Here’s a design proposal I submitted quite a long time ago. Note that it predates many of the changes in the game recently, most notably the “Young Player Protection” which uses some of the proposals below.

If nothing else, it may be of historical interest.

Date: Fri, 09 Apr 1999 09:54:49 -0500
From: Scott Jennings
Subject: Design Proposal: Order/Chaos v3.0

The proposal below is based on work by Brandon Reinhart and Sir Adrick. It is designed to remove as far as possible punitive measures against those who engage in pvp combat, while minimizing the impact to those who do not wish to engage in it. This is to be done by channelling pvp combat as much as possible into a role-played environment, rewarding those who participate in said environment, and to a lesser extent penalizing those who pkill outside this environment.

We have attempted to keep the following objectives in mind while designing this proposal:

(1) As much as possible, minimize the changes to the UO server and client.
(2) Eliminate stat loss and other harshly punitive measures for those who “play by the rules”.
(3) Allow players to interact with one another and affect each other’s play, consensually or nonconsensually, within accepted parameters.
(4) Alienation of as few as possible as a result of this system.

My proposal is that this can be accomplished by a revamping of the Order/Chaos system and a firmer placement of it within a deeper, more meaningful long-term storyline.


Step One: Current Order/Chaos goes away. Shields disappear, Order and Chaos guilds lose their status. This can happen immediately upon implementation of this proposal.

Step Two: Characters are defined by OSI. These will lead the Order and Chaos factions (and hopefully come up with better names for either):

Faction leader: Preferably Lord British and Lord Blackthorne. However these must appear actively, often and in character. If it is a problem using the 2 LBs, new characters should be created in game. These should be controlled by OSI IGMs.

Faction generals: These should be controlled by current Seers/SRCs (or recruited for this purpose from the playerbase). They would interact with the player guilds within the Order/Chaos system, and ensure that they are playing “according to the rules” (as set forth below). If a guild has “gone rogue”, these generals have the ability to remove that guild from Order/Chaos.

Faction staff officers: These can be controlled by current Counselors (or new players recruited for this purpose from the playerbase). These act much as generals, but are greater in number to handle the presumably large number of guilds that would be associated with the system. They would not have the ability to remove guilds from Order/Chaos but would have the ear of faction generals who could do so.

All three above groups are to be in character at all times, similar to RPCs currently. Generals and staff officers will be expected to fight alongside the guilds they “command” (guide, actually – think of them as “political officers” or “commissars”) and should have a basic knowledge of pvp and should not have out-of-control stats and skills. Only one officer should fight alongside a guild at any one time.

Step Three: In game, Lord Blackthorne declares that he renounces the kingdom of Britannia and announces that he is raising an army to destroy the tyranny currently plaguing Sosaria. He summons all who will stand with him to Buccaneer’s Den, to raise an army to destroy the corrupt British government.

Lord British, in response, calls all people of virtue and purity to his banner.

This should happen via as many in game events as possible, on every shard, over a period of several weeks. It should become apparent to all who attend any that Lord Blackthorne’s true purpose is Chaos, and that he is for the cleansing of Sosaria through “survival of the fittest”. AKA PKing. It is important that the person detailed to “Lord Blackthorne” be able to carry this off. There are certainly enough historical parallels to draw from.

At the end of this sequence, guilds can join either Order or Chaos (again, PLEASE think up better names… Order/Chaos has a bad taste in my mouth). The process is not immediate, and a staff officer will be detailed to work with the guild. That staff officer will ensure that those guilds operate according to the codes of conduct detailed below.

Step Four: Initial conflict monitoring, to see how the system operates shard wide.

Step Five: Special powers are phased in for Order or Chaos, depending on numerical superiority of either, based on the proposed evil/hero system.

Step Six: Further refinement as necessary.


The following rules will be in effect for ALL players NOT in the Order/Chaos system.

These are designated as civilians. Civilians are broken into three categories:

Innocents: Persons who are “protected” by the game system from combat.

– Newbies (accounts with less than 50 hours of play)

– Newbies may at any time say “I wish to renounce my protection” to lose their newbie status. They then become commoners or freemen based on their skills.

– Commoners (players with combat skills below 175)

– Combat skills are defined as Swordsmanship, Mace Fighting, Fencing, and Magery.

– Commoners at any time may say “I wish to renounce my protection” to lose their commoner status. They then become freemen.

– Newbies and Commoners may not attack or heal non-Newbies/Commoners. A warning dialog will come up if they attempt any aggressive action.

– Freemen (players who were newbies or commoners, or all players grandfathered in at the start of the system)

– Freemen are innocent until innocence is violated. They cannot be attacked when innocent, but have the option to attack. If they do over 30 points of damage to another player, they lose their innocent status permanently.
– Freemen at any time may say “I wish to renounce my protection” to lose freemen status. They then become warriors.

– Newbies, Commoners and Freemen may not join the Theieves Guild.

Warriors: People who are NOT protected by the innocence system.

Warriors have complete freedom of action.

Warriors may kill other warriors, or members of Chaos or Order.

Warriors accumulate murder counts. This is as the current system. They suffer stat loss as currently.

(In short, Warriors are people who either haven’t joined a guild yet, or don’t want to “play by the rules” ie the Order/Chaos system. They therefore get no benefits from it, but are also completely free in their actions, save the prohibition from attacking innocents.)

Chaos: People who have joined the Army of Darkness. (“Good… evil… I’m the guy with the gun.”)

Persons in Chaos never suffer permanent stat loss and may never be reported for murders.

Persons in Chaos may kill Warriors without penalty.

Persons in Chaos may rob innocents. This is done using the trigger phrase “Submit to Lord Blackthorne!” (or whomever). They may then target an innocent on screen.

The Chaos member robbing the innocent must then remain close to the
innocent, similar to healing, for a similar delay. (The innocent may be blocked in by other Chaos members to prevent fleeing, but otherwise may not be attacked because of their innocent status.) At the end of the delay, all gold, armor, reagants and ingots in the innocent’s pack are transferred to the Chaos member. (If overweight, the Chaos member may not move.)

After beginning the process of robbing an innocent, the Chaos member may not recall or gate for a period of 15 minutes.

The innocent may not recall or gate while targeted, but may otherwise flee.

Persons in Chaos gain points for killing members of Order. Eventually they will recieve special powers for this.

Order: People who have joined the Army of Light. (“Our last best hope for peace. It failed.”)

Persons in Order may kill Chaos without penalty.

Persons in Order are still subject to the reputation system. If they are reported for murder they are removed from their guild and become warriors. If they have any murder counts, they may not join an Order guild.

Persons in order gain points for killing members of Chaos. Eventually they will recieve special powers for this. These powers will be exponentially greater than those of Chaos.

OK, tear into it.

Scott Jennings (wirehead@xxxxxxx.xxxx
“OK, it’s been 20 years. Can I admit I liked disco now?”