For those who don’t play factions, I’ll give you a short little summary of how the system works. Eyes straight forward. Each time a faction player kills an enemy, he gets a point or a tally or a hash-mark or whatever you want to call it. I prefer to call them “pips”. This allows factions, guilds, and individual players to visit and see their current rank compared to the rest of the shard – boasting and chest-pounding ensues. But for some, there is little to boast about. They are bad. They are so bad they made me look good and I have been known to FORGET I’m carrying bandages (yes, that’s a true confession). For these sad-sack players, the only way to achieve prominence is to exploit loopholes in the system. Factions allows you to have only one character per shard as a participant – but you can own any number of UO accounts. So people like the creatively challanged “HehlafLOL” will create multiple faction participants and then proceed to slaughter them repeatedly. I’ll even go as far as to accuse this particular player of using unattended macros in order to attain such an obnoxious number of kills as two thousand plus. Until I’m able to play Ultima Online from a Palm Pilot, this is the story I’m sticking with. So whats to be done about this problem? I have an idea.

Any player who frequents the vendors owned by a GM fisherman knows how frustrating it is to be the sixth player to arrive. You can identify magic items there until the proverbial cows come home, but each time you click on that item, it will only offer the non-descript “a magical whatchamacallit.” Magic items only have five “slots” available. Each player who identifies this item is added to this short list until all five slots are full. Every player from that moment on will only see “a magical whatchamacallit” when they click on that object. The limit is there because tracking an unlimited number of players on every single magical item in Ultima Online would stop a Borg Cube in space, let alone a UO server.

So if for the same reasons we cannot track “players who killed me” because the resources cannot handle such an ulimited list (and in my case, the list reads like a Brittanian phone book), why not implement the same “five slots” design? Lets say five guys in the Council of Mages kill me. (BWAAAA haha hahah hahah!) okay seriously, let’s say five guys in the Shadowlords kill me and just as I’m leaving the Britain Healer Hut, a sixth Shadowlord runs by an drops me with a lobster fork. Then his name takes up slot number one, all the names shift down the list, and the former occupant of slot number five drops off the list – basically, his “pip” for killing me has just expired. The maximum number of “pips” any faction opponent could ever earn from me is five. Any kills beyond that, and he’s just working on his skill gains.

I’m sure that there will be plenty of faction macro beanie babies who will hate this idea, but on the other hand, I’m sure there are plenty of honest factions players who would love to see anything in the way of improvement.

So Mr. HahlafLOL, I await your comments.