Our team (currently 4 of us) is just starting out developing a new UO shard. We are looking for an additional coder and possibly someone with some marketing experience.
The shard is going to be loosely based in UO:R with significant customization to sort of turn UO on its head in many respects. The target player will be RP/PvP (that we dub RPvP).
Some major changes we wish to implement:
1) A unique profession system (not a class system) that will remove grinding monsters for gold from the game. This system will be the main source of gold for the player and with some professions it will be completely independent of skills. Of course the usual crafting will be in game however players will be able to sell their goods in NPC vendor buildings, being able to set up a stationary vendor in part of the building.
A few profession examples:
A profession that is completely independent of skills: An intercity trader, player will be able to buy goods from one city based on changes in prices (buying low/selling high which will intertwine with our dynamic economy, more on that below). Player will make gold not only on the sales themselves but a weekly salary based on amount of trades performed.
A profession loosely based on skill: A player can take a job as a city guard - player will receive a notice whenever a crime is committed within the town they are guarding and given the option to be teleported to the scene of the crime. The player will receive a weekly salary somewhat based on the amount of crimes for which they respond.
2) Dynamic economy. Prices in each city will be ever changing based on players selling to/buying from NPC vendors. For example in Minoc players who sell ingots to the NPC vendors will drive the price to buy ingots down due to large supply. Alternatively in a city far from a mine, like Skara Brae, ingots will be expensive to buy but very lucrative to sell. A player who packs up a large supply of Ingots from minoc and transports them to Skara to sell will make quite the profit.
3) Magery will become one of the hardest skills to achieve. This will make the rare GM mage a god among men, but will also reduce the ability to travel around the map quickly. This makes the transporting of goods and travelling into an ordeal and adventure in of itself. Random spawning of bandits and monsters along the road will make travelling perilous (and fun!) Not to mention the player bandits with the ability to steal valuable goods from player traders.
4) City citizenship/Intercity trade and politics: Players will have the ability to join cities as a citizen, citizens will a elect a major who will appoint various positions to manage city guards, taxes, trade, war. An example of each of these:
Guard management: There will be no auto whack on UO:A, NPC guards will still auto teleport to the problem and attack the criminal if called but they will not be omnipotent. They will be strong and fast but beatable if the player is strong enough. This will create the need for good player guards.
Taxes: Taxes can be imposed to pay higher salaries for various professions based in the city. Say Minoc is having a lot of crime but does not have player guards to quell it, the mayor can increase taxes to pay higher salaries to minoc player guards thus attracting players to take that position.
Trade: In addition to player traders, trade routes will be available intercity. While this wont be a physical NPC trading it will be an agreement that will alter the dynamic economy system. In the example above Minoc flush with ingots and Skara ingot poor, their respective mayors can come to a trade agreement where Skara will pay a certain amount weekly into Minoc's city gold reserves and Skaras blacksmith NPCs will start selling ingots cheaper.
War: cities will go to war and allow for PvP between their citizens, when war is declared players can join their cities respective armies and fight. regular citizens will be freely attack-able however if they are in town guards can still be called on the offending enemy to give the citizen more of a fighting chance if they are not pvp characters
5) Player housing will be located in the city: Nearly every building within the cities will be available for players to rent for a monthly fee. They will range from cheap single rooms in the local inns to extremely expensive Blackthorn's castle. A farmer player might only be able to afford a small hovel in the city however a lucrative trader may be able to rent a castle!
6) Monsters will still play a role: They will drop minimal gold (only humanoid ones at least) but they will drop other items, rares, quest items and resources for making more powerful craftered items, thus making the hunting of mobs still important.
7) Only some cities will be habitable when the shard launches, this will consolidate players in central hubs at first however reclaiming cities will be important quests shard wide. This will require warriors to remove monsters and crafters/traders to bring supplies to rebuild. These quests will take place over weeks/months for each city.
1 or 2 characters per account, 1 account per IP - this will be an RP oriented shard, you are who you are, reputation will be important, this will not be alts for everyone.
Those are some of the major changes planned for the shard for now, but all are open to altering any based on logistics and balance.
If youre interested in joining what will be an awesome ride to remake how the best MMO sandbox is played message me and we can take it from there!
Feel free to ask any questions here as well