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UO Articles

February 26th, 2014

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Written by: Archon

UO Articles and News

Why is Ultima Online still the best MMORPG of all time?

Ultima Online is that game that came before all other games, way back in 1997. It was the first computer game to catch the interest of the Dungeons & Dragons fan base and paved the way for all the other popular online games of today.

So why would I promote such an old game when so many more advanced games have come out since then? Basically, because not only was UO the first MMO ever, it was and still is the best of all games at being a true sandbox style MMORPG.>>>Read More

Tags: uo, mmorpg, news, ultima online, best, top
Roleplaying in the Age of MMORPGs

If you lived as a teen through the 70’s and 80’s, then you know the popularity of Dungeons & Dragons and other Role Playing Games (RPGs) of that era.

There was a game series called Ultima that I started playing in 1983 and it basically replaced my interest in traditional RPGs and it started my journey into exploring computer based mmorpg fantasy games online.>>>Read More

Tags: uo, mmorpg, rpg, ultima online, roleplaying, role, play, article, news
What does Sandbox mean?
Posted by: Cory Janssen

A sandbox is a style of game in which minimal character limitations are placed on the gamer, allowing the gamer to roam and change a virtual world at will. In contrast to a progression-style game, a sandbox game emphasizes roaming and allows a gamer to select tasks. Instead of featuring segmented areas or numbered levels, a sandbox game usually occurs in a “world” to which the gamer has full access from start to finish. >>>Read More

Tags: uo, mmorpg, sandbox, ultima online, article, news

This article is an entertaining look at the fun and chaos that ensued in the beginning of the Ultima Online craze and lists what makes this classic the greatest online mmorpg game ever made!>>>Read More

Tags: uo, mmorpg, ultima online, greatest, game, news, best, top, shard
Game Developers Choice Online Awards To Honor Ultima Online

Game Developers Conference Online organizers have announced Richard Bartle as the recipient of the first ever Online Game Legend Award and Ultima Online as the first Hall of Fame game, as part of the Game Developers Choice Online Awards >>>Read More

Tags: uo, mmorpg, ultima online, awards, game, news, developer
1st Annual Game Developers Choice Online Awards

Electronic Arts’ Ultima Online, the Origin-created game that is now the longest continually running massively multiplayer online game in history, will be honored with the first ever Hall of Fame award for online games.The persistent world installment for the seminal Ultima game franchise, which launched on September 25th, 1997, has now been operating for almost 14 years – and was a key part of the wave of late 1990s subscription-based MMOs which brought the genre to much wider attention.Some of Ultima Online’s most important features included in-game events affecting the entire lore of the world, progressive features for their time such as item crafting and persistent player housing. Continued upgrades of in-game content and even game engine have helped to keep the game fresh for players, some of which have subscribed continuously for over a decade.>>>Read More

Tags: uo, mmorpg, ultima online, awards, game, news, developer
Ultima Online – All-TIME 100 Video Games

Ultima Online wasn’t the first “massively multiplayer online roleplaying game,” but its creator — Ultima series founder and sometimes space tourist, Richard Garriott — reportedly coined the phrase. Ultima Online was his attempt to catapult the fledgling “persistently online” genre forward by combining state-of-the-art visuals with advanced social and economic mechanics, all housed within his elaborate Ultima fantasy mythos.>>>Read More

Tags: uo, mmorpg, ultima online, awards, game, news, developer, best, top, developer, Richard Garriott
Interview: Ultima Online In A World Of Warcraft

Developed by Origin Systems and originally released in September 1997, Ultima Online continues to operate today, 17 years after its inception. It’s a long run for an online game>>>Read More

Tags: uo, world of warcraft, wow, mmorpg, ultima online, awards, game, news, interview
Ultima Online Column: The Most Important MMOs Of The First Modern Decade

Origin’s pioneering endeavor seems like a pretty obvious pick. Although M59 and various others preceded it, none of them ever succeeded in amassing more than a small niche audience. UO was the title that broke through into an entirely new and much higher stratum of popularity. It quite quickly became the first to reach 100,000 subscribers, kicking open the door to a level no prior offering had even remotely approached.>>>Read More

Tags: uo, mmo, important, mmorpg, ultima online, awards, game, news, rpg, best, top, developer
Ultima Online Column: My Most Memorable MMOGs
By Richard Aihoshi on May 20, 2014

Although there are different opinions as to what the first MMOG was, the role that Ultima Online played in bringing the category into the gaming public’s consciousness is unquestionable. It wasn’t alone in this regard. In this region, EverQuest and Asheron’s Call also attracted considerable attention, as did Nexus and Lineage in Korea. For me however, the one that stands out above the rest of this bunch is UO.>>>Read More

Tags: uo, mmorpg, ultima online, game, news, rpg, memorable, top, development
10 Best MMOs
By Janine Hawkins

Ultima Online was the first MMO to reach 100,000 subscribers, and has been running for nearly 17 years. For good reason. Its developers recognized one of the biggest shortcomings in their fledgling genre—that a world full of other players isn’t much good when you can barely engage with them—and addressed it through area quests, a player-driven economy, and events with so much interactivity that one player was actually able to kill the world’s King as he gave a speech. These days, there’s a good chance that you owe at least one of your favorite MMO mechanics to Ultima Online.>>>Read More

Tags: uo, mmorpg, ultima online, game, news, best, mmo, memorable, top, top 10
Ultima Online Column: Twelve Famous Player-Driven MMORPG Moments

#1 The Assassination of Lord British — Ultima Online – 1997

Lord British was killed during an in-game appearance on Ultima Online’s beta test. A royal visit was conducted as a part of server population stress test. A player character known as Rainz cast a spell called “fire field” on Lord British that, surprisingly, killed him. Lord British’s character, like others, had been made invulnerable, but by design the invulnerability did not persist over several game sessions. Shortly before the incident, the server had crashed, and Richard Garriott had forgotten to set his invulnerability flag on when logging on again.>>>Read More

Tags: uo, mmorpg, ultima online, game, news, best, mmo, memorable, top, top 10
The In-game Economics of Ultima Online
Zachary Booth Simpson, Origin Research Fellow

Ultima Online (UO) is a popular online computer role-playing game created and maintained by Origin Systems. Subscribers to UO gather online and interact with one another in a medieval fantasy world. One very interesting aspect of this game is the inter-player economy which is analyzed in detail in this paper.>>>Read More

Tags: uo, mmorpg, ultima online, game, news, best, mmo, economy, top, economics
Ultima Online Column: Five MMORPG Sequels I’d Like To See

No one can reasonably contest UO’s status as a landmark in MMOG history. Depending on the frame of reference, it isn’t always regarded as the first offering in the contemporary era. It was, however, the one that removed any doubt the category is viable. This was no small feat. Back in 1995 and 1996 when development began and the game was announced, I don’t remember anyone predicting it would become nearly as popular as it did.>>>Read More

Tags: uo, mmorpg, ultima online, game, news
15th Anniversary, Ultima Online Review

What can I say about Ultima Online that hasn’t been said before? This week, the grandparent of MMOs turns 15 years old. In MMO terms, that’s a long, long time. In fact, Ultima Online is the measuring stick for resilience. Think about it: Does any of us believe that many modern MMOs will last even half that long? While it’s very possible, it’s also very hard to imagine. For many different reasons, Ultima Online still maintains a playerbase, continues to be developed, and even attracts new players>>>Read More

Tags: uo, mmorpg, ultima online, game, news, best, mmo, review, top, anniversary
Shards Online – Event Review
Shards Online – Citadel Studios Project

What do you get when you combine the dev talents of Derek Brinkmann, Chris Ondrus and Tim Cotten? Apparently you get a new firm called Citadel Studios which is building an Ultima Online-inspired “game that will enable players to customize their experience and change the face of player collaboration forever.”

The project is codenamed Shards, and it draws on the dev trio’s experiences building Dark Age of Camelot, Warhammer Online, UO, and classic Elder Scrolls RPGs.>>>Read More
Why Haven’t Freeplayer Shards Been More Successful?

Look through any corner of the internet and you’ll find ex-UO players. Ex-UO players that are still pining for their ‘glory days’ in this game.

I’ve discussed previously what was so special about this game, and how it was destroyed by short-sighted and misguided design decisions. Today I want to talk about the failure of free shards to recruit a substantial player base, despite tens of thousands of Ultima Online disciples still out there, hoping to one day recapture that feeling.>>>Read More

Tags: uo, mmorpg, ultima online, game, news, successful, freeshard, review, top, shard, free, play
Top Free Shard Reviews for each Era

To understand why custom Ultima Online free servers are so successful one just has to look back over the many time periods to understand it’s not necessarily about the money but more of personal preference. Each of the Ultima Online eras have catered to different play styles and gave birth to new templates and play styles. The pay-to-play sites have locked themselves into a modern way to play, which is not as popular as the original format and has lost much of the essence of the older era game play.

The Free Shards are a very popular alternative to the paysites because of the custom script additions and specific era. This article is to enlighten people about each era and let them decide what to search for in a free shard.>>>Read More

Tags: uo, mmorpg, ultima online, game, news, freeshard, review, top, shard, free shard, play, f2p, era
Ultima Online Column: The Top 5 Hardcore MMORPGs
By David Jagneaux on June 09, 2014

To this day, Ultima Online is still regarded as one of the greatest achievements in gaming history. While EverQuest got a lot of the glory for taking the genre mainstream and had the fancy 3D graphics, UO is the true granddaddy of our beloved genre. For those unaware, Ultima pioneered the art of freeform game design and sandbox gameplay. It allowed its players to do and be whatever they wanted, murder whoever they wanted, and leave their mark on the world.
>>>Read More

Tags: uo, mmorpg, ultima online, game, news, freeshard, review, top, shard, top 5, list
IGN Ranks Ultima online #33 on Top 100 RPGs of All Time

To speak of Ultima Online and its success is to speak of its incredible contribution to the MMO space and all its fellow MMOs that followed. Ultima Online, and the pioneering development team behind it, made huge strides for multiplayer gaming on a grand scale, with thousands of players enjoying a shared fantasy world split across multiple shards. While Ultima Online’s presence in the current pantheon of MMOs has flickered away, its legacy enabled other MMO greats — some of which appear on this very list — to find even greater success >>>Read More>>>Read More

Tags: uo, mmorpg, ultima online, game, news, rpg, review, top, shard, rank, top 100, list
The Making of a Classic – Ultima Online

In the dark times before Ultima Online tossed its illustrious hat into the realm of online role-playing, players only had MUDs, MUSHes, and D&D boards. Sony, 3DO, and Turbine would all work on their own projects, hoping to pip one another to the post of success, but Origin System’s groundbreaking game showed the rest what was possible, and exactly how it could be achieved pointy hat and all.>>>Read More

Tags: uo, mmorpg, ultima online, game, classic, rpg, review, development, making
The Making of a Classic – Part 2 – Ultima Online

So now that they had the art style, the funding, and the engine – they needed a direction for the game to head in. Again the idea of “simulating fantasy” set out early by Garriott resurfaced, but they had a slightly different take on the traditional Avatar plot lines of preceding Ultima games.>>>Read More

Tags: uo, mmorpg, ultima online, game, classic, rpg, review, development, making
UO Game Review by RPG

If you happen to know what Ultima Online is, then chances are you may know that there is quite a following of “player-run” shards. While this is not often contested, not everyone in the roleplaying community is aware of the sub-genre’s sub-genre known as Roleplaying Shards.>>>Read More

Tags: uo, mmorpg, ultima online, game, news, rpg, review
UO Game Review by Metacritic

Enter the magical world of Ultima Online. A world with spells and monsters. Quests and heroes. A living, growing world where thousands of real people discover fantasy and adventure 24 hours a day>>>Read More

Tags: uo, mmorpg, ultima online, game, news, rpg, review
UO Survey

Simply the best MMORPG ever to be created. That is a fact. UO sent a benchmark for all of them, even WoW. It still has the best community, economy…>>>Read More

Tags: uo, mmorpg, ultima online, game, news, survey, review
UO Game Review by The Gamers Journal

Ultima Online is probably one of my favorite games. I’ve been playing it off and on ever since I got it in 2000. When I first got it I was so excited because I never played any game like it before (It being one of the first MMORPGs available). I was disappointed that I was going to have to pay for it. Instead I searched around and see if I could play for free, to my surprise there was lots of “free shards” at the time. These free shards ran one of many emulators available on the internet at the time. These emulators were of course very limited at the time, but in 2001 they really started getting more advanced.>>>Read More

Tags: uo, mmorpg, ultima online, game, news, review
UO Game Review by Red Squirrel

Ultima Online is a MMORPG that has been around since 1997 but yet is still widely played and enjoyed by many people ranging from kids to even adults. In its history, it has went through many expansions in which the latest is Mondains Legacy. I wont go much more into the History of UO but if you are interested there is plenty of information on wikipedia. >>>Read More

Tags: uo, mmorpg, ultima online, game, news, review
Game Faqs

>>>Read More
UO Game Review by The Gamer Revolution

Ultima Online takes me back to those days of yore. UO is revolutionary, unpolished, buggy, brilliant and frustrating. Yet I find myself coming back to it time and again, sneaking in hours of play whenever I can.>>>Read More
UO News for Nerds

A group of former developers for Ultima Online has created a game company called Citadel Studios, and they’re working on a new MMORPG called Shards Online. ‘[CEO Derek] Brinkmann described the game as a player-run MMO, which means at the highest level they can run their own servers and change the settings of that world
>>>Read More
UO Stories
This is a great collection of Ultima Online stories of adventure!
>>>Read More

Tags: uo, mmorpg, ultima online, game, news, stories, review, tales, shard
The History of Sosaria

The first to settle Sosaria was a race of beings, known only as the Ancient Ones, who managed to defeat the Daemons that were trying to claim this world as their own. Binding them to their will, some of these beings vanished to a higher state of being, while others became mortal. They settled the land, in harmony with nature and magic. However, on one fateful day, over half a million years ago, the Xorinite Wisp traded with the mage Zog, giving him the Armageddon spell. Zog was foolish enough to try it. All life died on Sosaria, wiping out every sign of the Ancient Ones. Zog, alone in his empty world, died shortly after.

It would take a long time before life returned to Sosaria, but eventually the land was re-settled by different races, mainly humans. Eight kingdoms surfaced on the four main continents, and civilization started to develop once again.

One day, the youth later known as Lord British entered the lands of Sosaria. Under the guidance of Shamino, he grew up to be the youngest ruler in Sosaria’s history. And it was good that he came, because Sosaria was about to face the darkest times ever seen in history.>>>Read More

Tags: uo, mmorpg, ultima online, game, news, history, review, sosaria, britannia, lord british
Ultima Online Expansions

Prequels, Sequels and Expansions:
Ultima Online: The Second Age (PC) (Expansion)
Ultima Online Renaissance (PC) (Expansion)
Ultima Worlds Online: Origin (PC) (Sequel) (Cancelled – 2001)
Ultima Online: Third Dawn (PC) (Expansion)
Ultima Online: Lord Blackthorn’s Revenge (PC) (Expansion)
Ultima Online: Age of Shadows (PC) (Expansion)
Ultima Online 7th Anniversary Edition (PC) (Expansion)
Ultima Online: Samurai Empire (PC) (Expansion)
Ultima Online: Mondain’s Legacy (PC) (Expansion)
Ultima Online: The Stygian Abyss (PC) (Expansion)
Ultima Online: The High Seas (PC) (Expansion)
Ultima Online: Free Shards(PC) (Expansion)

Tags: uo, mmorpg, ultima online, game, news, expansions, review
Ultima Online Awards

Ultima Online’s success resulted in Guinness World Records awarding the game 8 world records in the Guinness World Records: Gamer’s Edition 2008. These records include “First MMORPG to Reach 100,000 Players”, “Longest Running MMORPG”, and “First and Only Person to Kill Lord British”, which was done by a player named Rainz during a server reset which turned off his invulnerability.

In May 2001 Ultima Online won the MPOGD game of the month award

In 2010, Ultima Online was the first inductee into the Game Developers Choice Online Awards Hall of Fame

In 2012, Stratics presented Ultima Online with a “Historic Achievement Award” to commemorate “fifteen years of innovation, imagination, and dedication in support of the Ultima Online community.”

Time designated it as one of the 100 greatest video games of all time in November 2012.

IGN Top 100 RPGs of All Time #33

Tags: uo, mmorpg, ultima online, game, news, rpg, review, awards, rank, top 100, list
Rediscovering Ultima Online’s lost gameplay mechanics
Peter J. Rankin

Back in the 90s, Ultima Online was the defining MMORPG and a sign of good things to come in the genre. However no game has quite divided gamers like UO did with it’s original ruleset back in 1998 – there’s even a wikipedia page dedicated solely to Criticism of Ultima OnlineExternal Links icon.>>>Read More

Tags: uo, mmorpg, ultima online, game, news, pvp, review, mechanics, shard
Ultima-tum: The Importance of The Ultima Series in Games

GameSpot’s Jonathan Toyad looks back and elucidates what groundbreaking ideas the classic RPG series has brought onto the gaming world.>>>Read More
How to run a massively multiplayer game

GDC Online 2010: Reps from BioWare, Turbine, EA Mythic, Sony Online Entertainment, CCP, and Nexon explain how they keep online worlds alive years after launch.>>>Read More
Ultima Online Column: Lessons Learned from a Free Shard

Back in 1997 I played a game called Ultima Online. There were MUDs and also Meridian 59, but Ultima Online really was the first large scale MMO of its kind. The world was a sandbox with roaming monsters, cities, citizens, and of course the player criminals known as PKers. Now in 2013, I find myself playing on an Ultima Online free shard.>>>Read More

Tags: uo, mmorpg, ultima online, game, freeshard, shard, lessons
Killers Have More Fun
By Amy Jo Kim

Games like Ultima Online are grand social experiments in community building

Tonight, like every night for the past eight months, tens of thousands of players will log on to Britannia, a fictional ultima online universe. They’ll come to embroider upon make-believe lives as healers, fighters, mages, and rogues. And they’ll stay – up to four hours each – because of the seductive quality of pure immersion >>>Read More

Tags: uo, mmorpg, ultima online, game, pvp, review, top, shard, social, experiment, community, building
The Ultima Obsession; What Will People Pay to Enter His World?

AUSTIN, Tex.— Entering the three-story foyer of Richard Garriot’s hilltop estate is a short trip into another dimension. The high walls are covered with crossbows and other menacing medieval weapons, overhead is an imposing astronomical observatory >>>Read More
Richard Garriott Looking for Input on UO-Style PvP, Housing, for Ultimate RPG

Richard Garriott is requesting player feedback about Player vs Player combat (PVP) and player housing. Those of you who played Ultima Online in its early years remember that PvP and player housing were very important parts of UO. In a couple of threads over at the Ultimate RPG forums at Stratics, Richard Garriott directly references UO’s early years and trying to strike a middle ground providing those systems while not letting them overwhelm the game.>>>Read More
New games like old school Ultima Online?

So I often reminisce about my old days playing Ultima Online because I believe it had the most fun collection of gameplay elements out of any game before it or since.

However, I was wondering if a game like that could ever really survive in today’s lowest common denominator marketplace. I think WOW has kind of “ruined” a lot of gamers and spoiled them with features and easiness of play that you don’t find in old games like UO.>>>Read More

Online was unique for its time in that it was… well… unique. If you wanted to play an MMO, well, there it was. And because of that, it achieved some very interesting things. Namely, it brought very different people into one world. It’s almost the antithesis both of the thousands of MUDs that predated it, and the dozens of MMOs that followed. It was, well, UO. And thanks to its design, it appealed to a great many people.>>>Read More
Ultima Online – The Greatest Online MMORPG Game!

Widely considered to be one of the greatest online MMORPG games of all time and still going strong almost two decades after its original release, Ultima Online. If you speak to any of the older MMO gamers of today it’s almost a guarantee that they will speak of their fond memories during their time in Ultima Online>>>Read More

Tags: uo, mmorpg, ultima online, game, greatest, review, top
We Must Kung-Fu Fight! – Samurai Empire Expansion Review
By Heath Hindman

Despite having started way back in 1997, Ultima Online maintains one of the larger, more loyal communities in the online game world. In standard MMORPG fashion, the game has expanded numerous times to give the faithful players more content and deeper play. The upgrade in 2004 goes by the name of Samurai Empire.>>>Read More

Tags: uo, mmorpg, ultima online, game, pvp, review, samurai, empire, expansion
Ultima Online: A Look at UO

In September of 1997 the evolution of role playing games found its catalyst. Role playing games had already been enjoying a long history of success. The video game boom of the late 80 and early 90 saw companies such as…Ultima Online>>>Read More
How Trammel impacted classic Ultima Online

With Ultima Online’s second expansion in 2000 came a copy of the world, a facet called Trammel where non-consensual PvP was forbidden.

Ever since, the current and former UO community has debated whether this was a brilliant or terrible move.>>>Read More
Ultima Online Publishes Comprehensive Player Guide

Older MMOs can often present a substantial barrier to entry with their complexity, foreign gameplay mechanics, and cumbersome UIs. However, the team at Ultima Online is looking to knock down the largest obstacle of all, lack of comprehensive information, with its brand-new play guide.

The 19-section, 102-page guide is dedicated to walking new players through the first few days of the game as well as providing detailed resources for experienced players curious about a point or two. Topics covered include getting started, travel, pets, guilds, housing, and game terminology.

The guide is available in three parts as a downloadable pdf document on the UO Herald website.>>>Read More
The Fascinating History of Online Role-Playing Games

MMORPGs are relatively recent phenomenons, made possible through steady advancements in computer hardware, software and networks. The term “MMORPGs” didn’t enter the lexicon until 1997, when Richard Garriott used it to describe the launch of one of the most successful online multiplayer games to date, Ultima Online.>>>Read More
Ultima Online – Hardcore Gaming

The scope of Ultima Online easily deserves an entire article to itself the same length as the rest of this one, and so this section will touch on it only briefly. If you’re interested in giving the game the full treatment, get in touch with the Hardcore Gaming 101 staff.

These days MMORPGs are prolific, with games like World of Warcraft, Rift, City of Heroes, Aion, Lineage, Maple Story and probably hundreds of others out there soaking up the time of tens of millions of people all over the world.>>>Read More
Is Shroud of the Avatar the spiritual successor to Ultima?

Ultima Online may still have a decent following — considering its age — but it’s hard to deny that it’s not the same game it once was. As a fan of UO, even I can admit that it’s now nothing but a shadow of the game Richard Garriott envisioned >>>Read More



RunUO Gear Logo

RunUO Update!

Welcome to the “New” RunUO! We have created a fresh, new navigable website, powerful vBulletin forums, and wiki to help untangle the important information lost in the old RunUO archives. The forums now have a workin...
by Archon


UO Razor

UO Razor project and archive UO Razor “On the Cutting Edge” of Ultima Online game play! UO Razor is a free software program designed to simplify common tasks in the popular MMORPG Ultima Online. UOR was intended to provide ...
by Archon

UO Steam Project - Ultima Online Assistant - Archives

***UO Steam Project***

UO Steam is back and has a new website! What is the UOSteam Project? UOSteam is an updated Ultima Online game assistant similar to the original UORazor project and essentially the same as AssistUO, it is not a new project, but ...
by Archon


darwin uo evolution shard

UO Evolution – 5th Anniversary in January!

UO Evolution – 5th Anniversary in January! It has been a long journey…I can’t believe we are celebrating 5 glorious years! As many of you know we are about to celebrate our 5th year online on the weekend of Ja...
by Archon


SphereServer is now open source!

Open Source! After years of debates in the community, SphereServer is now open source! As some of you already knew, the repository had been recently moved to Github, and now it’s available to all. The server repository ca...
by Archon



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