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2010-05-21: May 2010 - Producer's Letter

May 2010 - Producer's Letter

Posted May 21, 2010 17:16:15 by Calvin Crowner on the UO Herald.

I’m often at a loss on how to begin updates …

So how about we make what we called in the Air Force a “sandwich…” I won’t say what KIND of sandwich we called it … but we press basically good information between the not so good stuff.

First,

Publish 66 is out the door, and by the time you read this, we should have a few changes that will address the issues with pitchers, bards not being interrupted by Pally’s, the Bard book in the paperdoll, and a few other things you’ve helped us find. We appreciate players actually getting on test center and taking a look before we go to Origin. (Yes not Origins!) J

Also, we hope you are enjoying the attention to the Enhanced Client, as well as delivering on the Memorial Engraving Tool. We thought getting this out before Memorial Day in the U.S. would be appropriate.

We got a lot of work done this publish, however we didn’t have all the time we needed to get out all we planned … so we are planning an additional mini-66 before July. Most of it will be a large client update. Derek and Grimm should have an idea on the size of the change in the next couple weeks.

The patch will have some additional art updates, as well as some juicy additions to the Live story arc we could not fit into this publish. Given that, this is a great time to discuss the fiction gaps and our intent.

Second,

Please know we drew out the story arc several months ago and did our best to account for every bit of fiction that has been drawn from the both the Event Moderators (they are a proper noun), and the larger scope of Ultima Online. However, we are taking notice of some of the major pieces that players have been sharing on the boards, and will endeavor to both give a solid foundation for what we are trying to achieve for our march toward re-building Magincia, as well as the overall intent of giving our team the opportunity to find out exactly what evils the Ultima Online fanbase is capable of.

In the interim, I know the Event Moderators have had some events piled up they would like to accomplish, so you should be getting notices across your shards, as well as updates from the GMs (for those players in Japan) for some homegrown in-game “joyness” J

Here is the meat of the sandwich:

We have collected data on 3rd party programs running in UO. At this time we are filtering the data to make certain we are not getting any false positives. Also, please know UO Assist and Mapper are not in jeopardy. We are going after very specific scripts. We have discovered some interesting trends, and will continue to monitor for some time. But … you should know how we will press forward with finding offenders.

All of the information is collected server side. The server checks for scripts running on the offending player. Please know that all the information is collected and verified server-side, this insures the CSR has confirmed data than using his or her “gut” to judge a violation. The server will check for any scripts in violation that may be running on the offending player. With that information, our Customer Support staff will be able to effectively and efficiently take action to protect the integrity of UO and keep it a fair playing experience for all.

We are hoping that as we identify and action particular players, that the news will spread and other players will join the cadre’ of those who choose to play the game as it is intended.

Again, this is stage one. This effort will take some time … and we know it’s taken a lot of patience on the community’s part to get here, but we’ll continue to improve, and we hope that this will generate renewed interest in the community in a progressively “clean” and enjoyable gaming environment.

We’re trying to come up with something creative, just, and yet… medieval for repeat violators. J

So a bit more meat before we close this sandwich:

There was a bit of a furor (I love that word) … on the boards in the U.S. over some actions that took place regarding house design.

It is not the purpose of the dev team to enforce policy for infractions. What we do however is provide content to the game, and make the game experiences as sound as we can that allow players to explore and have fun.

Now in regard to house design, what is illegal and what is not legal: the rule of thumb is … if it impedes the freedom of other players to experience the game, it’s bad. Also, trapping animals inside your home is illegal. In the interim, ask other players who have been around for a while what will get you in trouble. One of the best features about Ultima Online, is its community. If you don’t know … you can always ask one of the vets.

This is a larger topic which I will have to commit one specific letter to. Please know that right now, there is no reason to take down any structures that do not violate the above rule of thumb. Also, there should be no unjustified actions against any players for their homes or other decorative structures.

Should we decide to change the content for tools, structures, and customized housing implementation we will involve the broader community before actions are taken.

I think I have covered all I said I would … now for the rest of the sandwich.

There is a new UO team member. Sylvana Lily, she was born Monday at 4:41 pm. She was 9 pounds 10 ounces and 21 inches long. We’re going to have her write some fiction next week, so if all of Britannia is covered in Gerber baby pink with duck wallpaper, you’ll know why.

See you on the boards,

Calvin "Uriah" Crowner