Background info: http://www.itsnet.com/~darimar/index.html

As the Dev Board faded further and further into memory, many of the “regulars” became despondent that, without the hundreds of thousands of messages an hour to read and respond to, they would actually have to play Ultima Online or worse, go outside. Lord Luker, at last report, was holed up in the Washington Monument with “lots of explosives and other boom-type things” threatening to remove the symbol of our nation’s capitol unless Designer Dragon implements a pvp switch.

Tonight it was disclosed that CoB would reappear at a new confusing domain, since crossroadsrpg.com and xrgn.com were both currently owned by the Forces of Evil. Lum the Mad had no comment, since his Dev Board bookmark was still pointing to crossroadsrpg.com and he thus thought that no one had anything to say on the dev board now for several months. When informed differently, he muttered something about nuclear shaped charges.


Background info: http://uo.stratics.com/cgi-bin/uoss_news.pl?General+News#6

This part I found interesting:

I never expected to be paid, although I was given the false impression several times that if I ‘stuck with it’, we would become ‘paid’ employees. After recent rumors about off-site GMs, and being a paid employee, I renewed my delusions and continued to put forth all my effort and time into working, for free. I was experiencing my own life problems and trying to deal with them. When another Senior Counselor sent all the Seniors an email complaining about similar problems, I replied, and gave him advice and vented about how I felt about UO’s support system. He forwarded the email to Origin. They secretly removed me, and stole the IRC channel I had founded on BeyondIRC.

You know, with the GMs bragging about banning entire guilds, spending a large portion of their time bouncing macroing players offline, and now this, all in one week, I’m beginning to wonder if we just need to send Sorsha the Amazing UO Cyberwhore to Austin. These guys seem to be getting REALLY tense.


Your friend in space, Dr. TwisTer, is PISSED. Apparently the kids that ride the short bus to school finally figured out how to post on his message base and decided that his going without posting for a day was some sort of wicked conspiracy. From his message base:

As you all can see, Dr. Twister didn’t update today. Why ? I think it’s because he is so pissed, cuz all of us flamed him when he post a silly update (that one about MDK). But because he is Doc, so it will be so embarrass to make public apologize. Well, I think we all should forgive him for that mistake and keep going on new topic, cuz he really put lots of effort on this web site (although some of the post are silly). Doc, I hope we can see you keep updating as usual soon.

Lord help the Republic if I go three hours without an update, I guess… (although some of the post are silly).

For what it’s worth, my opinion on the TwisTed one is decidedly mixed. On the one hand, he has the balls to post what he finds out in public, instead of trying to keep the bugs that come his way limited to the KeWli0 3l33t. So many folks are able to defend themselves from the latest KeWl Vendor Delete. On the other hand, he often holds off on posting nasty exploits like house breakins until he knows the GMs are off duty for maximum exposure. Another choice quote:

Well normally I don’t post information I get from the Test Center, for obvious reasons, it gives us a better chance of getting the same bug on the private shards with the next patch.

I tried to think about all the various repercussions and complex moral relationships at work here, but my head started to hurt until I remembered that I, in fact, hate everyone. Things got much easier afterwards.

WE PAY FOR WHAT, AGAIN? [Author: lum]

Background material: http://www.drtwister.com/ultimaonline/let-mac.html

OK, I’ve been ranting and raving about this macroing thing for a while. But thanks to this leaked chat (what? you mean out of 1000 counselors, one would actually send a copy to “Dr.” TwisTer? Say it isn’t so!) we now know exactly how each and every one of you are filthy exploiters fit only to have your accounts cleared and space made for people who will actually play the game correctly.

[18:30] <Kal_El> if we get calls on ppl macroing unattended in town or any where they will be kicked from the game

Translation: If you are macroing unattended in town or anywhere (um, anywhere would pretty much cover… anywhere?) you will get a nice pretty “Connection Lost” on your screen. Go forth, my child, and macro no more.

[18:31] <Rmageddon> the FAQ says that GMs are not to be called for it unless it is causing actual problems to players around them right? like summon animals or spam or music..
[18:31] <Kal_El>
causing lag….if they are macroing skill gain…
[18:31] <Kal_El>
then this will make it even harder for ppl actually in the game to gain skill
[18:31] <Rmageddon> ah
[18:31] * ChalKzhar nods
[18:31] <Flame> so anyone at all who is doing it, even in their house, will be kicked if reported?
[18:32] <IronWill> in addition you know as well as we do that most people do not care what the FAQ says – if something bugs them they will call us
[18:32] <Kal_El> we want to encourage ppl to actually play

So the rules you were actually told are, to quote Ron Ziegler, Nixon’s press secretary, “inoperative”. Just macroing to gain skill is reason enough to get knocked off line. Which would pretty much cover almost every activity in the game. Of course, you would never actually be told this, unless you read “Dr.” TwisTer’s site, which, according to UO’s Terms of Service, is illegal.

So what’s next? Well, you better not ever go red…

[18:36] <Rmageddon> so macroers anywhere town, in woods, in hosues, anywhere – even ghosts just staying online to kill murder counts get GM pages now?
[18:36] <IronWill>
[18:36] * ChalKzhar cringes at how the GM queue will look

So if you try to macro off your murders, you’ll get kicked. Great. If you ever EVER want to go blue, for EACH count, you will have to be IN GAME, PLAYING for 8 hours a kill just to avoid stat loss. And IN GAME, PLAYING, for FORTY hours a kill if you ever want to enter a town again.

But OSI doesn’t hate PKs! No! They love them! Mmmm! They’re crunchy in milk!

Well, here’s the crux of the matter:

[18:32] <Kal_El> we will not actively seek out macroers…
<Kal_El> but if ppl complain about it then we will do something

Call it enforcement by snitching. Basically, if you’re popular and everyone loves you, you can macro with impunity. Lord help you if you pissed someone off, though. You are at their mercy.

Let me tell you a story, my children…

There was a land once, we’ll call it the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, just for shits and giggles. There was this event called the Great Purge, where a very bad man named Stalin sent millions of people to labor camps merely for looking sideways.

There was a little boy, named Pavlik Morozov. He was a very studious boy, and did very well in school.

One day his teachers explained to him what “class enemies” and “enemies of the people” were. They were bad people, who worked against Comrade Stalin and his glorious worker’s paradise.

Pavlik was told that it was his duty, as a little soldier in service to the state, to tell his teachers of anyone who was an “enemy of the people”. Even his parents.

Pavlik was confused, but he did what he was told, and told his teachers about the conversations his parents had late at night, when no one was listening, about how Comrade Stalin was really a monster destroying his country.

Pavlik’s parents disappeared soon thereafter, and Pavlik was sent to a camp for good little soldiers. There was even a statue to Pavlik in his home town, as an example to all good little soldiers. Children everywhere in the USSR were told to be noble as Pavlik, to tell their teachers and policemen whenever anyone said bad things.

And they did. The children were the worst scourges of the land, because they were given the power to be so.

Now I am not so ate up with it that I think being prohibited from macroing in any way relates to the annihilation of a people. But that’s not the point.

The USSR was a corrupt land, and it was made so in large part by the rendering of the rule of law as trivial. There was no overriding set of rules that a sane person could follow – people were killed for espousing a particular Party line one month, and be rewarded for it the next. The enforcement of “law” was capricious and whimsical, and this bred terror.


We have already established that 95% of the UO population (and 99.99999% of the pvp subset) macros. We are all criminals now – we can be removed from the game at will.

But we won’t. We’ll continue to build our characters in the same fashion, simply because there is no alternative.

And anyone who has a grudge can fill up GM page queues – “Joe Bob is macro mining” “Marcus is a red ghost in a dungeon macroing” “Sally is in her house just standing there, she’s probably macroing arms lore or something” – and according to the support chat log posted, they have said that they will follow up on it, despite knowing the workload nightmare it will cause.

Every time someone sees a Connection Lost, they have to wonder… was it the usual crappy Internet connection, or something more sinister?

And here is why I am pissed, why you should be pissed.

Read that chat again.

You know, those people are your employees. YOU PAY THEIR SALARY.

Does it sound like it?

It strikes me more as some folks developing an overwhelming sense of their own self-importance – that given a “god like power” over their little milieu, they are taking it and running with it. Banning entire guilds, detaling the minions to go spy on those that they may disagree with for rules violations – rules that everyone violates, that every honest person agrees is a complete joke…

And you’re paying for it.

You paid $60 for the interface that installed on your PC. You pay $10 a month for the bandwidth to connect to it.


More on the decline and fall of the UO support staff anon.

Keep those cards and letters coming, and a big howdy to gnat6.owo.com!


It had to happen…


(LATE BREAKING NEWS – Don’t bother clicking on the above two links — OSI has removed the guilds from the game. Both were named “TCM – Trench Coat Mafia”, one was on Baja and the other on Drachenfels. Ahh, the raw power of webmastery.)

On a related subject, I got a well written rant from a goth who plays UO last night, who took offense at my labelling the little pusbags in Colorado that layed waste to their school “goths who were pissy that jocks got all the cool shit.”

First off, I’m wasn’t saying “all goths are bad”. Hell, when I was in high school I did my share of dyed black hair and pancake makeup, but back then it was the 80’s and more of a fashion statement then anything else. Now it’s like a whole subculture that I somehow missed. However, at the time I wrote that, the mass media, always an impeccable source of correct information, was saying that the two or three or twenty shooters were goths who listened to the Cure one too many times and decided to end everyone else’s pain too. (Actually I made that last part up. To connect the Cure to Goths would have required actual research. Instead they just beat on Marilyn Manson for a while because he’s a strange little girlyman with man breasts. When I was in New York last year his album had just came out, and Interscope had purchased a HUGE billboard in Times Square with this 50 foot Marilyn Manson staring down at you with his nakedness. I blame that experience for the web page you are now reading.)

Now we’re going to hear for the next year or so that video games are bad for you and the Internet breeds killers because one of them posted a DOOM wad (man, you gotta love those iD guys for subtlety in naming conventions) on AOL.

Leaving aside for the moment that if I hear AOL referred to as the Internet ONE MORE TIME I may breed a killer inside of me my own damned self. And the fact that these two guys were so lame that they actually bought those godawful Doom “fiction” books.

We like to blame people. Hell, look at the MDK banning. A bunch of wastes of perfectly good air get banned for following some poor roleplayer around screaming “We’re going to A$zZ Rap3 j00!” It hits the boards and immediately everyone takes sides. The PKers, who spend much of their time picking on roleplayers, are frightened that OSI will start banning THEIR guilds. The roleplayers, who spend much of their time bitching at OSI about the roleplayers picking on them, are celebrating that OSI *are* starting to ban those PK guilds.

Sounds kinda like high school, hmm?

Just remember, as the media goes into Monica Lewinsky withdrawal and goes into full 24 hour ban-all-signs-of-violence-from-our-tender-little-babies mode, what apparently really happened at Columbine High School was that two kids, who had been picked on for being geeks their entire lives, finally snapped.

Not because they played Doom too much (um, they couldn’t update to Quake at some point?), not because they listened to scary music, not even because they were in a PK guild in UO, but because kids can be really, really brutal mindfuckers to one another.

Something to think about.