OK, before I start, let me set a few ground rules. I think you all can agree that I am far from “an OSI tool”. When Origin screws something up, chances are good that thirty seconds later I’ve got a profanity-laden update posted exactly where the dev team can shove the poorly-tested-ridiculously-thought-out latest patch.

OK. Admit I’m right? Screw you, I don’t care what you think anyway. That being said:

Lay off the goddam dev team.

In the past few hours, the peanut gallery (I can call y’all that, I got a big ol’ box of peanuts right HERE) has just jumped up and down shaking that moistness out of their pants as they yell the mantras. “WHERE’S NECROMANCY? WHERE’S ALCHEMY? WHERE’S MY PK SWITCH? WHERE’S PLAYER RACES? YOU GUYS LIIIIIIIIIIEEEEEEED!”

Well, let’s look at what we got. The specifics – new lands (come on, ONE of you say Britannia is too big and new lands would be somehow bad), new monster AI and new party system (OK, so they’re going for the EQ market, they’d be idiots not to), and new smurfs (yeah, that one had me going yippie skip too, but someone needs to justify Durga’s existence).

No new potions? No differently colored spells? Excuse me while I don’t give a shit, OK? According to Sunsword’s postings on the Dev Board, they’ve brainstormed a way to expand the world WITHOUT A NEW CD. Chew on that one, dewds and dewdettes… more land. no CD.

Run out of room on that continent? Don’t worry — we’ll make more!

Of course, I’m sure there’s other limiting factors — server capacity chief among them, I suspect — but think about it. Patches that include the equivalent of a new T2A. Remember how we all were when T2A came out? We didn’t really give a crap about ostands and titans and all that happy horseshit, there were new places to go. The orc fort. The oasis. Terathan Keep. Sure, you probably know every centimeter of all those now, but wait until Serpent’s Isle gets patched in.

And the other side of it… non-PvP zones. I admit, I will be surprised if the Dev team actually pulls this off in an exploit free manner. Everquest sure screwed it up. But that points out something very, very important that all of you are missing.

The Dev Team gets it.

Face it… the majority of you vets are in it for PvP. Monster AI is boring as hell… nothing can match the thrill of taking down a thinking, scheming human being. And UO, right now, is the best persistent-world implementation of platoon-level combat. REALLY. Right now all you ex-militaries are nodding your head and going “Yep.” Because the things that win wars in real life – coordination, planning, training and equipment – win wars in UO. This is not to say that UO is somehow so realistic that it’s good training for World War 3 or something… but the very lack of balance in UO PvP is what makes it more real than the competition, more exciting. You can be better. You can dominate. You can conquer. In EQ, by contrast, you can get to Level 50. Woop.

And the Dev team understands that this is one of UO’s strong points, why it attracts the kind of player that is still playing two years after release, and has the kind of passion to spend perfectly good time reading crappy sites like this one. You think the Dev team wants to nerf PvP? Hell no! That would kill the golden goose! Without PvP, UO becomes like EQ, only without as much eye candy.

They get this. That’s why they are getting those who aren’t interested in PvP the hell out of your way. When that happens – I’m calling it here first – kiss stat loss buh-bye.

But to get those who don’t want to be PKd every thirty seconds out of our way, there needs to be more room. The old refrain “if you don’t want to be killed by PKs, stay in town” is horseshit, and everyone knows it. No one plays UO to stay in Britain inhaling the fresh fumes of DewdZilla at the bank. Given that choice – being cattle or being prisoners – most people with sense will take the third, unspoken choice and not play. This, while possibly not bothering you, bothers Origin quite a bit, I’d guess.

So, what do you want, no more stat-loss or pretty pink potions? Think about it… I’m waiting.