Currently, houses are falling all over the UO world. Why? A few months ago, in the fall, EA changed the way we manage our accounts. Accounts set to automatically renew were reset to not. The new system is confusing and hard to understand, mostly because of poor design of the new site. They also don’t tell you when you enter you account name, you also have to include “_uo” so the system makes the connection. The better part of the new system is that you can manage all your accounts under one page rather then log in and out several times. Quite frankly, in my 11 years, I’ve never had problems with the old system. Helping friends fix things or trading accounts... very simple, very easy. This new system? Some things are just better left alone.
Sometime after the new system was set in place, the accounts that fell out of automatic renewal still had their houses attached to the accounts even if the users were not logging in. The house ageing system was frozen, however I’m not sure if anyone really knew about it at the time. Some players I know of still have interest in playing UO, keeping their accounts and houses active... yet they are away on long-lasting work or away from home serving in the military. Without even a mass E-Mail sent by EA, they would have no clue of these issues. Very bad customer relations! Plus, even when this issue popped up for us very active players, calling the support line didn’t help fix things at all. It took hours and/or help by other friends who had figured it out. So, suddenly, as the holidays came, it was announced house decay would be turned back on.
Could this whole ordeal cost our strained player community valuable membership? The IDOC looters making out like bandits are a very small minority. Less active players may never want to pick up the peaces and return to the game. EA sees no need to advertise UO at any retail shops in the USA. How does our community attract new players? The number one way is word of mouth by us, the players. Otherwise, UO gets a “shout out” by small articles that very few people actually see who aren't already very much into gaming. The wondering shopper looking over the games on the retail shelf never sees UO, plus now... the trend leaning to game cards, EA does have a Game Card... void of any image of UO. The cost of a game card is nothing vs. putting a game box together, yet a simple plastic card costs nearly nothing and could show new players the way into a world that so many of us have enjoyed for years.
In closing... for those still quite actively playing, if you play on a fuller shard, bigger new houses await! As usual, if anyone needs vendor space... PM me. The good ole Red & Purple isn't going anyplace.