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Monday, July 26, 1999 Bitch at Lum


Runesabre writes on CoB's Dev Board;

You will be happy to know that your discussions do mean a lot to me and I take everything you say seriously and objectively.

The vision of Siege was not only to create a shard that was challenging for the veteran UO player but to address some of the fundamental flaws that I feel the game has carried with it since its inception.

Recall and mule characters as well as the ease of gaining gold in Britannia are good examples. Siege has addressed those issues wonderfully.

This was our one true chance to try out what I felt were good ideas for the game and its players... there may never be another chance to try out ideas as radical as Siege. It has been my goal, however, to ensure that Siege does not become reduced to another form of imbalanced gameplay replete with its own hideous problems. For example, the changes to the time-resource skills are intended to improve the gameplay and balance on Siege.

In light of the discussions I have observed over the past few days, I will be taking out the changes relating to INT affecting warrior accuracy, HP using a mix of INT+DEX and the dex scaled casting delay for magic.

It has not been my goal to create a new form of test shard that remains in a constant state of limbo and tweaking irregardless of the intent of the changes. In this case, I feel it is in the best interest of the players to fall back to what has proven tried and true up to this point.

I thank you all for your interest in Siege and must say it has been nice to see players so actively involved in the shaping of their world. The major changes to Siege Perilous will be over soon; it is our goal to polish it off and turn it over to you the players as soon as possible.

As always, my email is open to any who wish to send me their thoughts.

Again, my virtual chapeau is off to Runesabre and the rest of the Dev Team, who realized when they were on the wrong track and were men enough to admit and correct it.

See you on SP.


Once again, the guy who takes Twister bashing to new levels has risen from the dead, this time hosted by those Commies at

I was forwarded this email exchange that quickly followed from r33tb0y Delusion:

Date: Mon, 26 Jul 1999 09:29:47 -0500
From: Fool <[email protected]>
To: [email protected]
Subject: The AIWT Network

This message is cornering the "An Internet without twister website" ( After consulting with a lawyer I am sending you one final e-mail saying please shut down your site and take all copyrighted material off of it. I understand you said that you were under the "fair use" clause but after consulting with a lawyer he pointed out that only apply's to an excerpt of copyrighted material. Also your site complete plagiarism of copyrighted material as the daily updates which you plagiarize from drtwister networks are not properly cited. Also the banner on top of your page is slander and not to mention false advertising. Also your whole site is detracting from Gamehut Networks business by misrepresenting us. Please shut down this site or we will be forced to press charges. I have included a excerpt from about the "fair use" policy. And the definition of slander and plagiarism for your use.

Thank You,
Mike Dowdell
Gamehut Networks

"Fair use is use of an excerpt of a copyrighted work "as is" and/or copyrighted image for purposes of parody, news reporting, research and education about such copyrighted work without the permission of the author. Use of copyrighted text and/or images for any other purpose is not deemed fair use."                                                       

1. slan.der \'slan-d*r\ \-d(*-)r*s\ n [ME sclaundre, slaundre, fr. OF esclandre, fr. LL scandalu]m stumbling block, offense - more at SCANDAL 1: the utterance of false charges or misrepresentations which defame and damage another's reputation 2: a false and defamatory oral statement about a person - slan.der.ous aj 2. slander \-d(*-)rin\ \-d*r-*r\ vt or : to utter slander against : DEFAME - n

pla.gia.rize \'pla--j*-.ri-z also -je--*-\ vt : to steal and pass off as one's own (the ideas or words of another) to present as one's own an idea or product derived from an existing source - n

They should have also defined lo.ser \'lu-s*r\ n
Then, this correction from GameSlut:

Date: Mon, 26 Jul 1999 09:56:04 -0500
From: Fool <[email protected]>
To: [email protected]
Subject: More about first e-mail about AIWT

It should be libel not slander, I accidently did slander instead of libel I have included the definition of libel for you.

Mike Dowdell
Gamehut Networks

1. li.bel \'li--b*l\ n [ME, written declaration, fr. MF, fr. L libellus, dim. of liber boo]k - more at LEAF archaic  1: a handbill esp. attacking ordefaming someone  2a: a written or oral defamatory statement or representation that conveys a n unjustly unfavorable impression 2b1: a statement or representation published without just cause and tending  to expose another to public contempt 2b2: defamation of a person by written or representational means  2b3: the publication of blasphemous, treasonable, seditious, or obscene writings or pictures 2b4: the act, tort, or crime of publishing such a libel .2 libel \-b(*-)lin\ \-b(*-)l*r\ \-b*-l*st\ vb or li.beled or li.belled; or;  or li.bel.ling : to make libelous statements  : to make or publish a libel against  - n                      

Some thoughts I had for blatz

Date: Mon, 26 Jul 1999 08:33:33 -0700 (PDT)
From: Delusion <[email protected]>
To: [email protected]
Subject: Re: The AIWT Network

Here's some ammunition garnered from Section 107 of Title 17 of the US Code.

(3) the amount and substantiality of the portion used in relation to the copyrighted work as a whole; and

(4) the effect of the use upon the potential market for or value of the copyrighted work. The fact that a work is unpublished shall not itself
bar a finding of fair use if such finding is made upon consideration of all the above factors.

GameSlut seems to ignore (3) altogether, accusing you of copying text content of TwisTard's web page in its entirety, when in fact this is not the case - your text is commentary about his, not a copy of it.        

(4) is instructive.  In no way can GameSlut argue that AIWT reduces the value or "marketability" of GameSlut or Dr. TwisTard's web pages.  In fact, as TwisTard lives on controversey, quite the opposite view can be taken.

You know, I wonder what TwisTer would post if OSI sent him these kind of love notes. They certainly have more of a case for the effect of Twister's work on the potential market value of UO...


Many of you wrote to tell me that apparently Raph "Designer Dragon" Koster was the victim of a catastrophic fire that basically wiped him out and left him without, among many other things, computers to get on the net with. If true, that would definitely suck and would explain his uncharacteristic silence (DD may be good, but I think even he requires a computer to post on Usenet).

Have a new article going up today, something some of you have been nagging me about for a while. Also need to get the design spec finished and in uploadable form for those of you who expressed an interest in the MMRPG idea. (Think a cross between Starflight, MOO2, and UO.)


You! Click on the logo. In fact, don't finish reading this story. Just click on the logo. Now.


Went out for the evening, and arrived home to find this love note. Take notes; THIS is more of what I want to see! More blood! More guts!


Once a week I have to work the nightshift, so lucky me, I get to wander the web for 8 hours straight. Of course, I get to do this on fucking Sunday night; no stock market to play with, no good news updates, I'm missing an X-files rerun, and I'm missing my girlfriends day off. I'm on hour #7 now and my eyes are starting to bleed and my mouse hand enters into spastic convulsions every few minutes (much like after 7 hours of Diablo).

Anyhow, when I'm really running out of sites, I check the Ultima pages to see whats new. That where your page comes in. I like the Uma pictures and the rare constructive criticism, but the rest pretty much blows. Today you are really one whining little fuck. Christ dude, your paying $10 bucks a month for something you most likely have clocked more than 20 hours of play time a month (week?). Then after your done, you can sell your account on Ebay and make a fucking profit! Then you proceed to bitch out Origin for being nazi lazy assholes.

*Slap on the Forehead*

Most of it I take with a grain of salt, after all your named after a AD&D; artifact so how seriously can I take you. Today's though... today's post just reeks of crap. Sometimes you just need to shut your hole before anything else drips out.

(Lum on Siege) >> Then the dev team decided to start screwing around with it.

Thats there job asshole, they are paid to screw with shit! Its not like they are going to check out the messages boards and do what "Pha Q, the Master Soap dropper" has to say. Yes they fuck up, who the hell cares? Its not like its having any real impact on anyones life.

(Lum on Siege) >> I might make a character just to see exactly how impossible it is to be a miner, or a warrior, or whatever.

Good lord, I suck at this game and still got a boat on SP before I knew it was going to be wiped. Its not like any of this is actually going to hinder any motivated person. I'm pist its getting wiped too, but who the hell cares, it will keep me occupied for another week or two. Do you actually think any of these changes will really stop you from having fun? If it does, boot up your apple IIe and play a 20 hours a week of Load Runner or something.

(Lum on UO in general) >> Too bad they don't listen to people who actually play the game, who might let them know what the word "tedium" means.

Hmm... I had point here. I was getting to something... Honestly I'm too lazy to read what I wrote above... I think I was going to call you a dick or somthing like that. If I think of it, I'll tell you later... Oh, and don't give me any of that "Its my site! its my rants! Don't read it if you don't like it! .. blah.. blah... blah". Ya fuck that, you have about 2000 links to your page. Your a public figure, take some resonsibility. Some taute pre-teen Swetish girl who plays UO is actually reading what you write, act like an adult ya prick

- Left foot of Vecna

Now, most of the above is crap (briefly, no, it's not the dev team's job to fuck up the game, they are supposed to actually fix parts that break, crazy as it sounds, and no, EQ is far from the tedium level of UO if for no other reason than there isn't nearly as much to do in EQ and no, I didn't spend 50 hours glued to my monitor whacking at mongbats on Siege until I got a boat, silly me, and no, it's not my responsibility to educate nubile Swedish women, it's just my hobby) but that's not the point I'm trying to make here. This guy actually had something to say. He said it with bile, he said it with anger, and he didn't think I was named after some goddamned Japanese manga porn. Mo' like that!

Sunday, July 25, 1999 Bitch at Lum



MISSING. Presumed having a good time. Last seen over two weeks ago in his normal place of business. Anyone with any information on his disappearance is urged to contact us immediately. Persons looking for him may be advised to start combing the local clubs, as he may be macroing Muscianship.

Come home, Raph. All is forgiven.


Kira Argounova posted a post-mortem for Siege Perilous in the form of a really long and good audio show.

Among those who rolled over the next morning and realized they were just used and abused was that famed hamburgermonger Ronald McDonald, who sent me this response to my asking if he had a GM Thief yet:

Check this, I just revamped the site so I can be up to date, in with the now, and alternative like everyone else. You just might recognize the layout from one of the 14 other popular UO/EQ sites out there.

I am nothing but original.

I am merely asking you if you would gently plug me (on your site - pervert) if I pass the USDA requirements for Lum Linkage.

Nonetheless, regardless of the STD contagion my page and board often radiate, check the new improved McDonaldland and give me a suggestion or two on how I might one day be as cool as Ralph Macchio.

Oh, and, If I did have a GM Thief on SP, I would be in a bigger pissy-fit than I am already seeing as Origin has had that shard set as their last target for mass dispel. Just when you think the spell has no significant use.

So go visit The Wondrous Land of Happy Meals again, for the very first time. When I checked in this morning it was horribly broken, which is always cool.


I've been mulling over the bones Runesabre has been throwing to the dogs, and my conclusion is finally, to quote the three wise men, WTF, man?

We all loved the idea of Siege Perilous when it came out. God damn, this was the hard core PVPer's dream shard. No recall? No stat loss? That rumbling noise you heard that day was a thousand players yelling "I'm there, dude!". And the removal of the NPC-based economy was a great touch - let's see how a truly player-driven economy works.

Then the dev team decided to start screwing around with it. Wuh oh.

First off, it appears OSI is bound and determined to remove macroing, attended or otherwise, from the game entirely. That is the only explanation possible for the draconian tactics by the GMs and assorted hangers-on we've seen the past couple of weeks. They want to scare the shit out of you. They want you to not even think about macroing. In fact, they want you to log out when you go to the bathroom.

Why? Maybe UO uses too much bandwidth, I don't know. It's UO's main expense... after all, when you pay your GMs $10/hour and your programmers not much more, the usage rate on those OC-3's start looking mighty large.

Regardless, it seems the desire to eliminate macroing from the game drove the next changes in the game - the destruction of basic resource gathering tools during use (scissors, hatchets, etc.) which turned tinkers into demigods, followed by some new bizarro "time-as-a-resource" skill advancement system. I don't fully understand it. I don't think anyone fully understands it. I especially don't think the dev team understands it. But basically, my take on it is that no matter how often you use a given skill that doesn't require the expenditure of resources, it won't raise more then .1 or .2 in a half hour or whatever time measurement is used.

OK. This is just fucked up. First off, there are so many things that this breaks, I can't even list them all. Training dummies. I guess we are supposed to hack at training dummies for, oh, several months now just to get to 25 swords 25 tactics. Guild sparring is completely gone. In fact... the only thing this does is encourage (news flash) more macroing. I mean, if you're going to have to do some tedious task for 12 hours to have any benefit from it, there's no sense in just sitting there. Assuming the Gestapo or the little Nazi block warden players that run around summoning them don't catch you and ban you.

While everyone was still trying to wrap their tiny brains around this paradigm shift, the dev team noticed that people macroed for stat game as well as skill gain... so they fucked stats up as well.

Up to this point, there wasn't a whole lot of variety in the stats of an expert player. A mage had 100 STR, 100 INT and 25 DEX. A warrior had 100 STR, 100 DEX, and 25 DEX. There were some variations (among warriors who wanted to cast more than one ebolt, mainly) but basically this was the well known system everyone was comfortable with.

The dev team obviously knew this, because they set out to cripple anyone stupid enough to still have those stats. The warriors didn't get quite as nerfed... they won't hit as often, but hell, a grandmaster swordsman only hits one time out of ten anyway, it would be difficult to tell the difference. The mage on the other hand can just totally bend over and drop the soap, because at 25 dex their spells are going to cast 3X as slowly. C...o...r...p... P...o..(auugh). No, he wasn't casting Blade Sprits, he was trying to heal you. It just looked that slow.

So of course, everyone will now have 75/75/75 stats. So much for variety or differentiation between play styles.

I guess I blinked when Siege Perilous was turned into Radical Test Center. What guarantee do we have that the dev team won't get a hair up their ass and suddenly, say, require players to have 80 parrying to hold a shield. Or 50 alchemy to drink a potion. Or 50 camping to log out. Woe betide you who may actually have made a character before then.

The week after Siege was announced, everyone I knew was pumped about this new shard, including me. Now it's just another example of OSI nose diving a perfectly good thing into the ground. I might make a character just to see exactly how impossible it is to be a miner, or a warrior, or whatever.

But I'm just stunned at how bright and shiny the dev team's ivory tower is. They must have someone polishing it on a regular basis. Too bad they don't listen to people who actually play the game, who might let them know what the word "tedium" means.

And of course, EQ has its own problems. Verant is busily nuking any part of the player economy that ever arises... anything that can possibly make a profit is hosed. They destroyed brewing, they destroyed pottery, smithing has always been worthless, there is just no motivation to do anything other than camp Cazic Thule or go hit up your buddies on the dev team to twink your character on Test Server. Woo. Fun.

Fun. Good word. You know, games used to be fun. I think.

All original copyright © 1999 Lum the Mad, LLC. Investors are invited to watch for our IPO. Trademarked content on this site owned by its original trademark owners. Stuff I made up still is mine. What's yours is mine. What's mine is mine. In 1999. Hunh. WAR! What is it good for? Absolutely NUTHIN. (Say it again!)