Do you remember 22 years when Ultima Online first came out and gangs of “red” (criminal) players ran around the map killing other unsuspecting players? You know, that period of UO play just before the devs created the “safe space” known as Trammel? I was 28 then.
And I hated Trammel when it first came out. I thought it poisoned the pure essence of the game. And besides that, at the time, I loved killing, ganking, and then laughing at upset people in the game. It was fun… except when I was on the opposite side of the fun as a victim, then it wasn’t fun at all… 😦
But a funny thing happened after Trammel was introduced to the game: the original shard, named “Felucia”, turned into a ghost town. In fact, I can remember running my “red” toon all over the map trying to find victims, but couldn’t because they had all gone to Trammel. Why????!?!? Didn’t they know how fun it was to have the ability to silently KOS any “blue” player you could find?
Apparently not. And the historical fact of the matter is that Trammel saved Ultima Online. UO would not be what it is today if it were not for Gordan Walton’s decision to create a shard where players could experience the whole map without the constant fear of getting killed and looted by gangs of “reds”.
“Inherent in the UO brand was the fact it was a gritty, hardcore world of danger. We were not successful in bringing back the (literally) hundreds of thousands of players who had quit due to the unbridled PvP in the world (~5% of former customers came back to try the new UO, but very few of them stayed). We discovered that people didn’t just quit UO, they divorced it in a very emotional way. But we did keep more of the new players that came in by a large margin, significantly more than the PvP players we lost.”
22 years ago us players didn’t really know any better. We didn’t know anything about playing with other human beings on such a grand scale and we all made some mistakes.
So here comes Legends of Ultima in 2019. It is a new game that wants to become just like UO was in those early days.
As a Legends of Aria community server, the devs boast that their server is a community of PVP/PVE that taps into the “best” things about “the early eras of Ultima Online”. After reading this I enthusiastically joined the server and a guild, then worked on leveling my skills so that I could do some “unbridled PVP”– just like the old days, 22 years ago.
Then it happened: a gang of “reds” rode into a newbie area, killed me and stole all my stuff I was using to level. After that, I immediately rage quit (because I have PTSD and get emotional too quick).
After I calmed down I realized that Legends of Ultima is keen on making the same mistakes that UO did in the early days. In fact, they are making the exact same mistake that UO made, i.e. the one that cost them “literally hundreds of thousands of player to”, not just quit UO, but “emotionally divorce it”.
That is pretty much what I did today with LoU.
Now kneel before me!