Announcement AOS - T2A Revitalizations + UOR/ML Launch - What To Add/Remove/Change + Community Staff Hiring

Discussion in 'Shards Announcements' started by Punkte, May 21, 2018.

  1. Punkte

    Punkte Administrator Community Manager Developer

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    Hey guys!

    While we are continuing with the revitalization of the shards, and the addition of some much needed new and fresh content, we are trying to look back and see what implementations/additions have failed and need to be reworked.

    That being said,

    Does anyone have any suggestions on some things that just don't tickle your fancy or things that can be greatly improved on?
    Are the new artifacts on AOS too op? Should we do some kind of big squish of the artifact gear, but still keep the enhanced recipes, and just modify many of the pieces in game to keep it more in line with proper AOS pieces?

    Are the talisman pieces too OP?

    Should be provide less "Guild Incentivized" and more "Solo" content?

    Should we implement another level for each major dungeon with much harder creatures/bosses and/or should those dungeons only be available to those who have captured the dungeon?

    Should we do ANY kind of specific wipe to any of the shards (gold, artifacts, armor, etc)? For example, if artifacts were to be picked, we could potentially dumb down the artifacts a lot, (back to their original stats perhaps), and then the enhanced version of them could come as they are standard now (without enhancement). Or instead of a wipe of them, we could just go ahead and mod all the ones currently in the game (if people want more of an experience closer to the original AOS game).

    We want to discuss ways to liven up the server, bring in old enemies and make new friends. Unfortunately, mass marketing will only go so far. There needs to be a want for the old playerbase to come back, and mass marketing for new players won't do that much good if the old players don't have a reason or want to come back.

    Some bugs in game are directly related to the lower population count, for example, the invasions not giving rewards sometimes. The invasions design when populated was always fine. People would complete them in a few hours time, and they would never overlap to the next day. But with the downtick, it seems they are overlapping days now and the rewards and getting messed up because of that. We will likely need to suspend invasions besides the Sunday AOS one, and just announce them as events instead to increase participation.

    We have the recipes to be a successful server with a long longevity, but it really relies on players having and getting the urge to come back to play and trust that we will be there to keep building on and improving the server. We have never wanted to do a full re-launch of Ultima Shards, and although that will for sure bring back a lot of playerbase, its not fair for our regulars who have been here through thick and thin. We don't want to be that kind of server and on this project, we won't do that to our fan-base. We purposefully transitioned into this project so that, that would never be an option. That's not why we created Ultima Shards, at least specifically for AOS where items are everything.

    Unfortunately, the server's finances aren't enough to become fully sustainable over the long haul, and its quite a hefty fee monthly to keep everything running. We will keep the server up as long as we can, but without some players coming back and us seeing an uptick in population, the next step in a couple months will be to migrate to a much cheaper and less powerful host so that we can keep the server alive even longer. As it stands, since announcing of Ultima Shards, it has cost over $7000 in just website hosting and server fees alone, that's without adding in any of the advertising, which also gets extremely expensive with the google adwords, youtube promotions of the AOS and T2A videos (t2a video has 25k views), facebook targeting ads, and reddit adds. You could imagine how much its at already. The staff here aren't making much money on the server, and we've collectively put thousands of hours into the development of the server.

    While we are looking to revitalize and launch 2 other eras, that comes with the necessity of having more staff, because without at least 2-3 staff members to be there for you guys when you need it, that's not possible as well. The available emulator staff community has dried up and although we've been trying to bring in staff outside of our current players into the game, it looks like that's not going to be an option. For those who have experience with staffing, the commands, world building, being an event master, etc, and you can devote a decent amount of time per week to make this shard better, please feel free to shoot me a PM with the following details:

    Discord Name (If Applicable):
    In Game Name (If Applicable):
    Previous Experiences As Staff:
    Skillset: (GM, EM, World Building, Decorating, Pixel Artist With Experience Adding Art Into UO Files, etc)
    How Familiar With Ultima Shards Content:
    Era You'd Like To Be Involved With: (T2A, UOR, AOS, ML)
    Additional Information About You That You'd Like Us To Know:

    So please, lets have a discussion about what we can do. We invite old players and new players into the discussion, for both of our T2A and AOS shards. Feel free to be blunt (not disrespectful), give your opinions, ideas, and insights into how we can make this a better and more populated place.

    We look forward to hearing your responses,

    Ultima Shards Team
     
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  2. Suragoth

    Suragoth Newbie

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    In my opinion, there is no problem about improved artifacts or talisman in fact i think it made me play a lot more for a while because im always playing alone and with those talisman i was able to solo champ spawns etc and it was funny, same happens with events, if we have not enough people to play with, those talismans made pve funnier. If we can bring new people again maybe that thing about major dungeon could be cool.

    Sincerely i dont know the reason of why the old players dont play on this shard and prefer the other aos server (where i dont play, so, i dont know if its cool or not) but i think they could do the same pvp here and more balanced.

    If i were a new player and i join the server and see Britain empty, i would leave, so, we need a great announcement to bring new people at the same time, and maybe allowing them to make a character with full 700skill of their choice on one char and maybe 2 o 3 skills at 100 on the other two, that could help. Its not easy to raise taming on this server, you need it to farm fast as a beginner and i think that seeing an empty world does not motivate to spend time raising it.

    So... thats the only thing that i think that could help to bring new people (announcements and free skills). About old players, i dont know what they want. Im here since day 1 and i think the shard is very cool i have never had problems with it.
     
  3. Morg77

    Morg77 Newbie

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    One thing that I know has been a point of frustration with the league drops has been token quantity and useful rune drops. Don't get me wrong, I am not talking about flooding the mobs with tokens or increasing rune drops, but making what some feel are sensible changes. For starters, there should be some kind of scaling to the token drops. If the MOTW is elementals and I'm killing earth eles, 1 token is fine, but if I'm killing blood eles, I should be getting more tokens than I did with earth merely from the increased difficulty. Same for undead week and killing shades vs killing ancient liches. (would be nice if the tokens were weightless, like all other event tokens)
    As for the runes, I understand they are supposed to be rare and the drop rate is doing a good job of it, however, I think there needs to be some limiting to what can drop. Killing thousands of mobs and finally getting a slayer rune, is a happy moment...until you look it over and it's a lizardman slayer or energy field spell morph. If they are going to be as rare as they are, the more useless ones should be eliminated or rarely drop. The alternative to this would be to add a breed of mobs for each slayer type that can't be killed in 2 shots with average to trash weapons.

    The added dungeon level could be interesting, however, the dungeon capture part is a double edged sword. On one hand, it will make capturing the dungeons more valuable, but on the other, once the population grows, it will lock out a lot of people (like myself) who have no interest in PvP. You could do the dungeon capture as one method to access the new level for PvP and also add another way, like creating a quest to kill certain numbers of certain mobs within the dungeon proper to achieve access. This keeps the content open for everyone.

    As for the invasions, I know it probably wouldn't be easy, but maybe find a way to have the final boss scale to the number of people participating. This can be tricky however and the boss would need to be able to scale "on the fly" (not sure this is possible), so that if a bunch or people show up just for the boss, it wont be a boss tuned for the 6 people that were clearing the waves (by today's population of course). Wouldn't hurt to add a event timer that if the event hasn't been active for so many hours, it ends at whatever stage it was at. There would need to be a activity threshold so that someone running through the city and auto-attacking a few mobs on the way through doesn't reset the end timer.

    Another interesting possibility would be to revitalize some of the old areas. I was doing some MiB's and stumbled across the Lost Lands boat teleporter stone. It would have been cool to use that and end up in an active area. I mean it could be made into an access point for an area, that is no other way accessible and that has unique mobs. I.E. a island with spawns of uruk-hai, which would be much stronger than regular orcs, have better loot, not more, just better quality and have it like a volcanic island with a fort, leading to a dungeon entrance. This would make the orc slayer items useful and give players unique content to explore, while not being overly easy to access. ( Just don't forget to add a healer or two to the safer spots on the island and some form of dock management so you don't end up with 50 boats surrounding the island.)

    I already mentioned the dungeon t-map thing and believe it's something under consideration/construction, so wont elaborate on that.

    Just my two cents.
     
    Last edited: May 21, 2018
  4. a salt rifle

    a salt rifle Newbie

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    • League of monster hunter token drops were too low especially from harder mobs.
    • Respawn times felt a bit too quick in a lot of places. A lot of times you couldn't finish looting without respawns up your butt.
    • The reduced implementation of pack instincts was such that high end packs (frenzied ostards, hellhounds, etc) did outdamage dragon + nightmare, but only just barely and not enough to really make it a worthwhile alternative considering how much lower their HP is (the packs still get decimated by lich lords and such). They could do with either full pack instinct bonus (still squishy, but have DPS that warrants it) or else higher HP as tamables (not dragon high, but high enough so they're usable in endgame).
    • Respectable skill gain bonus around Britain bank and Britain crafting squares.
    • Did that pet dye system where you could suck the hue off one pet and apply it to another ever make it in? That sounded promising as an incentive to farm.
    • I wasn't a PvP'er, but I know there were some concerns from the pvp crowd about some of the mechanics.
    • I remain not a fan of custom housing on T2A servers (I like where rogues can stealth into your house and rob you). This might've been addressed before I left, not sure.
    • I still didn't like pets in town capture system (the main point of UO consensual PvP is to fight other players, not NPCs).
    • Bard skills should receive a bonus against tamed pets (to offset the impact that pet XP has on their bardability). GM peacer should be able to shut down another player's dragons much more effectively than it was when the dragons were levelled up.
    • I primarily stopped playing because most of my friends stopped playing. My friends stopped playing, so far as I could tell, primarily because of PvP mechanic concerns.
     
  5. KenshinHimura

    KenshinHimura Neophyte

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    I would say best bet would be to roll out SE+ML into the AOS shard. I just dont think the market is there for an aos only shard. With the added variety from the other 2 expansions it will definitely add some needed flavor. That being said there is some definite balance issues that would have to be addressed. (require hide+stealth for death strike damage, cooldown for Evasion, special alch pots would need to do less damage, etc).

    There is really only one ML shard thats big, but it is pretty horribly ran IMO, with tons of bugs and balance issues, and mass afk farming. If done right we could definitely get some of that crowd over here.

    With the talisman and levelable pets having the new mobs from those expansions would definitely make PvM more difficult and put the need on nerfing them off for now.

    Random Stuff:
    Get rid of weapon durability damage from acid ele and slimes, pretty pointless and makes running dexxer punishing. (Acid ele isnt affected by slayer here either).

    Turn off leech sound from Vamp form and curse weapon, annoying to hear it every single swing.

    Return luck to the dungeon chests, the level 5 blue chests definitely lost the luck bonus some time ago and the loot from them is completely worthless, did not bother checking the level 4 ones.

    Please for the love of god make war axe fall under the mace category so it damages armor and takes away stam like the rest of maces, falls under the same logic as hally/bardiche not getting LJ bonus.

    Already mentioned before but please added something to the underused Super Slayer groups for variety. Right now only Demon (Balron), Undead (Ancient Lich), or Reptile (Ancient or Shadow wyrms) are really farmed. We need some monsters that match (loot/gold/difficulty) those for Elemental, Repond, Fey, and Arachnid.
     
  6. peej

    peej Community Manager

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    To start, I have enjoyed playing on Ultima Shards (t2a), and being part of the community, it was very enjoyable at the start with the t2a server and interactions with others. In my opinion some changes / ideas could be:

    Invasions: I enjoyed these, hated when they seemed to be lower participation and you couldn’t get one finished in time.

    PvP:
    · Pets always seemed to be the big issue with this, as was stated in another post make bards able to slow / peace tamed creatures more, or have some craftable item that will paralyze them (similar to a bola, could be created from fishing nets (make fishing more profitable) or just make pets unable to attack players

    · Damage seemed to always be a sore issue, sometimes weapons hit hard sometimes didn’t, I know there wasn’t much user input but I think this is something that would need revamped also

    Guild / Solo: I think a good mix of both is always nice, sometimes people don’t have the option for a guild, and so some solo incentives would be a nice choice also.

    Pets: I liked the leveling system, and the changes to reduce the bonding time were nice.
    · Would like to be able to steal hue / make dye for pets
    · XP system for pets still seemed a bit unbalanced. Seemed that some mobs would still give way more XP per pet while other mobs gave little to none
    · A few new tamables / mounts, mix things up a bit
    · Pack Instinct better bonus

    Dungeon:
    · Mark/ Recall – allow ability to recall / mark within a dungeon. If not full access, allow specific locations (level entrances within 5 tiles, only first 2 levels, etc) to be marked locations, allow recall to that area.
    · New levels – love the idea.
    o If this dungeon is controlled by X guild, allow them access to the new dungeon floor along with the additional gold / guild perks already in place
    o Or have the door to this new level “locked” until X number of mobs in the dungeon have been killed allowing access to a new level and/or boss mob
    · Boss mob: have it set to when X creatures in dungeon are killed Mob room unlocks, or to add more tiers 1. Kill X amount of creatures to gain access to new area, 2. Kill X amount in new area to summon boss mob for that dungeon (this way dungeons with new levels get the benefit of people having to farm in the rooms and dungeons without new levels still have boss)
    · Dungeon Rotation: have only a few dungeons accessible at a time, only way to open more / close one is to defeat the boss of that dungeon
    o Will allow smaller population more interaction / PK’s can find others
    o Dungeon that’s been open longest gets boosted drops / XP/ higher chance for rare pet color spawns)
    o Depending on what is open will help economy (accessible tames / resources available)
    · Instanced Dungeons: Wouldn’t mind seeing more of these

    Crafting:

    · Resources – some items seem to take an extreme amount of resources just to create items (boats , shrink pots, etc) might need to have some of these amounts reduced or allow for 100% creation of item

    Achievements: wouldn’t mind seeing more of these, always enjoyed them.


    Bugs: I know at first there were issues with bugs in the system/ things that were exploited and this didn’t help the early population. It’s a fine line when early pop are using exploits, you don’t want to pull / jail instantly and lose a player, but at the same time, it gets discouraging seeing exploits done and it appears nothing is being done about it. (I know things go on behind the scenes were not aware of as well as limited staff at times and working on other items for the server)

    · Updates / Patches:

    o Devactivity was a nice feature to show what was coming down the pipe as for the server.

    o Consistent patch schedule. Issues arise and things do get delayed, but sometimes the push back or “hold” on updates seemed to stretch a little far. If certain parts are delaying maybe back off those and release what is ready for that patch cycle.

    I think that the server got off to a great start and I think that can be reclaimed. I wonder though that offering to many selections of servers could hinder the population overall if people are getting established on 4 different shards. I know it was mentioned to release SE/ML for the AOS, maybe if you were looking at a Ren server also, might be wise to either just implement some of those items into T2A or hold off for now to allow T2A to grow again first. If I think of more I’ll add it, but a lot of things were done right, but there’s always room for growth. I’ll be glad to help in any way I can.
     
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  7. Arthrutus

    Arthrutus Newbie

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    I felt like this game made it TOOO easy to get OP. What happens when players basically get everything they want/need? There becomes a lack of motivation to continue playing because they feel as if they already "completed" the game. I understand the desire to make things easier to get and to shorten the time it takes to obtain high skill levels, but this also shortens the journey the players take to reach that level.

    I stopped playing because I felt I reached a point where I had everything I needed to continue my journey. Upon stepping into UOMultiverse, I was basically asked if I wanted a million gold. I had to decline because I wanted to experience the gameplay first. The LRC set from the sewers? Too easy to get. There was no feeling of risk vs reward... Just reward. Likewise, town invasions also dropped a shit-ton of stuff and basically made a mass amount of pixels that are literally worthless besides looking great. I think toning down on these drops dramatically would make them more interesting to get.

    My other suggestion is to avoid focusing too much on pixel art and attractive gear. Focus on the heart of the game. The sole reason that brought players to UO in the first place was not fantastic pixels and overpowered items, but the idea that one could be whoever they wanted to be without enough time invested. It also made it a necessity to make friends with other people in order to survive and become stronger. As we all know in real life, nobody can be alone for long without becoming insane. The same should apply for shards that want to retain players. Thus, I believe one of the flaws of UO Multiverse is the lack of fostering this important development. I can safely say during my stay on UOMultiverse: Community was severely lacking but provided some incentives for staying. However, the easy-to-get items gave me reasons to quit.
     
  8. Punkte

    Punkte Administrator Community Manager Developer

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    Many of these suggestions have been included in the recent patch notes just now. Thank you for your input.
     
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  9. Lomita

    Lomita Newbie

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    Hi,
    First,sorry for my english,it´s not my first language.
    I´m playing on this ML-shard not yet,but i consider to do next week.

    In the first posting you wrote: "There needs to be a want for the old playerbase to come back, and mass marketing for new players won't do that much good if the old players don't have a reason or want to come back."
    I´m a prospective new player and searching several days for a freeshard,but this ultima-shards projekt is very very hard to find,you need advertising :)
    It´s also a little hard to signup in this forum,because the mail to confirm the account was in the spam folder. (yahoo)

    I´m playing on osi since 15 years and i talk a lot with friends about freeshards.
    They dont switch to a freeshard because they dont like felucca or the highly modified map or game mechanics (most freeshards are felucca only)
    UO-Players also like mining,lumbering and crafting without beeing killed several times a day,...can i do this on the ML-server ?
     
  10. Punkte

    Punkte Administrator Community Manager Developer

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    Well, we are Ilshenar and Felucca. The map hasen't been modified at all. Some locations are different because we add in some entrances to Doom or even to other dungeons from different Maps. Yes, you can mine and lumber and craft without being killed.