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News Updates / BLOG

Happy 18th Birthday Ultima Online

Now that you are an adult, lets share some of the embarrassing stories about you from when you were younger...

Everyone has those moments including virtual world based video games. Ultima Online (UO) has been around as the first Massively Multiplayer Online Role Playing Game, that almost every one out there now has a connection to it through technology, use of the words Origin came up with (Avatar, Shard, etc), or experiences from playing.

One thing that sets an Ultima game apart from any other game is Richard Garriott, Lord British. His stories were kind of basic to kooky with Ultima 1 and 2. Got more AD&D like with Ultima 3. Then got real serious with Ultima 4 - 9.

I have played them all, beaten most of them, watch videos of people beating them for the ones I did not beat, and enjoyed

Last year in 2014 I played in the largest Ultima event that Rustic Dragon put on. It was very special as I got to meet up with other Ultima fans and many of the NPCs form the Ultima video games. Plus being knighted from Richard Garriott, Lord British was the icing on the cake!

My UO stories are the main ones of "creating your own adventure" or what others call a "sandbox style of game play" where I just roam around and see what is out there, to helping a friend with my Wyrm Dragon in Buccaneer's Den to gank a PvPer that is harassing him, to surviving the official OSI events and quests EA added in later. 

A big THAKN YOU to Electronic Arts for putting the money into acquiring Origin Systems,Inc. and helping fund the Ultima Online game.  I really wish EA would of listened to more of Richard Garriott about UO2 and other projects he wanted to do, but then we may not of received the blessing that is called Shroud of the Avatar...

A Thank you to UO on Facebook for finding this gem:

Ultima Online Public Beta Testers
Dear Beta testers, fellow Origin development team members, and fellow citizens of the first ever true virtual world, Britannia:
Tomorrow, the world as you know it comes to an end. We are closing the
public beta test after the event planned for tomorrow.
You have just been part of something wondrous. Imagine now what you
will be a part of in the future.
Consider what Ultima Online has been thus far. It has been over two
years in the making: by far the largest, grandest, most complete
virtual world there has ever been. Since the pre-alpha test that many
of you participated in over a year ago, we have come so very far. At
that time we tested a concept with some early art and some UNIX code
running on a couple of servers to see if the virtual world concept
could work at all.
Now here we are, many months of hard work later, and the future looks
bright indeed.
We have three worlds, three "shards of reality," running on server
farms scattered across the United States. Each is a testament to the
future of online gaming. Each shard holds thousands of Earth-based
players, many times more thousands of creatures, and tens of thousands
of adventures.
"But is it fun?" you ask.
Oh yes, it is. Over the past few days I have spent many, many hours
traveling Britannia, sometimes openly in your company, and sometimes
discreetly following and observing. What I have seen amazes me.
I have witnessed brave adventurers delve deep into deadly dungeons in
search of danger. I have watched businesses and whole industries
spring up to supply the needs of these adventurers. I have seen the
blacksmiths auctioning off their wares in crowded squares, hiring
miners with guard escorts to bring them metal to forge, hiring bards to
calm the inevitable arguments and fights that break out in the fever of
competition. I have seen intrepid crews take to the open ocean to seek
new islands, only to be surprised by other crews on pirate ships armed
with magic, ready to steal the contents of their cargo holds. I have
seen people master the arcane and difficult arts of magic, and become
powerful mages capable of transforming their shape and walking down
city streets, terrifying the populace.
I have seen a group of artists hold auditions for their play. I have
seen a wrestling pit marked off in the dirt, and crowds calling out
bets from the sidelines.
I have watched as scholars walked into moongates over and over,
building tables of destinations, to try to unlock the patterns behind
them. I have read the research into unknown magic, and waited for
players to discover the hints left for them.
Newspapers have sprung up, and great libraries have been founded to
gather the books of the world in one place.
I have seen people build lives here. Build houses and businesses. Tame
animals, and cry when they die. Bring old friends with them. Make new
ones.
Found cities--shiny new ones like Mystery City, which organized its
own town militia, and shanty-towns made of crates and abandoned
furniture. Use whatever words you choose: people have made HOMES here.
They have settled a new frontier, with all that implies--the joy of
breaking new ground, and the lack of conveniences it offers. The
frustration of meeting new, unknown obstacles, and the thrill of
conquering them.
This game--no, this WORLD--has already become much more than any of us
could have envisioned. Yet it is only now about to really begin.
We--all of us, game makers and game players alike--are walking down a
new road together. What is this that we have made together? Is it an
Ultima, with a finite plot? Is it like other multiplayer games, with a
clear goal to reach for? Is it just a huge medieval theme chat zone?
No, Ultima Online is far more than any one of these, it is more than
all of these put together. It is an Ultima, with an epic plot as yet
largely unrevealed. It is a world. It is now our second home. A living,
breathing, changing place, that will provide constantly varying
experiences.
Just like the real world, the virtual economy and ecology will
change--even fail in places--as players either exploit or care for it.
As developers, we will be challenged by keeping up with the "holes" in
the "laws" of economy that players discover, just as a government must
continue to pass laws to keep the economy and ecology of the real world
on an even keel.
There is so much in the world of Britannia that you have seen... and
you are about to see much more. Many of the updates that we have made
have not been part of the public beta test process. You have yet to see
Britannia swept by rain and thunderstorms, or snow falling gently
during the winter. You have not seen a crystal blink to let you know
your friend is calling you with his own attuned crystal from across the
world. You have not seen other things yet to come--the gatherings of
necromancers building dread towers in clearings in the wilderness, the
wonder of a magic carpet soaring high over the mountains, or the pride
of being accorded the title "Dragonslayer" by all who meet you, your
deeds known and published to bulletin boards in the local taverns
across the land. It will not be long before we see the first wedding,
the first day that a couple who met in Britannia send news to us of
their child born somewhere here in our world, perhaps in Illinois, or
Alaska, or Germany. These and many other things will be adding to the
world of Britannia for months and even years to come, providing you
with excitement and challenges. We have not "finished" Ultima Online.
Finishing implies reaching an end. How does a world reach an end? It
grows over time. It lives, it changes. It evolves. It becomes a
community.
Come, join the development team, the gamemasters, Lord Blackthorn, and
I, as we discover together where that evolution will lead. The world
where the future of role-playing resides. The place where we have all
found another home...
Come live with us in the world of Britannia in Ultima Online!
-Lord British
Tuesday, Sept 23

Ultima Online Time of Legends due in 2015

Yes, you heard that right. Ultima Online will have another expansion pack. After a drought that lasted for years since Stygian Abyss, us faithful fans get more adventures.

All we know is we will have Shadowbane from Ultima II and Valley of Eodor from Ultima Adventures The Savage empire.

Other changes to the gaming engine include a unified bank box for each account on each shard (no cross sharing).

I cannot wait!

Hearth of Britannia Legends of the Hearth II event

I had one of the most amazing times of my life two weekends ago by attending the Hearth of Britannia Legends of the Hearth II event. 

We started out like any other Ultima video game. Watch the pre-entertainment which outlined your purpose. You got extra coin for dressing up in "Ultima type" of costume and received our cloth maps, journal, and money pouch. Then were giving the "go ahead" by Lord British to Journey Onward (just like in the video games)!

Like others at the event I was happy. The quest givers (NPC) characters were awesome and made the village of Cove real. We adventured to 16 NPCs who gave out quests and rewarding you for finishing the quests. Each quest was part of one of the Avatar 8 Virtues or the Avatard 8 Virtues (Thanks Dr. Cat!).

I found myself spending hours trying to finish as many as I could. I missed the Dance Avatard Virtue completely. :(  Failed the Laziness Avatard Virtue quest (I guess I am just not that lazy). I did complete 6 of the Avatard Virtues including the two most time consuming ones including Indulgence (8 steps of: buying food or drink, buy something from Heather the Provisioner, Master a virtue for Wine, Women, and Song, Penumba reads for fortune, Learn something from Master Iolo, eat chocolate, get an autograph, and request a photograph. )
Another one was Drunkenness (14 people needed to verify you had a drink and sign off that you did drink that alcohol). A good side-effect of this is I received 14 autograph signatures from most of the NPCs! Those were fun. Lord Blackthorn was proud. He even was amazed that I finished the Indulgence quest first. I guess I booked ass!
One extra bonus was listening to Iolo play the Lute and sing some of his favorite songs.

I even brought my Wine, Women, and Song drinking cup so Lord Blackthorn rewarded me with something extra. 
Of the Avatar 8 Virtues I completed 3 of them ( Honesty, Sacrifice, and Humility ). Lord British your faithful servant was persuaded by Lord Blackthorn for a bit but quickly regained that I needed by completing as many Avatar Virtues before the time ran out. My Silver Serpent necklace helped me through by focusing my concentration on what I needed to do.
The large battle towards the end was epic! We all had fun battling each other for 50 minutes. If you were on the wining side or the losing side - it did not matter. We battled with lots of Legends of Ultima!
The closing ceremony bring tears to all as the weekend's fun were coming to a close. Deserving members were honored with the Order of the New Britannia Empire medal (Very cool!). Everyone who completed at least 3 quests were dubbed Legend of the Hearth and was knighted as one by Lord British! We received an Ankh with a Silver Serpent symbol engraved on it.

I was in total heaven as like any other Ultima fan being knighted by Lord British. That is something I always dreamed about. King Arthur / Lord British - Same thing to me. My favorite video game became REAL that weekend. 

Support Denis Loubet and his awesome artwork. I did.

Just visit http://www.patreon.com/denisloubet and pledge some money for his artwork.

Denis is the legendary artist behind most of the box covers for the Ultima Series of video games. From what I understand as Lord British himself said that the only Ultima game Denis did not do was the Ultima I cover box. 

I am very excited to meet Denis this weekend and tell him how much I loved his artwork. I first saw it on the cover of Ultima III in 1983.  

Ultima Forever is closing late August

Ultima Forever is closing. It was a fun ride adventuring on my iPad in the world of Britannia. 

From the Ultima Forever Design team. Check out my Ultima Forever collection in remembrance.

Strangers, Seekers and Avatars all,

While the past year has certainly been quite the adventure – in Britannia and beyond! – that adventure is now drawing to a close, as the time has come for us to say goodbye. As of Aug 29th 2014 (11:00 AM EDT), Ultima Forever will be shutting down its online services, and will no longer be available to play.

This was a very difficult decision for us to make. We’ve seen the game through ups and downs, and hope that you’ve enjoyed playing it every bit as much as we had making it! Through it all, it’s been players like you who’ve made it all worthwhile.

To thank everyone for their loyalty and support, for our last month of live operations, the following changes will be made to the game:

• Significantly boosted Virtue and Reputation rewards
• Equipment degradation to be disabled (no damage to worn/equipped items)
• Increased drop rate of Gold keys
• The in-game store will no longer sell premium currency (Silver and Gold keys)

We invite you to visit our Facebook page to share your favorite game memories with us. We’d love to hear from you:

https://www.facebook.com/UltimaForever

From Lady British, the Gypsy, and all the other citizens of Ultima Forever’s Britannia: Thank you for your time spent in our world; we’re going to miss you very much!

Remember and uphold the Virtues, always!
- The Ultima Forever Team

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Welcome to the Shroud of the Avatar (SOTA) & Ultima Museum.

We celebrate all of the amazing Shroud of the Avatar and Ultima game series created by Lord British (Richard Garriott). This site is a place to share my vast Ultima and Shroud of the Avatar collection for your enjoyment.
Member since "forever" in Ultima Dragons Internet Chapter as Lord G Dragon

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