|Ye Bigge Patch – 06th Dec 2k|
|Latest Game Update :: Faction System Murderer Reprieve –|
The faction murder reprieve will be a one-time reduction in the various types of murder counts that a murderer may have accumulated. This reprieve will be given only when a murderer who has not previously received a faction-related reprieve first joins a faction. The reprieve will carry the consequence of regaining all of your prior murder counts should the character become labeled as a murderer once again (i.e.: they get 5 or more short-term counts). This reprieve will only be offered for one month after it is published, after which the reprieve code will be disabled.
To get the reprieve, the murder must join the faction (as described in the faction system document) through the faction stone. Note this means murderers will not be able to join the Council of Mages or True Britannians factions unless they are part of a guild whose guild leader is able to get to the faction stone and join the faction.
Murderers who have more than five short-term or long-term murder counts who receive a reprieve will be set to four short-term and long-term murder counts and automatically become “blue”. Murderers whose “ping-pong” counter is 4 or greater will have that counter set to four. The system will retain the previous short-term, long-term, and ping-pong for these characters and should a reprieved murderer become a murderer again, all of these counts will be set to their original numbers.
|Latest Game Update :: The Faction System – Introduction –|
Latest Game Update :: The Faction System – Scoring, Points, Combat –
Combat | Silver
Latest Game Update :: The Faction System – Controlled Towns –
|Ye Bigge Patch II – 15th Dec 2k|
|Latest Game Update :: Changes to T2A/Britannia transportation –|
Travel (Moongates & Moonstones) –
The current travel restrictions that exist between T2A (Second Age lands) and Britannia (Old Lands) will be lifted in the following manner:
|Latest Game Update :: Item ‘Smashing’ and Monster Movement –|
Monsters may no longer be ‘trapped’ by barricading them behind various objects in the game world. They will now attempt to maneuver around the objects and in some cases may smash the objects barring their movement.
Items that are locked down, secure, or strongboxes may not be smashed. Containers, if smashed, will spill their contents onto the ground.
|Latest Game Update :: Elemental Corpses –|
All elementals will now leave a corpse upon their death. The loot items contained on the creatures will now be within this corpse, and subject to normal looting rights.
|Latest Game Update :: Default Desktops –|
The desktop arrangement for new players will now be automatically set when they first enter Ultima Online. The game will automatically open and place,
This change should not affect existing players as they will already have desktop configurations set.
To enable or disable the default new player desktop, a switch is being added to the Interface section of the Options menu.
|Latest Game Update :: Holiday Tree Enabling –|
Players will be able to use their currently existing holiday tree deeds on both the Trammel and Felucca facets. Because of the way foliage is displayed in Felucca, there will be an option to display a holiday tree without foliage or a second option for a tree with foliage. Players with the foliage display turned on for Felucca with see both tree types with foliage. Trees placed on the Felucca shard must be re-deeded by double-clicking the trunk portion of the tree, regardless of their foliage option. Classic style trees will not show foliage in Felucca, if the player has Felucca foliage disabled as their option. Modern style trees will display foliage in Felucca regardless of display settings.
|Latest Game Update :: Lockdown changes –|
Players may now lockdown items on/near stairs that are “passable”. This means they can lock down any item that can be walked over on or near stairs.
|Latest Game Update :: House Add-On changes –|
Placement of house add-ons will be changed, to provide a cancel/confirm window before the add-on is placed. Players will be able to use a targeting cursor to place the house add-on, and after the placement attempt is made a confirmation window will appear asking if this spot is the desired location. Cancelling the placement will cause the house add-on deed to remain with the player.
|Latest Game Update :: Holiday Gifts –|
Christmas 2k –
Characters that are older then 30 days (real days, not UO days) will be given a holiday ticket in their backpacks. This holiday ticket will only work for the player who received it originally. Double-clicking this ticket will allow players to choose from the following items. The item will then be placed in the character’s backpack once the selection is made. Note that the system will be made inactive before January 8, so any characters created from this point forward will not be able to get a holiday ticket this season. All items are blessed (no loot/no steal), which means they cannot be looted or stolen.
Holiday Bells –
Choosing a holiday bell will give the character a random bell. Each bell plays a random sound when double-clicked, says which Development Team member it is from when single-clicked, and is hued a random color. The sounds, development member name, and colors are random for each bell selection.
Snow Globe –
The snow globe is a round orb on a small stand, that glows and has “sparkles” inside of it. The snow globes will be named “a snowy scene of [town name]”. The names of all non-player created towns will be possible within the name, and will be randomly selected. The snow globes will function as a small light source.
Cheers to those of you who bought them from us over the last month! :)
|Reward Me, Baby, One More Time – 01st Dec 2k|
|The Veteran Rewards Program, originally proposed in Sep, delayed and expanded in Oct, has been modified again today (though it is still in General Testing). The good news is by the time it gets patched, everyone will qualify for third year rewards.|
|General Testing :: Ultima Online Rewards Program –|
|Housing on EU & DF – 02nd Dec 2k|
|Shard Issues –|
Due to the weather, all houses and boats will automatically be refreshed every time Europa and Drachenfels returns from maintenance. OSI will post an announcement before returning this change to its normal status.
|EA’s Origin – 03rd Dec 2k|
|Gamespy’s Developer Origins article has a segment on EA (OSI’s parent), reproduced below –|
GameSpy: Who started your company and in what year?
Bing Gordon – President :: Trip Hawkins was the founder, visionary, and original chairman and CEO. In November 1982, the company was incorporated as Electronic Arts. Eleven employees then, including me. The only other original EA employee still involved is Tim Mott, who now sits on EA’s board of directors.
GameSpy: How did you decide on your company name?
Bing Gordon: Trip had named the company “Amazin’ Software.” The rest of us hated that.
Our advertising group, who later became Goodby, Silverstein and Partners, Ad Agency magazine’s choice for agency of the year in the late 80’s, proposed naming the company “Softart,” with a goal of creating games that lived up to the emotions and aesthetic quality of other art forms. But the name was taken.
In an all-company discussion, the name choices came down to Electronic Artists and Electronic Arts, the latter name proposed by Tim Mott. Steve Hayes, a founding engineer, said “We’re not the artists, they are.” (For its first 5 years, EA only published outside work.) And that argument swayed the rest of us.
GameSpy: How did you decide on the logo and are you still using the original? If it is not the original logo, what prompted you to change it?
Bing Gordon: Original Logo, which some people saw as “ECA” blocks, was designed by SF designer Barry Deutsch, to represent the 3 basic shapes of graphics: square, circle, and triangle, and in their 3D forms, cube, sphere, and tetrahedron. He rasterized the shapes to look modern.
We have changed the original logo in the past year to a cleaner looking EA, as the parent brand for ea sports, ea.com and ea games.
The “cleaner” EA Gordon mentions in the last line refers to the consolidation of EA’s child companies (including OSI, Maxis and Bullfrog) into ea sports, ea.com and ea games.
That, in turn, led to the new confusing name for UO2, “Ultima Worlds Online :: Origin”.
|T2A Animals – 04th Dec 2k|
|Just in case you click on “Okay” (conditioned behaviour at it’s best) at the UO-auto-patch-updater-thingy, the latest warning is reproduced below –|
As a reminder, you may not bring animals from T2A to the old lands (Britannia) if bringing them requires the use of a bug or exploit. At this time, it may not be possible to mount these creatures while in Britannia. Using a bug to bring your T2A animal to Britannia could result in action being taken against your account.
The Development Team is working on systems to allow players to bring animals (such as ostards) from the T2A lands to the old lands. Once these systems are designed, we will post them on the site. Until then, please do not call a Game Master regarding issues with these animals.
|T2A Animals & Factions – 05th Dec 2k|
|FYI :: Atlantic and Pacific Factions –|
We will be activating the Faction System publish, as listed in Testing for Next Update, on the Atlantic and Pacific shards on Tuesday, December 5th. The publish will be active on the Atlantic and Pacific shards following their regularly scheduled maintenance period that morning.
We will monitor the Atlantic and Pacific shards for any issues that may arise, and will continue to publish to all remaining shards as soon as possible.
|FYI :: Factions System, All Shards –|
We will be activating the Faction System publish, as listed in Testing for Next Update, on all remaining UO shards on Wednesday, December 6th (local server time). The publish will be active on shards following their regularly scheduled maintenance period on Wednesday morning.
The remaining shards activated with this patch will be Baja, Napa Valley, Great Lakes, Lake Superior, Catskills, Chesapeake, AOL Legends, Formosa, Oceania, and all European, Japanese, and Korean shards.
The changes will be added to Latest Game Update once the publish is active on all shards.
|General Testing :: Changes to T2A/Britannia transportation –|
Travel (Moongates & Moonstones) [15122k]
In case you have not been to T2A recently, since Stablemaster Pet Limits, ostards, horses and llamas have been running wild (yes, wild. Tameable too). I have not seen so many wild ridables since T2A first opened.
|Ye Bigge Patche I – 06th Dec 2k|
|Patch December 2k I|
|General Testing :: Default Desktops –|
|In case you are really serious about testing bugs “for the good of the community” –|
What’s New :: Testing Ultima Online –
We’re continuing to work hard to ensure that Ultima Online is as stable and bug-free as possible, but we can always use your help. By participating in tests of new systems and changes, and sending in detailed bug reports, you can make a great difference in Ultima Online. The Test Center shard has been specifically adapted to allow players to easily test game systems. On Test Center, you may adjust your own stats or skills, and your bankbox comes filled with a variety of reagents, items, moonstones, and runes.
The best way to contribute to the test environment is by watching the In Testing section of our website to keep up-to-date on the latest changes currently in testing. Once you’re familiar with the latest game tests, log in to Test Center and start trying to break them! Try anything, try everything. Test Center is a world we want you to do your best to abuse.
Second, you’ll need to submit bug reports to the QA Team in an efficient and timely manner. Bug reports should contain the following information:
Completed bug reports can be sent via email to TCBugs@uo.com. We look forward to working with you!
|Testing for Next Update :: Holiday Tree Enabling –|
|Testing for Next Update :: Lockdown changes –|
Lockdown changes [15122k]
|Incoming! – 07th Dec 2k|
|As you can see from the Classes link on the side menu, we are introducing a new section to A Nocturne for Chaos.|
Over the next few days, we will be adding in pages for Bards, Mages, Warriors, Treasure Hunters, Thieves, Craftsmen and Merchants.
If you feel like contributing an essay on certain character types, feel free to contact us.
|Testing for Next Update :: Elemental Corpses –|
|Testing for Next Update :: House Add-On changes –|
House Add-On changes [15122k]
|Christmas 2k Gifts – 08th Dec 2k|
|General Testing :: Holiday Gifts –|
Christmas 2k [15122k]
|FYI :: Resurrection Killing –|
As a reminder, the action known as “resurrection killing” is not a support issue. Please do not call or e-mail our support staff regarding resurrection killing. Instead, use alternative locations or methods for resurrection in a less dangerous area. If in a Faction or guild war, take note of the surroundings before attempting a resurrection. It is also a good idea to travel unseen to other players while looking for a place to resurrect.
|Christmas 2k Gifts – 12th Dec 2k|
|FYI :: Publish Update –|
We will be publishing the changes, including holiday gifts and trees, listed in Testing for Next Update to the Sonoma Shard. This publish will be active on the shard following its Tuesday, December 12th maintenance period, barring any unforeseen downtimes. We will continue to monitor the Sonoma shard for any issues that may arise, and will continue to publish to all remaining shards as soon as possible.
The changes will be added to Latest Game Updates once the publish is active on all shards.
|The Snow in Texas – 13th Dec 2k|
|FYI :: Severe Weather Customer Support –|
Severe weather conditions currently moving across Texas may affect the level of service provided in Ultima Online over the next 24-48 hours. We will continue to have staff on duty to provide shard support coverage, however we do ask that you limit your calls to any issues that are restricting your immediate gameplay. During this limited coverage period, you may wish to search for answers to non-critical game questions on the UO.com Message Boards, or address them via email to firstname.lastname@example.org. We will return to our regular shard support coverage schedule as soon as weather permits.
|MyUO Boards :: Today’s Outage and LS –|
Posted by Jack_Benny (Manager, Online Operations – EA.Com South) –
I’d like to start off with congratulating all the teams here at OSI for being able to respond to the worst possible situation ever.
To give you guys the “lowdown” – Here’s what happened: Heavy rain last night here in Austin. Most of it froze on contact with any surface that wasnt alive. Trees hit power lines, ice collected on just about everything and Austin had it’s worst power outage in a great long while.
Compiling the problem was a failed generator that is regulaly tested. Everything has to break sooner or later. I guess Mr. Murphy came in and administered his law in person on this one.
The generator was fixed early this morning, but that was only a small part of the battle. As you can imagine, Origin is mostly computers and networks.. so having everything up on generator power is not exactly easy unless you have a generator the size of Rhode Island. Needless to say lights take low priority in situations like this. My team spend the entire day working soley by the light of monitor screens and a few flashlights. When the utility company announced that the power wasnt going to be coming back up any time soon this morning we went out and purchased lanterns so we could work.
Slowly we brought up the internal servers. The old Lake Superior took the outage hard – we had to have Sun do some emergency work for us on it under our maintainance contract – something that’s happening right now.
In the middle of this all the batteries operating the fiber mux the DS3 we have here rides on decided that it had worked hard enough on this day and quit. A quick run to Home Depot to purchase a generator solved that problem and we were back up on the Internet. The local telephone company here had previously promised that they would be out to replace the batteries in the event of an outage – something they failed to do today.
Login servers, new accounts and internal servers all had to be brought up individually and backups restored on all of them.
In spite of the fact that everything went down hard and 95% of the building didnt have any type of power we managed to bring it all back up and get it to working. Had Lake Superior not suffered damage that corrupted a file in the Operating System we’d have been back at 100% hours ago.
It was a System Administrators nightmare come true. Things accomplished today:
1) Power restored to critical systems
2) All hardware brought back up and restored with the exception of Lake Superior
3) Restored monitoring to the Electronics NOC in spite of the fact that the internal network was down.
4) Restored login/creation of new accounts in spite of the fact that the network between the two was down.
5) We did take advantage of the down time to make some server moves to optimal locations in order to get them up on UPS’s with longer battery life.
The total damage:
1 Generator bought
3 Coleman Electic Lanterns purchased
1 Shard moved to better power
70000 flights of stairs climbed
7 Mexican Dinners consumed
1 Network redesigned to work around critical routers that were down.
No one here is to blame for the outage – a series of events that were totally unstoppable happened. I apologize for the outage, but please know that it was a monumental task getting the service working at 95% without any type of municipal power.
Municipal power was just restored, we’re still working on LS and I’ll update you guys as soon as I can.
Keep the faith
Drew / JB
So that’s why UO was down the past days. It’s not OSI’s fault! Really!
|More on UO3D – 14th Dec 2k|
|Gamespot UK has a UO3D Article, along with some screenshots.|
|Ye Bigge Patche II – 15th Dec 2k|
|Patch December 2k II|
|Vet Rewards on Test Center – 16th Dec 2k|
|FYI :: Faction System and Blue Players –|
As a reminder, participation in the faction system is limited to those players who have joined factions. The development team is currently working on fine tuning changes to the faction system, and will be addressing the participation of ‘blue’ players who are not faction members. In the meantime, we urge that if you are a ‘blue’ player and wish to partake in the faction system, you take the time to join a faction and avoid disrupting other players from outside the system.
As this issue will eventually addressed by the development team, do not place harassment calls over non-faction players participating in the faction system.
|FYI :: Veteran Rewards Testing –|
We will be restoring a recent game backup of the Great Lakes shard to a test shard in the next several days, and we urge Great Lakes players to drop by and join in Veterans Reward phased testing. The current phase in testing will allow reward choices to only those accounts with 36 months or more of active status. You do not need to have a current character on Great Lakes in order to help test. Any 36+ month account can create character(s) on the Great Lakes Test shard to test the rewards system. The rewards system may have to be deactivated for some hours at a time during these tests. If you do not see the system on when you arrive, try again in awhile!
We look forward to seeing you on the test shard!
|Nobles Fight Back – 21th Dec 2k|
|Testing for Next Update :: Nobles Hire Henchmen –|
Nobles Hire Henchmen 
Looks like someone finally told OSI that we’ve been wiping out the aristocracy.
|What’s New :: Ultima Online Third Dawn Alpha Test –|
We are pleased to announce the start of alpha testing for Ultima Online: Third Dawn! Players participating in the alpha testing phase will begin receiving their CDs and testing instructions in the next several days and are free to log in and start testing as soon as they’ve received their CDs. Additionally, a new shard named “Alpha 3rd Dawn” will be appearing in the shard listing. This shard is open to all players, but only those with the Third Dawn alpha client will be able to access the new lands through the moongates of Britannia on this shard. The Third Dawn client may be used with any Ultima Online shard, but the new land of Ilshenar is only available on the Alpha 3rd Dawn shard.
As a reminder, this is an alpha testing phase, and as such, we ask that participants keep in mind the known issues list. This list will appear as an in-game message, as a file titled “readme3d.txt” in your Third Dawn directory, and on the Third Dawn bug reporting message board. In addition to known issues, there may also be significant changes made to the game during this phase, and some of the changes may require substantial file downloads - including an approximate 25 megabyte patch download to Third Dawn following installation of the alpha CD. While we will do our best to avoid patches of this size in the future, alpha testers should be aware of the possibility of significant patching. Finally, alpha testers should pay close attention to the Third Dawn bug reporting message board and the “readme3d.txt” file for detailed instructions from the Quality Assurance team explaining the current testing focus and instructions for bug submissions.
During the Third Dawn testing stages, the game is not supported by EA technical or customer support. Game issues that are considered bugs should only be directed to the Third Dawn bug reporting message board. This message board will open to the public on Friday, December 22nd, and can be accessed from the UO Message Boards at http://boards.uo.com.
We appreciate the effort of all of our testers during this early stage of alpha testing and we look forward to sharing the new look of Ultima Online with all of our fans.
|FYI :: Client Patch 2.0.4a –|
We are currently releasing client patch 2.0.4a which will resolve issues affecting health status updates.
|FYI :: Introducing UO Customer eSupport –|
As part of our ongoing efforts to enhance the customer support provided for Ultima Online, we are pleased to introduce the new UO Customer eSupport System. This searchable knowledge base will allow you to contact us via email, browse frequently asked support questions, find answers to common questions about Ultima Online, and rate the helpfulness of the information you receive.
The UO Customer eSupport System has been integrated into our website via our Contacts page so that we may immediately start providing our customers with enhanced eSupport. The UO Customer eSupport System is currently only available for English language support. We hope you’ll take the time to explore and experience this new addition!
|FYI :: Catskills Faction System Reset –|
On Tuesday evening (December 19th), issues with the faction system on the Catskills shard resulted in the activation of two instances of the faction system at the same time. As a result of this, only data on the new members of the faction system was being saved to the database.
To resolve this, we have determined it necessary to reset the faction system on the Catskills shard. Players who are currently joined to a faction will retain their membership and any earned faction silver. However, all kill points and deficits will be deleted and all towns and sigils will be reset back to their original state (as they were at the time of the faction system publish).
We regret that in order to fix this system drastic measures need be taken, but feel it is the only way to resolve the issue fairly to all customers who play on the Catskills shard. At this time, scoring for the faction system has been disabled on the shard, and we will provide an update before resetting the system as a whole.
|Some People Hate Us, Some People Don’t – 29th Dec 2k|
|Received hatemail in our UO Guestbook, while our Alice site wins a contest.|