Charlotte Wellings Leads Crux Ansata to Slaughter!

Last night was one of the worst battles in the history of the Crux Ansata. While in the end they did manage to win the day, it was not without heavy cost. Countless people died, some many times. Here is a recounting of the tragic events.

Firstly Charlotte Wellings led the guard to a crack in the wall located in the courtyard of Castle British. Instead of taking time to widen the hole so many could go through at once, she had the guard charge in single file. People who emerged on the other end were instantly cut down by big black creatures known as Creeper Mites.

atlantic crux slaughtered

Instead of calling for a retreat and regrouping, she summoned healers inside the cavern. People had no choice but to use the healers to resurrect and instantly become mince-meat to the Creeper Mites once again!

Only after throwing themselves into the meat grinder (as it were), were the Crux Ansata able to overcome and push forward into the dungeon. Along and at the end of a corridor the guard encounter Creeper Mite Infestors.

atlantic crux fire fields

They spit fire on the ground that burned hotter than any normal fire field. This fight was a bit easier due to the guard having grouped more closely together. But this was more due to the tight hallway than any leadership by Lady Wellings.

How can King Blackthorn allow someone so young and inexperienced to lead the Crux Ansata? Has he lost his mind? Be sure to give him a piece of yours the next time you see him!

I am the King of Moonglow

Wow, that was a nail biting election right up until the end. It was crazy the number of people who fought for their candidate. Right at the end it was neck and neck, at one point it was dead even 50% – 50%!

The amount of energy and fun from this election I hope to carry over in the coming months. I have lots of ideas to spice up roleplay on Atlantic shard.  This includes regularly updating this website which is now being turned into my hub for governing Moonglow. There will be information about events, plans, news, contests, and more.

So that everyone understands: my persona as the governor of Moonglow is going to be different than how I normally act. When I say I don’t want orcs and gargoyles in Moonglow that is because I think it will add an interesting tension to how things play out. If everyone gets along then that will be boring. You can either be on my side, an opposing side, or create your own side. It is up to you how you want to have fun.

You will not want to miss the performance I am planning for the next governors meeting, also known as the Conseil du Roi. That is an EM event held every month where all 8 governors meet with King Blackthorn. It is usually held the last Sunday of each month, which this month is June 26 at 8pm EST.

in addition, within one week (I can’t believe I am making a deadline), I will have the website back in operation. With this I hope the roleplay community on Atlantic will once again flourish and we will have lots of fun times together.

– JC the Builder
Make Moonglow Magical Again!

Vacancy vs Virtue

I was very excited to hear that something had finally been done to improve organized PVP. It has only been a paltry 14 years since Factions was introduced. They did make some changes to Factions (8-10 years years later) but it has been relatively unchanged.

So here we are with no more Factions. Now it is all about Vice vs Virtue. I really wish there was some more positive things to say about it. There was a lot of player input on its design. Unfortunately it just falls flat.

When I first heard about it I thought there were going to be two sides. But the reality is every guild is its own side. There is no good vs evil component which begs the question why it is even called Vice vs Virtue. I am not saying it is bad to have it this way. But as it stands it isn’t good either.

guild war button2

There is a little known feature in UO called guild wars. I know, this may be shocking to some. It has been around a long time. You will just have to believe me, this feature is not even documented on UOGuide. One guild can declare war on another guild and fight them in a semi-official manner. That is exactly how Vice vs Virtue works. Except there are no rewards for warring another guild. That is why no* one does it (*except for role playing).

Why do guilds not war? There is no leaderboard. There are no rewards. There is nothing. This is also largely why Factions died in popularity. There was some pretty cool rewards to start but they got old. Then Age of Shadows obliterated what tiny bonuses there were and things went unchanged for the next 5-6 years. But enough of that, lets get into why Vice vs Virtue is not working.

Each town battle is in its own self-contained bubble. When it is done you get some silver. Then on to the next town. No one is ever on top. There is no reason to fight for one town over another. There is no scoreboard. There is no urgency to defend a town. It is all just a grind to get silver.

As a player I am 100% uninterested in any rewards you can currently obtain with all this grinded silver. Lets go through them shall we?

  • Potions – No thanks, barely use heal/cure as it is
  • War Steeds – Between ethereals and bonded pets, I don’t need this
  • Hair Dye – I have never used a hair dye on any character I own, ever
  • Artifacts – We got those already
  • Hooded Robes – Robe slot is already used
  • Royal Forged Pardon – This is actually useful for some a very small number of people
  • Banners – I got enough stuff to decorate my house
  • Floor tiles – Ditto
  • Scroll of Transcendence – My characters are all maxed

Over half the rewards offered are decorations. The only half decent one is the pardon, but it is useful to very few people. And most of those people transferred their skills using soulstones and deleted the character.

There is also a serious hole in drawing people out to fight. With the system running 24/7 how do you know when someone is out there? It might seem like this method allows you to find a fight anytime. But when anytime turns into all the time, it is just the luck of the draw in running into an opponent. I just checked out Atlantic at 6PM and captured a town solo. In fact I have yet to kill another person in VvV at all.

my vvv record

To summarize these are the issues that next to be fixed to draw people into this new PVP system:

  1. There needs to be rewards that will entice players to participate, especially veterans. Rewards that make people who don’t participate jealous and encourages them to join in.
  2. There needs to be a reason to capture a town beyond grinding silver. A sense of urgency to draw players to fight.
  3. There needs to be a scoring system. Preferably with online leaderboards as we had with Factions.

I hope there is going to be a phase 2 in the near future to try and fix these shortcomings.

Have a Nice day.


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.

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