Ultima's Kingdom is Reborn

EA releases graphical overhaul on eve of venerable MMOG's 10th anniversary.

The trolls are now uglier than ever!

In 1997, legendary game designer Richard Garriott transformed the online gaming space with Ultima Online. Though it was initially panned by critics for its myriad of technical issues, the game managed to persist and improve, releasing seven fully featured expansions and winning over hundreds of thousands of players.

Now, a month shy of its 10th anniversary, Electronic Arts has rolled out the game's most drastic overhaul yet with Ultima Online: Kingdom Reborn. The update is free to download for existing subscribers of the game, and Ultima Online requires a $12.99-a-month subscription fee.

While not considered an expansion proper, Kingdom Reborn primarily offers a reengineered graphics engine that enhances the game's visual aesthetic, as well as a retooled user interface. Kingdom Reborn will also introduce content geared at easing new players into the storied massively multiplayer online game.

Ultima Online is rated T for Teen. EA is currently offering a free 14-day trial of the game for players to get a first-hand look at the update. The game's latest full-fledged expansion, Ultima Online: Stygian Abyss, is expected to go live later this year.

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Discussion

36 comments
malonew1
malonew1

I started playing UO in 1999 and just came back to UO after a 2 year layoff. It took a bit of getting used to and there is a ton of new stuff to learn,,,but the game is still fun. I have always played with the 2d client, but I must say that after trying the new "Enhanced Client" I doubt I will go back to the classic 2d one. It is funny---I used to make a few hundred $ a week selling houses. Now, there is so much free space--no one should have any problem placing the largest of custom houses. I managed to get into a Castle,, but those spots are few and far between. Keeps are no problem to place. I guess it all depends on what shard you play on also. I moved from Baja to Lake Austin and I am having a blast.

gibbler3
gibbler3

Recalling Ultima X's fate on Wikipedia I came across a reference to UO and the 10-year anniversary in 2007, and somehow ended up here. Ten years! Wow. Reading the comments today brought a tear of nostalgia to my eyes. So many things I'd forgotten came flooding back (aside from my characters names, ouch) - blocking people's houses, getting pwned, whispering "bank", trying to find a bit of land to place your crappy one bedroomed house where your front door doesn't open onto a solid wall.. And of course the unrivalled pleasure of catching a thief or luring a PK into town and shouting GUARDS! I remember a time when a few of us raided a particularly nasty PK's castle and relieved his chests of a lot of (ill-gotten) l00t.. ah, those were the days! Long live B0N3D00D and pLaTeDeWd! http://orgas.ms/bp/

chrisw123456789
chrisw123456789

Wow I can't believe UO is still going. In a way, I'm tempted to download the this new version just to see if my characters are still there, and how the game play is. While the graphics look better, it is basically still the same input engine which had problems when the "3D" version came out years ago. Rremember that? Everyone hated it because it was soooo sloooow. Like someone already said, the COMMUNITY was what made UO great once upon a time, and when I quit several or more years ago, the once thriving server was almost empty. Wonder what it's like now? I'm not sure why anyone would pick UO over say World of Warcraft (which I'm currently playing). There's no comparison, WoW blows the doors off of UO in every way.

twoism
twoism

I wish Meridian 59 got as much recognition as this game did (came out before) - anyone remember that?

John_of_Fire
John_of_Fire

I'm just shocked they are charged $12.99 a month for a 10 year old game. (EA milking another cow for all it's worth) It is amazing that this game has held the test of time when so many others have not. We'll have to see if Richard Garriott can do it again.

mafiathug69
mafiathug69

i remember playing this game at the expansion that upped it to 3D. my friends tried to lure me into the woods and kill me, so i ran back and GUARDS hahahahaha pwnd. i also remember playing my 30 day trial, paying for 3 months via money order, and then never playing but 3 days in that 3 months. ah, to be young...

jenova
jenova

Ultima Online is not Ultima. Thus, I don't give a fig about it.

DiscGuru101
DiscGuru101

When they nerfed treasure drops from Earth Elemental and other creatures, it was a real bummer. But the new graphics do look a lot more interesting and I love the huge spell selection in UO.

finalsquall76
finalsquall76

I have KR and I like it although I still play in 2d. They really need to fix the lag. The lag is shocking.

PiMacleod_basic
PiMacleod_basic

10 years. Maybe they'll do a whole new stand-alone game one day? Like, how we're getting a Fallout 3? ...shouldn't keep my hopes up, though.

Dysantic
Dysantic

Does no one else understand that UO is no longer what it used to be? Making the game look somewhat better wont fix the broken game that is now Ultima Online. It was great when it first started and the game was not run by people who sit in dungeons all day and cheat in order to dupe godly weapons. It was great because of the community and the old gameplay.

Ibacai
Ibacai

I am actually disappointed with this as the graphics were nostalgic for me. Is it better? Most likely but that still doesn't stop the sinking feeling I get when seeing the new graphics. I much prefer the old.

Supernova_86
Supernova_86

I absolutely LOVED Ultima 8. One of the best games from my childhood memories :)

comthitnuong
comthitnuong

A game very deserving of being remembered. Good to see this come out.

Eldramesha
Eldramesha

The graphics don't look half bad at all. Very nice. Now if only Everquest looked that smooth.

EXODYS
EXODYS

The Ultima universe is a living legend, nice to see that the folks at EA are keeping it alive :-D

VanGriffin
VanGriffin

Couldn't be happier, even if it is from EA.

Phooey442
Phooey442

it's a shame they ruined this game like many others by making it item based instead of the good ole days of having to stock up on tons of gm armor hehe (and stuffing dozens of cows into someones house so they couldnt get in lol)

uberjannie
uberjannie

haha. damn.. im old :( I remember playing this on my 64k ISDN dialup connection. haha, good times =)

Johaan444
Johaan444

Anyone else remember Beta testing this? I think I used a 33.6 modem... boy it was brutal. Nothing like getting killed by a thrush... little birdie pecked my eyes out!

encodi
encodi

sigh....little tear fallin off my eye.... 10 years!

Rock2575
Rock2575

Wow, I'm getting the itch to check this out. I can not believe it has been 10 years.

Winsauce
Winsauce

Might have to give the trial a try...haven't played this in forever.

treznick
treznick

I can't believe it's been 10 years! Time to bring back 1-9 on a compilation CD for XP/Vista users!

dr_jashugan
dr_jashugan

Bring in the Shadow Lords! Happy anniversary Ultima! :lol:

hoverboy
hoverboy

@Runesabre: "...I remember excitedly picking up my pre-order copy of UO at Babbages..." omg Babbages Flashback crits me for 10K I die

Runesabre
Runesabre

I remember excitedly picking up my pre-order copy of UO at Babbages 10 years ago and then later having the honor of working on the game I loved as its lead programmer for almost 3 years. UO had a profound impact on my life and will always have a special place in my heart. Happy 10th Anniversary, UO! Huzzah!

jonfigs
jonfigs

Yes it has, boy how time flies. I wonder what WOW's 10 year will look like?

joeyfine
joeyfine

man its been 10 years already?

mrsal
mrsal

[This message was deleted at the request of a moderator or administrator]

mrsal
mrsal

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def_mode
def_mode

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