Sunday, November 20, 2011

West Brit Bank Travel Warning!

The 2009 Thanksgiving “Giant Turkey” spawn is back… and far nastier then ever. This spawn normally in the woodlands, and jungles… all over Tram and Fel (I’m sure)… however, grievers are leading them to the WBB so they can “share” in the adventure of killing them. Because of the massive area attack, revealing, and gross amount of damage the turkey causes… no one is safe to even look away from the screen for even a second. It should also be noted guards are not responding to calls and leading monsters out of their spawn area is a violation of the rules of conduct. Are the GMs responding to calls? Anyone’s guess, but odds are no… so don’t travel to this bank lightly until the spawn ends.

The new publish also went live the same day. Shame dungeon has been “modified”. This used to be a wonderful dungeon for intermediate skilled characters to hunt and gather supplies. Now level one is packed with pockets of monsters that switch targets and overwhelm pets. The new loot system, however publicized, seems very worthless. In all honesty, I really think they made a mistake. Dungeon Wrong is far less used and had it's spawn modified 2 times before. One adding the Juka and then years later, removing the Juka and replacing them with the old spawn. As far as I know… no one uses this dungeon anymore. I will suggest to you dungeon fans to check out Shame for yourself, just be aware. Passages will be blocked until you kill the guard monster and some monsters will easily overwhelm you where you wouldn’t think.

Also in the publish (72), a few new vet rewards were added to a couple years. Most existing, Year 4… a new seed sorting box. This looks like a wooden table with a divided top, like you would see at a garden center. Placing seeds on the box will ID them and sort them inside the gump so you can organize and store them. Unfortunately, it only holds 500 seeds, however… it will cut down on mysterious single seeds from the ant seed quest, particular seeds, and those pesky seeds that some plants make several piles of the same exact seed. You wont have to worry about growing endless amounts of poppy dust! The staffer that designed this, art and all, did a wonderful job… and this idea is very overdue. This and the raised beds, gardeners are finally seeing a little love.

Counting down to our Christmas gifts… there is still no hint of graphics. Good news is that all the items offered are NEW, not copies of last year like the staff did with the anniversary tickets, many of the clean-up items, and the Thanksgiving spawn. What I’m most anxious to see is what this “customizable House Type Sign” is and looks like. A few of us have been talking about it, and it ‘COULD BE’ like wall plagues you see on some city buildings. Perfect for mounting next to doors in our houses to add information for visitors. “Rune Library and Dye Tubs”… and “Private Entrance, use other door” as an example. Or above house to house vet teleporters. That would be wonderful seeing the only other way to add information to those is to lock a book down on top of the pad. As soon as we find out… I’ll post an update.

Monday, October 31, 2011

Sorry for the delay in updating the news… but real life, who needs it? hehe.

Just this past month or so, we FINALLY got Spring Cleaning 2011!!!

About time!! The program was included with the start of the Halloween festivities for 2011. New to the lands are “Pumpkin Monsters”, that first show themselves as being last year’s jack-o-lanterns. Dusty was nearly killed by this surprise attack the first time. You go to pick the Jack up… and it wont budge. It turns into a large pumpkin, that’s resting… that is, in fact, the pumpkin monster. It's very nasty, but really cool in graphics. There are two designs, one is a daemon face with orange fire and the other is a clown face with blue fire. These are 2 of the 3 masks that may spawn as your reward. Daemon, Clown, or Plague masks. These masks are only for decoration! Nothing more. They are named for all our wonderful staff… that includes the designers, game-masters, and event moderators. And let me tell you all, this list is massive. Some people are collecting full sets, the same name on each of the 3 masks… or looking for people they know from the game. Goodness knows if this was our own names, it would be worse then last year. Never found a Frany Flame’s jack.

Spring Cleaning wise… the list of trade in items is massive. Even more then last time. What’s changed from last time is that you gain points by throwing these items in trash bins. I prefer using bins at the public banks, so the results are quick… at home, you wait forever. You can also single click on the bin and get the option to evaluate the item in question. Also a change from last year, many of the items like shipwrecked goods, stealables… their worth is a lot less. It takes a lot more to get the points you want. But… if you wish to throw your gold away, you have that option as well. Gems, leather, ingots… all at extremely unfair values are on the list. There are many items you can get right now that will give small point values that don’t have to be old gift items… but the older the gift item… the more points, so check those old containers well. Also beware that the published list has changed in the last 4 weeks, to some degree. Consistency… now that’s the challenge.

As we were waiting for this publish, we had a little 10th anniversary event for the good ole Red & Purple. A 30 million gold give-away, presented as a scavenger hunt… of sorts. A book or “golden ticket” representing each of the single million checks was joined by 20 books that were called “stinker tickets”. Each of the 50 books were hidden all over the cities of Tram. Thanks to EM Bennu, who provided not 1, but 2 moongates so everyone could find the mall and location of the event easier. Also thanks to Moon Star and Alesia, who helped place the books. So much preparation… so many people turned out… and an explosion of searchers found all but 1 of the books in no time flat. 1 golden ticket was never recovered… or found by someone not understanding the directions, thus it was never turned in. A fast paced success, however I would have loved to have more to the event.

Last item for now… We are thinking about doing a Christmas event for this year. The reason we could not do it last year was we couldn’t find enough helpers to pull the event off, unlike these Santa events of years past. With the success of the 10th year Anniversary… I would like to explore if it's possible to bring together a few different groups, establishments… and have a more public sponsored event. This could very well include better prizes, without aide of our game staff… as normal. I’ve already put the word out and we will see what response we get. For now, it's just an idea… we will see come the end of November if there’s enough potential. I just can't help stress that this very simple event is far harder to manage then visitors see when they come. So, I hope to have some news... yes or no, soon enough.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Heads up… an unwanted gift of BUGS by UO staff.

“Account Center Migration”… staff changes the way we interact with our account management, basically breaking the system with the old adage “If it ain’t broke…” UO isn't trying hard enough. Players may be getting bogus warnings to accounts being closed do to missing details. The Mini Mall’s account was hit with this error and there is no way to enter account management the best I can find, yet there is nothing wrong with the account itself. This all started Friday, August 12 as we lost the entire evening’s playtime… as the game didn’t come back on until Saturday morning, where it was taken down yet again for several hours. One can only ask.. “Do they ever test things before putting them in play?”

Frankly, I think the only reason why major updates are put into place last thing Friday is so staff can get some guaranteed overtime. It really paid out this time!

Also, there are some extra bugs that must be revolving around this “Account Center Migration” that you may notice in game:

Recall Runes (marked for houses) seam to be missing their string ID name, thus displaying an effort default vs. being named properly.

Recall Runes marked for Tram houses seam to be blaze colored now. Was this intentional? The difference between the light blue Tram runes and the Tokuno also being light blue never made sense to me when Fel house runes are dark red, and the gargoyle land (Ter Mur) house runes are dark green. Blaze is an improvement, but they are a little bold.

New Ship Runes… when set inside a runebook, that “suddenly” go bad, will CHANGE the color of the runebook to the default color AND change the very name of the item to “recall rune”.

There is said to be a fix to these new ship runes that habitually go bad. Easy enough… unload the ship’s hold, then drydock the ship, replace. It's that easy. I don’t know if it's true or not as the runebook color change bug was reported on a ship I know that was recently reset and yet the same thing happened.

Easily… there could be MORE bugs in play and I have no clue if and when they will be fixed, however… if you are seeing anything abnormal, odds are it's part of the same package of problems we got as a gift for Summer 2011. Still… keep your chin up! We may still get that spring cleaning 2011 they swore they’d give us sometime this year. :-)

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Is the game staff avoiding Spring Cleaning 2011?

Sometime in the early spring, the game staff makes mention of a new Spring Cleaning 2011 coming our way, ears perk up… a feeling of excitement fills the air. For those who remember a couple years ago, the Spring Cleaning program was extremely popular and gave us some amazing d├ęcor items. Items like the bee hive, the virtue tiles, the horse barring (armor), bamboo, Yucca tree, fire pit, nest with eggs, and many other goodies including 3 kicking armor sets. Hands down… one of the best events we’ve seen in the last few years that EVERYONE could participate in.

Soon after this news is broken, pictures are posted on showing such interesting things such as a new Distillery… we start thinking Spring Cleaning is sure on it's way. Epic disappointment and even the feeling of betrayal comes when these “hints” are only to show that the staff will be selling 2 tiny booster packs. The Gothic and Rustic collections, 10$ a throw or 15$ for the pack. Both are not worth the money, but this shows the lack of regard the staff has for the loyal paying customers. This also included new sales areas, known as vendor booths, that sit around New Magincia, another gold-sink. This is all about greed and not about customer service.

When spring is clearly on it's way out… another disappointing blow comes when game staff chooses to publish a story arch supporting the SA lands and NOT the Spring Cleaning. Spring Cleaning will have to wait for Summer. Again, players are outraged. “Why leak what they have no intention on doing?” The questions are posted.

July 1… a small production note is published on that clearly shows yet more avoidance to the Spring Cleaning 2011 issue. “After July… players can look forward to…” So, what does that mean? August? September? December? The staff has chosen yet again to take other areas into priority, including High Seas content… that has very low interest. Spring Cleaning, however now has angered the population, SHOULD be their priority. Are they listening at all? Well, they really should be. This isn’t just about honoring their word… but this would make a lot of people happy. EVERYONE, once again… not just the few that have the mad fighting skills. Everyone can enjoy some cool new goodies for their house, more kicking armor and weapons… and as the name tells… clean up a lot of junk clogging people’s house and server space.

Monday, April 18, 2011

Maginica Lotto is over… what’s the cost?

Total gold sunk into the “gold sink” (Atlantic Tram only) 9,512,114,000… just in the 2k unlimited lots. Estimated, 11 million per 10k lot.

10 lots, 2k unlimited:
Lot C1 – 1,091,105 tickets sold, (2,182,210,000 gold spent!!!)

12 lots, 10k 1 ticket per account:
Lot C3 – 1191 tickets sold, (11,910,000 gold)

Amazing figures! Did it actually effect the excess amount of gold on our shard? I don’t think so… and not at all. 9.5 billion sounds like a lot of game-money, but it's still just a drop in the bucket. It's not so much what you can produce “farming” gold… it's those who can get the hard-core loot who get the savings away from the rest of us. To really solve the excessive gold problem in UO, the staff would need to make a full change to monster loot and exchange old money for new. Maybe 10k old for 1 new. That would greatly correct the problem.

No surprise… Maginica is seeing very greedy people trying to sell these lots for massive profits. One buyer of a 10k lot told me she paid out 400 million… for what cost the seller 10k. Amazing! Even after a week or so… there is no actual community springing up from this new house area. It could in the future… or it could just be another house area. I’m hoping we see some malls and other community based houses. The staff also made mention on Friday that the fenced in areas may see new NPC houses and other areas like a fair ground.

Again, I would like to say the Red & Purple Mini Mall or any other mall property will NOT be moving to Maginica. If one of our mall friends wished to place a house in the city, the community may see a Red & Purple “flag” but that’s about it. Helping… not moving. We are very proud to be part of the recognized player town system and hope to see a town transporter system for our shard sometime soon.

Friday, April 8, 2011

Who was that masked girl? Super-Heroes on Atlantic?

For some unknown reason… there have been sightings of this small line of super-heroes that have been appearing by Luna and West Brit Bank on the Atlantic shard. They don’t seam to be advertising or promoting anything… when approached by passer-bys… they may respond, but otherwise say nothing.

Very smartly dressed to mimic Superman, The Green Lantern, The Flash, Wonder Woman, Aquaman, Batman and Robin… and Hit-Girl. Hit-Girl? It may not be known by many… however, a good run from the north gate of Luna… almost directly north, you will run into a large (18x18) big-box custom house called "Hall of Heroes"... owned by "ARCHON The GREAT". At one time, this once mall was lined on 2 sides by smart dressed super-hero vendors! Right now, as this story is published, the vendors are all gone. Is this user connected to that once mall? Or did they just see the smart costumes and just copy them? Hit-Girl… is a party crasher!

ME! They may be from DC… I’m from my favorite comic book movie “Kick-Ass” that came out early 2010. I couldn’t resist! Saturday April 2… I just wanted to see what was going on and these guys stood in line for the better part of Saturday. Almost to shard down. I was the last one standing. Unlike the others… my girl actually has skills. hehe

I will find a proper place for a new Hit-Girl vendor, dressed in my cute custom outfit that was never in “Hall of Heroes”… but the question remains… what’s the deal with the line?

Friday, March 25, 2011

Maginica is finally getting a make-over!!!

Just around the corner… if you can believe it. It's been over 6 years since the big invasion destroyed the city along with the wild areas around the island. I’m honestly unsure if it has been 6 years… but it's the best I can gather asking around. Already, the first real shard is seeing the new publish that will see the new city. We will soon for us and everyone! (Cheers!)

Jeers… to the staff for allowing this to take so long! Public areas of our game would should not be destroyed for such an amazingly long time. The event was a lot of fun… we got some really cool rares. The Mini Mall is packed with mushrooms and palm-trees from the destruction. Then… the years slowly passed us by… and a few events came and go promising the rebuilding of the city and it never came. So… “It's about TIME, Sucka!” hehe

Now, if you don’t know history of the game so well… invasions come, invasions go. Years ago, when we got a new type of monster, the invasion was limited to woodland areas… normally causing great headaches to our Tram based mall, far off the beaten path of a city. Now, it's more about the city spawn… running people off so they hide in Luna bank. Yew saw a total change of landscape with swamp spawn… and it took a long time to correct and return the city of Yew to it's natural state. Haven saw a sudden destruction, that I never remember seeing a storyline for… and a new city was built around the ruins of the old. Right after, it was Maginica. Years ago.

What the staff is doing this time… is making a new city that incorporates player houses with the actual public city. This could be due to our new system of player based towns and town banners. It's an interesting idea, however it's not exactly clear at this point how it will work. I’d say this idea is a good one… the house plots… will be given out by lottery. Lottery, in all my years of playing… if it's not a scam… it's a great way to have a whole bunch of nothing for a whole lot of money. And… we have a big problem of too much gold in the game and very little ways to remove it… or do an exchange of old money for new.

Cheers… for the staff for making a nice, big, fat gold sink!

Would I take part in the plot lottery? NO WAY!!! I played on the test shard a little to get an idea of how this will work. I collected many million gold checks from my other test characters. Each house has it's own lottery. I was thinking it would be 1 lottery… 1 account can win per all 22 houses in Tram, Fel would have it's own. You can either sink all your money into 1 plot… or spread it around. However… you are looking at a massive expenditure without much results. The one plot I used for the test. Here are my results:

My experiment was bidding on lot SW-2, just north of the docks.
Total tickets sold: 150,143.
Price per ticket: 2k, each.
Total gold sink before the plot was awarded: 300,286,000 gold.
(Remember… that’s over 300 million gold for a 15x15 plot.)

I pooled some money, bought 21,300 tickets.
The sign gave me a 1 in 9 chance of winning.
My gold spent: 42,600,000 gold.

Just thought I would share. This should take billions out of the game, easily. Just based on the test shard, if all plots went 300m in tickets, that would be a 6,600,000,000 total, just talking about Tram. Our shard, Atlantic… easily more populated then most US shards… could see way more money removed. Just think what the house sellers will be demanding.

Yes, I was entertaining moving the Mini Mall for a few seconds… but no thanks. Not worth all the hard work I put into making my nearly worthless game gold. :-)

Friday, January 28, 2011

Lord Kraken of Yew memorial now located at R&PMM town.

Thursday Afternoon… the official memorial was constructed at “The Red & Purple Pixies of the Yew Wood”. Located just to the west of the “R&P Plant Shop & Garden Center”, in the North-West area.

If you remember the announcement the day the news broke:

““KRAKEN”, real name Porter Thomson, the original owner of the Yew Gate Mini Mall of the Red & Purple… a friend I knew since I began playing… maybe 9 or 10 years ago… died Monday, the 3rd of January 2011, from leukemia.”

EM Bennu and I had been working on this memorial for a little while. Only Thursday did we receive the final instructions from Mesanna. The design, both of Bennu and myself comprises of the main stone marker, 4 champion plants, 7 white roses from last year’s Valentines, and standard fishing net placed under the marker. This location was chosen so it may be easily visited and still be off the beaten path. In Bennu’s short time with us on Atlantic shard, this was his first memorial… along with myself. I think it came along very nice… and very tasteful. Even after these many days, the mere fact we have finally accomplished this small tribute still hits me hard that someone I knew for so long, one of the very first friends I’ve had in UO, is no longer with us… but will be with us in memory.

I invite all of you to visit the memorial for yourself, when you have the time.

News of a public memorial service will soon be announced.

I would personally like to thank all of you that have posted your wishes and memories of Porter “Kraken”. I would also like to thank our one and only Event Moderator “Bennu” and Mesanna for taking time out of her extremely busy mission dealing with the Oceania shard. I thank you guys a lot! I will also make sure Porter’s widow and his children see the tribute paid to him inside a world he enjoyed for so many years.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Remembering KRAKEN, king of the Recall scrolls.

“KRAKEN”, real name Porter Thomson, the original owner of the Yew Gate Mini Mall of the Red & Purple… a friend I knew since I began playing… maybe 9 or 10 years ago… died Monday from leukemia.

If you didn’t know the man, you may know the reputation… if you are an older veteran player of Atlantic. For many years, from the birth of Tram… KRAKEN opened a classic sandstone vendor mall in the remote woods of eastern Yew, not too far away from the grand water fall, where he sold recall scrolls by the vendor full. He then relocated to a Small Marble Shop near the Yew Crypts, where the spawn was a little safer for his trade. KRAKEN was KING of the Recall Scrolls! Night and day… he made them. Night and day… people bought them. August 2004, we managed to find the large house near the public moongate of Yew, until his game retirement and then the eventual handing-off of the mall to myself and another friend, Hellfire. We have been keeping the place up and running ever since.

It may be true that KRAKEN quit UO a few short years ago to concentrate on other endeavors, he always kept in trouble with friends with cheerful and humorous emails. The odd personal letter. Never down on life or hating the world. I will always remember him as the man who would eat my fishing nets faster then I could possibly collect them. I will remember him as one of my closest friends, that I’ve ever had, while playing our game. This news comes as a sudden and totally unexpected blow to me personally. I will miss him and remember him… as my own personal history of life in UO would never be complete without mentioning HIS name.

Those whole fall should always be remembered… no matter what world they roam.

Porter (KRAKEN) is survived by his wife Aimee and a son and daughter.