The Ultima Codex The Ultima Fan Network Mon, 24 Oct 2016 15:16:04 +0000 en-US hourly 1 The Ultima Codex 32 32 33386326 Shroud of the Avatar – Update of the Avatar #199 Mon, 24 Oct 2016 15:16:04 +0000 Greetings Fellow Avatars!  Portalarium hasn’t proven themselves to be the greatest at communication of any significant game mechanic changes.  Unfortunately many updates, policy changes, or explanations get buried in the forums where they are lost to the ether.  They simply don’t do any sort of public post about it to the main page of the website, or as some online mode games do, by highlighting it in the game or game launcher. In a rare case, we finally have some public updates that they have made to the main page of the website to inform the player base on changes and updates.  

Here’s what we have for you in this week’s edition of Update of the Avatar:

Roving Encounters

[From a Dev+ Forum Post by Keith “Sannio” Quinn]

Shroud of the Avatar already has random encounters–you’ll be walking across the Novia or Hidden Vale overworld maps and, without warning, you’ll be teleported into a small encounter scene. We like the idea of running into unexpected threats on the overworld, but the “without warning” part is less than ideal… So, as of Release 35, we’re changing how random encounters are triggered.

You won’t be blindly caught by a Random Encounter anymore. We’re replacing that part of the encounter system with new overworld enemies who will trigger encounters when you get too close. These overworld enemies will be similar to the ones you’ve battled countless times in adventure scenes, except they can’t be engaged in combat. Instead, if you approach too close to the new overworld enemies and they see you, they’ll run at you. If they get next to you, you’ll be pulled into the encounter associated with them. For example, bandits will pull you into bandit encounters while wolves pull you into a scene full of wolves. Once you see the enemy, you can walk around it to avoid the encounter or run toward it to force the encounter. If the enemy has already spotted you and you’re quick, you can try to run away before the enemy catches up and keep the encounter from ever triggering.

Both overworld maps have encounters scattered about. They might be wandering in the woods, meandering along a shoreline, or patrolling along a road. Initially, we’ll be adding in common encounters like wolves, bandits, and undead. Over time, dragon encounters will return and we’ll include other rare situations like merchants.


Keith Quinn
Level Designer

Critical Hit Change (R34) and Upcoming Interrupt Change (R35)

In Release 34, they made some major changes to the ways they calculate Critical Hit Chances and they barely even provided any explanations. At the request of players, Chris finally provided a much more detailed explanation  and also gave a preview of an upcoming change on how Interrupts will work starting in Release 35.

[From a Forum Post by Chris Spears]

Greetings Avatars! Last release some fixes went in that frustrated a number of people. I clarified what changed in replies to a few angry threads, but never posted a full summary for the masses so I thought I should give a brain dump on what changed and why. In the future, I will try to be more open on these changes and explain the what as well as the why to prevent confusion.SotA_Combat_Sigil_Stone-1024x768

So the short version is that the math for critical hits was completely wrong and had to be fixed. It didn’t become clear until mid R33 what was up because players hadn’t crafted enough critical bonus gear to make the problem obvious. When I first got reports of players who got critical hits on every single attack, I dismissed it at first as people just exaggerating. Later in R33, a few people posted screenshots of them getting critical hits 10x in a row and I investigated.

So the problem became obvious once people starting getting tons of good gear. Instead of crit gear giving a bonus percentage of the crit chance, it was simply being added to the crit chance. So, if you had a 20 strength and crafted something with a +10% bonus to strength, you would immediately recognize that you would get an extra 2 strength. It becomes much less obvious when you have a 10% crit chance and get a +20% bonus. Is the outcome 12% or 30%?

Well, the way it was actually implemented was it was simply adding it — which was not intended. The result was you could pretty easily craft crit gear that would raise you over 100% crit chance. Yes, I knew people were going to be upset when I fixed, that but it never occurred to me that people would think that it was by design that players should be able to exceed 100% crit chance and not only hit every single attack but also get a critical hit. Not only did it make every hit a critical hit, but it also removed the target’s ability to parry, dodge, block, or get a glancing blow.

So, my bad for not making a big post on this in a public space and I’ll try to do better in relaying major bug fixes and changes in the future. Also, so players better understand critical hits, here is the math for them:

(BaseWeaponCritChance + VitalPointsBonus+ArmorWeakPointsBonus+DexterityCritBonus) * (100%+EquipmentCriticalBonus) * FromBehindBonus

BaseWeaponCritChance = The natural crit percentage of the weapon which is listed on the weapon
VitalPoints and ArmorWeakPointsBonus = The two skills that currently increase crit chance
DexCritBonus = Dexterity/1000 for ranged weapons and Dexterity/2000 for melee weapons
EquipmentCriticalBonus = All the bonuses from gear added together
FromBehindBonus = 1 if in the front arc of a target and 2 if in the back arc

So for an example, I’m using a longsword with 13% base crit chance, have an 80 in vital points (5%) and armor weak spots(5%), a 60 dex(60/2000 = 3%), and a total of +44% crit chance from my gear, the math is:

(13+5+5+3)*(100%+44%) = 37.4% crit chance from the front and 74.8% from behind.

Due to the bad math of just adding and them all, this would have been over 70% crit chance from the front and 140% from behind.

This is a pretty extreme case as sword are heavily crit based and that is a pretty good crit bonus from gear. Most players will probably end up more in the 10-20% range under the new system.

So that was the big change from last release. There are a couple of big changes coming up this release but possibly the biggest is a change to how casting interruptions work. Here is the next thing players can start yelling at me about.

So at some point this release I was asked, “How do interruptions work?” and my response was… uh, I don’t know! So I immediately looked into it and to my horror discovered this code (modified to make it more clear to non-coders) that was unchanged for 2+ years:

//TODO: Placeholder chance
if ( Random(0 to 100) less than DamageTaken )

So basically, whenever a player was hit it picked a number from 0 to 100 and if the amount of damage was more than that number, your spell got interrupted.

While incredibly simple, this is fairly silly in a number of ways. The biggest issue is that it doesn’t scale in any way. So a level 10 caster with 60 hit points get hits for 50 points in one shot, a massive nearly death dealing blow, and he has a 50% chance to fizzle his spell. Meanwhile, a level 80 caster with 500 hit points gets a fairly average hit from a hardened skeleton that does 50 points and barely moves his health bar but still has a 50% chance of interrupting him. Also, there is nothing the player can do to influence this chance.

So, the new system isn’t super complicated but might change a bit over time. First thing, there is a new skill in the focus branch called “Concentration”. This grants the player additional protection to being interrupted. The new math is roughly as follows:

When damage is applied to a player, they completely ignore hits up to 1/100th of their max health PLUS 1/10th their concentration skill. So if you have 250 health and 65 concentration skill, any hit that does less than 250/100 + 65/10 = 9 points is completely ignored. This works by effectively subtracting that 9 points from the damage for the purpose of interrupting.

So in the above example, if you were hit from 7 points, 7-9 = -2 effective damage for interrupting and nothing happens. If you got hit for 34 points, then the effective damage would be 34-9 = 25 damage.

So if any damage gets by your base interruption protection, your chance of getting interrupted is:

MAX( MIN( ( ( EffectiveDamage/health)* 200% ), 5%), 80%)

So, your chance to get interrupted is 5% or twice the percentage of your health you took, whichever is greater but with a max chance of 80%.

So in in the above example with a 34 point hit on someone with 65 concentration and 250 hps, 25 got by the interruption defense. 25/250 *200% = 20% interruption chance

If the same target had been hit for 150, then the math would be 150-9 = 141 effective damage, 141/250 *200% =112.8%. In this case the 80% max chance would be used. While that sounds extreme, remember that until this release, that would have been a 141% chance to be interrupted no matter what your health or skills were.

The exact math for this might change slightly but that is the current implementation. I’ll try to let people know if it changes in the future!

Again, my apologies for not clarifying the critical hit fix sooner. I’ll do a better job of relating big changes before the release goes live in the future.

Encumbrance Changes (R35)

Encumbrance has now been made more realistic in its behavior. Previously, players could carry any amount and still move at a decent speed. Focus would slowly drain away at a constant rate, but running out of focus would not prevent movement. Obviously, this was something that should have been caught at the design stage because the failure to prevent movement by a certain level of encumbrance allowed ppl to take advantage of this in regards to gathering materials.

Starting in R35, encumbrance will slow the player and use focus fairly proportionally with the amount the are overloaded. Carrying twice the amount you’re supposed to will cut your movement speed in half and drain focus at a slow rate. Carrying ten times the amount you should will make you move around a tenth your usual speed and also use ten times as much focus. Running out of focus will now prevent movement until the player has a chance to rest and regain some focus. Obviously this math will continue to be tuned based on data and feedback.

NOTE: These encumbrance rules do not apply when you are in towns. (Good for Decorators)

Gold Crown Merchants Update

[From a Forum Post by Mathew “Berek” Anderson]SotA_GoldCOTO_thumb

For Release 35 we are expanding the number of Gold Crown merchants in the game and also increasing the goods they sell to include many more items from the Add-On Store. We are also going to add one or two items each release that can only be purchased in game with Crowns. For R35, the Elven Globe Home and Medium Elven Tent will be those items only purchasable for Gold Crown Exclusives that are being added. We are also creating a new web page that will list all the things that you can spend Gold Crowns on in the game.

  • Elven Crown Home Merchant: This merchant will be located in the town of Vertas and will sell all the Elven homes and all the Add-On Store items that appear in the Elven Bundles (except Bundle exclusives like the Elven Wardrobes and the pets)  as well as a few exclusive items including the Elven Globe Homeand the Medium Elven Tent.

  • Viking Crown Home Merchant: This merchant will be located in the town of Harvest and will sell all the Viking homes and all the Add-On Store items that appear in the Viking Bundles (except Bundle exclusives like the Viking Chests and the pets).

  • Obsidian Alchemists: We will also be adding Fireworks (4 different assortments) and various dyes (including all the new magical dyes) to the Obsidian Alchemists to increase their inventory beyond the Obsidian Potions.

Recent Bans for Botting and Exploiting

[From a Forum Post by Mathew “Berek” Anderson]

As some of you may have seen in our recent Standup notes, we have been busy working on tracking down a string of botting and exploiting activities. The activity pursued by these players accounted for almost 20% of the total wealth of the game and, if left unchecked, could have seriously damaged the economy. All activities were confirmed to be macros or bots using exploitable activity like mines where creatures were not respawning or nodes that instantly respawned.

Fortunately, we have been able to fix all of these exploitable areas and we have also put more tools in place to make it easier for us to detect these kinds of activities and deal with them much faster going forward.

We permanently banned over 30 accounts and gave 30 day suspensions to several others. Those who only received 30 day suspensions had their characters deleted (and all their goods except for items purchased with real dollars) to remove any gains they may have received from the exploits and/or botting.

Please note that any macroing or botting related to resource gathering can result in a suspension or permanent ban. We do not differentiate between “attended” and “unattended”. Additionally, you are responsible for your account and your machine. It is irrelevant if your relative, roommate, spouse, child, parent, etc. did the actual botting because we have no way to confirm that. If your machine / account is confirmed to be botting you will be suspended and/or banned, period.

If you witness or suspect someone botting / exploiting or if you are concerned that your own actions may be subject to a suspension or ban then please send an email to

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The Ultima Dragons 25th Anniversary Bash: Last Day to Pledge on Kickstarter Thu, 20 Oct 2016 13:22:46 +0000

Okay, technically, there’s actually about a day and a half — 35 hours as of this writing — to contribute to the funding of the Ultima Dragons 25th Anniversary Bash on Kickstarter. Still, that crowdfunding campaign ends on October 21st, which is tomorrow, so…close enough.

The campaign is doing quite well; it has exceeded its goal ($14,950 USD) and has raised (again, as of this writing) $21,601 USD. If you’re at all curious as to what the money will go toward, Gallara discussed that in an update on Kickstarter, complete with charty goodness:

Extra funds are, of course, being put toward stretch goals. Several of these have already been achieved:

  • UNLOCKED 10/17/16! $17,000 – The Avatar himself, JC Shakespeare who played the role of the Avatar in Ultima IX, will be joining us! He will offer free 15-minute “Counseling of the Avatar” sessions as he is a real-life counselor! JC will be at the party!
  • UNLOCKED 10/18/16! $18,000 – Free Schlotzsky’s/Cinnabon feast on Sunday (served in Disneyland Hotel picnic area) for all ticketholders and their children! If you haven’t included an add-on for this already, you don’t need to. If you have, thank you! Your add-on helps feed others in attendance.
  • UNLOCKED 10/18/16! $18,500 – Pizza picnic on Saturday (served in Disneyland Hotel picnic area) for everyone who attends! All you need is a Fellowship Hall ticket, or be 13 or younger and a child of one who has one, and you will get to partake of pizza.
  • UNLOCKED 10/19/16! $20,000 – Goody bags for everyone in attendance, all ticketholders and their children!

Further financial stretch goals are as follows:

  • $23,000 – Gourmet buffet dinner (served in Fellowship Hall) for everyone on Saturday night!
  • $25,000 – Gourmet breakfast for everyone on Saturday!
  • $27,000 – Everyone attending partakes of all fancy meals no matter what level they backed at!
  • Anything above that – prices of future tickets go way down & more loot for everyone!

And, of course, there are also some participatory stretch goals as well:

  • 100+ Ankhs claimed – The Ankh normally comes on a black leather cord, but once 100 ankhs are claimed a brown leather option opens up!
  • 150+ Stickers claimed – If this goal is reached (those pledging Wyrmling and above), everyone receiving a UDIC car sticker will get TWO – one in RUNIC!
  • 200+ backers – We’ll throw extra UDIC branded items in the shipments of those who are unable to attend and getting mailed their rewards!
  • 36+ Kids in attendance – every kid gets a free t-shirt! (Kids must be accompanied by their parent or guardian.)

So, even if you can’t make it out to Disneyland in February (I’m not sure I can), I’d encourage you to pledge to this campaign…both because you can still get some great UDIC-branded stuff, and because every little bit helps out pretty much everyone else — both attendees and those that can’t make it — in some way.

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Spam Spam Spam Humbug: Episode 58 – DEFCON3 & NPC Dialogue Tue, 18 Oct 2016 18:10:56 +0000

In this episode, we talked for a bit about what makes up interesting dialog elements for quests — about what works and what doesn’t. This question actually went out on Anchor last week, though the resulting discussion wasn’t that long. Still, it gave us a bit of fodder for discussion…though we quickly realized that we’ve milked the topic of dialogue for about all it’s worth for now. That said, we did come to some consensus on what doesn’t work as far as dialogue is concerned: don’t inundate the player with words, whether spoken or to be read.

Listen to the Episode

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The Ultima 6 Exult Remake: Update on the Project Tue, 18 Oct 2016 13:07:40 +0000

Zygon Dragon has posted an update to the long-dormant website of The Ultima 6 Remake, an Exult-based remake of Ultima 6. Because, yes, the project is still being worked on:

It’s been a while since we’ve updated things here! Rest assured, work on the mod has picked up quite a bit as of late. I’ve been working on getting an idea of where we’re at in the mod via spreadsheet and what needs to be done, fixed, added, and so on. It’s been a huge help in figuring out what to do next. For the past few days I’ve been doing map work, finishing both the Britain sewers and Buccaneer’s Cave areas since they both connect. The overworld seems to be near complete, just needing some fine tuning and cleaning up here and there. NPCs in the overworld are mostly done, with a handful still needing to be done and many needing some fine tuning. Crowley is still working hard on the backlog of new sprites and things needed for the mod, and Pegbyter has been working on a sidequest that isn’t crucial to the game, but will shed new light on some things from U5. A hint of what’s to come: Have you ever wanted to get revenge on Chuckles that didn’t involve shooting him with a cannon? Perhaps he’s been hiding something all of these years…something that Lord British wouldn’t find very virtuous…

Sorry for the long time in between updates, but we’ve been working sporadically and are determined to see this to the finish line! We’re still looking for pixel artists who can finish the portraits and make them look nice, so let us know if you’re willing and able!

It’s good to hear that the project is still ongoing; it has been almost exactly a year since we had any news of it. Here’s hoping we’ll get a look at something playable in the near future!

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Ananias: Version 1.76 Released Tue, 18 Oct 2016 11:46:23 +0000

Slashing Dragon released version 1.76 of Ananias — his roguelike for web, PC, and Android mobile devices — a few days ago. You can grab this update from Google, or just play it online.

Regarding the gulf of time between this release and its predecessor, Slash had this to say:

It’s been over two months since the last release of Ananias. I had set myself the goal of the next version going straight into Steam.

Alas, I have to change plans again… I jumped into some projects and I don’t feel I can handle the workload of the release and all that is related to it while responding to these other projects responsibly.

However, I have to say this is very close to the scope I have planned for Steam. May be next version will finally be it? I have been saying this for months now.

So…don’t hold your breath for the Steam version of the game, basically. However, despite the shift in focus — or, more likely, because of it — Slash was able to add a few new features to the game:

There were some important internal changes, specially in the packaging system (Using Cordova and Crosswalk without passing thru for much quicker development and release). They are likely to break things so I hope players are patient.

I also added an in-game manual (also accessible from the website, here). Bits of it are generated directly from the game source code, in order to keep it up to date! The wiki was also updated, with data generated from the game.

Another big thing is that you can now also generate tombstones for your characters and share them with your friends.

ananias-manual-2016-10-01-at-12-04-58-am ananias-tombstone-2016-10-01-at-12-06-17-am

As usual, there’s a plethora of change notes to be found in the update from Slash, so why not click on through to read the rest?

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Shroud of the Avatar – Update of the Avatar #198 Mon, 17 Oct 2016 13:15:17 +0000 Greetings Friends and Fellow Avatars! 

Here’s what we have for you in this week’s edition of Update of the Avatar:

The Making of Harvest (Unclone)

Harvest was a cloned scene using one of the PRT / POT templates based off of the Forest 01 base template (aka PaxLair). It is located in the Verdantis region in the Northwest region of Novia. It is getting rebuilt in Release 35 to show the plot specific elements of the Norgard occupation and also getting a heavily agrarian theme.  I was excited to see the terraced farming which I started to make a fuss about not having by including it in my Cult of Spears lore.

[From a Dev+ Forum Post by Esteben “SorcerousSteve” Zaldivar]

Hey guys, SorcerousSteve here to give you an update on Harvest!

Harvest is located across the channel from Estgard. It is an area primarily focused on agriculture nestled along a red/yellow countryside that has recently come under occupation from Norgard forces. As an occupied town it has taken on some of the symbolism behind the color yellow and Norse influence of its Norgard conquerors.

Inspiration for Harvest was obtained from the Autumn Season and Upstate New York (Letchworth).


Leaf covered trails cut through a forest of red and yellow.

Fields of corn just outside of Harvest. Shout out to artist Reid Rollo for his great work on this Scarecrow!



As an occupied town, Harvest has developed some trench defenses surrounding it, alongside a fort to maintain order.


NPC Town Center


South City Gate.


Wheat Fields as far as the eye can see.


Apple Orchards in the foreground while the Harvest Wind Farm can be seen off in the distance.


Terrace farming along the river.


Alongside being big on agriculture, Harvest also prides itself on fishing along the Norgard Channel.


Level Designer
Esteben Zaldivar

The Making of Graff Island (Unclone)

Graff Island is located in the Drachvald region. It is in the northernmost reaches of Spindrift Bay across from Port Graff and is central to the gem trade of the region. It is the site of a factory that sculpts the gems into weapons, armor and other goods. It is also the home of the Graff family and their sprawling mansion. One of our new worldbuilders Travis started work on it this release and we hope to have it live in the game in its newly uncloned state in Release 36.

[A Dev+ Forum Post by Travis “CorpPor” Koleski]

Hi everyone! Travis here. I’m a new world builder here on SotA, and I’ve been working on the Graff Island map. Here’s a couple of screenshots of how Graff Island is shaping up:

The Cliffs of Graff (to the left is the bay looking towards Port Graff)


High in the hills of Graff Island


Update to the Darkstarr Moondial

[A Dev+ Forum Post by Scott “Scottie” Jones]

Long ago Stephen Daniele created numerous sketches for a special type of orrery we were wanting to offer called the Darkstarr Moondial… Back then, though Richard and Starr both really loved the idea of this kind of cool decoration, we hadn’t yet had the chance to fully develop our cosmology and astronomy, and so we had Bob create a beautiful placeholder based on Stephen’s concept art, knowing we’d eventually have to go back and change the final 3-D art to match what our sky-scape would become.

Now that we have finally nailed down the basics of what heavenly bodies exist for our world, and essentially how we want them to move, the time has come to update our old efforts to reflect them! Not only was I able to take Bob’s excellent work and maintain it as a basis, but I was also able to update the material and textures a bit to take the most advantage of some of the recent improvements in the Unity shaders! Here’s what the updated Darkstarr Moondial orrery now looks like!


The earlier version had only three lunar bodies moving around Novia, not including the sun and the shattered moon…so we had complete orbital rings rotating around the old Novia sphere in wildly different directions that didn’t even match the actual orbital plane of rotation around the planet… Now I’ve added all eight of the additional heavenly bodies representing the “anti-virtuous acts”, and they all rotate correctly around Novia along the same broad orbital plane as the sun… The great serpent now rises up through the empty path that the lost moon that shattered our greater moon once traveled. (I’ll add as an addendum here that I’m currently unsure whether this will actually replace the old Moondial version, or whether it will be merely offered as an option for those that would like to have an updated, astronomically accurate model… Some folks might want theirs to remain the way it was, and Portalarium Management will need to decide how they’d like to handle this… ^_^)

The off-kilter crescent-shaped circular arcs piercing the moons are at varying angles compared to the greater orbital plane, and though they don’t describe the actual path of the moons around Novia (since all the moons have now been established as rotating upon the same orbital plane around Novia as the sun does) the arcs DO whimsically represent the fact that each of those rotating bodies has its own individual axis around which it spins in place as it orbits, and that axis is offset from the angle of the greater orbital plane by a factor of degrees (unique to each moon). Those arcs pierce perpendicularly through those various different lunar axes. For the sake of this moving model (as with our actual sky-dome), each of the moons orbits at a different speed (which might eventually match the actual speed of the real moons in-game), which causes the offset arcs to create beautiful, constantly varying configurations that one could imagine describe the greater firmament and its hidden constellations in some arcane manner. Here you can see the moons all having rotated a bit at different speeds, exposing different patterns while still remaining on the single orbital plane.


Eventually Finn will be tasked with trying to match the speed of the actual heavenly bodies in-game, so that special conjunctions and lunar locations can be recognized and enjoyed even if it’s broad daylight! Though I must admit, I really like the look of it animating more swiftly as it is now, so that it looks like a beautiful piece of slowly swirling kinetic sculpture…. Perhaps there will be the option of either having it move at fast speed, or reconfigure to show the actual lunar locations at their current speed, merely by clicking on the orrery itself! I’ll suggest it and see what they say!…

Anyway,…enjoy! I stayed late getting this done because I’m off to ACL Fest tomorrow!

Have a great weekend!

Scottie ^_^

R34 Postmortem Recap

The Release 34 Postmortem as always did not have time to answer as many the questions as viewers would have liked, but Starr Long and Chris Spears got on the forums afterwards and answered some of the questions that were missed.

Here’s the video for those who missed it:

Policy Change: POT Ownership TransfersSotA_PlayerOwnedTowns

Effective immediately, any ownership transfers of a Player Owned Town on an account with claimed rewards will NOT include Rewards: Lot Markers, NPCs, NPC Buildings, Add On Store Homes, Broadcast Phonograph, Wax Cylinders, etc. Rewards will have to be traded in-game between seller and purchaser. This makes them work identically to pledges, bundles, etc. The devs have made this policy change because of the different states that POTs can be in and how some owners have already claimed those rewards and then used, transferred, or sold them. Thus, players were taking advantage of the system to create duplicate items. Additionally these transfers require a $50 POT transfer fee.

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For The King: Closed Beta and Beyond Fri, 14 Oct 2016 18:46:56 +0000

IronOak Games launched the closed beta for For The King in late September. I’ve had the chance to dip in and play it a bit, and I have to say I like what I see: the game has a truly lovely aesthetic, and despite its beta state it plays rather well (apart from a couple graphical glitches that I still need to get around to reporting). It feels very much like a board game in some respects…which makes sense, given its origins in an attempt to turn Ultima 7 into a board game.

But I digress. The closed beta has been going very well, according to IronOak, and they are already looking ahead to what is beyond it:

The response to the beta so far has been amazingly helpful. The overall pacing and consistency has improved greatly thanks to the thoughtful dissections and discussions on the Forums. Another special thanks to all those who took the time to play and participate in the Forums. You are all a necessary part of making FTK great and we really appreciate your help.

We’re in a great position now to go ahead and build out the later acts. From the Beta we have a much better sense of how different people play and what strategies they employ. The good news is the core game is really fun and engaging so the main goal is to maintain this going forward while simultaneously providing new challenges and experiences.

This will be a game well worth picking up when it goes into wide release, I think.

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Astrakore: New Trailer; New Look & Style Fri, 14 Oct 2016 18:17:41 +0000 Although it certainly doesn’t look much like an Ultima game, Astrakore is described by its creator as an “Ultima-like”. Indeed, the basis for Astrakore’s story is Ultima 5; Geoffrey White didn’t want to do a direct copy of Ultima 5, so he chose to set it — or something that told a very similar story, one in which your character is a wanted man — in space, who ultimately ends up fighting against something that threatens the whole galaxy.

This latest video from Mr. White showcases some of the recent stylistic changes that have been made to Astrakore, and also features several minutes of gameplay (with commentary). Astrakore is still a way off of being released, but there are some new screenshots to check out at either the project entry here or the game’s official website.

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Another Ultima Mention on “The Goldbergs” Fri, 14 Oct 2016 18:00:02 +0000

You may all recall that Ultima 4 merited a mention on The Goldbergs — a nostalgia-infused sitcom on ABC about kids growing up in the 1980s — a couple of years ago. Well, in the most recent episode of the series, entitled Crazy Calls, there was another mention of the series…or, at least, the series as it stood in the late 1980s.

In essence, the computer club in the show has “Ultima version 1, 2, 3, and 4″, and it is asserted that Ultima 4 “is the best version”. Other games of the era — Prince of Persia, Oregon Trail, and Wolfenstein — also merit mention.

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Battle Bards: Episode #84 is All About Ultima Wed, 12 Oct 2016 15:52:19 +0000

The Battle Bards, in case you are unfamiliar with that podcast, are a “musical journey through MMO soundscapes”. Every couple of weeks, the Battle Bards podcast “reviews and discusses the soundtrack of MMORPGs with a trio of engaging hosts.” It’s one of my occasional listens; I don’t catch every episode, but when they cover a game I am either curious about or have dipped my toes into, I’ll tune in.

They’ve covered Ultima Online in past episodes, but their most recent episode — #84 — is all about Ultima’s various online incarnations…the successful ones, and the ones that didn’t make it. Here’s the playlist:

  • Intro (feat. “Stones” from Ultima Online and “The Hero’s Call”from Ultima Forever)
  • “Cove” from Ultima Online
  • “Hail, Lady of Britannia” from Ultima Forever
  • “Misty Forest” from Ultima X
  • “Buccanneer’s Den” from Ultima Online
  • “Despise the Light, Live in Shadows” from Ultima Forever
  • “Townlife” from Ultima X
  • “Rule City” from Ultima X

I think you all know I’m something of a fan of Ultima Forever’s soundtrack, and I seem to recall that others have praised the tracks that Chris Many composed for Ultima X: Odyssey. So it will, I think, be interesting to hear the Bards’ take on pieces from both games.

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Ananias: 50,000 Installs on Google Play Wed, 12 Oct 2016 13:02:27 +0000

Slashing Dragon has some happy news to share: Ananias, his roguelike for web, PC, and Android (the iOS version is still in the pipeline) has been downloaded 50,000 times on Google Play.

It’s well worth clicking on through to Slash’s full post, because he has a lot of other statistics there (e.g. average ratings, installs by country, installs by device, and suchlike). The big news item, though, is that he has crossed the 50,000 downloads mark; here’s to 100,000 in the (hopefully) none-too-distant future!

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Slegnor’s Random Gaming: Ultima 2 Finished; Ultima 3 Underway Tue, 11 Oct 2016 18:24:53 +0000

If you follow Slegnor on Twitch, you’ll know that he has already finished Ultima 6, and has since moved on to Ultima Underworld. However, if you follow his YouTube channel, he has finally gotten around to uploading the last few videos from his playthrough of Ultima 2, as well as the first video from his playthrough of Ultima 3.

Here are the Ultima 2 videos:

And here is the first of the Ultima 3 videos, in which he takes some time to showcase the different graphics options available for the game (from the original CGA/EGA tiles to the fan-developed VGA options).

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Mage Duels: New Team Members; Tile Map Conversion Tue, 11 Oct 2016 15:43:51 +0000

Utilitron left a comment on the last news update we posted about Mage Duels to let us know that the project is back in full swing after some weather-related outages suffered earlier this year:

Quick update. Back and better than ever. I picked up a new computer a couple weeks ago, and have been cranking away!
We have also just added some new team members!

And, indeed, there is news of new team members over on the Mage Duels site:

I have been talking to several people after posting on reddit. There has been a lot of talk about current and future state of the game. Each person brings a new facet of ideas and experience.

First, we have brought on a new developer. He has hopes to help with the procedural arenas. The code base has been moved to a new repository to help facilitate the collaboration.

Next, we are looking at a couple of designers to help flesh out the mechanics and overall feel of the game. I have been having some very interesting conversations about where the game is heading and how we should get there.

Last, but not least, an audio engineer to give the game some needed juice! He has been going over the current spell list and have started coming up with some amazing effects.

And that’s not all! Utilitron has also been working on converting the game to use tile maps:

The current map system in Mage Duels is a Unity3d Terrain. This is great for making beautiful expansive 3d terrains. Unfortunately it is not a skill set I possess, and it is a bit of overkill for what I am looking for.

As a result, I have been looking at time map systems. I found some tutorials recently on how to build a procedural tile maps, or tile map editors. Right now the plan is to create a procedural arena generator. I had limited success with this when the project was being built in C++. I am hoping that I can port part of this code over to Unity3d.

I will just observe that there are a number of tile map plugins available on the Unity Asset Store already. This one, in particular, seems to get a lot of good ratings and purports to be quite simple to use. So perhaps there’s not a need for Utilitron to roll his own tile mapping solution…at least not entirely.

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Shroud of the Avatar – Update of the Avatar #197 Mon, 10 Oct 2016 11:36:50 +0000 Greetings Fellow Avatars!

Here’s what we have for you in this week’s edition of Update of the Avatar:

Fancy Hand Fans

For the Summer Telethon of the Avatar Part 1 the dev teams created a /fan emote along with a fan you could hold in your hand. They recently had Scott “Scottie” Jones create some more fans along with a unique fan for the telethon reward. All of these fans can be equipped and displayed and if you also want to use the /fan emote you can learn it from anyone who got it during the telethon since it is teachable.

[A Dev+ Forum Post by Scott “Scottie” Jones]

Hello once again! ^_^

As a fun little side task I was asked to expand upon the idea of the rustic, rigid woven-reed hand fan I created earlier. You’ll eventually see this simple, craft-able version in-game once you are able to use the fan emote. It looks like this!


To add to the hand-fan selection by way of even fancier versions you can purchase in the Add-On Store, I was tasked with creating four new versions made of obviously richer materials. When considering what to make, I also had to consider the kinds of limitations we have concerning the “effect” these fans could have… We chose rigid fans for the initial designs because they are easier to implement, as opposed to fans made of materials that look like they should easily bend or that look like they should animate through an articulated “opening up” event (like folding fans would do).

Additionally, I wanted to begin considering the “theme” of these fans based on our in-game cultural regions. Fans popular throughout or own world’s history often came to be recognized as valuable and coveted because they came from remote and exotic locales. I wanted to create a similar feel for our world’s items, whenever possible, and so I chatted a bit with Keith to see if I could decide on at least four cultural paradigms to pattern these new fans from. For instance, this first set of fans pictured below might have been created in the regions of Elysium (for the gilded peacock feather fan) and the Perennial Coast (for the more “Asian influenced” fan that could have been made by a craftsperson in Ardoris).


Likewise, the two fans pictured below might have been made in the region of Norgard (for the fan on the left), and in the areas of either Midmaer or Regalis (for the one on the right with the more “Gothic” medieval European feel)… At some point I’d love to apply the same cultural logic for a variety of our other areas so that as we create more and more items from specific places, we have a general “template” of cultural designs that we might be inspired to apply… Imagine an area with the flavor of the Moorish culture, for instance!


What makes this fun (to me at least) is the idea that in-game merchants might then begin to promote the value of items in one land as being more “exotic and valuable” when sold in another land… And of course, being able to speak of items in this way lends to more interesting tales of travel and adventure if you return from such outings with interesting looking goods from far away shores…

Lastly, allow me to unveil the look of the fan that will be going to those who helped us reach the “Fan Emote” goal for the Summer Telethon! It is of a similar rustic design (based on the basic straw fan geometry), but with a darkly-painted interior adorned with a striking silver weave over its tan base! We decided to grace it with the symbol of Virtue (Ethical Hedonism), featured prominently on each side. Here’s what it looks like!


Those who received the fan emote through the telethon will have access to both this special “Virtue” fan as well as the basic rustic straw version (seen at the beginning o f the post), and can teach this emote to others in-game. Those they teach (and any taught from then on) will be able to craft the basic rustic straw fan for themselves in turn, once that recipe is made available… Fun!

Anyway, I hope you enjoyed this quick post. Have a wonderful weekend!

Scottie ^_^



12 New POT Templates Now Available

As mentioned in the Release 34 Instructions, the dev teams have created several new POT templates including Walled variations of the Island and Tropical Island POT templates as well as Stone Dock variations of the Forest and Desert templates. Those templates (including all 3 directional variations of the Island templates as well as the cobblestone variants of the Coastal templates) are now finally available in the POT submission form. They also added these to the POT Temlates page.

Island 01a (Walled):



Tropical Island 01a (Walled):

tropicalisland_1a_01Forest 01b (Stone Docks w/Cobblestones):



Forest 01c (Stone Docks):



Desert 01b (Stone Docks w/Cobblestones):



Desert 01c (Stone Docks):




They also updated the Tropical Island overhead shots on the Submission form and on the Templates page since these look different since the polish pass. 

Additionally they added some dock shots to Desert 01 and Desert 01a to better illustrate the differences between those templates.



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The Ultima Games Are On Sale at GOG This Weekend Sat, 08 Oct 2016 02:58:57 +0000

The weekend promo at GOG for the (Canadian) Thanksgiving weekend features a bunch of different Electronic Arts games…including, of course, the Ultima series. They appear to be going for 60% off individually; if you buy all the games in the promo, you’ll save 84% off the sticker price.

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Spam Spam Spam Humbug: Episode 57 – NPC Dialogue and Voiceovers Wed, 05 Oct 2016 17:36:07 +0000

We made an effort, in this episode, to sort of sidestep the normal/basic topics that often come up when NPC dialogue (or game dialogue in general) is discussed: being engaging, interesting, consistent for each character, etc.

Instead, thanks to an interesting conversation that Merrik Dragon had in the Shroud of the Avatar Discord channel, we went on a wild tangent about dialogue voiceovers. Apparently, some people think that doing VO for game dialogue is easy, with some arguing that it could even be crowdsourced.

So that’s a horrifying thought, and it prompted us to try and dispel at least some of the misunderstandings evident in such a view.

Listen to the Episode

Support Spam Spam Spam Humbug

Patreon | Buy Games at GOG | Like Ultima on Facebook | Follow the Ultima Codex on Twitter

Join the Ultima Community | Ultima Dragons on Facebook | Ultima Dragons on Google+ | Follow the Ultima Dragons on Twitter | Ultima Dragons on Slack | The Weyrmount | Ultima Dragons on Discord

Get in Touch

Send Us anEmail | Leave a Voice Message | Join Us on Discord

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Shroud of the Avatar – Update of the Avatar #196 Tue, 04 Oct 2016 12:03:17 +0000 Greetings Fellow Avatars!  Not much new info in the news this past week.  First, Tuesday, October 11th at 3:00 PM Central (20:00 UTC) is the next Portalarium Hangout of the Avatar! They are also doing yet another telethon for more $, more vanity items, and marketing in November as well.

Here’s what else we have for you in this week’s edition of Update of the Avatar:

Play Release 34 Now!


Release 34 has new content to explore, including:

  • Necropolis Polishbone-armor-helmet
  • Estgard Polish
  • Bone Armor
  • Cooking and Food Expansions
  • Halloween Content
  • Daily Oracle Confessions
  • R33 Lot Deed Raffle Winners
  • R34 Free Lot Deed Raffle Tickets for Non Property Ownersport_opoortunity_strike_subterfuge_icon
  • Over 45 new Crafting Recipes
  • New Combat Skills and Spells
  • New Musical Instruments
  • New Emotes

…and much more

Check out the Release 34 Instructions update for detailed information about all the new content.

Release 34 Player Instructions

Release 34 Known Issue

Q4 2016 Schedule Update

Starr_avatar[From a forum post by Starr “Darkstarr” Long]

Greetings Avatars,

As we have stated previously, our goal is to once-per-quarter post an updated schedule for our monthly releases. Even though these goals will likely change somewhat as we react to feedback, we feel it is important to provide you an updated roadmap periodically.

Our goal continues to be to deliver our backers content each and every month so that we can get feedback and use it to iterate improvements. This continues to benefit the game, sometimes with sweeping changes like the switch over to use-based advancement. Meeting that monthly goal is our highest priority, but we require flexibility in our deliverables in order to meet that goal. As you have seen in previous releases, sometimes we push things out, but we also often pull new things in.

For the fourth quarter of 2016, we will continue to polish the Path of Love while moving on to the Path of Courage. We will continue to expand Crafting with focus on Cooking, Food, Agriculture, Alcohol, and Fishing in particular. Combat will continue to be balanced and will expand to include cover as well as a refactor of Damage Types and Resistances. Town Sieges and Roving Encounters will also come online to greatly expand our feature set.


As always, all dates, durations, and deliverables are subject to change as we adjust our designs based on direct feedback from you, our backers.

RELEASE 35, October 27, 2016

  • Story: The Path of Love will continue to be polished with a focus on the Tower of the Shuttered Eye along with continued work on Ardoris. We will also continue polish on the Path of Courage.
  • Multiplayer Combat Balance: A pass will be made through combat skills, creature stats, player stats, advancement rates, zone difficulties, and other values for continued balance of multiplayer combat. We may also create additional skills, spells, and combos.
  • Player Towns & Player Housing:  POT Owners will now be able to select from a set of start points for their town. Also, new housing content will appear; including new Elven homes for the Elven bundles and Testing Incentive Program decorations. Finally, updates to Dynamic Player-Owned Towns that have locked submission forms will appear in the game.
  • Offline Reward Delivery: Reward delivery for Offline Mode will become available to players using this mode to play.
  • Roving Encounters: Potential encounters (wandering merchants, monsters, etc.) will appear on the overworld for players to engage (or avoid).
  • Crafting: Cooking, Food, and Agriculture will be the focus of Release 35, with one of the major goals being the reduction in reliance on purchasing ingredients from NPC merchants to cook food. This means increasing the number of plants in Agriculture and polishing Agriculture itself, including the addition of features like water harvesting. We also hope to add Alcohol recipes and Teachable Recipes. Finally, the visual effect for items that have been Enchanted or Masterworked will be redone.
  • Character: Ardoris will be the first city where we begin adding region specific clothing (Japanese themed) for the residents, including unique armor for guards, clothing for citizens, and regalia for royalty. Work will also continue on Summer Telethon items, including Flaming Bagpipes and Firedancing.


RELEASE 36, November 17, 2016

  • Story: Path of Love polish will continue but primary focus will begin shifting to the Path of Courage with special attention on Estgard. We also hope to have the new PVP area begin coming online with the town area first.
  • Combat: We plan to refactor how Damage Types and Resistances work to better balance different weapon types, spell schools, and creature types against each other. This will also improve the variety of crafted items.
  • Player Towns & Player Housing: Towns with player housing will now dynamically update their icon on the Overworld based on various data, including number of claimed lots and online population. Additionally we will continue to expand the Dynamic POT Tool set. Also Obsidian homes for the Obsidian bundles will come online. Finally, updates to Dynamic Player-Owned Towns that have locked submission forms will appear in the game.
  • Crafting: Crafting will be refactored to include the new Damage Types and Resistances. We will also add more Enchantments and Masterwork modifiers, including some related to Celestial Mechanics.
  • Character: We will begin work polishing the Kobolds and updating them to better reflect their lore (much of the technology in Novia can be attributed to them). We will also work on the Testing Incentives Program Wearables and Summer Telethon items.
  • Social: Guilds will now be able to form alliances with each other and we will be introducing a new default guild for all new players called the Outlander Guild.


RELEASE 37, December 15, 2016

  • Story: The Path of Courage polish will continue with focus on Harvest and Resolute. We will also continue expansion of the new PVP area with the addition of the dungeons area. Finally, the NPC Conversation System will be getting a much needed refactoring and polish pass.
  • Town Sieges: The first iteration of Town Sieges will come online where periodically you will have to fight through battle lines to get into and out of a town under siege by the 8 Obsidian Cabalists.
  • Combat: The cover system will be introduced and will modify attack and defense values when you (or your target) are behind cover.
  • Player Towns & Player Housing: The first iteration of Player Owned Town Blessings will go live where monuments placed in POTs will grant long term buffs whose power and/or duration will be based on the population of the town. Also, more Obsidian homes for the Obsidian bundles will appear. The ability to Rent Rooms in a player home will start to become available to homeowners. Additionally, work will begin on the first Static POTs. Finally, updates to Dynamic Player-Owned Towns that have locked submission forms will appear in the game.
  • Crafting: Fishing will get an expansion and polish pass. We will also expand weapon recipes to include more visual variants (Elven, Norgard, Obsidian, Kobold).
  • Character: Valhold will be the second city where we begin adding region specific clothing (Viking themed) for the residents, including unique armor for guards, clothing for citizens, garb for merchants, and regalia for royalty. We will also begin introducing the first of the Obsidian Cabalists.


We continue to be incredibly thankful for the support we receive from this amazing community. While the funding you provide makes all of this possible, it pales in comparison with the faith you have in us, the feedback you provide us, and the content you are making for everyone to enjoy. We are humbly grateful, and we cannot wait to see you again in New Britannia!

Before I go, I wanted to include an excerpt from my original post about our Early Release Schedule that is important to set the framework for our ongoing schedule:

As a crowd funded and crowd sourced project, we feel it is incredibly important that we provide our backers with information and access well before game studios would normally do so in a traditional development model. Traditionally, the players are given information and access only after the development team has already decided exactly how things will be done, and at times, even after it has already been implemented. By the time the public normally has access to the product, there is usually no time to meaningfully react to the public feedback.

Shroud of the Avatar is different than the traditional model, as we intend to offer our backers extremely early access to information and even the game itself. With that said, we also want to be very careful that we only provide access to portions of the game when they are ready for a wider range of feedback. If we can play it internally and we know it is not ready, then there is nothing to be gained by having a wider audience come to the same conclusion. In fact, it could be quite damaging to do so.

Our strategy over the next few months is to provide you with focused and iterative releases of content. Your feedback during these releases will be critical to making the final product the best it can be, and we appreciate that you are all so willing to devote your time to helping us. With each release, we will have specific tests we will ask you all to make. As we get closer, we will send instructions on how to download, install, report bugs, etc. After each release we will review the results and reevaluate the plan including the duration of availability of each release. Please note that game data will be wiped periodically during early access.

It is important to note that all dates, durations, and deliverables are subject to change.

Starr Long
Executive Producer
Shroud of the Avatar



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Shards Online: Alpha Preview 0.3.5 Mon, 03 Oct 2016 18:12:44 +0000

If you follow the development of Shards Online closely — which I should be doing a better job of — you’ll no doubt be aware that the game’s main server, Shards of Arla, underwent a complete wipe on September 23rd, 2016. This was to clear the way for the game’s new Alpha Preview, which is now live.

A summary of what the Alpha Preview brings to Shards can be found in the most recent Community Newsletter that Citadel Studios put out:

Pre-Alpha 3 Release 5 marks our final patch before Alpha and will bring a wealth of content, tweaks and bug fixes to Shards Online in preparation for our milestone Alpha Launch:

  • Player Parties and Group Looting.
  • Fishing – Who is going to be the first to catch a rare Golden Aetherfish?
  • The Prizm Lounge – Founders Tier VIP Club with Exclusive Items / Quests
  • (PvP) Criminal System – Risk vs reward through criminal and murderer player flags.
  • (PvP) Guild Allegiance – Pledge yours guilds in allegiance to the Gods of Water or Fire and claim victory in their name!
  • (PvP) Combat Balance – major revisions to spells, abilities & damage.
  • New Spells and Combat Abilities: Greater Heal, Poison, Cure, Onslaught, Leap and more.
  • User Interface Overhaul: Mini-map, Containers/Backpacks, Crafting, Skills/Abilities, Guild interface & Buff bar added!
  • And much much more.

Alpha Tier supporters can try out the build on our Test Server now using the experimental build on the dashboard. For the full patch notes, head to our News Section.

Or, if you prefer, here it is summarized in a handy reference image:


Still yet more information about all the changes that Alpha Preview 0.3.5 brings to Shards Online can, of course, be found in the official patch notes, which are entirely too voluminous to excerpt here effectively.

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Shroud of the Avatar: Release 34 Begins Today Thu, 29 Sep 2016 18:16:46 +0000

Starr Long has posted the instructions and change notes for Release 34 of Shroud of the Avatar:

Greetings Avatars,

Please read this entire message, as well as the linked instructionsand known issues.

Thank you for being a loyal backer and follower of Shroud of the Avatar. Release 34 access for all backers begins this Thursday, September 29, at 10:30 AM US Central Daylight Time (15:30 UTC).

Combat and Economic Polish and Balance:

Release 34 is our first chance since persistence to really analyze our current set of data and begin to execute major steps towards balancing and polishing Combat and the Economy.

As described in my forum post, we are making several changes to provide more gold to casual players. Those changes include Daily Oracle Confessions (500 gold), increased experience and gold rewards for Path of Love Quests, Outlander Tracking Program (100 gold per town), Mail Quests expansion, and First Bind Point reward.

Combat also received a lot of attention, with over 20 balance changes related to skills, taming, health / focus regen rates, and critical hits. We also added several new skills including new healing skills outside of Life Magic and new reactive skills.

Crafting, Cooking, and Food:

Crafting got a major expansion with 45 new recipes, including our first recipe built from difficult to obtain rares (Bone Armor) and a refactor of how food works that makes it much more relevant to game play.

Bone Armor, a new type of armor, is crafted at a Tailoring table from bones refined at a Carpentry station (the first armor to involve Carpentry). It has the attributes of Heavy Armor (high Damage Avoidance) but it is actually classified as Light Armor, so when Masterworked, your modifiers will be Light Armor modifiers and your skills used with it will be Light Armor skills. It also has very high durability, making it ideal for Enchanting and Masterworking. However, the bones needed to craft it are exceedingly difficult to acquire. In addition to the normal Tailoring, Carpentry, and Smithing ingredients (leather, cloth, thread, wax, metal etc.) Bone Armor requires parts from Dragons, Phoenixes, Demons, and Tier 5 Skeletons.

We are finally making the eating of Food relevant to gameplay. Health and Focus regeneration have been slowed down (see Combat section below) and now eating Food is the primary way to increase those rates. We have also made it so food (and other consumables like Potions) can be used from inventory via double-click or right-click while you are not in combat. They no longer have to be used from the shortcut bar. In fact, food is no longer part of the deck system at all. We have also expanded the types of foods you can eat to include raw foods like fruit, not just prepared foods. These raw foods will offer very small, short buffs. Finally, foods will now be tiered in their effects based on the amount and types of ingredients. There are 6 tiers. In Release 34, we still only have Tiers 0–2, but we are planning to expand into the higher tiers in future releases. Normal Food will affect Health and Focus Regen rates while Fantastical and Special Foods will give more magical effects (but may also have negative effects).

Path of Love Polish:

We continue to polish the Path of Love to bring it up to the level of a Lord British experience. In Release 34, our main focus was on the Necropolis where we added an NPC at the entrance of the Necropolis Barrens to warn newer players to keep to the road. Said road now goes from the entrance of the Necropolis Barrens to the Necropolis itself and is properly marked, and safer than traveling through the other parts of the Barrens. We also added a new spirit named Lacey (after our fallen community member) to the entrance of the Necropolis. The spirit talker you hired in Ardoris will now accompany you through the Necropolis and fight alongside you (note: not all spirit talkers are created equal) and warn you if you veer into dangerous areas. The difficulty of some of the monsters has been toned down (the terror of the poison spiders will live on in memory). Additionally, the ending is clearer as to what is expected to happen next, and the player can exit if they wish directly into the next part of the story. We also continued polishing Ardoris as well.


Of course I have to mention our favorite time of the year: Halloween! We had to make sure that the game was filled with enough spooky content this year so we went over the top! The scary items range from ghostly pets to gross emotes, to ghastly costumes, all the way up to a Gothic (aka Haunted) Mansion!

Yet again, I want to express a huge amount of gratitude to our Dev+ backers who tested all of the items below on the QA server and uncovered lots of bugs. They also provided editorial feedback on this post. So, they are a big reason that this post actually matches what is in the game, and that it is easy to read.

While we are getting closer to launch, we are still in a constant state of change, and we do not yet have all the in-game systems to inform players of these changes, or to share ways to help them to explore new content and systems. This means we rely mostly on this message, and the linked instructionsand known issues to convey the current game state. We regularly have to answer questions or filter bug reports because some players elect not to read this valuable information.

By taking a few moments to read through this information, a great deal of our time and efforts can be redirected to focus on new “unanswered” questions, and addressing critical issues impacting each release. We greatly appreciate you taking the time to review this post, and for all the truly valuable feedback you continue to provide.

Also, remember that while we are providing new content with each release, our community is working overtime to make new events for you to enjoy. Be sure to check out a couple of the event calendars run by our community members (via in-game book or the player run websites: Avatars Circle and Events of the Avatars). You can also get the latest official events on the Main Website.

Without further ado, here is a list of what you can expect to see in Release 34.

Is it just me, or are these updates from Portalarium getting unreasonably lengthy?

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Spam Spam Spam Humbug: Episode 56 – Conversation Systems, Part the Second Thu, 29 Sep 2016 15:17:39 +0000

We continue to pick apart conversation systems, and different implementations thereof. We also explore the idea of conversation systems as progression mechanics in games, and Goldenflame Dragon gives us some insight on how conversations in The Dark Unknown developed.

And while it would seem we all agree, in general at least, that it’s best for game developers to get their game systems down pat before populating significant content into those systems, this new era of crowdfunded (and crowdsourced) games has kind of thrown a spanner in the works. Consequently, in games like Shroud of the Avatar (among others), we are seeing players exposed to systems that have been minimally — or incompletely — implemented, which must then be patched on the fly, even as content is being added to them. Which, needless to say, tends to give less-than-ideal impressions.

Also: You can now find Spam Spam Spam Humbug on TuneIn Radio.

Listen to the Episode

Support Spam Spam Spam Humbug

Patreon | Buy Games at GOG | Like Ultima on Facebook | Follow the Ultima Codex on Twitter

Join the Ultima Community | Ultima Dragons on Facebook | Ultima Dragons on Google+ | Follow the Ultima Dragons on Twitter | Ultima Dragons on Slack | The Weyrmount | Ultima Dragons on Discord

Get in Touch

Send Us anEmail | Leave a Voice Message | Join Us on Discord

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