Reviews and Ramblings
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MIDDENARDE - PART 4 by PurpleXVI - 12/12/16
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DORF FORT ELLPEE by CAPSLOCKGUY - 10/19/08
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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.