Ultima Online, Abandoned Ware? Really?
Recently I followed a Twitter link to an article on the Game Spy website. The article, authored by David Wolinsky is a review of an Ultima Online free shard. The title “Abandoned Ware #4: Ultima Online” treats UO like it’s a game from the distant past. This struck me as odd, since Ultima Online: Stygian Abyss is currently one of the many games offered on the EA Games site. You can purchase the game, or you can download one of two clients here for free, with a 14-day free trial.
Mr. Wolinsky’s article chronicles his experience on the In Por Ylem free shard, which is not an official Ultima Online server. This server runs an outdated version of UO. While it’s true that some players prefer a version of UO prior to certain changes, the fact is that the game is fully supported by EA, and the changes represent the companies continual investment in the Ultima Universe.
Although the article goes into great detail regarding Mr. Wolinsky’s experiences on the free shard, it also generates some confusion regarding the true state of the game. There are no links to the official UO site and so anyone just coming across this information could easily conclude that the In Por Ylem free shard is the only place to play the game.
If you are interested in playing the real, fully supported version of Ultima Online, you can download the game for free and try it for 14-days.
Two versions of the client are offered. The Classic Client has the look and feel of the “original” game, and performs well on older systems. The Enhanced Client has many new features, updated graphics and runs well on modern systems.
After you install the client, the first time you run the game it will automatically download several patches. Depending on the client, this may take some time. After patching, you will be prompted to select a shard. The Atlantic Shard is currently the most populated, however you may wish to choose a shard (server) located closer to you. Your proximity to the server will determine how much, if any, lag you experience while playing.
If you used to play several years ago, try UO again, on the REAL servers and enjoy the game once more! You will find that there are many new things to learn, and many folks willing to help you re-join the game.
I’ve been a player of Ultima Online for many years, and I can assure you that the game has not been abandoned by Electronic Arts, or it’s many active players.