"And finally, the UO fanboy speaks..." -- some Mushroomie

Sites that don't suck as badly as this one include...

EQ Stratics
The Magnus Files

Dr. Twister's
Mu's UO Rants
UO Stratics


Here's a love note someone sent to Dr. Twister and cc'd to... well, to everyone, apparently. Since I'm just a gossip whore, and so are you if you're reading this page, here it is. I might actually comment further in the morning once I wake up (you know, getting your shaman to level 14 in EQ is, like, hard work and stuff)

Subject: A true hypocrite

Hello Dr. Twister, OSI people, and all of the UO players out there. I apologize for the mass mail - just wanted to get this to all OSI I could think of and all important UO sites. This letter is written to Twister, but sent to everyone because this is getting out of hand.


I am an avid player of UO and visit your website often. However I enjoy your website not for the content of UO material you bring, but to watch your own hypocrticial styles clash in an attempt to try to bring "news" to the UO public.

You won't print this on your site and probably won't even respond to it, because it will discredit you faster than you have tried to discredit Origin Systems, the designers, the programmers, the Game Masters, and the very game which you have been enraptured by. I only hope you have the balls to not only go on reading this but to respond to ALL of us, because you have trapped yourself this time for good. Due to this I have added several people on OSI and within the community to read and pass this along because the hypocrisy ends now.

Only a couple of weeks ago, you glamorized a specific GM for being courteous and helpful to a player named Vader. That was pretty cool and different for a change, and good to see because all of the GM experiences I have had were helpful and found a resolution to the problem at hand. I wish more people would come to their defense, because anyone that has ever had to work in customer service knows how hard it is to deal with the public.

In any case this Vader guy now says that since he has a problem with the game, that not only was the GM on duty that night (Darwin) useless for not finding out the problem, but the GM that you mailed (Llano) in searching for answers is unhelpful as well, despite his very specific detail in what actually happened with the problem.

This leads me to one of two conclusions: 1) you are not nearly as smart as you think because you eat the crap that Vader sends you or 2) you are Vader on Baja (and hence still not as smart as you like to to think). I am inclined to think #2, as you are rarely as passionate and adamant about a subject's views. Your hints in the "mails" that Vader sends are about as subtle as a jackhammer.

I am not writing about the issue that happened in the game - Lord knows there are still numerous bugs in it. However you refuse to accept the the service provided by OSI, which is where I have a problem. OSI's customer service got to the problem, saw there was nothing wrong, told you that it was a result of the game's designed systems, received your ranting and condescending mail, replied, offered different ways this could have happened, told you that this would be reported, and then apologized for not being able to interfere and take off a murder count (note: you vehemently have wanted GMs to remain out of the game and never interfere). In addition, if you know anything about or any other software product on the market, when bugs like this are reported, they are isolated, tested, re-tested, tried to be replicated, and then fixed if found. I would bet that this happened (ever heard of a patch to fix something?)

Gee that's pretty shitty and unacceptable service for something that never happened.

When all this is said and done, they probably will spend about five or six total man-hours working on a bug that you reported that really wasn't ever a bug at all. Damn, you yourself question and wonder why it is that no events are run or things gets don't get fixed at OSI - look in the mirror, jerky. Its got a lot to do with stupid asses like you bitch about things in the game that you don't understand, question how it was ever done, rip support for not giving you what you want, and thusly end up hogging up more OSI resources than a Microsoft product.

Let's do some simple scary math. One Twister/Vader on each shard. One Twister-size incident each week. Five man-hours per Twister incident. Fourteen shards. Five x 14 = seventy man hours spent on issues that really aren't even issues at all by the OSI staff. That's almost two full-time employees' full work week dedicated to making sure that he is happy. I don't know about you, but I'd rather let the people over there work on events, quest engines, fixes, and new features.

You think you are helping UO, Twister? Think again. They should ban you just on the principal that you are costing them way more money than what you are paying.

I highly, highly suggest that you really look at what it is you are doing. You have a lot less vision than you would like to think, and are so narrow-minded that anything besides what you "see" you simply refuse to believe. I would think that the very fact that 99% of us in UO have had fantastic UO and UO support experiences should make you think otherwise, but then again maybe we all need to think about who we are talking to.

Let me recap it all if you couldn't comprehend what I have said...

1) You have stated that you never want GMs to interfere with the game. Yet despite a result of a game that was proven to happen for reasons other than what you think, you want them to hop in and give you anything you want. *hypocritical*

2) GM Llano provides quality support and is your GM of the Year!! Two weeks later on finding out that your character has no problems at all, he is an ineffective employee in customer support for quickly and efficiently resolving the issue. *blind by your own wants*

3) GM Darwin has previously provided good support, which you have posted before. Now Darwin is a real loser for going to a situation, seeing that he couldn't get involved with it, and telling you directly that this is a result of a game function. *ignorant*

4) You state that Llano is Iron Will. Um who cares both of them kick ass for me (all of them kick ass actually) and both have helped me and others. I don't know if he is or not (and could care less), but let's see how everyone likes it when they know YOUR alter ego Twister/Vader on Baja. *plain stupid*

5) Your stance on PvP - while you would hate for PvPers to be eliminated and don't want them to be ruined, you couldn't stand the fact that you ruined someone else's day by MURDERING them, and that they subsequently reported you for a legitimate murder. *the pot calls the kettle black*

For the GMs, designers, OSI people, and guys in the UO community that have made it this far down, know now that your game not only kicks ass, but allows for all players to play as they want. You have given me and my family (yup thats right - three accounts here :)) more hours of fun than we could ever get out of $30 spent anywhere else. We like it, our friends like it, and everyone we run into likes it.

For Twisty/Vader - sorry dude, you have lost it. OSI isn't perfect, but who is in your mind - Bill Clinton? You hold them to a higher standard only because you are so embroiled in what goes on, you created a persona that only feeds your ego and blinds your vision. If I were you I would seriously re-evaluate what it is you are doing in game and out of game. Personally, I'd like you to go to Everquest just so you can let the rest of us have support when we actually NEED it.

Thank you OSI for all that you do for us - MOST of us appreicate it. For all of you out there that are touched by the game, let OSI know about it thru mail, phone, chats, and posting. I am tired of seeing lamers make noise when 99% of us are having a grand old time.

A grand old thanks to those that work on the game and the players that make the game,


Get Free Email and Do More On The Web. Visit https://www.msn.com


Of course, the only one you personally are interested in is the last, so I reprinted the two sparkling missives here. (Yes, I really do get paid for my l3Et JoURnaLISm Sk11lZ in the real world on occasion.)


In the wonderful world of EQ, on my own widdle server Veeshan, there was a GM-run event where a really large guild slew a dragon, which is actually a big deal, unlike in UO where dragons are often victims of drive-by energy vortexes. The odd thing about this was that one of the brave dragonslayers was a certain 50th level ranger named Aradune. You might know him out of game as Brian "When do I get the damn 50th level Shadowknight" Hook's new boss, Brad McQuaid. A few people had problems with the game's producer joining up with the guild FoH and swatting the most powerful mob in the game (kind of like Designer Dragon joining SiN and r0xxing Kazola's). His response, on the only message board Verant deigns to acknowledge);

I did not cheat and I used a level 50 ranger who was equipped with decent OBTAINABLE level 50 items. I know for a fact that I made no statistical difference in terms of the outcome of the battle -- I simply don't deal out enough damage as one player.

And I RP'd the event as well -- it was Karana's will that Vox be slain (although I honestly thought we'd die -- we'll see if Vox is so easily ambushed in the future :)

So, anyway, EverQuest is a game where staff will take part in events. They are monitored, and their activity, the rewards they give out, etc. are approved by me or someone close to me.

As for FoH or any guild being GM twinked or given special favors... we don't tolerate that. People can indeed be fired for that. And as for them abusing... let me just say that FoH has been and probably will continue to be one of the most watched groups of players in the game. I feel bad for them in a sense, because there is almost always a GM watching them, visible or invisible, noting their progress and tactics. But it simply makes sense because they are high level and encountering aspects of the game first.

If there are (and there will be) special events in the future, either Verant planned or player created, we may involve ourselves. You'll have to trust us that we care enough about this game to be fair and to not use favortism.

Rumor has it that a certain GM named after the Norse god of tricksters was indeed fired for twinking players in UO. For those unfamiliar with the term, "twinking" is the practice of giving new characters a leg up, such as a 1st level fighter in EQ clanking around in rubicite plate. Of course, he was almost as unpopular as another certain GM named after the proponent of evolution, as a certain Doctor named after common natural disasters in Oklahoma can attest.

Messr. McQuaid hit precisely the point when he said "You'll have to trust us". Most players do NOT trust support staff, whether justified or not, in either UO or EQ. There has certainly been enough betrayal of trust in UO (where the GMs are currently busy on Dirty Word Patrol) and EQ will undoubtably be no different. Until we make contact with the Wise and Good Space Aliens From Vega and hire them in customer support positions, support staff will continue to be distressingly human.

Speaking of selling out the players' trust, we have big news here at LumCentral. Keep your eyes focused on this page. Don't blink. It can smell fear.


Again, words fail. (This won't make sense if you don't play EQ; if you do, you'll have to change your pants after reading.)


VoodooExtreme posted another article from Verant's most vocal new hire, Brian "MipMap Me Baby" Hook. In response to someone saying that EQ's world isn't interactive/persistent enough, he had this to say;

But in the end, I don't think Verant is trying to address the tired old MUDder like yourself. A game company can make their game arbitrarily appeal stronger to a hardcore audience and in turn limit their audience even more. I think EQ is introducing a lot of players that didn't play RPGs into the basic concepts, and in the future more players will be cognizant of the world of role playing and more advanced, refined RPG systems will make their way on line. EQ is not the end goal for RPGs, it's actually just the beginning of making an old genre (the RPG) come up to date with modern technology and appeal to a wide range of players that may not have even played pen and paper RPGs.

(Previous articles on EQ by the Man Who Would Be DD are here if you missed them.)


Good thing this is a picture, because words fail.


https://www.mpog.com/pvp/review.html - I must say, I have to go with the Art Director's recommendation on this one.




I know nothing about sports, and less about hockey, so when someone pointed out today's headline at https://www.espn.go.com, I kind of was slightly confused.


The accompanying picture is captioned

"Satan has to prove he can score in a big game."

You know, when the Lord of All That is Evil and Unholy has SOMETHING TO PROVE, I'm hiding under my desk.

(Ultima Online? What's that?)


When not chastizing fungus-related unfunny humor sites, Samwise has been working on his third job as Official Satirist of the New Millenium (Player vs. Player division.) He swears that this time, he will update 5 times a week, unless of course, he finds something else to do.

The National Game Review, Official Satirists of the New Millenium (Bizarre Sexual Pokemon References division) also unveiled THEIR new layout. In keeping it the same, familiar look and feel that you all love so well, they hope that the world is made a better place for you... AND your children.

06/12/99 1:30 PM WAR IS OVER, IF YOU WANT IT

While we all stare down OldManMurray "peacekeepers" at the Mushroom's airport, someone sent me this profile of our defeated nemesis, Kevin "Tovarisch" Murphy, from loonygames, a site almost as unfunny as the Mushroom but much more professionally written. And I bet they don't have a REAL JOURNALISM MAJOR running it, either!


Another anonymous informant from the deep, darkest bowels of the UO Support program writes:

Unfortunately, the log you paraphrased is very typical of #uo-council. Even if you take a basic, seemingly clear-cut question like "is use of legal", you'll get 30 minutes of debate where SRCs who have some sort of interest in the subject assure their underlings that it is legal while other SRCs assure *their* underlings that it isn't.

I remember a two-month period where people would debate whether or not EZMacros was bannable, and despite tempers flaring, no GM ever said anything one way or another. When they finally did, instead of saying "it's legal" or "it's bannable", they would quote sections of the user agreement which where either irrelevant to the subject or just plain unhelpful. When asked what their statements were supposed to mean, they never elaborated. In fact, when someone pointed out that Support's "moving target" approach to what is and isn't legal was irresponsible, the SRCs came in and silenced debate as only a group of volunteer "authority figures" can.


An informant (let's call him Deep Spleen) sent me a log from #uo-council (The Official Ultra Secret Counselor Chat Channel Where Mere Players Dare Not Go) where the counselors debated whether or not using last target in UOA was actually a bannable offense. To protect Mr. Spleen's identity (spleens have a lot of bile, y'know), here's a paraphrase of the log. Note that while wording and some order has been changed, the... atmosphere is exactly as written.

OK, is last target legal or not?
It's legal.

A GM said it was illegal.
Well, why would UOA get approved if last target wasn't legal?
It was approved... I think Tug limited the range last target works with it.
The dev team is putting last target into the client, aren't they?
But guys, a GM told a player it was still bannable.
Bah, it was on Dr. Twister's page, don't believe it.
The topic in channel last night was "LAST TARGET IS STILL ILLEGAL"
Well who set that topic?
I'm not sure.
We need to find a GM and get the word on this.
Well, if they approved UOA surely they would have noticed if last target was working.
The web site says last target is illegal. If it's legal now they should update the web site.
OK GUYS LISTEN UP - GM Aradune told me that using any feature of UOA is legal now; use of UOE and UOP is still a bannable offense
Damn it, I wish he'd just say "Last target is legal"
He did. He said any feature, that includes Last Target
I just want a GM to say UOA, last target, and legal in the same sentence.
How will people know if it's UOA or UOE? You know that's the next question.
We don't really know which they use, unless they use a UOE feature that we can witness.
Dr. Twister says that we can detect UOE use now.
Can we?
I don't know.
UOE is the same as UOA but it's free.
No, it does other things, too, like fastwalk.
So what's stopping people from using UOE? It's the same as UOA, except it's free.
UOA can't last target you from two screens away. I guess that's different.

Be afraid.

Be very afraid.

06/11/99 2:30 PM BAD PKERS! NO DOUGHNUT!

A couple of folks emailed me asking what I thought about Sir Adrick's statement on Dr. Twister's that pvpers were being specifically targeted for harassment bans.

As corporate policy? No, I don't think so... if OSI wanted to get rid of pvpers as a policy, it would be as simple as a pvp switch, or making everyone who turns red die horribly, or something similarly draconian.

However. This policy is being enforced by people. People as a general rule are imperfect, and the UO GMs are pretty good cases in point of this theory. Those GMs generally despise PKers, because most of the calls they recieve are from victims of PKers. Thus they are going to be particularly hardass towards persons who are active in PK guilds, write for PK/evil/bug pages (you think they don't monitor these web sites? Think again, bucko... it's part of their job; OSI hits this particular web page daily. You think the Mushroom War confused YOU?). While there is no written memo from Rich Vogel or Raph Koster saying "OK, we want you to ban 50 PKers a day until they get the message", there's no need for one. Contrary to popular belief, GMs do occasionally have minds, and those minds are minds of their own.

So what needs to be done about this? Well, a list of "what you can't say" won't work, since of course it is impossible to list all possible obscenities in every language (and if so, I can always make up new ones). Dr. Twister notes two things in an atypically rational rant below Adrick's; (1) UO is rated M for Mature, and the user agreement every user signs off on (without reading) states that a user is either over 18 or under the consent of a parent or guardian, and (2) the obscenity filter defaults to ON.

Both of these are good points, but ultimately faulty. The second relies on a piece of programming work that is even more faulty then most failed attempts at obscenity filters... hope you don't ever need to say the word "harassment" in game! The first, and more crucial, is that basically only adults should be playing Ultima Online, and adults can handle obscenity.

The issue isn't obscenity or maturity; the issue at hand is harassment, and how it is defined by those in the field tasked to eliminate it. Right now, harassment is defined very loosely; an active player that I know (and a roleplayer, not a PKer) was given a warning for saying the word "rape" in a sentence to a friend, in the middle of a forest. Someone overheard him and reported him.

One could argue, with some justification, that were the player red instead of blue, he would have been penaltyboxed or possibly even banned. That's still not the issue though... the issue is that the GM, when taking the report and examining the server logs that track everything we say or do in UO, didn't immediately bitchslap the twink making the report.

There is harassment in UO. A lot of it. And pvpers/pkers are guilty of a great deal of it. (Of course, if what PKers say/emote after a kill bothers you, by all means don't ever get on a Quake server - even the server messages are likely causes of banning in UO.) But harassment generally requires that someone be harassed.

Take the MDK saga for example. Here was a guild that made as its raison d'etre making a certain roleplayer miserable. They chased her, stalked her, said bad things to her, and they did some things in game as well. This is clearly harassment and they did, individually, deserve banning. (Collective banning is a whole other subject, but we've been there before. Check the old rants, I don't remember exactly where.) There was a victim in this case; someone was prevented from enjoying the game they paid for because a group of kiddies decided to be dicks.

Now, there is a difference between that and someone saying the word "rape" or "jap" or even *gasp* "fuck" to a friend. There is no victim here. Even if someone walks by and overhears, say, Lum saying to Tal, "Fuck this, I'm going shopping", they are not being harassed. If they are so overly sensitive that seeing the word "fuck" bothers them, they need to turn on their obscenity filter/log off/grow a clue. It is quite likely that if you walk past me in real life and I am talking to a friend, I may very well use language that you would disapprove of. I should change this behavior in UO? My conduct should be held to a higher standard in a game????

There are some grey areas here. If I made a point of going to East Brit bank and telling an accomplice about how I'm sick of all these nigger gangster PKs, my conduct would be unacceptable. I am, simply put, acting like an asshole in public. At some point, this makes the environment unacceptable and steps should be taken to throw me in jail like the punk bitch I am.

The problem here, and a problem that the GMs seem uniquely braindamaged in resolving, is that judgement calls are required. There is no set standard, no list that you can print out and tape next to your computer monitor, that says "This is not acceptable behavior." At some point you have to just use common sense and say "OK, that's over the line, yer outta here." Major league umpires in baseball. Hell, even minor league umpires do it on occasion. And an umpire is not a bad role model for GMs to follow. They may get dirt kicked on their shoes on occasion, but you know what? It's part of the job.


Nighthawk sends word that his banning was lifted/turned into a 72-hout penalty box. (Those 200 Russian soldiers camped out at OSI's headquarters in Austin "by mistake... we got lost" had nothing to do with it, although GM Ironwill was researching whether or not AK-74s and T-80s fell under the heading "third party utilities".)

In other news, as the Mushroom war winds down, peacekeeping troops from OldManMurray continue to disperse throughout the Mushroom, doling out peace, joy, and the GOOD drugs. Here's some dispatches from the MU Army, detailed with the occupation of the E3 coverage.

06/11/99 5:30 PM 6/10/99... A DATE.. WHICH WILL LIVE... IN INFAMY!

Go here. Go there NOW. Why are you still reading this? Go! Go! GO!


Got this interesting note on Japanese-American relations on Hokuto:

I've been playing on Hokuto for a long time now, since Day 1 the shard came up (early January I think). Since I'd say a good 1/2 of the population can not speak english it did make life rather complex. But hey, the free land, housing patch, low population, and lack of dupers made the move from Catskills to Hokuto a joyous one.

When the shard first came up, Americians were greatly feared. You walk into a dungeon and start speaking english and everyone runs. I had to paralyze a few people just to say hello, and they took that the wrong way... They starting trying to mana drain me and other crazy stuff, and they couldn't kill a newbie if they tried. The first month I literally ran into not one Jap PK. Not one.  

Eventually I got know a few of them and they were pretty cool. On japanese time, looting, kill stealing, and pking was almost non-existant. A few good months went by and then it happened...  the land filled up and no one could build anymore towers or large houses. Guilds were formed and players were powerful enough to begin pking. The change was almost overnight and it reverbirated though out the whole shard.  

The meek little Japs suddenly turned into Grandmaster Mage PKs with guilds of 20-30 players who attacked in organized groups. I can tell you for fact Hokuto has a higher GM Mage ratio than any other shard. Those Japs are methodical!  Americian PK developed too, but here usually miner killers or solo PvPers who had short lived careers. Look on the bounty board, why are 17 out of 20 pks Japs all with over 500 kills each? Players fueded over land rights and it quickly devoloped into an us vs them situaltion. The guild USA did not help either. It was a guild with over 200 Americians that killed solo Japanese players on sight all the time.  

The situations has now become common place. Though USA is now gone, Americians are ill trusted and some even get killed on sight for an US guild title. To make a long story short, here is what I hear all the time. "I won't cheat you, I'm Japanese" and Goddamnit, they are right. I can trust a Japanese guy to make fair trades or not loot my corpse when I die. I can let a group of several of them I barely know in my Tower and I ~know~ they will not take anything.  Try that on Pacific.


Nighthawk, Joy of Villany's webmaster, got banned last night for saying the unspeakable:

6/10/99 7:04:45 PM
Character: Nighthawk (6575800) World: Baja
This player was paged on for harassment. This player was caught saying:
(Wed Jun 09 15:22:48 PDT 1999)(Nighthawk) (492052) (6575800): i love bashing jap healers
This player was penalty-boxed pending further action.

He was then booted, and his pre-housing patch tower decayed within the hour. More on this story from the Ministry of Battle's news page and from Nighthawk's own site.

This brings up issues, as BitchX might say, if she ever updated any more.

We can safely say now, beyond any reasonable doubt, that the GMs are on a quest to make the People's Republic of Everquest look like a flaming liberal bastion of free speech. I can understand their side of it; there basically has been no enforced code of conduct within UO for what, years now, and the dev team finally gave the support team the tools to do the job, aka the server-side journal entries such as the one referenced above. I guess this devolves into "be careful what you ask for"; we've all bitched about foul-mouthed juvies running amuck in Brit, and corporations are notorious for not having much toleration for grey areas.

There is also some hostility between Japanese and American players. I haven't seen much of it before because I rarely played on West Coast shards in UO. On EQ, where all the "shards" are located in San Diego, there's much more of a Japanese presence. Americans dislike Japanese players because they can't be bothered to speak in English and often, they feel, use their preventative cocoon of language to killsteal and do other antisocial things within game. (Plus it's difficult to group with someone who speaks in mostly consonants.) I can't really comment on how Japanese players feel, since I speak about 5 words of Japanese. (If any Japanese players are reading this and care to comment, I'll post it as a followup.) UO GMs have remarked in the past that Japanese shards are completely a different animal from a support standpoint; while calls on Western shards are usually of the he-said-she-said personal interaction problem variety, calls on Japanese shards are 99% "GM I AM STUCK". They don't HAVE personal interaction problems; they are capable of behaving themselves in a group environment. Or they are capable of self-policing. Or whatever.

This whole discussion dances nicely around the whole racism thing; I'm sure there are Japanese assholes and American saints. But AS A GROUP Americans are poorly organized racist foul-mouthed retards and Japanese are highly organized, insular, kill-stealing commando teams. And I find the whole phenomenon interesting. I would love to group with Japanese players in EQ, but my language skills aren't up to the task. But the whole experience of walking up to a group of elves and hearing them talk amongst themselves in what could be Elvish for all I would know the difference is one of those future-shock moments; the world really is at our doorstep now.

Speaking of clueless gaijins, Dr. Twister posted a rant about how the dev team isn't working on anything in UO. About 3 or 4 hours after the dev team, um, posted on what they were working on. Now, I personally think that the dev team has a few more priority items to complete before encapsulating the UOA feature set in UO, but hey, that's just me; however, there actually IS a dev team, and they aren't the UO2 dev team. I know, I talked to someone on the UO2 dev team over a year ago, they are definitely a seperate group and it's going to be a very different game. So cut DD some slack. They're trying. Of course, when they give us what they ask for, it usually ends up with popular webmasters being banned for saying dirty words, but that is, as always, the price of progress.

Still, watching Twister work himself up into a lather is always fun. We need more pointless and clueless people on the web, so I can better blend in.

All material © 1999 Lum the Mad. Even the parts owned by Sony, Verant, OSI, and North Korea. ESPECIALLY those parts. If you re-use my content without my consent, I'll get my lawyer, Kevin Murphy, Journalist At Large, to get medieval on your ass.