This brief introduction is specifically directed at everyone at PA who jumped on board for IPY 2.0 a little more than a year ago: Man, that sucked. At least I thought it did. IPY was a whole lot of decent to good ideas that suffered from massive execution problems, and then around a year of complete denial from staff. It certainly wasn't the return to UO I hoped for. It was a long, hard grind to even get to the stuff that makes UO enjoyable, and most of us never made it there. The combination of absurdly slow skill gain and a bunch of PvP systems that basically forced players into mutually exclusive boxes made it one of the most profoundly anti-social MMO experiences I've ever had.
This new shard is being made by a bunch of people who were pointing all of this stuff out way back in IPY Beta. I think they've done a really good job of synthesizing what made other shards great, while cutting out the downside. Skill gain is going to be fast. Cheating is going to be curbed. And there is going to be a lot of fun to be had. I hope some of you guys give it another shot.INTRODUCTION
Rel Por is an independently developed, free Ultima Online server that launches later this month (July 2012)
.About Ultima OnlineRel Por websiteWhat is Ultima Online?
For those of you not familiar with the game, it is one of the grandfathers of the MMO genre. It launched in the late 90s, and continues to exist in commercial today, albeit in a form unrecognizable to players of the original game.
UO is remembered most for it's early years, which were characterized by total player freedom (some would say chaos). Murderers were rampant, thieves littered the streets, and looting victims for everything they had was a lucrative occuptation.
Richard Garriot, the creator of UO, was PKed himself during beta.
At this same time, this risk bred a truly unique player community. Players created towns of their own, and found ways to enforce justice themselves. Ultimately, this was not enough for the developers, and they created a non-pvp facet, taking most of the risk out of the game (The UO: Renaissance expansion).What is Rel Por?
Rel Por is a new, fresh take on "classic era" UO. The core elements of oldschool UO are intact: PKs, thieves, tank-mage templates. But there's also a whole body of new material to fix the things about UO that are broken or don't hold up in 2012. You can check out more elaborate descriptions of those features at the Rel Por site, but I'll provide a brief explanation here.Custom Map
I've always been skeptical of custom maps on UO shards, but I really think this one works. Let's be honest: the standard Britannia map is just too big for a game with niche appeal in 2012. UO is no fun if you never run into other players outside of hot-spots or dungeons-- one of the most quintessentially awesome MMO experiences is running into a fellow traveler in the middle of no where. This custom map is no panacea, don't get me wrong. But it does structure housing in such a way where the majority of plots are right on the road. Combine that with a faction system that necessitates traveling by foot (described below), and you're bound to have a world where running into random people on the road is commonplace again.Crafting Changes
I know they're doing a lot with crafting and I haven't followed most of it, but I will mention this one feature. They are making it so magic weapons no longer drop as loot. Rather, "artifacts" with traditional magic weapon properties drop (e.g., artifact of vanquishing), which then must be applied to the weapon by a crafter with sufficient skill.
There are a whole slue of combat changes that I won't bother reproducing in full on here-- just check out the website. In short for people who care about this kind of stuff, they're incorporating a lot of UO:R-esque mage rules to increase template diversity and they've come up with some entirely new things altogether for warriors to make them more fun in PvP.Towns, Politics, and Ministers
Anyone who played IPY will be familiar with this concept. Rel Por is essentially taking the Town/King system from IPY and toning it down. Players can become citizens of several different towns, and each citizenship--depending on the town's military power-- will carry certain bonuses (for all players, not just members of the militia).
Citizens may elect their town's Minister, who has the power to choose which bonuses the town offers, the guard level (e.g., some towns may permit murderers to roam free, others may instruct NPC guards to kill them on sight), and appoint the commander of the town's militia. The Minister's abilities are summarized here
. Unlike IPY, there are no "town treasuries" and taxation. While the idea was cool, it essentially became purely a means of exploitation.Militia Warfare
Each town has a militia that is in perpetual war with all other towns. Membership in the militia makes you "orange" (and therefore freely attackable) to enemy militia members. There's a lot to this system, so I won't bother going into super detail here, but definitely check out the website.
The core mechanic is this:
each town has a stronghold where their NPC hero resides. Militias gain silver (which can be used for various town benefits) by capturing enemy militias' heroes, which they can do by essentially sieging the enemy stronghold. Now, here's the cool part. Capturing a hero requires physically escorting the hero to your town's stronghold (i.e., no gating there). So essentially, breaking into the enemy stronghold is the easy part-- you have to then fight your way back to your hometown on foot. It's basically capture the flag.Bounty Hunters
Bounty boards are back!
Revamped, of course. Bounty hunters can collect a reward and impose temporary
statloss on murderers by turning in their severed heads. They've made some tweaks to reduce the incentive of exploitation (e.g., reds killing themselves to collect the bounty). It seems like it will be enough of a stick to stop senseless griefing, but it won't be a deterrent to virtually any red activity like Paladins were on IPY.SO IN SUM . . .
Hopefully IPY didn't ruin everyone's itch for UO, and a few of you give this shard a shot. Like last time, I'll be playing with a few friends. But I'd be more than willing to get together with some PA people and start a guild or just help each other out. There was a period on IPY where we were having some really good times. Anyone remember that war we got into with those Justice and Liberty guys who lived next door to us outside of Cove? That was hilarious. IPY was just way too much of a time commitment to be enjoyable. This shard, from my experience, has been expressly designed to correct that problem. I'll post more details when a launch date is officially announced, but until then, check out the website and forums
.LAUNCHES END OF JULY 2012
What shard do you run?
I'd rather not link it here as the mods have a well known policy in regards to self promotion without express permission but if you're really keen on checking it out it's a unique name that google will certainly be able to help you find.
I was hyped, after all I had 100 resist magic in vanilla UO before almost anyone else on Catskills
However, I was like 13 years old then, I had unlimited time. IPY's system was just incompatible with my life now. What's different with skills anyway? I mean I assume they gain faster than IPY?
I pretty much burnt out around 80 animal taming on IPY and I'd rather resub to SWTOR and grind out the end of my Sage than deal with that again, and I don't really want to renew my SWTOR account
Yeah, that was my exact problem with IPY too. Trudging through dungeons as a newbie was nostalgic and fun for like two days. When it became clear it was going to take me months to even get close to finishing my character, the whole experience became miserable.
Rel Por's skill gain was basically designed as a reaction to IPY. It's apparently going to be very macro friendly, and it will take around a week to have a viable PvE/PvP character. They're encouraging adventuring in different ways than just forcing you into dungeons for hours upon hours to build your character (like IPY).
The one exception is crafting gains, which will remain about the same as they were on IPY. And that's fine by me, making crafting too easy destroys the player economy.
You should definitely check it out.
They've also implemented a really clever anti-railing system (i.e., prevents rail resource-gathering Easy UO scripts). If you're repeatedly using a resource gathering skill, a gump appears asking you to "pick the item that doesn't fit," and it will show like three shields and a sword. The early IPY economy got really screwed up because, despite their alleged flawless script detection, everyone was just scripting unattended to get absurd amounts of resources. Hell, that's how the first fancy lad house was placed
With this, raw materials will actually retain value and people won't be dumping boards for like 1gp per. I think that turned a lot of people off to the server initially-- new players would spend a day mining or whatever to get enough gold to get on their feet, only to find out that a few scripters with a virtually unlimited supply of ingots were charging way below typical prices.
Yeah, this looks super niche but also very well-done. I might check it out sometime in the future. Have you ever played with any of the Yew Militia guys? They're a pretty well-known RP group that has a presence on most freeshards. I think they're going to play Rel Por.
Does that mean Easyuo is allowed as long as the person is physically there on this server?
Also, their custom map is a hell of a lot smaller than Britannia. There's going to be a much bigger risk of murderers and thieves when you're resource gathering on Rel Por I think. Even with the population IPY had at launch, it was pretty easy to find remote areas of the map where you could just basically script for hours undisturbed. I think being a miner/lumberjack is going to be a relatively lucrative profession, which is cool because that's how I remember UO being back in the day. I bought my first house by working hard in the mines.
I fought against the Yew Militia as a Shadowclan orc, it was fun times.
Account registered, game downloaded and patched with their files. Can't wait for this to go live.
There's some Orcish Alliance playing Rel Por, I think it's ex-Bloodclan and Shadowclan, but I'm not sure: http://myrelpor.com/Guilds/Details/14
Yeah, I'm almost surprised how pumped I am for this. I thought I was done after IPY, but this server has really impressed me during beta. I didn't think I could like a custom map so much. No Britannia, no problem.
Haha, I was waiting for you to show up. These guys, as far as I can tell, really got skill gain and the early grind right. It's going to be infinitely less frustrating to get a decent character and economic foundation than it was on IPY.
Whether it sticks will depend a lot on your play style I think. This is definitely going to be a PvP-centric server. Granted, the PvP will come in a lot of different flavors-- the faction system has a few different elements, I think guild wars will be a bigger deal, PKs vs. bounty-hunters, and a lot of the RP-PvPers (Orcs, Yew Militia, etc.) seem like they're going to make a strong showing. Generally a lot of PvP makes being a crafter a lot of fun-- no one burns through items like PvPers. But adventuring on here is going to entail a lot of encounters with murderers.
We'll help you out man, you should definitely give it a shot. UO is definitely in its twilight, who knows how many more quality free servers will come along.
And Rel Por is going to be especially good for people entirely new to the game for three big reasons: (1) the map is custom-made, so it's new to everyone, not just you; (2) there are lots of brand new combat mechanics that will, again, be new to everyone; and (3) skill gain for everything with the exception of crafting is going to be fast-- you'll be able to get into the fun stuff relatively quickly, and if you don't like it, you will not have wasted a massive amount of time.
UO has a learning curve, no doubt. But with people helping you it's totally manageable-- it will only take a couple days until you feel like you have a grip on the game and are really having fun. This era of UO in particular is sort of "easy to learn, difficult to master." Even playing a tank mage on a server like this, which is the most difficult template to learn, is really only a matter of learning the mechanics of 9 or 10 spells.
I'm with you. If I can get together some time, I'd love to jump on this just to be able to understand UO. I know it won't hold up perfectly these days, but it defined online gaming for a lot of people and like to experience some of that.
I had a great time in the early days of IPY, and I may have to check this out too. I'll either dabble as a crafter or be my usual dungeon carebear warrior.
Alchemy or Tailoring
With that I'll just have the one character...who can do all the carebear stuff. This does have more promise than IPY. Hopefully we can have some interest. I remember the early part of IPY, there was a lot of fun talk from here. But it all fell apart when the server itself turned out to be empty promises.
Yeah, playing with some dapper PA chaps would certainly make it easier, I'm sure. Is there any sort of resource that I can read up on before the server starts up so I have some idea of what I'm doing?
I've said this a few times, but I honestly think UO remains unparalleled in a lot of ways. Some people can't get over the whole 2d thing, but I don't just play UO for nostalgia, I legitimately think it's still a more enjoyable game than any other MMO I've played. Hope you like it
If you want help around launch, I'll front you ingots if you just pay me whatever you sell your stuff back to NPCs for. I want to get initial house/macro money by something like mining, but I have no desire to actually make a crafter. And I'd rather just help out someone I know than sell my ingots for 4gp per or whatever.
I think we can get a really good group going on here. The first day or so of new UO server is-- especially for veterans-- not too much fun. You're broke and defenseless. The problem with IPY is that "first day" was expanded into months. We just never got to a point where we were truly finished with the initial grind, never did anything fun as a group, and everything just sort of fell apart from there. On Rel Por, I think we'll be able to get into some shenanigans after like a week.
I'll look around and see if I can find a good, succinct introduction to UO. If anyone has one, feel free to chime in. Do you have a general idea of what you see yourself doing? I think that's a good place to start, because if you just have no interest in PvP/PvE/Crafting, whatever, then there's an entire body of knowledge you can just pay no attention to.
The most basic aspect of UO is this: you have 700 skill points to work with, and 225 stat points (strength, dexterity, intelligence). Each skill and stat can go up to 100. Traditionally, this results in a finished character having 7 skills at 100 each. Stat breakup will vary depending on template. So the legwork you want to do before making a character is figuring out which 7 skills you ultimately want on your character. Like I said, just try to come up with a general idea of what it is you want to do in UO, and we can help you make a template that fits that role.
I'm more or less interested in all aspects of the game, though judging by what I've picked up from various conversations about UO, it doesn't seem like you can reasonably do it all on one character. Having one PVP character and one crafter/PVE character makes sense to me, though I have no idea if that's reasonable within the context of the game. How is the magic system in UO? I typically like casters, and the more complex, the better.
I intend on being mostly a crafter. With just that splash of melee to get people to fuck off or go play Dungeon Crawler with people.
My vote rests in a small group guild again. Similar to the IPY idea we had.
Cool. Yeah, doing it all on one character is impossible. Magic in UO is very fun and very nuanced-- you'll like it. Mages are generally far superior in (group) PvP in this era of UO, but it definitely takes a little more practice as well. Which is no problem-- a few buddies of mine and myself have PvPed for a long time, and we'll spar as much as you want. Template wise, these skills are no-question must haves:
100 Magery (determines what level spells you can cast)
100 Evaluating Intelligence (spell-effect modifier)
100 Meditation (mana regen)
100 Magical Resistance (speaks for itself)
You have options on where to go from there, which are summarized here: http://relpor.com/information/skill-changes/magic-combat-skills
I'd recommend going with either a standard tank mage (100 weapon skill, 100 tactics, 100 wrestling) or a healer/stun mage (100 wrestling, 100 healing, 100 anatomy). Poison mages and scribe mages are a bit more nuanced and frankly a lot more expensive to skill up.
Now all that being said, you're probably going to want to start your crafter/PvE guy initially to make money. Make a mage is purely about macroing (something we can discuss in detail later). I'd suggest making either a pure PvE character or a pure crafter. You can do what Anon is doing, but (like he said) that character will only ever be able to run support in a dungeon. A warrior/crafter hybrid is not going to be very efficient at hunting in dungeons solo. If you want a guy who is going to be like tanking demons, you're going to need either a mage or a proper warrior.
I'm definitely up for doing another guild, at least until people get on their feet and figure out what they want to do.
Needless to say, I'm all atwitter.
This looks awesome.
That all sounds good. I'll keep it in mind once the server starts up. I'll probably go pure PVE over pure crafter for my secondary character -- sounds more interesting, and at the very least, faster, based on what I'm seeing about skill rates. What is all this about macroing though? I assume it's just to skill up quickly or something?
So, this is where UO gets sort of weird to people who haven't played (or even just more awesome, depending on your tastes). Historically in UO, actually just going out and playing the game is a horrible way of gaining skills. The way you really gain skills is by using this assistance program (called Razor-- everyone who plays UO uses it, more on that later) to just "macro" one, or a small series, of basic skill building actions. The best way to gain fencing, for instance, is to just have two characters sparring for hours while macroing healing on each other-- all the while you're off somewhere comfortably watching TV or playing DOTA. The same goes for every single skill with maybe one or two exceptions.
This is why having a group is nice: we can all just macro off of each other all the time. And I don't want to come across as implying something like "THIS IS THE PROPER WAY TO PLAY UO." If you would rather just head off into dungeons and build your character the traditional way, go for it. Macroing is just something that a large part of the population has always done, and there's no question that it's the quickest way to get a "complete character." We'll all talk a lot more about this whole idea closer to launch, but the general goal starting out is to make money to buy supplies to macro.
I know a lot of effort was put into the OP, but this something we just don't allow as a general rule.