On Saturday 8/28/10, EA/Mythic/Bioware did a UO Townhall meeting in Northern VA at the Mythic HQ. It was shown concurrently on ustream and the audio was available through Whispering Rose Radio. Two key things were revealed at the TownHall. #1 - UO (as well as Warhammer and DAOC) are shifting to a Booster-Pack type of deployment rather than full blown expansion packs. A booster pack is smaller than an expansion but there will be 2 of them per year. Each one will add substantial content and fix a number of more major bugs. With the rate of deployment, by the time players grow bored with one Booster, the next one will be on the near term horizon so that model helps "pull" players through to the next piece of content. #2 - The first Booster pack for UO is due out in a couple of months and is called Adventure on the High Seas. As the name states, it will be all about ship combat and adventuring on the vast ocean areas of Sosaria. Currently, the ocean areas are devoid of life except for the occasional fisherman or rogue water elemental. This Booster will change that in a dramatic way. Here are the key features this content adds for players: * Three new ships (plus a rowboat) that are much larger than the current ships. The Orc and Gargoyle model ships each mount 3 cannons on each side of the ship which the Tokuno ship is faster but only mounts two cannons per side. You will be able to store things in your hold, re-deed your ship when not in use (and you can only have 1 ship deployed at a time), color your ship using special paints and you will need to repair your ship (thus creating a market for most of the UO crafting skills). Ships also gain the ability to be steered by mouse rather than by ordering the tiller around. * Two different cannon types and two different ammo types (round shot and grape shot). Cannons have to be cleaned, primed and loaded so having a team of people working the boat will mean much faster shot time and can mean the difference between victory and defeat. Additionally cannons take damage when fired (i.e. wear and tear) or when hit by enemy fire so they will need to be repaired. * A floating island located south of Moonglow and north of Fire Island where vendors exist to give you quests and repair your ships. * A new quest based around finding a special map that then leads you to an 'instance' of a magical island with cursed pirates and other baddies and, of course, cool loot. The premise behind it takes a queue from Pirates of the Caribbean in that you cannot find the island unless you are seeking it with the right clues (i.e. the map). * A great deal of love for those players who enjoy fishing. There are new types of fish (including those only obtainable at max skill level and rare fish and even Lobster) and new things you can make with the fish. Those new things provide cooks with more recipes and provide players with more buff-food types (16 in all). And there are new fish you can mount and decorate your player housing with. * There will be NPC boats you can attack and loot including Merchants, Pirates and Orcs. * There will be Ship to Ship PvP where you can cripple the enemy ship, board it, kill the occupants and steal the items in their hold. * There will be quests offered to track down "Dread Pirates" that are roaming the world which offer fame and fortune. * There are new boss encounters. One of the bosses is Scalis and he seems to be a very tough but very straight up boss fight. The other boss fight was not described in much detail except to liken it to a champ spawn in that hordes of minions have to be cleared to reach the boss which will then be quite a fight. * As a side bonus, bank and player housing storage will be increased by 20% The Booster pack will cost $15. While no firm time lines were committed to, it should be released in the next 2-3 months with testing beginning in about a month. As a side bonus, the dev team spoke about a 4th ship type being internally referred to as the Whale. That is an extremely large ship that will be persistent in the world and thus can be used as floating player housing. That ship will not be part of the launch of the Booster but is intended to be added shortly thereafter. It will be very rare and hard to obtain but will offer a unique housing option for UO. It will be so large you will not be able to bring it close to shore but instead will have to use a rowboat to get to and from it.