2006-05-05 5 on Friday

5 on Friday

May 5th, 2006

Questions and answers taken from the May 4th, 2006 Stratics House of Commons IRC Chat.

SahraSwift : Why was the swing speed formula changed to be a constant increase across all base weapon speeds? Doesn't forcing that formula to only be balanced at specific levels of SSI/Stamina really hurt overall balance, especially considering that in the future people will need to choose if they would rather have speed or some other property type? If the answer is "for understandability", why was balance sacrificed?

MrTact: Understandability was a big driving force.
MrTact: Make life a little easier on the poor game balancers was another consideration.
MrTact: But the big one was, the benefits of %-based SSI are WAY out of whack at super-high staminas.
MrTact: (by which I mean, the super high staminas you can still achieve with the stat cap).
MrTact: Like being able to shave 2-3 full seconds off the slowest weapons.
MrTact: For most players, esp. with the most recent changes made on TC, the difference should be negligible.

Minotaur2k : Is there any way make the ESC key a key you can set a macro to, it seems when you set it to Last Object it will play a random Macro of yours...

Purpleturtle: we'll consider it, but probably not at this next client patch, it's a good idea

SahraSwift : Are the changes to make things act differently against players than they do against monsters a temporary thing until monster HP/Resists can get properly balanced with players? If not, why are you considering it a good thing to further seperate PvP and PvM game mechanics?

MrTact: Preferably.
MrTact: I believe I have made my opinion on differing rulesets abundantly clear :-)
MrTact: However, I bowed to public pressure in this case, mostly because there simply wasn't time to rebalance the entire game for this publish.
MrTact: And I did feel that I made a commitment to not mucking up PvM.
MrTact: So in short: kinda took the easy road, would like to do it "for real" down the road, but it remains to be seen when that will be.

Tygress : could you give us the complete list of all changes and additions that are scheduled for pub 40?

Ando: A majority of the changes are already posted in the Pub40 thread in Dev Corner on Stratics
Ando: However a more complete list should be posted in the near future

Fizzle : the current HP formula is str/2 +50. What is the new formula?

MrTact: The new HP formula that we're going to test is Strength + 50. This isn't going into Pub40.

Minotaur2k : The new P40 quest was done extremely well, can we expect this from all quests from now on? Also will there be more virtue quests and will they gain the virtues, if only to make a reason to do the quests more than once...

Draconi: I think we can humbly say that we're happy to hear how much positive feedback this quest has been garnering!
Draconi: As a team, we're always excited when we can deliver something like this, that helps not only bring back fond memories for veterans, but help make new ones for those new to the Ultima multiverse
Draconi: As for the future, who can say what it holds? Well, maybe some batty old lady who's been wandering around lately, but that's another story entirely 

RaMcHiP : Does pub 40 have anything to do with the Crone conspiracy?

MrTact: It has to do with adding some functionality that will let us do some more interesting things with these in-game storylines.
MrTact: I believe you will be seeing the benefits of that very soon . . .

Dolgorath[ATL] : When will the Proficiency System be available to test? I am looking very forward to it!

Ando: We're hoping to put up a Proficiencies Test Center soon after Pub40 has gone world wide to all shards
Ando: It's taken a little longer than we had originally anticipated, but we are eager to start getting some feedback on it

Tempest_SP : When taking into account SSI on weapons, it was stated that there is a minus 1 tick for every 30%. If your weapon is over 30%, does it default to 30% giving only a minus 1 tick or does it adjust up and give a minus 2 ticks? ex. 31%-60% giving -2 ticks.

MrTact: 1-30% = 1 tick, 31-60% = 2 ticks, 61-90% = 3 ticks.

JCtheBuilder : Mr Tact started with balancing all of the archery weapons, but there has been no mention of a new weapon set being balanced. Is that being pushed aside this publish?

MrTact: Yes, unfortunately.
MrTact: Mostly because we spent quite a bit of time trying to figure out a way to make armor not suck so much, and didn't really make any headway there.
MrTact: Until we have some kind of solution for armor, it doesn't make sense to touch damage values.
MrTact: We'd just have to change them all over again.

sir_bolo : I see that the Armor Ignore change has been reverted on TC. Does this mean that the 35 direct damage cap is back (also for Lighting Strike)?
MrTact: Yes, for now.
MrTact: Until we have some kind of better solution, that seems to be the one the community is most content with.

SahraSwift : A follow-up to my first question: Would it be possible to keep stamina's effect on swing speed similar to how it is now (though probably having less of an effect), and just changing SSI to work as though it were extra stamina when it comes to swing speed? I think this solves all three problems: understandability, ease of balance, and balance across base swing speeds.

MrTact: Yeah I saw that suggestion. Kinda wish someone had made it earlier in the dev cycle :-)
MrTact: It's interesting -- SSI becomes, essentially, "Stamina that doesn't go away"
MrTact: And I agree, it would solve those problems.
MrTact: We'll see what happens after the current change hits production -- we may want to explore this possibility further in a future publish.

Orvago : With the constant influx of new items to the game, will we ever have another "Clean Up Britannia" and if so, how soon?

MrTact: That sounds like a good idea, I'll scribble it in my notebook.

Magnus : Question: Concerning the targeting recticle, why is there only one used? Why not have the targeting recticle appear for all enemies attacking you, and say change the colour for what you are targeting, or for area of effect spells and such, so it's easier to tell exactly what is going on around you?

MrTact: Simple answer: we feel it's safer to feed you guys the Sandwich of Big Changes in small bites.
MrTact: Easier to introduce new features like this in a lightweight way, let people get used to it, tune it based on (COPIOUS) feedback . . .
MrTact: THEN we can add stuff like "reticles for anything that's aggro on you" -- preferably when hundreds of you write in to ask for it.

Dor : Will the permanent highlighting of inanimate objects that was added with the pre-publish patch be removed?

purpleturtle: Yes, it has already been removed, you will need a new client patch to see these changes

Alex_Dragondeath : How is tracking going to affect Ninjitsu?

MrTact: Two changes.
MrTact: One is that with NInjitsu abilities that get a stalking bonus, you will stop tracking your target after you hit.
MrTact: Which seems kind of obvious in retrospect . . .
MrTact: The other is that stalking bonus will be scaled to Tracking skill.

Buttercup : What kind of feedback have you received from the "test shard" participants about the upcoming changes.

Ando: We've definately had a lot of feedback about changes in Pub40
Ando: On the PVP side of things, we've actually made several changes due to what players were telling us
Ando: And we've managed to catch a few bugs thanks to players who were testing the changes on Test Center
Ando: In addition to this, we got a whole bunch of feedback about targeting before *And : after the patch was released
Ando: So in summary, lots :P

athos : In regard to the changes to corpse skin in Pub 40, it is stated in "five on friday" that the hunger will be adjusted in the future. Japanese players would not like to see that PCs become less hungry than now. Please nerf only the effect of apples if necessary, but let PCs get more hungry. We'd like to eat more food at PC taverns or pubs, or at the player-run parties, which has nothing to do with the usefulnes

MrTact: I think there's a happy medium there, where food eaten for roleplaying purposes need not be as filling as the special foods from ML that give you bonuses, like the curse apples.
MrTact: But we definitely need to make it easier to fill up on those useful foods. Right now you can eat them more or less continuously, which is a problem.

Quantum : Will the bug of 920 skill points be fixed in the upcoming publish?

Ando: In short, yes
purpleturtle: yes
Ando: :-)

JCtheBuilder : Will the next client publish include a method to completely and permanently disable target rectiles and buff icons in the options menu? As it stands, buff icon gump shows up every login.

MostlyHarmless: For the buff icons, inside your uo.cfg file is a line that says "ShowBuffIconsGumpAtStartup=1"
MostlyHarmless: change the 1 to 0 and it won't show up on startup
purpleturtle: we have added a option to disable targeting rectiles, it will be up on default
purpleturtle: that will also disable all the targeting functionality

Tygress : Why would you want everything that aggros you have have a reticle? You know how much lag and hassle that would cause during a Champ spawn or on raids or in large fights?

MrTact: So you know whether you should run?
MrTact: Seriously, if we ever did do something like that, I would expect the reticle would be a lot less obtrusive than the selection one, so it wouldn't be quite as hideous as you're probably imagining.

Dragoon : Can the buff-debuff be made so it can be dragged off the play window, to the side as with status windows?

MostlyHarmless: the buff-debuff widget can be dragged anywhere on the screen like you can with the status windows
MostlyHarmless: the area you can grab the widget includes the interior space
MostlyHarmless: you can not drag it by the gem

LeeDrik : The game is so complicated now, is there ever going to be a way to understand things again?

MrTact: I am all about making the game easier to play.
MrTact: It's a big driver behind many of the changes we're making.
MrTact: So the answer is, hopefully yes!

Nixon- : The elf expansion has been sucessfull, will we ever be fortunate to see things like, oh my golly say Pixies? Dwarves? Maybe even mongbat men :P

Draconi: "After careful market analysis and focus group feedback, we've decided on the next, new, exciting race to be introduced into UO: Giant Turtles. Yeah? Did we nail it? I think we did."
Ando: :P
purpleturtle: =)