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!)

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Return To West Britain Bank - A 100M+ Gold Contest

Ever wished that you could get paid for bank sitting? Well, now you might just be able to! Read on..

The contest will span over four weeks starting 12th of May till 2nd of June on Atlantic shard. Players from other shards are most welcome.

There will be 3 prizes given out. At this moment,
1) 1st place winner = 50M gold
2) 2nd place winner = 30M gold
3) 3rd place winner = 20M gold
4) 15th place winner = Royal Guard Investigator Cloak (+20 stealth) - 200M-400 Million gold value

Click the image to open in full size.

(If you want to donate gold for the purse, please contact me)

So, how does this contest actually work - you might be wondering?

During the three week period, I will be randomly visiting West Britain Bank at different time of the day. Each time I visit, I will do all names and take a screen shot. Points will be rewarded as follows:

1) If your name is present in the screen shot, you will get one point added.
2) If you have a text over your head (implying that you are actually present), you will get an additional point.
3) If you are gating to some place in the screen shot, you will get an additional point.
4) Along with player names, there will be a compilation of guild names. The guild with the most number of unique character names at end of the contest will get an automatic benefit such that if any of the winning guilds members are within +/- 1 range of rank 15 (i.e. rank 14, 15, 16), then they will win the royal investigator prize. In case of multiple members from the winning guild being able to benefit from this ... the winner will be decided by the guild master of the said guild or toss of a mint gold coin!

At end of the 4 week period, I will compile the points. The top three winners will receive the aforementioned prizes.

1) It is recommended that you have your guild tag on, if you are in a guild.
2) It is recommended that you make up a random guild and keep your guild tag on, if you are not in a guild.
3) There is definitely chance for error in the format.. but.. OH WELL!
4) Yes, you can get a point for being AFK. I encourage people to go AFK at Brit bank.. It is the best way to win this contest!
5) Motivation for this contest is that I HATE LUNA
6) I will be visiting at all times of day.. even in middle of night.. (points to note #4)
7) Attempts at being seriously cheeky could qualify you for a disqualification

If anyone has any suggestions, feel free to make them in this thread. Random whines are welcome too as it will bump the post!

As indicated earlier, if anyone wants to donate gold (not looking for anything else) to make this even more attractive.. my ICQ is in my signature. If you don't have any gold but would like to still help then spam Luna Bank with books of this contest or gate to WBB from Luna bank during this period.

Friday, February 20, 2009

Excess credit crisis of Ultima Online

While the world grapples with the credit crisis, we have our own albeit opposite version of credit crisis in Sosaria too. Unlike in the real world, there is too much credit (gold) in the game, and nothing to spend it on. If you are a veteran player then chances are you are swimming in gold. These days it seems like every other person has at least a few hundred million gold coins. One of the consequences of this is the ridiculous amount of gold we pay for token rewards like event items. For example, the greeting sashes given out by EM's are fetching upwards of 30M gold.

What people tend to forget is that this is not because these items are "UBER RARE" or useful. On the contrary, they are mere tokens and it really does not hurt anyone's game play. What it is reflective of is the crippled state of the economy in Sosaria and the sheer lack of confidence its citizens have in the value of gold. People are willing to pay whatever amount of gold for such items because inflation in Sosaria, although not quite as bad as in Zimbabwe, is ridiculously high.

At this point you might be scratching your head. Inflation.. high? This is actually not really correct because most of the "neccessary" items have been falling in prices or staying stable. The reason for this is that developers have thankfully turned up the supply side (higher Doom artifact drop etc.) So, inflation on most items is not particularly high as they are fairly easy to grab a hold of. However, this creates a lot of pressure on gold as gold supply has stayed unabated. All of these factors creates an excessive gold surplus situation where as soon as you have something that is markedly limited in supply (for example, event items) everyone is willing to go in a bidding frenzy as they FINALLY HAVE A CHANCE TO SPEND THEIR GOLD. It is in many ways the same situation that we had in the years leading up to the credit crisis. We have a lack of investment opportunities and everyone's money is chasing a limited few (high end PvP items, event items, real estate). For example, my neighbor is demanding 300M gold for his 18x18 house on a trammel island.

Notwithstanding the current hoopla over the event items, which quite frankly are far weaker than the ones in the past, the need of the hour is for someone to take a long hard look at the gold situation in Sosaria. We need creative gold sinks, we need to relook at the npc vendor prices which have been frozen for years, and we need to further control the gold farmers.

Unless that happens, you cannot blame players for paying very high amount of gold for mere tokens like sashes. It is easy and trendy to fall for cliche terms like "greed" but that is only ignoring the systematic failure of the economy that has been allowed to take place over the years.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Just in: Atlantic still has a soul!

I was pleasantly shocked to see everyone lining up and behaving so well for hours on my home shard,

Sunday, January 25, 2009

EM 2008: A machine!?

I saw an interesting conversation on U.Hall that cried out for me to comment on. Since, I hate getting involved in U.hall threads and seeing how I have not made a post on here in some time, I will kill two birds with one stone :)

Without using any names,

Originally Posted by some random person AView Post
I was going to make a sarcastic comment, but honestly i just feel sad that you seem to view EMs as artifact dispensers. They are much more valuable than any stupid named sash they hand out.
this is how rare collectors view EMs, believe me... apparently you are a role player so have fun being a noob doing that (posted by random person B)

To give it bit more of a context, person B was initially complaining about not receiving one of those "Greetings sashes" by the new EMs. He expressed his disbelief that it was handled in such a manner that not everyone who wanted a sash got one and it created new rares.

Before I give my opinion on above, I would like to state that the person B is inherently conflicting himself. On one hand, he is stating that the EM program should not create any rares and then, few posts later he is claiming that rare collectors only look at EMs as some sort of a rare machine... and him being one, it is a reasonable point of view to posses. The two statements, put together, make absolutely no sense to me. Only thing I get out of it is that person B wanted the sashes to be rares but him to also have received one. Well, as they say - you cannot have your cake and eat it too.

Now regarding the tall claim that, "rare collectors view EM's merely as rare dispensers."

Is that so? I am not going to make any claims or speak for other collectors. But, I most certainly do not view EMs, Seers, whatever as mere rare creating machines. This should be fairly obvious from my posts over the past year...

Whether I am being jealous of Japanese shards or expressing my views on what I would like to see in the new EM program, I most certainly have never shared this point of view.

So, to person B - please do not make claims on behalf of me or other collectors. I realize that one may say stupid things in the heat of the discussion, especially on U.hall... but this was just distasteful.

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Japanese Shards Tree Building Project - II

I would like to wish a Happy New Year to all the readers of UO Musings (even the whiners from U.Hall) - My New Years Eve was a grand fun, even though there were some close calls with the fireworks!

To kick off the new year, I bring to you a very special report!

As some of you might recall, I had mentioned about stumbling into a strange event named "Tree Building Project" on Hokuto few weeks ago. While checking up on the progress of that event, I stumbled into what initially seemed to be yet another one of those excellent markets that they organize on all Japanese shards. However, this did not quite feel the same way as the previous markets that I have been to. For starters, there were no signature tent shops.

I arrived in front of a giant gate with scores of people on top of it (and a horse!),

As I moved further in, I saw people enjoying knife throwing,

I decided to test my skills at throwing knives too,

I had a very lucky streak of 7 throws, and before I knew it I was transported to the top of the gate. Apparently, it acts not only as a gate but also as a podium,

I was curious about where all of the cows were coming from till I saw this statue. As Peil explains in his post on stratics, this is some sort of Year of Cow in Japan and hence, the cow statue!

Further exploration, got me to a statue of a squirrel. Double clicking the squirrel revealed a pleasant surprise,

This is what the female character reward looks like,

Enjoy! Gates are available from New Haven and Luna on all Japanese shards. I will accept one of your rewards as a tip if you wish :)

Please, I do request that you respect the culture of the shard and not act immaturely. One more request, if you are going to use my screen shots on another blog, please do link back :)