…that must be how the UO dev team must feel right now — in the aftermath of Calandryll’s latest infoburst the UO community is going “uh… what?” in unison.

For the PvP inclined among you, the removal of pre-casting is THE topic. Most PvPers are deadset against it. I’m not. Then again, I never use it, so I’m biased. However, most folks say that allowing mages to pre-cast are the only way that duels can be fought… otherwise dex monkeys will chew up the mages. Of course this is a symptom of the larger problem, namely that combat is limited to two archetypes (dex monkey and mage) and is about to be limited to one (dex monkey) among the hardcore PvP mavens.

I’m personally convinced that a fireteam with well-defined roles (healers, nukers and tanks) SHOULD be able to defeat anyone. That’s how it worked in our glory days on GL, dammit. However in practice combat almost always devolves to who gets there the fustest with the mostest. Then again you can pretty much say the same thing about war in general.

Pretty much the only real answer to the problem is to make a completely revamped combat system with so many interlocking skills that there is no one true way to mastery. Of course that may as well be a seperate game.

Turning from PvP to, um, not PvP, another change announced was item decay on boats. In other words, items will decay on boats. Buh-bye, mining barges. Which I suspect is the point. I mean, if you mine, you should be at risk from h0 dA pIMpSlaSHER killing you. Happened all the time in Medieval Europe, right? And the best part of Ultima 9 was when you got to run down the Minoc coastline laying waste to all the miners. That just ruled.