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June 30, 2001

Melantus Leaves OSI

Melantus, outgoing Online Community Coordinator for Ultima Online, is leaving OSI. He posted an impromptu "farewell" yesterday, as a response to a player's good wishes. The original post is here, but is reproduced below:

Re: Melantus: Good luck, Goodbye, and Thanks. NT [re: Cujo]

Thanks, everyone. :) You will hear from me again someday.

Melantus has left the building.

Online Community Coordinator
Ultima Online

Posted by Keith at 2:29 AM

Publish 12 delayed

I just read this at Stratics, via the UO website, so I copied and pasted.....

Publish 12 Delayed
This was posted on FYI, Update Ctr on the official UO Site :

After the release of Publish 12 to the Chesapeake shard yesterday (June 28th), issues related to the event scenario data required that the shard be reverted to a time before the publish was released. We regret this necessity, and are working to see that this problem is solved before Publish 12 is released again.

We are currently targeting to release the publish to the Chesapeake shard early next week, and we will update the players on the schedule when we are confident that the issue has been addressed.

Although this publish does contain the eagerly awaited veteran rewards system, please remember that to ensure the system is released smoothly, we will wait until all public shards have received Publish 12 before the veteran rewards system will be activated. Once all shards are running Publish 12, and we are confident that the veteran rewards system is functioning properly, we will begin to activate veteran rewards systematically on pre-determined shards. Please note that this means that players will not be able to choose rewards immediately once the publish is received. We are working to see that this delay will be as short as possible, and we appreciate your patience.

[The preceeding was originally posted to the FYI page on the Ultima Online Web site. -Ed.]

Posted by Keith at 1:24 AM

June 28, 2001

OSI: Orc Scenario Continues with �Conflicts of Conscience�

Calandryll posted the following notes about the latest BNN article on the YahooGroups Ultima e-mail list:

Conflicts of Conscience

New story is up. This one brought to you by Vex. Apologies for the delay, I've been busy helping out with the Chessie publish.

This one has a LOT of foreshadowing for the next scenario, as well as the clue for next week.
The article he's talking about is here. It's the latest chapter of the ongoing multi-Shard Orc Quest scenario. The entire chapter is reproduced below:
Guilhem marveled privately at the craftsmanship of the city, though his contempt for its creators prevented his showing it. Instead, he affected a sneer of disdain as he strode its streets, being careful to make no eye contact with anyone, and ignoring the stares that followed in his wake.

He would have liked to try out one of the keenly honed swords, or even one of the more exotic weapons displayed in the merchants' booths. But he had more pressing matters on his mind, and his role required him to use the more primitive weapons of the savages. The savages were loath to rip holes in the sides of mountains and poison the ground by smelting ore. Instead, they fashioned axes and spears out of rock and wood and bits of strong vine. They hunted for food and used everything they killed. When they broke down an encampment to move on, mere hours would remove every remaining trace that a tribe had once resided there.

Not much else caught his eye as he wound his way through the bazaar en route to his destination. He had made this journey many times, and the novelty of the city had long since worn off. Finally, he strode up the long stairs, sneering at the guards. In the courtyard, he washed his hands and feet in the center fountain, seemingly oblivious to the stares and small gasps generated by his horrible breach of protocol. Guilhem considered urinating on the cobblestones, but decided that would be too far across the line. As his status in this strange army was low and his position tenuous, Guilhem was hardly in a position to push their limits.

"You!" A strangely dressed human, one of Guilhem's new Master's lackeys, said, as if even addressing Guilhem was distasteful. "Clean that mess off." He tossed a dirty oil rag at Guilhem, who caught it without breaking his stare at the other man.

"These are my badges of honor and status," he replied. "I wear them as is my duty."

"That," retorted the lackey, "is food. Why those people insist on wearing their dinner I will never understand. But the Master says if you don't clean up before your audience, I am to have the palace guards wash you. Forcefully. Use the fountain, since you've already defiled it."

Guilhem glowered but didn't say another word as he turned to comply. It took only a few moments with the cloth to rub off the painted lines and swirls and glyphs. He felt naked without them, more naked than he expected he would. Perhaps it was his time spent with the so-called savages or his growing dislike for the minions of his new Master, but he found himself looking forward more and more to donning the paint.

That done, Guilhem followed the other man into the palace proper. He was left in a room, sumptuously decorated with wall hangings and thick carpeting and a small fortune in marble statues and brass lamps. He crossed his arms, shifted his weight to his heels, and stood in the center of the room, awaiting his audience. After a short delay that Guilhem was certain was caused simply by social custom, he was bade into the Master's chamber.

Guilhem could never get accustomed to the constant whirring and clicking and lights in this room. He hated it; it felt unworldly to him. A huge oak dining table was laid out with what must have passed for a feast for the Master's allies, but Guilhem felt no desire to eat. Guilhem truly hated his new role and often pondered if the payment was worth it.

His thoughts were quickly driven to other matters as the Master spoke to him, its grating voice assaulting Guilhem's ears. "Nice of you to respond so quickly to my summons."

Guilhem nodded his head but said nothing, fearing his voice might betray the disgust washing over him in waves.

"Eat while we talk," the Master said in its eternally gravelly voice as the whirring and clicking quickened in pace. Guilhem interpreted the statement as an order, and approached the table. Nothing looked particularly palatable, so he selected a whole cooked fish and proceeded to tear the skin from it. Guilhem discarded half of the fish skin onto an empty platter, and proceeded to peel away layers of the succulent fish flesh with his fingers and pop them into his mouth.

"Well, let us get on with it, then," the lackey said, scowling. "What have you to report?"

"Everything is well, m'lord," Guilhem replied, speaking to the Master and not to the lackey. "The Tribes are driving the greenskins from their camps. The land is bountiful and will make a good home for them."

The other human spoke before Guilhem could continue. "Have you any news from your advance scouts?"

"We have seen cities. They are too deep in greenskin territory for us to risk scouts yet. We have seen them from a distance. The architecture is obviously beyond the greenskin's capabilities. Whoever lives in them look to be as civilized and advanced as you, m'lord." Guilhem's expression remained carefully blank as he studied the other human's face for any reaction. In response, the lackey merely nodded, completely unsurprised by Guilhem's defiance.

The whirring and clicking stopped for a moment before the Master spoke again. "The tribes are to continue their attacks. Drive the greenskins from their homes. Take over their territory." As the Master ponderously issued orders, the lackey retrieved a scroll and a quill from its desk and began to mark it carefully.

Guilhem was dismissed and hurried to another, stranger portion of the palace, where the smell of magic was strong indeed. He presented his orders and was rewarded with a bag containing some jars of paint. Just as quickly, he was escorted to the palace gates, and began the journey back to the Clan. He repainted his body as soon as he left the city, and returned to the village. The last of the orcs would be driven out of the land, and maybe they would take out that other civilized race in the process. He had much work ahead.

Posted by Hazard [EiC] at 5:56 PM

Challice Tower Mall to Open: Dinner and Casino

The following announcement from Jimpha was posted to the UO Stratics Web site:

Challice Tower Mall to Open: Dinner and Casino

The New Challice Tower Mall, located East of the Skara/Brit Crossroads will be having it's Grand Opening July 1. We will have games, dinner and vendors for your enjoyment. There is a meeting area you can sit back and relax and talk with friends, or gamble in the Challice Casino.

We at the Challice are looking for Vendors to fill the Mall. The Special part about our Vendors is that it is for Craftsman only. No more searching for that GM armor, or house add-ons, or GM leather, they will all be located in one location. So if you are a Craftsman and wish to place a vendor at the Challice Mall, feel free to ICQ the Owner/Operator, Jimpha Rosua at 21113603. The charge for Vendor placement is 30k, a one time fee.

We are located at 27'14" S, 32'58" W http://members.theglobe.com/jimpha_rosua/map.jpg

Some on July 1st, or any time if you see me, Jimpha around town, ask for a rune or gate to the Mall, or to place a Vendor.

Posted by Hazard [EiC] at 5:37 PM

Orc Multi-Shard Quest Extended to 9 Weeks

Calandryll, Designer of Ultima Online's Ongoing Content, posted the following note to the YahooGroups Ultima e-mail list:

Just wanted to make sure everyone knew that this scenario is going to be 9 weeks long (instead of the planned 8). I'll explain why (basically it had to do with splitting up week 4 into two weeks to give QA more time on week 5-8) when I write up my scenario document. But next week is not the final week.

-Jonathan "Calandryll" Hanna
Designer, Ongoing Content

Posted by Hazard [EiC] at 5:34 PM

Announcing Mizuho's Global Opening

The following was posted to the FYI page on the Ultima Online Web site:

Announcing Mizuho's Global Opening

We are pleased to announce the global opening of the Mizuho shard on June 29th at 11:00 pm local time (JST). Mizuho is the 9th Southeast Asian Ultima Online shard and our 23rd shard worldwide. The name Mizuho dates from ancient times, when Japan was called "Land of Mizuho". Mizuho stands for beautiful water, and Japan has been long famous for its rich rice harvest.

As a result of our localized shard policy, Mizuho has been open only to players located in Japan for the last two months to allow local citizens to build a community base and to allow us to ensure a satisfactory level of local support.

The Game Master hours for the Mizuho Shard can be found by clicking here. For information on the shard�s maintenance schedule, click here.

Posted by Hazard [EiC] at 5:29 PM

Ultima Online Web Site

The following was posted to the FYI page on the Ultima Online Web site:

UO Concerns Policy

For players who want to submit feedback concerning Customer Support personnel (whether positive or negative), the uoconcerns@uo.com mailbox has been created for this purpose.

In the past, while all mails sent to this mailbox have been read, we have not replied to these mails due in part to the volume of mail and the fact that our privacy policies dictate that when action is taken against a player or an employee, those actions are not made public. However, through posts on our message boards and mails into UO Concerns, we understand that some of our players feel the mails sent to this box are simply ignored, or even worse, unread.

It is important for our customers to have faith in our support process, so as of today, we have added two new steps to our methods of handling uoconcerns@uo.com mail.

First, all submissions to uoconcerns@uo.com will receive an automated response informing the customer that the email has been received. The automated response will explain the purpose of the UO Concerns email address, and list the criteria used to evaluate if the email is considered a legitimate compliment or complaint.

And second, all emails will receive a response from the staff member reviewing the email. If a complaint is verified, the player should receive a direct response from the CRMD (Customer Relations Management Dept.), and the assurance that the appropriate corrective action will be taken. These instances will then be discussed with the CRMD member involved and treated as a performance issue.

If a complaint is not verified, or if the GM was found innocent of wrongdoing, the customer should be contacted with an explanation as to why there was no violation found.

If a compliment is received, the compliment will be documented in the employee's work history, and the customer should be thanked for the feedback.

Types of Responses

There are three types of responses that will be sent in regards to UO Concerns emails.

1). Incorrect mailbox

The response explains that the email was not sent to the proper address. The customer should be directed to the appropriate address to contact. There are several other avenues of communication that may be more appropriate, including:
  • support@uo.com for Ultima Online gameplay questions
  • tech@uo.com for tech support issues
  • admin@uo.com for all issues pertaining to in-game suspensions and terminations
  • uobilling@uo.com for account related questions
  • the MyUO Forums for suggestions and game ideas
2). Requires more information
The staff member responds to the concern with a request for more information regarding the issue. We will only act on emails that provide the account name that interacted with the Support Representative.

3). Resolution of the Situation
The email is considered valid, and the customer is contacted with notification of the resolution of the situation.

What constitutes a valid UO Concerns email?

We will only review emails that are submitted with the login name of the account involved in the Customer Service interaction. If a player refuses to provide their account name, the email will not be considered valid. Requiring a player to submit their account name allows us to more thoroughly research the issue.

Important information that should be included:
  • The account name (EA employees will never ask for passwords) of the account you used when interacting with a GM.
  • Date, Time, and Shard where the incident took place.
  • An explanation of the reason why you called a GM.
  • What type of service you received, and what GM took your call.
  • The type of resolution you would have preferred.
  • Any additional information that is relevant to the situation.
All valid emails will be noted in the player�s account history, with the submitted feedback as well as the reviewing staff member's findings.

It�s important to us to see that our level of commitment to our players is high, and that our customers feel their concerns are heard. We hope that these changes will work to show our commitment to the Ultima Online playerbase and community.

Posted by Hazard [EiC] at 5:27 PM

Good News & Bad News about Chesapeake & the Latest Patch

Two related notations about Cheapeake and the latest patch, which included some "dormant" Vet rewards goodies. First, the good news, originally posted to the FYI page on the Ultima Online Web site:

Chesapeake Publish Update

We have published the changes listed in Testing for Next Update to the Chesapeake shard, and the shard will be brought down for a brief maintenance at 12:00 pm CDT, allowing these changes to take effect. We will update further as to the publish schedule for the remaining shards, and the changes will be added to Latest Game Updates once the publish is active on all shards.
The, the following three notices were posted soon after to the Shard Issues page.

Bad news post number 1:
Chesapeake Shard

The Chesapeake shard will be brought internal to investigate issues regarding the publish released earlier today (June 28th). We will be working to bring it back up as soon as possible, and we apologize for any inconvenience.
Post number 2, teasing us:
Chesapeake Returns

The Chesapeake Shard has returned to service and is now available. We apologize for the inconvenience this interruption may have caused.
And post number 3, the kicker:
Chesapeake Being Reverted

Due to an issue with the publish interfering with the event-related data on the Chesapeake shard, the shard was brought down at approximately 3:00 pm CDT. The shard is being brought back up now, and will be reverted to approximately 11:30 am CDT. We regret this necessity, and we will work diligently to see that all issues are resolved as soon as possible. We will update as to the publish schedule when we are confident the system is working optimally.

Posted by Hazard [EiC] at 5:24 PM

Calandryll's Comments on Savages

citizenKane2 has compiled some recent notations from Calandryll, Ultima Online's Designer of Ongoing Content, over at UO Stratics, which I've reposted below:

Calandryll's Comments on Savages

Calandryll made several comments about the new "Savages".

When asked on UO Discussion Boards how "Savages" could kill dragons, Calandryll remarked:
Well, the fiction for it is that savages are adept at taking on large (think things like wooly mammoths - or in UO terms, dragons) and/or deamonic creatures (deamons, nightmares, etc.). They understand where the weak spots are and are able to do more damage. I don't consider this a nerf though, but it does represent some challenges for tamers. You can't simply bring in two dragons and let them run into the fort...they'll die. Now you have to keep track of your pets, heal them, and make sure they don't take on more than they can handle.
When asked how many different coloured tribal masks there are, Calandryll said:
Close to 30 total.
An interesting bit of information on the "Savage" names. Calandryll said:
The majority of savage names are named after OSI staff, mostly Dev and QA. I changed the names to make them sound more in keeping with what a savage might be called. There is one called Kahl too. :).

Posted by Hazard [EiC] at 9:03 AM

Vet rewards returneth!

Well, on Chesapeake anyway. I just read this at Stratics!

Taken from UO FYI

We have published the changes listed in Testing for Next Update to the Chesapeake shard, and the shard will be brought down for a brief maintenance at 12:00 pm CDT, allowing these changes to take effect. We will update further as to the publish schedule for the remaining shards, and the changes will be added to Latest Game Updates once the publish is active on all shards.

Posted by Hazard [EiC] at 12:43 AM

June 27, 2001

Storytelling With Meredith Tonight

Please join us tonight (Wednesday) at 6:30pm PST at the Golden Globe Theater (located behind The Golden Brew) to share tales with old friends and new!

Posted by Hazard [EiC] at 8:44 AM

OSI changes Volunteer Tribute Structure

It looks like OSI has updated the Volunteer Shrine, now including a tribute to Companions in addition to Counselors, Volunteer Testers, Seers, and Elders. The structure is located just east of the Counselors' Guild in Britain. Make sure you both single- and double-click on all the items when you're there.

Posted by Hazard [EiC] at 8:23 AM

OSI's Orcs versus Savages Multi-Shard Quest

Jonathan "Calandryll" Hanna, Ultima Online's Designer of Ongoing Content and mastermind behind the current multi-shard Orc quest scenario, posted the following teaser yesterday to the YahooGroups Ultima e-mail list:

Yew Orc Fort

For those of you that felt the spawn in the Yew fort was too high and were posting about it a few weeks ago...

Please go there after tomorrow's publish (and after the existing spawn is killed) and let me know what you think. ;)

-Jonathan "Calandryll" Hanna
Designer, Ongoing Content
I went into Baja this morning, wandering around Skara Brae on Trammel, and came across this Savage:

I was able to only stick around to take a sceeenshot, but stay tuned for more reports (combat ability, locations, quantities, etc.) on these Savages as they come in.

Posted by Hazard [EiC] at 8:14 AM

OSI: 2D and 3D Client Patch

The following was posted to the FYI page on the Ultima Online Web site:

2D and 3D Client Patch

We will be releasing a client patch on Tuesday, June 26th at approximately 5:45 pm CDT. An issue with the patch released earlier today (June 26th) required some players to alter a line in their uo.cfg file in order to run the client successfully. This patch contains a fix for that problem.

The current versions should now be 3.0.2g (2D client) and 3.0.2j Build 67 (3D client).

If you have any difficulty receiving this patch, please check the following:
  • Check the �Patch� directory within your Ultima Online directory (the default location is C:\\Program Files\Ultima Online\Patch). This directory should be empty. Any files in this directory should be deleted.
  • If you are unable to connect to the patch server at all, and are using an original (Non-T2A) version of Ultima Online, you may need to update your verinfo file. For details on updating this file, please see the information posted at http://support.uo.com/tech_6.html.
  • Run a virus scan on your computer. Undetected viruses may cause conflicts with patching Ultima Online. For information on up-to-date virus detection software, please visit http://www.mcafee.com/myapps/vso/default.asp.
If after trying the above, you are still experiencing difficulty patching the Ultima Online client, please contact Technical Support at tech@uo.com.

Posted by Keith at 12:06 AM

June 26, 2001

A lot of new info over Stratics!

Shard sent us the following observation (which I had to repost because our news script had trouble with a special symbol in his name...sorry Shard!):

A lot of new info over Stratics!

The new "In Dev" has some interesting stuff, including casting spells without equipping your spellbook! Bajeez!
The In Development page is at http://update.uo.com/indev.html.

Posted by Keith at 4:18 PM

OSI: Publish 12 Update

The following was posted to the FYI page on the Ultima Online Web site:

Publish 12 Update

While we are committed to releasing Publish 12 as soon as possible, several issues have arisen in testing that we feel need to be addressed before it can be released. This update (which includes veteran rewards) is still our priority right now, and we are targeting to release Publish 12 to one shard later this week.

That being said, we are aware that the veteran rewards system still has issues, and while we appreciate the need to work quickly, we are more concerned with seeing that our update is stable and polished. To help us accomplish both of those goals, Publish 12 is still active on the external test shard Test Rewards, and we encourage all players to send any bugs found there to tcbugs@uo.com. As always, non Test Shard-related bugs should be sent to uobugs@uo.com.

A full list of the changes included in this publish can be found in Testing for the Next Update.

Considering the complexities of the rewards system, we will wait until all public shards have received Publish 12 before the veteran rewards system will be activated. Once all shards are running Publish 12, and we are confident that the veteran rewards system is functioning properly, we will begin to activate veteran rewards systematically on pre-determined shards. Please note that this means that players will not be able to choose rewards immediately once the publish is received. We are working to see that this delay will be as short as possible, and we appreciate your patience.

Posted by Keith at 4:11 PM

New Player Teachers Program

The following anouncement from Elven Counsel was posted by Cymidei Fier to UO Stratics:

New Player Teachers Program

I am Elven Counsel. The new Lead Teacher for the New Player Teachers program now available. I am pleased to announce the guildstone is up and running for NPT=New Player Teachers. This program will assist young players and old alike to learn skills. The link to apply for teacher positions is http://www.uo-new-player.com. As lead teacher I hope to see you apply and be apart of a great new program that is in the works!

I am thrilled with the new program! It brings the fire back in me that I lost months ago. I love to help others, and there is many more out there that do the same! Come apply! I am sure you will like it because the cordinator is real nice and it will give guidance to UO players that have questions on the game.

You will need to apply on website or goto stratics.com and go in the irc room for #new-player-classes to talk to us interviewers. *smiles* Come on in and check it out anyway.

Hope to see you there,
Elven Counsel Lead Teacher of Baja Shard for New Player Teachers Guild and Program

Posted by Keith at 4:03 PM

ImaNewbie finds a New Home at Stratics

The following anouncement was posted by Xena Dragon to UO Stratics:

ImaNewbie finds a New Home at Stratics

I'm proud to announce that as of this week, Tryon's ImaNewbie has found a new home here on the Stratics network. Without further ado, because I know you addicts need your ImaNewbie now, here's the latest announcement:
That's Right Folks, "the rumors of my death were greatly exaggerated", as the old saying goes. ImaNewbie is alive and well and happily ensconsed in his new home right here on the Stratics Network. The URL is the same as always so no need to modify your bookmarks, just get yur butts over to my site and check out the latest! Enjoy :)

Added June 25th, 2001
  • Toon Episode #140: In Danger of Collapsing plus
  • Britannia Enquirer Vol 2, No. 4
ImaNewbie does Britannia

Welcome to Stratics Tryon!

Posted by Keith at 4:00 PM

New Patch

UO3D: Patch 66 List of Fixes (+ 2D Patch)

The following are a list of changes/fixes to UO3D with Patch 66

***List of Fixes and Features for Release Version 66:***
  1. An toggle has been added to the �Interface� subcategory of the options gump that lets players use the old-fashioned style container gumps instead of the new versions.
  2. Sound effects play when you open and close container gumps.
  3. Shopping gumps should now be much, much faster.
  4. A zoom slider has been added to the quick menu.
  5. NPCs should no longer continue to walk in place after they�ve stopped moving.
  6. Players can now turn off object handles under the �Interface� subcategory in the options gump.
  7. Object handles now stack in a certain order - more commonly needed items tend to be on top. For example, handles for corpses stack above all others.
  8. Object handles are now color coded re: red/blue/grey for mobiles depending on notoriety, other objects have gold handles.
  9. Speech and All-Names are now clickable for targeting, use, and attacking.
  10. The player can now disable having the paperdoll model animate.
  11. An issue whereby health bars would not update has been resolved.
  12. Objects dropped in a container should now show up at exactly the location they were dropped at.
  13. A problem where players would not be able to pick up objects has been resolved. This should also resolve problems players have had looting their corpse.
  14. Skills are alphabetically sorted for players using languages in the ASCII character set.
  15. Skill lock toggles will no longer go awry when a skill is moved from one group to another.
  16. Command macros should now save properly.
  17. The location of speech text over players� heads has been adjusted.
  18. This patch also includes several fixes to resolve numerous other bugs and crashes reported by players.
And here is the official announcement about the new client patch for both 2D and 3D versions:
2D and 3D Client Patch

We will be releasing a client patch on Tuesday, June 26th at approximately 1:30 pm CDT. This patch contains an interface update and various bug fixes.

The current versions should now be 3.0.2f (2D client) and 3.0.2i Build 66 (3D client).

If you have any difficulty receiving this patch, please check the following:
  • Check the �Patch� directory within your Ultima Online directory (the default location is C:\\Program Files\Ultima Online\Patch). This directory should be empty. Any files in this directory should be deleted.
  • If you are unable to connect to the patch server at all, and are using an original (Non-T2A) version of Ultima Online, you may need to update your verinfo file. For details on updating this file, please see the information posted at http://support.uo.com/tech_6.html.
  • Run a virus scan on your computer. Undetected viruses may cause conflicts with patching Ultima Online. For information on up-to-date virus detection software, please visit http://www.mcafee.com/myapps/vso/default.asp.
If after trying the above, you are still experiencing difficulty patching the Ultima Online client, please contact Technical Support at tech@uo.com.

Posted by Keith at 2:37 PM

June 25, 2001

�Lum the Mad� Site Reports OSI Cancels Companion Program

Arcadian Del Sol posted the following at the Lum the Mad Web site:


Senior Companions and all the robed staff of the Ultima Online Companion Program have been given the heave-ho. This comes as a huge surprise to anybody who has been in a coma the past year.

As of 1:45 today, I was told that my robe will be gone at 2:00. I was Regional Senior Companion [*SNIP*]. now I am just [a] companion. All AC's, RSC's, and SC's are losing their robes. Normal companion issues will be resolved by, get this, paging a GM. Why we didn't lose our robes when [counselors and seers] did, I do not know. Figured it might be worth note that there are no volunteer robes at all anymore.

My guess as to why the actual player/companions still have powers? OSI is still struggling with a way to remove the code without breaking blacksmithing. Newsflash to OSI: It is already broken. For all we know this will fix it. I'm sure it wont be long before we start seeing new companions from India. The good news is that this means we will have full time in-game support on the Fourth of July.

Posted by Keith at 3:20 PM

June 23, 2001

Trumpets of Britannia

The following was recently posted to UO Stratics, sent in by JuffaArchui:

Apply now to join Britannians from all shards in celebrating the diversity of our land in Trumpets of Britannia, an enormous gathering to be held on the Pacific Shard on Saturday July 7. The deadline for applications has now been extended until July 1st. If you've got an inspiring or exciting story to tell, and would like to stand the chance of winning half a million gold pieces, submit your application now!

We'll be celebrating our world on an unprecedented scale - by inviting 80 Britannians, who can be from any shard, to address the gathering. Each Britannian will bring with them one item to symbolise their life in our world.

At the conclusion of The Trumpets of Britannia, we will compile books of all the addresses made by all Britannians at the event. The books will be shelved and made available for public viewing at the Gathered Spirits Tower, and published online for all to view as a lasting memory of the way of life in our world. If the event is successful enough, we may even be able to print real-life hard copies of the transcript, and send them to all participants.

There will be a prize of half a million gold pieces (500 000 gold) for the most outstanding participant. This participant will be invited to make honourary addresses at other gatherings on Pacific and beyond.

In order to qualify for participation in The Trumpets of Britannia, you must apply in advance. You can fill out our online application form at http://www.GatheredSpirits.com/gs/trumpets/ - you'll be required to submit your character information, the name of the item you'll be bringing with, as well as a brief extract giving us an idea of the type of address you'll make. The final application deadline is Saturday July 1.

We would like to extend a special invitation to Britannians from all other shards. You don't have to be resident on Pacific to participate - the event will be even more successful if we have different perspectives from different worlds. If you have trouble creating or setting up a character on Pacific, or getting transport to the event, please do not hesitate to contact me through the webpage.

More information about the event will be released to the general public later this week.

Posted by Hazard [EiC] at 11:24 AM

June 22, 2001

Testing for Next Update

The following additions are currently In Testing for Next Update:

Blue players within the Minax stronghold will be able to become �unstuck� from that location. Some blue players may have possibly logged out inside that stronghold before certain recent changes were put in to restrict blue player entry. This has caused some blue players to become stuck within the location.

The Third Dawn zoom-in feature will receive the following changes:
  • Update range will automatically be changed in relation to the screen size and zoom factor. For example, if you zoom in really close to your character, your update range will be reduced to a small amount around your character since the other areas are no longer visible.

  • Objects that are out of range will appear as "greyed out" coloring. This will assist players with being able to better drop and pick up objects at the various zoom-in degrees.
The lightning spell effect is receiving fixes for Third Dawn players, to make it appear during each use.

A change is being added for the Third Dawn appearance of the White Wyrm body type.

Vendor Buy/Sell menus will have been adjusted to work with Localization.

A problem with NPC shopkeepers restocking their items has been fixed.

Posted by Hazard [EiC] at 9:50 PM

Fourth Year Reward Pictures

Calandryll released the following picture earlier on the UO.COM Discussion boards. It pertains to the Four Year Veteran Rewards that are currently in concept:

Posted by Hazard [EiC] at 9:19 PM

Changes to the Bola

Calandryll had the following announcement about bolas to proclaim on the UO.COM Discussion Boards:

I wanted to give everyone a heads up about this. We've changed the bola to not work against Ethereal mounts as we have gotten a few reports of them going wild because of the bola. After looking into it further, this is not actually the bola, it's the same bug that we are fixing for the next major publish. We're erring on the side of caution on this one.

The change to the bola is temporary and as soon as the bug is fixed, we'll change the bola back.

-Jonathan "Calandryll" Hanna
Designer, Ongoing Content

Posted by Thellaren at 1:50 AM

Fourth Year Veteran Rewards

The following was just placed on the 'In Concept' section of the UO.COM site:

** Note ** This idea is currently in a "concept" phase, meaning we want to get feedback on it. However please understand that this idea may change to be quite different from this proposal when or if it becomes finalized. Also note that this proposal might not get put in at all, depending on factors in the design proces as well as the feedback we get from players. As more information becomes available about this concept idea, the update pages will become updated.

As some players� accounts approach four years in age, the question of whether UO will offer a set of fourth year rewards has been raised. We do intend to dedicate some resources to developing additional Reward items once the Veteran Rewards system is successfully launched. These items are not yet in development, and we are interested in getting feedback on these items from the players.

NOTE: If you are a player with an account age near 48 months, please be aware that when you reach 48 months, you may be presented with the opportunity to choose another reward. The fourth year rewards may not be in production at that time, so if you wish to use that extra reward point on a fourth year reward, you must be sure not to use that point on a first, second, or third year reward!

As a player�s account reaches 48 months of age, that player will receive an additional Reward choice. At a point soon in the future, we are looking to add another tier to the rewards choices, and the following items will become available to 48-month veterans:
Dyeable Spellbook (a special spellbook that comes completely filled with all 64 spells)
Only players whose accounts are 4 years old or older will be able to equip it. It can be dyed using the Leather Dye Tub.

House Decoration Kits (bags containing eight decorative items suitable for use in player-owned houses)
These will be deed-style add-ons. Some will consist of multiple pieces, and they cannot be manipulated using the Interior Decorator�s Toolkit. Others will be single-tile pieces and can be flipped and floated using the Interior Decorator�s Toolkit.

There will be three themed sets to choose from:
  • Day of the Dead
  • - this set will include Halloween-themed decorations, including a skeleton in a coffin, a pool of fake blood, spiderwebs, skull candles, and scattered hay
  • Gardener�s Delight
  • - this set consists of several plants and cacti (some potted, some not) and a decorative rock
  • Tavernkeeper Set
  • - this set includes a large fishing net, suitible as a wall hanging. Additional treasures include dyeable wall-mountable shields, a saddle on a saddlehorse, a large ship�s anchor, and a bar complete with openable half-door
Magic Hat
Intended for emergencies, the user can pull out desperately needed supplies, like a recall scroll, a small number of bandages, a few arrows or bolts, an orange, yellow, or black potion, a few magic reagents, an apple, or even a cute fluffy white bunny rabbit. This stylish treasure can be used once per day.

Posted by Hazard [EiC] at 1:24 AM

June 21, 2001

BNN: Bad Omens

The next edition in the continuing saga of the orcs, BNN's 'Bad Omens' is now online:

A group of crows screeched angrily and flew into the sky as the knight shooed them away from the corpse. He surveyed the area, looking for any evidence of the creature or creatures that had attacked the caravan. As he approached the body, he spotted an ax, covered in blood, laying in the dirt.

"Orcs, m�lord," the knight called out to his young leader, holding the ax high. The fact that the word "m�lord" was spat out like a curse did not escape the young noble�s detection.

Jarvis turned to regard the speaker, trying with little success to hide his revulsion. This was the first time he had ever seen dead bodies this closely. He had only just recently been given command of a company of knights...a favor to his father from the local lord. Jarvis knew well enough that few of the knights respected him. Every day he listened to their jeers, spoken just loudly enough for the noble to overhear. He was determined to show no sign of weakness, after spending the last two weeks dealing with their snide remarks and thinly veiled insults. He would get the job done, and win their respect in the process.

Jarvis surveyed the area, pushing aside his discomfort, looking for any signs of a survivor. After a thorough search, it was apparent the massacre had been complete. Not a single human had survived the attack. The entire caravan that had been sent to help reinforce Cove was destroyed completely. The stench of the dead lay thick in the air and Jarvis silently hoped he could maintain his composure as he bent low to examine the body of a fallen man. He glanced up at the sound of footsteps approaching. It was the ranger, the one man in the party who he actually liked.

"Look at the holes in his armor, and that wound along his leg. Orcs don�t make cuts like that," the ranger said, as if he was reading the young noble�s mind.

Jarvis noticed it too. Virtually all of the cuts were small, piercing attacks and slender slashes, not the usual large gash from an ax or the dents from an orc�s club. Jarvis nodded grimly as the ranger continued.

"My guess would be brigands. These attacks are too precise to be orcs."

"We haven�t seen brigands in these parts for a long time, Dustin. Besides, they didn�t take any of the valuables, just the food and other perishables. No, not brigands, someone...or something else did this," Jarvis said as he stood up, gaining confidence now that he was in his element.

The young noble always fancied himself as tracker or a detective, not the knight that his father wished (and had forced) him to be. He much preferred the company of the free spirited scouts and trackers ("common men", as his father would say snobbishly) to the strict discipline of these knights.

A hand on his shoulder pulled Jarvis from his thoughts. He stood up and faced the ranger, expecting him to disagree. After all, this was the ranger�s area of expertise, and he was just a nobleman! He should known no one here would listen to him. Instead, the ranger gave him an approving nod and smiled slightly.

"Well done, M�lord. We�ll make a ranger out of you yet!"

Pleased and more than a little surprised, Jarvis turned and was about to call out to the knights when he heard Dustin make a sound. Jarvis turned to regard Dustin. The ranger�s eyes were wide, staring at Dustin, his lips moving but no words escaping. Jarvis looked from Dustin�s face down to his chest, where a spear point was sticking out, covered in the ranger�s blood. The ranger fell to his knees, then to the ground, taking the spear with him. Jarvis would have gone to his friend to try to help him, but he stood transfixed as a large group of strange looking humans charged into the knights� ranks.

The enemy had finally shown itself.

Posted by Thellaren at 4:46 PM

June 20, 2001

Bola Balls

According to a few folks over on the UO.COM Discussion Boards, the strange bola balls being whispered about are starting to make their appearance, specifically on the corpses of Orc Bombers. It is rumored that these items, when altered by a tinker can be used to dismount a rider from his/her mount.

Posted by Thellaren at 12:02 AM

June 19, 2001

More Information on 4 Year Rewards

Melantus posted the following on the Discussion Boards at the official UO site:

Ok, I messed up a bit so let me clarify:

Let's say you have used up your veteran reward points already. When the fourth year time rolls around, you will get another point. If we put in a fourth year reward, you can spend that new point on that fourth year reward.

This is part of what messed me up: If you already spent your points, then those are spent. You wont be able to get back those points to spend them on fourth year rewards. But as I said above, you will be able to spend this new point as you wish.

Sorry for getting some of that mixed up in my head. Yes, trading rewards back in to get the points back, or having us collect them and credit you somehow would be very hard to do.

Online Community Coordinator
Ultima Online

Posted by Thellaren at 11:48 PM

Four Year Vet Rewards in Design

The following was posted to UO Stratics this morning:

Calandryll gave us some nice information about the 4 year vet rewards:
Remember, we added about 2 months to everyone's account age. Technically, nobody could possibly actually have a four year old account until the end of September, since that is when UO shipped (Sept. '97) :)

The team is working on designs for the fourth year rewards though.

-Jonathan "Calandryll" Hanna
Designer, Ongoing Content.

Posted by Thellaren at 10:55 AM

Player Adjusted Spawn / Title System

Here is another interesting tidbit posted to Markeedragon.com by Lady Malynn:

FierY iCe gave a bit of information on player adjusted Spawn:
The new title system is currently only available in Ilshenar. The spawner changes that allow us to make spawns dynamic can be used anywhere. It's basically a new API that we can use so we can adjust spawns on the fly. The title system is just one of the first things that use it. The roving gypsy camps in Ilshenar use it as well. And the content team has some uses for it I believe. :)

-FierY iCe
Programmer: Ultima Online
and more :)
The rest of the system will be published with the next major server publish. Expect some cool surprises. And with these cool surprise I highly recommend going to the spawn areas in groups. :)

-FierY iCe

Posted by Hazard [EiC] at 12:36 AM

CBS Marketwatch

Posted to Markeedragon.com:

Interested in the Business Side of UO?

If you interested in EA as a business and what is financially happening with UO, you might enjoy this article titled "Electronic Arts hopes for triple play" By Tim Haran, CBS MarketWatch.com

The full article appears here:

Here is a piece of the article:
The demand is such that consumers are paying to play. Post estimates EA.com will have 600,000 subscribers by early-2002. Ultima, EA's four-year-old online fantasy game, already has about 210,000 subscribers paying $10 per month. EA is also testing the subscription-model waters with a sports package that charges a monthly fee for "sports club" access.
EA is counting on revenues from subscriptions and advertising to make the online business profitable by fiscal 2003. Gilbert said one million subscribers paying $10 per month would make that happen.

Posted by Hazard [EiC] at 12:30 AM

June 16, 2001

Melantus Leaves UO

Melantus, Online Community Coordinator for Ultima Online, posted the following announcement about his leaving OSI/Electronic Arts on UO's official forums, here:

I Have An Announcement To Make

I wanted to talk with the players for a bit, to let you know some information about a change here. I will be leaving my position as Community Coordinator here at Origin/EA to pursue opportunities elsewhere. I have enjoyed my time with Origin/EA, and the UO team has been like a family to me. A lot of really talented people work here, with the full intent of working hard to make UO even better for you � the player.

Before the rumors start spreading about why I am leaving, let me just clear up a few things. I like working with this UO Live team, and I like my job. I have another opportunity, and that�s it. In no way should this be taken as a �sign of impending doom�, or anything else of the sort. Stellerex�s comments about the UO team being larger than ever before are definitely true, and there�s more momentum here now than there has been since I can remember. UO will continue to grow and improve, and there are some really good ideas being considered here. Calandryll�s Event Design team is moving in full force and has only just begun to really shine. More great things are coming from them in the future. Evocare is heading up the Design group, and is a very capable Lead Designer. Prophet is showing his talent and abilities in his Lead Programming position. Cynthe has been working to see that communication with the players remains a vital part of the service, and is stepping up as Community Manager.

This is a good time for UO, because the future is bright. In this industry, people change jobs a lot. You have seen it this past year quite a bit. remember that the online MMORPG business is growing as well, and is bound to have growing pains along the way. The bottom line is: Does the team that supports your game, have a passion for what they do and are they committed to the product? Do they take player feedback, and make changes based on that feedback? I believe the UO team is does just that. TIt�s a good group, and it wasn�t an easy choice to make. Ultima Online � and this industry � will continue to grow, and the lessons I have learned here will always be with me. I will continue to be here for a couple of weeks to help transition this position.

Online Community Coordinator
Ultima Online

Posted by Keith at 2:11 AM

June 15, 2001

OSI: OCR News from Cynthe

The following was posted to the Team Comments page on the Ultima Online Web site:

OCR News from Cynthe
Most of these Comments from the Team lately have started off with an introduction of sorts. Well, I've introduced myself before, so we'll skip that part. This is an introduction to a new beginning, if you will, of the Ultima Online Community Relations Department.

As you may have seen on the UO.com Employment Listings, we're looking to bring on a new Ultima Online Community Coordinator and a new UO.com Online Content Editor/Writer. This is pretty big news, so before anyone jumps to any conclusions, I wanted to lay out a few details of what's happening here in OCR, starting with a timeline of the OCR history since I have been here (I'll keep it brief).

When I came into OCR working on Ultima Ascension in November of 1999, LadyMOI was the OCR manager, Calandryll was the UO Community Coordinator, and Leilo was the UO.com Content Editor/Writer. I learned a lot from LadyMOI about management, and about community. I also shared an office with Calandryll and Leilo, and learned about the value of close communication, and about caring for the needs of the players. Later, when LadyMOI went on to a new role in Ultima Online development, Calandryll stepped up to Community Manager, and Melantus took over his role of Community Coordinator for UO. Leilo continued on in charge of the UO.com website content.

When Calandryll was presented with the opportunity to dip his hand into development and begin creating new global events in UO, he jumped at the chance, and Leilo ascended from her position into the role of Community Manager. I was brought into the UO OCR Department at that time, filling her role as Website Content Editor/Writer, and working closely with Melantus. But as Melantus mentioned in a recent post on our boards, this industry is growing rapidly, and people tend to move quickly when new opportunties arise. So as Leilo and Melantus move on to pursue those other opportunities, I've been given the opportunity to lead the department as Community Manager.

Losing friends is always difficult, and Leilo and Melantus are both extremely close friends of mine. Being talented people, they will no doubt be an asset wherever they go. But looking forward is important, and there is a LOT to look forward to! Stellerex's last Comments from the Team talked a lot about UO's future, and the exciting things planned... so I won't go into that again. But let's look at the OCR department. I've learned from the best, and I have a lot of my own ideas for things I would like to see happen. I want the discussion boards to become a more useful place. I want the players to feel we're listening on the edge of our seats. I want the community to have a voice in the game's design, and make sure the players' desires are heard and considered. I want the UO.com Update Center to show a steady stream of development and progress. I want a lot of things.

And what do I have? What I have now is a new position from which to work, and a completely open department. I have the opportunity to choose the people that will make this happen, and the people who will bring the most excitement and the most passion into the Origin Community Services department. And I'm going to do it soon... time is of the essence with a game as rapidly evolving as Ultima Online. It's not often that someone hands you the power and says, "Here - build the team that can do this."

It's a fresh start, and we're going to make the most of it. :)

Posted by Keith at 6:24 PM

June 14, 2001

OSI: New BNN Orc Scenario Tale: �Takeout�

There's a new BNN article on OSI's ongoing multi-shard Orc scenario on the Ultima Online Web site, here. It's called "Takeout," and we've reproduced it for you below:


Grula scratched her butt. It was hot, she thought sullenly. Too hot. And she was starving. She had asked another scout to steal some food and cider hours ago from a nearby humie camp, and the stupid orc hadn't returned. It was a dangerous time for an orc to be out hunting and they were only doing it whenever they absolutely had to eat.

Turning to glance back down the path for what seemed to be the hundredth time, she heard a rustling. Finally! The orc scout she'd been waiting for burst through the bushes, panting frantically.

"Where my food? Where my drink?" she demanded gruffly, her throat parched from the dry heat.

The other orc looked momentarily confused. "No food! Humies chase then bonk then humies dead!" He pointed back the way he came. "Dere ledder agh rock tingy flyin agh bonk agh bonk, agh--" he gestured wildly and lurched to the side, throwing himself unceremoniously to the ground. "Humies get bonked, fall off four-legs!"

Grula tried to forget her thirst for a moment. "Ledder? Rocks? Who have ledder agh rocks?"

The scout stood clumsily, not bothering to wipe off the dirt that still covered him. "Nub know. Grendul thought it long way killers, but long way killers nub have rock. This different. Not kill, just bonk humie off four-legs. Kill come after but no see what kill." He suddenly stopped and looked around. "Tired. Need drink." He ducked as Grula threw her empty cup at him and growled.

Female orcs rarely fought, but Grula was an exception. Her cooking had been so bad as to have her forbidden from even touching the cookpots, and her smell was, to put it delicately, too much like flowers and spice to have a chance at finding a mate within the orc fort. Scouting worked fine for her... she had few friends, and spent most of her time alone, hidden. Watching. Although there hadn't been much to watch until recently, when every orc scout had been ordered to keep their eyes open for something. What that something was, they didn't know. They just knew that there was something out there, and that it wasn't friendly.

In the distance she heard the shouting of more humies in battle and coming her way on horseback quickly. Picking up the cup she had thrown at the other scout, she turned around and whacked him on the back of the head with it. �Hide! Humies come!� They dove into the bushes and waited for the battle to drift into view.

As they listened to the sounds of the fighting humies it was obvious that they were losing against whatever was in combat with them. Screams ripped through the air and fewer humies could be heard even though the battle was moving closer and closer.

From the bushes across the clearing a male on a four-legs burst through the foliage, panic twisting his face. Grula considered jumping out to meet him but a slight humming sound caught her attention and she hesitated. From behind the humie a blur shot out of the trees and slammed around his neck, knocking him to the ground. His horse, already galloping at full speed, continued running into the distance.

She sat in silence, waiting as the humie slowly got up, obviously dazed from his fall. Whatever did that to the humie, she didn�t want to meet. Thankfully, the other orcs hidden in the bushes had the same idea. Moments went by and nothing came from the bushes to finish off the male. Whatever had attacked was gone now. He stood and, thinking himself to be alone, pulled a jug from his pack and took a long draw of cider.

�Him have drink!� the orc beside Grula breathed as he stared at the jug as if hypnotized. �No see food.�

Finally Grula leaned over to her companion in the bushes. �He fit in pot?� she whispered.

�Chopper make him fit!� he whispered back excitedly.

And that night, the orcs feasted.

Posted by Keith at 4:12 PM

OSI: Publish Update

The following was posted to the FYI page on the Ultima Online Web site:

Publish Update

We have published an update to all shards to be active following their next scheduled maintenance period. This publish contains the following changes:
  • Addressed a lag issue related to faction lists
  • House deed prices when reselling to real estate agents raised to the correct level on Siege Perilous
  • Orc bombers will now deal damage to players wearing armor
These changes will be added to Latest Game Updates once the publish is active on all shards.

Posted by Keith at 8:26 AM

OSI: Client Patch Update

The following was recently posted to the FYI page on the Ultima Online Web site:

Client Patch Update

We will be releasing a client patch on Wednesday, June 13th at approximately 10:30 am CDT. This patch will contain new and updated scenario-related files.

The current versions should now be 3.0.2d (2D client) and 3.0.2e Build 65 (3D client).

If you have any difficulty receiving this patch, please check the following:
  • Check the �Patch� directory within your Ultima Online directory (the default location is C:\\Program Files\Ultima Online\Patch). This directory should be empty. Any files in this directory should be deleted.
  • If you are unable to connect to the patch server at all, and are using an original (Non-T2A) version of Ultima Online, you may need to update your verinfo file. For details on updating this file, please see the information posted at http://support.uo.com/tech_6.html.
  • Run a virus scan on your computer. Undetected viruses may cause conflicts with patching Ultima Online.
If after trying the above, you are still experiencing difficulty patching the Ultima Online client, please contact Technical Support at tech@uo.com.

Posted by Keith at 8:25 AM

June 13, 2001

Final Barkeep Titles

The following was recently posted to the UO.COM Discussion Board by Gromm:

Here it is, the final list of titles! Big big thanks to all of you who made suggestions, some of you will see yours in the list. We actually never planned on the list getting so big, but what the heck. Unfortunately I had to take "Coach" and "Norm" out to make room.

Now remember, if the title you were really hoping for isn't on the list you can always use the "No title" option!

And now the list...

1. alchemist
2. animal tamer
3. apothecary
4. artist
5. baker
6. bard
7. barkeep
8. beggar
9. blacksmith
10. bounty hunter
11. brigand
12. butler
13. carpenter
14. chef
15. commander
16. curator
17. drunkard
18. farmer
19. fisherman
20. gambler
21. gypsy
22. herald
23. herbalist
24. hermit
25. innkeeper
26. jailor
27. jester
28. librarian
29. mage
30. mercenary
31. merchant
32. messenger
33. miner
34. monk
35. noble
36. paladin
37. peasant
38. pirate
39. prisoner
40. prophet
41. ranger
42. sage
43. sailor
44. scholar
45. scribe
46. sentry
47. servant
48. shepherd
49. soothsayer
50. stoic
51. storyteller
52. tailor
53. thief
54. tinker
55. town crier
56. treasure hunter
57. waiter
58. warrior
59. watchman
60. No Title

Posted by Thellaren at 11:09 PM

OSI: Publish Update

The following was recently posted to the FYI page on the Ultima Online Web site:

Publish Update

We have published an update to all shards to be active following their next scheduled maintenance period. This publish addresses NPC shopkeeper inventory pricing issues and the way house deeds will be bought from and sold to vendors.
These changes include:
  • NPC real estate brokers will now buy house deeds back at 20% below the base price of the deed, or the original price paid when the deed was purchased from a vendor (whichever is lower).
  • NPC shopkeepers will no longer inflate the prices of their inventory when their stock begins to run low, and prices of items will be consistent on all shopkeepers.
These changes will be added to Latest Game Updates once the publish is active on all shards.

Posted by Keith at 9:35 AM

June 12, 2001

Meredith Hosts Story Night

Meredith will be having story night at the Golden Globe Theater (located behind the Golden Brew). � we figured since the orcs were so busy at the fairgrounds, would be a good idea. So this Wedneday June 13th at 6:30pm PST bring your tales and meet us at the Golden Globe!
A Map can be found here.

[Note: The Golden Globe is located on the Trammel facet, northish of the Shrine of Justice. -Ed.]

Posted by Keith at 8:35 PM

OSI: Stellerex on Spring

The following was posted to the Team Comments page on the Ultima Online Web site:

Stellerex on Spring

They tell me that Spring is often the season for change. Maybe this was just wishful thinking on my part, but I�d always assumed this was more of a poetic metaphor than a part of everyday life. Change means we sometimes have to say goodbye to things that we've grown accustomed to.

A few weeks ago, I got a dose of Spring. Two of our friends and colleagues here at OSI stopped into my office with those little envelopes in their hands and a look that told me even before they spoke that spring was not yet over. Yes, it's true: Runesabre and Sage have moved on from our development team.

Over the past two years, both of these very talented individuals have become more to me than just co-workers and fellow comrades in the foxhole of game development. They've become friends. We've worked together through the long Autumn of Renaissance, and the demanding Winter that was Third Dawn. And while Spring heralded the fledgling birth of a new 3D era for UO, Kirk and Paul have made a tough decision to follow some other friends into a new venture and new challenges. Those of us who remain here to carry the banner of UO into the future salute their enormous effort and dedication. We will truly miss them.

But Spring also symbolizes new life, and this is certainly true of UO. Spring has brought us Third Dawn, distributed backups, and the new global events program. It's brought us new optimizations, better stability, new hardware, more headway against exploits, and much more is just over the horizon. The current Dev team has incredible talent and resources, and contrary to what some people might assume, is larger than ever. For the first time since Ultima Online�s creation, we have a dedicated art staff creating new art for the game, and thanks to the enhancements to the client that Third Dawn brought about, we can add this new art without having to ship a new CD! Along with the artists, we have more than 20 people in product development, a proportionate amount of QA testers, many with extensive programming knowledge and experience, and our community and studio management folks - all dedicated to Ultima Online. And that doesn�t even include the customer support and network operations groups here! So, while Spring had its bumps in the road, Summer is here, and it�s time to look ahead. Publish 12 will be released by the end of June, and anyone who�s read our posts on the boards knows that that includes the long-awaited release of veteran rewards!

So what else do we have planned? Well, the global events are being extremely well received by the players, so we're going to proceed ahead with making this a perpetual effort. Thanks to our artists and our new event designers, you�ll see continuing global events, new and fresh magical and non-magical items, and bizarre and exciting monsters added to the world of Sosaria on a much more frequent and systematic basis. We�re also focusing closely on the Third Dawn client, which has improved by leaps and bounds since its release - and we�re certainly not stopping yet.

Additionally, we're doing some behind-the-scenes prototype work for an even more revolutionary enhancement for Ultima Online. These are the very early stages, but expect to see details revealed in the coming months as we get further along. We're still discussing a few different concepts, but our underlying goal is to make the game more exciting and engaging, with more possibilities than ever - and without halting the momentum we�re creating with our systematic bug fixes and our popular new content.

As I mentioned in a previous letter, we're also handling a number of infrastructure and service-related issues as well. It may not sound as exciting as adding new monsters or magic items, but these changes will help the servers with performance and latency as we continue to grow our subscriber base.

So for now, Spring is over. We've planted some new seeds, and it's going to be an energetic and vibrant summer as we help them grow into an exciting Fall harvest.

Senior Producer
Ultima Online

Posted by Ursula at 10:53 AM

June 11, 2001

Showdown at Justice

Late last night it was discovered that the Nelic Grimoire, the item of power taken from the witch Aria, had been stolen from the magic school of Fairhaven Village where it was hidden. The village was quickly roused, and a thorough examination of the scene indicated that the thief had gone east through the deep forest. I quickly formed a patrol, which included myself and most of the village's most able warriors and mages, and we set out along the trail to recover the tome. Luckily, such a powerful magic item proved rather easy to track. The trail led all the way to the Shrine of Justice, where we confronted our old enemy: the Lich Commander. The pentagram of blood and the bizarre magical reagents present made it obvious he was performing some sort of pagan ceremony. We quickly entered the shrine, and I confronted him. He did not seem surprised or worried at our presence, and he assured us that his work there had just been completed. He would not tell us where the Grimoire was, only that it was hidden away in a place only he knew of. Although his speech was often punctuated by maniacal laughter, the kind one would expect only from a man who is truly mad, he did reveal that he was in league with the evil Minax, and that her grip of terror would soon extend to our peaceful facet once he broke the seal. Unable to bear any more of his insane ramblings, we struck him down, but before he died, he assured us that we could not destroy him merely by destroying his body. He died with a crazed look of satisfaction on his face.
What we found on his corpse was most disturbing, and we immediately convened a village council to discuss the night's events. There we showed our mayor Silkon a letter, seemingly from the lady Minax, affirming an alliance between herself and the Lich. We also found 8 maps, each of the area surrounding a shrine of virtue, with the shrine itself circled in blood. We found no trace of the Nelic Grimoire. After long discussion, it was decided that with the Grimoire in his hands, Lich was nearly immortal. He would be back, we were certain, and would come after the shrines again. We concluded that the only reason he would do such a thing, was if he wanted to break the Great Seal. When our people fled Felucca, Lord British used his magic to split the world in two, much like a mirror. The Great Seal was the barrier, the force that was set in place to keep the two worlds separate. If that seal were to be broken, it would be as if the mirror were shattered, and the two worlds would be one again. The shrines function as symbols of Lord British's power, and if those shrines were corrupted or destroyed, then Lord British's sealing would be dissolved.
We don't know when the Lich will be back, nor what shrine he will strike next. The village of Fairhaven will do its part to try to protect the shrines that are left, but it may not be enough.

Lord Fizban

Posted by Ursula at 7:03 PM

June 10, 2001

UTB Mall Grand Opening Party

From the Ultima Online Events Calendar for Baja:

UTB Mall Grand Opening Party

Sponsor: Sir D and Mithlandir
Facet: Trammel
Location: At The new Tower mall (Long/LAt: 53 26N 41 7 E)
Start Date: Jun 16 2001 7:00PM CST
End Date: Jun 16 2001 9:00PM CST
Recurrance: 1 Time Only

Large event to show off and introduce all players on baja to our new vendor mall. There will be free food,drinks and whatnot availible to all who choose to come.

Posted by Keith at 1:09 PM

Porch Party Near Vesper Bank in Trammel

From the Ultima Online Events Calendar for Baja:

Porch Party

Sponsor: HollowsEve and Zorthonx
Facet: Felucca
Location: Porch Party in front of small plaster east of Vesper bank
Start Date: Jun 11 2001 10:00PM EST
End Date: Jun 12 2001 12:00AM EST
Recurrance: 1 Time Only

This Porch Party will be just east of Vesper bank across bridge and just as u start to go up to Minoc. There should be many people, chairs and drinks around. Please at least stop in and have some fun.

Posted by Keith at 1:04 PM

Final Updates to the Avalon Message Boards and Web Site

Recently, Baja’s player-city of Avalon, in the wake of SitePowerUp's closing, began exploring the option of hosting it's own message forums. Although a certain amount of success was achieved, difficulties with the site’s hosing server(s) forced the Avalon Web site and forums down for nearly a week.

Avalon’s new Open Forum is now part of the new Ultima Online message forums at UO Stratics. These “guild forums” there are collected together, so one registration conveniently applies to all of these guild forums. Avalon’ new Open Forum resides, of course, in the Baja grouping, and can specifically found here.

Wonderously, Avalon’s web site is enjoying a week-long time warp, and is comepletely reverted to its fully functional self based on Saturday, June 2nd. Avalon’s Emergency Forums will remain in place as a supplement to the forum(s) at UO Stratics.

Thank you everyone for your patience in these matters.

Posted by Keith at 12:00 PM

Log of the sixty-sixth UO Open House posted

The Ultima Online House of Commons (UOHoC) IRC chat log of the sixty-sixth UO Open House was recently posted. The full chat log is here.

The topic of the chat was "General Discussion," and a smorgasbord of Ultima Online's designers, programmers and community staff were present to answer questions. OSI staff present for the chat were, in order of appearance: Evocare, Calandryll, Melantus, Vex, Adrick, Cynthe, Prophet, Hanse.

Posted by Keith at 12:55 AM

June 9, 2001

Party in Khaldun

The following announcement from Shadow Dragoon was posted to the UO Stratics Web site:

Party in Khaldun

Hail Citizens of Britannia!

On June 10, (contact Shadow Dragon the day of the event). There is going to be a group going into Khaldun to destroy the evil inside, plus doing the puzzle chests!

There will be two parties, and they will take opposite paths, as they work they way through, they will kill ANY monsters they see. After the trip to Khaldun, there will be a party, celebrating cleansing a little bit of Khaldun at least! Dragons are allowed, but make sure they stay tame!

Before going in, to make the parties, there will be a special way to divide them, which will be announced then! I hope to see you there!!!!

Shadow Dragoon,
ICQ 111376158

Posted by Keith at 5:10 PM

OSI: Real Estate Agents currently disabled

The following was posted to the FYI page on the Ultima Online Web site:

Real Estate Agents currently disabled

The Real Estate Agents haven been disabled on all shards to resolve an ongoing issue. We will update you with more information on when they will be reactivated.

Posted by Keith at 5:06 PM

OSI: When Bears Attach

Have you read the latest UO Spotlight? It's written by Baja's own Randum, The Heroic Stoic. It has probably the funniest ending you'll ever read in a Spotlight. Great job, Randum!

Randum's tale is posted on the Ultima Online Web site site, here. The start of the story is below.

When Bears Attach

They say a picture's worth a thousand words, but often there's a story behind the picture that's just as good as the picture itself. This week's spotlight features one of the most humorous shots we've seen, and the delightfully devilish story of how it came about.

"I'm tellin' ya, it's a piece of cake! Just pop that head off, skin it back, and mount it on the board. Five minutes, tops!" Lord Randum was serving drinks behind the bar as these words erupted from the mouth of Doug Deep, resident taxidermist of the Heroic Stoic. He was well into his second keg and regaling the crowd of adventurers with tales of his prowess.

"Well, then, Doug. Show us how it's done!" spouted Doom Monsterbane from the corner.

"All right, but I'm out of taxidermy kits. I'll make a run into town and when I get back, you'll see just how easy it is to pop the heads off those dang bears!" Being too drunk to remember the words of power for the recall spell, Doug set off on foot toward Vesper, weaving through the trees until he was out of sight.

"That man chaps my hide sometimes," growled Lord Randum, " I kill the bears, and mark runes for him so he can make his trophies AT NO CHARGE, and he takes the credit for the kills. Sheesh! We all know Doug couldn't fight his way out of a paper bag!"

"Well, I have an idea," said Dragoneer, one of the local tamers. "Why don't we play a bit of a joke on ole Doug? I'll go tame a couple of bears and Chyna here is a craftswoman. She can make a hole or two in the wall back there where Doug keeps his display trophies, and maybe make up some trick plaques to put around the bears� necks. I'll get the bears lined up with the holes and keep them calm. When Doug gets back, Randum can ask him to take a look at the books or something to get him into the back room. When he sits at the desk, I'll poke the bears and make them growl. We'll see how brave Doug is then!"
This humorous tale continues at here, including a funny screenshot which I won't spoil for you!

Posted by Keith at 2:34 AM

No More Crossroads Gaming Network?

Lietgardis posted the following on the Lum the Mad site:

XRG Dies

The Crossroads Gaming Network, down since sometime yesterday, apparently isn't getting back up any time soon. Former Crossroads of Dereth site manager Allen Grey posted the following on an ad hoc board run by veterans of CoD Discussions:

From: Brent
Date: June 08, 2001 at 2:08 pm
Subject: looks like crossroads is dead folks

word is the colocation service provider has terminated service for lack of payment.

I'm waiting for CoD, the only site in the network to enjoy any popularity since the murder of CoB by boards.uo.com, to follow Crossroads of Shadowbane's lead. Otherwise the entire AC community will end up at AC Vault, and I don't want to see the good CoD posters corrupted into using alternating caps in their text sigs.

(The board link to Allen's announcement was removed by request as the owners are already perilously close to maxing out this month's allotment of bandwidth. Welcome to The New Era.)

Posted by Keith at 2:22 AM

June 7, 2001

OSI: Unrelenting Tide

A new chapter to OSI's ongoing Orc Invasion scenario's been posted on the Ultima Online Web site, here. The latest tale is reproduced in its entirety, below:

Unrelenting Tide

Duncan winced as the local healer pulled the bandage tighter around his wounded arm. As he glanced down at the bloody arrow lying on the ground next to him, Duncan was reminded of his own mortality. The wound would heal in time, but he would have to fight without his shield for a while. As he listened to the healer's idle conversation and looked around the dimly lit room, he reminded himself he was lucky to even be alive after the last orc raid. Many of his fellow townspeople had perished trying to stem the never-ending tide of orcs.

"They can't keep coming like this! How many orcs can there possibly be in the world!?" the young healer suddenly asked, changing the subject.

A warrior laying next to Duncan, her head wrapped in a bandage, propped herself up painfully from her cot. "Seems there's no stopping them. There has to be a way to keep them from taking the town!" The warrior pounded her fist into her open palm as if to accentuate her point.

"They don't seem interested in controlling the city, though," Duncan said, more to himself than to the others. "Can't stop a siege if the invaders don't actually try to take anything over. It's almost as if each wave is a separate group of orcs, running from something and just smashing whatever gets in their way, rather than some organized invasion with a purpose. I've heard reports from other towns that the orcs attacking them aren't actually making moves to take control either. Something's got 'em spooked, that's for sure."

Another warrior joined the group, this one having just recently arrived from Britain. "I've heard that too. You know what I think? The orcs aren't the real problem... more like a symptom of something bigger."

"Aye," Duncan nodded. "And whatever it is that's doing this hasn't shown itself yet. So for now, the best we can do is protect our homes and hope for the best."

"That's hardly encouraging," the healer said, giving the Paladin a wink to let him know she wasn't expecting him to have all of the answers.

Duncan smiled slightly for the first time in days. He knew the people of Cove needed him to stay strong and optimistic, but every band of orcs that attacked made it harder to keep his spirits high and his determination strong. He remained proud of his people, though, knowing that lesser men and women would have long ago fled along with the royal guards to the safety of Britain or Trinsic. As he looked around at the despair and carnage in the room, he silently vowed to himself that when he did find this unseen enemy, they would pay for the destruction their actions had wrought.

As the group continued to talk, a series of explosions from outside rocked the building, knocking the injured warrior from her cot and hurling glasses and healing bottles from their shelves. Duncan immediately rose, much as it pained him to do so, and gripped his sword tightly.

"Cannons!?" the young healer asked shakily, as she helped the injured warrior back to her cot, the fear evident in her eyes.

Duncan waved his hand dismissively, trying to calm those inside. "Orcs don't use cannons, never have. They must have found some new toys." He pointed at the warrior from Britain. "Come with me."

Both warriors carefully left the safety of their hiding place, warily looking for the new orc threat.

Posted by Keith at 8:52 PM

Avalon Message Board and Web Site

SitePowerUp was where Avalon had its message forums, but SPU announced last week that it was closing. The day after SPU was supposed to close up shop, the Avalon Web site and it's emergency forums went down, and although the site is partly returned, unfortunately the site and forums have not yet been fully repaired.

However, Claude and the websmiths of Avalon have created a new message board for the City of Destiny, located within the new UO Stratics guild forums. The address for the new Avalon board is http://boards.stratics.com/php-bin/guilds/uo/baja/wwwthreads.php?Cat=7&C=7. Feel free to stop by and join in with the oldest existing player city on the Baja Shard.

We'll be posting more information on the Avalon Web updates within the next few days.

Posted by Ursula at 4:47 PM

Barkeep 2.0

Gromm posted the following 'Bartender Design' on the official UO.com Boards:

Ladies and germs, we have an update for you on the Barkeep. I give you...

Barkeep 2.0!

First off let me get this out of the way - NO MORE HOUSE LIMITATIONS!! That's right, friends and neighbors, anyone who has a public house can have a barkeep. As a matter of fact they can have two.

Also we've changed the message system on the barkeep as well. Before the barkeep would say a pre-scripted message when "tipped" with gold. There will still be a tip message. However the tip message will be completely customizable by the owner. If you don't give him a tip message, he won't take tips.

In addition to the tip rumor you can now add three, count them, three oracle style messages to your barkeep. That's three phrases that the barkeep can say when the keyword you choose is spoken. You say "jump", he'll say "How high?" Well, if you want.

Many of you wanted personal town criers. Now you'll have them. Say "news" to a barkeep and he'll give you the current scenario rumor.

Now for the big changes...

Barkeeps are going to be fully customizable just like a player owned vendor. Actually, even more so because he'll have an option to change his title as well. We're planning on putting a list of "job" titles that you can choose from so if you'd rather have a butler, pirate, paladin, mage, etc... do it. Note that if you change him from a barkeep to (for example) a paladin he's not going to sell you drinks.

Now let's say you want an elderly grandmother in your house to give people a clue for a quest you're running. You go out, you buy your barkeep deed with your hard earned gold, bring it home and WHAM-O! You've just dropped a strapping male barkeep! OH NO! What is a RP'er to do?? Change it's sex of course with the handy dandy "Male / Female" option! You want a male, make it male. You want a female, make it female. You want to confuse your pet, switch it back and forth really fast.

Many of you wanted a greeting attached to the barkeep. We didn't quite get that in, however, add a greeting and make the keyword "vendor buy" and anytime people buy drinks the barkeep will say your greeting.

Have a phrase too big for the barkeep to say? Divide it into two phrases and give them both the same keyword. The barkeep will say both phrases in order when he hears the one keyword. If you want you can use all three custom messages with just the one keyword.

Want people to know about your involvement in the event scenarios? (Of course you do!) Let's say I had a barkeep right now. I could set a message "Lord Gromm is leading a hunt tonight for the beasts!" and set the keyword as "news". If someone were to say "news" to my barkeep he would respond with "Orcs are attacking various cities throughout the realm! Lord Gromm is leading a hunt tonight for the beasts!" because "news" is the keyword for the scenario rumor and the message I entered.

Setting up your own quest? That's where the tip rumor comes into play. Anyone can get the tip rumor with gold, so that's your gateway. You can now make additional phrases with the three oracle style messages that relate to the tip message. For example, you could set up a barkeep with the tip message "There is a hunt on for Gromm." Now you set one of your 3 other messages with the keyword "Gromm" and the next clue you want to give visitors.

We want you to get creative with this sucker and we feel now we've given you the tools to do it. A HUGE thanks to all of you that gave us feedback when we first announced the barkeep, your ideas and concerns have had a massive impact on the design. Want to have some more impact? Here's a tentative list of the job titles we're going to put on the barkeep. Let us know what you feel needs to be added or taken away.



Designer, Ongoing Content

Posted by Thellaren at 12:28 AM

June 6, 2001

A Tale or Two Role Playing Board

The Ultima Online House of Commons (UOHoC) has posted its 26th Ultima Online Celebrity Chat. The night's guests were Nikademus, Curunir and Riptide, the Ex Intrest Volunteer Leads. Dariuas, in charge of the chat for the evening, noted that the "guests are no longer with OSI, so they do not represent their views or opinions."

Nikademus was the Interest Coordinator for Events Programming, Curunir was the training coordinator for the Seer program, and Riptide was "the Plot Role Coordinator for that past year or so, right after the UO:R fiction ended."

During the conversation, Nikademus shared the following amusing anecdote, from his time as an Interest Volunteer:

Nikademus - Well, one night I get all sorts of PMs in IRC from the vols on Atlantic, saying some demon was in front of Trinsic spawning monsters and attacking players
Nikademus - and apparently none of the Seer were doing it
Nikademus - So I logged in and tried to contact the demon
Nikademus - They weren't responding, so I jailed him
Nikademus - Called in the GMs and IGMs, to see what was going on
Nikademus - Turns out it was the head of the department, starting the next phase of the plot. He was playing one of the demon generals, Anmac. :(
Nikademus - er, :)
Nikademus - So my first jailing of a person turned out to be my boss. :)
The entire 26th Ultima Online Celebrity Chat log can be found here.

Posted by Keith at 6:22 PM

A Tale or Two Role Playing Board

I read the following announcement from Rimlock Valcite was posted to UO Stratics:

A Tale or Two Role Playing Board

Greetings to ye all! I be Rimlock Valcite, informing ye of a new Message Board available to the public; A Tale or Two (roleplaying encouraged). I welcome ye to a place o' yer choice to do whatever it may be with plenty o' options.

So come right on in to the setting o' yer choice and grab yerself a beverage ye so desire. Sit yer fanny down if ye will, and talk to the people surrounding ye. Listen to a tale from another folk, or weave a tale o' yer own.

Perhaps ye could participate in adventures whenever they are available, or gather some friends and perform active quests. They list may be endless, as long as it's appropriate. So come, ye all, to the setting o' yer choice, to share a tale or two, or whatever it may be.

Posted by Keith at 6:06 PM

June 5, 2001

UODisney Sign Up Extension

AngelStorm over at UOC Chesapeake posted the following note:

UODisney Sign Up Extension

I am pleased to announce that Walt Disney World has given us an extension for signing up more attendees for our event! Anyone who is interested in attending and missed the original deadline can still register and attend as long as payment is received by June 15th. Please visit our site to join us!

As many of you know, we had initially announced that Runesabre would be attending as the OSI representative. However, with his recent departure from OSI we have had a change and are pleased to announce that UO's new lead designer, Evocare, will be filling that vacancy.

To those of you already attending, please don't forget to order your shirts soon, as it has been my experience that it takes 10-14 days for delivery.

We can't wait to meet everyone!

Posted by Keith at 4:44 PM

OSI: Jalek Speaks

The following was posted to the Team Comments page on the Ultima Online Web site:

Jalek Speaks<

Hail and well met,

Since this is my first Comments from the Team, I would like to introduce myself for those of you who do not know me. My name is Kevin Saffel, a.k.a. Jalek, and my title is Client Programmer on UO Live. I would just like to take a moment and tell you how I got to Origin and then let you know what I am working on.

As I graduated high school, I realized that I didn�t have the money to go to college. I joined the Air Force and became a Nuclear Weapons Technician, believe it or not. :) While serving my country, I was introduced to the Ultima series of games by a friend of mine. I could not get enough. I played every one of them that I could, night and day, and eventually realized that I wanted to get a degree in programming and try to get a job with this company I admired so much. A couple of years out of college, I found a game called Ultima Online, and it was even more addicting than the other Ultimas. I then applied even more to get a job at Origin, and finally in November of 1999 my dream came true.

I have worked on client bugs, helped out with the party system, done some server work and I was one of the client programmers on UO: Third Dawn. Now, I am working on cleaning up some of the client code, fixing bugs, and supporting the events team to some degree.

Bug fixing is very important to the UO Live team, and we put a lot of work into seeing that all our systems are at the level that we designed them to be. UO is a huge game, with many systems interwoven and dependent on each other. It is also a code base that has been worked on by MANY different people. The changing of any minute part of a system - yes, even in the client -- can result in one or many other areas being broken. So, we have to be careful when we change anything, because each change requires multiple systems to be completely retested every time we go to patch (and I know you want updates more often than every 7 to 8 months!). We start off by investigating the bugs, then finding a solution, implementing the solution, and giving QA time to test the bug. If problems are found, we have to start all over. Even so, things get missed from time to time. This is why we will sometimes just rewrite systems when time permits, to decouple the strict dependencies that some of these systems have on each other.

The UO team loves UO and wants our players to have the best time possible while playing the game. That is why we will never stop fixing bugs, rewriting systems to make them better, and adding new content to the game. Yes we do and will continue to make mistakes, I can guarantee you that, but we will do our best to correct them.

So, if you have a bug, a question, an idea or just want to shout and say hi, give me a holler at jalek@uo.com.

Kevin "Jalek" Saffel
Client Programmer
Ultima Online

Posted by Keith at 4:38 PM

June 4, 2001

UOHoC Update - Planned for Thursday

The following was posted by Joshua Rowan to UO Stratics:

UOHoC Update - Planned for Thursday

Just a quick heads up about the UOHoC for this week. There were several rumors that it would be on Tuesday, but as usual it is still being planned for this coming Thursday, June 7th. We'll have an official post up soon with details about it. In the meantime, if you would like to check out previous UOHoC's, make sure to check out our UOHoC Website.

Posted by Keith at 6:52 PM

#Ultima-Online Celebrity Chat!

The following was posted by Joshua Rowan to UO Stratics:

#Ultima-Online Celebrity Chat!

Join us in #Ultima-Online this Monday, June 4th, 7:00 PM Central Time, for another Ultima Online Celebrity Chat. Our guests will be Nikademus, Kieron, Curunir, and Riptide who are all former UO Interest Volunteers. They'll be around to answer your questions and chat.

Never been on Stratics IRC before? It's easy! Simply download an IRC client such as mIRC and connect to one of the following servers, and type /join #Ultima-Online.
  • dhp.stratics.com
  • compu.stratics.com
  • frws.stratics.com
  • intworks.stratics.com
  • tac.stratics.com
As an alternative, you can use our Java client via your web browser here.

Posted by Keith at 6:51 PM

TOL and MT's Tournament - This Saturday!

The following announcement was posted by the Baja Mage Tower:

TOL and MT's Tournament - This Saturday!

The Order of Leonine and The Mage Tower will be holding a PvP Tourney on June 9, 2001 from 6:00 PM Pst to 8:00 PM PST.

The Mage Tower is located in Felucca near Moonglow.

Here is a map to the Feluccia Mage Tower
The following rules apply to the tournament

Sign up is one hour before start time (5pm PST
No Looting
No Stealing
No Area Spells or Explotion Potions
No one enters the arena if they are not called upon
No fighting outside the arena
No pets (exept non-agressive mounts)

All are welcome to attend! Hope to see you there!

Nitram - The Order of Leonine

Nekkar - The Mage Tower

Posted by Keith at 6:46 PM

Leilo Leaving OSI, Moving to Destination

The following was recently posted by Joshua Rowan to UO Stratics:

Leilo Leaving OSI, Moving to Destination

We received a letter from Susan "Leilo" Kath this morning that she will be leaving her position as Manager of Community Relations for UO later this week. A replacement should be announced soon, but she made sure to emphasize that the Community Relations department is still in excellent hands with Cynthe and Melantus.

The silver lining in this story is that we have also confirmed with her that she will be moving to Destination Games, the company that was recently founded by Richard "Lord British" Garriott and the same company that several other former OSI employees have moved to in the last couple of months (especially the UO2 Dev Team).

Posted by Keith at 6:31 PM

OSI: Cities under attack?

The following was posted to the FYI page on the Ultima Online Web site:

Cities under attack?

Reports are pouring in that the orcs have been spotted closer to the cities than ever before. Residents on the outskirts of the cities have said that it appears we're in for an attack within the next couple days.

Guards have been called from all over Britannia to protect the larger cities, which we hope will prevent the orcs from attempting to attack these areas.

This will be a dark time for citizens of the smaller towns, and we can only hope that by banding together, these attacks can be weathered until the true source of this uprising can be found.

Some guards will remain in the smaller towns to see that anarchy does not erupt, and that citizens will be protected from other citizens. Stealing and attacking other players in town unlawfully will still bring the ire of the town guards. However, these remaining guards will be too sparse to defend the town against orc attacks.

NOTE: These updates are related to the continuing scenario occuring in Ultima Online. For more information, read the associated fiction located at http://town.uo.com/bnn/article_430.html . The items associated with the scenario will continue to be available in game after the scenario is complete.

To discuss these scenarios and happening around Britannia, please participate in the Roleplaying, Events, and Scenarios forum at the UO Boards, at http://boards.uo.com/cgi-bin/postlist.pl?Cat=&Board=role.

Posted by Keith at 6:28 PM

New Craftables Possibly on Horizon

Here are a few comments made on the UO Discussion Boards and then relayed to Markee Dragon's Site. They relate to the Orc Scenario developing over the various shards:

-Jonathan "Calandryll" Hanna
Designer, Ongoing Content

Posted by Thellaren at 12:01 AM

June 2, 2001

Changes to Ship Looting Coming in Next Publish

From the Turbulent Waters Page:

Among a long list of upcoming bug fixes posted by UO developer Krum today and slated for the mysterious "next publish" was this shocking revelation:

"� players can no longer directly take items off of boats that they are not standing on"

Since the beginning of UO, there has been a method, not commonly known, of being able to grab items off other ships from one's own ship when in close proximity. Virtually any spot on any ship could be reached - the exception being of course the spots behind the mast of the large ships. In the past, both developers and GMs have never taken a firm stance on its use. Their response to it, and almost every other issue involving ship security, has been that ships were never meant to be used as secure storage anyway.

This change, already in effect on the Test Rewards 1 Shard, does indeed prevent players from simply sailing up and taking visible items off the deck of another ship. Attempting to do so results in the "You can not pick that up." message.

Note the word "directly" in the statement from Krum, though. There are more indirect methods of obtaining certain items off the deck of another ship, and on the test shard those methods are still functioning. In addition, I was able to loot a corpse of a NPC that I had brought along and killed, so the looting of visible corpses is also still intact. Hopefully this is only the beginning of a series of ship security fixes, and it will be interesting to see where OSI draws the line in dealing with issues involving ship use, and misuse.

Posted by Hazard [EiC] at 3:15 PM

UO Stratics Guild Forums

The following was posted by Ce'Nedra Willow at UO Stratics:

UO Stratics Guild Forums

UO Stratics is happy to announce our newest endeavor to provide for the Ultima Online Community. We are now able to offer Guild Forums for players of Ultima Online on our very popular WWW Threads Forums. You will only need to register once to access all the future Guild Forums, no matter what shard they hail from. We are offering each guild/group one public forum and up two private forums. All users will be expected to follow the Stratics Forum Rules of Conduct.

The Guild Forums are available here, sorted by shard for your convenience. If you wish to sign up for forums for your Guild/Group/Organization you can use this easy form. Please be sure to read and understand all the information on the forms. Once your form is submitted you will receive an email confirmation. Can't wait to see you there!

Posted by Keith at 1:44 PM

June 1, 2001

June 2001 Indianapolis Player

Information about the upcoming Indianiapolis player meet can be found at the Kinshipp Web site. The announcement and current list of players attending the meet can be found here.

June 2001 Indianapolis Player Meet Information

General Information

Kinship Village on Catskills, in celebration of our 3 year anniversary
(March 2001), is sponsoring a player meet in Indianapolis, Indiana on June 23rd, 2001. We welcome not only Catskills and Kinship Village players, but all players from all shards to enjoy this event.

Our player meet last year was very well attended and a smashing success. We expect this year's event to be even better.

Saturday, June 23, 2001
3pm - 5pm CST (4pm - 6pm EST) - In the private room.
5pm - ??? CST - Games and socializing in the club.
Jillian's Billiards Room in Indianapolis, Indiana

$35 per person (What does this cover?)

This cost may be paid via PayPal to thamilton@ameritech.net or via snail mail to:

UO Player Meet
6633 Mill Run Drive Apt. 1823
Indianapolis, IN 46214
Make checks payable to Teresa Hamilton and please include your character name(s), real name, email address, guild or organization, shard, and where you are coming from.

Your cost and intent to join us must be received by
June 15, 2001. I have to give the club my final head count at that time.

*Time Zones: Indiana does not participate in Daylight Savings Time, so we match up with those in the Central time zone this time of year.

Event Details

Jillian's is an incredible entertainment and dining concept featuring all kinds of things to do. Jillian's includes 2 great restaurants, over 100 virtual reality style video games, a classic billiards lounge, an over the top bowling experience, the latest electronic simulation attractions, dancing, live music and the best sports and media viewing anywhere.

Minors (under 21) are welcome at the club until 9pm. The dress is casual, but neat (i.e. no sweats or dirty/worn clothing).

Jillian's in Indianapolis is located at:

141 S Meridian St.
Indianapolis, IN 46225
Phone: 317.822.9300

The first two hours of our meet will be held in the Billiards room (on the second floor) which includes 2 large pool tables. Snack foods will be served during this time. Both alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks are available (cash bar).

Your cost covers the following food selections (buffet style):
  • Jillian's Signature Tortilla Chips with Secret Salsa
  • Fresh Vegetable Landscape with Dill Dip
  • Chicken Tenders with Sauces
  • Assorted Gourmet Pizza Slices
Your cost also covers 1 game card per person worth $10 of video games in Jillian's "Amazing Games Room" and our two hour rental of the Billiards Room.

OSI has informed me that they no longer send representatives to player meets with an attendance of less than 100 people. However, they have promised me some door prizes. I'll give you the details on those as soon as they fill me in on what they'll be sending.

I also have some things left over from last year and am planning a fun UO trivia event, just to give you all something else to look forward to.

Travel Information

I like to use http://www.itn.com to make travel arrangements. You can make all your air, car, and hotel arrangements on this one site. You can also insert Jillian's address in order to choose a hotel close by.

There are several nice hotels in the downtown area. I advise staying downtown to be within walking distance of restaurants, clubs, entertainment, museums, and just about every other tourist attraction Indy has to offer.

If you need help getting to and from the Indianapolis airport, or further assistance in your travel arrangements, please contact me and I'll see what I can do. Send email to kinshipv@ameritech.net or ICQ #6557619.

Posted by Keith at 6:07 PM

Last Days to Register for Disney Gathering!

AngelStorm posted the following to the UO Chesapeake News site:

Last Days to Register for Disney Gathering!

Just a quick reminder that there are only 2 days left to register to attend
the Player Luncheon in Walt Disney World on June 23rd. Please be sure to visit
the site today and sign up to join over 150 other UO players for a day of fun and fellowship.

See you all in a few weeks!

Posted by Keith at 5:49 PM

OSI: Comments from Oaks

The following was posted to the Team Comments on the Ultima Online Web site:

Comments from Oaks

For exactly one year now, I've been working at Origin Systems as a designer for Ultima Online. As these are my first comments, I believe introductions are in order. My online name is Oaks, and, had I known how many times I'd be called Oats or Oak, there's a good chance I may have picked something else. But I like it, gosh darn it! Anyhow... who's seen the cool magic effects in Third Dawn? I designed almost all of them, as well as worked on the Ilshenar map, dungeon Khaldun, and many bug fixes, including the change to cutting bandages.

Right now, I'm focused on making the journey to whatever goals you are trying to reach in UO more enjoyable - more fun. In life, finally reaching a goal and reaping the benefits is sometimes the only reward, but there's no reason is has to be like that in our game. Imagine if you had to climb a bleak mountain to find a treasure cache. It's nothing but a long haul up a boring landscape, where you are driven only by your (admittedly greedy) desire for loot. What if, instead, you had to solve stimulating intellectual challenges or trek through a dangerous forest filled with traps and monsters, both with the same end reward? If the difficulty were balanced, very few people would climb the mountain.

Anyway, I've got my own ideas, but why don't you tell me yours? Pick a skill, quest, or even your own goal that makes you cringe at the thought of achieving it. How can we make it more fun to arrive at that goal? What would make you actually look forward to the journey, rather than just the end reward?

In the past, I may have been scarce on the boards, as I read much more than I post. This may still be the case to a point, but I do want to become more active in the community - especially the Development Board, since that�s where I hope to find the most discussion on what really makes UO tick. So tell me those ideas and thoughts about what you hope to see as the way we build our characters and our world, and not just what we hope to gain at the end. As a team, we bounce ideas and designs off one another constantly, and I feel we can gain even more from you.

See ya there!

Jonathan "Oaks" LeCraft
Designer, Ultima Online

Posted by Keith at 5:41 PM

OSI: Seeking Orc Adventures

The following was posted to the FYI page on the Ultima Online Web site:

Seeking Orc Adventures

There's something different in the air... some have attributed it to the tension caused by knowing that there's an enemy close by, but not yet seen. Maybe it's the sobering realization that we haven't actually seen the true evil yet. Or perhaps it's just the smell of the charred bones in the cookpots at the orc encampments, permeating the air around the previously peaceful cities of Britannia.

Have your adventures taken you into the orc forts, or the orc camps now dotting the countryside? If you and your companions have braved the onslaught of the orcs, we want to hear your tales. Even if you're on the other side, and preparing to defend the orcs against an even more sinister force, tell us your stories!

Send an e-mail to uo-profiles@uo.com by Friday, June 8th. Please be sure your story falls between 500-1000 words, and include �Orcs� in your subject line. Please provide a name and phone number for verification of the story. Submissions to �uo-profiles� become the property of OSI and may be used for special events, promotions, and/or advertising. All submissions must be made by the original author and are subject to verification.

Posted by Keith at 5:40 PM

OSI: Customer Support Advisors

The following was posted to the FYI page on the Ultima Online Web site:

Customer Support Advisors

EA has arranged with a small group of international customer support representatives to aid in handling game-related customer support, as well as other tasks, for EA.com. As of Friday, June 1st, they will be spending some time addressing Ultima Online customer concerns on the Chesapeake and Atlantic shards from 5:00 pm to 1:00 am EDT as advisors, appearing in peach-colored robes. Please keep in mind that Advisors will only address game play issues. This is an experimental program, and we will post updates when and if the program is to be expanded.

Posted by Keith at 5:39 PM

OSI: Ultima Online Support Availability - June 1st

The following was posted to the FYI page on the Ultima Online Web site:

Ultima Online Support Availability - June 1st

Due to a company function, Ultima Online Account and Customer Support will be limited from 3:15pm - 4:15pm CDT on Friday, June 1st. International Game Master Support will not be affected. We apologize for any inconvenience this may cause.

Posted by Keith at 5:38 PM

OSI: 2D and 3D Client Patch

The following was posted to the FYI page on the Ultima Online Web site:

2D and 3D Client Patch

We will be releasing a client patch on Friday, June 1st at approximately 11:45 am CDT. This patch contains an encryption change and various bug fixes.

The current versions should now be 3.0.2b (2D client) and 3.0.2a Build 64 (3D client).

Please note: Once you have received this patch, you must completely shut down and restart your Ultima Online client before you will be able to reconnect to the game.

If you have any difficulty receiving this patch, please check the following:
  • Check the �Patch� directory within your Ultima Online directory (the default location is C:\\Program Files\Ultima Online\Patch). This directory should be empty. Any files in this directory should be deleted.
  • If you are unable to connect to the patch server at all, and are using an original (Non-T2A) version of Ultima Online, you may need to update your verinfo file. For details on updating this file, please see the information posted at http://support.uo.com/tech_6.html.
  • Run a virus scan on your computer. Undetected viruses may cause conflicts with patching Ultima Online.
If after trying the above, you are still experiencing difficulty patching the Ultima Online client, please contact Technical Support at tech@uo.com.

Posted by Keith at 5:37 PM

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