House of Commons from 1998-08-13

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House of Commons from 1998-08-13


Notice: During the chat, Rich Vogel stated that UO: T2A cannot be played through SOCKS or any other proxy server. This is incorrect. See further down for a correction of said statement.

DenDragon   Greetings and thank you for attending tonight's Open House.
DenDragon Tonight's chat is considered General Discussion and as such we will accept questions of any topic relating to UO.
DenDragon Glamdring will be our moderator for this evening. In order to submit questions please /msg or /query Aphrodite, Ssendam, or Lord-Hades.
DenDragon Please /msg different ops at different times, in order to balance the load and speed this process up.
DenDragon Do not msg anyone from OSI, myself or Glamdring--these questions will be ingored.
DenDragon Thanks for coming, everyone. Before the meeting commences the team from OSI has a few words for the UO community...
DesignerD We'd like to talk for a little bit about the patch that went in last Tuesday, and the steps we are taking to make sure that problems like that do not occur again.
DesignerD To that end, we have Rich Vogel, the producer for UO, here at the chat.
RVogel We would like to apologize for the update that occured last Tuesday. We are making every effort to make sure this does not happen again. We are just glad we were able to revert without any permanent damage but we understand your fustration.
RVogel To make sure that what happened on Tuesday does not happen again we are opening better channels of communications with our players. We have tightened up our QA process.
RVogel We are providing direct email to two fansite leaders for direct contact with the dev team
DesignerD The two sites are Goldcard's at http://www.piratesnet.com/bugs/ and Marduk's at http://members.xoom.com/uobugs/ (though I think the latter is moving soon)
RVogel And really we are just going to be streamlining our internal process so problems don't slip through the cracks
DesignerD The admins of these two sites will be in direct contact with our QA and dev staff so that we can actually make their feedback part of the publish process
DesignerD We are also going to see about getting a person on staff who will be specifically tasked to maintain contact with the fan sites, including sites like the Gate Traveler, in order to improve the testing process.
DesignerD We hope these changes will help us improve the patching process and eliminate any problems.
DesignerD We have also seen a lot of concerns regarding the selection of people for the beta test of UO:The Second Age
DesignerD There will be many people, particularly from Europe and the Pacific Rim, who are going to be specially invited because of their ability as testers.
RVogel We will be starting Beta Testing early September...
DesignerD These people have not yet been notified, as the lists are being assembled with the help of EA offices in Japan and Germany, as well as fan sites like ClanUK.
DesignerD We are NOT "ignoring" the European testers--quite the contrary, we want to handpick all of them since the international support in T2A is so important.
RVogel We will use a new shard for Beta Testing
DesignerD Anyway, I think that is all we wanted to announce at the start of the chat. Hopefully whoever is trying to attack the chat servers will hold off so we can start the q&a now.
Glamdring *Master DDragon*: Why is it that when a person with low fame/murderer attacks a person of higher fame with a damage dealing offensive spell the first hit, even when not resisted, does no more than 15 damage? But when they return the shot it takes upwards of 30 damage. Why does the higher power feel its neccessary to keep adding features that hinder the success of a PK? Im using 6th circle as an example and GM status mage.
DesignerD As far as the first part--never heard that before. We'll check into it.
DesignerD On the second part -- we DO feel it necessary to hinder the success of a PK, because rampant playerkilling drives away other players who don't want to get constantly murdered in the game.
Glamdring *Zweible* Can we get a FINAL word on 3rd party software (UOE & UOA)?
RVogel We are working on a third party utility program and will announce this sometime next week. The web pages will have all of the information.
DesignerD What this means is that there will be VERY clear lines as to what programs are legal to use and which are not.
GM_Grond Until that time, we ask everyone not to use third party programs.
RVogel Third party utilities that pass our inspection and in some cases testing will be given the green and liscense to distribute
RVogel Players will no longer be confused about what programs are cheats and what programs are UO friendly
RVogel For now we are asking players not to use any 3rd party program until we can institute this certification program
Glamdring *Bowrest* In light of T2A beta being announced, and all the rumors we've been hearing, can you give us an update on the house patch? Has this work been shelved for T2A? Or does it still progress, and when do you expect (generally) for the house patch to be available?
DesignerD Don't want to really give a date, because what with the public beta coming up, there's going to be a lot of pressures on the team, a lot of priorities tugging in different directions.
DesignerD But it IS still being worked on.
DesignerD Definitely not shelved.
RVogel Housing fix is one of our highest priorities
Glamdring *Dolgan-LotD* Are there any plans to add barbers to the game in the near or distant future?
DesignerD Distant, yeah.
Glamdring *Balt* Are they any plans to change thievery any more? As it is, thieves can extremely hinder the fun of the game, and it seems to be borderline harrassment at times.
DesignerD We are very concerned about the rampant thievery going on. Our first tip for players in the meantime is, DON'T attack everyone you see stealing from you! It's often a trick to get you to attack so they can kill you
DesignerD As we discussed a chat or two ago, we're looking at ways of making casual thievery less attrative, while boosting up nicely roleplayed thievery instead.
Glamdring *AdamH* Will it ever be possible for a server in Australia??
RVogel We will be putting servers in Japan. You should have much better access to Japan than USA
Glamdring *Edge_of_Napa* Is the use of the 'fast walk' feature in UOE bannable?
GM_Grond I believe that any feature that gives a clear unfair advantage over a "normal" player to be bannable.
GM_Grond Right now using any third party program is reason to be banned.
GM_Grond As stated before, we will be approving other third party programs. But for now, please don't use them.
Glamdring *Beguile_LLW* When are you planning on re-applying the current patch ?
DesignerD That depends on how long it takes to fix it, and then to re-test it thoroughly. For obvious reasons, we want it to work perfectly when we do release it again. :)
Glamdring *Kerinsky* Is there any possibility of making it so you can auto-pathfind by double right clicking on an in-game map? This will make cartography more usefull and encourage players to walk more.
DesignerD No. :( Pathfinding over distances like that would get to be really expensive computationally, and everyone would be doing it. It would overload the servers.
Glamdring *Reana* Have the recent earthquakes opened any whirlpools that might allow ships to slip into The Second Age?
DesignerD No, not whirlpools... instead, sailors are starting to return to ports with tales of stange structures surfacing from the waves... sort of like pillars... with serpents wrapped around them... :)
DesignerD There :)
Glamdring *shogun^* When will players be able to make special furniture items (IE, Chests of drawers, log tables (bucc's den), beds, and even stone tables)
DesignerD On special furniture... We're looking at expanding the carpentry skill to cover more types of construction, as you know, including training dummies and looms and the like.
DesignerD And part of that rewrite gave us the ability to easily add more items into crafting. So now that we have that capability, you can expect the range of stuff people can craf to expand
Glamdring *Absolute0* Will there be new objects(graphically) in T2A? If so can they be taken back across the game boundry since some people won't have T2A?
DesignerD The new graphics are mostly creatures. The creatures will simply be slain by LB's guards when thry try to exit into Britannia, because he has placed the new area under quarantine
Glamdring *Goldcard* Any plans on making the Large Tailor and Large Miller shops available soon. And, to allow secure trades across the counters in these shops?
DesignerD We will not be making those buildings available. Instead, we will be letting expert carpenters build mills and looms and spinning wheels that can be placed in any building. "Specialty" shop deeds are going away
DesignerD I will check into secure trades across counters, it is what the counters were designed for. :)
Glamdring *Nathaniel* So, what happens if you are on a boat owned by a UO:t2a owner, and sail to t2a with a person who isn't a t2a owner? :)
RVogel That person will not be allowed in to UOTA area. He will be left behind on the shore.
Glamdring *NNKK* there are many features in programs such as UOAssist and UOExtream that if implimented into the client correctly could solve many problems... for example fastwalk, despite messing up the sync a little... is a very good feature... would it ever be possible to impliment these directly into the client?
DesignerD We are consdering the implementation of features that assist the interface, such as target self, etc. However, fast walk is really very iffy. It can get out of sync very easily.
DesignerD We are going to revisit the way movement works, but I strongly suspect we will not be able to make it much better without incurring the same danger of out of sync movement.
DesignerD It is the way it is now for a reason, after all.
Glamdring *Kalgaur-KoV* Is there an ETA on when the beta CDs will be arriving? And if you got the "Thank you for signing up etc..." message does that mean you will be getting one?
RVogel If you got a thank you letter, you will be in Beta. We are going to start Beta early September.
Glamdring *Tholal* Any plans on revamping guildstone interface/fix guildstone bugs?
DesignerD yes. :)
Glamdring *John* What about the new ridable creature? What if it is taken over the boundry.
DesignerD Cute as it is (and you haven't seen all the types of it yet!) Lord British's guards will nonetheless do their quarantine duty and kill it.
Glamdring *Ben_the_Bowmaker* will there ever be anything a GM bowyer could make besides the 3 different bows?
DesignerD We'd love to add more types of bows, particularly yew bows, but don't have a timetable for it at the moment.
Glamdring *Davarious* Will there ever be perma flag till death on people that attack you much like thievery....its really unfair when someone has attacked you and took a temp criminal flag... and you can never hit back after 2 minutes!
DesignerD This has come up a few times in the last day, actually. But we don't have any plans for it. Currently, we think the stat loss when they die is quite a big deterrent as it is.
Glamdring *TialoDragon* any plans to limit what npc's sell to the minimums, basic weapons/armor, simple food, basic clothes, and allow players to make the stuff players actually want? It would be nice to be able to make a tunic or a hat. Taking items like these out of npc shops would help player economy without hurting day to day basic purchases. Of course mage shops should stay unaltered.
DesignerD Yes, actually. We are looking at removing all the nicer stuff from NPC shops (just enough for newbies to be able to easily find stuff)
DesignerD That way the economy can become more player driven.
Glamdring *Asha* Whats the difference between the horse and the new ridable creature, besides appearance?
DesignerD well, stats, of course. :)
Glamdring *Troy* According to the Update Center, Servers are supposed to go down daily at their scheduled times. Within the last few weeks, server downtimes do not correlate with the correct time, sometimes going down for more than 2 hours and 1-2 hours off of schedule. Is OSI doing anything so that players do not waste game time because of waiting or unexpected server downs? It has become too much a pain for players everyday...
RVogel The reason for the down times being extended is because of the backups taking longer to do. The servers will not go down until a backup is complete. The reason the backups are taking longer is because of the many objects that are in the world now
RVogel We are working on reducing the backup times and getting the servers back to their regularly scheduled time.
Glamdring *Zolthar* When will channeling be in for mages?
DesignerD For those who do not know what this is referring to, I have been discussing a new skill with members of the Mage Tower discussion board (http://www.uovault.com/boards/mt/mt.html)
DesignerD The idea behind the skill is a way to give faster mana regen to pure mages--meaning, those who invest the skill points in channeling, and who also do not wear armor.
DesignerD The less armor worn, and the higher the channeling skill, the faster the mana regenerates.
DesignerD We've been dicussing this possible new skill off and on with the mages for over a month, and today I posted what may end up being a near-final design for it.
DesignerD But there's a lot, and I mean, a LOT of number twiddling yet to go to make it reality. And the mages at the Tower are participating in the nuts and bolts of the design.
DesignerD If you are interested, I urge you to visit the web board there and put in your two cents. We're still a ways from starting to implement it.
Glamdring *Wrath* What is the chances of a new Alaska/Hawaii server going in becasue I recieve much lag playing from Alaska
RVogel We are not planning on putting any new shards in Alaska or Hawaii...but we are putting them in Japan..
RVogel Try another ISP...Your ISP may be going through a lot of hops to get to UO
Glamdring *RepFAQGuy* Other than the new foreign servers what are the chances of a clean/new US server?
RVogel We are going to put more servers in the US.
Glamdring *suraklin* will the new continent be just that.. a large continent? will there be more towns? will there be island towns (like occlo, magincia, serpents hold, moonglow, etc..)? how large will it be? comparable to britannia?
DesignerD OK, it's not like a regular continent. It's sort of mystical magical. Yes, there will be towns. But the idea is that once it is opened for player colonization (meaning, once we allow player housing there)
DesignerD it will become largely player driven. because of that, there are no cities.
DesignerD It is not as large as britannia, but I think you will find that it uses the space better. I don't know how to describe it. The mountains are spaces you climb up into, for example. The swamp has hummocks and islets in it.
DesignerD And the forest is designed very differently to both look better AND give more usable space.
DesignerD So even though the actual square footage is smaller, it's of a good size. I hesitate to try to give figures though
DesignerD And I don't want to describe it in TOO much detail, that's Caitlin's job on the expedition! Expect to see more bits of fiction and pieces of map to start getting sent back by the expedition and posted on the T2A website
Glamdring *Pretender`* When will we be able to cast while wearing a staff?
DesignerD I don't actually know. :(
Glamdring *Keldoryne* I was thinking recently about an addition that could be made to arrows. Would it be possible for players to light the tips of arrows on fire (a la Robin Hood), then cause additional damage to players due to the flames, or perhaps burn down wood buildings, etc? This of course would have to be implimented about archery was toned down a bit, but it could make things more interesting, especially for sieges on homes and such.
RVogel We are not going to allow what you decribe about the arrows with flamse but I think that would be cool ;). We are looking at ways to provide players with weapons to take seige of castles and towers.
RVogel Like catapults for example
Glamdring *Stormbane* Is mining planned to be made less tedious or more profitable (ie Gems)? Are there any changes planned to be made to mining or Smithing in the near future?
DesignerD We do indeed have plans to allow the mining of gems. And ALSO the mining of different sorts of metals, which would allow different colors of armor to be made.
DesignerD I'd like to tie it to mining skill, so that you have to be a very good miner to get the rarer colors of metal.
DesignerD And then a very good smith to work with those sorts of metal.
DesignerD We have even talked about the veins of different types of metal only being available in specific mountain ranges, but we don't know how that part will pan out.
Glamdring *Jektal_BH* Any chance of UO's intruments using the same sort of musical system used in Ultima VI (Keys 1-9 play a diffrent note each)?
DesignerD We're going to be looking for a way to do something similar. I'd really like to move bards into a role as storytellers and entertainers, and getting them to play their own music is a big step towards that
DesignerD I am not sure how we will do it yet, but it is indeed a goal of mine.
Glamdring *Quick* Will T2A allow you to run UO through a proxy server/firewall maybe using SOCKS?
RVogel No, UOTA will not allow you to run a proxy server. (Correction: Rich later retracted this statement, which was made in error. You CAN play T2A thru a proxy, just like you play UO

now.)

Glamdring *Zak* Will there be a bank available in the New World
DesignerD Yes, there will be.
DesignerD Thanks for coming, everyone!
DenDragon Thanks everybody!