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January 02

10 January 02 Publish 15 and Client Patch 3.0.6j – nocturne
Latest Game Update :: Publish 15 Updates and Bug Fixes
  • Housing and Lockdown Updates
    • Selecting YES on the gump to clear you as a co-owner of a house will now remove your co-owner status, allowing proper house transfers.
    • Fixed an issue concerning flawed tile art while placing a house.
    • Trading a house to a player who is co-owned to a house will be a two-step process. The receiver will first have to select YES to remove his co-owner status and then the other party will need to initiate the trade again, at which time it will complete normally.
    • The house co-owner clear confirm gump spacing has been fixed.
    • An issue allowing house add-ons to be chopped through an exploit has been fixed.
    • Locked-down eggs and Easter eggs are no longer able to be used.
    • You will now be able to use runebooks within bookcases or locked down containers.
    • Co-owners of player houses are now able to dye locked-down furniture within the house they co-own.
    • Issues involving certain characters being unable to release, secure, or lock-down items within their own houses has been addressed.
    • The text on the house sign gump when using the 3D client has been changed to black text, instead of yellow, for easier reading.
    • All houses will continue to be automatically refreshed except condemned houses. Condemned houses will begin to decay.
  • Guild System Updates
    • An issue involving canceling choosing new fealty in the guild menu has been addressed.
    • Guildmasters that resign from their guild using the statement “I resign from my guild” will now receive a resignation confirmation. Also, the player who becomes guildmaster, as well as all online guild members, will now receive a statement announcing the new guildmaster.
    • Several spelling errors in guild messaging have been fixed.
    • A typo in the declare war function on guildstones has been corrected.
  • Map-Specific Updates
    • Liches now spawn properly at (757, 1400, 0).
    • Numerous bad ocean tiles have been cleaned up.
    • NPC Waiters will no longer spawn on the roof of the Great Horns Tavern in Magincia.
    • When you single-click the teleporter in the Moonglow mage shop for a newbie quest you will now see “a magical teleporter” instead of “lookAtText: a magical teleporter.”
    • Players will be able to insta-log from the first floor of the Sweet Dreams Inn in Britain while using the 3D client.
  • NPC and Shopkeepers Updates
    • All methods of killing shopkeepers in Felucca will now give a murder count (ie using pets, provoking).
    • The vendor info and status is now on a gump instead of a bark.
    • Shopkeepers will now buy up to 250 individual items or up to 500 items total, whichever comes first.
    • The barkeeps now work through context menus.
    • An issue involving the displaying of the barkeep tip message on the barkeep menu has been fixed.
    • ‘Buy’ is now part of context menus on faction horse breeders and hairstylists.
    • The cancel button on the hairstylist gump will now cancel the selection and not charge you 50k.
    • Guards no longer have training menus.
    • Real estate brokers will be the only NPC interested in house deeds all others will return them to the person who owns it.
    • NPC Bankers and NPC Minters are the only NPCs which will accept checks.
  • Pet and Hireling Updates
    • A loophole allowing transferring of pets while flagged grey has been fixed.
    • It will no longer be possible to stable a pet using the last object macro.
    • Fixed the message when you try to stable an object in your backpack it now says “you can’t stable that” instead of “please dismount first.”
    • Animal lore now correctly reports how many owners an animal has had.
    • The message involving feathers in animal lore has been corrected.
    • If you used your animal lore skill on a tamed eagle, eventually you’d get a random bark saying: “you lock it.” You should no longer be receiving that erroneous message.
    • Healing a frost spider will now raise vet skill instead of anatomy.
    • You will no longer be able to tame dynamically spawned monsters such as Unicorns in an evil in the can region. You will still be able to tame the normally spawned Unicorns.
    • You will no longer have to pay upkeep to keep your pet refreshed while stabled.
    • Non faction players will no longer be able to tame faction war horses.
    • Pack animals are now tamable via context menus.
    • Players that command their pets using context menus will appear as if they had spoken the command phrase(s).
    • All pets store bought or tamed and released will now properly be re-tamable.
    • It’s no longer possible to transfer a pet to a ghost.
    • Players who mount an ethereal horse will no longer be spammed three times with “You get on your horse.”
    • An issue causing pets & hirelings to visually disappear (although only visually they actually remained in the game at the place last seen) when approaching a server boundary has been addressed.
    • You will no longer be able to hire NPC hirelings and have them guard other NPCs.
    • An issue involving hirelings performing “grey” activities without their “owner” going grey has been fixed.
  • Skill Changes and Updates
    • An issue disallowing the use of leather which was cut up from leather items has been addressed.
    • The text displayed when selecting the type of metal on the crafting gump will no longer be garbled.
    • When crafting items a check of the backpack is made if it’s full (either item or weight-wise), you will not be able to craft the item.
    • Both the crafting tools and the crafting resources must now be in one’s backpack when crafting a given item. (You will no longer be able to use crafting tools in the bank box.)
    • Crafting now breaks the necessary concentration for meditation.
    • All crafting menus have the make last button.
    • Oil cloths will now be created with the correct variables, and the bug to convert them back into yellow pieces of cloth has been fixed.
    • Female plate is now properly identified on the crafting gump.
    • Your backpack no longer closes if you use the materials menu.
    • Tinkers will no longer be able to make bugged lanterns. Graphics issue were preventing them from lighting correctly.
    • The “I honor thee” command will no longer disrupt peacemaking.
    • Maker’s Mark for instruments should now go back to being based on your Carpentry skill instead of your Musicianship skill.
    • The Carpentry menu now has the correct spelling for “Trinsic-style chair.”
    • An issue with incorrect messages when using Anatomy on targets with low STR and DEX has been fixed.
    • Players who successfully use their hiding skill while under the effects of an invisibility spell will no longer be revealed when the invisibility timer expires.
    • Players will no longer lose mana when attempting to inscribe a scroll they don’t have the proper materials for.
    • Fixed an issue where the Inscription menu remained “active” after clicking “OK,” disallowing further use of that skill for a time.
    • Characters will no longer lose mana when they fail to make a scroll.
    • Fixed an issue with the phrase that appears when a cooking tool breaks.
    • You will now get the correct amount of dough from mixing flour and water.
    • When starting a tailor character you will begin with a pair of scissors.
    • The cap and tall straw hat are now included in the tailor items menu for tailors.
    • You will now be able to make potions directly into a potion keg.
    • Potion kegs will now display the correct contents when single-clicked (ex. the keg will say “a keg of greater poison” versus “a keg of green potions”).
    • Blacksmith repair difficulty has been fixed the more damaged a weapon is, the more difficult it will be to repair it.
    • If you have a blacksmith tool equipped, you must use that tool while smithing. Otherwise, you can use the tools from your pack as normal.
    • An issue involving mining at inappropriate distances from the target has been fixed.
    • An issue involving the ability to smith items without the proper tools has been addressed.
    • Gargoyle shopkeepers will now give and accept bulk orders.
    • Added small platemail bulk order deeds.
    • Male plate tunics are now being given as a Bulk Order Deed (whereas before it was only female plate armor).
    • Blacksmith repair contracts will now work in the gargoyle city region.
    • Resmelting metal items now checks for an anvil and forge in the proximity.
    • It will now be possible to repair and resmelt all metal shields, arms, and armor.
    • The word “Dull” has been changed to “Dull Copper” on the blacksmith menu.
  • Faction Updates
    • Faction scrolls now stack properly.
    • Faction shopkeepers and guards will now correctly be dismissible by a targeting cursor.
    • Faction vendors should no longer block players movement.
    • Faction stones will no longer open up the “join this faction” gump window for anyone who has already joined that faction.
    • Several issues with faction voting windows have been fixed. They will now come up and display appropriately.
    • A faction town income price modifier issue has been corrected.
    • An issue involving faction town stones not always recognizing their faction ownership has been fixed.
    • Factioneers who leave their faction while on the leadership candidate list will be properly removed from the respective candidate list at that time, and the election system timetable will be adjusted accordingly.
    • Factioneers of rank 5 or lower will not be able to campaign for faction leadership.
    • Faction titles will no longer display while in Trammel.
    • An issue involving faction characters getting stuck if they quit their faction while in their stronghold has been fixed.
    • An issue allowing characters to Gate Travel while holding a faction sigil has been fixed.
  • Spell Updates
    • Fixed an issue where you’d get a message saying that you were disturbed while casting the Incognito spell, but you’d still be able to cast the spell if your skill was high enough.
    • Fixed an issue where an avatar would turn north when casting certain spells.
    • Telekinesis no longer works on boat decks.
    • The Firefield spell will no longer be precastable outside of town and targetable in town.
  • Miscellaneous Localization/Text Changes
    • An issue where certain containers were not displaying their weight properly has been fixed.
    • The listed values when a character is overloaded were reversed-they now display as “Carrying stones/Max stones.”
    • Legacy naval chests and shipwreck chests now display the correct text.
    • Pitchers of liquid will no longer just say: “Container. It is full.” Single-clicking the pitcher will now display the contents.
    • Links will now show up and work correctly in the help gump.
    • Special drinks will now correctly display their look at text mostly covers holiday items.
    • The mongbat tutorial text will no longer mysteriously disappear.
    • An issue with overlapping text boxes in the new player tutorial has been fixed.
    • The gump that pops up when you are leaving the tutorial to go to Haven will now remain on the screen until closed.
    • The proper localized look at text will now appear over magic teleporters.
    • When canceling a help request the word request is now spelled correctly.
    • The wording when locking and unlocking a door has been made consistent.
    • Kite shields will now display if they are dyeable or not.
    • A text display issue with trapped chests has been corrected.
    • Female plate is now correctly identified if it is exceptional.
    • Text will now display correctly on magical items that are blessed using the Item Bless deed.
  • Miscellaneous
    • Runebooks now only require 8 blank scrolls to make instead of the previous 10.
    • Double-clicking a bank check in your bankbox will now cash it in.
    • Camping now is on a 10 second timer if a player camps and waits more than ten seconds, the gump will close and the player remains in the world. (This is to prevent insta-logging in combat.)
    • You can now use a furniture dye tub if you are the owner and the tub is in your backpack.
    • Recall scrolls will now stack properly.
    • The woodsman house has been removed from the list of possible escort destinations because it was confusing there aren’t any woodsman in the game.
    • Players on Siege shards who aren’t part of the new good/evil system will no longer be able to hue items.
    • Special case doors now play the correct sounds when opened and closed.
    • Candles will no longer disappear when used in your hand.
    • Ghosts will no longer be able to open their backpacks using context menus.
    • The mongbat tutorial gump will no longer close when entering combat, as well the death gump will not vanish if the player leaves the area toward the exit moongate and comes back.
    • If a character has his Karma locked it will no longer be possible for others to “honor” them.
    • None of the decorative bolts of cloth in tailor shops will disappear or give odd messages when double-clicked.
    • An issue regarding making and collecting bounties has been addressed.
    • All magical items should now be able to be repaired as normal.
    • If you choose a Vet Reward from the menu and then cancel your choice, you will be put directly into the game instead of being presented with the Vet Rewards menu again.
    • An issue involving grey thieves being able to steal and use moongates has been fixed. (Such thieves must wait until they return to blue before using a moongate.)
    • An issue involving incorrect altering of stats through the used of certain Blessed items and spell combinations has been fixed.
    • Oil cloths should no longer disappear once you use them on your weapon.
    • You are no longer able to get more than one stone table from one deed.
Latest Game Update :: Client Patch 3.0.6j
Miscellaneous updates and bug fixes for the 3D client, as well as a fix for a sound volume issue in the 2D client.
  • 3D Client
    • The help text for a profession will be shown when you pass your mouse over the icon during character creation.
    • Fixed a crash bug associated with list boxes.
    • Fixed a crash bug related to Ilshenar.
    • Added support for next scenario.
    • Addressed a crash bug related to the party system.
    • Fixed an issue involving the loading of spell icons from the desktop file.
    • Spell icons should now dock together when loaded from desktop file.
    • Paperdoll should now open from the desktop file – even when you have a status bar already up.
    • Dragging groups of docked items around should now cause all the objects to draw on top of other interfaces.
  • Both Clients
    • Fixed an issue involving sound volume.
    • Various localization files.
Unlisted Change to Bulk Order Deeds
Hanse –
Now that Publish 15 is on all shards, we’d like to explain further what changes were made to Bulk Order Deeds.
  1. Fame rewards are scaled depending on the difficulty of the deed. The fame reward message is supposed to be in line with monster fame gain messages, but it is not working properly. We’re working on fixing this issue.
  2. Fame is now scaled by blacksmithy skill. This means if you have no blacksmithy skill, you will not gain fame. The scale is a percentage of skill out of 100. IE: If you are at 70 blacksmithy, you will receive roughly 70% of the fame reward.
  3. Colored deeds are now scaled by percentage of blacksmithy skill out of 100. You can still get colored deeds at 70 skill, but you cannot receive the topmost colors at 70 skill.
  4. An exploit was fixed with the time duration between getting bulk order deeds.
We held off on announcing this information as it could have been exploited prior to the publish going live on all shards.

Thanks to everyone for the input folks gave for improvements to the system!
30 January 02 Sacrifice – nocturne
Sacrifice moved from Testing for Next Update to Latest Game Update. The system has been active since the 10 January Patch.

02 January 02 Incoming! – nocturne
Moved back to General Testing from Testing for Next Update :: Unused Character Cleanup
FYI :: Publish – Atlantic Shard –
We are targeting to publish the “Publish 15 Updates and Bug Fixes” changes listed in Testing for Next Update to the Atlantic shard, to be active following its normal Thursday morning maintenance period. We will monitor the shard closely, and barring any unforseen issues, will announce a publish schedule for the remaining shards soon.
Testing for Next Update :: Publish 15 Updates and Bug Fixes
[100102] Publish 15 will include various updates and bug fixes, specifically in the categories of:
  • Housing and Lockdown Updates.
  • Guild System Updates.
  • Map-Specific Updates.
  • NPC and Shopkeepers Updates.
  • Pet and Hireling Updates.
  • Skill Changes and Updates.
  • Faction Updates.
  • Spell Updates.
  • Miscellaneous Localization/Text Changes.
  • and several miscellaneous updates.
03 January 02 Dev Diaries – nocturne
FYI :: Designer Diaries –
Interested in a behind-the-scenes look at Ultima Online’s upcoming expansion, Lord Blackthorn’s Revenge? If so, take a peek into the minds of the Designers involved in its development as they discuss the details of its conception and construction in a collection of Designer Diaries that are being published on various popular gaming websites. Two of these diaries, written by Designer Calandryll, have already been released and can be found via the following links:
  • GameSpy – Calandryll discusses the expansion and how it relates to UO’s ongoing fiction in this Gamespy article.
  • MGON – Insight into the UO:LBR comic, as well as its heroine, Dawn, can be found at MGON.
Future diaries will be posted on both of these sites in the coming weeks, and we will update again once they are released!
Quite interesting reading. Calandryll has always been a good writer.
04 January 02 Interview with Todd McFarlane – nocturne
Lord Blackthorn’s Revenge [UO:BR] GameSpy has conducted an interview with Todd “Spawn” McFarlane, about toys and UO:BR.
On the last project you worked on with them, Origins (UO 2?), were you upset when they canned it?
I kinda didn’t know what went wrong. Here we have to coordinate for a release, you know, go out and start developing to get ready for a sort of “grand opening,” but that opening never came so… The biggest frustration of the whole process was just trying to go ahead. At one point we were ahead of them, we were saying, “We’re ready to go, when’s the game coming?”

Do you play Ultima Online?
Ship date is set at February 12th for the US, and February 21st for Japan. The rest of the shipments will hopefully go out by the end of February.
05 January 02 Dev Postings – nocturne
Sannio –
Currently (in Publish 15), runebooks are still creatable with a maximum of 8 charges. However, the next scheduled publish (Publish 16) is set to raise this maximum to 10 charges. (I don't have a time estimate yet as to when this next publish will occur.)
Sannio –
You will soon be able to sell to NPC shopkeepers on Siege Perilous, and one of the aspects of that is Siege players will be able to become involved with the Bulk Order Deed system that is being talked about on all the other shards. I’ll try to check on a time frame on when this sell-to-NPCs capability may be introduced to Siege for you.
Calandryll –
Well we already had new craftables for tailors in the previous scenario. We’re trying to make sure that all of the crafting skills get at least one item over the course of the scenarios before we add too many to one that already got one. And yes, blacksmithing and bowcraft are both on the radar. :)
06 January 02 UO:BR Limited Edition – nocturne
[UO:BR] Here’s what you can find in the UO:BR care package.
  • Limited-edition Lord Blackthorn action figure designed by Todd McFarlane bundled into the first retail editions of the game.
  • Limited-edition, full-color collectible comic book produced by Todd McFarlane depicting the Lord Blackthorn fiction also bundled into the first retail editions of the game.
  • Full-color, double-sided map of Britannia and the New Lands on one side and the expanded land of Ilshenar on the other included with all retail editions.
09 January 02 GameSpot Reviews Lineage – nocturne
This is a riot. GameSpot gave a score of 5.5 in its review of Lineage ((freshly relaunched with Lord British and all)). You probably figure, since it’s above 5, it still passes, right? Ehrm, no. GameSpot’s rating seems to start at 5. WWII Online got 5.8, and it wasn’t even playable at launch ((I suppose it’s barely playable now, since Playnet just reactivated all inactive accounts for a free two weeks in a Re-evaluation Program)).
The siege element gave Lineage its big publicity push: Lord British of Ultima fame has an association with the game and made a brief appearance some time back during one of the sieges. But he seems to have gone AWOL, and there are no indications of what his future association with the game will be.
10 January 02 Publish 15 and Client Patch 3.0.6j – nocturne
Latest Game Update :: Publish 15 Updates and Bug Fixes
[100102] Publish 15 will include various updates and bug fixes, specifically in the categories of:
  • Housing and Lockdown Updates.
  • Guild System Updates.
  • Map-Specific Updates.
  • NPC and Shopkeepers Updates.
  • Pet and Hireling Updates.
  • Skill Changes and Updates.
  • Faction Updates.
  • Spell Updates.
  • Miscellaneous Localization/Text Changes.
  • and several miscellaneous updates.
Latest Game Update :: Client Patch 3.0.6j
[100102] Miscellaneous updates and bug fixes for the 3D client, as well as a fix for a sound volume issue in the 2D client.
11 January 02 UO:BR Limited Edition – nocturne
[UO:BR] The second part of the Designer Diary at GameSpy has Evocare, your 1337 Designer, talking about the mythical “New Player Experience” ((ie. Now that you can no longer PK newbies, why are people still quiting?)).
In order to gain insight into the new player’s challenges, we focused our exit survey research on why players left. Specifically, we focused on those players leaving early within the first month of play. We quickly realized that we were losing most of our new players within the first three play sessions due to a lack of clearly defined goals upon entry.
13 January 02 Scenerio 3 – nocturne
The new story, Change, is up – this was written by Gromm. With scenario 3 comes two more ridables, the Giant Beetle and the Swamp Dragon. The first week of the scenario, along with the Virtue of Sacrifice, is currently active on TC2. A fix has been coded for Golems to decay, and will be active with scenario 3.
Calandryll –
I’lll address the ones here that I am responsible for or know about. While I know you say you only represent the GL group, I have to make my response keeping in mind the entire community. :)

1. In Fiction
Why Lord British went away. If you cant use “Lord British” because of RG’s hold on the name… say that! “Legal issues” can mean anything, please be more specific.
We’ve already said that. RG owns the rights to the name and legal issues (sorry, I have to say it) prevent us from using LB.

We want to know who is ruling in Lord Britishes stead. There is a gap here between LB abdicating, and the next person taking over… who is ruling in the meantime?
Right now, we are in a Kingless land. That power vacumm has created a window for which evil (Exodus and now Blackthorn) are making a bid for power. The rest will happen (and be revealed) over time.

We want less words and more action. Sure, we get BNN articles, but 99% of the time, the stuff mentioned in BNN articles never actually happened in the game.
BNN articles are meant to give you clues through fictional accounts. The “real” story is told by you.

We want our fiction written by someone who knows Ultima. you guys are messing with some fundamental plot points and it will be reeely easy to create large, gaping plot holes.
We know Ultima. We’re not perfect though, so if we do have a plot whole, please point it out to us. We take fiction very, very seriously.

We want to know why Lord Blackthorn suddenly turned evil.
And you will.

We want to know why Nystul is leaving to follow Lord British.
Mostly because Nystul sees himself as the King’s aid and trusts that Dupre and Clainin can handle things.

We want fiction that does not destroy the fiction built by Garriott.
Agreed, although as far as UO’s fiction, most of it was done by other people.

2. In game
We are not pleased with the virtue system for a variety of reasons.
While there are some who do not like parts of the virtue system, there are some that do like it. The system itself still has room for tweaking and already has been in numerous ways.

We want more objects in the game that are not house decorations.
Good, because we already have and will continue to put them in.

We dont really like suprises that much. We would rather have documentation on new additions to the game than have to “discover it ourselves because it is a suprise”
Don’t agree with this. For many players discovery is a big part of the game. Which is why the scenario stuff is not announced. I think it would do far more harm than good if we announced stuff like new monster AI or item properties in advance. As far as game changes and new systems, I agree however and that is what the Update Center is for.

If its something good, we dont mind waiting for it. Programming time is irrelevant to us.
This is one I will disgaree with as well. Exanple: The scenarios have been well recieved overall and have had very, very few bugs. A lot of that is because we do take extra time with QA and we make sure we don’t publish during bad times (like right before the UO World Faire). That extra time causes some delays, which while some people may not mind, some posts on the scenario board point to the contrary. Time and quality are both very important issues.

We prefer to be treated individually and not stereotypically.
Agreed. So do we. :)

We would still volunteer, despite how OSI has treated their volunteers in the past.
Sometimes decisions are taken out of our hands, whether we like it or not.

We will respect you ang give you the benefit of the doubt if you were honest and open with us.
Good. I don’t believe I have ever been anything but. :)

Sorry I could not address all of your concerns, but I don’t feel right answering something that I don’t work on or know much about. Hope the ones I did cover helped though.
Calandryll –
Actually, no, that was on purpose. Showing someone as a villian before you learn their motivations for becoming such is a very standard fictional practice. Did we learn Darth Vader’s motivations before he appeared on the screen? Nope, he just showed up and started choking people. His story wass told over time… as will Blackthorn’s.

Think about it in a real world sense. How would anyone really know what Blackthorn has been up to and who he has been consorting with. None of our characters can count ourselves as close friends of his so we’d have no idea what he was up to during his absense. All we do know (or rather, will know) is that he has changed. Learning why is part of the story telling process and rushing that become it may seem odd to some people is a really bad idea.
14 January 02 Dev Postings – nocturne
Calandryll –
Actually that wasn’t a bug. The purple llama energy vortex was sort of an easter egg done on purpose. :)
Calandryll –
I mentioned this at the Faire and wanted to make it clear here as well. After much discussion (taking into account both player feedback and our own programming concerns) the Honor system originally posted to In Concept is not going to happen in that form. We still plan on doing a system for Honor (as with all of the virtues) just not that system.

We’re currently discussing a system using one on one dueling instead, but don’t have anything concrete yet...although I did get some awesome feedback on how we could do it at the Faire.
Canyon, on red macroing –
Staying in game as a ghost to work off counts while not at the keyboard is considered macroing, since the customer is gaining something (in this case, a reduction in counts). If this was a persistent problem, yes, the customer could get banned. However, a single instance of this would not result in account closure.

The “Show incoming names” keeps players logged in. If that is turned off, they will time out.
Adrick –
Im not sure that putting back insta hit is the only way to make pvp fun and exciting. Id much rather look at ways to make pvp more dependant on player choices in the fight and less determined by luck.

I can also say that we are seriously looking at making Felucca more attractive and risk vs reward.

That being said I assure you we have not forgotten about pvpers and plan on giving them some love – and sooner than later
15 January 02 FYI – nocturne
FYI :: Change your Passwords Periodically! –
As always, we want to remind everyone to change their passwords often – especially if you’ve logged into your account around people you don’t know (there is no telling who’s watching your keyboard)! Also worth a reminder is the fact that if you receive a mail or other contact requesting your password for any reason, DO NOT GIVE IT TO THEM. No one from OSI will ever ask for your password.

To keep your account safe, run virus scans on your computer often and change your password periodically at our official Registration page at http://www.ultima-registration.com.
The new scenario is currently active on all shards except Oceania, which will be receiving it this Friday, Oz time.
16 January 02 Incoming! – nocturne
Commodities Update moved from General Testing to In Development, no changes. Sacrifice moved from In Development to Testing for Next Update, also without changes. Note that Sacrifice is currently already in effect on all shards.
17 January 02 Stuf – nocturne
GameSpy has posted their third Dev Diary for UO:BR, with Stellerex talking about how cool it is to be working with Todd McFarlane. Nothing much, really. Part II of MGON’s Dev Diary has Hanse talking about crafting and Bulk Order Deeds. Also, Gamers.com interviews John Romero, who says that U5 is one of his three fav games of all time, and credits Garriott with being one of his biggest programming influences.
18 January 02 Character Cleanup – nocturne
Moved back to Testing for Next Update from General Testing :: Unused Character Cleanup, no changes. Note that the timer counts from whenever your character was last logged in, not from whenever the system is activated.

Player Relations Comments has been updated with comments from GM Silvani. I didn’t bother reading it, but you might.

FYI :: Sacrifice Display Issue –
Players participating in the new Sacrifice virtue system may notice that advancement after level one will appear to proceed very quickly at first and then stop. This is an issue we are aware of, whereby the system is not correctly reporting the progress of Sacrifice beyond level one. It is important to note that you are still gaining the appropriate amount of Sacrifice, and it is only the “status bubbles” display which is incorrect. We will be addressing this issue as soon as possible, and apologize for any inconvenience it may cause. Please do not call Game Masters for information regarding your status in a virtue due to this bug.
FYI :: The Mugen Shard –
For those players that enjoy the unique atmosphere the Siege Perilous shard provides, with its challenging ruleset and tight-knit community, we’d like to remind you that the Mugen (pronouned “moo-gen”) shard, located in Japan, operates under the same ruleset as Siege Perilous, and is available to all players worldwide! If you haven’t tried it yet, and are looking for a new hardcore gaming experience, be sure to log in to Siege Perilous or our most recent addition to the Siege ruleset, Mugen.
19 January 02 Dev Postings – nocturne
A fortress has appeared in Ilshenar inhabited by strange aggressive creatures.
Gromm –
Today we removed the original Ilshenar fiction from the BNN. We realize many of you were fond of this fiction but there are a few reasons why we decided to do this.

First of all, these stories were written long before the concept of the scenarios had started. There’s nothing wrong with that except that these stories are no longer condusive to our long-term large-scale fiction goals. They were written originally to be played out in a single story. Scenario fiction is meant to be ongoing.

Secondly, the scenarios were designed to reach as many people as possible. Much of the old Ilshenar fiction revolved around the details of smaller not-as-well-known plot lines. With scenario fiction we wanted to start with a fresh plotline and going back to these lesser known stories could cause confusion.

We do take the game fiction very seriously and we felt that it best suited the interests of the current plotline to not let old fiction give you expectations that we cannot fill.
Canyon –
Blood tiles are fine now unless they 1) are acquired through an exploit, or 2) create imbalances in gameplay. I don’t believe either is the case, so they are fine.
Hanse –
You don’t need mining to get higher deeds. It sounds like a wicked rumor to get folks to spend extra skill points… :)

We’ve tested bulk order deed generation (as well as many of the designers participating in the BOD system… informal testing) and there are not issues with its distribution. The rumors that specific skill amounts give better offerings of orders (70 and above) are not true, either.
Hanse –
Both points are good points and are considered when new designs are made. The scenario team had this issue with the random orc masks being too low of a percentage. They raised the percentage and now the orc masks are common, but many folks were upset that they were devaluated.

The trade-off would be to make the goal outrageously hard for the high-end hammers and lower the percentages. It would be frustrating again, but in a different manner (an example… require 10000 suits of exceptional valorite plate to be able to get a valorite hammer).

Anyone can get lucky, but not everyone has the time to perform extremely long tasks (casual gamers) that would be needed to keep the items rare as a trade-off. :)
Evocare –
The 1 in 18 million chance refers to the combined chance of 1 character getting a large, exceptional, valorite, 20 piece (120 total) platemail order and all the corresponding small orders that are needed to fulfill it.

That being said, you have to remember that there are thousands of smiths banging away at the system several times per day on many shards, and that players have a tendency to trade very effectively (as evidenced by websites such as deedfinder, tradespot, bulk deed bazaar, etc). So, it’s not unreasonable to believe that when somebody gets the large order, they’ll eventually be able to trade/buy the corresponding small orders.

However, I’ll freely admit that we need more quality medium and low(er) end rewards so you can get some cool stuff other then just mining gloves or dull copper hammers for turning in pretty good deeds. In addition, these rewards probably have to expire in one way or another, so they don’t just pile up in huge quantities over time. We also probably need to do something about the abundance of weapons deeds… something we also expect to address in an upcoming publish (I won’t say which publish).

Fortunately, we’re getting a lot of really good information as to just how rare a truly “rare” item needs to be in order to ensure they don’t ever become commonplace. We definitely expect to use this information to develop and refine systems that keep Ultima Online fun and fresh. =]
Vex –
I think some clarification is in order. The 18,000,000 number is more like how many deeds will be distributed on average between the awarding of Valorite hammers. Now, the system is set up to be random, meaning there is no deed distribution schedule.

We got data on the number of GM smiths on various shards. Then, we assumed that there would be twice as many GM smiths soon, and they would all get deeds as often as possible, and they would all band together and trade with perfect efficiency. After making all these extreme assumptions – after all, players always seem find ways to powergame any system ;) – we tuned the odds.

We purposefully set the odds extremely low in order to carefully avoid breaking the game. It is better to start at a very low payout rate and increase it if needed. The alternative – starting high and “nerfing” it later – is much less palatable to both the design team and the players.

Right now, we have no plans to tune the odds upwards. Not enough time has passed for us to begin seriously evaluating whether or not the high-end reward payouts should be increased. However, we are doing extensive logging on all shards. We know exactly who has been given what deeds, and who has turned in deeds for which rewards. So far, we have avoided flooding the game with uberweapons.

However, we are interested in feedback on this subject. This thread seems to be a good place for that. :)
Krum –
Almost all satellite connections have very high latency. This is usually because of the distance the signal needs to travel between the base station and your receiver. These satellites are usually at about 22,000 miles which means you’ve got at least 44,000 miles round trip. The signals travel at about 186,000 miles per second, so this adds about 230ms of latency right off the top. 230ms by itself is considered average, and so you add the rest of the internet latency on top of that and well it takes some time.
Calandryll –
Right. There are a lot of ways to take on a Juka Lord. Some of the ways you describe work. The other way is to (I know this is crazy, but I’m gonna say it anyway) work with other players. :)
Downfall to Power, the new story, is up. Written by Gromm, it contains a reference to Transformers: The Movie. Juka Lords, their Juka friends and their 1337 bow loot can be found in Wrong. The Sacrifice feedback thread is here. I’m halfway to the first path on two characters.
20 January 02 Lineage News – nocturne
A quick round-up of all the Lineage stuf that’s been ignored the past month.
21 January 02 Dev Postings – nocturne
Adrick, responding to STAT LOSS SUCKS –
What would be your proposal as a replacement system for stat loss :)
Calandryll, on why Juka Lords cannot be provoked –
Juka Lords aren’t just leaders, they are warlords. They inspire so much respect and fear in their troops (and even those not under their command) that no creature is crazy enough to take one on against it’s will.
Calandryll, in the anti-tamer-tamer thread –
overseers : Ya can’t sic a pet on em and it takes forever to kill one.
Takes a long time for a mage to kill one too. And fighters have an extremely difficult, if not impossible time with these. The overseers don’t have any special offensive attacks if the creature attacking it is i melee (which pets usually are). I don’t see an issue with the overseers.

minions : Haven’t seen any of these yet so I have no opinion of them
Minions are difficult to kill, same as an overseer… however, they only spawn in the Exodus dungeon. They do have a special melee attack that is very dangerous for all attackers, players and pets equally.

golems : Can’t sic pet on em and when they DO fight a dragon… dragon is usually toast. This char I can actually take out faster with a mage and a warrior than with a pet.
That may be true. And you can kill dozens of other monsters (including scenario monsters like Juka Lords, Mages, and Warriors) faster with your dragon. Should every monster fall to dragons (and other pets) more easily? I don’t think so. But, either way, golems do not have any special specific pet killing abilities and pets will auto-defend against them.

Juka Lords : These guys are starting to become VERY interesting. When ya fight em and they get low on health… They call master for str. Also… When in battle, the mages and warriors come over to help.
Glad you like these. Although, they actually call upon the mages to help them. :)

So again, I honestly don’t see your point. I’m not trying to be difficult, I just don’t agree. None of the monsters here are geared towards taking out pets. In fact, the only creatures that have specfic abilities against pets are the savages… and even those are not against all pets. The savages are in the same places they have been since scenario 2. Some of the other creatures do have special attacks that do percentage based damage, however, those attacks are equally dangerous to pets and players alike.

I think the issue is you are still thinking in solo-player terms. Not every dungeon or scenario area should be able to be conquered by a solo player (although some can be, and that’s ok) and his dragon. If I were to go to Wrong, I’d get some friends to go with me, form a party, come up with some tactics, and make an adventure out of it! ;)
Calandryll –
I think you are ignoring creatures like the overseers and minions both of whom have total immunity to melee and magic depending on their magical barrier status. The golems are very difficult for both fighters and mages as well. And Juka Lords can kill a player (but not high level pets) in 2 – 3 hits at times.
Calandryll –
Honestly, it’s really not about taming. One of the things I like about UO is that the solo player can have a very enjoyable and rewarding experience. Not many (if any) other MMOGs can really state that and back it up the way UO can. At the same time, there has to be aspects of the game that one person simply cannot do alone. That balance is very important.
Quick note here – Juka Lords, which spawn in Blackthorn’s Castle in Ilshenar, each carry a Slayer bow. These bows can only be equiped by players after being modified by a GM Bowyer with gears. These gears are the normal 2gp kind that you can buy off any NPC tinker, or crafted by a tinker character.
22 January 02 Stuf – nocturne
Calandryll –
With arcane clothing and golems, the GM crafted items are superior in abilities.
Calandryll, on the necessary Slayer bow mod –
Modifying the bow in such a way as to make it useable by someone with less strength than the powerful Juka without ruining the bow requires the skills of a GrandMaster bowyer.
Calandryll, on the Dex requirement on modified Slayer bows –
It also means the bows can really only be used by those who specialize in archery (since they usually have high enough dex) thus giving something to the pure archers.
Calandryll –
No, putting the 200 points simply means you have learned archery. Putting the points in Dex in addition to those 200 points means you have specialized in being an archer.
Week 2 of the Scenerio is currently live on Pac. BODs seem to have reverted to their pre-Patch 15 status. laugh
23 January 02 FYI – nocturne
FYI :: First Look at New 3D Art –
We’ve just released some screenshots of the new 3D art coming into UO, and we’re getting great feedback already! Check out the links below to get a look.

One of many possible looks for the new female avatar.

A selection of new female faces (Important note! In the game, the art files consist of only half a face, which is then used on both sides of the head. For the purpose of this screenshot, we just duplicated the face halves and put them together flat so you can get an idea of the different face styles.)

Jalek (client programmer) also addressed a few questions on the new art:

Q: What about the big eyes? Did you go for the anime look to sell the game in Asian countries?

A: Big eyes have always been used to show expression more easily…especially if you aren’t up close to the character (which in TD you won’t be). :) This could be used for possible future facial expression work and in any case make the eyes stand out more so you don’t see 2 dark pits where the eyes are.

Q: Is this exactly how the new avatar will look?
A: This is preliminary work. We don’t know how much and what will be changed if anything, but all the comments we’ve gotten are GREAT feedback.

Q: Will the male art be improved too?
A: Yes, the male looks MUCH better. ;)

Q: So we get to choose our faces in 3D… does this mean that current characters will be able to change their faces? Or does this only apply to new characters?
A: Actually, that is undecided at this time. We are looking at different ways of possibly doing it, but, I don’t think I can safely comment any further than that.

We’re really looking forward to the new artwork being implemented in the Third Dawn client, but it still needs ample testing time! This means that even though the artwork is on the UO: LBR CD, it may not actually be activated on the servers at the exact time that UO: LBR ships. Look for it to be active on the UO servers shortly after (we’ll be able to give a better estimate of when that will be once we’re a little closer to the ship date).

Stay tuned for a look at the new 3D male avatar art in the near future!
FYI :: A Note on Scam Prevention –
Just a word to the wise…

If you’re trading with someone, make sure the trade stays simple. If someone gives you a check in return for another item, don’t let them give it to you in a bag or container. There’s no reason they can’t just put the check in the secure trade window… and if they insist otherwise, then something’s wrong. Likewise, don’t let a player hand you bags to hold right before a trade. If there’s extra and unneeded steps being requested in a trade, ask them to keep it simple. You give them an item, and they give you payment. If simple isn’t an option, find another trade!
FYI :: Ignatz Joins the World of Ongoing Content! –
UO’s Ongoing Scenarios have become an integral part of UO this last year, and now another designer is getting a chance to get his hands dirty in the episodic fiction! We’ll let Calandryll (current Lead Content Designer) give a quick introduction… (from the Scenarios and Ongoing Content Board).

“Just a quick note to let you know that I’ve been given the opportunity to work on another aspect of UO so I won’t be handling the scenarios anymore. Ignatz (some of you may know him better as Twilight) will be heading up the scenario team, which should be a great role for him since he spent over two years creating and designing Interest events (when he starts posting, be sure to ask him about the time he accidentally slayed himself while running a quest). And of course, Augur and Gromm will continue to be on the team, so you can continue to look forward to their work (and Gromm’s fiction!) for some time to come.”

Maybe we can get some more info on that slaying when we rope Ignatz in for a Comments from the Team soon…
FYI :: FanFest UO: LBR CD and Test Center 4 Update –
For those of you holding onto your UO:LBR CDs from the Fan Event, the time is coming soon to log in to Test Center 4 and give it a try!

We’re hoping to bring Test Center 4 live within the next couple days, so be sure to come back tomorrow to see the latest news. Remember that this is a final beta test, so be sure to report any bugs you find to tcbugs@uo.com.

Once Test Center 4 is made live, anyone without the UO:LBR can log in as well, but will not see anything different, and will not be able to access Ilshenar in the 2D client.
24 January 02 The Betrayers – nocturne
I found this book on the corpse of one of the betrayers in Blackthorn’s Castle in Ilshenar. If you want to read it, it’s locked down in our shoppe on Baja. Small Stone Shoppe, Tram Moonglow, E of the Moongate, N of the Cemetary.

Betrayers carry a pittance of gold and a power crystal. Juggernants carry a clockwork assembly. Both cannot be barded (no provo, no peacemaking – you don’t need to entice because they follow you around anyway).
25 January 02 Dev Postings – nocturne
Evocare, on Furn Dye Tubs –
You’re right, it should have been an addition to the previous system and not a replacement. We’ll change it in an upcoming publish so you can both dye furniture that is in your pack, and dye furniture under the old conditions too.

We’re already code locked at this point for a publish that is in testing for before the LBR launch, so the change won’t be in there, but we will make a point to get it into a feature publish that comes afterward.
Gromm –
This scenario doesn’t have a big finale like past ones did. Since it’s only 3 weeks total it’s more of a mini/introductory scenario to introduce the Meer and Juka.

The next scenario is currently being planned to be longer than this one and with a larger scale finale… but I’m not going to say more than that about it. ;)
Tajima, on OSI’s response to SpeedHacking –
Just to clarify, we fielded a countermeasure for this exploit several months ago. It’s still working today. This fix greatly minimizes any advantage someone using this hack would enjoy, while also logging the appropriate account information.

Since this fix went live, we’ve banned many accounts for attempting to use this exploit, and will continue to do so. We also keep tabs on other possible exploit software to ensure it has no meaninful impact on the game.

Rest assured we take this very seriously.
Calandryll –
My new role is basically going to be finding ways to make golems stack. Like getting 5 golems together to form a super golem that flies and has a magic sword that it creates from thin air. Or another golems that form into a horse and buggies. J/K!! Seriously, I can’t really talk about it much yet.

I probably wont post on this particular board often once scenario 3 ends, but I’ll certainly lurk a lot. I did the usual amount of work for scenario scenario 4, a few monsters, some AI, items, etc. I’ll do some of the bug fixes for that stuff (along with Ignatz how will mostly take that stuff over now) as QA finds them and might post a bit once it’s live in case there are questions about the aspects I worked on.
Sannio –
Ignatz will, along with his content designer teammates, create, promote, improve, eat, drink, and sleep scenarios, and it’s great that we can bring his experience from being in the designer, Interest, and QA groups in to the content team. But, although it is true that Ignatz was a very successful part of the Interest team at one point, his moving into the content team should in no way suggest that the Seers and the other Interest Volunteers will be returning.
Ignatz –
LOL… so how about the skinny on that suicide quest, eh?

It was a dark and stormy night, which match my mood perfectly that evening. I had just solved the biggest case of my miserable career and was relaxing with a couple of close friends, Jack and Daniels. Most of my fee had already disappeared, along with my dignity, when the bomb dropped. Or bombshell, actually. And not so much “dropped” as “stood in my office doorway.”

She tossed a heavy briefcase onto the desk and glared coldly in my direction. I sensed my work for the night was not yet complete as she began to assault me with tales of a murdered lover and a jealous husband and me finding proof that her husband was innocent. It looked to be a long nigh… er wait… wrong story.

Um, let’s see… *rummages through dark spidery corners of his memory*… oh yeah.

I was helping a seer with an event in their ongoing quest. My role in this one was to handle some special effects and such, and while present, I was also invisible.

After a good bit of role-played posturing and debate between the event characters and the players who were there, one of the event characters (played by a seer) was supposed to be slain… except that the chosen character kept moving around, and I couldn’t get a good fix on him. When I finally clicked to target him, I missed and hit my own character instead. “Hey, why’s everything grey suddenly?”

I can only imagine what it must have looked like to the seers and players involved… from out of the void falls a body wearing, among other things, a dark green full apron and jester hat. The event froze as the seer event characters tried to bring their laughter under control while at the same time spreading word to the other seers in irc.

After panic subsided, I… not so calmly… deleted my corpse. Then as a ghost, I grabbed a special crossbow bolt that was the objective of this event, and ran off. The next quest event was switched to “find the ghost of Twilight and convince him to give up the bolt.” (I had quickly spoken to the seer running the whole thing, and he thought it was a good twist.)

To this day, I still wake up in a cold sweat wondering how anyone could have ever green-lighted Highlander 2. Oh, and the whole not slaying myself thing, too.

Adrick –
With Trammel in existence,why is there a need for statloss at all? Temporary or permenant?
Many reasons
1] Housing – people live in Fel, they cannot simply “move to trammel” there are communities, vendors etc.
2] In absence of stat loss there would be no penalty at all for being red – being red is a huge advantage in pvp
a] Reds can use field spells aoe spells without care – blues cant.
b] reds can attack anyone – pick all their fights, initiate combat with whatever they wish – another huge advantage – blues if they want to remain blue cannot.

Further – in the old days there were lots of victims, a few pks, and fewer antis. In general people do not like to be victims. With the introduction of trammel we gave people a choice of risk – trammel – no risk at all to pks, or fel with a risk but governed by stat loss. There currently are no rewards for playing in Fel for non pkers (other than they keep their house, communities). A majority of the players have expressed they like trammel better (they play there more). Now if we remove stat loss without doing something else, suddenly the risk in Fel goes way up. The people who are there who accept the current risk but will not accept more risk will either attempt to move to trammel or outright quit the game. The victims will all leave. Now Constantly the pkers and antis claim this would be great cause it would bring back the olden days of dread vs. anti – not true those days require unwilling participants – otherwise everyone simply make a red and duke it out like abyss shard. That may be fun for a few days or perhaps even weeks but pvp with no goal is not good for the game in the long term.

So we have stat loss – is stat loss perfect? no Im not here to say stat loss is the best answer, its one thats been around a while – Im looking for ideas on what would be a viable replacement for stat loss.

The goal would be
1] More people playing in Fel
2] A balance between being red and being blue – that is risks and rewards on both sides.

Adrick –
I guess my question for Adrick and others is “Why do you want me to go to Felucca?”
Given the current rules – there is no reason other than faction fighting, Khal dungeon and a prime housing spot you would want to venture there. Felucca is not for everyone, trammel isnt for everyone.

We as a team want to support as many playstyles as we can and try to give as many options as possible to enjoy the game to our players.

Non consensual pvp is a playstyle – and we support it, just as consensual pvp is a playstyle we support.

We realize there are different groups – there are the hardcore Trammel folks – love it wont ever leave it for any reason. There are the die hard Felucca folks – love it and never go to Trammel. Then there are the inbetweeners. One of the issues we are dealing with is that part of the players who play in Trammel WOULD play in Felucca if there was a reason to for them. Some do because the monsters they want to hunt are camped in Trammel and so they say ok Ill just go to Felucca. The issue with that is why would anyone who is neutral and not of the die hard type one way or the other go to Fel? Say someone is just wanting to make some gold – can make just as much in Trammel so why take the risk of running into a pk for the exact same reward? even if they dont mind pvping. When the rewards are the same and the risks are different people tend to just out of human nature take the less risky approach.

So to answer you directly – if you are a die hard Trammel player there is nothing we could do short of making the entire Felucca Facet Trammel to get you to play there – why do that when you are happy in Trammel?

Its the middle of the roaders that any possible Felucca changes would be for and as well the die hard Felucca players. However a very valid group of players have their homes in Felucca and we do not want to see people leave Fel, we want to encourage them to play there and encourage those who are nuetral to choose based on their comfort level which to play on.
Adrick –
I think a system of non consensual pvp that involves risk vs reward is the way to go.

Right now I think the risk of pking is to high, and the rewards for risking yourself to being pked is to low.

Stat loss does not encourage pvp – it encourages gank and gank those who cannot fight back (dont want to die and take stat loss).

Finding a way to make it fun to be red, fun to hunt reds and giving both a reason to do so (through rewards) is the direction this is heading.
Calandryll, on the Betrayer book
The book gives you insight into the mind of Blackthorn and how he got these people to allow themselves to be changed so drastically. One does not allow themselves to be altered in such a way without good reason, in their minds anyway.
Hanse mentioned tailoring as the next possible BOD system.

[Scenarios] New BNN story, The Watcher.

Calandryll –
I’m not normally one to give out the numbers behind a system and if this sort of thing is not something you want to see (some people really hate seeing the point values) please don’t read this. But, I think for this it is appropriate since there is some confusion as to how the system works. I’m not going to use the actual numbers, but the numbers I am using are very indicative of how the system works.

Let’s say that it requires 400 points to gain the first path and 1000 points to gain the second path. At the lowest level of fame allowed, you gain 50 points and at the highest (Glorious Lord) you get 200 points. So, after two high level sacrifices, you’d achieve path one (this is true in the current system as well).

The decay rate is once per week at 50 points per week. So, in order to maintain your current path and points, you’d only need to sacrifice once per week at what is “Prominent” fame. If you sacrificed just once a week at Glorious Lord (and it seems that many of you are doing this more than once a week), you’d still be way ahead of the game. But, the decay will never take you below 399 points. So even if you didn’t sacrifice for a month, you’d still only be one point away from the first path.

We could lower the decay rate, but in truth, it’s there for two reasons. One, to make achieving and maintaining the highest path difficult. And two, following a virtue or virtues is not something one does for a little while and then “wins”. It’s an ongoing process requiring constant diligence. Without the decay, that ideal of the system is lost. Lowing the decay more than it is now could make the decay so small that it would go completely unnoticed.
  • It is best to sacrifice at GL as there are no benefits for fame points above that. (ie. If you keep accumulating Fame beyond the highest tier, you will not gain additional Sacrifice points for those Fame points.)
  • The Sacrifice rez ability resets once a week regardless of when you use it. The reset day is the first day you started gaining Sacrifice points. So if you sacrificed for the first time on a Monday morning than your sacrifice resurrections would always reset on Monday mornings.
26 January 02 Augur Talks Creatures – nocturne
[UO:BR] The fourth part of GameSpy’s Dev Diary has Augur going on about creatures. He spends the first page telling you how imporant creatures are, yaknow, because, like, players beat down on them and all, and follows up with how they actually create the things.
29 January 02 Dev Postings – nocturne
Calandryll, on Scenerios –
This scenario isn’t a full scenario. It’s mostly just a set-up for the next few scenarios and the fiction associated with them. The next scenario is a full 6 week scenario.
Calandryll –
Not really sure if this was a question or just a rant, but I’ll take a stab at it anyway.

The idea of a “lose” outcome is not a threat, its a goal. If we made the scenarios so that the players never lose then what’s the point? Having the possibility of losing also makes winning that much more sweet. Would Lord of the Rings be a compelling story if all Frodo had to do was keep the ring in his pocket because the evil forces had no chance of ever getting it no matter what Frodo did?

I know mainstream fiction has taught us that good must always win, but in reality, if evil has no chance of winning, then defeating evil has no purpose. Why bother fighting if your opponent can’t defeat you?

If you are not interested in the scenarios, I understand that and I think we are working towards making them appealing to more and more people. As we’ve said many times, these first scenarios are but baby-steps towards what is going to be even more compelling fiction.

But the notion that you should never lose and that even if you do there should never be any negative repercussions is something I totally disagree with. As you said, “it is the journey not the destination that’s important”. So if the struggle against evil (the journey) is fun why is the idea of having a chance to “lose” (but of course, also having a chance to win!) a bad thing?
Adrick, on Factions –
There is no one right way to play factions – forcing players to fight or be kicked out isnt the way to solve the issue – just like requiring everyone to steal a sigil or craft armor isnt.

We’ve removed all of the visible rewards for being in a faction – so sure they can join go to trammel and in return they get no title displayed, required rank for horse, required silver for faction items.
The third week of the scenerio is delayed due to a crash bug. If you’re suffering from the “Sound Crash” problem, you would want to check out FYI for a solution.
30 January 02 Sacrifice – nocturne
Sacrifice moved from Testing for Next Update to Latest Game Update. The system has been active since the 10 January Patch.
31 January 02 Stuf – nocturne
Pictures from the Online Worlds FanFest have been posted on uo.com. In addition to the UO dev team, notables present were writer Austen Andrews (who wrote the Technocrat War Trilogy, based on the cancelled UO2), Todd McFarlane (showing off his designs for UO:BR) and Will Wright (showing off The Sims Online).

[UO:BR] Gromm talks scenarios in the latest Dev Diary at GameSpy. Preview up at GameSpot. There’s nothing to quote, since no new info is in there, but it serves as a good summary if you haven’t been paying attention. It seems accurate enough to me.

[Interviews] Drunk Gamers interviews Carly Staehlin-Taylor, formerly known as LadyMOI, currently with Destination Games. UnknownPlayer.com interviews Lum the Mad (not Ultima-related, but lots of us used to read his site, and he’s always funny). UnknownPlayer is also giving away a copy of Asheron’s Call: Dark Majesty in a contest. Lum’s current site is at http://brokentoys.org/.
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