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Dye Tubs - Changes for 2024

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Morning, I know this is potentially a raw subject given recent discussions but I had an idea...

I believe there is a potential compromise solution with regards to the dye tubs. It may require tweaking, but I hope I've taken in to account the key concern(s).

Key challenges:
  • Dye tubs that have been purchased before any changes - people don't like the idea of an infinite resource becoming a finite resource after purchasing it
  • Adding a 'lifespan' to dye tubs
  • Existing community-run areas providing a service
Suggestion for dye tubs:
  • Have charges added (500 as an example)
  • Have an owner (account)
  • Owner cannot be changed
  • Do not consume a charge if the owner uses them
  • Do consume a charge if anyone else uses them
  • Tubs can be set to 'charge gold' per use, amount is decided by owner (0 > 20,000,000 - just picking a max number here)
  • Gold would be sent to owner's wallet
  • Can be locked down and used publicly (current mechanic)
  • Add a backend log for tub usage, similar to player vendors
Scenarios considered:
  • For the owner of a dye tub, the tub remains an infinite resource for personal use
  • If the tubs are shared, they will eventually be consumed
  • Owners have choice in compensation if they choose to share them. Ranging from 'no compensation' through 'full compensation', all the way to 'profit'
    • e.g. If the owner wants to replace them without financial impact - set the cost per use to match cost of a replacement tub (gold > sovereign exchange rate is static)
  • Tubs from IDOCs will eventually be consumed as a new owner cannot be set
  • Guilds who want the same 'uniform' will have a minor cost associated with them. Either gold per charge or time handing them to a tub owner to dye
  • If an owner is offering their tubs at less than 'full compensation' and believes they have been griefed, the logs will help prove/disprove (potentially have charges restored?)
  • What happens if this change is implemented while tubs' owners are unable to log in and they have their tubs available to the public? (please see below - they would not be able to be used until an owner had decided on what they want to do)
Apologies for the poor pseudo code, I'm not a developer :) also totally dependant on feasibility of coding these...
  • Announce changes with 2-4 weeks notice
  • Add a property to all existing special dye tubs e.g. "GrandfatheredDyeTub = 1" - to allow for any rollbacks in future, if required
  • Add a property to all existing and newly created dye tubs e.g. "Owner = null"
  • Add a property to all existing and newly created dye tubs e.g. "ChargePerUse = null"
  • Set all existing and newly created dye tubs to have 500 charges
  • On single-click - context menu: Set Owner, Set Charge
    • Set owner: only display if an owner has not already been set, else set Owner = <AccountName> - can only be performed if tub is in a player backpack (i.e. proving ownership)
    • Set charge: only display context menu for Owner - allow owner to set ChargePerUse (0 - 20000000 gold)
  • On double-click - if Owner = null - display "an owner needs to be set before this can be used"
  • On double-click - if Owner = not null and ChargePerUse = null - display "the owner needs to set a charge before this can be used"
  • On double-click - if Owner = not null and ChargePerUse = not null - prompt: "This tub costs <ChargePerUse> gold per use, do you want to proceed?" Yes/No
    • Yes - perform dye validity check
      • If passed, check player has enough gold
        • If passed, dye the item. Remove gold from player's wallet, add to Owner's wallet
        • If failed, display "you do not have enough gold to dye this item"
      • If failed, this item cannot be dyed with this tub
    • No - close prompt, end
Personal thoughts:
  • I hope the above is a decent compromise between players who don't want their existing items devalued and the admin team's desire to make these a finite resource.
  • I believe that rare/dropped tubs, such as Pure White, should be rare and finite - potential to consider these consuming a charge even if the owner uses them?
  • Even at a potential charge of 1,000-2,000 per dye, I don't think that is particularly expensive. After a few weeks, most players are rolling in gold.
Anyway, I've type-rambled enough. Please feel free to comment/suggest/etc. :) Cheers!
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To be honest, this is over engineering the issue.
It's a fantastic thought out suggestion however and appreciated.

This is what we will be doing for 2024:

All new dye tubs brought into the world will have charges(sans vet reward items)

We added an anti griefing features: Charges are determined by Sessions. Sessions last x amount of time per charge and will not use a charge on something dyed the same hue. This is now retroactively added to existing tubs.

Further explanation:

We were trying to get ahead of that moment, but that message got misconstrued 700 ways til Sunday. So we have listened and will waited until the new year when we felt as if we gave ample time to digest this.

Here's the bottom line:
If one player has all the dye tubs available for everyone to use, why would anyone else purchase them?
The answer is simple—they wouldn't.
And we actually discussed this with the massive player created Void Works, when they were actively playing.
We thought it was a great service but we also discussed the potential downsides and that eventually we would need to adjust it.
This is not something we did willy nilly without thought.

Things we considered after asking for feedback:
Is it really harming the economy now or are we trying to get in front of a possible issue?
- Answer, we were trying to get ahead of it.

The Reason we didn't give a huge amount of notice:
  1. We communicated with major Dye Tub Library owners beforehand, providing them with information a week ago.
  2. We did not anticipate this becoming such a contentious topic.
  3. The notion of people resorting to us needing real-life money transactions as our reasoning was ludicrous. If we aimed to drain your pockets, we wouldn't allow gold to be used for Sovereigns for 7+ years running. Period.
  4. The idea that this is a "targeted" move against players we cherish, is unfounded drama. It's unnecessary and entirely baseless in the context of UO.

Ultimately @wildburn really nailed it:
Screenshot 2023-10-26 140219.png

So in summary: All dye tubs have charges, sans the ones you can get via veteran rewards.

This change aims to strike a balance between finite resources and unlimited ones, contributing significantly to maintaining our seven-year reputation of a robust economy. Ultima Online faces a fundamental flaw—it was designed with a reliance on Gold Sinks. Unlike most modern games that eliminate trading or gold injection, UO adheres to a different philosophy. Here, possessions are not exclusive; what is yours is not solely yours. This necessitates us to devise inventive methods to counteract what is essentially flawed game design.

For those seeking more information, here's an analysis of why Gold Sinks are vital in a game structured around gold injection with no inherent mechanism to extract it from the economy:
  1. Balancing the Economy: Without Gold Sinks, there's a risk of unchecked inflation. Continuous injection of gold into the system without removal mechanisms can lead to a surplus, devaluing in-game currency and disrupting the balance of the virtual economy. Look at OSI.
  2. Resource Regulation: Gold Sinks serve as a means to regulate the availability of resources and items. By requiring players to spend gold on various aspects such as repairs, transactions, or services, it introduces a controlled flow of currency, preventing an oversupply of items.
  3. Encouraging Active Participation: Gold Sinks encourage players to actively engage with the in-game economy. Whether through consumables, fees, or services, this system fosters ongoing player involvement, contributing to a dynamic and thriving virtual marketplace. That is why the Upkeep of a Public Dye Tub Library is actually a great feature. It incentivizes multiple people to pool money together to provide a service to the community, not just as a one time thing that negates 43 different dye tubs.
  4. Maintaining a Sense of Achievement: By necessitating expenditures, Gold Sinks help maintain a sense of achievement and progression. Acquiring wealth becomes a meaningful endeavor, and players must make strategic decisions about how to allocate their resources.
  5. Preventing Hoarding: Without sinks, players may be inclined to hoard vast amounts of gold without consequence. Introducing mechanisms that require regular spending helps prevent excessive hoarding, ensuring a more dynamic circulation of wealth. Have you seen the IDOCS?
  6. Long-Term Stability: Implementing Gold Sinks supports the long-term stability of the game. It prevents economic stagnation, encourages continued player engagement, and provides developers with tools to address economic imbalances as the game evolves.
In essence, Gold Sinks are essential for mitigating the challenges posed by a game design based on continuous gold injection, ensuring a balanced, dynamic, and stable virtual economy.
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