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I was tinkering in Ultima Online last week when I spied something I had forgotten about: quest givers with yellow exclamation points over their heads! In Ultima Online! The much-maligned mechanic has even retroactively invaded ancient sandboxes. But I started to wonder what MMO players would accep...

October 3rd 2014 at 8:00am 0 Comments
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For the entire month of October, Ultima Online will be running another Return to Britannia campaign in the hopes of luring both the old guard and the new generation for the game's 17th anniversary. From October 1st through the 30th, former players will be able to return to the game for free, mirro...

September 30th 2014 at 10:00pm 0 Comments
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One of my favorite things about classic MMOs is that they refused to give up on the "RPG" part of MMORPG. As in a tabletop game, in classic MMOs you were often given an opportunity to write a biography for your character, then import it into the game and attach it to your profile in some way so tha...

September 30th 2014 at 8:00am 0 Comments
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Once upon a time, a subscription MMORPG sandbox had open-world housing, only there wasn't quite enough for everyone. Well, there was, but there wasn't enough of it in safe lands, so a lot of the people who wanted a place to live had to live in dangerous places they didn't like, places where they co...

September 19th 2014 at 12:00pm 0 Comments
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In testing now on Ultima Online's test server is publish 86.3, better known as the Vice vs Virtue patch. You remember the virtues, those iconic and ambiguous philosophical principles guiding the Avatar? OK, now forget all that because peeveepee, guys. Yes, Vice vs Virtue is a a new system designed...

September 16th 2014 at 2:00pm 0 Comments
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I love big battleground PvP. I admit it. I may have cut my teeth in the FFA ganker land of classic Ultima Online, but I didn't enjoy it nearly so much as I enjoy two (or three!) huge swarms of people crashing into each other Pelennor Fields style. That's why World of Warcraft's attempt to recreate...

August 1st 2014 at 8:00am 0 Comments
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I can't remember when I first heard the term grind, but I imagine it might have been Ultima Online, when you could grind your way to Glorious Lady status killing a mongbat a minute (or was it five?). Then there was grinding mobs for levels in EverQuest, grinding missions for skill and money in Star...

July 29th 2014 at 8:00am 0 Comments
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You'd think that by now I would be running out of older MMOs and their kin to cover, but I just keep discovering more. Some of those discoveries are helped by Massively readers, who have urged me from time to time to investigate certain games. One such commenter, Space Cobra, has been after me for...

July 26th 2014 at 3:00pm 0 Comments
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Broadsword Online has announced that Ultima Online's publish 86 will arrive on the test server this evening. Notably, the patch includes the first phase of the game's new Vice vs Virtue system, a massive ground-up rework of the existing faction PvP system intended to bring rewarding, objective-bas...

July 18th 2014 at 7:00pm 0 Comments
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If your first MMO was a modern themepark MMO, you might not realize that a corpse run and a small repair bill are fairly light penalties for death. In Ultima Online, if you couldn't make it back to your body in time, a devious player (or mob) might come along and relieve your corpse of its loot. If...

July 18th 2014 at 8:00am 0 Comments
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While most MMO players are probably familiar with consumables in MMOs like food and drinks or even enchantments and gems, class consumables like spell reagents and ammo are now fairly rare but used to be a lot more common. Ultima Online, EverQuest, and Asheron's Call, for example, all included a re...

July 8th 2014 at 8:00am 0 Comments