Ultima Online preps for 20th anniversary bash, updates players on enhanced client fixes
Ultima Online isn’t considered the progenitor of the MMORPG genre for nothing: It’s closing in on 20 years of operation next week, to be celebrated at a real-life event outside of Washington, DC, this very weekend, with Broadsword devs and original Origin devs, including Richard Garriott and Starr Long, in attendance.
“The team and I are working hard to finish up the second part of Publish 98 which includes Holiday gifts, new Artisan Festival Rewards and new Veteran Rewards as well as several bug fixes,” Broadsword Producer Bonnie “Mesanna” Armstrong writes in this month’s newsletter. Some of those fixes revolve around the enhanced client, the current version of the upgraded client that Armstrong has said half of the playerbase uses; specifically, performance during live, studio-run roleplay events is an issue, both in terms of graphical effects and loot.
“The challenge is finding a balance in providing enough loot on the monster to keep the encounter enticing, while not overwhelming the clients with hundreds of items. Recently a video was posted that showed a public monster corpse with over 900 items! This is far too much, and as most players pointed out the majority of the items in these corpses are undesirable. One solution we are investigating is to put a cap on the number of items that end up back in a public corpse from the numerous instanced corpses that are part of large scale encounters.”