Catching up with the Ultima Nostalgia project that’s rebuilding Ultima Online in Wurm

    
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If you found last week’s community discussion on whether (good) bots could help save dying MMORPGs fascinating, then the video hereunder will suit you too. Last year we wrote about gamer and professional artist Andrea Fryer – you probably know her best as KatsPurr in the Massively OP community. She’s been working on a spectacular “Ultima Nostalgia” project to meld the worlds of Ultima Online and Wurm Online by recreating the former as a 3-D map inside the latter.

The project and server have come a long way since then, as her 10th episode shows; this particular one covers the creation of the isle of Nujel’m (one of my favorites as my guild used to use “Nuji bank” as our headquarters for a time). And during the episode, she discusses how empty some of these old sandboxes can feel.

“I’ve always felt that Wurm is a fantastic game, but one of its downfalls is that since players are capable of building as big cities as they like and keeping those all to themselves, this creates and issue of the game feeling empty,” KatsPurr wrote last week in the discussion about how to effectively use bots to make games feel alive (and stay alive). “Because then you go visit these grand huge cities and don’t see a single soul anywhere, especially if the owner happens to be offline! So I’ve always thought that Wurm should allow us to buy NPC deeds and plant them in various places (like a Smith NPC hammering away in a smithy shop, or a bartender standing behind the bar).”

Here’s the whole playlist if you’d like to start from the beginning!

Source: YouTube. Thank you so much, KatsPurr!

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squid

So is this a playable thing like the UOesque Legends of Aria server, or just a fan project?

KatsPurr
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KatsPurr

Hey there! So Wurm Online is a fully fledged sandbox MMO. Minecraft creator
Notch’s previous project and company. Ignoring my project completely for a moment, think of Wurm as a 3d sandbox game very similar to UO, but with a dash of minecraft, just much much deeper and more complex. This is what drew me to the game in the first place years ago. In fact, it was a fellow UO fan that introduced me to wurm and it was love at first sight for me. Fast forwarding a few years, the wurm team decided to take the MMO version and make a standalone version of it that they stuck on Steam, calling it Wurm Unlimited. The same game, but instead of it being a MMO, it’s where players can create their own servers and run them either privately or publicly. Players can go nuts modding their servers and creating pretty much anything they want (hence “unlimited”). And that’s what I’ve done with this project, challenging myself to see just how far I can go in creating a server that is exactly like the classic UO map. As Bree says, the server is not yet public as I want to at least finish all the major cities until I open it up for players to join. As the owner of the server, it’s up to me how I decide to set the permissions for players and just how much they can play “the game” which is essentially “wurm” and all of the wurmian mechanics. Wurm allows you to terraform land, build houses and cities, catch and breed animals, build ships and sail the seas etc etc. But I will have to think carefully just how much of all that I will allow players to do on my server because I don’t want them to go destroying the stuff I’ve built either. Originally, my intent was to make this into something you could describe as a “Ultima Online themed amusement park”. So you visit, you enjoy the ride and then you leave. But you can’t change or modify the amusement park, and you certainly don’t live in it. However as this project progresses and starts to become a bigger and bigger thing in my life, and the more likeminded UO people I meet along the way who would really really love to all come together and find a new home in this place, well I might just try and find a way for players to actually live on the server and play the game like one normally could in Wurm. No promises yet, but it’s something I’m pondering and there is much figuring out to do still. In the very least, what players will be able to do is explore the entire world, catch horses and ride them to travel faster, board ships and sail them to get to the islands and fight mobs along the way. Sorry for the long response, but I hope that explained it a bit :).

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agemyth ?

(time-stamped)

Put things on tables?!

I like to think that the kind of player that loses their mind at the idea of being able to place objects on tables (instead of just on the ground or in a magic invisible inventory assigned to the table) is a kind of person I could get along with in games.

KatsPurr
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KatsPurr

*cackles*