I Didn’t Go AWOL and There’s Stuff Happening

I didn’t go AWOL. I have a certain amount of time I can devote to UO-related website stuff, and right now that time is devoted to a website that is not UOJournal.com.

But there are things happening, big things. Here are a few of those things.

A new third party program has been approved for UO! It’s been a while.

Ultima Mapper

Ultima Mapper is the new mapping application for Ultima Online Classic and Enhanced clients that allows users to share the entire experience, rather than just their whereabouts.

UO gets its 1,623rd mention on Massive – Do you Miss Player Written Books in MMOS:

Ancient sandboxes like Ultima Online and modern classics like EverQuest II give players the ability to write their own books, which then populate player-run libraries, serve as tavern menus, explain quests, and mark the memory of friends who left the game. Later games, however, have sadly passed over the mechanic.

Another edition of The Yew Times, a break from the normal UO news.

The Awakening – Act II, Part 2 – A continuation of the ongoing story arc.

People who hare having patch issues, read this

And finally, Patch 75! There is so much going on, you just need to read it yourself.

Publish 74 is Out and About

Publish 74 is out and about on the production shards, yay! If you want to read the full list of changes, check the UO Herald.

I’m just going to give a brief rundown.

Valentine’s Day is nearly upon us. We’re getting cupid statues and cupid arrows. You can tag your true love or the object of your stalking, I mean desire, with these arrows.

A major live arc/storyline is starting up. We’ve been getting hints for a while now – the town loyalty, the rioters. It starts in February is set to run through at least September, and involves both the main UO team and the EM team, and is meant to lead to the 15th Anniversary.

Bulk Order Deeds (BODs) are getting a makeover. NPCs will now cache up to 3 BODs a day for players. All BODs are limited to obtaining a new one every six hours, regardless of crafting skill. You can now bribe NPCs that give out BODs to get even better BODs. I’m not sure what to think of it, since I see both sides to argument – that it was a pain in the butt to obtain certain types of BODs, but on the other hand, I can see the bribery prices going sky high, putting certain BODs still out of the reach of a lot of players. It’s a gold sink, and it will definitely lighten some peoples’ bank boxes.

I’m not going to talk about the Runic Re-Forging – you really need to read the UO Herald publish post about it. It’s interesting, but not something I have time to check out and comment about.

Continuing in the series of dungeon revamps that started last year, Wrong has been revamped! Very happy about this. The New Loot Generator applies to Wrong. The mobs are tougher, there are escort missions to gain Compassion rapidly. The Prison of Nightmares has been added – you’ll have to try this one for yourself. New stealables have been introduced for the thieves out there.

Clean Up Britannia has gained 4 new dyes. I’m glad to see Clean Up Britannia continuing, and hope it’s permanent.

Looting rights distribution has been changed, and healers are included equally, assuming they act as they should.

Some Bard changes were made – I don’t have an active bard character so can’t really comment on those.

Finally, there are a lot of bug fixes. Again, read the UO Herald post for more information – too many to list here.

The Classic Client was updated to version 7.0.23 and the Enhanced Client to 4.0.23.

Overall thoughts
A lot of work has went into Publish 74, and at the same time it seems to have come together fairly rapidly. It’s a good sign, and there is clearly a lot of work being done to rework current systems, in addition to the dungeons. The numerous bug fixes are also a good sign.

Would like to have seen information about the high resolution artwork update to the Enhanced Client.

Publish 73 on Origin, Veteran Rewards Added

Publish 73 has been pushed out to Origin, with additional changes and additions, including Christmas Gifts and new Veteran Reward Items

We’ll push Publish 73.0 to Origin today, Tuesday 1st at 5:00 pm EDT.

Here are are the additional changes:

Publish 73.0.0

Christmas Gifts
* Customizable Welcome Mats (2 styles)
* Vocal Santa Statue
* Customizable House type signs
* Scroll of Transcendence Book

Veteran Reward Items

This year for the 14th year we have added the following in celebration:
* Group Bracelet of Binding – This item allows you to bind with 10 people at once. Handy for those times when part of your group is lost or has issues with running into trees and being left behind.
* Seed Box – This box will identify all seeds put into the box, it will hold and organize up to 500 seeds.
* Shard Shields – We have added this as the 14th year vet reward. These are new art that represence a specific shard. The shield will give you a character transfer token once a month to the shard it represence. The token is account bound, so they can not be traded or sold. If you have a shield in your house and the house decays the shield will disappear.
* Sheep Statue – This statue is a resource giver, it will give you 10 pieces of a random hide or wool. This caps at 100 resources so make sure you collect your items.

Classic Client 7.0.19
* Trial accounts can only join the Help Channel

Enhanced Client 4.0.19
* Trial accounts can only join the Help Channel

Source: UO Herald

They probably worked on Halloween and Christmas items at the same time, which makes sense. Frees them up to focus on other items (high resolution artwork upgrades). The vet rewards – the Seed Box, Shard (transfer) Shields, are very nice. Both of these will be well-received I believe. Now begins the waiting game for Pub 74 and the high resolution wall tile upgrades.

And the new Producer’s Letter from Jeff Skalski is still tied up in red tape.

Additional Reading:
* Additional notes for Publish 73, preview of Publish 74
* Publish 73

Additional Notes for Publish 73, Preview of Publish 74

There are additional notes for Ultima Online Publish 73, and along with it, a glimpse at the upcoming high resolution artwork update for Publish 74, which is housing/walls.

Additional Notes:

Clean up Britiannia
Added 4 new pigments – Polished Bronze, Glossy Blue, Black and Green and Deep Violet – 1 charge 250,000 points. We will be changing this out each month so stock up while you can

Arenas Go Live
The arenas located throughout the lands will go live with this publish. The arenas are located in the Lost Lands (both facets), Haven, and Ocllo. The following additions and changes have been made after the public testing done on the arenas test shard:

* Match hosts may now choose to allow or disallow Field Spells
* Match hosts now choose to allow or disallow potions, or to allow only non-healing potions
* A bug that caused some summoned creatures to attack their owner in an arena match has been fixed

Moving forward, we will continue to accept feedback and use it to make further improvements to the arenas. In an future publish, look for the addition of a wagering system.

New High Resolution Terrian Art
As I am sure most of you have noticed the difference in the terrain in the Enhanced Client. Just letting everyone know this is just the first of many more to come. Next publish we will be updating the Wall tile art, I think everyone will really appreciate the new look. Below are a few pictures of what is coming:

Details: UO Herald

Shard of the Dead: Dungeon Deathmatch Edition

It’s nearly Halloween, and thanks to a developer dropping hints on Stratics, everybody was alerted to a Shard of the Dead.

Now the details have been revealed.

We are proud to announce our annual Shard of the Dead. This year, we’ve started with a clean slate to bring you an all new toe-to-toe slugfest. We’ve swept the elementals out of Dungeon Shame and replaced them with some gruesome and hellish beasts along with some exciting loot. Here’s how it works:

You may create a character on the Shard of the Dead, or copy a character from your regular shard. No matter which option you choose, you will arrive without any items, money, or pets on a platform where you must choose to join a team. Enter either the Order Gate or the Chaos Gate, and you will be transported to a safe haven for your team. Here, you must obtain some gear and supplies, in order to prepare to enter the Infernal Battlegrounds.

Lucky for you, the dungeon floors are literally strewn with powerful magic items. All you have to do is survive long enough to grab some and put them on. You may sell items you don’t want to get precious gold to buy basic supplies. Picking up new skills is incredibly fast. There are items that grant stat boosts as well.

Once you accumulate enough to fight the monsters in the dungeon, you will find they drop still more powerful loot, along with gold and items that allow you to summon strong pets.

Be careful, though! All your equipment is cursed. If you die, you must start naked again in your team’s base.

If you can gather a group of friends, have a go at the Disciple of Lucifer. He’s extremely tough, but his loot is very worthwhile. One of his treasures is a deed to bless a single item, making it just a little bit easier to start over.

Every few minutes, a gate in each team’s base will open, taking all who dare to go to the Infernal Battlegrounds. Here, Order and Chaos engage in a struggle to capture each others’ bases, and to hunt down and slay The Butcher. Fighting in these battles offers opportunities for still greater rewards, including the Supreem Headless Bomb and the Flask of Invulnerability, along with your pick of the cursed items picked from the corpses of your slain enemies.

Scoreboards in each team’s base show battle records, and players’ mouseover tooltips show their PvP stats.

So come on down to Shard of the Dead and join us in the slaughterfest!

Source: UO Herald