July 25, 2004

Freeborn Press archives - February 2001

The Freeborn Press archives for the month of February 2001 have been imported into the new publishing tool.

Posted by Nobody at 12:16 AM

July 23, 2004

Freeborn Press archives - March through June 2001

The Freeborn Press archives for the months of March through June 2001 have been imported into the new publishing tool.

Posted by Nobody at 11:57 AM

July 22, 2004

Freeborn Press archives - July & August 2001

The Freeborn Press archives for the months of July & August 2001 have been imported into the new publishing tool.

Posted by Nobody at 10:21 PM

July 21, 2004

Freeborn Press archives - September 2001

The Freeborn Press archives have begun being imported into the new publishing tool. The archives for September 2001 are the first to be imported.

(Fans of the previous iterations of Freeborn Press will note that the "submitted by" and reporter sign-off notes are no longer present. The limits of the new publishing tool made converting them into the new format effectively impossible.)

Posted by Nobody at 12:49 PM

October 1, 2001

Freeborn Press Inkwell Runs Dry

After several months of thought I have finally decided to close the doors of the Freeborn Press for good. The paper was 3 years old as of this date, and offered news on a constant basis, with a small lapse of publication around the beginning of 2000.

Due to the small niche market Baja entails, the repetition of news in a few arenas, and an increased level of community awareness, I felt the Press was no longer needed. Chief among my reasons was a desire to move on to new projects or hobbies outside of UO, although this does not mean I will be giving up my UO account. I’ll just be scaling back my time spent on UO related activity.

I’d like to take the time to thank all the people who poured their time into the Press over the years, mainly Rich & Nobody. Thank you for your dedication in programming and submission help.

I’d also like to thank all the contributors who submitted news articles, offered advice, and viewed the editors as non-partial Baja news gatherers during its run. Thanks to Ursula, Atrius, Pat Factor, Lizzard, Kvarno, Shard, Azalin, Bren Star, Desmond, MacDeath, Crys, and anyone else I might have forgotten that helped enhance the sites content. There were so many over the years that its hard to remember them all.

Thank you, the reader, for your continued readership over the years. It took a lot of hard work and potential playing time to keep the project going, and we are extremely glad you supported us with your subscriptions. In our absence, we would like to direct you to the Baja News Section at Stratics.

In days to come we hope to keep the entities page operational and on possibly on the front page, so Baja citizens can still access links to the various communities on the Shard.

Here’s to three years of memories on Baja.



Luvai,

Hazard
Freeborn Editor-In-Chief

Posted by Hazard [EiC] at 2:06 PM

September 25, 2001

Secure House Trading / Commodity Deeds / Repair Service Contracts

The following three new items were posted to In Concept:

Secure House Trading
  • A method for increasing the security of house trading will implemented
Commodity Deeds
  • New items known as �commodity deeds� will give players the opportunity to transport and trade resources, of sizes that were previously unable to be held within a character�s backpack, with greater ease and security than before.
Repair Service Contracts
  • One of the cornerstones of Ultima Online is the activity of players sharing items with other players in order to obtain repairs for their armor and weapons. A supplement to these transactions will now exist in the form of "repair service contracts."
Toggle the links for full information on each concept.

Posted by Hazard [EiC] at 11:27 PM

Client Patch

From FYI:

We will be releasing a client patch on Tuesday, September 25th at approximately 2:30 pm CDT. This patch contains a fix for a data error, and does not contain any gameplay changes.

NOTE: As there are no executable changes contained in this patch, the in-game version numbers will not change, and should still read 3.0.4p (2D client) and 3.0.4p Build 77 (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 Hazard [EiC] at 2:40 PM

September 21, 2001

Guaranteed Gain System

The following was posted to In Concept:

In essence, this proposed modification to the skill gain system would eliminate the need for "power hour" by providing opportunities for guaranteed skill gain during normal play.
You can read more about the 'Guaranteed Gain System' here.

Posted by Hazard [EiC] at 12:47 PM

September 20, 2001

Seattle Player Luncheon?

Joshua Rowan and I have planned the last two Seattle Player Luncheons and are considering our third. Before we get too involved, we need to find out if there is interest in such an event. We are looking at a date of Dec. 8th for a luncheon. If this is something you'd be interested in attending, please write to Ursula at ursula@townofgolden.net. This does not committ you to anything, it's just giving us an idea on how many people are interested.

Ursula
Golden Brew Owner, Golden Knight

Posted by Thellaren at 10:34 AM

September 19, 2001

Gromm Discusses UO Fiction

Posted on the 17th to Comments From the Team (Gromm, Designer of Content for UO):

One of my favorite things about my new position as an Ongoing Content designer for UO is the chance to work with the rich Ultima Prime fiction. I, like many of you, played the Ultima games when I was a wee lad. I grew up with people like Iolo and Dupre for heroes, and monsters like Mondain, Exodus, and the Guardian as enemies. The stories and characters from those original games influenced me growing up. Now I’m in a position where I’m partially responsible for those characters and stories.

So we have Ultima Online. A world parallel to the original Britannia, born when the stranger shattered Mondain’s Gem of Immortality. A world we all knew was going to have familiar heroes and villains. A world we knew was going to have familiar towns and cities. And a world we knew we were familiar with from the Ultima Prime games.

But here’s the fun part… it’s a world where everything you know about Ultima Prime lore could be wrong. Many people consider the original Ultima Prime fiction as sacred and I tend to agree, but my point, and I think it’s a very important one, is: This is not Ultima Prime.

When we plan a scenario we, of course, refer back to the prime fiction. After all, these are the events and characters that shaped the Ultima legend and made it what it is today. We like to make sure we don’t contradict the original principles that made Ultima what it is, but we want to avoid telling the same stories all over again. And now we have thousands of people to tell the story to instead of the single player taking on the role of the Avatar.

I tend to think of the way we plan on using the Ultima fiction similar to some comic book franchises. Take, for example, Batman. The story of the dark knight has been retold tons of times. Multiple comic book incarnations, movies, cartoons, and crossovers have been made. Every time the story has been told in a different way. Sometimes different characters live and die. Sometimes they have different relationships. On occasion, a story will go way out on a limb and take a totally new approach to the legend (Batman Beyond anyone?).

This is essentially what we want to do with the Ultima legends. You’re going to see some familiar faces and some familiar events come to pass, but in ways you may not have expected. The shards may be reflections of the original Britannia, but the events and characters within them are going to be very different from the way you knew them. The future is going to be a very different one, and the past may not be what you think it is.

Like any fantasy or science fiction, liberties must be taken at times to keep things interesting. Rules sometimes have to be broken or ignored. I’m not saying we’re going to ignore major game plot points, but sometimes the smaller things won’t be explained. Changes to game mechanics or spawn usually doesn’t come with a fictional explanation, it’s just a change made for game balance. It’s details such as those you won’t see us sweating too much over. We want the world to have a history and a story, but not down to every last patch of ground in the game. It’s not that we don’t care about having a realistic world, but we have to remember this is a video game. Sometimes we’re just going to have to ask that you use a bit of suspension of disbelief. I have yet to see any science fiction or fantasy where it wasn’t needed at all.

So hopefully this gives you a little insight as to how we’re currently viewing the fiction in UO. I think you’re going to find the events that transpire in game are going to surprise you and, I hope, entertain you.

I’m looking forward to seeing many of you at the world faire this year and as always, keep the feedback coming.

Enjoy

Gromm
Designer, Ongoing Content

Posted by Hazard [EiC] at 1:01 AM

September 18, 2001

Client Patch 3.04p

OSI released a client patch today, Tuesday, September 18th at approximately 3:00 pm CDT. The patch changes can be read here.

Posted by Hazard [EiC] at 3:46 PM

Promoting The Arts In UO

Greetings!

I would like to invite all playwrights and those interested in theater to get involved with the artistic community on Baja.

As a founder of The Golden Brew Players, our intention was to promote original works and encourage other groups to produce their own productions.

The Golden Brew Players have done several plays throughout the past few years and would love to give another group or individual a chance to step up and show their stuff.

We have a theater located in the Town of Golden. It is available for any group that would like to put on a theatrical production. If you'd like to see one of your stories produced write to me, Ursula. I can try to get a group together or interested in putting it on.

We have many talented and creative people on Baja, let's join together and continue to build a wonderful artistic community.

Ursula

Posted by Hazard [EiC] at 10:14 AM

Houses Automatically Refreshed

From FYI:

Even as we resume our lives after the tragic events of September 11th, we at Origin understand that many people are still unable to attend to things at home, due to travel issues, communication difficulties, or concern for missing loved ones. To help accommodate those players who have been in any way affected by these events, Origin Systems will be automatically refreshing all Ultima Online houses through the entire month of September.

Posted by Hazard [EiC] at 12:19 AM

September 14, 2001

Client Patch 3.0.4p

From Testing for Next Update:

Various updates and bug fixes, including paperdoll updates, localization files, and a crash issue involving non-humans trying to sit.

3D Client
  • Paperdoll no longer closes and reopens to refresh the paperdoll model.
  • Players will no longer be able to equip non-wearable objects by dropping them on the paperdoll background. This was causing drag slot problems preventing them from picking things up.
  • Various animation files.
Both Clients
  • Fixed a crash bug that occurred whenever non-humans tried to sit.
  • Various localization files.

Posted by Hazard [EiC] at 7:30 PM

Player Owned Barkeeps

From Latest Updates:

Players will now be able to purchase and own a barkeep, that can be placed in the player's house. A new item called "a barkeep contract" can be purchased from either a new barkeep "shopkeeper" (which can be found in non-player character taverns) or an innkeeper (which can be found in NPC inns).

The "prime" owner of a house (but not a co-owner), who is in his or her house, will be able to double-click a barkeep contract so as to place a barkeep. The house must be "public" in order to place a barkeep.
The barkeeps will serve as a method for players to support and announce their own events and quests. The barkeeps will have the following properties:
  • Saying "news" to a barkeep will give a scenario hint, just like a town crier.
  • The "tip rumor" will be optional and customizeable by the player owner. Amounts of gold under 50 gold will cause the Barkeep to speak this rumor. Amounts over 50 gold will be returned.
  • In addition to the one tip rumor, players can put 3 "oracle style" rumors with keywords on the Barkeep. (oracle style rumors are spoken once certain keywords are said by the player. The rumor and linking keyword are added to the Barkeep by the player owner).
  • There will be no limitations on what style of housing the Barkeeps can be placed within (provided that the house is set to be "public" and not "private").
  • Barkeeps will be customizeable like a player vendor, with clothing/dress options.
  • The Barkeep owner can make the Barkeep male or female.
  • The Barkeep owner can choose another title for the Barkeep other than "Barkeep", from a list of between 30-50 different job titles.
  • Up to two Barkeeps will be allowed per home.
Barkeeps will be in the various taverns throughout the cities, to support the scenarios as well, with the scenario rumors. However, players will not be able to add rumors to these barkeeps.

The titles for the "Bartender" can be chosen from the following list:
  • alchemist
  • animal tamer
  • apothecary
  • artist
  • baker
  • barkeep
  • beggar
  • blacksmith
  • bounty hunter
  • brigand
  • butler
  • carpenter
  • chef
  • commander
  • curator
  • drunkard
  • farmer
  • fisherman
  • gambler
  • gypsy
  • herald
  • herbalist
  • hermit
  • innkeeper
  • jailor
  • jester
  • librarian
  • mage
  • mercenary
  • merchant
  • messenger
  • miner
  • monk
  • noble
  • paladin
  • peasant
  • pirate
  • prisoner
  • prophet
  • ranger
  • sage
  • sailor
  • scholar
  • scribe
  • sentry
  • servant
  • shepherd
  • soothsayer
  • stoic
  • storyteller
  • tailor
  • thief
  • tinker
  • town crier
  • treasure hunter
  • waiter
  • warrior
  • watchman
  • No Title

Posted by Hazard [EiC] at 7:26 PM

Bulk Order Deeds

From General Testing:

Bulk Orders
Bulk orders will be a new feature for crafters, and will be randomly offered by NPC craftspeople to players who sell goods, depending on their skill in the respective craft, and how often the player does business with the NPC.

The bulk order feature is a new addition, and will be implemented only for blacksmiths at this time, allowing us a chance to evaluate and improve the system before expanding it to include more of the crafts.

Players with a sufficient skill in blacksmithy will have a chance to recieve bulk order requests from NPC Armorers and Blacksmiths when they sell goods to those NPCs.

When offered, the bulk order is in the form of a grey deed. Double-clicking this deed brings up the details of the order, such as the item name, amount to make, quality of the item requested, and the ore type.

To complete a regular order, the player can use the "combine" button on the deed to combine the crafted items with the deed until the amount of items the deed requests has been reached. Once the correct amount of items has been created and combined with the deed, the deed can then be dropped on the NPC for a reward.

Small Orders
Small orders, the only ones given to players with less than 70 skill, will request items that will allow the player to gain skill.

Large Orders
Large bulk orders will be extremely difficult to fill, in that each large bulk order may consist of filling and combining several smaller bulk orders. For instance, a large bulk order for blacksmiths may require 20 full sets of armor to be made. The player must obtain several smaller bulk orders, each requiring 20 pieces of an individual piece of armor. These smaller orders for the individual pieces must be completed, and combined into the large bulk order before the large bulk deed can be returned to the NPC for a reward. The smaller orders must be for the same number, quality, and ore type as the original large bulk order. Large bulk orders offer higher rewards, and are only offered to blacksmiths with 70 blacksmithy skill or higher.

All items craftable by blacksmiths can be requested by a blacksmith's bulk order. The quality, quantity, and ore type are chosen at random. The quality is limited to normal or exceptional. The quantity is limited to 10, 15, or 20. The ore types are iron, dull copper, shadow, copper, bronze, golden, agapite, verite, and valorite.

Rewards
The rewards are threefold. The first reward is gold. A check will be given to the person fulfilling the order if the amount is equal to or above 5000 gold. The second reward is a special item not available currently in the game, chosen based on the difficulty of the order. The third reward is an amount of fame, which is based on the difficulty of the deed.

The reward items are not listed here, in order to allow blacksmiths to discover for themselves what rewards will be available.

Examples
The easiest bulk order to complete would be an order for 10 buckler shields of normal quality and made with iron ingots. The reward would be a moderate amount of fame, some gold, and a special item.

The hardest bulk order to complete would be a large bulk order for 20 suits of platemail (all 6 pieces) of exceptional quality made with valorite. The player would need to have a large bulk order deed, as well as six small bulk order deeds, each for the same number, quality, and ore type, and each for a different piece of the full armor set. These six small orders (each for 20 of a particular armor piece, of exceptional quality, and made from valorite ingots) would need to be combined into the deed. The reward would be an enormous amount of fame, a bank check for a large sum of gold, and a magical item.

Posted by Hazard [EiC] at 7:07 PM

West Coast Shards Brought Down

From FYI:

In order to correct an issue with the latest publish on the West Coast shards (Pacific, Baja, Sonoma, and Napa Valley), those shards have been brought down for a short period of time. We anticipate the downtime to be less that 45 minutes. We apologize for any inconvenience this may cause.

Posted by Hazard [EiC] at 3:42 PM

A Moment of Silence

From FYI:

In remembrance of the victims of this week's attacks, we would like to join the rest of the gaming community in conducting a moment of silence and reflection in game at 8:00 PM CDT (6:00 PDT). Please note that this is voluntary, and we ask that players not call our support department to report others who choose not to participate.

Posted by Hazard [EiC] at 11:47 AM

September 13, 2001

Player Owned Bartenders Published

From FYI:

Player-owned bartenders (listed in Testing for Next Update) have now been published to all shards, and will be active shortly after their next scheduled maintenance period.

Note that the bartenders will not be active immediately. In order to enable players to purchase bartenders, we must first wipe and reset all current non-essential NPCs, including shopkeepers and creatures. This will not affect stablemaster NPCs, players’ pets, or player-owned vendors. This wipe will be done on Friday morning, Sept. 14th CDT, and players can expect to see a low creature spawn for a short time until the numbers have returned to normal.

This change will be added to Latest Game Updates once the bartenders are active on all shards.

Posted by Hazard [EiC] at 9:12 PM

In Remembrance

From 'What's New':

During difficult times, people look to their friends and their community for strength and for solidarity. The Ultima Online community is no different. People from all across the globe and from every walk of life have joined together in the wake of recent tragic events, and have come forth to show that we are strong, and we are unified.

Images from around the UO Community

Posted by Hazard [EiC] at 6:38 PM

September 12, 2001

Auto House Refresh

From FYI:

We understand that many travel and communication avenues, businesses, financial institutions, etc. have been hampered or closed due to yesterday's events, which has no doubt caused many players difficulties in accessing their UO accounts. We are also aware that yesterday was a day for helping others and a day of concern for family and friends. Due to the seriousness of this occasion, we will be refreshing all houses automatically this afternoon in order to help players who may have been unable to access their accounts.

Posted by Hazard [EiC] at 6:15 PM

Inappropriate Behavior in Ultima Online

From FYI:

In light of recent events, we’d like to take this opportunity to remind players that inappropriate behavior of a racial or hateful nature will not be tolerated in game. Inappropriate (racist, discriminatory, sexually explicit, derogatory, or offensive in any way) names and actions are in violation of both the spirit of the Ultima Online community and the Ultima Online Service Agreement.

Please be aware that if your character is caught with an offensive name, or is found acting inappropriately in game, your account will be subject to discipline and may be subject to permanent suspension.

Posted by Hazard [EiC] at 2:09 AM

Vigil at Shrine of Compassion

At 7pm PDT last evening, many of Baja's citizens flocked to the Shrine of Compassion to pay their respects to those injured or killed in the attacks on Washington DC & New York. Here is a picture of the scene:



In addition, citizens across the realm created the following tributes of their own:

Posted by Hazard [EiC] at 1:57 AM

Savage Paint Fix and Orc Brute Update

From Testing for Next Update:

Two Scenario-related matters are being updated:
  • Players wearing savage paint will now be trackable using the tracking skill.
  • The orc brute will have its loot increased and will have a chance to carry (and use) a magic war mace

Posted by Hazard [EiC] at 12:07 AM

Veteran Rewards Update - Baja

From FYI:

The issues with the Veteran Rewards system have been resolved. The system should be active on all shards that had Veteran Rewards active previous to the downtime.

The Veteran Rewards system was activated on the Siege Perilous shard yesterday, September 11th. We are targeting to activate the system on the Baja and Europa shards sometime today. Please refer to the previously released schedule for information on when we anticipate Veteran Rewards to be activated on the remaining shards.

Posted by Hazard [EiC] at 12:00 AM

September 11, 2001

Baja Mourns Real Life Tragedy


12:30pm PST at the Britain Bank - Trammel

Posted by Hazard [EiC] at 3:16 PM

Veteran Rewards Schedule

From FYI:

The connectivity fix for the Veteran Rewards system has been published to all shards, and we are ready to resume activation of the Veteran Rewards system! We are targeting to activate the system on each remaining shard at some point during the day designated below, which means that players should not expect the system to be active immediately following their scheduled morning maintenance. Please note that this schedule is subject to change, and may be extended should any unforeseen issues arise with the rewards system.

All dates listed are Central Daylight Time.
  • Tuesday, Sept. 11: Siege Perilous
  • Wednesday, Sept. 12: Europa and Baja
  • Thursday, Sept. 13: Arirang and Great Lakes
  • Friday, Sept. 14: Catskills and Hokuto
  • Monday, Sept. 17: Oceania, Izumo, and Wakoku
  • Tuesday, Sept. 18: Drachenfels, Mizuho, and Asuka
  • Wednesday, Sept. 19: AOL Legends, Balhae, and Formosa

Posted by Hazard [EiC] at 1:04 AM

September 10, 2001

Power Hour Changes

From Testing for Next Update:

The first hour that each character is played on a given day, known as the “Power Hour”, allows that character a possibility of bonus skill point advancements.

The Previous Standard

In the past, the power hour time frame on each shard was reset at midnight local time, meaning that players could always get a new power hour after midnight, regardless of when they last played.

Recent Changes

Recently, the local times for all shards were reset to use a standardized clock, which does not undergo Daylight Savings Time. Due to this change, power hour no longer reset itself at midnight local time, but reset at the same time across all shards, which caused the power hours to reset at inconvenient times for some players.

The Solution

To resolve this issue, power hour will now be calculated based on the players’ play time, rather than the shards’ local time.

Players will experience a power hour during their first hour of play a character within a 24 hour period, which means that technically, the power hour will be refreshed 23 hours after the previous power hour has ended. If a player does not log in for over 24 hours, their power hour will begin as soon as they log in, and last for the full hour.

As an example, a player who logs in at 8:00 PM local time will experience a power hour that will last until 9:00 PM. They will not be able to experience another power hour during that 24 hour period, so they will not receive another power hour until at least 8:00 PM the following day. If they do not log in again until 10:00 PM, they will experience their full power hour, beginning at 10:00 PM and lasting until 11:00 PM. The following day, they will not be able to experience a power hour until at least 10:00 PM local time.

Posted by Hazard [EiC] at 1:17 PM

Veteran Rewards and Power Hour Update

From FYI:

We will be releasing a mini-publish today that should fix a connectivity issue with the Veteran Rewards system, as well as fix a problem that caused power hour to reset at the wrong time (see information on the power hour fix here). We will be bringing the shards down to publish this update this afternoon, and we anticipate the downtime to be no more than half an hour.

Once the publish is active, we will monitor the shards that are currently running the Vet Rewards system, and, barring any unforeseen issues, will release a schedule later today for the activation of Vet Rewards on the remaining shards. Keep an eye on FYI for new information!

Posted by Hazard [EiC] at 1:14 PM

September 7, 2001

Radnor on the Seer Program

Seer Radnor recently had the following to say about the new volunteer seer program:

Admittedly, it won't restart the OSI sanctioned Seers program. But, we are attempting to do what that program did, albeit, without the powers and immortality that was the gift of OSI. We'll do our best at coming as close to what that fantastic group did, though.

We have several different events and quests in the final stages of design and it should be within a week that you will see a bit of our work (read "fun") on a couple of the shards.

Due to my in depth involvement at moving this program along, I have been promoted to Lead Seer for the Western Shards. I am actively recruiting any and all players who have the time and interest in joining our group. Anyone interested, click on the url for our web site and "read all about it". And, our Stratics Forum is located here. Any questions, you have my ICQ and email address below. Gimme a holler...

Lead Seer Radnor
Western Shards
radnor@rogerswebs.com
UO Seers Web Site
ICQ 128071387

Posted by Hazard [EiC] at 11:17 AM

September 5, 2001

Comments from Stellerex

The following comments from Stellerex, Senior Producer of UO, were posted to the Official UO Website:

Most residents of Britannia would really like to know what OSI has planned for the future of the kingdom. Chances are if they got their wish, though, it would spoil the fun of discovery and anticipation that comes with any good mystery. For those folks, I would like to take this opportunity to give some assurances that we are indeed working on some very significant features that I believe will return the real flavor of Ultima to Britannia.

Although the core people on the dev team will continue to address continuous content, system improvements, and GM support, I’ve mentioned a couple of times in the past that the team is bigger than it has ever been before. Real expansion of the world and the game is within our grasp. Life – well, virtual life - has really only just begun.

And before anybody asks, no I’m not going to give specific details. Not that some folks won’t read into my comments and figure out a lot anyway. Every once in a while, I like to turn a phrase just the right way to give a clue, and see if anybody can figure it out. Chances are I’m too obscure in my presentation, but it’s fun to give it a whirl anyway.

Regardless of that, there are plenty of obvious improvements that have recently been released as well. Everybody should have noticed by now that it’s more fun to create a starting character and work your way upward. A first circle spell is actually useful for something besides skill improvement, for instance. Though many veterans get upset when we make changes specifically for new players, they do have to realize that improving the learning experience helps to grow the community and make the world more vibrant. Unpopular as that idea may sound at first, hopefully most of you can see the long-term benefits to keeping the population of the world strong.

Real life always has a way of creeping back into our plans, though, so we’ve also been making strides to listen more closely to our veteran players. Everything from the Scenario program to upcoming changes for the Siege Perilous shard has been a consistent effort to attend to that. Siege Perilous is being modified by members of the design team who really enjoy that style of play, so I’m confident it’s moving in the right direction. Veteran’s Rewards are finally having the final kinks worked out, after much ado, and that system will be active on all shards soon. I have to admit, it’s taken us quite a bit of work, but it’s a system that can be adapted for other uses in the future, so hopefully all of the work will pay off in the long run.

Running just a little behind that, we’re working on two very significant undertakings that you’ll be able to find out more about at this year’s World Faire. Technically, I can’t go into specific detail on that, but I’ve given a couple of clues already. Until the end of October rolls around, you’ll just have to watch carefully for little foreshadowing and hints of what’s to come.

Even that’s not the whole picture! Several more publishes are on the horizon to address even more client optimizations (for both the 2D and 3D clients), new game art, improved user interfaces, new creatures, and even new craftables. Yes, it sounds like a lot, but that’s one of the benefits of having such a large dev team. Simultaneous development paths are wonderful things.

Tomorrow isn’t that far off, but until then I’d like to leave you with a few key concepts that should give you a feel for what we’re trying to aim at now and in the future. Environment and personality. Mechanics that are simple, but provide depth. Intuitive UI. Less tedium. Systems instead of features. Harder quests. Easier learning curves. NPCs and monsters that have some intelligence. Action and pacing in combat. Return to the Ultima tradition. Fighting with a purpose. Originality. Role playing. Attention to community. Logical, thematic enhancements. Let me know if you have suggestions, because I’m always happy to chat.

Stellerex
Senior Producer
Ultima Online

Posted by Hazard [EiC] at 9:53 PM

Client Patch 3.0.4n

From FYI:

We will be releasing a client patch on Wednesday, September 5th at approximately 5:30 pm CST. This patch contains the following changes:
  • Disappearing macro bug fixed
  • Invisible house/boat bug fixed
  • Asian characters will no longer appear at the end of macros
  • Some localization files
The current versions should now be 3.0.4n (2D client) and 3.0.4n Build 75 (3D client).

NOTE: Windows 95 users that have not upgraded to Winsock 2 may receive the error “missing winsock32.dll”. To fix this problem, these users should download and install the new version of Winsock, which can be found here. 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 Hazard [EiC] at 9:38 PM

Crafting Overhaul Update

The following was posted to the UO Boards today by Designer Vex:

I just wanted to take a moment and post some updates to the crafting system overhaul:

1> Cooking will be included in the new menu system. The tools will be:
* Skillet - this is a renamed frypan (to preserve the rarity of any existing frypans, and any existing frypans will not be usable as cooking tools)
* Flour Sifter
* Rolling Pin

Players will be able to once again turn wheat sheaves into sacks of flour. This will be done through the cooking menu. The player must be near a flour mill.

2> New Tools:
All the new tools added with this update (above cooking tools, fletcher's tools, mapmaker's and scribe's pens) will be available on appropriate NPCs (cooks, mapmakers, scribes, bowyers). The new tools will also appear as "newbiefied" starting equipment for characters who start with these skills. All of these new tools will wear out and break. Exceptionally crafted versions of these tools made by player tinkers will last longer than normal or NPC-bought ones.

3> Material Handling:
If all the materials required to make an item are located in the same subcontainer in the player's backpack, the resulting item will be placed in that subcontainer.

For tailoring, tinkering, blacksmithy (and any future craftables where the item created can obtain properties of materials used), there will be a toggle to target materials. For blacksmithy and tinkering, this option will be an additional item on the Metal Selection menu. When the Target Material option is selected, the player receives a targeting cursor and is prompted to target material to be used. The material targeted must be in the player's backpack.

4> Jewelry
The bug that allows the creation of items with names like "a 10000 diamonds necklace" is not going to be part of the revamped crafting system. It is important to note that even though the entire description of the stack of gems (including the number) was previously included in the name of the crafted piece of jewelry, only one gem was consumed from the stack when a piece of jewelry was made from it.

Currently, the plan is to not fix those items and leave the names un-localized. Please note that while this bug is going away, tinkering is gaining the ability to make different colored pieces of jewelry.

5> Cartographers will be able to use blank scrolls as materials for mapmaking.

6> The repair feature will not at this time be added to any new craft skills. With this overhaul, craft skills are limited to repairing only item types that they can create. This means that blacksmiths will lose the ability to repair heavy crossbows.

We will carefully evaluate the repair feature for staves and wooden shields (by carpenters), leather armor (by tailors) and bows (bowyers). The largest concern (but not the sole one) is that the inability to repair items affects the design of the magic weapon loot tables. Magic bows are much more common than other magic weapon types, due to the fact that players can't repair bows.

7> New Craftables

New craftables are not at this time being added to the system, with the exception that the new tools mentioned here and elsewhere will be craftable by tinkers. Furthermore, no skill requirements are being changed, nor are any skill gain rates or material requirements.

8> Multi-Make

It's important to note that the "multi-make" feature will only work for items that can already be created in bulk. This includes:

Turning logs into boards
Turning wood into shafts
Making crossbow bolts and arrows
Cooking stackable raw meat

The section of the original "In Concept" post that indicated the inclusion of "Make 1", "Make 10", "Make 100", and "Make All" options will be altered. There will be no option to specify any quantities. Instead, for any "multi-make" item, the Information Window will indicate that the item is multi-make, and an attempt to make the item will attempt to make as many as possible using the materials available in the player's backpack.

Current skill gain behavior is being maintained with multi-make items. For example, you currently get larger skill gains in bowcraft/fletching when you make larger stacks of bolts and arrows at once. This behavior will remain unchanged.

9> Static Add-Ons

Static items are those features that are a built-in part of the world, stored in the statics.mul file used by the client and server. Currently, support for static items as crafting add-ons is sporadic; for example, blacksmithy can use static forges and anvils as well as dynamic ones, but cooking only supports the use of dynamic fire sources. With this change, static as well as dynamic add-ons will be supported for all crafts.

Posted by Hazard [EiC] at 1:53 PM

Auto House Refresh

From FYI:

Due to an issue with the latest patch, some players have experienced disappearing walls in their houses. This issue is client-side only, meaning that in most cases, other players are seeing the house intact, and the walls will still block other players from entering. However, this has made it difficult for some players to see their house doors and signs and, as a result, some players have been unable to refresh their houses. To see that players do not lose their homes because of this, all houses were given an automatic housing refresh this morning.

Posted by Hazard [EiC] at 12:49 AM

September 4, 2001

Client Patch 3.04m

From FYI:

We will be releasing a client patch on Tuesday, September 4th at approximately 10:00 AM. This patch is the same patch that was previously released and reverted on August 30th, and contains the following changes:
  • 2D gameplay window can now be resized without restarting the client
  • When in a party in 3D, the player's status bar will have heal/cure buttons
  • Improvements to the "Last Shard Used" button functionality in the 3D client
  • The character creation templates have been revamped
  • Book crash fixed
  • Players will not always be put in Britain when not using Advanced creation mode. They are put in a random starting city.
  • Players will no longer be asked if they wish to proceed with criminal acts while in Trammel.
  • New characters will now start with 80 stat points.
  • Many crashes and other bugs have been addressed in this patch.
The current versions should now be 3.0.4m (2D client) and 3.0.4m Build 74 (3D client).

NOTE: Windows 95 users that have not upgraded to Winsock 2 may receive the error “missing winsock32.dll”. To fix this problem, these users should download and install the new version of Winsock, which can be found here.

Also important to note: Users attempting to log in while using UO Assist may receive the error "The IGR time limit has been met." Until UO Assist is patched by Tugsoft (its parent company), players will need to log in without UO Assist.

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 Hazard [EiC] at 2:28 PM

September 2, 2001

2D Illegal in Ilshenar

Freshly gleaned from the UO Boards:

Going to Ilshenar without the Third Dawn client is an exploit. It is illegal. Also, please remember that any alterations you make to your client to do so are in violation of the ToS.

Greywolfe
Online Community Moderator

Posted by Hazard [EiC] at 12:04 AM

August 31, 2001

Veteran Rewards Update

From FYI:

Just as a quick update, we believe that the connectivity issue regarding the Veteran Rewards server has been resolved, and the fix is in the testing stages. We hope to be able to continue re-activating the system on the UO shards very soon, and will notify the players once the new schedule is determined.

Posted by Hazard [EiC] at 8:05 PM

August 30, 2001

Client Patch 3.0.4k

From FYI:

We will be releasing a client patch on Thursday, August 30th at approximately 1:30 pm CDT. This patch contains the following changes:
  • 2D Gameplay window can now be resized without restarting the client
  • When in a party in 3D, the player's status bar will have heal/cure buttons
  • Improvements to the "Last Shard Used" button functionality in the 3D client
  • The character creation templates have been revamped
  • Many crashes and other bugs have been addressed in this patch
  • Book crash fixed
  • Players are not always put in Britain when not using Advanced creation mode
  • They are put in a random starting city.
  • No notoriety queries in Trammel
  • Increase in maximum number of starting stat points
The current versions should now be 3.0.4k (2D client) and 3.0.4k Build 72 (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 Hazard [EiC] at 3:00 PM

August 29, 2001

Veteran Rewards Schedule Update

Posted to FYI:

Since we began activating the Veteran Rewards system, we have been carefully monitoring the usage and performance of the Veteran Rewards hardware. The release has gone smoothly thus far, but we have found some connectivity issues with the rewards server. As more shards get rewards and the server is accessed more, these connectivity issues will result in packet loss, creating longer wait times for the rewards gump to appear, and for the reward selection to take place. If more shards are activated and the problem is left unfixed, it could eventually result in packet loss on the servers themselves, creating lag on the shards.

To resolve this problem before this happens, we will be temporarily halting the activation of Vet Rewards, and re-evaluating the current schedule for release. As previously scheduled, the system was successfully activated on the Pacific and Lake Superior shards today, but we were unable to activate them on Siege Perilous at this time. Shards that have previously had Vet Rewards activated will not lose the ability to choose those rewards, but the system will not be activated on any new shards until this is resolved.

The connectivity fix is receiving top priority, and we anticipate that this will be resolved soon. We will post a new schedule as soon as the problem has been resolved.

Posted by Hazard [EiC] at 6:44 PM

August 28, 2001

Power Hours Off Schedule

From FYI:

Normally, the first hour that each character is played on any given day allows that character a special possibility of some bonus skill point advancements, and this time is known to many players as the “Power Hour.” The Power Hour time frame should reset each day at midnight, related to the shard’s local time. Currently, however, all North American and European shards are incorrectly resetting their respective Power Hour times based on Midnight GMT. (Please note that Power Hours are still occurring properly for all shards, albeit off-schedule.)

We are working to resolve this situation. In the meanwhile, we ask that players who enjoy managing their time around the Power Hour schedule to please refer to the chart below. This chart shows when Power Hour is currently resetting on all shards.

East Coast Shards: 7:00pm EST
AOL Legends, Atlantic, Catskills, Chesapeake

Central Shards: 7:00pm EST
Great Lakes, Lake Superior

Siege Perilous Shard: 6:00pm CST

West Coast Shards: 4:00pm PST
Baja, Napa Valley, Pacific, Sonoma

European Shards: 12:00am GMT
Europa, Drachenfels

Asian Shards: 9:00am JST/KST
Hokuto, Yamato, Asuka, Wakoku, Izumo
Arirang, Balhae
Formosa

Oceana Shard: 12:00pm EDT

Posted by Hazard [EiC] at 9:50 PM

Crafting System Overhaul

From In Concept:

Several updates and changes will occur that will eventually affect all of Ultima Online’s crafting systems. The goals of these changes include: creating a consistent interface for all crafting skills, allowing the player to understand a greater level of detail about his crafting activities, greater CPU efficiency, and adaptability & expandability as crafting systems are modified at later dates. The following skills will be affected by these changes:
  • Alchemy
  • Bowcraft/Fletching
  • Blacksmithy
  • Carpentry
  • Cartography
  • Inscription
  • Tailoring
  • Tinkering
The specifics are listed at the following site.

Posted by Hazard [EiC] at 1:04 PM

Sannio's Other Interests

Recently an interview centering around our old editor-turned-UO Community Coordinator (Nobody/Sannio/Keith) was posted to the following comic book site:

http://www.geocities.com/angelo_mortalli/

To skip straight to the interview, just go here:

http://www.geocities.com/angelo_mortalli/interviews/k_quinn/k_quinn.html

Posted by Hazard [EiC] at 1:03 AM

August 27, 2001

UO Headed to Korean Market

From Digital Media Wire:

(Redwood City, Calif.) Game developer Electronic Arts announced on Monday that it will begin offering online games to the Korean market this fall. The company will first release "Ultima Online" and plans to offer "The Sims Online" and other titles. Redwood City-based Electronic Arts estimates that there are 25,000 online "game rooms" in Korea where users pay by the hour to play games.

http://www.businesswire.com/cgi-bin/f_headline.cgi?day0/212390027&ticker=erts
http://www.ea.com

Posted by Hazard [EiC] at 9:05 PM

August 25, 2001

Player Seer Program Update

Taken from the UO Seers Website:

This week marks the grand opening of the "UO Seers" Program. In just our first week we have managed to wade through the overwhelming number of applications and assign over 50 seers to the various Ultima Online shards. Currently we have been able to service all U.S. shards, all European Shards, and Oceania. At this time we do not have the resources to cover the Asian shards, but once we have firming established ourselves on these shards we will push full-force to expand our group to the Asian shards.

As many can imagine, setup is the most time consuming task with any organization. We too are having growing pains -- we are currently shifting people between shards to utilize our resources fully, we are fighting those people who wish us to fail, and we are awaiting the setup of our very own message board. Within the next few weeks, we will hopefully get these problems ironed out and we will be able to begin the fun part...creating events!

The website will be undergoing some expansion soon as well. One page we are working on is the second quest creation tutorial. This tutorial will be focused on managing the available resources to fit the plotline you have created. Another exciting page we are working on is the Quest Creation Tricks of the Trade. This page will include little known tricks that will dazzle and astonish your audiences! The page will also include all those juicy secrets that some of the veteran quest makers use. Finally, we have several other amazing pages still in the planning. There will be many changes happening over the next month.

Perhaps some of our friends out there may be wondering when the events will actually start! The plan is as follows: Within the next week or two there shall be preliminary events on most shards, events like scavenger hunts, archery contests, etc. Once the teams settle into their routines you will begin to see more storyline based quests, and multi-week events. This isn't to say that we will stop doing smaller quests, but we will also have the more major events! The scenarios WILL be integrated into some of our events, and hopefully we will be able to launch a multi-shard quest related to the next scenario. The important thing to remember is that we are dedicated to being a vital part of the shard communities and we hope to earn the trust and respect of our shards.
The current listing for Baja is currently available here and the new global messageboard for all Seer related activity can be found here.

Posted by Hazard [EiC] at 5:44 PM

August 24, 2001

Events Ideas From Sannio

Comments From the Team was updated with the following article written by Keith "Sannio" Quinn, on the UO.COM website. Here is a sampling:

Creating an Event: Development

Some of us have already created, or plan to try our hand at creating, events for other players in Ultima Online. This article is a checklist of sorts, collecting some information which might be as helpful for those of you who are just starting out, as those who are seasoned event creators. In fact, this is the first of a series of four articles: “Development,” “Preparation,” “Management,” and “Aftermath.”
For the entire length of the article please head to the following location.

Posted by Hazard [EiC] at 9:13 PM

Veteran Rewards Progress Update

The following news was posted to FYI today:

Due to widespread network issues, the Veteran Rewards server was unable to communicate with the Napa Valley shard for much of this afternoon. We have resolved this issue, and will be bringing the Napa Valley shard back up with the Rewards system active in just a few minutes.

Due to the high number of accounts simultaneously logging in and checking their account age, the server may become backed up, and the gump may take up to 5-10 minutes to appear. We anticipate this time will shorten considerably once the initial rush is past. Players are being asked to please wait patiently for the gump, rather than log in and out repeatedly.

IMPORTANT: Rewards are chosen per account, not per character, and are not transferable between shards once chosen. Do not accept a reward on the Napa Valley shard if you do not play on that shard regularly.

Posted by Hazard [EiC] at 2:42 PM

August 23, 2001

Veteran Rewards Update!

The following good news was posted to UO.COM earlier today:

After resolving a multitude of code and hardware-related issues, we will be activating the Veteran Rewards system on the Napa Valley shard on Thursday, August 23rd at 12:00 PM CDT. We will monitor the system closely on the Napa Valley shard the rest of this week, and will begin activating the Rewards system on the remaining shards once we are certain the system is operating as it should.

We're extremely grateful to our veteran players for the patience they have shown as we complete the Veteran Rewards system, and as a way to say thank you, we'd like to offer an extra reward choice to all players on all shards who are currently eligible for a Veteran Reward. This means that when the system is activated, one year veterans - who would previously have been allotted two rewards - will now be eligible for three. Two year veterans will receive four, and three year veterans will be eligible for five. All players will receive this extra reward choice once they reach their one-year status.

All rewards that have been chosen to date will be counted in the totals, meaning that players who have chosen more than their allotted share previously will not be eligible to choose new rewards, and will not receive the extra reward choice (since they already received extra rewards when the system was first released). Players who have chosen fewer rewards than what they are currently eligible for will be allowed to choose new rewards until they have reached the total number they are currently eligible to receive. This will apply until the player is eligible for a greater number of rewards than they have already chosen. For example, a three-year veteran is currently eligible to choose five rewards. If a player has already chosen seven, then that player will not be eligible to choose another reward until they have reached their six-year veteran status, when they would be eligible for eight total reward choices.

IMPORTANT: Rewards are allocated per account, not per character or per shard, so be sure to choose rewards on your regular playing shard, and not on a separate shard. Rewards will not be transferable between shards once chosen.

For more information on the Veteran Rewards system, as well as a detailed listing of the rewards that will be available for one, two, and three-year veterans, see http://update.uo.com/design_350.html. For questions regarding Veteran Rewards and determination of account age, please see the Knowledge Base at http://support.uo.com/, or mail support@uo.com.

Posted by Hazard [EiC] at 1:45 AM

August 21, 2001

Spell Regeant Change

A small addition was made to the "Latest Update" article entitled "Combat Damage Changes". To sum it up, regeant use has changed on the following four spells:

- Magic Arrow: 1 Sulfurous Ash
- Fireball: 1 Black Pearl
- Lightning: 1 Mandrake Root, 1 Sulfurous Ash
- Explosion: 1 Bloodmoss, 1 Mandrake Root

Posted by Hazard [EiC] at 11:56 PM

Baja Citizen Interviewed at Celebrity Chat

Recently Baja Citizen 'Markee Dragon' was interviewed at the UO Celebrity Chat, hosted by the UO Stratics Team. You can read the transcript of the interview here and comment.

Also, Markee's newssite, www.markeedragon.com announced the following new addition to their site:

I'm sure that everyone at one time or another has wanted to buy, sell or trade something in the game but you really didn't know what the item was worth. Or better yet you want to make sure that you are not being scammed. Well now I introduce to you The UO Items Database. We have been slaving over this database for the past few months entering items and estimating their value. With over 800 items currently listed it's a great resource for anything that can be bought, sold or traded.

Since the Database is still new there are still items to be added. We currently list everything from Animals to Food to Weapons and Armor with much more stuff to come. Please join us for the grand opening.

Posted by Hazard [EiC] at 9:37 PM

August 20, 2001

Avalon PvP Tournament Results (Felucca)

The results from the Avalon PvP Tournament are in, and the following victors have been announced:

Posted by Thellaren at 2:38 PM

Sannio Promises to Look Into Blocked Ship Placement

From the Turbulent Waters Site:

One of the great unsolved mysteries of last year was the sudden and unexplained blocking of ship placement on the lake north of the Shrine of Justice. Shortly before housing was opened on the Trammel facet in the summer of 2000, players found that they could no longer place ships on that lake. This came as quite a shock to the lucky few homeowners on the island in the center of the lake, who now found the recall spell as the only way of reaching their homes.

Repeated attempts to get an answer from OSI failed, and players were left to make their own theories. Some speculated that it was an unintended side-effect of ship placement being blocked in dungeons, while others thought it a part of the crackdown by frustrated GMs weary of calls for help by folks stranded on the island.

It was brought up again by my friend Phoenix, who has a house on that island, and UO Community Coordinator Sannio replied:

You know, the change to that island's accessibility is something I've wondered about myself. I'll see if I can't look into that soon. (I don't know what can be done about it, but hopefully we'll at least know more about why it happened.)

There's good fishing on that lake, so let's hope Sannio's quest for answers not only gets an explanation, but perhaps leads to the return of sailing on that serene lake.

Posted by Hazard [EiC] at 1:32 AM

Bottled Water Deemed Legal

From the Turbulent Waters site:

In a question about its legality made on the UO.com In-Game Support message board, Player Relations Training Lead Canyon (I think that means the Leader of the Gamemasters) said the following about player-made bottled water:

It's legal to make, sell, own and trade. Is it still possible to make them?

The answer is yes, it still is possible to make them (see the Secrets of the Sea section of this site). For some time, players have been able to take any ordinary bottled item out to sea, find a certain kind of water tile, and use the tile to convert the bottle of ale, cider, wine, liquor, or pink champagne into a bottle of water.

Occasionally players attempt to fool unsuspecting buyers into thinking that bottled water is a rarity when in fact anyone can make them. In truth, the only time such an item might be worth any more than the price of the bottle would be if one used a pink champagne bottle to make it. Nonetheless, it is good to see a clear statement on this item from OSI.

Posted by Thellaren at 1:25 AM

August 16, 2001

Baja Targeted First With Combat Changes

The following was found on the FYI Section of the UO Offical Website:

We have published the changes and fixes listed in Testing for Next Update to the Baja shard. These changes are now currently active.

We will monitor the Baja shard over the remainder of the week and weekend, and barring any issues, will announce a publish schedule for the remaining shards as soon as we have a target date.
Another update was found shortly thereafter:
A few additions were made to Testing for Next Update regarding the Combat Changes and Tutorial/Haven items previously announced. These changes are presently active on the Baja shard. As stated earlier, we will be closely monitoring Baja and will announce a release schedule for the remaining shards as it is determined.

The changes will be added to Latest Game Updates once the publish is active on all shards.

Posted by Thellaren at 9:20 PM

August 15, 2001

In Development: Treasure Map Changes

Sannio (Online Community Coordinator, UO) recently posted the following new piece to the official UO Development Board:

Many of you may have already read or know about some changes to Treasure Maps that are in development (and you can read about them here).

I wanted to point out I left out one item on the list of changes, but which is now actually listed, as follows:

"It will now be possible for players to reach 100.0 in cartography through creating world maps as well as through decoding treasure maps (previously, a player could only reach a skill of 98.5 through creating world maps)."

Bon cartographie!

Posted by Hazard [EiC] at 10:03 PM

House Decorating & Wedding Services!

Lady Bronwyn of Baja now offers services in House Decorating and Wedding Preparation. Her new brochure had this to say:

Myself and various members of CwR have taken a great delight in decorating. Often times, Apollo in particular, they will give me an idea and I see what I can do with it. I also study other homes and websites and often try to do something unique with it. This isn't always easy, but the finished project is always well worth it. There are many many creative people in our online community and my hat goes off to them.

As for weddings, I think they are wonderful in game. I myself have had two very beautiful weddings. It was such a joyful experience. I can distinctly remember how nervous I was! Its a great way to create allies, friendship and love.


Get your copy of her colorful brochure by touching the picture above.

Posted by Thellaren at 9:49 PM

Treasure Map Changes (In Development)

The following proposed changes to treasure maps were listed on the Development section of the Official UO Boards:

Several updates and changes will occur for treasure maps. The specifics are listed below:

A label will identify the level of the treasure map:
  • a youthful treasure map – level 0 (Ed: new level only for Haveneers)
  • a plainly drawn treasure map – level 1
  • an expertly drawn treasure map – level 2
  • an adeptly drawn treasure map – level 3
  • a cleverly drawn treasure map – level 4
  • a deviously drawn treasure map – level 5
An undecoded treasure map will still have the addition of “tattered”—plus one of the above notations—until being decoded.

A treasure map will be able to be used by those who do not own it, providing that they have enough cartography to decode it.

Posted by Thellaren at 1:53 AM

Further Barkeep Tidbits

Gromm recently posted three more pieces of information about the 'Barkeep' tool to the UO Boards:

1) How much will these guys/gals cost?
Right now we're looking at around 5,000 gold.

2) Do they require a daily fee to maintain or is it a one time fee
and they wll stay till you dismiss them?

One time fee and they will stay till you dismiss them. Since the barkeep doesn't make or collect money for you there is no upkeep or time limit.

3) is there a limit on how many can be in a house, besides floor space?
2 per house.

Posted by Thellaren at 1:43 AM

Reminder to Update UO Account Information

Sannio (Online Community Coordinator, UO) posted the following here:

Could everyone please take a few moments and update your UO Account contact information? I'll wait while you go do that. Here's a link to the "Modify Existing Account" area of the Account Management section.
.
.
.
Hm, I can see most of you haven't gone and made those updates. You're holding the rest of us up. Go at least update your e-mail address.
.
.
.
Tch. Okay, let me explain the problem, then.

Once in a while people have troubles with their message board accounts, and when I say "once in a while," I really mean I get a handful of password requests and such several times per day, all from different people.

Now, the help requests that come into boardhelp@uo.com are mostly based on legitimate problems, and I have no issues with helping people out who really need help. But helping them, helping you, often requires I verify your information, and a big part of that is matching up your correct e-mails.

But the problem there is, from what I can tell, most of you *don't* update your e-mail information.

GAH! *begins pulling out what's left of his hair*

Right now it'll take a couple of days to process some of these "boardhelp@uo.com" requests, but I'm worried that, soon, that may turn into a week or more.

Please help me out here. Give me some more time to read and reply on the boards. Go update your UO Account Information here. Thanks.

=========
Sannio
Online Community Coordinator, UO
Origin Systems

Posted by Hazard [EiC] at 1:37 AM

August 14, 2001

Blade Spirits Functioning on Ship Decks Once Again

From the Turbulent Waters site:

In what must surely be an unintended change, the blade spirit spell is once again able to be cast onto the deck of a ship, giving those who fight at sea a powerful weapon useful for interrupting enemy spellcasting and generally causing chaos for their foes. The spell was mysteriously removed from ship combat nearly three years ago and may have returned as a side effect of recent changes to the spell made for other reasons.

It is most likely that this changed in the July 24th patch which had the following intended effect on the spell, according to the official OSI site:

Bladespirits and Energy Vortex spells have been adjusted to be less processor intensive. This gives a server-side performance increase.

Bladespirits no longer display a paperdoll when double-clicked.

Some of the other effects of these changes were the removal of the ability of the blade spirit to poison its victim, and what is considered by some to be a lowering of its overall power and effectiveness by many who use them to fight monsters.The energy vortex spell is still unable to be cast onto a ship.

My thanks to Jazon, Guildmaster of the Pirates of Scoundrel's Cove on Atlantic,for pointing out this recent change. I had stopped testing blade spirits on ships long ago, having given up hope that they would ever work again. Whether or not the return of blade spirits to ship combat was intentional is unknown, as is whether or not it will remain possible to cast them onto a ship deck. For the time being, however, pirates able to cast 5th circle spells have a powerful new weapon to use.

Posted by Hazard [EiC] at 4:44 PM

Cleanup Britannia Campaign

From Crossroads:

In an effort to cleanup the damaged terrain and leftover junk in our world, the Crossroads of Britannia presents the Cleanup Britannia Campaign. We hope that you, the players will send in the locations that you think should be cleaned up, and we will provide this listing for the UO Live Team to use as reference when performing their maintenane duties. If you would like to submit locations, please post a message on the Dev Board or send email to us. Put 'Cleanup Britannia' in the subject line and list the following:

  • Your Name
  • Shard
  • Facet (Tram, Fel, Ilsh)
  • Sextant Coords
  • Description of the Mess (Emphasis on blocked locations and multiple doors)
  • Date & Time Recorded
Many thanks to Lothar of Catskills for sparking this idea with his post on the Dev Board, and for sending in the first listings. Special recognition goes to Nick Seafort at the Daily Herald for his efforts to cleanup map errors on Great Lakes.

Heather

Posted by Hazard [EiC] at 4:01 PM

Client Patch Set for Today

Pat Factor sent in the following news from OSI:

We will be releasing a client patch on Tuesday, August 14th, at approximately 2:00 pm CDT. For a detailed list of changes that will be included in this update, see http://update.uo.com/design_359.html. These changes will be added to Latest Game Updates once the patch has been released.

The current versions should now be 3.0.3a (2D client) and 3.0.3a Build 69 (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.
Changes will be as follows:
3D CLIENT
  • Paperdoll synch bugs from previous patch should be resolved.
  • Containers should work properly:
    • Relative locations of objects should match between 2D and 3D
    • Container pics on 3D resizable container gumps should hue to match item.
    • Bug where tall items might cause the contents of a container to vanish should be fixed, as should the crash that might occur in these incidents.

  • The following have been converted from 2D sprites to 3D models:
    • Rabbits
    • Snakes
    • Bullfrogs
    • Small Birds
    • Large Birds
    • Town & Sewer Rats

  • Some scenario models are also in this release.
  • Some creatures will now hue in the Third Dawn client:
    • Cats
    • Dogs
    • Ostards
    • Small Birds
2D CLIENT

  • Interface art needed for the event scenario is included in the 2D patch.
BOTH CLIENTS
  • Some problems with arm/disarm macros have been resolved.
  • Books and Bulletin boards now support Unicode characters.
  • Macros now support Unicode
  • Lots of localization file changes.

Posted by Hazard [EiC] at 2:27 PM

The Unofficial “UO Seers” Program Welcomes You!

Krosis sent out the following regarding their new UO Seer program, a project run by and for the players:

The Unofficial "UO Seers" Program Welcomes You!

Announcing the one-and-only multi-shard "UO Seers" Program. Have you always wanted to try your hand as a Guy (or Gal) in Green (a.k.a. a Seer)? Well here is your chance! The "UO Seers" Program is looking for dedicated individuals to create, assist, and perform quests on all Ultima Shards. We have no special powers, we have no robes, we have no ties to OSI, but we have what is most important: creativity, ingenuity, and ambition.

Maybe you have little free time or don't want to make any more commitments? No problem, you can also apply to be a Troubadour and merely assist in a few quests around the realm.

But that's not all! We also provide resources for quest creation and role-playing. Perhaps you don't know where to start when it comes to creating that masterful story line; come to our site! Perhaps you want to learn a bit more about role-playing; come to our site!

But wait! Our most valued service is that we work *with* your shard to help your communities design and perform their own quests. We feel that building a solid shard community is just as important as running events; and by working with you we can create those necessary ties, forming a great foundation.

We are a new group and as we grow, we hope to help each of your shards grow as well! Come visit our website today at http://uoseers.tripod.com or http://members.tripod.com/uoseers/index.htm to apply and/or find out more information!

Let the games begin!

--Krosis,
"UO Seers" Program

Posted by Ursula at 11:56 AM

August 13, 2001

Questions Needed for Interview

From Player2Player.Net:

Greetings once again!

We are currently trying to assemble a list of questions to present to OSI that mainly focus on the state of Felucca at the present time. Questions involving ANY aspect of player towns will be welcome as well. Once we have a suitable list of GOOD questions, we will be presenting them to a member of the UO Live Dev Team in an interview type setting. So if you have a good question concerning some nature of the problems facing Felucca right now, please send them in or post them on our board. Once a list has been finalized we will post it here. And then once the interview has been completed we will post that as well.

We currently don't have a specific time or date for this interview yet. I'll post here, with that information, just as soon as the time arrangements have been made.

Got a question? Then let us know! Email us at: staff@player2player.net

Korin the Scribe

Posted by Thellaren at 1:48 AM

August 11, 2001

Community Building Site

The Freeborn Press would like to bring the readers attention to a new site that was launched earlier yesterday. Here are the details:

Player2Player.Net Mission Statement

What we are seeking to do here is provide a place for player communities to discuss issues that they feel are important and to develop and discuss possible solutions. In short it's a place to talk.

It is our hope that in providing a centralized place for discussion, that we can show those at OSI just how important player input should be within the game. Not everyone with a good idea holds a Masters in Game Design and Programming. Remember you CAN make a difference. All you have to do is try.
To get involved with the community discussion or to read articles such as 'Repopulating Felucca' or 'Townstone Thoughts' ,just proceed to the aforementioned location.

Posted by Thellaren at 12:55 AM

August 10, 2001

Changes to Animal Lore

New to In Concept:

** 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 process as well as the feedback we get from players. As more information becomes available about this concept idea, the update pages will become updated.

Animal Lore skill will be updated as a stand-alone skill, to accommodate localization issues and player- and Dev Team-driven suggested changes. This update does not include any changes where Animal Lore coordinates with any other skill.

Players will use the Animal Lore and then target any animal to obtain two random items of information about that animal, in addition to still discovering the current Loyalty level of an animal (tamed pets, only). Players may need to use Animal Lore on a given animal more than once to learn all the possible available information on that animal. The following lists all possible information that may be discovered with the Animal Lore skill:

Information about its training level, for tamable animals:
  • “It has only just begun its combat training”
  • “It is somewhat trained in the art of war”
  • “It appears fairly trained in the ways of combat”
  • “It has excellent combat training”
  • “It has superior combat training”
  • “It has nearly learned all there is in the ways of combat”
  • “It has mastered the art of war”
  • “It has learned all there is to the art of war”
Information about its past owners, for tamable animals:
  • “It appears to have known only one master in its life”
  • “It seems to have known two masters in its life”
  • “It appears annoyed at having known three masters”
  • “It appears angry to have known four masters”
  • “It appears infuriated to have known five masters”
  • “It is weary of human companionship”
Information about its diet:
  • “You sense that it likes to eat grass”
  • “You sense that it would delight in fruit for a meal”
  • “You sense that it likes to eat hay”
  • “This creature likes to eat grains”
  • “This creature devours meat for its meals”
  • “This creature will eat fish”
  • “This creature will eat various crops”
  • “You can’t think of anything you could feed it” (Note: some pets don’t eat)
Information about its current level of hunger:
  • “It looks like it’s starving”
  • “It looks like it’s near-starving”
  • “It looks pretty hungry”
  • “It looks moderately well-fed”
  • “It looks well-fed”
  • “It looks plump”
  • “It looks like it gets plenty to eat”
  • “It looks replete, as if it has just eaten”
Information about its natural resources (things you can get off of the animal):
  • “You could use this creature for its wool”
  • “It does well at carrying heavy loads”
  • “If this creature were dead, you could use its hides”
  • “You could slaughter it for meat”
  • “It is sometimes used for its wood”

Posted by Thellaren at 9:38 PM

Barkeep Phrase Totals

The Freeborn Press recently sent out the following question to Gromm, UO's Designer of Ongoing Content:

How many separate key phrases will a 'barkeep' be able to process and offer comments on?
The answer came back today as such:
The barkeep will have the three you saw in the pictures of the message gump and an additional one that is triggered by "tipping" the barkeep with gold. So that's 4 total phrases you can enter into a barkeep. 3 with keyword triggers and one with tips.

Posted by Thellaren at 2:24 AM

Changes to General Testing

New to General Testing:

3D CLIENT
  • Paperdoll synch bugs from previous patch should be resolved.
  • Containers should work properly:
    • Relative locations of objects should match between 2D and 3D
    • Container pics on 3D resizable container gumps should hue to match item.
    • Bug where tall items might cause the contents of a container to vanish should be fixed, as should the crash that might occur in these incidents.

  • The following have been converted from 2D sprites to 3D models:
    • Rabbits
    • Snakes
    • Bullfrogs
    • Small Birds
    • Large Birds
    • Town & Sewer Rats

  • Some scenario models are also in this release.
  • Some creatures will now hue in the Third Dawn client:
    • Cats
    • Dogs
    • Ostards
    • Small Birds
2D CLIENT

  • Interface art needed for the event scenario is included in the 2D patch.
BOTH CLIENTS
  • Some problems with arm/disarm macros have been resolved.
  • Books and Bulletin boards now support Unicode characters.
  • Macros now support Unicode
  • Lots of localization file changes.

Posted by Thellaren at 2:16 AM

August 9, 2001

Artificial Intelligence and Monsters

Calandryll, UO's Designer of Ongoing Content released the newest Comments From The Team:

The dictionary defines artificial intelligence as: "The ability of a computer or other machine to perform those activities that are normally thought to require intelligence." In some industries, artificial intelligence could allow machines to perform complex and/or dangerous tasks, thus saving humans the risk or trouble of doing such tasks. But what does AI really mean when we are talking about massively multiplayer monsters?

First, I think it's important that we define what the purpose of AI is for massively multiplayer gaming and, more specifically, for the monsters in the games. Is the purpose of today's gaming AI to replicate human thought? Not really. The above definition is nice, but it doesn't really apply to what we do. Some might say that AI is needed to make monsters more challenging. To me, that's not taking it far enough. For instance, I could make a new monster that has 25,000 hit points, 102AR, 500.0 magic resist, is immune to poison, and does 99 points of damage with a ranged weapon that hits 100% of the time. That monster would certainly be challenging to kill, but there's no artificial intelligence in the monster beyond its ability to target and attack players. It's not a "fun" monster.

And that to me is what AI in these games is really about...making monsters fun. That may sound rather simplistic, but sometimes the simplest explanation is the most elegant. If a monster is not fun to fight, nobody is going to consider it a successful monster design, regardless of how challenging it may be. Fun does not always equal challenging and, more importantly, many players do not want monsters that are as intelligent as players...otherwise, why not just fight players? They want monsters that are fun. Sometimes a fun monster can be something that reacts to your actions, or perhaps it works together with other monsters of its kind to defeat its enemies. Whatever its abilities, if the monster isn't fun, then all of the artificial intelligence in the world is meaningless.

To illustrate the kind of AI I am talking about, I'll give you the example of the savage shaman. Each time a savage shaman is hit, she has a chance to initiate a tribal dance. If she initiates the dance, she searches the area for other savage shamans. If she finds three or more savage shamans within a certain radius, the shaman and all those near her begin to dance. When they finish the dance, the savages cast a powerful group spell that can cause harm to players or even heal all savages near the casters. Needless to say, letting them cast these spells could spell doom for would-be adventurers. But, if you are able to slay enough shamans before they finish their dance, then you can interrupt the spell before it is cast. Or, you can run away from the savages and if you escape the spells' range, avoid the damage of the spell. This kind of AI causes you to react differently than you normally would, without creating undue challenge, and gives you choices for how to react. It also has visual cues, letting you know something is about to happen and giving you time (although not much...you’ve got to think fast!) to decide what to do. Do you try to kill the shamans before they finish dancing? Or do you run away, hoping you can escape before they finish? Or perhaps you just continue fighting, preparing for the spell, knowing that your friends can handle its effects. If savage shamans were nothing more than white hued humans that cast spells they'd be no different, for all intents and purposes, than evil mages, orc mages, or any of the other spell casting monsters with similar stats. It's not their look that separates them from the other monsters in UO...it's what they do.

Of course, none of this takes into account the other reason players like to fight monsters...loot. No matter how cool a monster is, if the reward is poor, people will be less likely to interact with it and hence, the monster will not be considered a success. But how often can we keep adding the typical 100-250 gold and a 10% chance of some rare new item on every new monster? No, there has to be other kinds of rewards to engage players with new monsters. Perhaps fighting these monsters is necessary to achieve some part of a scenario, like the savages in the previous scenario. Or maybe, the monster isn't aggressive at all, but rather, its actions give you evidence (like the frightened orc) of changes in the world. New ideas of intangible rewards, like titles or even abilities unavailable through normal game-play, should be explored.

I don't believe that we, as designers, have even scratched the surface of monster design with massively multi-player games. Aside from the way they look, too many monsters are nothing more than different variations of hit points, damage, and armor values. The team for Ultima Online is going to be trying out some new things over the coming months to help change that. Hopefully we'll present you with some new, exciting monsters...and of course, some fun.

Jonathan "Calandryll" Hanna
Designer, Ongoing Content

Posted by Thellaren at 12:19 AM

August 8, 2001

Unused Character Purge

Recently posted to the UO Boards:

Character data takes up a great deal of space on the servers. Many players have multiple characters that they do not play (characters made for one-time events, made during their regular shard downtime, etc.). Purging characters that are not being used will result in shorter backups, decreasing shard down time and increasing overall performance.

Design
Characters are deleted after three months unless:
The character has over 75 total stat points. All characters that are over 75 stat points will not be purged by this system.
Characters at or below 75 total stat points will need to be "refreshed". Refreshing is defined as logging a character in and then logging out. Logging in a character will reset the three month timer.

Warnings
In order to warn players, shards on the Shard Selection screen will appear in a different color when characters on that shard are scheduled for a purge. Character names in the login list will then appear in the same color if they have not been logged-in for over 2 months. This will serve as a reminder and also warn the player in case a time-warp results in the "refreshing" of a character not saving.

In addition, players will be e-mailed a warning before any character is purged. It is very important that all players keep their e-mail address updated in the Account Management section of the Ultima Online website.

Posted by Hazard [EiC] at 10:00 PM

Questions About Barkeeps

Gromm (UO Designer, Ongoing Content) has been keeping UO Board regulars updated with the most current questions about the Barkeep tool:

How many characters are you able to write in as an answer?
As many as you can fit on one line of typed text.

Can you customize the food menu?
No, it's preset. It has most of the food and drink items an innkeeper has with the exception of a few things players make with the cooking skill.

Are foreign letters (long lives the localization - lol) allowed to use there?
The barkeep is programmed to be usable with any language set. This will mean that if you use an English client and you encounter a barkeep that has been filled with Korean characters you may not be able to enteract.

Do the different titles come with a custom costume for the barkeep?
No, the barkeep will spawn with a standard outfit. After that you control when he changes outfits, exactly like the vendor customization menu.

Where is the house your barkeep is guarding? :)
On my standalone computer I use for coding. First one there can have it. :D

Also, Jahova, the barkeep will not stable animals. We currently have no plans to create a player owned stablemaster.
He also added the following:
Well the barkeeps will have the scenario news, just like the town criers did. That will be localized.

Otherwise, any player entered messages wil be language specific. A keyword entered in Japanese characters will have to be said in Japanese characters to get a response

Posted by Thellaren at 12:52 AM

August 7, 2001

Barkeep Preview

Gromm posted the following on the UO.COM Scenario Forum:

We know you like to see the new stuff early!

The barkeep is currently in QA testing and is still considered to be in the Alpha stage so these are subject to change.

Enjoy! :D


Posted by Thellaren at 3:38 PM

August 6, 2001

Hearts of Baja

Posted to the new Hearts of Baja website:

Looking for the love of your UO life? A new hunting companion? Or maybe just someone to hang around Brit bank with? We are here to help!

Introducing the Hearts of Baja website. We offer the Baja community a lighthearted matchmaking site where you can send us your information and our staff will match you up expertly and confidentially. We also have an easy to use message board forum where you can fill out the requested information and make public your match criteria to broaden your chances of finding that special someone.

A special welcome from shard liaison, Victorias Secret:

Hello and welcome everyone to Hearts of Baja :-) I play a well established character by the name of Victorias Secret on the Baja shard of Ultima Online and I am here to offer a valuable tip for those interested in trying the Hearts of Baja matchmaking services. *curls up in a plush throne dyed signature VS pink* Now, as long as I have been playing UO, I've come to learn that one of the hardest aspects of gameplay has been to find amongst the many that special someone in the game whom you would be willing to give your heart to.

To those even remotely interested in UO love, the search seems pretty intimidating. Not everyone is looking for love, not everyone has that special quality that you know you need, not everyone is in your age group/plays as often as you do/has that easygoing personality to see you through those tense standoffs at the Daemon Temple :-) But I digress.

Thisservice presents you with the chance to share your secret yearnings for that elusive "other", that dream UO companion. So go ahead, the bola is in your court! Take advantage of the limitless possibilities Hearts of Baja offers.

After all, UO is a game of the heart and mind, and the elements of fun within will always be at your fingertips accessible lock and key by YOUR imagination only! With all that said, don't forget to have fun and may love's fortune smile upon thee and thine :-)

Love,

Victoria's Secret

Posted by Thellaren at 9:54 PM

Comments from Vex: Ultima Online's Economy

New to Comments From the Team:

I'd like to take a moment or five to talk about UO’s economy in a big-picture sort of way. The things I am writing about here are basically my thoughts and opinions as a game designer. Nothing written here is to be construed in any way as plans for future development on UO. My intent is to give you a little insight into my thought processes on the subject.

Most players will agree that, while UO’s economy in some respects works amazingly well, it also has some downsides. For example, take the housing trade. It has been a roaring success despite early on lack of support for secure house trading. Houses are bought, sold, and auctioned outside the game. UO’s virtual real-estate market reflects a real one in many ways. Some properties are at premium value and others are more modestly priced. Location, size, and other factors influence the market, which is entirely driven by its participants.

But, in other respects, like player-NPC trading, the system is completely controlled by the game engine. Prices for commodities are mostly fixed, somewhat limiting dynamic supply and demand-based economics. Furthermore, there is no guarantee of supply of a needed item (like spell reagents), making it somewhat inconvenient at times for players to get the things they need right away. It is clear that the system could be improved – and it is our job, as game designers, to create workable win-win solutions.

So, what is the basis for the imperfections in UO’s virtual economy? The answer lies in classic design approaches rooted in single-player games. Classic single-player design approach dictates a totally designed economic situation. It makes perfect sense in the context of a single-player game. Almost universally, prices and monster loot are fixed in single-player RPGs. Designers have goals in mind. In a single player RPG, the "economy" designed into it isn't an economy (in this context) at all. Rather, it is a subgame built into the whole. Game designers predetermine monster loot and shop item costs. Its whole purpose is to act as a barrier to overcome in order to win the game. Usually, by the end of such a game, the main character has more money than he can use. The economic subgame has been beaten. There is no point in simulating a supply and demand economy in this kind of game. It would just be a bunch of trees falling in a forest with nobody around to hear, while the player is busily slaughtering demons in the underworld.

Unfortunately, the same approach is almost universally used in multiplayer games as well. Better equipment costs more money, and higher-level monsters drop more. In the early game, a player might have to play for an hour to collect up a few hundred units of currency, but in the late game the money might be rolling in ten or a hundred times as fast. The only problem is, in a multiplayer game you have "lowbies" and "ubers" mixing it up together. One veteran player giving away the loot from one short hunting trip to a new player will totally blow the curve for the new player. One thousand gold coins might mean five minutes of play to a veteran, but five hours to a newbie. This illuminates a basic flaw of the multiplayer game's economy. It's true that in the real world, one hour of an all-star basketball player’s time might be worth thousands of hours of an average Joe's. The only difference is, in a multiplayer game, all players can reach that all-star level of virtual income just by progressing through the game. If everybody in the world got multimillion dollar contracts to do their jobs, then the dollar would be next to worthless.

How could it be designed better? That’s a tough one, for sure. The casual gamer probably doesn’t want to spend much time shopping. Being on a limited time budget, this type of player wants to equip and go. Many players would probably prefer fixed prices, considering that prices are generally stable in the real world and they’re used to fixed prices in single-player games. Merchants would prefer to see real supply and demand determine prices, finding the dynamics of a reality-based economy enjoyable. Virtual craftsmen want to be guaranteed a demand for their services. With so many different playstyles to accommodate, a perfect solution will be difficult indeed to find.

I'm going to leave this article at that, for now. For my next few Comments from the Team articles, I intend to delve deeper into this same subject. Eventually, I'll get around to exploring some possible solutions, and I look forward to discussing this subject at our upcoming Online Worlds Fanfest.

Michael “Vex” Moore
Designer, UO Live

Posted by Thellaren at 9:45 PM

New Bug Delays Vet Rewards

New to FYI:

Due to a new bug just found which allows players to collect more Vet Rewards (http://update.uo.com/design_350.html) than they should, the re-implementation of the Vet Rewards program is being delayed. We regret having to extend the schedule, but this bug, which involves the use of a third-party program, would negate the benefits of the entire system if left unfixed. We believe we have solved the issue, and the system is now being retested, but we do not yet have an estimated date as to its release. We will update the players as soon as we have more information, and we apologize for this necessary delay.

Posted by Thellaren at 9:37 PM

Illegal Purple-Hued Sigil Items

New on FYI:

In a strengthened stance against exploits, and due to the high number of support calls generated, we are now taking a stronger stand on illegal purple-hued sigil items. As of today, any players found selling these items, either in-game or out-of-game, will receive an automatic 72-hour suspension from Ultima Online, a final warning on their account, and the items will be deleted. Any accounts that have already been placed under final warning will be terminated.

Players with these items already in their possession should note that these items are illegal, and should dispose of them through the nearest waste receptacle, or place them in a backpack and hand them off to an NPC Cobbler to be disposed of. Any remaining items that were dyed through the use of an exploit will very likely be re-hued in the future.

Anything that can be dyed through use of a normal dye tub, including clothing, metal kite shields, and all footwear (excluding sandals) can be hued this shade legally. If an item is purple, and cannot be dyed through the use of a normal dye tub, it is a result of the sigil exploit, and should be disposed of immediately. It is vital that we enforce a NO TOLERANCE rule against exploits, and/or benefiting from exploits, in Ultima Online.

Thank you for your understanding,

Ultima Online Support

Posted by Thellaren at 11:01 AM

August 5, 2001

Hero Titles and Light Sources Comparison

The following research was just completed by various members of UO Stratics:

  • First of all FatherGanja has been living in the Hero Title spawn areas for many days, trying to get as many details as possible. With the help of some other staff members he was able to get some fine results. You can find all that on our Hero Titles page. Now all we need to figure out is what those third tier titles are :)

  • Next on the list is some research done by Sie Ming on light sources. As you may know, the various light sources in UO all give a different amount of light, which can best be seen when walking in dark dungeons. To find out all about the differences between Campfires, Candles, Lanterns, Torches, Nightsight Potions and the In Lor spell, go see the Light Source Comparison page.


  • Xena Dragon

    Posted by Hazard [EiC] at 1:23 PM

    ***ImaNewbie does Britannia!***Collector's Edition CD

    From Yahoo Groups:

    Ok folks, here's the deal. You may have noticed that I have been down for the better part of two weeks due to having to change server addresses and the time it takes for changes to take effect. I have been doing these 'toons thru thick and thin for over three years now. In that time I have gone through about five different hosts, several changes of server addresses, umpteen server outages, Y2K, T2A, UOTD, Melissa, SirCam, Code Red and a half dozen other viruses, DOS attacks, and all manner of plagues and pestilence.

    For that reason I have decided to offer up the entire three year collection of ImaNewbie to date in an exclusive Collector's Edition CD that will let you browse to your heart's content, anytime, regardless of whether the Internet or your Service Provider is Up, Down or Sideways at the time. Another bonus feature is no annoying advertising banners, pop-ups or cookies. Plus I have added a bunch of new stuff including an introduction and short history, character bios for all the major characters, indexes and some other stuff not available on my regular site. You can get all the details by heading over to my site. Check it out.

    ImaNewbie does Britannia

    later...Tryon

    Posted by Hazard [EiC] at 2:20 AM

    August 4, 2001

    Crashing & Shopkeeper Restocking Fixes

    New to Testing for Next Update:

    This testing update addresses certain crashing issues involving containers, and a fix is being added regarding restocking & overstocking of certain NPC vendor inventory items.
    • A crash issue involving containers is being addressed, and involves dumping items to a players/pets feet if their pack is overloaded
    • To ensure that player-created materials retain their value, a fix is being added to vendors that will allow only up to 10 of each of the following items to be available from that vendor (until it restocks its inventory).
    • boards
    • arrows
    • ingots
    • bolts
    • hides

    Posted by Hazard [EiC] at 2:36 PM

    Creating Boards, Teleporting into Blocked Locations, and Balron Spawning Fix

    New to General Testing:

    This update addresses the creation of boards, stuck players teleporting into blocked locations, and adjusting the balron spawning within an Ilshenar dungeon.
    • Players will no longer gain skill for creating boards, and all logs in a player’s backpack will be changed into boards when boards are created.
    • An issue where stuck players could be teleported into blocked locations (causing them to be stuck again) has been resolved.
    • Fixed an issue causing balrons to spawn in an inaccessible area in an Ilshenar dungeon.

    Posted by Hazard [EiC] at 2:30 PM

    August 2, 2001

    Wanted: Calling All Pirates!

    Posted to the FYI section at UO.COM earlier today:

    “Arr! There be a great, grand ship ahead. And where there be a grand ship, there be treasure to be had. Check the riggin’! Load the chase guns! Raise the Jack and haul wind! There be no sweeter trade than the life of a pirate.”

    Do you enjoy plundering ships? Are you fond of colorful bandanas? Does your pet consistently crave crackers? If so, we want to hear from you! We’re seeking tales of high-seas adventure and treasure-looting escapades. Tell us about your greatest battle or your most valuable pickings. Victims of swashbucklers are welcome to send in stories as well!

    Send your story as an e-mail, with a single screenshot attached, to uo-profiles@uo.com by Friday, August 10th. Please be sure your story falls between 500-1000 words, and include “Pirates!” in your subject line. The screenshot should be in bitmap format, and 640x480 resolution. 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 Hazard [EiC] at 9:23 PM

    Ilshenar Monster Spawn Map for UOAM

    From Markeedragon.com:

    Announcing the Ilshenar Monster Spawn Map for UOAM. Designed to work in harmony with the current UOAM maps you will soon find this map indispensable! Many who have had the chance to view it already have used it to organize their guild hunts in Ilshenar. Enabling them to pick the difficulty of beast they wish to confront and so control the level of challenge the hunt gives them, safe in the knowledge that they wont have any fatal surprises! So if it's a guild hunt you want to organize, or if you're looking for the location at which that elusive monster spawns, or even if your trying to find one of the many Roving Gypsy camps in the area then look no further. You have just found the perfect solution!

    Markee Dragon is proud to host the Ilshenar Monster Spawn Map for UOAM. Special thanks to Luke "Klesk" Canvin for his hard work in creating this map.

    Markee Dragon
    www.markeedragon.com

    Posted by Hazard [EiC] at 3:28 PM

    Taming Concerns

    Sannio recently posted to the Tamers and Rangers Board at UO.COM. The following paragraph sums up just a bit of what he is looking for.

    Hi, I'm new here, and I was wondering if you could help me get up to speed on some of these Tamer concerns that have been coming up. There's a whole lot that I need to read, and if you could help summarize some things for me, that'd be awesome.

    Sannio
    Online Community Coordinator, UO
    Origin Systems
    Follow the link above to delve more into the subject matter and to read follow up issue summarizations from the taming community.

    Posted by Hazard [EiC] at 12:55 AM

    August 1, 2001

    The Seas of Ilshenar : A Survey From the Shore

    The following new report was found on the Turbulent Waters site, UO's premiere site for all things relating to the ocean:

    No ships ply the waters of this strange new facet. Rumors of seahorses on the waves have proven unfounded thus far. Nonetheless, one can see much of the seaways and rivers of Ilshenar by engaging in a little exploration. And now that UO:Third Dawn is running relatively well on my computer, I finally did just that over the weekend.


    The actual space covered by them is relatively small. Indeed, most of the bodies of water are referred to as termir, meaning "lake" in the language of that facet, which seems derived from the same language of the magic spells used in everyday casting. There are also pormir, which is a river in that language. The map of Ilshenar is the source of these terms for these areas, and their translations.
    For a more detailed look at Ilshenar, read the rest of the report here.

    Posted by Hazard [EiC] at 2:24 AM

    July 31, 2001

    Sannio on 'Catching Up'

    The following was posted to the UO.COM forums:

    I want to post things of value to you; there’s little point in me posting some information that’s either too generic or has been said before in the exact same way. There will certainly be times when I post or explain something more that one way, and this kind of reiteration is a great way to help get a certain point or complicated idea across to people.

    Part of my job, right now and for the next, oh, one to two months or so, will be “catching up" on what all the exact details are regarding playing UO, and what might be changing about those details. I'll have been meeting, and continue to meet, everyone on the UO team, to find out what they do, and how they do it, and how all they do affects so many other aspects of the game. Learning who does what and what does which and which affects who is a critical part of my job, along with how, when and why to explain any or all of what I learn.

    I don't want to post any wrong information, or anything valueless. Right now, everyone’s got the basics of Publish 12, and that’s great. I could keep posting the same information, but I would consider that useless. It’s more important form me to find out the useful information, because that’s not only what I hope to give you, it’s what you need to play the game to what you feel is its fullest potential for you.

    I’ll be happy to give out new information when I have it available to give to you, but unfortunately that may mean my early posting practices are slow, and I thank everyone in advance for their patience.

    =========
    Sannio
    Online Community Coordinator, UO
    Origin Systems

    Posted by Hazard [EiC] at 3:20 PM

    Publish 12 Update

    Some of the latest from the UO.COM Boards:

    We've been getting requests from players as to the status of the "Publish 12" update. Publish 12 was published to all shards on July 23rd, becoming active on most Shards early July 24th. Just as a note, while Vet Rewards are a big part of Publish 12, it also includes all those features & changes listed under the date "July 24th" in the Latest Update page at http://update.uo.com/latest.html. Included are changes to Vendors, Skill Modifications, a new GM rating tool, and a whole slew of necessary tweaks & adjustments to various in-game systems. These are all active, and have been since the 24th. And, of course, there's also Vet Rewards.

    Vet Rewards--which are not active yet, by the way--is a very special situation, in that we're anticipating a huge response once they go live, and we're taking the time necessary to see that the hardware can withstand the deluge of players who want to try out the system on the first day. Once we're sure everything is ready, we'll activate Vet Rewards--although to make sure everything goes smoothly, we'll start with one Shard at a time. (In case you were wondering: we'll post updates when Vet Rewards will be activated.) Thanks for your patience.

    Sannio

    Posted by Hazard [EiC] at 12:44 AM

    July 26, 2001

    Comments From Sannio

    The following item of interest was just posted to the Comments From The Team Section on the UO website:

    Comments from Sannio
    Hi, everyone. I’m your new Online Community Coordinator, or “OCC,” and you can call me Sannio. Some of you may recall that name from my time as Seer Sannio on Chesapeake. I played for well over a year as Wixim the Mad, Lord Hughert, Korryn, Joye (Minax’ patsy in the Trinsic invasion), and even Dupre, plus a bunch of other characters and monsters and such. Before that, for a short time, I served Napa Valley for a few months as Counselor PapaMan.

    Players from Baja may know me as Nobody, Brother Huberty, or Nathan Harper, among others. In some way or another, I’ve been involved with a lot of groups & communities there, such as Britannia Search & Rescue, the Freeborn Press, Avalon, Lumaria, Golden, the Golden Players, the Baja Mage Tower, the Scorpions, the Kingdom of Dawn, and even UO Stratics’ Baja section, plus a whole bunch more. (And I’m also sure that everyone who knows me from Baja also appreciates the brevity of these comments, as opposed to my usual lengthy ramblings!)

    Before joining Origin Systems, I’ve done Web design, desktop publishing, illustrating, comic books, trading cards, and other creative things like that. Now that I’m Ultima Online’s OCC, I’ll be a kind of “communications middle-man” between all of the players and all the teams here at Origin working on UO. The Online Community Relations team and I will try to help keep you informed on all the latest updates & changes in the game—but don’t expect me to give away any event scenario secrets! :] I’ll also be trying to be your voice here at Origin, keeping everyone here informed in all the things that you care about or ways in which you’d like the game to advance & grow. You’ll probably see me most often posting on the UO.com message boards, and I’ll look forward to posting back and forth with everyone there.

    Sannio
    Online Community Coordinator
    Ultima Online
    Origin Systems

    Posted by Hazard [EiC] at 3:38 PM

    July 24, 2001

    OSI: Account Security

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

    Account Security

    As a reminder, no EA employee will ever ask for your UO password. If you are contacted in game or via email, IRC, or any other Internet messaging program by someone claiming to be an EA employee, do not give out your password. Furthermore, do not attempt to access or edit your account information through any third-party programs that may take you to a false representation of the Ultima Online website. The only valid URL for the Ultima Online account management website is http://www.ultima-registration.com

    For additional information on computer security and safety, please visit http://support.uo.com/faq_1.html

    Posted by Nobody at 11:45 PM

    New Baja IRC Channel

    The following was recently posted by by Cymidei Fier to UO Stratics:

    New Baja IRC Channel

    Are you interested in chatting with other Baja players? Perhaps making new friends, allies, and connections. Consider using the new Stratics IRC channel #baja

    http://uo.stratics.com/irc/uoirc.shtml

    Posted by Nobody at 10:37 AM

    July 23, 2001

    The Golden Brew Players Present...



    Thanks to Mirabel for the annoucement artwork!

    Posted by Nobody at 11:42 PM

    Scottish UO Meet Reminder - Sat July 28th

    The following was posted by Joshua Rowan to UO Stratics:

    Scottish UO Meet Reminder - Sat July 28th

    The following reminder was sent to us by Iain in regard to the Scottish UO Meet coming up this coming Saturday:
    Just a quick reminder to everyone...

    This Saturday see's the first of hopefully many Scottish meet-up's for UO players on the Europa shard.

    We're looking at meeting on 28th July, in 'Espionage' on Victoria Street (just off George IV bridge) in Edinburgh, at 3pm. If people don't know Edinburgh I shall be waiting at the left hand side of the WH Smith entrance in Waverley Train Station at 2:30pm - I shall be leaving to head to 'Espionage' at 3pm. The reason for Espionage is that it has large booths with large comfy leather seats that can easily accomodate 10 people each. 'Espionage' is a 6 floor labyrnth of rooms, corridors and bars - so it can be quite easy to get lost if you don't arrive early. The place where we will (hopefully) be sitting is on the ground floor to the right after you walk along the corridor at the entrance. If you are still having problems, contact me - iainwatson@yahoo.com - and I shall give you my mobile number. We will also all have name badges, so it shouldn't be too hard to spot us.

    There's talk of moving on to a club later at night, but I'll leave that to the day to arrange, coz not everyone's keen on it.

    Could you please leave a note here if you wish to attend with your RL name, main character name, guild (if any), and pigeon/mail number. If your too shy to leave your RL name here send me a pigeon on 9921764 or email - iainwatson@yahoo.com - with your details...

    The Specifics:
    Where: Espionage Bar, Victoria Street, Edinburgh, Scotland
    Date: Saturday, 28th July, 2001
    Time: 3 pm

    Contacts:
    Coordinator: Mentazm
    iainwatson@yahoo.com
    ICQ 9921764

    Posted by Nobody at 4:31 PM

    InsideUO Updated for UO3D

    The following from Alazane was posted by Joshua Rowan to UO Stratics:

    InsideUO Updated for UO3D

    The following news comes to us from Alazane, the creator of InsideUO:
    InsideUO should now support the Third Dawn map. Just right click on the map and it is the selection at the bottom. If you have any problems with it, let me know. InsideUO also now displays the contents of Skills.mul, allows you to create phrases with the fonts, and is sporting a new art viewer window that should make life a little easier.

    I'd also like to get names in for the Gumps, so if anyone is feeling bored and knows all of the names, please e-mail me a list of the number and the name of each gump.

    What is InsideUO? From his website - "InsideUO is a 32bit Windows application designed to reveal the innermost details of the client side of Ultima Online. Everything that is provided from InsideUO, from the static images to the sounds, come directly from UOs data files. Hence, InsideUO is of no use without said data files." To check it out for yourself head on over to Alazane's InsideUO.

    Posted by Nobody at 4:30 PM

    July 18, 2001

    Celebrity Chat Log with Cal & Team

    The following was posted by Joshua Rowan to UO Stratics:

    Celebrity Chat Log with Cal & Team

    We are currently having DNS issues with our UOHoC Site, but in the meantime, I wanted to make sure you were all able to read yesterday's Celebrity Chat with Calandryll, Gromm, Augur, and Vex from the Ongoing Content Team. Here is a snippet from it:

    Zeromus_ - Is part of the scenarios project to give UO a permenant active fiction to accompany it (say, through the other power indicated in the fiction which went with this scenario) or do you plan to stick to more compact story arcs and self-contained Scenarios?
    Calandryll_OSI - Absolutely. The scenarios aren't meant to be a bunch of short stories... many future scenarios will play off the ones before it. Think of the scenarios as
    Calandryll_OSI - chapters in a book...a book that you get to play a part in...you're just finished chapter one.
    For now, you can all read it at our Temp Location. I will let you all know ASAP once the main UOHoC site is working again.

    Posted by Nobody at 8:02 PM

    July 14, 2001

    OSI Harassment Policy Update

    The following was posted yesterday by citizenKane2 to UO Stratics:

    OSI Harassment Policy Update

    The harrassment policy of OSI on the official UO website has been updated.Cynthe posted this on the official UO Boards:
    Ever since I came into the UO community, harassment has been a major issue - especially on this board (remembers the never ending harassment thread). Part of it was the fact that there were so many instances of it, and part of it was the fact that our stance was not as cut-and-dry as it should have been.

    The way some harassment calls in the past were handled led some people to feel that they were as likely to be punished for using the harassment tool as the harassers themselves. This led to people who were angry about being harassed, but who were afraid to use the tool to do anything about it.

    This was a problem.

    So it became a goal to see that the harassment policy was updated, and that we made it more clear just what the tool is for, how it's used, and what happens when it's used. We are also updating the policy internally, and our GMs have been in on the process.

    For the most part, the policy is unchanged, with the exception of one thing: grief play. In the past, players have been asked to page in for grief play under "Other" instead of "Harassment", since the grief play does not show up in the logs that are reviewed by the Harassment team. However, to make it easier for the players, all harassment, whether physical or verbal, will now be addressed under the Harassment tool.

    The important thing to note is that grief play still does need to be witnessed to be verifiable, so if you are paging about physical harassment (in other words, harassment that does not fall into the verbal category and cannot be verified through a chat log), then it needs to be done right away. The GM's cannot determine grief play if it is no longer occuring once they can get there.

    This policy has been discussed by many departments here before making it live on the site today, and I'm interested in getting your feedback.

    You can find it here:
    http://support.uo.com/gm_9.html
    Additional information from Teich Dragon was posted today:
    Cynthe On The New Harassment Policy

    Adressing a lot of player concerns of missusing the new harassment policy, here is a post from Cynthe about that.

    I put in the original questions, so you won't get confused again:
    Cynthe, I'm sure that consolidating the various methods of reporting problems is a step in the right direction and the fact that the GM's have been a part of this move is encouraging. With that said though, I don't think that this addresses what the real problem in UO is (as far as harassment in general goes).

    You are absolutely correct that in the past GM responses to harassment calls have often subjected the "caller" to more problems than those doing the harassing. And, as a result, people tend to just try and ignore it, but that only works to an extent. In my opinion, there are two MAJOR problems with OSI's current harassment policy.

    One. You have set the standard for determining harassment much too high and those that are the "professional" harassers, can quote to you chapter and verse of your policy. I've seen some that have a macro explaining all the steps that "the innocent party" must take before the harasser can be punished. Your "move away from the harassment" standard allows the harassers to stake out their territory and virtually do whatever they desire to you while you are there (if they don't cross the race line, that is). If you don't like it, you have to leave. Well, that's a victory for the little harassers and it forces the "innocent" to have to depart from an area that they very well might have a reason for being at. Telling people to "turn on the obscenity filter" to avoid repetitive obscene language is unfair to the "innocent" because that filter system causes them to lag. So, once again, the harasser has won and gets away with impacting the "innocent's" play. All supported, btw, because of OSI's enforcement policy. Right along with this is the fact, that under your current policy, the "professional" harassers can harass virtually ad infinitum...they do it, you must leave. They have a problem only if they follow you. If you run into them later, they get another free shot, and you have to leave. Why? Because in neither of the encounters, is that one instance (forget the fact that this happens everyday), in and of itself, sufficient to meet OSI's standard of harassment.

    Two, the ignore feature, which would solve many harassment problems, not only causes you to see no speech whatsoever from the individual, it also prevents the chars from showing up in "all names". And while that may seem insignificant to you, it's important to someone that is constantly involved in PvP. And though I have no evidence of this because I don't use it for stated reason, I suspect that the ignore feature also causes lag (just as the obscenity feature does).

    So, combining these is important I guess. But, how does it address the real problem?
    Answer from Cynthe:
    I do see your point, and it's one that was discussed at length. But in every case of policy, there are two major things to consider.

    One - does it do its job well enough? In other words, will this policy solve the problems it is meant to solve, and help innocent people be able to fight back against harassment?

    And two - will it cause more problems than it solves? Players can also harass other players by exploiting the harassment feature. Picture a guild that wants to have a specific guy banned from the game. Guild members take turns going up to the guy and mooning him until he finally tells them to *#% off. Then they page harassment for his having said something rude. If we didn't have some kind of standard for seeing that the harasser was intetnionally being rude, and intended to continue doing so, then this kind of thing could happen every day.
    In reply to:

    Right along with this is the fact, that under your current policy, the "professional" harassers can harass virtually ad infinitum...they do it, you must leave.
    This isn't necessarily true - note that in the policy it says that the genuine attempt to get them to stop could also consist of you asking them to stop.

    It may seem silly to you to say to someone who is harassing you, "Excuse me, but you are getting no advantage out of killing my horses, and it's making me unable to play. This is getting to the point of harassment - please stop!" But without seeing evidence of some sort of insistence on the harasser's part to continue the harassment, there's often little that can be done.

    Picture a driver who gets pulled over for driving 90 in a 55 mph zone. If there were no speed limit sign posted, he might get off the hook, because he could claim that he'd never been told the speed limit was only 55. And this is a good thing, right? Otherwise, law enforcement could simply lower the speed limit wherever they chose, not put up a sign about it, and pull over every car that enters the area for speeding.

    In harassment cases, a player could get off the hook if it could be proved that he or she may not have realized they were harassing someone. And in some cases it could be true - some players simply are used to acting a certain way, and don't even realize that their behavior is being seen as harassment. So we ask players to take the first step, whether that be leaving the area or asking the harassing player to stop the harassing actions - either way, we need to be sure that it was made clear to the harassing player that they are harassing someone. That way the player knows, and the GM knows, that if the behavior continued, then the harassing player knew full well that it was being considered harassment.

    Our goal is to find the best balance possible between making sure that players can fight harassment, without innocent players having to play in fear of being labeled as harassers when they are not.

    ___________________
    Cynthe
    Community Manager
    Ultima Online
    ORIGIN Systems

    Posted by Nobody at 11:19 AM

    July 11, 2001

    A Look at the Ridgeback

    Pat Factor, Shard-renowned Grandmaster Tamer and Shadowlord Faction supporter, recently gave me the oppotunity to take a gander at his new Ridgeback mount. Pat brought his newly-tamed beast to the BS&R Treasure Hunter’s Rune Library for viewing, while he briefed me on his capture and posed for a screenshot.

    You can see Pat's Ridgeback in the screenshot on the right, standing just in front of myself (in the orange) and Maximus (in the red). It was found and tamed by Pat, himself, in the Cove area.

    The screenshot shows how the Ridgeback looks while using the UO3D client. However, when using the standard UO 2D client, the Ridgeback looks like an unnaturally-colored yellow Ostard — the sort of yellow that might appear if you colored it with the straight-yellow from a simple players’ dye tub.

    “It feels like I’m riding on a tank,” Pat said about about his new mount.

    Posted by Hazard [EiC] at 8:50 PM

    OSI comments on future and present

    Great News About Ridgebacks (Source: UO Stratics)

    Great news from the uo.com-boards about the ridgebacks and for players who would like to ride one, but don't have a tamer:

    Yes, they require high taming to tame, but no taming to own/ride.

    -Jonathan "Calandryll" Hanna
    Designer, Ongoing Content
    In another posting Calandryll talks about some things that players may have misinterpreted about the scenarios:
    Most GM's are tired of it because of the volume of calls it generates.

    --Not sure where you got that information since it is not even remotely true. The scenario isn't generating a lot of calls at all and most bug reports are fixed within one week. I know this because I actually speak to the GM leads on a regular basis about the scenario and I have gotten nothing but positive feedback. These are the type of folks that would tell us immediatly if our work was impacting their jobs as I have worked with many of them for a very, very long time.

    No one wants this except the guy who purpetrated it. So once again the vast majority are outvoted.

    --That's odd as well since by all evidence of our tracking, a ton of players are participating in and using the items in the scenario. Also, while there are negative posts about the scenarios, there are also, many, many positive ones (as well as many e-mails to us directly).

    THIS is supposed to be a substitute for the Seers that this same person got rid of.

    --Actually no it's not. In fact, I've stated on numerous occasions that the scenarios were not meant as a replacement for the seers.

    While I understand not everyone enjoys the scenario, it is a very poor idea to misrepresent information when trying to make a point simply to justify an arguement. We want the negative feedback from players on this as it will greatly help us when crafting future scenarios. But posts filled with innaccurate and inflamatory information don't help at all.

    As for the town invasions themselves, the players will have the opportunity very soon to rid their towns of these foul creatures once and for all. That done, the next scenario does not have town invasions. :)

    -Jonathan "Calandryll" Hanna

    Posted by Hazard [EiC] at 2:43 PM

    July 10, 2001

    Storytelling with Meredith

    Please join us this Wednesday, July 11th, 6:30pm PST at The Golden Globe Theater to share stories with old friends and new. Share your tales of bravery fighting savages, orcs or both! Or perhaps a touching story of true love. If you're feeling daring give a try at our game, Story Roulette. By taking three words from the audience you spin an original story right on the spot!

    A map to the Golden Globe Theater, in Golden [on Trammel, north of the Justice Shrine. -Ed.], can be found here.

    Posted by Nobody at 3:46 PM

    July 2, 2001

    Lum the Mad Leaves His Own Site

    Lum the Mad, at his site of the same name, posted a farewell of sorts today. He's moving on to a job with an online gaming company, and felt it would be a conflict of interests to both work for a company and be a direct part of a rant site.

    The introduction to his article is below, and the entire article can be found here.

    LUM SELLS OUT

    Short version: I've taken a job as a tools programmer with Mythic Entertainment, and will be working on behind-the-scenes stuff related to making Dark Age of Camelot's customer service better. To quote my new co-worker Sanya "Tweety" Thomas, "please direct all complaints about me being a sell out corporate whore to www.I Don't See You Paying For My Health Insurance.com."

    As part of my new position, since ranting about our competitors would be wildly inappropriate, I'm turning this website over to its other writers.

    Posted by Nobody at 10:18 AM

    July 1, 2001

    Lions and tigers and CENTAURS!! Oh my!

    Again via Stratics: Centaurs on Test Center 6

    Centaurs have appeared on Test Center 6. You can find them in the Serpentine Passage there. As far as I found out they are wearing bows and know how to handle them, and they also seem to be using magic.




    As soon as more information is available about them, we will let you know on our Centaur Page. Thanks to Patricia for that heads up.

    Posted by Hazard [EiC] at 10:09 AM

    Bartenders coming? From Stratics:

    From Stratics: When Bartenders will show up:

    In reply to a query as to when bartenders will show up in UO, Calandryll (UO Designer, Ongoing Content) replied :

    They'll be in the first week of the next scenario. No specifc date for that yet though. More than likely, there will be a 4 week time off between the end of this scenario and the next one.

    Posted by Hazard [EiC] at 9:57 AM

    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.

    Melantus
    Online Community Coordinator
    Ultima Online
    Melantus@uo.com

    Posted by Nobody at 2:29 AM

    June 28, 2001

    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

    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

    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:

    YOU ARE THE WEAKEST LINK.G'BYE.

    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 Nobody at 3:20 PM

    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 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.

    Melantus
    Online Community Coordinator
    Ultima Online
    Melantus@uo.com

    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.

    Melantus
    Online Community Coordinator
    Ultima Online
    Melantus@uo.com

    Posted by Nobody at 2:11 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

    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 Nobody at 8:35 PM

    June 10, 2001

    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 Nobody at 12:55 AM

    June 9, 2001

    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 Nobody at 2:22 AM

    June 7, 2001

    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.

    barkeep
    butler
    cook
    servant
    hermit
    paladin
    artist
    bard
    beggar
    blacksmith
    brigand
    carpenter
    farmer
    fisherman
    gambler
    innkeeper
    mage
    mercenary
    miner
    monk
    noble
    peasant
    pirate
    ranger
    sailor
    scribe
    tailor
    thief
    tinker
    waiter
    warrior
    merchant
    scholar
    sage
    librarian
    curator
    alchemist

    Enjoy!

    Gromm
    Designer, Ongoing Content

    Posted by Thellaren at 12:28 AM

    June 6, 2001

    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 Nobody 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 Nobody at 4:44 PM

    June 4, 2001

    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 Nobody at 6:31 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 Nobody 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.

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

    $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.

    Deadline:
    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
    Web
    Map

    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 Nobody 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 Nobody at 5:49 PM

    May 31, 2001

    Messageboard Link Gathering

    Due to the recent collapse of Vor's old Messagezone service, many of our messageboard links here at the press will become inoperational. If you would like to help us update any of the links or know of new messagesites for different entities, please feel free to post them to us here, or you can even send an e-mail to the following address.

    Thank you for helping keep Baja linked.

    Posted by Thellaren at 12:25 AM

    May 30, 2001

    OSI: Exploiting in Ultima Online

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

    Exploiting in Ultima Online

    Please remember that exploiting bugs or using unapproved third party programs in Ultima Online can result in the permanent suspension of your Ultima Online account. A list of approved third party applications can be found here. Using any exploit or third party application not on this list is a violation of the Rules of Conduct.

    We are committed to removing those players that choose to exploit Ultima Online, and will continue to work towards maintaining an enjoyable and level playing experience for all of our players.

    Posted by Nobody at 4:34 PM

    May 29, 2001

    SitePowerUp Message Service Closing

    Many of us use the SitePowerUp message service system, which has unfortunately been unavailable for the past few days. Sometime after the boards came back up today, the following message appeared (and continues to be seen there, even now) at the top of all SitePowerUp boards:

    I regret to inform you that SitePowerUP.com and its services will be shutting down permanently on June 1, 2001. The only exception to this is email. Users who have @sitepowerup.com accounts are welcome to keep them. Since 1997 we have provided services for over 50,000 web sites and have logged almost a half billion pageviews from our users. Those of you with paid service will be refunded a prorated percentage of your current payment after the first week of June.

    Jim Townsend  aka  Vor the Admin
    Lum the mad, of his site of the same name, also reporting this story, had the following suggestions for those soon-to-be-ex-SitePowerUp users:
    As a service to those in the MMO community hit by this move, here are some providers of free message board services.If you host your own web server, you can also set up your own message board. This has the advantage of not inflicting annoying pop-up ad banners and such on your users. However they can be a drain on your web server and require some (in some cases quite a bit of) knowledge in setting up web applications. Novices are recommended to start with Ultimate BB as that system has a simple step-by-step tutorial and works with almost every web server. In repeated (*sigh*) testing we've found that WWWThreads holds up the best under high-stress conditions.
    • Ultimate BB ($249, requires Perl on web server)
    • WWWThreads ($100, requires Perl or PHP and MySQL on web server)
    • VBulletin ($85, requires PHP and MySQL on web server)
    • Snitz Forums (free, requires NT web server and Access or MS-SQL)
    Please feel free to use the Freeborn Press message board, here, to coordinate your message forum changes, and don't forget to check in at the news pages of your favorite groups on their own impending changes.

    Posted by Nobody at 2:33 PM

    May 26, 2001

    Player Owned Bartenders

    The following was posted to the IN DEVELOPMENT page at UO.COM:

    Players will now be able to purchase and own a Bartender, that can be placed in the player's house. The bartenders will serve as a method for players to support and announce their own events and quests. The bartenders will have the following properties:
    • The Bartender can be "tipped" with amounts of gold. Depending on the amount of gold, the Bartender's reply will vary to possibly include a "rumor".

    • Rumors on the Bartender can and will (depending on the size of the tip) be about current scenarios currently going on within UO (game-generated scenarios). For example, a rumor might be about the Orc events that have been happening recently. The game-generated rumors will be kept current by the event system automatically, shard-wide.

    • The Bartender's owner/employer will be able to place one rumor on the bartender. This will allow for the bartender to function within player-created scenarios.

    • Players will be able to decide whether to tip the bartender for a scenario rumor or a �local� player generated rumor.

    • The Bartender will also sell drinks.

    • A contract of employment for a bartender can be purchased at an Innkeeper.
    Bartenders will be in the various taverns throughout the cities, to support the scenarios as well, with the scenario rumors. However, players will not be able to add rumors to these bartenders.

    The types of houses a bartender can go in are:
    • Two Story Villa

    • Large Marble Patio

    • Large Brick House

    • Large Patio

    • Two Story Stone and Plaster

    • Two Story Wood and Plaster

    • Tower

    • Stone Keep

    • Castle

    • Sandstone

    • Log cabin

    Posted by Thellaren at 1:11 PM

    May 18, 2001

    EA: Sign up for the UO Newsletter!

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

    Sign up for the UO Newsletter!

    Want to keep up-to-date on all the latest news in the world of Ultima Online? From spotlights to shard openings, to news about patches and new systems, the Ultima Online Newsletter is sent out once a month, and only to those who have subscribed. It's coming next week, so make sure you don't miss it - click here to sign up today!

    Posted by Nobody at 5:37 PM

    Sage and Runesabre leaving!!!

    The following was posted to UO Stratics:

    Rumor Mill - Sage & Runesabre Gone?

    UO Stratics has received several "unofficial" confirmations today that both Paul Sage and Kirk Black will soon be leaving OSI and Ultima Online. To further back up the story, here is an article that Jinx just posted on his own website, The Chosen:
    I've heard from a few sources that Paul "Sage" Sage and Kirk "Runesabre" Black are leaving UO. As always this is a rumor, but with Sage going to E3 "unofficially" to hang out with an "old friend who is not in the business", it stands to reason (in my deluded mind, anyway) that he is going to see about hooking up with Richard "My Alter Ego is a Registered Trademark" Garriot's new company or possibly to hook up with the Star Wars Galaxies team (either way he'll be with former friends from OSI - OSI has more or less supplied every MMORPG development team in existence with at least 2 or 3 warm bodies).

    None of this can be confirmed at the moment and its all heresay and rumormongering, but, hey, this is the company formerly known as OSI, where heresay and rumormongering is a way of life. If it is true, we here at The Chosen wish them the best and hope Sage can come up with a better handle than his last name in his future endeavors.

    - Jinx
    For those not familiar with their names, Sage is the current Lead Designer of UO and Runesabre is the current Producer. In other words, this could mean big changes for UO.

    Posted by Nobody at 12:00 AM

    May 17, 2001

    EA: UO Player Luncheons

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

    UO Player Luncheons

    Have you ever wanted to meet other UO Players face to face? Nearly 1000 players attended the UO World Faire in November 2000 to meet one another, share experiences, and participate in discussions with OSI representatives in Austin, Texas. But did you know that UO players have been holding UO Fan Events in their local areas since 1998? Some annual events are already in their fourth year!

    To find a player event in your local area, visit the newly updated Luncheons page of the Communities section of the uo.com website. To submit an event that you are hosting, please send an email with the details to luncheons@uo.com.

    If you don't see an event listed in your area this year, why not consider hosting one yourself? Heather of Great Lakes has been holding Player Luncheons in Texas since October 1998, and she shares her experience in "How to Organize a UO Player's Lunch". If you need advice or support for holding your own player event, you can also email Heather directly at heather@uo.com.

    Several times a year, representatives from the UO Live Team are able to attend some of the larger player events around the country. During Q&A sessions at these events, players are able to voice their concerns and suggestions directly to OSI representatives, and have some of their questions answered. Even at smaller events, players often have the opportunity to win prizes, such as Ultima T-shirts and CDs, for answering UO related trivia questions or for winning costume contests.

    If you have questions, tips, hints or suggestions, or would like to participate in discussions about Player Events or the World Faire, please visit the UO Fan Events and Luncheons board.

    Posted by Nobody at 6:38 PM

    May 14, 2001

    Disney Gathering Reminder

    AngelStorm of the UO Chesapeake news site posted the following reminder about the player gathering in Florida's Disney World:

    Disney Gathering Reminder

    3rd Annual Florida Event
    June 22 and 23, 2001
    Clementine's Beach at River Country
    Walt Disney World
    Orlando, Florida

    Open to all players from all shards, the annual Florida event is a popular excursion for players from around the world.

    This year we expect nearly 150 players in attendance and have already confirmed that Runesabre will be joining us as well.

    Friday night (June 22) we will all be gathering for a dinner/happy hour gathering within City Walk at Universal Studios. This event is not included in the price of the main event tickets. This is a pay-your-own-way gathering.

    Tickets for the Saturday main event (June 23) will be $50 per person (sorry no discounts for children). Tickets will include the luncheon and entrance into River Country. There will be ongoing door prize drawings throughout the day, as well.

    You can find all the details on the official Florida Player Event site.

    Hurry and register today as all fees must be paid by June 1st! And don't forget to purchase your official t-shirt to wear at the event!

    See you all in June!

    Posted by Nobody at 6:58 PM

    Last Call for Texas UO Player Lunch Tickets

    The following message from Heather about a player gathering in Texas was posted to UO Stratics:

    Last Call for Texas UO Player Lunch Tickets

    Are you going to Scarborough Faire?

    The deadline for purchasing discounted tickets for the UO Players Lunch at Scarborough Faire, Waxahachie Texas, at 11:30am on Sunday, May 27th is fast approaching. Please pay $30 by paypal or snail mail by this Friday, May 18th. If you have already signed up for the lunch, be sure to check for your name on the Guest List. If you have not signed up yet, please see the Luncheons section of the UO Lunch webpage for instructions. Note: You do not have to purchase tickets to attend this event, but you will have to pay admission to enter the Faire. UO Lunch discount packages include faire admission and a catered lunch. If, after reading the webpage, you still have questions, please email me heatherc@austin.rr.com.

    Don't forget to purchase your Scarborough Faire UO Lunch 2001 t-shirts, mugs and mouse pads from the UO Lunch Custom Shoppe as soon as possible in order to receive them before the event. Arakasi of the 'Out of Character' comics, who did last year's logo, has created a fresh new design for this year's event.

    Can't make it to Texas this month? Check out other UO Player events on the Luncheons page on uo.com to find an event closer to you!

    Posted by Nobody at 6:54 PM

    3rd Annual UO Player Gathering in Las Vegas

    The following message from KingDavid about a player gathering in Las Vegas was posted to UO Stratics:

    3rd Annual UO Player Gathering in Las Vegas, June 22-23, 2001, Excalibur Hotel

    KingDavid of Sonoma is proud to announce that the dates for the 3rd annual UO Player Gathering in Las Vegas have been set for 2001. Players will meet at the "King's Window" (near check-in) of the Excalibur Hotel in Las Vegas on Friday, June 22, 2001, at 6pm local time.

    This is the 3rd year we have done this, and its open to all players from all shards. I anticipate that 30+ UO players will be there this year, and I promise it will be fun! If you are interested in coming this year, please icq me at 12875694 so you can get on my list for updates.

    We will meet Friday night, then walk to a restaurant and talk and have dinner, and then stay as a big group or as smaller groups for Friday night and all day Saturday. Most players will be leaving Sunday to return home, but there are always a few that stay an extra day.

    The Specifics:
    Where: "King's Window", Excalibur Hotel
    Date: Friday, June 22, 2001
    Time: 6pm

    Contacts:
    Coordinator:KingDavid
    David McLaughlin
    kingdavid@austin.rr.com
    icq 12875694

    Posted by Nobody at 6:46 PM

    May 12, 2001

    Richard Garriott is in the Gaming Business Once Again

    Richard Garriott, creator of the Ultimas (including Ultima Online) and late of OSI/EA, has begun the process of announcing plans for his next project(s). He's got a Web site up for his new Company, "Destination Games," located at http://www.destination-games.com/. There's nothing there yet except for a "splash page," but you can bet the players and producers within the gaming industry are all watching eagerly.

    Posted by Thellaren at 10:17 AM

    Gamasutra: “EA's Q4 Results Better Than Estimates”

    Gamasutra reported the following concerning Electronic Arts, here:

    EA's Q4 Results Better Than Estimates

    Electronic Arts has posted its fourth-quarter results, beating analysts expectations for the company's quarterly loss by a penny per share. Consoldiated net revenue for the fourth quarter was $307.3 million, up from $294.3 million in revenue for the same period last year. The consolidated net loss for the fourth quarter was $17.9 million, or 13 cents per share, compared with net income of $3.4 million (3 cents per share) for the fourth quarter last year. The company incurred a one-time pre-tax charge of $2.7 million in the quarter related to the acquisition of Pogo.com.

    For the fiscal year ended March 31, 2001, Electronic Arts reported net revenues of $1.322 billion, compared with $1.420 billion for the prior fiscal year. The company posted a consolidated net loss for the year of$11.1 million (8 cents per share), compared to the prior year's net income of $116.8 million (88 cents per share).

    CEO Larry Probst said in a conference call to analysts that he expects the company's 2002 operating income to increase 75 to 90 percent on a year-over-year basis, estimating revenue growth in the mid-teen range.

    Posted by Thellaren at 12:12 AM

    May 11, 2001

    Baja Interest Tribute

    Join with friends old and new to celebrate the Interest People of Baja. They may be gone, but let's show them how much they meant to us with a Tribute.

    Friday night (Tonight) at 6pm PST please gather at the Counselor's Guild in Britain, Trammel (Large wooden building with new statues next to it, behind the large mage shop). Wear Blue (Counselors), Purple (Senior Counselors), Brown (Elder) or Green (Seer) colored robes and carry a candle in honor of these people who have spent countless hours bettering our lives.

    Posted by Ursula at 8:46 AM

    May 10, 2001

    Statues in Tribute to UO Volunteers

    Last night, monuments to the Volunteers of Ultima Online we placed next to the Counselors' Guild Halls in Britain on all Shards, both Felucca and Trammel facets. The monument, as shown in the accompanying screenshot, incorporates several foundation blocks and adornments, including two statues (one blue, seemingly representing Counselors, and one green, seemingly representing Seers, Elders, and Troubadours) standing over three plaques.

    The first plaque, tinted blue, reads "In recognition of the Counselors of Britannia, who have brought the light of knowledge to the people of this realm."

    The second plaque, tinted grey, reads "In recognition of the Volunteer Testers, who have helped exterminate the vile insects that occassionally plague the integrity of the realm."

    The third plaque, tinted green, reads "In recognition of the Seers, Elders, and Troubadours of Britannia, who have inspired the world with their legendary tales."

    All three plaques are shown below.

     




    Posted by Nobody at 6:33 PM

    Tiberian Temple Offers Wedding Services in Lieu of Counselor Ceremonies

    The following from Vega of the Tiberian Temple was posted to UO Stratics:

    Tiberian Temple Offers Wedding Services in Lieu of Counselor Ceremonies

    It was just today that I heard the sad news that all the counselors have departed the land. One of the most important duties that counselors performed was to join couples in marriage. It is in light of this development that I wish to announce that the Tiberian Temple is available to perform wedding ceremonies. The Tiberian Temple's Philosophers have served as virtuous guides for many of Britannia's noble adventurers for some time now. Their duties have also included officiating weddings of some of the most prominent people of the land.

    If you would like one of our Temple philosophers to perform your wedding, contact me by either ICQ (preferably), or by email. Click here to view theTiberian Temple Establishment Review

    Vega, Tiberian Knight
    ICQ: 94711196
    tiberian_temple@yahoo.com

    Posted by Nobody at 6:14 PM

    May 9, 2001

    Lum the Mad Investigates Cancellation of Volunteer Programs

    Lum the Mad is also reporting about the cancellation of the UO Volunteer Programs on his site of the same name, as follows:

    We asked Susan "Leilo" Kath some followup questions about this decision. Her responses:

    Your notice mentioned that the volunteer programs had been "reassesed". What factors specifically drove this decision? In particular, was the ongoing ex-volunteer lawsuit pending against EA a factor in this decision?

    As the lawsuit is still in the early phases, and there won't be a decision on it for a long time, the decision was an independent one made by EA to change the business structure.

    So this decision was taken by EA as opposed to Origin Systems?

    Yes, the decision is company-wide.


    We also asked "Terendil", the ex-volunteer who is the main litigant in the lawsuit against EA that still is in progress, for her reaction to this news.

    I'm not surprised, given the issues that existed in that program. I'm also not surprised, given the current state of AOL's lawsuit and our own. Also, the fact that EA has been making some extremely poor business decisions such as cancelling UO2, may mean that they may simply no longer have the customer base to maintain a volunteer program. I'm terribly sorry that this affects the wonderfully dedicated volunteers that will no longer be active in the game community.

    This does not affect our current lawsuit.

    Posted by Nobody at 4:09 PM

    EA: Ultima Online Program Changes

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

    Ultima Online Program Changes

    In the coming weeks and months, Ultima Online players will begin to see changes to the UO experience that will affect and impact the game in many ways as we update systems, introduce new content, and continue to grow and expand the world of Britannia.

    In addition to systems and design changes, we will address how Origin supports Volunteer programs. Effective today, May 9th, Ultima Online will no longer host Interest, Quality Assurance, and Counselor Volunteer programs in North America and Europe. Though it’s a difficult decision for us, it is based on the reassessment of our online, company-wide business structure as we address growth and changes in the online entertainment industry. As a result, volunteer programs throughout all of Electronic Arts have been affected by this reassessment. This decision does not affect the existing volunteer programs in Japan, nor does it currently affect the Companion program.

    Whether answering questions, creating intriguing and amusing events, or aiding their fellow players in any number of ways, these volunteers have enriched their own Ultima Online experience and helped fulfill the Ultima Online experience for so many other members of the UO community. A permanent acknowledgement to these volunteers will be placed on both facets of each affected shard, located near the Britain Counselor Hall.

    Over the last several years, players volunteering in Ultima Online have assisted their fellow players with great creativity, aptitude, and grace, and our thanks go out to all who have participated in these programs since their inception. This commitment to UO, as well as the commitment of hundreds of thousands of players worldwide, is the foundation on which we hope to grow and support the game far into the future.

    Posted by Nobody at 4:03 PM

    Deploying Summoned Water Elementals From A Ship

    This interesting piece was posted to Turbulent Waters today:

    The water elemental, being one of three completely amphibious beasts left in Britannia, is a natural choice of mages fighting from their ships. While summoned daemons might offer better spellcasting and melee abilities, the water elemental does offer the ability to launch off the deck of one's ship and move freely on the waves.

    Unfortunately, there's a few problems with this ability. First and foremost, the ship's plank must be unlocked and extended for the summoned water elemental to disembark onto the water. And then, there must be an arranged line of sight between the elemental and its target lined up so that the elemental is coaxed into doing so. In other words, if the target is off the bow, the elemental will make a straight line for it and stop at the front of the ship. The target must therefore be off to the side a ways when the command is issued to attack.
    You can read the rest of this piece here.

    Posted by Thellaren at 12:55 AM

    May 5, 2001

    “Improvements for Ships” in the Works

    The following was scribed on Thursday to the Turbulent Waters site, UO's primary source of news for all things relating to the sea:

    In tonight's UO House of Commons chat OSI was finally presented with a comprehensive question about the state of ships and sailing in Ultima Online, and their response came as quite a surprise. The question was answered by UO Dev team member Vex who offered specific issues that will be addressed in the "publish after next".

    Lyria - When will the seas be given a review (spawn, ships, UO:3D effects, e.tc.)? I'm concerned that the sea is stuck in a bad circle ; small audience leads to no enhancement, which leads to no new audience and no new enhancement...

    After a long silence , Vex responded:

    We have some improvements for ships in the works for the publish after ext. We plan on addressing shoreline blocking, boat security and several other issues.

    So at some point hopefully soon there will be a publish. After that there will be another publish with some basic and much welcomed work on ships and ship- related issues. Let's wildly speculate on what each of the issues Vex brought up might mean for ship users in the near future :

    "...shoreline blocking...
    Unattended ships left along the shore have been a problem since the beginning. Before the ability was added to drydock and recall to one's ship, the docks of every city and the shore surrounding it were clogged with ships at all times. The problem of unattended ships has shifted more now to high spawn areas and long open stretches of north-south longitudes.

    So what solution is in the works for ships that block areas along the shore? A faster decay rate along shorelines (that'll take care of my neighbor's 10-ship- never-moves-bank-boat-flotilla)? Automatic drydocking at server up with any items in the hold being deleted? In-character "storms" that sweep unattended ships near the shore out to sea?

    "...boat security..."
    Boat security is a term that could cover several aspects of ship security. They could be working to eliminate certain long-standing tricks to board locked ships. Another possibility is to give the ship more owner-related status as is the case with housing in the game. Currently, saying "I ban thee" on one's ship does bring up a targeting cursor, that has no effect on other players or monsters. Perhaps the ship's placer and key-holder may be designated the owner, and the tillerman might gain additional functions of some sort. Or maybe all they are going to do to make ships more secure is to make all ship keys "blessed", which will really irk the thieves I know. Whatever changes they make, these will be the changes that every player who owns a ship will need to know.

    "...and several other issues..."
    Okay, now we go into the bonus round, where we have to speculate with nothing at all to go on. What are the several other issues? Here's a few possibilities:

    1. Server boundary crossings
    2. UO:3D water graphics revamp
    3. The Haven barrier bug
    4. Multiple players on a ship causing excessive lag/moonwalking


    No hint was made here that anything other than ships themselves are being looked at. The issues of changing the seas themselves to make ship use more interesting, by creating some new and different monster spawns for example, will probably come only after the ships themselves are working better. It's going to be a long summer. This is great news, though.

    Posted by Thellaren at 3:07 AM

    May 4, 2001

    EA: Third Dawn Alpha and Beta Tester Map Offer

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

    Third Dawn Alpha and Beta Tester Map Offer

    In appreciation for participation in the Ultima Online: Third Dawn Alpha and Beta Tests, we are extending the following special offer allowing Alpha/Beta testers to order one of our collector’s edition, full-color cloth maps of the original and Lost Lands of Britannia. This offer includes the map and cost of shipping for $5.95 domestic (U.S., Hawaii, Alaska, Guam, U.S. Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico) or $6.95 International.

    To purchase the map as part of this special appreciation offer, please visit http://www.uo.com/tyou. You will be asked to enter your Ultima Online account name/password to validate your alpha/beta participation status. Please note that you must use the Ultima Online account name for which you registered as an Alpha or Beta participant. Shipping and delivery times may vary, but most domestic orders should be received within 10 business days and most International orders should be received within 21 business days. As CaféPress will be fulfilling these orders, your credit card statement will show billing from CafePress.com.

    After completing your order, any questions related to order tracking or shipping should be emailed to customerservice@cafepress.com.

    Posted by Nobody at 5:35 PM

    May 3, 2001

    Imperial Anniversary Regata

    *A messenger arrives with an elegant scroll*

    Imperial Invitation

    Ye are cordially invited to join Emperor Azalin Lore and Lady Cymidei Fier in celebration of their First Anniversary.

    May 6th, at 6 Pm PST at the Golden Brew. Counselor Mystic shall preside over the ceremony. Feasting, hunting and merriment to follow.

    Events:

    The Great Sea Hunt - Fifty nets will be thrown into the sea causing all manner of krakens, sea serpents and water elementals to arise from the depths. All treasure will be given to the guests!

    Boat Decorating Contest - Creatively embellish your vessel with flair and ye may be the lucky winner of a 50,000 dollar purse!

    The Great Yacht Race - The first ship and crew to sail from Lore Island to Vesper shall receive 100,000 gold.
    Sincerely,
    Emperor Azalin Lore,
    http://www.shadowimperium.com

    Posted by Nobody at 11:57 PM

    EA: Ultima Online Customer Service Employee Terminated

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

    Ultima Online Customer Service Employee Terminated

    On Wednesday, May 2nd, Origin Systems (OSI) was alerted to the possible misconduct of an individual employed within the GM Support Department. Upon investigation, OSI found reason to believe that this employee was engaging in activities that breached the trust that must exist between a company, its employees, and its customers. The decision by OSI management in this case was immediate dismissal. All actions that are taken by members of our support staff are logged and monitored, and we investigate all reports of GM misbehavior that we receive. We are grateful to players who bring these incidents to our attention, as these reports are used to ensure that OSI representatives are providing the best possible service at all times. If you believe that a GM or any OSI representative is behaving in anything less than the highest standard of service, we ask you to please email uoconcern@uo.com with the details of your issue. Only the most senior representatives of our support staff read this mailbox, and we assure you that your issue will be thoroughly investigated. We take our responsibility to our customers very seriously, and we will not allow anyone — staff or otherwise — to abuse our terms of service or the trust of our customers.

    Posted by Nobody at 8:29 AM

    April 28, 2001

    OSI Rep for Disney Luncheon Confirmed

    AngelStorm, of UO Chesapeake Daily News, had this information about the player gathering at Disneyworld:

    OSI Rep for Disney Luncheon Confirmed

    We are happy to announce that Runesabre is confirmed to be joining us in Disney.

    We will shortly be announcing the details for the Friday Happy Hour.

    Please visit the luncheon site (http://angelsrealm.net/uodisney) to register today.

    Posted by Nobody at 10:18 PM

    ***ImaNewbie does Britannia!***New Toon!

    Tryon from ImaNewbie does Britannia sent us the following announcement:

    ***ImaNewbie does Britannia!***New Toon!

    Hail and Well Met :)

    This week ImaNewbie investigates the effect that being able to customize vendor costumes has had on shopping in Britannia. Check it out!

    Added Saturday, April 28th, 2001:
    - Episode #139: Shop 'Till You're Dropped

    ImaNewbie does Britannia

    later...Tryon

    Posted by Nobody at 2:49 PM

    April 26, 2001

    UO-Disney Luncheon Information

    AngelStorm recently sent out the following announcement:

    UO-Disney Luncheon Information

    Good news!

    The web site for the UO-Disney luncheon is open for registration and has been updated with all the pertinent information!

    Please take a look and register today! http://angelsrealm.net/uodisney

    --Angel Storm

    Posted by Nobody at 6:36 PM

    April 20, 2001

    3rd Annual UO-Disney Florida Luncheon Update

    The following Player Gathering announcement was posted by AngelStorm to the UOChesapeake Daily News:

    3rd Annual UO-Disney Florida Luncheon Update

    Just a quick update for everyone interested on attending the luncheon in Florida this year.

    The date is finalized for June 23rd. We are currently awaiting confirmation from Walt Disney World on location and costs, but it will be within the park.

    We expect the costs to be $40 or less per person and will be holding this event "picnic" style as in previous years.

    If you are interested in attending please be sure to email AngelStorm. Also keep visiting the site for updates and information on the luncheon.

    This just in! We have verification that there WILL be a representative from OSI in attendance. However, rumor has it that there is a battle royale going on in the office over who gets to come to Florida this year. We will keep you posted on who comes out of the ring the victor!

    Posted by Nobody at 5:58 PM

    April 19, 2001

    Golden Brew Players Call for Auditions

    The Golden Brew Players are happy to announce Auditions for The Princess Bride. Auditions will be held Apr. 21st at 7:00 pm PST and Apr. 22nd at 1:00 pm PST at the Golden Globe Theatre, in the Town of Golden, Trammel Facet, Baja Shard. All persons auditioning must be willing to commit to attending at least two 2-hour rehearsals each week for Major roles, plus performance times, or at least one 2-hour rehearsal each week for Minor roles, plus performance times. If you are not willing to commit to this amount of time, please do not audition.">


    Please direct all questions to Kita Talith

    Posted by Ursula at 9:25 PM

    April 16, 2001

    UO.com Screenshots & Events Calendar

    The following two announcements were posted by Joshua Rowan to the Ultima Online Yahoo!Groups e-mail list:

    UO.com Screenshots & Events Calendar

    Screenshots Needed: UO.com is looking for creative and original new Pictures of the Week to display on their front page. And who better to get them from than the players who actually inhabit their world and witness amazing things every day. From unique furniture designs to a hilarious encounter with a creature you've never seen before, the most important part is creativity! If you have something you would like to share, then make sure to take a picture of it using your favorite screenshot utility. Make sure to check out their official submission page for rules and e-mail links.

    Events Calendar — Events Needed: UO.com is also looking for events that you may be planning for your shard. From weddings to tournaments to quests. If you want to get great exposure for your event, then this is your chance. And make sure to write a detailed and well written description of the event so that players know exactly what you'll be doing and where the event will be happening (be specific). Some events will even be posted on the front page of UO.com, so keep an eye out! To find out about the rules and to submit your event, head on over to the Event Calendar Submission Form.

    Posted by Nobody at 11:18 PM

    Still No Seahorses in Ilshenar

    The following was recently posted to the Turbulent Waters site:

    In a recent chat with the developers of UO, a player asked about the still-missing seahorses, rumored to be the only means of travel on the water in Ilshenar. Here's the question and answer from the UO House of Commons Chat over at Stratics last Thursday:

    *Braveheart* Question: So, there is art for a lot of creatures not in game yet in the 3rd Dawn client. When can players expect to see even more new creatures in the world of Ileshnar? (i.e., sea horse, some of the others with art pictured on stratics, etc)

    Oaks - You never know when dormant content might become active... =)

    In other words, the seas of Ilshenar, and more importantly the areas only accessable by water, will remain empty and unavailable for now. OSI maintains it official policy of putting anything to do with the seas, ships, and sailing on the backburner.

    Posted by Thellaren at 1:16 AM

    April 7, 2001

    Cincinnati Player's Gathering Update

    The following announcement from Myron was posted to UOSS:

    ***** Cincinnati Player's Gathering Update ******

    It is confirmed! Melantus, OSI's Online Community Coordinator, will be making an appearance at this year's Cincinnati Player Gathering on Saturday, April 21st. So if you attend this gathering you will not only get to meet and share a great meal with others who share your love for Ultima Online, you can also participate in a question and answer session with none other than Melantus himself.

    Those of you who attended last year's gathering know what a great time we had with Designer Toad and this year's guest will be just as good if not better. So if you haven't gotten your reservation in make sure you do so soon since the registration deadline is getting close.

    For more information or to register for the gathering Visit Our Website. Remember, all registrations and payments for the gathering must be received by Saturday, April 14th to allow processing time including mailing out your tickets. So don't delay - register today! Also, those players whose registrations are postmarked by April 7th will qualify for a special grand prize drawing - so don't delay!!!!!!

    Posted by Nobody at 12:51 AM

    ULTIMA Novel Now Available!!!

    The following was posted to UOSS:

    ULTIMA Novel Now Available!!!

    One of the only ULTIMA novels ever written is finally available, based on the fiction surrounding Ultima, and specifically around the recently-cancelled Ultima Online 2. Austen Andrews, the same author that wrote the Prequel Fiction for UO2, spins a 344 page tale that takes us on a journey into The Technocrat War just after the Cataclysm caused by Lord British.

    To give you an idea of what you can expect from the book, here is the description from the back:

    A WORLD REFORGED

    A sorcerous cataclysm has remade the ancient and magical world of Sosaria, where a misguided plan to bring ultimate order to the land has altered its destiny forever. Now past, present, and future are one...a unity that sets in motion an astonishing age of discovery and conflict for this strange new world.

    Once separated by time and space, the warlike Juka, the calculating Technocrats, the matriarchs of the Meer, and the Virtuous knights of New Britannia are now on a collission course. Fragile alliances threaten to unravel as treachery and deceit pit kingdom against kingdom. Unless bitter enemies can put aside their vengeful differences long enough to uncover the truth, all Sosaria will be ripped asunder.
    Book I of the trilogy can now be found in several locations, including at Amazon.com and at BN.com as well as most retail locations of Barnes & Noble. Word has it that Austen is currently hard at work to complete Book II as well. Great to hear that even though we have lost the UO2 game that the fiction will continue to live on. So make sure to go out and get it now!

    Posted by Nobody at 12:48 AM

    April 4, 2001

    OSI: UO: Third Dawn Upgrade Maps

    The following was just posted to FYI on the UO.com website:

    UO: Third Dawn Upgrade Maps

    It has come to our attention that existing customers ordering the Ultima Online: Third Dawn upgrade offer have not been receiving the complete paper map of Ilshenar and the Britannia and Lost Lands as promised, but have received a map with only the Ilshenar lands visible. We would like to apologize for this, and will be shipping the dual-sided map of Britannia, the Lost Lands, and Ilshenar to all customers who have participated in the special upgrade offer.

    The dual-sided map will be shipped to the address entered for the upgrade offer. Additionally, customers who participate in the Third Dawn upgrade offer in the future will receive the dual-sided, retail version map.

    To participate in the Ultima Online: Third Dawn upgrade offer, please visit http://www.uo.com/upgrade.html. The upgrade offer includes an Ultima Online: Third Dawn CD along with a map displaying the new land of Ilshenar and the existing lands of Britannia. As a special addition, this upgrade also includes a collector's edition cloth map of Britannia and the Lost Lands. All of this is bundled into one package priced at $9.95 plus shipping ($4.95 for U.S. and Puerto Rico or $6.95 International).

    Posted by Nobody at 6:22 PM

    April 2, 2001

    Carly “LadyMOI” Staehlin Leaves OSI, Rick Hall to Take Over as UO Producer

    Lum the Mad, at his site of the same name, posted the following:

    CARLY "LADYMOI" STAEHLIN LEAVES OSI, RICK HALL TO TAKE OVER AS UO PRODUCER

    Rumors have been flying about all morning about this, and we just got word from Susan "Leilo" Kath, OSI's online community head, that Rick "Stellerex" Hall will be taking over for Carly "LadyMOI" Staehlin as Ultima Online's Producer. Stellerex was previously the producer for the recently released "Third Dawn" expansion.

    Leilo also said that Ms. Staehlin would possibly be taking a position elsewhere in EA, but didn't know more at this point. As always, if we find out more we'll let you know.

    Posted by Nobody at 7:55 PM

    Interest Group Under Review

    Joshua Rowan recently posted the following on the ultima@yahoogroups.com e-mail list:

    Interest Group Under Review

    Hmmmmm, another interesting tidbit that Cynthe mentions about the Interest Group on the official UO.com Roleplaying Board:
    ===========
    The way interest has been done in UO is currently under review, and you may
    see some changes soon. I can't go into details, but I do know that it's our
    intention to see that all shards are more equally represented when it comes
    to interest.

    Cynthe
    Community Coordinator
    Origin Systems
    ===========
    It'll be interesting to see what they have in store for us. Hopefully this is a Good Thing(tm) and not a bad thing...

    Josh
    The "Interest Group" of Ultima Online includes IGMs (Interes Game Masters), Seers, Elders, and other Quest- and event-developing persons.

    Posted by Nobody at 7:49 PM

    OSI: Account Bannings in Ultima Online

    The following was just posted to FYI on the UO.com website:

    Account Bannings in Ultima Online

    After extended logging, we have completed a search for accounts using illegal third party programs to "speed hack". The programs are used to exploit in Ultima Online and gain unfair advantage over honest players. The accounts logged exploiting in this manner have been suspended and e-mails have been sent to the account holders. Additionally, the ability to use this exploit has been addressed. The total number of players affected by this action is less than 300.

    We are committed to removing players that choose to exploit Ultima Online and continue to work to provide a level playing experience for all UO players.

    Posted by Nobody at 6:44 PM

    April 1, 2001

    OSI: UO: Third Dawn Upgrade Site Open

    The following was recently posted to What's New on the UO.com website (now more relevant than ever, with UO:3D now for sale stores):

    UO: Third Dawn Upgrade Site Open

    The Ultima Online: Third Dawn upgrade offer site is now open at
    http://www.uo.com/upgrade.html . This promotion will last for 60 days, during which current UO customers with active accounts will be able to order this special upgrade for a price of $9.95 plus shipping and handling. The promotional upgrade version of Ultima Online: Third Dawn includes the final gold-mastered version of Third Dawn, the new retail version map of Britannia, the Lost Lands, and Ilshenar, and while supplies last - as a special bonus - we'll include a collector's edition cloth map of Britannia and the Lost Lands. This upgrade CD does not include a registration code and therefore cannot be used to create a new account nor qualify for new account free game time.

    Stop by and order your copy today!

    Posted by Nobody at 12:13 AM

    March 26, 2001

    Seer Eliar Quits

    Eliar, a Seer of Baja, unexpectedly quit the Interest program sometime before 9pm PST last night.

    Ursula, proprietress of the Golden Brew on Trammel, contacted several handfuls of known friends and "fans" of Seer Eliar about one hour earlier, asking them to come to the Golden Brew but not telling these people why she summoned them. At about 9pm, Ursula's announcement began simply: "Eliar resigned."

    Confusion followed, as did many questions amid a small amount of speculation. Some answers came slowly, but soon enough ex-Seer Eliar, herself, showed up at the famous pub. Eliar stated she had no plans to quit, implying that it was a quick and recent decision. She expressed concerns about the state of the Interest program, citing that she felt it was in downward decline and "has been for the better part of the last year." Still, she was in good spirits.

    "I was brought in with the second batch of Seers," she told the crowd. "I was the first seer brought in from open applications." During part of the conversation she praised ex-Seer Thayer for the work he did while enrobed. She then mentioned that early in her career as a Baja Seer she worked alone, and, even though she is leaving, there will be other Interest Program volunteers who still remain for Baja.

    When asked why she chose Baja as her Shard, she responded, "I chose it because I was a PK and very much a fan of the WTFMen." Later she admitted one of her first events was ironically ruined by a "cheap clone" of Ronald McDonald (of WTFMan and formely of Baja). "Before I became a Seer, confessed Eliar, "I had no RP experience."

    "As for the Faire Grounds," glowed Eliar, "You can't get me to stop advertising it even after I'm gone." Eliar mentioned that she had a large tournament concept for the Faire Grounds, and hinted that she may like to pursue it should the remaining Interest Volunteers on Baja choose not to continue with it. Those in the Golden Brew offered their help, beginning with outfitting the ex-Seer in approriately green clothing, including a mage's hat and staff to whack people with. Toward the end of the intial conversation there were those who felt she implied she might continue on Baja as a player at some point.


    The Golden Brew enjoys the company of Ex-Seer Eliar"


    Note: A Seer is a volunteer, sort of like Counselors, except they make Quests and other such entertaining events for players. Seer Eliar is known for her part in the creation of the Skara Brae Faire Grounds and for playing the role of Michael Blake, among numerous other events and characters.

    Posted by Nobody at 1:23 AM

    March 24, 2001

    Free HTML/Graphical Tables for Guild Sites

    The following announcement from Brimstone at MMORPGSTUFF.com was posted by UOSS:

    Free HTML/Graphical Tables for Guild Sites

    MMORPGSTUFF.com is offering free HTML and graphics for people to use however they wish. The first (of many) offering is a set of tables, small and medium sized, they have a Grey Stone texture. The tables are coded properly to allow them to expand as large as the user wants. The tables are great for headlines, news articles, member rosters, screenshot of the day, trivia and a hundred other uses. Also, the graphics that make up the tables are transparent gifs — so they blend into ANY background the guild may have on their site.

    Preview of "Greystone Table (Small)":


    Preview of "Greystone Table (Big)":


    In the next few weeks, expect to see new themed tables, as well as entire guild site templates being given away. This includes graphics and HTML.

    Sincerely,
    Brimstone,
    MMORPGSTUFF.com

    Posted by Nobody at 9:12 AM

    UO Chronicles - Stories of UO Families

    The following announcement was posted by UOSS:

    UO Chronicles - Stories of UO Families

    Announcing the Grand Opening of a new UO related web site. Do you have an interesting story or background behind your characters in Ultime Online? Ever wanted to share those stories with other people out there? UO Chronicles (uochronicles.50megs.com) is a place where you can read about the history, lives, and adventures of some of Ultima Online's families. Here, you can hear about the heroic deeds and fatal flaws of some of the interesting characters that inhabit the world of Ultima Online. Currently, two families call this page home. The Family Arania and The Family Lisanden (Atlantic Shard) Space is available if anyone else would like to post their characters lives here. Interested parties should send email to riael@hotmail.com and ask about putting their adventures on this wonderful new opportunity to make your characters come alive through their backgrounds and stories.

    Go to uochronicles.50megs.com and see what it's all about. Email riael@hotmail.com if you want to take part in this wonderful new medium for sharing your characters.

    Posted by Nobody at 8:57 AM

    March 22, 2001

    More on UO2 Cancellation

    Lum the Mad added the following information into the UO2 cancellation pyre:

    UO2 Cancelled

    Latest update as of 3:30p: Massive layoffs throughout EA. 85 from OSI alone. Kesmai also gutted (at least 40, Battletech and Air Warrior 4 both cancelled) and 80 elsewhere in EA. Harry Potter cancelled. Jack Heistand (OSI's CEO) gone. Gordon "Tyrant" Walton moved to Sims Online.

    This site [Lum's site, that is. -Ed.], along with the rest of XRGaming is suffering frequent outages today. You can get the latest from our IRC chat room (irc.sorcery.net #lummies).

    Our sincere condolences today to everyone who was hit by this.

    Posted by Hazard [EiC] at 12:29 AM

    March 21, 2001

    Well Rounded Entertainment on UO2 Cancellation

    This follow-up to the news about UWO:Origin (UO2) being cancelled was posted by Well Rounded Entertainement, here:

    EA cancels Ultima Online 2

    Electronic Arts has dropped a bomb on the massively multiplayer gaming world. The company has ceased work on Ultima Worlds Online: Origin (the game better known as Ultima Online 2).

    In a statement released today, EA's Origin Studios said:

    Electronic Arts and Origin Systems have announced a plan that will increase their focus on Ultima Online and halt production of OWO: ORIGIN (UO2). The reason is simple, rather than creating OWO: ORIGIN (UO2) as a parallel world competing with UO, we've decided to put those resources into growing and improving the core offering for Ultima Online’s 230,000 loyal subscribers. In the near future and with the release next week of Ultima Online: Third Dawn , players will see new lands, new creatures and a world that is continually evolving within Ultima Online.

    Origin spokesman David Swofford tells WRE that the decision came as a surprise to the Austin, Texas-based division, but he sees the logic in the move.

    "The upside to this, if there is any, is we're taken the resources and putting them into Ultima Online. We plan to continue to invest and put resources into UO," he says.

    Exactly how many of UO2's technological resources will be able to make the transition is a bigger question, though. The game, as it was shown at last year's E3, was designed as a fully 3-D world. The forthcoming Third Dawn will feature 3-D models, but falls far short of all that was being planned for UO2.

    For fans of massively multiplayer online role playing games, Swofford told WRE that today's move should not be interpreted as a decision by the company to abandon that segment of the industry.

    "Corporate wide, EA has big plans for PSWs (persistant state worlds) in other studios," he says. "It's not like Origin was the only studio working on these."

    Among the other massively multiplayer games EA is working now is Westwood's Earth and Beyond.

    Posted by Nobody at 5:35 PM

    OSI: Cynthe on the Cancellation of UO2

    Cynthe posted the following to the Boards at www.uo2.com, here:

    It is true

    The news about ORIGIN's cancellation is true. I wish I could say this in a way that makes everyone suddenly understand the reasonings behind it, but that way doesn't exist, so I'll simply say I'm sorry. To all the fans who have been waiting for ORIGIN, I'm sorry.

    After taking a long hard look at where we are, and how much will still be needed to get us to the polished shape we would need to achieve for ship, we have come to the decision that, instead of putting those resources into a game that competes so closely with the still-growing Ultima Online, we need to dedicate everything we have to expanding and supporting UO. This will enable us to concentrate on supporting the 230,000 players who are already in UO, rather than dividing our resources between the game that is still growing and one that would run directly alongside. By pouring everything we have into UO, this opens up possibilities that UO has simply never had before now.

    Again, I know this is a surprising move, and I know that some of you will understand that the gaming industry can be quite volatile. The UO2 community has been one of the brightest and passionate communities I've worked with, and I look forward to seeing many of you in UO.

    Cynthe
    (Community & Web Coordinator)

    Posted by Nobody at 4:16 PM

    OSI: OWO: Origin Cancelled!

    The following statement was released to the OWO: ORIGIN website today:

    Electronic Arts and Origin Systems have announced a plan that will increase their focus on Ultima Online and halt production of OWO: ORIGIN (UO2). The reason is simple, rather than creating OWO: ORIGIN (UO2) as a parallel world competing with UO, we've decided to put those resources into growing and improving the core offering for Ultima Online's 230,000 loyal subscribers. In the near future and with the release next week of Ultima Online: Third Dawn, players will see new lands, new creatures, and a world that is continually evolving within Ultima Online.

    Posted by Nobody at 4:07 PM

    March 18, 2001

    The All New Map of the Seas and Sea Spawn Changes

    A new update was just added to the Turbulent Waters site:

    I've finally completed my survey of the alterations wrought by the changes to the spawn engine implemented awhile back, and finished a map of those spawn points as well as points of interest and oddities. As always, there's good news and bad news when it comes to the spawn changes.

    The good news is that there are still around 45 set locations on the sea where water elementals, sea serpents, and dolphins spawn naturally. The respawning of an elemental after killing one is rather quick, too. It should be noted, though, that places such as the east coast of Moonglow, where water elementals were very abundant are now reduced somewhat. Often there, one could encounter 3 or 4 elementals wandering around within a screen of each other. Now they spawn one or two at a time, mostly.

    The bad news is the drastic reduction of near-shore spawn. Near-shore spawn consists of winged or amphibious creatures that wander into the water from their land-based spawn points. One used to be able to sail along the shore east of Britain and encounter abundant harpies and gargoyles, but this spawn has been essentially elimated. In addition, certain amphibious beasts have lost their ability to enter the water, further reducing, although not eliminating entirely, the near-shore spawn.

    The Map of the Sea, has been enhanced to include the location of not only the sea spawn points, but points of interest, rare spawns, and all the oddities previously listed on the Secrets of the Sea section. Also charted are ship-mining spots, server boundaries, and the Haven Barrier. Of course, this map was compiled from research of the seas on the Atlantic shard, Felucca facet. While the sea spawn points and oddity locations should be the same, actual oddities may vary from shard to shard. Enjoy!

    Posted by Thellaren at 4:30 PM

    March 15, 2001

    The Normal Guy Web Comic, Ready for Launch!

    The following real life venture from Baja Citizen Eldorian was recently posted over at the UO Stratics Baja Forum:

    Hey guys, just wanted to let you all know that my web comic "The Normal Guy" will have it's first comic on Saturday March 17th. The Webcomic is totally drawn and written by myself and has some stories inspired by Startics own Kellogg and even Foolkiller will be making some guest appearances!

    The comic is about just a normal average everyday guy named Andy. He's in college and has a roommate, Calvin. Andy likes online video games and likes to hang out at the local pub and complain about his ex-roommates Gary and Ace (who are the ultimate evil and CHEAP WADS people.) Calvin is pretty much the same as Andy except he's an extreme smart ass and likes to make a few rude comments here and there while all in good fun. He also tries to be suave with the ladies (but fails miserably). They live in a po-dunk midwestern college town where NO ONE is normal except for Andy. Along the way he meets some weird people and joins a fraternity. Thinking they were normal he soons find out they're not all what they cracked up to be... and has some crazy adventures along the way.

    Anyway, just read it. The website can be found by clicking the link on my sig.

    Posted by Hazard [EiC] at 1:34 AM

    March 12, 2001

    GuildBoss Version 1.11 is now available!

    The following announcement was posted to the GuildBoss home page:

    Version 1.11 is now available!

    Note that this was going be part of GB 2 release but I didn't want to hold these fixes up any longer. Don't fret, GB 2 is still in development but it's taking a bit longer than expected (as usual) but what you do expect from a guy with 2 young kids and a full-time job?! :-P

    Grab it here. Here's what's new:
    • Added 'Custom filter...' option to the QuickFilter drop-down on main screen. By selecting this option you can filter your roster by choosing values from your custom Drop-List fields. For instance, for an EverQuest guild you might want to see all your "Human Paladins" or maybe your "Dark Elf Rogues", etc.. You can filter on all four drop-lists.
    • Added count of "highlighted" members in parenthesis next to the count of members in the currently selected rank.
    • Custom drop-list captions (on Member Profile window) now update accordingly when renamed via the Drop-List Manager.
    • Added support for "numeric" sorting in custom User Fields. For instance, if you defined a "Level" column for tracking character level, you can sort the rosters by the values entered in this field. Prior to this release, all custom User Fields were interpreted as TEXT fields and thus did not sort properly with number values.
    • Fixed timeout error when sending a message where the last recipient in the list doesn't have an entry in the profile (i.e. blank email address or ICQ #).
    • Fixed date sorting in roster grid.
    • Fixed "overflow" error in Deeds Journal when member's Deed Tally exceeded 32,767.
    • Fixed "Can't create DAO workspace" error a few folks had encountered, preventing them from running GuildBoss at all.
    • Fixed Cellpadding and Cellspacing on roster reports where they were swapped.
    • Fixed extra "<td" in column header HTML in the General Listing roster report.
    • Fixed "Undefined error [invalid key] populating member property controls!" error when adding a new member to a new blank database. Finally!!
    • Fixed "Undefined error 3061-Too few parameters" when sorting roster by Dues Owed.

    Posted by Nobody at 1:53 PM

    March 11, 2001

    Turbulent Waters Update

    Sea Serpent Loot Unchanged?
    Sea Spawns Greatly Reduced?
    ALL Shipwreck Pillows Dyable?
    Localization Changes?
    Ropes Appearing on Kraken Corpses?
    Beggars Gorge Landing Cut Off?
    Walruses & Various Swamp Beasts No Longer Amphibious?

    Find out about all of the questions above in Turbulent Water’s newest update.

    Posted by Thellaren at 7:24 PM

    Vancouver UO Dinner Meeting

    The following announcement from Saphyria was posted to UOSS:

    Vancouver UO Dinner Meeting

    We're back and we're better and badder than every *grinz*, Come see old friends, and make new ones at the 2nd Annual Ultima Online Player Meet Vancouver! We had so much fun at the last one, we had to do it again! We expect over 50 players from all shards to attend!

    Date: Saturday April 28th, 2001. The event begins at 6:00pm and is expected to end at 11pm.

    The event will be held in the Lounge at Playdium, Metropolis. (The new wing of Metrotown Mall). Playdium is a large scale entertainment centre featuring state-of-the-art interactive computer-based attractions. With elaborate theming and special effects as well as food and beverage facilities and other amenities, Playdium is designed to provide consumers with a total multi-sensory and immersive entertainment experience. All your old favourites plus the amazing virtual reality ones as well! (Sorry!! NO UO!!!) The lounge features a full bar, so bring your ID!

    Tentative Schedule:
    6:00-6:30 Arrivals, Introductions, Drinks, Entries for Door Prize, Administration
    6:30-9:00 Casual Dinner, Raffle of Door Prizes, Mingling
    9:00-11:00 One and a half hours Unlimited Game Play

    At approximately $30/Person, the package includes:

    Unlimited Gourmet Pizza in Pepperoni & Mushroom, Hawaiian, BBQ Chicken, and Vegetarian

    Bottomless Pop and 1.5 hours unlimited play card (This includes the IMAX Ride, and Virtual Reality Games!)

    I will need payment in a few weeks in advance so I can hire Playdium's Lounge to cater it. I still need to confirm with the corporate booker the price (which will depend on the amount of people coming). I will email at a later date the definite price and the due date to make payment.

    I have also emailed OSI so hopefully, they will send us MORE prizes!! I'll email Lum the Mad too.. to see if they'll send us some Lum balls =P (not the ones between his legs.. the squishy ones they were throwing at people at the UO Faire!!)

    If you need anymore information ICQ me at 17035155 or email me back (saphyria@home.com). I will be posting a website SOON. With hotels prices, Transit prices, a map to the venue, and costs. This time.. there is LOTS of parking and we don't have to pay a valet! =P Feel free to ask for ANY information and to make comments. I want to make this event the best it can be and with your help I can make sure I'm not overlooking anything!

    Saphyria aka Ivy

    Posted by Nobody at 1:03 AM

    March 10, 2001

    Cincinnati Area Player Gathering

    The following announcement from Myron Leick was posted to UOSS:

    Cincinnati Area Player Gathering

    COME ONE! COME ALL! You are hereby invited to attend the Second Annual Cincinnati Player's Gathering for Ultima Online.

    This year there will again be much feasting, lots of players from all walks of life to meet, a raffle to give away OSI/EA merchandise, a Q&A session with a member of OSI's house staff, and a special guest appearance by Ian Stormbringer, a.k.a. Todd Pratt from the New York Mets.

    We ask that everyone please RSVP on or before 3/31/2001 so we can provide our location with a solid head count ahead of time and to allow us ample time to receive payment and mail out your invitations.

    For more information, to RSVP, or to register, please contact Myron Leick at mleick@fuse.net and put "UO Luncheon" in your subject line. When registering you must provide your real name, real address, e-mail address, and main character name/main shard so we can contact you.

    Here are the specifics:
    DATE:Saturday, April 21st, 2000
    TIME:6:00pm to 11:00pm
    WHERE:The York Room at the Drawbridge Inn, 2477 Royal Dr., Ft. Mitchell, KY (859) 341-2800. Point your web browser to http://www.drawbridgeinn.com for more information on the Drawbridge Inn or any of a number of local attractions. Discount room rates are available for luncheon attendees. Ample parking is also available in the adjoining parking lot
    MENU INCLUDES:Fresh Fruit
    Tomato and Cucumber Vinaigrette
    Tossed Salad
    Carved Top Round of Beef
    Deli-Sliced Ham, Turkey, Swiss and American Cheeses
    Mostaccioli
    Pineapple Chicken Salad
    Sandwich Setups
    Non-alcoholic beverage of your choice
    COST:$30.00 per person. Prepayment must be received by 4/07/2001. Once we receive your confirmation, we will send you further details on how to make this payment.

    For those of you who are in any of Ultima's volunteer programs we will be holding a small get together on Friday night at a local restaurant/bar with OSI's representative. Friday night's get together is not intended for the general public so in order to attend you must have a signed TOS on file with OSI. This cost is not included in the $30.00 per person for the UO Gathering.

    Also, for those of you that might be interested, we are planning a side outing to a baseball game on Saturday afternoon before the luncheon where we will hope to see Ian Stormbringer in action when the Cincinnati Reds take on the New York Mets. A bus will be available to take us to and from the game leaving from the Drawbridge Inn one hour before the 1:15 pm game time. Cost for this will be $15.00 per person, which covers your ticket to the game as well as transportation to and from the game.

    Event Schedule:
    Friday Night
    8:00pm OSI Volunteer Staff will meet with the OSI representativ for dinner and drinks.

    Saturday Afternoon
    12:30pm Those planning to attend the Reds game meet at the Drawbridge Inn for bus ride to the game

    Saturday Evening
    6:00 pm Player Gathering registration - "Greet and Meet"
    7:00pm Buffet Dinner
    7:45pm Door Prize Drawings
    8:00pm Question & Answer Period with the representative from OSI Make Sure you have 1 or 2 questions to bring to the lunch with you so we can use this time to it's fullest
    10;00pm More Door Prize Drawings
    10:30pm Wrap Up, Socializing, and Grand Prize Drawing
    11:00pm Meeting adjourns. At this point the official event is over and it's time to head home.
    Those of you wishing to continue the festivities may choose to go to the Crossbow Tavern for drinks and stimulating conversation or frequent Jillian's which is about 10 minutes from the Drawbridge in downtown Covington. Jillian's has an arcade, and a number of dance/music clubs depending on your preference.
    Last year's Cincinnati area gathering was a great success, so I highly encourage everyone that can to attend.

    Posted by Nobody at 11:59 AM

    March 9, 2001

    Golden's Great Date Auction

    THE GREAT DATE AUCTION

    Proceeds to benefit the fund for renovating the Golden Globe Theatre


    Date: Friday, March 16, 2001
    Time: 7:30 pm PST
    Location: The Golden Globe Theatre, Town of Golden, Trammel Facet, Baja Shard
    Why: The Golden Globe Theatre is planning to renovate in the near future, adding a stage and other features that will make it even better as a location for our theatrical productions and events. Your support and donations will help us to achieve our goals, and everyone will benefit!
    How: Easy! Come to the Golden Globe Theatre and bid on one of many "Dates". The persons who have volunteered to be auctioned are all your friends and many are well-known figures within their communities and other communities, and many have been in the world of Baja for a long time! Watch this spot for the final listing of who will be auctioned!

    Once you have chosen the person you'd like to bid on, simply place your bids that night! If yours is the highest bid (donation), you are the lucky winner of that person's company for the evening at the party to follow the auction, or at a future date on a day and time the two of you agree upon.

    That's all there is to it! Hope we see you there! Your support will help us to make the Golden Globe an even more enjoyable resource for everyone.

    Posted by Ursula at 9:30 AM

    March 8, 2001

    63rd UOHoC Open House chat log posted

    The Ultima Online House of Commons announced that the complete log of the sixty-third UOHoC Open House chat has been posted. The topic was "Ultima Online: Third Dawn".

    Aside from questions & answers about bugs and related issues, there were a few things that were addressed regarding how play goes on in Ilshenar that caught my eye, such as:

    Posted by Nobody at 10:52 PM

    March 3, 2001

    TOL/MT Tournament Posponed until March 10 / 2001

    The Baja Mage Tower recently made the following announcement:

    TOL/MT Tournament Posponed until March 10 / 2001

    Due To Horrendous Connection Problems for the Baja Shard we are forced to pospone the TOL / MT Tournament until March 10 / 2001.

    We would like to thank all those that showed up, got disconnected over and over again during our attempt to have this event on Sat.

    We will see you on March 10!

    Take Care

    Nekkar and Nitram

    Posted by Nobody at 11:47 AM

    February 18, 2001

    Cut and Glue your own UO House

    The following note was posted to UOSS, about someone who made a neat little "print, cut out, and glue" model for a basic UO house:

    Cut and Glue your own UO House

    About a year ago, I was looking for a cool birthday-present for my brother, with whom I usually play Ultima Online. So I decided to build the house he owned at that time for "real". Have a look at the following link:

    http://www.enya.ch/uo/uo.html, then select News.

    This site has been up quite a while, but due to lack of time I didn't keep it up-to-date or even announce it to the public. But now I think you might have a look, since I read the story from Callisto's table-top-rpg, which this house might fit in. If anyone is interested in further realisation of other houses, let me know.

    Greetings from Switzerland

    Astro von Togh

    Posted by Nobody at 11:37 PM

    February 17, 2001

    Broadcast UO Live!

    Markee Dragon has been posting announcements about this new, free service all over the place:

    Broadcast UO Live!

    www.freegamecam.com is very excited to announce that we have entered public beta. Now anyone that wants to broadcast UO live can do so. Do you have an even that you want to broadcast so that people who can not attend in game can watch you? Are you someone that just likes to show off? Are you a PK and want to broadcast your kills to the world? There are so many things that can be done with the FreeGameCam.

    The program is very easy to use. It supports much more then just UO and also has other features such as an automatic screen capture program.

    Come on over to www.freegamecam.com and check it out. You can just watch others or you can show off and broadcast to the world. Come join us in the fun. We are having a blast!

    Markee Dragon
    www.shatteredcrystal.com
    www.freegamecam.com

    Posted by Nobody at 10:58 AM

    February 16, 2001

    Available Housing





    The tower is quite a distance west of Wrong. The only thing you'll find in the area are trees and friendly neighbors. I will sell it for 300,000 golden coins. Please contact me at: 94363784 or sam@buysam.com

    Jixxa has a small tower for sell as well on Fire Island away from the danger. It is a short walk to the Temple. She has not placed a price on this tower as of yet. She can be contact at the Golden Brew Message Board

    Also, a small marble workshoppe in Felluca is for sell for 300,000 golden coins. The owner can be contacted with the following ICQ #: 87175443

    Posted by Brenstar at 12:48 AM

    February 15, 2001

    Calandryll on current Purple Hued Item Bans

    I read the following at UOSS:

    Calandryll on current Purple Hued Item Bans

    In this thread on OSI's forums, Calandryll says the following about the current banning of people that have abused the "create a purple hued item" bug.
    While working on a fix for the purple item bug we implemented logging to track those who were using the bug. We then investigated the accounts in question.
    1. Only those that USED the bug were banned. And even then, they only got banned if they did it many times and/or had prior marks on their account.
    2. Those who only did it a few times and had no prior marks were given a final warning...they were not banned.
    3. We did not ban anyone simply for having the items who did not use the bug. However, these items are still considered illegal and those who have them should get rid of them.
    4. The total number of individuals banned was under 200.
    This bug was not harmless. It disrupted the faction system since those stealing the sigil were doing so to exploit to make the purple items rather than take over towns and generated support calls from players witnessing the exploiters. Not to mention the fact that using bugs is against the ToS of Ultima Online.

    -Calandryll
    Manager of Community Services
    So if you have any purple hued items that were created with this bug, destroy them now if you value your account.

    Posted by Nobody at 5:24 PM

    February 11, 2001

    Tabletop RPG

    I read the following announcement at UOSS:

    Tabletop RPG "Ultima Ressurection" released

    A while ago I was contacted by Callisto, who asked me permission to use some of our statistical data as basis for an Ultima inspired tabletop RPG. Permission was given, and for a while I did not hear from Callisto. But now, several weeks later, Callisto is ready to present Ultima Ressurection. Here is some info on Ultima Ressurection, taken from the website:
    Ultima Ressurection - Return of Virtue - is a tabletop roleplaying game, based on the best-selling computergames Ultima Online and Ultima IX: Ascension. At this moment there are only few files available for download. Ofcourse there is the UR Gamebook with all the rules, backgrounds and other relevant information you need to play the game.

    Also there is a character sheet available for download. You may find it usefull since it has an easy to use interface ;)

    As time progresses I hope to add even more files to this section, including adventures, extra updates to the gamebook, advanced charactersheets if neccesary. If you are interested in participating in the creation of this, or have a cool adventure you've played and think it should be up here, see the help section.
    From the game's handbook introduction chapter:
    Welcome to Ultima Ressurection : Return of Virtue. The first tabletop role playing game based on the very popular Ultima computer game series and the MMPRPG Ultima Online. This is also my first real crack at writing a full fledged role playing game.

    Why did I decide to write this game, wasn't the computer game enough? No. Well, it's great. I'm a big fan of the series, I must have played all of the games at least 3 times and I'm still a very active member of the Ultima Online community I'm glad to say. But I also am a tabletop role player, so I know the benefits of a tabletop RPG against those of a computer based one.
    At this moment Callisto is looking for people to download and play test the game and then give some feedback on it. So, if you are interested in playing Ultima Ressurection, have a look and let Callisto know what you think.

    Posted by Nobody at 11:07 AM

    February 10, 2001

    Last Man Standing Contest

    Seer Eliar came by today to ask us to spread the word that the Last Man Standing Contest will be this Sunday at 6pm PST (and every other Sunday at 6pm PST) at the Skara Brae Fairgrounds. She also said there will be a special annoucement about cross facet events that also will be held in the future.

    Posted by Thellaren at 5:32 PM

    February 9, 2001

    OSI: Join us for Ultima Online Bi-Weekly Events

    The following was just posted to FYI on the UO.com website:

    Join us for Ultima Online Bi-Weekly Events

    Looking for a way to put a little excitement in your weeknight gameplay? Join us for Ultima Online Bi-Weekly Events! Beginning on Monday, February 11th, we'll be hosting an event every weeknight on most Ultima Online shards.

    Ranging from monster mashes to skill contests to PvP competitions, we've organized events to offer a little excitement for every playstyle. Each night, multiple events will run on two Ultima Online shards. While we want to make this fun for everyone, not all types of events will run every night. If you don't find an event to your liking, we hope you'll stop by the next week, or perhaps enjoy an event on another shard. To find information on specific events, visit your nearest in-game Town Crier on the shard's scheduled day for details. Events will begin at approximately 7:00 PM local server time and continue over the next month.

    A shard schedule is located at http://town.uo.com/bwevents.html, and we'll be opening a separate topic on the Ultima Online Message Boards for your feedback on the events.

    Please remember: Ultima Online Game Masters are not involved with these events and will be unable to provide you with any information about locations, schedules or event types. Please do not call Game Masters regarding these events.
    So, according to the shard schedule, Baja's event occurs during "Week 2", on Wednesday night, February 21st.

    Posted by Nobody at 6:32 PM

    February 4, 2001

    Important Art Discovery!

    The Fishing Council of Britannia recently discovered the myterious origins of "the orange painting." Below is their announcement, the original of which can be found here:

    Important Art Discovery!

    After months of research, endangering both his health and sanity, the art student Cats has discovered the truth about the small orange portrait. The story is exclusively told in the FCB library.

    Posted by Nobody at 8:36 PM

    Two Tools by Myrex

    The following was posted by UOSS about two new tools from Myrex:

    Two Tools by Myrex

    Myrex informed us about two tools he has available for download. We all know not to use any non-approved UO tools, but since these tools promote and are in keeping with the spirit of the Ultima Online product, community and value system we have decided to tell you about them anyway. Neither tool allows you to gain an unfair advantage over other players.

    The first tool is a UO Statcalc that allows you experiment with the bonuses Str, Dex and Int may have on hitpoints, mana and stamina in the proposed new stats system. The second tool is UO Commander, a tool that allows you to enter basic UO commands, such as "I will take thee" and "I wish to lock this down" at the click of a button.

    Posted by Nobody at 8:29 PM

    February 3, 2001

    Rug Merchants and Woodworkers Discovered!

    The following was posted to UOSS:

    Rug Merchants and Woodworkers Discovered!

    Thanks to a tip from Dopester and Michael, I headed to the Alpha 3D Test Shard to do some shopping. First I stopped by the Tailor shop in Britain. To my total and utter disbelief I came across an NPC Rug Merchant. And would you believe that she was selling Rug Tiles?!?! You've got it! Soon we'll be able to purchase rugs for our homes! Yes, they are at a premium price (from 6600-11000 GP's per tile), but well worth it in my opinion. The colors ranged from Brown to Green to Blue to Red. There were also several patterns to choose from, including edges.



    Next in my trip was the Carpenters Shop, also in Britain. And there I ran into an NPC Woodworker. Much like the Rug Merchant, she was selling tiles, only these were wood tiles. The good news is that her inventory included wood from Papua/Delucia. Pricing was about the same.



    As we discover more information we'll post it. For now, it looks as if there are no restrictions on who can purchase and who can place, but keep in mind that this is still on Test Center.

    Posted by Nobody at 10:07 AM

    February 2, 2001

    No Valentines Gifts this Year?

    The following post was made by Melantus to the UO Community Forums:

    I saw some posts regarding valentines gifts, and thought I would post something about them :

    We will not be giving out special items or having a special Valentines Shard for this Valentines day.

    While we enjoy celebrating holidays with our players, time constraints and work load can sometimes take precedence over holiday recognition. With work progressing on UO Third Dawn, Veteran Rewards and various bug fixes, we feel it is best to not add any other items to the current workload.

    Melantus
    Online Community Coordinator
    On another shard, Pacific in particular, players are taking the holiday into their own hands and creating mass quantities of red leather armor to deliver to the populace via "Valentine Cupids". See the UO Community Board above for details.

    Posted by Thellaren at 11:44 PM

    In-depth with LoD’s MOP - Part I

    UO Journal posted the first part of an interview in a series with LoD's Minister of Propaganda, Ivan Magnes:

    I had the opportunity to sit down one on one with Ivan Magnes LoD’s Minister of Propaganda. I can’t disclose the location but lets just say Ivan is an extremely rich fellow. He also was very intelligent, confident, professional, and had the Classic LoD air of bravado. He projected that special unique aura of power that is a trademark of LoD Members. I was extremely impressed with what I learned about LoD. No question was left unanswered by Ivan. He started the interview.
    The whole interview by Durham Stargazer can be found at UO Journal here.

    Posted by Thellaren at 11:28 PM

    UOHoC Posts 62nd Chat Log: “Ultima Online Third Dawn and General Discussion”

    The Ultima Online House of Commons (UOHoC) has posted the complete log of their sixty-second Open House chat. The theme was "Ultima Online Third Dawn and General Discussion", and the entire log can be found here.

    Posted by Nobody at 8:26 PM

    OSI: Win a Copy of Ultima Online: Third Dawn

    The following was just posted to What's New on the UO.com website:

    Win a Copy of Ultima Online: Third Dawn

    Want to win your very own, hot-off-the-presses, copy of Ultima Online: Third Dawn? EA.com is giving you the opportunity to win, and score yourself a free year of Ultima Online: Third Dawn gameplay! And all you need to do is tell EA.com the top five reasons you deserve to be one of the first to own Ultima Online: Third Dawn. Stop by the "Top Five List" contest web page for official rules and instructions and send in your entry today. Be creative, be unique, and win!

    Posted by Nobody at 5:10 PM

    January 31, 2001

    OSI: UO: Third Dawn Beta and UO.com

    The following two items were posted to the Common Issues page on the Ultima Online web site:

    UO: Third Dawn Beta and UO.com

    Due to high demand for Ultima Online: Third Dawn Beta orders, the UO.com website is currently experiencing an increased volume of traffic which may affect load times in some areas of the website, including the beta order form. If you are experiencing delays loading the UO: Third Dawn beta signup form, we recommend waiting a few moments and trying again. We apologize for any inconvenience this may cause.
    The sign-up information can be found here.

    Posted by Nobody at 10:21 AM

    Freedonians Land South of Trinsic

    Freedonian forces, led by El Cid himself, landed south of Trinsic near El Cid's ancestral home, the Tower Grym Slaed. They were immediately assailed by harpies, trolls, ettins, ogres and giant spiders. These were quickly dispatched and the ruins of the tower claimed. Onlookers, including the wandering healer Benedict, were moved to tears as El Cid knelt at the grave of his mother, still strewn with flowers and untouched by the power of Minax. "Its good to see the boy come home," Benedict later remarked. "now perhaps things can be set aright in these parts." Reconstruction of the tower has already begun.

    www.crosswinds.net/~freedonia

    Posted by Nobody at 8:48 AM

    January 30, 2001

    Strange Sighting

    The following sighting occured over a week ago. This report was made on the Ring of Steel public messageboard:

    While things were winding down in the wee hours of this Saturday morning, a strange occurance appeared just south of the entrance to Wrong.

    My father, Phaltran, was working at his tinkering bench when it occured, and he related the story to me.

    "Young Aragorn came a running yelling 'Come quick and see what appeared!'" Well being curious the lot of us, Mirabel, Sleath, Rakhir, Joram and myself took off after the scamp to see what the commotion was about.

    "To our wondering eyes we saw what appeared to be a room, dropped right on the edge of the mountain. It seemed to be an armory for there were weapons along its 'walls' and good fighters standing all about.

    "We didn't gawk long for immediately our group was set upon by a handful of brigands. I'm no fighter, but I was in good company, so I helped out with a swing of my trusty hatchet here and there to hobble those meanies.

    "Soon all the evil baddies were dispatched and we were allowed to examine the 'room' more closely. Dang if it didn't appear to be so much curtains, a large stone altar and lots of decorations of shields and weapons.

    "Rakhir and I debated whether or not the brigands came with the room, or if they just happened to be camped in the area. I think twas a bit of both. We find out if'n this happens again.

    "At least I kept my wits about me. I immediately pulled out a notepad and piece of charcoal with which I captured the likeness. When I returned to the tower I applied a few tinctures to the drawing as I recalled. See for yourself."

    Darius, GM for Ring of Steel

    Posted by Thellaren at 11:25 PM

    January 29, 2001

    OSI: Intermittent Connectivity and Latency Issues

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

    Intermittent Connectivity and Latency Issues

    We are currently experiencing issues with our network that may cause some intermittent connectivity or latency issues. We assure you that we are working diligently to correct this.

    Posted by Nobody at 6:59 PM

    Virus Warning

    The following warning was posted to UOSS:

    Virus Warning

    It has come to our knowledge that people are sending trojan backdoors via ICQ and email to UO players, claiming they have a house for sale. The file in this particular case is called LordRoni.zip and contains a file with a very long name: "SELLING MY HOUSES IN TRAMMEL AND FEL!!!!!!!!", then lots of spaces to hide the file extension, and finally the extension ".exe". If you open the zip file you will not see the file extension. Double-clicking the harmless looking filename will then install a backdoor program on your PC, which will give *anyone* *complete* access to *all* your files via the internet. Needless to say, you don't want that to happen.

    Should you be the victim of this scam then please visit the McAfee website where you can find detailed information about this trojan and more importantly info on how you can remove it from your system. We advise everyone to have a proper virus scanner active at all times, and of course never accept files from people you do not know or do not trust.

    Let's be careful out there!

    Posted by Nobody at 5:40 PM

    January 28, 2001

    The errors are fixed

    Rich was able to correct the news display errors, and is looking into ensuring it doesn't happen again. Thanks for your patience.

    Posted by Nobody at 5:26 PM

    Some articles have been displaying incorrectly

    Some Freeborn Press articles have been displaying incorrectly, including being out of order (as you may have gathered from the context of some). Please bear with us while we look into correcting these issues.

    Posted by Nobody at 5:04 PM

    UO: Third Dawn Gesture Video Clips

    The following was posted to UOSS:

    UO: Third Dawn Gesture Video Clips

    With great pleasure we present a set of movies that shows a selection of the different type of gestures one can make in the new UO: Third Dawn Client.

    Enjoy!
    The movies subsite notes about some software particulars:
    The movies that are available for download here have been compressed with a special codec that can create small video files while at the same time maintaining a very high image quality. To play the movies you will need the Windows Media Player and a special TSCC codec (The QuickTime movie player does not support this type of movie files). If you did not already install the TSCC codec then please do so by downloading this file (191 Kb) and then executing it.

    Posted by Nobody at 2:14 PM

    January 27, 2001

    UOKnight = SubSeven Trojan Virus

    I read the following warning on UOSS:

    UOKnight = SubSeven Trojan Virus

    This additional warning comes into us from a player that unfortunately experienced this first hand:
    I downloaded a program called UOKnight, claiming to be a bit like UOA, which is actually the SubSeven trojan horse. When I ran this program a message informed me I needed some DLL files, but when I went to download them off the website, I was informed that they were not on the server. Then shortly after a small chat window popped up informing me that Sub7 was installed.
    It probably cannot be stated enough times that it is extremely important that you never ever use programs that have not be specifically approved by OSI (UOAssist is one such program).

    Posted by Nobody at 11:12 PM

    WARNING! UO Resource Site is a Scam

    I read the following warning on UOSS:

    WARNING! UO Resource Site is a Scam

    WARNING! WARNING! Some of you may come across a website in your surfing called UO Resource. Basically what they are saying is that they are a resource to help you Edit In-Game Account Profiles, Make Account Transactions from account to account, and other things that are not possible. The kicker is that they will ask you to Log In. You got it - Give them your Account Name and Password. DO NOT GIVE YOUR NAME AND PASSWORD OUT TO THEM OR ANYONE!!! The only people you should ever trust your account information with is secure servers at www.uo.com or with customer service representatives on the telephone (that YOU call) at OSI. At this point, we are not going to divulge the address to the site, mostly because we don't want people going to their website. But I think this warning will give you all enough of a heads up not to take them seriously if you do accidently come across it.

    For those that do visit the site, we at Stratics want you to know that we are in no way affiliated with their site despite the fact that they are using our good name to make themselves look legitimate.

    NOTE: There is also a fansite called UO Resources that can be found at http://www.uoresources.com. While extremely close in name, this is a totally different site and is 100% legitimate. The difference is the "s" on the end of the name.

    Posted by Nobody at 11:11 PM

    Happy Birthday to Hazard!

    Please join me in wishing Hazard, Editor-in-Chief of the Freeborn Press, a happy birthday this Sunday (tomorrow). A humble man originally from the city of Cove, Hazard seeks no elaborate festivities for his birthday; a simple round of "Happy Birthday to You" will be satisfactory in celebrating the anniversary of his birth.

    Posted by Nobody at 4:28 PM

    OSI Clarifies Account Info Policy

    Hellrazor sent us the following new item:

    OSI Clarifies Account Info Policy

    Recently there have been rumors that anyone with the product ID code of a UO account could have the account information changed. Obviously, this wouldn't bode well for people who were given or sold someone else's account before OSI instituted the Account Transfer Program. I emailed OSI about this, and they gave me this clarification:
    Greetings,

    Here in UO account support, we only release information pertaining to an account if the player can verify the account with the last 8 digits of the credit card number. If there is no credit card on the account, then we use the registration code to verify the account. At that time, the player must also verify the address, phone number, and email address on the account. We use these means for the protection of the account. At times, we use the registration code to look up an account if the customer has forgotten the user name and password. But once we pull up the account with that code, the player still must verify additional information.

    Thanks,

    Nadia
    EA.com
    I hope this sets some worries to rest. I'd also like to applaud OSI and EA customer support for the fast response, I received this personal and detailed answer less than 48 hours after I emailed the inquiry. Well met!

    HellRazor

    Posted by Nobody at 12:11 AM

    January 26, 2001

    OSI: Ultima Online: Third Dawn Beta Test

    The following was just posted to What's New on the UO.com website:

    Ultima Online: Third Dawn Beta Test
    It's almost time! We are currently targeting to launch the Ultima Online: Third Dawn Beta Test signup during the week of January 29th (CST). During that week, we'll open the Third Dawn Beta CD website where a limited amount of 30,000 beta CDs will be available for order.

    We will be opening beta ordering at three different start times throughout a 24-hour period to allow UO customers from around the world the opportunity to order a beta CD at a convenient local time. For each start time, there will be a limit of 10,000 CDs available.

    During the ordering period, players with active Ultima Online accounts (in good standing) will be able to order an Ultima Online: Third Dawn Beta CD for the price of shipping and handling. Players participating in the Beta test will be required to sign a Beta Tester Confidentiality agreement. This is a closed beta test limited to 30,000 participants. However, there will be additional open beta opportunities at a later date.

    We will release specific availability times and dates approximately 24 hours in advance.

    Posted by Nobody at 6:33 PM

    January 24, 2001

    Warning: Origin Systems Security Scam Alert!

    The following warning was posted to UOSS:

    Origin Systems Security Scam Alert!

    Yet another scam is getting passed around. The following letter is being sent out by someone claiming to work at OSI using an @uomail.com e-mail:
    Greetings,

    At this time your account with Orgin Systems is in suspicion of being hacked by one or more unknown persons. Although we regret the delay of one's gaming experience, we feel that a password change of your account is in the best interest of the game service as a whole and the parties involved. The hacking suspicion aroused by the following conditions:

    Multiple users at different IPs
    Multiple logins at one time

    Service accessed by separate individuals at multiple times Under Section 3: Subsection C is states:

    (c) Multiple access. Members whose Accounts have been accessed by multiple persons at one time must follow security instructions given by Orgin Administration to ensure the safety of the account involved. Orgin Systems may not access the Service in any manner or for any reason without the express written permission of Account Administration. Active Members may not knowingly allow former Members whose Accounts have been terminated to use the active Members' Accounts or User IDs.

    To remedy this we here at Orgin Account Security request an immediate email response with a password change and proof of account ownership. Please reply to this mail with your current account name, registration number, names of all owned accounts, current password and new password that we will change to. Do not contact the Official website as the supposed hacking may be of an HTML nature. Please respond to this email within 32 hours or we must suspend the account due to security protection. Your account is now being currently monitored so we ask that you not log on until we give you written permission so as to record the doings of the hacker or hackers.

    If you feel this matter has been handled inappropriately, you have the Right to reply to this email. However, our Account/Billing, Tech Support, and In-game Support departments have no interaction in this process, and do not have access to your account record in this matter. Calling these support personnel will have no impact on the future of your account in any way, and will only hinder the support process for other customers in need of assistance.We are sorry that this action has been deemed necessary, but feel that it Is appropriate in this instance. We feel that all appropriate investigations have been made regarding this matter, and this decision is not subject to appeal at this point. Account Administration and Security considers this letter sufficient notification of your account warning, and considers any relationship with you suspended at this point.

    Sincerely,

    Orgin Administration Account Security
    As a reminder, DO NOT EVER GIVE OUT YOUR ACCOUNT NAME AND PASSWORD TO SOMEONE VIA E-MAIL!!! Official OSI representatives will never ever ask you to do this. EVER! Also note that if it is from someone at OSI contacting you, they will have an @uo.com e-mail extension.

    Posted by Nobody at 5:44 PM

    Warning: Trojan Alert with Fake UOTrace Program

    The following warning was posted to UOSS:

    Trojan Alert with Fake UOTrace Program

    Thanks to Robert for sending us in the following warning about a trojan horse version of UO Trace. The following message was received via ICQ:
    Hello, my friend has asked me to help promote his upgraded Ultima Online Utility UOtrace. For those of you who don't know this has been the premier way of testing server connections for ages, and now with the new version feedback on its performance is necessary. Please click the following link to go to the UOtrace homepage, and email with any feedback or bug reports you may have. http://www.geocities.com/XXXXXXXXXXXXXX
    DO NOT DOWNLOAD THIS PROGRAM! Not only is it a fake, but it contains the SUBSEVEN virus, which will open up your computer to a malicious hacker, and also records your password cache.

    As a reminder, do not ever accept a download from an untrusted source. If you need to download a program for UO, make sure to only do so from a trusted source such as from OSI or from Stratics.

    Posted by Nobody at 5:42 PM

    Shades of Ethereal

    Nobody and I were travelling throughout Sosaria tonight, and noticed something curious about ethereal horses. Many of you may know there are four types of horses available in UO. The differences are minute, but there are two light-colored "thinner" horse types and there's both a light- and dark-colored "thicker" horse. When you double click an ethereal horse statue one horse-type of the four options is randomly generated, and this randomness happens with each time you create the ridable version of the ethereal horse.

    If you look closely, you can see the differences, especially when the random generation produces the dark-colored horse, which becomes a darker ethereal mount. So those of you looking to ride a darker ethereal mount and don't mind recreating your mount a few times in quick succession actually have that option.

    It's possible the same random color cycling occurs with the other ethereal mounts, although we haven't experimented with this possibility yet. This also saves the collector from having to buy four separate horse statues.

    Posted by Thellaren at 1:56 AM

    Freeborn Press Access Problems

    Recently there have been several hosting server problems that have caused the Freeborn Press to be unavailable, specifically during parts of today and yesterday. We're looking into it, and hope to have put any potential issues to rest in the next few days.

    Posted by Hazard [EiC] at 12:34 AM

    January 21, 2001

    More 3D Renders of an UO House

    The following was posted on UOSS:

    More 3D Renders of an UO House

    Deane Saunders, aka Myrex of Europa, has created yet another series of astonishing 3D renders of an Ultima Online house. This time he made pictures of the new model small stone shop. Go have a look and be amazed by the beauty and detail.

    Posted by Nobody at 2:05 PM

    January 19, 2001

    OSI: UO Rules of Conduct Updated

    The following was just added to FYI on the Ultima Online Web site:

    UO Rules of Conduct Updated

    In addition to a Terms of Service agreement, Ultima Online also requires agreement to our Rules of Conduct. These rules cover any aspects of conduct that may affect your Ultima Online account standing and we strongly recommend that you review these Rules of Conduct on a regular basis to be certain that you are up-to-date and in compliance.

    We have recently updated the Rules of Conduct to reiterate the importance of keeping your billing and email information up-to-date within our system.
    12) You may not give false information or intentionally hide any information, such as email address or billing information, which is required at the time you register with the Ultima Online Service. It is your responsibility to keep this information up-to-date using the website located at http://www.ultima-registration.com.
    If you feel your email or billing information may be out-of-date, we urge that you visit our Account Management website at http://www.ultima-registration.com to update your information online.

    Posted by Nobody at 6:58 PM

    January 17, 2001

    OSI: Ultima Online: Third Dawn Beta - Coming Soon!

    The following was just posted to What's New on the UO.com website:

    Ultima Online: Third Dawn Beta - Coming Soon!

    Be the first on your block to experience the world of Ultima Online: Third Dawn - your opportunity to join the UO: Third Dawn Beta Test is coming soon!

    We'll be launching the official UO: Third Dawn Beta Test in the next several weeks, and will provide at least 48 hour advance notice prior to the opening of the Beta CD website. Once the website is open, a limited amount of 30,000 beta CDs will be available for order.

    During the ordering period, players with active Ultima Online accounts (in good standing), will be able to order an Ultima Online: Third Dawn Beta CD for the price of shipping and handling. Players participating in the Beta test will be required to sign a Beta Tester Confidentiality agreement.

    Additional details on the Beta signup process will be posted in the near future.

    Posted by Nobody at 5:23 PM

    January 13, 2001

    Revelations of the Dead

    Revelations of the Dead

    Chaos erupted as the streets and lands of Dawn swelled with the hatred and opposition of many. The meeting had taken place, and Opal, well guarded, brought forth the wicked, cursed remains of Na-Krul. Tempers flared as the bitter resentment emanating from the bones filled the room, filling minds with ambition and hatred that had consumed the land years before in a bloody onslaught of brother versus brother. What would become of the remains? How would this foul annoyance of disease upon the land be quelled? The prophecy came to truth, as a band of undead zombies filled the streets of Dawn, yearning and feeding off their rage, questing for the bones stolen from them by the blasphemous quest knight of compassion. These tortured souls, only wishing once again a peaceful and eternal rest knowing Na-Krul lies bound within the land of death, a right stolen from them when his remains were bitterly removed from his well-guarded tomb in Khaldun, again fell to the anguish of slaughter. One by one they fell, splattering to the earth in a heap of decaying flesh only to rise again and lurch towards Opal, to just fall again, and again. Finally, in the midst of all the chaos, and after quelling the rebellion amongst the meeting, in a resolute to quell the wicked curse upon the land Arwyn emerged and lead the bewildered Quest Knight to the Dark Tower. There it was decided upon that to vanquish this wrongdoing upon the land, it was Na-Krul who was needed. In his wisdom and in his creation of the Well of Souls, only he could hold the knowledge to contain his own artifact of torment. Resentfully and with a grimace of disgust, Opal slowly handed the Pouch that contained Na-Krul’s remains to Arwyn, where in which, the prophecy of the voice came to a stunning end. Slowly and carefully the bag was placed upon the Great Pentacle, and once again, the dead came to spread their wails of distaste for the mortal intervention. As their cries of anger and frustration echoed throughout the Tower halls, slowly, the same foul odor, the same thick, black mist of hatred consumed all on top the great pentacle. Opal had recognized this presence before when she had unwillingly let loose this fowl curse upon Sosaria, opening the thick, cemented casket of Na-Krul and retrieving what laid within. The scar upon her hand throbbed, pulsating and sweating as it did back in Khaldun. Her face clenched with remorse, and finally, the thick, black swirling mist took shape. It was the soul of Na-Krul, standing before her, his very malevolence piercing into the souls of those before him….



    And so it has been decided. On the eve of Sunday, January 14th, at the stroke of 8:00 p.m. pacific Na-Krul shall rise again into the realm of the living. All those that wish to bare witness to this event, gather at the Felucca Dark Tower at this time, relinquish your minds and purify your hearts in witness of such a divination. Great futures behold as the once and future King returns to rule. I urge all to come…Seers of old, Golden Knight, Dawnite, enemy and friend alike. Come and meet your former lord in a new light, and a new time. ‘Tis rumored he is to be leaving this realm; come and hear his words of revelation…and remorse. Gates shall be provided from both Felucca and Trammel, within the Castle of Lord British at the stroke of 7:45 p.m., pacific.

    (The Dark Tower departs for a new branch of introduction on Siege Perilous. Na-Krul, as well as few others depart the world of Baja, and wish to say their good-byes to the community that fought, cried, cursed, and befriended them through their lives on Baja. Please show and wave them goodbye.)

    Posted by Brenstar at 1:28 PM

    This Evening:

    This evening at 7:00pm PST the Order of Leonine, Golden Knights and the Mage Tower are uniting steel with paper on a high adventure into the depths of one of the many dungeons of the land. They hope to meet a lot of new friends as everyone is invited to experience this escapade.

    Petrus, a Golden Knight is going to mark a rune to each dungeon and leave the runes blank. "A rune will then be picked out of a bag at random", says Ursula, as she helped Finlay restock the counter with booze. "Everyone will meet at the Golden Brew," she continued, "and hopefully their gold will be given to Finlay after everything is said and done" Finlay is without a doubt the most experienced, friendly and fun to watch bartender in Trammel. The Golden Brew is proud to have him.

    Posted by Brenstar at 7:59 AM

    January 12, 2001

    Tiberius captured by the Imperial Inquisition

    Tiberius was summoned by Emperor Azalin the Lich and Empress Cymidei Fier, to answer for his teachings on the virtues. Before leaving his Temple, Tiberius was blessed by a mysterious Elven priest. When he arrived at the tower, Vladmir Threep brought Tiberius before the Empress. After a brief debate, the Empress became angry at the famous philosopher and placed a powerful geise upon him so that he could not leave Fier Tower until he and his knights could answer five diabolical riddles on the meaning of Evil. The Tiberian Knights responded quickly to aid Tiberius. Lead by Midian, Sir Ishop, Sir Vega, and Sir Grandmystic strived to free Tiberius from the yoke of Cymidei's sorcery. The Emperor and Tiberius debated for quite some time while the Knights carefully examined the riddles. Mandy, the Master of Arms, challenged Sir Ishop to duel Calvin II. Unfortunately, a murderous villain interfered with the completion of the duel. However, because Tiberius and his knights were able to complete the challenges put to them, Cymidei had no choice but to free the philosopher from the geise. As the spell was broken...night fell and the tower groaned with mysterious voices and ominous sounds...as if the dark deities themselves protested his release.

    See Enemies and Quests www.shadowimperium.com

    Posted by Brenstar at 2:22 AM

    January 7, 2001

    Map of Ilshenar Revealed at Stratics

    UOSS posted a map of the new lands from Ultima Online: Third Dawn, called Ilshenar. The original article is here, but is reproduced below:

    Map of Ilshenar Revealed

    UO Stratics is proud to present the first detailed map of Ilshenar. Go have a look and see for yourself how Ilshenar is shaped. See where the entrance points to Ilshenar are located and how the different areas of this world connect to each other. Whether you travel in the grassy plains in the South-East, the swamps in the South-West, the jungle in the North-West or the desert in the North-East, you should be able to find your way with the aid of this map. A compact version of the large map can be seen below.

    Posted by Nobody at 1:17 PM

    January 6, 2001

    The Well of Souls

    The Well of Souls

    “…Screams of horror fill the dank, dark halls of Khaldun as yet another lifeless husk falls to the ground. The overwhelming undead, pouring forth through the ancient crypts angered that their eternal rest was disturbed by yet another band of weary adventurers. Wave after wave of zealots protrude from the dark mists floating ominously within the dungeon in search of those who dare trespass upon their unholy soil, those that would dare attempt the recovery of the scholar and priest’s remains entrusted to them years before. The voice had warned them about this. The dead, the jealous dead, they would not release the decomposed remains of Na-Krul; not without a fight. His bones rested with them now, and no mortal who breathed life would dare take that from them. Or so was thought. The tattered bones of Na-Krul, now missing from the fathomless pit of doom, taken by the so-called Quest Knight of Compassion. Fury, the rage of undeath, had now been released upon the world once again. The curse of the red death, stirred by an ancient power, an ancient voice of reassurance that had guaranteed the return of the herald. As long as the cursed bones remained within the grasps of the heretics, all would feel the cold, icy embrace of death…”


    Thunder, clash, the whistling of the wind whipping through the dead grass as a waterfall of rain poured from the heavens. Sosaria had not seen such a storm for centuries. The earth virtually melted away as the rolling waves of mud filtered about, enchanted with the life of a monsoon. The coasts flooded as the titanic waves splashed ashore, eagerly displacing itself back into the deep, salty bay it new best at heart. All was not natural and all was not serene. A thick, black mist, darker than night and thicker than the clouds floating among the heavens crept slowly over the horizon south of Britain. Panic struck the sea-bound as the vital light and guidance of the lighthouses vanished, consumed by the thick, gloomy fog emanating from the swampland.

    The storm had lasted only but a day, disappearing as quickly and wrathfully as the thick black fog, yet as mysteriously as it had appeared. Where had such a storm fathomed from, and what menacing darkness was at bay? At that same moment, the wails and screams of the dead hung in the air, their putrid aroma of death filtering itself throughout the realm. Drifting through the Kingdom of Dawn, and slowly creeping upon the populace of Avalon. What had disturbed their rest? Who had brought their curse upon the living? Unknown originals bit at the minds of all as this curse of death plagued the denizens of the realm.

    Deep within the Tower of darkness, south of Britain, and just north of the swampland, the believed starting point of the decrepit curse, bubbled an evil so hot with hatred no man could survive the wrathful embrace of its fumes. A gagging smell overflowed the temple where which Na-Krul himself once spoke and preached. A temple founded upon the blood and torment of the innocents. The same innocents sacrificed to the very well of imprisonment that now fed the curse of death drifting throughout the land.

    The well was founded upon the unholy reign of Dread Lord Xander, mentor to Na-Krul. Together, Na-Krul and Xander had fashioned the well, enchanting it, bestowing life upon it through the ritualistic feedings of the souls of innocents and murderous alike. Now, the once craving evil, the once dormant Well of Souls, has been awakened by an evil unimaginable. The captives of this plight, jealous of the living, and infuriated at the liberation of Na-Krul’s corpse from their grasps now release their wrath upon the world for the sin of one. The one known only to them as the thief marked with the scent of hatred throbbing forth from the scar that singed and seared upon the cold casket Na-Krul’s remains once dwelled. How can this evil be stopped, how can those tortured by the grievances of Na-Krul be released from an eternity of torment? Time shall tell, and until then, may the thief who disturbed their rest, the thief who robbed Na-Krul’s cursed tomb of his remains, be weary of the curse of the red death…they are searching for you.



    (The Dark Tower is recruiting any and all that wish to participate in an upcoming event this Friday (January 12th) at 8 PM pacific. To participate, you must create a new character and name him with a name such as ‘an undead warrior,” or a “tortured soul.” Create this character with light or pale green skin. Skills are irrelevant. We will be meeting at 7:30 PM in the dueling pits of Jhelom. A weapon, potions, bone armor, robes, and few reagents shall be supplied to you before we depart for the event. Remember, this is a role-played event. If you are killed, no murder count is to be given. To register for this event, e-mail shaneblix@mindspring.com for verification and support. Thank you.)

    Posted by Brenstar at 6:56 PM

    January 4, 2001

    61st UOHoC Open House chat

    The Ultima Online House of Commons (UO HoC) held it's sixty-first "UOHoC Open House chat" tonight. The topic was "Ultima Online Third Dawn", and the entire log is available here. Below are some quick snippets, the first is about Reds and the new lands (Ilshenar).

    Glamdring - *BA_Barrackas* Can you elaborate on what was meant when you said that the new lands will have a "modified version of the Trammel rules". Modified in what way?

    Alai - I probably said too much earlier regarding that. Basically, the new lands follow the Trammel ruleset in regards to player interaction. The CURRENT PLAN is to allow reds there however. Note, that this is all subject to change.
    The next concerns Seers' Events.
    Glamdring - And for those of you playing at home, here's the question that our seer developer is answering =)

    Glamdring - *Watts* With the introduction of UO:3D I have read that content will be easily added due to the three dimensional client. Is there a plan in place for a monthly or bi-monthly "event" to take place?

    Alai - "Yes"
    And this third, quick snippet is about weapons.
    Glamdring - *VO* Will there be any new weapons, if so what kind and will they work in the old lands ?

    Tajima - There are three new weapons in Third Dawn, and you'll be able to use them in the "old" lands as well.

    Runesabre - There will be new weapons. I don't want to give away all the surprises but there will be a new sword, fencing weapon and bow to name a few. We are still designing their attributes so I can't tell you how they compare with existing weapons just yet.

    Posted by Nobody at 9:57 PM

    How the Grinch Stole Christmas!

    Kita Talith posted the following announcement to the Golden Brew message board, here:

    The Grinch

    The Golden Brew Players
    is pleased to announce the winter production of. . .
    How the Grinch Stole Christmas

    Coming to The Golden Globe Theatre
    on January 7, 2001.

    Matinee Performance @ 2:00pm PST

    Evening Performance @ 7:00pm PST


    Our Cast:

    The Grinch. . . . . . . . Pasque
    The Narrator. . . . . . . . Mirabel
    Max. . . . . . . . . . . .Anvil
    Cindy-Lou Who. . . . . . . Happy Fool
    A Who. . . . . . . . . Lysistrata
    A Who. . . . . . . . . Ce'Nedra Willow
    A Who. . . . . . . . . Jixxa

    . . . produced by . . .

    The Golden Brew Players

    Directed by. . . . . . . . . Kita Talith
    Stage Managed by. . . . . . . . Ursula

    Contact Kita Talith, our Director, for more details.

    Dr. Seuss text and figures ™ Dr. Seuss Enterprises L.P. 1999.
    All rights reserved.
    All original site content © 2000 Kita Talith

    Golden Brew Players logo courtesy of Thorin Ironbeard
    Ultima Online is a registered trademark of Origin Systems, Inc.

    Posted by Nobody at 5:46 PM

    January 1, 2001

    Information on New Animals!

    I saw that uo.stratics.com posted something about the new animals.

    ...Several readers have submitted information about the ki-rin that has been discovered in the new land Ilshenar. This beast is also known in various card games and in AD&D. Various sources describe it as follows:
    • A type of unicorn, a winged horse with one horn on it's forehead.
    • A flaming or golden, good-aligned horse which protects from evil.
    • Mythical Japanese creatures. The male has a mane like a lion, their heads have unicorn type horns and their bodies have scales like a fish.
    • Japan[e]se and/or Taiwanese beer :).
    • It's an imaginary creature that is part horse and part dragon. The male is called "Ki", and the female is called "Rin". It is capable of flying, and sparks of lightning shoot out from its hooves. Kirin live for 1000 years and are considered good luck.
    The original article is here.

    Posted by Nobody at 9:12 PM

    December 30, 2000

    "Ultima 1 - A Legend Is Reborn" Interview

    UOSS received a great tip from Orion and Llemnadrell about an interview at RPGdot with Telemachos, the Programmer at Peroxide�a company which is creating a freeware remake of Ultima 1 called �Ultima 1 - A Legend Is Reborn�. Below is the start of the interview, conducted by garrett, and the entire interview can be found here. The official web site for
    �Ultima 1 - A Legend Is Reborn� is here (along with a lot of really nice looking screenshots).

    "Ultima 1 - A Legend Is Reborn" Interview

    We had the chance to conduct an interview with Telemachos, programmer of the Ultima I - A Legend Is Reborn, a remake of the original Ultima I. For more information head over to the Peroxide website (http://www.peroxide.dk/ultima/) and be sure, to download the playable test build (http://www.peroxide.dk/ultima/release/u1_tech.):

    RPGDot: Ultima 1 - A Legend Reborn; will it follow the original storyline of Ultima I, or where's the differences?

    Telemachos: We decided to change the storyline some to make the game more RPG oriented rather than the hack'n'slash action game the original was. We'll do that by introducing alot of sub-quests, mainly given by NPC's you'll meet in taverns, on the streets of the towns, in the wilderness etc.

    Also by popular demand we'll remove the space-part from the original where suddenly had to fly a space craft and shoot down aliens and replace that by a quest more true to the fantasy genre. The overall plot of the game remains unchanged though so the final battle shouldn't be a surprise to anyone.

    Posted by Nobody at 9:47 PM

    December 26, 2000

    Historic Building Decays

    Tonight in Avalon, One of the Landmark Historic Buildings Decayed.

    At Approximately 7:52 Eastern Daylight Time, on December the 26th 2000, The Last of the Dead Dove Tavern Rare Items were placed in GodLand by GM Starblade as a few of the Town Council stood by and watched with Overwhelming Emotions.

    One of the Older Establishments in the City of Destiny, the Dead Dove has always been a part of the Rich History and Culture which set Her apart from the rest, and made Avalon one of the Most Unique places on Baja. Once the Home of the Rogue Bretheren, the Dove was often the In Place for the Thieves and Assassins to come together in a Neutral Place, and having set their differences aside, Consume Large Quantities of Ale and Ribs, and Pick each others pockets to pay for the next round.

    I am hoping when I say that nothing of great value came up missing, for as soon as The Lady Jixxa let loose a flock of Pigeons, The Minister of Defense, and many others were promptly on the scene to ward off any who would profit from Our Loss. It does appear that very little can be done at the moment to restore the Dead Dove to Her former Glory, but this reporter has it on good authority that the Blessed Walls will remain standing, and no other placement will be made Until this situation is resolved.

    Well folks, thats all for now. I will update this story as it unfolds.

    Keeping a Hawks Eye View out for Our Interests, I'll be seeing you...

    The Son of Avalon
    - Blind Hawk

    Posted by Hazard [EiC] at 11:34 PM

    December 23, 2000

    OSI: Holiday Support Hours

    The following was posted to the Common Issues page on the Ultima Online web site:

    Holiday Support Hours

    Ultima Online Account Support will be available on the following schedule over the holidays:
    • 12/24 Christmas Eve: 7:30am - 7:00pm CST
    • 12/25 Christmas Day: 9:00am - 6:00pm CST
    • 12/31 New Years Eve: 7:30am - 9:00pm CST
    • 1/1 New Years Day: 9:00am - 11:45pm CST
    Game Master Support and Technical Support will continue with normal scheduled hours and coverage.

    Posted by Nobody at 11:39 AM

    December 18, 2000

    The Oven

    Due to popular demand The Oven is now back open! As a reminder the message board is meant for hot topics about UO. If you don't like something or just plain out want to complain, do it.

    There are a few simple ground rules I've mentioned in topic #1. Please take the time to read it or the consequences could get you banned from the board.

    I've enjoyed reading and posting topics on The Oven in the past since it attracts all sorts of people. If you have a problem with someone and don't want to 'flame' a public message board, then flame away on mine! You can yell at each other until you're blue in the face or actually try to work out your differences, either way it's fine with me.

    Spread the word, I invite all people from all Ultima Online communities to come and post on my board. If any admins of any boards have a problem with people, feel free to send them to The Oven to work it out.

    Thank you for your time and I look forward to some "hot" topics.

    Moriarty

    Posted by Hazard [EiC] at 11:51 PM

    December 16, 2000

    Christmas Bells

    I read the following post on Tradespot regarding Christmas bells:

    There are 15 different colors available....and 22 different names.....haven't determined how many different sounds. To get every possible bell with every possible combination of names, colors and sounds, you'd end up with somewhere between 3500 - 4000 bells for a "complete" set. :) The names are as follows:

    Contrary to rumors, there is NOT a bell from Calandryll (per his own words).

    CMS



    Posted by Thellaren at 12:55 AM

    December 10, 2000

    A Peace Request....

    As many know over the past few weeks I have been in search of Death Seer and the tomes that he holds, I have even most recently offered a reward for the person that can bring me his head and the tomes. However, these tactics proved to be futile as most of the current population of Sosaria are now raised tward Lord British's virtues. And so, I now offer one last thing. I offer a peace, I wish to end these hostilities between the Tower and Dawn, if you can find it within your scheduele I wish to meet with ye, to discuss the terms of a treaty. I shall discuss the time and place with you later. And as of now the bounty on your head shall be disreguarded by all members of the Dark Tower. Anyone trying to take your head now shall be claimed as enemies of the tower.

    Posted by Brenstar at 7:47 PM

    December 8, 2000

    OSI: Resurrection Killing

    The following was added to "FYI" on the Ultima Online web site:

    Resurrection Killing

    Resurrection Killing As a reminder, the action known as "resurrection killing" is not a support issue. Please do not call or e-mail our support staff regarding resurrection killing. Instead, use alternative locations or methods for resurrection in a less dangerous area. If in a Faction or guild war, take note of the surroundings before attempting a resurrection. It is also a good idea to travel unseen to other players while looking for a place to resurrect.

    Posted by Nobody at 6:37 PM

    December 6, 2000

    Holiday Artwork Submissions 2000

    The following was just recently posted to FYI at the UO.COM site:

    It's that time of year again! Raise a mug of eggnog, twirl a sprig of mistletoe (or nightshade), and toast the holiday spirit in Britannia. While you're enjoying yourself, why not celebrate the holiday season by grabbing your piles of cotton, stacks of cloth, gold, and reagents and submitting your holiday decorations to the Britannian Holiday Artwork Display?

    Send us your screenshots of holiday decorations created by you and your friends within the world of Ultima Online. String lights around your aquarium, place a Santa by your door, or herd some dragons into a holiday display. Send us a screenshot of your holiday creation using items available in Ultima Online, and we may display it front and center on the UO.com website for the holidays!

    The Guidelines
    We've kept the guidelines to a minimum to give you plenty of room for creativity:

    • Holiday Theme - Your submission must have a holiday theme. As we are aware that not everyone celebrates the same holidays, all we ask is that your submitted art focus on a holiday celebrated at this time of year (as opposed to Halloween or Labor Day). Be it Boxing Day, Christmas, Hanukkah, or Kwanzaa, the choice is up to you.

    • You must be a current UO subscriber and include your account name with your submission.
    • Artwork must be submitted in .bmp form at a minimum of 640 x 480 resolution, 24-bit color. You may send us .zip files, but please, no zip executable files. Any .exe files will be deleted.
    • Artwork must be submitted as an original screenshot created with items found in Ultima Online. Doctored images will be disqualified.
    Submissions are due by 11:59 PM, December 14th (US CST). Please email your screenshot as an attached file to uo-profiles@uo.com. Include your real name, character name, a description of your submission (including what you used to make it), and a telephone number where we may be able to reach you on or around December 15th.

    The winning screenshots will be on display on the Ultima Online website from December 22, 2000 to January 5, 2001.

    Posted by Thellaren at 1:46 AM

    Lockdown Changes / Holiday Tree Enabling

    The following newspieces were taken from UO.COM - Testing for Next Update:

    Lockdown Changes

    Players may now lockdown items on/near stairs that are "passable". This means they can lock down any item that can be walked over or on, near stairs.

    Holiday Tree Enabling

    Players will be able to use their currently existing holiday tree deeds on both the Trammel and Felucca facets. Because of the way foliage is displayed in Felucca, there will be an option to display a holiday tree without foliage or a second option for a tree with foliage. Players with the foliage display turned on for Felucca with see both tree types with foliage. Trees placed on the Felucca shard must be re-deeded by double-clicking the trunk portion of the tree, regardless of their foliage option. Classic style trees will not show foliage in Felucca, if the player has Felucca foliage disabled as their option. Modern style trees will display foliage in Felucca regardless of display settings.

    Posted by Thellaren at 1:39 AM

    December 1, 2000

    UO World’s Faire Notes From Melantus

    Melantus, Online Community Coordinator for Ultima Online posted several compilations of notes taken from forums during the UOFaire. OSI has the forum "index" here, and the main (introduction) thread here:

    UO Faire Notes *** Main Thread ***

    I will begin posting here several threads, each a topic from the UO World Faire sessions. Not all of the notes we took will be in these threads but most of them are. This is being done as a reference of what notes we took, for both players and OSI to be able to refer to if needed. Each session thread will be locked and remain at the top, but this thread will remain open for further comments.

    Note that these notes may appear a bit "rough" but are often the direct notes we took while at the Faire. They can be discussed further by the players here and on Discussions. In fact, we encourage that. Remember that this thread is not closed and can be replied upon.

    *** The UO Faire notes threads being posted here are not items we are saying are definitely going to occur within UO. They are simply notes taken from the session discussions at the World Faire. They are mainly feedback from players on what they would like to see within UO. ***

    Melantus
    Online Community Coordinator
    Ultima Online
    Melantus@uo.com
    Here's a quick index of the key threads:

    Posted by Nobody at 6:13 PM

    OSI: Ultima Online Rewards Program

    I read the following on the General Testing page, specifically here, of the Ultima Online Web site:

    Ultima Online Rewards Program

    The Ultima Online Rewards program is designed to reward you, our long-term players, for your loyalty to the UO community. It is our way of thanking you and showing our appreciation for your long-term support of UO, and for your contribution to making UO the most popular virtual world in existence today. Screenshots for most of the rewards can be found at the end of this update.

    Determining Account Age
    The age of an account will be determined in the following manner:
    • Any account created before November 30, 1999 will automatically be credited for all of the time from the date it was created until November 30, 1999. In other words, if you created your account on October 30, 1998, your account would be credited for 13 months of time, regardless of whether your account was inactive during part of that time.
    • Following November 30, 1999, only the months in which you had an active account will contribute to the total count of months qualifying you for rewards.
    • You can check your account age by logging a character into the game. (Note: Until the Rewards Program has been released, this method may not work, or may return an error message.) To check your account age:
      • Double click your profile scroll.
      • Scroll to the bottom of the scroll window.
      • A horizontal bar will be at the bottom of the profile text. Your account age in years and days will be displayed under that line. The account age will display the same value for all characters on the same account.
    • Updates to your account (such as reactivations) are updated every Sunday, but may not be displayed for several days.
    Reward eligibility is determined on a per-account basis. Multiple accounts may not be "combined" to increase eligibility.

    Rewards
    There are three categories of player reward levels currently identified as part of the program: players who have been in the game for 12 to 23 months, players who have been in the game for 24 to 35 months, and those who have played for 36 months or more. Each of the three designated categories of long-term players will be offered a different selection of in-game rewards. All reward options are ‘no loot’ and ‘no steal’, and clothing items will never wear out.

    12 - 23 Month Players may choose two of the following rewards:
    • Black dye tub
    • Bronze cloak
    • Bronze +2 AR robe
    • Copper cloak
    • Copper +2 AR robe
    • Furniture dye tub
    • Choice of one of 14 mini-monster statues:
      • Dragon
      • Skeleton
      • Troll
      • Orc
      • Deamon
      • Ettin
      • Earth Elemental
      • Gargoyle
      • Gorilla
      • Crocodile
      • Lich
      • Lizard Man
      • Ogre
      • Ratman
    • Special Dye-tub
      • Using normal dyes on this tub (double-clicking the dyes then targeting the special dye-tub) will bring up a menu listing special colors not available through a normal dye-tub.
      • After selecting a color, the dye-tub will then have that hue.
      • Double-clicking the dye tub and targeting an article of clothing will dye that clothing the special color.
    24 - 35 Month Players may choose three reward options (two for being a one year player plus one more for being a two year player) from the list of one-year rewards above and the additional two-year rewards listed below:
    • Agapite cloak
    • Agapite +2 AR robe
    • Golden cloak
    • Golden +2 AR robe
    • Banners
      • Banners can be placed in houses and have areas that can be dyed using a dye-tub.
      • When selecting a banner as your reward, you will receive a banner deed.
      • To place the banner, double-click the deed. A targeting cursor will appear.
      • Targeting a wall inside a house will place the banner on that wall. The banner cannot be picked up once placed.
      • To remove the banner, the owner or co-owner of the house can double-click the banner. After clicking the confirmation window, the banner will be removed and a banner deed will be placed in the character’s backpack.
      • Using a dye-tub on a banner will dye portions of the banner. Each banner has a different are that can be dyed.
    • Flaming Skull
      • The flaming skull is a house decoration that can be placed on the walls of a house.
      • When selecting a flaming skull as a reward, you will receive a skull deed.
      • To place the skull, double-click the deed. A targeting cursor will appear.
        • Targeting a wall inside a house will place the skull on that wall. The skull must be placed on a south-facing wall. The skull cannot be picked up once placed.
        • To remove the skull, the owner or co-owner of the house can double-click the skull. After clicking the confirmation window, the skull will be removed and a skull deed will be placed in the character’s backpack.
      • When a character walks near the skull, it will begin spewing flames. The flames do not cause any damage.
    • Leather Dye-tub
      • The leather dye-tub can be used to dye leather or studded leather armor.
      • Using normal dyes on this tub (double-clicking the dyes then targeting the special dye-tub) will bring up a menu listing the colors available to use on leather armor. The colors are similar to the colors currently available for metal armor (copper, shadow, etc.) with the addition of some other hues such reds, blues, greens, etc.
      • After selecting a color, the dye-tub will then have that hue.
      • Double-clicking the dye tub and targeting a piece of leather or studded leather armor will dye that clothing the color.
    • Any of the 12 - 23 month reward listed above.
    36+ Month Players may choose four reward options (two for being a one year player another one for their two year reward, plus one more for the third year) from among the one and two-year reward choices as well as those additional rewards listed below:
    • Ethereal mount (horse, ostard, or llama; one per reward choice)
      • Transparent hue.
      • Appears as a statue in your backpack.
        • Double clicking the statue will cause the statue to disappear and create the mount and your will automatically mount it.
        • Once on the mount, double clicking yourself will dismount you and automatically transform the mount back into the statue which will reappear in your backpack immediately.
      • Ethereal mounts never lose loyalty and can't be transferred.
      • The mount can never appear without being mounted, therefore it cannot attack or be attacked.
    • Verite cloak
    • Verite +2 AR robe
    • Valorite cloak
    • Valorite +2AR robe
    • Choice of one of three mini-monster statues
      • Zombie
      • Cow
      • Llama
    • Any of the 12 - 23 or 23 - 35 month rewards listed above.
    It is important to note that characters on an account with less than the appropriate amount of time will not be able to use some of these items. For instance, if another player gave you a golden cloak, but your account is 20 months old, you would not be able to wear it until your account reached 24 months. This only applies to clothing items and the ethereal horse. Other items such as dye-tubs and monster statues will be usable by any character.

    Players who fit into one or more of these categories will have the option to receive their rewards when they log into the game after attaining a reward level. Rewards are given on a "per account" basis, but may be divided among characters on an account. It is very important to make sure you have the correct character logged on before choosing a reward. Game Masters and other OSI personnel will not be able to transfer rewards from one character to another. For example, a player who has a 24 month old account may choose to accept two rewards with a character on one shard, and may choose the remaining reward with a different character. The option to collect rewards will appear each time you log in to the game until you have chosen the total awards for which you are eligible. You will be given the option to collect any rewards for which your account is eligible upon release of the program, regardless of account anniversary date. Thus, for example, if your account is 23 months old, you will be eligible for the 12-month rewards on the day the program is released, and will be eligible for your 24-month rewards as soon as your account reaches 24-months.

    If you make a rewards program selection during a final backup or before a server crash, the system may not have adequate time to save your choice. When the shard returns to service, it may take a few minutes for the server to recognize that you have not gotten your reward. The system will account for this however, and after a few minutes you will be able to select a reward.

    Screenshots
    Special Dye-tub colors
    Leather Dye-tub colors
    Flaming Skull
    Ethereal Mounts
    Cloaks and +2 AR Robes
    Banners (note that the top banners are un-dyed, while the bottom ones have been dyed. This will allow you to see which parts of the banner are dyeable.)

    Posted by Nobody at 1:01 AM

    November 30, 2000

    The Tomes of the Dark Tower

    Earlier this eve, the tower held a meeting to all its members. A meeting in which they would decide the very fate of much of the tower. Sauron had been put in charge of the meeting and told us of something of much importance. He told of a voice that had contacted him in his dreams. This voice spoke of the ancient tomes that our master had left behind when he died. It told of how the tomes had been scattered across the land upon his death, and how the master could be revived using these tomes. When the master awakens he will then open a gate to another realm. But there is a catch, the spell to resurrect the master also requires a man. It did not tell of who he is, however some suspect it to be the wizard which was the leader of the Yew resistance so long ago, but it is not known for sure. The tower was amazed at this news. Their master could return to lead them into a new age. But what of the tomes? Although the location of each one is not known for sure, there is a vague notion of where to look. After the meeting was ended the tower set out on a short journey to look for the tomes, searching from Dawn to the Mage tower they turned up nothing. No sign of the tomes anywhere, but they had forgotten that a member of Dawn, Death Seer, had found one of the tomes. Returning to the tower they were amazed to find Death Seer and his companion Knights of Dawn in front of the tower. They told Death Seer that they were in need of the tomes, but he refused to give it to them. They argued and fought until the Knights of Dawn got tired and left. But the people of the Dark Tower will not give up so easily. You cannot deny us the resurrection of our master. Na-Krul will live again! And we will have our tomes. Whether it means war or perhaps a bargain, Dawn will soon see that the Dark Tower doesn't take no as an answer.

    Posted by Brenstar at 12:44 AM

    November 29, 2000

    OSI: In Concept Changes

    The following was just posted to FYI on the UO.com website:

    In Concept Changes

    In Concept was introduced approximately a year ago as an area where players could offer suggestions and feedback on design ideas during their early stages. The player suggestions generated by this section of the UO.com website have been immensely valuable in shaping these design ideas before they have been implemented in Ultima Online.

    In addition to In Concept, the UO.com Message Boards have provided an area for players to discuss and debate design issues, and have taken feedback a step further than In Concept. On the message boards, debate and discourse refine your suggestions and ideas and create something that is less aquestion/response situation and more of a common goal created by a community.

    Because of this, we have closed the In Concept email address and have opened a section of our message boards dedicated to ideas that are currently appearing in In Concept. Each In Concept system will have its own thread where players and developers can share ideas in an open forum for all to see, rather than through e-mail.

    To visit In Concept, click here.

    Posted by Nobody at 6:50 PM

    November 26, 2000

    Website for UO Seattle Event

    I read the following post from Joshua Rowan on the Ultima Online egroups mailing list:

    Website for UO Seattle Event

    Howdy All! Just wanted to let you know that thanks to Hanneth we have a terrific website set up talking about the UO Seattle Event from last month. It includes some great photos as well as a RealPlayer recording of the Q&A with Melantus and a RealPlayer Interview with Melantus.

    Enjoy!

    URL: http://www.hanneth.com/UO/UOL/UOL_2000.html

    Joshua Rowan

    Posted by Nobody at 4:08 PM

    November 25, 2000

    ImaNewbie Toon Contest Voting Begins!

    I read the following announcement at the Imanewbie web site:

    ImaNewbie Toon Contest Voting Begins!

    This week ImaNewbie needs your help in selecting two winners from the 'toon contest finalists. For the last two weeks I have been receiving entries. ImaNewbie together with a select panel has narrowed all the entries down into the finalists which are all here for you to have a look at and then vote your favorite. There are a couple of cool ImaNewbie T-Shirts up for grabs for the winners so head over, check out the comics and help your favorite win by registering your vote. You can get to the Contest section by clicking the logo below. Thanks!

    Posted by Nobody at 1:05 PM

    November 20, 2000

    75000 visitor

    Just thought I'd give you guys my congradulations for such a wonderful and successful news information site for our community. I know, I read it every day and that it is always updated and rarely down. It's great.



    Anyways, have a nice day and continue the great work.

    Thanks,
    Death

    [Well, now...what a nice thing to say! :] Thanks from all of us Freeborn Pressmen for the great compliment, Death! Congrats on being #75000! I have to say that being Freeborn is one of my favorite parts of UO. -Nobody]

    Posted by Nobody at 6:28 PM

    OSI: Seeking Companions and Counselors

    The following was just posted to FYI on the UO.com website:

    Seeking Companions and Counselors

    MMRPG seeks unique individuals for exciting and compelling volunteer Companion and Counselor duties. Must be confident, enthusiastic, and knowledgeable of all things Ultima Online. Willing to volunteer on the Formosa, Arirang, Balhae, or AOL Legends shard is a plus. If volunteering for a non-English-speaking shard, speaking the native language of the shard is appreciated. Apply today!

    Translation: We're seeking Companions and Counselors for all shards, but specifically on the Formosa, Arirang, Balhae, or AOL Legends shards. If you're an active Ultima Online player and are interested in volunteering your time to help other players enjoy the world of Britannia, we'd like to hear from you! Counselors must be 21 years of age or older, Companions must be 18 years of ago or older, and applicants to both programs must be free of any outstanding account issues. To learn more about the Companion and Counselor programs and to fill out an online application, please follow the links from our Volunteer Information page.

    Posted by Nobody at 5:27 PM

    November 16, 2000

    Pictures from the UO World Faire

    If, like me, you weren't able to attend the UO World Faire, you might be interested in the pictures set up here and at Markee Dragon's here.

    Posted by Nobody at 7:20 PM

    OSI: Information for UO Fan sites

    Melantus sent out the following important message for UO Fansites:

    Information for UO Fan sites

    In regards to post-UOFfaire and pre-UO3D information distribution, we would like to ask the fan sites to make sure all interview requests go through Calandryll, Manager of Community Services (Calandryll@uo.com). This would encompass interviews with any members of the UO Live or UO Third Dawn Development or Support teams. Additionally, all interview requests for members of the UWO:ORIGIN team should be directed to Cynthe at cynthe@uo2.com, as well as Calandryll. This is just to make sure that we keep information together, and that we are all on the same page. Thanks again for your dedication and support for UO.

    Melantus
    Online Community Coordinator
    Ultima Online

    Posted by Nobody at 6:20 PM

    November 14, 2000

    OSI: Reminder about protecting your login & password information

    Melantus posted this reminder on the Ultima Online list for egroups:

    Reminder...

    As a reminder, a GM will never ask you for your login and password. This holds true for ICQ as well, a GM will not ask you for this information via ICQ or from email. If someone is messaging you via ICQ and saying they are a Gamemaster for UO, set them on ignore and do not reply to them.

    Melantus
    Online Community Coordinator
    Ultima Online

    Posted by Nobody at 11:49 PM

    OSI: UO.com Message Boards Open

    The following was just posted to FYI on the UO.com website:

    UO.com Message Boards Open

    We have resolved the technical issues affecting the UO.com Message Boards and have opened them to the public. Unfortunately, the same factors that led to the corruption of our user database also resulted in a loss of the database backup. Thus, it will be necessary for users to recreate their accounts before posting to the boards.

    Important: If you previously registered to use the UO.com Message Boards, your board name and password were stored in a cookie. This cookie must be updated with your new name and password. Please re-register using the following steps:
    1. Log in to MyUO.
    2. Visit http://boards.uo.com.
    3. Click "New User" on the top menu or follow the instructions in the pop-up window.
    4. Enter your message board name and your email address.
    5. Once your new password has arrived in email, click "Login" on the top menu.
    6. You will receive an error message stating that your password is incorrect. Ignore this message. Your browser will redirect to a login page where you may,
    7. Log in with your board name and new password.
    After completing these steps, your cookie should be set with your new board name and password and you may reset any profile options as necessary, including changing your password to your preferred password.

    Posted by Nobody at 5:25 PM

    OSI: UO.com Message Boards Update

    The following was just posted to FYI on the UO.com website:

    UO.com Message Boards Update

    Yesterday afternoon, the UO.com message boards suffered substantial server and database problems. Unfortunately, to resolve these problems, it was necessary for us to erase and rebuild the user database. We consider the message boards to be one of the most important and successful ways in which we communicate with the UO community, and it is with much regret that we have been forced to take such extreme action. However, after discussing possible alternatives, we feel this is the only way we can ensure that the issues will be resolved to complete satisfaction.

    The message boards will remain closed for several more hours while we rebuild necessary administrative tools and functions, at which point they will be reopened to the public. It will be necessary to re-register your message board user name before posting, though you should be able to use your prior posting name. We will post specific instructions on the steps necessary to re-register once the boards have been opened.

    Again, we regret the measures necessary to resolve this issue, and will be placing safeguards to ensure that this situation will not be repeated.

    Posted by Nobody at 5:22 PM

    November 13, 2000

    OSI: UO.com Message Boards Update

    The following was just posted to FYI on the UO.com website:

    UO.com Message Boards Update

    We are currently experiencing technical issues with the UO.com message board database that have required we close off access to the boards. We are working to resolve these issues as quickly as possible and return the boards to working order.

    Posted by Nobody at 10:45 PM

    November 11, 2000

    OSI: Ultima Online: Third Dawn

    I just read this official announcement about Ultima Online: Third Dawn on the Ultima Online web site:

    Ultima Online: Third Dawn

    Breaking news from the Ultima Online World Faire! Introducing Ultima Online: Third Dawn, a fresh new look for one of the most popular fantasy worlds of all time. With a vast and dangerous new land, new beasts and monsters, and the opportunity to view Britannia from an entirely new perspective, we think you'll find plenty of excitement in this newest incarnation of Ultima Online. Keep watch on the Ultima Online: Third Dawn website for news!
    And, over at the official Ultima Online: Third Dawn (currently, anyway...you know how those OSI chaps like to change web addresses!), I read this:
    “…and when the sun rose following morning, it was on a vivid new world. Light danced across the verdant treetops, the calls of bird and beast rang crisp and clear through the forests, and the entire village seemed brighter and more… alive. Rumors whispered of an aged traveler settled over a pint of ale at the inn, trading tales of mysterious creatures and exotic lands.

    Overnight it seemed the world as I’d known it had forever changed.”


    From the journals of Telwyn Harn, Apprentice Mage

    Ultima Online: Third Dawn brings an entirely new dimension to the vast world of Britannia!

    Combining over 700 motion captured animations and nearly 200 different character models, Ultima Online: Third Dawn will bring an entirely new look and feel to the familiar world of Britannia.
  • Explore a vast and dangerous new land,
  • Battle over a dozen new beasts and monsters,
  • Enjoy enhanced and improved music and sound effects,
  • Show off dazzling light displays with a new particle system for spell and magic effects,
  • Travel the entire world of Britannia, enjoying the depth of an enhanced lighting and shading system, and
  • Experience 3D-enhanced characters and monsters throughout all of Britannia.
  • Ultima Online: Third Dawn will bring the 3D experience to Ultima Online’s Britannia, providing a fresh new look for one of the most popular fantasy gaming worlds of all time.

    Are you with us?

    Posted by Nobody at 3:01 AM

    November 10, 2000

    Ultima Online: Third Dawn

    I read the following article about "Ultima Online: Third Dawn" and it's exciting new 3D enhancements for the existing Ultima Online game at Computer Games Online.

    Ultima Online: Third Dawn
    The granddaddy of online role-playing enters a new dimension

    Origin Systems is readying the most significant overhaul of its Ultima Online massively multiplayer online role-playing world with Ultima Online: Third Dawn. It features a cosmetic makeover that takes the existing top-down 2D game's sprite characters and monsters and replaces them with motion-captured animated 3D ones. The gameworld itself-the terrain and buildings-will remain in their existing 2D form, and the view of the game will remain nearly top-down.

    Though you may be inclined to think the 3D upgrade is a way to help compete with the more technological advanced (though in some game design ways simpler) EverQuest, producer Rick "Stellerex" Hall feels it shows Origin's commitment to its subscribers. "It says very emphatically that 'we intend to continue expanding on this incredible world for a long time to come'", he explains. "While we feel that it's a dramatic graphical step forward, it's also very significant in that it gives us a nearly infinite amount of room for future expansion. With [Third Dawn], we'll be able to patch in new content, special effects, and game systems that simply weren't possible with the old client."

    In addition to offering the 3D upgrade, Third Dawn also comes with new worlds to explore (according to Hall, it's 50 percent bigger than what was delivered with The Second Age), and as with previous new editions of the game, these areas will not be accessible to players that elect not to upgrade. Hall says the new land will use the Trammel rule set, it will be adventure-only (with. no housing) and your character's reputation (good or evil) will make more of a difference there (Hill gives an example of evil characters being more likely to be attacked by "good" monsters). Hill won't give much detail about the new world's fiction. "We don't want to give that way before launch-that would spoil the fun." He will divulge that there are 13 new monsters for the new land mass, some of which are the "good" monsters and others designed to fit the theme of the new land.

    Origin is expecting most people to want to upgrade to this new edition. "[Third Dawn] is still Ultima Online," explains Hall, "[but] it has a newer look and feel as well as a new land to explore, new monsters to fight, a few new items, and quite a number of behind-the-scenes improvements." He points out that the game is reaching new players every month, and that this trend will only be accelerated with the launch of this expansion.

    For existing players who either elect not to upgrade or do not possess machines powerful enough for the technological enhancement, the 2D and 3D versions of the game will coexist; the look of the game on their own machine will be different for each player. Hall says that making the two versions work together wasn't really difficult at all. "Third Dawn represents a much larger change to the client than to the server." He also says the new 3D version shouldn't introduce any more lag into the game. "In fact, we're incorporating some new features to the network coding to reduce the effects [of lag]."

    According to Hall, Third Dawn will include more than 700 motion-captured animations (including gestures for conversation) and hundreds of different character models. Also new is a particle system to render magic and other special effects. It will be require a 3D accelerator for the 3D client, though Hall points out that the minimum system requires are expected to be "pretty modest."

    The game has proven quite popular in Japan and Korea, so the upgrade also adds samurai-looking weapons and armor (though they will not be limited to those regions; that particular design aesthetic is popular with gamers throughout the world). Rounding out the new features is an overhauled music and sound system, which according to Hall was upgraded solely for aesthetic reasons. "We just felt that some of the sound effects could be more in-character with the monsters or actions that they represent, so we thought we'd take this opportunity to replace the weaker ones." The game's music is still MIDI-based, but the game is designed with music zones, allowing it to change depending on the context. "Since we're adding in the new adventuring land, it will have its own new music theme."

    As with Ultima Online: The Second Age, the upgrade will be offered for sale in stores at a full-price for new players and will be available as a download or on CD (with a nominal charge to cover shipping and handling). The beta will also be available for purchase, with a cost around $4.95 to cover shipping and handling, and it will automatically be patched to the full version of the game when it's complete.

    by Steve Bauman


    Posted by Nobody at 11:39 PM

    November 5, 2000

    UORudder 3.0 Released & hosted at uo.stratics.com

    I am pleased to announce that UORudder 3.0 has now been released.

    UORudder 3.0 includes a new feature sure to make your sailing trips much more fun and productive. The "Rotate with Ship" feature now give you the choice of navigating to original way of up=forward and down=backward, or a new dynamic method that regardless of what direction you are facing you can click the direction you want to go, and UORudder will pick the appropriate command and send you on your way. It is the end of turning your head sideways to figure out what button to push to go where you want to go.

    All the features you have come to love from UORudder are included in UORudder 3.0 FREE OF CHARGE. The new "rotate" feature however will only work for 15 days. After that you will need to register the program to have access to the feature. Registration is only $6.00.

    In related news, The fine folks at http://uo.stratics.com are now the hosts of UORudder, UOTamer and UOHomeOwner. Players can now point their browsers to http://uo.stratics.com/tools and have access to all the program thatI have written.

    UORudder along with all the other programs I write do not touch the datastream. They mearly simulate your keyboard and type in commands for you. These programs are not UOPro but do meet the spirit of the UOPro program. They give no advantage only provide you with a convienent way to manage your boating or taming macros.

    For more information please contact me at dougp@nt.sympatico.ca

    Posted by Nobody at 11:46 AM

    Hosted by Dreamhost.