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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 is played online and has a fantasy setting, like the other Ultima games that preceded it.

Table of contents
1 Overview
2 The Assassination of Lord British
3 Expansions
4 Shard Emulators
5 External Links


Ultima Online'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Several expansions have been released, but its aging game engine and graphics make it fairly outdated compared to competitive, new massively multiplayer games.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 is perfectly legal, and Origin is aware of its existence, although the authors of these emulators have violated their software license by reverse-engineering the game, and may be banned from the official UO servers as a result. These shards are usually run on a spare computer. 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.

The Assassination of Lord British

Lord British (Richard Garriott's character) is supposed to be immortal. However, this was not the case during an in-game appearance in Ultima Online's beta test on August 8, 1997. A player character known as Rainz cast a spell called "fire field" on Lord British that surprisingly killed him. Shortly afterwards, Rainz's account was banned from the beta test for previously exploiting bugs rather than reporting them (infamously used by his character Aquaman to kill many player characters). According to Origin, he was not banned for the assassination but rather for previous complaints against his account that were brought to light as a result of this attention.


Shard Emulators

External Links

DMOZ Ultima Online