Ultima Online is planning some sort of do-over for player banking hubs


Oh, Ultima Online: the game that pretty much invented the term banksitting, that thing you do when you just hang out at a video game city bank and show off and people-watch. In modern UO, most players hang out at the same two banks at best – Luna and West Britain – largely because those are the ones that have the best decorations and services. But Broadsword is apparently thinking about changing all that.

“The original intent to decorate these banks and have the contest was to get people out of Luna and bring life back into a once busy town,” Broadsword’s Bonnie Armstrong says. “With all the changes in the game the banks have remained unused except for the Spellweaving Circle. I want to remove all decorations from all banks on all shards. Before I make any final decision on this I am willing to hear your comments as to why it should stay. I have gotten several emails and comments regarding building additional things to banks that was not part of the original design. With all that being said I look forward to hearing your comments.”

Armstrong’s comments come in the game’s most recent newsletter, which also talks about continuing efforts on the Ultima Online New Legacy alternate shard.

“The Team is also busy continuing work on Ultima Online: New Legacy! We’ve really enjoyed sharing our vision for this next bold Britannian adventure. Right now we are focused on fleshing out the back-end systems that will support driving the majority of content you’ll experience as you forge your new Britannian Legacy! Forward facing this means building what we call the “first 15 minutes” as you start your life on New Legacy in the City of Ocllo. We are planning our next Dev Hangout for early June[.]”

Source: Newsletter

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Mesanna/Bonnie Armstrong has never had a very good understanding of the game she runs. She’s a terrible manager and has little grasp of personal meaning or human engagement and sees everything in terms of the demands of ease of code and official toadying. This isn’t the first time she’s deleted decoration; behind the scenes she removed all of the EM stored back ups back in the day, because sociopaths wanted to keep causing trouble by reporting fake claims of corruption by selling the deco. And it was easier to just remove the tools EMs had to fill in flaws in event set up than work out who was worth supporting and listening too.

The idea that the decoration might have value just as a store of historical memories for people playing the game is unsurprisingly beyond her then. It’s all about cleaning up the database again.

And there really is so much shard history there; firstly, banking is driven by trade, and trade is driven by foot traffic/customer numbers. And that in turn is largely decided by public consensus. If somewhere is known for trade, people will want to concentrate trade there because everyone else presumes that’s where they should go…

West Britain Bank got that benefit from being in the capital city, being one of the locations newbies would start in, and also because there was a Moongate a close distance away; back when the game was full PvP that mattered because you wanted as little non-guard zones as possible between you and the bank so you couldn’t be killed and looted. It could have been any other bank with a similarly close moongate, but once people decided to sit at WBB for the overall benefits, everyone else went there too, because that was where the people where.

So much of UO’s early community and history revolved around those banks. When people talk about some of their fondest memories, their first house, their treasured rares, their new friends… they’ll have been formed at those banks.

The reason those banks alone then got decorated outside of the internal UO staff politics was because of that nostalgia and history had kept people there, and they wanted something pretty to look at whilst sat there, to distinguish their shards from everyone elses; and thus the past staff ran competitions for players to submit their own designs for said banks. They understood those banks had become special historically and wanted to support that too.

And the reason Luna became so immensely popular was because it was designed from the ground up to be an NPC Vendor trading hub along these lines. The moongate is right next to the housing and the NPC bank. There’s blank space there to put decorations up in. The housing is aligned mall style in a circle inside the city walls. Once it was up, it was a simple job for people outside of the game to write scripts to automatically check and list what was on all of the vendors there on third party sites. This is what people wanted.

And Luna is and always will be where the majority of NPC vendors are. Today the reason people don’t do much banksitting is because there isn’t the public traffic enough to make bank sitting in person viable. But you can’t lure people out of Luna by deleting the shard’s history, you just make the wider server worse. I suspect Mesanna knows that and is just trying to find excuses for something which will be spectacularly unpopular. But that’s who she is as a manager; she’s bloody awful, but also awfully bloody minded.

Oi, Mesanna, leave that deco alone.


I am still quite interested on UO, but I really want to see how that new Legacy will be and more importantly if it will be perm and/or how the transition to another server will be “designed” since New Legacy will have new things and improvements, and players wont appreciate losing them


I like this one of the things in original UO was that all the towns were viable and it was nice sto spread the player base I am tired in moat mmos where 1 or 2 places are the only point where everyone gathers.