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[UO Herald] Producer's Letter

Discussion in 'UHall' started by UO News, Jan 31, 2012.

  1. UO News

    UO News RSS Feed
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    Happy New Year Everyone!

    Hope everyone had a fun and game filled holiday break with friends and family. 2012 is upon us and for Ultima Online it's time to celebrate our 15 year journey. UO to me is the MMORPG that kick started this genre and we have so much to be thankful for it. I have much respect for the original Origin crew who got this ball rolling. UO would be nothing without the fans and passionate community it has. You guys and ladies are the best and longest supportive group of creative players I know of. You continue to amaze me with how you play within our little sandbox world. So many great stories to be shared, and new stories yet to be written. To all the players who have walked the lands of Sosaria I encourage you to join us this year for the celebration. An epic story arc has begun that will carry us till September when a new.... (Mesanna just gave me the evil eye again.) Well you'll just have to play and see. ;)

    The team is hard at work to do everything we can to make this year a year to remember. Thanks to everyone for all the constructive feedback from pub 73. Pub 74 has now gone worldwide and if you haven't had a chance yet to check out the patch notes you can do so here. Pub 75 development is already well underway. Lots to do in support of the anniversary arc and a handful of long overdue bugs we plan to attack. Let us know what you think of the recent revamps to Wrong and Shame dungeons. We're planning to continue to revamp the rest of the sins dungeons every other publish, so let us know which one you like to see next. Other items on the table for discussion this year (insert typical disclaimer here ;) is finding more creative ways to deal with our hackers, improving our enhance and legacy clients, putting the challenge back into champ spawns and bringing value back to plate are just a few examples of what we like to get done. Revitalizing the old, celebrating 15 years and aggressively knocking out bugs is a major focus us over the coming months. Now I'm sure several of you are wondering what about the high res art for EC that was mentioned before. Well I just got a preview of it and it's not ready for primetime yet. I know many of you are really looking forward to it, but we need this to cook a little longer. The highres art should look better, not different, so it's turning out to be more challenging than originally planned.

    On other news, keep an eye on the UO Herald for upcoming EM events tied to our anniversary story arc. You won't' want to miss it. Speaking of the herald, we are planning to relaunch UO.com later this year with an all new look. More details to follow on that in future posts. We also will start doing spotlight articles on some of our most passionate fans and their love for Ultima Online. It's amazing what some of you have done and I'm happy to share it. On our Origin.com store we will continue to roll out a several new offers over the coming months. 30 day game time codes and a reincarnation token (gender, race and name change) are up to bat first. We hear you loud and clear about wishing for the ability to buy codes in quantity and are working with the Origin to get that functionality as soon as possible. For those having issues connecting to the Origin store in their region I urge you to check out PayByCash for another method for meeting all your UO shopping needs.

    Before signing off I wanted to say one last thing... thank you. Thank you to all current UO players for helping us mold Britannia into what it is today and thank you to all the previous players who helped defined what Ultima Online will be remembered as for generations to come. Lots going on in 20-12, so buckle up and we hope you enjoy the ride with us!

    Cheers,

    Jeff Skalski
    Ultima Franchise Producer
    Tweet me anytime @jeff_skalski



    More...
     
  2. Mirt

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    Oh you sweet producer. I love what your saying here. Especially as it relates to plate and the dungeon revamps! Thank you Jeff!:heart:
     
  3. Rupert Avery

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    Thank you Jeff very good letter! Cant wait to see what you all have in-store for us!
     
  4. CovenantX

    CovenantX Babbling Loonie
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    I'm glad I didn't find any mentions of Panda Bears coming to UO anytime soon, Big plus from me =]
     
  5. AirmidCecht

    AirmidCecht twitch.tv/airmid
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    Ha@!

    Excellent letter and we're looking forward to hearing more :D
     
  6. Larisa

    Larisa Reporting Manager
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    Kinda weird to be saying this so long after you came on board...but thank you and welcome officially to the team!

    I for one am very excited about the new changes thus far, the new event arc is pretty awesome, can't wait to see where it takes us.

    With the amount of bug fixes/new content/etc. that we've seen in the short time you've been here, I have the utmost faith that things are just going to keep getting better and better.

    Thanks! :)
     
  7. NuSair

    NuSair Babbling Loonie
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    I have more than a few ideas on this... hit me up.
     
  8. Rupert Avery

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    I think I might considering making some kind of playable character again! :D
     
  9. pgib

    pgib Guest

    I think we received just the first page... because there's a second page, isn't?

    I mean, nice to hear ya, we all want peace in the world and when it rains water falls from the sky but... where's the juice?

    You know what really scares me? That they needed approval before to publish it.
     
  10. BeaIank

    BeaIank Babbling Loonie
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    ...
    Please, please, pretty pretty please with sugar on top make this a reality.
     
  11. Roland'

    Roland' Lore Keeper
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    EC client still crashes for many yet i hear no comment on that. I prefer specifics not the words like "working on" or "changes".

    Things have been changing for the better around UO lately, no one can deny that.

    Until these bug fixes really happen, you are just another guy from EA making empty promises and my thoughts can only be that after you're gone hopefully the next guy will be as energetic as you. You actually seem legit and want to do good.
     
  12. Capn Kranky

    Capn Kranky Guest

    DISCLAIMER: Read thoroughly before any comments please.

    I am optimistic ... and REALLY look forward to seeing what they do with plate. It's long overdue, IMO. That said, while I have not played for a while ... some of what has been dropped here interests me enough to consider resub. Scary ... absolutely scary.
     
  13. Sevin0oo0

    Sevin0oo0 Guest

    ->till September when a new....
    not bears, Panda Race!

    lol, j/k
     
  14. old gypsy

    old gypsy Grand Poobah
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    Love it, love it, love it! :heart::heart::heart:
     
  15. MissEcho

    MissEcho Slightly Crazed
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    Good to hear, however I returned to play High Seas, have reopened two accounts, but after month in I still cannot purchase the booster pack as the UO store for Australia does NOT sell it. It also does not sell the SA upgrade kit for existing players.

    The Australian store stocks 12 out the 26 products the USA store stocks, and the USA store is also still missing items.

    I am giving it until the end of FEB to see a fix here. If not, the two subs I reopened will be closed again. I don't want to play half a game because you guys won't allow me to purchase the rest.

    This issue has been reported a number of times, if you can't fix your own store (which should have been a priority) then there isn't much hope for much else.
     
  16. DevilsOwn

    DevilsOwn Stratics Legend
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    king.... we're getting a new king


    do I win a cookie? if so, please award before all the people that do not want a new king hear about it, kay?

    actually, only reason I'm hoping for a new king is cause the other thought is new land mass.... don't want, thank you very much
     
  17. flappy6

    flappy6 Sage
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    can you fix luck.....again.......its broke again......after that patch im getting earth elie loot on choas vortex ,not cool

    then id say kaldhun(prolly spelled wrong)for the next dungeon

    maybe pet scrolls for champs and pet stat scrolls for harry
    maybe uncurse deeds?new arties work if they are kool not weapons i mean like cloaks,sashes,shoes,dont have to be all pvp either
    new 120s?inscribe,lockpicking,carpentry,lumber(120 lumber drinks pots with 2 handed axe)
    mining
     
  18. Woodsman

    Woodsman Guest

    This.

    You needed approval for that? No offense, but that's not exactly something that the head honchos of BioWare should have to sign off on.

    Glad UO.com is coming back.
     
  19. Ezekiel Zane

    Ezekiel Zane Grand Inquisitor
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    I'm not so sure he didn't just misspeak and he actually meant uoherald.com.

    Anyway it's not like they've never revamped the website several times in the past. I don't think it's ever been finished once. It's certainly rarely been updated consistently.

    I honestly would like to see uo.com come back though.
     
  20. eve

    eve Journeyman
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    i really really want the guild and individual character pages of UO Herald back, and kept relatively current.
     
  21. AirmidCecht

    AirmidCecht twitch.tv/airmid
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    Pretty sure he did mean uo.com back :)
     
  22. AirmidCecht

    AirmidCecht twitch.tv/airmid
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    This. This. This. Priority This. :)
     
  23. GalenKnighthawke

    GalenKnighthawke Grand Poobah
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    EA seems to have a way of sucking life out of the team's communications.

    So while I found the latter disappointing, I had expected it to be, and I doubt EA would ever approve something with a greater degree of substance than this had!

    The town riot/rebellion content, however, is really very cool so far and when I get around to doing the Dungeon Wrong I think I will like that a lot too.

    If it's a choice between content and the letter, then I will gladly take the content over a fuller letter.

    Obviously I would rather have both but oh well.

    This is an imperfect world.

    Only substantive comment I'll make about the letter is that whatever you do with Plate I hope you take into account more than the people who constantly post and say "plate sux make it good!"

    Here's some thoughts on that stuff.

    http://vboards.stratics.com/2010539-post5.html

    And be aware that making something good by making everything else suck by comparison isn't really a good alternative.

    -Galen's player
     
  24. Woodsman

    Woodsman Guest

    BioWare runs UO and according to the top BioWare executives, they and they alone control UO and EA is hands off.

    Which brings up the issue of why does Star Wars and Mass Effect 3 and Dragon Age 2 not suffer from these communications issues? They are constantly cranking out information about their games from the producers and developers that don't sound like they were run through 10 layers of bureaucracy.

    And like AirmidCecht and eve said, they really need to restore the guild and character pages.
     
  25. Woodsman

    Woodsman Guest

    Wait, I thought it was put on the back burner because of live events. Now it's because it's not good enough?

    If that's truly the issue, then fine, but please keep us a little more updated, because major things in UO that get put on the back burner or delayed, far too often end up being canceled or forgotten.
     
  26. Ezekiel Zane

    Ezekiel Zane Grand Inquisitor
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    Well if they allowed communication to get into the same ole rut UO has been in for years, then they'd have players quitting by the 1000s from their shiny new game.

    We die hard UO players are mostly gonna stick it out 'til the very end. I think that's the problem. They know that so they have no real incentive it improve the communication level to that of newer, bigger games.
     
  27. Woodsman

    Woodsman Guest

    But it's easy to improve the communication - stop watering it down.

    It actually requires effort for them to pass it around to executives, water it down, pass it around again to have everybody sign off on it, etc.

    It's just bizarre to me. When Cal gave us a peak behind the curtain last year at how much bureaucracy was involved with getting UO information out, it was nuts. I had hoped it would improve with BioWare claiming UO and with Skalski taking over not just UO, but the Ultima franchise in general.
     
  28. Ezekiel Zane

    Ezekiel Zane Grand Inquisitor
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    Honestly it feels like they have a Form Letter that each producer digs out and changes the pub numbers and dates then posts.

    All the letters include the same "oh we have big plans for UO this year," "but we can't tell ya anything about it." Somebodies "evil eye" is always watching. LOL.

    Every year it's the same, "well we have the anniversary coming up, some really cool EM events and a new or continuing story arc and oh also some bug fixes too." There is never ever really any substance to the Producer's Letter.
     
  29. AesSedai

    AesSedai Guest

    - Sounds pretty well-rounded.

    Looking forward to any anti-cheat and bug fixes (as always; just glad we've finally / already seen some definitive action and not just talk on this front, at least re: bug fixes ...---... ).

    Looking forward to the EC art enhancements & the enhanced client improvements.

    Looking forward to the event arc for the 15th anniversary (even if I doubt I'll have time to participate much).

    Not looking forward to determining my continued involvement in this game, brought about by its stunted evolution, and sometimes literal devolution, over the past several years; but hey, I've already committed to reaching my 15th anniversary of UO (Oct 30th), so there's plenty of time for me to be shown rather than told that UO will continue to avoid what the ol' EA/UO MJacobs termed an eventual 'zombie' game.

    Thanks for the Producer's Letter, Jeff.. so, any plans to choose a UO moniker? All the UO greats have had one ;)
     
  30. Wojoe

    Wojoe Guest

    I like this part "putting the challenge back into champ spawns"...
     
  31. phantus

    phantus Stratics Legend
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    I'm going to go out of character this time for a change. A test, let's say.

    We have been given a carrot in our mostly tame producer's letter. This is either a mistake or a gift. September. We assume an announcement of some accord. An actual expansion perhaps? Hard to say but it's there. Always possible a mistake the new producer always makes. Given the lemmings something to hang onto. They often don't understand our only window into their thinking is their words. So we focus on every word.

    As for the rest of the letter's content...well, they are kinda sound the same. Bug fixes..hacking...etc etc.

    My thoughts on the EC content are minimal. I don't have to use it nor do I really have incentive to do so.

    Hi Jeff, thanks for the non-tweet :thumbsup:
     
  32. Lady Storm

    Lady Storm Crazed Zealot
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    Finally!!

    Although disapointing.... I wanted a bit more meat and alot less gravy... cant help it I'm a carnavore........

    All I read here was floss......

    Changes like... oh idk resources staying static... or perhaps making things a bit more usefull .... im old not senile. I dont need to be patronized with strings of how great we are show me the work list!!! I am so tired of not getting anything done...

    How about houseing?? Or gee idk maybe the lack of players around to play with ..... most shards you have to litterly go dig someone up in the local graveyard to find anything moving on many shards!!!


    Sorry I have waited too long for this person to open his notebook and send us a greetings to give him some slack....
     
  33. Surgeries

    Surgeries Grand Poobah
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    Thanks for the info Jeff!

    I am hoping that this is the year the EC gets the needed improvements needed to make UO as amazing as it has ever been.

    I still log into the CC once in a while, and I still have very fond memories of Beta days and the old treasure chest opening to log in...all of the magic that scene emotes.

    But since I have discovered Pinco's UI, I only really ever play the game with that UI, ever. It is an astounding piece of work, and I can't say how much it helps with the EC! You folks REALLY need this person on your team, by the way...he is an amazing coder plus he has great Customer Service Skills <Shameless Plug for Pinco!!>

    I don't get to play as much as I would like lately due to RL demands on my time, but I do hope that this year entices me to log in more than I want to or have time to! I still have my three active accounts, and am always hopeful...

    Again, thanks for the info, and I am sure we all look forward to the solid follow from you and the team that will make 2012 a Banner Year for UO...a UO Banner Year, even!!

    :party::thumbup1:!!
     
  34. Tjalle

    Tjalle Grand Inquisitor
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    Will this include Siege Perilous as well or will we be left out as usual?
     
  35. AirmidCecht

    AirmidCecht twitch.tv/airmid
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    As a sometimes Siege player I would love to support this :)

    You can pk me anytime!
     
  36. goldenpower

    goldenpower Guest

    the next dungeon should be Covetous

    since it has the unique aspect of recalling to specific levels, you can so something cool with that!
     
  37. goldenpower

    goldenpower Guest

    could bring back Controller/Golem aspect to UO. make Plate weak to electricity spells like Lightning but very strong in other areas
     
  38. goldenpower

    goldenpower Guest

    I agree. MYUO type functionality needs exist and be regularly available.
     
  39. EvilPixieWorks

    EvilPixieWorks Lore Keeper
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    I know this system is populated by both playing and retired players, but this is more about the playing UO customers who pay dues every month... regarding this little problem I keep seeing in the producer’s letters.

    I find it very insulting that Jeff refers to us as “fans” of UO. We, the paying customers... and not fans, we are active participants in the online community. I find being called a fan insulting, just like I don’t see Twit’er as being an acceptable form of communication. I know this topic was posted before and turned rather heated... but I think there is some kind of issue connected to both.

    Jeff... we need some kind of way to actually send in Personal Messages, as paid customers in good standing WITHOUT another 3rd party system getting in the way. Maybe greater issues can get some attention. Issues that can be fixed, happier customers make better job and everyone wins. Please.
     
  40. Velvathos

    Velvathos Lore Keeper
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    Looking forward to the new UO.COM.. Is MYUO finally going to be fixed along with it? I can only hope..
     
  41. Lord Gareth

    Lord Gareth UO Content Editor | UO Chesapeake & Rares News
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    I look forward to the new uo.com and hope we can get the guild search showing the roster and alliance back.
    And I am a "Liker of Ultima Online" since I like it on Facebook
     
  42. NuSair

    NuSair Babbling Loonie
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    I think there should be more to it than that.

    The #1 reason plate fell out of favor is because of the lack of meditation. And in UO there isn't class specific armor, so magical leather sleeves work just as good for a mage as they do a warrior. So, if you are making armor, why make it out of plate?

    And it really depends on how in depth you want to go with it. Slashing/piercing weapons really suck against plate armor. But, completely pwn leather armor. I think that's probably a step UO doesn't want to take.

    If you really want to enhance the idea of a tank in plate, then the armor needs to have damage mitigation or some similar effect to make it so that a tank wants to wear it more than leather.

    I could talk a lot more, but I am a little busy this morning.
     
  43. AirmidCecht

    AirmidCecht twitch.tv/airmid
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    Color me confused a minute here. Respectfully I gotta ask: I know not everyone wants to subscribe to Twitter or FB and that is their right but we have a Producer who has opened up a line of direct communication no other producer for UO has ever shared. It seems odd to me is all.

    He has been responsive there more than anywhere else and while we love to hear from him on the forums here you can read his direct replies on Twitter without signing up for it.

    It's a win win :)

    Some of the concerns are certainly valid with communication and all but I just can't see his openness on a venue he uses as a bad thing.
     
  44. silent

    silent Lore Master
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    Suggestion for a new boss item like the whetstone of enervation. How about assembling parts just like in shame but the new item will let you make a looted item exceptional. Not adding DI or resist, but just adding the 50 additional weight that you lose with a looted item.
     
  45. Felonious Monk

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    Twitter and Facebook has never had anything to do with UO. With no official UO Forum
    I would venture to say that strats is the most used forum for UO. Apparently that doesn't work for him. I already have shortcuts login info for uostrats so why am I the one that needs to install More superficial frivolous crap on my Comp so that the producer of UO can be messaged? I'm the one that has to change because he wont use what I think is the most widely used uo forum that has been up and running the longest.
    I dont condemn twitter or facebook and I wont use them simply because it's more crap as opposed to less crap in my life. Not using these Trendy proggies does'nt hinder my ability to manage logistics across the globe with a wide variety of peeps.
    Hey Jeff. How about logging in UO strats instead of using Twit/Face?
    Or am I asking to much? After all I've only supported multiple accounts of UO for 14 years. Final point, I actually enjoy words fully and correctly spelled with proper punctuation. Ya I know...what a geek I am right?
     
  46. Ezekiel Zane

    Ezekiel Zane Grand Inquisitor
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    I couldn't have said it better myself. Every word, spot on.
     
  47. AirmidCecht

    AirmidCecht twitch.tv/airmid
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    Far be it from me to discourage more active posting here :)

    I don't see it as instead of, rather in addition too. That's not a bad thing. I do however agree that you're going to get far more communication on a forum with more than 140 characters available. But then you gotta ask, what kind of communication?

    We are working extra hard as staff to walk the fine line to make the forums user friendly for everyone to feel free to post their thoughts without being ridiculed. This goes for the UO Team too. We also realize that in order to communicate what some are dissatisfied with effectively takes a team that can handle criticism and a forum community willing to relay that input as if they were sitting in the same room with them instead of using their curtain of anonymity to allow them to be spiteful in their posts.

    I don't think I'm too far off the mark to say that Jeff can handle it, he's willing to handle it directly via Twitter and on the forums when he reads. He's read this thread and while he hasn't replied I can say that we've had to moderate this, not from someone being just overly critical but from individuals who had no input other than a stabby jab. I read the threads as a player and I also try to put myself in the shoes of the UO Team. How do I want to receive a message? What if they replied with the same tone we use? Wouldn't we in turn be offended? But hey that's the nature of forums. We get that too, we're just doing what we can to make it a true community project.
     
  48. Rupert Avery

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    I totally agree here about the attitude of some people and what if the situations were reversed...

    good post Airmid
     
  49. HD2300

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    please hire Saphreena

     
  50. lucitus

    lucitus UOEC Modder
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    I tweeted with Jeff about that problem last week and he told me there is somone send out to fix this, i trust him for now. Also he wrote in his letter true words, he wrote both clients should be improved a wise decesion, the high res art looks not good enough, also that a very good decesion. We dont need a high res update in art, we need the engine to better in handling it, KR was much sharper also with the legacy art, they should first focus on the engine and then they could intigrate the high res art, because what brings new 2k pixels art if your engine cant display it!

    I think they need real developers, we have a wonderfull EM Manager and ingame advisor with Mesanna, but they need to combine it with real programming not only scripting. Then the quality can go up again and this will also result in raising subs and this very rapidly because i know many who left but still looking onto UO.