April 2019

Ultima Online Newsletter (April 2019)

Submitted by UO_Herald on April 19, 2019 at 10:24 PM CDT

Update April, 2019 View in browser
The UO Team is happy to announce we will be sending out a newsletter periodically so you can stay up to date on the latest in Britannia!

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Producer Notes


The first pass of Forgotten Treasures is now live on Test Center!  Read the latest publish notes for the full details and participate in the discussion on the forums!  In this first update we are focused on Treasure Map updates and Cleanup Britannia Updates.  You will be happy to know we have added over 100 items to Clean Up Britannia!

This publish we are launching our next custom Keep design contest, here are the important dates to remember:

Contest Started/Signup – Wednesday, April 17, 2019 3:35:22 PM GMT-4:00 DST

First Vote Begins – Wednesday, May 1, 2019 3:42:02 PM GMT-04:00 DST

Second Vote Begins – Wednesday, May 8, 2019 3:42:02 PM GMT-04:00 DST

Vote Tally – Saturday, May 11, 2019 3:42:02 PM GMT-04:00 DST

We look forward to seeing some great Keeps this time around!

I would like to address an issue that is very frustrating for the players, for Customer Service and for myself.  Harassment that has been happening on several shards will not be permitted.  I would encourage everyone to use the ignore button.  If you can not use this feature please send in an harassment page on the players involved.  Since some of this has gone on for an extended period of time we are going to start banning people.  There will not be any warnings or suspensions.

Our next Dev Meet and Greets will be on the following dates,

April 22nd, Atlantic 7pm ET
May 6th, Mugen, 9am ET
May 20th, Lake Superior, 7pm ET

Finally, the following are actions taken on accounts that were banned or suspended:

6 - Disruptive Behavior
41 - Macroing 
1 - Harrassment
3- Multiboxing
1- Naming
1- Solicitation

See you on the High Seas, 

Bonnie "Mesanna" Armstrong

Treasure by Land and Sea


Treasure calls to us all!  We are excited to share with you some of the upcoming rewards that will be coming to Forgotten Treasures!

We've taken some of the old favorites like the longsword and created additional paperdoll styles that you can Treasure Hunt for!  Don't worry - your old favorites will still be there, these are in addition to what is currently available in game!   Look for these, and additional Treasure Map rewards in our upcoming TC updates!

New SOS Salvage Items!

Question & Answer

Thanks to forum poster crunchnasty for providing some great questions!

1.   Fix crafting and mule skill sets to become more of the economy again. I know you've heard the "make useless skills worth using again" yelled at you till the horse was beat dead. Taste ID, Item ID, Begging, Camping, and a litany of others have few practical uses in today's game play

We are aware that some of the skills from over the years are no longer used in game.  As we add new features and adventures we are always looking for a way to make them useful in a way that would make sense.  Crafting & mule skills are something we are constantly thinking about how to keep relevant in the broader scope of the itemization loop in game.  This is a delicate balance though and we look forward to a discussion with the community in the future when we try to tackle this big problem.

2.  Make creating a thief / fishing character worth it again. Pvm and Pvp. Theres no reason to be a dungeon theif vs say creating a treasure hunter (especially when t-hunters are getting a boost next patch), unless u want some cool deco. (same applies to being a Legendary fisherman... cool for deco, not much else.) Make a PvP thief? unless you wanna hang out and steal exclusively from champ spawns, forget about it cause theres nothing else worth / or available to even steal from people.  Nobody participates in VvV mechanics, so stealing there is not important anymore. 

It's true that the thief profession has been changed radically over the years as a result of changes in gameplay rules.  While the dungeon stealing thief has had regular content updates when applicable, the PvP thief hasn't seen much in the way of updates.  A major thief update is something we've toyed with, but the application of the profession beyond PvM is delicate.  If there is community interest in exploring additional roles for the PvP thief this could be something we focus on for a future publish.

3.  Theres a reason almost NOONE plays a gargoyle character. It's because they aren't fun to play. Maybe theres something that can be done about this. 

This is a pretty subjective analysis, and generally when anyone speaks in terms of "noone does this or that" the assumption is pretty off base.  Gargoyle characters are pretty popular despite the assertion otherwise.  We look forward to discussions on how to improve the gargoyle play style from those who enjoy that type of gameplay!

4. What is there to do in Eodon, Illeshnar and Tokuno these days? I literally go to Tokuno on ATL for Goodman's Rune Library and thats it. My wish list includes making it fun to go to every facet of UO because new stuff is happening that every PvM'er wants to participate in. I realize this isn't specific enough of a request, but I just want to know your thoughts, we have so much open space that isn't being used by majority of players, and I've grown to love PvM a lot recently)

The world is pretty big, and has only gotten bigger.  It's something all virtual worlds struggle with as we expand into unexplored new realms.  We try to keep each facet relevant, and provide incentives and unique opportunities that will encourage visiting each.  With the latest Treasure Hunting revamp facet plays a huge role in which types of items you get among the various loot categories.  When designing global events we also try to target previously unexplored areas when the narrative dictates.  If there are specific areas of the world you think could use some action - let us know, or take up the mantle and make the world come alive on your shard.  Keeping Britannia a living, breathing world is as much up to you as it is us!  

5.  Keep us in the loop - We want more information about what the staff is working on, and why. What is being considered, and why. UO is my main pasttime. I want more information. There will be months on end without much except some forum post responses here and there. 

We hold regularly scheduled Meet & Greets, release periodic newsletters (like this one!), and read a slew of e-mailed feedback and forum messages every day.  The UO forums provide us a great opportunity to engage with the community in thoughtful, respectful, and reasoned feedback.  We try to get the community involved as early as we can to gauge interest and temper expectations for new features coming to Ultima Online.  It's important to keep in mind, however, that when something is in-concept it is just that - in concept.  With the recent Treasure Hunting changes there is already an expectation that everything that was talked about in the discussion thread is set and stone.  Things can change and will change.  Early discussions need to be met with an understanding that everything is subject to change.

6. Work on the loot table (obv keeping power creep in mind). Especially the rare dungeon drops being less useful than other magic 'no name' loot that drops regularly on the roof etc. Doom / Peerless artifacts should be sought after more than just random legendaries at the roof. Right now 99% of dungeon artifacts are cool looking / lore-wise but junk in their usefulness.  Make all the older boss and dungeon encounters up to date in terms of loot table. Right now I only see ppl take champs and the roof seriously. Noone wants to do peerless, Eodon encounters, or Doom (it is all empty just like High Seas has been for so long)

This is an incredibly delicate balancing act - how do you keep each area of the game world relevant while providing balance across all loot types.  One of the major challenges is that our game world is 20+ years old (amazing!).  Few other virtual worlds can make that claim, so attempting to re-balance everything would require some thoughtful consideration on any changes we make.  We look forward to discussions with the community on how to adequately manage keeping each area of the world relevant, and providing incentive to continue hunting treasure!

7. Is VvV working as intended? because I don't see anything special happening other than everyone attacking each other without a purpose. It would be nice if a system in VvV actually kept people engaged, do you have any ideas on how to move forward?

VvV addressed a number of concerns we had with the core PvP experience in the world.  That being said, we recognize that we fell short on providing additional context and incentive for participation in the actual VvV gameplay.  We hope to take another look at VvV and provide some greater incentive for participation in a future publish.

8. Fix the out of control inflation - This may tie into several other issues. But why do I need several billion gold to buy what used to cost 1 million?  Is there a solution to this?

Unfortunately there is no silver bullet to solve inflation.  We have taken steps to combat inflation such as providing gold sinks and making transactions at higher levels easier with currency conversion.  We constantly keep ways to combat inflation in mind as we develop new feature

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Forgotten Treasures TC Release 1 – Update

Submitted by UO_Herald on April 18, 2019 at 10:18 PM CDT
UO Publishes

Originally posted April 18, 2019 by UO Dev Team on the UO Herald:


We have updated TC1 with the latest release of Forgotten Treasures to include the following updates,

  • Resolved issue where loot generation in treasure chests would not function properly and could lead to characters ending up in a broken state.
  • Temporarily removed locks and traps on all treasure chests to focus on loot for testing purposes.
  • Resolved issue where decoding a treasure map could result in errors.

Thank you to everyone who has taken an early look at Forgotten Treasures and we look forward to your continued feedback on the forums.

See you in Britannia,
UO Team

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Publish 105 Keep Design Contest Important Dates

Submitted by UO_Herald on April 18, 2019 at 10:13 PM CDT
UO Community News

Originally posted April 18, 2019 by UO Dev Team on the UO Herald:


Please take note of the following important dates as they relate to the Publish 105 Keep Contest.

Contest Started/Signup – Wednesday, April 17, 2019 3:35:22 PM GMT-4:00 DST
First Vote Begins – Wednesday, May 1, 2019 3:42:02 PM GMT-04:00 DST
Second Vote Begins – Wednesday, May 8, 2019 3:42:02 PM GMT-04:00 DST
Vote Tally – Saturday, May 11, 2019 3:42:02 PM GMT-04:00 DST

We look forward to seeing many great designs this time around!

See you in Britannia,
UO Team

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Forgotten Treasures TC Release 1

Submitted by UO_Herald on April 17, 2019 at 10:09 PM CDT
UO Publishes

Originally posted April 17, 2019 by UO Dev Team on the UO Herald:


We are pleased to announce the first Test Center release of Forgotten Treasures will be available after 4pm ET! Forgotten Treasures is the second in our High Seas themed content updates for the year and we are excited to bring a fresh perspective to Treasure Hunting and Cleanup Britannia. This is only a small part of what’s to come in Forgotten Treasures but we are eager to bring you this early look and get your feedback as we work through the public testing process. Please be sure to check out the publish notes for the latest updates, and participate on the UO Forum in the latest discussions.

We would also like to invite everyone to participate in a public test event beginning today and running through tomorrow afternoon. Hop on to TC1 and say hello!

Please note – if you plan to test anything on TC1, especially Treasure Hunting, you will need to patch up to the latest client. When you head back to production, you will see this updated client text – do not be alarmed, this is normal and expected behavior.

See you in Britannia,
UO Team

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Sea of Tears

Submitted by UO_Herald on April 16, 2019 at 10:02 PM CDT

Originally posted April 16, 2019 by UO Dev Team on the UO Herald:

As the story of Rising Tide continues and we invite you to sit back and enjoy, Sea of Tears

Sea of Tears

By EM Malachi

In the large iron-girded aquarium, the nixie in chains sang to herself. The song started as a wordless child’s melody of warm seas, full of wonder and beauty. It became a dirge as the song spoke of her capture and years of captivity. The final verse rose into a defiant ballad of escape. Her voice channeled the magic around her, fighting the manacles holding her. The iron resisted, glowing red and burning against the bracelets of scars around her wrists.

When she could bear the pain no more, she fell silent, the spell song breaking in a shower of sparks. Across the room, there came a mocking applause. Noxum turned her head toward the pirate lord with a small wooden chest under his arm. She looked away. “You have returned. You didn’t die.”

“You shouldn’t sound so hopeful.”

“I’m always hopeful.”

“Sea elf, hope has no place here, nor do any more escape attempts.”

Noxum held up the cooling manacles. “This cannot be suffered forever. Even death would be preferable to this existence.”

Hook scowled. “I have never harmed a scale on you.”

“Only because you see me as part of your collection, something to be owned. But I have witnessed your cruelty to others. I will never forget what you are, nor be a willing part of it.”

Hook shrugged, as he put down the chest. “Your approval is not required.” He removed the Rune of Valor from a bed of cotton and held it up to the lantern. A cut on his hand left blood on the etching of a sword on the Rune’s surface.

Something about the Rune made Noxum remember an old ballad about a nixie who saved her kin from a shark. “What is that rune to you? Something else for your treasure pile? Something to ransom with?”

Hook laughed. “On no. This is a weapon.”


Hook watched as Rankin placed various objects in the circle around the rune. “Are the human bones really necessary? I thought they were the props of dramatic little pretenders.

Rankin adjusted a femur. “Normally, you would be correct. Skeletons aren’t actually required for necromancy, but there was one Pagan school I wasn’t able to learn because it’s in the blood and marrow of a person.”

“How did you come by these? I can’t image the owner gave them up willingly.”

“When the Tempest died resisting capture, her body made its way to a friendly gravedigger. I have been saving her final blood magic for a special occasion.”

Rankin placed a final grinning relic at the North position. “Oh, Mordea. You had such beautiful blood. A pity the Royal Guard spilled so much of it.”

Hook tapped his foot impatiently. “So an old friend’s bones will give us the shrine?”

“As I explained, this is only the first spell of many. Still, I believe you will appreciate the effect. Now I need to begin chanting, so no more glib comments.”


With a storm to the north and shallows to the south, escape was impossible. The Royal Navy had chased the Crown Jewel and its pirate fleet from the Cape of Heroes to just off Valor Island. With more ships and cannons, the fleet admiral was confident they would crush the pirate scourge in a single confrontation.

A small pirate ship had already fallen to the naval cannons. Assuming that the pirate leader was trying make a break for open ocean, the admiral had ordered full sail. He was surprised when the pirate crews lowered sail.

There was a sudden pressure change, and the waters churned around Valor Island. The storm at the fleet’s back surged south, growing in both intensity and fury. The wind and water smashed against the naval fleet. The sailors hurried to lower the sails, all fully unfurled for the chase, but half the armada lost masts in the first few minutes. Crews who managed to lower their sails were helpless as their ships ran aground off the coast and were raked by heavy cannon fire.

While a few ships managed to skirt the storm and retreat, Britannia had lost half its southern fleet. Watching the destruction from the Crown Jewel, Rankin laughed. “Those fools in Moonglow will respect me now.”

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Treasure Island

Submitted by UO_Herald on April 1, 2019 at 7:47 PM CDT

Originally posted April 1, 2019 by UO Dev Team on the UO Herald:

As the story of Rising Tide continues and we invite you to sit back and enjoy, Treasure Island.

By EM Malachi

Treasure Island

The damp air on the ship had brought out the mildewed smell of Rankin’s spellbooks. The mage struggled to cram the last tome into his pack. He eventually gave up and removed some clothes to make room. As he dragged the heavy bag to the rowboat, Rankin looked at the others who were preparing to go ashore. Two porters were doing inventory of cured meats and hardtack for the expedition. A bulky gargoyle named Forskis was staring up at the sky. Hook was giving some last minute orders to the crew of the Crown Jewel. The pirate lord was excited. If this expedition went well, the secret that the Guild’s leadership had kept for generations would soon be in his hands.


The expedition had made good progress on the first day, but on the second, disaster struck. They had felt tremors all morning, but thought nothing of them. Hook heard the roar first. He shouted a warning as a river of lava flowed through the jungle around them. Rankin’s panic led to a hasty teleport spell, while Hook and Forskis scrambled out of the way. The two porters had nowhere to run. Only one of them managed to scream.

As the survivors caught their breath, they took stock of the situation. The lava flows cut off the most direct route to their destination. Studying the map, Rankin considered the alternatives.

“Not good. We’ll need to go days out of our way, and the safest route will take us at least a week. “

“That’s unacceptable. Even if we had the provisions, I cannot be off ship that long. An unwatched crew is a mutinous one.”

“This path is shorter, but it might be blocked as well. Can your gargoyle scout ahead?” Rankin made flapping wings with his hands.

Forskis shook his head and pointed to jagged scars along his wing patagium.

“Hook, you brought a winged gargoyle that can’t fly? Of all the things! A wingless would have been a stronger porter.”

Forskis snarled and took a step forward, but Hook put a hand out to stop him. “Don’t insult my friend. Like you, he has unconventional value.”

Forskis picked up what remained of the dead men’s supplies and trudged into the jungle.


Rankin was complaining about wanting a clean shirt, when Forskis held up a fist. The path in front of them came close to a brackish stream. At the edge was a giant blue-green creature with the shape of a salamander. Forgetting his complaints for a moment, Rankin exclaimed, “A Triton!”

The triton’s eyes followed their movement, and opening its maw, the beast started to slither toward them. Hook and Rankin prepared for a fight, when Forskis stopped them. “Mine.”

The gargoyle drew a pair of curved knives and charged forward. His first stab took one of the eyes. The triton tried to close its jaw around Forskis to crush him, but the flurry of blades left jagged cuts along the creature’s flank. In agony, the triton gave up and tried to retreat, but Forskis wrapped an arm around its body and kept stabbing until long after it was dead.

Hook laughed. “See why I brought him?”


Staring at the rock face, Hook scowled. “The map says it’s right here.”

Rankin closed his eyes and focused for a moment. “The mana in this location feels strange. There is an entry here, but a spell is concealing it.” Opening his eyes, Rankin sat on the ground and started removing the library in his bag.

“How long is this going to take?” asked Hook.

Rankin already had his nose in a book. “Let me work.”

Rankin had tried several standard counter-spells and poured water on the wall, but nothing at all had happened. Impatient, Hook had Forskis smashing large rocks against the wall. Consulting his books again, Rankin took a length of golden cord from his pack and started chanting.

He whipped out the thin cord, and BOOM! Where the end had struck the wall, explosive magic was crumbling rock and burning away the spells there. When the smoke cleared, there was a cave mouth.

Lighting a makeshift torch on a dying ember, Rankin gave a sweeping bow. “Fire cultists are such passionate teachers.”


They followed the narrow stone tunnel to a chamber which contained a large stone box. On its top was etched the inscription: “A Lawless Lord is the Crooked Key.” There was also an indentation in the shape of a keyhole. Forskis reached to pull off the stone top, but jumped back in extreme pain.

Rankin examined the reliquary. “A minor magical trap. Give me a minute to disrupt it.” He read a chant from a book and focused the spell toward the stone chest. The mana from the spell rebounded onto Rankin. The mage fell to the ground as the arcs of energy wracked his body with pain. Forskis grabbed a bedroll and smothered the mana sparks, thumping the mage against the hard stone floor.

Catching his breath, Rankin thanked him. Forskis tossed the singed bedroll away and shrugged. “Hook said you can’t die. Yet.”

Hook read the inscription again. “What does it mean?”

Rankin picked himself off the ground. “I think it’s a bloodline key. Budo the Second wanted only his line to be able to open it.”

“It mentions a lord. Rule of the Den is not passed by family, but by vote.” Hook took out a knife and made a cut. He smeared his blood against the lock. The stones of the reliquary opened, revealing what was inside: the Rune of Valor.

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