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UO 5th Anniversary Memories
In our Spotlight today, we highlight the 5th anniversary of UO by sharing the memories of various players, who look back on their experiences in Ultima Online.
“Five years of death, five years of dying
Five years of life, five years of crying
Of all the frustrations that have crossed my path
Of all the joys carried from the battle clash
Sweat and blood, tears and pain
Love and joy, from a game
Moments lost in my mind
Moments treasured for all of time.”
- The Iron Monk of Atlantic

“I have learned a lot throughout my years in Ultima Online. These days, I mostly travel and explore the lands. I still make arrows for a living, even though I never became a professional bowyer. I’ve met a lot of very wonderful people from all over the world, who I now call friends. Some have gone on to other places, but there are still some around. I have grown stronger and have learned a lot during my years here. Some things have changed and some have remained the same; new worlds have been found that I have yet to explore. It is an exciting place to live.”
- Ella of Catskills

“My name is Stacker, though many simply call me Stack. I entered the world of Ultima Online on 9/20/97. I found the world very strange at first, as I was accustomed to playing games where you pretty much logged in and shot the first person you saw. I found that in UO people wanted to work together and build guilds. It took me awhile to understand this concept, but after a few months of playing I found myself as an officer of a large guild called ‘The Sanctuary.’ Even as a high-ranking member of this guild, when duty was not calling, I would slip off to ‘do my own thing.’ I just found that I preferred to hunt alone.

“Then one day things became pretty heated as everyone in the guild house was arguing about something I have long since forgotten. I logged off that night and started thinking about a member named Venom. Through all the bickering, she remained calm and had a good attitude. As a matter of fact, I couldn’t remember an instance during her entire time in the guild that she wasn't in a good mood. I made a note to myself to ask her to go on a hunt the next day, and then drifted off to sleep.

“The following day, I did manage to ask her to go hunt with me, and we had a blast. I found her charming and funny; we just sorted clicked. Soon, our hunts were a nightly event.

“As time went on, Venom and I became very close and we decided to wed in the world of UO. On May 19, 1998, Stacker and Venom became husband and wife. The wedding was performed by Counselor Bakura and was filled with hooded characters popping in and out.

“We soon settled back into our routine of hunting nightly, and one night Venom asked me to ‘hold on a sec.’ My phone rang and it was her! We talked and laughed about the things we had done and agreed we should exchange photos and talk again.

“By 1999, I felt that I knew the person behind Venom very well, even though I had never met her. After much thought, I asked if she would make the trip from her home in Hawaii to mine in Texas for a week’s visit, and she said yes.

“Venom did make that trip, and to make a long story short, the return flight ticket went to waste. Venom never went back to Hawaii, and we started a life together. We have been together for over 3 years now, still playing UO, and couldn't be happier... in-game or out.” :)
- Stacker

“So many memories – I remember my first house that I shared with my best friend, and then the abandonment of that house due to the colonies of ettins and gazers that occupied the surrounding woods. I remember our first guildstone, and then our second guildstone in our second house. I remember participating in the town of Dawn with our third and much larger guildhouse. I remember the discovery of Trammel and the placement of our guild’s tower, which lead to the formation of our own town, Heaven’s Forge. I remember the peaceful quiet of the woods near Wrong, only occasionally interrupted by a roving band of brigands or a valorite elemental emerging from the mining caves.

“So many changes -- the world has changed around us: fame/karma, murderers, bounty hunting, Chaos and Order guilds, treasure hunting, weapons, armor, animals and monsters. We change how we shape the world through masonry, glassblowing, bulk order deeds, runic and ancient hammers. The changes are too numerous to list, yet too impacting to forget. And we can’t forget the new lands and old foes: the Lost Lands, Ilshenar, Minax, Blackthorn, the Juka, and Exodus.

“So many friends -- they have entered and left my life, every one of them leaving an impression upon me. Some left to adventure in other worlds. Many came back, and I was overjoyed to see them again. Many have not returned, and I miss their presence. Sometimes I remain alone, and other times in good company. I keep searching for a way to craft a rocking chair, so that I might sit on the porch of my tower and whittle while I listen for familiar voices to call to me from the forest.

Happy Birthday, UO!”
- Darius

“I remember pre-ordering UO two months before it came out. I remember signing up and being so very angry when I realized I had to wait a day before I could log in. Well, the next day, I created an archer character on Pacific. Here is his story.

“Bishop started his journey at ‘The Sturdy Bow’ in Yew. How excited I was to explore this massive land that I had spent the whole day at work reading about. I quickly ran out into the woods with my practice bow in hand. I soon found a great hart and took it down with my bow. I thought it was so great to be able to kill a deer, skin it, cook the meat, and make armor with its hides!

“Then the screech of a mongbat scared the life out of me. My heart was racing as it attacked me. I ran around like a madman. Thankfully, I managed to kill it, with one arrow left to spare -- 15 gold! I could buy more arrows now!

“Well, running around with a mongbat on my tail resulted in me getting very lost in the woods. Soon, I saw a building on my radar. It was a grey stone building in the middle of the forest with no doors. So I thought I’d use ‘Detect Hidden’ on the walls around it to search for secret doors. I found none, but I was able to spot another building similar to this one further in the woods. After exploring the area around this building, I finally found a real door.

A crypt! I was so happy that I ran inside to see what I could see. Again, my heart was racing as I descended into the depths of the crypt. The undead denizens within were not so happy to see me. I would like to say I put up a good fight, but they blocked me in and I couldn’t push past them to get away. oOOooOOOoo.

That was my first experience as a ghost. I searched the woods for a way to get resurrected, but couldn’t figure out how to do it, so I logged out and read the book that came with the game. And that was the end of my first session in UO.

Thanks for a great 5 years!”
- Nightmyst of Pacific

“Over the years, UO has changed a lot -- bugs have emerged and have been squashed, some good things were added and some things were taken away because, although fun and good when handled correctly, when exploited they posed issues for all players. A lot of player communities emerged to create fun events for players to do besides play the game -- taverns opened up, plays were produced, and storytelling competitions were held. The Syndicate (www.llts.org), for example, hosted (and still hosts) lotteries and scavenger hunts on a regular basis for players. There were groups that even did PvP competitions. Vendor communities eventually popped up all over the place. The end result was an interactive economy that was ruled by supply and demand, where players formed friendships (and made long lasting enemies) within a virtual world.

“UO truly revolutionized online gaming. It combined the best things from the games that had come before it and added new features, lots of player freedom, and a large, ever-changing world. Many years from now, when gaming looks nothing like it does today, UO will be reflected back upon as the game that launched the revolution, and The Syndicate will still be around as an example of the type of player made communities that can result from a virtual world like this.”
- Dragons of Atlantic

”I brought my first UO game in November of 1997. I was living in a town that did not have access to a local phone line, so the first month cost me over $400 dollars to play the game.

“I decided to make my character a miner, so Lowermike was born. In those first days, I traveled all over the land, mining wherever I could find a forge. I died many times to PKers and monsters. I took my ingots to town and sold them to dealers. I eventually earned enough gold to buy my first house, and was able to place it outside of the Britain mine.

“UO was the game I had been waiting for. I was 69 years old when I started playing the game, and have played it ever since. Today, I am 73 and look forward to playing the game for another 4 years.

“I have joined a number of Guilds, but by far my first and my last guild have given me the most enjoyment. OAK Guild was where I met so many friends that I still have today. The Defenders of Virtue is the Guild I have be a part of for the past two years.

“During the 4 years of my time in UO, I have been a duelist, knight, and a tradesman. I am excited about the new things that are planned for the game in the future. For this, I would like to thank OSI for keeping and improving the game as they have.

“For an old man like myself, it is wonderful to be able to play a game with so many people of different ages and from many different backgrounds.”
- Lowermike of Pacific
In the last five years, the roads of Britannia have been trod by hundreds of thousands of men and women from around the world. And it is those people who make Ultima Online the world it is today, and who will shape the Ultima Online of tomorrow. We look forward to joining you in the future of Ultima Online!

Published: September 2002
Please Note: Some dates are estimates as exact dates were unavailable.
Ultima Online ESRB Rating
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