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!