Welcome to the oldest part of the metaverse

Welcome to the oldest part of the metaverse

Welcome to the oldest part of the metaverse

>>> DOWNLOAD MP3 <<<

As the picture became clearer, Origin realized it needed better “gold wells” – mechanisms to fight inflation by removing gold from the OU saving. Taxing hoarded wealth would have provoked a revolt among subscribers. Selling God Weapons to wealthy characters might have sucked up enough gold to solve inflation, but it would have created an invincible Terminator class and destroyed the balance of the game.


The solution was ingenious: purely cosmetic status symbols. For the price of a small castle, Britannia’s elite could buy neon hair dye and impress commoners with a violently green mohawk. These measures, however, only offered a band-aid – in 2010, gold was at 500,000 on the dollar.

At that time, competitors like World of Warcraft had attracted the majority of UO players. But while most of its peers have shut down, Ultima Online has stabilized and maintains a solid core of users – perhaps around 20,000 – even a quarter century after its debut. What held them back?

Current subscribers say UO’s sense of identity and investment offerings are unmatched. Thanks in part to the gold wells and expansion content, it far surpasses even contemporary titles in costume and housing customization options. As a result, the game’s original Renaissance aesthetic drifted into something stranger. As you travel across the land today, you’ll see gargoyle-men wearing sunglasses and ninjas in fluorescent armor riding giant spiders. Quaint medieval villages have given way to stretches of garish McMansions. But even if this tumultuous hodgepodge breaks the verisimilitude for players, that’s all theirs.

It is impossible for designers to foresee all the ways users can break a system.

Yet the biggest factor that keeps the community alive is the relationships and memories they have built together. Yes, other games have better graphics and flashier features. But where else can a friend who lives on distant continents in the offline world come and eat a harvester fish pie and admire the rare painting you stole together during the Clinton administration?

Often these attachments are intensely personal – many players had built virtual homes with relatives or friends who died later in real life, and maintaining them is a way of feeling connected to the people they’ve lost. Some have met their real-life spouses during nighttime dungeon crawls. In sum, Britannia has truly become a place, and people stay there for all the reasons we cherish real-world places.

The nostalgia is so strong that some Ultima diehards have reverse-engineered the source code and set up free bootleg servers touting a “pure” experience that captures the spirit of the game’s early days. Thousands of alumni players flocked there. A fan-made service lets people play through web browsers. Another project aims to integrate the UO into virtual reality.

As metaverse technologies make these worlds ever more accessible, it’s easy to imagine that Britannia will one day be some kind of place of pilgrimage – where the brightest promise of simulated worlds first blossomed and where their trappings the most difficult were overcome for the first time. Those building the next generation of these worlds would do well to learn from Ultima Online.


Do you find AfroNaija useful? Click here to give us five stars rating!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Back to top button