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Geosurface

Diamond Member
Mar 22, 2012
5,776
4
0
I played UO from release until maybe about 1999, with a few breaks in there. First on Lake Superior, later on Great Lakes. The only expansion I was there for was The Second Age with the ostards and ophidians and what not...

I didn't particularly care for T2A, but I just have to say...

Original UO, in those first couple of years, was the most fun I've ever had gaming in my life.

No game before or since got my heart pounding the way UO did.

Me and my buddies got up to some crazy stuff.

- We'd tame a bear and a rabbit in the Wind Zoo, tell the bear to follow the rabbit, then untame the rabbit so you'd have a tame bear moving exactly like it was wild. Most people wouldn't notice the rabbit it was following. So they'd attack the bear and we'd call "guards!" and be looting their corpse clean moments later.
- We'd tame a panther in Wind Zoo which had already been fighting one of us, and the panther would kill attacking them even after tame. So he'd run past our victim screaming "help! help!" with a panther hot on his heels, chewing at him, and the good Samaritan who helped would end up dead and looted likewise.

We managed to get a small house behind the alchemist shop in Vesper during a period where they were tweaking the amount of bumpiness the ground could have and still allow a house placement. This was during a period of time where they were no longer permitting houses to be placed inside town, but this little sliver of peninsula behind the alchemist shop was not considered to be part of Vesper. So we got a house into Vesper basically, at a time when everyone had written off ever getting a house into a town area again.



We set up a guild stone on the front steps of it, and we'd tell people whatever we had to tell them by the Vesper bank, offer them anything, make it sound as sweet as we could... if they had no guild tag, we'd preemptively mark them with the stone, and then all that needed to happen for them to be a guild member was for them to touch the stone.

We'd take them back there to that house and as soon as they touched the stone for one of my friends, me and another friend would come out of hiding (which made you entirely invisible) on top of our horses, with crossbows at the ready. You could kill your fellow guild members with no penalty at all, and loot them in the middle of town likewise. So we'd end up chasing the stronger ones all through the town of Vesper, and they'd be screaming "guards! guards!" not understanding (usually) why we were able to attack them with no consequence.

And those were the times where my heart raced the most... chasing someone on horseback through the streets of Vesper, trying to make sure they didn't escape.

Very rare indeed that any of them would actually turn and fight back. A lot of people used magic and at this time, I believe you couldn't use magic in town... but we could use our crossbows with impunity in town against guild members. So maybe a lot of these people were advanced magic users but that method of defending themselves was somewhat unavailable.

At one time I kept a huge list of people we'd killed with the Vesper guild stone trick. It was over 300 names, and I didn't start keeping track until a long time into it.

One time we ran into a guy who was still green colored (marked as in our guild, but without the guild tag) in the town of Occlo. Three of us walked up to him and he was with some of his friends. He said "these are the guys who killed me!" and we told him "yes, and we'll kill you again right here in Occlo, and the guards won't do anything about it" and he and his friends refused to believe this. Completely unaware that he was still marked as being in our guild.

We did exactly what we said we'd do, and his friends were dumbstruck, convinced we could do the same to them. We allowed them to think that

And early on, I did so much horse scamming in the city of Britain... I'd ride around on a horse yelling "Horse for sale, 500 gold!" and as soon as I got the money, I'd ride off at top speed. I had a house south of town in the wilderness, and I remember the absolute white knuckle thrill of riding there, terrified that someone from town would finally discover where my hideout was. I would take these elaborate zig zag paths through the woods on my horse to avoid being found out.

Because I had a massive number of people who hated me and would follow me around trying to warn others about the horse scam, or convince me to come outside of town and face them in combat. Later, me and my friends had a similar posse in Vesper who'd try to warn our victims not to follow us. They ruined a lot of good kills for us, but we'd usually still somehow manage to keep the victims coming.

The day we quit the game we finally faced off with all of our haters in real combat, we rode the road between Vesper and Minoc and killed a lot of people, because we'd actually managed to get strong... we'd always been sort of weak characters, but we took the time to get really powerful (kind of) before the final battle. Wanted to go out with glory. Running through poison fields and fire fields helped in this endeavor.

So that last day we ended up with a massive angry mob outside of our Vesper house, and I think we were trying to like let one in, close the door, kill him, open it again... until finally we were overwhelmed and killed.

Best MMO ever.

I know it sounds like we were massive d-bags, and we were. But we were like 17 at the time. In every MMO I played after that one I was a huge carebear Mr. Nicey-pants.
 
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Cuda1447

Lifer
Jul 26, 2002
11,757
0
71
Oh god. I love Ultima Online stories. I agree with you, best game ever. Nothing has evern even come close. I spent years playing on LS as well. Also played some Chesapeake.


A few things I loved to do.

6X GM Fighter with hiding. Hiding is the best. skill. ever. Go gray in Moonglow (slightly less populated). Wait for someone to attack you, thinking they would have help. Immediately run out of side and hide. Wait a good 1 minute, then come out of hiding and attack them. You're still gray for another minute to the world though, so you gotta go hide again for another minute. After that minute, your opponent is gray to you and you to him, but you are both blue to the rest of the world. Most of the time your opponent wouldn't be ready for a 1 on 1 fight, thinking he was just going to get an easy gank kill. That was the best. Now he HAS to fight. He can't call guards, he can't get help, its 1 on 1. Chase him down, kill him and loot him. In town. In front of everyone.


I'd go to the dungeons a lot. Specifically Deceit lower level lich rooms. My friends and I would hang out in there, helping to kill liches. Until a guy got in trouble. As soon as he was in a little trouble we would hide. But not just anywhere. We would hide in front of/behind the doors. If they opened a door, we immediately would close it. We would block those bitches in and make them deal with the Liches. Usually dying. They were blue, but we'd loot them anyway. If anyone tried to attack we'd use the liches to our advantage and use our hiding skill to make sure we never got caught with our pants down. So many silver weapons looted in Deceit.


I remember one particular summer that was awesome. I was running a guild in the middle of no where. Not sure how, but I developed a rivalry with two neighboring guilds. They hated each other too though. We all had houses off a somewhat busy road area. There were also some fairly weak critters around. Over the course of the summer the battles escalated. My guild grew and the fights that started as 2 on 2's from time to time, turned into hour long 15 v 15 v 15 fights. ALL DAY LONG. Sometimes random blues would come by, see the carnage and join in. Sometimes they would bring their friends and it would get even more chaotic. But most of the time it was just the three guilds. We all hated each other. We all fought each other mercilessly at all hours of the day. We all had house bases we would retreat to in bad times. This is literally one of the best memories of gaming in my life. So much fun. People who never experienced UO in the PvP/PK days, they really don't know what they missed out on.
 

blackened23

Diamond Member
Jul 26, 2011
8,548
1
0
Great post, geosurface. :) I would love for a game that "open" to be developed again, but sadly it won't happen.
 

Cuda1447

Lifer
Jul 26, 2002
11,757
0
71
Great post, geosurface. :) I would love for a game that "open" to be developed again, but sadly it won't happen.
It was to rough for your average gamer. Thing is... if the gamer developers just didn't listen to the complaints people would toughen up and learn how awesome of a game it really was.

It was the wild west of MMO's at the time. And it presented the most difficulty, while also allowing the most freedom of any game.... ever. IMO.
 

Geosurface

Diamond Member
Mar 22, 2012
5,776
4
0
Oh god. I love Ultima Online stories.
Thanks, I enjoyed your tales. They have a nice distinct feel to them from anything I did because (for the most part) I stuck to inside town, and what shenanigans I could get up to there. Don't get me wrong, I went out into the world and explored and such... but I never did much in the dungeons, for instance.

I have a couple of other good stories for you...

We called the road between Vesper and Minoc "the beat" and as you get near Minoc, there's a bridge to cross. We were very protective of our main characters so we'd often make brand new characters and leave a sack full of bone armor, cloaks, bows, and arrows for them behind a tree somewhere. Then we'd make 4 newbie archers (me and my 3 friends) and we'd retrieve the items. We'd suit up in our bone armor and ready our bows, and we'd bring one more thing... a bunch of sacks of flour.

We'd get on that bridge and construct a barricade of flour sacks, to create a bottleneck... we'd hide at the only openings, and when someone came from either side, the person next to the opening, hidden, would step into the gap and block it. The person on the other end would do the same. The other two of us would reveal ourselves, and we'd all start shooting arrows immediately.

Now, granted, 4 brand new characters obviously sucked and didn't do much damage... and we were soft, too... but there's a lot to be said for the element of surprise and numbers.

If you're riding along and you come upon a bunch of flour sacks, and then 4 dudes materialize out of thin air and they're all shooting you... remember also, this is at a time when the game didn't say anything about the person just by looking at them, if they were a "Grand Master" something you'd see that, but there were no levels, as you'll remember... no classes... so you couldn't, at a glance, necessarily discern between a brand new character and someone fairly beefy.

So most people would really lose their cool, struggle to control their mouse cursor, hands shaking... and not pick up the flour sacks fast enough to clear themselves a path. Sure, some people would get away... others would be powerful and confident, and kill us all, but no real loss... just fresh characters :)

Fun times.

Another time, one of my friend's brother logged in for the first time in months, and found himself standing inside a large house along a coast. This was odd because when he'd logged out months earlier, it was not in a house... it was just in the woods in a clearing. The house had been placed since, and he was put inside of it upon logging back in.

We told him to hide, and remain inside. We had him describe the coastline, and I think we got ahold of a screenshot from him... we all spread out and tried to determine where he was (no world map that could just be opened showing where you were) - we used the type of trees, we used the little bit of coastline he could see... and a couple of hours later, we figured out where he was. He let us into the house, and we looted it clean. We got ahold of the owner's large boat key, and we loaded as much of his stuff (furniture, treasure chests full of his stuff) onto the deck or into the hold of the boat. Anything we couldn't fit (mostly ore stacks and such) we hauled into the woods and put behind bushes. We wanted the place to be absolutely empty except for a book in the middle of the floor with some insult in it.

We'd just finished loading everything onto the boat, and all four of us climbed aboard, when he recalled in. We quickly raised the gangplank and set sail, he had just enough time to realize what was going on, and that his belongings were being sailed away with on HIS boat. He got off one Corp Por at us as we sailed into the high seas.

I know it was mean, but man I don't think I have ever laughed for so hard or so long as I was laughing as we sailed off...

Don't Bank So Close To Me
 

Cuda1447

Lifer
Jul 26, 2002
11,757
0
71
Oh man, that house looting story was great. In the days when keys were REALLY important!


For me, it was all about IDOC camping. I had it down to a science. I would track houses for weeks, trying to determine the exact moment they would fall. The battles that would ensue outside of a huge IDOC were epic. And the loot. So much fun. Sometimes you would get away with a crate of ingots. Other times it would be rare paintings or Vanq weapons. It was always a mystery, but oh so much fun. The best is when there is complete chaos and you pick a crate that is to big to carry and recall with. Realizing that there isn't any time to switch your target (as people are dropping like flies and and the loots going fast) you do the only thing you can think of. You drag that fucking crate as far away from the action as you can, hoping that no one notices you in the carnage. Once you get sufficiently far away you start recalling home with the loot trip by trip.
 

Geosurface

Diamond Member
Mar 22, 2012
5,776
4
0
Oh man, that house looting story was great. In the days when keys were REALLY important!


For me, it was all about IDOC camping. I had it down to a science. I would track houses for weeks, trying to determine the exact moment they would fall. The battles that would ensue outside of a huge IDOC were epic. And the loot. So much fun. Sometimes you would get away with a crate of ingots. Other times it would be rare paintings or Vanq weapons. It was always a mystery, but oh so much fun. The best is when there is complete chaos and you pick a crate that is to big to carry and recall with. Realizing that there isn't any time to switch your target (as people are dropping like flies and and the loots going fast) you do the only thing you can think of. You drag that fucking crate as far away from the action as you can, hoping that no one notices you in the carnage. Once you get sufficiently far away you start recalling home with the loot trip by trip.
Ha that is awesome, but tell me what IDOC stands for? I was able to figure out what you were talking about, but still... I'm unfamiliar with the acronym.
 

Ns1

No Lifer
Jun 17, 2001
55,385
1,516
126
6x GM PK, 50+ murders under my belt.

Meant to use the recall book to recall JUST OUTSIDE of moonglow. Instead hit my recall to recall DIRECTLY INTO moonglow.

I deleted the character after that.

in danger of collapse, in reference to house hunting.
 

Cuda1447

Lifer
Jul 26, 2002
11,757
0
71
6x GM PK, 50+ murders under my belt.

Meant to use the recall book to recall JUST OUTSIDE of moonglow. Instead hit my recall to recall DIRECTLY INTO moonglow.

I deleted the character after that.



in danger of collapse, in reference to house hunting.
I assume you were in stat loss? What was it, 8+ kills to be in statloss? I would go red, but never stat loss red. I'd just wait for people to attack me, then it was on!
 

Ns1

No Lifer
Jun 17, 2001
55,385
1,516
126
I assume you were in stat loss? What was it, 8+ kills to be in statloss? I would go red, but never stat loss red. I'd just wait for people to attack me, then it was on!
yeah, I'm pretty sure I dropped down to the 70's after that. There was no hope of me ever grinding back enough time to become 6x/7x GM so it was a moot point.

Oh well, I got big into chaos/order battles after that :D
 

Geosurface

Diamond Member
Mar 22, 2012
5,776
4
0
I probably shouldn't be burning through all my stories so quickly, but here's another one (this may be the last one I can think of, we'll see)

Okay so, you remember the leatherworking shops that most cities had, right?

Well, my friends and I would often do leatherworking, typically making "studded bustiers" to sell for gold.

You'l recall that the vendors in the leather shops would periodically acquire large stacks of hides to sell, and people competed fiercely to purchase these. If you bought them all, though, you weren't going to be able to go anywhere because of how heavy they were. You couldn't put them in your inventory, but you could work the hides into armor from their position on the ground in front of you.

So it was a common sight to see leatherworking players with a big stack of hides in front of them, inside the leather shop. They'd buy the hides there, they'd craft from them there, and they'd sell their goods back to the same vendors there.

I did this, too, and because we were so evil back then I couldn't help but start pondering as I stood there in the Minoc leather shop, on the opposite side of the room from another player working a large stack of hides... I couldn't help but brainstorm about ways to screw them out of those hides...

Obviously, a lot of people would try to just grab someone's stack of hides. It wasn't long before that became a long shot, because everyone knew to lift their stack to protect it any time another player approached near them.

So I pondered... and I plotted... and I finally came up with the perfect plan.

First step was to kill an NPC leather shop merchant. You couldn't use a dye tub to recreate the color of shirts NPCs had, as you'll remember... it was a very flat color when you dyed something, not very natural looking... a shirt an NPC wore had a more authentic, rich color.

I used a more powerful character and I picked out an NPC in the shop. I took a screenshot of him, with his paperdoll open, and then I slew him. I think the character I killed him with was obviously killed by guards, so I think I enlisted a friend to make sure that NPC's orange shirt and other belongings weren't lost, he looted them for me and I proceeded to make a fresh character.

It was like invasion of the body snatchers, I recreated the NPC's look exactly. I took his name for my new character, and I believe I named him "______, the tanner" or something like that, I can't remember exactly but I made the name as perfect as I could. Wish I remembered what name it was.

I met up with my friend and retrieved all the items, the orange shirt... the pants... I wore everything the NPC had worn. I went into the Minoc leather shop, and it was time to try out my plan.

Wasn't long before there were some people with big stacks of hides, working them as usual... and as I said before, if another PLAYER had approached them, they'd have lifted those hides in an instant to protect their stack.

Thing was, though, most of these shops would have 2 or 3 of the NPC tanners working there, and they would wander around the store... so nothing about me being there stood out as suspicious. The disguise was absolutely perfect. And I made sure I moved exactly like an NPC. Wandering aimlessly in the shop... only going a short distance at a time, then stopping for a while... but always inexorably moving closer to that other player and his big, fat stack of hides. If I'd walked directly to them it might have been enough to arouse their suspicion, to see an NPC making a bee line toward their stack, no matter how perfect that disguise was.

But it proved to be a very profitable and successful trick. I used it in leather shops all around all the major cities. I absconded with a crap ton of hides in this fashion. And I laughed so hard while doing it. I think I'd often have my friend standing in there working a stack too, and would take the stack over to him so I could keep doing the trick...

The most remarkable thing about it was how so many people who fell victim to the trick, couldn't figure out what had happened. The disguise was so perfect that they would look for any other explanation (someone hiding who somehow looted it... etc)

But it was my brainchild and I had a lot of fun with it... good times.

Sorry that I'm so wordy.
 

Cuda1447

Lifer
Jul 26, 2002
11,757
0
71
Fun fact: UO funded my amateur poker career. I sold some gold on UO, used that money to poke around playing poker on Pokerstars.com A few years later I was still positive money ( a lot by this point ) and had actually toyed with the idea of playing poker professionally. I was actually one card away from winning a seat into the WSOP Main Event ($10,000 buy in).

So yes, UO holds a special place in my heart.
 

Midwayman

Diamond Member
Jan 28, 2000
5,723
325
126
I remember with a new character you could get fairly okay skill off beating up the training dummies in town. I setup a script to do that automatically and redialer to call my universities modem pool after their couple hour time out. I left it running while I was out class and a week or so later I got called down to the IT office and almost banned from the modem pool. Opps.
 
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