This is a complete transcript of the March 1, 2011 Ultima Online Video House of Commons (more information).
Because this is live, I’m not going to break it out by time, other than in 10-minute segments on the full transcript.
I apologize in advance for any errors. If you notice any errors, please contact us and we’ll correct them as soon as possible. This transcript is taken from a video I recorded. Whether I make the video available through YouTube remains to be seen, but probably not. They will probably post an official copy online.
(?) or *unintelligible* means I couldn’t quite understand it. I will work to clean up the audio and listen to it again.
* Cal = Calvin Crowner, UO Producer
* Mesanna = Bonnie Armstrong, UO Associate Producer, head of EMs
* Supreem = Derek Brinkman, UO Lead Engineer
* Video segment discussing past player experiences with UO *
* Break in with an ad for Ultima Online High Seas *
Supreem: It’s more confrontational than anything
Cal: right, right (unintelligible, sounds like “supposed to do that”)
Off Camera: Guys, you’re on
Cal: Oh, hey, so..
Cal: Welcome to the Ultima Online Video House of Commons. I am Calvin Crowner, producer, currently of UO. To my right is Mesanna. Intro yourself.
Mesanna: I thought you were doing it.
Cal: Go ahead, you got it.
Mesanna: Oh, I’m Mesanna, I’m the associate producer
Supreem: Derek Brinkman, lead engineer.
Cal: Okay. And also in the room, we have our community reps. We’ve got Rowland Cox who is responsible for putting all of this schtuff together. Our producer who is handling sound, audio, video, and uhh and a lot of other byproduct. He’s our producer for all intents and purposes for the video chat. And (unintelligible name) who is our up and coming European guy for the live games.
Cal: So, with that welcome to the Stratics and Video House of Commons, and did I do that alright? We’re good?
Off Camera: Yeah
Cal: So umm the stuff that we’re supposed to talk about are the video that came out last week, to follow up with any questions you guys had about that. We’re also going to go over what’s coming up with pub 70 which is..(turns to Mesanna) want to go ahead and tell them the schedule..(unintelligible, something about set in like March or late March)
Cal: Okay, good. So the schedule right now is during this month you will see the restoration of Magincia, also let you guys know what a player-driven town means for Magincia, because we’ve been watching the boards and seeing the comments on Facebook and what you do not want is you do not want a Luna 2. So that is ahh our goal…umm..and then the last bit about as far as the video that came out last week is what does it really mean as far as the pacing and vents we’re going to do this year. So…CJ do we have any questions.
Off Camera: Well you’ve just covered Magincia so
Cal: We didn’t cover it, we just talked about it
Off Camera: The question is what do you have in store for Magincia and the other player-driven towns.
Cal: Umm..right now there are..will be no other player-driven towns, it’s just Magincia to start out and umm..the way that we are doing it is Magincia as you guys know, was burnt to the ground for not being humble so we are limiting the number of plots there and well like each (looks at Mesanna)
Mesanna: You never tell them about the plots
Cal: Okay, well then there you go, it’s just been spoiled.
Supreem: We can talk about it
Cal: There we go, there it’s spoiled, good. Do it, since I spoiled it you can go ahead and finish it.
Mesanna: Okay, so umm..there’s gonna be plots
Mesanna: In Magincia. A total of 22
Supreem: Very similar to the way we did them in the Abyss
Mesanna: They are going to be specific sizes, 15 by 15. You can go smaller, but you can’t go larger. Umm should I tell them about the lottery (looks at Cal, Cal nods)
Supreem: The raffle.
Mesanna: Sure, the raffle
Cal: The raffle.
Mesanna: We’re going to umm..these are not going to be come as you go so don’t worry about scripters.
Mesanna: Umm.. it’s actually going to be a…lotto system…which you will have a…if you win after X amount of time that is open, then you will get a message in your mailbox that we are doing, and it’ll let you know that if you won or not.
Cal: Alright so here’s how the system works.. On there on Magincia in term of residents, we’ll divide it into two areas. There’s a north side and a south side. So..
Mesanna: I don’t even wanna go there.
Cal: Right, anyways, that’s how we roll in upper Magincia…umm.
Cal: The northern pieces will be by account. Right, that’s the north sider or is that the ones *unintelligible* there’s two different ways *unintelligible*
Mesanna: The north side will be a specific one chance per account
Supreem: One ticket per account
Mesanna: One ticket
Cal: Alright, and then the south side is..
Mesanna: The south side is you can enter as many times as you want, but it’s gonna cost you.
Cal: Right, so those are the two pieces. umm..we went for..we tried to be..the idea was to try to be fair, but you can’t always be fair, so we tried to be just. So the opportunity is there for everyone depending on how much money you want to spend and everyone gets a fairly equal opportunity to get in there. What we did not want, what we did not want a land rush on the day that it opened.
Cal: Ummm..and because some players might not be able to be there at server up or when they’re published and that sort of thing and that’s unfair to a few folks…umm the other part of that is Origin will go first of course, so if there are any kinks in the system and that sort of thing before we go live, we’re probably gonna between 4 and 7 days umm..you’ll see it on Origin before it goes live to the rest of the
Supreem: We’re gonna do the full cycle of the raffle system on Origin before we go world-wide.
Mesanna: So you have approximately 7 days
Supreem: So we can make sure it worked
Supreem: So the cycle will be shorter on Origin, on the other shards they’ll have more time to get their lottery tickets.
Supreem: But on Origin, it’ll be shorter
Cal: Right. Umm now about
Supreem: I think it’s supposed to shorter on Origin
Supreem: Maybe it won’t be shorter but
Mesanna: Origin’s is going to be completed first, let’s put it that way.
Cal: So let’s put it this way, we talked a lot about this…and..just trying to make sure that we do things the right way because the restoration of Magincia is extremely important. The other part of that is that we have to respect the town for what it was and what it’s meant to be. And so with that, you’ll not see a lot of buildings done from the developers. So on the north side is where we’re putting the area for ceremonies and that sort of thing, right.
Mesanna: We have a gazebo.
Mesanna: And we have just a little area where you can plant flowers and stuff
Cal: Right, and the flower planting is actually..we’ll get into more details about that system but you’ll be able to as players put your name..I don’t know if anyone has ever seen this like if you go to old towns where you can kind of put your name in the bricks, like old stuff…that’s kind of what you’ll be able to do with the plants. You can go ahead and put something down in the area and people can see that you planted it. If there’s no upkeep then..*looks at Mesanna*
Mesanna: You have to maintain the seeds and maintain the plant, you cannot put it in decorative mode. It will last like 30 days..umm..at the end of that time period, you can dig it up and it will keep your name on it. Planted in Magincia from this date to that date by this person or whoever
Mesanna: For example, and then somebody else has a chance to use that plot to plant a seed.
Cal: Also..umm..More towards the beach and that area, we kept the buildings very simple. Hold on, question.
*Cal leans over to whisper in Mesanna’s ear*
Mesanna: Yeah, you’re blowing it all, go ahead.
Mesanna: Go ahead(?) Go ahead
Cal: Okay, fine. (Looks at Supreem) There’s just like the housing set.
Cal: There’s just the one, they’re gonna see it anyways.
Mesanna: Well if you
Cal: Alright, never mind
Somebody: Let’s go onto the next question
Supreem: Oh, one other thing with Magincia, before we move on, is that we’ve left some room for future expansion. We have some other evil plans for Magincia that will come at a later publish so you may see some areas that look unfinished
Mesanna: that look like construction areas and they’re all fenced in, so there’s still more to come.
Cal: Right so let’s just say that it’s zoned commercially.
Cal: There you go
Supreem: Now we’re done.
(UO Journal Note: That particular block of discussion ran about 6 minutes)
Off Camera: Before we move on to the next question…people would like to know is that a UO lanyard you’re fiddling with?
Mesanna: Oh, ahh no. Sorry.
Cal: It’s *unintelligible*
Supreem: Free stuff from a conference
Off Camera: They would have wanted you to send them (?)
Mesanna: I know
Off Camera: Next on the agenda. UO’s plans for the new player Experience. Can you get a little deeper into that.
Cal: Uhhh…yeaahh. We cannot get extremely deep…umm..we were honestly talking about it today.
Supreem: About thirty minutes before we got here
Cal: Yeah. So as far as the new player experience is concerned, what we want to make sure of, we do not umm..limit you like New Haven currently is, where you’re on a rail and you don’t have any choice but to die. Umm what we’d like is a bit more open experience that allows you to learn the things that it is going to take to get you to a point where you understand Ultima Online quickly. That is how do I craft, how do I talk to an NPC, umm…thee..just some high-level concepts. Someone also brought up in private messages, okay how do I get from town-to-town and for New Haven, for some players it’s like I didn’t even know I could leave New Haven, like what’s a moongate….umm..that’s kind of important if you’re playing Ultima Online….so that’s..those are the broader concepts and broader strokes…that we’re looking at, when it comes down to the details, I cannot give them to you. But, I will say this. The important thing about the new player experience is this is not my game or Bonnie’s game or Derek’s game, this is our game…Umm..so what that means is, and Bonnie brought this up in the video, we want to know what experiences helped you guys. What was that one thing that you started playing with that brought you into the game, okay I’m hooked. As many of you may know, I got hooked on taming pretty early. I’ve since seen the other sides of UO, but just if that’s the thing that brings you into the game, we want to know about that. If it was just somebody teaching you how to do resists, and umm how to do that without doing it illegally…then that’s the kind of stuff.
Mesanna: I also want to make a note that I’ve read some very good posts on Stratics about the new player experience and I appreciate everything you guys are doing with it.
Supreem: One of the things we want to do is show the players the endless possibilities that UO has without overwhelming thing and it’s a matter of finding that balance between showing them all of the stuff they can do but at the same time, don’t totally overload them.
Off Camera: Very good. Umm, our next sort of stock question is going a little deeper and explaining how the new shorter storylines will work.
Cal: Okay umm, so the one thing that Bonnie said that I’m allowed to tell you is that uhh..some of the feedback that we’ve gotten over the last couple of years is the game has become umm..not only item-oriented, but very just easy to get stuff where we just hand you things. What you want is…the players want the old-school feel of like making you go and get stuff. Now in terms of Event Moderator-driven events, yeah that makes sense in that when you’re done at the end of a saturday or something, you should be given something for what you’ve come out for, but in the broader game, umm..we don’t think handing you things is what you want. You want to have a game experience where you earn what you get and that’s what we’re aiming for. That’s part of it. What else.
Mesanna: Umm..just because an Event Moderator has an event does not mean you will always get a reward.
Mesanna: Just want to throw that in there.
Cal: So the other part is with the shorter arcs, umm the plan right now is to make sure they’re engaging and repeatable. Right now, the pieces that we have, we throw it out there and you do it for a couple of weeks and that’s it. What we really look for is back to the larger sandboxy stuff of giving you an item or an object that you’ve earned that also allows you to do other things and engage other players. That’s kind of where we’re headed with that.
Supreem: Sounds good.
UOJournal.com Note: This is a good stopping point for now, we will finish the rest in the morning.
Note: This story originally appeared on UOJournal.com