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UO Town Hall Meeting Chicago 2007

Saturday, May 19, 2007 (3:00PM – 6:00PM)
Dave & Buster’s
1030 N. Clark Street
Chicago, IL 60610

Notes by Kitiara:

Town hall was great. The screenshots don’t do the game justice. After seeing it in action, not only am I highly impressed, but I’m now fully confident that I will love the new user interface. (I have been a bit leery – I don’t play any other of these “modern” games that the new interface is supposedly based on).

The presenters were:
Nick Corea (Dragon Head), Lead Designer
Patrick Malott (Leurocian), Sr Designer
Jeremy Dalberg (Jeremy), Community

There wasn’t really any earth-shattering news, but here’s what I have in my notes:

– This is the most money EA has sunk into UO since its birth (for KR) – and, of course, KR is a free upgrade (for us).

– Jeremy will talk to marketing re: promotions for the 10th anniversary package for people who have multiple accounts (such as, the buy 4 get 1 free that they did with Mondain’s Legacy).

– Stygian Abyss will likely make use of some of the “dead” skills (ie. skills people don’t currently use, as they’re currently useless in the game)

– New ogre art is complete with plumber’s crack

– Jeremy said (and I quote) that a “metric buttload” of people will be added to the KR beta testing phase in the coming weeks. (Jeremy is my new favorite person).

– There has been “discussion” of lifting the NDA in the next few weeks.

– Fixing factions is on the radar for fixing post-Stygian Abyss.

– The flexible desktop is capable of displaying up to at least 1600 pixels wide. (Couldn’t get an exact resolution, but Jeremy said her laptop runs at 1600 wide and KR runs fine at that).

– Couldn’t get the devs to spill any beans, but they would say it is “likely” that there will be new housing areas introduced in Stygian Abyss.

– Leurocian promised to move the decimal point to fix the effects of enhanced bandages, a promise formerly made by Mr. Tact but never completed.

– The devs acknowledged the problems with OSI owned houses and the DSFASA houses on Lake Austin, but had no timeline for fixing/deleting them.

– Community collection difficulty may be looked at (to make it more reasonable) in the rebalancing phase. The team stressed that in order to look at rebalancing loot, monster drops, armor, crafting, etc, it has to all be considered at once as a big picture, as they all tie in and affect each other. This is planned for during/after Stygian Abyss, since they don’t want to change something in KR that will then be messed up when SA is released. They’ll be looking at it as part of SA and beyond.

– New pet management feature – if you have the pet tool up, all pets and summons will automatically show their health bars in the tool gump. You can command your pets via the tool gump. Was a quick demo, but I think it will make tamers’ lives much easier! They said it just went live to the beta testers, and people are raving about it.

– New macro system – much better than the current macro system. Drag n drop functionality, as well as the ability to stack macros. Currently, there’s no way to add “make last” as a macro action. Ugh.

The team spoke a lot about building into the game as many of the features as possible that we currently get from third party apps like UO Assist. Two things that are still missing, though – make last (for crafting macros) and the display at the top of the screen for regs, tithing points, weight, gold, etc. The team took note. We’ll see if that changes.

– New map system looks awesome. The team described functionality that it will have – namely, the ability to see where your party and guild members are in the world. Very cool.

– Water tiles and waterfalls look awesome. Those tiles should look the same in player houses as well. Water elementals go splat. Most monsters looked awesome, I thought. Even corpsers.

– Zoom feature – very cool. Also zooms farther out than we’re used to seeing. Devs did not specify what will be done to prevent the zoom feature from affecting PvP (ie. zoomed-out players being able to see incoming creatures/people before zoomed-in players) but made very clear that it will be addressed. Using a war fog was mentioned as a possibility.

– Tweaks are still being made to the scaling and sizing of some monsters. For example, balrons are a bit too small at the moment. Any creatures that don’t have art yet show up as imps. (ROFL!)

– Motion should look smoother when the game is released. It has to do with the frames per second that the old graphic engine runs at versus the new one. (New one is faster, resulting in some choppy motion).

– Polar bear rugs don’t look quite so bizarre in the armpits as they once did.

I only got to see one brown cu sidhe, from behind

That’s all I can think of! Had a great time. Met some people from DSR on LA (though it sounds like they’re all PvP, so I doubt I’ll run into them! Joker and… I’m forgetting the other names). I think I’m getting the guild initials right – DSR – said the like to kill VaMP for fun

Got to meet Jeremy’s parents – very nice people! Hometown is Chicago. w00t!

I thought I couldn’t wait till KR came out, but now? Oy vey!