Ultima Online: Age of Shadows announced

Origin's next online role-playing game expansion will let players design and build their own houses.

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Origin Systems, one of Electronic Arts' game development studios, has announced Ultima Online: Age of Shadows, the next expansion for its popular massively multiplayer online role-playing game Ultima Online. The new expansion will let players design and build their own houses, and it will include two new professions and a new area to explore and settle.

"Housing has been one of the key features of Ultima Online since its launch in 1997," said Ben Noel, vice president and chief operating officer of Origin Systems. "We are continuously looking for ways to improve and expand the fun factor of owning a home in Britannia. Not only will Age of Shadows create more housing availability, but the new custom-design feature will allow all our players much more creativity when building a house."

The new professions included in the upcoming expansion are the paladin, a courageous holy warrior with special powers, and the necromancer, a master of dark magic. The expansion also features an enhanced magic system with new spells and items, new combat techniques and weapons, and dozens of new monsters to battle.

Ultima Online was created by Origin and launched in 1997. The game, which currently has approximately 225,000 subscribers, lets players assume the role of a character in a medieval fantasy world where they can engage in a wide variety of activities such as exploring dungeons, crafting items, taming animals, or running a store. For more information, take a look at our extensive coverage of the game.

Ultima Online: Age of Shadows is scheduled for release in early 2003.

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