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The New SA Client: The Good, The Bad and The Ugly

Discussion in 'UHall' started by georgemarvin2001, Dec 2, 2009.

  1. I recently came back to UO after over a year. I couldn't get the regular client to download, so I had to use the SA client for a few days. I'm going to make some observations about what I thought of it, and I would like to see what other people think.

    The Good:
    1. The map: I used it to find healers when I died, it's zoomable, it's almost as good as the old UOAM was.
    2. The original designers of UO never thought about the possibility that some severely mentally challenged dev would decide to put like 60 truly crappy items in a high-level treasure chest and a couple dozen POS low-grade items on every Doom mini-boss, or other mini-bosses like Miasma, Grobu and Lurg, most of which are easily soloable. It's practically impossible to sort through all that crap to find the one item that's worth keeping per 10 level 6 treasure chests or 20 Miasma corpses full of crap with the normal client. It's much easier in the new client, when you use the new compartmentalized containers.
    3. The zoom function is great. I've used it several times to zoom out and look at the battlefield, or zoom in to really examine something interesting

    The Bad:
    1. Those new, compartmentalized bags may be really functional, but they look like crap.
    2. I didn't find a guide for the new targeting system.
    3. I couldn't find a "lock taskbars" button in user settings; it's easy to accidentally pick the buttons up and move them.
    4. I couldn't find a "bandage self" icon in the actions menu. That one is EXTREMELY important for warriors.
    5. As a workaround for the lack of the "bandage self" option, I drug the bandages to one of the menu bars; when I press F12, brings up the bandage target cursor, but for some reason, while in combat, the "cursor target self" that I also set up a menu bar slot for, didn't seem to work consistently for some reason. I hit it, look to see if the targeting cursor has disappeared, then hit it again if the cursor hasn't disappeared. If that doesn't work, I have to hit the bandage hotkey again and start over. It's just a second or two extra. However, in situations where split-second timing is the difference between life and death, it can be a real problem.
    6. Pathfinding should be turned off as the default; it is a real mess.
    7. Some mentally challenged Dev decided to make a bunch of hotkeys out of letters that you normally type while "talking" in UO. And you have to hit the enter key before talking instead of it just being the default action like in the regular client. I would begin typing something to tell a friend in the middle of a battle and all this crap would pop up all over my screen and things would start happening all by themselves instead of what I was typing appearing at the bottom of the screen, ready to be said as soon as I hit the enter key. If I wanted to use that AWFUL WoW-like chat system, I would be PLAYING WoW. And I may make half of my keyboard into hotkeys, but I'll make sure I use something like ctrl or shift to use them, so that I don't have stuff popping up when I don't want it to, like right in the middle of a fight.
    8. You single-click to cast spells in the new client, while you double-click in the old one; it's just different, not really bad, but it can be confusing when you switch back and forth between clients.

    The Ugly:
    1. Those new, compartmentalized bags may be really functional, but they look like crap.
    2. The new graphics take some getting used to. Especially things like Energy Vortexes. Some of the new graphics look halfway decent, but the paperdoll especially looks really weird. The old graphics may not be high-res, but they were well-drawn. The new ones look sort of hurried and not well-made. Like they stuck a bunch of interns with the job of drawing them as practice before they turned them loose with something that mattered.

    The Good: Non-client-related: With a little tweaking of the skill, Imbuing may FINALLY let craftsmen make warriors a really nice plate suit, mages a really nice all-leather suit, archers a really nice ringmail suit, and stealthers a nice studded armor suit again, like they used to. Unfortunately, the full plate suit won't be any stronger than the leather one, and PvP will still be a mess, but it'll at least look decent, and have the crafter's name on it.

    The Bad: Non-Client-related:
    1. Why can't they give UO an auction house? Almost every MMORPG in existence has one.
    2. I've been asking about a 1-on-1 Arena system since like 2003. It should be easy to implement and a lot of fun for PvPers who just have a few minutes to play or who want to test different equipment.
    3. Still no healers on the small islands that have like a half-dozen level 6 treasure maps on them? They were promising to put some healers there like 2 years ago, but it still hasn't happened. It would save all the T-hunters from having to use the "help" option multiple times per day.
    4. After all this time, factions are still broken???
    5. The Devs are still praying to the Random Number Gods and insisting on making looting corpses require a calculator?

    The Ugly: Non-Client Related:
    1. In the wake of the EA firings, is UO really going into "Maintenance mode"? After 12 years and several teams of really crappy Devs, as well as a few brilliant ones, it's still #10 in subscribers among MMORPGs. Unfortunately, the same can't be said for Warhammer or The Sims, each of which didn't live up to the hype.

    If UO had just kept its old item system, kept the old order/chaos factions system, and hadn't introduced the poorly conceived powerscrolls, and had just made Trammel and some new content, and fixed some small problems, it could have bumped its subscriber base up from the 300,000 subscribers it had at the beginning of the Age of Shadows to levels competitive with the astronomical level that WoW has now attained. Instead, they began worshipping the Random Number Gods and made the equipment and weapons so complicated that you needed a calculator to figure out whether to loot an item or not, and made every monster drop prodigious amounts of loot. Then they made the power scrolls without raising the skill cap, which meant that players had to drop one skill if they wanted to compete in either PvP or high-level PvM, and they took away the penalties that players had faced when they tried to make one character have too many offensive skills. Before AOS, players had to make painful choices; if they wanted a warrior with magery, he couldn't meditate because only leather armor was medable, and even leather didn't allow the mage to regain mana as fast as regular cloth. Most mages just ran around in regular clothes. Heavy plate armor exacted a dexterity penalty; mages with high dex could outrun warriors. Everything was pretty well-balanced. After AOS, mages could wear better armor than warriors, since the barbed kits were much cheaper and easier to get, and made better armor than even the best blacksmithing runics. EA didn't even have a clue why their subscriber base dropped by 100,000 in the weeks following their decision to wreck PvP and crafting.

    If UO just forgot about constantly making new clients and did a little work on the standard client, to bring it up-to-date, added a map similar to the one they put into the EC, and made a few of the things the game is missing, like an auction house and arenas, and made PvP balanced again, and raised the skill cap to 840 so players could have 7 capped out skills again, and re-introduced the penalties for having multiple, conflicting offensive skills, and simplified the weapons and equipment to something like it used to be, when armor resisted physical attacks and magic resist skill resisted magic attacks, it should last for years to come.
  2. kelmo

    kelmo Old and in the way
    Professional Stratics Veteran Supporter Alumni Stratics Legend Dread Lord

    May 12, 2008
    Likes Received:
    Very provocative post. I like it. *watches* Just so you know I play Enhanced Client exclusively now. Too a fault it seems...
  3. deadite

    deadite Sage
    Stratics Veteran Stratics Legend It's My Birthday

    Jun 17, 2004
    Likes Received:
    I'm tired so I am not going to go through every one of your points. But I will say that several of your concerns (self-bandage, inventory and new keyboard commands) can be easily adjusted to fit your preference by either macros or user settings.

    The EC isn't perfect, but you should really explore the options it offers before you criticize it. I'm using it exclusively at this point, and I am actually impressed overall and glad I made the switch.
  4. deadite

    deadite Sage
    Stratics Veteran Stratics Legend It's My Birthday

    Jun 17, 2004
    Likes Received:
  5. zoop

    zoop Guest

    If I wanted to use that AWFUL WoW-like chat system, I would be PLAYING WoW
    Statements like that have fail written all over them.

    Why can't they give UO an auction house? Almost every MMORPG in existence has one
    If I wanted to use that AWFUL WoW-like auction system, I would be PLAYING WoW

    Btw most of your macro problems are not due to the new client being crap at them - but us just having to get used to not needing to bend over backwards to make macros the old ugly way.

    As for "just fixing" the classic client. I think that is what they are trying to do now - but they are afraid to scare the 12 year I-am-loaded-with-vet-rewards people. Real progress would have been canning the client ages ago.

    No, the EC is far from perfect - but I think fixing classic "a little" would not draw anyone back in. I am glad if only to OMGWTFdelete UOAsssist.
  6. Nice post, lot of good points.

    I would much like an EC/Classic Client mix.

    When looting a monster, it would be nice if it's compartmentalized for easier looting, but I so much prefer my open bag system, so I can organize everything into corners and keep track of it all, instead of in compartments that I have to scroll through.

    Powerscrolls - hate them. AOS - hate it. Nothing to say there.

    Graphics, I like the EC graphics, but the mouse pointer not being exactly on the dot and the running in place, the bugs, the bugs, the bugs. Can't live with it, shouldn't have to.
  7. lucitus

    lucitus UOEC Modder
    Stratics Veteran

    May 13, 2008
    Likes Received:
    The funny thing is my shard has an so called Auction house ;), it is a house where once week auctions are going on?

    I think there were aution houses before anybody ever thought about WoW ;).
  8. So you still playing SA or did you get the 2d client to download?
  9. Miriandel

    Miriandel Seasoned Veteran
    Stratics Veteran

    Aug 3, 2009
    Likes Received:
    I stopped reading after the first insult.
  10. Stupid Miner

    Stupid Miner Guest

    Your right, it's much better when annoying people cast 20 spells while typing a sentence, instead of making us remember to hit the "enter" key before typing. (really doesn't take long to get used to)
  11. I wanted to make a strong post that would get some strong responses. And I got them.

    About an auction house: There were a couple of websites that were devoted to UO auctions of goods for UO gold long before WoW was even a pipe dream. The problem, though, was that there were too many scammers, because it was run by players, so there were no in-game mechanisms to prevent the people doing the auctions from cheating the customers. There used to be a player-run auction house on Atlantic, with in-game auctions every Friday night, but it closed down while I was gone. Same reason, too many scammers, I would imagine. People used to look for items on eBay, too; before eBay banned auctions of UO virtual items, about half of the UO auctions on eBay offered items for either UO gold or cash. The only site that I know of that still offers an easy way to buy, sell and trade UO items without looking through like 1,000 vendor malls for them, is tradespot.net and it seems to be dying. The Atlantic section used to have like 100 items per day before I left. When I got back it was down to like 2 or 3. Two websites have done something different, though: finduo.com and searchuo.com let people type in the item that they are looking for, and search all the vendors in Luna for them. WoW picked up the idea of in-game auctions and ran with it, but us UO players had the idea long before it was even conceived. The problem was that the Devs never supported it or gave us any in-game support.

    @deadite: Thanks for the link. Too bad EA or UO Herald didn't think to make a nice, useful guide to creating those macros. Mods: Please consider posting that link with a sticky, it's a really useful site.

    @brucie kibbutz: I agree. An option to let us have compartmentalized monster loot while keeping our old-style bags would be great.

    @ Lord Drakelord: I finally got the old client to download right, after several attempts. I currently use the old client for my warrior, because hitting one key to bandage works much better than any combo that I have made for EC. When I'm fighting Miasma or Lurg, a bandage in exactly the right split-second can make the difference between life and death. I think it would be better to have compartmentalized looting, but I can always move the stuff around to see if there's a nice ring under a piece of crappy armor. Besides, all of my characters are pretty well-equipped, so I seldom find anything I want, anyway. I use the EC for my treasure hunter, because the new map lets me find healers easily, and the compartmentalized system lets me see which treasure chest loot I want. I switch back to the old client sometimes when I have problems determining which map I have, though. I play with both clients for my stealth mage; if I'm at an IDOC or PvPing in Felucca, I use the old client. It's a matter of survival. The new client won't let me scatter my spells all over the screen in convenient places. If I'm PvM hunting in Tram, I use the EC because of the compartmentalized loot. In PvM, about all I'm going to do is spam EV, flamestrike and EB anyway, and I have keyboard shortcuts made for all of those.

    @Stupid Miner: As soon as I found out that half my keyboard had been changed to EC hotkeys, I went into the user options and deleted them or changed them so that I had to hit ctrl with the key. The idea was that the designers shouldn't have put them there in the first place. The EC and SA should be a great combination to attract new players to jump into the game, and poor design is a good way to turn them off before their free 14 days is up.

    Also, if they just let us keep scattering our spells and weapon abilities across the screen in convenient spots like the old client does, instead of having to put it into those taskbars would be another step in the right direction.

    @zoop: No, fixing the old client won't bring people back. That would be the more difficult job of re-balancing and fixing PvP, simplifying the weapons and armor system, fixing crafting, lowering the amount of loot monsters drop to a manageable level, making scripting difficult to impossible, getting rid of the ever-present item dupe bugs, making the job of gaining skills more fun and less tedious, fixing factions, giving new players a leg up so they can compete in a matter of weeks, not years, and resetting maximum skill points to account for the use of power scrolls.

    The problem seems to be that they throw massive amounts of resources into making a new client every year, INSTEAD OF fixing the things that are wrong with the game. I don't see any problem with them making a new, better client, IF they could do so AND fix the long-term problems that have been around for 4 or 5 years at the same time. It's obvious that they can't do both at the same time. Look at the item crafting in factions; it was first broken in like 2004, 5 YEARS ago. Or the healers on the islands that disappeared about a year and a half before I left. They said it was accidental and promised to put them back like 2 years ago, and they still aren't there. They just never seem to be able to get around to fixing play issues.

    I don't have a problem with them making a new, hopefully better client. I have a problem with them spending massive amounts of time and effort on a new client, to the point that they don't have enough resources left to fix gameplay issues. A shiny new client may be great, but if they don't fix the gameplay issues, and make the whole game a little more new-player friendly, the player base is going to keep dwindling. We need new players to keep the game alive and kicking; a pretty new client may bring them in, but they won't stay past their free 14 days if they don't see a vibrant, dynamic online world with both a thriving PvP and PvM community.
  12. Divster

    Divster Guest

    As was actually already pointed out the ec does let you make a bandage self macro with one button, drop badages in hotbar slot right click on the hotbar slot target self. I think the legacy targetting syetem has to be on or off (not sure which hehe) this will also give a countdown in the hotbar slot of how long untill your bandage kicks in

    Also You can scatter spells all over the screen , look at the bottom right end of ure hotbar, there is a resize arrow, drag it down to one window drop spell in there, move hotbar to where you want it. To make another hotbar right click create new hotbar rinse and repeat

    You might want to check o0ut the enhanced cliebnt forum stratics provides this will provide you with many very very good user interface mods and answer many questions you may have about the client!
  13. Storm

    Storm UO Forum Moderator
    Moderator Professional Premium Stratics Veteran Wiki Moderator Stratics Legend

    Mar 18, 2004
    Likes Received:
    Like divster said I would go over to the enhanced client forum and i think you will find the answers to a great many of your problems and if you dont find your answer or there is something you would like to know about or see added post there and I bet you have a answer !
  14. Gildar

    Gildar Babbling Loonie
    Stratics Veteran Stratics Legend

    Apr 22, 2004
    Likes Received:
    You can use the old style bags if you want.
    If you explain why the compartmentalized bags look bag, somebody might be able to mod you something that looks better to you.

    There also isn't a guide for the old targetting system... but the new one should be easier to get used to than the old one for most people. You can always use the old one if you want though.

    Yep - would be great to have a lock option for most of the UI.

    Read this:

    What's wrong with it?

    Ask any non-mentally challenged player who has taken the time to learn the new client, and you'll find out that you can turn off the Enter-to-Talk and switch your hotkeys to a default that is appropriate for the non-Enter-to-Talk mode in seconds.
    Read this:

    Confusing if you switch back and forth... but it's easy to get used to, so why limit the usability of the new client because of limitations in the old one?

    See above.
    Also, you're insulting, unconstructive tone is getting annoying.

    Most of the graphics are the same as the old ones. If you have a problem with new graphics, you should be specific in what you have a problem with, why you have a problem with it, and how they could be changed so that you like them better.

    12 year old code, numerous short-lived developers working on it that are no longer around, numerous designers getting their hands in the code (also no longer around) instead of leaving it all to developers, short release cycles needed while updating the client...
    I wouldn't want to be a developer on a team that made a decision to modernize a client in that state if we couldn't rebuild the whole thing from the ground up. It would be expensive, time consuming, and have a very high bug rate.
  15. @divster: Thanks. I've now got spells scattered all over the screen for my mage. It looks and acts very much like my CC interface now. :)

    I also checked in my user settings and it appears that I had the legacy targeting turned on for the warrior char. I turned it off and tried the bandage macro again; it works now. I tried tackling a lurg and grobu without a shield, and survived. :)

    The Devs did put some thought into some of the features of the EC. Compartmentalized loot and the new map are great.

    However, they should have put some thought into explaining all the new features, and written a guide to all those neat new features, and made the beginning macro set better. Sending everybody to Stratics forums to read hundreds of pages of posts to figure it all out just isn't going to appeal to new players, or even us returning veterans. Also, the grass and EVs and the paperdoll and some of the other stuff just looks ... weird. It will take some getting used to. I do like the way the Grobu, hiryu, swampies, etc. look, though.

    If UO eliminated the old client, I would grumble a little while playing my mage and warrior, but I could live with this EC. The same couldn't have been said for the old 3D client. Also, given the fact that I did have problems with the EC, if I had been able to download and use the old client immediately when I returned, I wouldn't have given the new client a chance. I would have just written it off as another ill-thought-out flop after a few minutes of struggling with it. Since I had to use it a while, and got used to some of its idiosynchracies, I found some of the features that I do like about it. Lots of new players won't like the new look, and won't try to figure out how to fix the things they don't like; they will just download it, try it for a few minutes, and delete it rather than try to figure it out. Many of them won't know about Stratics and won't find all the other UO websites that we all use to find the stuff that UO either didn't put in their playguides, or put somewhere that we can't find them. Us veterans know to look on Stratics, UOguide, etc. rather than even attempt to find anything on UO's own website. New players won't.
  16. Saphireena

    Saphireena Lore Keeper
    Stratics Veteran Stratics Legend

    Mar 16, 2004
    Likes Received:
    As much as I love the auction house in WoW, it's not something I'd like to see in UO. I love the charm of setting up vendors and having people actually visit your home to do their shopping. The fewer the players around, the more important this element of the game becomes in keeping the sense of community alive.
  17. Divster

    Divster Guest

    Well i have been playing the new client now nearly exclusivley (with the help of lucitus's wonderfull mod) for the past 2 months and whenever i go back to 2d client i just can't enjoy the game as much, yes there are some problems, ( but in my opinion mostly graphical such as mounted characters suddenly appearing dismounted and naked and characters becoming copied across the screen in the direction of travel) but once uve played for a bit u can recognise when the client is trying to fool you, yes would be great to have that fixed but I personally love it and live in hope of it being brought up to date.

    To those comments about wow auction house i would say no, however as there are already websites that enable you to search the contents of say luna vendors i fail to see why ea can't create a search vendor feature, sure the unique vendor system of uo is great and enables the possibilty of distinct and custiomizable shops but making it easier for prospective buyers to find what they are looking for would benefit everyone!


    The main thing that put me off the new client was the new *feel* of the whole thing but after a few days/weeks of playing it i feel just as comfortable with it as the classic client. Main prob was adjusting to the sounds and effects of spells etc as well as the graphical makeup of the environment, but as comfort is often in familiarity there is often no better advice to give then simply stick with it and see what happens :)
  18. altarego

    altarego Guest

  19. wrekognize

    wrekognize Guest

    Give me a MAP like uoam in the 2D clieant, and make the 2D client high res and you've got me for life.
  20. Divster

    Divster Guest

  21. Yeah, UOCartographer is showing a lot of promise. I've been using it when I log into the CC for a couple of days; it has most of the features of the old UOAM, and the author is working on making it even better. The EC has a decent, convenient map built in. It could still be made better, though. In the useful mode, it takes up nearly the whole play area, and there isn't an option to either make it transparent or resize it.

    The EC is looking more and more promising, if they just make a really good guide so players can figure it out easily, and fix some of the more jarring graphics, like things being in the wrong places, etc. Also, if you place things in the compartments, and switch back to the CC, everything gets piled at the top of the bag. I'm going to experiment with some mods shortly. I'm especially interested in the suit and weapon changing macros that you can evidently make; changing armor can be a real pain in the CC. There is one play issue that somebody here can probably tell me how to fix, too.

    The worst thing about the EC, other than some of the graphics taking some getting used to, is something really irritating in actual gameplay, and probably a bug: Pathfinding seems to activate at random and tries to move my char somewhere I don't want to go, especially when my stealth mage is hiding and needs to remain perfectly still, or move slowly to one specific location. I tried to find a checkbox to turn off pathfinding in EC because of that problem, but it seems that there isn't one. Taking a stroll right into the middle of the guild waiting at an IDOC in Fel is like instant suicide. My IDOC strategy is to stay hidden until it falls, grab a packful of goodies and recall out of there the second after it falls, leaving the guild that had been camping it cursing in my wake, then recall back a couple of screens away and stealth back to it for a second load of goodies, or to wait to try to place a house. So far, I've placed 2 houses in the 2 weeks I've been back; I can place another one tomorrow, when my 1-week placement timer runs out. I'm hoping to make a little gold selling houses until I get one in a really good location to keep. Unfortunately, I ended up giving the first one I placed to a friend instead of selling it.

    About an auction house: Yeah, if the sites that search the vendors would just expand to search the whole shard, it would be great. Even better than an auction house. The problem is the current sheer quantity of items we have to look through to find that one specific item we need. In the old days, before the awful idea of Random Number Equipment, when craftsmen made the armor nearly everybody wore, and player-made katanas, kryss and hammers were the weapon of choice for even the best PvPers, we would mark runes to the vendors that had the supplies we needed; if a piece of armor wore out, or a PvP opponent took it from our corpses, the player would recall back to the shop where it was made, and buy another piece of exceptional armor "made by Hephaestus" or "made by Zeus", etc. that matched the rest of their suit. Back then, when UO was the #1 online game, you didn't have to find a 20/5/19/15/8 sleeve with mana regen 2, lrc 18 and LMC 8 to finish your uber suit. Back then, any set of exceptional sleeves would do; the only reason for having a matching set of armor was pride; it didn't make any difference in battle. It wasn't going to be part of your character practically forever. It would wear out in a few days, and you could go back to the same shop and find another one easily. Now, you have to look through thousands of vendors to find that exact piece you need. And the same vendor isn't likely to EVER get another one. He might burn 1,000 runic kits and never again get that particular set of stats. Players won't be able to keep a bunch of matching suits of decent armor in stock, even with imbuing. It will take so many rare ingredients that it's going to take imbuers a lot of time to even make one suit; if you see an uber suit on a vendor, when it sells, it may take that same crafter weeks or even months to accumulate the materials to make another one. That's why, given the current lunacy of random number generated equipment and the requirements for imbuing, it's a real mess trying to find anything with the vendor system; it was created for a much simpler armor and weapons system, and isn't really well-suited for the Random Number Generated nightmare we call current UO equipment. That's also why all the vendors that used to sell tons of regs and bandages at all of the dungeon entrances are nearly out of business; nobody even uses regs anymore, and warriors use talismans to get emergency bandages. Even vendors in the middle of nowhere used to be able to make a living, because the people who dropped by would buy some supplies and maybe a piece of replacement armor or two. Now, if you don't have a vendor inside Luna, or spend all your time dropping runes at Luna bank, you probably won't get enough customers to keep your vendors alive. If you happen to be one of the few people who has a house in Luna, you're an instant UO Billionaire, though.