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Does anyone still play Ultima Online?

Blaine

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Or the time I ran through a swamp, aggroing every single lizard man in the area, and training them to some poor sap's house with a few if his buddies, and watched them get slaughtered while I watched in the distance while they cursed my existence.

Oh boy, you could do this in Final Fantasy XI as well. The Crawlers' Nest was perhaps the prime spot that I remember, since it was a restrictive and confusing warren of tunnels with one primary chokepoint entrance: http://ffxiclopedia.wikia.com/wiki/Crawlers'_Nest
 

Aildrik

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So which area did you start in? How difficult is it to raise skills and make money? Are you playing with a guild or friends, etc? How is the player population?

Personally, I started playing UO at release with a real life friend. I made some ingame friends and joined a guild. Being a sandbox game, my friends and I set some goals like saving up for a tower house, that sort of thing. Once the guild fell apart and my RL friends quit the game, it was literally just me logging in and frankly having done all the major things I wanted to do in the game (nice house, secure with tent courtyard, more money than I could ever spend, etc) just ran out of reasons to log in.

I guess that is a long winded way of saying (for me) UO was always about the social experience and interaction. Its really hard to play it single player although I am sure some people played it that way. That is why I could never really get into playing any of the private pre-T2A servers and such that popped up over the years... no population just made it pointless :(
 

taxalot

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Codex 2013 PC RPG Website of the Year, 2015


This is the most interesting thing Richard Garriot is going to talk about for the next 20 years, probably. A shame he still can't dress.
 

Beastro

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Classic, pre-Trammel private shards are the way to play. I imagine you can find many that are still very active today.

It's been an extremely long time since I've played an MMORPG on a private shard/server (I've played three on private servers: UO, Ragnarok Online, and briefly Lineage II), but if it's anything like it was a decade or so ago, you might be shocked at how populated and reliably functional private servers can be. They tend to have some F2P features, attract a younger crowd (being free), and cut down the vanilla grind by anywhere from 5-100x. After a few years at most, they almost always become moribund and stagnant, to be replaced by newer private servers.

What's the culture like on those?

I found a decade ago that the emulator culture that dominated EQ PvP servers was utterly shit. Then back in 2015 giving the Progression Servers ago with my old guild I was sadly not surprised to see that that attitude ruled to an ever greater extent and that we, an old Anti-PK guild that eventually raided were now a minority in actively trying to be decent with everyone we ran into. It made me realize that any Classic EQ Server, private or not, is doomed to failure, because the old culture that bred Anti-PKs and everyone dicking around just wanting to have fun was dead, replaced instead by the rush to server first that had raid guilds backstabbing one another as much as they could and hordes of RMTing that is what prog servers run on now.

I'd like to hope the old Ultima culture remains, because the old EQ culture was an extension of it where a genuine deserve to roleplay mattered and the game wasn't stripped down to it's bare mechanics to do everything in the shortest time possible that emerged near the end of EQs Clasic Era in 2003.
 

Blaine

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Beastro MMOs that aren't already dead or on life support have terminal cancer, with the possible exception of EVE Online... but I haven't played EVE in six years.

Private shards (for UO, classic EQ, vanilla WoW, Lineage II, RO, etc.) were pretty good across the board circa roughly 2007-2011, from what I dimly recall. The same went for text MUDs, for the most part. Cancer being cancer, though, its tendrils reach everywhere.

With each passing year, the overall populations of private shards and text MUDs dwindle, while veterans who remain (or move to a new private shard/text MUD) become more saturated in the decline they play the rest of the time. Meanwhile, what little new blood trickles into these games smells increasingly strongly of Tide Pods.

This reflects the "maturation" of the Internet generally. I've been online for a quarter of a century, since back when the great majority of the people playing shit like Neverwinter Nights and text MUDs (I wasn't one of them until after the turn of the century) were pretty big actual nerds. Most weren't super-nerds like DARPA, university, and computer club pioneers, but they were a LOT nerdier than average retards that now populate the Internet.

Even ten years ago there was a huge difference in Internet demographics, as the online "population" was 1/3 what it is now:
0caf9af5bd.png
 

Dawkinsfan69

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This is the most interesting thing Richard Garriot is going to talk about for the next 20 years, probably. A shame he still can't dress.


Watched this the other day.. It's amazing how much game design philosophy has gone to shit.

TBH I think an mmo that allows players this kind of freedom would do really well today, considering how popular survival/BR games are, but nobody seems to be able to pull it off
 

Blaine

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Dawkinsfan69 We got a few tastes of near-perfection in our lifetimes where sandbox MMORPGs are concerned, and frankly, I feel lucky to have had that.

I played EVE Online from 2006-2012, arguably its heyday; I played Star Wars Galaxies a bit both before and after they fucked it up (it was still good for The Sims: Star Wars MMO Edition afterward); I played some pretty decent text MUDs with strong sandbox features; and I played pre-Trammel UO on private shards back when private MMO shards seemed to attract genuinely great communities, with reduced grind compared to vanilla.

It's never going to happen again. There have been many phenomena in history that will probably never be repeated, and sandbox MMOs that felt like incredible alternate realities filled with communities of strange dweebs just like you probably qualify as such a phenomenon.
 

Mustawd

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sandbox MMOs that felt like incredible alternate realities filled with communities of strange dweebs

In UO I once made a character named Fidel Castro. And this one dude was so offended he just followed me around the entire first day of playing Fidel in order to harrass me. Pretty sure he was some FL retard who hated Castro or something.

Imagine you’re a 15 yr old just trying to kill animals in the forest and some jackass is yelling at you about how horrible of a dictator Fidel is and all the horrible things he’s done. For hours.

Yah that was a good time.
 

Hoaxmetal

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Heh, yeah, a lot of custom map servers had to be shut down/remade their map because they made it too big. Good to see Outlands getting the attention it deserves, I don't know about their gameplay mechanics but the map is the best one in UO. Gallery: https://imgur.com/a/0Kn8v
 

Hoaxmetal

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Actually I haven't properly played UO in a long time, might as well check out Outlands. I was more into server building myself, would love to do that again now that I can code :M
 

Blaine

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The last time I played on a private UO shard, almost the first thing that happened upon logging in for the first time was that I got PKed hard.

Ah, nostalgia. I remember when there was actual gaming media buzz surrounding PKing of fresh players in UO when the game was new.
 

ADL

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Dawkinsfan69 We got a few tastes of near-perfection in our lifetimes where sandbox MMORPGs are concerned, and frankly, I feel lucky to have had that.

I played EVE Online from 2006-2012, arguably its heyday; I played Star Wars Galaxies a bit both before and after they fucked it up (it was still good for The Sims: Star Wars MMO Edition afterward); I played some pretty decent text MUDs with strong sandbox features; and I played pre-Trammel UO on private shards back when private MMO shards seemed to attract genuinely great communities, with reduced grind compared to vanilla.

It's never going to happen again. There have been many phenomena in history that will probably never be repeated, and sandbox MMOs that felt like incredible alternate realities filled with communities of strange dweebs just like you probably qualify as such a phenomenon.
It's happening again right now in Legends of Aria/Legends of Ultima
 

Mustawd

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Dawkinsfan69 We got a few tastes of near-perfection in our lifetimes where sandbox MMORPGs are concerned, and frankly, I feel lucky to have had that.

I played EVE Online from 2006-2012, arguably its heyday; I played Star Wars Galaxies a bit both before and after they fucked it up (it was still good for The Sims: Star Wars MMO Edition afterward); I played some pretty decent text MUDs with strong sandbox features; and I played pre-Trammel UO on private shards back when private MMO shards seemed to attract genuinely great communities, with reduced grind compared to vanilla.

It's never going to happen again. There have been many phenomena in history that will probably never be repeated, and sandbox MMOs that felt like incredible alternate realities filled with communities of strange dweebs just like you probably qualify as such a phenomenon.
It's happening again right now in Legends of Aria/Legends of Ultima

Is it that good?
 

Beastro

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In UO I once made a character named Fidel Castro. And this one dude was so offended he just followed me around the entire first day of playing Fidel in order to harrass me. Pretty sure he was some FL retard who hated Castro or something.

Imagine you’re a 15 yr old just trying to kill animals in the forest and some jackass is yelling at you about how horrible of a dictator Fidel is and all the horrible things he’s done. For hours.

Yah that was a good time.

I remember playing Face of Mankind near the beginning with a buddy. Instead of going with one of my usual names I thought over the player population having lots of Brits and Euros and wondered if they'd understand what Golliwog meant, so made a black cop with that name.

10 minutes in one of the higher ranking cops saw me and began chewing me out furious before he started attacking me as his friends started trying to stop him reminding him he'd get reprimanded for killing subordinates (FoM had a weird player driven quest system with different ranks within factions that did different tasks. To complete a quest for a cop, like doing a patrol, you'd sign up for one, go do it and then send in your report to be checked and signed by a supervisor. Neat fucking idea for a MMO, but was too good in theory and just busywork RL shit in practice) but he kept doing it saying he'd take his punishment, he had to teach me a lesson for using such a name.

FoM was so weird, yet fun in an open ended way. Was fun smuggling weapons into the prison (Yes, that was a duty you could sign up on, which meant sitting around or mosey about the prison keeping an eye on players that got caught by the police and did stints there for a few hours) or in the spawn areas that were FPS deathmatch like one way drop offs that people would often go afk in. Scared the shit out of them seeing someone with a pistol firing on them as they tabbed out.
 

Late Bloomer

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Don Peste

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https://www.retromags.com/files/file/6629-ultima-online-unofficial-strategies-secrets/

Considering it's an outdated strategy guide for a version of a game that's been unplayable since the early 2000's, this book is oddly expensive on the second-hand market, with listings usually in the $20-40 range. Equally unusual, this guide was essentially co-authored by a bunch of members of the same guild, who shared their tips and techniques with Sybex, making it something of a curiosity for that alone. In any case, this is the very definition of a historical artifact of a bygone era, which is why it's so important for us to preserve it. Ultima Online is still around, and still playable today, but it looks nothing like it did in 1997 when this came out.
UOUSS000frontcover.jpg.845cd347a382097aa2ffbc695554c96f.jpg
 

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