2001-02-07: Comments from Sage

Comments from Sage

Feb 7 2001 11:34AM

This was originally posted to Development at [1]

It has been awhile since my last comments from the team, so I thought I would address what is going on right now, and hopefully answer some questions for everyone. Many of these topics came from my mail.

Spawn Rate - Whoa, this thing is changing faster than Mr. Williams and Mr. Sears in A Tuna Christmas. What gives? Put simply, we are adjusting the spawn rates so they will be more in line with player expectations, but not overwhelming. (i.e. I just killed the Harrower and he grew back, before I could take his treasure.) We want to find a good balance between accomplishment and excitement. Everyone is going to have a different perspective on what is appropriate for spawn, as not everyone has reached Grandmaster Monster-Cuisinart, nor is everyone fighting with plastic sporks. The new spawner mechanism allows us to have far more control over our spawn, and we are carefully watching for good spots as well as bad spots. Daniel “Fiery Ice” Buckler did a fantastic job with the new spawner, and I am sure we will start seeing the benefits very soon.

Karma Locking - I’m pretty sure I wanted a standard, but you sold me an automatic. Why is Karma Locking automatic? Well, there are all sorts of reasons, but the most telling is that committing an act that would reduce your karma is a bad thing. There need to be repercussions for your actions, and simply going out and killing evil to get rid of your bad karma isn’t likely to make you a good person again. What we are looking at is changing the lock to go off only when you visibly attain “rude” status, rather than going negative in karma. So far my mailbox has been filled with people who really enjoy the system and are glad we are using the shrines.

Third Dawn Monsters - Did that thing just summon a skeleton? One of our goals for introducing new monsters is to give them more personality than Professor Higgins eked out of Eliza Doolittle. Not every monster should react the same in a given situation, nor should every creature be evil. Situational danger is going to require people to change their tactics a little; similar to fighting the “mostly harmless” Valorite Elemental.

The entire team is busy preparing the next update for the game, and working on Third Dawn. I am very excited about what is going in to Ultima Online in the near future. The team has been working themselves to the bone, and I feel that payoff is right around the corner.

Sage Lead Designer