Five on Friday - December 1, 2006

"Are my newbied rares safe yet? What happened, anyway?"
The issue that was causing items with "newbie" status to disappear when locked down was resolved with the most recent server publish by fixing the bug that was allowing newbied items to be locked down in the first place. Unfortunately, any items that decayed are still gone. :( Since the last server publish, anything that WILL lock down will be safe while locked down.

Some people have requested that we allow newbied items to be safely locked down so they can be displayed, but while we recognize that displaying your old rare Christmas gifts and the like would be way cool, the change to allow that without breaking other stuff (like death robes' decay time) is more complex than it looks. We decided to fix the current issue rather than revisit the design decision, in the interests of time.

"Um, "temporal wave"? What does that have to do with reindeer?"
I hope everyone's enjoying the rerun of the 2005 holiday items! While I hope the bit of fiction on the front page entertained everybody, here's a plain-language version of what happened: Last year, we put in code to automatically enable placement of holiday trees and other seasonal items. We put it in in time to use it to turn off the trees when the time came. That worked just fine. This year, when it ran to turn the items back on, it accidentally re-ran the code that sent everyone gifts. Because we hadn't put in this year's gifts yet, it reused the old ones. Oops! It's not exactly a crisis, and we're not going to take the gifts away - just enjoy the little bonus. The 2006 gifts will still go out as planned.

If you DIDN'T get the gifts on one or several of your characters, please post here - we'd certainly like to figure out why.

(If you weren't here last year and have no clue what a "soulstone fragment" is, here are a few resources - This is a FAQ that explains soulstones, and this explains fragments - it's written for the Samurai Empire soulstone fragments, so you can ignore the "how to claim" bits, but it contains a general description of what they are as well)

"Why are [x,y, and z] not stackable?"
We all like stackable items. They reduce item count, they're easier to sort, they're just less irritating in general. But there are bunches of items that seem like they should stack but don't - why? Well... it's kind of a long story. There could be one of several things happening:

  • That item type has several different intensities/properties, and you can't stack different ones. Potions are a good example - that's why they only stack in potion kegs, and each keg can only hold one type and intensity. Jewelry, armor, weapons... those all fit into this category. These items can't be stacked.
  • The item looks the same as something else, but isn't actually. Seeds spring to mind as an example - there are several different colors of seeds that look identical, but actually grow into different plants. Those can't be stacked for the same reason as the first category, it's just not as apparent.
  • There's something weird in the code that we haven't gotten around to looking at yet - sand and granite seem to be examples of this, if I correctly understand the somewhat vague answer I got from Mr. Tact. Since we like stackables in theory, these may get fixed eventually - or it may turn out that we'd have to rewrite six billion lines of code, and they won't get fixed. Or maybe Mr. Tact just needs to be poked repeatedly, and he'll fix it to shut me up. :)

- We... didn't think of it. Furniture, for example. I don't think it ever occurred to anyone that you'd need 5,000 desk chairs in a stack. Stuff that falls into this category may or may not be fixable - we've simply never looked. There are a few things, like some of the recent event items, that would probably be technically simple, but since they arose from the twisted mind of a dev, it's possible that keeping them unstackable is part of some nefarious plan. Or it's because of blackrock. You can always blame blackrock.

The other part of item management in general is sortable containers (BOD books, basically). They're totally cool, and we like them - they're just massively time-consuming to make, so we can't just bang them out. There's tons of conceptual potential there, though... jewelry boxes, seed books, weapon racks, armor armoires...

"Siege! Blessed items! Horror, death and destruction!"
So, there is a lot of discussion about what is and is not blessed on Siege ruleset shards, what should or shouldn't be, etc. I'm not going to try to cover the whole range of the argument here, but I do want to clarify a couple of points specifically regarding promo items:

  • 7th Anniversary items were blessed. HOWEVER, if you have an unused code, and use it now, the combat items will not be blessed. (A list of which items are considered "combat items" can be found here.)
  • 9th Anniversary combat items are NOT blessed. This is by design. HOWEVER, there was a bug with the Infinity Quivers, so there are some of those knocking around that are still blessed. We're working on that. (It's actually related to a separate, larger, and more irritating bug that's taking a while to fix)
  • The existence of the blessed 7th Anniversary items that are now impossible to get creates a gameplay imbalance. This is, obviously, not good. However, many Siege players are concerned that because there aren't any relatively easily obtainable replacements, unblessing them would leave a major hole in their resistances, and that's a legitimate concern. So, until we get a chance to analyze this a little more closely, we could nerf a bunch of people or we could do nothing, and right now we're doing nothing, as a conscious choice. I don't have any sort of ETA on a change, or details about the proposed change (there are a couple), but I figured it would be better to let you know where we are in our thinking about the issue.

"Any chance of an update for The site needs some love, and has been the same for the last 6+ (?) years!"
I keep telling people the website hasn't changed since I was in high school. That's an exaggeration... I think. Barely. Anyway, here's the plan for the website:

  • I'm working on fixing the dead links, ancient creaky pages, and gross inaccuracies.
  • Then I get to try to actually get the content updated and fresh. That's... gonna take a while.
  • In the meantime, the web team is working on the UO Herald, which will be THE place to go to listen to me babble. Er, I mean "to get the latest news and updates on UO." It will be new and shiny. It will also have the Feedback Form, which is where you go to tell me what you think without having to argue (again) with the half dozen folks on the forums who disagree with you and are therefore clearly insane.

A full-on, every-page-is-pretty update will be a long time coming. There is a LOT of content on this site, for good or ill, so we're being careful about how big a bite we take at one time. But in the meantime, you may notice things like old pages having slightly different (and more accurate) text, or the "Establishments" box on the front page actually changing, or new pages sneaking into the nav bar. It's progress, at least, and I think y'all will really like the Herald when it finally arrives.

Have a good weekend, y'all!

- Jeremy

See Also