Thursday, September 2, 2010

Here we go again!

Figured something was up when the usual suspects started making noise.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Know your collector: Assia Penryn

Know your collector continues... with none other than the new moderator of UO Stratics Rare Collector forums. I started this interview several weeks ago before Assia was selected to be a new moderator. Unfortunately, things got sidetracked. However, better late than never!

Question 1: Who is Assia Penryn?

I'm 32 year old mother of three and I live in Sacramento, California. I've been playing Ultima Online for over twelve years and been an avid supporter of multiple rp communities.

Assia (pronounced "ah-sea-ah") was originally an rp character on the Pacific Shard over ten years ago. It was during that time that I discovered another passion... being a merchant. I started running a couple vendors and gradually saved enough gold to start my own shop. That small villa in Yew was to become the beginning of what would later evolve into my magnum opus... The Pacific Trading Company [PTC]. With the support of an awesome core staff, PTC remained a dominating presence on Pacific for six years before it was retired.

Over the years, I've had the pleasure of having many memorable
opportunities to support the community from working as a broker with Centurio and his team to being a news manager and administrator for Stratics. While I consider myself retired from the spotlight, I still manage to find time to stay active in the Atlantic RP Community [ARPC] and maintain a small shop of rares vendors.

Question 2: Aha, a fellow merchant! You have also been active in expressing your opinion in regards to rare festival and how it should be conducted. Would you care to briefly state your position on the matter?

Briefly... that's a tough one. *grins* I'll give it a shot though.

My opinion on the rares festivals isn't a popular one. I accept that it isn't going to win me any popularity contests.  I'm okay with that.

The rares festivals appear to have become centered around making gold instead of promoting community. We all enjoy making gold, but rares collecting should be about more than gold. It should be about passion. We should be using the festivals not only as a tool to unite the rares community, but also using our knowledge and experience to protect the global community. Every rares festival, I see many, many items on the festival vendors that are deceptively labeled as rares either from ignorance or worse, greed. We need to be taking steps as a community to put a stop to this by educating the ignorant and punishing those who are hurting the community's reputation just to line their pockets with gold.

Question 3: Can you describe your collection taste? I know that you are big into collecting various types of rare brews.

My taste tends to be pretty particular compared to many collectors. My house is not designed as a standard museum, but as a home so most of the rares I acquire are meshed into the home's design. Bring an rper, I avoid any rares that mention a shard or a year on them.

Rare drinks are definitely one of my favorite collections. In addition to brews, I also have a strong collection of whispering roses, double exceptional and bracketed exceptional items. My rose collection is primarily focused on roses with rpish references, historic names and those which have personal memories for me. Some examples of my rose collection are a whispering rose from... a pool of blood, ImaDufus, Skara Brae, etc. As far as the double exceptional items, they have to have the full name on them rather than "Of Exceptional Quality". My bracketed exceptional collection is not as extensive as other players because I prefer items without crafted names attached to them unless the crafted name adds an rp flavor to the item such as "a skinning knife made by The Guardian
[Exceptional]" or "A cloak made by marble [Exceptional]".

I do have other rares outside these particular collections, but I am rather obsessed with
the aforementioned.

Question 4: Since we started this interview, you have became moderator of the Stratics Rare Collector's Forum. Congratulations and welcome to the team. Do you have any final thoughts to share?

I'm fairly impervious to fire and incendiary devices... so don't get any ideas. Seriously though, I'm fairly easy going and I'm always willing to listen with an open mind to any complaints, questions or ideas you may have. I was blessed with two ears and one mouth, I shall try to use them proportionately. 

Thank you.

Monday, May 3, 2010

Know your collector: Peil

Most of you probably know Peil for the continued quest to finding the "I stole this shield". Also, Peil was the one responsible for providing valuable information to the rest of us during the Japanese dye slime event.

Peil is one of the rare 'collectors' that stems from the Japanese servers and I would be lying if I did not admit that I was excited to conduct this interview.

Tomas Bryce: Who is Peil?

Peil: "Peil" is my handle on the web. I live in Tokyo, and my job is a computer programmer. Also, a lot of people may have seen the name of "Wiv" on my signature.

"Wiv" is a my most favorite (and main) character on UO. She lives at Asuka as a thieves. She wish evidence that she was alive to Britannia through the thieving. Here is her profile (English) on my web site. Although almost all pages are written in Japanese, I want to translate to English some day.

Tomas Bryce: That is quite an inspirational profile, kudos!

Tomas Bryce: I am curious. Is rare item collecting as popular on Japanese shards as on Western shards? What type of differences do you find between the two?

Peil: There are many collectors who have a wonderful rare museum also in the Japanese player. However, rare collecting is not popular in comparison with other countries/shards on the whole. Although the so-called "Server Birth Rare" is popular, there are almost no dealings of "EM rare" in Japanese shards. I think that two big causes are in this.

First cause, I think that EM event does not exist in Japanese shards. The original event moderator manages an event inside the game and outside it. In almost all cases, those events are not accompanied by rare items. Even if rare items are dropped, almost all people can get in many cases.

Second cause, I feel that Japanese player are exclusive to foreign shards, unfortunately. Japanese player tend to avoid English and there are seldom those who play foreign shards which needs English. Even if those player exist, they don't participate in the community of a spot, and almost Japanese player don't know wonderful EM event or an EM rare existence.

However, there are many Japanese players, and a lot of people have very much GP. Therefore, I suppose that if Japanese player participate in a foreign community more and know EM event/rare's wonderfulness, a rare community will spread.

Tomas Bryce: Do you feel that there is a large culture gap between Western servers and their Japanese counterparts? For example, I have always felt that the community element is stronger on Japanese servers.

Piel:  I also feel the culture gap through playing at foreign shards. Although there are many gaps, I think that the most big difference is expression method of exchange.

Almost Japanese player are very modest. They think that humility is a virtue, and this is the national traits of Japanese. Therefore, when you play at Japanese shards, you may feel as if Japanese players are reticence. Surely, when I played at foreign shards for the first time, everybody's friendly behavior surprised me. However, Japanese people are only moderate, they also have respect for relationship.

For example, UO related activity at out of the game is active in Japan. Each Japanese shards have a portal web site, and there is a SNS of UO, too. Moreover, a lot of people have a fan site or blog about UO, and various relationship exist at there.

Thus, although there is a gap between active foreigner and a modest Japanese, I think that the heart which values relation, and the feeling of enjoying UO are the same :)

Tomas Bryce: Very nicely said! I know you have been chasing thief related event items for quite some time now. Which such items have you managed to collect so far?

Peil: I love thief related items indeed. For example, items which include words of "Thief" or "Stolen" or so in the name. Although I also love cute graphics items, I give priority over thief related one. Here is the list of my such collection :)

  1. "Queen of Thieves" ring (Old Seer Item ?)
  2. "A Pilfered Painting" (Europa's one)
  3. "I stole this ****!" items (GL EM Event Rares)
  4. "Stolen Cookies" (Napa EM Event Rares)
  5. "Easter Carrots" with "Stolen" in the name

My most favorite item (in the whole world !) is "Queen of Thieves" ring. This is a silver ring with only blessed tag and special name. Although there are no useful properties, I think this ring is most matched ring for thieves. Incidentally, this ring doesn't exist in my little museum because Wiv has always put on :P

I also like "A Pilfered Painting". This picture was stolen by Ricardo, and Ricardo is a Wiv's rival in thieving (She said so lol). And "I stole this **** !" is good, too. At once, I had gotten all of these items (sword, shield, staff, robe, necklace, lantern and dye tub). However, unfortunately, I lost this shield by my rock down trouble. So, I'm looking for this for sale !! :)

Tomas Bryce: That brings an end to the interview. Do you wish to add any final words?

Piel: First of all, thanks for the interview Tomas. Although this interview was difficult (since I cannot express in English so well...), it was very precious experience.

Moreover, I am enjoying the posting to Stratics each time. I often post with a illustration even if it's a ordinary offering post so that it may become a pleasant report. I wish for everybody to enjoy seeing my report.

Thank you for reading this interview.

"Let's meet in Felluca at Asuka :P" by Wiv

Tomas Bryce: Thank you again, Peil. It was a great pleasure finding out a bit more about yourself. I would ask everyone to check out your website and browse the art gallery.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Know your collector: Escaflowne

I recently met up with Escaflowne, a role player who also happens to be a collector. Escaflowne is from the shard of Europa and makes for a very interesting character. Read on...

Tomas Bryce: Who is Escaflowne?

Escaflowne: Escaflowne is a Beast Keeper originating from Delucia. For the past 8 years he has served the Republic of Vesper, rising to Captain of the Militia and going on to rule the Republic as Chancellor for a period. He can always be seen wearing his family heirloom bearmask which he never removes and most of the time is accompanied by his companion hellcats Battlecat and Panthor; this has brought about his nicknames of bearman and catman.

Thats my Roleplay background, as for me myself, i am the GM of the RP guild Vesper [-V-] on Europa, the guild has been running since 1998, i have been a member for the past 8 years since 2002 and have been the GM for nearly 3 years now.

With commiting most of my time for that i havn't been able to become a very rich man like many in the rares community, but with my very keen interest in rares i manage to do a bit of part time trading to fund the habit in which i have manage to accumlate a small rares collection.

Tomas Bryce: Do you have a special bear mask for him?

Escaflowne: Yes i do, i have a Double Blessed Bearmask engraved with "Flowne Family Heirloom". Part of my rare collection.

I have been waiting many years for an EM to create an event bearmask, but alas i am still waiting for that time. Will definately give all my gold for an EM event bearmask lol

Tomas Bryce: What attracts you to collecting rare items?

Escaflowne: Hrmmm quite a hard question to answer. I guess there could be many reasons for it. One being that i like to look good lol, being a roleplayer and with magic items banned in the Europa RP community i don't really wear magic suits like most people but normal clothes most of the time; so i like to keep good presentation and also uphold a good reputation which i guess rares could add to that weirdly to some degree.

Another reason is that there are so many really cool rare items which makes them attractive. The fact that they are rare also adds to their attractiveness. It also gives you a hobby really, something to spend your gold on and enjoy. Like if you collect warhammer in real life i guess hehe.

Rares have always been an area of interest for me, as i said its hard to explain but they have always intrigued me and i am drawn to them. I love looking around other peoples museums and seeing all their items and just thinking "Wow that item is well cool, i wish i had that" etc :-D

Tomas Bryce: So, is there any one item that you wish you had?

Escaflowne: A EM event/Proper rare bearmask lol, that would be top of my list, but none exist! :-P But oooo that is very very tough, there are so many great items out there.

After i complete my rares suit I was going to go for an animal/creature themed collection like Lady Nico of Europa. I like that theme the most but i also love items to do with Chaos as well as my RP guild Vesper is very big on the virtue of Chaos and the teachings of Lord Blackthorn.

I'll try to name a few items I wish I had:
  • Crystal Staff of Chaos
  • Partisan of Chaos Boots
  • I've always wanted a suit of Pheonix Armour
  • That Tiger Bone armour suit
  • That Head of a Cauldron born demon is pretty cool
  • I did always want a spider silk woven shirt after i saw Lord Valin of Europa with one, but i actually did buy one and wore it for many months before selling it on again. So i guess that dream was accomplished lol
  • The Europa Royal Explorer suit, who doesn't want that lol.

But its the gold situation that has always held me back from full on going for it in rare collecting unfortunately. I refuse to spend RL money on UO other than the subscription. I never have and never will.

Tomas Bryce: Does anything tick you off in context of rares and collectors?

Escaflowne: Interesting question, one thing that ticks me off with rare collecting is all the scamming, duping and back alley deals that comes with it, but what can you do about that? I just try to stay away and out of it most of the time.

Another thing that annoys me, this probably ticks me off the most; is the atmosphere of the rare collecting board sometimes and some peoples attitudes on there. I mean Europa is known to some as the Shard of Drama, get plenty of drama on Europa boards and i get enough of it there. But my lord the Rares board can be 10x worse than that and turns into an utter warzone sometimes. Sometimes it just doesn't feel like a community, seem to get little factions of people that war eachother lol, i just try to stay neutral as best i can as there is so many great people too :-)

One more thing that annoys me a bit is the GMs constantly using the graphics of rare items for new items. I mean its fair enough for the Replicas as they were all heavily duped of course. But the others just ruin it for some people and it decreases the value of some items leaving some peoples hard earned time and gold wasted as they wont be able to sell it again for the same amount. I mean is it really that hard to come up with new graphics for items instead of just changing the name slightly?

Tomas Bryce: Any last words?

Escaflowne: Rare collectors i salute you!

lol couldn't think of anything else to say :-P Thanks for the interview Thomas

P.S If any EM reads this! Create a rare bearmask! Yeah that'll do :-P

Tomas Bryce: Excellent, thank you for your time.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Transcript of a small chat with Eris, event moderator of Atlantic

It has been quite some time since I last posted on here! I doubt I will post as often as in the past, but I will try to not make it several months again :) - For now, a transcript of a small chat I had with EM Eris of Atlantic,

Tomas Bryce:
EM Eris, I would like to firstly thank you for agreeing to do this short interview.

Tomas Bryce: My first question is... Now that you have been an event moderator for some time.. got your hands dirty, to say ... How has it been?
EM Eris: Being an Event Moderator is a dream come true and Atlantic is a great community.

Tomas Bryce: What do you think of player response to the events? Is it up to your expectations?
EM Eris: The player responses to events are very important to me because they help me learn what people like and don’t like about events. I always listen to what is said appreciate the feedback I receive.

Tomas Bryce: What has been your favorite event that you have executed so far?
EM Eris: My favorite event so far was the Trial of Owen Uther. I really liked that event because it combined questing with role-play and action. It was fun to work with all the players that helped by playing characters, being on the jury and tracking down clues.

Tomas Bryce: Aye! That was indeed fun. Going forward, can we expect more interactive events such as that?
EM Eris: Yes absolutely.

Tomas Bryce: Can you tell us a little bit about where we are currently in the event arc?
EM Eris: Not to give anything away but smaller events are interconnected to the main arc in ways you might not expect.

Tomas Bryce: Great! Is there anything else you would like to convey?
EM Eris: I would like to remind everyone to visit the Atlantic EM website for event news and frequently asked questions. Both EM Nestor and I love to hear from Atlantic’s players so don’t be shy send us an email!

Tomas Bryce: Great! Thank you, once again!
EM Eris: Thank you for the opportunity

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Blast from the past

Someone pointed out to me that my little count down to Treyster hacking me has ran out!! 0 Days, 0 Hours, 0 Minutes

I completely forgot about it. Here is my original post on the matter, a little over a year ago now:

Since our friend Treyster is busy trying to hack me one of the things he has been doing is icq'ing people to help him find an e-assassin! As such, I have been getting ICQ's from random people forwarding me his msgs to them. Like this one:

[16:13] Treyster: I know you know alot of ppl....ppl who can probably Hack.....Im paying Top dollar to have Tomas Bryce hacked, his accounts deleted, his Blog site deleted and his computer Killed

In light of this rather moving quest that he is on, I figured I should start an official count-down! I give him one year to hack me. Well, more like: 1 year to find someone to hack me because he is incapable of doing anything himself besides lying through his teeth to people who trust(ed) him and pulling simple scams in an online game to pay for his bread and butter.

Alright so July 4th, 2009 is the grand deadline! I will put up a count-down as soon as I write a script for it.

So, I guess that was yet another EPIC FAIL on Treyster's part!

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Selling is not duping

I grow increasingly bored of the relentless attacks on the innocent act of selling an item in Ultima Online for gold. Almost daily I read a wise ass comment equating someone's desire to sell an item with duping or some other exploit that is against the rules of the game.

Guess what? Selling items is not only perfectly legal, but it is encouraged. If the creators of Ultima Online did not want us to sell items, they would not have bothered with the entire vending system. Being a merchant in Ultima Online is a noble profession. It requires far more effort and creativity than sticking your Greater Dragon to the Shadow Lords.

I personally never play the game with the expectation of receiving a reward. If I want to kill Shadow Lords, it is because I want to experience just how difficult it is to do so. It turns out that it is not that difficult given the ever present two dozen Greater Dragons feasting on it. If I want to attend an event in game, it is again because I want to experience the story behind it and see how others react to it. I -never- do anything in Ultima Online with the hopes of getting a reward and not surprisingly, 999 out 1000 times, I don't manage to get one.

You know why? Most items that are worth having will have a spawn rate lower than the existing demand for it. I could a) treadmill whatever that needs to be done till I finally beat the odds and get the damn item, or b) save myself some time and just BUY the item that I want. Both of these options are valid playing styles. Not only that, they have a largely symbiotic relationship.

I find that option B is far more suitable for me and I am glad that some people are willing to sell their Mempos or whatever else, affording me the luxury to not spend hours doing something that I do not necessarily enjoy. I will happily spend my gold on items that I want. I will not go to U.Hall and demand that a Mempo to be placed in my bank while crying foul about anyone who is selling one.

(Yes, this is my first post in like three months! I still play Ultima Online frequently but have not had the time to blog!)