EA celebrates 10 years of Ultima Online

Ten years ago this week, Richard Garriott's buggy, near-unplayable mess of a game Ultima Online debuted, and subsequently transformed the massively multiplayer online gaming space. In the years since, Ultima Online has been updated countless times, and has garnered seven full expansions. Its latest...

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Ten years ago this week, Richard Garriott's buggy, near-unplayable mess of a game Ultima Online debuted, and subsequently transformed the massively multiplayer online gaming space. In the years since, Ultima Online has been updated countless times, and has garnered seven full expansions. Its latest update, Ultima Online: Kingdom Reborn, introduced the largest changes yet to the game when it was released in August, including a complete graphical overhaul.

In recognition of the game's 10-year anniversary, EA has announced the "Return to Britannia" initiative. Past subscribers of the game can download the free Kingdom Reborn update through Ultima Online's Web site, and then play the game gratis until October 9. EA will also be hosting a number of events during this period, including a monster hunt where players can win loot such as an ankh pendant necklace, a map of Brittania, an Ultima Online commemorative sculpture, and a virtue armor set.

Discussion

52 comments
mefitis
mefitis

The One and Only ! UO the game was the best that I ever played. I played it for more that 6 years with my brother and My father it was really awesome but when they removed the 3D it was like nothing was the same people said its also cool to play on 2D ... I tried it ... it wasn't the same I'm sure many people will start again playing it if they put 3D back on , I'm sure cuz I will and I know 10 more people that will also and if every one of them knows 10 the players will be more than before :}}} damn I really miss UO!!! BEST FOREVER!!!

carpetbomber013
carpetbomber013

it has its up's, and it has it's Down's... Every Game That Has Ever Been Produced Has It's Little Things That Flat Out Could Have Been Better... AoS,SoE: im happy we got new lands to place houses, been too long that i can afford a castle and am forced to live out of my bank box and a ship. im happy about the customization option for the houses. im happy with the chivalry, and Necromancy. great more skills, always a +. im happy with the "stat scrolls" they are hard to get, and well worth your troble. im am really happy with the "Bonding" of pets, awsom, i get to keep one, finally... im happy with the soul stones, its now possible to change my mind about what i want 1 of my 6 chars to be. im happy with the Virtues, that just added a whole Bunch of things to do to make your char's more powerfull, without making them stupid ridicules. im happy with the Talisman slot, and it was about time with the quivers. im happy with the new armor and weapons im able to craft now. they didn't Tottaly Screw it Over.... But Then... the new resistances:they forgot to Balance it. Since When is Leather, and sometime even CLOTH Better Than Plate Or Bone? Where's The Benefit to Being The Strongest Person In The Game? Where the Protection for Waring all that Weight? my plate at 119 smithing(12,14,9,11,18) a Young Player at 100 tayloring(22,23,20,23,18) i dont even need to go into that anymore... The Follower Slots:I Do Agree, tamers did have to much Power, what couldn't you kill with 10 WW's? a limitation WAS needed. but what in the crap! a full on tamer, can only have as much as anyone else? HES A ....T A M E R!!!!!! nope u get 1, and a nightmare if you would like, if a mage summons a demon, hes walking or he wont have enough slots, demons take up all 5, in which case NPC monsters are like *Poof* Disspell... you would think something that takes up 5 slots would be a little more powerfull. use to be able to summon atleast 5 EV's or BS's, now we get 2... can we say "chastising". then you have (what i beleive to be the BIGGEST problem) the "POWER SCROLLS": they made it sound like your GM'd at 100 and you rock but now you can become uber 120's Legendary! ooo ahhhh. yea, they didn't make you any better at 120 than you were at 100. what they did was make 100 more like 80, and 120 more like 100. i don't understand who or how you mess that up. and my final rant:the "EVENTS" me and my guild went to the Gargoyle Tablets Event. (about 7-8 of us) we were all geared up with the very best we could muster, for whatever might come at us, and we had a game plan, who was going to do what, where and when. we get into the dungeon and we are in a Massive PvP against anouther faction, we wern't even in a faction at the time. and the EM's failed to Menchion that they deactivated the Reserect ability of any type, bandages, mage spell, chivalry, once you died you were done. thanks for coming to the event, if you were lucky, you wern't one of the first to die and your bodys done decayed and gone, along with all yo stuff. but in the end we won. we saved the day. and we got a "blue cape and a red robe" dyed with a regular dye tub. thanks for loosing all your stuff to help us with the event, "we are unable to replace any lost items under any circumstances EVER, FOR ANY REASON, AT ANY TIME. with events like that, whats the point? because its fun? naaa, i dont think spending $12.99 a month for EA to lose my stuff for me and then not even give me a crappy reward in return. thats just sad... so yes it is a Great Game, It Has A lot of history, and it has even greater potenchial that hasent even come to pass yet. but it also has some very stupid, unfare, unfriendly, non-caring policys and staff that enforce that "we do not give 2 tirds about you" "just that $12.99 thank you for being apart of the "community" and supporting us for all these years. "THERES NOTHING WE CAN DO, IS THERE ANYTHING ELSE WE CAN DO FOR YOU?" if they come at all... GO EA!!! P.S "Pleas hire someone who speaks ENGLISH, for customer support. thank you.

lordoakwind
lordoakwind

2-d graphics are better then Kingdom Reborn. thats all I will play for UO. IF you get rid of 2-d I'm out of the game. Ultima 9 was the best and has better graphics ,movement ,swimming,climing,ect.... then That silly game WOW!

mrkram
mrkram

All the old school(pre renaissance players)players know that UO will always be the best MMO as long as this level based, sorry excuse for gameplay, trend continues to dominate the market.... UO got it right the first time... i for the life of me can't figure out why games dont copy its design - its ingenious. And i still LOVE the old school 2d graphics.... they are great.

UOStock
UOStock

I'm actually an MMO Seller, the guys who sellt the currency for these games and stuff, and the only game that I can stand for more then 5 minutes has been Ultima Online. Since 1997 it'd been a blast, and sure, problems pop up here and there, and bugs, and bad patches that screw up systems; but what game doesn't have that? WoW had a dupe based around going into an Instance at a certain time of day... yet you don't see 1 million people saying "oh that ruined WoW" (lack of skill in PvP is what makes WoW a short sell for myself, personally). It's just a great game !! Ultima Online has a pretty tough learning curve for say....1-3 months, then you'll have the hang of the basics and you can really get into the nitty gritty of what makes this game so awesome! It's FREEEEE MOVING! You're not restricted to a class or anything like that, it's just a blast. You can loot player's homes who have quit, as their houses decay, and a billion other really fun things, you can't find anywhere else in the games that have come out in the last 10 years. My WoW sales outnumber my UO sales by at least half, but Ultima Online is the game for me, it's just the absolute best MMO on the market -- and the oldest running. StayPuff www.UOStock.com

TriggaMyke
TriggaMyke

This is the absolute best MMORPG hands down. WoW has nothing on this game. This game is a true display of skill when it comes to PvP. Non-item oriented. I played OSI many years ago then free playerrun servers. This game will always be #1 in my book. Cheers to ur 10th.

DiscGuru101
DiscGuru101

I wish Brit Bank was still popular. It feels weird standing around other banks. I dont know why, but no one seems to be talking to each other anymore either. -It use to be a chat fest at the bank.

nrt25
nrt25

Cheers to UO and its 10th birthday...

geebus
geebus

An incredible game with a lot of depth... c'mon, you could be a mage thief!

soniqstylz
soniqstylz

Wow. I got this game as a gift with one month free a long ways back. I played for a couple nights, and was made to feel so completely unwelcome as a n00b that I never went back.

Lazyimperial
Lazyimperial

[quote]Indeed, its going downhill now mainly due to population dropping with each patch it seems, the radical gameplay changes with Age of Shadows addon on some years ago turned it from being skill based to a diablo wanabe item based game.[/quote] That's exactly what killed my interest! I had, and still have, no interest in raiding dungeons like Doom to get the phat lewt. I don't care about it. I prefered UO before they tried to take every page out of Blizzard's playbook. 1 armor rating stat for armor and Magic Resistance for resisting spells? Nah, let's give the player five armor stats (physical, fire, frost, energy, and poison) and stack on attribute/skill boosts, damage reflection, magic reflection, health/mana/focus regeneration, and anything else we can think of. Yeah! *sigh* As time progressed, things got more and more out of hand. I've seen character builds that could never work... without the items. Everything is about the items. That necromancer could never function with 0 in focus (he'd run out of stamina fast and be stuck like a stick in the mud), but wait... he has a 3 stamina regeneration item on. Nevermind. Problem solved, and he has 100 skill points to spend on things much more fun than focus (which was added in the AOS expansion as a skill point sinkhole)! It goes on and on. If it wasn't for my guild, I would have quit UO years ago. Too many changes I didn't like.

Dreadfall
Dreadfall

BOO, this game sucks rocks. I can't understand how it's still around, I guess since the game is that old, EA feels people with computers that old should still be able to play, judging by the graphics. I'd really like to know EA'S version of what they think 3-D graphics are, or maybe it's Origin. I played this Garbage with the UO reborn graphics and I don't see the difference at all. Looks the same as 2-D, the characters still look very small, they couldn't have allowed a camera view change, or maybe to allow true 3-D? The game could look really incredible if they just went 3-D, why is trhat so hard to do? It's as easy as taking a poll to see how many gamers want their 2-D servers, leep all the 2-D players together, then revamp servers with smaller populations, turn those servers to 3-D and let the people trhat want the 3-D servers play on their servers, everyone is happy. If Origin wants to truly know what a real isometric view 3-D game is supposed to look like, they should consult with THQ on the Titan Quest series. That to me is true 3-D with Isometric view. This game reminds me of SWG too, the devolopers have no idea how to drive the game forward so they introduce crappy rewards that can easily be bought in about a months time. I did play this game back around 2000, and it was OK, but that's about all. Maybe Ultima can be done properly, but as of yet I've not seen any redeeming qualiies to this game, if you can call it that.

xuimod
xuimod

Ultima online sucks so much. 10 years ago? That was when Everquest came out (EQ I think came out 9 yrs ago). EQ blows away UO. Ultima Online is 2D garbage. I guess EA's programmers aren't smart enough to get it to 3D.

lamprey263
lamprey263

I knew a guy who played this on and off for about 3 years or so, and I watched him play quite a bit. It actually looked fun, though, I never got into it or else I wouldn't be able to play other types of games nearly as much. Still, they should be proud it has been around this long.

phalluman
phalluman

awesome. now if we could just get enough people working together to kill lord british

treznick
treznick

How about they celibrate by re-releasing a Windows XP/Vista compatible CD of Ulitma 1-9?

deth420
deth420

been playing for 7 years now. the game does have alot to do in it but damn aftter 7 years whats left?

Dysantic
Dysantic

UO is clearly dead and gone... This is just another cash grab by EA in order to try ti introduce a once great, but now broken game to new gamers. Just let it die in peace and let everyone remember what it once was... a fun game

solartiger
solartiger

When they look back on the beginnings of the phenomenon known as "MMO's"...you must recognize one of the " founding fathers" if you will...also known as UO

Don111
Don111

I have played UO for a while, it is great that it remains popular, it is a fact that out of any other games (that came after it) it remains most true to the Fantasy Genre...

CrushedGroove
CrushedGroove

I played UO for years. The gameplay and experience are still the best to date, although the outdated graphics make it really hard to pick up anymore.

joeyfine
joeyfine

one of the best games ever. period

beanofengland
beanofengland

UO was the first MMORPG i ever played, i got it when it first came out in the shops, i was drawn to its ace box art and the fact that i hadn't seen nor heard of my mates in weeks due to UO. It was awesome, before they made it so u had to allow someone to fight you and adding that crazy 'dark world/light world' style to it. Makes WoW look like a mess, you actually felt like you had freedom, rather than having a massive list of quests you felt complelled to complete because that was the only way of getting new armour/progressing your character. I salute you UO, and hate all the noobs that don't even have the brains to recognise your name

jenova
jenova

This game killed the REAL Ultima series. Good job, EA. People were diverted to working on this game instead, and we got the horrible Ultima 9 which killed the series.

Lilac_Benjie
Lilac_Benjie

I really miss Ultima Online. It was an awesome buggy mess. Sod it, I think I might buy the latest expansion and reactivate. :)

master_blue
master_blue

Only commemoration would be to release pre-trammel servers. Indeed, its going downhill now mainly due to population dropping with each patch it seems, the radical gameplay changes with Age of Shadows addon on some years ago turned it from being skill based to a diablo wanabe item based game.

Lasafrog
Lasafrog

Congratulations UO. I didn't buy into MMOs until EQ, but if it weren't for you there wouldn't have been that or any of them since. Much respect. Even if EA owns you now, Richard Garriot (sp) will always be the man.

finalsquall76
finalsquall76

Congrats UO... I still play :D but playing more ps3 atm :D

DiscGuru101
DiscGuru101

I am gonna give it a spin right now. I have some GM skills I can dust off.

LuminosityBlaze
LuminosityBlaze

Never played Ultima Online too much but Ultima games are so cool. They really need to make a new, offline sequel. I always loved how fate and decision plays such a huge role in the series. In Ultima II it was cool how you choose your tarot cards in the start and it effects the entire game. Ultima III is just awsome with the funny killing, stealing, moonphases and avatars and such. Those moonphases always p-ed me off, the good ol' days...

teknicz
teknicz

I still play UO nearly daily, although school has kinda gotten in the way the last 2 weeks. I tried out WoW, but it just wasn't for me. I've yet to see or even hear of the same style of organized chaos that takes place in UO's field pvp anywhere else. No one else even comes close, and it takes a real vet to make sense of it and make the right field calls. Unlike these games like WoW, which makes you believe you're a PvP god for simply pushing a few buttons and having leet gear. The ego from WoW players alone will not make me go back to WoW, ever.

stormydog1
stormydog1

It was a really fun game, I loved to build my castle and take my boat with friends and fight sea monsters!

BetterThanLife
BetterThanLife

Pretty bad reporting, the game was not an unplayable mess. it was the first of its kind and the fact that it still exists and others have actually come and gone, is a testament to this game. I played beta on this and although there were a lot of initial issues, it was far from unplayable, it was inspiring and very original, in fact, honestly it still is probably the best MMORPG to date in my opinion. While its probably not the greatest looking game (though they have overhauled it to keep pace), its easily got any other game beat in terms of functionality and the sheer amount of things you can do. With WoW or LOTRO or EVE or Anarchy Online, its just a massive grind fest to the next level or item you can actually use. Anyway, major respect for Ultima Online, Richard Garriot and all the previous Ultimas that have frankly blown the socks of many RPG's to this very day.

diesil
diesil

why would anyone celebrate such a crappy game

stakex007
stakex007

Ten years already.... wow. Ive played UO for 9 years now, and tho I haven't played it nearly as much these last few years it still has a hold on me. And while I miss the way the game was wayyy back then, it still has its charm. Not to mention the whole MMO community exists today in part beucase of UO's success. I think its safe to say UO has stood the test of time... there still seems to be quite a few players, and EA dosn't seem to be on a path to shut it down anytime soon. Lets see how many of the current high end MMO's last 10 years or more... my guess, is not many.

smbius
smbius

Believe it or not, there was Neverwinter Nights on AOL. I consider that the first graphical MMORPG. Then, I remember playing this (UO). It was buggy and it had a ton of balancing issues. During those days I thought ..."Geez. This game is way too ahead of its time".

Targzissian
Targzissian

I was in the beta for a while in the summer of 1997, back when 1024x768 was still considered a fairly high resolution. UO was the fulfillment of a dream that, for me, began when I was playing Ultima III in the mid-eighties, thinking: What if two or more people could play together in the same game world simultaneously? I haven't been back since the hordes of big red demons invaded Britannia at the end of the beta. Maybe I'll play again someday, but I think Britannia would look great with truly modern graphics. It's about time for a sequel. I just hope they don't try to go the cartoony route that the failed project Ultima X: Odyssey took. Well, Happy Birthday UO!

Montrealien
Montrealien

"Umm this game was never really any good but I guess EA are money hogs lol milkage ftl" play wow? lol GJ, Ultima is the graphical grand daddy of em all and still kicking! :D Never played it but gives me hope for my mmo of choice to thrive for years and years.

BlueBarad
BlueBarad

Only commemoration would be to release pre-trammel servers.

sieg6529
sieg6529

wow, that's an old mmorpg

Runesabre
Runesabre

UO will always have a special place in my heart. Though I haven't traveled its lands for many years, UO sparked a great journey for me that is ongoing and exciting. It's really great to see UO continuing strong, which is incredible considering it exists in an industry whose effective lifetimes are often measured in months.

ocdog45
ocdog45

i was 14 and was more int osports the nvideo games so i never herd of this game.

Lazyimperial
Lazyimperial

Happy 10th birthday Ultima Online! I don't really play it much anymore, but this game was (and in many ways still is) awesome. I hope it keeps on going strong, though admittedly I think sequel time might be coming up soon. Let us hope that the sequel, if it ever comes, breaks away from the "copy WOW almost religiously" formula that UO has adopted over the past couple months. UO with grinding and raiding for legendary items is just, well, kind of lame. There is a reason I quit WOW, and it is the same reason I haven't done much of anything with UO since the Age of Shadows expansion.