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2002-08-07: Comments from Oaks
Comments from Oaks
Aug 7 2002 1:19PM
This was originally posted to Development at uo.com. 
What project(s) are you currently working on?
As vague as it might sound, I'm working on the Age of Shadows expansion. The specific systems I'm designing/implementing must remain in the shadows, for now.
If you had to pick a project that you've enjoyed working on the most, which one would it be, and why?
I'd say my current, undisclosed project is my favorite, but a close second would be taming. Through both the good and the not quite so pleasant, I really enjoyed getting feedback from our very "spirited" taming community. They are extremely knowledgeable and helpful. The changes were a big challenge, and I'm happy with the overall reaction, but there are still many things I'd like to add.
In a recent interview, you stated that you play a tamer in UO. What do you enjoy most about the class?
I'd be lying if I didn't admit I like the raw power of a dragon or a pair of fire steeds, but the variety of pets is the most interesting aspect to me. From the masterfully trained chicken to a pack of hell hounds, the methods for slaying sheep are limitless. Leg of lamb, anyone?
What was the inspiration behind the fire steed? Did the idea come to you in a dream one day, or had the idea been around for quite some time?
You can thank several people for the fire steed. Designer Hanse originally created the hue for the tailoring bulk order deeds, and I saw him riding around on a horse hued the fiery orange color while he was showing me the BOD rewards. I commented on the flamboyant mount, and we both thought it was too cool to not add to the game, especially as a reward for those who acquired taming skills beyond grandmaster. Our web designer and artist, Blackhands, created the 3D version, and our lead client programmer, Alai, added flames to the hooves. And I certainly can't forget our QA team who graciously allowed us to add it to the rather hectic schedule at the last minute, and GM Anwyn who crafted the fiction for them. I merely put all the pieces together and convinced them to spawn in the fire dungeon.
There seems to be some confusion about the fire steed's pack instinct. It lists the following when you use Animal Lore on it:
Does this mean that fire steeds have two separate pack instincts, or is the actual instinct a combination of the two, as in: 'Daemon Equine'?
This is similar to what Tajima has: Daemon Producer. He can pack up with both Daemons and other Producers. I once saw Tajima and Stellerex take on rogue white wyrm that was loose in our deli, and it wasn't a good day for the white wyrm.
Similarly, the fire steeds have both the Daemon and Equine pack instincts. This means they could pack up with an imp, who has just the Daemon pack instinct, or another fire steed. Should any future horses be introduced with the Equine instinct, the fire steed would pack up with them as well.
Why won't my pet bond with me? Is it because it's a pack horse? If I fed it more frequently, would it bond more quickly? Or is there a limit on how many pets that I can bond with?
You can bond with an unlimited number of pets. The only requirements to bond with any particular pet are that you have the minimum skill required to tame the pet, and have owned it for a week. However, if a pet requires 29.1 skill to tame or less, any player may bond with that pet, regardless of skill. On the time requirement, your pet will bond when you feed it one week from the first time you fed it. If the pet goes wild and you re-tame it, you must feed it again and wait a full week from that point.
Why do Swamp Dragons get angry when you attempt to tame them sometimes? It seems contrary to their nature.
You may think they're docile, but they are nasty little critters. When Calandryll was teaching them how to breathe fire, he kind of "dropped" them into the lava, and they never did forget. Seriously though, all non-good creatures with very high taming requirements get angry nine times out of ten when you attempt to tame them.
PvP or PvM?
Depends on how much I feel like getting pwn3d. As such, I lean towards PvM.
Will we ever see rideable mongbats?
We've actually tried this in the past, and due to an oddity in their bone structure, mongbats cannot support the weight of a full-grown adventurer. With a little bit of lemon, however, they do make surprisingly good hors d'oeuvres.
Designer, UO Live