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2010-04-30: Producer's Update - April 2010

Producer's Update - April 2010

Posted Apr 30, 2010 15:25:40 by Calvin Crowner on the UO Herald.

Warning:

I will not cover every topic that is on your mind.

I will, however, address the next publish, as well as how we are looking forward into the middle of this summer. I will address speedhacking; player memorials; the enhanced client sprint; a brief note on factions and test centers, and some changes we are submitting specifically for our Japanese community.

There will be several other items in this note, however if none of the above appeal to you, please do not read further.

Again, I am mentioning these items only because they are currently going through QA:

Coming in publish 66 we took a long hard look at the enhanced client. Expect publish notes in the next couple of weeks on Test Center. Some of the features include:

  • Resizable Containers
  • The ability for boats to plot courses on Treasure maps … (oh and I might as well tell you now we are targeting a major update to treasure maps for the middle of this Summer).
  • Fixed gardening gump
  • Plant gumps do not display health indicators in the SA client while full-screened in Japanese language mode.
  • Cypress Tree plants as well as possibly other plants show up outside of the plant gump in the SA client.
  • Custom UI Improvements
  • Custom fonts
  • Prompt to select a target type when adding stuff to hot bar.
  • Double-clicking on player or server names does not log in to that player/server.
  • Mousing over the health bar does not highlight the healthbar owner in the SA client
  • There is no way to "Repeat last command" (like Ctrl-Q in Legacy).
  • Expanded optimization for the Enhanced client

This is just a teaser, there are about 30+ bugs and feature changes as well

On the Bard front … there will be a new quest for the three Masteries of Provocation, Peacemaking, and Discordance … the details of each of these Masteries will follow as the respective quests and balancing for each of them make their way to Test Center.

Third party program detection and speedhacking: we’re still coding and testing. By the time we get to Test Center for Pub 66 we hope to have a solution that we can iterate on moving forward.

Yes, we understand there are 3rd party programs that are a part of the UO experience. We are targeting those programs that negatively impact the play experience for others. This will be a non-intrusive update to the client that will interact with scripters using their programs to gain advantage over those players who prefer to play by the rules and inside the guidelines.

On factions: We’ve collected and documented all of the feedback regarding factions on TC 9. First, you need to understand that TC9 is not like normal Test Centers. It is a playground for us to try things. It does not indicate or imply that we are moving all or even some of the ideas that we push there. In addition, we don’t make major system changes without just a few weeks of feedback from players. The faction system is a HEAVY undertaking, so should we press forward on the experimental test center, we’ll keep pulling info and data from players before pressing to the live game.

For Japanese players in reference to translation: We do not have time to implement it for this publish … but for early Summer we will give the Japanese players an option to show items and mobiles in English.

Player Memorials: it’s been a long time coming but we have designed a tool that will allow players to engrave headstones and/or pedestals so they can pay respect to family members and friends who are no longer with us. I would ask that out of respect for those family members, colleagues, and respected members of the community that you use the tool with reverence and maturity. This tool is for private memorials only. There will be a special headstone that EMs can place for public display.

I’d like to say thanks to all the players who attended the quick chat on Pacific several weeks ago. I do have a copy of the chat log, and do reference it. In addition, please know that I do make an effort to get back to all players who contact me directly, and I do read the customer feedback emails.

Given that I’d like to end with this … another quote we learned at the Air Force Academy:

"Be an example to your men, in your duty and in private life. Never spare yourself, and let the troops see that you don't in your endurance of fatigue and privation. Always be tactful and well-mannered and teach your subordinates to do the same. Avoid excessive sharpness or harshness of voice, which usually indicates the man who has shortcomings of his own to hide."
- Field Marshal Erwin Rommel

I pass this on because as developers we try to be respectful to players in addressing your concerns and taking feedback. We take our jobs as a matter of pride and often joy. When at all possible please remember that. Yes we’re human, and we make mistakes sometimes in correspondence, but first and foremost we want to constantly deliver a solid and enjoyable environment for players to gather and explore.

I’m thankful that each of you has remained steadfast and patient. I am so looking forward to more updates like this where I can share all we’ve been planning for the five months.

Sosaria is in transition to one of the most exciting times in UO history. Stay tuned and bring your friends.

See you on the boards,

Calvin