It’s a good question. Ultima Online is maddening, frustrating, and overrun with hordes of juveniles who think the coolest thing is to prance a female character naked except for thigh-high boots around Brit bank. And that’s not even mentioning when the guards get slaphappy… (props to Kira Argounova on Pac for that pic)
If you’re a newbie, you’ll wonder when, you know, the cool stuff happens. Because killing bunnies and chickens ain’t it. And dying to a hind if you target one by accident certainly ain’t it. So here’s a quick guide on how to succeed and thrive in UO while still maintaining fragments of your sanity.
NEVER ENTER BRITAIN
This has got to be Rule Number One for every serious UO player. Britain isn’t a city, it’s an infestation. It’s laggy, it’s full of idiots and thieves, it’s laggy, you never find any regs there, and oh, almost forgot, it’s laggy.
GO MAKE A CHARACTER ON ABYSS
The one exception to the above rule is on the Abyss shard. That’s because in Brit there, there are moongates available to make an insta-Shake-n-Bake 7xGM (in other words, a maxxed out character). So this is the perfect place to experiment with what skills you want to work on with your real character. Just ignore the rabble asking you where the fencing gate is. Note that Abyss is PK happy, but hell, so are the rest of the shards so it’s good practice in survival. Plus, you’ll find out after a while that having GM Everything isn’t really that different from your own sad ass character on other shards. You still miss half the time.
JOIN A GUILD THAT DOESN’T SUCK
You could play UO without joining a guild, but in that case you might as well play Baldur’s Gate – the NPCs are wittier and the graphics are better. But take some care when joining a guild. Go on a few runs with them and see if they all die. If they do, you probably want to join another guild. This is a good chance to also see if your prospective guildmates actually speak English (as opposed to Dewdish, Hiphop or Roleplayer).
DON’T TRY TO WIN
No one has ever won UO except Richard Garriot. And we all know what happened to HIM. Just kick back and have fun. That’s how you would “win”, here or in real life. But what do I know, I’m Lum the Sanity Challenged…