The pack horse (general)
Depending on your experience, the pack horse can either be
extremely annoying or your best friend. The aim of this guide
is to help turn him into your best friend. Knowing how to
handle a pack horse and the limitations of a pack horse will
help you decide whether you really want to invest the gold
and the time into one.
Note: You can have pack horses or packllamas as a
packy, but besides the different look and sound, there is
absolutely no difference between both. So for the remainder
of this essay, we will just call them pack horse, no matter
if it's actually a pack horse or a packllama.
Who sells them? How much are they?
Pack horses are available from either NPCs or from other
players. You may buy a pack horse from any stablemaster and
some ranchers. The NPCs almost always have pack horses and
pack llamas "in stock", but at usually twice the
price you will pay from a player. While buying a pack horse
from players is not always possible, due to availability,
it is cheaper.
Prices for pack horses have dropped a lot over time, and
since many players now just abandon their packy instead of
stabling it, the cheapest way to get your very own pack horse
is to tame one of the lonesome packys that venture through
the city roads. You need a minimum adjusted taming skill of
35.1 to tame one of the abandoned packys, given it hasn't
had more than one owner, but at the bare minimum skill level
it can take you a long time to retame it.
The stablemaster can be found, obviously enough, at the stables.
Ranchers can be a little more elusive. Look for them at the
farms (in Britain) and in Farmer's Markets (Vesper, for instance).
Some ranchers are "free standing" NPCs and will
sell to you without being in a shop (as in the Rancher that
stands North of the Bank, in Minoc). Pack horses usually sell
between 500 and 600 gold pieces. If you are really trying
to stretch your gold, then you will want to check around at
different NPC shops, or different ranchers, to see if the
prices are different.
To buy (or re-sell) your pack horse, the usual place to hang
about is the bank. NPCs do not buy back pack horses (or llamas).
So if you have to re-sell your pack horse, you have to find
an interested player.
Understanding your pack horse
Most of these Guidelines are also relevant to pets in general,
so if you know enough about pets you may not need to read
My pack horse went wild! What do I do? Well, the first thing
you need to do is not worry. If you are the former master
of the pack horse, you will be able to retame it. You do not
need to have any taming skill to do so. This even remains
true if you transfer the pack horse to someone else and it
goes wild. As long as you have been its master at some point,
you will always be able to retame it with no taming skill.
The only thing you need to do is to be quick. If your pack
horse goes wild in the mage shop loaded with a bunch of reagents
or in a crowded mine with tons of ingots in its backpack,
it's likely that another player with enough taming skill will
try to tame the pack horse before you and thus get legal ownership
of whatever the pack horse is carrying. Immediately after
retaming your pack horse, feed it!
Why did my pack horse go wild? If you don't feed your poor
pack horse often enough, and just keep working it, eventually
it will become unhappy enough to go wild. Also, if you left
your pack horse alone (where it could not see you), it may
go wild. This does not happen instantly, in fact, if your
pack horse is freshly fed, you can leave it alone for up to
twenty minutes without needing to worry at all. Be sure to
feed it immediately when you return, though.
Bonding and resurrection
Anyone can bond with a pack horse (or any animal with a minimum
taming requirement of 29.1 or below for that matter), regardless
of their skill level in taming. The main benefit of owning
a bonded pack animal is that you can recall with it instead
of having to gate it everywhere. Other than that, if a bonded
pack horse dies, it can be resurrected.
This can be quite a problem when it happens: Since they can
carry a lot more than a person, it can be quite hard to get
it all before the corpse disappears.
Also, I have had problems recovering things from my pack
horse on Trammel, when a monster killed Packy - it seems the
looting system kicks in, and I'm told "you did not slay
this creature". The only solutions I can see to this
problem are waiting for the corpse to be lootable by everyone
after two minutes or avoiding getting them killed in the first
place. (See later in the guide for tips on how to avoid this.)
Caring for Packy (Stabling and Feeding)
How do I stable a pack horse?
Stabling a pet is fairly straightforward. You simply go up
to a stablemaster in a stable, tell them "stable"
and the targeting cursor will come up. Click on your pack
horse and you're good to go. To get them back from the stablemaster,
simply tell them "claim", and your animal will appear.
If you have several pack horses stabled, you can claim them
by their name, such as "claim Packy", or if you
forgot its name, just say "claim list" and the stablemaster
will give you a list of all creatures this character has stabled.
Only saying "claim" to the stablemaster will make
him return as many animals as you have control slots available
Stabling requires 30 gold pieces. If you don't have it, they
will not let you stable your animal. You do not need to have
the gold on you, they will take it directly from your bank
box. For detailed information on stabling pets, see the stabling
information in the Tamer's guide.
How often do you have to feed your pack horse?
Most people will tell you every one to two hours; I believe
this is a good guide. Think about it, if you will: every two
hours of real time is one game-time day. With that ratio,
we're really lucky we only have to feed pack horses once a
day! I will typically feed my pack horse once when we begin,
and then once later, after about an hour or so.
How much should you feed?
One sheaf of hay works very well, or fruits/veggies. The
hay is cheaper, but it is heavier than fruit, and doesn't
stack, either. What you feed your pack horse is really up
to you. Your pack horse is a frugal creature: It will be just
as happy with a single apple as it is with a full sheaf of
hay. There is no reason to feed the packy with more than one
unit of whatever fruit or veggie you are feeding it with;
each time it is fed, it will become wonderfully happy, regardless
of the amount fed. Feeding it more won't make it happier or
more compliant and you just need to carry more. Your best
bet is to simply feed your pack horse a little bit, regularly;
rather than a lot at once.
Also, a minor note that is good to know, immediately after
feeding a pack horse it will "loose" whatever its
current command is, so if you have it following you, and you
stop to feed it, if you do not tell it to follow you again,
it will start to wander around of its own accord. I have no
idea why this happens; something about feeding them makes
them loose their minds.
Working with your pack horse (commands)
All the commands that work with other pets, also work with
pack horses. The most useful ones you should macro, so that
in an emergency you can command your pack horse much more
quickly. If you prefer you can put the name of your pack horse
in the macro, instead of "all".
The usual commands that you should macro are:
follow me" (yes, you can say 'all follow' but that
requires that you target yourself, which can take time you
may not have)
Don't tell your pack horse to guard you. It's useless and
they just get themselves killed.
Be careful with the context menus! If you want to tell your
pet to stay or add a friend this way, check twice that you
don't accidentally use the "Command: Drop" option,
as this will make your pack horse to drop everything it carries
on the ground. In remote locations you just have to pick up
everything again, but do this with a pack horse full of ingots
or reagents close to a bank, and you've seen your valuable
resources for the longest time.
Do not bother with "all come". Pack horses respond
much quicker to "all follow me". However, there
is a use to the "all come" command. It comes in
handy when you want your pet to get upstairs in a small house
with multiple stories (one of those with a ladder instead
of a staircase), or around obstacles. If you just have them
following you, you won't get them upstairs at all because
they'll always walk away from the ladder before they reach
the top end.
Here is a description on how to get your pack horse on the
first floor of a small tower. With this description, you should
be able to do the trick for other stories or house types without
Have your pack horse following you and go upstairs till you
reach the end of the ladder. Your pack horse is one tile behind
you and hence still on that part of the ladder that belongs
to the ground floor. Now Move only one tile to the left, not
more. If you walk more than one tile to the left, your pack
horse will also walk towards the left and will stand in the
middle of the ground floor.
You walked one tile only? Fine! Your pack horse won't move as
it is still to an adjacent tile to you. Now tell it to "come"
and it will walk one tile forward, which means to the end of
the ladder. From then on, you can have it follow you again and
do a dance with it on the first floor.
Traveling with Packy
If you have your pack horse following you, you shouldn't
have much trouble gating with it. It will automatically go
through the gate the instant moment you go through. No need
to maneuver it through the gate before going through yourself.
If your packy has bonded, there is even no need for gate travel,
since you can just recall with it.
Just be careful when walking around after casting the gate:
Your pack horse can go through before you and then stand there
while you're trying to get through, then the gate collapses
and when you recast it "something is blocking that location";
namely your idiot pack horse!
A little more tricky are server borders: The world of Ultima
Online is split in several sub servers If you're using UOAM,
you can see them as dotted lines in a light yellow color.
If you cross a server border, your pack horse sometimes will
get "stuck" and stay on the other side. In this
case, just go back, tell it to follow you and try to cross
the border again.
Your best bet to avoid this at all is to cross the border
vertically and with a slow pace. So don't run along the border,
step over it and then run along it again. Instead walk directly
towards it and cross it vertically. Once your packy is over
the border line, you may as well walk along the border as
long as you want.
Packy and Mr. Monster
If a monster comes up on you, it is very likely your pack
horse will decide to attack it. They are stupid that way.
Unless you are capable of taking out whatever monster appears,
I strongly suggest getting your pack horse and yourself out
of there. If it has already attacked the monster, you may
be able to get it to follow you by telling it to "stop"
and then repeating the "all follow me" macro, and
moving away slowly.
Do not start running however, if you can avoid it. You can
outrun your pack horse! If you are quick enough to notice
the monster arriving, go the opposite direction at a steady
walk, as quick as you can without running. Stay only one step
ahead of your pack horse, that way it will use the same path
you take. The further ahead you get, the more likely your
pack horse will attempt to navigate it's own way towards you,
thus increasing the chance of it getting stuck behind an obstacle.
It's important to always keep an escape route in the back
of your mind; that is, the clearest path through the brush.
You can be sure, if there is ever a time for Packy to get
stuck, they'll do it when you need it least. (Note: if you
are on Felucca, it is critical to make sure you know where
you're going, while trying to get away from a monster. If
you are not careful to observe the terrain, you can easily
get yourself stuck behind obstacles, only to have loyal Packy
stop right behind you, covering your retreat, and your exit.
You can sometimes push past Packy, but not always so don't
count on it when you are in trouble.)
Packy and the pack horse killer/PK
The only thing you need to worry about from other players
on Trammel is when your pack horse goes grey ("wild").
If it has gone wild, other players can attack them. Short
of retaming quickly or not letting the pack horse go wild
in the first place (you did read the first part of this guide
right??), there is nothing you can do about this.
On Felucca, your pack horse is fair game, to thieves and
to PK's. Assuming you still want to use a pack horse on Felucca,
there are still several things you can do to avoid problems.
Note: I assume you are going to be mining in this section,
but most of this is valid for other professions, such as lumberjacking.
I have divided these guidelines into two sections, basic
guidelines and advanced. The basic guidelines are for you
if you are just starting out with your very first pack horse.
The advanced guidelines are for those who either have enough
magery to make them work, or have a friend to go with them.
However, here are my basic guidelines for pack horse mining:
- Mine in guarded areas, Britain, Delucia, N. Minoc Mountain
(OUTSIDE the cave - pack horse killers hang around inside
- Do not keep ingots on the pack horse; it's just asking
for them to be stolen. Do keep them on yourself (buried
deep) or, better yet, put them in the bank as soon as you
- Packing "Packy": I don't try to fill up my pack
horse with as much as humanly possible. The mess of ore
on them (not sorted or anything) is as useful a thief deterrent
as I've seen yet; thieves have to move them to see what's
underneath. If you don't sort ore into the smaller piles,
then, yes, you can't get as much on them, but considering
the horse can carry 4 times as much as you can, I figure
better safe than sorry. GREED=Dead Miner.
These are for you if you have or know another character (preferably
a mage). You can still work this way alone, but it's nice
if you can get a friend to help.
- Have either NPC's or your friend guard you while you're
mining with the pack horse. If your guard is a PC, make
sure they are "friended" to your horse (type "[name
of horse] friend" wait for the targeting cursor, then
click on your friend); that way they can give the horse
commands in an emergency. Also, anyone who attacks the horse
will be grey to them as well.
- Gate to your preferred mining area (this is why I said
"advanced" guidelines); use scrolls if necessary.
Scrolls count as if their spells were two circles lower
when you attempt to use them.
- Have your friend hide while you're working (unless they
want to mine, too) This can be an advantage against PK's
or pack horse killers who thought you were alone, when your
friend pops out and attacks them. If your friend is an archer
or a mage this seems to work well. If they are a "knight"
you may rather use the visible deterrent method
- Either you or your friend cast "Invisibility"
on your pack horse. This has advantages and disadvantages,
of course. Plus you have to be able to cast it reliably.
You tell your horse to "stay", and then mine away.
You can either cast invisibility on the horse then or wait
(checking often for monsters - use tracking) until it is
necessary. The would-be horse killer has to reveal the horse
- not always easy - to attack, steal or otherwise mess with
the horse. If the horse killer is a mage who can reveal,
well you should be running anyway ok? Anyway, when you've
played out an area, you say "all follow me", the
pack horse becomes visible, and away you go to do it again.
I like this method myself because if you do get killed or
have to run off, usually the horse is there waiting for you
when you get back. YOU MUST REMEMBER TO TELL THE pack horse
TO STAY, OK? I use this method mainly for dangerous areas
outside of town. OK, to recap - invisibility wears off. They
can be revealed. You can't put ore on a pack horse you can't
see. If you tell the pack horse to move, it will loose its
invisibility. Invisibility also wears off after about two
Dealing with Thieves (Felucca)
Thieves currently cannot steal anything over 10 stone. So,
really, if you're mining or cutting logs, thieves are more
an annoyance than a real problem. If you have anything valuable
on your pack horse (why???), bury it deep in a bag within
another bag, within another bag, etc. It's a good idea to
do this on your person as well.
You may want to use the idea of trapped boxes on your pack
horse. That is, put the ore/ingots into a trapped box on the
horse (obviously if you do this with heavy items, you'll either
need more than one box, or it won't work). I don't know though
if it's worth it because I have more of a problem with people
killing the horse than stealing things. It ought to be good
in town though, especially if you name the packy "TRAPPED!"
The only other two options you have in Felucca for dealing
with thieves is to get whatever is on our pack horse into
the bank as quickly as possible, or to attack the thief when
they turn grey.
I hope these guidelines help you, if you choose to use a
pack horse. I am glad to say since I figured all the above
out, I have only lost one pack horse (rather than one a week!),
and that was due to leaving it alone for a RL day.