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More Build Variety

I would like to see more builds that would "splash" into a certain skill but not need to go 100. While there is a bit of this in existence I would love to see more and even more "lower" skilled abilities(i.e. <=60?) as part of viable builds.

So, for example if your build is using a weapon skill, you're just automatically maxing the weaponskill and tactics.

Whether by using more of that "if skills x,y.... are above ##, then ..." or by setting up natural breakpoints that could, for example in the case of weaponskills, affect capacity to (and these would likely be independent of one another):

-land a hit(the default)
-to cause interrupt(instead of it being automatic)
-to apply poison(whether affect the %chance to poison on hit or just the boolean capacity to poison with weapon)

Lots of other skills could be looked at this way, but what does anyone think? And obviously balancing anything is hard, as I'm not sure I want to explicitly state how the skill could operate as I think people often miss the point(which is that "oh you want to use swords? Then 100 swordsmanship and tactics").
I personally think there is a ton of variety and utility in builds now, we have everything from tamer variations, to bard variations, to rogue variations, to mage variations, to dexxer variations. While most builds require a core 1-3 skills in the 100-120 range, the supplemental skills are all linear based for damages, and often unlock their perks at 80, so you get a lot of 8x builds, which opens up a ton of variation, more so than any other shard I've played which is one of the things I love here.

Even in field PvP, many people run 8x variations on builds like tank mages, so they can get hamstring abilities in, vs. just running standard 7x builds.

I love the concept of more builds, I just don't know you get there by lowering a requirement on skills - what kind of other builds were you thinking of achieving, like an actual example with something you'd get at 60's, based around 60's skill in your template?
The point is being able go get more trade-off possibilities allowing for more niche/hybrid builds.

What's the game design behind 100 weapon skill && tactics in EVERY weapon build?
A lot of the skills still really only do one thing, like increase your damage by some %(linear as you mentioned) and ....that's boring.
I guess it's just I've played many other games wherein the builds had more nuance to planning them out.

Trade-offs like:
-Being able to poison effectively but your weapon damage isn't top end.
-High weapon damage but don't always interrupt.

-Changing more mage spells to not rely entirely on high magery(especially on the lower end) i.e. Protection could give a flat armor bonus or a % of current armor as bonus and then additionally scale to some extent off magery.

-Diversify the weapons. Several weapons share the same stats of others. Let them be unique in PvP(and are more dynamic than bonus Stamina damage).
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I'm still a little lost in understanding what kind of builds your envisioning, as I've played a wide variety here myself.

You don't have to go with 100 skill in a weapon, the 100 skill is almost purely for hit chance, they have an end game mastery chain item that you can add gold links and add more accuracy to your swing, and go with a slightly lower weapon skill. Additionally which skills are just linear damage, with no other benefits? Though I can see if you mean no other benefit to your killing ability. In truth Outlands offers far more diversity than any other shard, with 12 aspect abilities you can unlock to synergize with for PvM, and mastery chains, and 20 or so different links that can go in that chain.

If your talking in regards to purely PvP - while there are a limited number of builds, there aren't many that are optimal for a number of different situations - but one of the biggest problems with PvP is that you have 120 hp, trying to balance a ton of different skills within that to create build opportunities has been nothing but a nightmare in the past on different shards, even with the limited skills that are truly effective in PvP. With that said, I still dream up a number of different builds that I use in PvP, from macer/archers, to heal/parry/track mages, and people running pure tanks, poison dexxers, hybrid tanks with hamstring...
Ya, not sure what to say of what I mean more variety/nuance than what I've already explained. I have a feeling there's a bit of rigidity to the game design in any UO shard, and thus rigidity to what players seem to expect.

So, while the gameplay in UO does not strictly revolve around combat, as it is largely an economic game wherein combat is one of the main sources of resource acquisition, I still think it can be developed further. But seeing this huge distinction between the PvE that is unbridled with the Ascension system and then the neutered(but easily balanced) PvP seems to suggest they don't want to go there at all.

Yes, the server has some things going for it with skill derivations and mechanics.
The HP amount really isn't the problem as all damage is being modified by percentage anyway. And this may be another case of rigidity or if it's unfortunately hard coded....but if that's *actually* an issue why not just inflate the numbers then?
What actually becomes a hard balancing act is when there's just too many factors, but games like Dota 2 have hundreds of factors to balance and the system to do so is often case by case adjustments.

Have you played a lot of other games with pvp that are kind of cutthroat as well?
Dark Souls is specifically one that I see this game could look at regarding PvP and how skill builds work(and applies to what I described earlier).
-skills/stats that have multiple effects for a combat build
-weapon variety(actual)---not just a faux variety that comes from an inverse attack speed to damage ratio so you can call it "burst".
-plenty of breakpoints

Now Dark Souls or [insert other game] are never implied as "perfect" but you should always be looking at design choices and the resulting way that players take on the game. Now, it didn't seem like when I brought up the 100 weapon skill and tactics, that you still didn't seem to see that to be an odd notion, perhaps "it's just the way it is" in your eyes. You just directed it off to how it's less of an issue in PvE and you don't really need it because of Ascension system(and that statement in of itself kind of made it clear that I needed to bring up the viewpoint rigidity going on here).
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I think in most cases it's a design choice here - UO is a nostalgic 20+ year old game, and while the server contains many custom features, and custom skill changes, it's still feels like the same UO from 20 years ago that I remember in most ways. I'm not sure I'd be playing here if they entirely re-invented the wheel - in fact many of us moved on from UO when the OSI servers did it 15 years ago.

I will say on the surface though PvP for UO looks fairly shallow, but when you dig into it, it's a lot deeper than people realize if you want to become really good at it, and when I say there is a ton of variety, I am putting it into context with what UO "was", there are far more options here, than there ever was in a T2a era type shard (which is what this shard most closely emulates). with that said, there are several hybrid PvP builds that I personally use, that I never used during T2a, in fact, you were either a tank mage, or dead for the most part back in the day... I've seen plenty of variations in the field from poisoners, to tanks, to 8x hybrid tanks, to roachs, to pure dmg mages... The one thing I do feel is lacking is valid reasons for choosing different weapon skills, they are all fundamentally are the same..
Look into mastery chains and the links. That provides alot of possibilities that will help you design a more hybrid build later down the road after unlocking chain links. But that's for pvm, not PvP.