I started playing Ultima Online December 1997, few months after the game was born as one of the first MMORPG (Massively Multiplayer Online Role Playing Game) games.
I missed the Beta, started Dec 1997 on the shard (server) Atlantic. My son came home with the game account and Internet was on my computer, so he had to make me play to get access to it.
My son showed me how to make a char and told me the basic and then he did leave me alone with the char. First char was made on the Shard (Server) Great Lake but after a few days, my son and his friends moved to the shard Atlantic.
This time I had more ideas of the char I wanted. I named the char Freja as the Nordic love goddess Freja was much what I wanted for my char. I started as a miner and started mining north of the town Britain.
To me, the game was wonderful; it was like a second world, wild and untamed. It was a dangerous world, special outside towns. In towns, there was a bank, shops selling resources, tools and items. I did not have much, when my char was made. I had clothes, a few tools for mining and smiting and 100 gold.
Over the years, I’ve written stories about my online life and I would like to share them with you.
First a little more about the world, known as Ultima Online. If you go back to around Robin Hoods time, in old Britannia, you have the scene with large dangerous forests, graveyards, dungeons and town with thieves, crafters and merchants.
Then add a lot monsters like trolls, ettins, harpies, animals, NPC’s (non player chars), PC’s (player chars) some of them aggressive and some helpful, then you are getting close to my online world.
Your little char in game could be anything he wanted. A peaceful Crafter / Merchant, he could go slay animals and monsters or even fight other players, if that what he wanted. He could also collect stuff, regents from ground, wood from trees, wool from sheep, ingots from the mountains and mining caves, leather from animals and sell it in town or use it for crafting of armor and weapons. He could also get a boat and fight sea monsters or be a peaceful fisherman or he could be a tamer, a mage, a swordsman or something else.
Early 1998, we were allowed to place a house and keep stuff in it. You got a key to your home but if you lost the key to a thief or a PK (player killer), you lost your house too as it would never be safe again.
For many players, the world was too dangerous and they begged for a safer world. They did not like the risk for being attacked of an other player or thieves stealing stuff out of their backpack.
I don’t know why, but I never hated the PK’s and thieves, I more saw them as a challenge and wanted to learn to know them. Sure dying was annoying but I learned fast to have some backup armor, weapon or gold. Dying is worse as long you run around in death robe. As soon you are in a new suit and with a new weapon, everything look much better. If you were not careful, you could lose your house too. If you lost your key to a thief or a PK, that house would never be safe again as they could loot everything in there. At that time, there was no way to rekey the lock.
I still remember years 1997-1998 as the best time I had in UO, even when I sometimes had so much lag, that it was hard to move and I lost connection a lot. I was on dial up from Denmark.
One of the most amazing things with UO is, I had meet people from all over the world in this game. Your real life status, race or country doesn’t matter. What do matter is, who you are in the game.