While checking my cool and horribly official LumTracker to see if anyone was linking to my page, I found this still probably under construction page, with a tale of the tail… apparently there is now a market for sex in UO. I’m torn whether to petition Designer Dragon to implement “very special emote macros” (not unattended, mind you) or just aim an EMP bomb at every single facility hosting a UO shard. But I don’t know, there’s something about that pixilated leather outfit that just draws me in… I don’t know, maybe she appreciates a good writer… maybe if I emoted more in game… maybe if I made her the site’s official mascot… do they have whips in game yet?

Excuse me, I need to wash my hands with disinfectant now.

Lick my boots, worm.
Sorsha the Amazing UO Cyberwhore, when asked for comment, spat at me and demanded more nightshade, “the good stuff this time, not that wack Vesper shit”


(AP) From the helpful diatribes of the Utopian Anarchist Party, the only political movement actually trying to take credit for the Littleton massacre, comes this trenchant analysis of current trends in gaming…

The gaming issue that really bothers us right now is the delay of Birth of the Federation! Where is our Master of Orion II sequel motherfuckers? Some of us here used to fight with our girlfriends over whether to play MOOII or fuck them, and now you keep pushing the sequal back, so we’re stuck with these empty brained, big-breasted bitches! Oh wait, maybe that’s not a bad thing …

Lum the Mad, when asked for comment, snorted and replied “Only virgins talk like that.”


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.

UOADHOC? [Author: lum]

Reading the latest from your friend in space, “Dr.” TwisTer, set me to thimkin’…

I would love to have a chat with 3 dev team members, 3 roleplayers, 3 bug users, 3 Pks, 3 neutral players, and 3 merchants. The openess of the chat that I was in last night shows that the players really can communicate their ideas, feelings and respond to other players questions honestly and without criticism.

You know, I think we can do this. The dev team may be a problem since most of them tend to be shy, cautious creatures who retreat back in their holes when they see their own shadows, but I think we can probably come up with a “summit meeting” of everyone else.

Plus, it’s confirmed that yer Lumminess WILL be going to Austin next month to call out His Royal Frilliness, so it would be a good time to compare notes.

So if you’d be interested in an adHoC chat, post a good time on the message board. I have my own IRC server, so we don’t have to find a dark corner of Undernet or something.

(Oh, and a couple of dev team folks DO read this site occasionally, so we may get some adult supervision.)

More updates later, running late today.



Here is, from an MDK member, the text from their OSI email on why they were banned.

At this time your account with Origin Systems has been permanently closed due to a violation of the Terms Of Service or the Rules and Regulations. Although we regret the closure of any account, we feel that the termination of your account is in the best interest of the service as a whole. Your account was closed for the following:

You are a member of the MDK guild. This guild has a web page up which condones hate crimes and the “virtual rape” of players. In game, this guild is known for harassing other players. This is a gross violation of the terms of service agreement, as well as a personal attack on other players. We consider this guild to be nothing more than a group who approves of hate crimes. Your account is closed and will not be reopened.

So be careful what guild you join, and make sure each and every member is politically correct. And above all — don’t approve of hate crimes. Badthink! Badthink! Rectify!

JOHN, I’M ONLY SINGING… [Author: lum]

The release version of Lum the Mad 2.0 (localized for Sonoma) will have to wait, looks like.

While we were all busy macroing in an unattended fashion last night, our guild leader had a trapped chest blow him up (for over 94 points of damage) while going through our stocks of supplies. In addition to a vanq weapon and 5 force weapons and all sorts of other crap, he also lost his copy of a tower key that was on loan to him prior to purchase, which trapped his now decaying corpse in the tower, and since the person he got it from actually has a real life instead of staying in IRC as their entire worthless existence, basically our guild is homeless for two weeks.

But that’s not the problem. Oh, no.

Being a trusting soul, he assumed that a quick yell at the Powers That Be And Were On Duty would solve the problem. I mean, it is sort of why they fucking get a paycheck.

(OK, I’ll wait while you all finish laughing hysterically.)

Fifteen minutes later…

“Can you help me? *explains situation*”

“I’m not sure I can help you if your body decayed.”

“No, you don’t understand, my BODY has decayed. My bones are still there. But they’ll decay very soon. Please help me NOW.”

Twenty three minutes pass. (He counted.)

“OK, I’ll go and check.”

But that’s not the best part. Oh, no.

While at least 5 people were begging this GM to actually do their job (including my friend/guildmaster, who happens to also be in OSI support and thus Has Access To The Seekrit Channels), this GM was busy.

Singing. In the IRC channel.

Well, the tower we were responsible for will probably decay now, and our guildmaster is pretty much set to quit UO. But I’m told they were very nice songs.

Anyway, I’m sure we’ll be up to speed on Sonoma eventually. In the meantime, will someone explain to me just what GMs do for a living? If it’s singing, I have some requests…


Well, if we’re going to keep macroing like the useless puds that we are, the dev team will fight back like the useless puds that they are.

According to update.owo.com, line of sight checks are in the works for fishing (quit fishing under those boats), provocation (you can delete your bard character now) and… drumroll… MINING.

I predict a boom in housing sales.

(Of course, this assumes they will actually code this correctly and not just totally disable mining or force you to mine while on a boat in the deep ocean or something.)


“Designer” Dragon (you may have heard of him, he works at some hi-tech company in Austin and hangs out with “Dr.” Twister on Dollar Draft nights at Hooters) writes:

If everyone stops macroing, then the advancement rates of skills will rise. Less macroing actually will mean less NEED to macro. Because of how the advancement table works, the reason certain skills advance so slowly is precisely BECAUSE they have been macroed.

Just more fuel for the fire. 🙂

Well, DUH.

As I think I’ve made clear over and again, this relates to PvP mostly because that’s mostly how I play. My wife is almost exclusively PvM (and actually lately more PvFish) and she macros almost as much as I do, though. And she is a HARDCORE roleplayer. So although this isn’t a PK or an anti-roleplayer thing, the following comes from my experiences tearing up my fellow man.

PvP is a test of skill. Given everything else being equal, the guild with more skillful PLAYERS will defeat their opposition. This is as it should be.

However, if that guild ties both hands behind their back and hobbles into battle armed only with a butcher knife and wearing a jester’s cap for armor, they will likely lose no matter how bad-assed their players may be. The stats of the player’s characters do come into play.

So, why would ANY reasonably adept PvP combatant choose to handicap themselves against their opponents?

There already are ethical choices in PvP. I don’t use UOE. I think UOE users are slime-infested pusbags and I take great joy in watching my deadly poison cause the screen to fill up with autocasted failed Kal Ort Pors. But UOE gives its users an advantage. UOA users have to hit their Disarm macro button, slam Alt-H to fire off a Greater Heal, and hit Home to target self. Non-enhanced users have to manually drag their weapons off of their paperdoll into their backpack, slam Alt-H to fire off a greater heal, and mouse over to their onscreen representation and click on it. UOE users have to hit Heal Self. Guess who’s going to heal first.

So it’s a fine line that you walk. Personally, my stance is that UOA is not a “cheat utility” like UOE is, but an improvement to UO (which the dev team has stated will eventually be worked into the actual client). And just because OSI decided to waffle about whether or not to grant UOA “legit” status for six months before finally giving it the thumbs down is irrelevant to me. It’s like Microsoft telling me I can’t use Borland Delphi to program Windows apps, but I have to use Microsoft Visual Basic. I suppose legally they could because Microsoft owns the rights to Windows, but that doesn’t mean I will use an inferior tool because Microsoft tells me to. (And all you C geeks just shut your damn mouth. I like pretty guis.)

But, you might say, what’s the difference between hitting one key in UOE and three keys in UOA? It’s still an advantage other players don’t have.

Sure. But let’s look at the facts. People who do pvp either use UOE, UOA, or are so skilled with the client from repetitive practice they find neither necessary. I’m not. I’m a klutz. I drop things on a regular basis. If you expect me to fumble with my mouse for five minutes every time I have to heal myself, I’m going to take a lot of dirt naps.

So do I want to handicap myself? No. Is it unethical not to handicap myself? In my view, my line is drawn in the correct spot. Your line may differ.

So what does all this have to do about macroing? It’s the same drawing of the lines. Where does your ethics draw your line. For me, I’m not going to unilaterally disarm. Why would any sane person involved in pvp NOT macro? “Well, if I can get my anatomy up to 100, I get a 10% bonus on my damage dealt. Everyone I fight, pretty much, in hand to hand is going to have that same bonus. But I don’t want to macro unattended, because it would be wrong, it’s an exploit, and OSI said not to do it. And raising Anatomy by hand will take six months and drive me completely insane in the process. So I guess I’ll just do less damage.” Do YOU know anyone who would say that? I don’t.

Then there’s the bandwidth issue. I know all about bandwidth, I used to work for an ISP back before I grew a clue. You’ve got thousands of people wasting 2K of bandwidth a pop connected to the OSI servers and they’re not even really there.

Well, “Designer” Dragon, that is YOUR fault, bud. You designed the game that way.

You implemented a skill tree with logarithmic progression that cripples itself as more people use each skill. Was the goal to just make less Grandmasters? Um, welcome to human nature. Everyone wants to be a Grandmaster. Everyone wants to win. Especially pvp’ers, who are actually playing to win as opposed to roleplayers who generally are in a “play” environment as opposed to a “contest” environment. (Not knocking roleplayers, mind you, I’ve been intimately involved with several such groups. Both styles of play are equally valid.)

And, from your own rules of online game design,

“Macroing, botting, and automation — no matter what you do, someone is going to automate the process of playing your world”.

So what do you do about it, smack everyone upside the head who dares to follow the dictate of human nature? Depend on your fallible and underpaid GMs and even more fallible and UNpaid counselors to police them? Another of your rules states;

“The in-game admin faces a bizarre problem. He is exercising power that the ordinary virtual citizen cannot. And he is looked to in many ways to provide a certain atmosphere and level of civility in the environment. Yet the fact remains that no matter how scrupulously honest he is, no matter how just he shows himself to be, no matter how committed to the welfare of the virtual space he may prove himself, people will hate his guts. They will mistrust him precisely because he has power, and they can never know him. There will be false accusations galore, many insinuations of nefarious motives, and former friends will turn against him. It may be that the old saying about power and absolute power is just too ingrained in the psyche of most people; whatever the reasons, there has never been an online game whose admins could say with a straight face that all their players really trusted them.”

I’d add a new rule. Call it “Lum’s Laws of Human Frailty”;

Given enough motive, any game admin can be corrupted.
Once corrupt administration is discovered, any online game will be swiftly deserted.

We all know, all have personal experience with GM favoritism and selective enforcement of ingame rules of conduct. I won’t even bother to recite the whole sad litany. I only wonder when we’ll pop open CNet, Gamespot, or CNN and read about the GM who was slipped $5,000 under the table to create an Ubercharacter that would be sold by a third party on eBay. $5,000 to a kid just out of/still in college is a lot of money. And I just see the current “Well, we’ll ban you for macroing, but only if we feel like it” as just another incredible enabler for ingame administrative corruption.

What do I think should be done? Find some way to autoboot anyone using UOE/UOA/UOWazoo. Wipe the shards. Start clean. If you want to reset the skill curve, that’s great. But don’t punish those who follow simply because they showed up too late to get away with it.