Feburary 02

08 Feburary 02 Changes to the New Player Experience – nocturne
Latest Game Update :: Changes to the New Player Experience
The “Directed Experiences” referred to below are the step-by-step instructions and quests available to new players who choose one of the character creation templates.
  • Directed Experience and Young Player Changes:
    • New players in the directed experience will be given an “enchanted sextant”, which will give the cardinal direction to the nearest moongate, as well as the cardinal direction to the nearest city bank (except in the case of Cove, which has no bank – in this case the player is pointed to the city gates).
    • Young players can no longer enter the tutorial during the First Login mongbat quest.
    • The exit location of the tutorial has been changed to place the young player in Uzeraan’s mansion.
    • Several tweaks have been made to the Mage, Blacksmith and Warrior directed experience quests, including the addition of paths on the map to more easily show destinations.
    • Altered the land and map for Haven.
    • Renamed the buildings in Haven so that each building or shop’s function is clear.
    • A reminder has been added to remind New Players in the directed experience quests to leave war mode.
    • Starting equipment has been adjusted for new Mages, Warriors, Blacksmiths and Tailors.
    • Young players can sell non-stackable goods they’ve purchased from shopkeepers for 100% of their purchase price.
    • Young players will receive a gump explaining death to them when they die for the first time.
    • Context-help has been activated, which will cause the in-game help menu to be triggered by certain events that occur in the game.
    • A young player will not get their karma locked. If they wish to lock their karma to gain only negative karma, they will have to wait until they are no longer young or else renounce their young player status.
  • General Changes
    • Veteran players are now allowed in certain areas of Haven.
    • NPC potions will no longer display the color of the potions, but will instead describe the potions’ effect.
    • You can no longer receive criminal flagging (be flagged grey) in consensual PvP rule set areas (Trammel and Ilshenar on regular shards).
    • Stealing now gives double the normal karma loss in consensual PvP rule set areas.
  • The Fame/Karma messages have been fixed. Unlisted Changes
    • New characters using the Warrior template get a leather tunic, katana, scissors and 50 bandages.
    • The Fame/Karma messages have been fixed.
    • Bulk Order Deeds are working as they are supposed to, post-Patch 15.
    • All shopkeepers are now invulnerable.
    • Only one NPC guild remains in the game now (thieves guild). All the other guilds were removed with the last publish. They were never implemented fully and we did not have any designs to extend them.
    • Nose Helms have been renamed Norse Helms.
FYI :: Bankers and Bank Checks –
Just as a quick note, we want to clarify a recent change: bankers no longer accept bank checks. To redeem a bank check for gold, put it in your bank box and double-click it. Handing it to a banker will only get you the message, “I only accept gold coins.”


01 Feburary 02 Client Patch 3.0.6m – nocturne
Latest Game Update :: Client Patch 3.0.6m
Miscellaneous updates for both clients, including fixes for several crash bugs and various localization files.
  • 2D Client
    • A crash bug related to books has been fixed.
    • An issue concerning lockup during login has been addressed.
    • 2D client will no longer attempt to play the intro movie at startup.
    • An issue with missing swamp tiles has been adressed.
    • An out of place guillotine graphic in one of the houses has been replaced.
  • 3D Client
    • A crash bug related to the party system has been fixed.
    • Resolved issues with non-clickable links in text gumps.
    • Toggling the search button on the Codex will no longer toggle the button on the menubar as well.
    • The client will no longer try to play music before playing the intro movies.
    • Some particle system issues were addressed.
    • The client should now startup properly on pre-OSR2 Win95 installations. (Still requires WinSock update though.)
    • Movement with the mouse should now be more responsive.
  • Both Clients
    • The F10 key should no longer lock up either client.
    • Houses (most noticeably castles) will no longer partially delete themselves.
    • A crash bug related to creature names has been fixed.
    • A crash bug related to lockdowns has been fixed.
    • Various localization files.
FYI :: Scenario Publish Next Week –
The final week (Week 3) of the scenario publish was scheduled to go live this week, but in order to make sure that both it and the next client patch are working as intended, we’ll be releasing it to Lake Superior early next week, to be followed later in the week by the remaining shards.

We’ll let you know once we have the final schedule for next week!
FYI :: Known Issue: Co-Owner Status Not Removed –
There is an issue currently with co-owner status not being removed from players once they are removed as a co-owner from a house, which is causing players to not be eligible to become co-owner to a new house. We are aware of this, and are working to solve it as soon as possible. In the meantime, GMs can and will assist players in fixing this on an individual basis.

Our only request is that players please include the error message in their tells (such as, “It says status not removed?”). This will enable our GMs to diagnose and solve the problem much more quickly. Thank you!
FYI :: Barding Feedback Wanted –
An issue that’s been one of the most popular on the boards ever since most of us can remember is the Barding skill. If Barding is something that’s important to you, head on over to the Barding Forum now, where Designer Vex is looking for ideas on new abilities players would be interested in seeing added to the Barding profession. Vex posted the following to kickoff the thread:

“Howdy!

“I’m looking for some feedback of a very specific type. What I would like to see posted on this thread are brief posts of ideas for new Bard abilities.

“Please, just post ideas. This thread isn’t a poll, and not the place to discuss issues with bards. Please don’t debate others’ ideas here. I’m just looking for interesting new ideas for bard abilities.

“The ideas I am most interested in seeing here are those that don’t duplicate abilities already in the game. For instance, buffs and debuffs already exist in of potions and spells. So – what new abilities could be given to bards that would be unique and different? Let’s see some brainstorming!”

You can find the discussion thread here. Happy brainstorming!
In OCR comments, Sannio continues with part 3 of his “how to create a player event”.
03 Feburary 02 Dev Postings – nocturne
Gromm –
So why do the Juka target bad karma? It is obvious they should target good karma but why bad? Seems inconsistant to me!!
Are you human? :)

No I’m an evil drow…
Ah, touche. Then let me rephrase…

Are you Juka? :)
Canyon, on what is or isn’t Griefing –
I’m going to give 3 scnearios, and you post a response to if they are greifing or not.

1. Player A and Player B to to Tramm Wrong to Kill Juka lords. Player C comes in and hides and only attackes the Juka Lords that Player A and B are attacking, ignoring all other spawn. Player A and B move to another area, and find new targets. Player C follows them and again engages their targets. Player A and B ask player C to stop but player C says no. You cant tell me what to do.
2. Player A and Player B are in Jhelom Pits in Tramm attacking npc’s and healing them, to keep them alive. Player C comes along and kills the npc. Player A and B ask Player C to not kill the npc they are healing, Player A and B point out there are plenty of other npc’s to attack. Player C refused and only attacks and kills the npc’s Player A and B are training on. Player C says “you cant tell me what to do.”
3. Player A is in Fell training taming. Player B comes along and attacks all the animals player A is trying to tame. Player A asks player B to stop but player B say no. You cant tell me what to do.

1. No. Each player has the same right to the monster spawn. If you really want to get away from the guy, recall away, or look for another spawn. Often players target only certain kinds of spawn. When I hunt in Shame, I’m not there for scorpions.
2. No. The best way to deal with this is to hire the fighter, have him guard you so he takes on your highlighting, and leave the pits.
3. No. You’re on Felucca – kill the twink!
Spoilers for Week 3 can be found in this thread (the Meer possess some pretty cool special attacks). AOL Legends has once again been restricted to AOL customers only.
07 Feburary 02 Save a Miner – nocturne
FYI :: Unattended Boats and Mining Zones –
Due to continued public outcry from Britannia’s community of miners, local authorities have decided to take action! Signs will now be erected along the coasts near popular mining areas, warning all ship captains to not block valuable resources by leaving their vessels unattended in these areas. Should these signs be ignored, area officials have been given the authority to remove these boats themselves (through deletion). Britannians are encouraged to heed these warnings and park well away from mining zones. Don’t be left with a boat-less key and sunken memories; support a miner – don’t hog the mountains.
08 Feburary 02 Changes to the New Player Experience – nocturne
Latest Game Update :: Changes to the New Player Experience
[080202] The “Directed Experiences” referred to below are the step-by-step instructions and quests available to new players who choose one of the character creation templates.
11 Feburary 02 FYI – nocturne
FYI :: Bankers and Bank Checks
Just as a quick note, we want to clarify a recent change: bankers no longer accept bank checks. To redeem a bank check for gold, put it in your bank box and double-click it. Handing it to a banker will only get you the message, “I only accept gold coins.”
FYI :: New 3D art and LBR Outside the States
We have a couple things we wanted to clarify…

New 3D Avatar Art?
First, we’ve had some people ask us about the new 3D avatar art we posted here a couple weeks ago, and wondering if that’s going live with LBR. The avatar art upgrades are not actually listed as a UO:LBR feature, and are not scheduled to go live in tandem with the launch of UO: Lord Blackthorn’s Revenge. Many of the art files are on the UO:LBR disk, but that was done just as a way to prevent UO:LBR buyers from having to download those files once the new art is live on the servers. We’re making great progress on getting the art upgrades ready, but it’s not ready quite yet. All 3D client users will be able to see them soon!

LBR Shipping Outside the States
EA has offices in several territories, including Japan, Korea, and Europe, and each office is handling its own press and shipping arrangements for UO:LBR. Also, due to the translation needs in different places, the ship dates are a little different for each territory. So if you haven’t heard yet about the expected ship date for your area, don’t worry – it’s coming!
FYI :: UO Open House Chat Log
The log of the latest UO Open House of Commons chat has been posted at Stratics. The topic of the chat was open to all general questions concerning Ultima Online. Read up on all your favorite subjects, including skills, housing decay, the Guaranteed Gain System, UO:LBR, and the following snippet regarding possible changes to the world map in UO’s future:

Kehleyr – *CelestialWinds* Are we going to see any substantial changes to the main world map? What about differences between Trammel and Felucca… is the map going to be more different (like the Haven/Ocllo changes)
Evocare – We expect that over time, the Trammel and Felucca landmasses will become more and more distinct from each other.
Evocare – However, this will be a gradual change, since map changes have fairly considerable patch-size issues.
Evocare – Expect change though. =]
Check out the complete log of the “73rd UO Open House” here!
12 Feburary 02 Dev Postings – nocturne
Tajima –
There are no plans to add features to the fishing system for either publish 16 or 17, and that represents the next 4–5 months of the development schedule.

(Please note that our dance cards are already overflowing with some very exciting and challenging tasks during this time.)
Tajima –
Right now, we’re focusing on many changes that the players themselves have been openly invited to comment on. (Taming, Barding, Risk vs. Reward in Felucca Changes, etc.) There will be more features and changes open for discussion in the near future.

We’ve also spent much of the past year improving the underlying code base. (Bugs are at an all-time low and server availability is at an all-time high.) We’ve integrated the Bulk Order Deed system for Blacksmiths, and of course your favorite, the Virtue System. We’ve completely rewritten the new player experience to include useful tutorial quests. We’ve also introduced what we feel is the most aggressive and meaningful episodic content program in the industry, while also releasing the most polished and (if pre-orders are any indication) successful expansion to UO ever. Oh, and we’re laying the foundations for another expansion, as well.

We didn’t just decide to do all this on a whim. We listen to our players, and keep activity logs of what’s going on in the game. Our resources aren’t infinite, so we focus on the features that have the most appeal for the most players. “Bang for the Buck,” if you will.

In a moment of exasperation a former Prime Minister of France once bemoaned the difficulty of governing a country with over 5000 different kinds of cheeses. This humorous anecdote is loosely applicable to UO, which is certainly the broadest and deepest PSW on the market. The incredible diversity of playstyles UO offers can make development and support challenging, to be sure. No changes are trivial, and nothing is ever easy. Most dev team members wind up working nights (check the time of this post) and weekends to make the game the best it can be. (Remember, we’re gamers, too.)

Despite our ongoing efforts, however, we may not be able to make every player completely happy all the time. (If only we’d been able to finish the feature that issued winning lottery numbers to our players…) Even so, rest assured we’re constantly striving to achieve that goal.
Sannio –
Regarding someone taming a nightmare and not leaving the area: once upon a time this used to stop the nightmares from spawning, but this is no longer the case. Currently, it may hinder the spawn for a short time, but does not do so indefinitely. In other words, in the situation described the spawn may be blocked very-temporarily, but not permanantly.
Hanse, on Bulk Order Deeds
Ancient hammers are getting a boost in charges and another change should increase their value. Legacy ancient hammers will be “upgraded” along with this change in a future publish.

Mining gloves may be changed to use charges like the shovels and pickaxes. The amount of charges are going to be in-line with the future ancient hammers. This would be published at the same time ancient hammers get their boost.

Only one NPC guild remains in the game now (thieves guild). All the other guilds were removed with the last publish. They were never implemented fully and we did not have any designs to extend them.

Fame was lowered because most blacksmiths are not warrior/mages. They very rarely die and there isn’t an outlet for your blacksmith to lose fame.
Currently, an Ancient Smithing Hammer has 151 uses.
13 Feburary 02 UO:BR Sweeps – nocturne
Link Link (US residents only). The expansion has shipped in the US.
15 Feburary 02 Client Patch 3.0.7b – nocturne
FYI :: Client Patch 3.0.7b –
We will be releasing a client patch today, February 15th. This patch will contain the following changes:
  • 2D Client
    • An issue with NoDraw tiles in Ilshenar has been fixed.
    • An issue with missing terrain textures has been fixed.
    • A client crash bug has been fixed.
  • Both Clients
    • Codex of Wisdom changes:
      • If no search results are returned, you will now get an informational page that has a link to the RightNow webpage.
      • Titles will no longer be in boldface type.
      • Related topic titles will be clickable.
      • Item lists will be denoted with a [+] instead of a .+. in the index.
    • Various localization files.
FYI :: UO:LBR 2D Art Update Note –
If you’re wondering if that tree looks a little different after installing Lord Blackthorn’s Revenge in 2D… well, it does! While LBR has long been said to contain new art files for all the creatures and items added to the game since the inception of Third Dawn, we’ve also updated much of the static art (trees, houses, etc) in the 2D client. This was actually necessary since the client needs to call on these art files for the new 2D version of Ilshenar, but also gives the added benefit of allowing 2D players to see the richer textures that 3D client users have had for quite some time.
FYI :: UO:LBR’s new craftables & critters are dormant –
In case you’ve installed Ultima Online: Lord Blackthorn’s Revenge and are wondering why some of the cool new craftables & critters – the ridable beetles, horde demons, swamp dragons, etc. – aren’t available yet, the reason is that some elements of UO:LBR are “dormant.” This means that you’ve installed them with UO:LBR, but they won’t become active until the appropriate point in the upcoming scenarios. This is similar to how such elements as the bolas, ridgebacks, jukans, and such things were introduced in the past, except on a larger scale: players received the art, the scenario’s story called for them, and then players encountered these new elements. Please keep in mind that our Game Masters won’t be able to give any hints as to when or where these items & creatures will appear – it’ll be up to the players to discover the secrets behind Lord Blackthorn’s Revenge!
[Bulk Order Deeds] FYI :: Info from Hanse and Evocare on BODs –
The Bulk Order Deed system has grown in popularity since its inception in November of last year. With such a great start, many are curious as to what the future might hold for BODs. Lead Designer Evocare stopped by the Deed Finder website and talked a little about the tentative plans regarding improvements to the system. Some of the items the Development team hopes to address are:
  • Adding low-end rewards that are useful and consumable (so it won’t be a waste to get more then 1 of them).
  • Increasing the ratio of SBODs to LBODs.
  • Adding weapon LBODs.
  • Adding a bonus to the chance of getting colored BODs for GM smiths.
  • Improving the value of ancient hammers, both by greatly increasing their durability (including the ones that currently exist), and also through another yet-to-be-announced method.
“I just wanted to make it clear that we do not believe the BOD system is ‘good enough’ as-is, and concur with the clear feedback that there are things we can do to help it meet its potential.” – Evocare

On the UO.com front, Designer Hanse took the time to address a few concerns about BODs on the Development forum.

Among the answers given were explanations for some of the current features…

“Fame was lowered because most blacksmiths are not warrior/mages. They very rarely die and there isn’t an outlet for your blacksmith to lose fame. We lowered the reward to be more in line with the difficulty of the deed. You still get an enormous amount of fame for large bulk orders that are high-end ore colors.”

“The rewards are very powerful, so the randomness and low percentages help balance that.”

“Spread out over 230000 players (which we must take into account), your chances [of getting a large BOD] may seem close to zero, but they are not zero. That’s why the system leans heavily on trading. We did not want powerful runic hammers in the hands of every player.”

…as well as a peek into what might lay ahead for Blacksmithing BODs:

“Mining gloves may be changed to use charges like the shovels and pickaxes. The amount of charges is going to be in-line with the future ancient hammers. This would be published at the same time ancient hammers get their boost.”

Of course, all these are tentative plans, and could very easily be modified or removed based on results from playtesting and further analysis. Thanks to Evocare and Hanse for the great information!
16 Feburary 02 Oaks on Mounts – nocturne
[UO:BR] Part Six of GameSpy’s Dev Diary has Oaks talking about the “value of rideables”. Nothing interesting.
18 Feburary 02 Alternatives to Statloss – nocturne
All postings made by Adrick. The murdering changes thread is here.
Ive been reading the threads and Id like to consolodate this a little. Here is what was posted by Evocare
<begin>
Hello again, in order to keep our Felucca discussions as constructive as possible, I’d like to share our current thinking for changes to the Felucca risk model (note: this list addresses RISK issues only, as we’re not prepared to release info on the reward end yet). Let me know what you think! Remember, these changes apply only to non SP ruleset shards, and only to the Felucca facet, Trammel remains unchanged. Also, these changes are not designed to get everybody under the sun to play in Felucca, only to provide a better risk model that might have *some* tangible positive effects. So, without further ado…

Reduction of some negative symptoms of being murdered:
Note: The murder of an innocent is defined as a situation where a player deals unlawful damage, thereby directly resulting in the death of a blue player (note: damaging a guild war opponent, faction opponent, a criminal, a murderer, guildmate, etc, are considered lawful damage).
1. When an innocent player is murdered, 70% of the innocent’s items (a random result per item) will remain on their ghost (unlootable).
2. When an innocent player is murdered, that player will be given the option to teleport to a town through a free “stuck player” window.
3. All dead players (ghosts) without the spirit speak skill will no longer be able to hear what live players are saying (they will hear something to the effect of “blah, blah, blah” instead of the actual words).

Changes to the consequences/conditions of the “Murderer” status:
1. All characters will receive a “one-time” reprieve for all murders of every type.
2. All tracking of “short-term” and “ping-pong” murder counts will be eliminated (they will be obsolete upon the implementation of the changes below).
3. The “stat loss” system will be eliminated completely (red characters will no longer take stat loss upon ressurection).
4. All newly acquired murder counts will decay with 120-hour (5 days) real-time timers (online or offline).
5. Due to the imprecise nature of Justice in Felucca, murder counts will now be tracked on a shard level for each account. After 5 murders on that shard all characters on that shard for that account will become red (all other characters on that shard for that account are considered accessories to murder).
6. Reds (murderers) will no longer be able to ban other players from houses.
7. Houses will have a “no red entry” option that will prevent all reds from entering the house (essentially, they will be “auto-banned” from that house).
8. Due to the remaining force of Justice in Felucca, reds will no longer be able to cast the recall spell.
9. The “bounty system” will be eliminated.
10. The “murderer” paperdoll title will be eliminated (although players with 5 murders will still highlight red and be considered “murderers” in this document).
<end>

We are interested in hearing constructive feedback. Reading through a long rant that has little or no constructive value is very time consuming and distracting to the feedback we are looking for both possitive and negative.

Now I understand that there are concerns, change is almost always viewed as bad and its feared. One thing that is difficult to do but must be done whenever we make a change is that MANY viewpoints must be looked at. We cannot make everyone 100% happy – its impossible. Alot of posts are from the sole perspective of a single player with a very narrow experience – Ultima Online has many players and many supported playstyles.

I know emotions are heavy –

We are looking for constructive posts that offer either a concern or alternative suggestion.
60% 40% would only apply to blue players who die and can report someone for murdering them.

It would not apply if they initiate combat with a red who then kills them, in a guild fight, in a faction fight or if monsters kill them.
The 60 40 idea is to protect those who are trully victims – having the cake and eating it? no no no :)
Keep in mind these discussions are as a result of OSI saying we are looking for ALTERNATIVES to stat loss.

That means we are exploring methods to remove stat loss from the game and replace it with other risks and rewards more in spirit with encouraging struggle between those who like danger and loot and those who like killing other players be they blue or red.

We are not turning Felucca into trammel –

Im hearing some concern over the 60/40 looting – one of the biggest arguments I saw as a player was that pks do it for the challenge and the risk and the excitement – not the loot. This is going to be a compromise – in order for this to work both sides must make some concessions.

It comes down to a tradeoff – would you like less people to fight and all their loot – or more people to fight and less loot?

It is absolutely impossible to return to the olden days – trammel exists meaning ANYONE you find in Fel is someone who has at some level chosen to be there and by that choice are not the same as the person back in the day who has absolutely no choice and no freedom to go where they wanted.
We are asking them to make a choice with their account. If they want to murder other players *be it for roleplay reasons* or any other reason at a rate higher than the decay rate (which allows some slack for player justice) that all characters become outcasted (red). Keep in mind any blue they are killing is a blue who has no red characters on his/her account.

“but this would kill a lot of veterans and their accounts because they can no longer play as they want to.”

Any rules or penalties in the game do this – say I want to kill people in trammel? I cant, say I want to kill people in town – I cant – unless I join a faction or do order chaos etc.

Will this change impact some playstyles more than others? sure – we are trying to balance this impact so that at the end when the entire impact of all the changes are judged in their entirety more people are having fun and choosing to go to Felucca.

The simple fact is if we sat down with every player effected by this and said what would you do? at the end of the day we would have 200,000 + different games. A vast majority of reds dont want stat loss – I think Im safe saying that from my own experiences both as a player and from getting feedback from players about it since I started working at Origin. We cannot simply remove stat loss because even though it has drawbacks it is keeping the murdering to an acceptable level. Its been too effective – now that there are choices like trammel and we have the design and programing resources and have looked at the metrics we believe its time to look at alternatives to stat loss.

I would much rather promote conflict – red vs blue and fights that end in victory and defeat not the end of a character and macroing off counts or reds avoiding dying at all costs to avoid the possible stat loss.
The concern is that without the entire account going red all accounts will have a red for felucca

Dont want the entire facet red – want being red to be a choice with consequences that do not promote macroing or the destruction of characters.
Field spells are dangerous – purple potions are dangerous – if you do not want to get counted DONT ues them. Faction count givers or spies only thrive and get excited when they give counts.

What would be your proposed change to address this? :)
I dont think rez killing will be a problem

Any loot exempt from the corpse would go to the ghost – when you rez all the stuff is there - if you rez a screen away from your corpse you are asking for trouble.
“Here Adrick wishes to penalize a paying customer because of thier playstyle”
There has to be a punishment – we learned this lesson long ago :)

We believe it doesnt have to be stat loss – which promotes macroing off counts, and avoiding real pvp to focus more on those who cannot fight back.
“My PK and my Thieves give thier money to my mule so the mule can buy ingots to work his smithing”
So with ill gotten gains you finance a blue character – guilty! :)
19 Feburary 02 Dev Postings – nocturne
Hanse –
Due to the responses we have been getting for weapon bulk orders, here’s the list of tentative categories of weapon large bulk orders. These bulk orders will have new rewards that are interesting and can be used up.
  • Axes:
    1. large battle axe
    2. double axe
    3. battle axe
    4. two handed axe
    5. axe
    6. executioners axe
  • Swords:
    1. cutlass
    2. viking sword
    3. longsword
    4. scimitar
    5. broadsword
    6. katana
  • Piercing:
    1. dagger
    2. kryss
    3. warfork
    4. shortspear
    5. spear
  • Bashing:
    1. mace
    2. maul
    3. war mace
    4. war hammer
    5. hammer pick
    6. war axe
  • Polearms:
    1. bardiche
    2. halberd
Polearms will not have as high of a point value as the rest of the categories due to only having two items in it. The rewards are still being worked on.
Hanse –
We’re not planning for shield and helmet large bulk orders. They can be colored and you can get low-end runic hammers with them, unlike weapon deeds.
Hanse –
I should have posted this with the information about the weapon large bulk orders.

Large bulk order rarity: Right now, the system uses a 1 in 3 chance to get a large bulk order for blacksmithy (ringmail, chainmail, and platemail).

With the new system, it will not become a 1 in 8 chance to get the large bulk order you want. The chances will be split as follows:

1 in 4 chance… ringmail, chainmail, platemail, and weapon large bulk order.

Then, inside the weapon category it has a 1 in 5 chance to get the deed you want. The categories being axes, swords, maces, fencing, and polearm.

This does reduce the chance for armor deeds from 33% to 25%, but it’s not as harsh as 12.5% across the board. Although, multiplied together, the percentage chance of getting the large bulk order for a specific weapon deed is 5% (25% and then 20% of that chance). BUT… weapons are not colored… so they’re easier to fill. :)

Color rarity: Since only armor deeds can be colored, the small bulk orders have a boost in chance of being colored (percentage is still being evaluated) if you’re a GM.

All of the above is valid for publish 16, at the moment. We may tweak the system as it goes through testing, of course.
Hanse –
The small reward point range is changing to accomodate the new rewards. You could fill a dull copper exceptional shield order and get one of the new rewards.
Hanse –
There’s also the issue of a fluctuating player economy for colored ingots. We do not set a price on those ingots. If we attempted to set a price, the price would be arbitrary and eventually outdated.

As far as differences in rewards between exceptional and normal, the fame reward is different. The gold reward between the two is not.
Hanse –
Well, once you get an item like that, you usually will get a glut of them and not need the piles of items you have (see: mining gloves… :).

We’re making the rewards usuable and have charges, instead.

As for predicting the value of colored ingots versus reward after completing a bulk order deed, we can’t. The prices of colored ingots are player generated (player economy). If you believe the value of a deed is not up to snuff, then factor in the worth of the item and fame reward as the balance of the total reward. If you believe that those rewards are not worth it, then you have the option of selling/trading the deed to someone that does value it. :)

As for Siege Perilous, I’m glad Mierin and Freja brought that topic up. I have a solution for the issue and will add it to publish 16. Thanks for reminding me… I’m not up-to-date on what changes are on Siege Perilous (had to ask Adrick about the issue). :)

…and yes, I do have the sideways smiley face disease… :)
Hanse –
We decided not to give the gloves charges, based on player feedback.
Oaks –
My apologies for not simply saying this first, but I was trying to get some “unclouded” brainstorming. So I’ll state this as plainly as possible: taming is severely unbalanced and we are making efforts to reduce the gross imbalance of power available for a character w/ 120-200 skill points devoted to taming/lore.

A white wyrm can dish out 1600 points of damage per minute, and is tougher than a box of nails. A grandmaster swordsman/lumberjack wearing light armor would need ~1200 strength to be comparable. Add on top of this that you can control multiple white wyrms, and the power curve becomes absurd.

We are considering the following:

*** PLEASE KEEP IN MIND THAT NOTHING STATED IN THIS POST IS A PROMISE ***

– Can’t Tame/Can’t Own for high-level pets (or a variation of)
– Limiting the number of pets you can control based on: a max hard limit of 8, and the power/toughness of the creature relative to your taming/lore

I do not have exact numbers, but it’ll boil down to not being able to control more than 1 white wyrm, dragon, nightmare, or drake even at GM taming/lore. You might be able to control a couple sidekick creatures, however, like hellhounds or the like. We are taking nightmares/ki-rin/unicorns into consideration as a secondary creature possibly without the ability to attack.

– Reducing the hit points and overall melee strength of white wyrms, dragons, drakes, and nightmares.
– Making pet combat more interactive by decreasing the effectiveness of tactics which put the controller in little to no danger (casting invisibility or standing too far away from your pet, allowing your pet to be gravely injured, …)
– Making the Guard command require loyalty checks every time your pet tries to guard you.
– Increasing the resources/player skill to keep a pet faithful and happy. Tossing a rib to your 12-ton dragon is not likely to max out its loyalty, but a pile of gold will probably do the trick.
– You will be able to tame creatures that are attacking you. However, it will be impossible to tame them if they are unable to reach you or are paralyzed (or any other “twinks”).
– Taming difficulties and skill gain will be tweaked so it will be favorable to successfully tame powerful, dangerous creatures. Hopefully you won’t even *want* to tame a bull.
– Creatures of a certain type will not always be tameable. You may come upon a dragon who simply cannot be tamed.

– You can bond to a single pet. This pet will log out with you and can be resurrected, and the pet loses less loyalty in all situations.
– Fixing skill gain for pets (like magery).
– Hitching posts that take up X number of lockdowns (or secures) which allow you to store additional pets.
– Pets will not attack (unless attacked) without their master’s command.

Yes… and more. Like the things we’ve been discussing on the boards here. It’s a matter of development time how much more ‘gravy’ could be added… in all honesty, the more time I spend on the boards, the less I can get done. So if you have something important to say, I strongly suggest doing so in this post, as it’ll be the main one (and maybe the only one for a little while) that I read.

*** PLEASE KEEP IN MIND THAT NOTHING STATED IN THIS POST IS A PROMISE ***
Oaks –
I’d like to use this thread to brainstorm for ideas on pet special abilities. Here’s a few I’ve come up with so far…

Hide: this pet will hide when you do (success based on its skill). Additionally, you can see a gray image of your hidden pet when it hides like this.

Stealth: this pet will stealth with you (see Hide above)

Use Objects: this pet can operate simple objects (doors, chests, etc.)

Lockpicker: this exceptional ability allows pets to pick locks, based on their skill.

Talker: this pet repeats things they hear

Begging: this pet can do everything the begging skill can, although they are likely to receive treats and other pet-related things. Additionally, they may help their master with their begging efforts as well. Who can resist a starving beggar and his or her faithful starving dog?

Berserk: this pet goes into a rampage when it takes too much damage. However, once they are in this state, it is much more difficult to command them.

Pack Instinct: these pets work exceptionally well in groups with others of their own kind.

Tough Hide: while these creatures do not dish out a significant amount of damage, they can take it in droves.

Rideable: duh, we already have this one. =)

Detect Hidden: this animal is likely to sniff out traps and hidden PKs (or any hidden player).

Fishing: when idling near a source of water, this animal can fend for itself by catching fish (and eating them) thus greatly increasing its loyalty at no cost to the master. This ability is based on fishing skill and pets who are incredibly adept at fishing may even be able to bring up shiny objects occasionally (which they of course give to their master).

Develop Color: this animal will change hues based on what you feed it.

Eat Trash: this pet can eat almost anything to heal its wounds and increase loyalty: weapons, armor, boxes, hats…

Production: this animal periodically produces something (not just dung). For example, a spider may yield a large pile of spider silk. (Any more ideas for production are welcome here.)

Gassy: this animal has a bad intestinal track and produces a noxious smell. Not really… just making sure you’re paying attention.

Armored: with the help of a talented craftsman, this animal can get a modified armor value.

Faithful: this animal is exceptionally faithful and is extremely unlikely to leave your side even through poor treatment.

Augmented: similar to armoring, pets can be modified in other ways to boost their stats, usually with a disadvantage. For example, a dragon fitted with undead-slaying silver claws might attack slightly slower.

Feedback, additional ideas…
Calandryll –
Virtue points do not decay at all until after you hit the first path. So even the casual gamer can attain and maintain the first path.
Calandryll –
You can sacrifice a few times after Knight, that way when the decay rolls around you dont immediately lose that path. But there is a cap. Sacrificing a couple times at Illustrious sounds right.
Cynthe –
We’re currently working on a “State of the Skills” doc that we’ll be posting before too long that will hopefully lay out our current thoughts on all the skills and our short/long term goals for them. This will take a little while, since tracking down and getting the skinny on so many skills from so many different designers isn’t easy, but it will be up as soon as it’s compiled and ready to go.
Cynthe talks about, of all things, the UO message boards.
20 Feburary 02 Possible Felucca and Murder System Changes – nocturne
In Concept :: Possible Felucca and Murder System Changes
In publish 16, we are looking to take several measures to lessen the negative effects of being murdered (“pk’d”). These measures are intended to lessen the impact of the associated item loss, loss of time, and potential taunting. As such, the possible changes are summarized here.

Note: The murder of an innocent is defined as a situation where a player deals unlawful damage, thereby directly resulting in the death of a blue player (note: damaging a guild war opponent, faction opponent, a criminal, a murderer, guildmate, etc, are considered lawful damage).
  1. When an innocent player is murdered, 70% of the innocent’s items (a random result per item) will remain on their ghost (unlootable).
  2. When an innocent player is murdered, that player will be given the option to teleport to a town through a free “stuck player” window.
  3. All dead players (ghosts) without the spirit speak skill will no longer be able to hear what live players are saying (they will hear something to the effect of “blah, blah, blah” instead of the actual words).
Changes to the consequences/conditions of the “Murderer” status.

In order to provide a means to eliminate the “stat loss” system for punishing murderers, while providing a new, yet suitable level of consequence for the “murder” of characters in the Felucca lands, the following measures will be taken:
  1. All characters will receive a “one-time” reprieve for all murders of every type (all murder counts will be reset).
  2. All tracking of “short-term” and “ping-pong” murder counts will be eliminated (they will be obsolete upon the implementation of the changes below).
  3. The “stat loss” system will be eliminated completely (red characters will no longer take stat loss upon ressurection).
  4. All newly acquired murder counts will decay with 120-hour (5 days) real-time timers (online or offline).
  5. Due to the imprecise nature of Justice in Felucca, murder counts will now be tracked on a shard level for each account. After 5 murders on that shard all characters on that shard for that account will become red (all other characters on that shard for that account are considered accessories to murder).
  6. Reds (murderers) will no longer be able to ban other players from houses.
  7. Houses will have a “no red entry” option that will prevent all reds from entering the house (essentially, they will be “auto-banned” from that house).
  8. Due to the remaining force of Justice in Felucca, reds will no longer be able to cast the recall spell.
  9. The “bounty system” will be eliminated.
  10. The “murderer” paperdoll title will be eliminated (although players with 5 murders will still highlight red and be considered “murderers” in this document).
20 Feburary 02 Directing the Experience – nocturne
[UO:BR] MGON’s run of Dev Diaries has hit Part 4. Helios talks about the new player experience, which would be most interesting, if we hadn’t heard it all before. Many times. (MGON seems to have missed Part #3.)
21 Feburary 02 Re-Barding – nocturne
In Concept :: Possible Changes to Barding Skills
For an upcoming publish, the Ultima Online Live Development team plans to make some substantial changes revolving around the game’s Bard class. Our goals in making these changes are these:
  1. To fix skill balance issues. This includes the relatively extreme power of the Provocation skill and the relatively weak power of Enticement. Provocation allows characters with minimal skill points to single-handedly kill some of the most powerful monsters in the game, while Enticement has very few worthwhile uses.
  2. To improve the play experience of bards. As they currently stand, the bard skills generally do not require much interaction from the player. For example, once two creatures are provoked to fight each other, the bard need no longer interact with those creatures until one of them dies. As such, combat with a bard character isn’t as engaging, exciting, or interesting as it could be.
  3. To increase the versatility of bards. Currently, bards have a very small number of simple abilities, many of which have very limited use in Ultima Online. We wish to ultimately give bards a collection of different abilities that are individually not overbalancingly powerful. As a corollary goal, some of the new bard abilities added will be unique to bards and new to Ultima Online.
With those goals in mind, we have in concept a basic play experience planned for the new bard class. In general, it will work like this:
  • Bard songs. Bard songs will be an amalgamation of magic and music, voice and instrument. A bard will initiate a song, which will take a short time during which the bard is very vulnerable to interruption by taking damage. After initiation, the duration of the song is open-ended, depending on numerous factors. For example, bards must pay a continuous upkeep cost in Stamina while the song continues, but bards with the Meditation skill will be able to pay part of the upkeep cost using Mana. Also, bards are still somewhat vulnerable to interruption by taking damage while a song continues. While initiating and continuing a song, equipping or unequipping any item or actively using most skills will also abort the song. However, the bard will be able to use many items that need not be equipped. Furthermore, the bard will need to stay near the song’s target. After song initiation and during upkeep, the song’s actual effect occurs.
  • Song effects. The bard songs will have a mixture of effects. Some will be geared toward solo adventure, while others will be more useful with the bard assisting and supporting an ally. Some will be geared toward actively affecting combat, while others will have passive effects that modify rewards gained from many different types of activities. Furthermore, each bard ability will be usable by a solo bard, or by a “troupe” of three or more bards combining efforts. The troupe version of each ability will be much more powerful than the solo version.
  • Targeting and Flagging. Most bard abilities will be considered “beneficial” or “negative” acts. This means that some of them will be unusable in Trammel outside of consensual PvP (like guild wars). Others may be used in non-consenting PvP in Felucca, but will give the bard an Aggressor and/or Criminal flags. For example, performing a beneficial song (like a health regeneration buff) on a monster in Trammel will be impossible, but simply flag the bard criminal in Felucca. Passive abilities that do not require explicit targets will have their effects limited as appropriate and not result in flagging.
  • Bard skills. The existing bard skills (Musicianship, Enticement, Peacemaking, and Provocation) will continue to exist, though their roles will change. All bard abilities will still require a Musicianship check. Furthermore, each ability will require skill checks in one or more of the other three skills. Generally, the more powerful the ability, the more skills will be required. Additionally, other skills besides the bard-specific ones will grant bonuses to some bard abilities.
  • Bard templates. There will be many possible bard templates available. Bards may choose not to raise all four of the bard skills (though at least Musicianship will be required to be effective). Doing that will limit the repertoire of songs available, but free up skill points to be used elsewhere. Bards will also be able to be effective without achieving Grandmaster status in all the bard skills, allowing still more flexibility. Since some bard abilities will receive bonuses from additional non-bard skills, bards will have many opportunities to specialize. And finally, since some skills will have additional effects on the bard (like Meditation offsetting Stamina costs with Mana, or Wrestling reducing the chance to be interrupted), the potential variety of bard templates becomes very large indeed.
And finally, here are our ideas for actual bard abilities. With this list below, it is particularly important to remember that this is just in concept and is very subject to change!
  • Provocation. Requiring just the Provocation skill, the core of this ability remains unchanged. The bard provokes one creature to attack another creature or a player (but cannot provoke a player to attack anything). However, in addition to the basic bard spell restrictions listed above under Bard Songs, there are a few differences. First, Provocation becomes difficulty-based, meaning that the more powerful a creature is, the harder it is to provoke. Furthermore, the target that the creature is provoked onto affects the difficulty. In general, provoking one creature to attack another of the same type will be more difficult. However, provoking one creature to attack one of its natural enemies (like provoking an Ophidian on a Terathan) will be much easier. Also, the tougher the target, the less willing the creature is to fight it, making the provoke attempt more difficult. A solo bard will be simply unable to provoke very powerful creatures – however, a troupe of skilled bards working in concert will most likely be able to provoke almost all of the most powerful monsters in the game. This is an actively targeted ability and is considered a negative act.
  • Enticement. The only skill this ability takes is Enticement. This ability changes slightly. Rather than a one-time effect that draws a single target to the bard, it will become continuous, causing the target to continue to follow the bard so long as the song is being played. It, too, will become difficulty based. If the bard is very skillful, his or her Enticement effect may even be able to draw in multiple creatures of the same type, if the creatures are individually very weak. Bards working in groups will be able to Entice extremely powerful creatures individually, or groups of medium-level creatures. This is an actively targeted ability and is considered a negative act.
  • Peacemaking. This requires only the Peacemaking skill. In a radius of effect around the bard, monsters and players may occasionally stop fighting. (Players will leave War Mode and lose their target; monsters will stop fighting and after a moment might look for a new target.) The radius of effect and chance to stop fighting depend on the solo bard’s skill level, or the combined power of the troupe. A troupe of very skilled bards would be able to stop very powerful creatures and players from fighting in a fairly large radius. This is a passive, non-targeted ability and is considered neither negative nor beneficial. In Trammel, it will have no effect on players and in Felucca it will affect all players (even the bard’s party members) in the area of effect.
  • Stamina Regen Rate Buff. The solo bard selects a single target, and that target’s stamina recovery rate is increased based on the bard’s Provocation skill. When performed by a troupe, all party members receive a stamina recovery rate increase. The greater the combined skill of the bards, the greater the increase. The further the effect spreads (the larger the party), the lesser the gain. Party members will actually have to be within a certain distance of the bards or they lose the benefit, until they return to the area of effect. In solo mode, this is an actively targeted ability and is considered a beneficial act, making it impossible to use on a monster in Trammel and criminal in Felucca. In troupe mode, the bard’s party are the only beneficiaries, making flagging irrelevant.
  • Health Regen Rate Buff. This ability works almost identically to the Stamina buff, except that the skill required is Enticement and the target’s natural healing rate is increased while the song is in effect. Furthermore, the bard’s Healing skill will provide slight bonuses to this effect.
  • Mana Regen Rate Buff. This ability works almost identically to the Stamina buff, except that the skill required is Peacemaking and the target’s natural mana regeneration rate is increased while the song is in effect. Furthermore, the bard’s Meditation skill will provide slight bonuses to this effect.
  • Increase Spawn. Skills used are Provocation and Enticement. This ability allows the solo bard or troupe of bards to have slight effects on the spawn rates nearby. The effects will be slight but noticeable, and will be geared toward assisting players in “Evil in a Can” type quests, which are themselves heavily based on variable spawn regions. The cumulative effects of multiple bards/bard troupes will not be enough to severely impact the gameplay of others. However, due to the potential for abuse, this ability actually making it into the game is very much in question. The Increase Spawn ability is considered neither negative nor beneficial.
  • Decrease Spawn. Works like Increase Spawn, but in the other direction. Skills required are Provocation and Peacemaking.
  • Karma Decrease. Requires Provocation and Enticement skills. The solo bard or the troupe member initiating the song picks a target. The actual effect of this ability is to decrease the magnitude of the target’s Karma temporarily. This means a target with negative Karma has less negative Karma while under the effect of this ability, and one with positive Karma has less positive Karma. This ability cannot cause a negative Karma target’s Karma to become positive, or vice-versa. In troupe mode, this ability will be able to affect multiple nearby targets based on party, guild, order/chaos, faction, or red/blue affiliations under conditions yet to be determined. This effect is considered beneficial.
  • Karma Increase. This is the reverse of Karma Decrease. The skills required are Peacemaking and Enticement. Targets with negative Karma lose Karma temporarily under this effect, and targets with positive Karma gain karma. This is considered a negative act.
  • Fame Decrease. This effect requires Peacemaking and Enticement. The target temporarily loses an amount of fame. This is considered a beneficial act, but cannot be used in a guard zone on any facet.
  • Fame Increase. Requires Provocation and Peacemaking. Target temporarily gains fame. This is a negative act.
  • Attack Ability. This ability requires Provocation, Peacemaking, and Enticement . This ability is the only direct-damage bard song. It works by delivering damage over time based on the bard’s skills. The troupe mode can have multiple targets based on to-be-determined rules involving party, guild, order/chaos, faction, and/or red/blue affiliation. This is a negative act.
  • Teaching Song. This ability requires Provocation, Peacemaking, and Enticement, plus an additional skill. The bard can use this ability to temporarily increase a target’s skill level in any skill the bard possesses. For example, a bard with Mining skill can temporarily increase the Mining skill of a target. The maximum skill bonus will be 10 points of skill, but this amount of bonus will be extremely difficult to achieve by requiring the bard be close to Grandmaster in the bard skills and the skill being taught. A troupe of bards will be able to enhance the skill level of their entire party. This ability cannot be used on non-humans.
  • Notes and FAQs

    1.   Why would decreasing someone’s fame be a beneficial act, and vice versa?
    The implications of this ability are complex. When you decrease someone’s fame, many beneficial effects happen. For example, since fame rewards are scaled based on current fame, you will effectively receive increased fame rewards while your fame is reduced by the bard. In PvP, if your fame is lowered and you die to another player, you lose less fame and your killer gains less fame. However, decreasing the fame of a monster would effectively reduce the rewards gained from killing that monster. That is beneficial to the monster by making it less of a target to those seeking fame.

    Now, consider the reverse. If you increase a player’s fame, the immediate effect is minimal – it might result in a temporary title change. However, while the player’s fame is increased, his own fame gains are reduced and his value as a kill to another player is increased. It’s the same for a monster – if you increase its fame, it is a higher priority target for fame seekers. The majority of effect for a fame increase is indeed negative, because the effect is temporary but can adversely affect the target’s permanent fame.

    The same holds true for the Karma modifications.

    2.   Why do the Karma modifiers only increase or decrease the magnitude of the target’s Karma?
    Doing it this way, it’s possible to set it up with beneficial/negative flagging much like the fame adjusting abilities. If it were possible to temporarily change a target from positive to negative Karma or vice-versa, the potential effects are much more complicated and the rules would be much more difficult to understand.

    3.   Why are there separate abilities for adjusting things up and down? Couldn’t you combine them into different effects that are all beneficial to the bard/bard’s party and eliminate all this flagging and negative/beneficial complicatedness?
    Yes. However, doing these as separate abilities helps us better accomplish our goals. By having separate abilities, and separate skill requirements, the bard has more decision-making to do. For example, rather than simply turning on the Fame Gain Buff and then not getting interrupted while the bard’s party kills things, the bard will instead have to coordinate his actions with his allies and apply the correct adjuster ability to the correct target. The bard becomes much more involved in gameplay at that point, hopefully making it much more fun and interesting to be a bard.

    4.   Those regen buffs sound uber! Sounds like mages ability to mana dump could really be increased
    True. However, the bard who is boosting the other character’s ability is himself basically unable to fight. The mage/fighter/whatever gets a nice boost to his abilities at the cost of the bard’s effectiveness in any other capacity. The effects of these buffs will be reasonably balanced – a mage and a bard who is buffing the mage’s mana regen would be about as powerful as a mage and a half. We wouldn’t want to make the buff stronger than that, because that combined with the bard’s flexibility would effectively make bards overbalancingly powerful in a way different from how they are now.

    Constructive feedback about the proposed changes can be posted to this thread, at the Barding Forum.
    22 Feburary 02 Holidays Officially Over – nocturne
    FYI :: Unscheduled Maintenance – North American Shards –
    The North American shards will be undergoing unscheduled maintenance this afternoon, at around 2:40pm CST, in order to address a few in-game issues. We will be releasing the following fixes:
    • Previously, players with slower connections could be killed after traveling through a moongate before their computer ever caught up with them and they were able to defend themselves. Players will now be hidden when coming out of a moongate, meaning that they will not become visible until their computer has finished loading, and they are able to move.
    • Hirelings will now cost 8K in return for their services.
    • Fixed an issue involving pack horses and BODs.
    • Corrected a gating/recall issue with the Minax stronghold.
    • Holiday trees will be disabled. All holiday trees currently in the world should return to deed form. Only the owner of the house that the deed is in, or the person who placed the tree, will be able to pick up the deed.
    • The holiday gift gump will be disabled. Any remaining holiday tickets will still be useable, but no more will be given out.
    We expect these shards will be down for approximately 45 minutes, and apologize for any inconvenience this downtime may cause. Barring any unforeseen issues, the Asian, European, and Oceania shards should see these changes active following their regularly scheduled Sunday morning maintenance periods (local server time).
    24 Feburary 02 Flashbacks for Free – nocturne
    GameSpot has just posted a feature – Flashbacks for Free – dealing with the “abandonware” phenomenon. Abandonware is the term some people use to describe old, usually classic games that are no longer availiable, which can be found for download from such abandonware sites. It’s an interesting read, if long (9 pages), and talks to publishers, developers – Richard Garriott, Tim Schafer, Al Lowe, Will Wright, and Chris Taylor – and everyone else concerned.
    “From a true legal sense, my belief is that ‘abandonware’ does infringe on the copyright holders’ legal protection…if they care,” says Richard Garriott, the creator of the classic Ultima role-playing series.

    “Electronic Arts, for example, does care about early Ultimas, as they don’t want to lose protection on current Ultimas,” says Garriott. “Truly ‘abandoned’ properties are less worrisome. That being said, personally, I think that sites that support these old games are a good thing for both consumers and copyright owners.” He explains: “If the options are (a) having a game be lost forever and (b) having it available on one of these sites, I’d want it to be available. That being said, I believe a game is ‘abandoned’ only long after it is out of print. And just because a book is out of print does not give me rights to print some for my friends.”
    25 Feburary 02 Revised PvP and Felucca Enhancements – nocturne
    In Concept :: Revised PvP and Felucca Enhancements
    This is a completely revised version of the changes previously proposd for treatment of statloss and murderers, as well as a proposal for enhacing PvP in Felucca’s dungeons and Lost Lands. This document also details some new rewards that may be found in the Felucca dungeons and Lost Lands areas. There is also a FAQ that we hope might clear up some questions!

    Felucca Changes
    NOTES:
    1. These changes apply to the non-SP/IGR shards only!
    2. These changes are an independent set, not to be combined with any other Felucca change proposals listed previously.
    Intent
    As a brief preface, we’d like to explain the essential goals of the changes listed in this document. The changes below should…
    1. Establish an area where non-consensual pvp can thrive for a significant number of UO’s players.
    2. Create a risk versus reward model that encourages non-consensual pvp based around resource control rather than profit from the deceased.
    3. Provide meaningful and compelling rewards for players that successfully adventure in the specified areas.
    Changes to the Dungeons and Lost Land areas of Felucca
    In order to establish an area where players can engage in a meaningful struggle for the control of resources without drastically impacting the current play patterns of Felucca’s citizens, the Dungeon and Lost Land areas of Felucca will be modified.
    1. When a non-Murderer is killed in the Dungeon/Lost Land areas of Felucca, all of the character’s items other than gold, gems, ingots, ore, leather, hides, wool, wood, boards, and cursed items will remain on their ghost (unlootable).
    2. When a Murderer is killed in the Dungeon/LL areas of Felucca, 50% of the character’s items (random result per item) other than gold, gems, ingots, ore, leather, hides, wool, wood, boards, and cursed items will remain on their ghost (unlootable).
    3. Any player that dies in the Dungeon/LL areas of Felucca will immediately be given a mandatory “stuck player” option (forced to leave the dungeon and lost land servers). During this process, the player will not be able to hear spoken words (they can send/receive party messages as normal).
    4. A player that dies in the Dungeon/LL areas of Felucca will not be able to return to those servers for 30 minutes.
    5. Ghosts will be unable to enter the Dungeon/LL areas of Felucca.
    6. Players will no longer be able to recall or gate into or out of the Dungeon/LostLand areas of Felucca.
    7. The various dungeons of Felucca will be linked to each other via teleporters to help alleviate crowding and bottlenecks.
    8. When a player reports a murder, only the long-term murder count will be incremented.
    9. If a murderer dies in the Dungeon/LL areas of Felucca, they will not take stat loss upon their next resurrection.
    10. When stealing from innocents, thieves will only be able to steal gold and gems in the Dungeon/LL areas of Felucca. Thieves will continue to be able to use the full range of their thieving abilities against consensual-pvp opponents (guild wars, order/chaos, factions).
    11. Many Dungeon/LL areas of Felucca will contain “champion regions” (a.k.a. “Evil-in-a-Can”).
    12. The various champions of evil and “The Harrower” itself (a new champion monster, not to be confused with the mere “tentacles of the Harrower”) that spawn in Dungeon/LL areas of Felucca will carry special Scrolls of Power (detailed further below).
    13. The Minax faction stronghold will be relocated from the lost lands to another location in Felucca.
    14. The city of Delucia will no longer be a “faction city”. However, the city of Vesper will become a faction city.
    Changes to the consequences/conditions of the “Murderer” status
    1. The “bounty system” will be eliminated.
    2. The “murderer” paperdoll title will be eliminated (although players with 5 murders will still highlight red and be considered “murderers” in this document). This does mean a red character can be titled as “Dread Lord” again, assuming they have enough fame and karma to warrant it.
    3. Red characters will not be able to gain Virtue, or use any Virtue abilities.
    4. When a red character takes stat loss, all short term counts will be wiped.
    Changes to the conditions of the “Criminal” status
    Innocents (blues) will no longer be able to negatively affect other innocents through the following area effects indirectly: purple potions, mass curse, meteor swarm, chain lightning, earthquake, fire field, poison field, paralyze field, blade spirits, or energy vortex. This applies to all of Felucca.

    Changes to the consequences/conditions of being a “Thief”
    Stealing will no longer be considered an aggressive act, although it will continue to be a criminal act (players will not be able to report a thief for murder if they attack the thief but lose the fight). This applies to all of Felucca.

    Increased reward in all of Felucca
    In order to provide incentives for some of Britannia’s braver citizens such that they have reason to spend more time in Felucca, we will institute several measures that are intended to increase the reward for adventuring in Felucca.
    1. Felucca will have much of its spawn modified to include fewer monsters overall, yet a much higher percentage of medium to high-end monsters (liches, daemons, ancient wyrms, blood elementals, etc…), and far fewer low-end monsters (slimes, rats, snakes, headless’, etc…).
    2. Mines, trees, sheep, will produce double the normal resources in Felucca, as will all creatures that produce leather or feather resources.
    3. Monsters in Felucca will provide more fame and karma.
    “Cursed” items
    1. Some new items that are available exclusively through adventures in the Felucca dungeons and lost lands will be “cursed” (the opposite of “blessed”).
    2. Cursed items will always drop to the player’s corpse upon death, regardless of any other looting rules.
    Scrolls of Power
    Scrolls of Power are significant new items that allow veteran players to continue the development and/or specialization of their characters.

    Skill Scrolls:
    1. A new type of scroll will be added that allows players to raise the limits of their possible maximum skill values beyond 100.0 (up to 120.0).
    2. The player’s skill will not actually be raised upon using the scroll, but the cap on that skill will be raised to the appropriate level, depending on which scroll was used.
    3. These scrolls will only be found on “Champions of Evil” that spawn in the Dungeons and Lost Lands areas on the Felucca facet.
    4. For each eligible skill, there are 4 different types of scrolls:
      • +5.0 (raises the appropriate skill’s limit to 105.0)
      • +10.0 (raises the appropriate skill’s limit to 110.0)
      • +15.0 (raises the appropriate skill’s limit to 115.0)
      • +20.0 (raises the appropriate skill’s limit to 120.0)
    5. The skill scrolls are not cumulative (you must use one +20.0 skill scroll to reach a maximum value of 120.0 skill, that character cannot use four separate +5.0 skill scrolls to achieve the same result).
    6. Once a scroll of a given type and value has been used, scrolls of lesser or equal type and value can no longer be used (ie: if you use a +10.0 Magery skill scroll to raise your Magery skill limit to 110.0, that character can no longer use any +5.0 or +10.0 Magery skill scrolls).
    7. The more powerful scrolls will spawn less frequently than less powerful scrolls.
    8. Once a player uses the skill scroll and raises their skill limit, they will then be able to gain in that skill (through normal means) until they reach their new skill limit.
    9. All skill points gained above 100.0 continue to count against the player’s skill cap (if the player is a “7x GM” and wants to raise 5 skills to 120.0, they would have to lower 1 of their gm skills and eventually become a 5x 120, 1x 100 character).
    10. Skill scrolls are “cursed” items (explained further below), but are consumed upon use.
    11. Players may trade and/or sell skill scrolls to other players (it is not required for the player that found them to use them).
    12. Only the following skill scrolls will spawn as of Publish 16:
      • Swordsmanship
      • Fencing
      • Mace Fighting
      • Archery
      • Wrestling
      • Parrying
      • Tactics
      • Anatomy
      • Healing
      • Magery
      • Meditation
      • Evaluate Intelligence
      • Magic Resistance
      • Animal Taming
      • Animal Lore
      • Veterinary
      • Musicianship
      • Provocation
      • Enticement
      • Peacemaking
      • Stealth
      • Stealing
    The interface for skill scrolls will function as follows:
    1. Player “uses” the skill scroll (double-click).
    2. The appropriate skill now has a “cap” of 100.0 + the value according to the type of scroll (i.e.: 105.0 for a +5.0 skill scroll).
    3. The player may view their maximum skill value in the skills window (this will be patched as a publish 16 client change). For example, a player might see: Magery 92.1/115.0
    Stat Scrolls:
    1. Stat scrolls can only be found on “The Harrower” (a new “arch champion” that will also be found in the dungeon and Lost Land areas of Felucca, and will be described in more detail in the near future… not to be confused with the mere “Tentacles of the Harrower”).
    2. When used, stat scrolls increase the character’s actual stat cap, thereby allowing players to gain stats beyond the normal 225-point limit.
    3. Stat scrolls can be found in 5 varieties: +5, +10, +15, +20, and +25.
    4. The stat scrolls are not cumulative (you must use one +25 stat scroll to reach a stat cap of 250, you cannot use five separate +5 stat scrolls to achieve the same result).
    5. As of Publish 16, the new limit on any one stat will be raised from 100 to 125. This is independent of the stat scroll additions, and will be applied to all players.
    6. Once a scroll of a given type and value has been used, scrolls of lesser or equal type and value can no longer be used (ie: if you use a +10 stat scroll to raise your stat cap to 235, that character can no longer use any +5 or +10 stat scrolls).
    7. The more powerful scrolls will spawn less frequently than less powerful scrolls.
    8. Once a player uses a stat scroll and raises their stat cap, they will be able to gain in any stat (through normal means) until they reach their new stat limit.
    9. Stat scrolls are “cursed” items, but are consumed upon use.
    10. Players may trade and/or sell stat scrolls to other players (it is not required for the player that found them to use them).
    The interface for stat scrolls will function as follows:
    1. Character “uses” the stat scroll (double-click).
    2. The character now has a stat cap equal to 225 + the value according to the type of scroll (i.e.: 240 for a +15 stat scroll).
    3. The player may view their stat maximum status window (this will be patched as a publish 16 client change). For example, a player might see: Stat Maximum 230
    FAQ

    What does this mean for the other changes – one red, all red, the 30% looting thing, etc?
    These changes are the new proposal that will completely replace the old proposal. This is INSTEAD of the other changes, not in addition to them.

    What about the rest of Felucca – is it changing?
    The mainland of Felucca will, for the most part, retain the same rule set with the following exceptions:
    • Stealing will no longer be considered an aggressive act (although it’s still a criminal act).
    • Felucca spawn changes will affect all of Felucca, except the Hero spawn will only occur in the Dungeon/Lost Lands areas.
    • Resource levels, along with fame and karma, will be raised in Felucca.
    • Vesper will become a faction town.
    • The Minax stronghold will be relocated to a mountainous area of Felucca.
    • Blues can no longer indirectly damage other blues through area effect spells.
    • Increased stat cap on individual stats for all characters (from 100 to 125).
    • Skill and stat scrolls will be able to be used in Trammel or Felucca, and their effects will remain constant across all facets.
    “Fewer monsters overall”? What’s up with that?
    Large quantities of monsters in Felucca will be swapped with lower quantity, higher quality monsters. For example, is that there won’t be as many hordes of rats, but you might instead see a few large rats or ratmen, or perhaps even something single, more powerful entity, like a lich lord.

    Any changes to Trammel or Ilshenar?
    • Increased stat cap on individual stats for all characters (from 100 to 125).
    • Skill and stat scrolls will be able to be used in Trammel or Felucca, and their effects will remain constant across all facets.
    Why double the ore in Felucca where miners and resource gatherers can get ganked?
    Since there’s nothing in these resource spots you can’t get in Trammel, this change isn’t intended to persuade resource gatherers to mine/gather in Felucca. However, we feel that anyone who braves the greater risk should get a greater reward for their trouble.

    Why are you changing both the dungeons and the Lost Lands? Why not one or the other?
    There’s two main reasons for this. One is that all these areas are on the same sub-server, which will make the change in rules much easier; and two, this creates a larger area with more variety for the new Hero spawns.

    Can’t return to the dungeon server for 30 minutes? Why?
    In order for the challenge of fighting the Hero spawns and surviving in these areas to really be a challenge, we need to be sure that people can’t just keep dying and immediately coming back indefinitely. By keeping people from coming right back into the fray of the fight after dying, players are able to establish some kind of control over the resources and territory they’re fighting over. It will also be a greater challenge to groups – it will be highly beneficial to keep your group members alive, thus keeping your group as powerful as it can be.

    Blues can’t hurt other blues? Anywhere?
    This change affects all of Felucca. Blues can still harm other blues with area effect spells if they target them directly, but they won’t hurt other blues who are accidentally caught in the area effect radius.

    So is there any change to how long it takes to work off a murder count?
    No, there are no changes.

    If I steal from someone in Felucca, or from someone I am in a guildwar with in Trammel, will I get a murder count?
    If you steal from anyone, in any situation that allows stealing, you will “go grey” to that person and he may attack you in return, but you will not gain a murder count.

    So I can still go grey by stealing?
    Yes, but you aren’t going to be considered the aggressor, so you can’t be given a murder count after stealing from someone and being attacked. This applies to any situation on any facet where stealing is allowed, such as guildwars.

    You mention a “stuck player” option when you die in Felucca’s dungeons/Lost Lands. Is this the same as the one from the Help menu?
    It is similar, but there will be some small, important differences. This new type of “stuck player” option will allow the dead character to immediately move to the town chosen from the “stuck list,” while the Help menu version will continue to have a 2-minute wait before teleporting to town. The new menu will also not be able to be “cancelled”—players must choose a target city or one will be chosen at random for them within a few seconds.

    So what about people who get hurt in the Lost Lands area, then go back to Felucca to die, thus giving their aggressor a short-term murder count?
    This is something we’ve thought about, and we do have some ideas worked out to prevent this.

    What about the PKs who will camp the Hero spawn areas to get the scrolls?
    It will most likely take at least 6-10 players to get the champion to spawn, and only one will have the scroll, making it difficult for PKs to know who is carrying anything valuable. Not to mention the fact that potential PK’s will also have to deal with monsters as well!

    There will also be 17 different areas in the Felucca dungeons/Lost Lands where the Heroes will spawn, so it will be difficult to camp all of them – as well, the spawn areas in the LL will rotate, making it that much harder.

    When do murderers take stat loss and when do they not?
    In the main land of Felucca, short term and long-term counts will remain just as they are now. Stat loss is still based on having 5 or more short term counts. The difference is that people who murder others in the dungeons/LL of Felucca will only take long-term counts (which only determines whether or not you are red, and does not lead to stat loss).

    So I can’t take statloss in the Felucca dungeon/Lost Lands?
    Nope! Even if you have short term murder counts and would typically take statloss in the main Felucca area, you can die in the dungeon or lost lands server and be resurrected there with no stat loss.

    Red characters will no longer gain Virtues. What happens to my existing virtue points?
    You will not be able to gain in any Virtue, and your existing Virtue points will decay as normal.

    If my murderer dies in a Feluccan dungeon, will I be able to go back and get my stuff?
    The corpses of players’ characters decay within a few minutes. The proposed system prohibits that character from returning to the dungeon server for 30 minutes, so obviously your corpse (and any items contained within) will have long decayed. After teleporting to town, if you think your items may still be recoverable, you have the option to try switching characters or asking a friend to recover your items for you.

    If I get a +20 skill scroll, does that mean all my skills can go up to 120?
    No, only the one skill that relates to the skill scroll. If you found a magery skill scroll, only your magery will be allowed to exceed normal limits and achieve 120. Note also that your total skill points will not exceed the current cap of 700 points. A “maxed out” character currently can achieve 7xGM (a score of 100 in each of 7 skills). With the skill scroll system, a character can achieve 5x120, +1xGM (a score of 120 in each of 5 skills, with a score of 100 in a sixth skill).

    So can I raise my total skill cap with these scrolls?
    No, the skill cap remains the same, at 700 points. The increased skill limits will count towards that same skill cap.

    Why are there only skill scrolls available for certain skills?
    Those are the only skills that continue to give an added benefit once they’re over 100 – we could enable you to raise other skills over 100, but there would be no purpose to it.

    Isn’t the ability to raise skills over 100 going to imbalance combat?
    We’ll be modifying the effects of skills over 100 and will be introducing new items that help maintain balance for all characters.

    Can cursed items be stolen?
    Yes, but not in Lost Lands areas, since the only things that can be stolen there will be gold and gems.

    Will all heroes drop scrolls?
    Currently the idea is that they will, but we will be doing extensive playtesting to determine the best rate that won’t be unbalancing.

    Why do I have to fight PKs to get the good stuff?
    These items will be sold in Trammel, so people who do not wish to risk being killed can buy them from other players. Since players cannot use these scrolls cumulatively, and cannot use any scrolls lower than one they’ve already used, not all scrolls found will be usable by the person who found them, and will undoubtedly be sold.

    By making sure the skill cap stays the same, we’ve also worked to see that characters who do not get these rewards are still just as competitive… the rewards simply enable characters to have more control.
    26 Feburary 02 Re-Barding v2.0 – nocturne
    In Concept :: Possible Changes to Barding Skills (revised)
    This is an updated version of the upcoming changes to the Barding profession, changes being considered toward helping balance Barding as a class, as well as toward improving the overall in-game experience of playing a bard. There is also a FAQ at the end of the document that we hope might clear up some of the questions players might have.

    Bard Skills Revamp
    For an upcoming publish, the Ultima Online Live Development team plans to make some substantial changes revolving around the game’s Bard class. Our goals in making these changes are these:
    1. To fix skill balance issues. This includes the relatively extreme power of the Provocation skill and the relatively weak power of Enticement. Provocation allows characters with minimal skill points to single-handedly kill some of the most powerful monsters in the game, while Enticement has very few worthwhile uses.
    2. To improve the play experience of bards. As they currently stand, the bard skills generally do not require much interaction from the player. For example, once two creatures are provoked to fight each other, the bard need no longer interact with those creatures until one of them dies. As such, combat with a bard character isn’t as engaging, exciting, or interesting as it could be.
    3. To increase the versatility of bards. Currently, bards have a very small number of simple abilities, many of which have very limited use in Ultima Online. We wish to ultimately give bards a collection of different abilities that are individually not overbalancingly powerful. As a corollary goal, some of the new bard abilities added will be unique to bards and new to Ultima Online.
    With those goals in mind, we have in mind a basic play experience planned for the new bard class. In general, it will work like this:
    1. Bard songs. Bard songs will be an amalgamation of magic and music, voice and instrument. There will be no actual initiation time for a song, but bards will be limited to using bard abilities once every 10 seconds. After initiation, the duration of the song is open-ended, depending on numerous factors. For example, bards must pay a continuous but small upkeep cost in Stamina while the song continues, but bards with the Meditation skill will pay up to 75% of the upkeep cost using Mana. The Stamina/Mana upkeep costs will generally be very small, on the order of 1 per second. Maintaining a bard song won’t stop the character’s normal Mana or Stamina regeneration. It will to be a very slow but noticeable drain – an additional factor to take into consideration in combat. Also, bards are somewhat vulnerable to interruption by taking damage while a song continues.

      While continuing a song, some events will have a chance to abort the song. First, if the bard initiates a new song, hides, casts Invisibility on himself, recalls, or steps through any kind of moongate, his or her bard song running will be cancelled. If a third party casts Invisibility on the bard while the bard is playing a song, the bard will become visible again within 5 seconds. Attacking, taking damage, casting spells, and actively meditating all have a small (normally 10% chance) of interrupting a bard’s song. If the bard has Meditation skill, this chance scales downward to 5%. Moving; equipping/unequipping; using potions, wands, and staves; mounting/dismounting; using bandages; and any other activity will not interrupt the bard. (This list, along with this entire design, is subject to change.)
    2. Song effects. The bard songs will have a mixture of effects. Some will be geared toward solo adventure, while others will be more useful with the bard assisting and supporting an ally. Some will be geared toward actively affecting combat, while others will have passive effects that modify rewards gained from many different types of activities. The Provoke, Entice, and Peacemake songs will have the ability to affect multiple targets.

      Once a bard has successfully started one of these effects, he can add an additional target by re-initiating the same effect (it won’t cancel the existing effect) and selecting different targets. Each additional target increases the difficulty of the skill check (lower chance of success) and if successful increases the Stamina/Mana upkeep cost. The bard must still remain fairly close to all targets of these effects. Also, when interruption checks are made, each target involved is checked individually for interruption. Note that provoking two creatures to fight counts as two targets. Additionally, once a bard has stopped a song or been interrupted, the effect of the song will continue for 5-10 seconds.
    3. Targeting and Flagging. Most bard abilities will be considered “beneficial” or “negative” acts. This means that some of them will be unusable in Trammel outside of consentual PvP (like guild wars). Others may be used in non-consenting PvP in Felucca, but will give the bard and Aggressor and/or Criminal flags. For example, performing a beneficial song (like a health regeneration buff) on a monster in Trammel will be impossible, but simply flag the bard criminal in Felucca. Passive abilities that do not require explicit targets will have their effects limited as appropriate and not result in flagging.
    4. Bard skills. The existing bard skills (Musicianship, Enticement, Peacemaking, and Provocation) will continue to exist, though their roles will change. All bard abilities will still require a Musicianship check. Furthermore, each ability will require skill checks in one or more of the other three skills. Generally, the more powerful the ability, the more skills will be required. Some abilities may receive very small bonuses for having non-required barding skills; for example, the Provoke ability will require the Provocation skill, but will receive small bonuses for bards who also spent points on the Enticement and/or Peacemaking skills. Furthermore, other skills besides the bard-specific ones will grant bonuses to some bard abilities.
    5. Bard templates. There will be many possible bard templates available. Bards may choose not to raise all four of the bard skills (though at least Musicianship and one of the other three will be required to be effective). Doing that will limit the repertoire of songs available, but free up skill points to be used elsewhere. Bards will also be able to be effective without achieving Grandmaster status in all the bard skills, allowing still more flexibility. Since some bard abilities will receive bonuses from additional non-bard skills, bards will have many opportunities to specialize. And finally, since some skills will have additional effects on the bard (like Meditation offsetting Stamina costs with Mana), the potential variety of bard templates becomes very large indeed.
    And finally, here are our ideas for actual bard abilities. With this list below, it is particularly important to remember that this is just in concept and is very subject to change!
    1. Provoke. Requiring just the Provocation skill, the core of this ability remains unchanged. The bard provokes one creature to attack another creature or a player (but cannot provoke a player to attack anything). However, in addition to the basic bard spell restrictions listed above under Bard Songs, there are a few differences. First, Provoke becomes difficulty-based, meaning that the more powerful a creature is, the harder it is to provoke. The tougher the target, the less willing the creature is to fight it, making the provoke attempt more difficult. While the exact difficulty and success rate calculations have not been finalized, here is a general idea of the dynamics of this ability: For a bard with 100.0 Provocation and 0 in Enticement and Peacemaking, the chance to provoke one dragon to attack another will be approximately 20%. With 100.0 in all 3 skills, the chance will increase to approx. 40%. Also, it may become possible to find a magical musical instrument that could further increase this chance by an additional 20%.

      Provoking another pair of dragons to fight would probably be impossible, but with the additional skill bonus and the magical instrument, it may be possible to provoke a third dragon onto one of the two already being provoked. Provoking even more powerful creatures (like Balron or Ancient Wyrms) will be possible only when weaker creatures are involved. Provoking a single daemon onto a Balron would be possible but unlikely. Also, once a creature is provoked, it will no longer switch targets (because the effect is continuous).

      After the effect ends, the creature will immediately re-target the provoking bard if possible. Bards will be able to provoke creatures onto players in PvP but will not be able to provoke players to fight creatures or other players. And, of course, a player who is the victim of a provoke can run out of range, go invisible, or do other things to break the effect and cause the monster to re-target the bard.
    2. Entice. The only skill this ability takes is Enticement. This ability changes slightly. Rather than a one-time effect that draws a single target to the bard, it will become continuous, causing the target to continue to follow the bard so long as the song is being played. It, too, will become difficulty based. In general, it will be much easier to entice a creature than to provoke it. This ability cannot be used against players on either facet.
    3. Peacemake. This requires only the Peacemaking skill. This ability is now targeted, difficulty-based, and continuous, with difficulty similar to Entice. The target of Peacemake will stop fighting anything it’s fighting and not fight back so long as the song remains in effect. If used on a player, the player will leave War Mode and lose their target. If the player starts fighting again, after a few seconds the effect will repeat (so long as the bard is still maintaining the effect). Like provocation, once a monster is released from this effect it will try to target the bard if possible. In Trammel, it will have no effect on players.
    4. Stamina Regen. Rate Buff. The bard selects a single target, and that target’s Stamina recovery rate is increased based on the bard’s Provocation skill. This is an actively targeted ability and is considered a beneficial act, making it impossible to use on a monster in Trammel. Using it on a murderer, criminal, or monster is a criminal act in Felucca.
    5. Health Regen. Rate Buff. This ability works almost identically to the Stamina buff, except that the skill required is Enticement and the targets’ natural healing rate is increased while the song is in effect. Furthermore, the bards’ Healing skill will provide slight bonuses to this effect.
    6. Mana Regen. Rate Buff. This ability works almost identically to the Stamina buff, except that the skill required is Peacemaking and the targets’ natural Mana regeneration rate is increased while the song is in effect. Furthermore, the bards’ Meditation skill will provide slight bonuses to this effect.
    7. Increase Spawn. Skills used are Provocation and Enticement. This ability allows the solo bard or troupe of bards to have slight effects on the spawn rates in “Champions of Evil” (aka “Boss Monster” aka “Evil in a Can” quests, which are themselves heavily based on variable spawn regions. The cumulative effects of multiple bards will not be enough to severely impact the gameplay of others. However, due to the potential for abuse, this ability actually making it into the game is very much in question. The Increase Spawn ability is considered neither negative or beneficial.
    8. Decrease Spawn. Works like Increase Spawn, but in the other direction. Skills required are Provocation and Peacemaking.
    9. Karma Decrease. Requires Provocation and Enticement skills. This ability works against a single target. The actual effect of this ability is to decrease the magnitude of the target’s Karma temporarily. This means a target with negative Karma has less negative Karma while under the effect of this ability, and one with positive Karma has less positive Karma. This ability cannot cause a negative Karma target’s Karma to become positive, or vice-versa. This effect is considered beneficial.
    10. Karma Increase. This is the reverse of Karma Decrease. The skills required are Peacemaking and Enticement. Targets with negative Karma lose Karma temporarily under this effect, and targets with positive Karma gain karma. This is considered a negative act.
    11. Fame Decrease. This effect requires Peacemaking and Enticement. The target temporarily loses an amount of fame. This is considered a beneficial act, but cannot be used in a guard zone on any facet.
    12. Fame Increase. Requires Provocation and Peacemaking. Target temporarily gains fame. This is a negative act.
    13. Attack Ability. This ability requires Provocation, Peacemaking, and Enticement . This ability is the only direct-damage bard song. It works by delivering damage over time based on the bard’s skills. This is a negative act.
    14. Teaching Song. This ability requires Provocation, Peacemaking, and Enticement, plus an additional skill. The bard can use this ability to temporarily increase a target’s skill level in any skill the bard possesses. For example, a bard with Mining skill can temporarily increase the Mining skill of a target. The bard can target himself with this ability. The maximum skill bonus will be 10 points of skill for crafting and resource gathering skills, and 20 points for all others, including combat skills. Lumberjacking will fall into the 10 point bonus category. The maximum bonus will be extremely difficult to achieve by requiring the bard be close to Grandmaster in the bard skills and the skill being taught.
    FAQ

    In a previous version of the bard changes, I read that I had to stand still and prepare my song before I “cast” it. Is that gone, now?
    Actually, the initiating “casting” time was never meant to mean that you couldn’t move at all, but that “initiating” casting time has been completely removed from this version of the changes. The small-but-continuous cost in Stamina (and partial offset with Mana for those with Meditation skill) will be sufficient as a built-in “time-limitation” control.

    If someone attacks me while I am playing my song, my bard song shuts off, right?
    Here’s how it might work, with the rules described in this concept document (and please keep in mind, as with any such design concept, it is subject to possible change): some events will stop your song immediately – starting a new song, hiding, casting Invisibility on yourself, recalling, or using any Moongate (including facet gates).

    Engaging in combat, casting spells, and using Meditation all have a chance of stopping your song, about a 10% chance.

    Moving, equipping or unequipping, using potions, wands, staves, and bandages, and mounting/unmounting will not interrupt your song.

    So if you’re the sort of bard who likes to play it safe and stick to the edge of a combat-heavy area, you might be able to play your song and still safely take the occasional hit from attackers and possibly heal yourself with bandages, all the while still being able to move around.

    Will I be able to Entice a creature at the same time as I Provoke another creature?
    No. If you Entice one creature, you can attempt to Entice a second, but once you begin the second song (in this case Provocation), the previous song(s) will be stopped.

    How many creatures will I be able to Provoke (or Entice or Peacemake) at one time?
    That will depend on several factors. You will be able to have multiple Provocation songs playing (with the difficulty increasing with each additional target), and each successful playing of a given song will have its own Stamina/Mana upkeep cost-perhaps 1 per second, per song. It may not be unlikely that you will have 3 creatures Provoked at one time, but it’s probably unrealistic to imagine that you’d be able to provoke two dozen monsters for even a few seconds.

    What happened to the concept of groups of bards having cooperative abilities?
    Bonus abilities for troupes of bards is no longer a part of this design concept. Bards will of course still be able adventure together, but there will be no special bonuses for “bard troupes”.

    Will I be able to stack my healing buffs?
    No. Only Provocation, Enticement, and Peacemaking will be able to be used on multiple targets. All other abilities are one target at a time only.

    Considering the new upkeep costs for bard songs, how are people actually supposed to ever finish a fight with no Stamina or Mana? Combat usually lasts more than 30-45 seconds, and a bard would be drained and helpless at that point-they couldn’t swing, run, sing or cast.
    Bards will be able to regain Mana faster than normal by targeting themselves and playing the Mana Regeneration Rate buff, or could even use Meditation if they choose.

    Bards will be able to regain Stamina faster than normal by targeting themselves and playing the Stamina Regeneration Rate buff, or they could drink a red Refresh potion.

    Two bards will be also able to cast their songs on one another as well, at which point an effect perhaps not too dissimilar to two combatants cross-healing each other might occur.

    Is it intended for Bards to only be effective in groups now?
    We know there are many bards who enjoy their ability to play the game solo, and it is absolutely our intent to see that that remains a valid playstyle. But at the same time, a single character should never be able to take out the toughest creatures in the game single-handedly, and that has historically been well within the bard’s capabilities.

    Any time we’re faced with the prospect of having to take something away, or in this case, reduce the Bard’s power, we feel that it’s important to give something back that is new. In this case, we decided to add to the Bard’s flexibility by adding in completely new abilities that benefit others. If we’d focused only on adding new abilities that benefited single play, we’d likely run into the same problem of bards simply being too effective in single PvM combat.

    Also note that in this revised iteration of the design, bards can now use some of these new abilities to assist themselves as well as others, which we hope will enhance solo as well as group play.
    The discussion thread is here.
    26 Feburary 02 Dev Diaries – nocturne
    [UO:BR] The latest installment of of GameSpy’s Dev Diary has Stellerex talking about how it’s really all the little things that make the game, with his example being the screenshots you see during the install process. Uzeraan, the new player greeter, gets interviewed in MGON’s Dev Diary #3.
    27 Feburary 02 Dev Postings – nocturne
    Evocare –
    Here goes another round of clarifications and comments…

    1. Yes, the scrolls of power have permanent effects. However, I do expect that players won’t quickly expire the need or desire to get more scrolls for the following reasons.

    First, the scrolls have increased levels of rarity based on the power of the scroll. The champions of evil aren’t exactly a breeze to spawn and kill, so unlike a tamer in the elder gazer room, it will likely take quite some time before you can kill enough champions to find all the +20.0 scrolls you want. ;]

    Second, even if you manage to exhaust all your desire for more scrolls before we come up with something else you’d like to travel to Felucca dungeons/LL to find, there will always be players more then willing to pay you handsomely to get the scrolls for them. As long as there is a demand for the scrolls, there will be players struggling for control over the areas they are created in. =]

    Finally, as an additional clarification, the scrolls of power that raise your individual skill limit only make it possible to raise your skill to that level. You’ll still need to work your character up to that new limit. ;]

    2. Yes, the total skill cap stays at 700 points, even if you get the scrolls of power that raise your individual skill limits beyond 100. So, at best you could be a 5x 120, 1x 100 character.

    3. Yes, the scrolls of power that raise your stat cap do in fact raise your total stat cap, not just your individual stat cap. All individual stats will now be able to climb to 125 (with or without any scroll effects). So, any player could build a character with 125/75/25 stats after this publish. However, a scroll of power of +25 stat points would allow your total combined stats to get up to 250, giving you the possibility for combos like 100/50/100 (for example).

    4. Yes, we have considered the balance implications of players being able to gain skill beyond 100, and stats beyond 225 (total) and 100 (individual). We’ll be attacking this problem from a number of angles.

    First, we’ll do our best to ensure that the bonuses for going beyond the normal values don’t give players too much power (for example, we can tweak the bonuses for skill values beyond 100 without changing anything from 0-100 if needed).

    Second, there are still changes going into publish 16 that haven’t yet been announced that will help with the balance issues. For example, warning: spoiler! you’ll soon see new types of leather that tailors can convert into better leather armor… something that might help mages against the awesome damage of unlootable vanquishing axes in the hands of players with 120 tactics. ;]

    5. My apologies for failing to include cursed items as steal-able in the Felucca dungeon/LL areas in the In Concept document (I’ll correct it as soon as I get a chance). Since these are items that can be lost upon death in those areas, they are also eligible to be stolen in those areas. Fortunately, players will of course have the opportunity to whack the scoundrel that took the scroll.

    6. Regarding guild, faction, and order/chaos wars in the Felucca dungeon/LL areas… Your opponents in these wars will still be freely attackable without taking murder counts. However, any non-red characters will retain all their items on death in these areas. So, if you want their stuff, whack them when they’re somewhere else. ;]

    7. Yes, skills above 100 will be more effective than skills at only 100. For example, a mage’s damage spells do more damage when cast by a mage with higher skill, and a player with over 100 meditation will be able to wear some slightly heavier armor without meditation penalties, and even experience a faster overall mana regeneration rate once they hit 120. This is actually already the case in UO right now (if you used a god client to inflate your skills beyond 100 you’d be able to see these effects), and will simply require some tweaking on our part to ensure the eligible skills are as well-balanced above 100.0 as possible.

    8. Regarding stat loss… Yes, if you die in the overland (non dungeon/LL areas) of Felucca, and have at least 5 short-term counts, you will still take stat loss. If you continue to kill players in the non dungeon/LL areas of Felucca, they will continue to give you short and long murder counts exactly as they can right now. One up-side is that if you take stat loss, it’ll reset those short-term counts to zero, so you won’t take stat loss again for those same murders should you die in the overland areas again (assuming you haven’t racked up more then 4 short-term counts again by then). The other up-side is that if you stick to killing players in the dungeon/LL areas, you won’t need to worry about getting any more short-term counts.

    9. We need suggestions for paperdoll titles that appear when you hit 110.0 and 120.0 natural skill. We’re having a hard time coming up with titles that beat out “Grandmaster” without sounding really rediculous. ;]

    10. Another quick add-on clarification… looting rights in the overland (non dungeon/LL areas) of Felucca remain unchanged, exactly the same as they are right now.
    Evocare –
    The FAQ is incorrect on that point. Ghosts will not exist within the dungeon/LL areas of Felucca, and therefore cannot be resurrected there. We’ll do our best to make sure there isn’t any sneaky stuff like dying and quickly hitting the instares option from the Sacrifice virtue to get around it. ;]

    The FAQ should state…

    “Nope! Even if you have short term murder counts and would typically take statloss in the main Felucca area, you can die in the dungeon or lost lands server and be resurrected in the overland (non dungeon/LL areas) of Felucca with no stat loss.”
    Evocare –
    I’d like to explain some of our reasoning behind the no-recall/no-gate rules for the dungeon/LL areas of Felucca.

    The primary reason we favor restricting the ability to recall/gate out of the areas is to ensure that the first player to grab a scroll of power off a champion’s corpse isn’t always absolutely guaranteed to be the player that keeps it. Although we recognize that under the current set of proposed rules, the player that first loots a scroll could conceivably use it right away (assuming it isn’t for a skill they already have an equal or higher skill limit in), it does remain a possibility that the player might have to make a mad dash to exit the dungeon/LL area in order to get to safety. It seems to us that the excitement generated from that dash could be pretty entertaining. ;]

    There are a few main reasons we favor preventing players from recalling/gating into the dungeon/LL area of Felucca. First, it should manage to slow the rate at which players (red or blue) can respond to a lost battle by switching characters and rejoining the fight. Second, it prevents players (red or blue) from instantly zapping around from champion spawn to champion spawn looking for juicy targets.
    Gromm –
    I’ve seen a lot of threads lately asking about the status of the next scenario so I thought I’d give a good ole red name update for everyone to see. :)

    Without giving away any spoilers I can tell you that scenario 4 is going to be big. We’ve got a lot of content packed into this one including two pretty sizeable and complex systems (humility and the plant system). We’re also currently working on really expanding the finale to be a long satisfying ending since this last scenario didn’t have one.

    Testing has already started on the majority of the elements and the others are moving along nicely in code. We have a ways to go before we’re going to be satisfied with the scenario as a whole but you can expect some big fun things that will be noticed far and wide. :)
    The Plants scenerio update is here. GM Carbon gives an intro in PR Comments.
    28 Feburary 02 FYI – nocturne
    FYI :: Condemned Houses to Decay –
    It’s that time – the Britannian Housing Association has decreed that as of Thursday, February 28th, all condemned houses will once again be subject to decay! So it’s moving time for all owners of condemned houses – please make sure that you’ve moved all items of value into your main house (the most recent one that you acquired). We are not responsible for any loss of items due to decay in a condemned house!

    The length of time for a condemned house to decay is approximately 10 days. The earlier you take action, the better. You can redeed your condemned house, or transfer ownership of it to a player that does not currently own a house. It’s important to note that GMs cannot remove the condemned status of a house, so please do not page them about the matter.
    FYI :: Purple Sigil Items –
    We announced back in August that we would be taking a stronger stand on illegal purple-hued sigil items. As of that time, and continuing today, any players found selling these items, either in-game or out-of-game, will receive an automatic 72-hour suspension from Ultima Online, a final warning on their account, and the items will be deleted. Any accounts that have already been placed under final warning will be terminated.

    Players were urged at that time to dispose of any remaining items that were illegally dyed through this exploit. As of now, any of these items found will be deleted, whether it’s in a player’s pack, bank, or house, and a mark will be placed on the account of the player who had the item in their possession (or the owner of the house if the item was in a house).

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

    Thank you for your understanding,
    Ultima Online Support

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