Category Archives: Uncategorized

Returning to UO Updates

Just thought I would make a general post about what has been going on.

– Since my first livestream I purchased a new microphone and audio mixer to greatly improve the sound quality. I’ve also figured out how to individually manage audio inputs so music can be playing loud enough for the stream but not enough to deafen me.

– The second nostalgia-stream was supposed to be last Friday but that went out the window with all the Stratics stuff going on. I am trying to get back on track, but besides the Stratics drama there is another thing slowing things down.

Our guild is extremely inactive and it is difficult to even reach members. Hardly anyone uses ICQ anymore, which is understandable. It is going to take several weeks to get it going again. Those still playing UO sort of migrated to other guilds but hopefully they will return if they see us active again.

– With HOT being so inactive, I can’t do the PVP stream this weekend. On top of that the whole VvV scene has taken a nose-dive to becoming a barren wasteland. I was on the other night for a while completely alone in capturing a couple towns. Not another soul was to be seen. I don’t really know what is going on there.

– Finally, I am just starting out on a brand new project that is very exciting. It is something that is been cooking in my head for several years and I hope to have it launched by Christmas. I am not going to say much about it until it officially launches. I think it will be quite extraordinary though.

World of Witchcraft

“Have you guys seen this? We need our game to be more like this.” – Electronic Arts Board Meeting

After a week of turmoil in the UO community it is time to reflect.  All this sort of ties into one of the articles I have planned to write.

After three years being out in the working world I now understand a lot of things. One of those is why bad things happen. Whether it be for a website, a MMO, a business, or anything. One bad decision or event and everything goes to hell.

At my first job it was an event. I worked at a small family owned business where the previous owner worked himself to death. Literally, he was carried out of the office into an ambulance and died that day. There was a family feud and one of the son’s got hold of the business. It went from making millions a year to virtually closing in 6 years. I saw the tail end of it all.

While the event of owner’s death was the start of it all, he made several bad decisions leading up to it. The guy had cancer and was in his sixties. There was never a plan made on who would be next in line to run the business. There was no Will because his estate, which consisted of up to 30 houses, is still in litigation after all this time. It is an absolute mess and I was looking for a new job the week after I started there.

When you are not the boss, by which I mean at the top of the chain of command, you don’t have complete control. The board of directors at Blizzard could vote to shut down World of Warcraft. It would be a really, really stupid thing to do. But it could be done. The only thing stopping it is the people on that board. The same thing for UO, Electronic Arts could have pulled the plug anytime within the last 17 years.

Have you ever seen a politician make a statement or vote in a way you disagree with? The same type of people are found everywhere, including at game companies. Trust me they’re there. I’ve dealt with them many times. The kind of person who says don’t worry, you can’t get Ebola by riding on a bus. Then says don’t get on a bus if you have Ebola because you can spread it to other riders.

Five years ago I just did not understand why some decisions regarding UO were being made the way they were. Now I do. While the UO producer may have the best of intentions, UO was under the umbrella known as EA. People, commonly referred to as “pencil pushers”, have unwieldy power over UO even if they have never logged in or played a video game in their life. They decide to layoff people, budget reductions, or even major game features. “Turn UO into more like that game World of Witchcraft!”

I am so glad I have made good decisions for UOGuide. A previous Stratics owner wanted to buy it for a lot of money. Another person offered us server hosting which would have likely ended up in me being forced out (from what I’ve learned years later). I hope I can keep it up because I know a lot of people depend on it.

Have a Nice day.

Major Derailment

If you are an active member in the UO community you are likely aware of the current situation. If not let me summarize:

  • Two weeks ago Stratics was sold to a new owner.
  • Two days ago beloved Stratics contributor and basically the volunteer team lead Petra Fyde resigned from Stratics.
  • Almost the entire remaining site staff resigned over the next two days.

After the resignation I have been speaking with several people about what has been going on and have gathered the following information.

  • Stratics has been in serious trouble the last few years. It was so bad at one point the site could have been shut down.
  • In the last few months many site staff have quit or were forced out, so it was not purely the result of the new owner.
  • The previous owner’s promise to give the site “back to the staff” did not happen. Major management missteps caused friction in the Stratics team.
  • The current owner is planning on continuing to implement designs the previous owner was working on, ones that the staff were against.

For me personally, this is a depressing situation. I came back to the UO community in part to compete against Stratics once again. I was updating UOGuide to give Stratics a run for its money. But that just can’t happen now. The soul of the site is gone, the new owner can barely get it running properly, and they have no one to update content over there.

Now I don’t know what to do. Should I give up and log out once again? Should I start a campaign to boycott Stratics? Should I buy Stratics and try to make the site right again?

My answers depend on two things I suppose. What is the UO Team’s response to this and what is the former Stratics Team going to do. I hope I don’t have to wait too long for these. I have 6 years of UO excitement bottle up here and this has really put a damper on things.

Have a Nice day.

Things Learned From Streaming

I had a lot of fun last night. I played UO for the first time in many years. Got to catch up with some old friends. Was very happy with the video presentation layout I setup. But there were some challenges:

  • I thought I had the audio settings all worked out but people said my mic was too low. So I turned it all the way up and now it sounds tinny. Plus I had to turn the music way up which was uncomfortable for me. I need to work this out for the next time.
  • HOT Guild was a lot more inactive than I thought. The two people who I played with last night (Rafman and Richworf) also have not really played UO in years. A third didn’t have macros setup. Three members were online but not on guilded characters. All of us had poor equipment. This all has to be worked on.
  • The giveaways didn’t work out as planned. The processing server was slow or down. I think in the future it has to be done by trivia questions.
  • I didn’t think to announce the 100 million gold chase in game chat, that would have gotten some more interest. I think there is a lot of fun that can be had doing this. I have more ideas for the next one.

All in all I think things went as well as couple be expected. My first day back playing UO: couldn’t remember my macros, using a different keyboard, loud music playing in my ears, trying to keep talking the entire time, trying to lead a team of out of practice players, and fighting stealthing dismount ninjas who outnumbered us two to one.

I am going to do another stream this Friday, October 17 starting at 7PM EST. It is just going to be me going through a bunch of stuff in my houses and reminiscing about where it came from. I hope some rare collectors will be on to chat with.

The following weekend on Sunday October 26 it will be the big breakout VvV event of Atlantic. By then we should have several HOT ready to go do battle. There will be giveaways again and the 100 million gold chase sequel.

See you next time. Have a Nice day.