Ask & Answer No. 14

Posted by Tim Chappell | 2013 Feb 04 14:54 -0500 GMT

In this week's Ask & Answer we received many questions requesting changes and our developers give a glimpse of what is being planned.

UO Auctions

Question: Have the dev team considered adding further to the high seas content? it seems most gave up a life at sea when they realized the resources it takes to run a ship. but piracy/bounty hunting are fantastic parts of the game. do you think that perhaps a hand in system for titles might bring attention back? perhaps items gained from merchant/pirate vessels could be handed in at Serpents Hold/Buccaneers Den for the Pirate/ the Bounty Hunter Titles? (Treasure Seeker)

Kyronix:  We have talked about different ways to enhance High Seas content and provide a greater reward for the requisite investment as well as having a look at balancing that investment.  A portion of the upcoming armor revamp will involve acquiring components for customization that will be available through a variety of means including pirate and merchant ship cargo. 

Mesanna:  We are also planning to add one or two deep water encounters…maybe of the ghostly kind =)


It is fairly well know that books are often abused by the criminal element in UO and game master response so poor, how about a slight adjustment to the books decay time? Like the same time as death robes. This would terminate the abuse. Anyone wishing to broadcast normal information may use house runes, like any other establishment or vendor mall... and lock said book down on their step. It would be a lot easier on everyone playing inside the rules. ~ (Mindy Hit-Girl - Atlantic)

Mesanna:  I happen to agree with this,  if we reduce the time books will stay on the ground it’s going to be all books, so everyone will have to be very careful when placing books that are going to be locked down in a house.



UO Japan

"+20 power scroll" drop rate seems to be decreased recently. Did you make any changes to the drop rate recently? (Nickname eli)

Phoenix: We have not adjusted power scroll drop rates in any recent publish.



Ultima Online Bibliothek

Would there please be a possibility to give blacksmiths the ability to smelt crafted metal items back into ingots?
At the moment each time I need an item smelted back, I need to log to a different character with mining skill. Although this doesn't take ages, it IS a bit of a hassle. A tailor can unravel the leather and cloth that was crafted, so I think it would make sense that a blacksmith can do the same. Many thanks! (Tarragon Slayer)

Phoenix: We agree,time permitting we will slip it in the upcoming publish if not we will do it in the next publish.


It sometimes feels like having bardic skills enhanced using equipment (like jewelry) is inferior to having real skill of the same amount. When using Spellsongs of the bard masteries it is obvious that having 107 skill and using a +13 skill ring the effect is much lower than having natural 120 skill. Aside from bard masteries the gut feeling is that success chances using a bardic skill, like Discordance, on a monster also is lower. Granted, that might be tinted by expectations and the unlucky streaks the random numbers seem to have frequently, but this is why I would like to see a confirmation that it is just a wrong impression. (Pcuvush)

Phoenix: Many skill checks and skill effects utilize the character’s base unmodified skill value. In many cases this is by design, to mitigate the power of skill from items. But, we are willing to review particular skill checks if there is a clear bug or other good reason. For example, we are investigating an issue with differences in results from Stealth depending on whether you use the skill directly or attempt to walk while hidden.

In the case of bard masteries, making their effects be based on real skill was intentional. For basic Discordance, the chance and power of the effect are based on modified skill values.


Hello, though the High Seas add on has added a lot of fun to the fisherman's profession there are some things that don't seem to make sense for me.
a) Most of the fish can't be sold to anyone, not the fisher NPC, cooks, inkeepers and so on will buy it. Even cut or cooked (miso soup is only 1 gp each and very heavy, needs to have high level cooking) there is little market for it.
For a beginning char that wants to be a professional fisherman and earn money to buy a boat by selling what he fished it's very frustrating and even impossible. It's the same or even worse with crustacean, nobody wants the unnamed ones except brit library, they can't even be used by cooks in any recipe.

b) The fishmonger quests.
While I like fishing I really hate using traps to get crustacean. Still I have to do so if I want to advance in the fishmonger quests and hope get a 120 scroll one day.
Couldn't we choose a carriere path : fish or crustacean or both from the beginning and only get quests related to the path we chose ? The specific path (only one kind) could be slower to raise prestige I don't mind that as long as I don't have to use traps even again in my UO life!
One of the reasons I don't like getting crustacean (the most important being that I find it boring but that's personal) is because of the traps we have to use.
Traps are heavy, they are short lived so you need a lot, they are expensive, they can't be crafted (I though my GM carpenter/tinker could but no, nothing in there to be able to do so).

An example:
I needed to get 20 fred lobster,I used 40 traps to do so.
1 trap is 144 gp, I spent 7200 gp to get those lobsters.
I didn't even get 10 of one kind of any of the other named ones in the process (smallest quantity for the fishmonger quest).
As I pointed first in this post, the unamed ones I got are completely useless, except as donation to the brit library.
Using a sum of money to buy traps, get and then give crustacean may give more reward points than if you had just directly given the same sum of money to the libary, though I didn't do the math to confirm this, but the time spent doing so doesn't make it worthwile in my opinion.
In the same time, using my fishing pole that didn't cost me anything (wood shopped and pole crafted by one of my chars) except the 10 gp to insure it, I could get enough fish to earn as many reward points or even more. As a bonus I would get White pearls, delicate scales, T-Maps, special fishing nets and MIBS, not counting the leather/scales from the sea serpents I would kill.
It also would be much less boring though that is my ersonal point of view and not an objective argument. Still I know I'm not the only one with this opinion.
If you do BODS in tailoring and blacksmith profession you earn a reward on top of being paid some real money for your work.
In the fisherman profession you don't get money, how are you supposed to make a living of it then ?
Once again comparing taloring/blacksmith profession with fisherman : in the two first ones you can get a title (fame) by doing BODS and never have to fight in your life, while a fisherman will get an internal reputation in the guild allowing him to get better quests/rewards but has no mean to get a title just by his profession.
It's not as important in my opinion than my other arguments but still I though it deserved to be pointed out.
If some though could be given to those issues I think it would improve greatly the fisherman playstyle!
Thanks, (Jeza)


Kyronix:  This is a valid point and we’ll look at ensuring the wares of the sea provide a basic level of financial support for Britannia’s fisherman.  While being able to handpick which quests you are offered isn’t a feasible solution, adding lobster traps to the crafting system is something that can certainly be done to ease the financial burden. 

Phoenix: We are not 100% happy with how crab and lobster fishing works. At its core is a game of risk and reward, but we think that it is not well balanced. We would like to make some real improvements to this system, but we always have battling priorities.



UO Stratics

Origin Store:
Why there is no Stygian Abyss expansion packge to buy in Brazil? (Marcus Lessa)
Hello. For a lot of time we don't have High Seas addon in Russian Origin Store. We have only Stygian Abyss, BUT we have Captain's Set which players cant use without High Seas addon.  Please add High Seas addon to the Russian Origin Store. Thanks!  ( tangar)


Mesanna:  I will address this with the Origin store and get back to you when I have an answer. 


Is there any plan to allow a single command to set the Security of all items within a Locked Down container at once, to save having to manually set each individual item? This would be of intense usefulness for those of us who maintain public libraries of Books, Runes, Soulstones etc...( Adol)

Phoenix: Making some good convenience and usability improvements in house security is high on my list. Time permitting, I will work to address issues specifically related to locked down books and soulstones, and add ways to better manage the security of lockdowns in a container hierarchy in batch.


Would you consider having a way to remove unwanted Mods from weapons/armor. It is disappointing to find a great 100% poison weapon to imbue for your dextor, only to have a mage weapon property on it taking up property weight and 1 of the imbue spots.
Several possible options:
1. Open up modded weapons/armor to reforging
2. A craftable acid that cleans off all mods indescriminately
3. A craftable acid that cleans off 1 mod randomly
4. Multiple acids that work on different groups(Casting, Combat. misc)
5. Store purchased item that lets you select the undesirable mod to remove
The acid could be a difficult process, having to collect rare ingredients, alchemist to create and acid, and needing a chemist/smith/imbuer to apply. Something like what is necessary to remove the damage increase property. (swroberts)


Phoenix: I am generally in favor of allowing more powerful options for imbuing and re-forging, but doing so needs to be balanced. Generally, the balance should work along these lines: Powerful, Cheap, Durable – you can only have two. So, removing an undesirable item property may be workable if doing so caused a significant durability reduction and prevented use of Powder of Fortifying, reducing the item’s life span significantly. Alternatively, it could do something like apply a large multiplier to the item insurance cost, or require great expense to repair.

I am interested in getting some feedback on how this and other item improvements (like removal of Cursed or Cannot Be Repaired) can be done in a fair and balanced way that would also be acceptable to most players.


Lorgus was kind enough to answer to a post about drops on certain critters, Slasher, Medusa, Narvey and the items they might drop; Night Eyes, Slither, Tangle, but it ended up being a complete dead end.There are players who have spent HOURS (days and prob months) killing Medusa and have yet to get a Slither. Same goes for Tangles off of Narvery. Then there are some player who wander in for the first time and Wala Slither / Tangle.As a long time player and killer of both of these bosses in particular I think we are entitled to finally get and answer to why these drop or don't. Also what is the value of items on each critter ex; stone dragons tooth - slither of off Medusa?Or it is time to implement Doom rules (time, # kills) to produce a drop.TY Lorgus for trying but since you aren't there anymore someone in the know needs to produce some answers. (weins201)

Phoenix: These bosses have very low chances of generating special drops that include SoTs, certain artifacts, and some other things. On each death, the boss makes ONE roll to drop a special item. If the item is generated, then it is given to a random top attacker. So, even in a small group, your chance of getting the special drop is close to 1 in 100, and the chance of getting the specific drop you want is even smaller. It’s straight probability, with no weighting or anything. This means that on rare occasions someone might get the perfect drop the first time they fight. But due to the nature of probability, these items are never 100% guaranteed to drop. For example, for an event that happens 1 time in 500, then there is a 13.5% chance that the event will not happen in 1,000 consecutive trials. But, it could also happen more than once – for those same odds and 1000 trials, there is a 0.5% chance that the event could happen five times, averaging one every 200 trials.
When events have low probability of happening, it takes a very large number of trials before the rate of occurrence of the event converges to the actual odds.
TL;DR: Lady Luck is fickle.

2013 Feb 04 14:54 GMT