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[News] Producer's Letter - April 2010

Discussion in 'UO Pacific' started by Eyes of Origin, Apr 2, 2010.

  1. Producer's Letter - April 2010

    Calvin Crowner
    02 Apr 2010 13:09:11 EST



    So we’ve been busy.

    At this moment Publish 65 is baking on Test Center and soon you’ll be enjoying all of the work we put into it.

    Before I tell you what’s next and discuss what we missed I want to let everyone know where I’ve been.

    Tokyo!

    We have part of the UO team in Shinjuku. I actually love visiting Tokyo, this is the fourth time I’ve been, and I managed to pick up a few more phrases and words without getting in trouble.

    The coolest part of the visit was actually seeing the production shards. It was a very Matrix “coppertop” moment knowing there were players in Japan and Korea all playing UO. Perhaps at any given moment there was someone stealing, begging, destroying, building, gardening, or connecting with someone they had not seen in a long time. It was truly surreal.

    I’d like to introduce the Associate Producer and Lead Designer for the Japan team Daisuke Maruyama. While Daisuke is fairly quiet in terms of major features, much of his work is felt throughout the community. We rely on him and his team to make certain we are addressing not only North American and European players, but also the playstyle of our Japanese players. He’s been part of UO for over seven years, and has an amazing breadth of knowledge that keeps us on track.

    Something Daisuke brought up that we may explore further is surveys on playstyles. During the Expansion surveys, we found that certain regions were more interested in certain aspects and features of the game than others. For example, Japanese players did not particularly test throwing but were very vocal about the quests. North American and European players were very vocal about throwing and play of boss mobs. Imbuing was important to everyone. As we continue through the year it will be interesting to find out more about who plays how across cultures, and how we can improve gameplay.

    Also, I’ve found that there are aspects of both cultures that mix very well. The most important thing is BOTH teams and the entire community “heart UO!” For every person on both teams -- we don’t do this for the scads of cash, or the promises of Ferraris. We do it for the love of the game that began this genre. We really do it for the satisfaction in knowing that when we do get it right (and we’re trying to get it right more often …). But if anyone has a Skyline they are not using please contact Derek.

    Members of the team have often compared delivering a publish to going out on stage in front of a live audience with a fresh monologue. You hope the audience likes it. It takes a lot of guts to go out on stage. The difference we have is it’s like performing Hamlet. Ultima Online is a legacy with many who have their opinions on how it should be “performed.” And as in the days of olde … if we get it wrong … you will throw vegetables … but when we get it right … you throw roses. We got more roses than salad this last publish. And we hope to keep the trend going. Gardens make me happy.

    So with that … what did we miss?

    Factions: Not yet.

    We bit off more than we could chew and it’s not ready. We got the three strongholds done and tested. The leaderboards and scoring systems are done with updates to the faction items … but… we are not done. There are so many little things to take into account for balance and play that we couldn’t in good faith release what we had with all the other things going on with Pub 65, so we focused on the Abyss Event quest, bugs, Gargoyles, Titles, updates to the EC and Mysticism … and a few other things.

    Also, you got a taste of the live story arc. I’m hoping this week you’ll see more of that, and the event will be fully pressing forward for Pub 66.

    If the opportunity comes available that factions is ready for Test Center we’ll make a community announcement for you to all come try it out.

    Movement: Movement is ready for Test Center. Again, we wanted to get the gremlins off test center before introducing more things for players to work on.

    Third Party program detection: is through internal test. Now for hacks and exploitive scripters we are not going to tell you it’s on. We’re going to implement, test, iterate and see what happens. We have the first stage of program detection done, and we’ll be putting out updates as needed. This is not a one-shot and done process. It takes time, but we’ve started our timer.

    So what’s next?

    Derek and a couple of his engineers are right now in the middle of a three week feature sprint for the Enhanced Client. The bug and feature list is fairly expansive, and we are trying to address a bulk of the items brought up in the last House of Commons chat and prominent on the boards.

    In addition, we’re turning our attention to Bards. I’m not mentioning WHY we are, but let’s just say there are some tales will need to be told with a bit of style, and the there will be some things done best with a “well encouraged” group.

    We’ll continue the Gargoyle weapon and armor conversion in the next publish, and fleshing out more areas in the Abyss.

    There are two other major features on the list, but I’d rather not mention them until we’re closer to implementation. Then why bring it up? Because I think when you see the features we’re focusing on you’ll be very pleased … and your brains will certainly churn churn churn.

    We also have some infrastructure things we’re working on. For example, upgrading our player DB and account age as well as login servers are high on the priority list right now.

    This is a good time to be part in Britannia. I’m looking across the 100s of titles that call themselves massively multiplayer and frankly … I don’t see much play in their multi. Personally and professionally, I’m proud to be part of this team and this legacy.

    See you on the boards.


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  2. SchezwanBeefy

    SchezwanBeefy Lore Master
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    I asked on the Dev's board, but I'd like to know what 3rd party programs will trigger this.
    For example, UO Cartographer?
     
  3. KalVasTENKI

    KalVasTENKI Babbling Loonie
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  4. I've asked myself the same question since reading that. I guess we need clarification as to how they will know the difference.

    My guess is certain programs effect the data stream and others dont. I'm just hoping those that we have been approved to use dont effect anything.