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House of Commons from 1999-05-20

House of Commons from 1999-05-20


Fripp Greetings and thank you for attending tonight's Open House.
Fripp Tonight's chat is General Discussion
Fripp Ffil|, Niobe, or Jerrith with questions.
Fripp Remember that OSI may not have the opportunity to answer all of your questions. In addition, some questions may not be answered if the Dev Team feel that it is not appropriate or that it has been better answered through some other question.
Fripp In addition, please do not submit any questions that have already been answered during past conferences. We encourage you to read the logs of the previous Open Houses, which are available at http://uohoc.stratics.com.
Fripp and as an additional announcement, stratics irc now has a new official UO channel run by our very own Niobe, the channel is #ultima-online, feel free to stop in and say hello
Fripp Thanks for coming, everyone. We will now begin accepting questions.
Fripp *Ibn_Shaun* Before resurrect and cure were added to the healing skill, you could had a chance to heal anything regardless of how much damage it had taken. Currently, at GM skill, you can only heal things which have lost no more than 150 hitpoints. What was the rationale behind going from a percentage difficulty range for healing (-100% health = highest difficulty, -0% lowest difficulty) to a fixed healing difficulty (-150 hitpoints = highest difficulty, -1 hitpoint = lowest difficulty)?
DD You know, I don't remember the exact rationale behind the change. It was probably simply that it made it easier to put in the difficulty levels for cure and resurrect. I didn't make the changes, so I don't know why 150 was chosen, other than it's safely beyond the HPs of a player...
Fripp *deVoca* Try #8 for this question, and I fully expect to see it ignored an 8th time =) What is the possibility of seeing substance abuse other than alcohol in the game?
DD Pretty low. :)
Fripp *Hythlodaeus* If the core magery skill becomes weaker with the addition of schools of magic, would there be some sort of compensation, such as reagentless casting?
DD Well, first off, there's two hypotheticals in that question--it assumes that we're adding more schools of magic, and it assumes that core magery would be weakened in the process...
DD Right now, we don't have concrete plans for addition of schools of magic that stack on top of the current magery skill. We've changed our plans for Necromancy to make it a completely separate skill from Magery (it will be related to Spirit Speak instead)
DD Beyond that, if we have to weaken magery, there'd certainly be a lot of outcry from players. So any weakening would have to be done very carefully.
DD If, however, we were weakening it because we needed to weaken it overall, then it wouldn't make sense to strengthen it more by adding reagentless casting.
DD If on the other hand, we were weakening it as a side effect of rearranging things, then reagentless casting could be a part of it. But basically, the question is so hypothetical it's not really possible to answer it...
Fripp *Airborne[GOP]* People have been asking for a very long time now for some way to better control stat atrophy. We understand that one aide will be brought in with necromany patch in the form of 'forget skill potions'. Is there something we can do NOW in the mean time to help us until that patch is put in place? Maybe a weak version of that potion sold by npc necromancy alchemists.
DD Well, nothing can happen NOW because we're in testing for the update, so it'd have to wait until the next update, which is probably not until next month.
DD The intent of adding these new potions was to make it so that you couldn't buy them from NPCs, though. So if we gave them to shops, we'd have to take them away again afterwards. Probably not the best way to go about it.
DD We do want to give better means of skill control, and do not think that forget potions are the answer to that. We think an enhanced skills interface that lets you better determine the way your character develops is the right way to go.
Fripp *Ekir* Hi. I wanted to know if you really wanted to get rid someday of townfighing. A lot of people have made a townfighter caracter, which means a caracter with no resist, and capped. If tf is removed, these cars skills will be screw up when they'll fight mages.
DD As we've stated before, we do wish to remove townfighting. We find it disruptive for everyone in towns. Wealso stated that we'd remove it only once the reasons why people do it in town are resolved (in other words, not until the fun you can have townfighting now is available elsewhere).
Fripp *CJ[Sonoma]* Since you dumped the command interface for Necromancy, what is the new interface going to be like? Something like a skill or possibly a new spellbook?
DD It will be based on crafting necromantic charms.
Fripp *Nick-AbyssOracle* How do you feel about adding plagues and diseases to UO?
DD Well, to be honest, we're a little scared of doing it. :) I can easily see us coding up some nifty deadly plague or something, and underestimating the effort required to cur eit. :) Or maybe some illness that reduces stats and seeing tons of characters that players feel are unplayable until the plague goes away. So it's a nifty dynamic, but we want to be careful not to go overboard with it.
Fripp *LorDragon* Can we expect to see, one day, 100% french and/or german servers in UO or maybe in UO2?, I mean servers where everything will be in french and/or german!
DD We don't have plans for a total language conversion of UO, simply because we do a lot of dynamically constructed text strings and things like that... it'd be very very hard to do since different languages have different grammars.
DD If UO were a more static game, it'd be more doable... but UO is a very dynamic one :)
Fripp *Scipio* Is poison skill ever going to be needed by the user of poisoned weapons? Will Karma loss ever be attached to actually poisoning players?
DD We discussed requiring poison skill for using poisoned weapons. It was pretty controversial because poisoners make a living off of poisoning weapons for people. *Personally*, I favor having poisoning ehnance the chance of poisoning opponents. As far as a karma loss, we do indeed plan to add that sometime.
Fripp *ImaSupa* Pandemonium mentioned that he would like to have colored stone buildings, such as a shadow-ore colored Tower. What else might be in the works to allow further customization of player-built structures?
Faceless At the moment, the only thing in the works are additional items for carpentry. We've done some prototypes of gardens, building walls and doors, but
Faceless None of that is near ready for designs or implementation.
Fripp *FADal* What about resisting poison to combat the extreme poisons found in the new world?
DD We don't currently have any plans for resist poison. However, we did tone down the amount of poisoning creatures do in the update that is currently in testing.
Fripp *Aegean_LS* When will monster AI be addressed?
Pandemonium I'm working mainly on client side improvements at the moment - in the coming weeks I hope to test some ideas concerning that
Pandemonium Monsters with goal oriented behaviors such as monsters helping each other (orc mages healing nearby orcs)
Pandemonium Monsters being able to recruit other monsters to do their bidding (monsters that can tame animals that will guard them)
Pandemonium Those are just a few of the *possible* ideas
Fripp *weazel* are you ever going to let tailors make black tubs?
DD We'd like to keep that as a special prize for special occasions, for now. We're looking at having nicer hues in general for the dyes tailors have access to, though.
Fripp *Airborne[GOP]* Turning logs into boards that weight less was in the tester center for awhile, but was removed. Any plans on bringing this very useful idea back and published to regular shards?
DD It should be on TC right now, and will be in the next update.
Fripp *Krltplps* Now that Necromancy has been stuck on the back burners can we have an estimation of when it will come into play?
DD It's not totally backburnered. The redesign is basically complete, and now we have implementation to do. I'd guess during the summer.
Fripp *Elshar* I've noticed that npcs tend to ignore LOS for stealing (ie npcs noticing & calling guards outside of closed rooms i'm in, and above & below floors i'm in) Will this be addressed soon?
DD We can put that on the list to look at for the next update, to check the LOS code on it.
Fripp *Scipio* Could we maybe see a change to armslore so it aids smiths and warriors? Kinda like anatomy does for healers and warriors?
DD What I'd like to do with armslore is tie it into weaponscrafting, possibly even as a new skill (eg, high smithing & armslore being a pre-req to weaponscrafting skill). But that's a ways off.
Fripp *young* At the present time the healing skill is very difficult to use against mages. Each time the healer is hit with an offensive spell his fingers slip twice. Are there plans to correct this?
DD It's already fixed in the update that is in testing.
Fripp *Midnite* Can ANYONE address the problems throughout the UO community in reference to UOE Users using "LAST TARGET" and "FASTWALK"
DD We are going to integrate a very nice targeting system into the UO client that will make last target kinda obsolete. As far as fastwalk, we plan to eliminate it.
Pandemonium Theres also some testing of letting you dbl click the players statbar to target them as well
Fripp *Nick-AbyssOracle* How about speeding skill increase rates up a little bit? The reason so many people macro, is because the skills are so hard to raise. I've macroed eval int. for 10 hours and only gone from 92.2 to 92.3. Most people just don't have the time.'
DD We know we need to look at the skill advancement rates, It's a tricky thing to adjust though, without wrecking the balance that exists right now. So we do have some ideas as to how to go about this, but it's going to take some careful testing.
Pandemonium The idea has been suggested to track skill in smaller increments (in hundreths - 90.01)
Fripp *Joshua_Rowan* Why doesn't HUNGER affect us more in UO? For example, it would be nice if starving caused HPs and stamina to stop increasing at all.
DD Well, because we don't want to add tediousness to the game by making you have to manage food all the time. It could be that the benefits from having a full stomach need to be enhanced more though (lots of people don't realize how beneficial it is even now)
Fripp *Pryrates-DEN* how do you use Evil speacial abilities on Abyss....and can you give me an estimate on when the evil patch will go onto the normal shards?
Faceless Use the phrase "I invoke my evil (good) powers"
Faceless to get a menu
Faceless This will provide you with the words of power to each special ability
Faceless When you first start out, you can only use the first ability to hue your armor
Faceless As you move up in spheres, you can start to use additional powers. It takes 5 kills of the opposite side to detect good/evil
Faceless It takes 5 more to summon a wolf, etc.
Faceless Remember though, each time you die to the opposite side, they take a point of force away from you, so you have to be good at it to use advanced powers
Fripp *ghyde* There was some cool Dragonite armor posted in the pictures forum on uo.stratics.com - could this be implemented somehow? Possibly move the current top ore down a little, and give GM miners a sort-of-bonus for being a GM miner?
DD If you mean the red armor, I'd rather save that color for the addition of, say, dragonscale armor, someday, rather than make it an ore.
Fripp *Rainman* What's the status of the work on the quest generation engine?
DD Well, I don't want to give too much away... :)
DD But I'll tell you that I recently had a fungus collector on my test server asking me to obtain "garriotidia splendifera", and I went looking for it, and found a moldy plate, and he was very happy, and increased my fame....
DD The nice thing was, though, it was done generically via an engine that draws from a database. So adding that particular quest took literally 45 seconds (long enough to type in the messages, and look up the tile number for a moldy plate)
DD So basically, work is proceeding, but I am not quite sure when you'll have it, since we do need to build up the database, and also add the capability for multi-legged quests.
DD You will see newbie quests go in before quests for advanced players.
DD And I promise it will be cooler than the quests that used to exist. :)
Fripp *MrChips* What's the timeframe for changes to the framework of PVP, i.e., factions, guildwar changes, hero/evil?
DD good/evil is on the Abyss *right now* in a fairly complete form. We;ve been tweaking it on there for a while now. We're still debating whether this is the form we want to put it on the public shards with though.
DD I'd like to tackle the other two this summer.
DD OK, so we'd like to make some closing comments...
DD First, Pandemonium will talk some about some client stuff he's been working on...
Pandemonium In addition to some further client optimizations to improve speed...
Pandemonium I have a version of the client that does colored lightsources and ambient light that I will make available for testing soon
DD (and the gradient font, don't forget that, it looks really cool. :)
Pandemonium This will be made a toggleable option if you have old machines
Pandemonium Moongates emit blueish light, poisonfields green light, and so on.
Pandemonium An option to have monsters and objects highlight with an outline instead of coloring the whole object is being worked on as well.
Pandemonium New spell effects that are done procedurally without requiring an art patch are being experimented with as well
DD And we don't want to discuss it too much, but the way in which last target will be implemented will involve graphical effects and feedback as well. Basically, we're streamlining the targeting interface a LOT.
Pandemonium Theres alot of work being done to give the game a much newer look - hopefully next week I can have a test version on the ftp site
Pandemonium thanks to you all for attending the chat this evening
DD There's a few more things I'd like to mention...
DD I'm sure that some players are wondering "why the eye candy, why add mail?"
DD Well, the eye candy is actually sort of Pandemonium's pet project thing on the side. :) Don't worry, we make him spend all day doing other things.
Pandemonium Yeah i get my fair share of mundane work ;)
DD As far as integrating mail, I know that many players have said things like, "why add email to the UO client when I already have an email program--why spend time on this instead of on something more useful?"
DD I just want to set the story straight there... basically, we got email as a freebie, pretty much.
DD We had a separate team (not the regular UO dev team) working on upgrading the backend of the GM paging system. Part of that was using standard helpdesk software that uses email as input. So they added email support as part of that upgrade.
DD Once we had that, we figured, why not just slap an interface on it and let players use it?
Pandemonium Also this email system will not lag the game, its managed by a seperate server
DD So we did. Didn't cost us any time to speak of, and it's pretty neat, because you can receive email for individual characters without giving away the common identity behind all of them.
DD It'll also give us at OSI a reliable way to reach you because *ahem* a lot of you don't have up to date email addresses in the billing database. ;)
DD Lastly, I don't remember if this is clear on the website, but the improved means of harassment reporting are in test and will be going on the public shards very shortly. This new system automatically emails a log of your recent interactions with others to the GMs
DD You will be able to use it even during GM off hours, and we will have the account id of the offenders so we can take action even if we miss the incident in question.
DD So everyone should expect that soon, and with it a real crackdown on harassers, foul names, and so on.
DD I think that's all I've got for tonight. :) Thanks for coming!
Fripp Thanks for coming all, and a big thanks to DD and Pande for answering questions
Fripp the log will be posted shortly folks, thanks for coming and drive home safely!
Fripp oh, and remember to visit the new Stratics UO channel #ultima-online
Fripp Niobe needs the companionship! :)