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August 01

Build 69 – 15th August 01 – nocturne
Latest Game Update :: 2D and 3D Client Patch – Build 69
The current versions should now be 3.0.3a (2D client) and 3.0.3a Build 69 (3D client).

3D CLIENT
  • Paperdoll synch bugs from previous patch should be resolved.
  • Containers should work properly:
    • Relative locations of objects should match between 2D and 3D.
    • Container pics on 3D resizable container gumps should hue to match item.
    • Bug where tall items might cause the contents of a container to vanish should be fixed, as should the crash that might occur in these incidents.
  • The following have been converted from 2D sprites to 3D models:
    • Rabbits
    • Snakes
    • Bullfrogs
    • Small Birds
    • Large Birds
    • Town & Sewer Rats
  • Some scenario models are also in this release.
  • Some creatures will now hue in the Third Dawn client:
    • Cats
    • Dogs
    • Ostards
    • Small Birds
2D CLIENT
  • Interface art needed for the event scenario is included in the 2D patch.
BOTH CLIENTS
  • Some problems with arm/disarm macros have been resolved.
  • Books and Bulletin boards now support Unicode characters.
  • Macros now support Unicode
  • Lots of localization file changes.
Latest Game Update :: Crash Issue
This update addresses certain crashing issues involving containers.

Ye Bigge Patch – 20th August 01 – nocturne
Latest Game Update :: Combat Damage Changes
Changes to combat damage and how it is calculated.
  • Hit Point Calculation
    • The following change will be made to the manner in which hit points are calculated for players.
    • Hit Points = (str/2) + 50
    • Note: Any spells or effects that modify strength will also modify the target’s maximum hit points equally. For example, under the new formula, a player with 80 strength will have 90 hit points. However, if they drink a greater strength potion, their strength will be 80+20 (100) and their maximum hit points will be 90+20 (110).
  • Anatomy Damage Bonus
    • A bug causing the Anatomy damage bonus to be doubled against players will be fixed. However, the maximum damage bonus for anatomy will be increased to 30% upon reaching 100.0 skill (the damage bonus will still be 20% for players with less then 100.0 anatomy skill.
    • This change will have the following consequences…
      • Under the current system, a player with an anatomy skill of 100.0 can receive a 20% damage bonus against monsters, and a 40% damage bonus against players.
      • Under the new system, a player with an anatomy skill of 100.0 will receive a 30% damage bonus against both monsters and players.
      • Similarly, a player under the current system with a skill of 80.0 can receive a 16% damage bonus against monsters, and a 32% damage bonus against players. Under the new system, this player will receive a 16% damage bonus against both monsters and players.
  • Lumberjack Damage Bonus
    • The Lumberjacking skill will now add a damage bonus to axe weapons using the same formula as described for the anatomy damage bonus.
    • The bonus is 20% of the lumberjack skill until 99.9 skill and 30% for 100 skill.
  • Spellbooks
    • Players will no longer be required to equip their spellbooks while casting. They may continue to do so if they so choose (holding a spellbook will not prevent you from casting a spell).
    • Players will be able to gain Wrestling and/or Tactics skill while holding a spellbook if the appropriate skill is marked to go “up”.
  • Spell Changes
    • Spells
    • Several spells will have their power increased, particularly low-circle spells.
    • The following spells will do noticably more damage than before ::
      • Magic Arrow
      • Fireball
      • Lightning Bolt
    • The following spells will be given a small damage increase ::
      • Energy Bolt
      • Explosion
      • [Added Today] Chain Lightning
      • [Added Today] Meteor Swarm
      • Flamestrike
    • In addition, some spells will have lower reagent costs (note: until players receive a client patch these changes will not be visible in the spellbook).
      • Magic Arrow – 1 Sulfurous Ash
      • Fireball – 1 Black Pearl
      • Lightning – 1 Mandrake Root, 1 Sulfurous Ash
      • Explosion – 1 Bloodmoss, 1 Mandrake Root
    • Harm – The “Harm” spell will have its damage scaled based upon the caster’s distance to the target. The closer the caster is to the target, the more damage it deals.
  • [Added Today] Special Hits
    • Special hits now work on monsters as well as players.
    • NPCs can now do special hits if they have the anatomy skill and a two-handed melee weapon equipped.
    • All special hits done with 2-handed weapons now base their chance to go off on the attacker’s Anatomy. The percentage chance to do a special hit is: Anatomy / 4. This would create the following chances:
      • 0.0 Anatomy skill yields a 0% chance
      • 40.0 Anatomy skill yields a 10% chance
      • 100.0 Anatomy skill yields a 25% chance
  • [Added Today] Pre-Casting “Pre-casting” has been re-enabled as follows:
    • You cannot equip anything while you are casting.
    • After you cast a spell, it will “time out” after 30 seconds and can no longer target anything. During those 30 seconds, you can now equip a weapon, attack with it without ruining your stored spell. When you release the spell, you will automatically unwield your weapon.
  • [Added Today] Negative Acts In City Regions
    • You can no longer perform negative acts on players and NPCs in Trammel city and justice regions. Because there was no viable way to “get away” with performing negative acts in Trammel where guards would instantly kill you (with the exception of exploits), we felt there was no need to present the option.
Latest Game Update :: Treasure Map Changes
Several updates and changes will occur for treasure maps. The specifics are listed below.
  • “Level 0” treasure maps are being made available for young characters while they are in the Haven area. The details on these new level 0 maps are:
    • It will produce fewer monsters, and weaker monsters;
    • It will produce less treasure (typically including another level 0 map);
    • The treasure chests are not locked or trapped;
    • The treasure chest will not open until all three guardian monsters are dead;
    • Once the map owner is no longer a young player, the map transforms into a level 1 map the next time the owner uses it.
  • If a treasure chest is empty, another map for that same location can be used to remove the empty chest.
  • A label will identify the level of the treasure map.
    • a youthful treasure map – level 0
    • a plainly drawn treasure map – level 1
    • an expertly drawn treasure map – level 2
    • an adeptly drawn treasure map – level 3
    • a cleverly drawn treasure map – level 4
    • a deviously drawn treasure map – level 5
    • an undecoded treasure map will still have the addition of “tattered” — plus one of the above notations — until being decoded.
  • A treasure map will be able to be used by those who do not own it, providing that they have enough Cartography to decode it.
  • It will now be possible for players to reach 99.5 in cartography through creating world maps as well as through decoding treasure maps (previously, a player could only reach a skill of 98.5 through creating world maps).
Latest Game Update :: Tutorial & Haven Changes
Several updates and changes will occur for new players, young characters, the tutorial area, and the city of Haven. The specifics are listed below.
  • Young characters that die while taking the tutorial will be removed from the tutorial and sent to Haven.
  • The ability to buy unlimited amounts of bread during the tutorial is being corrected.
  • The armorer in Haven will now sell the proper items.
  • Floor tiles underneath practice dummies within the tutorial will highlight.
  • The tutorial area will now be an insta-log region.
  • [Added Today] Young players can insta-log anywhere.
  • NPC guards in Haven will be “upgraded” to be more in line with NPC guards in veteran areas.
  • An issue involving spinning wheels within the tutorial area becoming “stuck” is being corrected.
  • [Added Today] The Paperdoll and Status Bar interfaces are automatically closed in the tutorial before the method for opening them is introduced.
  • An issue disallowing the ability to bake pies in ovens in the tutorial area is being corrected.
  • Players will no longer be required to type “Hello” before advancing into the tutorial.
  • The degree to which NPC shopkeepers wander in Haven will be reduced, to better allow new players to interact with them.
  • Reagents, especially those used for Fireball and Magic Arrow, will now spawn in Haven.
  • [Added Today] Shopkeepers will always have a stock of each item they normally sell, in a quantity of at least 10, for young players.
  • Wandering Healers are being placed outside the city of Haven.
  • A forge will be placed inside the mine entrance to help new players produce ingots more efficiently. This is especially important due to the low level of the character’s strength, and the fact that pack horses are not a viable option.
  • [Added Today] The following starting equipment has been modified for specific skills:
    • Blacksmithy
      • smith hammer
      • 2 pickaxes
      • 50 iron ingots
      • apron
    • Healing
      • 50 bandages
      • scissors
    • Lockpicking
      • 20 lockpicks
    • Magery
      • 30 of each reagent
      • Spellbook with Heal, Magic Arrow, Night Sight, Cure, Harm, Strength, Fireball, Poison, Teleport, Fire Field, Greater Heal, Lightning
      • Random scroll that is one of the following: Reactive Armor, Clumsy, Create Food, Feeblemind, or Weaken
      • Random scroll that is one of the following: Agility, Cunning, Magic Trap, Magic Untrap, or Protection
      • Random scroll that is one of the following: Bless, Magic Lock, Unlock, Telekenisis, or Wall of Stone
    • Snooping
      • 20 lockpicks
    • Stealing
      • 20 lockpicks
    • Tactics
      • a katana
    • Tinkering
      • tinker’s tools
Ignatz, telling you how to keep the monsters spawning –
Actually, in this case, I specifically made sure the extra treasure chests guardians could still be called up before making the “can’t add items” change.

To accomplish this, all you need do is attempt to move one of the items in the treasure chest. Yes, the item will snap back to it’s original position, but it will still trigger the check to spawn an extra guardian… whether or not the item actually changed locations doesn’t matter in this case. (By the way, this guardian spawn check will also happen when you remove an item, same as it always has)

The guardian spawn check itself is unchanged… with the same chance to spawn a guardian and the same limits on the maximum number of them.


Of All Time – 01st August 01 – nocturne
You know, every time someone comes up with a list having the words “gaming” and “of all time”, Ultima will surface somehow. This time round, GameSpy, as part of their Top 50 Games of All Time feature, asked some developers what their Top 10 Games were.

Lists with Ultima Somewhere in ItLists without
  1. Richard Garriott, Destination Games – 1. U4, 6. Ultima Underworld
  2. Bill Roper, Blizzard Entertainment – 5. U3
  3. Tom Hall, ex-Ion Storm Dallas – 2. U3
  4. Warren Spector, Ion Storm Austin – 4. U4
  5. Greg Zeschuk, BioWare – 3. Ultima Series
  6. Brandon “GreenMarine” Reinhart, 3DRealms – 6. Ultima VII, 9. Ultima Online
  7. Ed del Castillo, Liquid Entertainment – 8. U3
  8. Randy Pitchford, Gearbox Software – 7. U5
  9. Robert Duffy, id Software – 10. U3
  10. Gabe Newell, Valve Software – 6. Ultima Underworld
  11. Cliff Bleszinski, Epic Games – 7. Ultima Underworld
  12. Ray Muzyka, BioWare – 2. Ultima Underworld, 5. U2,U4,U5
  13. Brian Reynolds, Big Huge Games – 4. U6
  14. Scott Miller, 3DRealms – 5. U3
  15. Kenn Hoekstra, Raven Software – 2. Ultima Underworld
  16. Kevin Lambert, Monolith Productions – 5. Ultima Online
  1. Levelord, Ritual Entertainment
  2. Harvey Smith, Ion Storm
  3. David Perry, Shiny Entertainment
  4. Alan Emrich, Quicksilver Software
  5. Jeff Tunnell, GarageGames
  6. Graeme Devine, id Software
  7. Rick Johnson, Raven Software

On the Top50 List itself, Ultima held a respectable 10%, in the following positions –

48. Ultima Online
Brandon “GreenMarine” Reinhart, 3DRealms: “It was the first multiplayer game of that magnitude I ever played. I used to play a lot of MUDs and this was like a super mud. I played it a lot. I cheated, I exploited, I killed. I loved it all.”
42. Ultima V
Bob McCabe, BioWare: “This whole series is wonderful, but Ultima V still stands out in my mind as the best title in the group. Awesome music, great story, great atmosphere. Just a fun all-around game.”
41. Ultima III
Tom Hall, formerly with Ion Storm: “I mapped this all out, found secrets, learned the runic alphabet. I was totally in love with this game. And some great tricks in the ending castle. Loved it. I made some parody games called the Penultimas.”
8. Ultima Underworld: The Stygian Abyss
Steve Gilmour, BioWare: “The very first PC game I ever laid hands on. I had bought a computer off a geek at UBC, and of course the box came with 4 or 5 games. I remeber playing a few, then I got UU going. 8 hours later I remembered to empty my bladder. It was suddenly night, and I had no idea where I was. All I knew was that I had to get those runes.”
7. Ultima IV: Quest of the Avatar
Levelord, Ritual Entertainment: “I spent even MORE hours playing this than Silent Service while going to UCLA. I can honestly say that my GPA went down a good 1 – 2 points because of Ultima IV.”
If the count had been by series instead of individually, Ultima would have come in at #2, right after DOOM.

And, to complete this cut-and-paste update, a quote from LB, on Command & Conquer, #31 on the list.
Richard Garriott, Destination Games: “Though I know there were earlier RTS games, none really got the mix just right to open up this powerful genre. The original C&C still has great strategic subtlety that most other RTS’s still miss out on.”

New in Testing – 03rd August 01 – nocturne
Testing for Next Update :: Crashing & Shopkeeper Restocking Fixes
This testing update addresses certain crashing issues involving containers, and a fix is being added regarding restocking & overstocking of certain NPC vendor inventory items.
  • A crash issue involving containers is being addressed, and involves dumping items to a players/pets feet if their pack is overloaded
  • To ensure that player-created materials retain their value, a fix is being added to vendors that will allow only up to 10 of each of the following items to be available from that vendor (until it restocks its inventory).
    • boards
    • arrows
    • ingots
    • bolts
    • hides
General Testing :: Creating Boards, Teleporting into Blocked Locations, and Balron Spawning Fix
This update addresses the creation of boards, stuck players teleporting into blocked locations, and adjusting the balron spawning within an Ilshenar dungeon.
  • Players will no longer gain skill for creating boards, and all logs in a player’s backpack will be changed into boards when boards are created.
  • An issue where stuck players could be teleported into blocked locations (causing them to be stuck again) has been resolved.
  • Fixed an issue causing balrons to spawn in an inaccessible area in an Ilshenar dungeon.
FierY iCe –
You have to push back (ie: shrink, ie: kill lots and lots of monsters to make it shrink…) the spawn to try and summon the champion. The spawn area does have to grow to a certain size before it is eligible for a champion though.

The spawn area shrinks and grows. And the spawn size is directly related to the size of the spawn area…
Calandryll –
Tribal spears do no extra damage against dragons or other pets. Also, they are not the equivalent of a power weapon, they are more akin to a force weapon.

Online Worlds Fanfest ’01 – 04th August 01 – nocturne
Last year’s UO-Fest has been expanded into an Online Worlds Fest, to be held in Austin, Texas on the last weekend of October. The scoop is here. Highlights are –
  • Hands-on gameplay experiences from the upcoming massively multiplayer online games from Westwood, Maxis, and EA.COM.
  • Special sessions with the development teams of upcoming and new EA games. Be the first to see what’s coming!
  • Get the scoop directly from the creative forces behind these games with Q&A sessions featuring special guest speakers such as: Will Wright (Creator, The SIMS™); Gordon "Tyrant" Walton (VP and Executive Producer, The SIMS ONLINE™); Brett Sperry (Founder of Westwood and Chief Creative Officer) and many others.
IGN has posted an interview with Carly Staehlin, the developer formerly known as LadyMOI, where she talks about Destination, OSI, girl-gamers and her personal history.
A little known fact is that the three of the five designers on the Tabula Rasa team are people who have previously worked on Ultima Online. Me, the ex-producer; Sage, the ex-lead designer; and Runesabre, the ex-lead programmer are all designers on Tabula Rasa. Jeremy Gaffney, the ex-lead programmer of UO2 is the Design Manager, and Rick Holtrop, also from the UO2 team, completes the group. A designer on Tabula Rasa is responsible for developing the way each system in the game will work, from the interface to the way monsters give experience, from the advancement schematics to the traffic flow of players within social spaces, etc. We are still in the early stages of our design for the game right now.

Purple Hue Bad – 06th August 01 – nocturne
FYI :: ILLEGAL PURPLE-HUED SIGIL ITEMS
In a strengthened stance against exploits, and due to the high number of support calls generated, we are now taking a stronger stand on illegal purple-hued sigil items. As of today, any players found selling these items, either in-game or out-of-game, will receive an automatic 72-hour suspension from Ultima Online, a final warning on their account, and the items will be deleted. Any accounts that have already been placed under final warning will be terminated.

Players with these items already in their possession should note that these items are illegal, and should dispose of them through the nearest waste receptacle, or place them in a backpack and hand them off to an NPC Cobbler to be disposed of. Any remaining items that were dyed through the use of an exploit will very likely be re-hued in the future.

Anything that can be dyed through use of a normal dye tub, including clothing, metal kite shields, and all footwear (excluding sandals) can be hued this shade legally. If an item is purple, and cannot be dyed through the use of a normal dye tub, it is a result of the sigil exploit, and should be disposed of immediately. It is vital that we enforce a NO TOLERANCE rule against exploits, and/or benefiting from exploits, in Ultima Online.

Thank you for your understanding,
Ultima Online Support
The last paragraph is a little bit confusing, so we’ll clear the whole thing up for you – PURPLE ITEMS ARE BAD. IF YOU CAN’T DYE THAT COLOUR NORMALLY, IT’S ILLEGAL. IF IT’S ILLEGAL, WE’LL BAN YOU. There. Honestly, though, they’ve been saying it’s illegal for a damn long time now.
FYI :: Vet Rewards Delayed
Due to a new bug just found which allows players to collect more Vet Rewards than they should, the re-implementation of the Vet Rewards program is being delayed. We regret having to extend the schedule, but this bug, which involves the use of a third-party program, would negate the benefits of the entire system if left unfixed.

We believe we have solved the issue, and the system is now being retested, but we do not yet have an estimated date as to its release. We will update the players as soon as we have more information, and we apologize for this necessary delay.
Vex talks about the UO Economy in Dev Team Comments.
FierY iCe tells exactly how to summon a champion. Since it’s considered a spoiler and all, you can find the info in our Ilshenar Surfix page.

Clearing House – 07th August 01 – nocturne
General Testing :: Unused Character Cleanup
[Testing] Unused Character Cleanup – This system will decrease backup times by removing unused characters. The code for this system was actually published into the game in August of 2001, but has not yet been activated. This means that this system will not need to wait for a publish to turned on, but will be activated once it becomes necessary (i.e. the available disk space becomes low). Once it is turned on, it will be active on all shards, and will be a permanent addition to the game.
Calandryll takes his turn at Dev Team Comments with a piece on AI and monsters.
Each time a savage shaman is hit, she has a chance to initiate a tribal dance. If she initiates the dance, she searches the area for other savage shamans. If she finds three or more savage shamans within a certain radius, the shaman and all those near her begin to dance. When they finish the dance, the savages cast a powerful group spell that can cause harm to players or even heal all savages near the casters.

Destination Chat – 08th August 01 – nocturne
IanStorm has posted their Chat Log with Destination, including Starr “the developer formerly known as Blackthorn” Long, Jake “I got a handle in Korean, does that count ?” Song and Lord “Ha! I trademarked my handle, so there!” British, with a guest appearance by Leilo.
Lord_British: We WILL ship a stable, well balanced game!!!

Client Patch – 09th August 01 – nocturne
General Testing :: Client Patch for 2D and 3D Clients
[150801] Changes to the 3D and 2D Clients, including container gump, art changes, and various bug fixes.
Testing for Next Update :: Crashing & Shopkeeper Restocking Fixes has been reduced to Container-related crashing fix
[150801] This testing update addresses certain crashing issues involving containers.

Social Animalism – 10th August 01 – nocturne
Celia wanted this site mentioned. They do matchmaking on Baja.
In Concept :: Changes to Animal Lore
** Note ** This idea is currently in a “concept” phase, meaning we want to get feedback on it. However please understand that this idea may change to be quite different from this proposal when or if it becomes finalized. Also note that this proposal might not get put in at all, depending on factors in the design process as well as the feedback we get from players. As more information becomes available about this concept idea, the update pages will become updated.
Classes :: The Tamer [301101] Changes to Animal Lore – Animal Lore skill will be updated as a stand-alone skill, to accommodate localization issues and player- and Dev Team-driven suggested changes. This update does not include any changes where Animal Lore coordinates with any other skill. Players will be able to use Animal Lore to gain two items of additional information about a given animal.

In Loving Memory of Gwenno – 11th August 01 – nocturne
In reply to a query about the Gwenno Memorial in Ilshenar –
Tajima –
This is a memorial to Kathleen Watson, the real-life inspiration for the “Gwenno” Ultima character and a friend to many people at Origin and the Austin game development community. She died last November, a victim of cancer. (She wrote the song, “Stones,” which is the opening theme to Ultima Online.)
Kathleen Jones ((her maiden name)) also had a memorial at last year’s UO World Faire, which read –
In loving memory of Kathleen Watson, friend and citizen of Britannia.

As the living inspiration of Gwenno, she first entered our lives as wife of Iolo and companion to the Avatar in Ultima IV. Along with her husband David Watson, she created the beautiful tune “Stones”.

Our condolences go out to her family and friends. Britannia has lost a treasured companion and a dear friend.

Tending the Bar – 12th August 01 – nocturne
Gromm on BarkeepsThread, Picture 1 & Picture 2
Gromm –
How much will these guys/gals cost
Right now we’re looking at around 5,000 gold.

Do they require a daily fee to maintain or is it a one time fee and they wll stay till you dismiss them
One time fee and they will stay till you dismiss them. Since the barkeep doesn’t make or collect money for you there is no upkeep or time limit.

is there a limit on how many can be in a house, besides floor space
2 per house.

Um whats with the interior decorator tool in the corner?
Each menu has a little symbol up in the corner to sort of show what area of the menu you’re in. I used that sprite because it made me think of the creativity aspect of the barkeep.

thats obviously a 3d gump. What does the 2d gump look like?
If no issues arrise that would be what the gump looks like in 2d. That pic was taken in a 2d client.

How many characters are you able to write in as an answer?
As many as you can fit on one line of typed text.

Can you customize the food menu?
No, it’s preset. It has most of the food and drink items an innkeeper has with the exception of a few things players make with the cooking skill.

Are foreign letters (long lives the localization – lol) allowed to use there?
The barkeep is programmed to be usable with any language set. This will mean that if you use an English client and you encounter a barkeep that has been filled with Korean characters you may not be able to enteract.

Do the different titles come with a custom costume for the barkeep?
No, the barkeep will spawn with a standard outfit. After that you control when he changes outfits, exactly like the vendor customization menu.

Where is the house your barkeep is guarding? :)
On my standalone computer I use for coding. First one there can have it. :D

The barkeep will not stable animals. We currently have no plans to create a player owned stablemaster.

Well the barkeeps will have the scenario news, just like the town criers did. That will be localized. Otherwise, any player entered messages wil be language specific. A keyword entered in Japanese characters will have to be said in Japanese characters to get a response.

When clicked on, the name will show as “Sam the Barkeeper” or “Eric the Waiter”, etc. If the “No Title” option is chosen only the name will show.

Currently the appearance customization on the barkeeps is limited to the vendor customization menu. No plans have been made to expand it yet, but that doesn’t mean it couldn’t be a possibility in the future.

BIG CONGRATS – 13th August 01 – nocturne
And the BIG CONGRATS –
We did it! Lex, Duke and I (as Dazzle) took our bards and summoned an arachnid Champion and killed it. Looked like a GIANT black widow spider and had a name. It poisons and kills you almost instantly if it touches you!

What a thrill!!!!!

Thank you FireyIce!!!!!!

Lady Malynn
Protectors of Light – Great Lakes
Tajima –
>>Prove to me that you were the first. I’d like to see you try.<<

They were the first. FiErY confirmed it through the logs. (He watched it all as it happened, in fact.)
Arachnid Champion Pic
FierY iCe –
You only have to kill the champ once to get your eligibility for the title. You still have to keep enough points though to keep it.
FierY iCe –
Eligibility for Third Tier titles do not decay. :)

Placing – 14th August 01 – nocturne
Canyon –
Improperly placed houses mean that if the house is redeeded, it cannot be replaced in the exact same spot. Properly placed means that if the house was redeeded, it should be able to be replaced in the exact same spot. There are no plans to change functionality of houses based on proper/improper status.
Also, in reply to
OK so there are ways to make Tinker Trapped boxes that have the trap armed but not locked so they will be set off when opened. Is it legal to make these, I only ask because it involves turning the box in certain directions and unlocking, No real exploits here I would think.

Is it Illegal to carry these in Fel.
Is it Illegal to carry these in Tram.
Is it Illegal to set these on the ground in Fel with the intent of killing a curious person.
Is it Illegal to set these on the ground in Tram with the intent of killing a curious person. (I wouldn’t see why not as people should be ware what they are picking up anyway).
Is it Illegal if a looter gets killed when looting the box from your corpse in Tram or Fel.

If not then I think there should be a Legal method to create tinker trapped boxes that are useful. Lets face it, The trap doesnt do much good if you cant open the box cause it’s locked.
Canyon –
It is legal to trap a chest as you describe. I will not give out details on how to make these, nor will a GM in game.

However, it is illegal to use these to kill someone in Trammel, unless you have highlighting with them. Otherwise, you are pking someone in Trammel, which is a clear rule violation.

So:
It is legal to carry these in Felucca.
It is legal to carry these in Trammel.
It is legal to set these on the ground in Felucca with the intent of killing a curious person.
It is illegal to set these on the ground with the intent of killing someone on Trammel.
It is legal if the looter on Felucca is killed by looting your corpse and opening the chest.
It is illegal to use one for the clear purpose of killing a looter on Trammel. If you are minding your own business and you die, that’s okay. It becomes illegal if the support team recognizes that your character just “happens” to die with trapped chests on them all the time. I don’t want players making kamikaze newbies that carry around trapped chests and die just so they can blow looters up. I hope the distinction for this one is clear. We’re looking at intent as much as outcome.

In the dread lord days, I was a mad bomber with tinker trapped chests, so I’m happy to see them (mostly) legal again.
Calandryll –
Actually, they have the exact same scripts (code) attached to them as force weapons. But you are correct, niether the tribal spear nor the orc bow do extra damage to certain creatures.
Calandryll –
GM made weapons aren’t +2, they are a percentage damage increase. The effectiveness of a GM made weapon compared to a magic weapons really depends on the weapon. For the most part, GM made weapons are good for the large damage weapons (like a hally) since the percentage increase in damage is higher, whereas magic weapons are better for the fast hitting weapons since you get the +X damage more often.
The In Concept Changes to Animal Lore feedback thread is here.

Build 69 – 15th August 01 – nocturne
Patch, August 01 1/2 – This update addresses certain crashing issues involving containers as well as changes to the 3D and 2D Clients, including container gump, art changes, and various bug fixes.

New In Testing – 15th August 01 – nocturne
Testing for Next Update :: Treasure Map Changes
[200801] Several updates and changes will occur for treasure maps.
Testing for Next Update :: Tutorial & Haven Changes
[200801] Several updates and changes will occur for new players, young characters, the tutorial area, and the city of Haven.

Spector & Church on Underworld – 15th August 01 – nocturne
The worlds ‘Spector’, ‘Church’ and ‘Underworld’ in the same sentence is just begging for some unfunny headline, but I’ll resist the temptation. Warren Spector & Doug Church talk about Ultima Underworld.

Stuf – 16th August 01 – nocturne
Ignatz –
Treasure maps will still say who completed them. There was a minor localization glitch that caused that to stop happening, but has already been fixed and is now present on Test Center 2.

Mapmaking now works again on Test Center 2 as well. And after much discussion, the world map gain limit is being changed to 99.5.

The completed quest name and mapmaking not working were both my fault… mostly just a miscommunication as I did not know this stuff was being published to Baja so soon.
Vex –
The UO Live design team has no plans to institute taxes of any kind to any system existing in the game. While we may choose to associate some kind of recurring cost to some new system added to the game, we won’t add things like house taxes or boat docking fees.

Nerfing is no fun for anybody. We like to try, when possible, to find alternative ways to modify existing systems to achieve the desired balance.
Gromm –
Currently the appearance customization on the barkeeps is limited to the vendor customization menu. No plans have been made to expand it yet, but that doesn’t mean it couldn’t be a possibility in the future.
Sannio talks about L10N and why it absolutely has to suck in this long post.

Changes to SP – 17th August 01 – nocturne
General Testing :: Changes to Siege Perilous
[251001] Several updates and changes have occurred for the Siege Perilous ruleset shards (Siege Perilous, Baekdu, and Mugen). These changes include Stats changes, ROT, the Hero/Evil system, NPC training, Taming, and other items.
Adrick –
This is very serious – its coded and in full testing as of today. The entire team is excited about these changes and are hoping it breathes new life into siege.

I know some have expressed concern about some of the changes and my email box is open for suggestins, concerns etc. Adrick@uo.com.

Ill be on tonight pretty late to answer specific questions here on the boards
Adrick –
No bonuses for sigil stealing

Can dye anything you can equip

Dye will be perm – only heros and evils may equip them

Steeds last 30 min and are almost as strong as a nightmare
Adrick –
These were some last minute additions – many on the team expressed oncern that given reds can go to town and be healed and fully participate in all avenues of pvp there had to be some drawback. As you know there is no stat loss on siege – therefore red players can kill at will other players (except in towns) – given that this killing is usually profitable we fealt that other forms of money making for the reds had to be curbed.

We dont want the entire shard red D
These changes are currently active on TC5.
On proposed Carto changes –
Sannio –
The alteration of the 99.5 cap was based on many different sources. Certainly, the visible message board notations played a part. But, there were also private messages, e-mails to various members of the Live Team, suggestions from various members of the Live Team, in-game expressions, message boards from fan sites, e-mail lists, and probably a few more contact methods that I can’t think of right now.

We developed, listened, modified, and repeated until we felt the suggested changes were the best possible ones for all involved with the information at hand.
Ignatz –
I’m all for having ways of gaining a skill that is more about playing the game than just bland repetition.

I’m not convinced that gaining from digging is the right way to go… that provides two skill gain opportunities from a single item. Plus digging isn’t much of a cartography type thing. Not totally discounting this, but still looking for potentially better solutions.

The torn map idea is interesting. My main concern with that one, though, is that it’s generating another useless item (much like making world maps does… I know). I’d prefer to find a solution with as few loose ends as possible.

Maybe something like being able to create a treasure map at high cartography levels that buries limited treasure you supply… NOT going to be developed any time soon, but it’s an idea that I think could have promise. Though when it comes to manufacturing something, the whole macroing skill gains issue pops back up… so it’ll need some significant thought if and when the time comes.

And thus we’ll keep looking.
Ignatz –
You’re right about town maps – I shouldn’t have said “useless.” What I should have said is that it’s already fairly easy to create or buy a town-type map, so creating a new system that also results in those maps does not seem like the best way to go. Having it result in something with a new use or a more flexible use would be preferable, in my opinion.
Ignatz –
What you are refering to as the “randomness of gains” is actually an aspect of the basic skill gain system. I mean, yes, this system has a definite random component, but it’s not specific to cartography… the same gain system is used for a large number of skills.

Even adding something like a skill gain check when digging up the treasure chest would be using the same “randomness” and generally have the same results as decoding does now.

Which means that in order to truly confront the issue as you’ve raised it, the skill gain system as a whole would really need to be the target. Lots of juggling and balancing will be involved. A fairly large task that would pretty much need to be its own focus.

Which is, of course, something that is possible to do, but it’s very far beyond the scope of what I was able to touch for this publish. It’s far from a dead issue, but it’s gonna have to wait before someone can throw an “In Vas Mani” at it.

Changes to SP, part deux – 18th August 01 – nocturne
FierY iCe steps into the spotlight in Dev Team Comments.
The changes to SP ((currently on TC5)) thread is here. Quotes, of course, follow –
Sannio –
During previous iterations of the “Rate Over Time” (ROT) system, the ROT rules only applied to certain skills. This update will apply ROT to all skill advancements on the Siege Perilous shard.
Adrick –
Freja actually it was me and evocare that pushed for the looting monsters changes. It was a tradeoff for removing guard wacking from healing reds in town.

Id much rather as a red be fully able to participate in all avenues of pvp both team pvp and solo pvp and give up some loot. Dont most red players get their loot from blues?

We want to promote blue vs red fighting, faction fighting and conflict in general – however we do not want siege to be a a slaughterhouse of meaningless pvp.
Sannio –
Yes, if you join one of the 4 factions on Siege, under the proposed changes, you will automatically be considered “Hero” or “Evil” as well. Conversely, if someone wanted to join in the Hero/Evil conflict, they would be required to join one of the four factions first (and so be automatically considered “Hero” or “Evil”).

A Hero character has the option to earn lifeforce points by killing Evil characters, or by killing faction-associated monsters. You can attempt to gain lifeforce points only through PvM (player versus monster) combat, but know that you will have chosen a lifestyle that makes you a target for the opposing forces of Heroism or Evil, and so risk being attacked at will by factioneers.

Being in the Minax or Shadowlord factions, and therefore being Evil, does not mandate you be red first, nor will you turn red just by joining up; you will not become red by being Evil, but you will become red if you receive enough murder counts to turn you red. In this way it is the repercusions of your actions that turn you red, not your affiliation.

Changes to Carto – 19th August 01 – nocturne
More on the proposed Carto changes –
Ignatz –
This change was originally made with level 0 maps in mind… since the number of chest locations for level 0 maps in Haven is far fewer than for normal maps, which makes quick location turnover even more important. Level 0 chests also have much less treasure, and the new players who dig them up will be more likely to take everything.

But this was also something that could potentially help all map levels without really having a downside. At worst, you wait the 30 minutes like you always have. At best, you get to remove the chest when it’s empty.

The chest is required to be empty so that removing it doesn’t become a grief tactic. I’d hate to create a situation where someone else can destroy your treasure.

Also you won’t be able to leave the used map in the chest any more, because you won’t be able to add any objects to the chest. Side effect of this change.

A future change I’m thinking about is allowing the person who dug up the chest to have the option of removing the chest when they are done with it. This will still require the person who dug it up to help out, but it would be an easier option than having to drag things out onto the ground.

Stuf – 20th August 01 – nocturne
Calandryll –
Just to answer the question I know is on everyone’s mind, the next scenario will not be starting this month. Nobody is more dissapointed about that than I am, but we’ve hit some snags and decided to add more stuff (mostly related to the ending of the scenario) to make it better. I’d rather have a delay to make sure QA gets to thoroughly test everything and to make sure we add enough content to make the scenario enjoyable then rush it out the door just to make a deadline. Right now, we’re working on the next (and last) patch (about 90% art complete), finishing up QA on the first half of the scenario (note, we don’t have to test ALL of the scenario ahead of time before we launch, so don’t take that as a terrible sign) and finalizing the second half of the scenario (probably about 70% code complete at this point).
FierY iCe –
If you *defeat* the spawn, ie: get it to stop it will reset itself after some time. The group that gets chosen is completely random each time it resets…
Canyon –
Is bottled water legal to make, possess and sell?
It’s legal to make, sell, own and trade.
OCR Comments by Cynthe. New OOC Comic. Slayer Weapons updated with contributions from Griman.

Ye Bigge Patch – 20th August 01 – nocturne
Patch, August 01 2/2 – Several updates and changes for new players, young characters, the tutorial area, and the city of Haven. Several updates and changes for treasure maps and changes to combat damage and how it is calculated.

Port 5000 – 21st August 01 – nocturne
FYI :: Server Changes – Port 5000 –
In the past, the Ultima Online servers have utilized port 5000 for connections. Because some ISPs have begun blocking that port, some players have been experiencing difficulty connecting to Ultima Online. To resolve this issue, we will be discontinuing the use of port 5000, and will continue to accept connections on ports 5001-5010.

These changes will be applied to the Test Center 4 shard this afternoon (August 21st, CDT). Barring any unexpected issues, the port changes will be added to the Siege Perilous shard on August 22nd CDT, to be active following its next scheduled maintenance period. Once we are certain the changes are working properly, they will be enabled on all remaining shards. We apologize for any inconvenience this may have caused.

Stuf – 22nd August 01 – nocturne
Canyon –
For now, UO Loop is still considered illegal because it is not an approved program listed on our UO Pro page. Until it receives official approval, it should be considered illegal, and players should not use it. I’ve forwarded along the main thread on this issue to QA as well as the Live Team, so they can see your feedback.

The Live team could always choose to approve it at a later date. However, at this time it is still an illegal program.

Keep in mind that it would be almost impossible to test every single utility or program that players put out. Every main program might have several variations, and those could always be changing. If the Live team were focused on evaluating these programs, they would have less time to add new content and fix existing coding issues. It’s a tradeoff, and evaluating all of these programs is not high on the priority list
Calandryll –
Tribal Spears have no special attacks or abilities beyond that it is a force weapon.
Cynthe –
We are aware that there is a problem causing power hour to reset at the wrong time, and we are looking into it right now.
Cynthe –
There is a bug with this right now – basically, the map is checking back to the person who originally decoded it instead of the person who is holding it. This means that as long as the person who decoded it is still in the area, it will work fine, but if the person is not online or in a different area server, then the map may not work.

It’s a known issue, and we’ll be putting a fix for it in with one of the publishes coming soon.
Adrick –
“PRO PKR Dev Team”

Far from it – just because I enjoy pvp and participated in both consensual and non consensual pvp does not mean I am pro pk. I am actually pro pvp and pro pvm :)

I think the UO team is well represented by alot of aspects which make UO great – for me PvP was a big part of what make it great – I am not alone – factions, order chaos, guild wars have participants who deserve representation. Lots of people pvp who never pked in the strict sense that you are making reference to – they kill other players but with their consent.
Adrick, on the new SP ruleset –
Well new rot only for skills over 70 and on ALL skills. Other than that its almost identical
Adrick –
Rot on siege was indeed bugged – fireyice helped get it working as intended

Below 70 there is no difference on siege

Above 70 timed lockouts occur after such there is a 95% chance to learn a skill on use.

Ill also take this chance to update you on our findings on TX5 – we spent most of today working with QA to kill several annoying little bugs we missed when coding these changes. Im pleased with the progress we are making and look forward to releasing this soon (no official date yet)
FierY iCe –
1) It doesn’t use the party system at all. The top attackers get the points. The top attackers are considered the same top attackers as in looting rights top attackers. (The only difference is party members aren’t considered.) And all “top attackers” get the same number of points per kill.

2) No. “Hero Points” only decay over time.
Read Cal’s posts in this thread. Are you “prepared to work unsociable hours” and live in the UK? Can you say “I cannot help thee with that” with both sincerity and conviction? Be a GM.

All about Rewards – 23rd August 01 – nocturne
Veteran Rewards Update
After resolving a multitude of code and hardware-related issues, we will be activating the Veteran Rewards system on the Napa Valley shard on Thursday, August 23rd at 12:00 PM CDT. We will monitor the system closely on the Napa Valley shard the rest of this week, and will begin activating the Rewards system on the remaining shards once we are certain the system is operating as it should.

We’re extremely grateful to our veteran players for the patience they have shown as we complete the Veteran Rewards system, and as a way to say thank you, we’d like to offer an extra reward choice to all players on all shards who are currently eligible for a Veteran Reward. This means that when the system is activated, one year veterans – who would previously have been allotted two rewards – will now be eligible for three. Two year veterans will receive four, and three year veterans will be eligible for five. All players will receive this extra reward choice once they reach their one-year status.

All rewards that have been chosen to date will be counted in the totals, meaning that players who have chosen more than their allotted share previously will not be eligible to choose new rewards, and will not receive the extra reward choice (since they already received extra rewards when the system was first released). Players who have chosen fewer rewards than what they are currently eligible for will be allowed to choose new rewards until they have reached the total number they are currently eligible to receive. This will apply until the player is eligible for a greater number of rewards than they have already chosen. For example, a three-year veteran is currently eligible to choose five rewards. If a player has already chosen seven, then that player will not be eligible to choose another reward until they have reached their six-year veteran status, when they would be eligible for eight total reward choices.

IMPORTANT: Rewards are allocated per account, not per character or per shard, so be sure to choose rewards on your regular playing shard, and not on a separate shard. Rewards will not be transferable between shards once chosen.
Veteran Rewards FAQ
Why only Napa Valley?
We wanted to start with one shard to make sure that the hardware withstands the initial response, and Napa was a good choice due to its population size and distribution of players. We will monitor it for several days, and once we’re certain that it’s operating as it should, we’ll announce a schedule for activating the system on the other shards.

When will the other shards get rewards?
We will monitor the system closely on the Napa Valley shard the rest of this week, and once we’re certain that it’s operating as it should, we’ll announce a schedule for activating the system on the other shards.

How many rewards will I get?
Originally, each player received two reward choices once they reached their one year status, and one reward choice for every year after that. As a way to say thank you to our veteran players for their patience as we completed the system, we will be giving out an extra reward choice to all players. This means that when the system is activated, one year veterans – who would previously have been allotted two rewards – will now be eligible for three. Two year veterans will receive four, and three year veterans will be eligible for five. All players will receive this extra reward choice once they reach their one-year status. Essentially, a player can calculate the number of reward choices they are eligible to receive by adding two to the number of years they have been playing on their account.

Why are you giving out extra rewards?
We feel that our players have shown a good deal of patience as we complete the system, considering that we initially launched the system last year before taking it back down to resolve several major issues. We feel that an extra reward is a good way to say thank you for the patience of our veteran players.

Will I still get the extra reward if I already chose my rewards the first time?
All rewards that have been chosen so far will be counted in the totals, meaning that players who selected extra rewards previously will not be eligible to choose new rewards, and will not receive the extra reward choice (since they already received extra rewards when the system was first released). Players who have chosen fewer rewards than what they are currently eligible for will be allowed to choose new rewards until they have reached the total number they are currently eligible to receive (this being three choices for one-year veterans, four choices for two-year veterans, and five choices for three-year veterans). Players will not be able to choose new rewards until they are eligible for a greater number of rewards than they have already chosen. For example, a three-year veteran is currently eligible to choose five rewards. If a player has already chosen seven, then that player will not be eligible to choose another reward until they have reached their six-year veteran status, when they would be eligible for eight total reward choices.

Will I still get the extra reward if I reach one-year status after the initial release of the system?
Yes, all players will receive this extra reward choice once they reach their one-year status.

If I took extra rewards previously, can I get more next year?
All rewards that have been chosen so far will be counted in the totals, meaning that players will not be allowed to choose new rewards until they are eligible to receive more than they have already taken. For example, a three-year veteran is currently eligible to choose five rewards. If a player has already chosen seven, then that player will not be eligible to choose another reward until they have reached their six-year veteran status, when they would be eligible for eight total reward choices.

Can I choose rewards on different shards?
Rewards are allocated per account, but they do not have to be selected on the same shard. Rewards will not be transferable between shards once chosen, though, and will count towards your total, so be sure to select them on a shard you regularly play.

Are rewards given on a per character basis?
Rewards are allocated per account, not per character or per shard, so be sure to choose rewards on your regular playing shard, and not on a separate shard. Rewards will not be transferable between shards once chosen.

My account was hacked, or my rewards were stolen/disappeared. Can I choose new ones?
The database records how many rewards were taken by each account, and these are the numbers we must go by. The total number of rewards available is determined by how many rewards that account has accepted in the past, not how many is in their possession at the time.

I bought this account, and there were no rewards on it! Can I still choose rewards?
Buyers are responsible for verifying that what they are buying is what is advertised. The number of rewards taken on an account will not be wiped when an account is transferred, so it is the responsibility of the buyer to ensure that the rewards chosen are either still in the character’s inventory, or that the previous owner did not choose all the rewards they were eligible to receive. The total number of rewards available is determined by how many rewards that account has accepted in the past, not how many is in their possession at the time.

How do I figure out my account age?
For information on the Veteran Rewards system, determining account age, and a detailed listing of the rewards that will be available for one, two, and three-year veterans, see http://update.uo.com/design_350.html. If your account age listed is incorrect, please contact support@uo.com.

My account’s almost 4 years old. Are there four year rewards?
There will be four-year rewards, but they are not yet complete. Any player whose account reaches four years in account age before the four-year rewards are complete must remember not to use all of their reward choices on first, second or third-year choices. We will see that this information is readily available before UO’s fourth birthday, to avoid players using their four-year reward choices before the four-year rewards are ready.

Do I have to choose all my rewards at once, or will I be given an option to choose more the next time I log in?
You do not have to choose them all at once. The gump will reappear each time you log in, on all shards, until you have chosen the number of rewards you are eligible to receive.

Will the rewards gump appear every time I log in?
Yes, the gump will reappear each time you log in, on all shards, until you have chosen the number of rewards you are eligible to receive.

Do I have to choose a first, second, and third year choice, or can I choose between the three levels however I want?
Players can choose from any level that they are eligible to receive. One-year veterans can choose only from the one-year rewards. Two-year veterans may choose from all one-year rewards, all two-year rewards, or a couple of each. Three-year veterans can choose from any level.

Are different levels of rewards worth more in reward choices?
No. For example, a two-year veteran may choose four one-year rewards or four two-year rewards. The level of reward chosen does not affect the total number of choices available.

Will rewards taken on Test Center after the system is activated count toward the total number of rewards available?
No. If rewards are chosen on a Test Shard, they will not count toward your final total of rewards chosen.

Where can I get information on the reward choices?
For more information on the Veteran Rewards system, as well as a detailed listing of the rewards that will be available for one, two, and three-year veterans, see http://update.uo.com/design_350.html.

My account age is wrong, or I can’t choose rewards. Who do I contact?
For questions regarding Veteran Rewards and determination of account age, please see the Knowledge Base at http://support.uo.com/, or mail support@uo.com.
Sannio –
Do NOT take any reward on Napa Valley if you really want rewards on Baja, not even “just to see.”

If you take a reward on Napa Valley, that counts as one of your total rewards. You will not be able to transfer it between shards.

Only claim a reward while playing on the specific shard which you want to use it.

I can’t caution people enough about this. :]
Sannio –
You should be able to go on one of the Test Center shards – Test Center 2, for example – and see your correct account age and such there.
Sannio –
Some points to keep in mind:

Players who chose extra rewards are not losing any rewards, they are simply losing the option to select any new rewards that come about – using the Vet Rewards gump – due to the fact that they have already seleced a number of rewards prematurely.

These players should also be able to trade their Vet Rewards with other people. They may offer up one of their “old” rewards to someone about to select a new one, just like any other player.

They may not get any new style of Vet Rewards that may come about “the easy way” (through the gump prompting), but they should be able to still collect various rewards with a little extra effort.
Prophet –
Since I’m in a replying kind of mode tonight I’ll answer some more for better or worse :)

I think our approach to the extra rewards was as fair and equitable a solution as we could have come up with. In fact my reference to crime is probably inappropriate because I think its questionable as to whether or not it was an exploit to take more rewards.

To break it down very simply here are the two extreme solutions that were possible:
1) Ban anyone who took an extra rewards and delete the rewards.
2) Leave the rewards and let everyone take a full new set of rewards.

We ended up deciding on a compromise, which, as I have stated, we believe to be essentially fair: If you took a reward it was accounted for.
Cynthe –
One thing to keep in mind is that the extra reward should also help protect some of the folks who really did just make an innocent mistake, such as forgetting that they’d already accepted all their rewards and taking an extra one, or perhaps being puzzled by the rewards gump popping back up, and trying it again just to see if it would really give them another reward.

Those people won’t get the extra reward that’s being offered right now, but they’ll be eligible for a four year reward just like everyone else. It’s only the people who continued to choose extra rewards repeatedly who would be adversely affected by this policy. And even so, we are removing nothing from them – we are just considering the rewards they’ve already taken to be the rewards they’ve chosen.

CnP – 24th August 01 – nocturne
Tonight’s update from a story and some forum posts on Lum the Mad, who no longer plays UO nor even writes at his own site. Fortunately, that doesn’t stop us from finding stuf to steal. noctalis.com – cutting-and-pasting so you don’t have to.
Calandryll –
Just did a test with a 40 page book I bought in game. I copied one of my design docs into it and then did a word count in MS Word for the part that fit. 1087 words total. That includes no spaces between paragraphs, but does include a 5 space indent for them. Granted, that’s not exactly a “book” in the true sense of the word, but 1,000 words is almost two full pages of text in Times New Roman, 12 pt font, with standard margins… which fits about right with a lot of the character histories and other short fiction I’ve read over the years on UO websites.
Holocron –
> I’ve always wondered – was UO designed with recall/gate in
> mind? those two spells just seem to conflict with so many
> aspects of the game (player justice, boats, etc). I think
> the game would have been much different (and better!)
> without them

Recall and gate were spells from the Ultima series. The mudders on the team had originally specced mud-like spells for recall (“take me home”) but it was changed to fit the continuity of Ultima better.

Originally, using a rune *used* the rune. That was a very very different player dynamic. You had to set the rune on the ground, cast the spell on it, and it got left behind. It usually decayed away.

It got changed because people rushed up and snagged the rune before you cast. The result was that it landed back in your backpack instead.

Now everyone had infinite teleports off of one rune, and there was inevitable insta-travel.

A case where making players’ lives more convenient actively hurt the game. The good solution to the problem without breaking the original system would have been to delete the rune after it was used once. But we didn’t think it through enough, we were in a panic. :)

– Raph
Dr.Twister –
Before I go any further, I, Dr.Twister, Leader, owner, president and founder of this network have never once publicly made comments or promises of releasing a bug database at any given time. Those rumors were started by staff members who report at DTN, and any promises made by them, you should address back to them.

Setting that aside though, the rumors are in fact true.

Official Site Updates – 25th August 01 – nocturne
OCR Comments has Sannio telling you how to run an Event. I didn’t read it, so you don’t get a quote.
FYI :: FanFest Registration Starting Next Week! –
We are still working to complete the official Online Worlds FanFest 2001 website, along with the registration page, Host application page and session schedules, and anticipate that it will go live early next week. In order to ensure that people still have plenty of time for the early registration price, we will be extending the early registration schedule.

Thank you for your patience, and we’ll have plenty of FanFest details available next week!

Hanging onto Every Word – 26th August 01 – nocturne
Like so much nectar from the buffet tables of the Gods, we bring you more dev team quotes. Rejoice, as you sip from the cup of fore-knowledge.
Adrick –
We had a dialogue about this – there were arguments on both sides.

1/3 gold for reds is a penalty for being red or a reward for being blue.

Weve removed the restrictions of reds going to town, weve removed guard wacking people who heal reds in town. There have to be differences between reds and blues on siege or everyone will be red.

95% of apx 30–40 players of siege. I have several emails in my box from siege players saying they like the changes including the 1/3 loot for reds.

This is a penalty being added to compensate for some nice things we did for reds.

All things considered the monsters are dropping the exact same loot they always have for reds they are just dropping 3x as much for blues (spending power wise) which is all that really matters.

It not fair to say we dont care what you think – when factions came out the reds on siege were in an uproar threatening to boycot factions because they couldnt participate – so now they can fully participate. We then heard the response its not fair when we go to town as a red we will get ganked and no one can heal us or get guard wacked – strange considering the oppositte is true outside of town in the dungeons. I suggested making the change to allow reds to be healed in town to make it completely fair to them.

If we didnt care what the playerbase wanted there wouldnt be these boards and there wouldnt be any changes coming to siege.

“roleplayer reds and because it will cause those reds to stop PVM, and concentrate on killing blues” – why isnt this happening now? shops charge 3x for everything after the change there wont be any difference in spending power. I could see this argument if prices werent dropping.

Had we put some penalty in for reds and all reds were 95% for it it wouldnt be a penalty – the fact that there are reds disliking this change indicate to us that it is indeed a penalty and a reward for non reds.
Adrick –
Well here goes

“What I do find disheartening about PvP play however is the continual placement of it above all other systems, designers such as Adrick view PvP as the core of the game, they neglect to imagine a game that is a pleasure to play because every system within it creates a more palatable playing experience for the player.”

Honestly since Ive joined this team – over 15 months ago the only major system for pvp I worked on was the faction system. When I first got on the team we were given the faction system (myself and Evo) and asked to make this thing work as it was part of Ren. We looked at it and noticed that 99% of it was for hard core pvpers. We spent most of our time engineering the faction system to work better for merchants and alike. I have on occasion made changes to the game for pvpers – looting changes, bug fixes etc. Also we as a team brought back precasting along with some other minor tweaks. Bringing back precasting is no where near the magnitude of putting in a new system like townstones etc – tweaking an existing system requires little in the way of development time. I would guess that a fair estimate of my time spent on pvp has been less than 10%.

“Adrick has never disguised his feelings towards his favourite part of the game, nor for that matter have I… the difference between us however is that I am a player and he is a developer who has the power and capacity to influence and create change. One such change was the way that localization was initially implemented in systems such as fishing. You fish up an item : a big fish is a product of that method of introducing localization to the game, a method that has received not one positive response from the customer and which many who enjoy the entire game as a role-playing experience detest with insatiable loathing because of the impact that it has had in the visual representation of the IC world.”

My favorite part of the game as a player and my favorite part of the game as a designer are not the same. My favorite part of the game as a designer is fixing bugs and seeing players enjoy the game as a result of what I have done. Most of the things of late have been the removal of exploits…

The localization changes to UO were to bring the product to more customers – It wasn’t easy to take a game that wasn’t meant to be localized and make it so – looking back I agree it could have been handled better in many areas and I do apologize for the communication break down :(

Right now my primary focus as a designer is to fix bugs – i don’t pick and choose bugs I fix and I enjoy fixing them all. Why do I enjoy it? because as a player it was the single most frustrating experience for me playing a game.

This entire team is committed to improving many aspects of the game – We have an entire team led by Cal working on ongoing content. Unfortunately everything everybody wants cant get done –

That being said we do value pvp as an important part of ultima online. No single element is THE most important – in fact its a combination of everything that what I believe makes the game so great.

We don’t like to make promises about what is not certain or close to completion but there are some things in the work I think you will enjoy. We do ask for feedback and we do listen – we cant listen to everyone all the time because so often people have opposing views and priorities.
Adrick –
Well the 3x pricing on siege has been removed

So we havent taken anything away from reds at all :)

Blues just got a bit of a boost.

Who is stopping an alliance? Red guild wants money makes alliance with blue guild to allow them access to a dungeon and protects them while they farm (perhaps for a cut)
Adrick –
The fact that players dislike the 1/3 loot for murderers indicates that it is indeed a penalty – I dont know of many penalties that people would say *heck ya love it*

You get red by killing other players – this is a profitable arena to be in – to be able to kill anyone you want and not choose your tagets based on consent.

We have pretty much removed every single penalty on siege for being red – you can now go to town, you can now have friends heal you in a fight, you can bank – I mean if we removed all penalties we might as well remove colors from siege and simply let everyone attack everyone.

– Current Penalties
Vendor inflation
Cant deal with vNPC endors
1/3 loot
Attackable by anyone

Newbies dont have much loot – why wouldnt reds simply farm monsters and kill newbies anyway if the monsters gave full loot? at least this way they will have to work at the bank end of pking more and some blues might like the extra bank and killing reds over less bank :).
Calandryll –
Their actually called slayer weapons (no idea where the name “virtue” came from) and they are effective against certain kinds of monsters, depending on the weapon.
Calandryll –
To give you all another quick update. We’re finalizing testing on the first part of the scenario. Right now, we’re waiting for a patch to clear QA before we can build/patch the last scenario patch. All of the content is done for the patch (there is a LOT btw ), we just have to put it together and test it. Unlike server publishes, client patches are the one aspect of working on multiple projects that do affect each other since we can’t build two patches at the same time, otherwise the second patch would revert out all of the stuff in the first one.

As soon as this patch is released, we’ll build the scenario patch and then we’ll have a pretty clear idea when the scenario will start.
Cynthe –
There are some neat crafting-related changes that will be seen in the update center soon. :)
We’ve updated the pages to call the slayer weapons slayer weapons instead of virtue weapons.

OoC – 27th August 01 – nocturne
Out of Character has a whole new look. If you haven’t been to OoC, Arakasi does brill work. Go pay them a visit.
Helios introduces himself in Dev Team Comments. He talks a lot about titans and how he feels like one. While we haven’t heard much about him, he’s the one who gave us the recent update on Animal Lore.
FYI :: Vet Rewards Release Schedule –
After monitoring the Veteran Rewards on the Napa Valley shard over the weekend, we have determined a tentative release schedule for the system on the rest of the production shards. We are targeting to activate the Veteran Rewards system on each shard at some point during the day designated below, which means that players should not expect the system to be active immediately following their scheduled morning maintenance. Please note that this schedule is subject to change, and may be extended should any unforeseen issues arise with the rewards system.

All dates listed are Central Daylight Time.
  • Monday, August 27th: Chesapeake and Sonoma
  • Tuesday, August 28th: Yamoto and Atlantic
  • Wednesday, August 29th: Pacific, Lake Superior and Siege Perilous
  • Thursday, August 30th: Baja, Catskills, Izumo and Wakoku
  • Friday, August 31st: All remaining shards

We Have Already Won – 27th August 01 – nocturne
EA is set to conquer the gamerooms of Korea with the new L10N’d UO.
And on the other side of the Won…
The strategic/collaborative battles enabled by the use of the world’s largest large-scale database management technologies have provided an effective means of delivering surrogate satisfaction for modern humankind.
Allow me to translate –
People like the gankfests.
More beeg words, though not much information at all, in this interview with NCSoft CEO Taekjin Kim at GameSpot.

Also, The Korea Herald reports that NCSoft is planning on relaunching Lineage in the US.
The shortfall came from the company’s spending of 47 billion won in May to scout U.S. game developers, Richart Garriott brothers of Destination Games, and purchase major games in the works such as Tabula Rasa and recruit other developers.

The Craft – 28th August 01 – nocturne
In Concept :: Crafting System Overhaul
[301101] Crafting System – Looks like OSI is getting round to listening to all the crafters whining about the scenerio being “combat-oriented”.

FYI – 29th August 01 – nocturne
Quality Assurance Comments, last seen in April, has been spotted again, leading to suspicions that UO does, indeed, have a QA team. I’ll give you the blurb that Kerowyn sent us, now that we’re cool and in-the-loop and all.
Since this is my first post, please allow me to introduce myself. My name is Lindsay Collier, a.k.a. Jex OSI QA. Some of you may have seen me cruising around the test shards or may have even gotten a reply from me by sending in your exploits and bugs to uobugs.com or tcbugs.com. I really appreciate the bug and exploit submissions that you pass along to me through these emails since that is one of our main sources of information.
Oh, wait, it’s the Support team that doesn’t exist. QA is the team that tries really hard and no one really appreciates.
FYI :: Veteran Rewards Schedule Update –
Since we began activating the Veteran Rewards system, we have been carefully monitoring the usage and performance of the Veteran Rewards hardware. The release has gone smoothly thus far, but we have found some connectivity issues with the rewards server. As more shards get rewards and the server is accessed more, these connectivity issues will result in packet loss, creating longer wait times for the rewards gump to appear, and for the reward selection to take place. If more shards are activated and the problem is left unfixed, it could eventually result in packet loss on the servers themselves, creating lag on the shards.

To resolve this problem before this happens, we will be temporarily halting the activation of Vet Rewards, and re-evaluating the current schedule for release. As previously scheduled, the system was successfully activated on the Pacific and Lake Superior shards today, but we were unable to activate them on Siege Perilous at this time. Shards that have previously had Vet Rewards activated will not lose the ability to choose those rewards, but the system will not be activated on any new shards until this is resolved.

The connectivity fix is receiving top priority, and we anticipate that this will be resolved soon. We will post a new schedule as soon as the problem has been resolved.
FYI :: Power Hours Off Schedule
Normally, the first hour that each character is played on any given day allows that character a special possibility of some bonus skill point advancements, and this time is known to many players as the “Power Hour.” The Power Hour time frame should reset each day at midnight, related to the shard’s local time. Currently, however, all North American and European shards are incorrectly resetting their respective Power Hour times based on Midnight GMT. (Please note that Power Hours are still occurring properly for all shards, albeit off-schedule.)

We are working to resolve this situation. In the meanwhile, we ask that players who enjoy managing their time around the Power Hour schedule to please refer to the chart below. This chart shows when Power Hour is currently resetting on all shards.
  • East Coast Shards: 7:00pm EST
    • AOL Legends, Atlantic, Catskills, Chesapeake
  • Central Shards: 7:00pm EST
    • Great Lakes, Lake Superior
  • Siege Perilous Shard: 6:00pm CST
  • West Coast Shards: 4:00pm PST
    • Baja, Napa Valley, Pacific, Sonoma
  • European Shards: 12:00am GMT
    • Europa, Drachenfels
  • Asian Shards: 9:00am JST/KST
    • Hokuto, Yamato, Asuka, Wakoku, Izumo
    • Arirang, Balhae
    • Formosa
  • Oceania Shard: 12:00pm EDT
Here’s a faster way to calculate it – double-click the time in the lower-left hand corner of your screen. There will be a timezone pull-down menu with something like (GMT ±0x:00) Location in it. Just add or subtract that number and you’ll get the time (ie, if you’re at (GMT -8) PST, 24-8=16=4pm).
FYI :: FanFest Registration Available! –
We are pleased to announce that the Online Worlds FanFest registration page is now available. We apologize for the delay and thank you for your patience. You can find complete information on the FanFest as well as register for the event by visiting http://www.onlineworldsfanfest.com.

Client Patch 3.0.4k Build 72 – 30th August 01 – nocturne
FYI :: Client Patch 3.0.4k –
We will be releasing client patch 3.0.4k (2D client) and 3.0.4k Build 72 (3D client) on Thursday, August 30th at approximately 1:30 pm CDT. This patch contains the following changes:
  • 2D Gameplay window can now be resized without restarting the client
  • When in a party in 3D, the player’s status bar will have heal/cure buttons
  • Improvements to the “Last Shard Used” button functionality in the 3D client
  • The character creation templates have been revamped
  • Many crashes and other bugs have been addressed in this patch
  • Book crash fixed
  • Players are not always put in Britain when not using Advanced creation mode. They are put in a random starting city.
  • No notoriety queries in Trammel
  • Increase in maximum number of starting stat points
FYI :: Login Server Issues –
We are currently experiencing difficulties with the login servers. This may affect the ability for players to log into the game. We are aware of the issue and are working as quickly as possible to resolve it. We apologize for any inconvenience this may cause.
FYI :: Login Server Update –
Due to the issues with the login server, the latest patch will be reverted at 4:30 PM CDT. This revert will not result in lost play time. As a result of the encryption within the last client patch, players attempting to use UO Assist while playing Ultima Online may have received an error message reading “IGR time limit has been reached”. Reverting the patch may temporarily resolve this issue; however, once the patch is reapplied, UO Assist will most likely not work properly until the program has been updated by its parent company.
Cynthe –
This is a problem with Win95 and the new client (Win95 uses Winsock, and the updated client requires Winsock2. This may not be the case once the patch is reverted out (a revert patch went up today), but it will be necessary again once the patch is put back in.
We have added Winsock2 to our otherwise empty Downloads page.
Alai –
As part of today’s patch we reorchestrated some of the communication system between the client and the login server to improve the Ultima Online service for our customers. Sadly, even our extensive testing could not prevent the problems many of you encountered today, as it’s difficult to predict what will happen once the changes are exposed to the travails of being live. You have our utmost apologies for the disturbance in service. We are always working diligently to improve our product as well as the processes we use to make changes to it. Some of the changes are sweeping, and have impacts that are largely unforeseeable, as today’s changes testify.

At the end of the crisis we were left with no alternative but to remove that change in the communication process from the login server, which required us to also revert the client patch. Those of you who have not yet downloaded the now defunct patch will not be required to download it, or the patch following shortly thereafter reverting it.

August Postings – 31st August 01 – nocturne
A LOT of dev postings has been posted on a seperate Crafting System [301101] page.
Vex –
With regards to scrolls not stacking: I noticed that the scrolls don’t stack properly when I inscribe using my faction character. When I inscribe using my mule, they stack fine.
This is a side effect of the prompt to make the scroll a faction item. It actually has to keep the scroll separate until that prompt is answered. I believe I can fix it so that if you don’t imbue the item, it will be stacked with any other like items.
Calandryll –
Actually one of the things I have always liked about UO is that there are no “gods”. Let’s face it, virtually every fantasy game has them. Not having them keeps the focus on the players and on ideals like the virtues.
Calandryll –
The engraving tool was stopped for a number of reasons. One was that other projects became a priority. The other was a support matter. We all know what some people would do given the ability to put any text on their items. While we could obviously ban people for putting inappropriate text on their items, anything that generates extra calls is dangerous.

Truth is, this was a hurdle with the barkeeper too. But for this one, we’re going to give it a shot and see how it goes. It’ll be an interesting test to see just how many (of any) calls innapropriate barkeeper messages generates.
Calandryll –
Hued Weapons? I dont really care either way, just curious…
No. Because of the limitation of adding new art to the UO client, we need to leave colors available with weapons for when we create new weapons. In 3d it would look different, but in 2d we’d have to hue it. Remember, this update is a revamp of the current system moreso than about adding new stuff.

The problem is that most of the “low” colors (the ones found in the regular dye tub) look bad when applied to weapons. The “high” colors (those used for armor and the special dye tub) look far better. While there are quite a few colors, many of them still look very similar to the armor colors. So even using the armor colors would limit the choices we could use for new weapons pretty dramatically.
Calandryll –
Right… and they ((bolas)) aren’t supposed to be ((craftable)). Creating loot that is useful to crafters allows fighter characters to trade with crafters, creating a community interaction within the two play styles. I’ve actually seen players in game making deals with each other, one getting the loot and the other making the item.

Considering that the vast majority of craftables do not require loot from monsters, having a few that do doesn’t seem a bad thing. Some new craftables in the next scenario will require loot from monsters… some will not.
PacketDragon –
Hello. I would like to contribute some information regarding this particular “port 5000” problem some of our customers are experiencing. As many of you know, there have been reports of a few ISP’s trying to protect the quality of their service from the effects of the Code Red virus by blocking communication on port 5000. This is by no means a wide spread practice, and in fact very rarely will an ISP block any IP ports on their network in this way. None the less, it does seem some customers are being affected by such actions. To side step this problem, we are able to change the ports UO clients use to communicate with the game servers. We have been taking a very precautionary approach with this solution and started out making the changes on a test shard. Once all was verified to be working with these changes, we rolled them out to Siege Perilous. We are monitoring this change closely and it seems it is helping those who were experiencing persistent connection problems to Siege. I can not say exactly when we will roll this change out to every shard, but it will most likely be soon. The next shard to get the change will probably be Oceania. Please remember, this issue only effects the ability to login to a game shard. It does not contribute to disconnects or lag.
Adrick –
They ((strongboxes)) shouldnt vanish anymore :)
And this is just precious –
Greywolfe –
Do i really have to use regs to avoid getting banned like a friend of mine told me? I got no regs, and pk’s never loot the scrolls, so do i really have to use regs?

I’m really confused about that, but regs are too expensive for me (Siege is tough, lots of gankers), so i want to raise magery as much as i can without using regs (did i mention magery is “up”?)…

If you are using a scroll in normal game play and you fail you might gain in skill if your magery is marked to go up. This sort of gain is not illegal – even GM mages have a chance of failure. It is also natural to assume that if you are new at using a skill that you will learn something about it even if you fail. It’s kind of like getting lost in RL. You might drive around the same block 4 times: the first time you don’t know where you are, the second time it looks familiar, the third time you drive past your landmark and you say “that’s it!” the fourth time you recognize your turn. Finally on the fifth time you get to where you’re going because of all that you have learned on previous failures.

If you are using a scroll to circumvent reagent use for skill gain, that is an exploit. It is not legal. Skill gain in skills that require resources should only be gained by using those resources. A carpenter wouldn’t expect to learn the craft without using wood; a smith wouldn’t expect to learn the craft without using metal. It is no different for mages.
a wizard did it
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