A Breakdown of Last Night’s UO Video House of Commons

Update #2: Stratics has posted 40 minutes or so of the video. Part one is here at YouTube and you can follow through the other parts from there. They had problems with another 15-20 minutes or so. If they cannot recover that video, I’ll post the missing bit. My audio got out of sync though at some point, but I do have it all.

Update: I’ve had a lot of people ask me about posting a video, and yes, I could do it. It would be very easy – I would just have to split it into 10-minute segments for YouTube, and that would take me a good 5-10 minutes. I’m not interested in doing that since an official copy will probably be posted at some point, plus I don’t think all that much is gained from it at this point. They really jumped around on topics and it’s better to read the transcripts, or even better to read the summary below. What I might be willing to do is add on to the summary below, where each item was addressed in the transcript or how far into the video it was. If needed, I will post the video, but I’m sure they’ll make it available. I’m flying solo right now – the other person helping is out of town for the next week, and I probably spent a few hours on the transcript. I’ve got some other things to do on the site first.

I saw some criticism that it focused too much on items that people were getting or wanting to get in the short term rather than looking at UO in the long term. I don’t believe that is a fair criticism. If you look at everything thing that was actually said, when it’s grouped together, the criticism that it was focused on items starts to dry up. Certainly many people were asking about items, that was plain enough to see, but much of the actual discussion was tied to future plans, game mechanics, and other things that weren’t item-based.

I think we got a good glimpse of the bigger picture, it’s just that it was parceled out in small pieces. It’s very hard to see what a painting is when you are only seeing it in small pieces. What I decided to do, after spending a lot of time putting together a transcript, is bring you the bigger picture. I should have done this instead of a transcript, but I was half-way through the transcript before really deciding to do it.

What I have done is group all dev answers into their topics. I’ve included some specific quotes on certain issues, but all of the references below are tied directly to what was said, and are not speculation. They are not necessarily in order of reference within the transcripts.

If you’d like to read the full transcripts yourself, here they are:
* UO Video House of Commons Transcript, part 1
* UO Video House of Commons Transcript, part 2
* UO Video House of Commons Transcript, part 3
* UO Video House of Commons Transcript, part 4

March of 2011 / Publish 70
* Will see the restoration of Magincia
* Will see Publish 70 (tied to Magincia)
* More quest(s) and mobs for Abyss

Artwork – High Resolution / Enhanced Artwork
* Not going to be 100% pushed out at once
* Will be pushed out “in pieces”
* Cal: “One so you guys can see progress, and then two so that it actually looks like it’s planned, and then three, so we don’t miss anything.
* When asked whether it would be new or higher resolution artwork, the devs had the audio and video muted/turned off while discussing it, and then responded that they will release more information in the future, and that it’s too early now.

Booster Packs
* Cal: “When you see the new items, you’ll probably see the new booster at the same time.
* May see “soon”
* Mesanna: “Okay, it’s not going to be a full-blown booster though.

BOD Rewards / Gold (Bulk Order Deed)
* No clear answer on whether it’s being looked at.

Character Copy
* Vital to testing PVP Arena
* Will allow players to fully copy a character from their home shard to the Test Center, rather than building a new character on the TC. Will allow that character to remain on the original shard.
* Will only work with Test Centers
* Cannot be used to clone characters on live shards
* Maybe available before the end of March

Classic Client (CC)
* Bug in party status bars in CC is in the bug-tracking system

Economy/Gold Situation
* Magincia housing lottery seen as a gold sink
* Cal: “yes, we are working on a system that is currently in development that will address that specifically
* Mesanna: “We are continously looking at the (?) that will address the massive amounts of gold in our game.
* There is discussion of getting rid of bank checks or changing them to deal with larger amounts

Enhanced Client (EC)
* Supreem stated they cared about it.
* UO Devs do not have time to “focus on it all the time.
* Worked on in “sprints” which are focused periods of time for bug fixes
* Each publish will see a certain amount of bug fixes.
* Dark nights / Colored lights not a priority
* Bug with being unable to pick up items when moving items around is in the bug-tracking system.

Event Moderators / EMs / EM Events
* Griefers maybe banned in the future
* EMs instructed to inform Mesanna directly about griefers
* Griefers will be removed from the event.

Factions
* Being looked at
* Not a priority – taking a breather

Felucca
* Champ spawns/rewards will not be changed

Free to Play / F2P
* Thought was given to it, but no serious thought.
* Cal: “the plans that we make right now for the game are to keep the game viable, and to keep the game entertaining, and to keep players coming, and so whatever decisions we make for that, that is our priority.

House Customization Sets/Tiles and Housing in General
* There will be new ones
* New ones will not be tied to Publish 70
* Cellars in houses: Cal: “there is a deeper answer to that question than we can give right now. We will address it at a later video house of commons.
* Abandoned homes being deleted all the time
* Mesanna just deleted 200 on Legends
* Castle/Keep Customization – No. There is talk of enhancing it, up to and possibly including lockdowns in the courtyards.

Magincia
* Will be restored this month
* End of a longer story, and last of long-term events
* Will be heavily tied to Publish 70
* Do not want to make it Luna 2
* North side will have areas set aside for ceremonies
* Already a gazebo has been built
* Buildings and player plants maybe near the beach
* Buildings are being kept simple
* Room has been left for future expansion. There are future plans for Maginciai. Those areas are fenced in, and described as “zoned commercially” by Cal.
* Will be treated the same in both Felucca and Trammel
* Will be rebuilt in both facets, on all shards.

Magincia – Housing
* Will have a specific house (tile) set. Just one.
* North side and a South side
* Will have 22 plots in both Fel and Tram for a total of 44 per shard.
* Players will pick either Felucca and Trammel, and will have to physically visit the plots they are interested in. There will be no mistaking which facet they are entering the lottery for.
* Northern plots will be only one chance per account per plot – one ticket per account
* Southern plots – can buy as many tickets for each plot as you can afford.
* The tickets are tied to a specific plot, and you pick the plot you want to enter the raffle for.
* Similar to how Abyss housing was handled.
* Specific sizes – 15×15 plots.
* Can have houses placed that are smaller, but none that are larger
* Can be transferred just like any other house once placed.
* Pre-existing houses have been moved to the beaches, if they are not already there.
* You will not be able to own a Magincia house and another house on the same account – a Magincia house will cause an older house to decay on an account.

Magincia – Housing Lottery/Raffle
* Lottery/raffle system
* Will not be based on being there at a certain time.
* If you win, you will receive a message in your mailbox
* There will be a full cycle tested on Origin before going world-wide.
* Appears to be open for 7 days
* Will have 30 days to claim your plot if you win – Deed is only good for one month.
* Deed or plot can be transferred or sold to other players
* If plot is not claimed within 30 days, others can place there.
* Mesanna: “you either place it or sell it within a month or you lose it. It goes back to anybody can place there. So there is a limitation on it.
* Supreem: “if you win a house plot you get a deed which is transferrable, you can sell it somebody if you want or you can place it yourself.
* Facets will be treated seperately
* Supreem: “You actually raffle for a specific plot
* Cal: “To say this is the plot that I want at this location, so it is voluntary where you put your stuff

Magincia – Plants
* Area of Magincia set aside for players to plant seeds and grow plants
* Plant will have your name
* Seeds/plans have to be maintained – no decorative mode
* Will last for 30 days
* After 30 days, can be dug up, and will have your name, when it was planted in Magincia, and when it was picked.
* Once a plant is dug up, other players can plant there.

Mailbox
* First used to deliver winning deeds or notices to players (Magincia Lottery)
* Not necessarily considered a “mailbox”
* Replaces dropping a scroll/paper in a player’s backpack

Miscellaneous
* Artwork/graphics for hatchet will not be changed
* Cannot use Crystallized Essence to buy bricks
* Crystallized Essence being stacked is “doable”, but not in the next few publishes.
* “Play sound” fuctions for scripting – not going to happen.
* Training of GMs with UO-specific needs is not in UO dev team hands.
* Reptalons – possible that they could be looked at as far as taking up four slots.
* Renowned mobs in unreachable areas – will be fixed with no-spawn tiles.

New Player Experience
* Supreem: “Very early stages of planning
* Address the limits of New Haven
* Not meant to have player on a “rail”
* Cal: “a bit more open experience that allows you to learn the things that it is going to take to get you to a point where you understand Ultima Online quickly
* Teach players how to craft, interact with NCPs
* Other high-level concepts.
* Addresses traveling from town-to-town, moongates, etc.
* Dev team is looking for new player experiences of existing UO playeres to help shape this.
* Meant to show new players a lot more about UO without overwhelming them.
* Not going to be located in New Haven
* Will use an area that exists right now, but will not look like that area when it’s finished.
* Couple of ideas for potential areas.
* Haven will be returned to Ocllo (Tram)
* At this time, veterans will not have access to New Player Area(s). This may change in testing.
* Companion program will not be reinstalled.

Occlo
* Haven will be returned to Occlo (Trammel)

Older Dungeons
* There are plans to revitalize them or work on them in the future

Pirate Ships / Ships / Shipping / Fishing Quests
* UO Devs aware of damage bug with Pirate Ships
* Devs think it’s a good idea to see different difficulties
* More commmodities/items might eventually be added
* Scalis drop rates will not be improved
* No plans to convert fabled fishing net to allow for option of summoning Scalis or Leviathan
* Deco items as rewards for fishing quests not in the plans.
* Small soul forge will be able to be placed on Brit ship in the future.

Player-Driven Towns
* Magincia is the first.
* Right now there will be no other player-driven towns.
(UOJournal note: see our follow-up qeustions about Ocllo)
* Unused land will not be converted into future player-driven towns anytime soon.

PVP Arena
* Supreem is the lead on this
* Shard/server hardware migration delayed it
* 90% of the work has been done
* Need to have Character Copy done before implementing PVP Arena.
* May see it on Test Center before end of the month (March)

Shard/Server Hardware
* All live shards are on the new hardware.
* Supreem: “in the long run, it’s really gonna pay off for the game….it was a long time coming
* No more major downtimes (similar to Japan migration)
* Supreem: “The worst of it is over.”
* Ask that any players with performance issues to send a report in.
* No plans for a “house pack-up” feature (similar to Star Wars Galaxies) to allow for easy migration to other shards.

Shard Mergers or Clustering and/or shard populations
* No real reason to merge UO Shards
* UO Devs recognize that players on low-population shards can and do enjoy those shards
* recognize that merging shards would be extremely disruptive and upsetting and/or unfair to players
* There has been talk of clustering (similar to Dark Age of Camelot) with shared areas, but resources are not available and will not be available any time soon.
* Player character transfers are the best ways to address shard populations and choices.

Siege Perilous
* UO devs love Siege players (?)
* Siege is, by design, an island unto itself
* Very difficult to design for, given the orginal design.
* Technically impossible to transfer characters and items off of Siege.

Spring Cleaning
* No details on points value, items, rewards, at this time
* Will be after Pub 70, but before the summer
* will not involve blue crystals

Storylines/Arcs
* Will be shorter
* Want to move away from item-oriented events/stories
* Cal: “make sure they’re engaging and repeatable
* Items/objects will allow (Cal): “you to do other things and engage other players.
* Magincia is the end of a longer story, maybe last of long-term events.
* Devs don’t want to be tied to old arcs or lore.
* Want to include all facets
* Exquisite Corpse thread on Stratics meant to generate player discussion and player fan fiction, and is meant to help grow that community, including RPing.

Ter Mur / Stygian Abyss / Abyss
* UO devs would like to work on it in the future
* Possible development in shorter/upcoming arcs, but no plans for right now.
* New quest(s) and more mobs coming in Publish 70
* Work is being done on the part of Ter Mur that is inaccessible, as well as current unused ingredients/quest items.

UO Bugs – Reporting
* Within Enhanced Client (EC), there is a menu with a bug report option – sent to same place as email report
* Email: uobugs@uo.com

UO Game Codes (UOGameCodes.com)
* Eventually there will be new deco items
* Improvements on the store to allow for updated content or content that’s changed out is not going to happen anytime soon.
* UO Devs do work to streamline, but it’s a very intensive process.

UO Marketing
* Probably will not ever see a physical retail release again
* Digital distribution only
* Looking at things to offer players
* Physical maps: Mesanna: “We can’t answer that right now

UO on mobile devices, Linux, or Mac
* No plans on mobile devices
* Supreem dreams of bringing it to mobile devices
* No plans for UO on Mac OS X or Linux

Discussion of what has been done since October of 2010
* High Seas published
* High Seas addressed boat movement, added content/ships, and ship combat
* Thanksgiving – the turkey and events
* Publish 69 – hug publish with updates, lot of fixes for EC and bugs, plus puts players on track to restoring Magincia with live events
* January – performance work (server/shards)
* February – focused full on Magincia being restored in March


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