More New Content Revealed – Booster Content, Plus Ter Mur

It’s Friday and that means we get more new information about the upcoming Gothic Theme Pack and Rustic Theme Pack from Calvin Crowner, the Ultima Online Producer. We’ve known about these packs for a while, both through text strings that showed up in some of the recent client updates, as well as the entries you see on when you log in and check your subscriptions, but now we are hearing a little more about what’s included, as well as getting an idea of what they look like.

The images below were posted to UO Herald today and reveal the Raised Garden Bed and the Chest of Sending. I was slightly surprised at the raised garden bed, I thought it might just be a part of the tile set, but it looks like something that maybe deeded. The Chest of Sending, I thought might be related just to the upcoming New Magincia Bazaar, but that appears to not be the case. I like both of them, they are adding just a little more “depth” to the game while not distracting from the bigger picture. There’s also news that these packs will be on the Test Center in the “very near future”, my guess would be at the end of this month or sometime next month. There is also news that Ter Mur is being seriously worked on. Pretty exciting stuff.

The full story from UO Herald:

In this week’s installment of the new items that will be available for purchase soon, we present the Raised Garden Bed and the Chest of Sending. While the chest will be associated with the Gothic Theme Pack, the garden bed will come with the Rustic Theme Pack.

The Raised Garden Bed is a maintenance-free gardening plot. Once setup in your garden and seed planted, in seven days you will have a healthy plant you can remove at any time.

The Chest of Sending will allow players to send stackable and non-stackable items from their home directly to their bank box. This item must be locked down in your home.

In addition, we are gearing up for TC in the very near future. Also, we are putting together the high-level document of the REAL additions to UO that will allow players to fill out the rest of the Magincia Bazaar area.

Last not least, please note … the fiction and event timeline for the history of Ter Mur is almost through development approval. We are really excited to reveal the origins of Zhah … and to fill out some of the new areas in Ter Mur.

Stay tuned!

New Magincia – Better Place Your Plots or Get Help

Next up, earlier this morning, Bonnie “Mesanna” Armstrong posted this on the UO Herald

If you are having issues with placing your house and need help from a GM please put your call in before May 9th. If you have a call pending and we are waiting on your housing placement timer to expire we will honor those placements, so you have 11 days to seek help if you need it.

What this means is that those of you having problems getting a 15×15 to place properly on your New Magincia plots, you better start doing something about it quickly.

Restoration of New Magincia, Upcoming Additions to UO

A lot has been happening in the world of Sosaria over the past 5 days, so let’s quickly catch up. First off, over at there are some conceptual drawings of upcoming items that are being added to UO.

These include Goblin and Llama topiaries, along with gargoyle statues.

There is also more information about the distilleries that are being added, that were recently mentioned in the producer’s update:

Due to sometimes less than legal history of distributing liquor throughout the U.S., we have brought a small element into the design of the distillery. There will be one component in its crafting that will require … shall we say a thief’s touch in order to acquire it.

That component will be in lesser supply throughout the world. So keep a thief friend close when the distillery becomes available this Spring.

I’ve got to say that I’m worried about whatever this component will be. It would not go over well to have a system that interests a lot of people and then have some component be in short supply and unavailable to many people. Some on Stratics and elsewhere are bringing up the specter of the Academic Bookcase and that’s a valid concern.

There are systems and deco items in UO that would be used a lot more and by a lot more people if they weren’t such a pain to either acquire or maintain. The Academic Bookcase is one, hitching posts are another. For the love of UO, don’t implement a new system that interests everybody and then make it off-limits to many of those that are interested.

The Future of UO – April 2011 Edition

First off, there will be spoilers, but not to the point of me digging around in client patches. Any spoilers you see below were mentioned in the Producer’s Letter.

I’m saving my thoughts about New Magincia for another post, but so far I’m impressed with what I’m seeing on my shard. I really thought it would turn into Luna 2, and I can’t apologize enough for thinking that. I’m planning on trips to all of the shards in coming weeks, but from my own and from a few others, I can say that many people moved to New Magincia with the intent of actually living there. I want to talk about other things though.

When Calvin Crowner posted his Producer’s Letter last week, it gave us a good idea of what to expect over the coming year from UO. I’m going to kind of post my thoughts in the order of the producer’s letter.

Vendor Bazaar
I won’t spoil it too much, but you can dig through the UO Journal archives or just search UO Journal for “vendor bazaar” and you’ll see plenty, but at this point I’m wanting to know how many and where they will be. From what has been said and what has been seen within the client files, I think it’s going to be an interesting system. I wonder how it will play out with people who have bought homes in what people thought would be a vendor-heavy area, who are deliberately resisting putting vendors out.

In the producer’s letter, it was mentioned that a “core feature that will fill out the bazaar will allow players to buy and sell commodities” which leaves me to wonder if the vendor bazaars will not be full vendors, but instead will only be able to sell certain goods – commodities such as reagents, lumber, ingots, and perhaps the various imbuing ingredients. That might just mean no rares, no weapons, or anything of that nature, just things that can fit in the commodity deeds. That strikes me as very interesting. It could very well turn New Magincia into a shipping or a manufacturing hub of sorts, while staying away from the tackiness/gaudiness of Luna. It might also keep runaway prices from happening, like what you see in Luna, since the market would be focused on one type of good – commodities. With a lot of people participating, you might see a race to the bottom of sorts.

Read more

First Impressions of New Magincia Housing

On my home shard, I feel enough time has passed to start talking about New Magincia. Some of these impressions cover other shards, and I’m planning on writing up an article about other shards after a few weeks have passed and things have settled down, but for now I just want to talk about my first impressions.

Quite a few houses are up for sale or being actively traded, however not as many as I thought. This was a surprise to me, given the low cost of entering the lottery.

Out of houses that have been placed, most fall into one of three categories:
* Museums
* Guild houses
* Private residences

Some of the guild houses and private residences are in what many considered to be prime vending locations, which I found very interesting. I’ve come across some very organized guild purchases and/or wins.

I’ve also observed, both from looking around, and from talking to residents, that many of the private owners have no intention of opening their homes up or making them vendor malls. Many are incredibly pleased to own New Magincia homes and prefer them over Luna/Malas homes, even with the smaller footprint, because of the setting and the proximity to real water instead of star fields or crystals, as well as being a “town” home, but not being surrounded by town walls and vendors.

We still don’t know how the vendor bazaar will work, or at least what impact it will have until the next booster pack is announced and then put into place. For more on it, you can read Notes on Recent Client Update with Publish 70 – Booster Pack?, but you will see spoilers for the next booster pack.

So what have I not seen?

Luna 2.

I think if we were going to see Luna 2, it would have already happened.

Congratulations to the UO devs and the players for proving me wrong on my speculation about New Magincia being Luna 2.