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April 02

05 April 02 Comments from the Team – nocturne
[Bulk Order Deeds] A Comments from the Team that is actually, get this, interestingHanse talks Bulk Orders. This one is applicable only if you use UO3D – Alai, 1337 Client Programmer, gives an update on 3D Avatars.
Hanse –
LBOD’s are going to drop in percentage by almost half their current offer rate. This means that they’ll be almost 50% rarer. This allows a better chance of filling large bulk order deeds, due to more small bulk order deeds being available.
Hanse –
The algorithm would have caused an issue if skills exceeded 100 fishing, so it was fixed. The primary reason it was fixed was for exceeding 100 skill (which is not planned for Publish 16 as it was removed). The skill was considered working as designed prior to this adjustment. The percentages were within an acceptable range without this adjustment.

So, if I may backpedal a little… A mathmatical algorithm may function perfectly fine in some situations and others it may not. At 120 skill, fishing did not function properly. Although you cannot get to that skill level, the logic was altered to allow it in the future. It also had the side-effect by very slightly increasing fishing up special items (which you may never notice).

I’d rather not do math examples, but here’s an example of a bad (but simple) algorithm:

A range of integers (X) from 0 to (skill / 10) defines part your random chance; skill can be 0 to 100. X can be in a range of 11 numbers, if you are at 100 skill. If you exceed 100 skill to 120, X would be 13 numbers. So, if you were to use that algorithm as a random chance, your chances would become worse as you went every 10 whole points beyond 100 skill.

It’s not hard for a simple logical error to creep into code (and ones that are not detectable through testing). Especially when you’re trying to write for as many situations of unknowns you can… :)
Sannio –
We actually haven’t yet initiated the “Unused Charatcer Cleanup” character purge process described in the “Next Update” section of our Update Center, but we may be called upon to initiate it at any time. You’re right in that the oldest shards may be the first in which the purge is used, but it’s also important to keep in mind these three points from the design notes:
  • Characters will be deleted after not having been used for 6 months unless the character has over 350 total skill points.
  • Characters at or below 350 total skill points will need to be “refreshed.” Refreshing is defined as logging a character in and then logging out. Logging in a character will reset the six month timer.
  • Characters with over 350 combined skill points will not be deleted, and do not need to be refreshed.
With these points in mind, it won’t just be any inactive character that may be purged, but instead the ones that have been left unused for a long period of time and that have never received any serious skill training, and those characters that have been trained to have a combined total of over 350 skill points or more will be excempt from the purge checking system.
07 April 02 Voice of Britannia – nocturne
It’s final: the new name for the Ultima Online email newsletter is Voice of Britannia! The name was selected, along with 4 others, as a semi-finalist from those suggested by the players posting on the official MyUO Discussion Boards, and the winning name was chosen by those players who voted in the MyUO poll this past week.

Thanks very much to everyone who got involved by suggesting names on the boards and voting in the poll. If you aren’t receiving the new newsletter, and would like to, click here to sign up!
08 April 02 Client Patch 3.0.7e – nocturne
FYI :: Upcoming patch notes: Client Patch 3.0.7e –
We are currently planning to release a client patch on Wednesday, April 10th, at around 2:00pm Central Time—however, please keep in mind that this date/time may change.

Special note for UO: Third Dawn 3D game client users: This patch is especially notable in that it will be fairly large for users of Third Dawn’s 3D client, at around 4MB. Such users in particular will need to keep in mind that if they log out or get disconnected after this large patch goes live, they may end up needing to spend a considerable amount of time (depending on their Internet connection speed) patching upon their next attempt to log into UO before they can re-enter the game.

We recommend that, when this patch goes live, all players find a safe place to log out, download the patch, and then log back in to continue playing.

(All other game clients, including the UO: Lord Blackthorn’s Revenge’s 3D game client, will have a patch of only 660k or smaller.)

This patch will contain the following changes:
  • Both 2D and 3D clients
    • Both the 2D and 3D game clients will display their current version as “3.0.7e.”
  • 3D client only
    • The Third Dawn 3D client will receive several new monster models. (Please note that the models being patched are not the new wearable designs discussed by Alai in the recent “Comments from the Team.”)
3.07e is a patch to support the next event.
11 April 02 Scenerio 4 – nocturne
[Scenarios] Enemies And Allies. Compassion will be activated with this scenerio.

FYI :: Sacrifice Titles Not Displaying –
We are aware of an issue where characters with the highest level of Sacrifice are not having their Sacrifice titles displayed when players move their cursors over the Sacrifice symbols. Please be assured that your Sacrifice points are still accruing as normal and as this is a display-only issue; it is simply your Sacrifice title that is not showing. We will be addressing this issue as soon as possible, and apologize for any inconvenience it may cause. Please do not call Game Masters for information regarding your status in Sacrifice due to this bug.
14 April 02 Quick Links – nocturne
For all Fishers; the General Serpent Statistics. This thread talks about stackable Explosions and how some people can no longer get it to work even though nothing has been changed. Russell O’Henly introduces himself in Comments from QA.

Hanse –
Selling “better” items to NPCs do not get you better bulk order deeds.
15 April 02 FYI – nocturne
FYI :: Scenario publish, week 1 — Chesapeake –
The first week of the next scenario will be published starting with the Chesapeake shard and will be live following its next morning maintenance period on Wednesday, April 17.

We will monitor the Chesapeake shard closely, and after we’ve confirmed that everything’s going smoothly all other players will be able to experience the first week of the new scenario the following day, Thursday, April 18.

Please note that, in this instance only, we’ll be deviating from our normal process of allowing players to begin experiencing the live scenario on the Tuesday following Thursday’s introductory BNN story. This will only be the case with week 1 of the current scenario, and we’ll be returning to our normal “BNN story on Thursday, scenario update on Tuesday” procedure as of next week.
FYI :: How to Avoid Suspension in UO –
In Ultima Online, a common question players often ask is what is “legal” and what is not. People hear the words “grief tactics,” “exploits,” and “harassment,” and don’t always understand what the differences are. To help clarify some of the things that can lead to trouble, we’ve compiled some guidelines to help players avoid getting into trouble in Ultima Online. These will also be added into our Game Wizard and into the Playguide here at UO.com.
  1. Read and understand the Rules of Conduct. They are a guideline for in-game behavior.
  2. Ultima Online is a public forum. Derogatory language or content of a sexual, religious, or racial nature is NEVER acceptable in-game.
  3. Do not attempt to improve a character in any way (this includes increasing skills, stats, or acquiring items) by using an object or creature to block or prevent any normal damage that could be incurred.
  4. Always be honest about services and exchanges that are provided in-game. These include, but are not limited to, gating a player to a wrongful destination, fulfilling a trade or exchange, and any services that one can provide through a craft or skill.
  5. Do not exploit any bug in the UO game or the UO Service to gain an unfair advantage, and do not reveal any bug (either directly or through public posting) to any other user of the Ultima Online Service.
  6. Do not page the help queue excessively. If a GM tells a player to do something or to avoid doing something, that player should comply. Excessive pages into the help queue take valuable support resources that could be better spent focusing on the calls that warrant immediate attention. Any complaints, concerns or comments about the service provided by a GM should not be directed to the help queue, but should be emailed, along with all the relevant information, to gmreviews@uo.com.
  7. Do not use any third party programs in conjunction with UO that you cannot find listed at http://support.uo.com/uopro.html. - even if you do not feel the program gives an unfair advantage. If a program is not on the UO website, it is not allowed. Not only can this cause a player to be suspended, but use of these programs may also cause damage to your computer.
  8. Be honorable in game. While it is acceptable to role-play someone evil, it is prohibited to cause distress, unwanted attention or discomfort to another player. This includes grief tactics, which is defined as a style of play designed to purposely ruin the game play of another using game mechanics. Note that a different code of conduct is used in Trammel than that used in Felucca, which means that certain play styles are acceptable on Felucca that are not on Trammel. Examples include but are not limited to:
    • Do not attempt to kill another player in Trammel without mutual consent.
    • Do not lead monsters to public areas in Trammel.
    • Do not release pets in densely populated areas in Trammel.
    • Do not mislead young players into joining guilds.
    • Do not mislead someone in an attempt to be able to issue them a murder count.
    Some play styles are not acceptable on either facet. These include but are not limited to:
    • Do not prevent a player from looting their corpse.
    • Do not gate or trap players into a location where they die instantly or where players can block an exit and can kill and loot them.
    • Do not gate other players into your house to kill them, either directly or indirectly.
  9. Do not use a boat or any other object to block mining or any other resource-gathering locations. If a boat is parked on a coast and is blocking mining resources, the boat will be deleted and the owner’s account noted.
  10. Do not attempt to play Ultima Online while away from your computer. This includes attempts to gain skills and wearing off murder counts.
16 April 02 Questions and Answers – nocturne
Bulk Order Q&A
Question 1: It would be really great if I could choose to accept the reward offered for a bulk order deed that I’ve turned in, with the option of converting the reward to a higher amount of gold instead of the gold and reward. Could this kind of choice-of-rewards option be offered in a future patch or publish?
The gold and items which characters receive upon completion of the various Bulk Order Deeds were carefully considered before implementation of the bulk order system.

The frequency of how often these reward items appear is also a key point in the bulk order game balance considerations.

While we may consider the type & frequency of certain rewards and adjust them over time to a small extent, we currently feel that allowing players to choose which rewards they receive, such as having the option to dismiss certain item-based rewards, would unbalance the bulk order reward system.

Question 2: I was noticing that the BODs offered in the bulk order deed system seemed to be random. It would seem more efficient to tie the deeds being received to previous deeds that have been turned in, or the items being sold somehow-for example, maybe a smith could be restricted from getting a shadow iron large bulk order deed until he or she has turned in an iron or dull copper deed, or a smith that sells kindling and single ingots will only get low-level weapons or armor deeds. How possible would it be for the selection of BODs to reflect the BODs you’ve already accomplished?
Pursuit of the various rewards of the bulk order system is intended to be difficult, and randomness certainly plays its part in this.

We have seen that the randomness encourages players to pursue BOD rewards more often, as well as fosters the BOD-related trading profession.

If the bulk order system were to try to anticipate rewards choices, this would diminish the variety of the BODs that are offered to BOD tradespersons, and thus would work counter to the related trading profession.

Question 3: Sometimes it seems as if the rewards for deeds aren’t consistent, such as when I get a pair of +5 mining gloves for the same deed that someone else has gotten a runic hammer for. Is there anything that can be done to improve this inconsistency? Can I do anything to ensure I get the “top reward” for the deeds I turn in?
There are several “levels” of rewards within the bulk order system, and the ones you are referring to are part of the low-end reward set.

The greatest diversity of reward types exists in the low-end reward set. As you progress onto higher reward-sets you’ll notice fewer types of reward items, but those fewer items are “better” with each progressively higher set.

There is no way for players to directly influence which rewards of a given reward-set are offered for completed BODs, although obviously they can “influence the rewards” by becoming more involved with the bulk order system so as to become offered higher-end BODs and corresponding rewards.

Question 4: I have a lot of large bulk order deeds that I have all but one piece to—but everyone that I talk to seems to need that piece too! What makes it worse is that it seems that I will get a second large bulk order deed for the same kind, color, and amount of armor before I get any more pieces to the first! Would it be possible to synchronize the number of small deeds for a particular style, color, and number of armor with the large deeds that have already been given to a player?
Unfortunately, the amount of data that would have to be tracked in order for all the types of BODs which each character on every shard to be coordinated would work against the efficiency of the whole bulk order system, in that it would be very intensive and data storage consuming.

However, that doesn’t mean you don’t have a small amount of options. Trading BODs between players is as important as the trading with the NPC blacksmiths which got you the BOD in the first place. One of the official Ultima Online message boards at boards.uo.com is called “Trading and Selling” and is a great place for players to exchange their bulk order deeds (but please keep in mind you’ll need to be logged into the boards in order to read or post there).

You may also find some of several UO fan sites that are dedicated to the bulk order system and trading BODs between players.

Question 5: I’m having a difficult time storing all of my numerous bulk order deeds. Although it’s possible to refuse the bulk order deeds I don’t want (like weapons deeds!), saving the small armor bulk order deeds that I need to complete one or more large deeds can be a problem. Do you have any suggestions on how I can store them so that all of our bank space or lockdowns aren’t used, or is anything in the works to help with such storage problems?
Nothing is currently being developed to help store bulk order deeds. For now, you’ll need to continue consider which deeds you wish to keep and try to manage your character’s storage space accordingly. Options for storage continue to include character backpacks, bank boxes, locked down within houses, secure containers, co-owner strongboxes, or even placing them for sale within Vendors.

Question 6: When I try to sell items to vendors for bulk order deeds on Felucca, it seems to take longer to get a deed than when I’m on Trammel. On the other hand, sometimes it seems as if the deeds that I get when I’m on Felucca are better. Is there anything in the system that would explain what I’m experiencing?
There shouldn’t be any difference to the frequency of bulk order deeds, or the type of deeds that are offered, with regard to which facet you are on; the type of deed being offered is equally random on either the Felucca or Trammel facet, and neither facet will give BODs more often than the other.

Slayer Weapon Q&A
Question: I was fighting in Felucca Deceit, killing liches with a silver weapon. As I did, I was attacked by a red character that had polymorphed into an orc. He killed me with a single energy bolt—I went from 95 to death after only one spell at GM resist. This tactic seems like a cheap way to murder others in a dungeon or a cemetery. Is it the game working as intended for someone to use the double damage that orcs do to silver weapon-wielders, or is it an exploit?
Dat ib gud kwestyun! In this case, beauty is not only skin deep.

First, it’s important to understand how silver weapons work. Any silver weapon is a type of “slayer weapon” (what some players call “Virtue Weapons”), and as such grants wielders a bonus when fighting certain creatures and a penalty when fighting the “natural enemy” of those creatures. In the case of silver weapons, the wielder is able to combat the undead with higher success, but has greater difficulty when fighting orcs and their “orc kin” associates.

When a player chooses to polymorph into an orc, there actually are certain small benefits and detriments that accompany that change, beyond the superficial change of appearing exquisitely orcish. It sounds like your assailant stumbled onto one of the benefits of appearing as an orc, but it’s as possible that he’ll run into quite the opposite situation during one of his future orcish outings, if you take my meaning. ;}
18 April 02 FYI – nocturne
FYI :: Account Security –
As a reminder, no EA employee will ever ask for your UO password. If you are contacted in game or via email, IRC, or any other Internet messaging program by someone claiming to be an EA employee, do not give out your password. Furthermore, do not attempt to access or edit your account information through any third-party programs that may take you to a false representation of the Ultima Online website. The only valid URL for the Ultima Online account management website is http://www.ultima-registration.com.

For additional information on computer security and safety, please visit http://support.uo.com/faq_1.html.
FYI :: Known and Solved Issues –
We are aware of and are working on the following issue, so we ask that players experiencing this do not call GM Support to resolve the problem.
  • Some Red/murderer characters are still showing the full amount of Hits after they die, but they cannot be resurrected by other players. These Red/murderer characters will need to go to the Chaos shrine in order to resurrect while we look into this issue.
And the following changes have now been published to all shards:
  • Two house transfer issues were recently resolved: a recently-reported bug which disallowed house transfers on the Baja shard has been fixed and a house trading exploit has been fixed on all shards worldwide.
  • A bug/exploit that indirectly allowed the faction sigils to disappear on occasion has been fixed.
22 April 02 Scenerio Four – nocturne
[Scenarios] New BNN story; The Casting. The Publish schedule for Week 2 has been posted at FYI. Go check it out if you really have to know exactly when your shard’s getting updated.
23 April 02 3D Client Q&A – nocturne
Question 1: What causes the desktop to revert to the default in 3D? I keep trying to arrange my various gumps/windows and spell icons a certain way in the 3D client and have them be that same way each time I log into UO, but for some reason the settings get lost and I have to arrange things all over again.
Several things can cause this to happen. Here’re some examples:
  • A faulty desktop file that can’t be parsed by the client or a failure to write out your desktop file when you close the client can cause this.
  • Whenever you exit Ultima Online, the game tries to write out a file that describes where all of your windows and icons are on your screen. If the client dies inexplicably, or is forcefully terminated in the process of shutting down, this process would fail and your settings won’t be saved.
  • If you close the game client by pressing the “X” at the top right of the UO window, this will prevent your desktop file from being saved.
  • If you log out while your character is using an alternate identity (such as from using Polymorph, Incognito, or a disguise kit), will cause the client to save your desktop data to an alternate/incorrect directory (one named after the temporary alias).
You can create a macro to instantly save your desktop file, instead of waiting for the auto-save to occur. You can do this in either the 3D or 2D client by opening your Options menu, going to the Macro section, and assigning a key to “SaveDesktop.”

You should also consider backing up your Ultima Online desktop files after you have them set up how you like them. You can find the file, called “desktop.uos” in the following path:

<UO Folder>\<Account Name>\<Shard Name>\<Character Name>

Or as an example:

C:\Program Files\Ultima Online 3D\Tschubert\Sonoma\Alai\Desktop.uos

Make a copy of that desktop file so you can replace a missing or broken desktop file if necessary. Backing up the other files in there might not be a bad idea either, particularly if you customize your skill groups or have a lot of macros.

Question 2: It’s already possible to minimize the menu that appears at the top of the UO window, but it can be distracting and it takes up space. It would be great to have an option to turn the menu at the top of the screen on and off, since all of the same options except the gestures are available on the paper doll or via hot keys. Is this option already available and I’m just missing the command somehow that would turn it off completely, or could this option be considered for the near future?
A lot of players have asked for this, and the option is coming soon. The next major client patch (not to be confused with event or maintenance patches) will have an option to disable the menu bar for both the 2D and 3D clients.

And as a side note: you CAN set up macros for gestures. To create a “wave” macro, for example, create a command macro and set the command to be:

`wave

Note that the “single quote” shown is actually the accent mark on your tilde (~) key.

Question 3: I see that there is no “Remove Trap” listing on the skill menu in the 3D client-the list skips right from “Musicianship” to “Resist Spells.” Are there plans to remove this skill from the game?
That would be because “Remove Trap” is listed as “Disarm” in the 3D client’s skill and macro lists. We have string tables that contain most of the text in the game, and 3D uses one that unfortunately differs from 2D’s. We’ll try to address this in the near future—in the meantime, look higher in your skill list, under “D” to find “disarm.”

Question 4: When are we going to be able to see the new avatars? Will there be as much variety in the male avatars as in the female? Are there plans to change some of the animal, monster, or clothing art as well?
The wearables are still being worked on, but unfortunately, due to scheduling constraints, they may ship even later then Alai’s latest “Comments from the Team” post implied. We are still working hard on these changes, but we’re planning for this to be a large improvement over the current art and we want to release it only when we’re happy with it.

The changes, by the way, include both the male and female avatars, and every wearable (all clothing, armor, hats, shoes, hair, skin all get new models and textures). However, they don’t include carryables (such as weapons, shields, and anything you can hold). We don’t currently have plans to modify other creatures in the game to the same degree as we did the player models, but some touch-ups here and there are likely.

We will continue to release sneak peeks of the avatars and the new wearables on an ongoing basis so you have something to look at, however.
24 April 02 Dragon Scale Armor – Christian
[Dragon Scale Armor] Everything you need to know.
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