House of Commons from 2002-10-03

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House of Commons from 2002-10-03


Augur Power! Unlimited, Glorious Power! Mauahahahaha!
* Gilthas pulls the plug *
Gilthas *Zzzt*
Gilthas You were saying?
Lord‑Xanthor Good evening everyone, thank you for coming to tonight's Ultima Online open house. This Stratics House of Commons chat is a direct connection between you the players and the designers and programmers of Ultima Online.
Lord‑Xanthor This chat will be in a moderated format. To ask a question of the developers, please /msg or /query the question takers that will be listed in the topic of the channel and have [QT] in front of their names. These question takers will then present the questions to the Ultima Online development team here with us this evening
Lord‑Xanthor I will be our moderator tonight...I will post your question into the House of Commons chat channel and the Developers will answer those that they can. Please /msg or /query different question-takers at different times, in order to balance the load and speed the process up.
Lord‑Xanthor Please do not send the same question to multiple question takers, those that do will be ignored. Thank you =)
Lord‑Xanthor Please remember that your question may have been asked previously or may not be able to be answered in a public forum. Please do not message or query myself or anyone from OSI, these questions will be ignored. We encourage you to read the logs of the previous Open Houses, which are available at http://uohoc.stratics.com
Lord‑Xanthor Tonights Topic is Scenario 5 'When Ants Attack'
Lord‑Xanthor And now, time for the introductions. =)
Gromm Hi, I'm Gromm. I'm an Ongoing Content designer for UO. I help create the scenarios that take place in game and I also write most of the game fiction these days. :)
Augur Heyo, I'm Augur and I like cookies. I'm also a Designer on the Ongoing Content team. Hurray!
Sannio I'm Sannio. I try to spread the word about the scenarios to the world from the community department.
Lord‑Xanthor *Chronus-GL* Are there any more plans to incorperate quests into other scenarios? Perhaps on a grander scale?
Augur Oh, definitely, definitely. This was the Scenario where we wanted to see everyone's response to using Helios' Lore Engine (the generic quest handler) to make some simple little fun quests.
Augur We're definitely looking forward to adding more quest, more functionality to the system (multiple quests at once, log of quests you've completed, etc.), and doing some larger scale ones.
Augur In terms of larger scale, we'd probably make it so quests link together, like you have to have finished one to do another.
Augur The quests so far are really small. The quests in the Finale week are probably twice as big as the ones you've seen so far.
Lord‑Xanthor *Torvak[DF]* Why is a fix in progress about reversing the red/black infiltrator thing? the way it is now sounds logical for me :). And if you still have the goal "Bring Players to felluca" it will help as well
Gromm Yes, a fix is going to go in with week 4. We never meant for the infiltrators to not appear on the same facet the quest was given on. That was an error and we're sorry if anyone felt inconvenienced by it.
Gromm Unfortunately it's temporarily rendered Seige incapable of completing the quest so we're extra glad we can get it fixed for them
Augur The reason that they should be reversed is because they're *infiltrators*. So, the Red Infiltrators are the ones that Red hive is sending to infiltrate the Black hive's territory. So it makes since for them to be on Black's facet. ^_^
Gromm And in case anyone is wondering that quest is not going to go anywhere so everyone has plenty of time to finish it. :)
Lord‑Xanthor Please /msg /query people with the [QT[ in their names. Thanks.
Lord‑Xanthor *Azrile* any idea how long the break will be between this and the next scenario?
Lord‑Xanthor *Azrile* question: Great scenario so far, how many weeks will it last?
Gromm The break inbetween this scenario and the next one is not yet determined. Reason being that Augur and myself are both doing work for the release of Age Of Shadows. Now, don't take that to mean that we're getting rid of the scenarios, far from it.
Gromm And the work that we're doing now for the release is stuff that would have normally been released in a scenario situation anyways.
Gromm So in a way, the release of AoS is going to feel a lot like a new scenario. New land, new items, new powers. Basically what you know and love about a scenario but just a heck of a lot more of it.
Gromm As far as the length of the current scenario, week 4 is the finale but bear in mind all of the quests are here to stay, so you can almost thing of this one as ongoing. Ongoing Content, ya see. Ongoing. Yes, going on. :)
Lord‑Xanthor *C_Talanithus_UOLS* Are there any plans of using the Lore Quest engine to enable player created quests? Specifically, I would like to see Guild sponsored quests using Barkeeps or temporary "hired" NPCs.
Augur The Lore Quest engine is not really suited to something like that right now - it's basically just a series of gump handlers, event hooks, and cleanup handling - that is, you still have to code the actual results of events.
Augur You just have some nice, generic handling of cleanup and displaying of various menus. In a perfect world, we'd like to add something like that for players, but it's a huge project (especially in terms of balancing what they can do).
Augur It's always a big dream for the future, but I wouldn't expect something like that anytime soon.
Lord‑Xanthor *Akima-FjP* On Lake Austin it will be at least 4 more weeks before we have thorns. Will the fire seed quest still be available then?
Augur All quests will remain for all time. We don't want to waste time with stuff that's only there for a week any more. So we're working hard to make sure that you can continue to do after the scenario is over, for all the "quest" type stuff too.
Augur So yes, you'll still be able to do fire seed quest at that time ^_^
Augur And maybe all the thorn secrets will be discovered by then too. (mauahahah!)
Lord‑Xanthor THC* what about siege perilous? being no trammel can we complete the scenario, and if not what will be the outcome of ours?
Gromm Siege will be able to complete the scenario finale without any problem. There's actually very few parts of this scenario that didn;t make it to seige and none of them are vital. Please bear in mind tho, Siege is a specialized shard and not every scenario can be tailor made to work there. It's got a lot of limitations and we're not willing to hold back the scenario on 20+ shards just so every single bit of it will work on 1.
Gromm I'm not saying we're trying to exclude siege but we also have to take advantage of the full shards potential.
Lord‑Xanthor *C_Talanithus_UOLS* Are there any plans of adding in Quest related Titles? Some players find the Quest system the most fascinating aspect of in game play, and I am sure they would love to show their devotion by displaying a Champion Spawn like Title. "Legendary Questor" or whatnot.
Augur That's one of those "want to do in the future" additions to the Lore System I mentioned before (like being able to take on multiple quests at once, etc.)
Augur In terms of how it would be set up, the idea was a nice little "Honors" gump, listing quest name, whether you've completed it, and depending on how you did, special ribbon symbols or something.
Augur So it would be more like a "Scroll of Deeds" than a title added to the front of your name.
Augur But everyone could see each other's scrolls off the paperdoll, like the Profile scroll, but prettier ^_^
Lord‑Xanthor *Chronus-GL* Does this work on AOS mean there probobly wont be any new scenarios until then? Since it seems like thats your next big thing on your plate!
Gromm That's correct, this is probably going to be the last scenario until the release of AoS, which believe me, is going to keep you WAY busier than any of the scenarios so far.
Gromm So think of it as an extended wait for a heck of a lot of content.
Gromm But not TOO terribly long. :)
Augur We'll be back on Scenarios right when code complete on the AoS stuff we're helping with.
Lord‑Xanthor *Torvak[DF]* when this quests ends, i guess the bracelet thing and solen guys are still there to obtain.. this reminds me: what happened to the plague beast lords, will they reappear? thinking "rare mutation cores"
Augur Welp, I think lots of people probably remember me saying we wanted to get the Lords back in....sooooo... ^_^
Augur Who knows, you might see the freaky operation puzzle back in sooner than you think.
Lord‑Xanthor *OblivionFactor* what are some of the basic ideas floating around for future scenarios, and where would you like to see the scenarios go?
Augur Welp, that's kind of hard to say without giving stuff away ^_^
Augur I think we're definitely in a Quest kick right now. We'd also like to have some Scenarios that kind of just play out as one big quest right from the start.
Augur We'd like to tinker with the layout a bit in that respect - not always having it be intro week monsters, item, monsters, item, etc. etc.
Gromm Obviously we want to make them more immersive. When we first started doing this we had no idea how slow of a process it would be to make these things evolve at the right speed and not get out of control. We have to take a lot of baby steps. :)
Augur Getting players to have to work together will always be a high priority in certain terms - as long as it's fun to do so.
Augur Like providing more group play activities.
Gromm We also want to hit you with some surprises, maybe not announce everything and make you wake up with a surprise or something.
Augur And also chaining content together - meaning, maybe you find some object on a creature that you don't know what it does - but it provides access to some new section, and from there you get something that allows you to go somewhere else.
Gromm I'd also like a book deal at some point. For lots of money. And sandwiches. For free.
Augur Instead of just plopping down scenario parts, start more in the background, and let them be discovered over time.
Augur And definitely more Pirate Dancing! *dances a jig*
Lord‑Xanthor *Blackheath_THB* Regarding the release of AOS: Will there be fiction and a storyline for players to take part in prior to it's release along the lines of what we had for UO:REN?
Gromm Obviously we can't give away too much about AoS, but there is a story worked out for it currently. I think most of the interaction with it is going to be discovery of the new things and exploring the new lands.
Gromm More than likely there will be some fiction leading up to the release, after all when we last saw Blackthorn he was awfully cross and we have some details there to take care of.
Lord‑Xanthor *Malicite* In what ways with the Dev Team begin to work the Senarios into the RP community, with less battles and more thinking.
Augur Well, using the Quest engine was a start on that - we realistically knew everyone would like it on some level, but we wanted to get some interesting stories happening *in game* for the RP community as well as everyone else
Augur In terms of thinking, we've been trying to work in puzzle elements to each scenario, and there's some "figuring things out" stuff in the upcoming quests for the Final week
Augur We definitely want to provide non-combat stuff in addition to combat-based stuff for every scenario.
Augur I think we've done that, with things like Control Tower puzzles, Plague Beast Lord anatomy puzzle, the Naturalist quest, etc. etc.
Lord‑Xanthor *Ajax_the_Mad* There's been some discussion lately on the forums at boards.uo.com about possible new abilities for Dragon scale armor being found. It leaves me wondering, are there still unfound abilities for the various ore/scale
Augur As part of AoS, Dragon armor will be revisited. There are no current abilities that left undiscovered as far as I know.
Lord‑Xanthor *La_Riva* Regarding all quests are there plans to make boats at least somewhat useful? As of now they are not used for anything other then macroing.
Augur We're always dealing with things we want to do on the ocean and the issues that make handling boats difficult, to say the least. That said, while we were thinking over quest ideas for this scenario, Ignatz and I came up with some possible boat ideas that could definitely work
Augur so I think we're closer to getting stuff that would work even with the awkwardness of how boats work in our game.
Lord‑Xanthor *chubber* I have a 2 part question. Will the green thorns work the same in dirt, sand, snow, and garden once the scenario is over? And will fire seeds be obtainable after the scenario?
Augur Green thorns will continue to work just as they do now, even after the scenario. Which includes getting access to the Secret Egg Nest.
Lord‑Xanthor *Azrile* What happened to the big scenario that was planned for oct/nov?
Gromm It's sort of been absorbed by AoS for the moment. Like I said before, everything Augur and I are working is stuff that would be introduced via a scenario usually anyways.
Gromm We still have plans. We're probably going to take what we were going to do for the next scenario and adapt the story slightly to fit after the release of AoS rather than lead into it.
Gromm So, yes, it will be a longer than normal wait for new content. But the huge massive big rather sizeable wad of content you're going to get is going to be quite large. Did I mention there's quite a bit?
Lord‑Xanthor *Suzanne* Is there a way you could PLEASE make Tribal Berries, Granite and other senerio related things stackable? You may not have the stacked graphic, but it's not needed. 1 type of carrot stacks, but the graphic still remains as one. Do you think you could make them stackable? Or would you want too?
Augur As we've stated a few times before - once an item is put in not stackable, a couple things make it difficult to then make it stackable
Augur that is, if it's an item that's already used by the game in a different manner.
Augur So for something like Granite, we'd want to make a new tile object, that maybe even looks like the current rock, but is a totally separate art piece, so we can give it characteristics of its own.
Augur But then we have people with the old rock, which has to be handled by the system as well
Augur so we have a system handling two things for the same purpose
Augur it just gets complicated, and usually ends up getting cut for time. :/
Augur We'd like to do it though, for all the ones we've missed.
Augur And we're trying to be good about making them stackable from the start from now on, if they're generic enough to make it possible (like plant resources)
Lord‑Xanthor *Torvak[DF]* i wonder how your Q&A team works... you introduced the bag of sending. but didnt you foresee that playerw will use containers to send whole bags of stuff?
Augur I'll tell you how our Q&A team works - they kick ass. They work like fiends trying to make it so you poor people don't get trodden on by the gigantic amount of things they do catch.
Augur The bag of sending example is actually a designer mistake. It's a designer's responsibility to think of what the bag should and should not do. Q&A helps us alot by catching concepts of what something should and shouldn't do also, but their general job is to make sure it works how we say it's supposed to.
Gromm They work long long hours and they do what is some of the most monotonous work in the entire gaming industry, and they consistently do it darn well.
Augur So the bag of sending was an oversight by the person coding it. We talked about it in our discussions on the concept, and it just got missed when the document and coding were done.
Augur I've seen people talking about QA on the boards, and it just is weird for me, because if you knew how hard they worked and what an awesome job they do, well, you'd respect them as much as I do.
Augur We are lazy, horrible slobs in comparison to them ^_^
Augur They save my ass on a daily basis.
Gromm Amen, our QA rules.
* Sannio salutes the QA team *
Lord‑Xanthor *Majere* *spoiler* "And definitely more Pirate Dancing!" Aye matie. Is there going to be a pirate Scenario?
Lord‑Xanthor *DarekSteele* Question for Gromm: When are we getting our pizza cutters?
Augur Welp, there's some piratey stuff coming up in this scenario that I hope everyone enjoys, cause it was fun to write. As for the future, Ignatz and I had big talks about pirate stuff for a future scenario concept.
Gromm Who needs a pizza cutter in UO? You filthy slobs eat a whole pie in one bite! :P
Augur You'll definitely see something pirate-related in a future scenario, probably as one of the "break" scenarios between the "Major Plot" ones, kind of like this scenario is.
* Augur dances a pirate jig! *
Lord‑Xanthor I would like to thank everyone for coming tonight!
Lord‑Xanthor And thanks to all of the OSI folks for spending their personal time talking to us
Lord‑Xanthor Please join #ultima-online for continued, unmoderated chat
Lord‑Xanthor the log will be posted shortly at http://uohoc.stratics.com
Lord‑Xanthor THANKS
Sannio Thanks for having us, and thank you everyone for coming.
* [QT]XenaDragon waves *
Augur Thanks folks!
Sannio Go eat pizza, everyone. And don't forget to wear your pirate hats.
Gromm Thanks everybody. Remember to eat your pizza one bite at a time and dance a jig. You know you want to. DANCE IT!
Augur And I'll see you at the Ren Fest this Saturday if you're coming!