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[#] Ultima Online: The MMORPG Version of PnP Gaming
04:29am EST - 11/19/2008
So, upon reading the subject line you're gonna ask: "LOL PURPAL MMORPGS IS ABOUT GRINDANS AND LOOTANS HOW CAN THEY BE ANYTHING LIKE A PNP GAME HUR DUR I'M GOING TO GO CHOKE ON A DICK RIGHT NOW?" Because, hey, I know you people. This is what you're like. Crazy for dick and retarded.

But, merciful that I am, I am going to tell you how Ultima Online is fucking awesome and worthy of your attention.

First off, there's the freedom and variety of shit you can do. You can pick up an axe, go cut down trees, make chairs and furniture. You can learn spells and blast enemies. Forge armor. Raise the dead. Heal people. Speak to ghosts. Build houses. Set up your own shops. Farm plants. Charm and ride animals, or just use them as a mobile HERD OF DEATH.

Secondly, the DM's have near-unlimited freedom to fuck with and generally edit the world. They can create buildings out of thin air, enchant your equipment, make your beard an impossible colour, cause an infinite invasion of rabbits or zombies. All sorts of crazy goddamn shit.

Thirdly, the players have infinite options for BEING HUGE PRICKS. You can make a delicious-looking chest, fill it full of rocks, lock it, put a huge trap on it and then wait and see. Someone's gonna be all: "OH WOW, THAT CHEST IS FULL OF STUFF." Wander in, try to crack it open, and die. Then you can pick over his corpse, re-set your trap, wait again. Disguise yourself as an orc and murder people when they try to plow down the unsuspecting greenskins. You can sneak aboard their ships and loot the hold, pickpocket the ownership items off the captain and make off with his craft. You can enchant marker-stones to lead people to horrible deathtraps, then pass them to people while claiming that they lead to treasure or safe havens. The sky's the goddamn limit.

Exhibit one of awesome: Belan the Noble Looter Runs an Event!

This stuff required no GM intervention, it required no crazy tricks or powers, it was done on a 100% official server violating no rules or anything of that order. How goddamn awesome is THAT, I ask you?

The thing about UO is that it's so hard to sell because, well, it's not that the game, on its own, is particularly amazing. It's what you can DO with it that's really goddamn cool. It has options that no other MMORPG has ever had before, or since. Plus, ever since the Freeshards sprung up, it's been modded to hell and back again. Someone even made a mod for players to set up their own town and collect SALES TAXES. How goddamn anal retentively obsessed with detail is THAT? But the mad thing is that it WORKS.

So, well, I guess that's my attempt at selling people on Ultima Online. The pure amount of options, the crazy events that both players and GMs can run with a bit of creativity.

PS: Did I mention we're setting up a freeshard of our own in the near future? :D

EDIT: I just had to explain the ALLURE of UO to someone who felt it didn't quite hold what he wanted, compared to other MMORPG's, and I believe I came up with this description. Most other MMORPG's are about your interaction opportunities with monsters and loot. Go bash 'em, go smash 'em, go collect your quest rewards. UO is about your interaction with other players, social, dickery, monetary. Looking at where we first got into RPG's, we found, simplistic as it might be, that he starts his career with jRPG's and I started mine with 2nd edition AD&D. He just wanted to crunk some suckas into chunks, and I wanted freedom to fuck around with a lot of shit.


Surprise! This was a trapped .jpg!


1 Fatum
06:36am UTC - 11/19/2008 [X]
The article would be much better if it ended after the first paragraph.

Anyway, srsly now. Official UO shards suck cause they are basically an abandoned city spanning as far as an eye can see now. Unofficial UO shards suck cause either DMs are goddamn idiots or there's no one around to play with.

Oh, and
>It has options that no other MMORPG has ever had before, or since
were there any real MMORPGs before UO? No, not MUDs.

2 PrivatePlatypoda
01:27am UTC - 11/20/2008 [X]
Neverwinter Nights, Meridian 59, The Realm Online, Islands of Kesmai or some shit. All predate UO.

Also games have tried it since. They all ended up just about as successful as UO is now, because sandboxes don't sell quite as well when they require a monthly fee for whatever reason.

3 PrivatePlatypoda
01:37am UTC - 11/20/2008 [X]
Also, I should point out that events like Belan's haven't been doable in UO in almost half a decade.

And if you attempted them (which you still technically can) a GM would likely give you a nice visit to the Britannia jail and probably ban your account for a few days or a week or two, depending on how nice and/or overworked they are. In fact, not only will Marking a recall rune to a death trap or a stuck location get you banned but they'll delete your runebook and probably look through your banks and shit for other stuck locations.

So these "fun" things you can do are only doable on private shards, which are tons of work for usually 5-6 people to dick around with for a week or two before they get bored of it, too. Because there's no one to play with, and the community is the majority of fun in UO. Other than that it's a very empty, static sandbox.

4 Gatekeeper
02:57am UTC - 11/20/2008 [X]
I guess a sup/tg/ freeshard could work.

5 PurpleXVI
11:43am UTC - 11/20/2008 [X]
PP: Kind of the air goes out of your arguments when you quote a game that came out FIVE FUCKING YEARS after Ultima Online as doing something before it. I'm honestly going to not bother to check and assume that you fucked up as badly with those other games.

Secondly. Arguing that you're technically unable to do something because the GM's would be dickwads about it on the "official" shards is like saying that you can't do something in a given PnP system because "WELL I'M PRETTY SURE YOUR DM WOULD SHIT ALL OVER THAT EVEN THOUGH THE RULES SAY YOU COULD AND IT'D BE FUN AND NOT GAMEBREAKING OR ANYTHING."

Thirdly. Join the freeshard we're setting up or go cry in a pile of dicks and don't talk about this again.

6 PrivatePlatypoda
05:02am UTC - 11/21/2008 [X]
Purple, I'm pretty sure your arguments for why UO is so awesome is because of the fact that you can do such awesome shit without violating the rules and UO does stuff people don't do afterward. All I was doing was pointing out that on any official server most of your awesome examples of player run shit would probably get you banned these days. And that many, many of UO's ideas have been used in MMOs since.

So if you don't want someone to come in and say you're wrong, don't say things that are wrong.

01:18am UTC - 12/02/2008 [X]
Holy shit, this sounds awesome.

8 Lost
01:25am UTC - 12/27/2008 [X]
Fuck, i had a trial of that. Funnest MMO ever.

9 Ethlorien
04:27pm UTC - 2/24/2009 [X]
What the hell's an Ultima Online? Is that an Instance in Northrend?

Just kidding. Acutally, you make the game sound very appealing. I remember playing it as a kid when it first came out and thought it was awesome. But I didn't have the money then to continue with it. Now, with disposable cash, I went straight to WoW - I didn't even know Ultima Online was still around.

Oh, what's a Freeshard?

10 Some Guy
02:01am UTC - 2/01/2010 [X]
It's late as fuck and potentially ironic to actually comment at this point, but Purple is incorrect to state that PP quoted a game that came out 5 years after UO (Neverwinter Nights).
The original NWN was a first-person city/dungeon crawler in the vein of the SSI goldbox D&D games. It was released via AOL for the Macintosh, and yes, it was a fucking MMO.


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