Friday, January 27, 2017

Kammie's House Designs - Stones Waterfall & Getaway

This build took longer than I expected. While I customized and got through 80% of the decorating back in July of 2016, I reached a major road block and found myself unable to continue. Shortly after that road block, I stopped consistently playing UO again and this project fell to the wayside.

The first floor is my favorite. I loved finding a way to include both a kitchen and crafting area in such a limited space while still maintaining an aesthetic look. Add in the functional stable with hitching post and I'm one happy camper.

The row of poppies near the front house sign is my attempt at straying from some of my more normal decorating style choices. Usually I would use campion flowers for these sorts of things.

The new stone house buildables helped me breathe some new life into the old goza-L-shape stairs.

The area around the waterfall was difficult for me to decorate. It took a ladder, several gozas, an interior decorating tool, and several choppable containers to achieve the stone/plant/vine look, and even then I'm not 100% happy with it. When looked over in passing, though, I find it mostly enjoyable.

The area directly behind the waterfall was an area I struggled with. I felt I had used too many carpets to fill in white space already, and I wanted some semblance of function to exist for what was essentially the main house's entryway. Enter a nice little meeting table with nearby drawers and "treasure" room.

I like the look of the rustic bench on the grassy balcony here. I tried several chair types before settling on this one.

Finally, the bedroom... sort of. IT does have a bedroom, but when I finished setting that area up I realized there was quite a bit of space left for something else. After some experimentation, I decided to set up a makeshift alchemy table and display case. I'll probably change it later, but it works for now.

I feel like each time I build a house it gets a little smaller in size. Eventually I'll be living in a 1x1 hut surrounded by a beautiful landscape of flowers, trees, and bushes.

For a look at how this house was built, check out this video below!

Sunday, January 22, 2017

UOD: January 22, 2017

Nestor and I had the awesome experience of participating in Deal or No Deal. If this is the same one we're thinking of, this thing has been running for many many years. We used to participate whenever this show would cycle its way through Lake Austin.

The guy who played got to 3 chests before he opened the 10 million gold box. He had 10,000 gp, 2 million, and 7.5 million left but ended up cashing out the 9.75 mil he was offered. I ended up winning 1 million gold from a random crowd draw, which was pretty cool.

While he was logging on to another character, Nestor noticed that Lake Austin's population was "medium." We got curious about the cause, and I decided to check and see if Lake Austin was in the middle of an EM event.

Turns out, it was. It was a pretty cool event. I got lots of nostalgia for old school champ spawns and large gatherings of people. There was a row of casters further away from the action who would run a constant stream of Rez's whenever people died.

I'm not very versed in the current story arc for LA's EM events, so I can't say much on what's happening. The main persona, Thaddius, did end up giving up his life though.

On the Atlantic front, I'm stuck with my house. I'm not quite happy with it no matter what I do, and I keep erasing huge chunks of the house I've built to redo it. I'll keep plugging away at it, I suppose.

Saturday, January 21, 2017

UOD: January 21, 2017

The plants on Lake Austin are coming along nicely. The same can be said for Atlantic, but I haven't planted as many plants and I only have 6 that are outside of Raised Garden Beds.

This abomination of a brick is Nestor's first home (since coming back to UO). While I'm happy he's actually customized a house, as he's never really done that before, he has a long way to go. He actually tried with this design, too. Methinks I need to show him how it's done by decorating my 2nd house - the one that I set up as an inn/apartment complex/I don't know what I was going for.

Training has continued on my character. I got my alchemy to 86. When I'm playing my other characters, I do several rounds of buying reagents and blank scrolls. I have at least 30k of each reagent now.

I'll probably customize the 2nd house tomorrow. I have some vague plans, but we'll see how they play out.

Friday, January 20, 2017

UOD: January 20, 2017

The Classic Client play window resize is here! This was supposed to go out with Publish 96, which is on Test Center. Seeing as it's a graphical update, production shards can also use the new game screen options. There are some bugs to work out (items and player names load in once they get within the range of the old screen size, for example) but it's definitely a game changer.

One down side I've noticed is that houses don't look as big anymore. LOL! I was checking out a supposed 18x18 that was for sale and I couldn't believe it was an 18x18 even when I used my house placement tool to test the sizing. When I recalled back to my own home, I realized it looked too small to be an 18x18 as well.

My friend, Nestor, has continued looking at old accounts and seeing what they have to offer. I took on several of his accounts when he left the game almost a decade ago, and I'll continue paying for those accounts, but he now has complete access to them. He did reactivate an account I didn't bother to pay for and he's having fun training up a character on Atlantic.

He's had a few silly noob moments that I'm glad to see him take in stride. He found a powerscroll for 120 Magery through the vendor search option that was 10 million gold cheaper than other vendors, so he created the map and checked the vendor out. Something about the map seemed different to him, but he paid it no mind once he saw that the vendor had several nice 120 powerscrolls for sale. He bought the scroll and spent some time checking out the vendors' other offerings. Unfortunately for him, this was in Fel and there was a thief waiting in hiding to steal the powerscroll right out of his backpack - and put it back on the vendor. He was able to laugh off the situation once he realized what had happened and got out of there. The situation along with other little things has given him an aversion to Fel, now, which I find funny because I've always known him to prefer Fel and thrive on the possibility of PvP interaction there.

For my characters' training, I went ahead and created another character so I could train up the other skills I wanted. On my original crafter I got to 120 blacksmithing. On this new character I've trained 100 cooking, 100 carpentry, and now I'm gathering resources to train my alchemy and possibly inscription.

I was incorrect when I thought I would be able to buy bulk reagents from player vendors. It appears these things aren't kept in stock anymore, so I'll have to go through NPC Mages and Alchemists to build up my reagent stash. Bummer, but at least I know now and have time to build up that stash.

My plants are continuing to grow. I haven't gotten to the point where I can cross pollinate certain plants yet, but they're coming along.

I've seen what feels like an increase in activity on both Lake Austin and Atlantic. Perhaps it's just that I'm on often enough to see the natural interaction that occurs in the game now. All I know is the game doesn't feel as dead as I think. I guess that's what you can expect when you take a 5 minute snapshot of a shard's activity levels versus several hours of each day/week.

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

UOD: January 18, 2017

The past two days have been quite fun. An old friend returned to the game.

Part of said friend returning involved lots of voice chats and me hopping on the enhanced client to walk him through setting up macros and how to set up his play window.

We went on a semi-successful run through Destard with one of his greater dragons. His dragons are from before one of the patches that buffed up dragons quite a bit, so his dragon didn't do too well in a situation where several greater dragons and regular dragons teamed up on him. We should have been fine on keeping his dragon alive. Unfortunately, my companion ran out of bandages, panicked, then started running away, spamming "all follow me." Half of the greater dragons targeted him, almost killing him, and his pet ended up dying while I tried to keep him alive. Oops.

Fortunately, his dragon was bonded so we were able to resurrect him, but the experience put an end to our little adventure. From there, his attentions turned instead to "how do I get a better greater dragon? What do I need?" And we started scouring the forums and vendor pet stalls in New Magincia.

During some down time when he was checking out his characters' skills and soulstones, I tended to my plants and planted a few more. Nothing much, as I don't want to overwhelm myself.

We kept switching between Lake Austin and Atlantic in our activities, and it was nice to see the chat and bank full of people every time we stopped running around.

I haven't had the chance to run any Naturalist quests due to this, but I can't say I'm too torn up about that. :)

Monday, January 16, 2017

UOD: January 16, 2017

Incredibly short update, as my activities in the world of Britannia were limited today.

I checked on all of my plants on both Lake Austin and Atlantic before spending my entire day grinding out more skills.

I'm happy to say that I've reached 120 in tailoring. Wahoo! Once I hit that cap, I immediately bought a 120 powerscroll for blacksmithing, picked up a scroll of alacrity, ate the two, and then set on my grind. The scroll of alacrity was able to boost me from 50 to 75. From there I managed to get to 95.4.

That was the entirety of my day. Short and sweet.

Sunday, January 15, 2017

UOD: January 15, 2017

On Lake Austin, I hopped on to discover that several of my plants had sold on my vendor. Upon closer inspection, I realized that the plants bought were my black, white, and fire red mutant plants. I was incredibly happy to see that the plants were being put to use.

It didn't take too long for some of that happiness to subside. Today was an EM event for Lake Austin. A sneaking suspicion creeped in, telling me that the plants sold were actually bought by shard hoppers who saw this as a great deal to take back to their home shard and make some money from.

Ah, well. What can ya do? I can't complain too much, because that money will help keep these vendors running during dead times. 

I finished setting up my vendors with the plants I have on hand. I was surprised to see that I had no regular colored plants, save for what's being used to decorate the house.

Once I was happy with my setup there, I took some time to revisit an old excel sheet I had, documenting all of the plant seeds I have on this shard. Using that, I started another, rather larger batch of plants (seen in the first picture). I didn't bother buying up more reagents, as I had plans for Atlantic.

On Atlantic, I further trained up my tailoring, getting my skill up to 116.6. Once I grew bored of looking at cloth, scissors, and a sewing kit, I scoured the shard to build up a magery suit for my main character. I stole my main's outfit to give to my crafter for better magery training (and I'm quite spoiled by faster casting and faster cast recovery), but when it came time to return the suit I found myself dreaming about a better suit for her. My main is being built as a mage/bard, so it's rather important that she have a good setup for casting.

I "built" (bought from several vendors and pieced together) a suit with 100% lower reagent cost, 40% lower mana cost, 12 mana regeneration, 43 mana increase, 60%  spell damage increase, 2 faster casting, 6 faster cast recovery, and 70s in all resists.

Probably not the best suit to those who are more knowledgeable about the most recent information about UO's looting/stat system, but it's still miles above what I normally play with on production shards. I can't ever hope to achieve this on Lake Austin, as I do not have the skills to craft these items, the latency to hunt in the dungeons to get these items, or the vendor options to buy these items. So, I will enjoy this on Atlantic while I can.

Since I'm getting back into plant growing, I placed down my four raised garden beds and threw a bunch of seeds in them. I happened across a vendor that had several seeds I had yet to get, so I stocked up and threw those in some plant  bowls as well.

I'm thinking I'll run the Naturalist quest a few times tomorrow. For now, I think I've had enough of an adventure.

Saturday, January 14, 2017

UOD: January 14, 2017

Today was a busy day. I trained tinkering on Atlantic until I hit 100, then worked a little on tailoring until it was right below 113. After a while, I grew bored of hitting "make last" and moved to Lake Austin for some more mindless clicking.

I spent all day cycling through various reagent vendors to continue stocking up on reagents. This time I also made sure to pick up fertile dirt from Ter Mur.

The plants are doing fine. They haven't reached a point where they need to be tended to yet. While I was at the castle, I started reorganizing its contents. This is going to be a very long and arduous process, as it's been several years since I've last gone through and organized everything. I also took several bits of decoration and functional items out so I could have them to easily copy over to Test Center for testing, and never ended up returning said items.

While I was on, Garnet introduced himself to Lake Austin as the newly assigned Advisor for the shard. I'm happy that we have an Advisor, but even he admitted it took several days of hopping on at different times to come across people. I worry that his time will be spent doing virtually nothing for people, as I doubt LA has any newbies.

Nonetheless, Garnet is an incredibly friendly person and I wish him the best on his adventures.

While I'm on the topic of Garnet, I'm not entirely sure whether they are male or female. This being the internet, my first assumption was male, so I'll stick with that until he/she tells me otherwise.

As part of my castle clean out, I finally started putting up vendors in Luna. I'm not completely done, but I reached a point where I was too tired to continue and stopped for the night. All I can say is I hope these plants sell half way decently, because I'm taking an incredible loss putting them up at what I feel is a fair price. I now find that I agree with some posts on Stratics asking for the vendor fees to be lowered, especially for lower population shards.

All in all, it was a long day. I don't feel like I have much to show for it, but I'm content with what's been done nonetheless.

Friday, January 13, 2017

UOD: January 13, 2017

Training has continued for my new crafter on Atlantic. She has trained up tailoring, magery, meditation, evaluating intelligence, and right now I'm working on tinkering. I bought a scroll of alacrity for tinkering at 50 and it took me almost to 70, giving me an incredible boost and saving quite a bit of time.

I've started looking into buying a premade magery suit with high LRC, Mana Regeneration, Int bonus, and resists. I also feel like I should pick up a few soulstones to cover all of the training I'm doing on this crafter. I would still like to train up inscription, carpentry, blacksmithing, alchemy, and cooking. I'm thinking six or seven soulstones should be enough to cover my crafter's needs. Unfortunately, these things aren't commonly found on vendors anymore so I will have to shell out real world money for it. I'm not entirely sure when I plan to get started on this, or if I'll ever get that   far in playing this time around. Now that I think about it, I should probably go ahead and make another character to train up those skills instead of shelling out the money for several soulstones.

On Lake Austin, I started up some plants again. That turned into a giant adventure for me. I realized I only had four sugar cane seeds. Sugar is in high demand, due to the new BOD system, so I decided to try and get some of these seeds.

While doing that, I remembered someone mentioning on Stratics that Lake Austin vendors seem to be lacking in regular vines, and there is a high need for thorns and petals.

I loaded up another character on a different account to start filling potion kegs while I switched between killing kappas, planting thorns, and gathering reagents. I was incredibly dismayed to realize that there are no bulk resource vendors on Lake Austin anymore, leaving me to stock my own resources. In case you're wondering, the process of stocking up on reagents from NPCs is just as tedious as it was 19 years ago. You have to slowly build up their product and then move on to another vendor once their prices start going up.

I managed to get an extra 12k or so of each reagent before calling it a night. In between these runs, I took some time to use the vendor search function and walk around Luna to get an idea of the state of things. There are a few sparsely stocked vendors, most of which are from the past year, and evidence of several attempted and failed vendor shops, but most of the vendor world of Lake Austin has died off. Even a very well known LA shop owner/realtor/guild master has moved on to Atlantic, which is telling me that owning a vendor shop isn't the most profitable of endeavors. Conclusion: vendors must be a labor of love. That works for me, because I've always done my vendor shops as a hobby/passion more than means of making money.

I finished off the day by taming a blue beetle. This guy will come in handy for the next time I choose to stock up on reagents.

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

UOD: January 10, 2017

*dusts off this corner of the internet* I'm finally playing UO for long enough periods to warrant its own posts on this blog, so here I am. Screenshot above is from Atlantic - it's still bustling! How awesome is that?

I logged in to Test Center with the intention of testing out the new BOD system. I've known about it for a while now, but never had enough time to sit down and take a look at the new system.

Remember this old website? I'm pretty sure anyone who consistently did Bulk Order Deeds is familiar with it. It helped me many a time throughout the years.

Unfortunately (or perhaps fortunately) the new system has rendered this website void. Submitting BODs works much like the newer reward systems (clean up, zoo, Vesper museum, etc.). One can submit their BOD for X amount of points to use IMMEDIATELY, or save a significantly smaller amount to stockpile. For an example of this point system, a BOD for 20 leather gloves (normal quality) would net 50 instant points and 1.0 bank points.

In short, I don't see the point in stockpiling points unless you feel it's worth nickel-and-diming the points for higher tier turn-ins. The thing I don't get is you cannot stack an immediate-use with your bank points. Let's say I want a 300 point reward and I have 50 points saved. If the BOD I want to turn in is worth 250 immediate points, I cannot select "use now" and stack those 250 points with my 50 saved points to get the 300 point reward. I don't think that makes sense at all. Since I've been looking through the rewards available I've decided it's not worth saving points. Not on Test Center, at least. I can see how a major BOD player on a production shard might think it's worth it to save their lesser BODS. Even then, the new bribery system lets you upgrade your BODS.

Back on track. At one point, I grew tired of my small selection of BODS to fulfill on TC and decided to copy over a character with my hoards of T-BODS on Lake Austin. While I was combining my BOD books, a good ol' chap decided to pipe up in general chat. Ah, at least some things stay the same. *eyeroll*

I finished and copied over that character, only to get stuck in one of my mental rabbit holes I tend to go down.

I wonder if these new items have saturated Atlantic's vendors yet? Of course they have, but let me check. Oh my, they have! Whaat? A 120 Tailoring powerscroll for 100k? But I don't have a crafter on this account... You know, I could really use a crafter. I wonder how much it would cost for stacks of 60k boards, ingots, and cloth? Oh, that's not too bad... I would need a basic 100% LRC set, though. What's that? Only 5,000 GP?!

20 minutes later I was running around on a new character, mass making cloaks and robes.

I've come to realize that there have been a lot of changes to the game to make certain things much easier. I no longer have to use UOAssist to mass macro "make last item" - instead my tailoring menu has "make max." I can also use a salvage bag to mass cut my cloth items, getting back some of the resources. I didn't remember about the salvage bag for a good 45 minutes, so it was a bit of a pleasant surprise to remember that it was readily available off a provisioner.

I also enjoy being able to access my gold without transferring it from one char to another. I don't have to worry about how long it'll be before I have to do a char switch to transfer bank checks over in a secure location.

The rest of my day was spent playing UO in that I've been making stuff and doing the periodic change to new sewing kit, salvage cloth, and add new cloth from bank. While all of this had been happening I've been surfing the web (mainly Stratics) to catch up on the stuff I've been missing. All in all a productive day! 10 hours later my character has GM'd her tailoring. I'm sure I could have achieved it faster, but I was doing other things in the real world while letting my character craft and wasn't 100% efficient with my time in game.