February 17, 2000
A sad note

Great Bob, a UO player and writer for Lum's page, is losing his daughter to a terminal illness. As a father of two girls, this sort of thing absolutely crushes me.

Please go to the Families of Spinal Muscular Atrophy and donate some money "In Memory of Claire Elizabeth Roland".

I can think of nothing more terrible than losing a child. Please donate whatever you can. Not only will it help find a cure, it will help Bob & his wife feel better in this terrible time.

Posted by michael at 04:58 PM
February 03, 2000
PvP changes on the way!

The UO Dev Team has released a plan for the revampof some PvP tactics.  Boy, I can hear the whining now coming form theDev Board.  Personally, it's not what I expected, but hey I'll takeit.  I was against it RoT skill gain at first and now I'm a believer.

More specifically, here are the new concepts and my comments:

Healing and Poisoning
You will not be able to heal a poisoned character through any method (healing skill,spells, potions, etc.) until they are first cured of the poison. 

This is going to make sword and fencing fighters nice and happy.  Deadly& greater poisons were a pain to deal with in the past, now they will be aserious reversal in a battle.  Anyone poisoned will need to cureimmediately.  That will put them on the defensive and open to furtherattack.  I better get my healing and anatomy above 60 soon.  It willalso make poison a viable mage PvP spell.  

Magic Reflect
The magic reflect spell will be enhanced to provide additional tactical options inplayer verses player combat. At this time, any spell, regardless of its circle, can beused to counter a magic reflect spell. This results in the same spell (or few spells)being used every time to bring down the reflect. This change will add variety andadditional tactical options when fighting a character who has cast magic reflect. 
[details all snipped]

This will make for some unhappy mages.  I think it will add a whole newlevel of complexity to PvP mage combat.  Many will hate it, simply becauseit is different.  To a character with low INT, this change is no bigdeal.  As a dex monkey, I am happy to hope that a mage might actually eatsome damage taking down my reflect.   However to the current 'tankmage' with 100 INT, their Reflect will stand up to a nice beating.  Undoubtedly,mages will determine the best method for dropping the reflect of another 100 INTmage.  Maybe an explosion/greater heal combo will work.  CastExplosion and during the delay for effect, cast Greater Heal to fix the damage.

My hope is that a few serious PvP mages test this out on TC and help the DevTeam tweak it correctly.  Otherwise, this could easily make warriors immuneto all but GM mages...  Prepare yourself for the whining over thisone.  The complaining over this one will reach a  fever pitchsoon.  My only hope is that in the furor, precasting will finally beforgotten.

The archery skill will be tweaked to balance it and make it more effective in Playervs. Player combat. 
    The minimum damage on bows, crossbows, and heavy crossbows will beincreased. 
    The maximum damage on bows, crossbows, and heavy crossbows will bedecreased a small amount. 
    The rate of fire will be increased a small amount for bows, crossbows, andheavy crossbows. 

Yee-haw.  Look like archery is getting unnerfed.  Again it's notwhat I expected, but I'll take it.  As any that fight with katanas andkryss know, it's not maximum damage that's important, it's rate of fire. Archers should have a chance in PvP combat.  Don't know who'll be againstthis one. Most agree that archery is nerfed currently.

Overall I think that the Dev Team is trying to find reasonable way to tunePvP without ganking anyone's current playstyles.  I think the warriors arethe bigger winners here.  Mages get the benefit of stronger reflect, butthe drawback of not being able to use Magic Arrow anymore. 

Let the testing commence!

Posted by michael at 04:17 PM
February 02, 2000
A few tidbits...

I posted a new Siege story about fighting the GC guild.  

I try reading the COB Dev Board these days, but I tend to find it filled with morons.  I wish OSI had a better forum for developing ideas.  The Ultima onelist is OK, but the signal to noise it low as well.

Lum's page has become a general MMORPG site.  He still hits the mark on things, but the message board has gone to hell.

I'm severely addicted to Unreal Tournament.  I love the purity of the game.  The sweet feeling of a head shot with the sniper rifle is unparallelled. Go buy it now...

Lastly, Poor George W. got trounced in New Hampshire.  The controllers of this Stepford robot better get to work.  It seems that it's not his ideas people don't like, it's the guy himself.  What's up with that smirk?

Posted by michael at 02:54 PM