While everyone else was sleeping, drinking heavily, powerleveling newbie characters on the new EQ server, or all of the above (my personal choice for the holiday festivities) those loveable UO Dev Gnomes actually went and posted some planned changes. Let’s get right to it, shall we?

Latest Update stuff that already went in on the 21st that you missed entirely

Holiday Tickets Activated. whee.

NPCs will no longer scavenge items.
Monsters will no longer destroy objects that block their path. This is a temporary change and will be changed back.

Uh… guys? There’s this thing called a Test Center. You may want to try out your nifty pathfinding ideas there first before setting them loose on the shards and then threatening to ban folks when they take advantage of your l33t on-the-fly code testing. Grow a brain, grow a clue, just grow!

You will no longer be able to place locked down items into your backpack.

Well shit. That sounded like it would have been fun. Hah! Try to steal my fish steaks NOW!

The exploit that allowed people to gain magic resistance using blade spirits without taking damage from the blade spirits has been fixed.

Of course, you can still gain resist off of blade spirits, especially when a notoPK runs into yours and shoves a few flamestrikes up your butt. Very cost-effective way of gaining resist, actually. (I recommend the Brit graveyard for this.)

In Development stuff that is being worked on that you have very little time left to bitch and caterwaul about

The bug involving the ability to “pre-cast” spells and then use or take items will be fixed.

Picture a dead horse, a whip, and a grinning dominatrix with a death fetish. I think pretty much everyone who has ever raised a sword in anger in UO against another has said one thing or another about this. Personally I happen to think that if all you get out of UO is firing off your precasting macros in a robotic fashion, it’s time to find a new game anyway. But that’s just me. Others will tell you that without precasting UO is no longer actually technically a game.

Monsters in invalid or unreachable locations will “die” after a certain amount of time.

About goddam time. Of course, if Raph Koster’s virtual lifecycle economy was left in those monsters stuck up a tree or something would die anyway. Then again the players would probably have reverted to cannibalism by now, too. Oh, that’s right, they did that last year until the human jerky was removed. D’oh!

To avoid exploits involving “gray” to “blue” flagging, entering or being the target of combat will extend the “gray flag” of a “gray” character for two additional minutes.

The fealty calculation for guildstones will be made more efficient to alleviate the delay in shard start-up times.

Whatever. This is all stuff that should have been done, oh, two years ago.

NPCs will now train the appropriate skills when asked. Some NPCs will now train different skills than they previously and will list all skills they can train when asked, “train”
You will no longer get the item “a scroll”.
Monster treasure will be revamped. Most monsters will not carry backpacks, and some monsters will carry different treasure than they have previously.
Provisioners, beekeepers, and innkeepers will sell beeswax.
Some NPCs will now carry items more appropriate to their jobs (beware of merchants with trapped boxes!)

How long have they been promising to get rid of “a scroll”? What, is that Lord British’s pet object or something? “Oh shit, Garriott’s back in the room, put a scroll back in.”

Beeswax? Can we summon bees with it? Can we stack it in huge piles to the sun? Can we… oh, never mind. I’m just glad those merchants can finally break para like the rest of us.

Pack horses will have their carrying capacity increased from 400 to 1,600 stones. If a pack horse goes wild, it will eventually drop whatever it is carrying if it is not retamed.

And miners everywhere went “Hot damn!”. Shortly thereafter they went “please don’t kill my damn packhorse”.

A new item will allow you to survey land to see if a house will fit in that location.

So, um, instead of shit that would actually be USEFUL, like, say, secure house transferral or housing auctions or reasonable house maintenance or any of the other crap about housing that has been promised approximately since Jesus, we get a fucking surveyor’s tool. Well goddam. Now all those people camped out in front of the houses of people who got banned waiting for the GMs to illegally delete them will have it easier. I know that makes me all warm and tingly inside.

A fix for the exploit involving banning summoned pets or creatures so they will attack passersby.
An issue with trading and using ingots through trade windows will be resolved.
You will not be able to snoop pack animals inside a house, while the animal was outside.

Odd, that Origin is fixing bugs, despite Dr. TwisTer’s departure from UO. I mean, whouldathunkit.

You will no longer be able to use the stealing skill to determine if someone is in the thieves’ guild.

So, while your thief may be completely fucking nerfed into the ground clear into the earth’s crust, at least people can’t steal with their skill locked 0 stealing to see if they can kill you at will. I guess that would count as an improvement.

Issues with smithing difficulty being higher than normal will be resolved.

An ideal resolution would be “fixing it”.

In an effort to allow more players to store animals on stable masters, and to cut down on the hoarding of rare and difficult-to-find animals, stable masters will be going through the following revisions:

One of those revisions of course, is not “preventing gimp tailors from gangbanging reds with 9,003 dragons”. That would be wrong. I mean, whenever I think of huge, hulking red dragons snorting fire and eating maidens, I always think of them being at some dork’s beck and call. It’s historically accurate, right?

However, in order to balance things, dragons will be allowed to pre-cast.