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News & Features Discussion  » Ultima Online: The Making of a Classic Part 1

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87 posts found
  SBFord

Associate Editor - News Manager

Joined: 6/28/10
Posts: 13214

 
OP  2/14/12 2:50:30 PM#1

Ultima Online is considered one of the grand old dames of the MMO genre and has nearly reached its fifteenth anniversary. We have a comprehensive look at just how this classic MMO came into being and will present it to our readers in two parts. Check it out and then tell us your memories of UO in the comments.

In the dark times before Ultima Online tossed its illustrious hat into the realm of online role-playing, players only had MUDs, MUSHes, and D&D boards. Sony, 3DO, and Turbine would all work on their own projects, hoping to pip one another to the post of success, but Origin System's groundbreaking game showed the rest what was possible, and exactly how it could be achieved pointy hat and all.

Read more of Adam Tingle's Ultima Online: The Making of a Classic Part 1.

Associate Editor: MMORPG.com
Follow me on Twitter: @MMORPGMom

  kishe

Advanced Member

Joined: 2/28/04
Posts: 1956

firefighter lvl90

2/15/12 9:12:15 AM#2

Tens of thousands people still play this game like...14-15 years later because there simply isnt a game out there that can compete with it gameplay wise...the list of features and things to do in this game is massive!


 


It's amazing how over ten years old game can still have systems superior to modern competition


  Coldren

Advanced Member

Joined: 3/19/08
Posts: 422

2/15/12 9:14:47 AM#3

Excellent article, and kishe is right on the mark.

There is NOTHING comparable on the market. There is so much depth and complexity in UO, I started playing this game at launch, and a few years off and on, and I still don't know how everything in this game works, or even where to get it. Documenation on where things are is still difficult to find, though there is Stratics and UO Guide, but even they have trouble keeping up.

They are supposedly working on a new high-res makeover for their new client (EC - Enhanced Client) but I'm sure that will be a while coming. The new UI, baring the graphics, really helps make the game more playable.

Hopefully someone will one day take up the gauntlent and match UO feature for feature in a new MMO. One can only dream! Look forward to the next part of the article!


  Vegetto

Novice Member

Joined: 7/07/04
Posts: 854

2/15/12 9:44:58 AM#4

96-97, about when i first got the internet and started to mess around with PCs (i still had an Amiga prior to this). Think i was one of the first to have the internet in my school, which meant anyone, so the thought of an online game were foreign. The population that play this game now would have doubled the towns physical population lol.


Good old days, when no one knew what the hell they were doing and i was labelled a "Whizz-kid" for knowing "the internet" haha.:


"Yeh, he actually talks to people from around the world...like this guy - where's he from? - he's from America...that's him talking now...say hello back!"....simple times :D


  Ceridith

Novice Member

Joined: 11/24/09
Posts: 3001

The more you hype an upcoming game in your mind, the more it will fail to meet your expectations.

2/15/12 9:50:12 AM#5

I miss this game so much...

I still have yet to play an MMO that actually captured creating an open virtual world where you could choose how you played the game as much as in UO. SWG was close... but that's obviously long gone.

I tried to get back into UO last year... but I just couldn't stomach the item stat system they jammed into the game with Age of Shadows.

  warbot7777

Novice Member

Joined: 10/28/07
Posts: 117

2/15/12 10:02:56 AM#6

UO is no doubt one of the best games of all time. I remember when I started playing it at 13. They did ruin it a bit when they released Trammel. That's when I switched to emulated servers.


  Ozmodan

Elite Member

Joined: 2/27/07
Posts: 6624

2/15/12 10:06:00 AM#7

Trammel was one of the best things they added, it was the age of shadows that ruined the game where they bought into the customization of equipment from EQ.

Great game, many fond memories of it.

  punkrock

Novice Member

Joined: 10/31/03
Posts: 1786

2/15/12 10:07:16 AM#8

I rememberwhen i first got UO, it was 1997 and i was 13, going on 14. Sigh those were the days.


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  kerigar

Novice Member

Joined: 1/04/07
Posts: 70

2/15/12 10:07:48 AM#9

Reading this, you can really see how these guys had such a different take on MMO's compared to the Devs/Designers now.. "players could manipulate the world, how they could engage and feel like the experience was as life-like as possible."  To create a life like virtual world.....


Nowadays its all about trying to find a proper theme and slap on the Lifeless/Static WoW Style mechanics, And try to railroad people as fast as they can to endgame because "my friends are all 50, or level 85 and i wanna play with them and thats where all the really fun content is!!!"


I remember way back in 99, the first day  i started playing ultima online, I met up with my uncle and his friends (who actually introduced me to UO), they took me back to the log cabin they had setup ingame, Crafted some warrior armor a katana and a shield for me. Then we all headed out to hunt fire elementals at the fire dungeon... We all cooperated, looted, etc.. Once we got back to the cabin, we all tossed our loot into a bag on the floor sorted the junk split the gold and rolled for loot... We created those mechanics ourselve using the tools at hand in the game, a Cup of dice and a loot bag on the ground!


You just dont see that level of cooperation/creativity allowed in games nowadays, Theres no social aspect to it, hanging out having fun DOING WHAT YOU WANT, its all about leveling climbing the gear ladder being MOAR L33T than that dude standing next to you...And all we can do is stand back and watch companies like blizzard suck the life out of MMO industry.. Its sad really, In all honesty even with all the MMOs out now, i still have sudden urges start playing uo again a 15 year old game!? Is the mmo industry really that stupied that they can clone WoW 100 times over because it had MASS APPEAL to the casual players? Yet a game that grandfathered them all cannot be cloned or remade properly once in 15 freaking years????


// A bit  of a rant near the end but i think it warranted with the BS company's releasing nowadays...


  Kuro1n

Novice Member

Joined: 1/03/07
Posts: 774

2/15/12 10:14:54 AM#10

I wish we had games like this still being made, however there is something that is incorrect here. Tibia was released before ultima online... Tibia was released in january of 1997 while ultima was released later that year (august IIRC).


  kerigar

Novice Member

Joined: 1/04/07
Posts: 70

2/15/12 10:17:59 AM#11

Originally posted by Kuro1n

I wish we had games like this still being made, however there is something that is incorrect here. Tibia was released before ultima online... Tibia was released in january of 1997 while ultima was released later that year (august IIRC).





 


Tibia was released in Dec 97, UO was Sept. 97


  kerigar

Novice Member

Joined: 1/04/07
Posts: 70

2/15/12 10:19:16 AM#12

dbl post..


  spankybus

Hard Core Member

Joined: 11/20/05
Posts: 1164

"Don''t touch that squirrel''s nuts!" - Willy Wonka

2/15/12 10:24:04 AM#13

I can't help but wonder if the 2D client could run on a tablet PC. It would be absolutely badass to be able to play this game. On iOS and Droid tablets and would probably flood the servers with a host of new and returning players.

Maybe this game is dated by PC standards...but it's fun as hell and perfect for portable gaming now....especially since its point and click.

So many good memories of this game.

Frank 'Spankybus' Mignone
www.spankybus.com
-3d Artist & Compositor
-Writer
-Professional Amature

  mchattie

Apprentice Member

Joined: 2/15/12
Posts: 3

2/15/12 10:26:42 AM#14

 



Of the many games I played I remember the most about this game. Started when I was 13 years old in 97 and have played it off and on via free servers (some of the free servers by the way have maintained the best elements of the game before the updates and grew on that). 


The one thing I don't understand is why more developers don't use what UO did to make their game better. UO didn't even have a quest system and yet there was still so much to do. (explore, treasure hunt, mine, chop wood, place your house/castle in the actual game world, sneak into a person house and rob them and murder them, have guild wars in towns, become a murderous Dread Lord and be unable to enter a town without someone calling the guards on you, opt to put a bounty on the head of someone who kills you, kill the player with a bounty on them and return their head for the gold, loot players corpses, hoard gear for when you die and get looted, and the list goes on...



  Kuro1n

Novice Member

Joined: 1/03/07
Posts: 774

2/15/12 10:27:38 AM#15



Originally posted by kerigar






Originally posted by Kuro1n



I wish we had games like this still being made, however there is something that is incorrect here. Tibia was released before ultima online... Tibia was released in january of 1997 while ultima was released later that year (august IIRC). 





Tibia was released in Dec 97, UO was Sept. 97









Considering they celebrated their 15 year aniversary few days ago and after checking wikipedia + source I think not.




 




EDIT: Why is the forum adding so much space in my post?


EDIT2: http://www.mmorpg.com/gamelist.cfm/loadNews/23308


  Lynxeyed

Novice Member

Joined: 11/30/03
Posts: 76

2/15/12 10:30:34 AM#16

Baja 97-09 Played the game from my late teens thru college into my late 20's with children. It was probably the best mmo I ever played. I only quite do to being laid off and having to liquidate my accounts to pay my morgage.


  shakermaker0

Apprentice Member

Joined: 5/25/09
Posts: 198

2/15/12 10:49:19 AM#17
Ultima was magical.
  The.Howitzer

Apprentice Member

Joined: 2/15/12
Posts: 2

2/15/12 10:51:41 AM#18

I feel so passionately about UO whenever I think back on it.  I was on Great Lakes at release in 97'. Played the name 'DEATH' and made my first guild {KoV} Knights of Virtue.  I remember it so fondly even though I got my ass banned for being accused of uosing UOX (which I didn't).  Dread Lord days were epic and amazing indeed.  There will never be another game quite like it.


  kerigar

Novice Member

Joined: 1/04/07
Posts: 70

2/15/12 10:52:44 AM#19
Originally posted by Kuro1n

Originally posted by kerigar


Originally posted by Kuro1n
I wish we had games like this still being made, however there is something that is incorrect here. Tibia was released before ultima online... Tibia was released in january of 1997 while ultima was released later that year (august IIRC). 
Tibia was released in Dec 97, UO was Sept. 97
Considering they celebrated their 15 year aniversary few days ago and after checking wikipedia + source I think not.

EDIT: Why is the forum adding so much space in my post?


EDIT2: http://www.mmorpg.com/gamelist.cfm/loadNews/23308

UO is 15 years old.. i started in 98,99 the other guys i played with started in 97, UO is older than tibia..... By a few months.. Irregardless of the release dates, UO was the first to catch on, and grow and expand as it did.

  sandboxluv

Apprentice Member

Joined: 2/11/12
Posts: 58

2/15/12 10:58:51 AM#20

I agree trammel was ok there was still tons of pvp to be had.  Personally after trammel was made I would sit in front of dungeon entrances ( because you could not port inside a Fel dungeon from tram) and wait for all the phat trammies with phat loot to come to the dungeon and steal their silver of vanq as they de-equiped to cast a last spell. 




AOS is what ruined the game.  Most of my toons I played for years became shit after that came out. 



All these crap wannabe sanbox games that come out saying they are in the same vien as UO are a joke(MO, DF) I find it funny a game from the 90's is far more sandbox than these sandbox light FPS deathmatch games.

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