Braving Britannia: Tales of Melancholy, Malice, and Peril in Ultima Online book chronicles player experiences in the seminal MMORPG

    
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Braving Britannia: Tales of Melancholy, Malice, and Peril in Ultima Online book chronicles player experiences in the seminal MMORPG

Back in 2018, we ran an interview with author Wes Locher about his book that was all about “Life, Love, and Adventure” in Ultima Online. Now, two years later, there’s a second volume that recounts even more player experiences titled Braving Britannia: Tales of Melancholy, Malice, and Peril in Ultima Online (Not an affiliate link).

“This second volume of the Braving Britannia series collects interviews with 30 more of the game’s players as they share treasured memories of slaughtering the weak, protecting the innocent, founding successful roleplaying communities, meeting future spouses, bonding with family and friends, decorating expansive castles, or just causing trouble for everyone around them.”

The book not only touts more player discussions but also talks with UO devs including Richard Garriott himself, and there’s also a point in the book where the author chronicles his return to the game after a 15 year-long hiatus. If you liked the first book, then it might be of interest for fans to perhaps check out the second.

source: press release

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David Goodman

I miss playing with a guy named Zencyclone – I remember us being attacked once while we were killing Ophidians, and someone dumped 6-7 energy bolts into him, doing a whopping total of maybe 10% damage to his health because he had GM’d magic resist. He had all of his key skills GM’d or close-as-to-not-matter (back before you could lock skills to make it easier), and really enjoyed panicking PKers who would dump all of their magic into doing nothing and having to run away.

And then I, as a bard, song’d a matriarch to attack them and chased them away. Can’t remember if we got a kill or not, it was much too long ago.

I miss those days sometimes, but you can’t recapture nostalgia, and I did move on eventually when Everquest came out with the promise of a non-PVP game that began the MMO revolution in earnest.

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Arktouros

My favorite Ultima Online story was right after Siege Perilous came out. They decided to wipe the server and restart and frankly I had enough at that point after they implemented a murder system and made PKing that much harder. So I asked a friend to use a house in our area and went about joining a guild seeing how long I could get away with murdering people before they kicked me out.

I asked a guild member if he wanted to spar to work on some skills which he did and slowly worked him down, then swapped to my Katana and killed him. Lo and behold he had keys and runes to every house in the guild. So began my looting marathon.

First few houses I got to were pretty easy, but eventually they eventually got ahead of me and started changing the keys on the houses. I killed them and took the new keys and so they threw me out of the guild finally. Eventually they got ahead of me and setup an ambush but I was pretty top shit back in those days and had no problem killing them all and didn’t take a single murder count because they attacked me to get their stuff back. The servers even went down and I kept up the looting spree once it came back up and they had just stopped trying at that point. Was something like 8-12 hours of looting/sorting loot (driving boats took forever).

All total I probably hauled in about dozen boats deeded up and as many houses worth of loot. Put everything in the house and next day handed it over to my friend who had lent it to me and quit the game. That whole guild ended up quitting the game as well.

Good times!

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gridley17

Rejoicing from getting a whole guild of players to quit after taking their stuff, good times indeed! I feel like there’s some clinical term for people that derive pleasure from causing other people discomfort…

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Arktouros

Yes, yes all us old school PK types are nothing but psychopathic basement dwellers so on and so forth.

Reader

That’s the developers you’re talking about. Of course if they implement an open PvP/PK system into a game, players will start playing around it eventually. That’s why you now have PvP MMOs and PvE MMOs.

I think WoW’s PvE servers and ESO are doing it really good – whoever doesn’t want to partake in PvP are free to enjoy the rest of the game and have nothing to complain about.

That’s a pretty good system if I say so myself, I don’t get why newer games aren’t using it and instead are trying to force PvP/PK/Sandbox/Surival down everyone’s throats and then wonder why almost nobody is playing their game.

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Schmidt.Capela

There aren’t PvP or PvE servers in WoW anymore; you can just switch between open for PvP or not, and you will only see other players that have chosen the same option as you.

A lot of PvP players cried foul when that change happened…

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Franklin Adams

I can’t speak to WoW because I haven’t played since before Cat (I was in the Army and got deployed right around when it came out and never went back, I wasn’t in a good place after it in a lot of ways) and its changed in a ton of ways since then, but while I like the way that PvP is in ESO the annoying thing is that there’s PvE content (and a fair bit of it) in the PvP zones.

Don’t get me wrong, I like PvP but having PvE content in Cyrodiil and the Imperial City strikes me as an odd design choice because PvE and PvP builds, skills, CP allocation and overall strategy are pretty vastly different. It wasn’t too bad when we still had a bunch of different servers and one of them was an unofficial truce server (I believe it was “Goldbrand” IIRC) where there wasn’t much fighting between the alliances and people could go get the PvE content out of the way without having to deal with having a group kill you for the hell of it while doing delves or dolmens or something. It wasn’t exactly ideal, but it did the job.