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AOV News January 2012
PostPosted: Mon Jan 02, 2012 4:27 am Reply with quote
AoV Administrator
Joined: 13 Dec 2006
Posts: 6467

Greetings AOV,

We hope everyone has had a safe and eventful new year so far. For those recovering with their morning coffee, reading the forums, we have shard news to bring to you.

It is a tradition to have a new year's resolution so we have come up with some for the shard this year.

Resolutions for the New Year

One thing we think the shard needs to do, is to attract new players and make it easier to learn the game and get basic items to start off, earned through quests and basic character development. Also, we are looking to fix a lot of lingering bugs.

Through new player quests, an extensive item identification system as well as guides and other communication/information systems (chat, mail, etc etc) we hope to accomplish this goal.

In addition to helping new players connect easily to the shard and stay with the shard, we would like to focus on making the game feel more 'alive'. Throughout the years, Ultima has seen many great, and not so great implementations. In moving forward, many things have been left behind, unused, or forgotten.

A lot of history exists in Ultima that has not yet been brought to light on AOV, and Ultima in general. In the future, we hope to bring back nostalgia from the old Ultima games (before the time of Ultima Online) as well as encourage exploring.

Picture yourself walking through the woods in Britain, and spotting a traveling merchant who will sell his wares. Maybe further down the road, a maiden has been kidnapped by a group of brigands. Find yourself at the yew crossroads and maybe there's a bard there, playing a happy tune on her lute. Come back at night and maybe that same bard is now in the city of Yew, playing her music for the villagers who live there. Speaking of night, maybe a graveyard near Vesper is peaceful in the day, but loaded with undead at night, looking for fresh souls to take.

We would like to remember that Ultima is more than a game, it's a virtual world. Much like a real world, it has people, animals, environments, time and seasons. Many things currently in the world of Ultima are static and predictable. We hope to make things a little more dynamic, adding small bits at a time.

Ideas for New Systems

Here are a few ideas that have built up over the years that we would like to explore in the new year.

These are just ideas and have no guarantee that they will be implemented. They are in no particular order of implementation.

Some of these ideas may grow and take off in the future while others may never see the light of day.

Dynamic world
Focus on building a world that is dynamic and to be explored. Tie back to the old days of Ultima to encourage player exploration:

- Have NPCs change locations at certain times of the day. For example, a quest giver or merchant might be in a shop in Trinsic during the day, but head home at night.
- Certain items may appear at certain times of the day. Nightshade can be harvested at night for example.
- Community Events/Collections available to help build the world.
- Random locations and timelines for quest NPCs
- Have different traveling merchants, hawker of wares and wandering peddlers available throughout the land.
- Town invasions by groups of orc, shadowlords, and other hostiles

Improved Information System
- Indexed dyes with a set name. For example, any use of hue 1167 in game would be known as "dryad green" once identified.
- Use of the Item Identification skill to identify item attributes, hue, how to obtain and many other useful identifiers to create an item database in game that players and staff can use to find out about items.
- Player mailboxes and town criers for shard news.
- Page handling from game to forums

Bard Revamp and Skill Revamping
- Adding in barding difficulty to all mobiles. This changes the generic formula currently used to determine success and fail.
- Update barding abilities for peacemaking, discordance and provocation.
- Possibly adding in bard mastery system
- Update all skills as many of them haven't been updated since SE/AOS. It's time to review them all and ensure they are working as intended.

House Pets
- Being able to set certain tameable creatures as a house pet. Creatures such as the squirrel, ferret, skittering hoppers. Essentially pets you probably wouldn't use to battle monsters with.
- House pets are linked to a house, similar to vendors. In order to design or modify a house, a house pet would need to be removed.
- Adding a house pet is done by saying "I wish to set/add a house pet" then targeting your tamed creature (that you are the owner of). House pets are bound by the house region. They are "blessed" like parrots are and are bound by the house region. You cannot take them outside of your house.
- The number of pets a house can have depends on the size of the house.
- House pets do not lose loyalty and don't 'need' to be fed.
- House pets do not take up a players stable slots
- House pets do not perform special abilities if any exist (Cold radiation, mountable, mounted abilities).
- Releasing a house pet can be done. This essentially removes their count from the total house pet limit, sets them back to unblessed and requires follower slots to reclaim them. Once they are reclaimed, they can be put into a player's stable and would act like their tameable state before they were set as house pets.

Dungeon Revamps and Arena Battles
- Introduce new dungeon revamps to make each dungeon unique and encourage players to return to play in the dungeon.
- Adding new arena battles. Basically these are a copy of a certain map or dungeon with a private boss battle. These are similar to peerless battles and would require some quest or quest key to activate. The difference is these may or may not be timed and will have certain specific rules attached (time limit, # of people in battle, different criterias)
- Adding in unique puzzles to each dungeon with various types of dungeon specific rewards.
- More quests specific to each dungeon.
- Dungeon treasure chest system that works like a 'hot and cold' game.

UOML Completion
- Revamping of dungeons and mobiles, scaling to OSI
- Adding of all quests
- Adding missing craftables.
- Deciding on strategy to implement all recipes with current craft system
- Complete community collections and upgrades
- Aquariums

Talisman and Slayer changes
- Fixing lesser slayers to do 3x damage where super slayers will do 2x damage
- Possibly adding in new slayers such as plant and equine
- Fixing existing talismans to use a new class that is more easily expandable with more control over properties
- Having talisman drops the key component to many UOML and generic quest reward drops (Craftsman satchels, treasure bags, strongboxes). With the talisman expanding, it would be easier to add better talisman drops to harder quests.
- Adding more killer and protection bonuses to talismans with increased rarity (Bosses are possible but very rare). Protection talisman bonuses hard capped at 60%.
- Incremental talisman rarity. The closer to the max/cap a certain bonus, the rarer it would be to obtain. For example, trying to get a 30% bonus crafting talisman would be incredibly rare.
- Better slayer entries and oppositions in scripts. If a mobile is demon, then fey would automatically be assumed as the opposition.

Timeline and Pinpoint Spawners
- Spawners set to date and time ranges. Some spawners will only spawn between certain real life OR britannia times (For example, a britannia day or night).
- Some spawners might spawn at certain times of the year such as winter reapers in the winter or certain environmental effects for the spring/summer.
- Pinpoint spawners would have an array of XYZ + map coordinates. Instead of spawning within a range, it would spawn with a waypoint that is tied to the mobile or item, at a random XYZ coordinate within the array list.

Loyalty System
- Players would be able to accumulate loyalty points with certain clans and races in the world (IE: ophidians, terathans, savages, orc, etc etc). Having different levels of loyalty to a group would allow players different advantages such as friendship, quests, use of certain items.
- Some opposition groups (ophidians/terathans) would not be pair able with same loyalty (EX: You cannot be loyal to ophidians and terathans on the same char).

Completed Virtue System
- Implement OSI's honesty virtue
- AOV Humility virtue involving community events. Different scenarios will exist with a large reward that all players can enjoy and humility points for players who help out. Examples may involve helping to rid a town of an invasion, build a bridge across water, provide more guards in an area.
- AOV Sprituality virtue (To be determined)

Collision System Expansions
Expanding the collision system to affect more and have different elemental effects:

- Physical: Shatters brittle things or can cause things to break such as stones, crystals, etc etc.
- Fire: Causes things to burn, ignite or explode
- Cold: Causes things to freeze such as water or other liquids. Cools down hot things, extinguish flame.
- Poison: Causes living things to die or wither, such as strong vines or living walls. Can also have a lasting effect on areas.
- Energy: Can activate or fry machinery. Can cause metallic items to conduct.

AI System Expansions
- Have all spells available to cast by monsters such as polymorph, forms, chivalry spells, summons of different difficulties, etc etc.

PVP Everywhere System
- Allow players to engage in a pvp everywhere system by will
- Allow a player to intentionally add difficulty to their gameplay such as invoking original UO rules such as no insurance
- Possibly tie the PVP Everywhere system into factions with different rules. Allow to conquer towns and certain landmarks or locations. Have different rules which only affect those from within the system.

Pet Calculator and Pet Metamorphosis

Introduce a pet calculator function in game that is auto-incorporated into the animal lore gump. This pet calculator is essentially using the formulas from the following popular pet rarity website:

So when a player goes out to tame a creature, they would be able to see how close to the max the creature is (In terms of stars. A 1 star pet would be terrible whereas a 5 star pet would be truly rare). This would make it easier to know if a pet is good or bad.

Pet Metamorphosis

Exposing certain pets to different scenarios will allow you to upgrade them into a new version of said pet. This would help bring life back into lesser pets.

For example, if you use a nightmare frequently, the pet owner will be given the option to put their pet under a metamorphosis after certain conditions are met.

A pet that has gone under a metamorphosis can change stats, resists, abilities, hue, name, control slot, etc etc.

For a bit more clarity, you could essentially have (Only an example):

- Cauchemare: +5 all resists, strong multi-breath attack, increased wrestling cap, 3 control slots instead of 2
- Demon Horse: +10 physical resist, mass curse attack, increased magery cap, 3 control slots
- Dreadmare: Increases stats and new mounted ability.

Your pet would have a requirement in order to metamorphose into one of the new pets. For example, in order to obtain a dreadmare, the pet might be required to slay a large amount of fey and good karma creatures as well as taking on boss monsters.

Property System

This system is large scale but would improve many systems in the long run. This system would make it easier to apply bonuses and additional properties on items in different scenarios (loot, craft, etc etc). Right now it's more complex than it needs to be so having a system to auto manage properties and bonuses in every circumstance would help speed up development of important systems such as imbuing and crafting/recipes.

AOV 5th Anniversary

Age of Valor celebrates its 5th Anniversary this year. Five years ago, on December 23, 2005, AOV opened up for players to enjoy. It started off as a gathering place and turned into a shard of its own.

Join us in celebrating our 5th year. We have placed a statue in luna which will reward players a commemorative statue for our 5th anniversary

Note: Statue color is random from bronze, silver and gold.

Last edited by Death on Mon Jan 02, 2012 10:41 pm; edited 1 time in total
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 02, 2012 12:26 pm Reply with quote
Joined: 10 Oct 2011
Posts: 150
Location: UK

Great post and some cracking ideas......also some not so cracking ideas.......

I know you say that some of those ideas will remain just that, but even if you took 50% of the above and tryed to code/implement them it would need a team of coders and game breakers to get it done.....

Slowly Slowly catchy monkey.......

Attracting new players:
Lets be honest here, most "new" players are old vet osi players, disgruntled with the broken systems, countless bugs, and rushed expansions on osi shards.....
The only indications of this we can see are the posts on certain websites and the rise in freeshard popularity.
We need to attract the people who love UO but hate the production shards.....
For that you need stability, balance, and the knowledge that it wont take you 5 years to make your Tamer or Bard etc.....

I think a good start would be a forum with a basic server knowledge base....
I think we can assume that it will only be a very tiny % of people joining who are complete newbies to Ultima online, with that in mind the forum shouldnt need to have the whole game written out on it.....
As an example:
When i first joined i had no idea what AOAs were, after a bit of randon searching on the forum i found them, i still wasnt sure how i got them but i knew they existed.
Once i started getting them i found out about greater AOAs, again some more searching and reading an old post and i found out where to "gamble" them.....
I dont think it would take much to actualy write out the basics and put them into a forum, you 2 could write the technical ones and the players could write guides on the everyday stuff, once the post is approved by you then it goes on the forum as reference.......

This alone would give potential players something to chew on while they make their decision as to which shard to join.
The reason i joined this server was because in my whole day spent googling freeshards this was the first one that didnt thrust pvp down my throat......

I'm not going to say which stuff i think should or should not happen, but all i will say is fix any broken stuff, add a forum that explains all the custom stuff you have here, and how to start yourself off on the shard (infact i love the 300 skill point deed and 10k for a new char, it is perfect to grab someones attention, we all know how long bards and tamers took on osi)

Pick 1 project at a time and work on that....
UO is similar to real life, if you have too many things on the go it will intime explode your head and make you resent it........
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 02, 2012 12:57 pm Reply with quote
Joined: 06 Jan 2007
Posts: 1760
Location: Grand Rapids, Mich

i concur with blackadder. Death and Red should take some time and figure out what project is most important and will have the most potential payoff for the server. Maybe put out some polls to ask the players' opinions, or go on other servers websites and start polls there.

Starting a new server is intimidating. Everyone is dressed in silly neon colored gear that makes no sense to the new player. The faster they learn how to get that stuff, the more likely they will keep playing. We need players, first and foremost.

How about an incentive to vote for the server? It might be something like a token that gives 1000donation points for the vesper museum. Or a halfway decent colored ore/ingot bod. Give us a reason to not be lazy and vote. I am guilty of that, its been ages since I voted. Its not because I don't want the server to be great, I just do not think of it. When I do vote, I usually go for a few days of voting, then forget again.

But whatever you do, take it one step at a time. Clear up the issues and bugs before adding more content. Gauntlet, weak summons, guilds, better donation items, those are just a few important things that need to be fixed before more things added.

We do appreciate you guys, even if we are sometimes your biggest critics. Hope you and Red had a great new years, or whatever you celebrate in Canada!
The polite PK.
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 02, 2012 3:13 pm Reply with quote
Joined: 03 Jul 2011
Posts: 209

trust me, just chill
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 02, 2012 5:18 pm Reply with quote
Red Squirrel
AoV Owner
Joined: 13 Dec 2006
Posts: 8197
Location: Ontario, Canada

The problem with giving incentives is we have no way to track voting. Once you get on the 3rd party site, we don't know what people do from there.

There's a voting thread that is stickied, it only takes 5 minutes to go through every couple days. If everyone did this, we'd probably be close to the top on most top site lists.

my blog

Honk if you love Jesus, text if you want to meet Him!
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 02, 2012 6:23 pm Reply with quote
Joined: 10 Oct 2011
Posts: 150
Location: UK

Not trying to be picky but your vote thread is not stickied, its on page 2 and i only found it with a search....
Voted now and will try and do as often as i can.....
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oh crud
PostPosted: Mon Jan 02, 2012 7:53 pm Reply with quote
Joined: 03 Jul 2011
Posts: 209

dang it i have a +99 darkfather killer and +98 defense
trust me, just chill
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