PC & Online Gaming

Nostalga and Ultima Online

When I was in my teens, I got into playing as many MMOs (massively multiplayer) online games as I could. I tried them all – Asheron’s Call, Everquest, Dark Age of Camelot, Lineage, Final Fantasy Online; even a few that people likely haven’t heard of like Neocron. All of which demand a review and a comment…something I’ll get to later. I had friends in my teenage years, but the beginning of high school was a challenge for me. At that time, I didn’t have a lot of friends. I found other kids at school to be mean, and I wanted to find a retreat.

I played many MMO’s until I eventually stumbled upon Ultima Online. I can’t remember how long we played Ultima for. I say we because it was completely a social experience. I met people online playing that game, some of which stuck around for many years. I eventually even ran my own UO shard. I met someone named Melkor in my travels (that was his character name) and he helped me do a lot of the scripting. I wish I knew where he was (or who he was) today.

Ultima Online was a completely different experience for me. I found the open world, and the ability to do basically anything an awesome and fulfilling adventure. It was an ongoing adventure. One day I could be in a dungeon, killing and looting monsters; the next I could be mining ore and creating new weapons and armor for my next outing. The possibilities were endless. I loved working towards eventually owning my own plot of land with a house. Even then, the game kept going – I’d constantly be building new things for my house, and looking to purchase a vendor (NPC) unit so I could sell things on my property.

Ultima Online Tower

Building your own house in Ultima Online was one of the most satisfying things you could do as a player. It took a lot of time and motivation to eventually build your own home.

The open world was always full of exploration, crafting, and finding new cool places to make my own. I could go tame a new mount, or mine ore in a mine far away that no one else was in.

Fast forward many years later to 2019, nearly 15 years laterĀ  – I had a craving to get back into Ultima Online, and try it again. I did some reading and found that there was a 3D client that I could try out. However, after more reading, trial and error it looked like that client was abandoned in favor of an “enhanced client.” Tried that too.

I came to an unfortunate conclusion – I’ve been spoiled now by games that operate in 3D over the years, and I just couldn’t bring myself to play the 2D client again.

Decided to fire up a RunUO Server

I also tried to run my own server again. After doing some research, I installed RunUO 2.5 and started booting up my own server. I liked the idea of getting back into scripting again, and building my own world from scratch. It’s always fun to be in complete control, and all you need is a few friends to join in and play for countless hours of fun.

I initially had a few problems, one of which I wasn’t able to fix. The server prompted me to create an admin account. I did. I logged in with it, but I wasn’t the admin. I waited a while for the game world to save, but no matter what I did I found that the admin account would not save properly.

More online reading – tried deleting the accounts.xml file hoping it would re-generate, no luck. Tried deleting the entire RunUO directory, re-extract, allow it to repop the scripts. No luck.

Did some reading on RunUO forums but found that I could not make any posts or reply to any messages for some reason after signing up. Tried emailing the admin, no response.

It seems like unfortunately that there may not be much support left for guys who want to run an Ultima Online server – the game just may be too darn old.

Ultima Online 2? does it exist

After doing more online reading of forum posts, reddit, and some Steam checking, I found that there is an “unofficial Ultima Online 2” in the works. The game is called Legends of Aria. More about this in a future post.