I have an idea I'd like to kick around for some things the dev team might be able to do to help redistribute the population a bit and help bring back some activity to the very many "quiet" or "dead" shards in UO. The basic idea is to make certain aspects of UO (I'll call them "factors" just for simplicity's sake) slightly more favorable for players on the shards that are in the small and middle ranges of the game's overall population. This would include doing things like slightly decreasing player-run vendor fees, npc vendor fees, Magincia bazaar fees, insurance costs, house placement and house customization costs, and trade agreement costs; and giving a small bump to things like luck and crafting/imbuing resource yields and drops. How this would work is that at the beginning of each month, the above-listed "factors" would be readjusted based on each shard's total in the previous month of (a) net number of placed houses (i.e., number of houses existing at beginning of month plus new ones placed minus houses that dropped) AND (b) number of hours players were logged into the shard. The 27 shards would be divided into four groups for purposes of adjusting the "factors" and each month the dev team would provide a monthly announcement to indicate the readjustments for each shard for the month so there's no mystery or guesswork by the players themselves about what is going on. This is how the four groups would be split up: Group 1 - The largest shard. "Factors" on this shard would not see any kind of adjustment for the month. Group 2 - The next 8 largest shards, which would each see their shard's "factors" adjusted by 10%. Group 3. The middle 9 shards, which would each see their shard's "factors" adjusted by 25%. Group 4. The smallest 9 shards, which would each see their shard's "factors" adjusted by 15%. As an example, if a shard was determined to be in group 2 for the upcoming month based on its net number of placed houses the previous month and number of hours players were logged into the shard in the previous momth, the following expenses would be reduced for the month by 10%: Player-run vendor fees NPC vendor fees Magincia bazaar fees Insurance costs House placement/customization costs Trade agreement costs At the same time, any player on a shard in group 2 would automatically get a 10% bump to their luck and a 10% bump in resource yields, e.g., things like leather, ingots, logs, bark, mining gems, granite, imbuing resources in treasure chests and in corpses, etc. Similarly, a shard in group 3 would see the above expenses reduced for the month by 25% and luck and resource yields would go up by 25%. A shard in group 4 would have adjustments of 15%, which isn't as much as the increase for group 3 basically to discourage antagonistic actions by people who may want to keep the really small shards "dead" to be able to get away with scripting and other kinds of cheating. In other words, everyone on a small shard would be reward in coming months if they made the shard a welcoming place for other players to relocate, stick around, and play a bit! Again, the primary goal of these adjustments would be to try to encourage people to shift back to playing on smaller shards and getting their populations up to a point where there are enough people around to make it easier to do things in groups but not necessarily to the point where it's impossible to find a place to put a home and people who like a little bit more breathing room when they go hunting don't feel completely overwhelmed. I'm not sure this is a good idea or not, but I thought I'd throw it out there just to see what people think of it. Maybe it's something the dev team might consider doing for even just 6 to 9 months just to see if it helps breathe some new life back into many of the shards with smaller, less active populations.