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The Virtue System
A Summary of The Virtue System, Designed by Jonathan "Calandryll" Hanna [Edited by Joshua Rowan]
As many longtime fans of Ultima will tell you, one of the most unique features of its gaming world is the fact that they center around philisophical morality issues. These issues, as designed by Richard "Lord British" Garriott, many years ago consist of three Principles - Truth, Love, and Courage. Derived from those Principles Lord British came up with 8 Virtues in which he wanted his players to learn and understand. From Truth we gain Honesty. Love leads to Compassion. And from Courage grows Valor. By combining Truth and Love we get a better understanding of Justice. Love and Courage combined is Sacrifice. Truth and Courage is Honor. All three principles together brings us Spirituality. And the lack of all three brings pride, the opposite of which is Humility. This philosophy has come to be known as the Codex of Ultimate Wisdom.

With this in mind, I present to you a brand new system for Ultima Online, The Virtue System. First, here is the design document from Calandryll, as was posted on the In Development section of UO.com on October 18, 2001.

- Joshua Rowan


COMMENTS FROM JONATHAN "CALANDRYLL" HANNA

The Virtues: Part Two

In my last comments from the team, I discussed what I felt the virtues should not be. This time, I'd like to start talking about what I think they should be and why. I've broken down the virtue system into three main goals and would like to expand upon each of these in this update. Note that not every virtue will achieve all three goals by itself...but the system as a whole should.

* Promote a more "Ultima" feeling in Ultima Online.
* Give veteran players new goals to achieve that have an impact and are fun.
* Reward positive behavior in the game.

Promote a more "Ultima" feeling in Ultima Online.
When Ultima Online first shipped back in September of 1997, the first thing that struck me was the fact that the virtues were conspicuously missing from the game. Sure, we had the shrines and later the "virtue guards", but in all, the virtues had very little, if any, meaning for the players. To me, this always felt like releasing a Star Trek game without any real concept of the Prime Directive. The virtues, more than anything else, formed the cornerstone of what made Ultima games so special. However, it is important to remember that Ultima Online is not a sequel or a continuation of the single player games. The virtues may not be represented exactly as they were in those games mostly due to the fact that they were single player games and we must design with the multi-player aspects of UO in mind. But, we will do our best to keep the spirit of the virtues intact when designing how each of them will work.

The virtues are meant to give a player a sense of purpose in the world of Britannia. They are not a way of judging right or wrong, or a system or morality. They are a personal choice that each player will be able to make. If designed correctly, the system will ensure that it is very difficult to follow the path of each virtue at the same time. However, players will be able to find the virtues that most fit their character and/or their play style, and use the system to further their game experience.

Give veteran players new goals.
The virtue system will be designed with veteran players in mind. Some of the virtues will involve existing systems, giving veterans a different incentive to participate in them, while other virtues will have brand new systems created. Each virtue will have its own path with different tasks, goals, and rewards. Veterans will also be able to display their virtue "status" through the use of a new interface that will show how far they have progressed through each virtue using the symbols and colors of the virtues. An example of a prototype of the gump can be found here.

Reward positive behavior in the game.
This is the one that, as a designer, I am actually the most excited about. A lot of MMORPGs (including UO) have tons of policies designed to punish grief-players for poor behavior...and rightfully so. Grief-play, harassment, exploiting, and other such disruptive behavior have no place in these games and do quite a bit of harm to the community. But, the idea of actually giving significant rewards to players for doing something good has been missing. The more a community works together, the more successful it will be. Designing systems that encourage players to work together (without forcing it) is one of the things the virtue system will hope to achieve.

Some other points.
Following my initial posts and discussions about a virtue system, I have read a great deal of written and thought provoking responses from players. I'd like to address some of them here as well.

What about an anti-virtue system?
There are no plans to create a system that rewards people for unvirtuous behavior. There are two major reasons for this. One, such a system would have to be able to track the intent of the evil act. Was the player killing the other player because he was role-playing an evil character or was he simply killing for the sake of the loot with no concept of role-playing? The same would hold true for looting and stealing. Determining the intent behind an evil action is far more important than the intent behind a good action. If someone is helpful to another player simply to gain the virtue points, that causes no harm to the game. In fact, it can help the game a great deal if the helped player benefits as well (which he should if the system is designed correctly), especially if the helper would not have otherwise done the beneficial act. But with an evil act, with the notable exception of role-playing evil in a plotline, the only person who really benefits is the evildoer. Why give incentives to them that are any greater than they already are? I'm not set-in-stone against an anti-virtue system; I just haven't heard any compelling reasons for why it should exist.

Isn't rewarding people for being virtuous wrong?
Not really. The notion that doing a virtuous act is a reward in and of itself and that rewarding the player further is a bad idea is very much a hardcore role-playing mentality. Allow me to sum up the virtue system with the following statement to demonstrate why I believe there has to be rewards for virtuous behavior..."The virtue system is a role-playing system that is not just for role-players".

I'll explain what I mean by that. The virtues, as they exist as an ideal, are mostly considered a role-playing aid. Many role-players use the virtues as a guideline for their role-playing. In fact, I am one of those players. But, when designing a system as broad and important as the virtue system, it is imperative that as many play-styles as possible are able to use the system. That's where the rewards come in. If someone helps another player solely because they know they will get a reward is that really a bad thing? Sure, we may question their motivation, but in the end, that player helped someone where before they may not have. The more players we have helping and working together with each other through the system, the better off our community will be.

I called the virtue system a "role-playing system that is not just for role-players" in my statement for a very important reason. A system that only caters to one group will never expand that group. I want to expand role-playing in UO. The best example I can use to illustrate what I mean is a debate. If you gather a group of friends who all feel the same way about an issue and go to a rally to speak to people who already feel the same way you do, you will not actually gain any new supporters. But, if you all go to a place where people have gathered who either do not agree with you or are not sure, you have a chance of turning more people to your side. That is what the virtue system is about. If we design it only for those players who would do the tasks because of their propensity to role-playing, we won't increase the number of people role-playing. But, if we design a system that has role-playing elements in it without requiring one to be a role-player to enjoy it, we create a broader use of the system and increase the chance of more people trying out role-play.

The first official designs for the virtues will be on the site soon. We plan on releasing the virtues about one or two at a time to make sure the system starts having an impact. This will still allow us to achieve efficient and adequate testing while releasing a meaningful and robust system. I look forward to hearing what you think of the systems for Humility and Sacrifice once they are on the site.

Jonathan "Calandryll" Hanna
Designer, Ongoing Content


THE VIRTUE SYSTEM

There is currently a philosophy within Ultima Online known as the Virtues. The Shrines are named after them, and players can read about the eight Virtues in certain books that are available within the game. But, beyond those small representations, the Virtues have never played a significant role in the world of Ultima Online. A system will be put into play which will reward characters who actively pursue the activities that represent each of the eight Virtues.

Listed below are the details relevant to pursuing the Virtues:

Shrine interface: Double-clicking any Shrine will display a special gump. This “Virtue gump” will include:

  • One button for each of the eight Virtues. Clicking on one of the Virtue buttons will display:
    • a message describing what is needed to gain in that Virtue
    • the benefits associated with that Virtue
  • A “status” button. Clicking the “status” button will describe to the player how close that character is toward achieving the next step of that Shrine’s related Virtue.
    • “You have not even started on the path of this Virtue.”
    • “You have barely begun your journey through the path of this Virtue.”
    • “You have progressed in this Virtue, but still have much to do.”
    • “Your journey through the path of this Virtue is going well.”
    • “You feel very close to achieving your next goal in this Virtue.”
    • “You have achieved a goal in this Virtue.”
Paperdoll interface: The paperdoll will be modified to allow players to display the steps achieved in each of the Virtues for their characters. Any player will be able to access the display on any character’s paperdoll by pressing a certain “Virtue button.”
  • The button used to access this display will be the mailbag icon currently in place on 2D paperdoll gumps.
  • A new Virtue symbol icon which will be added to the 3D paperdoll.
Double-clicking the “Virtue button” will present the player with a graphic display, indicating what steps they have attained in the Virtues. There will be eight sections, one for each Virtue, in the form of an engraved stone.
  • For characters who have not yet achieved the first step of a given Virtue, the respective engraving is empty. The engraved symbols for each of the Virtues are as follows:
    • Humility: a shepherd’s crook
    • Sacrifice: a teardrop
    • Honor: a chalice
    • Compassion: a heart
    • Valor: a sword
    • Honesty: a open-palmed hand
    • Spirituality: an ankh
    • Justice: a set of scales
  • When characters have achieved the first step on the path of a given Virtue, the engraved symbol for that Virtue will fill with the appropriate Virtue symbol, tinted light gray.
  • When characters have achieved the second step on the path of a given Virtue, the engraved symbol for that Virtue will fill with the appropriate Virtue symbol, colored a light tint of that Virtue’s respective color.
    • Humility: a tint of black (“medium grey”)
    • Sacrifice: a tint of orange (“light orange”)
    • Honor: a tint of purple (“light purple”)
    • Compassion: a tint of yellow (“pale yellow”)
    • Valor: a tint of red (“pinkish”)
    • Honesty: a tint of blue (“light blue”)
    • Spirituality: a tint of white (“pale grey”)
    • Justice: a tint of green (“light green”)
  • When characters have achieved the third step on the path of a given Virtue, the engraved symbol for that Virtue will fill with the appropriate Virtue symbol, colored in the respective color of that Virtue.
    • Humility: black (“dark grey”)
    • Sacrifice: orange
    • Honor: purple
    • Compassion: yellow
    • Valor: red
    • Honesty: blue
    • Spirituality: white
    • Justice: green
  • Progressing any number of steps in a Virtue will grant a character some special abilities. Players will be able to access these abilities by clicking the related Virtue symbol on their own Virtue gump. For example, clicking on the symbol for “Sacrifice” will activate the Virtuous ability for Sacrifice.
  • When a player moves his cursor over a given Virtue symbol, a title will be displayed under the respective symbol, indicating the step currently achieved for that Virtue by that character.
    • First step: Seeker of [name of that Virtue]
    • Second step: Follower of [name of that Virtue]
    • Third step: Guardian of [name of that Virtue]
  • A character that has achieved all three steps in all eight Virtues will earn the title “The Virtuous” on their paperdoll.
Players who progress any number of steps on the path of a given Virtue, but do not continue to actively pursue it, may discover that their Virtuous title reduces in steps over time.




HUMILITY AS DEFINED BY THE VIRTUE SYSTEM

Humility is part of a philosophy within Ultima Online known as the Virtues, and is one of eight pursuits within the upcoming Virtue system.

The Virtue of Humility has been described as:

“Perceiving one’s place in the world, not according to one’s own accomplishments, but according to the intrinsic value of all individuals.”
Pursuit of Humility will be designed to encourage veteran players to help new players, in that they will specifically advance in this Virtue by helping [young] players.

Squire System: Veteran players will be able to invite [young] players to become their squires.
  • [Young] players can be invited to become a squire in the following manner:
    • Open up the Virtue gump.
    • Double-click the Humility (shepherd’s crook) symbol
    • Target the [young] character
  • Once invited, the [young] player will receive a special invitation message. The [young] player can accept the invitation by:
    • Opening up the Virtue gump.
    • Double-click the Humility (shepherd’s crook) symbol
    • Target the veteran character
  • If the [young] player accepts this invitation…
    • …and does not have a current sponsor, he will become the squire to the veteran character.
    • …and already has a current sponsor, he will receive a gump, stating: “You are a squire to another player. If you accept this new invitation you will no longer be a squire to [current sponsor’s name].”
  • Whenever a [young] character gains skill points in the following skills while within a squire-sponsor relationship exists, the sponsor may gain points in Humility:
    • Alchemy
    • Animal Taming
    • Archery
    • Blacksmithy
    • Bowcraft/Fletching
    • Carpentry
    • Cartography
    • Cooking
    • Fencing
    • Fishing
    • Healing
    • Inscription
    • Lockpicking
    • Mace Fighting
    • Magery
    • Mining
    • Musicianship
    • Provocation
    • Stealing
    • Swordsmanship
    • Tailoring
    • Tinkering
    • Veterinary
  • There are certain situations which will affect a sponsor’s gaining of Humility points:
    • In order for the sponsor to gain in Humility, he must remain close to the [young] character as that [young] character gains skill.
    • Skill points gained through the use of a training dummy will not count toward possible Humility increases.
    • Skill points gained by paying for training from NPCs will not count toward possible Humility increases.
    • [Young] characters will not gain Humility points.
    • The sponsor cannot gain Humility points while dead.
Virtuous Title & Abilities: When a character has achieved any number of Humility points, he is considered to have achieved a certain step on the path of Humility.
  • When a player moves his cursor over the Humility symbol, a title will be displayed, indicating the step currently achieved in Humility for that character.
    • First step: Seeker of Humility
    • Second step: Follower of Humility
    • Third step: Guardian of Humility
  • Players who progress any number of steps on the path of Humility, but do not continue to actively pursue it, may discover that this Virtuous title reduces in steps over time.
  • Gaining steps in Humility will grant a character some special abilities. Players will be able to access these abilities by clicking the Humility symbol on their own Virtue gump.
    • First step: +10 Hit Points, +10 Mana, +10 Stamina
    • Second step: +20 Hit Points, +20 Mana, +20 Stamina
    • Third step: +30 Hit Points, +30 Mana, +30 Stamina




SACRIFICE AS DEFINED BY THE VIRTUE SYSTEM

Sacrifice is part of a philosophy within Ultima Online known as the Virtues, and is one of eight pursuits within the upcoming Virtue system.

The Virtue of Sacrifice has been described as:

“The courage to give of oneself in the name of love.”
Pursuit of Sacrifice will be designed to allow players to interact with “monsters” in a manner other than one of combat.

Sacrifice & Redemption: Characters that attain a level of Reputation (Fame or Karma) will be able to use “sacrifice” their Reputation in order to defeat certain monsters.
  • Upon encountering a related, “redeemable” monster, players will be able to sacrifice their reputation to defeat the monster in the following manner:
    • Open up the Virtue gump.
    • Double-click the Sacrifice (teardrop) symbol
    • Target the monster
  • The following is a list of monsters which may be redeemed with the sacrifice of one’s Reputation:
    • Lich
    • Enslaved Gargoyle
    • Gargoyle Enforcer
    • (Regular) Demon
    • Succubus
    • Evil Mage
  • You cannot target a redeemable monster if:
    • It has already taken more than 15% of its maximum hit points in damage.
    • You cannot see it (you must have line-of-sight).
    • You are invisible.
    • You are dead.
  • Attempts to sacrifice Reputation to anything other than the redeemable monsters will have no effect.
  • Once a monster is redeemed, the following will occur:
    • The character’s Reputation (both Fame and Karma) is set to “zero.”
    • The monster disappears in a cloud of particles
    • The character will gain a certain amount in Sacrifice, depending on how much Reputation was lost in the redemption—the greater the Reputation loss, the more Sacrifice is gained.
  • A given character can sacrifice his Reputation only once per 24 hour period.
Virtuous Title & Abilities: When a character has achieved any number of Sacrifice points, he is considered to have achieved a certain step on the path of Sacrifice.
  • When a player moves his cursor over the Sacrifice symbol, a title will be displayed, indicating the step currently achieved in Sacrifice for that character.
    • First step: Seeker of Sacrifice
    • Second step: Follower of Sacrifice
    • Third step: Guardian of Sacrifice
  • Players who progress any number of steps on the path of Sacrifice, but do not continue to actively pursue it, may discover that this Virtuous title reduces in steps over time.
  • Gaining steps in Sacrifice will grant a character the ability to resurrect himself a number of times each week, equal to the steps achieved in Sacrifice. Players will be able to access this ability by clicking the Sacrifice symbol on their own Virtue gump.
    • First step: Self-resurrect one time per week
    • Second step: Self-resurrect two times per week
    • Third step: Self-resurrect three times per week
  • There will be certain notable benefits & caveats of self-resurrecting:
    • Players will be able to instantly resurrect their characters which have achieved any number of steps on this path of Virtue.
    • Self-resurrecting characters will not suffer any stat or skill loss normally associated with “insta-resurrection.” However, effects such as Murderer-based stat-loss, Faction-based stat-loss, etc., will still apply.
    • Self-resurrected characters will only have 1 Hit Point and 1 Mana Point upon resurrection, just as if he was resurrected by a healer, friend, or shrine.
    • Characters which self-resurrect will instantly recover all the items they had on their corpse, except for any items which have been looted or decayed.
      • Self-resurrecting characters will not be able to recover items in this way if they move across a server boundary into another server region.
    • Characters will not be able to self-resurrect:
      • …within a “multi-object” (a house, boat, etc.).
      • …within a faction stronghold
      • …while flagged as a criminal or aggressor




HONOR AS DEFINED BY THE VIRTUE SYSTEM

Honor is part of a philosophy within Ultima Online known as the Virtues, and is one of eight pursuits within the upcoming Virtue system.

The Virtue of Honor has been described as:

"The courage to defend and uphold the truth."

Pursuit of Honor will be designed around an arena-based dueling system, which will track all results of related "duels of honor" combat.

Joining/Participating:

  • Players can use special bulletin boards to sign up their characters to participate in dueling tournaments.
    • These bulletin boards will be placed inside and outside of towns, allowing for even "reds" to participate in duels of honor.
    • Players can only sign up for that day's duels.
      • Characters with less than 500 skill points cannot sign up for a duel.
      • Each character may participate in one dueling bout per 24 hour period.
    • Sign-ups for dueling tournaments begin 60 minutes before the start of that tournament, and end 10 minutes before the start of that dueling tournament.
      • For instance, if you sign up between 7:00pm and 7:50pm, you will be selected in one of the dueling bouts occurring between 8:00pm and 8:50pm.
      • Sign-ups for a dueling tournament will close when there are 180 characters signed up for that tournament period, or when there is only 10 minutes left to the next tournament.
  • Each dueling tournament is divided into six 10-minute bouts. In this way each dueling tournament lasts one hour.
    • Each dueling bout will take place in a special arena. Each arena will allow 10 characters to duel one-another at one time. Each duel will be "free-for-all" style, with the last character standing declared the winner.
    • Only characters that are selected for duels will be allowed to enter the arenas; characters that are not part of an active duel will not be able to access or visit the arenas.
    • There will be three dueling arenas, and all three may be used simultaneously. In this way up to 30 characters may be dueling (albeit in separate areas) at one time.

Preparing to Duel: 10 minutes before each hour, the duels begin.

  • Characters will be randomly grouped together. While players may find themselves grouped with friends and guildmates, this would be a random happenstance.
  • Players who sign up will be messaged and given their dueling bout time.
    • Players who are not online are dropped from that tournament session line-up. Another player who has signed up will be given that opportunity to duel.
    • Players who are not online and become dropped from a particular tournament session may sign up for the next dueling tournament.
  • Each duelist will receive a gump or message 10 minutes before their scheduled dueling bout, asking if they are ready to duel.
    • Should the player fail to respond to this gump within 10 minutes, he will be dropped from this dueling tournament, but may sign up for another one.
    • A character must be considered "ready" in order to duel.
      • If the character is mounted (on a horse, ostard, etc.), he may not duel.
      • If the character is under the effects of any stat-altering spells or potions, he may not duel.
    • Should the player fail his readiness check, another gump will appear and describe why to the player.
      • When the player has corrected this situation (such as by dismounting his horse), he may then accept the first gump.
    • Should the player pass his readiness check, his character will be brought into a waiting area.
      • No fighting can occur in this waiting area.
      • No spellcasting can occur in this waiting area.
Example of an arena
Blue-green marble tiles are starting locations.

Dueling:

  • Each of the 10 players in a dueling bout will be placed together in an arena before the duel, one on each of 10 start points.
  • None of the duelists will initially be able to move or act.
  • A countdown will appear to these duelists, counting from 5 down to 1.
  • At the count of "1," the duel begins, and all duelists may act.
    • Felucca rules will be used, regarding "pushthrough."
    • The arena will have some special rules, where player will not be able to:
      • Hide
      • Cast Invisibility
      • Cast Recall or Gate Travel
      • Cast Teleport
      • Use an ethereal mount
      • Steal
      • Cast Blade Spirits, Energy Vortex, or Summon creatures
      • Stat bonuses gained through the pursuit of Humility will not count in an Honor duel
  • Each time a character is hit, a check is made to see if that character would normally die from that attack. If not, the duelist continues, but if so:
    • That character is removed from the arena and returned to where they were before accepting the duel.
    • No actual damage is done to the character. (Note: any potions, healing rags, reagents, etc., that were used during the duel will still be gone, and armor & weapons that were damaged will still be as such.)
    • The character is fully healed.
    • A message tells the player his placing in that dueling bout.
    • Note that, because the character does not actually die, no stat-loss (such as from being in a faction or a murderer) will occur.
  • When there is only one character remaining in a given duel:
    • A message announces to that player that he has won the duel.
    • That character is removed from the arena and returned to where they were before accepting the duel, fully healed and undamaged.
    • A town crier announces that character as the winner.
  • Each dueling bout will only last for 10 minutes (including the 5 second start time).
    • If a duel does not have a decisive winner, and there are multiple characters remaining in that bout at the end of the 10 minute time frame, all characters within that arena will be fully healed, and removed.
      • A town crier will announce that more than one person survived.
      • All surviving characters will gain "points" based on their ranking (see below).

Points:

  • If only one person in the dueling bout survives, the points for that duel are distributed as follows:
    • Tenth duelist removed: 5 points
    • Seventh, eighth, or ninth duelist removed: 3 points
    • Fourth, fifth, or sixth duelist removed: 2 points
    • First, second, or third duelist removed: 1 point
    • Note: If there are less than 10 duelists in a bout, then no one can receive 5 points for being the "tenth duelist removed." The winner in this case (the ninth player out), would get 3 points.
  • If there are two survivors in a duel, the points for that duel are distributed as follows:
    • Both survivors: 4 points
    • Seventh duelist removed: 3 points
    • Fourth, fifth, or sixth duelist removed: 2 points
    • First, second, or third duelist removed: 1 point
  • If there are three or four survivors in a duel, the points for that duel are distributed as follows:
    • All survivors: 3 points
    • The three most recently removed duelists: 2 points
    • All other duelists: 1 point
  • If there are five or six survivors in a duel, the points for that duel are distributed as follows:
    • All survivors: 2 points
    • All other duelists: 1 point
  • If there are seven or more survivors in a duel, the points for that duel are distributed as follows:
    • All survivors: 1 point.
    • All other duelists: 1 point.

Awards:

  • At the end of each month, the top 3 ranking characters of that month's dueling tournaments will receive:
    • A "no-loot, no steal" sash, showing their dueling ranking and the name of the month.
      • Only the sash's owner can wear this sash.
    • Their name listed on the official Ultima Online Web site for that month.
    • Their name listed on an in-game list of winners for each month.
  • [Concept only] At the end of each month, the top ranking character will receive a special tower.
    • These towers will be of a special, new design.
    • Most of these towers will be placed in the ocean, and will not reside on the mainland or any existing island.
    • Owners of these towers will automatically receive a special "blessed" item that will allow them to Recall to their tower.
      • This item will be "no loot, no steal."
      • This item will not require any Magery skill in order to use it's ability to Recall.
    • These towers cannot be transferred, and will not allow for co-owners.
    • These towers will never need to be refreshed.
  • Guilds (of 5 or more members) with high scoring duelists will be tracked, and the "Top 10" dueling guilds will be ranked on the UO.com Web site.
  • Players may be able to associate their characters with (NPC) towns, and these towns will be ranked on the UO.com Web site. (See below)
  • In the event of a tie:
    • The character with the most duels is ranked higher.
      • In cases where characters have the same number of points and duels, the winner will be decided randomly.
    • An example if 3 duelists tie: Cal has 45 points and has fought 15 times, Augur has 45 points and has fought 12 times, Gromm has 45 points and has fought 12 times.
      • Although all characters have 45 points, Cal gets first place, because he has dueled the highest number of times.
      • Augur and Gromm are equal in dueling points and number of duels, and so the winner of this tie is decided randomly.
      • The remaining character is awarded third place.

[Concept only] Allying with Towns: Each character may duel for the Honor of a particular (NPC) town. Characters may change this allegiance once each month.

  • Characters will go to an inn in the town which they wish to represent, and choose it with the bulletin board provided.
    • Players will be given a gump asking them to confirm this choice.
  • Once allied to a town, that character's points are counted toward that town's total dueling ranking for that month. These rankings will be displaying on the UO.com Web site.
  • All Britannian and Lost Lands ("Second Age") towns, from both facets, will be included as choices.

Gaining Honor: Dueling points and Honor "points" will be gained in two different manners. Every character that participates in these duels will gain some amount of Honor, although those that excel will gain a slightly higher amount.

  • First place: a great deal of Honor
  • Second place: a large amount of Honor
  • Third place: a fair amount of Honor

Dishonorable acts: There are certain actions that are considered dishonorable. Performing these actions, even if that character is not dueling, will reduce the amount of Honor a character has to some degree. These activities include:

  • Stealing from an innocent (character or pet)
  • Attacking an innocent (character or pet)
  • Using poison in any way (even against monsters). This includes:
    • Applying poison to food
    • Applying poison to a weapon
    • Using a poisoned weapon
    • Casting poison

Virtuous Title & Abilities: When a character has achieved enough Honor points, he is considered to have achieved a certain step on the path of Honor.

  • When a player moves his cursor over the Honor symbol, a title will be displayed, indicating the step currently achieved in Honor for that character.
    • First step: Seeker of Honor
    • Second step: Follower of Honor
    • Third step: Knight of Honor
  • Players who progress any number of steps on the path of Honor, but do not continue to actively pursue it, may discover that this Virtuous title reduces in steps over time.
  • Each step gained in Honor will progressively allow the character to be more resistant to dishonorable attacks, such as resistance against poison.
  • Characters that have progressed any number of steps in Honor cannot be affected by level 1 poisons.
    • First step: A chance to reduce poison effects by one level, and a small chance to cure it outright.
    • Second step: A chance to reduce poison effects by 1 or 2 levels, and a chance to cure it outright.
    • Third step: A chance to reduce poison effects by 1, 2, or 3 levels, and a chance to cure it outright.





SPIRITUALITY AS DEFINED BY THE VIRTUE SYSTEM

Spirituality is part of a philosophy within Ultima Online known as the Virtues, and is one of eight pursuits within the upcoming Virtue system.

The Virtue of Spirituality has been described as:

“Spirituality is the concern with one's inner being and how one deals with Truth, Love, and Courage.”
Pursuit of Spirituality will help players learn about the Virtues philosophy and game system, and give them alternate ways to gain in each Virtue.

Tasks: Players will be able to visit the Shrine of Spirituality (on Felucca, Trammel, or Ilshenar), and be able to double-click it in order to get a special gump-menu.
  • The menu will ask which Virtue they wish to learn about.
    • Eventually all Virtues will be listed, but initially only those Virtues with “systems” that have been introduced into the game will be listed here.
  • Once the player selects a Virtue, the player will be given a task based on that Virtue.
    • Humility task: Upon visiting the Shrine of Humility, players will be asked to pursue a Humility-based task.
      • Players will be asked to kill an amount of monsters which would normally gain them “Admirable” level of Fame, although no actual fame will be gained for these kills during this task period.
      • Players will be notified when they achieve their task, at which time they will also gain some Spirituality and Humility, as well as be able to continue gaining Fame.
    • Sacrifice task: Upon visiting the Shrine of Sacrifice, players will be asked to pursue a Sacrifice-based task.
      • Players will be told to tithe a certain, specific amount of gold at the Shrine of Sacrifice, into a certain chest placed there.
      • If players put in the exact amount of gold requested, they will gain some Spirituality and Sacrifice. If there is not enough gold, the chest will refuse the offering.
    • Other tasks: As more Virtues systems become available, other Virtues-based tasks will be added.
  • Limitations:
    • Characters cannot pursue more than one task per day.
    • Characters cannot pursue the same task twice in a row.
Virtuous Title & Abilities: When a character has achieved enough Spirituality points, he is considered to have achieved a certain step on the path of Spirituality.
  • When a player moves his cursor over the Spirituality symbol, a title will be displayed, indicating the step currently achieved in Spirituality for that character.
    • First step: Seeker of Spirituality
    • Second step: Follower of Spirituality
    • Third step: Knight of Spirituality
  • Players who progress any number of steps on the path of Spirituality, but do not continue to actively pursue it, may discover that this Virtuous title reduces in steps over time.
  • Characters who have achieved any steps on the path of Spirituality will recover from being dead faster than other characters, resurrecting with a few more hit points and mana than normal.
    • The exact numbers are still to be determined, although it is not likely that they will exceed 50% of the character’s maximum natural stats.
    • A player who resurrects through use of his Sacrifice power will not gain these additional, post-resurrection recovery points.
  • Ghosts are normally only understood by those who successfully use the Spirit Speak skill. Characters who have achieved any steps on the path of Spirituality will be understood by anyone while as a ghost, including those who listeners who are not using Spirit Speak.



QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS ON THE VIRTUE SYSTEM

Following are several questions by several different players and answers about the Virtue System, all answered by Jonathan "Calandryll" Hanna from the UO Dev Team:

Will Haven be opened up to all players for this?
-We're discussing it.

How much fame and karma will be needed for a player to sacrifice it?
-You get more Sacrifice the more fame you give. You have to be at least "admirable".

Will negative karma be sacrificable?
-Actually, we're thinking about removing karma from sacrifice and just using fame, that way negative karma players can still participate.

Why is the forum of Virtue discussion here, instead of RP board?
-Because the virtue system is not soley a role-playing system. It can be used as a role-playing tool though of course.

Virtue Questions:
Sacrifice is Love and Courage.
I do not understand why Gargoyles can be redeemed, they are not a race of daemons nor they are lost souls so to say. They might have their pride, but that is opposite to that Humility. Shouldn't Reediming be restricted strictly to supernatural(undead, spirits and Daemonic) creatures, to make it more logical?
--In the fiction, the enslaved and enforcer gargoyles are not attacking players of their own free will. By sacrificing for them, you save them from their turmoil. The stories on BNN have more info on the gargoyles.

Certain professions can gain Fame & Karma very easily, would their sacrifice of Fame & Karma be equal sacrifice to those who worked many weeks longer for it?
--True. This is why you can only sacrifice once per day.

Humility: opposite to pride
Doesn't Humility turn into pride if one advertices his Virtue Title? (rather philosophical question, I admit)
--No. The titles are given to you as recognition, it is up to the player to decide whether to advertise his title or not. Remember, the titles only appear on the virtue gump, so unless someone opens up your virtue gump, they won't see your titles.

General Questions:
Would it not be good to have all eight Virtues done (in design) before releasing any to shards? Eight Virtues meant to form the great Principle (Truth, Love and Courage) together, and therefor their "gain" should be in balance. If not, why not?
--We have preliminary designs done for most of the virtues, but we are releasing them one or two at a time in order to make sure we concentrate on them and to make sure the system actually goes in. If we tried to release one huge system, it could be a year before you ever saw any of it.

Have you considered if shrines could play a part in the system?
-They do. You go to shrines to get your status of your jounrey in each path. Also, they will probably play a bigger part in Spirituality.

Is the increase in HP/Mana/Stamina: 1) Time Based? 2) Cost Humility Points to access? I noticed the Humility points drain over time but at what cost, if any does using the ability cost. Sacriface is awarded per/week. Does the Humility Special Ability work similar or by cost basis?
--The bonuses gained by attaining a given step in Humility are perpetually active for as long as you remain in that step. If you increase a step, you gain instead the better step's stat bonus, and if you decrease a step, you gain the newer/lesser step's stat bonuses. There is not means to "activate" these stats bonuses, they are automatically up and running just by having achieved the related step in Humility. No Humility points are used up through the use of these stats, although points in Humility will naturally "decay" a certain amount over time.

I didn't know it was possible to be both just AND compassionate (your past example of the poor man stealing bread to feed his family and the guard having to decide whether or not to act). By being compassionate, would your justice points be unaffected? And vice versa of course.
--Not if we design it so the conflict isn't as prevalent as it is in that example. I'm not sure I like the idea of losing virtue points in one virtue because you follow another.

30 to each stat seems like a HUGE bonus! I take this to mean that becoming a Guardian of Humility will be extremely difficult?
-Yes. Getting to the third path of Humility won't be easy.

When do you think the other virtues may have some details ready? Or are you going to do some initial testing of these two virtues before beginning more development on the other six virtues?
--Honor will most likely be next, we have a basic design idea for it already. I want to concentrate on the master system and Humility/Sacrifice though first before getting feedback on Honor.

Mastering all 8 virtues was difficult in Ultima Prime.. so difficult that only the Avatar could do it. How do we explain a world in which everyone has done what only the avatar could have done.
--If designed right, it will be very hard to master all eight virtues. Even mastering those two won't be easy, not counting six more!.

"A character that has achieved all three steps in all eight Virtues will earn the title “The Virtues” on their paperdoll" how exactly does that work? "Bob the virtues"? "The Virtues Bob" or is that a typo where its supposed to be "the Virtuous"?
--Title is "The Virtuous".

Are the increases in stats permanent or temporary?
--Permanent as long as you maintain your path in Humility.

How much of a decay of virtue are we talking here? I mean, obviously I dont expect a specific answer, bu tis it going to be something where you haev to do it every day, or will you be able to maintain your virtue through regular gameplay?
--It will be enough so that you'll have to spend time on the Virtue from time to time, but not so much that you lose all the work you did in one day.

If I turned off my little mailbag ages ago, will the inclusion of this system stick it back up there? and will it still look like a mailbag? (kinda weird to click a mailbag to get virtues...)
--The mailbag system shouldn't do anything now even when turned on. It will not look like a mailbag, it will look similar to the center of the Virtue gump.

Can a sponsor have more than one squire?
-- No.

Do you lose.. err "virtue points" by dying like you do with fame and karma?
-- No.

Does "the Virtuous" title display profession like Glorious. Glorious Lord and the like?
-- It probably will. But considering we'll be releasing one or two virtues with each scenario, we have plenty of time to worry about that.