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Trial Accounts and You

Discussion in 'UHall' started by Draconi, Feb 5, 2009.

  1. Draconi

    Draconi Most explosive UO Legend
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    Hello everyone!

    The design team has recently been provided with better tools to identify paying accounts versus free trial accounts once a player has logged in. Up until now content and systems within UO have not been designed in a way that discourages exploitative behavior, treating both types equally.

    As you can imagine, this has led some very negative consequences. Resource farming, scripting, house placement exploits – these are all things taken advantage of by unscrupulous individuals abusing trial accounts. In turn, we’ve had to put hard caps on usage of various game features; for instance, having to wait an artificial thirty days after making a character before you can do certain things.

    We now have the tools in place to accomplish two major things: restrict usage of some features to paying subscribers, and release the “character age” restrictions in others.

    Some examples would include:
    • Only letting paying subscribers create/trade houses
    • Make BODs only available to paying subscribers
    • Remove character age requirements for placing houses
    Those aren’t the only things we’re looking at, but before we get too ahead of ourselves, I’d like to solicit your feedback.

    I strongly believe this new ability will make the game healthier, and reward loyal players while removing the ease with which our systems are exploited. I should reiterate that this is only an effort to fix a gaping hole in the way we design our systems. This isn’t a change to the way UO’s subscription model works in any way.

    Our definition of trial accounts does *not* include the free game time associated with buying an actual release of the game. That first month of paid subscription entitles you to *all* the benefits of a regular subscriber. These restrictions will only be applied to the free trial accounts.

    We’re currently targeting these changes for Publish 58.

    I’m opening this thread to discuss:
    • Discussion on the impact of being able to restrict trial users from some systems
    • What systems you feel are meant for paying subscribers
    • What current “age related” restrictions you’d like to see removed
    Thank you,

    Tim "Draconi" Cotten
     
  2. Tazar

    Tazar Guest

    One small step for dev... one giant leap for UO!
     
  3. House Placement
    Resource gathering (mining/lumberjacking)
    Bod Collection
    Event participation (no young chars walking through a crowd of aggro NPC's looting everything or exploiting quests such as in the Spring Cleanup)

    Those should get things started.
     
  4. Uriah Heep

    Uriah Heep Crazed Zealot
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    sounds good to me as written!!

    It's a start, for sure! Good job, Draconi.
     
  5. woody_cats

    woody_cats Guest

    i would like to be have the restriction on the placement of deeds from veterian rewards removed. if i can claim or get a ore cart deed i would like to be able to place it in any of my homes same with banner deeds etc reguardless of how old acct as long as it is a paid acct
     
  6. As long as it helps to eliminate cheating...I am all for it!
     
  7. christy1221

    christy1221 Slightly Crazed
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    Sounds great to me. :bowdown:
     
  8. AirmidCecht

    AirmidCecht twitch.tv/airmid
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    *disagrees*
    Although it is an inconvenience at times switching out vet characters to place, I feel it is something only vets old enough should be able to do.
     
  9. kentuckyjoe

    kentuckyjoe Seasoned Veteran
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    I love this idea and THANK YOU DEV's for finally getting to this issue.

    My major gripe to add to this is to keep Trial Accounts from entering Fel. Some guilds use them for the explicit purposes of placing Spawn Cams and other various things. Make them be forced to pay for the accounts before they can park toons in Fel to spy on others.
     
  10. Tomas_Bryce

    Tomas_Bryce Rares Collector Extraordinaire | Rares Fest Host
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    Finally! Trial accounts have been abused for almost every single exploit in Ultima Online, may it be spawn cams, bod farms, duping, etc. You guys need to sketch a reasonable profile of a legitimate trial account holder and restrict everything else that does not fit that profile.
     
  11. Draconi

    Draconi Most explosive UO Legend
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    I'm glad you brought this up!

    I don't think restricting trial accounts from Felucca is in line with what UO's all about. PvP is part of UO, and there's a portion of new players who have a strong interest in it.

    Instead, we're putting together a tentative fix (not exorcism) for ghost cams at champ spawns for P58. Depending on how solid and how effective it is, it may be delayed, but its at the top of the list.
     
  12. Tomas_Bryce

    Tomas_Bryce Rares Collector Extraordinaire | Rares Fest Host
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    Draconi, don't forget about spawn cams where they use trial accounts with hiding. I am not sure about today's cams but this used to be a standard practice after exorcism was first implemented.
     
  13. Draconi

    Draconi Most explosive UO Legend
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    Right. I think there was a big misconception some time ago on the dev team that "ghost cams" meant just dead people. Believe me, we're well aware of the numerous ways exploiters have found to pass spawn activity information around automatically.
     
  14. GL_Seller

    GL_Seller Guest

    Excellent ideas. Again though one of the biggest exploits is the spawn cam system. Just make it so they cant say go to t2a fel or dungeons fell should be sufficient.

    A new player can look around at yew( i know not pvp), wrong roof and other areas that are not spawn related. With the new additions to spawns in general they can see the way spawns are done in trammel.
     
  15. Kellgory

    Kellgory Certifiable
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    Sounds like a good start. Trial accounts should be just that...I can't walk into the bakery ask to sample a cookie and keep eating (sampling) it and then say I really didn't like it so may I sample that other one. While I can see not allowing them do collect BODs, I would rather have it where they could only collect X number of BODs since BODs is part of the UO crafting, skills or skill points capped at a certain lower point, only one char and only one shard could be used per trial account, no house, no gifts (although the char must be 30 days usually takes care of this), and restrict access to certain areas (such as they can't enter champ spawn or special event areas). I would also add that they shouldn't be able to put chars in factions.
     
  16. Oriana

    Oriana Babbling Loonie
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    Trouble is not all rewards can be placed by vets in houses they are co owned to. For example the Stone ankh. I really wanted to put one in my newest accts house. it's only 6 months old, but I have 8 year vets that can place it and co owned to the house, but can't place it in that house. Not the end of the world granted but annoying.

    As for things i'd like to see age restricted:

    BoDs

    Events would be nice as Conner said. That young running thru picking up all the good stuff while the vets die stinks. Perfect example of that was during the Magencia invasion. Just the trial ones though.

    Hmm I'll marinate on this for a bit and see what I think of.

    Oh as far as X-sharding goes, please keep the 30 days or older or even take it to 16 and older, but in the past I've seen that a lot, people making temp accts to get gifts and really flood the shards. Not that they don't get flooded enough but still something for nothing isn't very fair.
     
  17. R Traveler

    R Traveler Babbling Loonie
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    Better to restrict trial accounts on production shards and no restrictions (allow anything) on TC only.
     
  18. Fogsbane

    Fogsbane Seasoned Veteran
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    No Transcendence Scrolls
    No PowerScrolls
    No Quests beyond Haven
    No Housing
    No Vendors
    BOD limitations, similar to what Kellgory expressed
    No Commodity Deed Creation
    No Holiday Rewards
    No Factions
    No Guilds
    No Shard Transfers
    No access to most recent publish 'desirable' (Replica Drops currently, as example)
    Auto Exorcism back to Haven upon Death, ghosts cannot roam beyond Haven
    Virtue Level gain cap at first tier
     
  19. Sounds fair to me. Good job guys!
     
  20. I think trial accounts should not be allowed to do community collections or heartwood quests (specifically the ones that give runics).
     
  21. Tina Small

    Tina Small Stratics Legend
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    Draconi, I'm very very happy to see that this issue is finally being addressed. I've got a ridiculous number of accounts I've been paying to keep open to be able to have houses on several shards. The youngest account is now 20 months old. I've rarely let any of my subscriptions slide into unpaid status while also holding a house....the longest I left an account in that situation was a month and then felt guilty about it.

    I feel like I've done plenty with regard to paying fees for my accounts to be able to legitimately have houses for storage on all the shards I wanted to play. It has irked me to no end over the years to have people assume that because I had so many houses and accounts and characters, I was getting a free ride somehow and abusing the trial account situation. Nope...all subs paid in full, crazy as it sounds. Unfortunately, with the way the economy is going now, I have had to start closing the accounts that I've been using just to hold houses. It's forcing me to clear out a lot of junk and mothball some characters I've enjoyed playing with, but in the long run I hope it means I'll be able to play UO a bit longer than otherwise.

    Good move and long overdue and, I hope, a sign that someone at EA is truly serious about keeping this game around for a while and cleaning it up so that it will attract new blood and draw old players back.
     
  22. Restroom Cowboy

    Restroom Cowboy Visitor

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    Incorperate coding to disallow trial account access to certain areas. Champ spawns...peerless...doom...ect. ect. Perhaps add detect hidden to creature AI in spawn areas. ;)
     
  23. Ailish

    Ailish Lore Master
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    Factions. There is currently a character age restriction on factions (or was, whatever) aimed at restricting people from using trial accounts to influence voting or point farm. So, factions would be one thing to restrict to only paying accounts.
     
  24. Draconi

    Draconi Most explosive UO Legend
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    Yes, and the "character age" requirements will be removed.
     
  25. Draconi

    Draconi Most explosive UO Legend
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    It's under serious discussion - Champ Spawns are a given.
     
  26. Draconi

    Draconi Most explosive UO Legend
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    Keep 'em coming :)

    Questing is also under serious discussion, at least limiting the massive abuse of Heartwood.
     
  27. kelmo

    kelmo Old and in the way
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    *nods*
     
  28. Poo

    Poo The Grandest of the PooBah’s
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    is this in any way going to kill off all the houses that are inactive accounts or houses that where placed with the 'welcome back to britiania' days of old.

    cause i know of a crud load of houses that are in need of killing.
     
  29. RD Gumbie

    RD Gumbie Guest

    Add the Library and vesper Donation places also. At least on baja the mace and shield guy has 3 chars donating 24/7 and then all the 3 names change each month (same armor and person tossing them rune books though).
     
  30. Draconi

    Draconi Most explosive UO Legend
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    :) No comment at this time.
     
  31. Advanced characters should be disabled from trial accounts too imo.
     
  32. sandersism

    sandersism Guest

    I definitely don't believe trial accounts should be allowed to enter the factions system (unless of course you plan on fixing the faction point farming in another way).
     
  33. Lady Michelle

    Lady Michelle Sprite Full SP
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    Trail accounts are suppose to be for people who never played uo ,and want to check out what uo is all about. Maybe trail accounts should be made to only be used on a test center. This way a person who never played uo has the options to try out everything at Gm skills. and have all the resources, and armor at their finger tips. This way they can pvp try out a champ spawn, or just hunt in trammel do peerless etc Place a house. Once the trail account time is up the house goes condemned in falls, and a good way to keep trail accounts off the regular shards.
     
  34. I like that idea, limit them to TC. Though is there always one up now?
     
  35. LordNoximos

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    There's programs that relay through automap, through guild chat, via WEBSITE, it's ridiculous how long it's run rampart.
     
  36. Millie

    Millie Guest

    Yep know exactly who your talking about. Be nice to see him gone.

    I feel trail account should not be able to get drops form dungeons, spawns or paragons. Although they should be able to buy them. I think they should be able to do heartwood quests since I believe the quest were meant to help gain skill, but maybe if possible not let them receive runics kits.
    As for bods there has to be some kind of compromise here. You have to let a legit player that wants to learn the game be able to get the tools to gain in skills. Limit trial account to Sm normal iron and cloth bods. I'm not sure how much your new program will do.
     
  37. DHMagicMan_1

    DHMagicMan_1 Guest

    1. Not be able to Deed commodities you have.
    2. Not be able to redeam Commodity deeds.
    3. Not be able to train a skill past say 80.0 or 85.0 or 90.0
     
  38. kaio

    kaio Sage
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    I'm all for limiting trial accounts.
    And i agree with most here saying that a trial account should be used/given to people who wants to try the game.

    So my suggestion is this,
    Limit trial accounts to New heaven.
    1 char on any shard.
    No housing
    Make new heaven larger, add some dungeons.
    Make new start templates.
    Make events for those newcommers so they get a better start.
    Better loot on the monsters, in the new dungeons, to say avrage lvl, so they have a decent chance to get lets say a 100 lrc suit with like 40 in every resist, and something not godly uber for warrior classes.

    If EA want's new paying customers, they gotta give 'em something.
     
  39. There's one problem with that. If you limit them to TC only, then they have no incentive to continue the account they've started since they can't transfer a character from TC to any other shard, thus whatever time they'd invested was wasted. The point of trial accounts is to give someone the chance to get hooked on the game.
     
  40. J0KING

    J0KING Guest

    Sounds like a great plan... have to agree with alot that was mentioned!!!
     
  41. Millie

    Millie Guest


    This is a good ideal but if you give them test center where they can set skills and do any thing there that the game offers.. They would lose a major part of the Uo experience. The feeling of accomplishment, when they finely Gmed that skill , killed that boss, etc. They would be able to find out what every thing looks like and works with no surprises.
    Maybe if it was like a reg. shard and they could not leave it until they were old enough and had a payed subscription like old haven use to be.
    note: and not let them bring any thing with them. only them self and pets. and personal back pack stuff. rune books
     
  42. Kellgory

    Kellgory Certifiable
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    The problem I see with limiting trial accounts to TC only is that if at the end of the period they start paying for the account then they go to a production shard and start a new char and basically loose a month worth of work. I would rather have it limited to TC and one production shard with only 1 char on test and 1 or 2 chars max on the production shard. That would prevent the people that use trial accounts to create 5 chars on every shard just so that they can collect items.

    Plus if they are new to UO, they might not know that they are on a test shard and just continue playing on it until one day they log on and their char, house, and items were deleted because the test shard was updated.
     
  43. I would rather see them in the old dungeons without the chance to pick up arties. Maybe even make it so they could only access the first level or two.

    The mainland of Britannia has been neglected long enough...use this as a chance to breathe life back into it.

    Maybe even make it so that trial players can ONLY go into areas in mainland Britannia.
     
  44. Teeshy

    Teeshy Guest

    More than one problem - personally if I'd been limited to TC when I frist started, I wouldn't still be playing 2 years later =) Lag on TC is horrendous for me =)

    I can't see any point in disallowing advanced character tokens, or not letting people train over a certain point either - if they start playing and manage to train a skill over 80, then good for them =) What would be the point in that kind of limitation? (would there be a reason for it that I can't see, I mean?)


    Does limiting trial accounts mean we could get BoS back to working how they did? Maybe not for gold, but for resources?
     
  45. Draconi

    Draconi Most explosive UO Legend
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    Yes
     
  46. DHMagicMan_1

    DHMagicMan_1 Guest

    If you make it so "Trial Accounts can't train a skill past 80 or maybe a stat past 80, for instance... It makes that a pretty nerfed Unattended Miner whereas if they can get to 120 str and 120 mining on day 1 they have 30 days of mining through Valorite unless the toon gets caught and they then make a new one.

    That was my thinking on that particular limitation.
     
  47. Teeshy

    Teeshy Guest

    *does a happy dance :danceb: and starts planning training on leather giving beasties*

    Thankyou! =D

    Ahh! See, I am still too naive, wasn't thinking in that direction at all for that =) I was thinking of genuine trial accounts =)

    Ok, so, it would stop that kind of thing, but would it also deter genuine new players? I guess it would have to be spelled out VERY clearly that it's only a temporary restriction on trial accounts and why, so that it didn't put new players off?

    It must be hard to find the balance between trying to stop the people taking advantage, and not putting off the genuine new players =)
     
  48. Maplestone

    Maplestone Crazed Zealot
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    A lot of systems would be protected by a skill cap of 80 instead of 100 (and would create a nice "entry threshold" for future designs).
     
  49. 4gregu

    4gregu Slightly Crazed
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    Then by all means, please put these changes in asap!
     
  50. I didn't know trial accounts could be continued? (never had one)

    I look at it the other way, the majority of this thread is saying oh they shouldn't be able to have this and that and limiting pretty much every system, well if you do that their not going to experience most of the game.
    If their on TC they can experience it all but its of no real value there, but they can at least see what working at any of these systems can reward them with.