From UO Excelsior Wiki - Ultima Online Free Shard
This is a page dedicated to collecting all of the questions I receive about Elysium into one place for simplicity. - +Nyx
What is Elysium?
Q: What is Elysium? I've never heard of it!
Q: What's the hold up?
A: Mainly I am waiting on things to be scripted/added before I can do the bulk of the development. In the mean time, I frequently work on Elsyium in smaller ways - building things, decorating, outlining quests in my database, preparing spreadsheets for +C that go over the details for each large scripting project. The amount of work is insane, exponentially more than I expected when I was originally granted a facet.
Q: Why hasn't +C just busted it all out yet?
A: I suspect it's largely a motivation matter. While the facets will of course be very good for the shard, and all of the staff are aware of that, it doesn't make it much easier to get motivated. Many of the things I need scripted aren't just a quick thing, they're entirely new systems or big updates/remakes of currently existing systems within the game. Each of those larger projects takes dozens of hours, if not a hundred or more of +C's time. +C also has the portal upgrade, which is his personal pet project (like Elysium is mine), so it's harder to get excited about working on something for someone else's project when your own project is there, calling to you. I can say that in the past several months there has been much more progress in completing the scripting list for the facets, and +C has been working hard to maintain a balance between working on his projects and scripting for ours.
Q: Why not do one facet at a time?
A: The simple answer is because Touria is not my project, and Elysium is not +V's project. +V had a long-running storyline that was written to include numerous events in the past 7 years, flow into the opening of Touria and throughout his facet. It is all one wide-spread storyline that I not only didn't have any part in writing, but don't fully understand his vision for it. When someone has a very specific vision, formed and refined over the course of years, it just isn't feasible to then bring in someone else and have them work on it for them. My vision for Elysium began much later than +V's for Touria, but once I was granted a facet, and over the years since then, I've formed a very solid idea of what it is, where it's going, and what it's about. While +V and I discuss all aspects of our facets frequently, it not the same as being the one having the vision. We each grasp the 'big picture' of what one another are doing with our facets, but I couldn't step in and do Touria in any way that would be close to what he will do with it. Beyond that, there's also just basic personality/skill stuff. I am great at deco, and I think that most of the players could recognize a space decorated by me easily, whereas +V's style is very different. I could try to help him get Touria going by deco'ing some of his spaces, but they wouldn't look the same way he'd envisioned in his mind. It's just easier, in the end, for us to do it ourselves.
Now, that doesn't mean that we don't help one another and that the facets are a territorial matter for us. +V helps me with designing monsters, I give +V ideas for graphics to use for quest rewards, and so on. Our rl partnership helps a lot in these cases, so there's a lot of reciprocity with assisting one another with our facets. But it's just not feasible for us both to concentrate on a single facet in order to get that opened faster, when we each have such specific and strong visions for it. Nor do we want to put that pressure on +C to only work on Touria stuff, or only work on Elysium stuff. He's already constrained by needing to work on scripts for the facets in addition to his numerous and burdensome responsibilities with the shard, and his portal project. When he's ready to work on scripting, I believe strongly it's best for him to work on what interests him at that time regardless of which facet it's for. In the end, that makes things go faster (as it doesn't drain +C's morale as quickly!).
Q: Why not open Elysium in pieces?
A: Because that's not how I designed it, basically. The nature of this facet will be such that opening it in pieces would be like giving you a book to take a test on, but ripping out 75% of the pages. All of the regions in Elysium will have a sorta symbiotic relationship with the other regions, they will rely on and reference one another so much that they can't stand alone.
Q: How much is left to do?
A: My heavens, a ton. But, there's also been a ton of progress. We've been beta testing things as they are added - currently the new plant system is in beta and nearly ready to be considered finished. Next is the Plant BOD system which will run a beta for a few months. Once the major systems are updated and the bulk of the miscellaneous scripts are done, then I can begin development in a more hands-on way, begin making the NPCs and such. That will likely take several months, depending on my rl work schedule. I'll also want to do beta testing for the facet as a whole, but that may be done region by region as I complete them.
Q: Is a realistic timeframe for opening like 3-5 years? And is there anything the players can do to help?
A: 3-5 years from now? God, no. No. Nononono. +C had tentatively given a March completion for the facets coding, but that won't be met, so I tentatively hope he can finish the list (which we haven't been adding to for a year now, by the way, the list doesn't grow hehe) before summer. Then I'd be able to spend the summer months developing and beta testing, and open after that. It's really hard for me to give an estimate, since at this juncture it is entirely dependent on when +C gets things done. As for player participation, the only real way to help would be if there were less shard issues for +c to deal with when he's on - that's pretty unlikely to happen, I think. ;) We did have a player-scripting group going for a brief while but +C took that over and I don't think much has happened with it since then. It was unlikely to be successful from the beginning because +C finds it easier just to do stuff, rather than babysit others' and then have to check every line of their code and test their scripts himself.
Player Level & Access
Q: Who is Elysium for? What is the expected difficulty level? How many relayers will I need?
A: I'm grouping all of these questions together, since they're all basically the same thing.
Elysium is being designed as the facet for mid-range players. There will likely be a minimum account age to enter, so that there is a flow from the new player dungeon to Mistvale to Elysium. Relayers-wise, I am designing the facet to be at a difficulty level equal to about 3-6 relayers. A player with 0 relayers, but similar stats (full resists, over 200hp, etc etc) would be able to survive similarly. I only refer to it in terms of relayers because that is an easy reference point for all players, rather than trying to explain all resists and stats and so on.
Q: Any restrictions on weapons and/or gear in and out of Elysium?
A: Not at this time, and not unless I can figure out a good way to do it that won't immediately be exploited :P If I did figure out how to do it, it'd mainly be to gear-check that someone was at least able to survive in Elysium. I don't intend to implement many, if any, items that can't be taken out of Elysium. There will be certain items that only work inside Elysium - items which provide some added perk while you hunt there, but which don't provide any benefit in other areas. However, these items will still travel with you when you exit Elysium.
Q: How will players access Elysium? What are Elysium Tickets?
A: There will be a quest players will run in order to gain access to Elysium for the first time, and to obtain their faction-tracking book. This will also serve as the item that allows the player to re-enter Elysium after exiting.
In order to prevent the entry quest NPCs from being bogged down to the point of breaking on day 1, I am implementing a ticket system. The quest will be limited to players who have received an Elysium Quest Ticket from me, and it will go in groups. Players with a group 1 ticket will be able to access the quest on day 1. A few days later, players with group 2 tickets will also be able to run the quest. A few days after that, group 3 and so on until roughly group 10. After the final group, the quest will be permanently opened to everyone who meets the minimum age requirements to enter Elysium.
Q: How does one receive an Elysium Quest Ticket?
A: Elysium Quest Tickets are given only by me. Some have been or will be sold at grand auctions or raffled on the Trinsic raffle tables. Some will be given to winners of various events. In most cases, a player earns a ticket from me by being a helpful, pleasant, fun player to be around. Players who attend lots of events and who make an effort to have a good rapport with myself and the other staff members, who don't get into trouble or cause/participate in drama are likely to receive a ticket at some point. I tend to give them out in waves, giving out several in the space of a couple days and then not giving any out for several months after that. As we draw closer to Elysium's opening, I'll begin to give them out more frequently until all groups are filled.
Q: What happens if I lose my ticket?
A: If you lose your ticket, you will need to have it recovered via the item recovery process. If you choose to forego this option, then your ticket is permanently lost, and that ticket number will be redistributed to another player at a later time.
Q: Will there be anything targeted for vets?
A: No, there's not going to be any vet-specific content in Elysium. Why would there be? Vets are getting an entire facet of their own in Touria.
Q: Will veteran players be able to go into Elysium?
A. For the first several months after opening, I intend to implement a maximum account age in order to access the Elysium entry quest. The reason for this is twofold:
First, during the first few months after opening I will be keeping a very close eye on Elysium and making changes as problems are discovered. Because of this, I will need to hear input primarily from players for whom the facet was designed. It is not very productive to hear input regarding the difficulty of the facet from players whose gear is so far beyond the level that Elysium was designed for. Further, if there are many veteran players in Elysium blazing through everything 24/7, that means that there are fewer mid-range players who can be partaking of that content in order to provide feedback. If there are dozens of veteran players in there, a fair portion of them will also be helping the mid-range geared players (whether directly or indirectly) - meaning that the mid-range player's input regarding the overall difficulty and experience will be skewed by having had someone much stronger help them. Example: A mid-range player is attempting an Elysium dungeon for the first time. They enter the dungeon, and while they're killing the first few mobs, a veteran player enters and moves ahead of them, killing everything with ease as they go along. The mid-range player is able to essentially follow in the veteran player's wake, killing the mobs as they spawn rather than when they are all spawned, giving that mid-range player a very skewed idea of how difficult the dungeon is.
Secondly, in an effort to prevent some of our more mercenary-minded vets (those only interested in profits and ego, rather than enjoying the place for the fun of it) from going in immediately and locking down the market on all kinds of items, spawns, and rares.
Thus, I'm thinking that for the first few months after opening, I'll limit entry to a max account age.
Q: How will a veteran player gain early-veteran access to Elysium?
A. Vets wishing to participate in Elysium within the introductory period where they would otherwise be blocked out will be able to apply for early access. During the application process they will agree to certain terms in order to receive early veteran access to the facet. I'll essentially want their word that they will not use their access to lock down spawns, alienate younger players from locations, manipulate or control the market for new items, and so on. If any veteran makes this agreement and then violates it, they'll lose access to Elysium until it opens up for everyone. Again, this will be a temporary measure and only last a handful of months, after which the account-age maximum will be lifted and Elysium will be open to everyone.
Q: What will this temporary account age maximum be?
A. I haven't yet decided on the exact account age I'll cap it at during the introductory period, but likely a year or two.
Q: What are 'factions'? Will this be like old-school UO?
A: No, they won't be anything like the old-school UO factions. These will be much more like faction systems you find in WoW or EQ. Each region/area of Elysium will be the home of a particular faction. That particular faction may be warring with another faction, or allied with them. Doing quests for them will negatively affect your faction standing with anyone they are warring with, and positively affect your faction standing with any they are allied with. You will raise faction by doing quests, killing mobs, and in several other ways. Each faction will have their own set of rewards, special vendors that will sell items you can only obtain there, and other very neat stuff specific to each area.
Q: Are you eluding to factions with daily's and certain items that you can only acquire through factions?
A: Yep, there will be dailies (or, well, frequently repeatable quests), for earning faction and/or currency with that group. I don't intend to implement them the way they are in wow, where it's basically a requirement to grind the dailies to get anywhere. It'll be offered as an option for raising faction - for example if you already did all faction-A's non repeatable quests, then lost faction with them by doing quests for their enemy, and now want to get on good terms with faction-A again. I also intend to make them as dynamic as possible, so that from day to day the tasks you're asked to do will vary.
Q: What systems are you updating or adding?
A: I will be getting my grubby hands on many of the systems we already have in UO, and updating them for Elysium-specific functionality. After Elysium has been open awhile, some of these changes will then be expanded onto other facets.
For example, I am vastly updating cooking. I'll be adding nearly 200 new recipes, buff/stat food, pet-specific food, recipes that the player will customize as they create the item, and a lot of other SUPER cool stuff. I'll be adding a brewing system that will produce wines, liquors, and beers customized by the player during the process and created using items grown by the player. The plant system is getting a big revamp to include many new types of plants. Plant BODs will be a major addition that will let players grow plants to turn in BODs for amazing rewards - all of which are entirely brand new and customized for this system. I intend to give fishing some love as well, there will be fish specific to Elysium which will be used in quests, cooking, and so on. Taxidermy is another one that will be fun for Elysium- with the proper skills and tools, you'll be able to create trophies of almost all of the patch-graphic monsters used in Elysium. I'll be adding to the bio engineering system, allowing some patch-graphic Elysium monsters to be sampled from to create very neat new bio appearances. Treasure hunting will get an Elysium-specific set of maps and loot. Oh, and there will be new tamables, as well as new mounts and pets that buff their owner. :)
Q: Why will some items be non-relayerable or not samplable for a relayer?
A: We use these functions to control the market on specific items and graphics, and this practice will continue in Elysium. That said, I don't intend to use it heavily. For the most part, items you receive in quests will be able to be sampled for a relayer, and many (if not most) items will be relayerable.
Q: New clothes & weapons - what types/layers? How will they be acquired?
A: Rest easy, darlings, I plan to add literally hundreds of new graphics for clothing and weapons. I've already plugged them in to the various patches we've released and I intend to use them. Nearly everything you've seen in the masquerade dressing area, as well as quite a few you haven't ever seen at all, will be available all over the facet. I have new graphics available for every single layer, with emphasis on layers that were particularly lacking before (Robes, belts, and so on).
These items will be acquired in various usual ways - stealables, rare drops, quests, vendors, etc. The vast majority of them will be able to be used as a sample for a relayer or appearance change.
Q: Will Elysium have any housing available?
A: No. I may at some point make a few custom houses that would be sold in grand auctions or raffled, but there will not be any 'open' housing anywhere on the facet. Elysium is using a modified Ilshenar map, and Ilsh was never designed for housing so the terrain doesn't allow for it. Further, I just don't want houses and blank plots cluttering up my masterpiece ;)
Q: Will there be quests or some way to obtain new graphic Ethereal Mounts?
A: Ethy mounts, yes there will be some. I'll have them available in Elysium and probably give a couple to V for Touria, but exact methods haven't been determined yet. Probably one or two on faction vendors, and probably a couple for quests. I do plan to add one or two patch graphic mounts to the vet rewards system after Elysium and Touria are open and I know what's still available to use.
Q: Will there be pets/tamables available in Elysium?
A: Yes, there will be quite a few tamables available, as well as some purchaseable/quest reward pets.
Q: Will there be any pet breeding?
A: Yes, there will be pet breeding for Elysium-specific mobs, however this might not be fully implemented on day 1.
Q: Will Elysium pets only be able to be used in Elysium? Will non-Elysium pets and mounts be allowed in?
A: I don't intend to make Elysium pets only usable in Elysium. There may be some types of gear/pets/etc that we need to restrict that way, but I'd only do so if +C insists. Otherwise, I want the facet to fit in and flow with the older content as best possible. There will be some areas and encounters in Elysium where pets are disallowed, but I don't plan to disable them across the entire facet.
Q: Will it be possible to recall out of Elysium and to mark rune there?
A: You'll be able to recall out of most places but you won't be able to mark runes anywhere.
Q: Will most of the artifacts be account bound?
A: I don't think that most of the artifacts will be account bound, though some will be. Some will be 'bind on equip', and some will be just regular no-bind. A lot of that will depend on +C and how he feels about the artifacts I design.
Q: Will bags of sending work?
A: No. Bags of sending will not work for Elysium, however there will be a new style of BoS that players will be able to obtain, and it will work in Elysium only.
Q: Anyways for us to make some coin?
A: Monsters in Elysium will drop gold, though the numbers will not be very high - mobs that would normally drop a high amount of gold will instead drop gold and the Elysium currency, which will be harder to get. There may be a few mobs that will drop an impressive amount of gold, but in all likelihood these would be in areas that can't be farmed.
Q: Any plan to make Luck a feature?
Full Question: Since Elysium is targeting mid lvl+ players on the shard, there is any plan to make Luck a feature that will affect some aspects in this new facet/system (I.E : Tokuno) to turn this property a more desirable quality for the players?
A: Yes, I do intend to make luck a factor for some things in Elysium. I'd ideally like to make all rare drops factor luck into their drop chances but I'm not 100% sure if +C can make it work the way I'd need (based on things we can edit in game, rather than only serverside). If so, I'll use it all over the facet. If that turns out not to be possible, then I'll likely factor luck into some of the more significant rare drops across the facet, as well as for biomaking and so on.
Q: Will you be taking the opportunity to rearrange the dungeons?
Full Question: Will you be taking the opportunity to rearrange the dungeons? ie: What actual dungeon map a dungeon entrance leads too, or where in the dungeon it leads too?
A: Yes, I will. So, where you'd normally enter wisp dungeon isn't necessarily going to lead to the duplicate dungeon map of the Wisp dungeon in Elysium. It may port you to an entirely different dungeon, or a different part of that dungeon. I've also built 3 completely custom dungeons from scratch that will have entrances in various areas of Elysium.
Q: does this mean that in order to get to the new lands we will need to go through a secret tunnel/dungeon.
Full Question: does this mean that in order to get to the new lands we will need to go through a secret tunnel/dungeon. similar to the lost lands entrance from marble. or was that just a example and not entirely how the new lands will work at all.
A: Sorta, at first there will be only one way into Elysium, you'll do a long quest to get an access token, and then enter each time through a specific gate. Later, you'll earn good standing with various towns and unlock those locations. Once unlocked, you can then see them on world teleporters and port there for a fee. Or, you can continue to enter the facet via the method unlocked in the oringal entry quest (no fees).
Q: will the arties be more balanced in the new lands?
Full Question: today we have been debating BC vs other relayers will the arties be more balanced in the new lands or will this debate continue just in another form
A: Balance is a tricky thing for artifacts, particularly since folks here tend to decide what's best for them, then they go around shouting from the rooftops that their way is the best way. Folks less in-the-know, end up listening and getting the same, they tell their buddies about this Most Perfect of Ways, and then in a year or two you've got a shard full of cookiecutter copycats all fully believing that this is the only way to go, when it's not really any better or worse than other options. So, the idea is to provide a wide range of artifacts that will compete with or improve upon existing artifacts, but I can't say what'll happen from there. Likely one or two of these will be labeled the new Most Perfect of Ways, and we'll end up with the same problem of everyone jockeying for the same items. I do have some ideas on how to thwart this, but they're not perfect or complete, so I'll likely need to implement numerous things that'll help and encourage folks to do things differently rather than just copy some other dude.
For example, I'll have some artifacts with the same stats, same layer, but very different appearances (and different names, different methods of achieving them). Artifacts that are better than what's currently widely available would likely be things you'd have to get via non-repeatable quests, having high faction, and other methods that ensure the player earned this item for themselves and put work into it.
Q: Will there be new champion spawns in Elysium?]
A: Yes, definitely. There will be at least 2, but I am hoping to find room for 4-5.
Q: Will Dispel be useful?
A: It is mine and +V's intention to make dispel a useful trait in both of our facets, however we are still working out the best way to do so.
Q: Will Casters/Mages become viable?
A: Yes, it is mine and V's plan to make gear sets equivalent to or ideal for relayers that are casting-based. We will be doing lots of testing on how to make this the most viable and enjoyable, but so far we expect to have very high SDI and INT as the primary traits. The other mage-based stats would also get a boost.
Here I will link to some of the various previews and sneak peeks I've posted over time
New Clothing & Weapons
Dungeons & Structures
Horticulture BOD reward: Greenhouses
Mounts: New Mounts
Q: Beta testing: what's being done, what's upcoming, how to get in?
A: Beta testing will go in stages based on each system that gets updated, and then when the facet is nearing completion I will also hold beta testing for the quests/areas. Currently we are beta testing the new plant system, and soon will be beginning beta testing for Plant BODs. Anyone interested in beta testing will need to keep an eye out. I'll make announcements when I'm opening another beta and need applicants.