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Custom and Not AOS

From Sanctuary Shard

Our shards have always been custom shards. One of the things that my husband, Mithril, and I love to do is design new game systems. Consequently, you should be prepared for any and all of the functionality to be changed at any point. We change things for all the normal reasons; balanced, fairness, equitability, and gameplay. We also change things because we want to do something new or interesting. Here are some common guidelines we follow for design:

  1. Combat skills should be for combat, craft skills should be for crafting. Any cross over of this, such as magery bonuses from inscription or ax damage bonuses from lumberjacking will be removed.
  2. Equality in builds: We don't like "weird exceptions" that force a player to make a min/max build over a role-playing build simply to be equitable. That's not to say every weird build a role-player comes up with will be effective, but rather that the lumberjack/ax build is not equitable as it penalizes any character who chooses a sword over an ax and lumberjacking.
  3. Quality of Life: Our shard community likes a difficult and rewarding game but there are a number of annoying designs in the UO code that need to be hunted down and murdered. We'll get to them, but other things are a priority.
  4. Doesn't fit our fiction: Like most games, UO was written to fit it's fiction. We will change or remove things that don't apply to our fiction, like the UO virtue system and the elven and gargoyle races.
  5. Anti Min/Max and Twitch Gaming: As a rule, we like games that provide fair choices, builds that are easy to setup, and combat that does not require extreme feats of dexterity. Too many options in combat is not necessarily a good thing and rewards the quick-fingered.
  6. Streamlined functionality: UO is an old game, and it has a lot of systems and ability, many of which break all rules of good design and are effectively little more than skill, ability, and spell bloat. AOS itself was the beginning of this downward trend.

Consequently, we have AOS (Age of Shadow) changes DISABLED on Sanctuary. We are not using any of the elemental resists or elemental damage options now standard in Ultima Online. Instead, we are using a blend of new stuff with the elemental aspects turned off, as well as a return to the old magic item options for power, destruction, etc. We understand that some of the screens (gumps) still show elemental resists, but they SHOULD NOT affect game play. (If they do please report it.).

This means that many of the skills in-game are not exactly like standard UO; so when reading UO Stratics or UO Guide, please keep this in mind. We are working on rewriting many of the systems heavily influanced by AOS.

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