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(RP) Discussion Topic: Time lapses in UO

Discussion in 'UO Catskills' started by Pandora_CoD, Apr 30, 2015.

  1. Pandora_CoD

    Pandora_CoD Certifiable
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    Soooo in talking with our dear lady @Gillian Wilkins this morning... it did occur to me that we all might be using different time lapses within RP.

    The UO Dev Team uses a 5 to 1 ratio (5 UO years = 1 RL year), which I've often found to be way too fast!!! But I also find that a real time lapse (1 to 1) is often way too slow. CoD is having a discussion this week as to how to standardize this in a manner that works best for us as a guild. In that, I thought why not open this discussion to others in the community? :)

    So, folks... talk a bit about this and how you guys use the concept of time in game for your RP.


    :heart: Pandy
     
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  2. Gillian Wilkins

    Gillian Wilkins Seasoned Veteran
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    I've played with both, and several in between. I have a friend who is very strict about the 5=1 ratio and characters that I interact with her mainly on, use that .. though I agree it is fast lol. Gillian's pregnancy is real time. Several groups I know of right now use real time. Which I admit can cause issues too... I've also had characters who use real time and then use the abyss or Heartwood as different.. thus allowing for more time to pass. In that respect it's kind of nice to play with the different zones as different time entities.
     
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  3. Pandora_CoD

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    And in that sense, its hard to interact with characters when they are on different time lapses... wouldn't you say? Like say for example: Character A (let's call her Alpha) uses the 5:1 and Character B (let's call him Beta) uses a 1:1... they meet on Monday then meet again the following Monday. For Beta, its only been a week since they last spoke... but for Alpha its been months!

    Now, in our lore we also have half-breeds --- they have opposite aging, meaning they age REALLY slow. A half-breed child will take 60+ years to reach the apparent age of 18. We can explain this as a genetic mutation.... like a "Benjamin Button" type of situation. Another example would be that our vampires know how to make themselves look older, since we are from Earth and can access makeup and other things of that nature. And elves also for example age really slowly (in some instances). Things like that are easier as far as "aging".

    But like above the "encounters", I am not sure how to navigate those differences. How do you guys handle those situations?
     
  4. Scarst

    Scarst Lore Master
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    This was an Issue on Europa. A lot of people would use rapid time elaspement to age "Newborn" characters. It would get so bad that my Covian scout was being lapped by characters who'd been about 10 years younger than him the year before. In BoC we just blamed elves for their weird aging habits and the fact that Covians invented time meant they were as old as we said.

    For anyone who doesn't get the reference, Covians say they invented everything including inventing and were notorious for doing whatever they pleased. So saying they invented time was a joke not some super fantasy plotline.
     
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  5. Deraj

    Deraj Sage
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    Without sounding too pessimistic, there likely can never be a good solution to this problem, because time in UO is fundamentally broken in nearly every possible way. For one, it's impossible to really know what the date actually is. Stratics has a calculator but this is said to create an incorrect time. The structure of time was also arbitrarily changed at some point, yet without any in-game means to determine the current date, any supposed rules are merely hypothetical. In other words, there are no rules.

    Just to make matters worse, even the in-game clock is out of whack. A few months ago I tried to create a date calculator and time converter based on current earth time, and I spent some time observing the in-game clock to mark down certain time points, with the assumption that it would be the same Britannian time at the same earth time, every day. I finished the converter and watched it display Britannian time. After awhile, I noticed that the time no longer matched what the in-game clocks would say. As it turns out, the in-game clock was running slow. You see, my converter would generate the current Britannian time based on the current Earth time. I have reason to believe that the in-game clock doesn't convert time at all and doesn't actually run at the 5 seconds to 1 Britannian minute rule that it is supposed to use (instead, running faster than it ought to). Moral of the story is that UO time is fundamentally broken.

    All that being said, it ought to be a 1:1 ratio at least in terms of the game's coding. The reason is, while UO lore may dictate that Britannia time is faster, my character does not (or rather, should not) experience time at an accelerated rate. In other words time runs faster but my character does not (because I cannot, since I cannot perceive time at the rate that my character supposedly perceives time). Therefore, the way I use time when I play is that a Britannian day runs alongside an Earth day, so if I see someone in the evening I will say Good Evening. If I see someone in the morning I'll say Good Morning. If it's winter in real life, I'll say it's winter in game and act accordingly.

    As for the passing of years, how is that supposed to work? Am I supposed to be aging my character by 5 years every real year? What is the life expectancy of a human? Do we have 200 year old humans walking around, because that doesn't seem right to me at all. When you consider that a large portion of roleplayers like to play characters that are between ages 18-25, it seems like one would run into a lot of conflicts between technical accuracy and personal preferences.

    My view then is to disregard the passing of years for the most part, and treat Britannia like a world set at a single time. After all, there is no reliable means to measure time, no hard-coded in-game rules, and no one way between RPers to observe it. This is just my general approach, which I view as the simplest and easiest way to look at time.
     
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  6. Aedon Durreah

    Aedon Durreah Village of Aegis
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    The time paradox within UO has always caused my hair to prematurely gray. I would love something more akin to real world time, seeing that I tend to think in real world time. Not that any part of the world I rp in is in any way real, it is just easier to do a 1 to 1 count and put an end to babies born 3 months after they are conceived, and going off to school three month later.

    And on the subject of ageing of characters, does anyone out there have any idea of how old Aedon really is? He gave up on birthdays, they only confuse him more.
     
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  7. Pandora_CoD

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    We did have a guild meeting OOC to talk about this. It was brought up that maybe a 1:2 ratio would be comfortable for folks... especially since we've gotten new members from other shards to join us in our "Orphans" role play... that way they are not teenagers forever! I play Britney myself, and as much as I love being able to relive my high school years, I do not forsee myself going through that for next FOUR YEARS. :)

    But in order to interact with others well enough, what we might do is ... skip a year. So every birthday, let's say Britney, would turn TWO years older. This still allows her to interact with everyone else that does a 1:1 ratio as we would go through the time lapse in the same manner (winter will be winter, summer will be summer, etc. etc.) So instead of Britney turning 14 this next birthday (she's 13 right now) she would turn 15.
     
  8. Judas D'arc

    Judas D'arc Journeyman

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    I prefer 1:1 time myself and always have. Mostly for a lot of the good reasons stated above, in terms of character development and experience. Also, with accelerated time, I'd feel weird about most of my characters spending that much time in taverns.

    I've also noticed, that most (but not all) of the people who prefer a more accelerated time rate tend to play characters that aren't as impacted by the passage of time. That's meant as an observation more than a judgment, and I just raise it because I rarely hear the pro-accelerated time argument from players of characters who would be negatively impacted by it. For example, I created Judas on Catskills in late 1997 and he was in his mid-20s. Now, he's around his mid 40s. But if I used accelerated time, he'd be like ... over 100. Or centuries old using 12:1 time rate I've found some people argue for. And I suppose people could counter with, well Britannians live longer. However, if they live longer, does that mean they age slower? I mean, when do they hit puberty? Teenage years? In their 50s? Or do they age normally until they stop growing, then live in perfect, peak level bodies for decades. But without any real fear of mortality, are they really human anymore?!

    And so on and so forth.

    But my ramblings aside, while I've found various positions on this issue, I don't think the differences of opinion have ever really impacted my role-playing extensively. I suppose that might change if a character of mine referred to an event as being last year, and someone got up in their face and started screaming how it was 5 years ago, but that really hasn't happened yet. I also tend to have my characters interpret things that make sense from their frame of reference, and if that doesn't work, it's a weird and magical world where strange things happen and can probably be explained away anyway.
     
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  9. Scarst

    Scarst Lore Master
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    ....Bermuda triangle ... end of discussion!

    In all seriousness I will never accelerate the age of my character based purely on reasons Aedon stated it's easier to just one to one it and pick a month when you age a character (Usually the same month for all characters if you are lazy like me). As age in this game doesn't really matter unless you are a 70 year old man running around doing back flips onto feral dragons and riding them into battle or something weird.
     
  10. Judas D'arc

    Judas D'arc Journeyman

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    Yeah, I have specific birthdays mapped out for all of my characters.

    And wow, that was a pretty accurate description of Corinna.
     
  11. Bianca_CoD

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    I prefer the 1:1 ratio myself, its just easier to keep up with. For the most part all of my characters use real time lapse. Blasphemy, who is a half-breed, uses her lore's ratio of 5:1 (5 rl years = 1 ig year) for age apparent purposes only so she ages very very slowly. But time lapse is the same as everyone else. It is that way for me on Great Lakes as well for my human characters over there; 1:1.

    I do however agree that I hate seeing a character become pregnant and then 3 months later give birth to that child and then that child is 6 years old after another 3 months. That's just not acceptable to me. But with that being said, I do also understand that playing children might require a bit of an aging boost so they are actually "playable". I had never played a child character before I played Darlina, and now having done so I realize that aging them a bit faster than the 1:1 ratio might be necessary.

    I think in essence we're talking about two different subjects --- one is aging, two is time lapse and in that I am not terribly mad at the suggestion of a 1:2 ratio for these characters, as long as my interaction with said character is on a 1:1. So the idea of their birthdays aging them 2 years rather than the 1 but every thing else remaining the same --- winter is winter, summer is summer --- I think is a great solution.
     
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  12. Zuckuss

    Zuckuss Order | Chaos
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    Not to throw any wrenches into this well oiled machine, but what happens when there is a revert?
     
  13. Thom

    Thom Lore Keeper
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    It doesn't change a thing as far as most of us are concerned. 5 pm Monday only happens once a week regardless of whether the server reverts or not.
     
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  14. Pandora_CoD

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    I agree with Thom. Once events in game happen, the server reset doesn't affect it. If it happened, it happened.
     
  15. Farsight

    Farsight Crazed Zealot
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    Here's what I always did. I started with an assumption. That assumption is:
    "Time is wonky."
    From there, I go to:
    "Time passes differently for people when they are not in my presence." - All of my characters or plots had the same idea here.
    This created some odd behaviors for my characters.
    For example, if my main (Aneirin or his Aneirin-like predecessor) hadn't played in a week, that week does not exist for him! If it did, I would have to fill in the blanks about what he has been doing and why nobody saw him, I'm inherently lazy, so I rarely did. But while time did not pass for him, his age still increased with my own age (So if I was 30, so was he). In other words, wonky.
    For example, my favorite secondary character, Dedigan, did not age and time did not pass if she wasn't around. She lived in the moment, and decided to stay there. In other words, wonky.

    What would be interesting to me would be if someone's characters (scientific types) would write a white-paper like book regarding the passage of time in the world they live in. Or perhaps they could write journals describing the wonkiness of time flows in the magic infested world.

    Day 1: That person just told me he would become a father for the first time.
    Day 2: The first time father just approached with 3 teenaged children in tow. I do not understand this, it needs to be investigated further.
    Day 3: The first time father from two days ago is a grandfather. He asked me why I've been spending 60 years writing in the same spot. I have to get to the bottom of this!
    Day 4: The person from the first three days just approached again. Somehow, he's a teenager himself! Forget the bottom of this, I'm going to go drinking with Aedon. At least I can understand wine.
     
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