Five on Friday - January 5, 2007

"What's next with PvP?"
From Darkscribe: "What's truly next in PvP is a project that is being planned for after the launch of UOKR. As with all future plans, we aren't going to talk about details right now because they will change dozens of times before you ever get to play it. The core idea is to give a much more compelling reason to PvP, which is what factions was supposed to do but never quite got there. That's all for now."

"Are you ever going to look at low level content in the game for new characters? "
From Darkscribe again, since he's the KR newsman: "Yes, indeed. One of the least talked about portions of UOKR is the brand spanking new New Player Experience. We are working very hard to make the first 10-20 hours a much better time for new players, while taking out the repetition and brute force button mashing it takes to build skills. More details soon on that."

"Are we still supposed to always fail meditation when we have less than 60% mana, even with Legendary Meditation? I thought this was to be changed."
Wilki hinted at this on the forums, so I chased him down and got some juicy details: "So, the way the success chance is calculated worked great back in the day when you could assume that you'd have roughly equal amounts of meditation skill and mana. Now, it's possible to have quite a bit more mana than med skill, and that has caused the calculation to make you fail at a very high rate when you run out of mana

In any case, boiling it down, the formula for success chance for active meditation was designed with the assumption that you couldn't have much more than 100 mana, and it will be adjusted so that it works as it used to no matter what your maximum mana value is."

Now, I don't have any sort of ETA on when the fix will be in, but at least now you know that we know what the issue is :)

"What do you do when someone gets hacked?"
First of all, what we do when a player contacts us and says someone is accessing his account that shouldn't be: First we verify that they're the correct owner. Then we'll block their account so it isn't playable for 72 hours, so the owner has time to make sure his system, email, etc, are secure. We reset the account passwords at the owner's request, restoring access to the account to the correct person.

If your computer was genuinely hacked, you should contact the police. Hacking is a CRIME. (Unless they actually hack EA's servers, however, it's not a crime against us, so we can't go to the police for you.) However, most of the time the "hacking" is actually a case of a password that was not secure. Just a reminder - do not share passwords, and change them often.

What we don't do: We can not replace lost items or characters in this situation ever, and only rarely are we able to reassign house ownership, and that is only under very specific circumstances which involve police reports being generated. We do not discuss any action we may take against other people's accounts - any account issues are between us and the account owner.

I hope this clears things up a little bit - we're not "doing nothing", but we are limited by our tools and our policies, so the situation is unavoidably unpleasant. There's a thread knocking around where people are discussing strategies for keeping your account safe - there's some good stuff in there, and I recommend everyone read it and think about it.

"Any obscure clues about the content you plan on giving us soon? Anything we should be looking for? Anything we missed?"
And we'll close with Darkscribe, who totally bailed me out this week since I was on vacation until... today. "With the next publish later this month, the one that will introduce the next big in-game event, there will be just the tiniest clue given about something pretty massive. We have bets on whether anyone will pick up on it or not. Happy hunting."

(Note: He hasn't even told me what it is yet. *grumble*)

I hope everyone had a good holiday week, and we're in full swing towards all the wacky stuff that's happening this year. I can't wait! Or, at least, I won't be able to wait as of Monday, after I've recovered from my vacation... :)

- Jeremy

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