Your first experience with Ultima and Lord British

Discussion in 'The Kingdoms of Old' started by CastChaos, Dec 21, 2014.

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  1. Raven Swiftbow

    Raven Swiftbow Bug Brigade - Bug Hunter

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    lol - I never thought I would share this story here, but I guess I shall.....

    In the mid-1980's my then-husband had decided he wanted to be a writer. I knew that the place to learn about such things was from authors and editors themselves, and that the best place to meet such people was at science fiction conventions. (At that time we lived in the Dallas, Texas area.) We attended that year's AggieCon and had wonderful conversations with author Joe Haldeman. So later that year, in the summer, we traveled to a science-fiction convention in Austin. We did not have particularly good luck at the Austin convention. Part of the problem was that we didn't know any of the local fans, who generally shunned us. (In hindsight, that might well have been because my then-husband was a jerk.) But while we were at the convention, one of the people we spotted was this weird guy who was walking around in full plate armor! We asked someone about him (because, um, plate armor in the summer in Texas...?) and the local people seemed to all be in awe of him and told us that he was Lord British. My husband decided he had to be a nut job, and was to be avoided.... (lol)

    Fast forward 20 years.... Much has happened. Divorce, relocation, etc., etc. I next hear about Lord British from my significant other (now deceased), author Robert Asprin (his ex-wife, Lynn Abbey, had worked with RG on some novels), as well as some friends who lived or had lived in Austin and knew RG when he was active in the SCA. I actually attended a "Known World Academy of the Rapier" event which was held at one of Richard's Austin homes, but at the time, RG was traveling. Nonetheless, it was a lovely time. Then, even later, a girlfriend got me into UO, but I only barely connected the dots because by that time, RG had been long gone from the UO scene.

    Last spotting - DragonCon, 2014. By that point, I knew a lot of the backstory, but I had only just heard about this Shroud of the Avatar. I was curious, and was able to sit in on a couple of the panels at DragonCon, both of which were quite enjoyable. Shortly after that, I fell into some unexpected money and decided that dumping it into SotA would be a great thing to do. . . .

    So I have sort of danced around the edges of things as fate and karma have woven their tapestry. No regrets, the road has been, as Bob [Asprin] promised, "never dull...."
     
  2. davznothere

    davznothere Avatar

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    Ultima 3 on a com. 64 ..... it was 1984, i was 10 ...... i've played the whole series 100's of times by now and still go back to them on dos-box ..... no walk-through, taking notes and drawing maps on graph paper
     
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  3. Zelek Uther

    Zelek Uther Avatar

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    For some UO nostalgia... I just have to mention my favourite UO in-game tune:
     
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  4. monxter

    monxter Avatar

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    Ultima Underworld: The Stygian Abyss! used to play the game together with friends.
     
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  5. Darian

    Darian Guest

    Ultima 4 piratet copy (I think no one back then was able to cough up the equivalent of 80$ one copy did cost in an store, not the rich part of town, 80 quid was like what a family spend on food in an week, spending that on an game...I was lucky to have an C64 i got as present from an friend of the family dealing in computers.)

    Later i bought all Ultima games when economical times where better and i could afford them, prices where lower then, strange thing that.

    I managed them all without help form outside but i always had an knack with games, sadly that does not transfer to things like stockmarket (yes that is an game too folks)
     
  6. Xithar

    Xithar Avatar

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    If I remember it right my first was Ultima 5, but I did not like the grafics, so I focused on other games. That changed with Ultima Underworld, which got me to like the world and setting. After this I started again with Ultima 5 and played all later parts since that. However i did not look the first 4, because their grafic is just to bad for my liking.
    In Ultima Online I played ~3 -4 years at Origin and many years later at free RPG shards.
     
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  7. Berek

    Berek Avatar

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    I was in the Beta for Ultima Online, helping groups that would later become prominent guilds in the game. It was both a chaotic time in the game (and industry), and also one of the funnest I've ever had!
     
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  8. Rabbit

    Rabbit Avatar

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    Allow me to apologize in advance... this is going to be lengthy.

    I had been playing games for a long time before I played my first Lord British game.
    I remember owning a Colecovision and playing Pong on a black-n-white TV. I owned
    an Atari 2600. The list goes on.

    But then I entered High School and took my first computer class. We had to learn to
    program in Basic on both an IBM Compatible, and a Commodore 64. My teacher had
    an Apple II on his desk. I found that I could solve the programming problems very
    quickly, which meant I had a lot of free time in class. To keep me occupied, and not
    trying to "hack" into the computer, my teacher introduced me to Ultima I.

    I was hooked. Seriously, you could have pulled me into the boat and fried my ass
    for dinner. I finished that game and found out there was a Part II. And a Part III.
    Whoa! Needless to say, I owned them to play on my own computer at home.

    And that's when I became a "Gamer". As new Ultima games came out, and the
    technology improved, I found myself upgrading my computer to ensure I
    could play the new games. When Ultima VII came out, I had to buy a state-of-
    the-art sound card. And when the Guardian's voice rang out from my speakers
    with, "Poor Avatar. Poor, poor Avatar" I nearly wet myself from excitement.
    That was just COOL!

    To date, my favorite role-playing game of all time is still Ultima IV. It embodied
    everything that a true role-playing game should. You were the hero of the game,
    but not when you started. You had to EARN it. And then when Ultima V came out
    and you returned to the world... they remembered you as the hero. That whole
    concept was awesome. And then later games, as more time in Britannia passed,
    you faded from memory and became legend. So returning to the world meant
    earning your reputation all over again. And again, that was just freakin' COOL!

    So I have to say, in closing, that not only did Lord British create what I consider
    to be the finest role-playing game of all time, he's also the reason I have such a
    love for role-playing games today. And why my computer is always state-of-the-art.
    And why now my wallet has a love-hate relationship with Lord British.
     
  9. ElricVandor

    ElricVandor Avatar

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    U5 for me. I had seen ads for it in game magazines, and simply was fascinated by the artwork - I dunno why. Just had to get it, and I did, and was quite fascinated. I eventually got my hands on U4 as well, and played that too...all this on a C64. I did play some other RPGs, like Bards Tale, Pool Of Radiance, Wastelands, but nothing fascinated me like Ultima did...it somehow felt... I dunno, much more...familiar to me, it just clicked with me much more, felt right, more so than the other games.

    Then, one day at the store, I saw this huge box, U6. I just had to get it, and I remember opening the box, seeing the map, the manuals, the black stone. I did play it, and was mesmerized. In another thread, I told the story how my 1541 II disk drive was broken...the disk-reading part was kinda broken, at least the plastic holding it in place. I couldnt afford another disk drive, and in order to play, I had to take off the lid of the drive and hold that piece of plastic in place with my hand so it could load.
    And U6 had a LOT of loading. I remember spending the spring-break with one hand on the keyboard, the other hand buried in the guts of that 1541, exploring the Lycaeum etc.
    I loved that game. I did play a tiny bit of U7, but my interests changed around that time, so I never got too much into it.

    Then, I read an article on UO in a gaming mag...UO had JUST been released then, and I was totally fascinated by what I read. Not only by the idea that you could play with other people in Sosaria, but also that you could choose your path - being a sword-wielding or spell-casting adventuring fighter, or gather resources and craft items for other players, doing mostly crafting and trading... I loved that idea. Not because I wantd to do that...I wanted to be exploring and fighting and stuff. But the fact that you were able to actually just be a crafter or trader was SO cool (and I still think it was incredibly cool that UO had those options back then, when there hardly were any MMO-type games. Looking back, I'd have thought it would have mainly fighting first, and then crafting and other "jobs" would be added much later, but the option was there early on).

    I did play that, but then my life changed a lot, and I moved from GA to NY. I wasn't able to play much there, but one day, I was checking out games at some store and found the Ultima collection... of COURSE I had to get it. It took a while until my life slowed down enough to play those games, but I did. It felt so...odd to play U6 again (the Ultima I had played the most).

    Eventually, I was able to get back into UO again (I had missed that), and played it a lot, took some breaks, came back to it. Age Of Shadows changed it a LOT, but I was still ok with that. I eventually checked out a private server, together with a very good friend I had met in UO. We even ran our own shard for some time, but by then, I had started to check out other games.

    However, even though I did play or at least try so many other MMOs, I still always held on to all those Ultima-related memories. And even though many more modern MMOs seemed to improve some things, I never found anything similar to UO. I did enjoy my time in those, but I missed UO. I went back a few times, but was saddened to see the changes (for some reason, SE and ML didn't "click" with me at all, I didn't like them), and the empty servers.

    When I heard abotu SotA, I at first wasnt sure what to think. It sounded too good to be true, as I had for some reason thought Garriott wouldn't try another game like this after the whole UO-thing. For some reason, I also was worried that things wouldnt work out and the idea would die early on. Again, my life changed, and for quite some time, I didn't keep track of SotA. I was signed up to the newsletter, but eventually just glanced at them, with not much interest.
    Then I read more about the game at Massively, but again...I didnt know what to think... would I be disappointed? I wanted to pledge earlier, but something held me back. A few weeks ago, I finally bought the game on Steam, and so far, I have enjoyed my time in game and in this community quite a bit, and am looking forward to watch the game grow more. So...glad I am here, and it feels good to be back in a Garriott-games more than a quarter century after I first ventured into the world of Ultima... =)
     
  10. Ultimaaxe

    Ultimaaxe Avatar

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    Ultima Online was my first experience with Ultima back around 98/99. I remember getting killed by a mage named Black Bass or something like that around Moonglow back then. Kind of set me on the path of becoming a mage myself. Part mage, part fisher, all kinds of I will end you if you even think of getting near my boat. :D XD Still remember many long and grueling hours leveling those skills... But so worth it, haha. Also ended up spending many long hours guarding GM blacksmiths when they were out mining. Despite most GM blacksmiths being so well renowned with the player base to the point of being able to call down heaven and hell itself on you if you attacked them, you'd be surprised just how many did attack them. XD

    Simple, but this post could get stupidly long if I didn't leave it simple! Hahaha
     
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  11. rune_74

    rune_74 Avatar

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    U5 was the first ultima I beat....I recently reinstalled U6....I never beat that one....
     
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  12. tekkamansoul

    tekkamansoul Avatar

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    Bruh nab Nuvie and have a great experience.
     
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  13. rune_74

    rune_74 Avatar

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    I Was reading notes on that....is it fully working??
     
  14. tekkamansoul

    tekkamansoul Avatar

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    6 is, they're supposedly working on Dreams and Empire but that might be a minute.
     
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  15. rune_74

    rune_74 Avatar

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    Thanks for the info:)
     
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  16. TarrNokk

    TarrNokk Avatar

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    Ultima VII "The Black Gate" after this UVII "Serpent Isle", Ultima Underworld and again "The Black Gate" and from 1997 UO without a break until 2004
     
  17. majoria70

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    Thank you for sharing Raven. What a lovely story. :)
     
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  18. Cypher Black

    Cypher Black Avatar

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    My first experience was Ultima III on my C64. 1984 was the year, and I played with a friend. I recall that we eventually had enough gold to kill the monsters and leave the chests behind. As they could not be walked on, we could use them to create walled passageways between the cities. Another fun memory was 'Dawn'. Every day we would go to the required hex and wait for 'dawn'. We did this many times before it literally dawned on us that we might be standing on it when it appeared. So the next time we moved a square north, and there it was.

    Ultima IV was next. For me, this has always been the pinnacle Ultima because it forced you to play the virtues to complete the game. You could not pretend; you had to follow them. How sad I was, years later when the "Honest" Joe from UO turned out to be a lying scammer! One weekend I had to head out of town, so I left my friend to play the game without me on the condition that he only built up our character levels/cash, and that he followed the virtues. Well, I get back and he tells me that I won't believe it, we now have tonnes of reagents and cash! It turns out that the blind reagent seller will accept 1 gp for 99 black pearls! "Oh no," I say, "Go to the Oracle!" Sure enough, we get the message, though are't a scoundrel and a thief, thou shalt never be an avatar. Character deleted. By the end of the game, we had misidentified a couple of runes (one was totally my fault) so we did not know the final word to use in the exodus dungeon. It used to take us four hours of game play to get to the end of the dungeon. We must have made the trip a dozen times without success. So finally, we gave up, and I called Origin (the birth of the support department!) The receptionist told me that her boyfriend had played the game and that if I called back tomorrow, she would have the answer. I did and she delivered. I called my friend to give him the good news, but he said, "Wait a minute, let me think." I was then shocked when he gave me the answer! Later that night, we finally completed the game.

    It was during this time that I started to hunt for Ultima and Ultima II. It took a few years, but I found Ultima and then eventually Ultima II, thus completing the first trilogy.

    Ultima V, while a great game, was disappointing for me in that the requirement to play a certain way had been removed. The tough decisions were still there, but it was less clear that you were on the right path.

    I continued to play the Ultima series, but my best memories (pre-UO) came from III and IV. Looking back, the reason for that is simple. I played them with a friend. In 1997, I bought the UO charter edition; sadly, my P90 and 14.4 modem were not up to the challenge. The following summer, I picked up a P120 and a 28.8 and was finally able to play, though I seriously moved in ultraslow motion. My "Friend" gated me to fire island, where his friend had a small house that we shared. He paid me 5gp per pile of ore to mine for him. I was on that island mining ore for about three months with no idea how to get off it. One day, I logged in to find that we had been locked out of the house (evicted), and all of our stuff was gone. (I still did not know about banks!). After that, we moved to a house just north of the hedge maze. During this period on Baja, there were probably no fewer than seven or eight players mining that mountain pass at any given time, so it wasn't always easy to find a vein.

    Eventually, I got a faster PC and connection, and after that I entered the world of PvE and subsequently, PvP. It has been 18 years and much has changed, but I am still actively playing UO and looking forward to the adventure that is SoTA.

    Cypher Black
     
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  19. sibble

    sibble Avatar

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    Very first experience with Ultima:

    September 1997 in Trinsic on a new character. Got attacked in town, wrestled to death. Died, didn't know there were guards. Lag was horrid the first couple months but I was lucky enough to have broadband available in my area back then. (FYI Comcast came out with broadband in 96) Tents were everywhere, tables were placed in the middle of roads to slow players down and take their riches. People teleporting on top of Vesper bank and killing people in town with bows and magic. Gating dragons and other bad daemons to your enemies house...

    Good times
     
  20. Kardall

    Kardall Avatar

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    I remember my friend having a SNES game and said it was awesome. But I never knew what it was.

    After a few years went by, I started getting into PC Gaming more and more, programming and such. Eventually I found myself looking at EverQuest and Ultima Online. Seeing that you had to pay for it, I was too young to have a credit card, and didn't have a chequing account (YES THEY USED TO ALLOW YOU TO PAY WITH CHEQUES!!!) so I ended up finding free ways to play games.

    Throughout my journey, I found myself coming back to Ultima Online. I found out about a thing called FreeShards. While I felt kind of bad about not giving the authors rights to the original works, I was making my own. I became versed in the scripting aspects, and ended up creating systems far beyond what was available inside of UO itself (live).

    One thing I did, was make an alloy crafting system, so you would be able to make real-world alloy's with the ores you mined, as opposed to crafting with raw ore mined and smelted. You could discover how to make new alloys and progress your armor.

    The other one was making a fishing system with Treasure Hunting, where you could actually make your own treasure maps, and fish up bottles with random treasure maps. It was awesome imo.

    Those were my fondest memories. One time I tried to go back and play UO again, but felt that I missed a lot of my old scripting days and in the end, I felt the need to stop playing it to save my memories of it. Now that SotA is out ... I think I might get back into it... we will see...
     
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