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April 4, 2001

Sage Comments on Upcoming Interest Group Changes

The following was posted by Sage to the Ultima e-mail list at Yahoogroups.com, addressing concerns made by some of the participants of that same group about the upcoming changes in the Interest group (which creates & implements fiction in Ultima Online):

From: Sage
Subject: RE: Team Comment

  1. 1. Rather than using the limited tools currently available to them, the Event Designers will now be able to change the game more dramatically by using our scripting language.

  2. We will be providing more "background" story to the way items and monsters are introduced into Britannia. New content will be more of a focus than small events, hopefully culminating in large scale events.

  3. Events won't be just about small quests anymore. We will be concentrating much of our time on working up to a story that more players can follow and benefit from. Even if people aren't interested in the story, they should still benefit from the event if possible.

I would caution about expecting too much dynamism to the overall world. While that is the holy grail everyone will be searching for, it makes things very difficult in the support side of things. Why is the Red Sword Of Merrigan on Great Lakes, but not on Lake Superior? How come Asuka has snow falling, but not Hokuto? Also, keeping track of how things interact when one thing happens, but not another is very difficult to do on a publish by publish basis. For instance, in Plot 1 Stage 1, the Key of Turning is necessary to enter the Bloodbath Crypts. However, Plot 1 Stage 3 requires the Skull of Mondain found in the Bloodbath crypts. It is very possible, but you could have one shard lagging behind by months, or forever. So, while the example is extremely simple, imagine trying to keep track of 22 or more possibly divergent sets of fiction. If item introduction or monster introduction is tied to these events, do you force at least some way for these items and monsters to be introduced. If so, isn't that a pretty forced mechanism, and deny what you are hoping to see, your actions affecting the outcome of the plot? If not, don't some players complain about being left out of the new item and perhaps monster updates. Still, I believe it is worth pursuing, but I would rather prove we can walk before setting out for a run just yet.

Posted by Nobody at April 4, 2001 12:46 AM

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