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Ultima Online

Released in September 30, 1997 by Origin Systems Inc.[?], Ultima Online (UO) was the first of the real massively multiplayer games. The game's success opened the door for the creation of many exciting new massively multiplayer games that have or are about to hit the market. UO is a third-person/isometric fantasy role-playing game set in the Ultima universe. It is online-only and played by thousands of simultaneous users (who pay a monthly fee) on various game servers, also known as "Shards." There have been hundreds of thousands of subscribers. To maintain order in the online community, there are gamemasters who resolve player disputes, police the shard for terms of service violations, and correct glitches in the game.

Several expansions have been released, but its aging game engine and graphics make it fairly outdated compared to competitive, new massively multiplayer games. A sequel, Ultima Online Worlds was canceled before release. The number of subscribers achieved by UO was surpassed by EverQuest in 1999.

Technically-inclined fans of Ultima Online have reverse-engineered the game to produce emulators of the original game servers. This emulation has questionable legality, since it allows players to enjoy an Ultima Online world without a subscription. Also, the authors of these emulators have violated their software license by reverse-engineering the game. These shards are usually run on a spare computer owned by a hobbyist who acts as the gamemaster or GM, usually with other friends to aid him. They are almost always operated without a charge to the player. These "player-run" shards are often set in environments other than the Ultima universe, and their rules of conduct for their players vary greatly. Many shards encourage or enforce their players to roleplay and remain in-character[?].

Table of contents
1 Expansions
2 Shard Emulators
3 External Links

The Assasination of Lord British

Lord British is supposed to be immortal. However, due to a bug in a beta test, a player was able to kill Lord British. That player was banned from the beta test, because he had discovered the bug without reporting it.

Expansions

  • The Second Age[?] (October 1, 1998) Also known as T2A, this expansion featured a new area of land called the Lost Lands, along with an in-game chat system and new creatures.
  • Renaissance[?] (April 3, 2000) The world was doubled in size, as there were literally two copies of it. The worlds were called Felucca and Trammel, after the two moons in Ultima's Britannia world. The Trammel world did not allow player killing, while the Felucca world did. Felucca also adopted an "evil" look.
  • Third Dawn[?] (March 7, 2001) The major change was that this expansion included a 3D client, no doubt to compete with 3D massively multiplayer games like EverQuest. Also, a special Third Dawn only land was created, called Ilshenar. It was accessible only to 3D clients until the release of Lord Blackthorn's Revenge.
  • Ultima Online: Lord Blackthorn's Revenge[?] (February 2002) Lord Blackthorn's revenge brought "A dark new world based on new characters from Todd McFarlane" to Ultima with improved game AI, in-game help, and improved character creation.
  • Ultima Online: Age of Shadows[?] (February 2003) Bringing the landmass of Malas with lots of space for housing, two new character classes (Paladin and Necromancer) and the possibilty to customize house designs.

Shard Emulators

External Links



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