Readers who’ve been visiting RPS since the halcyon days of ooh, August may recall my irregular misadventures in Ultima Online: Kingdom Reborn. For the story so far, a sad tale of lost shoes, bullying healers and being rubbish at hiding, clicky here and scroll down. The concept, if you can’t be bothered to read the last two posts, is this: I’d never played Ultima Online before this year, and rather foolishly believed it would be something like the MMOs I am familiar with. It really isn’t. Despite its recent ooh-shiny remake, UO doesn’t make much effort to explain its workings to new players, which, when you’re as stupid as I am, results in a great deal of confusion, terror and hilarity. My quest – to achieve something like progress based only on the information given to me by the game itself.
Disconsolate about my continued failure to kill anything that isn’t cute’n'fluffy, I turn to more creative pursuits. I need a hobby, preferably one that doesn’t involve fighting impossibly tough zombies. But what sort of profession would be suitable for an off-duty ninja? Tailoring? Nah. Knitting somehow doesn’t scream ‘silent assassin.’ Tanning? I’m a vegetarian – wouldn’t be on, really. Aha – lumberjacking and carpentry. It’s as honest a trade as they come, and there’s something fairly macho about chopping down trees, so this is evidently a perfect method of restoring my battered man-pride.
I report for duty to New Haven’s chief carpenter guy, who asks I get hold of 60 logs for him. The fact he can’t get ‘em himself has me concerned that he’s perhaps not the master of woodcraft he’s claiming to be, but hell, anyone’s an expert compared to me. More importantly, a tree probably can’t punch me in the face. This should be a challenge even I’m capable of. Famous last log-based words.