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UO Lord Blackthorn's Revenge Diary #2

(PC: MMORPG) | Posted by Rendelius @ Tuesday - January 15, 2002 - 13:59 -
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MGON has the second part of their development diaries for Ultima Online - Lord Blackthorn's Revenge. This time you hear from Thomas “Hanse” Eidson who fills us in on the UO crafting system. Here's the usual snippit:

    One of the largest systems and cornerstones of Ultima Online is its crafting system. Over the past few years, despite its high visibility only a few new features have been added to it. Recognizing that Blacksmiths are one of the most popular classes and one of our new player templates as well, it seemed like a good time to revisit crafting and interject some exciting new options.

    The new system had to be interesting to a developing blacksmith, allow skill gain, and give ongoing and measured rewards to the player. In many ways, the system needed to parallel the “treasure map” system that has been present (and quite successful) in Ultima Online for several years now. I went to the drawing board with nothing specific in mind, just a lot of rough ideas and a chance to create something new - which is an opportunity designers on a live team crave but rarely receive! After bouncing ideas off other designers and players, I decided on a course of action that involved making a totally new system that would exist separately from any specific crafting skill, yet still enhances blacksmithing by essentially working in tandem with it. Definitely more work then making a few simple additions to the blacksmithing skill, but a much higher pay-off for our players.
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