UO Stratics interviewed Kirk “Runesabre” Black, lead programmer of Ultima Online: Red Dawn (you think I’m joking, wait until the Soviet tesla troopers land in Vesper!). Lots of good quotes about everything UO related from the man who until recently was under the Origin Cone of Silence.

Removing RoT [from Siege Perilous was one of the tougher decisions I have had to make. In the end I supported the removal of RoT because its my opinion that RoT is not really what makes Siege. What makes Siege are the player interactions and the ability to truly affect the environment and decide what is right and wrong within the game confines. Additionally, Siege is very much a hard shard in my opinion. What I felt RoT did was impose an arbitrary limitation that players could not overcome. It was unnatural and limiting to a lot of players. Knowing that you would simply NOT gain skill because the system decided you couldn’t was a little odd. At the same time I like a lot of the things RoT brought to the table. When you see a GM in a RoT skill you know for certain they couldn’t have taken the easy route. RoT let players simply play without worrying about skill gain. Skill gain would eventually come… they would eventually GM their skills. And finally it really leveled the gap between powergamers and players who only had a couple hours a day to play. Both types of players could build up powerful characters in roughly equivalent time. What RoT didn’t accomodate were the weekend warriors. RoT was built around the idea of the player playing on a daily basis. Players who only played weekends were still left far behind in character building. At any rate, the overall stigma of RoT is another reason for its removal. Over and over, I heard the same thing from various boards and emails “I would play SP if not for RoT”