Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Barton > Chuck Norris!

Before the Chuck Norris plague spread across the insipid lands of Azeroth, Sosaria (Atlantic) had his own champion: Barton. I would like to report that the legend of Barton endures,

(picture shamelessly stolen from Stuffa's post on Atlantic boards)

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Monday, December 22, 2008

Meeting up with EM Kanmare of Atlantic

So, I was fortunate enough to run into EM Kanmare of Atlantic. I have been checking the counselor's guild hall in Britain (behind the Mage shop) ever since I heard the news about them this past Friday.

It was bit early in the day for Atlantic but Lady Aalia was online. I quickly informed her and she decided to do an impromptu interview. You can read more about it here. I must say that Kanmare does have an interesting sense of humor and I am looking forward to the events by her.

The summary is that:
1) Atlantic has two lead event moderators.
2) The events will start next year.
3) For now, the EM's are doing a meet and greet. Getting to know the audience!
4) For all you PvPers out there, she does like to do at least some events in Fel with a PvP context to it.

I would fully encourage everyone to get involved in their shard's event program. It can be a lot of fun and is one of those things that makes Ultima Online different than other games (in a good way).

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Ultima Online in the Land Of The Rising Sun II - Hokuto Christmas Market '08

So, I was lucky to stumble into a Christmas market. I have been to quite a few normal Japanese shard markets in the past but never to a special holiday one before! As always it amazes me how much the players participate in these markets. They are the ones who are gating to it, running shops, organizing games, doing a lot of the decoration and most importantly, being civil.

Friday, December 12, 2008

Trickle-down economics: Scrapper's to Taint

If you recall, a while ago I had made a post about my disappointment at the change that allowed spellbooks to be disarmed and my belief that it will adversely impact the market for Scrapper's Compendium. Since then we have had the facet driven trammel invasions which drop the rather powerful spell books with mods like sdi 30% lrc 10% mr 3. The aforementioned change coupled with the new drop has adversely impacted the market for Scrappers. This in turn has hit the market for taint; When I wrote my original post you had to pay 90-110K gold for one taint. Today, you can find Luna vendors stacked with taint at 70k per and you can find it for as low as 60k per at bank - This is a significant change when you adjust for the general inflation.

Scrappers were the driving force behind the demand for taint and now that has been largely removed from the game - My scrappers vendor has not sold a single book even though I have significantly dropped their prices. So, I have stopped buying taint which means my usual suppliers from guilds like RK have to find a new buyer and probably drop their prices. Taint is the bread and butter for people who do ML boss spawns as it had a decent drop rate and good value. However, the destruction of the scrappers market has started a chain reaction which will impact people who depend on ML spawns to make money.

I hope that in the future we will get more changes that encourage the ingredient based crafting like scrappers instead of the BOD route. The recent gardening change where hunters are required to collect ingredients for gardeners is a step in the right direction and we need more of it in all domains of the game. I think that the ML ingredients need some loving - some newer craftables based on these ingredients would be rather nice.

On a site note, I wonder if this will have an impact on the value of crimsons. If the reward for doing ML spawns is going down then, in short term, less people will be doing them which could mean fewer crimsons on the market. Hard to say because there are a lot of other factors involved and I hear you can get cinctures from the invasion too.

Monday, December 8, 2008

Thoughts on the upcoming EM program

I stumbled across this gem of a post while browsing through a thread on U.Hall where people were talking about what they would like to see coming from the new EM program

Events that have content and aren't just a race to kill stuff and get items. Examples of this can be seen on most of the Asian shards. They have awesome locations made by the EMs here, there, and everywhere. The locations are weaved into the events and then left up as a new part of the history of that shard. I have seen awesome docks with ponds and picnic areas, beautiful gardens with seating and paths to roam, and my favorite was a huge maze area with monster statues not in game locked down in strategic locations. I was told the last was some huge game that players were involved in and the huge multiscreen playing board was left there as a part of history. Most of these areas have gates to them from main towns and have markers and information about the event. On one shard, I even found shops that had been named as superior shops, given huge standards and benches outside of their houses and then a runebook library was erected at an event site with runes to the shops locked there by the EM. I thought that was very cool.

This kind of advancement of the history of the shard and interaction with its people is what I am looking for in an EM. Items are nice, but they are boring for 99% of the participants without more depth then kill this and hope you are one of the few lucky ones... O.K. the event is done, now leave...

Even if I didn't get one of the items, I would figure it time well spent if some killer new location or decoration of an existing location came from the events. Heck a few nice benches around WBB and a plant or two would make me smile forever more when I recalled in to do my banking.

Hunter Moon [HOT] Atlantic

This post by Hunter Moon captures what I have always felt EM events should be about. They should not merely be a shard version of a global event! Global events are great but they are IMPERSONAL. EM events have to be personal and enrich the history of the shard. Japanese seers/ems/whatever have done a fantastic job at this and it really shows in the pride their players take in their respective shards. I suspect this is due to the longevity of their program which gives their guys a real chance to get in sync with the pulse of the shard. The real challenge for an EM is not just to create a good time from their event but to do it in a way that inspires players for months and years after the said event.

Whoever we get as an EM on Atlantic, I urge that person to make a real effort to get a grip on the long and rich history of the shard. No only we have a large role player community, but we also have a rich history concerning everything from merchant malls to guilds to PvP and everything in between. Inspire the citizens of Atlantic to once again interact with each other and rebuild their communities!