Taking your first steps into Ultima Online’s free-to-play conversion

There are lots of different defintions of penalty.

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.

Leaderboard: Are you playing Ultima Online's Endless Journey?

  • I currently play UO and plan to keep subbing (11%, 51 Votes)
  • I currently play UO and plan to try or switch to F2P (0%, 2 Votes)
  • I currently play UO and have mixed feelings about F2P (1%, 5 Votes)
  • I currently play UO and will quit over F2P (0%, 0 Votes)
  • I have never played UO and plan to try it with a sub (1%, 3 Votes)
  • I have never played UO and plan to try F2P (15%, 67 Votes)
  • I have never played UO and am still on the fence about F2P (9%, 41 Votes)
  • I have never played UO and will not try F2P (18%, 83 Votes)
  • I used to play UO and plan to try F2P (16%, 73 Votes)
  • I used to play UO and plan to return to sub (1%, 5 Votes)
  • I used to play UO and am still on the fence about F2P (11%, 48 Votes)
  • I used to play UO and will not try F2P (10%, 46 Votes)
  • No response / elf butts / view tally (7%, 32 Votes)

Total Voters: 456

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Meh, i think I’ll pass, if it had not been for SotA i may have given it a look. When you’re in a game where many of the core players are all from UO, and you read graves in player cities such as “RIP Ultima Online”, yea pretty sure i’m in the right game already.

I really wish i could have been involved in this one when she was white hot though. Sounds like it was memories of a lifetime.

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Where is the “I don’t play UO but still maintain my 20 year subscription” option?

Roger Melly

They probably are assuming no one would be daft enough to pay a subscription for a game they no longer play .

Kickstarter Donor

Poll needs a “I currently play UO on a player-run server and don’t plan to try F2P” option.

Andrew Pedersen

I thought the exact same .. save time and headache and just join an abundantly populated F2P emulated shard like UOF/UO:R

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I have tried the trial in the past but it didn’t really work for me and didn’t make me want to sub. I see nothing in the f2p conversion that is going to change my mind on that point.

That said I would like to see some more of Ultima Online as it really is an important part of mmo history but the only way for me will be streams or youtube rather than actually playing it myself.

Bree you should do a joint stream with MJ (assuming she can get her log in issues sorted).

Kickstarter Donor

can even access your bank

1st para, should that be can’t instead of can? :P


yeah, you can’t. It’s frightening lol…