“Return To Britannia”: Ultima Access

By Jim Rossignol on September 29th, 2009 at 7:59 am.


Twelve years of Ultima Online (twelve years!) are being celebrated by EA by allowing old players to return and play for free until the 16th of October. You can download the client for your glorious return here, which is also where newbies can access the 14-day trial. The most recent expansion for Ultima came out back in August, with a load of new content including a playable Elven race.

Read about Alec’s adventures in the aged MMO just here, and tell us if you’re going to return to Ultima in the comments below.

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33 Comments »

  1. Dominic White says:

    Elves? Maybe my memory is fuzzy, but in all the Ultimas I played, there were no elves. In fact, the setting was conspicuously elf-free, which was refreshing.

    Then again, this is the same UO that gave us a ‘samurai and ninjas’ expansion a while back, so I can only assume that they’re just winging it at this point.

  2. Railick says:

    I certainly would return but I Don’t remember my log in info any more lol.

    Elves samurai ninjas and gargoyles all fit in Ultima. If you actually played any of the old games you’ll remember the first several included insane time travel and the hero himself is from Earth and traveled to Sosaria by a portal :P Alternate Dimensions are just part of the game and that is where the elves and other races are coming from.

  3. Stromko says:

    I would rather remember UO as it was, not what it’s become.

  4. Pod says:

    UL! TIM! A!
    UL! TIM! A!
    UL! TIM! A!

    Really though, I’d rather not go back to UO anyway. I believe they’ve changed the way skill gain and all that work from when I used to play (in the oldene dayse). I can’t imagine I’ll like it.

    • Pod says:

      Ignore me, I’m an idiot. I checked UO out on wikipedia and it kind of makes me want to go back.

  5. Psychopomp says:

    Wait
    Wait
    Wait
    Wait
    Back the fun bus the fuck up.
    UO is still getting expansion packs?

  6. Paul S. says:

    I tried it a couple of weeks ago, actually. I lasted about eight minutes.

  7. Schadenfreude says:

    Not played Ultima Online but I am playing Ultima IX – Ascension at the moment as it’s one of those games I never finished when I first bought it (It did have a cloth map though). I know it’s a ten-year old game but lordy lord that interface is awful. I seem to recall it getting bad to middling reviews on release but I can’t remember if people approved of the interface or not (there’s a whole lot more wrong with this game after all).

    After a week of this it hardly matters what state Risen is in; I’ll probably love it.

    • Schadenfreude says:

      From Tom Bramwell’s Eurogamer review dated May 2000

      The interface, hotkeys and system of play is very impressive and intuitive, and despite the fact that you can’t see them properly most of the time, the special effects are charming.

      Holding down Ctrl + Alt + Right-Click to walk backwards is intuitive? Dread to think what other games of the day were getting up to; even Gothic was better than this. We’ve come a long way. Thank god.

  8. Snall says:

    No way am I going back, evil Trammel, poor Siege Perilous was pretty under populated last time I played a few years ago..good times back in the day though. RIP 2002? 2003? I forget when tram came out..

  9. DMJ says:

    Any game in which ninja carpenters can immobilise a player by surrounding him with chairs is worthy of a certain odd respect.

  10. Schtee says:

    Preach it, Snall. The array of interation with players/the world is still astounding, but it was such a free-form game, before they removed having fun.

  11. EaterOfCheese says:

    I’d go back to UO if I could receive my confirmation email (my account was registered to a now defunct email address)! That’s obscenely lazy though, considering the mindbending difficulty involved in making a gmail account these days.

    If you like ultima though, you might dig the Ultima 5 remake ‘Lazarus’ – total remake of U5 in the dungeon siege engine. http://www.u5lazarus.com – one of those rare retro remakes that actually got completed (and w/french & german translations to boot), and spawned a modding community of its own. Pretty cool if you ask me :)

    The forums appear to be down atm, but an old associate has suggested this is a temporary situation.

  12. mysterylobster says:

    “The most recent expansion for Ultima came out back in August, with a load of new content including a playable Elven race.”

    Yeah, August of 2005.

  13. Akura says:

    Actually, didn’t an expansion just come out this month?

  14. gobion says:

    like everyone else I can’t remember my account information and the email address I used was cancelled a decade ago! So no chance of a “new password email” for me :D

    I think I’d better just leave it to nostalgic memories. Happy days :)

    Gobion

  15. maxheadroom says:

    Like Gobion it’s been a decade or maybe even longer since I last played UO.

    My memory of it is a bit hazy but I do remember grinding my strength up by chopping down trees for hours on then and then getting killed by a rabbit. Fun times

    Nope, think I’ll give this a miss

  16. Jog says:

    They can go to hell !

    They killed the best MMO out there when they released Age of Shadows ! It was such a beautiful game before it became WoW style loot collecting game.

  17. meeper says:

    Amazingly enough I still have the email address I used to create my UO/Origin account in ’97. Unfortunately, I think they must have purged characters at some point because my PK’ing guy is most definitely no longer on Great Lakes. :(

  18. Dave says:

    Ah, UO. A game about killing canaries for feathers, chopping down trees for arrow shafts, and then not being able to actually find anything to shoot with said arrows except for more canaries, and NPCs that wanted to be escorted between towns. Heroic!

    Also, a game where you can’t leave for 15 seconds without getting ganked by some random asshole who doesn’t even have the courtesy to laugh about it or to loot your corpse.

    I never understood the appeal. But then I was a GemStone player.

  19. Torgen says:

    @meeper

    Yep, old characters are purged. My character, one of the original Mage Tower crew on Great Lakes was purged when I attempted a free trial 4 or 5 years ago.

  20. Lestaticon says:

    My characters were not purged. Some date back to the release of the game too. I can’t remember, but if there was a purge, maybe they offered a chance to stop that. If that’s the case, I must have logged in to save them.
    The game lost some of it’s appeal when Trammel was introduced. Still, it’s a good game. However, I logged in yesterday and was totally lost. I also don’t really like the itemization changes; feels too gimmicky.

  21. Railick says:

    how exactly does this work? I figured out my old account info but when I try to log in it says subscription terminated. Is this deal not started yet?

  22. We Fly Spitfires says:

    I’d be kinda tempted to try UO if they made it a browser based game or an app for my iPhone :)

  23. Railick says:

    They should be able to do that honestly but even on my newer computer the ancient UO client still lags a lot :P Still it seems like it should work. there are some TD defense games based on UO you could probably get on your sell phone lol.

    what I would love is a single player version of the old UO where you can go around the world just being yourself with NPCS doing nothing but standing there all day. ( you can host your own server but it won't have any NPCS on it that you don't put there yourself)

    It'd be sweet if someone remade Ultima IV in the UO client It has all the dungeons ect that you'd need to do it already in the game an then some.

  24. Railick says:

    Double post strikes again

    Baron Shatteredstone “What kind of elf shoots down a bird anyway?!”

  25. Rei Onryou says:

    I’m amazed it still exists. A testament to the glorious PC’s past.

  26. Adrian says:

    God i wish i could go back and play ultima again. I LOVED Ultima Online! No other MMORPG ever appealed to me again after my years of playing ultima online. it really was something special but i think if id played it again it’d spoil good good memories! I mean it just had everything! I remember when there were no particular items in the game for example for a chimney people would take clothes and stones and put them on top of each other and it looked exactly like a chimney. It really felt like people were creating a world! i think ultima back then was far more advanced than the new mmorpgs (including world of warcraft, seriously after ultima online warcraft just couldn’T offer anything new or exciting!)

  27. Railick says:

    LOL Yes Adrian! And people would get very good at this making aquariams and water falls ect with stuff they'd found around. I remember some people charged a lot of money to decorate peoples houses with stuff like this.

  28. Adrian says:

    Yea Railick making houses was like one of the most expensive things in the game. I remember that you could buy a castle for a fortune n then people would take these piles of ore rocks that you’d get after melting ore to iron bars and use it for building anything imaginable! i spent looking at ultima online pictures for the last 10 minutes n it’s like looking at an old bike i had as a kid! it was just SO exciting always!
    I tried many MMO’s and nothing was ever like Ultima! Still makes me sad everyone forgot about it as soon as WoW came out!
    I think only people who played as intense as i did can understand just how great it was !

    http://www.uodivinity.com/img/intro/intro_ss_3.jpg

    just look at that oldschool loot chest and all the people running around, evryone saying something all in different colors.
    it’s just EVERYTHING! the runing animation, the Tap tap tap sound when someone passed by, all the monsters :( god when will time travel be possible :(

  29. Adrian says:

    Oh yeah and

    VAS ORT POR VLAM!!!!!!!!!

    killing someone with a lightning bold coming from the sky just a moment before he could escape never felt better!

  30. Railick says:

    I always enjoyed killing someone with a newbie axe you get when you pick lumber jack as a start skill :P walk up to someone naked that just killed you and say "Hey that wasn't nice" WACK WACK WACK DEAD :P sorry I didn't I mention 100 % sword and 100% Lumberjacking mine dead friend?

    One day my friends and I went to the top of moon glow bank and covered the entire thing with chests that blocked movement it locked down the entire city for hours :P since 99% of the people gate and recall in ontop of the bank lol.

  31. mysterylobster says:

    “Actually, didn’t an expansion just come out this month?”

    Yeah, but not the one with Elves. That’s been out for years.