MORE ON UO’S “PLOT” [Author: wirehead]

Some more email on OSI’s “interest program” and how to fix it.

Once upon a time, Order vs. Chaos wasn’t just a lot of fencers going 10-on-1 at banks. I’m sure a few people out there remember the first Halloween in UO, when gravestones appeared with riddles that lead to the introduction of the Virtue Guards. PvP was right at the heart of the plot. For a few weeks at least, people actually became virtue guards to roleplay instead of to get loot! By all indications it was THE plot that the game was meant to have. It tied in directly with all the books in the game and was somewhat related to the quest that ended beta, not to mention the opening animation!

It could have been a great story, but for whatever reason, Origin decided to just drop it there. What little of this story occurred was the perfect backdrop for roleplayed PvP. It had a rich background story to draw upon, and complex issues to fight about. There were all sorts of issues involved: virtue, freedom, intelligent monsters, shadowlords, etc. that called upon players to take up and defend various ideologies (not just, “u the bad guy! I kill u!” *cough* *FoA* *cough*). Unfortunately, there was no follow up. The complexities involved could not surface without direction except for on a small scale. The framework, however, is still there. If we want something to come of it, now would be the time to start asking for it.

Also, the effects of the reorganization of the interest department are already starting to be seen, even before the floodgates are opened to unleash all the recent applicants. PvP certainly could be a part of many new quests, but the development team still needs to take some sort of action in this arena. Things can not always go as well as the wisp summoning event Rainman described. There are a lot of issues to work out to make roleplaying PvP viable, such as a way to let two willing people fight without going grey or red and without dragging the rest of their guilds into it. Looting by random bystanders should also be prevented. An overhaul of PvP systems *is* a part of the development team’s “six month plan,” so these things ought to have a good chance of being addressed.

I certainly disagree with the idea that seers have some sort of agenda against PvP. Conflict is at the heart of most plots. The problem is behavior that is motivated by loot instead of by the story, and that play style is not going away any time soon. PvP is a single activity, but stems from several very different desires. For all parties to be satisfied, systems must be put in place to accommodate all types of PvPers, roleplayed or not.

Hythlodaeus the lich lord


The enemy here isn’t the “roleplayers”. They’d love it.
The enemy here isn’t the “PvPers”. They’d love it too.

The enemy here is the neophobes, who exist in both of these groups. Those who are afraid of change. They will mumble all day about how UO “isn’t a RPG” and how they want quests and meaningful fiction… but when it comes down to it, they only want it if it’s “not in my back yard”. They are too afraid that they might not be able to go to the mage shop to get reagents if the armies of darkness invade. They want quests as long as they don’t frighten the horses.

Every time a quest is proposed, it *can’t* cause inconvenience to the players, or it will be shot down. It can’t cause the common man to have to recall to a different bank for a day, if they feel like ignoring the events of their hometown, or it will be refused. And for good reason, because people who SAY they want quests will immediately start bitching if their favorite bank gets besieged, or a mysterious plague kills the stablemaster.

Don’t blame any mysterious PvP/RP division or favoritism- blame the guy next to you at the bank, because he’d probably be the first to complain.

Perianwyr Stormcrow


There have also been some good threads in the forum on this topic.

Thread one

Thread two

Thread three

Do I have something to say about this? OH yeah. Among other things, my original rant was cut off due to time constraints. However, I’ll continue to keep the floor open on this one for a bit longer. Keep sending in your ideas.