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October 01

Ye Bigge Patche – 12th October 01 – nocturne
Latest Game Update :: Repair Service Contracts
One of the cornerstones of Ultima Online is the activity of players sharing items with other players in order to obtain repairs for their armor and weapons. A supplement to these transactions will now exist in the form of “repair service contracts.” Listed below are some additional details:
  • These contracts will appear in the form of a deed.
    • [Added Today] Repair Service Contracts are “blessed,” in that they cannot be stolen (if kept in the top level of one’s backpack), and cannot be looted.
    • The contracts will be labeled as “a repair service contract from a [level] blacksmith,” where [level] is the skill level title of the smith which has created the contract (i.e. apprentice, journeyman, expert, adept, master, or grandmaster, as appropriate).
  • Characters with the blacksmith skill will be able to create the repair service contracts by performing the following steps:
    • Use a smithing tool as normal.
    • Choose the “Repair” option from the menu that appears.
    • Target a blank scroll. The scroll must be within the blacksmith’s backpack.
    • The repair service contract will appear in the creating character’s backpack.
  • Blacksmiths will not gain skill by creating these contracts.
  • These items cannot be sold on player vendors.
  • Characters must be standing in an NPC blacksmith or armorer shop in order to use a repair service contract, as follows:
    • Double-click the repair service contract.
    • Target the item-to-be-repaired.
    • The used repair service contract will disappear after use.
  • Note that the current blacksmithing repair methods will not be removed. Blacksmiths will still be able to gain skill by repairing items directly.
Latest Game Update :: Commodity Deeds
New items known as “commodity deeds” will give players the opportunity to transport and trade resources, of sizes that were previously unable to be held within a character’s backpack, with greater ease and security than before. Listed below are some additional details:
  • [Added 081001] Commodity deed “contracts” may be purchased from NPC bankers.
    • These contracts will appear in the form of a silvery-hued deed.
    • [Added Today] Commodity Deeds are “blessed,” in that they cannot be stolen (if kept in the top level of one’s backpack), and cannot be looted.
  • When first created, commodity deeds will be empty and hold no items.
    • Empty commodity deeds will be labeled as “an unfilled commodity deed”.
  • The commodity deed may be filled by double-clicking the deed, then targeting an applicable item.
    • The target item must be of a stackable type (ex. logs, ingots, or Mandrake Root).
    • The target item must be within the targeting character’s bank box.
  • [Added 081001] The items which may fill a commodity deed are as follows:
    • ammo ((arrows, crossbow bolts, shafts, feathers))
    • wood ((boards, logs))
    • cloth ((bolts of cloth, pieces of cloth, piles of folded cloth))
    • leather ((pieces of leather, piles of hides))
    • reagents ((Black Pearl, Blood Moss, Garlic, Ginseng, Mandrake Root, Nightshade, Spider’s Silk, Sulphurous Ash))
    • ingots ((iron, agapite, bronze, copper, dull copper, golden, shadow iron, valorite, verite))
  • Commodity deeds can only be filled once.
    • Attempts to re-fill a used commodity deed will display: “To claim the resources represented by this deed, drop it into your bank box.”.
    • Used commodity deeds will be labeled as “a filled commodity deed,” along with a second notation in the form of “[item description] : [quantity]”.
  • Players may “cash in” a commodity deed by dropping it into her character’s bank box.
    • The “cashed in” commodities will appear in a stack in the bank box.
Latest Game Update :: Secure House Trading
A method for increasing the security of house trading will implemented. House transfer procedures will continue as normal, with the following modifications:
  • The deed in the trade window which represents the house-to-be-traded will no longer list the house’s name, but will instead list the house type.
  • Both the buyer and seller must both be within two paces of the house sign in order to initiate the trade.
Repair Service Contracts Dev Postings –
Players are invited to comment on this concept on our message boards, here.
[260901] Sannio –
Why will you not be able to sell the contacts on player owned vendors?
People like to meet other players at smithies while they get their armor & weapons repaired. It’s one of the foundations of UO’s in-game community. Although the “need” to meet at NPC blacksmith shops may have diminished as player housing came about, it’s still a very valuable location-based service that we want to continue to prosper, and allowing players to sell these repair contracts on player vendors will likely have a very harsh impact on players who practice their smithing craft in NPC shops.
[260901] Vex –
You can create them anywhere. You can only use them in an NPC blacksmith/armorer shop. The reason for this restriction is to prevent players from using them anywhere, at any time, like in the middle of a battle. The idea is that a PC blacksmith can create and trade away a contract for the services of his guild, and the NPC blacksmiths and armorers will fulfill the contract.

We chose to not allow the items to be sold on player-vendors or to take any multi-use or stackable form in order to allow small stockpiles but not allow enormous ones. We want you to still go to a blacksmith for repairs, not a blacksmith’s vendor, and we don’t want you to be able to store up hundreds of repair contracts.

Note that the primary aim of this system is to eliminate blacksmith repair scams. Now, you have the option – if you don’t know a blacksmith and don’t want to risk losing your stuff, you can arrange for repair contracts. If you know and trust a blacksmith, you can still hand your things off to him to repair.
[280901] Adrick –
Yes the level of skill is recorded on the deed – using the deed checks that recorded level and is treated to the same functions that a normal repair check would do against the skill or the repairer.
[280901] Adrick –
The deeds will be a light black color.

You can target a single scroll or a stack of scrolls – however only one deed will be created – it will deduct one scroll from the stack.

The deeds will not be used up if you target an invalid item (something you cant repair) or an item that is in full repair.
Commodity Deeds Dev Postings –
Players are invited to comment on this concept on our message boards, here.
[260901] Vex –
Their whole purpose is to allow trading of vast quantities of items through the secure trade window. Unfortunately, there are too many occurrances of people getting taken by scammers who convince them to drop huge stacks of things on the ground to speed up a transaction.

We’d like it if players would break up huge transactions like this into smaller ones that can go through the trade window. But we also recognize that is cumbersome and can take a lot of time. So, to make it more convenient and eliminate an opportunity for scamming, you’ll be able to get a deed.

Each deed is one-shot. You double-click it, target a stack of items in your bank box. Those items are taken away off to a virtual warehouse and the deed is filled in with the details of that stack of items. You can trade the deed using the secure trade window, and the buyer can redeem the deed for the original stack of items at the bank.

This is not intended to be a system to allow easy transport of huge quantities of items; its sole purpose is to facilitate the trading of huge quantities of items. And eliminate scams. :)

It may be obvious with the recent posts to In Concept that we’re putting some effort into finding ways to get rid of the most common scams that our Game Masters have to deal with.
[260901] Vex –
About how much would the deed cost?
Probably around 50 gp or so. Not much. But we can’t give them away free or people would build towers of them on top of the bank just because they could.
[270901] Vex –
Can Commodity Deeds be sold on player-vendors?
Tentatively, yes. That is to say, I’m not going to special-case them to not be sellable on vendors (like the repair contracts) unless some unforseeable problem with doing that crops up.
Commodity Deeds will be blessed.
Secure House Trading Dev Postings –
Players are invited to comment on this concept on our message boards, here.
[260901] Vex –
The scroll that shows in the trade window opened by initiating a house trade doesn’t look anything like a deed. Also, it will continue to show the owner and coordinates. The only difference in that display will be replacing the house name with its type.

The requirement that both parties be within 2 steps of the sign is probably good enough to prevent the house sign, but it certainly won’t hurt to get an arbitrary player-input element (the house name) out of the trade window.

With these changes, there won’t be any doubt about which house it is that you’re actually buying.
[280901] Sannio –
It became apparent to us that the house name can be far too deceptive when considered as a detail in selling/trading a house. “Mislabeled” houses essentially became a house-trade security issue, and we felt would it would be best to leave the name off.

Siege Perilous, Baekdu and Mugen – 25th October 01 – nocturne
Latest Game Update :: Changes to Siege Perilous Shards
Several updates and changes will occur for the Siege Perilous shard. These changes include Stats changes, ROT, the Hero/Evil system, NPC training, Taming, and other items. The specifics are listed below.
  • Stats (Strength, Dexterity, and Intelligence) will gain a maximum of 6 points per day, total. (For example, a character may gain 3 points in Strength, 2 points in Dexterity, and 1 point in Intelligence, equaling 6 total points gained).
  • A variation of the “Rate Over Time” (ROT) system will be returning to Siege Perilous, and will apply to all skills:
    • Skill points for skills under 70 points will gain as normal shards (including “power hour” point gain capability).
    • Skill points for skills between 70 and 79.9 points will gain a maximum of 3.6 points total per day, with a minimum of 20 minutes between point gained.
    • Skill points for skills between 80 and 98.9 points will gain a maximum of 2 points total per day, with a minimum of 40 minutes between point gained.
    • Skill points for skills 99.0 points and up will gain a maximum of 2 points total per day, with a minimum of 60 minutes between point gained.
  • A revised Hero/Evil system will be returning to Siege Perilous:
    • “Red” characters will be allowed in all towns. Guards will not kill them on sight, but will kill them if they perform any criminal acts. It will still be a criminal act to heal a red within town, but it will not be an act which guards could be called for. Reds will also be attackable by anyone while in town—faction enemy, “red” character, or otherwise.
    • The True Britannians and Council of Mages factions will be considered “Hero” factions. The Shadowlords and Minax factions will be considered “Evil” factions. All four factions will still be at war with one another, in addition to being integrated with the Hero/Evil system.
    • Killing faction characters who are in your own faction will incur a penalty. The killer in this case will lose 50% of his current kill points, lose 100% of the lifeforce accumulated, and be able to be reported as a murderer. An exception to this will be the killing of guild mates, thus allowing characters to spar with guild mates. Another exception is that if your character is attacked by another, you are allowed to defend yourself with impunity.
    • Faction characters will gain lifeforce equal to 20% of the life force of the character killed, and that character who was killed will lose an equal amount of lifeforce points.
    • Faction characters will gain 1 lifeforce point for each faction enemy monster which that character kills.
    • The maximum number of lifeforce attainable is 100 points.
    • Players will be able to spend lifeforce points toward special Hero/Evil powers. Players will be able to use a special phrase (“I invoke my good powers,” for Hero characters, and “I invoke my evil powers,” for Evil characters) to bring up a special menu through which they may control the following effects:
      • Colored Armor (5 lifeforce points; duration is permanent; turns an article of armor or clothing white for Hero, black for Evil)
      • Detect Evil/Good (1 lifeforce point; duration is immediate; allows Hero character to scan the area for Evil, and Evil to scan for good)
      • Summon familiar (10 lifeforce points; duration is 30 minutes; allows character to summon a familiar to fight for the character, silver wolf for Hero or dark wolf for Evil)
      • Bless (60 lifeforce points; duration is 30 minutes; temporarily “blesses” one equipable item, item will note time remaining)
      • Silver/Dark Steed (30 lifeforce points; duration is 30 minutes; creates a silver steed for Hero character to ride, or dark steed for Evil character)
      • Holy/Unholy Shield (40 lifeforce points; duration is 60 minutes; character is ignored by all monsters and faction guards while this power is active)
    • Evil characters will no longer automatically hue red (unless a particular character is a murderer), and any Evil character which kills a blue innocent may gain a murder count. The faction system hue will be in effect to handle aggression and flagging.
    • Some changes to verbiage from the previous Hero/Evil systems will occur based on localization needs.
  • An additional penalty for being red on Siege Perilous includes the amount of gold found on the corpse of a creature which they have killed will be one-third. For example, if a player would normally receive 600 gold off a monster, if that player is instead red, he will receive 200 gold.
  • Starting equipment for new characters on Siege Perilous will be:
    • Clothing, as normal (“newbie items”)
    • 1 dagger (“newbie items”)
    • 100 gold coins
    • 25 ingots
    • 1 shovel
    • 1 bag, with 10 of each reagent
    • 1 katana
  • NPCs will no longer be able to train characters.
  • Hiding will no longer be possible while taming; invisible characters who begin taming will be revealed.
  • Taming high level monsters (such as nightmares, wyrms, and dragons) will become twice as difficult.
  • Provocation continues to be difficulty-based.
  • The warning gump players see upon entering the Siege Perilous Shard has been removed.
  • Siege Perilous will gain the Ilshenar facet. This added facet will have the “Felucca ruleset,” in addition to allowing faction fighting.
  • [Added Today] The cost of house deeds when purchased from NPC shopkeepers on Siege Perilous will be 10× the prices seen on “normal” shards. All other NPC shopkeeper sales on Siege Perilous will remain at 3× normal.

Carpets and Stuf – 01st October 01 – nocturne
Rug Merchant Shop Inventory
Sannio –
Carpets have not been tossed, but they are currently “on hold.”
Sannio –
We are most definitely still refreshing houses.

I want to point out that house decay isn’t “frozen in place,” and that houses will still “decay” over the course of the day. You’ll see houses move into the “somewhat worn” category, but the next day they’ll be refreshed again.

The refreshing doesn’t include refreshing boats, only houses.
Sannio –
I just wanted to remind people to be careful as they move their items around within their homes.

It’s probably a good idea to check for hidden characters before unlocking any items which you want to move around. It can be heartbreaking losing a rare that you wanted to move to someone who was hidden and watching you, and then later finding out that GMs can’t replace any items lost in this way.
Potential changes to ingot quantity and price on NPC shopkeepers is here, this change also affects other commodities, but not reagents. Stellerex talks about the “revolving-door dev team” here. There are some changes to what you can cook on on TC6, including removing heating stands as fire sources. Dev postings relating to Repair Service Contracts, Commodity Deeds and Secure House Trading added here.

Slow News Day – 01st October 01 – nocturne
LumTheMad.net has closed its doors, leaving the site to SlowNewsDay.net. As part of the new-look thing, they asked a bunch of MMPOG devs to talk about, well, MMPOGs.

The first part asks As Sci-Fi and Fantasy have already been covered, what do you think will be the next genre to hit it big in online games? What would you personally like to play?
Jessica Mulligan – Most of what is scheduled to launch in the next two years looks to be Sci-Fi and Fantasy. The most interesting launch to watch will be The Sims! Online; it’s the first shot at a mass-market persistent world. If it goes over well, it could possibly be the “killer app” that brings millions more players into the hobby. Personally, I prefer to play the more traditional, familiar hard core online games.
…part two follows with Do you think the industry will ever create “Rated R” type MMORPGs that have adult content and themes such as sexuality and graphic violence? How far do you think the boundaries will be stretched in the future from where they are now?
Mark Asher – Yes. I expect to see some sex-themed MMOGs, though probably not from the current game publishers. Graphic violence? Yeah, some MMOG will try that angle to distinguish itself from the others. Boundaries? I don’t know why we won’t see MMOGs with graphic depictions of sex acts, but I’d not expect them to be big budget games. It will have to be something that a small team can cobble together. You’re not going to find investors willing to dump millions into an X-rated game. It’s just like porn movies and their small budgets vs. traditional Hollywood movies.
…part three continues with How close to market saturation do you think the online games industry is?
Star Long – It is certainly not nearly as saturated as the retail games market. If you look at where this industry was when UO launched the total paid online subscriber base for all online games was probably not more than 100,000. Almost 4 years later the total number is well over 3 million (most of which is in Korea playing Lineage). That is way over 100% growth per year. No other game genre has that kind of growth. Additionally most of the online games have yet to see a significant drop off in the subscriber numbers despite more games being in the market. Almost all of them continue to grow. There are certainly a lot of online games in development but as we have seen recently by some not so successful launches it is not an easy thing to back one of these beasts up. So I think we will see a bunch of games hit the market but most will crumble and the top 5 or so will control almost 90% of the subscriber base (much like retail games today).
…part four asks Do you think photo-realism in MMORPGs is inevitable, or is there an advantage to having less-than-real life graphics in an online game? How far away would you say we are from said photo-realism?
John Smedley – Hmm… yes, I think it’s inevitable… but I think it’s all a question of style. For example, look at the screen shots of World of Warcraft which are very beautiful and yet obviously are not trying to be photo-realistic. Another great example would be an Anime style online RPG. As for the advantage of having less-than-real life graphics in online games, I think gradually the power of the cpu’s and graphics cards is pushing the envelope to allow these types of things not to really be a consideration when we’re making games. I realize this sounds a bit like a pipe dream now, but I fundamentally think it’s moving that way.
…and part five finishes with If you had to make a prediction, what do you think the MMORPG being played in 2011 will be like?
Richard Garriott – It’s interesting to compare the next 10 years with the last 20 years. Over the last 20 years, interface and graphics have radically advanced, but game mechanics have largely remained the same, except for the first 5 or so years while the medium was in its true infancy. Looking forward, I would expect the same type of curve to happen in online, though more accelerated. Thus over the next 2-5 years I would think game mechanics will by found that are compelling in an MMP setting, then after that we will fall back into tech advance more than game play mechanic innovation. Thus by 2006, I’d expect to see the style of games we will be playing in 2011, but through 2011 the presentation will become highly advanced.

To be specific: Though I would love to see VR style interfaces, I still doubt they will be popular, but the graphics will be rendered in as realistic or surrealistic and high resolution as is needed to create a real time vision of a conceived reality. Much of the game play will be as it is today, but we will have discovered a few great new play paradigms. I suspect some of the most compelling will be MMP social environments. People will log into virtual environments, not only to combat each other, but often in “games” that have no measured competition at all. They will socialize, explore and problem solve together around the globe. In these environments we will see even deeper friendships form, more “dating” and people will compete, but for influence and attention, much more like they do in the “real” world. Since relationships are real, the line between real and virtual will be substantially blurred.

Blast from the Past – 02nd October 01 – nocturne
In one of those strange coincidence things, seems like Quarter to Three posted our last Blast from the Past link a few days before we did, on one of those rare days I didn’t check in at their site. Anyhow, they found two more links on Metro; Bloody Ethics and Ultimate Place.

No Decay – 03rd October 01 – nocturne
FYI :: House Refreshing Continued and New System Proposal –
We feel that a dedicated and active member of the UO community should not be able to lose a house, along with years of accomplishments and items, due to a sudden emergency or other factors beyond their control. In keeping with this, we plan to continue refreshing all houses daily through the end of the calendar year, and we are proposing a new system that, if adopted, will change the current system of house decay.
Bolding added.
In Concept :: House Decay Changes
We feel that a dedicated and active member of the UO community should not be able to lose a house, along with years of accomplishments and items, due to a sudden emergency or other factors beyond their control. In keeping with this, we are proposing a new system in which houses will not decay as long as the prime owner of the house has an active UO account. In order to see that housing spots are still available to all players in Britannia, however, houses will decay if the prime owner’s account is closed or permanently suspended. Please keep in mind that this is still in a “Concept” phase, meaning that the details are not set in stone, and may be changed based on various design-related factors and player feedback.

This change would mean that active players who own houses will no longer need to refresh their homes to prevent them from decaying. Accounts that are temporarily suspended, such as those accounts which are banned for 24, 48, or 72 hours, are still considered active, and their houses will not decay unless the account is permanently suspended.

If this change is enacted, any houses owned by a player whose UO account is closed will be considered “ownerless”, and will be marked as condemned. Condemned houses are automatically refreshed once at the time that they become condemned, and will then decay over the normal period of approximately 10 days, allowing co-owners and friends time to move their items out of the house before it decays. Condemned houses cannot be refreshed.

However, we understand that there are houses and establishments in UO that have been run by co-owners for a long period of time since the original owners left the game, and we do not wish to see these co-owners lose these houses due to this change. In order to see that all co-owners are given the opportunity to protect their house before this change is put in place, we would enact a system to transfer ownership of all current ownerless houses to a co-owner, provided the co-owner has an active UO account.

If, when this change is put in place, the owner of a house does not have an active UO account, each of the co-owners will be given the option to become the prime owner. The character who was first granted co-ownership of a given house will be the first co-owner offered the option of becoming the prime owner of that house. Should the first co-owner reject the option to claim the house, the next earliest co-owner will then receive that same offer, and so on through the most recent co-owner. If none of the co-owners accept ownership, that house will become condemned and begin the decay process.

Since players can only own one house per account per shard, any co-owners offered ownership of a house will need to keep in mind that if they accept ownership of the house, any other houses they already own on that shard will become condemned and begin to decay. Co-owners who do not wish to lose any other houses owned on their account should not accept ownership of an ownerless house.
Adrick Analyzes Bug Fixing in Dev Team Comments, going through the 7-step program of bug-fixing.

The Last Hope – 04th October 01 – nocturne
BNN :: The Last Hope
They had overheard the controller’s talk of fighting an enemy, and the few gargoyles who had evaded capture figured that any enemy of these foul beasts might be an ally to the gargoyles. But they had also learned how gargoyles in these other lands were perceived… as monsters to be slaughtered for treasure and fame. They had no choice, though. Something had to be done, and this was the last hope.
This one is written by Calandryll. Save me, Obi-Wan!

Dev Postings – 05th October 01 – nocturne
Evocare, on Bulk Order rewards –
Well, the really cool rewards only come from doing the very rare, very hard-to-pull-off large orders.

Unless ancient smithing hammers that greatly increase your skill (even over 100.0), the ability to make colored weapons (valorite katana, anyone?), and other such goodies don’t interest you… ;]

Of course, such rewards are oh so very difficult to obtain… will you be one of the few blacksmiths weilding that telltale valorite smithing hammer? :P
Evocare, on the new prices for resources on TC6 –
To answer the oft-asked “why not reagents?” question, it’s because the new vendor system in testing *only* works for items that have a reasonably strong player-driven supply and demand. For any commodity that does not have a strong player supply (like reagents), the commodity would simply rise to massive levels.

For example, reagent prices would rise continuously until they hit some level where the price was so high that players would be incentivized to pick them up off the ground and sell them to the npcs. Unfortunately, this price would be far far higher then mages would be willing to pay for the reagents, thereby making playing a mage impractical. At some point in the future, if we develop a significantly better method for players to harvest reagents, then we’ll have the required supply and demand levels to turn them into a market-driven commodity (would be very cool).

By contrast, there is a far stronger supply of ingots/boards since those are better developed metagames then reagent gathering, and since there is also a strong demand, the equilibrium price will be fairly reasonable for both miners and smiths.

Hopefully, this reply will clear up more confusion then it causes… ;]
Krum, also on the new resource pricing –
Well it’s really unlikely that NPC vendors will ever sell colord ingots (there are technical limitations; ever notice that NPCs don’t buy colored ingots?)

If we advertised the prices each vendor was offering on a web site or something like that, I think it would only provide more stablization.

If we find that what has been developed here where the vendors all have their own price becomes a problem, we’ll change it. Because of the way this system works though is that no gold is really being created. If I buy thousands of ingots, the price is going to go up. People selling ingots back to the NPC will essentially be putting the money I gave the NPC into their own pocket. No gold is really being created by the system out of thin air, so it seems that this type of system will result in a fairly stable market economy, much like the existing real-world securities market.

I think we could even extend the system so players could buy and sell futures or options on the items, although this probably won’t happen.

We believe that we’ve covered our bases as far as exploits are concerned with this system. Too many players are making assumptions about how this works and are basing their “I’m going to exploit this by yadda yadda” on these assumptions. We’ve got extensive logging going on, so it will be possible for us to track extraordinary activity. If we find a problem, we will take the necessary steps to correct it.
Prophet –
The vet reward system pulls down the account age information on a weekly basis. As well shards only check for updates to ages once a week. So in theory if you are particularly unlucky it could take just under two weeks for your age to get updated. The norm is approximately one week from your billing date.
Adrick, on TC6 horses having unlimited stamina –
This is not a change it is a fixing of a bug – horses were NEVER designed to have unlimited stamina. Its not just about PvP either – its about horses vs ostrads vs nightmares vs war horses – each have different stamina levels – kind of pointless to have the top 3 when the bottom one is unlimited :(
Adrick –
Horse staimna drain was always an issue in UO until it was broken. This has upset the balance of all tamed rideables – the advantages of some over others, because of this bug, were removed and thereby the advantages of being able to tame and sell these higher stamina pets was nerfed. Faction war horses were designed to be the best endurance rideable in the game – to make them worthwhile to those that earned them in faction battles. Just the same Nightmares are a reward to tamers who can tame and sell them/ride them.

As pointed out above feeding a horse is one way to get his stamina back, training him is another to increase his max stamina.
Adrick –
I do appologize for the time it took to get this scheduled – There will still be a few faction issues – but a vast majority of them should be fixed after this next publish.
Sannio –
I just came from a meeting with the GMs, and we spoke about the nature of the transportable ballot boxes (or any item that was created or modified through the use of a bug or exploit), and the repercussions which might occur by having one.

When it is brought to the attention of a GM that you are in possession of a transportable ballot box, the item will be deleted and an action will be taken against your account by that GM. This action will be at least an official warning, although someone with numerous transportable ballot boxes and/or a previous record of rules infractions may incur a more severe penalty, such as temporary or permanent suspension of that player’s account.

I know this has been a stressful topic for some people, but I hope this helps the understanding of the situation.
Comforting news, isn’t it? Sannio also gives some tips on upgrading your house here.

Scenerio Postings – 06th October 01 – nocturne
Arcane Clothing
Calandryll –
Don’t use arcane gems on blessed clothing. The arcane cloting will not retain the blessed status. This is again because it deletes the old object and then creates a new one.
Calandryll –
Max charges is based on tailoring skill.

We didn’t want the arcane gems to be difficult to get. One thing people may not realize (spoiler coming up!!) is that you don’t *need* a GM tailor to recharge your arcane items. Any character can do it. The only difference is that a non-GM tailor can’t fully recharge an arcane item, they can only charge about 4/5s of the maximum charges. So while the max total anyone can have at one time is 80 charges, one can recharge his/her own items once they run out of charges. You do have to have the arcane item and the gem in your backpack to do it though.
Calandryll –
You can cast over 10 ebolts with a full suit. That’s nothing to sneeze at.

They aren’t meant to be a replacement to reagents. More of a back up, in case you suddenly run out of regs… plus, in Third Dawn, they look cool. :)
Calandryll –
It’s not a bug. You are not creating an exceptional item when you make an arcane item. We felt that even though you need an exceptional item to make into an arcane item, since you didn’t need to be a GM tailor to make one, the items should still have a maker’s mark.
Calandryll –
with the latest crafted arcane apparel, even those without GM level skill have their names added to any exceptionally crafted item. will this be implemented on future new craftables as well?
If you mean do we plan on giving makers mark for craftables for non-GM skilled crafters… no, we don’t. Hope that addresses your concern.
Misc –
Calandryll –
No actually, the reason golems are not living is because in real life books (ie: real life folklore) golems were not “living” creatures. A golem, by definition, is a non-living entity that is given “life” (meaing it can move and perform tasks) through magic or alchemy. But it is by no means a living creature, or even an undead creature.

Golems are not affected by peacemaking because they have no ability to hear things. They are not living (or even undead) creatures, they are clockwork constructs. That was more of a fictional decision than any kind of bard nerf. Any time we decide to give a monster an ability, the first priority is to make sure it makes sense within the fiction.

Controllers should have no special protection from barding at all. You should be able to provoke controllers onto each other and provoke other monsters (except golems of course) onto controllers. If you can’t, please let me know and I will check into it on Monday.
Calandryll –
This bug is fixed. We can’t publish it as part of next week’s scenario update though. So we’ll most likely publish the fix the week after. If there gets to be a lot of broken generators on Monday, I will go in and manually solve them all with a god client.
Calandryll –
Town criers are not going to give out any scenario hints anymore. Only barkeepers do that now.
Calandryll –
From now on, this is the publish schedule for scenarios. It’s very similar to the original schedule for the first scenario, with the exception of putting it on one shard first. The schedule below assumes that nothing really bad happens.

× Monday afternoon (CST): Publish Oceania (active on Tuesday local server time)
× Tuesday Night (CST): Publish all non-US shards (active on these shards Wed. morning maintenance, local server time)
× Wednesday Morning (CST): Publish all US shards (active on their Wed. morning maintenance, local server time)

So basically, this is the same way we did it for the Savage Empire Scenario, except we are publishing it on Oceania a day early. This allows us to get about 24 hours worth of gameplay on a live shard in case any bugs slip past us. For the other non-US and the US shards, they get the scenario content at the same time as they always have.

Scenario stories will continue to be posted the Thursday afternoon before the content update, just like always.

Out of In Concept – 08th October 01 – nocturne
[301101] Crafting System moved to General Testing. Repair Service Contracts, Commodity Deeds and Secure House Trading moved to Testing for Next Update. Minor updates to Commodity Deeds and the Crafting System Overhaul.

Sannio talks a little in OCR Comments, about player-run events.

Darwinism – 09th October 01 – nocturne
FYI :: Hair Dye Exploit –
In order to see that our support team can help those players with the most urgent needs, we must prioritize the calls that we take. When new exploits and new problems are found, we find that we receive large numbers of calls on those matters, and those calls take a considerable amount of time.

One of these instances currently involves an exploit that involves the illegal dying of characters’ hair. We are aware of this problem, and we are addressing it, but in order to see that our support members can still give priority to those players who need them most, we cannot address this on a case by case basis. Although GMs will not accept calls on this matter, we are processing logs of this exploit’s use, and players found using this will be held accountable.

Please remember that exploiting bugs or using unapproved third party programs in Ultima Online can result in the permanent suspension of your Ultima Online account. A list of approved third party applications can be found here. Using any exploit or third party application not on this list is a violation of the Rules of Conduct.

We are committed to removing those players that choose to exploit Ultima Online and will continue to work towards maintaining an enjoyable and level playing experience for all of our players.
Anyone feel like telling us what this is all about?
FYI :: Publish and Scenario Update –
We are targeting to make three new updates, including Commodity Trading Deeds, Secure House Trading, and Service Repair Contracts, live on the Oceania and Great Lakes shards after their scheduled maintenance periods Wednesday morning (local server time). Barring any unforeseen issues, these changes should be made live on the East Coast, West Coast, and Central shards after their morning maintenance periods on Thursday, local server time. The remaining shards should see these changes live following their Friday morning maintenance periods (local server time). Information on these updates can be found in Testing for the Next Update.

In order to introduce these changes as soon as possible, it is necessary for us to delay this week’s scenario publish for at least one day, meaning that Oceania should receive the scenario publish after its morning maintenance Wednesday (local server time). The remaining shards should receive the scenario updates after their morning maintenance Thursday (local server time).
FYI :: Customer Service Employee Terminated –
On Monday, October 8th, 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 uoconcern@uo.com 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.
FYI :: Client Patch –
We will be releasing a client patch on Tuesday, October 9th at approximately 2:45 PM CDT. This patch contains localization files, and does not contain any gameplay changes. NOTE: As there are no executable changes contained in this patch, the in-game version numbers will not change, and should still read 3.0.4p (2D client) and 3.0.4p Build 77 (3D client).

The Future of Online Gaming – 10th October 01 – nocturne
Slow News Day has completed their 5-part interviews with everyone who’s anyone. If you haven’t read them all yet, the quick-links are here.
FYI :: Great Lakes and Oceania Revert –
Due to an issue with the latest publish that became active this morning on the Great Lakes and Oceania shards, the prices of items sold on player vendors may have been reset to their default values. Because of the seriousness of this issue, it is necessary to revert the Great Lakes and Oceania shards to a previous backup made at approximately 7:00 AM CDT.

It is always a difficult decision to make when confronted with the possibility of reverting a shard; however, we feel the damage that could be avoided by reverting these two shards far outweighs the inconvenience involved with taking this course of action. We apologize for the necessity of this interruption and any inconvenience it may cause.

You Roxxorz My Heart – 11th October 01 – nocturne
In Concept :: Wedding Proposal Deed
The Wedding Proposal Deed and the kit it creates are intended to facilitate marriage ceremonies in-game. No rares will be distributed, in order to avoid players marrying each other only for rare items. Weddings would also be recognized on a special page of the UO website, dedicated to marriage announcements.

When a player double-clicks on a Wedding Proposal Deed, a gump is displayed, outlining the two ring types (silver or gold), and the inscriptions to be placed on the rings. Once chosen, the inscription is placed on both rings. The inscription cannot be different between the two rings, and below the inscription will be the name of the spouse the person is married to.

Possible Inscriptions:
  • All My Love,
  • All my love, all my life,
  • Always,
  • Always For Forever,
  • As You Wish,
  • Constant and True,
  • Endless As This Shall Be Our Bliss,
  • Enduring love,
  • Eternally yours,
  • Faithful Love Will Ever Last,
  • For You Alone,
  • Forever,
  • Forever And Ever,
  • Forever Entwined,
  • Forever In Love,
  • Forever In My Heart,
  • Forever in Virtue,
  • Forevermore,
  • From This Day On,
  • Grow Old With Me,
  • Here Is My Heart, Guard It Well,
  • How Do I Love Thee,
  • I Love You Most,
  • I Will Never Love Another,
  • Joy Without End,
  • Life is Good,
  • Love Conquers All Things,
  • Love Is All In All,
  • Love Is Eternal,
  • Love Me And Leave Me Not,
  • Love ‘n’ Kisses,
  • Love, Faith, Hope Together,
  • My Heart Is Yours,
  • My Heart Is Yours Forever,
  • My Love Is Forever Yours,
  • Never Another You,
  • Never To Part,
  • No Heart More True Than Mine To You,
  • One Life, One Love,
  • One Love, One Lifetime,
  • Today-Tomorrow-Forever,
  • Undying devotion,
  • With All That I Am,
  • With These Rings We Bind Our Love,
  • With You Always,
  • You And No Other,
  • You Are My Strength and My Love,
  • You Are The Love Of My Heart,
  • You Have My Heart,
  • You Roxxorz My Heart,
  • You Shall Never Walk Alone,
Once chosen, a targeting cursor is displayed, and the player must target the person (s)he wishes to marry. The message “Please click on your desired spouse” should be displayed.

Once the spouse is selected, a gump will be displayed, stating “Accept marriage proposal? From ____ (person’s name who used the deed)”, along with Accept/Decline buttons. The targeted player may then accept or decline the proposal.

If the proposal is accepted, a pouch will placed in the user’s backpack (if there is room). If there is not room, the marriage is cancelled. The pouch will contain the following:
  • Either silver or gold wedding rings (two rings… each the same color)
  • A bottle of wine
  • Two goblets
Players who are already married will not be able to propose marriage or be proposed to. There is currently not a way to become divorced.

Ye Bigge Patche – 12th October 01 – nocturne
[Patch, October 01 1/2] The addition of new items, “Repair Service Contracts” and “Commodity Deeds”; along with increased security for House Trading.

House Refresh – 13th October 01 – nocturne
FYI :: Auto House Refresh Update –
Recently, there was a problem with players’ houses not being refreshed properly due to an issue with the automatic house refresh system. We have kept a very close eye on the situation, and all houses were manually refreshed while we addressed the issue. The problem has since been fixed, and all houses should now be refreshing automatically on a daily basis. We apologize for any inconvenience this may have caused.

It’s important to note that house decay itself has not been frozen. Houses will decay a small amount over the course of a day; however, they will be completely refreshed the following day.
Adapting, the latest scenerio-BNN story, is up, written by Gromm. GM Platinum introduces himself in Player Relations Comments.

Dev Postings – 16th October 01 – nocturne
Tajima –
There have been a few threads like this since the UOTD beta. I’d like to comment briefly on some of the underlying technical issues behind the project in an effort to clarify some misunderstandings that I see repeated frequently:

The first and probably greatest challenge for UOTD was the requirement to be fully interoperable with the 2D client. This involved converting all sprites to Direct3D surfaces, rewriting the terrain rendering system, generating all-new art, integrating an animation system, and developing an orthoganal camera system. (Since there’s no sense of “distance” in UO’s game display, a typical 3D camera system wouldn’t work. Instead, UOTD’s camera system prevents “distant” 3D objects from diminishing in size.)

There were also considerable challenges with the texture memory situation. Since UO’s original sprites were often much larger than necessary or sized to non-optimal dimensions for many 3D cards, we had to spend considerable time developing a texture compression scheme. (Players of the beta should remember how badly the jungles lagged the client before this compression system was enabled.)

By being completely interoperable with the 2D client, we also inherited the isometric view. While the overwhelming majority of our players prefer this viewpoint, it prevents us from using some vital techniques common in first-person 3D programming to improve performance:
1) Mesh Level of Detail: By reducing the number of polygons based on the distance of the object from the viewer, the processing requirement is also reduced. (e.g. A monster 10 meters away uses a mesh with 500 polygons, but at 100 meters the mesh used only has 100.)

2) MIP Mapping: Multi-Image Pyramid mapping is a method used to reduce texture memory requirements. Much like the mesh level-of-detail technique, the resolution of textures changes based on the distance of the object from the viewer. (e.g. A monster at 10 meters uses a 512x512 texture, where the same monster at 100 meters uses a 64x64 texture.) By saving texture memory in this fashion, the need to cache textures to the system RAM (bad) or the hard disk (worse!) is greatly reduced.

(While we could have used both of these techniques in Third Dawn, the end effect would have been a peculiar “morphing” result as polygon and texture detail changed on the fly as objects entered and exited the screen. Not a desirable solution!)

3) Distance Fogging: By “fogging” objects and terrain in the distance, the requirement to draw them is reduced or eliminated.

4) Scene Culling: An intelligent first-person 3D engine can determine when objects can’t be seen by the viewer, and avoid spending cycles drawing them. As line of sight in UO is a server function, our client is still required to display “unseen” objects.

Though the isometric viewpoint represented considerable challenges for us, the fact that the game is an immense massively-multiplayer environment is by far the greatest one.

In UO, players can be anywhere on the map within seconds. This isn’t true in a typical level-based first-person environment. Since we can’t predict where a player will Recall at any given moment, we can’t set up a predictive texture cache. On top of that, even if we did know the geographical location a player was planning to go well ahead of time, we can’t accurately predict what he’ll see when he arrives. With UO’s extensive range of monsters, weapons, wearables, and mounts, the texture load can range from minimal to overwhelming in seconds.

In addition to all the other performance-enhancing techniques a first-person game enjoys, many level-based games are constructed to limit what the player sees at any given moment. By aggressively controlling that viewpoint and the content within, the all-important considerations of polygon count and texture usage can be maintained within the desired range. To accomplish a similar effect in UO, we’d have to physically prevent players from entering heavily-populated regions, or limiting what items they carried. Again, not a desirable approach!

Hopefully this will clear up some of the misconceptions and inappropriate comparisons of UOTD and other games. Every game ever developed has been a series of compromises, and UOTD is no exception. That said, we’re continually tweaking here and there to improve performance, stability, and appearance of the Third Dawn client. We’re confident you’ll like what’s coming up.

FYI – 17th October 01 – nocturne
FYI :: Publish Revert –
An issue involving a merge with the latest server publish is causing an unacceptable amount of lag on all shards where the publish was activated. We will be reverting the affected shards to the previous server publish. This revert may cause a small “time warp” on the affected shards.

Note this will cause any clockwork assemblies players may have found to no longer give messages when used. Once we republish the servers with the fixed code, they clockwork assemblies will function as before.

We apologize for any inconvenience this may cause.

The Virtues – 18th October 01 – nocturne
In Development :: The Virtues
[InDev] [The Virtues] There is currently a philosophy within Ultima Online known as the Virtues. The Shrines are named after them, and players can read about the eight Virtues in certain books that are available within the game. But, beyond those small representations, the Virtues have never played a significant role in the world of Ultima Online. A system will be put into play which will reward characters who actively pursue the activities that represent each of the eight Virtues.
In Development :: The Virtue of Humility
[InDev] [Humility] Pursuit of Humility will be designed to encourage veteran players to help new players, in that they will specifically advance in this Virtue by helping [young] players.
In Development :: The Virtue of Sacrifice
[InDev] [Sacrifice] Pursuit of Sacrifice will be designed to allow players to interact with “monsters” in a manner other than one of combat.
Calandryll posts part II of his thoughts on Virtue in Dev Team Comments.
In my last comments from the team, I discussed what I felt the virtues should not be. This time, I’d like to start talking about what I think they should be and why. I’ve broken down the virtue system into three main goals and would like to expand upon each of these in this update. Note that not every virtue will achieve all three goals by itself… but the system as a whole should.

GGS In Dev – 19th October 01 – nocturne
In Development :: Guaranteed Gain System
GGS moved to InDev. No changes.
Helios Explains Localization in Dev Team Comments.
We have all seen the following line of text in the game: “gold coin : 500”
It used to say, “500 gold coins.” Why the change?

To answer that question, we must consider the purpose of localization. Localization is the process of allowing text to be displayed in various languages, based on the settings of the end user machine. If your game is intended to be played by only one group, all speaking the same language, then you can just display everything in that language. However, if you have people from multiple countries playing your game (like UO, for instance), the need for translation and a unified way for displaying text becomes apparent.

FYI – 24th October 01 – nocturne
FYI :: Scenario Publish Update –
The latest Scenario update that was made active on the Pacific shard yesterday, October 23rd, became active on the remaining North American shards today after their scheduled morning maintenance periods. However, database issues prevented the update from being published on the AOL Legends, Siege Perilous, and Great Lakes shards. We expect the publish to be active on all remaining shards tomorrow, October 25th, local server time.
Reuters –
REDWOOD CITY, Calif., Oct 23 – Electronic Arts Inc. (NasdaqNM:ERTS), the largest U.S. video game publisher, said on Tuesday it would lay off 200 to 250 people from its online unit toward a goal of reaching profitability for the unit in fiscal 2003.

The cuts represent about one-third of the staff of Redwood City, California-based EA.com, according to an EA spokesman.

The move comes in an effort to bring the online unit to profitability in fiscal 2003, the company said.

It was not immediately clear if the cuts would mean the elimination of any of the offerings on the EA.com site.

Siege Perilous, Baekdu and Mugen – 25th October 01 – nocturne
[Patch, October 01 2/2] 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.
BNN :: Written In Blood
He worked his away across the floor around piles of his projects. Bits of golem lay in semi-completed forms in a pattern than could have passed for an obstacle course with random papers lying everywhere as if they had fallen from the canopy of a giant tree above. Clocks lined the walls, although half had been covered by hastily sketched plans that had been pinned up. As he made his way through the maze, piles of documents spilled behind him and small tools tinkled to the floor. The banging on the door resumed just as he came near and pulled it open.

LB Does Lineage – 25th October 01 – nocturne
Lord British is scheduled to make his entrance into the world of Lineage on November 26 as part of a four-week-long special event.

“I’m thrilled that Lord British has found a new home,” said Garriott, now an executive producer at NCsoft’s Austin, Texas, office.“ And I’m happy that home is Lineage. Players in North America are about to find out why Lineage is so incredibly popular in other parts of the world. Its unique features offer something that people here have never before experienced.”
NCSoft has announced the release of the North American version of Lineage, which can be downloaded from their site ((256Mb)). New players get a free month’s trial, after which there is a $15 charge per month.

Stuf – 26th October 01 – nocturne
Cynthe talks community in OCR Comments.
I’ve been a little quieter on the boards lately, but I’ve still been busy behind the scenes, trying to come up with ways to make information more clear and readily available to the players. We’ve just recently updated the entire Playguide on the site (that’s over 300 pages of updated game material, thanks to Kerowyn!), and the downloadable manual will be upgraded as well.
Calandryll –
Now that the update is on all of the shards, please let me know if there are any problems with the bug fixes:
  • Unreachable generator panels – this will fix all existing panels as well.
  • Young players using control panels – since young players don’t get damaged they will no longer be able to use the control panels.
  • Controller fame – lowered to be in keeping with their difficulty.
  • Arcane gem recharge – anyone, regardless of tailoring skill will be able to rechrage arcane items. GM tailors will be able to recharge them to 100% capacity, nonGMs will only be able to recharge them to 80% of their maximum.
  • Arcane Controller clothing – Clothing worn by controllers will autotmatically delete when the controller dies.
  • Cant use arcane gems on blessed items – this will keep people from losing their blessed items.
  • Null string errors – server localization text (such as barkeepers and arcane clothing) will no longer give null string errors.
Calandryll –
The virtue systems listed in In Development have been changed in the following way:

Master System:
– Third Path title changed to “Knight” instead of Guardian.

– Removed karma requirements.

– Changed gains (HPs, Stamina, Mana) to +5 at path one, +10 at path two, +20 at path three.
– Once a veteran character helps a [young] character, they will not be able to invite another character from that same [young] account to become their squire for one week. For example:
– You invite a character to be your squire and s/he accepts.
– You can help that character as often as you want, but for one week you cannot invite another character from that account to become your new squire.
– You can invite [young] characters from different accounts to become your squires.
– After one week, you can invite a different [young] character from an account you have already helped.

Thanks for the feedback everyone! I’m also working on a change to try to cut down on the spam young players might get bombarded with and make it easier for them to accept/reject offers.
Sannio –
Yeh why ARE women listed under monsters in the polymorph menu! thats been bugging me for a long time now! (im not female though it was just strange)
Men are listed under “animals” and women listed under “monsters.” Neither are quite correct, but as the “animals” and “monsters” sections each had an open slot, placing the men and women polymorph options in their current positions was a simple choice of convenience.
Hanse –
You don’t have to refresh your pets if you claim them within a 24x7 (168 hours) of playtime. This means if you play 2 hours per day, you will have to claim your pet at least once before you have played 84 days. :)

It’s pretty worthless to even have pet refreshing, with such a long timer. We’re looking at removing the refresh requirement.

LB:Ultima = Toto:Wizard of Oz – 27th October 01 – nocturne
Wired ran an article a few days ago about game remakes, highlighting Peroxide’s U1 remake and The Bard’s Legacy, based on The Bard’s Tale.
Ultima I: Reborn will be available for free when it’s released some time next year.

However, Peroxide has no contract with Electronic Arts, which bought the game in 1992 from the original publisher, Origin Systems.

The Peroxide team did contact Richard “Lord British” Garriott, one of the original developers of the game.

Garriott granted his permission to remake the game as long as there was no financial gain, according to Damiani.

Electronic Arts, however, hadn’t heard about the Ultima project and would like to have a word with the Peroxide developers.

“EA owns the rights to Ultima and all of its characters, and in this case, no permission was requested or granted,” said Jeff Brown, an Electronic Arts spokesman. “As for Richard Garriott’s approval, that’s like getting permission from Toto to remake The Wizard of Oz.”
I would say that EA’s man is downright rude, except Ralph Damiani said it first. As posted on the Peroxide site –
Ultima 1: A legend is reborn was mentioned in this article over at Wired news.

On a note, I’d like to clarify some statements made in this article by an EA spokesman. He claimed EA has no knowledge of our remake, thus we could still hurt their intelectual property rights.

Peroxide has attempted to contact EA at an occasion last year, and having received no answer from any public relations or any department, it was assumed then we were allowed to proceed.

Also, as it’s been known by now, and is explained in our FAQ, we have been granted verbal permission for this project by Richard Garriott, the owner of the Ultima franchise when this project started. As Richard Garriott was a (Or at least one of the) creative president of Origin Systems by then, we assume this would represent the position of the whole company. What is really an unfortunate statement though regardless of its legal validation is that Richard Garriott’s permission is as meaningless “as Toto’s allowance to remake the Wizard of Oz”. The implicit sarcasm on this sentence is in my opinion disrespectful towards the creator of the series and the responsible mind behind the most successful and lucrative projects of Electronic Arts, likely the ones that took the company to the top of the computer gaming industry today.

To any extent, we have taken measures to attempt and speak to them directly, though we have done this before and unfortunately did not get an answer.

3.0.5 – 30th October 01 – nocturne
FYI :: Client Patch 3.0.5 –
  • 2D Client
    • Radar in 2D will now resize when double-clicked.
    • Bulletin boards will no longer display garbled text when displaying messages without a subject.
  • 3D Client
    • Stack gumps close themselves if the item they are being used for gets deleted.
    • Fixed a bug resulting in inaccurate color selection.
  • Both Clients
    • Pop-Up help has been disabled.
    • Fix for a bug that resulted in the orkish kin mask being drawn on a player’s paperdoll and avatar when it no longer actually existed.
    • Various fixes in regards to putting pins on course gumps.
    • Fix for a bug that caused a party member’s paperdoll to become unclothed when the party member ran off screen.
    • Various localization fixes.
  • The current versions should now be 3.0.5d (2D client) and 3.0.5e Build 81 (3D client).
Moved from General Testing to Testing for Next Update
[301101] Bulk Order Deeds, no changes.

[301101] Updates to the Faction System, the following line was added –
Corpses will now hue the correct color for looting – a corpse that is orange is lootable (meaning you did damage), while a corpse that is blue is not lootable (it will include enemies you didn’t damage). Grey and red corpses are lootable.
[301101] Crafting System, the following line was added –
Characters will continue to be able to use Tinkering to create gems-based jewelry — however, changes to the crafting system will disallow creation of such items as a “million diamonds necklace,” in two specific ways. This first relates to being able to craft with resources only available in one’s pack — in the case of the diamonds, only 4000 diamonds can be put into one’s backpack (leaving the character weighing 414 stone in total). The second involves fixing a bug wherein the new item was incorrectly named after the stack of diamonds, and not after the one diamond that was used in the creation of the piece of jewelry.
[301101] Changes to Animal Lore, removal of hunger status, re-added wool as natural resource.
Testing for Next Update :: Context Sensitive Menus
[301101] [Context Sensitive Menus] Context-sensitive menus are new menus players can use to access the various functionalities available on creatures and NPCs, such as accessing the shopkeeper interface, being trained by an NPC, ordering a pet to attack, or opening your bank box from a banker.

UO: Lord Blackthorn’s Revenge – 31st October 01 – nocturne
Press Release
Origin Systems today announced that it has signed an agreement with Grammy and Emmy-winning producer/director Todd McFarlane, creator of Spawn, McFarlane Toys and Spawn.com, to create characters exclusively for Ultima Online: Lord Blackthorn’s Revenge, the latest version in the award-winning Ultima Online (UO) series. The company is also partnering with McFarlane and McFarlane Toys to develop both a line of six action figures based on the new UO creatures and two comic books based on Ultima Online: Lord Blackthorn’s Revenge.
BNN :: Motives
“Exodus,” he spoke in his deep voice, “it seems your lack of understanding of the humans could very well cost us this entire campaign!” His arm shot out and knocked a small statue across the room like an arrow. The small lights on the far wall began to sparkle like firelight through gems.
The UO:BR factsheet is here.
Moved from General Testing to Testing for Next Update :: Unused Character Cleanup
Character data takes up a great deal of space on the servers. Many players have multiple characters that they do not play (characters made for one-time events, made during their regular shard downtime, etc.). Purging characters that are not being used will result in shorter backups, decreasing shard down time and increasing overall performance.

[Added Today] 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.

[Added Today]
  • Design
    • Characters will be deleted after not having been used for 6 months unless the character has over 350 total skill points.
    • Characters at or below 350 total skill points will need to be “refreshed.” Refreshing is defined as logging a character in and then logging out. Logging in a character will reset the six month timer.
    • Characters with over 350 combined skill points will not be deleted, and do not need to be refreshed.
[Removed Today]
  • Design Characters are deleted after three months unless:
    • The character has over 75 total stat points. All characters that are over 75 stat points will not be purged by this system.
    • Characters at or below 75 total stat points will need to be “refreshed”. Refreshing is defined as logging a character in and then logging out. Logging in a character will reset the three month timer.
  • Warnings
    • In order to warn players, shards on the Shard Selection screen will appear in a different color when characters on that shard are scheduled for a purge. Character names in the login list will then appear in the same color if they have not been logged-in for over 2 months. This will serve as a reminder and also warn the player in case a time-warp results in the “refreshing” of a character not saving.
    • In addition, players will be e-mailed a warning before any character is purged. It is very important that all players keep their e-mail address updated in the Account Management section of the Ultima Online website.
So, to summarize and avoid any confusion – Characters may, sometime in the future, be deleted without warning if they do not have over 350 total skill points.
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