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News & Features Discussion  » Ultima Online: The Making of a Classic Part 2

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61 posts found

Apprentice Member

Joined: 2/17/12
Posts: 1

2/17/12 4:01:36 PM#41
Originally posted by InPorYlem

For anyone still looking to play UO, there is lots of free player run servers.  The most activate currently is called In Por Ylem. will give you all the links and info you need to start playing.  

True dat.  I signed up at IPY about 2-3 months ago and its been a blast so far.  I played at uogamers (hybrid) a handful of years ago but that place got old quickly.  Those of you craving for a UO fix should definitely check it out!  Nothing will replace the awesomeness of the OSI days, but this one is as close as it gets.

I love that UO still gets some attention and props.  I think it's one of the most underrated games out there. And the fact that there is still a relatively sizable population that plays it is downright incredible after all these years.




Novice Member

Joined: 11/06/10
Posts: 102

2/17/12 6:34:59 PM#42

Please burn this article, it is so fabricated, and wolves woodnt need to eat rabbits.

Finally the story of this article should be not the $2 beta disc's but the truth in that they were $6 and they were never sent out and they stole all the money... well until after launch i finally got mine.. when they were about to be sued to the moon





Nobotters - A better gaming experience


Novice Member

Joined: 2/10/12
Posts: 193

2/17/12 7:12:54 PM#43
Originally posted by nobottters

Please burn this article, it is so fabricated, and wolves woodnt need to eat rabbits.

Finally the story of this article should be not the $2 beta disc's but the truth in that they were $6 and they were never sent out and they stole all the money... well until after launch i finally got mine.. when they were about to be sued to the moon


I'm not too sure what to say other than, haha nice one!

They certainly did send out beta cd's. And they certainly weren't sued to the moon. Although i'm sure richard garriott wouldn't have minded the moon part.


Novice Member

Joined: 4/12/09
Posts: 344

"History is bunk."

2/18/12 3:36:47 AM#44

Originally posted by nobottters

Please burn this article, it is so fabricated, and wolves woodnt need to eat rabbits.

From Raph's blog about Adam Tingle's write up:

I think I have told this story before, but the whole “dragons eating deer” example came from the design samples that my wife and I sent in as part of our job applications. We showed up on the first day and were taken aback when we were told that was how the game was going to work… So at least that much of the notion of “what the game was going to be” was set in 1995…

That crazy resource system stuff, particularly some of the AI, did in fact work in the alpha test. It led to rabbits that had levelled up and were capable of taking out wolves — or advanced players. We found this intensely amusing, and quoted Monty Python at each other whenever it came up.


And now, some exclusive never-seen-before footage of an elite guild raid against the most "foul, cruel, and bad-tempered rodent you've ever set eyes on!": Killer Bunny Raid





Novice Member

Joined: 4/12/09
Posts: 344

"History is bunk."

2/18/12 4:03:05 AM#45

P.S. WTG @Adam Tingle (author of the article) for his "nice articles" getting shoutouts on Raph's twitter and blog :)


Apprentice Member

Joined: 2/04/12
Posts: 38

2/18/12 4:15:01 AM#46

This thread is for big boys with fully matured willies and big bellies and stuff.


Apprentice Member

Joined: 7/07/04
Posts: 827

Gamer Forums, where "First World Problems" are our specialty!

2/18/12 4:47:07 AM#47

Great articles.  I always love to see a great game get its due in the public eye, and UO definitely deserves continuous praise.


Advanced Member

Joined: 2/28/04
Posts: 4744

2/18/12 5:23:50 AM#48

I think it is time to resurrect the UO2 project (I hope not made by EA).

I believe the MMO market is now ready for something different from the WoW copycats.


Elite Member

Joined: 7/09/04
Posts: 3630

If you can't kill it, don't make it mad.

2/18/12 12:54:05 PM#49

UO was my first MMO. It was fun for its time, but I moved on to Asherons Call (One). AC1 was and still is a classic example of a fun game. But its graphics are LONG out dated, and I would not want to go back to its corpse runs and lost gear. 


Novice Member

Joined: 7/01/05
Posts: 42

2/18/12 8:34:03 PM#50

There are many systems that could be implemented to help bring the risk in line with the reward for certain playstyles (thief/pk/griefer). Honestly, I would implement a level system ala WoD (atleast thats how it used to be) where you use skill points from leveling to purchase from any skill set you want. So you have levels and a complex open ended skill system. From there you put murder counts on a revolving 31 day cycle. Meaning they fall off on the same day of the following month. The more murder counts you have the higher the experience points you lose when you die. You tweak exp point loss to balance the riskvsreward on the pk side.


There are also many systems that could work from a "bounty hunter" or self policing stand point.


Apprentice Member

Joined: 1/08/11
Posts: 138

2/20/12 11:26:29 AM#51

I love the article and the funniest moment -  Lord British being PKd lol. -))) It is something we would really like to do to some modern MMOs developers ))) lol


Novice Member

Joined: 4/12/09
Posts: 344

"History is bunk."

2/21/12 7:52:51 AM#52

Hail and well met to all of you fine UO vets... After reading so many of the responses here and in "part 1", I just wanted to say that I'm so glad that so many of us still have such deep feelings for this game. As a result, I can't resist putting this here for all of us who "had a dream and the heart and the will and the power" to move earth, carve stone, mold hill and channel stream in that very special place:


What secrets we could tell, indeed....


I know a lot of you probably feel nostalgic and sad, wanting to relive that magic. I can only respond by saying that so much of the magic was created by us, with the game providing a bewitching vehicle for accessing what was inside us.


FWIW, I have been watching more and more ArcheAge videos and have found myself impressed with the open-ended feeling of the world and the fact that, for the first time in a long time, it feels like I am seeing a virtual world (not a flashy backdrop for a themepark's rails). If AA does indeed make it's way over here, and the world is as open and free-form as it appears, I invite all of you who are interested to come experience and explore that world with me. In other words, please remember my name and contact me here... I have made a mental note of many of you. I would be honored to create that magic again in a new world with people who know that games go much deeper than leet gear or reaching max level. Some will say that we wear rose-colored lenses and are sentimental fools in our nostalgia for what will never be again. But, you and I know better....


With that, fare thee well, friends (and even you murderous reds)... Wherever your gaming adventures take you, I hope you seed that place with the special brand of creativity that we all can remember. That magic won't die if we keep it alive and show the new up-and-comers that games are much more than their ruleset and achieving "victory." They are, at times, portals to a whole new realm of thought, feeling, and expressivity. Good luck... and safe journies.


Oh, and for any who didn't like "Stones" w/ lyrics (even though the song actually really does have lyrics):


Hard Core Member

Joined: 7/18/10
Posts: 3224

Veni, Vidi, Converti

2/21/12 8:50:30 AM#53
Originally posted by Garvon3
Originally posted by MustaphaMond
Originally posted by Garvon3
Originally posted by maplestone

Originally posted by Garvon3

But... having them all together is what made Ultima Online great. You had all different play styles together in the same place. It was a simulated world. They just needed a better incentive system for NOT killing people.

I can also honestly say that not a single PKer, thief or griefer provided me with one second of entertainment.   That was (and still is) the complete and utter antithesis of what an MMO is to me.  Cooperation, community, a shared sense of purpose of *all* players at the table - those to me are defining features of the pencil-and-paper culture I knew and wanted the first time I logged into UO.  PvP has no place in that.

( to be fair, there was a time when I was opposed to the idea of seperate PvP and PvE servers because I did appreciate the background news and "trade goods from distant lands" feel of having a PvP zone (Fel) that I never visited, but over the years I've slowly come around to the conclusion that the two playstyles, the two worldviews are simply incompatable - I now believe that the game should have been forked completely - not just two facets or two types of servers but take two copies of the codebase, give them to seperate teams and let two completely seperate games emerge )

I have a different opinion. PKers gave me a sense of danger in the wilderness and a sense of immersion into the world. They were a part of the ecosystem. Danger is one of the things I liked about early MMOs. EverQuest also had a dangerous world. It forced communities to come together and made the whole game make sense. I was part of a guild that hunted player killers, never would have been able to be a "defender of innocents" if there were no PKers. I can understand how it can make some people unhappy, but I feel like someone who doesn't like anyone "interfering" or altering their gameplay, would be better suited in a different game, because thats not what UO was. It was a complete social ecosystem, not just a club of like minded individuals. Which, is how we both played the same game and have wildly different opinions.

^This... In fact, it was an actual intention of the devs that PK's (and the danger of getting PK'ed) would force blues to group together and seek strength in number. Garvon3 is, more or less, showing that much of what Raph Koster and the UO team intended with the PK system worked (for more, see his blog ... I can't find the specific article/video where he talks about it, sorry). In essence, the presence of Reds helped build community and create a dynamism where players could change the world (I've seen others mention this earlier in this thread and the "Part 1" thread... perhaps it was Garvon3 then too).


That's not to say that the system wasn't broken in many respects (Koster admits this as well, citing examples of the in-game bulletin board/bounty system actually spawning a wave of murders as PKs competed to be the baddest Red on the block -- see the 43:00 minute mark of this GDCOnline talk). So, maplestone does have a point though Koster does talk a lot about why he personally favors open PvP versus a "switch" or no PvP at all around 17:00 - 22:00 HERE. But,even in that video, he explains why the PvP mechanic was broken because the MUD/MUSH/MOO-inspired devs had never dealt with such an enormous playerbase in their earlier experience. Still, I think Garvon3 has it right because the whole Red vs Blue dynamic brought the "unknown" into the mix in a way that contemporary games do not.


For example, one of my most thrilling moments in game was when my guildmates staged a scenario in the graveyard just outside of Moonglow to test my mettle. I was young and naive, they kept suggesting to me that I visit Moonglow. One day, I finally did. I was exploring the graveyard when another blue approached. As I greeted them and we started to talk, a Red appeared, attacked the Blue and "shouted" 'DEFEND THE VIRTUOUS!' (I was part of a virtuous guild). In that brief second, I had a choice to either stand and fight or run away and let the "innocent" die....


I stood and fought, almost dying several times (I was a novice and no match for anybody who knew what they were doing), but the Blue had enough time to hide and once they were safe, I disengaged and hid as well. But, I took the risk to break my stealth to say "Log and come back later, I am too weak to fight him!" to the now stealthed Blue before hoping I could hide again (which I managed to do, just barely). I was too dumb at the time to realize it was all staged, but at that moment I felt great about myself even though, in all honesty, I was lucky to have achieved a "stalemate" and I hadn't met an honorable death like I probably should have.


Still, that guild (and playing in a game environment where Reds could, and did, appear like that ) created a deep sense of thrill and unimaginable opportunities for bravery and excitement. What is more, staged or not, it allowed my guildies (all RP'ers and much better gamers than I was) to gauge my heart as a player and ignore my obvious shortcomings in skill, RP'ing ability, and overall knowledge (I was maybe 15 at the time and they were all much more experienced gamers/RP'ers).


The TL;DR moral of the story: With risk comes reward and when you create a virtual world without the dynamic risk that open PvP provides, you lose out on that sense of excitement and the unpredictability of playing against humans. Granted, I was ganked on occasion and died in dungeons at times (and had unscrupulous players loot my hard-earned bounty and chop my body into pieces for no other reason than to be jerks), but the reason UO stood out to me is that it allowed for the unexpected and you truly had a sense that something new was always waiting for you just around the next bend...


For a few more thoughts on this, one last link to something by Raph Koster that examines BOTH sides of the pro-PK/anti-PK debate: did MMOs go so wrong...

At least you got the chance^ with UO.

Tons of the stories of UO come across as emergent. The best kind, and for that they owe a debt to pk'er gameplay. I could imagine a posse of player capturing a "red" and deciding to throw that player off a cliff... "throw 'em high"!


Apprentice Member

Joined: 7/01/05
Posts: 377

2/21/12 10:07:15 AM#54

"Ultima Online was your game; however you wished to play it."


That's what made it great for me.

Just think what could have been achieved with the UO name if EA didn't have their heads so far up their own arses and didn't continue to produce piles of uninteresting, high budget piles of dung. 

Lord British needs to regain his throne and save us all from the dreary peices of crap, that are spewed out in the name of MMORPG's these days.


Novice Member

Joined: 8/06/11
Posts: 27

2/22/12 4:56:54 AM#55

I'm playing UO as we speak, I have tried over 100 different MMORPGs...

I always come back to UO, and always will, every other mmorpg is trash.  (Vindictus is alright I guess...)


THEY ALL FAIL where UO Wins!    I Love PKing, and I Love when ppl quit the game, cus that means...

IDOCS! (in danger of collapsing houses)

MORE LOOT FOR ME,, so u kow what, I dont care who quits, cus that just means I am richer ^.^


cheers ^.^

*rides off on a llama*

P.S.  In por yelm is bad, UOGamers Hybrid is where its at ;)



Old School

Joined: 6/07/04
Posts: 2232

2/22/12 5:23:43 AM#56

From Raphs blog:-

I was busy coding something and missed this altogether. Scott rushed into my office and said “Did you see? They killed Lord British!” At first I wasn’t sure if he meant in the game or not…


That made me laugh.


Novice Member

Joined: 7/07/04
Posts: 854

2/22/12 5:26:37 AM#57

I wonder why no one has tried to emulated this in modern graphics.

It's like, there's a template to work from, that's your design, copy it.

I strongly oppose plagiarism in games, especially MMOs, but i think i can make certain allowances in this case lol.


Novice Member

Joined: 12/26/07
Posts: 826

*Everyone dies, not everyone really fights*

2/24/12 4:08:32 PM#58

Hail and Well met to all indeed!

This was a great read, I read both parts back to back! I had good laughs and many fond memories here!

UO still to this day remains the Favorite MMO Experience I ever have had, those 5 years playing it with my very best friends are going to be cherished forever.

Ultima Online cause so many people to become passionate about it, and to express that passion in many different and creative ways.

Albeit I enjoyed reading the History of UO, it is something that I am familiar with, one element that was of interest in part Ii was the mention of Foresight in relation to UO2 and also the ideas about Wng Commander Online, I was a fan of the Wing Commander Universe at the time as well (still am), and I remember within the first few days of experiencing Ultima, still newbie still fresh in it not fully immersed just amazed at the posibilities, going on to the Origin, UO and EA sites gathering as many contact email addresses I could find and shooting an email writen by myself and a close friends suggesting how great it would be to have a Wing Commander Online game some point in the future.

Such was the impact on this genre, and the creativity it (using an LB word) spawned in us.

Yet, how much things could have been different if there was a bit more of Foresight, this is I beleive a quality that few have and often they find themselves having to convince the majority around them, wich can be a very draining process.

In either case here is to the foresight and that spark of Vision a few individuals had and were able to convince the Synical Financial Bureaucracy.

Cheers to thee!

And may the Virtues shine upon thine path forever!


- Duke Suraknar -
Order of the Silver Star, OSS

ESKA, Playing MMORPG's since Ultima Online 1997 - Order of the Silver Serpent, Atlantic Shard


Apprentice Member

Joined: 3/14/12
Posts: 1

3/14/12 12:50:45 AM#59

I worked on UO from 2000 - 2005 (HanseOSI).


UO did not reach 250,000 subscribers in 1999.  It was in the summer of 2000 for the UO:R release.  This was after Garriot left the company.  Raph Koster was no longer present, either.  Starr Long was working downstairs on UO2.


I came from a strong MUD background and a heavily influenced fantasy RPG experience (played all the Ultimas and some of them multiple times).  The game was poorly coded and had tons of bugs.  We spent an entire year stabilizing the game with repeated bug fixes to make it playable.  Folks are nostalgic about it and it was a grand endevour, but little was ever told about how much effort was made to make it not crash.  Often.


As well as how poorly thought the logic for game systems were that exploits were rampant and ruined gameplay for thousands of people.  I know I plugged so many exploits in the game that it seemed that was all I did.


I do agree that EA has squandered the game and that it has taken them 15 years to put out a successful MMO, though. :)



Apprentice Member

Joined: 2/04/12
Posts: 38

4/01/12 3:09:01 AM#60

Originally posted by Volarin

This thread is for big boys with fully matured willies and big bellies and stuff.


LOL I am a funny guy.

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