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December 99

Top of Page December 9th Publish – 10th Dec
General The following is not included in today’s Publish, although it was in the list of items to be changed posted in FYI on Dec 7th
– Issues with locked down items decaying will be addressed.
The following was added into the list;
× Placing items in secure containers will no longer cause the item to be locked down.
× Attempting to cure a poisoned creature before it has taken damage will now work properly.
Homes :: Info, Options & Commands × When a container is unsecured, it will have a weight limit.
× Locked down stackable items (such as ingots and fish steaks) can only be used or “cut” by the owner, friends, and co-owners of a house. This applies to both private and public houses.
× Locking down a container will now check to make sure you have enough lock downs available. If you do not, the container and the items in it will not be locked down.
× Lockdown will ignore items inside of spellbooks, rune books, keyrings, and checkerboards. These items will only count as one lock down.
× A problem with stealing and locked down items will be addressed.
× Houses reporting incorrect number of lockdowns will be addressed.
× A fix for a problem with reported age of houses.
× Co-owners will be able to “detect hidden” in houses.
× When a co-owner is removed, the strong box associated with them will be deleted. All items will fall to the floor.
× Issues related to co-owners when a house is deleted or the co-owner is removed while the player is offline will be addressed.
× You will no longer need to remove co-owners in the order they were added.
Skills :: Skills Menu × The [exceptional] tag will be removed and replaced with a new system of marking exceptional items. As an example, an exceptional katana made by a non-Grandmaster smith or made by a Grandmaster smith who chooses not to put his makers mark, will now say, “a katana of exceptional quality”. An exceptional katana made by a Grandmaster smith who chooses to place his maker’s mark on it will say, “a katana crafted with exceptional quality by…” This will be true for all exceptional items.
× A fix for a problem where exceptionally crafted tailored armor has the same AR as normal tailored armor.
× Sextant coordinates associated with Rune Books will be corrected.
× Rune books will no longer consume scrolls out of spellbooks.
× The “someone is already using this” message with potion kegs will be addressed.
× Issues with Potions Keg weight will be fixed.
× You will no longer be able to make a Potion Keg “secure”.
× Using a Potion Keg will now check line-of-sight.
× Potion kegs will stack.
Rares × Christmas Tress will be activated.
× A bug with the trade window will be fixed.
Characters × Fixes to guildstones to prevent loss of data.
× An adjustment to Veterinary skill gain made to allow players to reach Grandmaster in the skill.
× UO-chat has been fixed. You can now name the rooms using any letters.

Top of Page The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly – 10th Dec
General Calandryll, Online Community Coordinator, tells us –

Name Change Deeds will not be in the next publish, nor will they be implemented in the near future. Right now we are concentrating on the features listed in the 6 month plan and any features necessary to facilitate the plan. We fully intend to implement name change deeds, however right now, they are not a priority when compared to the items in the 6 month plan.

While SunSword mentions, in Dev Team Comments

From the very beginning, Ultima Online players have asked the question, “Where is the evil in Ultima Online? Who is our nemesis?” As developers, we regularly receive messages asking for us to introduce evil on a par with the powerful antagonists from the classic Ultima.

Be careful what you wish for…

I warn you now, a great Evil has been plotting for some time to return to the world of Britannia. Be on guard. Prepare your guilds and mend your weapons, for this Evil is both a charismatic leader and a master of magic. So insidious is its intent that I must warn you to keep an eye on your fellow citizens, lest they be tempted to side with this new element of corruption.

Keep in mind, this Evil plots to destroy Lord British and control all of Britannia. Your lands and your way of life are at risk. I encourage you to seek out this evil and crush it before it has a chance to gain a foothold within your world, for if it is left to grow and fester, it will one day become unstoppable.

The world of Ultima Online may never be the same again.

You have been warned…

Me, Lowly Cynical Merchant, points to –
× Wolfpack Studios’ Shadowbane Press Release 12-09-99

Top of Page The Doctor is Dead! Long Live the King! – 11th Dec
Bugs × In Memory of Dr. Twister, we will be using the coffin icon to your left to signify Bug News.
Love him or hate him, the guy caused some waves in his time, the Darwin incident, for one.

Top of Page Thou Hath Been Warned – 14th Dec
Homes :: Info, Options & Commands FYI

The final phase of the Clean Up Britannia program is fast approaching. The Clean-up Britannia program was designed to reduce the backup times for the shards, reduce time-warps, and provide an improved gaming experience overall.

The first phase of Clean Up Britannia was the Ticket System. For two weeks, from October 15th to October 29th (CST) players were rewarded with tickets for placing items into special ticket barrels. These tickets could then be redeemed for unique and rare items such as special hair dyes, statuettes of monsters, and furniture dye tubs. Many of these items are proudly displayed in houses throughout the lands of Britannia. Due to enthusiastic player participation, the ticket system was a huge success. Shard restart times were in some cases reduced by over 30%, allowing us to move toward our goal of halving maintenance downtime across the shards.

The next phase involved changing the way secure and lock down containers worked. Some house types were given additional secure containers and lock down totals to allow players to keep their most valuable and useful items. To further allow players to store items, the weight restrictions from bankboxes and secure containers were removed, allowing players to store a full 125 items in them. As a final enhancement, co-owners were added to the housing system. Each house can now have up to eight co-owners. These co-owners can place strongboxes that allow them to store up to 25 items per strongbox, for a total of 200 additional items per house. These changes went into effect on November 23rd (CST). For more information about the specifics of secure containers and lock down numbers, click here.

The final phase of Clean Up Britannia is activating decay in houses for items that are not in a secure container or locked down. This decay will act in the same manner as decay outside of a house. Therefore, it is VERY important that you begin organizing your items into secure containers or locking them down. The phase III change could come as early as this weekend, so reorganize your house NOW! Once phase III of Clean Up Britannia is published to the shards, anything not in a secure container or locked down will decay. To read more about house item decay, click here.

Keep an eye on this section of the uo.com site, we will be announcing the target date for Phase III at a future date.


Top of Page On Shards – 15th Dec
General What’s New
Balhae Announced [141299]

Origin is pleased to announce the opening of Balhae, our newest shard, on December 15th (KST). Located in Korea, Balhae is the 7th Asian Ultima Online shard and our 19th shard worldwide.

The name “Balhae” was voted for by Korean Ultima Online players and dates from the country’s rich history as the title of a 7th century dynasty. The Balhae dynasty was the last to unite the Korean peninsula at a time when the country was at its geographical peak.

In following our localized shard policy, Balhae will be available only to Korean and other South Asia-Pacific players for a short period of time. This will allow local players time to establish a solid foundation and community base on the shard. In approximately February we will open Balhae to the worldwide community of Ultima Online players, allowing the shard to develop the cross-culture diversity found on other UO shards.

Origin will be improving upon our goal of worldwide localized support by staffing Balhae with bilingual Korean and English speaking staff. We are currently seeking enthusiastic counselor applicants for both Korean shards. For more information on joining the UO Counselor program, please visit http://town.uo.com/counselor.html.


× A nice surprise indeed to see a new shard up. I got a nice array of true rares before the shard went down after an hour, and then someone beat me to them when the shard came up again. Then I got Tarot Cards and a crystal ball that animates, only to get killed. True rares disappearing with your corpse! *ouch*
Test Center Enhanced [131299]

We are pleased to announce the re-opening of the testing shard under the name ‘Cool Test Center’. We have added a wealth of new features designed to make playing on Test Center a more useful experience for those who wish to help us test new changes and additions to Ultima Online. These features include;

  • 10,000 gold for each new character. Simply log in with a new character and you start with 10,000 gold! The gold will be waiting in your bank account.
  • Reagents and a full spellbook. Each new character starts with 50 of each reagent and a full spellbook. The spellbook and reagents will be waiting in your bank.
  • Set your own stats. To allow you greater ease in testing, we’ve developed a system to allow you to set your own starting character stats and skills. To set your stats or skills, simply say “set ”. For example, to set your strength to 80, you need only say, “Set str 80.” When setting skills, be sure to leave out the decimal point. Thus, to set your tactics skill to 90.5, say “set tactics 905”.
  • A complete list of the exact skill names and additional details on setting skills and stats can be accessed by saying, “Help” within the game.

We strongly recommend that you download and install the latest version of the test client before visiting the new test center to avoid receiving error messages in-game. The latest version of the test client is available at ftp://ftp.owo.com/pub/uo/client/coolfix. For more details on downloading and installing the new test client, please visit FYI.

We hope you enjoy these changes to Test Center, and look forward to seeing you there.

Izumo Shard Opened [011299]

The UO Team is pleased to announce the global opening of Izumo Shard. Located in Japan, Izumo is our 18th production shard and expands upon our goal to provide global support and product, reinforcing our worldwide presence.

The name “Izumo” was chosen from player submissions to the Official Japanese UO website and is shared with an existing Japanese city with a rich legendary history and a culture from which many medieval samurais came. The Japanese characters for this name mean ‘cloud is out’ or ‘coming out of cloud.’


Top of Page Clean Out Thy Boats – 17th Dec
Homes :: Info, Options & Commands FYI
× Phase III will not be Published before 2K. *phew*
× Items on the deck of boats will decay too, though items in the hold will not.

Top of Page Christmas ’99 Gifts – 18th Dec
Rares Testing for Next Update
× Each character will receive a ticket for a holiday gift upon logging in. This ticket can be matched with any other player’s ticket. Once matched, both players can select from a choice of holiday gifts. The tickets are “blessed” and may only be used by the original character.

× Christmas ’99 section, including pictures.
× The presents are already being given out on the Volunteer Shard.
× We are doing research and will have a section up on the presents soon.

Top of Page Monsters Decay! Guildstones Decay! – 22th Dec
General In Development
× Monsters in invalid or unreachable locations will “die” after a certain amount of time. A monster will be eligible for “death” if it has not been targeted or has not received or delivered damage within a given period of time.
× Gray Flagging Fix – To avoid exploits involving “gray” to “blue” flagging, entering or being the target of combat will extend the “gray flag” of a “gray” character for two additional minutes.
Characters In Concept
× The Guildstone interface will be enhanced to give Guildmasters easier access to functions.
× Guildmasters will be able to declare an alliance with other guilds (rather than having to declare war on their allies).
× Declare War List – Guilds will be searchable.
× Guildstones that are not used by the guildmaster will decay after a certain amount of time. Guild members will receive a reminder if the stone has not been refreshed in a while.
× Declarations of war that are not answered after a certain amount of days will automatically be cancelled and removed.
× Old characters no longer on the stone will be removed from the roster.
× The fealty calculation for guildstones will be made more efficient to alleviate the delay in shard start-up times.

O$I is very interested in hearing your feedback on these features. If you’d like to send them comments (including the amount of time before decay, reminders and declarations of war), click here.

Top of Page Oceania – Man, I need a holiday, I hear Oz is very pretty around January 10th – 22th Dec
General Lum the Mad

Someone posted the following to the UO onelist, which originally appeared on an Austrailan-UO message base:

I rang EA in Queensland just then and they are rolling the red carpet on what will be a mammoth occasion, as they announce the opening of the Oceania server on January 10th. This news will be officially announced on New Year’s Day at 5PM AEST by Origin. They said that with the official announcements only coming direct from Origin themselves rather than EA. They also said with the official announcements people will be able to buy UO Game Time cards at a discount through the month of January. They said the price is unknown. The dummy boxes of the [special Australian version of UO, the] Discovery Edition are already in some Harvy Norman stores and they do look presentable… similar to the Ultima Ascension box. They said the server is most likely to be based in Melbourne and will give Australia a wide berth [assuming they mean Australians only can log in – Lum], with New Zealand to follow 5 days later, Singapore 10 days after NZ and the rest of the world at the end of February. Origin will be emailing everyone that subscribed details on New Years Day.


× In another absolutely brill change of policy, O$I just screwed me and the other five players in Singapore. The night I get True Rares on my “home shard” will probably be sometime before UO3 comes out.

Top of Page The Ghost of Christmas Present – OOooo OooOOoo – 22th Dec
Rares × The watch is labeled as “a holiday timepiece”, different from “a wristwatch” given out previously. Also, since they are “blessed” and not “newbiefied”, Reds can keep them on death.
× Seems to be a bug with the holiday tree, I redeeded it and placed it again, only to find that now I can no longer redeed it again.
× Wondering what to bless with your clothing bless deed for the eternal fashion statement ?
Bugs In Development
Pre-casting [24012k]

Top of Page And O$I Said Bug… – 23th Dec
Bugs Latest Game Update
× You will no longer be able to place locked down items into your backpack.
× The exploit that allowed people to gain magic resistance using blade spirits without taking damage from the blade spirits has been fixed.
Latest Game Update
× Monsters will no longer destroy objects that block their path. This is a temporary change and will be changed back.
× An hour and a half later, in FYI
× As part of the latest publish, monsters will no longer destroy items blocking their paths. This is a temporary change necessary to facilitate testing of other issues. Please note that deliberately blocking monsters with objects is considered an exploit and can result in account suspension. Once our testing is complete we will re-enable this feature.
× I really like the way they call it a “feature”, how does one accidentally – as opposed to deliberately – block a monster ?
In Development
× A fix for the exploit involving banning summoned pets or creatures so they will attack passersby.
× An issue with trading and using ingots through trade windows will be resolved.
× You will not be able to snoop pack animals inside a house, while the animal was outside. (I’m not sure what this means either, is the animal inside or outside ?)
× You will no longer be able to use the stealing skill to determine if someone is in the Thieves’ Guild.
× Issues with smithing difficulty being higher than normal will be resolved.

Top of Page Monsters & NPCs Mutate – 23th Dec
General In Development
× Pack horses will have their carrying capacity increased from 400 to 1,600 stones.
× If a pack horse goes wild, it will eventually drop whatever it is carrying if it is not retamed.
In Development
Changes will be made to various NPCs and Monsters –
× NPCs will now train the appropriate skills when asked. Some NPCs will now train different skills than they did previously. An NPC will list all skills they can train when asked, “train”.
× Provisioners, beekeepers, and innkeepers will sell beeswax.
× You will no longer get the item “a scroll”.
× Monster treasure will be revamped. Most monsters will not carry backpacks, and some monsters will carry different treasure than they previously did.
× Some NPCs will now carry items more appropriate to their jobs (beware of merchants with trapped boxes!).
Latest Game Update
× NPCs will no longer scavenge items.
Homes :: Info, Options & Commands In Development
Land Surveying Tool [24012k]

Top of Page I Was Born on Christmas Day – 25th Dec
General Guild Reporting Changes
Changes to Stablemasters
What’s New
Formosa Announced [231299]

Origin is pleased to announce the opening of Formosa, our newest shard, on December 24th. Located in Taiwan, Formosa is the 8th Asian Ultima Online shard and our 20th shard worldwide.

The name “Formosa” is an old name for the island country of Taiwan and dates back to the 1500’s when Portuguese explorers discovered the island. This discovery opened the doors for trade with the Western world; an economic tradition which has continued over the past 500 years. Formosa means "the beautiful" in Portuguese.

As per our localized shard policy, Formosa will be available only to Taiwanese and other South Asia-Pacific players for a short period of time. This will allow local players time to establish a solid foundation and community base on the shard. In approximately February we will open Formosa to the worldwide community of Ultima Online players, allowing the shard to develop the cross-culture diversity found on other UO shards.


× If they keep on churning out shards like this, mayhaps I may get my True Rares before UO3.
× This time round I did not die carrying my Tarot Cards.
× Bits and pieces concerning the Oz shard, we will report when the Official Word is out.

Top of Page Pacific Warps a Week – 29th Dec
Bugs Shard Issues
Due to a house exploit we have had to revert the Pacific Shard to late in the evening Christmas Eve. The seriousness of this exploit has also required us to disable several of the house commands on all shards. The features we disabled that will be most obvious are the ability to demolish a house and re-deed it, and the ability to transfer ownership of a house. Once we are sure we have resolved this issue with houses we will turn these features back on. If you have any information about this exploit we encourage you to send a message to protect-uo@owo.com com . We are very sorry we have had to revert the server and the inconvenience this has caused.

× House Sign functions are back up.
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