GameZone Online has conducted an interview with Jonathan LeCraft, in which the Ultima Online: Samurai Empire lead designer talks about the newly released MMORPG expansion. A snippet:
Q: What does this game open up as far as spells, skills or the player economy is concerned? Will the new areas provide the opportunity for player housing?
A: The new skills are Bushido for the Samurai, and Ninjitsu for the Ninja. We've added special abilities like Shadowjump, Mirror Image, Lightning Strike, and Evasion (to name a few) that use these new skills. In a nutshell, the Ninja is an assassin that uses trickery and stealth to quickly silence their enemies, whereas the Samurai is an honorable warrior who uses great accuracy and strength against many enemies at once. Also, some existing skills have been enhanced for the new professions. For example, you can now instantly go into stealth from hiding, whereas it used to require a 10 second delay.
Many new items have been introduced through all our crafting systems, including new furniture to decorate your house, weapons to cut down your enemies, armor to protect you in battle, and even Ninja smoke bombs (an egg filled with flour) crafted by cooks. Outside the crafting system, rare items like sword racks and paintings can be stolen from deep within our new dungeons.
A limited number of new housing locations will be available on the Tokuno Islands. Many of these locations are (premium) spots surrounded by landscaped gardens and fountains, with proximity to the city of Zento.