Origin implemented another patch today. Shortly thereafter all the shards moaned quietly, rolled around in the dirt, and finally laid on their backs, legs and arms sticking straight up into the air. The intrepid OSI Quick Response Team is holding smelling salts under the servers’ noses as we speak, and I have word from reliable sources that they are beginning to twitch.

Origin also said things about houses. Apparently the new policy is that housing placed using stacking exploits falls under the “Don’t ask, don’t tell” rule, but some time in the future a house may be deleted, if it was illegally placed, unless it wasn’t. No one understood what they meant, including apparently the dev team. As Sunsword put it on the Dev Board,

I think it would be wise at this point not to overreact to the housing announcement. The point is, we are going to give you plenty of warning about any such change in policy and until we have more info. I just wouldn’t place anymore illegal houses…

The question is: are pre-patch houses still legal?

The answer is “I can’t give you the specifics on that”. But common sense would indicate that the answer is “probably”. The point of the communication was to stop an exploit, not dismay our legitimate players.

Will we EVER see house maintainence?

You should hear something on that subject in the next week or so.

On a related note, what is up with this?

I suppose it’s proof that Sunsword is in fact a real UO player and, like every other real UO player, has a dorky signature graphic that is 30 times the loading time of any message it’s attached to.

You know, Gordon the Tyrant doesn’t have dorky signature graphics.


Gordon “Tyrant” Walton sent out this mail to the Australian UO community, who were able to read it 10 minutes after he sent it due to lag between Origin and Australia;

Hail and well met!

We recently opened the new Korean shard (named Arirang) to our 1,500 Australian customers after getting reports that the connectivity might be better than to the west coast of the United States. Please try your connection to Arirang using the UOTrace utility (available at https://www.uo.com/downloads.html). Anytime you are experiencing packet loss in your connection to any shard, you should use this tool and send the trace route to uotrace@owo.com. This will help us identify and resolve connection problems between you and the shard.

If you do not see Arirang in the shard list on your Ultima Online software, please send an email to australia-server@owo.com. Be sure to include your user name (never send anyone your password!) so we can ensure you do get access.

We are working with EA Australia on the possibilities for a true Australian-based shard. There are many issues involved in this decision, and the thing you can do to help us most is let us know at australia-server@owo.com the email addresses of any friends whom you believe would join Ultima Online on a local server. This list of emails would be used no more than twice: once for a survey and once if we announced a local shard, if we are able to put one up. Local shards require a significant number of subscribers to support, and with your help we hope to grow the subscriber base sufficiently to establish an Aussie shard.

Thank you for supporting Ultima Online.

Gordon Walton
VP Online Services
Origin Systems, Inc.

I strongly suspect that Origin is looking for around 8 to 10,000 Australian customers to go to the expense of opening up an Aussie shard (shards ain’t cheap). I also strongly suspect that Australia will be one of the first places Verant launches a new outside-the-US server in (rumor has it they are rolling out Euro and Asian servers to coincide with the expansion pack next year).

Check the Australian Server Petition site for more details as they dribble.


Dr. TwisTer is GoNe. As is the rest of the delightful Gamehut network. No one has any clue where the good Doctor has gone to. Rumors of course are flying about either Origin or Verant threatning legal action, as drtwister.com posted dupes for both UO and EQ the same week. (My bet is on the Gamehut-doesn’t-know-how-to-reboot-a-router theory.) As intrepid webmonger Ronald McDonald put it on his fresh site,

Dr. TwisTer has gone AWOL, if you have seen or heard from this man, please contact Robert Stack. He has been missing for a week or so now. I am getting sexually frustrated.

For the love of God, please find Dr. TwisTer before Ronald gets any more sexually frustrated.


Krelin, a previously unknown Dev team member, got jiggy wid the Dev Board today. Here’s some highlights.

Wanted to let you guys know that we’re working on the connections problems with the most recent patch. I think we have a solid fix that should go in, within the next couple of days.

Swell. I have only been kicked 4 times on SP today maybe things are getting better.

Thanks for hoping, but things won’t really get better until the next client patch. This is an issue that effects both the client and the server simultaneously, but is revealed only under high-load situations on the server (and usually only if the client has a pretty good link).

Eloquent words for saying, “That patch sure sucked…”

By 1999 standards, maybe 🙂 Certainly this patch was not of the quality you should be able to expect from our team, and while I won’t offer any excuses for it, I also think that it was remarkably successful considering the number of massive changes and additions that went in to it.

I sincerely hope you’ll give us some leeway on this patch while it settles. The next few months should (we all hope) be better. 🙂

What about the massive timewarps?

Believe me, we’re spending every cycle we’ve got on this one, but from-the-hip I think there are several factors contributing to this problem:

1) A large number of people are (for various reasons which I’m sure you well know) generating huge amounts of objects in the world, which cause the worlds to require more memory than they normally would. This is being attacked in the next few days; but it has to be addressed carefully, because we don’t want to injure players that aren’t aggressively attacking the world mechanics.

2) Because of the breadth and depth of what is saved in the world state over the past two years, our world is becoming very large. One of our tasks over the next couple of weeks is to find new ways to shrink this data without losing it. 🙂

3) Some of the new accessibility features and code require more memory than has previously been required. A lot of this new stuff isn’t visible to you guys as it is mostly in place in PREPARATION for things to come. We still need to bring this usage down; because the excessive memory requirements are causing instability in the server (which you experience as crashes and warps).

Why not make multiple piles of gold unstackable? I mean all those people you are talking about are mostly using gold to create those huge item numbers that causes prbs to the shard. If you can’t stack gold piles anymore (and most of the time they are 1gp piles) then it will be a prb. Maybe add that restriction to fish steaks and bandages and that should make things really hard

The reason we haven’t done this yet is because the physics of the world (both client-side and server-side) aren’t defined the way you think they are. 🙂 It’s hard to explain, but a variety of factors contribute to making this a more difficult problem, but I _believe_ the proposed solution is pretty close to this.

Are you a new PR hire?

No, I’ve been on the dev team for a while. Today is the first time I’ve felt the urge to post. I’ve seen some really thoughtful posts today. 🙂 And I fixed the CL problem (I hope). 🙂