PAGE ONE: Hell, Fire and Runestones – minus the Minax.

In the ongoing quest to bring you an ongoing quest in Ultima Online, progress was made this weekend. At least, it seems like progress. Somehow I cannot shake this gosh-diddly-darned feeling of dejavu. Read the good words for yourself, neighbor:

** 06/04/01 ** 6:20 PM CDT *** WARNING: ATTACKS IMMINENT***

As part of the ongoing scenario, cities may be attacked by monsters.

Should this happen, guards may be called to defend larger cities, and will not be present to defend against these attacks in smaller cities.

As always, guards will still respond when called to defend players againststealing or unlawful attacks by other players.

For more information, see the post titled “Cities under attack?” in the FYI section at http://update.uo.com/fyi.html

Well well diddly well. For me, on a personal level, I never had as much fun in Ultima Online as I did running around Trinsic like a golly darned silly-man slashing and swearing at the minions of evil. And this time, we wont be lured by the temptress she-devil Minax. Not that I was tempted by the she-devil, mind you.

PAGE TWO: The worlds most over-hyped and under-powered cheat utility.

Welcome to the Ripley’s Believe it or Not section of our coverage. Believe it or not, players are still desperate to exploit or cheat ANY WEAKNESS they can uncover in the Ultima Online client. To evidence this, there comes word of yet another HACKSPLOITATION UTILITY able to make you the He-Man of Sosaria, only without that annoying half-cat, half-owl side-kick. This new utility whose name I shall not utter allows you to EDIT OTHER PEOPLES PROFILES. I will pause a moment while you recover from that horrific revelation.

There. All back in your pews again? Good. Now maybe I’m just a pessimistic Patty here, but frankly somebody could edit my player profile today and I might find out about it eight months from now – by accident. I fail to see where this l33t power makes someone so special. Rising from the grave three days after being dead? Now *THERES* an exploit I think we ALL can appreciate. Bottom line on this new exploit tool – Even if I WERE and exploiter-chimp, I’d be to embarrased to admit I used this one. Editing other people’s profiles? Is there a segment of the UO community heretofore undiscovered? The Exploit/Roleplayers? “Yeah we’re gonna totally exploit our way through this event, dude! Forsooth!”

PAGE THREE: The Land of Misfit Toys goes Online.

In other AskChopper news, they have announced a deal with the pseudo-company “AvatarPatch.com” to host their very own FreeUO shard (late word: no longer called FreeUO because well, the use of the name UO is not “free”). AvatarPatch, as I’m sure you have not heard (unless you are the owner’s mommy and even then I give you a 15% chance), is a website that hosts alternative servers for such in-demand products as SubSpace and Dark Sun Online. Gee fiddlesticks, people. Am I the only one who can’t think of a single golly darned reason to play on this shard? One thing I can safely say is that I will NEVER log into a server run by ADMITTED EXPLOITERS AND HACKERS. Why you’d have to be plain bonkers in the old brain-box to do such a goofy thing. I could think of a few additional adjectives for such individuals but well now I don’t want to give in to the old Darkly-arkly Side now. Nothing more dangerous than a Christian* with a light-sabre and the power to choke you with his fingertips. Praise the Lord and pass the paranoia, neighbor.

Regarding the previous two pages, I spoke with someone in the employ of Electronic Arts, Incorporated and was given the following statement:

“We are on it.” So yes, I contacted someone at EA before writing this update.

PAGE FOUR: Adrick Addresses the vortex that is factions.

Step-father of Siege Perilous and now fully vested member of the dev team at EA-Austin, Adrick once upon a time asked to be told “so, what’s wrong with factions, anyway?” Players told him. And told him. And told him. The long silence since almost made me Fear (PUN METER:*DING*) the worst. He posted the following message in the wee hours of the morning, while the dew is still on the roses. and the voice i hear, falling on my….uhhhh. sorry, broke myself out into a little hymn there. Let’s just see the green text (it’s a rather long doozy of a paste) while I hum from my hymnal here:

Alright, I’ve compiled a list of everything that I have addressed for upcoming publishes in regards to factions. I’ve also included some other fixes that are not ironed out that will also be addressed. Many of these fixes are outright bugs, others are issues we feel are not balanced correctly.

*This week*

1] Kill point loss bugs – issues with players losing kill points will be addressed.

*Faction publish [no date yet]*

1] Faction commander messaging – upped the limit to four per hour and messaging should work as intended.

2] Minax stronghold – FieryIce has made this object into a static object which will reduce load times, prevent incidents where players become stuck, and address isues with items inside the fortress behaving as if in a house.

3] Changing elevations of sigil stones – sigils will no longer fall below their correct elevations.

4] Players will no longer be able to steal sigils from a higher elevation.

5] I honor your leadership kill point transfer will work for all players.

6] Issues with the skill loss penalty not removing itself at the correct time will be fixed.

7] Issues with players holding offices not quitting the faction correctly will be addressed.

8] Issues where players do not receive a faction robe when joining a faction will be addressed.

9] Faction players being unable to wear the correct number of faction items will be addressed.

10] Issues that allowed multiple faction characters from one account into the system will be addressed.

11] Issues with guilds showing up as order and chaos when they aren’t, thus preventing them from joining the system, will be addressed.

12] Faction vendors and faction shopkeepers will be dismissable by a targeting cursor off of the same speech trigger, *you are fired*

13] Faction warhorses will no longer be as deadly an offensive weapon, they will not be usable or tamable by anyone who isn’t in the same faction with them and they will require rank 2 to ride.

14] Issues with players being banned from houses above the Yew crypts will be addressed – thanks to Krum.

15] Blue players will not be able to heal faction guards.

16] Under no circumstances will young players be allowed in a faction.

17] Issues allowing blues entry into faction strongholds will be addressed.

18] Issues with faction players in Trammel will be addressed – players in a faction in Trammel or Ilshenar will no longer display their faction titles and faction enemies will hue blue in Trammel.

18] Moongates and player gates will no longer be usable by anyone who is an agressor.

19] Issues involving carrying the sigils will be addressed so that the rules of carrying the sigil as in the faction guide will be accurate.

20] Thieves will not be able to steal the sigils until 1 hour passes after the server comes up – a message will be sent to all online faction members when the hour is up.

*Fixes currently underway* no details until the plan is finalized

1] Faction Vendors blocking players – Prophet has a fix for this which will allow players to push through them as if they werent there.

2] Faction skill loss penalty will work on all skills – Krum has the fix for this

3] Faction warhorses will hue orange to opposing faction members at all times – Krum is working on this one as well.

4] Issues with giving silver and kill points will be looked at.

5] Election issues will be looked at – mostly the timers not working as intended in all cases.

6] Sigil corruption times not working in all cases will be looked at.

7] Faction silver cost for items will be looked at.

8] Faction strongholds will be made better balanced – specifically the CoM stronghold will have one entry.

9] Issues with duplicate townstones will be addressed.

10] Issues with horse stamina in general will be looked at.

11] Faction corpse hueing will be looked into.

Well my good neighbors, that just about closes the sermon for today. Hopefully we all learned something. I know I did. I learned that for a writer, my spelling sure sucks – err, gosh-diddly-stinks rather. Remember to keep a happy thought on your old noggin and a smile on the old speak-hole – and you just might have yourself a scrump-diddly-umptious day. God bless!

* uhm, that was satire. So hang up the God-Phone and give me a little slack.