Five on Friday - March 17, 2006

1. The Moonglow Zoo Community Collection seems like it is too hard for my shard to advance to the next tier. Are you going to change it to make it easier?
Niobe: Yes, we are going to change it to make it easier. After reviewing the numbers and all the player's posts on the subject, I reduced the number of points needed for each tier substantially. Tier 11 now takes about the same number of points that Tier 1 used to take. I posted some information to the community recently, and you can read it here. So far the reaction has been favorable, and we're waiting to see how it looks when players actually get in and test it.

2. I heard something about "diminishing returns" and now "proficiencies" that had to do with combat in UO. Can you tell me what that's all about?
MrTact: Short answer: diminishing returns out, proficiencies in. Keep an eye on "In design". There should be a document explaining the proficiencies system in some detail very soon.

3. My account age seems to be off by a few months lately. Is that going to be fixed?
Mr. Tact: This was fixed last week. It can take up to a week for your character to reflect these changes (because we only update your character's age once a week). Everyone should be corrected by now, so if your account age is still off, please send in a bug report here.

4. How come EA doesn't open up a "classic" shard?
Darkscribe: I have very mixed feelings about a "classic" rule-set shard. The reason is this: What a "classic shard" should be depends on what player you ask and when they entered the game. Year One people want one that looks like Year One. Year Three people want a pre-AOS shard, but not a pre-Ren shard. Then there are lots of people who came in after AOS, but could do without some of the Samurai Empire and UOML stuff. Then again, there are Year One people who want all the expansion pack land masses, but pre-AOS item properties and also no Elves. So, is it about PvP rules, or item properties, or size of landmass, or insurance, or races, or professions, or crafting, or artifacts, or what? What would make the majority of players the happiest? It's very close to an unanswerable question. I've conducted the research, launched the surveys, conducted the focus groups, and I've yet to see a clean answer that wouldn't anger as many as it pleased.

Here is what I do think can be done, maybe, after a lot more research and player discussion: I think a shard with a unique rule set could provide a new kind of experience and be an important addition to the world of UO. I'm more excited by the thought creating something new, instead of the impossible task of re-creating something that existed years ago and maybe could never be re-created again.

At the Town Hall meeting, I compared expecting a "classic shard" to be as satisfying as your first UO experience to expecting your 20-year high school reunion to be as fun as your senior prom. It just isn't going to be as good.

The real question is what should a unique shard really look like? Or, should we take a closer look at our current hardcore shards, Siege Perilous and Mugen, and think about how to make the experience there more satisfying? These are questions we will try and answer within the next three months as development plans come together for the rest of the year.

5. Are we going to be getting new veteran rewards anytime soon?
Darkscribe: Yes! These are slated for Pub 41, which should be out in late June. There will be Year Six, Seven and Eight rewards, and perhaps something new for Year One or maybe Year Two.

See Also