Ultima Online may be a million years old, but it’s still getting updates, and in fact, its 108th publish has officially dropped on the production servers as of today. The centerpiece of the update is the overhaul of the housing decay system. Veteran MMO players will recall that UO’s housing system had an elaborate decay timer linked to account payment, and when the house was “condemned,” other players would start camping it in the hopes of watching it fall and either grabbing the lot for themselves – or grabbing the house’s loot. It never seemed like a system in pressing need of changing, especially compared to the game’s other problems.
But today’s patch nevertheless tweaks the system to make the decay rate more transparent, broadcast to players which houses on the server are undergoing decay, and require players to fight their way in to grab all the loot. Sorry, no more hanging around with your packies in tow, and you can’t participate on free-to-play accounts wither. And there’s another bummer: Account-bound items will vanish, meaning nobody can grab them up and hold them in museums, hoping the owner will someday return and can be reuinited with them. Aww.
The patch also refines the veteran reward system, adds new rewards, un-gunks Blackthorn’s dungeon, nerfed Bushido in PvP, and renders Davies Lockers completely useless for their intended purpose (why?!). The Treasures of Tokuno event is also live on the servers. (It’s a super old event that draws players to the Tokuno Islands in the hopes of scoring loot that continues to be among the best and most useful in the game, even now.)
As we noted yesterday, Broadsword has said it will not be disabling housing decay because of COVID-19 for now, though it may reverse that call in a few months.