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Opinion Retro Ultima Online

Jan 10, 2021
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I feel like I've been chasing the MMO high I got from Ultima Online for the past 20 years and eventually gave up. nothing has come close to giving me the experience that Ultima Online gave me.

I've been playing it on and off on player made servers (shards) for the past 20 years.

I'm making this thread partly to see whether anyone else has had a similar experience with the game, or whether I'm just dealing with nostalgia.

The game is very challenging by today's standards

- if you die, you lose everything. your items stay on your body and odds are it will get looted by the time you get back to it. assuming you can even get back to it because now you're naked. also you have to run to a far away location to resurrect yourself so the whole process takes a long time, making it more likely your shit will get looted
- if you leave town, other players can kill you. if they kill you, they're stealing your shit.
- if you decide to PK enough, your name becomes red and now NPC guards in most towns will kill you on sight.

When you saw a red name, you would freak the fuck out.

What I think I loved most about the game was the economy and customization the game allowed. The whole crafting system was so rewarding. It took forever to raise your mining and smithing, for example, but once you finally got your smithing to a high enough level your crafted armor and weapons would have your name on it. And the stuff you crafted was considered top tier gear, so the in game economy rewarded you for your time and labor.

I could set up NPC vendors in my house to sell my crafted goods. And yes, in MY house. You could own houses. You would literally get to go out and find a plot of land and place your house. It could be anywhere in the world, as long as your house could fit on the plot of land. And there were many different styles of houses, each with cost that corresponded to their size. I've never played an MMO that had anything nearly as cool as this. You could fully participate in the game as a carpenter and never even raise a sword to a monster. You could make a name for yourself as an artisan. Where weary travelers would venture to your home to buy your exceptionally crafted goods.

You and your buddies could create a guild, put together all your gold and eventually get yourself a castle. You could decorate the castle with furniture you crafted, or that you purchased from other carpenters.

Yes, it was my first MMO. But firing up the game 20 years later still gives me those magic feelings.

Chilling by the bank in Lower West Britain



Player houses




It's been a couple years since I've last gave it a go. The game is still officially running, although it has changed DRASTICALLY since it first came out in 1997. The player run servers (called player run shards) are still offering the same experience you had in the late 90s. There are plenty of options and they're pretty much all free.
 
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Holammer

Member
Jan 3, 2019
1,964
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First experience while testing on a friends account was getting ganked within seconds.
OoooOOooOOOooOOOo

The PVP aspect was poorly implemented and no doubt scared away lot of players. Tried it again years later after Trammel was introduced and explored it for maybe 100-200h and I particularlly enjoyed going to Vesper just for the music.

 
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Alexios

Cores, shaders and BIOS oh my!
Jan 30, 2010
15,882
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I vaguely remember playing in a free server with a guild or team and stashing things like whatever ore bars in our castle, having a horse and constantly training my animal taming/control skill on random creatures to build it up to a useful level. Also some 3D models on same ol 2D map version.

Edit: the box I have free from some magazine with a trial iirc has this cover:

I only remember playing/dedicating serious time to WoW up to level 60, then maybe slowing down when it came time for 70 before giving up altogether and never getting into any other. I think I only did one proper raid, Karazhan, as a tank, but the journey to end game, not the end game, was ace.
 
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Hinedorf

Member
Feb 3, 2017
1,978
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We are one and the same, UO I still consider the best MMO of all time and will never be duplicated. There's so much more you can do on a 2d scale versus all these FPS styled MMO's but it is what it is.
 
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shoplifter

Member
Jun 7, 2004
7,192
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No other game since then has given me the pure joy UO at launch had. It was quite honestly, everything I had ever wanted, and had a level of freedom that games today can't touch. The engine was absolutely archaic based on modern standards, but the things you could do, the hijinks you could get up to...UO was just the best. It's probably why I liked EVE so much too, half the fun was trying to find ways to exploit the game for your own entertainment, usually at the expense of other players.
 
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kalecsan

Banned
Nov 18, 2021
107
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When I was a kid me and my friends player the third world country version of Ultima: Argentum. The main points were the same, you can be killed at anytime, and you'll lose all your shit.
Played a lot of MMOs since then, but yeah nothing like the tension of being unprotected in a hostile world.



 
Jan 10, 2021
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Looking at your pictures.....did you play on the Pacific Shard because I swear I recognize some of those outfits and folks who'd be at west Brit, I might even be in that pic
grabbed the pics off google images, so it very well could be you!
Obligatory

this music still has more of an effect on me than pretty much any other video game music ever. Zelda might be up there with it.
 
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niilokin

Member
Feb 21, 2019
848
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I played UO Renaissance as a 12 old, had no idea what I'm doing, I kept dying but fucking hell it was all so exciting, started getting bit downhill with AoS IMO, then the artstyle started getting fuglier with the weird shitty 3d models converted to 2d sprites and next thing you know it's got elves and samurais, fuck that. I tried some Second Age and Renaissance shards but I miss the old OSI days.
 
Jan 10, 2021
1,122
1,997
560
I played UO Renaissance as a 12 old, had no idea what I'm doing, I kept dying but fucking hell it was all so exciting, started getting bit downhill with AoS IMO, then the artstyle started getting fuglier with the weird shitty 3d models converted to 2d sprites and next thing you know it's got elves and samurais, fuck that. I tried some Second Age and Renaissance shards but I miss the old OSI days.
Yeah, I agree that over time it became shittier and shittier. I was fully out by the time samurais rolled around.
 

RaptorGTA

Member
Oct 12, 2011
1,084
516
870
PA
Man, there will never be a game like UO. Me and my friend practically got everyone in my highscohol playing UO back in the day. We mainly played on a free shard called The Alter Realm. There were a few others we would jump on but TAR was the main one we use to play on.
 
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Nocturno999

Member
Feb 7, 2011
2,862
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UO and Shadowbane were the only MMOs that made me feel immersed in another world. Even with their dated graphics.
 
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swaffles23

Member
Dec 8, 2020
168
245
240
Ultima Online is probably my top 2 favorite games of all time. I got my brother and a few friends hooked on it.

Going into dungeons to farm gold and seeing a bunch of red names pop up on screen was some of the most intense times I've ever had in gaming.

I loved playing as a thief and would just sit at banks and steal expensive weapons and rare stuff from players.

Played tons of mmorpgs over the years hoping to recapture the UO magic but nothing ever came close. There's still some really good free shards out there for anyone wanting to try it.

 

lillars

Neo Member
Jan 4, 2016
34
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The thieving in that game was hilarious. I remember one of my friends would just run up and steal from people near banks who were obviously looking at inventory. It seemed like at least half the time they couldn't spell "guards" correctly probably because they were in such a hurry to call them. You see "GURADS!", "GAURDDS!", etc. :messenger_tears_of_joy:. By the time they got it spelled correctly my friend would be way off the screen and out of the town. Of course this was it near the beginning of its release, so I'm not sure if they ever fixed that to be more lenient.
 
Jan 10, 2021
1,122
1,997
560
The thieving in that game was hilarious. I remember one of my friends would just run up and steal from people near banks who were obviously looking at inventory. It seemed like at least half the time they couldn't spell "guards" correctly probably because they were in such a hurry to call them. You see "GURADS!", "GAURDDS!", etc. :messenger_tears_of_joy:. By the time they got it spelled correctly my friend would be way off the screen and out of the town. Of course this was it near the beginning of its release, so I'm not sure if they ever fixed that to be more lenient.
On the shards I played on thievery was also really rampant, it was a blast

I had a hot key for “guards” but people would still have success if the victim wasn’t paying attention or AFK

You could also steal from pack animals
 
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Aenima

Member
Nov 5, 2004
2,626
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Ultima Online was the 1st MMO i played and the MMO i played the longest time (2 years).

I ended up being the strongest player in the server i was playing. The GMs organised fighting tournaments of 1vs1 in an arena, they got tired of me winning all the tournaments to the point they only allowed me to participate if i fought 2 players at a time. :D Thats what happens when ur the best blacksmith in the game and keep the best armor and weapons and sell lower tier ones to other players. :D

Fun times. But nowadays i would not play a MMO where when a player kills u you lose all ur loot and the enemy player can loot your body. The last MMO i played FFXIV is more what i look for in a MMO these days. Bigger focus in co-op and no pvp in the world.
 
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Bitmap Frogs

Mr. Community
Dec 26, 2008
12,691
7,811
1,690
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I feel like I've been chasing the MMO high I got from Ultima Online for the past 20 years and eventually gave up. nothing has come close to giving me the experience that Ultima Online gave me.

I've been playing it on and off on player made servers (shards) for the past 20 years.

I'm making this thread partly to see whether anyone else has had a similar experience with the game, or whether I'm just dealing with nostalgia.

The game is very challenging by today's standards

- if you die, you lose everything. your items stay on your body and odds are it will get looted by the time you get back to it. assuming you can even get back to it because now you're naked. also you have to run to a far away location to resurrect yourself so the whole process takes a long time, making it more likely your shit will get looted
- if you leave town, other players can kill you. if they kill you, they're stealing your shit.
- if you decide to PK enough, your name becomes red and now NPC guards in most towns will kill you on sight.

When you saw a red name, you would freak the fuck out.

What I think I loved most about the game was the economy and customization the game allowed. The whole crafting system was so rewarding. It took forever to raise your mining and smithing, for example, but once you finally got your smithing to a high enough level your crafted armor and weapons would have your name on it. And the stuff you crafted was considered top tier gear, so the in game economy rewarded you for your time and labor.

I could set up NPC vendors in my house to sell my crafted goods. And yes, in MY house. You could own houses. You would literally get to go out and find a plot of land and place your house. It could be anywhere in the world, as long as your house could fit on the plot of land. And there were many different styles of houses, each with cost that corresponded to their size. I've never played an MMO that had anything nearly as cool as this. You could fully participate in the game as a carpenter and never even raise a sword to a monster. You could make a name for yourself as an artisan. Where weary travelers would venture to your home to buy your exceptionally crafted goods.

You and your buddies could create a guild, put together all your gold and eventually get yourself a castle. You could decorate the castle with furniture you crafted, or that you purchased from other carpenters.

Yes, it was my first MMO. But firing up the game 20 years later still gives me those magic feelings.

Chilling by the bank in Lower West Britain



Player houses




It's been a couple years since I've last gave it a go. The game is still officially running, although it has changed DRASTICALLY since it first came out in 1997. The player run servers (called player run shards) are still offering the same experience you had in the late 90s. There are plenty of options and they're pretty much all free.

Eve Online is pretty much Ultima Online in space if you're into that sort of thing, but the game's info overload, myriad systems and somewhat detached gameplay leaves some people cold.
 

Rykan

Member
Jul 26, 2021
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It is quite incredible how the entire genre has devolved from this. MMORPGs truly were a virtual world back then and it's crazy that all that potential went to waste. Instead, we now have glorified singleplayer games dressed as MMORPGS like Final Fantasy XIV which are heralded as "One of the best MMORPGS ever".
 

Perfo

Thirteen flew over the cuckoo's nest
Aug 22, 2010
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Easily the best mmorpg ever created to this day and an huge influence for my younger self. Spent so many beautiful days with my friends in that universe.
 

Moonjt9

Member
Oct 2, 2019
484
1,287
360
I feel the exact same way. UO was a truly revolutionary experience, definitely the best virtual world ever made. The fact that you could do anything and thrive was so amazing. Everything is combat only now.

No other MMO comes close to touching Ultima Online. Sadly, I don’t think a game like it could be made in current times.
 

Soosa

Member
Jul 22, 2021
87
180
210
Best MMO I have played, we gamed on some american free shard called "abrupt utopia" on early 2000's.

Experience were great, so much to learn and explore, and then turn into notorius PK duo with my friend, I also had a thief which I used to steal some of the best items on the shard with luck.

Variety of things to do is still not mached, and it is difficult to do it. Having ability to have house in so many places is just epic, but would be difficult to do in modern games with millions of gamers.

I still think about those glorious adventures few times a year