If you didn’t already know that Ultima Online is planning to go free-to-play, you probably still wouldn’t be able to tell without reading between the lines of the latest dev update. But yep, this is happening – on Thursday.
“We anticipate Publish 99 will be going World Wide on April 5, 2018,” Broadsword says. “This update will be done manually, and not during regularly scheduled maintenance. […] Shards will be brought down at 10:30am ET. We anticipate the downtime will last approximately 3 hours.”
As we’ve previously covered, new and returning players will be able to jump in as part of the “Endless Journey” mode, sans subscription. They’ll have the same number skills, the same access to dungeon content, the same access to PvP Felucca, and the same access to chat. But they won’t accrue vet rewards, can’t place or co-own houses, can’t place vendors, can’t place auction safes, can’t farm champ spawns, and can’t participate fully in live GM events. They’re also limited to just two characters.
All accounts will automatically be granted all past expansions up through Stygian Abyss – note that doesn’t count the booster packs like High Seas or the most recent expansion, Time of Legends. As for storage? It’s not set in stone. “We are still actively developing means of allowing Endless Journey accounts access to some level of secure storage,” Boardsword says. “These options will not be part of the initial release of Endless Journey and may come at a later time.”
Also worth noting: With the launch of F2P, multiboxing will officially become illegal play in the game. That’s according to the game’s newsletter yesterday:
“Please also remember when we release Endless Journey we will be taking actions against multiboxing users. We will be posting once a month on UO.com the number of warnings/bannings actioned against violators so you are aware we are catching people. We will need your assistance with this and we are asking that you page on the players you are witnessing using multiboxing.”
If you’re considering giving it a go at server up on Thursday, just make sure you check the list of what you can and can’t do as a freebie player. Housing is probably the one bound to upset the most folks!