Wanna feel old? Ultima Online launched 21 years ago today

    
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Ultima Online is officially old enough to drink. It’s older than I was when I first started playing it all those years ago!

Yep, the game that coined the term MMORPG turns 21 years old today. To celebrate, Broadsword released Publish 101, which as we’ve already covered delivered new detective quests, crafting, player-designed castles, and Halloween bits. It also unleashed 21st anniversary reward gifts for all characters who log into the game until November 18th. Those gifts include astronomy tools that allow players to view the night sky, create star charts, and discover constellations for unique character titles.

Two years back, I did an in-depth video on the game, which stands up pretty well, so well that I haven’t seen much need to go back and redo it. The big thing that’s changed in the last two years is that Ultima Online went free-to-play, sort of, this past spring. I don’t personally recommend playing seriously as a free-to-play account as it’s quite punishing without consistent bank access or housing, but at least it’s an option if you want to saunter around for old times’ sake without dropping a $13 sub – the going month-to-month rate even now.

Do remember that if you go back, you’ll need to stay in Trammel to avoid being ganked, and you’ll probably want to pick up the enhanced client and associated mods for more modern interface sensibilities.

Happy 21st birthday, UO!

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Akagi

It hasn’t aged well at all. Even if there is a 3D remake with modern graphics, the outdated mechanics kill it. Graphics look nice, after all a game like Heroes of Might and Magic 3 still looks amazing in 2018, but the gameplay of UO is just so old school and hardcore that playing the game is pointless.

A game can be hardcore, without having such a gameplay as UO. It can have really tough mobs that 1vs1 kill you 80% of the time if you aren’t really careful. It can have equally tough dungeons and whatnot.

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François Verret

Did they ever add the tutorial back in?

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Crowe

I beta tested UO. They mailed me CDs and I tested via dial-up. (up hill…both ways!)

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starbuck1771

Just think it’s been 44 years since the 1974 release of Dungeons & Dragons Bree. Talk about feeling old. 😈

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Sargonnax

I played from the beta till about the end of 2003. It was one of my greatest MMO experiences, mostly due to my guild and the player town we had. I have a little bit of an urge to go back, but its time has passed for me. There is nothing today that could compare to the great experiences i had years ago.

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Utakata

…and still looks like it could run on a toaster, to boot! <3

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Blake

Happy birthday UO. Now drinking has lost its luster as you can legally do it!

I’m growing unsure about LoA and the LoU server and recently downloaded the UO client again. I’m hovering over that sub button. Ugh. 😈

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Castagere Shaikura

Man i remember being over a friends house back in the 90’s watching him play this. I never got what he liked about it at all. But dang 21 years is a long time congrats to them. Funny how i remember him going to some 3rd party sight and buying lumber for his house.

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Mick the Barbarian

I still remember that day so well. It was (despite the crippling lag) the maddest and most fun day ever.

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Toy Clown

What’s this “old” stuff? Mhm? Those of us that were around playing UO at its birth have seen a lot of history and how globalization came about. I often listen to my younger gamer counterparts talk with such expertise about the internet 20 years ago and all I can do is roll my eyes and laugh behind the keyboard at the experts they are. Reminds me of myself when I was younger. How I embrace having those times behind me, and how I look forward to enjoying gaming in my retirement. I’m partially there, and I’m happy to let the Rat Race pass me by while I stop to smell the cyber roses.

And this is why I love the devs of that age, and I’m with glee that they’re still around advising and creating.