Five on Friday - August 8, 2008

"Why am I not getting GGS gains on Parrying?"

This question came from a long-term UO player - me. I'd been fighting a lot of lower-level critters - Lizardmen, Earthies, etc - putting together my Virtue suit, and realized I hadn't gotten so much as a single GGS gain - not only on the lower-end critters, but on the Ogre Lords and Drakes I'd tackled as well. That seemed odd, so I dragged Leurocian through the code with me to figure out why.

Parrying is a difficulty-based skill, which means you have to be performing actions of a certain range of difficulty to have a chance to gain. There's an explanation of difficulty-based skills and skillgain here - Parrying, specifically, uses a focus of 100 instead of 50, but otherwise that description applies. The "difficulty" in this case is the monsters' percentage chance to hit you. (You can check out the hit chance formula here.)

All math aside, if you're not getting Parrying skill gains (GGS or otherwise,) you're either fighting monsters that are too hard - in which case you need to reduce their chance to hit, by raising your own DCI or by using HLA gear - or too easy - in which case you can remove DCI/HLA gear or use a weapon you're less proficient in. In my case I just dropped my sword and let the earthie take a swing, and I got a gain right away.


"Why is it now you have to release the chest to take an item out of a pouch?"

This was a fix for an exploit (that I won't describe, of course) having to do with getting way too many lockdowns. We're going to revisit this fix in the future to try to find a more elegant solution, but we needed to take care of the exploit.


"Why can I only get a level 4 Arcane Focus even with five or more people?"

This was an intended (if undocumented) change from the last publish. I talked to Draconi about it, and it is intended - the change was made to allow the design team some greater flexibility with Arcane Focus in the future. So at the moment it's a definite nerf, but there will be an upside a little further down the road.


"When is the ROT scaling on Siege going to be fixed?"

How does Publish 55 sound? :)

We're testing a new set of numbers internally now, and we're hoping to get it on a Test Center with a Siege backup so y'all can try it out and see how it feels. To give you a rough idea of the current plan (and start the debate boiling,) the time to get from 70-120 has been reduced by about a third, and the time to reach the stat cap has been reduced by about the same proportion.


"When is Spring Cleaning going to end?"

Consider this your two-week notice - we're currently shooting to turn Spring Cleaning off the third week of August. (It's tied to the publish, though, so if that gets delayed for any reason, you'll get more time to sweep those last few corners.)

When we turn it off, what will happen is the NPCs that currently accept items and hand out tickets will go away. The reward box that accepts tickets and gives prizes will stick around for a while longer to give everyone a chance to use up their points.


Now Hiring!

We're looking for someone to be our new Associate Game Designer. Here's the job description and requirements:

  • Main responsibilities: Contribute significantly to game fiction, manage events, balance gameplay, and develop content using proprietary scripting tools.
  • Understanding and or knowledge of Ultima Online game mechanics, history, and community interaction a definite plus.
  • Experience as a Game Master, Counselor, Seer, or Event Moderator for Ultima Online a bonus.
  • 2+ years experience playing Ultima Online
  • Position requires dependable and relevant inputs to current state of the game, as well as contributing to future development of the game experience
  • Gives inputs to other members of the team to enhance gameplay for the current subscriber base
  • Due to the demanding scripting system surrounding Ultima Online, the designer must have expansive knowledge of scripting languages and have the ability to produce samples of work using similar tools.
  • Level editing experience and module creation using open source gaming engines (Infinity, Unreal 2.5 or 3, Doom, Source, Aurora Toolset).
  • Background or exposure to game development processes in the industry
  • Essential to have experience working in small teams of 4-6 people.
  • 3DS Max experience preferred
  • 2+ years in the game industry and/or gaming school preferred
  • Can demonstrate understanding of game design concepts to include flow, decision making, engaging storyline, and integration of art and sound

If you're interested in (and qualified for) this position, please send your resume to jdalberg AT ea DOT com and I'll put it in the right hands right away! Also please note, the position is in Fairfax, VA.


What's To Come:

We're firmly stuck in that time-between-publishes that everyone loves so much. The current plan is for Publish 55 to hit TC next week, but this is a good weekend to work on any Spring Cleaning collection you've been putting off, gardeners may want to lay in extra supplies of fertile dirt (the new plant types are up to 15 now, not 10!) and the more martial among us should be certain to polish their weapons and perfect their spells - while there is a lull in the battle right now, the war is not yet over...


Town Hall News:

The Seattle Town Hall is much on our minds - will you be there? Check out the details here and please do RSVP.


Fansite News:

Whispering Rose Radio's events:

Some of the highlights this weekend on Whispering Rose Radio include ...
Friday - Aug. 8th - Join TorAnn, Dr. Lil and PantherBabe for UO Shard Chatter starting at 7pm PST, 10pm EST on WRR. Listen and participate with UO players chatting about this week's game topics. At the end of the show hear this weeks contributions to the "You know you have been playing UO too long when..." segment where hilarious endings are presented by UO listeners. Feel free to send yours in (ICQ numbers can be found on the website).
Sunday - Aug. 9th - The Pacific Auction House (located just East of the Luna Moongate) continues after 4 great years to bring you more fantastic deals. Get there early for best seating. Auction starts at 12pm PST, 3pm EST and is broadcasted live on WRRadio.
*Deal or No Deal ~ 'UO Style' returns next Saturday to Pacific at 3pm PST, 6pm EST with its 100th show. Watch for next weeks 'News' bulletin for full details on the fabulous celebration in store for all UO players .
Enjoy the weekend playing Ultima Online and tune in to hear the live broadcasts from WRR ~ see you all on the flip side.

And a few events on Sonoma!

Friday, August 8th - Kick off the weekend with laughter and fun during the PAS monthly social with Twisted Rulez Mongbat Darts and the So U Think U'r Funny contest starting at 6pm Pacific, 9pm Eastern on the 3rd floor of the PAS Auction & Vendor house in Luna. Click here for contest rules and details.
Friday, August 8th - After the monthly social, PAS rocks Sonoma with great deals during its monthly AUCTION starting at 7pm Pacific, 10pm Eastern on the first floor of the PAS Auction & Vendor house, Luna. Check here for more information.
Sunday, August 9th - Wedding bells are ringing for Lord Richard Cypher and Lady Wild Flower as they are united in the Caerlton Chapel of Love at 1pm Pacific, 4pm Eastern. Ceremony is open to the public and reception immediately follows on the roof of the PAS Auction & Vendor house in Luna. For invitation & details click here.


Have a good weekend, everyone!

- Jeremy

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