Five on Friday - February 16, 2007

"What is the minimum skill needed to cast a spell with a 100% chance of success? "
(This is adapted from several posts that Wilki made on Stratics, and is math-heavy - beware!)

"Most spells and abilities in UO have a "focus" of 50 skill. That means that the window between 0 and 100% chance to succeed is 50 skill points wide. (Some skills use the value of 40.)

The formula varies from skill to skill - here's the spellcasting skills, separated in to groups by type:

Difficulty = the point where you have 50% to succeed
Focus = How wide the "window" is between 0-100%, centered on the difficulty value

Magery, Necromancy:

Focus: 40

Example:
8th circle spells have a difficulty of 100, and magery uses a focus of 40. So, the 0-100% focus window is centered on 100 skill.

• At 80 skill, you have 0% chance
• At 100 skill you have 50% chance
• At 120 skill you have 100% chance

If the focus value was 50, that would change to 75-125 skill. A focus value of 20 would be 90-110 skill.

Chivalry:

Focus: 50

The difficulty of Noble Sacrifice is 90.

• At 65 skill, you have 0% chance
• At 90 skill you have 50% chance
• At 115 skill you have 100% chance

Ninjitsu, Bushido, Spellweaving

Focus: 50

The newer skills behave a bit differently than magery. The minimum requirement to cast Word of Death is 80, but that doesn't mean the difficulty is 105. The value that the new spell system feeds into the skill check as the difficulty value is the minimum requirement + 12.5 skill.

• At 80 skill, you have 25% chance (which is the lowest you can make the attempt)
• At 92.5 skill you have 50% chance
• At 117.5 skill you have 100% chance"

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"What is the spawn chance of the various hiryu colors?"
Leurocian posted a chart earlier this week on Stratics - for non-Stratics folks who may have missed it, the chart is here.

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"Why am I stuck at #6 in the queue?"
You’re not... stuck, precisely. Basically, the queue number is about as useful as astrology. The simple explanation is that there is no real "queue". Our CS staff looks up and down the entire line and picks out people based on the content of their petition, not just on when they submitted it. So you could theoretically be number 1 but have half a dozen people get helped first, because their issues were more time-sensitive. Adding to the confusion, we switched petitioning systems a few years ago, and it caused, though a circuitous route, this interesting side effect of breaking the queue display. It has no effect on when anyone actually gets service, but it is awfully confusing on the player side.

So, the upshot of this is, basically, don’t worry about your queue number. We're looking into at what point in the transfer from our old to new petitioning system this mechanism failed - but we don’t have an ETA for any changes at this time. In the meantime, a whole lot of people will be #6 - fortunately, this is only a display issue, and petitions will still get handled in their proper order

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"Why are the guild lists broken on uo.com?"
This cropped up in the past couple of days - we're investigating now. One thing we have determined is if you have a direct link to an existing guild, it will load with current data - it's just the main displays that seem to be broken. Sorry I don't have a more interesting answer, but we're on this, and I'll keep y'all posted.

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"Ok, I give up... what's with the Bacon? "
Wilki, Master of Meat Products, fielded this one:

"Ok, the truth about Valentine’s Day Bacon! You’ve probably heard all kinds of rumors about why bacon was included in the Valentine’s Day gift basket. Was it because the ancient Romans used to whack each other with strips of meat to show their "love" for each other? Or perhaps a developer is a big fan of the actor Kevin Bacon? Or, could it be based on some obscure cartoon series? Were the devs just being naughty?

Not quite...

What actually happened is a lot less meaningful than any of the rumors. Inside UO, we use two separate number systems for creating items, depending on the type of item we want to make. When I was busy writing the script for Valentine’s Day, I forgot to change which number system I was using, and guess what? The number for a "slice of bacon" in one system just happens to be the same as the number for "a rose in a vase" in the other system.

So, when I loaded up my script on a test center, instead of finding a rose in a vase, I ended up with a slice of bacon in my basket. Mmmm, bacon! I laughed out loud because it was just so... random! Bacon on Valentine’s Day?!!

When I told some of the other devs what I had done, the jokes started flying around. We decided we just had to leave it in, and thus a Britannian tradition was born!"

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Fansite news! From The Lost Lands:

"Recently we here at The Lost Lands poked our nose into Leurocian's business to ask him some burning questions. He gladly responded to our interview and I am happily posting it here for you all!

We all here at The Lost Lands thank you Leurocian for the time it took out of your busy schedule to visit with us and answer some questions!"

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I've gotten tons of great Feedback this week, and look forward to lots more - keep it coming!

- Jeremy