Five on Friday - July 7, 2006

1. Grats on the 15 Trillion gold. Besides PunkBuster, do you have more plans to combat cheating in UO along these lines?
Darkscribe: Yes. PunkBuster is obviously our most public effort to combat cheating. There will also be a couple efforts you won’t hear about until after they are complete, much like this recent operation. Our goal is to make sure players who play by the rules are rewarded for their hard work.

2. How are things going with internal PB testing?
Darkscribe: Very well. We should be able to announce beta dates soon. We’ve made a few changes to how the client interface will work, to make it even more clear that PunkBuster is an optional install. Overall performance is looking good across a variety of different configurations and bandwidths.

3. What is the status of Proficiencies? Have they been scrapped, or will they be retained in a modified form?
MrTact: They are on hold while we deal with the aftermath of Pub 41, the gold sting, and the forthcoming PunkBuster beta test. If I had to hazard a guess, I would lay even odds on whether we end up doing them at this point. We will need to do extensive public testing before we decide either way.

4.Any chance that UO would do away with checks and physical gold and go to a bank account type of system? This should eliminate the ability to dupe gold.
MrTact: We talk about doing so all the time. So "any chance"? Yes. What is that chance? Hard to say.

5. Do all your 5 on Friday questions come from the boards, or do you sometimes make them up to cover a general topic?
Wilki: Most of them come from the boards, either copied exactly how they were written or cleaned up a bit for clarity. Sometimes we do write a Q & A to answer something specific that we want to talk about, though that isn't always the case. In general, we try to pick questions that will be of interest to the greatest number of players.

See Also