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[News] Five on Friday (Skill Stacks/Wood and Spawn Rate/Taming/Stable Slots)



<DIV class=categoryIcon>
<FONT size=5>FoF: Triple Digits</FONT>
</DIV> <DIV class=storyInfo> <DIV class=author>Frostwood rarity, stable slots, and more in this 100th FoF!

<SPAN class=a10b>March 7, 2008</SPAN>

"Does the skill decrease from Discord and -skill items (like Mage weapons) stack??"

Yes, the two effects can stack.


"Can we go over the spawn rates for the various woods? This came up at the Town Hall - people are complaining that the higher-end woods seem disproportionately rare."

Leurocian and I scoured the lumberjacking and mining code and discovered that the spawn rate for Frostwood is 1% (as intended.) We couldn't find any bugs or inconsistencies that would make it spawn any less - it's marginally more rare than Valorite, but we're talking four tenths of a percent more rare. The other rare woods are 2%, 3%, and 5% as intended.


There is a factor that could make Frostwood harder to gather. It's kind of twisted, so bear with me. See, each 8x8 area has a finite amount of resources - be it ore or wood. The amount is comparable between mining and lumberjacking, but there is a critical difference. Each swing of the axe nets you 10 wood, whereas each swing of the pick nets you at most 2 metal. This means you can drain a node in fewer attempts in lumberjacking than in mining.

Why does this matter? Because you're not guaranteed colored resources each swing - you have a 40% (or 60% if you're elven) chance to get colored wood or ore with each swing. If you take fewer swings, you get fewer chances to get colored wood before the node is dry. If that's one of the 1 in 100 8x8 areas that has Frostwood, you may well get no Frostwood at all. Whereas with mining, you get a lot more chances to get at least some colored ore. This can affect how much colored wood you actually get, and it REALLY affects your perception of how much of the rarer woods there are - you may never know that that was a Frostwood tree, and it may randomize away before you can try it again.

There is a simple solution to this - make Lumberjacking give less wood per chop. Pluses are more chances to get colored wood, comparable to metal, and more chances to get a skill gain. Minuses, well, it just takes more chops to get the same amount of wood. Thoughts? Questions? <a target="_blank" href=http://www.uoherald.com/feedback/index.php>Let us know!</A>


"The Playguide page on Animal Taming makes no mention of the additional 4% skill loss if the animal is paralyzed during taming. It would also be useful to confirm whether discordance or peacemaking during taming will also result in skill loss."

There is an additional 4% skill loss penalty after taming if the creature is paralyzed, and I'll add that to the Playguide page - thanks for the catch! Leurocian also checked, and Discord and Peacemaking have no effect on the creature's post-taming skills.


"Can we have more stable slots?"

This is the kind of question that I usually skip for the Five on Friday, but what with the 5-slot dragons and purple bunnies and all, it's quite the hot topic. The answer is, we'd like to, but there is some research we need to do before we can add something like that. What will the impact be on our server storage space? Are there any optimizations we'd have to make to handle that new volume of data? This is the sort of thing we'd need to look into, and we don't have the answers off the top of our heads. It may well be something we do - as I said, we'd like to - but we can't make any promises right now.


What's To Come:

There are a couple of substantial tweaks to pet balls and pet AI coming:

Pet Ball Changes:
<UL> <LI>Pet summoning balls should unhide the summoner when attempting to summon her pet. <LI>Pet summoning balls should have a couple second casting animation with the chance to disrupt like other spellcasting. <LI>Pet summoning balls should have a reuse delay of 15 seconds. <LI>Pet summoning balls cannot be used while in animal form. </LI>[/list]
Here is how the new AI should behave:


Guard - The pet should guard as it does currently.
Follow - The pet should follow. It will not attack anything, even if it is attacked. (unless it is guarding)
Come - The pet should walk to. It will not attack anything, even if it is attacked. (unless it is guarding)
Kill/Attack - The pet will attack its target as it does currently.
Stop - The pet will stop attacking. It will not attack anything, even if it is attacked, and may wander.
Stay - The pet will stay where it is currently, and will not attack anything, even if it is attacked. (unless it is guarding)

Note: The pet will revert out of passive mode if the pet's owner dies, if the pet is stabled, traded, player character transfers, player and pet log off, etc.

QA is currently reviewing these changes internally. Once the changes pass internal review, they should appear on a public Test Center for an upcoming publish.

Examples of new macro command combinations:

You can tell your pet to guard while it's following you. This will put it in autodefend mode for itself and its master.

To turn off guarding, tell your pet to stop or kill/attack.

So for passive follow, you could do 'pet name' stop, 'pet name' follow me, and it will ignore attacks on you or your pet.

For autodefend follow, you could do 'pet name' guard, 'pet name' follow me or 'pet name' follow me then 'pet name' guard. It doesn't matter what order you initiate the guard command. While your guarded, autodefend should work as normal. The pet will follow you in this case, but will fight whatever attacks you or itself.


JFansite News

covered the Jacksonville Town Hall - if you weren't able to make it out, WRR and UOForums bring you <a target="_blank" href=http://www.uoforums.com/showthread.php?t=39973>pictures and <a target="_blank" href=http://www.uoforums.com/showthread.php?t=39811>recordings of the event!</A> Thanks, guys!


I am out of the office for a couple of days - Bob will be covering for me while I'm gone. Have a good weekend!