Ultima Online is credited with popularizing it’s genre and is still running to this day. It is played solely online, in a medieval fantasy setting similar to previous Ultima titles.
It is known for its timing-based player versus player combat system and its community oriented character progression. Ultima Online is played by thousands of players who pay a monthly fee on multiple game servers known as shards.
Multiple expansions have been released since Ultima Online’s launch but, its game engine and graphics make it outdated compared to recent massively multiplayer games. This however changed in 2007 with the release of Ultima Online: Kingdom Reborn which features a new game engine with updated graphics. Ultima Online’s active player base is around 135,000, which approximately 50% of whom are Japanese.
Ultima Online features a vast crafting system that allows players to create a large majority of the items found and used in Ultima Online. These include items such as weapons and armor; to more decorative items like furniture and clothing. Most items made by a player are a higher quality then what can be found from a NPC vendor.
Crafting is done through a series of menus that categorize items and display item statistics of a specific craft, like blacksmithy. Increasing your skill in a specific craft requires a lot of resources and time. Resources are plentiful, easy to find and collect. For instance, Blacksmithy requires the Mining skill to gather ore located in mountains and caves. Lumber can be gathered from any tree and cloth can be gathered from either sheep or cotton plants. Resources can also be attained by recycling items such as armor and clothing back to the respective resources; with less then it takes to remake of course.
Skills in Ultima Online are presented by a percentage that shows the player's mastery of the skill, they increase while they are in use. There are a multitude of skills available in the game: ranging from combat skills such as Swordsmanship and Magery, to crafting skills like Blacksmithy, Tailoring and Alchemy.
All characters can earn a maximum of 700 percentage points to divide between as many skills as the player would like the character to have. Skills can be set to raise, lower or hold their points; allowing players to customize their character's skill set.
Some skills require the consumption of resources, such as raw materials; while others cost nothing but time. Many skills have also been introduced in order to balance and prevent characters from becoming too powerful. An example of this would be the Anatomy skill which increases a character's mastery with Healing and multiple melee combat skills. While Meditation and Evaluate Intelligence were added as enhancements for magic-using characters. These additional skills, along with a 700 percentage point cap, dictated that players should consider carefully how to develop their characters so that they are as efficient as possible in their chosen fields.
Create various potions using regents as their main ingredient.
A melee combat skill where it increases the amount of damage you do as well as how much you heal when you bandage yourself or others.
This is a complimentary skill to Animal Taming. You are able to view statistics or animals or monsters you target.
You are able to tame and control animals using this skill.
Increases your ability of using a bow or crossbow.
This is a complimentary skill to Blacksmithy. You are able to view statistics or armor or weapons you target.
Allows you to beg NPCs for gold.
Allows you to create metal armor and weapons using ingots as their main ingredient.
Allows you to create bows, crossbows, arrows and bolts using lumber as their main ingredient.
This allows you to use various samurai abilities.
Allows you to create a temporary living space around a camp fire.
Allows you to create furniture for player houses and boats using lumber as their main ingredient.
Allows you to create various maps for navigation and also allows you to decrypt treasure maps.
Allows you to use various paladin abilities.
Allows you to cook various amount of foods.
Allows you to see hidden players.
This is a complimentary skill to Musicianship. This allows you to reduce various statistics of a monster.
Allows you to determine the targets intelligence and increases the damage of your spells.
Increases your ability of using Fencing class weapons.
Allows you to fish with either a fishing pole or net.
Increases your Mana and Stamina regeneration.
Allows you to examine a corpse and reveal the killers name and it's looters. Also allows you to examine lockable chests to see you picked the lock and who looted the items.
Increases your effectiveness of using bandages.
Allows you to force an animal to move to a certain location.
Allows you to hide in certain locations.
Allows you to create spell scroll and spell books using empty scrolls and regents as main ingredients.
Allows you to identify an item and reveal it's magical statistics.
Allows you to pick locks from chests or doors.
Allows you to harvest wood from trees.
Increases you ability to use Mace class weapons.
Increases your ability to cast spells.
Increases Mana regeneration.
Allows you to harvest ore and smelt them into ingots.
Allows you to play instruments.
Allows you to use various necromancer abilities.
Allows you to use various Ninja abilities.
Increases your ability to block attacks using shields.
This is a complimentary skill to Musicianship. This allows you to prevent a monster from attacking you on sight.
This allows you to poison bladed weapons, food or drinks.
This is a complimentary skill to Musicianship. This allows you to force a creature to attack a selected target.
Allows you to remove traps from doors and chests.
Increases your ability to resist spells.
This is a complimentary skill to Stealing. Increases your ability to look into NPC's or player's Inventory.
Allows you to heal off corpses.
Increases your ability to steal items out of NPC's or player's inventory.
Allows you to move while you are hidden.
Increases your ability to use Sword class weapons.
Increases the damage you deal off a melee attack.
Allows you to create clothing or leather armor using cloth or leather as main ingredients.
Allows you to view the statistic buffs from potions and also lets you to see if food or drinks are poisoned.
Allows you to create various amounts of tools using ingots as the main ingredient.
Allows you to reveal creatures or players that are around your area and what direction they are located.
Increases your ability to heal animals using bandages.
Increases your ability in hand-to-hand combat.
The Death of Lord British
During an in-game event while in it's beta period, a player named "Rainz" was able to cast a fire field spell on Lord British
who was controlled by Ultima
creator Richard Garriott
. Garriott later mentioned he forgot to reapply god mode after a server crash, which resulted in his demise.
Rainz was later banned after complaints from other players who'd been victims of another exploit Rainz had found, and failed to report it to Origin.
- Ultima Online: Second Age, released October 1, 1998 - Added new land called Lost Lands, also an in-game chat system and new creatures were added.
- Ultima Online: Renaissance, released April 3, 2000 - Added the Felucca world where its a darker duplicate world which allows player killing, while Trammel the original world does not.
- Ultima Online: Third Dawn, released March 7, 2001 - Added a 3D client and a new area only accessible to 3D clients called Ilshenar until the release of Lord Blackthorn's Revenge expansion.
- Ultima Online: Lord Blackthorn's Revenge, released February 24, 2002 - Added Todd McFarlane designed characters and also improved the games AI, in-game help and character creation.
- Ultima Online: Age of Shadows, released February 28, 2003 - Added new land called Malas with new housing improvements, item insurance and two new classes called Paladin and Necromancer. The item system upgraded to a Diablo style system with many properties that can affect gameplay.
- Ultima Online: Samurai Empire, released November 2, 2004 - Added new land called Tokuno Islands with Japanese mythology and folklore. Two new classes called Ninja and Samurai.
- Ultima Online: Mondain's Legacy, released August 30, 2005 - Added new race called Elves, a new skill called spell weaving and several dungeons.
- Ultima Online: Kingdom Reborn, released June 27, 2007 - Updated graphics engine and improved interface.
- Ultima Online: Stygian Abyss, released September 8, 2009 - Adds a new land called Ter Mur, a race called Gargoyles, 3 new skills and the largest dungeon in UO's history.
Announced on August 28, 2010, Mystic Entertainment will now focus on a "booster style" development process. Their current goal is to release 2 booster packs per year.
- Ultima Online: Adventures on the High Seas, releasing October 12, 2010 - Adds 4 new ships with addable weapons, attackable NPC pirate/merchant ships, 2 new seafaring bosses, a floating dock town and some major improvements to the fishing skill.