Five on Friday - January 12, 2007

"I found a dupe bug. Should I use it and hope I don't get caught, or report it?"
We are cheerfully stealing a program from Dark Age of Camelot that will hopefully encourage people to help us keep the game clean. The first person to report an exploit or a dupe - without first exploiting it - receives a prize. The prize may range anywhere from a keychain to a lifetime free account and invitations to all future UO betas - the reward depends on the severity of the problem, but I will demonstrate our gratitude in some way if you're indeed the first to report the problem, and you've done so in honesty and good faith. (Note: The "good faith" bit is important. You can't find a dupe, make millions on Ebay from it, and THEN tell us about it to get a reward. It's one or the other :) )

So, should you find something with the potential to be seriously harmful to the game, please send in a bug report to with all the information, and an email to me (, with the header DUPE).

The DAoC team is satisfied enough with this program to share it with us, and I am eager to tap a heretofore unexplored well of knowledge from our playerbase :)

"Many universities with Software Engineering and Computer Science departments allow or require students to complete internships or co-ops (essentially a paid, full-time internship) before they graduate. Are there any such opportunities within EA Mythic that a student might apply for that would help them get closer to working "permanently" (we all know how permanent game company jobs are) on UO after they graduate, either in the upcoming summer or more during the school year?"
Since I am a lowly minion and do no hiring myself, I referred this one to my overlord Sanya: "Unfortunately, there are no internship opportunities at EA Mythic right now. We've had such things in the past (our last two interns are hard at work in permanent jobs with us right now, as a matter of fact), but the openings depend on our needs, our schedules, and the time our managers have to train people with no prior experience.

Whenever we do have these positions available, we post them on our websites. Just keep your eyes on the website where your community weenie makes announcements!"

Even though there are no specific EA Mythic internships at the moment, EA as a whole has an internship program, which you can look into on the jobs page - check it out!

"I am a bit confused on some things concerning wearing luck..."
You would think this would be a relatively simple issue to address. After all, it's not a brand-new system, and the details are posted in several places on the website... *sigh*

After TWO SOLID DAYS of heated debate, testing, and poring over the code, Wilki finally came up with an answer - basically, loot is created once, using the luck of the top attacker. It's then divided in a number of interesting ways, but no other luck value ever touches it. It doesn't matter if the top attacker is in a party, or if any other attackers are in a party - it's solely the luck value of the top attacker. The several different places on the website either sort of say this or don't really say this, and will be updated (with caveats as below).

"So what are those "interesting ways"? How is loot divided overall?"
Wilki wrote an awesome document, which I will reproduce here in its entirety.

"1. NOTE: This is incorrect. See next week's FoF for clarification. On a big monster like a peerless, you have to do 1/16th of the damage that the top attacker does in order to get looting rights. On a normal monster, only the top attacker gets looting rights.

2. The total potential amount of loot cannot be increased or decreased. Luck can increase the odds that the monster will drop more loot up to its cap.

3. If at least one player in a party gains looting rights, all players in the party gain looting rights. i.e. parties share one instanced corpse.

4. Loot is divided up amongst all players who would have gained looting rights individually based on their own damage.

a. The loot is divided up randomly in equal shares, i.e. the player that did the most damage gets the same amount of loot as the player who did the least amount of damage (while still doing enough damage to get looting rights).

5. A party's instanced corpse will contain the combined loot that the individual players in the party have earned by themselves.

a. Party members who wouldn't have gained looting rights individually don't contribute to the party's instanced corpse, though they can still loot it.

6. Only the luck value of the attack who did the most damage (the top attacker) is taking into account when loot is generated. Thus, the top attacker's luck benefits all players who can loot the monster.

An example:

Bob, Jane, Joe and Sara are in a party. Frank is not. They all fight a big monster with lots of hit points. Bob is the healer in the party, with the other three primarily attacking the monster. Frank is attacking the monster as well.

At the end of the fight, Sara has done the most damage, and Jane, Joe and Frank all have done at least 1/16th of Sara's damage. Bob only managed to do a little damage, so he didn't do 1/16 of Sara's damage.

1. Two instanced corpses are created, one for the party, and one for Frank.

2. The loot is generated based on Sara's luck value.

3. The loot is divided up amongst Jane, Joe, Sara and Frank.

4. Jane, Joe and Sara's shares are put into their party's instanced corpse, which Bob has access to as well.

5. Frank's share is put into his own instanced corpse.

So, if there were 100 items, 75 of them would be in the party's instanced corpse, and 25 would be in Frank's instanced corpse.

How that loot is distributed is random; though in this scenario, the party has a 75% change of getting any one item (i.e. the best item). If the amount of loot is not cleanly divisible by the number of instanced corpses, then some instanced corpses will have 1 less item than others (i.e. if there are 10 items and 3 corpses, the items will be distributed one by one sequentially, so 1 corpse will have 4 items, and the other two 3 items each.)"

"How am I supposed to figure out how something works when the website says three different things?"
Ok, here's where I admit openly that the website is a mess. There are three places where you might find specific info on how a system works (four, actually, including the Five on Friday archives, and I'll get to that.) But these are the main ones:

Publish Details: These are located here and basically they are extended patch notes. Some of them are written as actual design docs, some of them are lists of changes - it's not terribly consistent. The publish details for a particular publish are not, and to my knowledge have never been, ever updated. So a pub 28 design doc may very well have inaccurate info - it was accurate for pub 28, but we're on pub 43. The site design does not make that at all clear, particularly when you pull up publish details by searching for keywords, and I apologize for that. I'm trying to figure out a way to make it more obvious that those are historical documents.

Playguide: The theoretically accurate documents would be here. Now, before you start howling, I am 100% aware that the playguide is only accurate in theory - in practice, it hasn't been consistently updated for an embarrassingly long time. We are actively looking for ways to make it more accurate that don't involve locking me and three devs in a cell for three months, and that doesn't duplicate effort from the...

Knowledge Base: The Knowledge Base has a large amount of information, most of it originally pulled from the playguide, and it is sometimes more correct than the playguide - it's updated by a different set of folks. These should be accurate - theoretically, when you get sent to the website by a GM, they're sending you here - and sometimes the info you need is in there. I do not have a good sense of how perfectly accurate the KB articles are, so if you find a problem with it, let us know.

Five on Friday: (This is mostly just a disclaimer) Like the publish details I mention above, the Five on Friday pages are not updated after they're made. So the Luck post above is true (as near as all of us can tell) right now, but if we update the Luck system six months from now, today's Five on Friday page will not be updated. (I may well do another Five of Friday question for that week re-explaining the system with the new info, but I won't update THIS one) So if you search the site and pull up a Five on Friday post about something, check the date - the older it is, the more grains of salt you need to swallow it with.

This marks the end of my first week in a while at an actual desk - the EA Mythic Austin office is officially open! (We still haven't lured MrTact from his cave, but soon he'll be within smacking range... I can't wait :) ) I am off to reassure my cats that I haven't forgotten them - y'all have a good weekend!

- Jeremy

See Also