Happy 16th birthday, Ultima Online

Happy 16th birthday, Ultima Online
I've taken my share of ribbing from the youngins on the Massively staff (as well as the readers!) about my continuing obsession with Ultima Online, but I can't help it: It's hard not to love the game that effectively started it all, especially in an age when MMORPGs have veered so dramatically from the standards set for them by the earliest titles. Next week, Ultima Online turns 16, and you'd better believe we'll be at the party. To honor the game, of course -- not just to gobble free cake.

Earlier in the summer, we took a deep dive into the current state of the game (as well as its music!), but since that article ran, Mythic has been ratcheting up the update machine. It's bringing out new veteran rewards, an anniversary event complete with the usual round of anniversary festivities, and a new patch that includes tweaks to the Clean Up Britannia rewards and turn-in system, new Halloween content, and new character titles. Oh, and did I mention players will be embarking on the first part of a new dynamic story arc? With any luck, this one won't end with the brick-by-brick destruction of a beloved NPC town (but hey, at least actions in the game have permanence!).

The big party is happening this Saturday, September 21st, on the test server so that everyone can attend no matter his home server. Expect a hedge-maze scavenger hunt, design contest, and storytelling event, complete with some pretty pricey prizes. See you there, and happy birthday, UO!

This article was originally published on Massively.