Currently, the hot debate in the UO Dev circles is whether or not to eliminate stat loss in the PvP+ lands in the upcoming Felluca/Trammel thingie. Personally, I would hope that Anti-PK groups alone would be enough to stop PKs and keep non-combatants, it seems to work on Siege. With the introduction of the PvP- lands, IMHO, I think that stat loss should be removed completely. After seeing Lum's poll, I realized that many, many players don't agree.
As longtime Anti and a player on Siege Perilous, the only shard with no stat loss, I'd like to bring up an idea. Let's go over a few facts here:
1) Murderers need to be punished in some way for their deeds.
2) Permanent stat loss is too harsh a punishment for a game.
Many might are argue that loss of town privileges alone is a big enough punishment for murders, on an advanced shard like Siege, that's all we ready need. Everyone is fine with that system on Siege. I can understand how others feel that harsher punishment is needed. Many players just want to be a merchant and not worry about things like combat.
Permanent stat loss is not the answer either. Ultima is a place where players are given the ability to shape the world more than in any other MMORPG. Taking 20% statloss on GM level skills is simply too harsh. Let's be generous and say that an unfortunate victim loses 5,000 gold to a PK. How long does recovery take? A night focused on gold making? Let's say a PK dies and gets stat lossed from 100 magery to 80. You are talking about weeks to recover from the death. It is simply too harsh.
The solution? Taking a hint from Asheron Call's vitae penalty, the solution is simple, TEMPORARY skill loss. We can argue about the details, but the idea is simple. If you are a PK and get killed, you take a temporary loss of stats. After some amount of time, your skills return. The idea is to put a damper on the endless killing from the days of the Dread Lords.
My initial idea would be a that your temp stat loss is equal to your short term murder count, capped at 20%. So if you have 10 murders on your count you take 10% loss. If you decide to be mass murderer, you'll take 20%.
Recovery of stats is probably up to discussion. I would suggest that stat loss is reduced by 5% once a day. No need to sit online waiting it out, make it an automatic change. Consider that it would take a 20+ kill PK four days to fully recover. If you can't agree that taking four days to recover is a harsh enough penalty, you need to consider joining a MMORPG with a complete ban on PvP combat.
Well, what do you all think?