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2001-05 Newsletter

Ultima Online Newsletter: May 2001

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Ultima Online Newsletter - May 2001
Your source for Ultima Online News, Features, and Special Offers
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Contents:
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>1 Patches!
>2 Veteran Rewards system activated on the Test Rewards shard
>3 Battle Vortex Interviews Adrick on Factions
>4 Opening of Mizuho
>5 Hardware upgrades for the Europa and Drachenfels shards!
>6 Third Dawn Alpha and Beta Tester Map Offer Ending
>7 Orc Tales
>8 Comments From the Team
>9 UO Player Luncheons

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Patches!
Our Live Team's been busy this month, and has released several patches, affecting both clients:
2D Client Patch 3.0.0e on April 23rd
2D Client Patch 3.0.0g on April 24th
3D Client Patch 3.0.0j on April 30th (this one included a substantial memory leak fix for the 3D client!)
2D and 3D Client Patch on May 14th
As of the May 14th patch, the current versions should now be 3.0.1a (2D client) and 3.0.1d Build 63 (3D client).

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Veteran Rewards System Activated on the Test Rewards Shard
Veteran Rewards are now in active public testing on the Test Rewards TX shard! And thanks to the great response we've received, our programmers have already identified and resolved several issues that have arisen through the testing process. There's no set date yet for the official release of Vet Rewards, but with your help, we're getting closer to making this a successful launch!
Rewards taken during testing won't count towards your final rewards on your regular shard, so come log into Vet Rewards TX and start picking rewards! All levels of rewards (1st, 2nd, and 3rd year) are active and available based on your account age. For information on determining account age and a list and description of the available rewards, check http://update.uo.com/design_197.html.
For even more information on the Vet Rewards system, Prophet, our Lead Programmer, posted in Comments from the Team around the same time the system went into testing. In these comments, he goes into pretty heavy detail on the history of Vet Rewards, why they were pulled in the first place, and why their re-release was delayed. To learn more, check those out at http://update.uo.com/dev-comments.html (scroll down to the entry marked "Prophet Speaks on Veteran Rewards").
We'll keep you updated on our progress!

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Battle Vortex Interviews Adrick on Factions
It's time for a new streaming audio interview, put together by the Battle Vortex gaming site. This time, Pete "Adrick" Warner of the UO Live Team, formerly known as Adrick of Battle Vortex, has taken the opportunity to discuss many aspects of the Faction System.
Topics include election system changes, blue characters in strongholds, falling sigils, kill point issues, quitting factions, point banking, faction members in Trammel, blue interference, bug reporting for faction issues, communication, point mules, guild changes, player interactions, reputation system, murderer reprieve, thieves in factions, stronghold balance, faction armor, warhorses, silver rewards for kills, bards in factions, and more.
Did you understand most of that? If so, you'll probably be interested in what Adrick has to say. If not, then maybe this is a good time to learn. Either way, if you want to learn more about the Faction System in UO, be sure to check out the interview.
Running time is 46 Minutes. To listen to the show, you must have an MP3 player or RealAudio to hear the streamed version.

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Opening of Mizuho
We're excited to announce that we've expanded yet again, opening up our newest shard just last month! Our 23rd shard worldwide has just opened up - this one is located in Japan -- and is titled Mizuho, meaning "beautiful water". The shard name was chosen from submissions to the official UO Japanese website and voted on by UO players via the website.
As with our other localized shards, Mizuho will be available only to Japanese players for a short period of time to allow local players a chance to establish a solid community base on the shard. After this period, Mizuho will open to all Ultima Online players, allowing the shard to develop the cross-culture diversity found on other UO shards.
As you can read in our newest Team Comments, just put up today at http://update.uo.com/comments.html, the Mizuho shard has been extremely popular since its public opening, and remained at full capacity for several days.

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Hardware Upgrades for the Europa and Drachenfels shards!
As part of our continued push to improve gameplay for all our customers, the European shards have been upgraded to new hardware! After months of work by our Operations groups in Europe and in the States, and a few extended maintenance periods, the hardware upgrades are complete, and European shard players should be seeing a marked increase in performance.

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Third Dawn Alpha and Beta Tester Map Offer Ending
It's almost that time - our special Ultima Online: Third Dawn upgrade offer is drawing to a close! For only a few more days, current Ultima Online customers will have the opportunity to order Ultima Online: Third Dawn at the special introductory rate of $9.95 plus shipping. This offer includes all of the following: the new CD, a map featuring Ilshenar and the land of Britannia (a two-sided map), and a special collector's edition cloth map of the Original and Lost Lands of Britannia.
To take advantage of this offer, visit our upgrade website. This offer is only available through the online site.
Hurry - this offer ends May 31, 2001!

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Orc Tales
Rumors of strange orc sightings and talk of missing sheep has been percolating through some of the towns of Britannia. Could this be a natural migration? Some of the resident orc experts don't think so.
"Well, I used to see orcs all the time near my house in Cove, but I haven't seen one for days," reported Dwiggit, a resident of Cove and a long-time orc hunter. "They didn't even come around when I replanted my garden, and they've trampled that garden every season for two years."
Well, whatever the reason, it can only be assumed that the orcs are moving.
Why? No one knows... except perhaps the orcs themselves.
The first two chapters of the new orc scenario can be found at http://town.uo.com/bnn/article_430.html and http://town.uo.com/bnn/article_431.html.
Still not sure what's going on? Join in the conversation and help others get to the bottom of these new happenings in our Roleplaying, Events & Scenarios forum at http://boards.uo.com/cgi-bin/postlist.pl?Cat=&Board=role. Or just hop into the game and see what's going on for yourself!

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Comments From the Team
Along with our new Monday/Wednesday/Friday schedule, we've also begun adding a notification to the front page of UO.com (in the What's New section) for each Comments from the Team, so you won't have to miss it when we introduce new members of UO Live!
Comments from the Team so far this month have included Evocare, Leilo, Canyon, the Marketing group, Prophet, Melantus, Gromm, Deathwish and Cynthe.

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UO Player Luncheons
Have you ever wanted to meet other UO Players face to face? Nearly 1000 players attended the UO World Faire in November 2000 to meet one another, share experiences, and participate in discussions with OSI representatives in Austin, Texas. But did you know that UO players have been holding UO Fan Events in their local areas since 1998? Some annual events are already in their fourth year!
To find a player event in your local area, visit the newly updated Luncheons page on the Ultima Online website. To submit an event that you are hosting, please send an email with the details to [email protected]
If you don't see an event listed in your area this year, why not consider hosting one yourself? Heather of Great Lakes has been holding Player Luncheons in Texas since October 1998, and she shares her experience in "How to Organize a UO Player's Lunch. If you need advice or support for holding your own player event, you can also email Heather directly.
Several times a year, representatives from the UO Live Team are able to attend some of the larger player events around the country. During Q&A sessions at these events, players are able to voice their concerns and suggestions directly to OSI representatives, and have some of their questions answered. Even at smaller events, players often have the opportunity to win prizes, such as Ultima T-shirts and CDs, for answering UO related trivia questions or for winning costume contests.
If you have questions, tips, hints or suggestions, or would like to participate in discussions about Player Events or the World Faire, please visit the UO Fan Events and Luncheons board.