Taking your first steps into Ultima Online’s free-to-play conversion
If there’s one thing I can’t do in Ultima Online, it’s start fresh with new eyes. That’s something that became abundantly clear to me over this weekend as MJ beat her head against the login system on stream and I waited almost four days until my husband’s account – i.e., the one I am not currently already paying for – was properly flagged to try the game’s new free-to-play mode. And honestly, once we got in, I was disappointed. There’s nothing fun about logging into an old toon only to find that you can’t even access your bank (or any of the stuff on your paid account’s house).
According to a Broadsword post today, the team is fixing that, slightly, as F2P accounts will get bank boxes, albeit very limited ones. Returning players will be able to access their banks but not pull anything out if they’re over the limit, for now, which is… weird and not that helpful. Either way, currently it’s really limiting! All it made me do was want to go back to my “real” account, my paid account, and tinker with my plants and potions and maybe go treasure hunting on my boat.
But of course, a real newbie is going to have a completely different experience, seeing not all the things he can’t do but all the things he can. Such is the case for Massively OP reader Grimjack, who’s chronicling his first steps into the 20-year-old sandbox.
Based on his experiences and screenies, I can say that the newbie tutorial doesn’t look much different from the one that’s powered the starting experience for the last few years, essentially allowing new toons to level up in relatively safety under the guidance of the skill trainer NPCs on the isle of New Haven. Although I’m not sure about those ettins. Were those always there?
It also looks as if wherever Broadsword has stashed the new newbie helper screens, they’re not easily findable even by someone as motivated as Grim, which means you’re basically being plopped into an old-school MMORPG with some pretty flimsy guard rails.
That’s not to say you’re bound to have a bad time. In fact, Grimjack has already subbed.
“Having spent several hours in-game, despite missing out on 20 years of memories I am glade that I FINALLY made the choice to subscribe to Ultima Online. Now I am looking forward to spending the next 20 exploring the lands of Britannia with the community here.”
Are you playing too? We posted a poll over the weekend tracking who exactly is giving it a try. A solid third of our voters said they planned to at least give it a go.