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A few questions to the devs of Ultima Online.

Discussion in 'UHall' started by Zuckuss, Aug 21, 2008.

  1. Zuckuss

    Zuckuss Order | Chaos
    Professional Stratics Veteran Alumni K^S

    Aug 1, 2008
    Likes Received:
    Greetings all, my name is Zuckuss. I have played on the Catskills shard for over 10 years. I am a very long time member of the GRI guild (Gentle Rest Inn). I am a former member of the Volunteer/Companion programs. I have been a member of this stratics community for about 7 of those 10 years. My account age reflected in my current profile is not a true indication of how long I have been reading and posting on these boards as the old forums have been "washed away." My user-name has always been Zuckuss.

    I have a question, and I ask any Dev, GM or representative of EA to reply either by PM or publicly. I ask this question with the utmost respect, and without any intent of starting personal attacks or causing drama. It has been a while since I have read up on whats going on in the Stratics community, but tonight I decided to check around the boards to see what the UO community is talking about. I ask the communtiy and readers of the forums to acknowledge that I have had no personal dealings nor contact with the parties involved, nor have I ever played on the Atlantic shard.

    I was reading through the Atlantic forums and I saw a couple threads tonight that weigh very heavily in my head.

    The threads were in regards to two (blessed) felucca properties of classic design. As far as I know, a "blessed" house is a house that in-game event moderators (formally known as Seers) had equipt with "special" items in order to create a theme in regards to roleplaying. We used to have several of these "blessed" properties on my home shard of Catskills. Unfortunatly, many of these houses have come to pass and decay over the years. It was a sad sight to see them go as many of my personal UO recollections involve these types of dwellings.

    It is my understanding that two, very well known, "blessed" buildings of the Atlantic shard were intentionally removed from decay status, and transfered to a UO player. It is my understanding (through forum discussion, and the fact that the houses are no longer decaying) that the houses were transfered by EA representatives to a member of our UO community (on the Atlantic shard).

    My question is; What is the standard procedure for preserving shard-historic properties, and what procedures are set forth in determining whom they shall be transferd to?

    There have been attempts by the player community of Catskills to save these types of properties. There have been mass petitions, emails and in-game requests from players sent to EA/OSI in order to preserve these "blessed" houses on our Catskills shard. During the decay of these buildings, the people of Catskills had argued that these buildings were a huge part of Catskills history. Players with much persistance had faught hard to try to maintain these treasures.

    The cumulitive responses to our community of Catskills has been that "EA cannot transfer decaying houses to players and that there is nothing that they could do." A case was made by one EA representative; that it would not be fair to the entire player community, if they were to "give" the house to a designated player. Even still, persistant players still faught, questioned, begged and petitioned. Their efforts however, turned out to be futile. These homes still decayed, some of the "once believed static" items were recovered but only a tiny percentage. Many of them were lost. In most cases, the game masters would delete the items prior to the final day of house decay.

    If, a "blessed" property was saved on the Atlantic shard, why would EA not be willing to preserve "blessed" dwellings on other shards?

    It has been expressed by a large margin of our UO community, that they have "never seen a game master transfer decaying property to a UO player."

    Where is the designated line of fairness drawn when arriving to a conclusion that a "certain" property or properties should be saved, and others let go?

    I don't understand the logic in the decision making of saving one property and not another, and I don't understand how EA can conclude a decision that results in the transfer of a property to an in-game player, when EA has appeared to judge so many players to be "not worthy" of the keeping of these historical abodes in the past.

    The result of trying to make sense of how a property would be given to a player, leaves very many questions by members of our community.

    Would not EA perhaps take ownership of the house themselves, and make these treasures available to the entire community? Would they not honor the people of Atlantic (and other shards) by maintaining a permanent original state of these "blessed" buildings?

    Why is it decided to give these buildings to one person, rather than the entire shard?

    The answers that the UO community's logic could boil down to, leaves many questions, both positive and negative.

    Considering that the owner was thinking of possibly converting these classic masterpieces into customizable homes begs the question, "Does EA genuinly care about the preservation of the properties if they would put them under the ownership of a designated individual that would consider changing them?"

    It begs the question of who's interests are taken to heart on this matter. It causes a large portion of our community to ponder on whether or not the best interest of the community was taken into consideration when this decision was made.

    If this has been done on Atlantic, should the people of others shards be able to have a request granted to preserve their historical gems too?

    I wrote this post and asked my questions as a completely unbiased member of our community. I know nothing about the owner, nor anyone else on the Atlantic shard. I put forth my question with as much respect possible to the representives of EA, the moderators of the UO Stratics forums, and the players of Ultima Online.

    I look forward to reading the replies to my post, but I ask that any and all who reply do so with much care to remain unbiased, to refrain from using names of individuals or guilds, to avoid personal attacks/trolling, and to reply with the best interest of the UO community in mind. My writing today truley comes from the heart, and is a genuinely intended to be in the best interest of the entire player base for Ultima Online................the greatest online game still on the market.

    Take care communtiy! Thank you for taking the time to read my thread.

  2. hawkeye_pike

    hawkeye_pike Babbling Loonie
    Stratics Veteran

    May 15, 2008
    Likes Received:
    To avoid misunderstandings, the best solution to my opinion would be, to make the house permanent (non-decayable) and owned by no-one. Such places should become a public landmark.

    I've been around since 1998 as well (with a pause), and I've seen many Seer-blessed landmarks fall and vanish, especially after the introduction of Trammel and Felucca. From houses in the Celtic Village to the well-known Tavern of the Eigth Virtues in the Virtue Village. Unfortunately, today those historic places merely exist in some old screenshots...

    (This picture is from 1999!)
  3. Silly Seadog

    Stratics Veteran It's My Birthday

    Jun 21, 2007
    Likes Received:
    Arrr, me agrees with Mr. Hawkeye. We all know there exists a perpetual "Owned by OSI" state fer houses; methinks the best option 'twould be ta somehow place such historical structures into this there condition!
  4. Farsight

    Farsight Crazed Zealot
    Stratics Veteran Stratics Legend

    May 12, 2008
    Likes Received:
    Part of that is exactly what happened in the Village of Virtue on Napa Valley. Back when house decay was first started, the majority of the Village was away on vacations or breaks or whatever. We petitioned the powers that were (and aren't any more) to make the homes permanemt, which they did.

    They did not, however, take the ownership from the players. But they did make it clear that the understanding was that the homes stay in our possession and will be deleted if we transferred them for real money or gold (giving the properties away, however, was not forbidden).

    Since then, two of those houses have been intentionally folded and one decayed (we're still trying to figure that one out, we think that in the process of redecorating, they didn't include the anti-decay code), but three still remain. One, mine, still stands even after I took a six year break from the game. One hasn't had an active account as owner for about 8 years now. The last one's owner still plays and still checks up on the property every once in a while (despite playing on Catskills now).

    The interesting thing about the houses that still stand is that since they don't decay, they don't prevent me from "owning" another house (I mention this at my own peril, as I keep expecting that to change), so that I have a landmark attached to my account as well as a house on another shard, placed within the last year.

    That part of the story is just to show that what HP says is not only possible, but back in 98-99 it was easy to do and didn't even require new coding.

    However, I have not heard of any case of houses/landmarks being made permanent since the start lockdowns. In fact, any problems with the "blessings" that I've heard of in the last year have all met with the same result. The offending decorations have been deleted rather than restored, such as with Liquid Pleasures on Napa.

    Anyhow, that's my history lesson and where I'm coming from. Now for my opinion.

    I wouldn't be offended if they took the blessed homes that aren't attached to an active account and made them undecayable OSI owned properties. In fact, if they started asking which properties need to be saved (such as they did before the Magincia event, and failed to follow through), I would offer up my Napa property for the program, even though that would mean I lose a unique home, the people of Napa could still visit it and wonder what happened there until the end of UO.

    There is no realistic second option, since all properties in the hands of players can be abused.

    In any case, our communities are not attached to the houses, but rather to each other, and losing the buildings that we've lost have been met with a moment of sadness and our moving on with the game.
  5. Zuckuss

    Zuckuss Order | Chaos
    Professional Stratics Veteran Alumni K^S

    Aug 1, 2008
    Likes Received:
    Well it seems that my post is inaccurate as it has been noted that the original poster of the Atlantic thread was "joking" when he said that EA gave him the towers.

    Since EA has responded in saying that the transfer of the properties was done through in-game mechanics, it does not seem there is an issue of trust with EA at this point.

    I do however feel my post could be a topic starter in regards to setting a policy and procedure to maintain historical properties. Many of my questions to EA are still yet valid and I would love to see an implementation of a procedure to make future decaying "blessed" homes and museums available to the entire community.

    Can EA consider implementing a policy in regards to saving these historical icons?