Custom placed houses in Ultima Online Forever must be refreshed regularly to prevent them from decaying and eventually collapsing. It takes approximately 4 weeks for a house to go from newly refreshed to collapsed.
To refresh, the owner, a co-owner or friend of the house can:
- Double click the house sign
- Use a house teleporter tile
- Open one of the house doors
Upon refreshing, you will receive the message: "Your house's age and contents have been refreshed".
To view the stage a house is in, simply single click the house sign but note that ghosts cannot view the state of a houses decay. The decay stages are as follows:
- Like New: Approximately 1 hour
- Slightly Worn: Approximately 1 week
- Somewhat Worn: Approximately 1 week
- Fairly Worn: Approximately 1 week
- Greatly Worn: A little under 1 week
- In Danger of Collapsing (IDOC): Currently ~6 hours
The IDOC stage has been known to vary across the years of Ultima Online Forever and can be tweaked by the Game Masters. You are best advised to do your own investigations!
Note: As these are approximate values, you are advised not to take chances with house decaying. If you are planning to go away for a long period of time, consider adding a trusted friend to keep it refreshed and perhaps store you most valuable items in your character's bank box where they cannot be lost. There have been unfortunate occasions where a house refresh fell within the period of a server revert!
Don't think that your house decay won't go unnoticed. There are many "IDOC Hunters" around that will scour the lands looking for houses in decaying states. For those who do not have time to run around the lands clicking signs, there is also Norton the Building Inspector.
- A 50% chance at becoming over-world loot which is forwarded to any and all over world monster spawns. Over-time this means you may kill a mongbat and obtain a major item from these idocs.
- And 50% chance of that item dropping on an ettin which spawns as that house falls. If there is a lot of loot in the house, quite a few ettins will spawn - Be prepared to fight them and other IDOC hunters off!
To see if Norton has any secrets to spill simply drop gold on him in larger and larger quantities until he gives up the coordinates. 5000 gold pieces will typically give information if there is currently an IDOC. He re-rolls onto the next building every TWO hours but this is subject to change at the whim of the Game Masters. Be ready to screenshot or write down the coordinates and then go find the in danger of collapsing hovel!
There are a handful of custom houses on the server that are ageless. These were prizes handed out during Raffles. In this state, the houses will not go through the normal decay stages and therefore does not need to be refreshed.