weird. He was hanging round the T2A Orc Fort + Graveyard being beat down by a bunch of undead, repeatedly healing himself. He can’t seem to die. He’s probably still there now.
Here’s the screenshot – he looks just as nakedly pale in 3D, so I didn’t take a pic. Here’s a screenshot of a True Brit Guard paladin, for juxtaposition.
|EA.com – 28th May 01 – nocturne|
|EA.com is confident of making money. No mention of UO, though, which I find surprising, seeing as UO is their cashcow. MoOOOooOOooo!|
|Destination Interview – 29th May 01 – nocturne|
|Voodoo Extreme has an interview with Lords British and Blackthorn, conducted at E3.|
“It is absolutely not a medieval sword and sorcery game,” Garriott said, “It is absolutely not a science-fiction space opera game. In fact, the best characterization for our current thought, although this could change, but it’s definitely not the first two, I would call a ‘stylized contemporary reality’. We like to believe that we are really creating a new genre.”
|On the Boards – 30th May 01 – nocturne|
|Is there a reagent issue? ((Of course I said there isn’t, I buy enough to support my characters with excess to sell.)) Vet Reward Update from Prophet. Scenerio and Siege questions answered by Cal, who also assures us the mask and bow are here to stay.|
|The Quest Goes On – 31st May 01 – nocturne|
New item – “an evil orc helm” – can be found on Orc Lords. More info as we get it.
I was told that Stratics has reported that using the mask and bow together will allow you to engage Orcs without the mask exploding. This is wrong. Also, orcs will target you should you polymoth while wearing the mask. This will cause the mask to explode.
The latest installment of the backstory has been posted – Homecoming.
|General Testing :: Looting Rights Fixes –
The following issues with looting rights have been modified:This was coded by Adrick and Calandryll.
|Dev Team Comments ((now coming three times a week!!!)) has a post by Hanse, about bug-killing and how it’s really rewarding and stuff.|
FYI says “exploiting is bad and can get you banned”. Lum says “peekaying is bad and can get you banned”. Gosh, but the Tramfolk whine a lot.
Today is the last day for the Third Dawn Upgrade Order, or click here if you were an alpha or beta tester and just want the cloth map.
|A Moment – 31st May 01 – nocturne|
|Allow me a moment –
My sister, Monique Esther Chaya Tester, died last night of complications from her metastatic breast cancer. She was 35 years old. She had been battling cancer for the last six years. Over the years, the cancer took her breasts, her ability have children and 5 inches of her height. It never took her resolve, her strength or her spirit. Monique is the strongest person I’ve ever known and will ever know. She suffered on a daily basis in a way most of us couldn’t imagine. I can never begin to express how proud of her I am or how much I admired her.From Jinx, over at the The Chosen. I don’t know Jinx personally, and I have nothing deep or meaningful to say, as no words can touch the depth of his loss. But I’d just like to take a moment, to reflect on life and time. And I hope you would too.