Posted by Tim Chappell | 2012 Oct 11 03:50 -0400 GMT
Though we enjoyed all of the entries we received from the Catskills shard, we had to force ourselves to only select half of them.
Here are the 5 winning entries from Catskills:
Title: The Discovery of Illshenar
Ludes puffed contentedly on his pipe as he sat on the porch of his first home.. It was a small marble workshop south of Minoc, close to the bay.. It had taken almost a year for him and Lady Kyra to buy it.. but at last it was his.. an actual home to store his things and be a base for his new guild. The guild was barely a week old and the guildstone still gleamed with freshly cut corners and sharp lettering. He had one guild member, Garion. A capable fellow he had met near Brit smithy while we waited in line to get our armour repaired.
As Ludes puffed away considering his plans Garion rushed up to the house.. “M’Lord!” He exclaimed..” They have discovered a new land!” Sitting up in excitement Ludes drops his pipe and say “What?.. Where?” Garion reaches down and picks up Ludes’s pipe.. ” The Moongates are tied in M’Lord.. Come, lets go see!”
So off Ludes and Garion head to see the new lands.. upon reaching the moongates Garion quickly tells his Lord.. “The Compassion moongate in the new lands of Ilshenar seems to be fairly in the center Sir..” Ludes checks his sword and bandage supply as he says.. “Lets go check it out my slalwart friend!”
Excitement abounds as the two worthy warriors stick back to back. Healing each other and letting no foe approach. They work their way through lava fields and molten rock waterfalls.. eventually finding a city. Scouting this strange metropolis in the middle of nowhere they see it is occupied by gargoyles who seems to be trying to go about the daily business of living.. but there are also Overseers and Golems everywhere who seem to be in a position of authority. “What do you think my friend?” Ludes looks at Garion warily.. Garion grins and says “Lets go see..”
Staying shoulder blade to shoulder blade the two warriors enter the city and work their way to the center.. With swords smoking and nicked they find themselves in a room with strange machinery in the center.. Curiously they study the equipment but the golems continue to press close and the Overseers keep calling for reinforcements even as they fall to the deadly swordplay of the two men.
“We can always return to study this further.” Ludes yells.. “Lets fall back and rest.”
Garion nods as they slowly back out of the city.. walking south they slowly leave the area of the city and walk out into a beautiful plain covered in fruit trees and other lush plants.
Ludes grabs an apple off one of the trees and loosens his armour.. “These new land seemed filled with both challenges and rewards my friend!” he wipes juice off his chin as he speaks..
Suddenly a whirring sound startles both men. A bola comes whipping through the air and wraps itself around Ludes’ legs.. ” Uuuhh” is all Ludes can say as he stumbles forward and falls, his legs wrapped firmly.
Steel appears in Garions hand as he quickly looks around and with a backhand slice frees his guildmasters legs. Mounted savages appear and surround the two men. Once again they go back to back as they defend themselves.. in a few short minutes they pant as they survey the scene.. over a hundred slain savages lay around them. “Now what?” Garion says between breaths.. ” Look bro..” Ludes says with a evil grin.. “Lets pile these bodies around the fruit trees and come back in six months and collect the fruit..” Garion grins and says.. ” Aye, good plan.. every six months we’ll come back and feed our fruit trees.”
With a chuckle Ludes wearily mounts up and they slowly head back to the moongate..
What captured my interest and long term interest in UO has been the community and houses especially. UO was the first MMO I’ve tried and it offers a few things that others don’t offer: Extreme template Customization and Housing. I’d like to just focus on Housing and the Community. My first house I did not own alone. I was Co-owned with a friend, we had to split the cost of gold after a couple of months of farming, selling wares, and selling pets at West Brit Bank. Our house was a Log Cabin east of Covetous; and it came with a house key – and you know how important this was if you remember. After several months another friend, Duke, helped me get my own house; a two-story villa next to a mountain good for mining, especially since I loved mining ore elementals and most things crafting in general. Mind you, this was before the large Malas expansion (my how much they’ve added to UO since its Launch) – so housing spots were few and far between (or close and extremely packed). I believe I still even own a rune for that spot on one of my initial characters. Once Malas was added I was one of the first prospectors to get in on the ground breaking (I have the sandals and robe to proof it!), and got a great location as an 18*18. It was right at the entrance to the snowy part outside Luna with mountains all around me. Now why this 18*18 was important to note, was the simple fact this house was the largest you could place and use Ultima Online’s new feature: House CUSTOMIZATION. So now not only can you decorate your house with the treasures you acquire, rare items, favorite items, and decorative items; you can also customize how the house itself looks by changing the floor, walls, roof, and everything in-between.
Back then we actually interacted with neighbors. I joined their rag-tag guild and stayed in it for several years and met many new friends to get where I am today, 108 months later (as of September 15th 2012 my paper doll updated to 108).
Today, I’ve build up my “empire” and own a keep and castle (which I finally acquired this year with the help of a dear friend). We have a very close and trusted guild – as is much of UO actually. We do spawn together and peerless together, and we help each other with suits and templates – there is not much more I could ask for.
Ultima Online has had its up and downs – but what has kept me here and playing are the houses and the tight-knit community.
Author: Dante Signas/Baudwin Wulf
Title: A new shade of friend.
I was instantly hooked when my then girlfriend introduced me to Sosaria. As I began playing Ultima Online I was mainly interested in killing monsters and crafting items to sell to the denizens of the land. However it was the social aspect of the interactions I had that really grabbed me.
One day, I was out in Felucca and was doing some looking around for the first time as I heard so many stories of murder and chaos, I was afraid to in the past. I happened upon a fella in Moonglow who was decked out in the finest of armors and whose name was a sparking shade of crimson. I was scared stiff and ready to run but then realized I was safe in town because of the guards. However, I still had my finger over my “Vendor Bank Guards” macro just in case…. So he made a comment about my armor and how it wasn’t very safe to run around in the old lands with such low resist on my gear and that rolled into a conversation about the finer points of armor and stat thresholds. I was quickly enthralled with the scientific formulas that folks like him and others had come up with for their characters builds and suits. I never realized the community and culture of Felucca was so rich and involved due to my fear of getting killed. I figured it was all delinquents and ruffians! But from that day on I was no longer afraid of Felucca and no longer afraid of those with crimson names as I had made a friend who I hold dear to this day. That was 9 years ago and we continue to enjoy each other’s friendship even today.
The one thing that Ultima Online has given me that other games never could is a sense of real community. From stranger s, from friends, from new and old players, this game seems to bring out the best in people as far as I have experienced and that is why I will be here as long as the servers are running!
I had been playing Ultima online for only a short wile and my skills as a swordswoman were still in there master stages, Most of my time was being around the small town of Heaven back before it was distroyed by blackrock I made alot of good friends just by sitting around the banks and hearing about there storys of battle with dragons or of murderist bands of players on the other side of the red moongates that i would see pop up every now and agin. But on one afternoon I cought wind of monsters attacking players near the west bank of britian and when I heard they were only groups of lizardmen I knew I could handle my own and went out to see what was going on, I had no idea it was a full scale Invasion of the city! I never seen myself as a solider or hero I looked up to alot of other players with there amazing powers with magic or weapons of great stranght of the warriors or archers but when I see them rushing to meet the monsters head on I felt a fire burn inside me and drew myself to run along side them in the thick of it. It was sheer madness there were bodys of my fellow friends and hero’s of the relam alisde the monsters and there Generals that poured from the depths of Despise dungeon. It wasnt long before I fell to the numbers and woke up back at the healers building in the city and wile I was there players who knew we were loseing started handing out what ever weapons they could to help out. I rember being a mystic scimitar by a fencer that did not need it and was told to take care of it for its powers ( stats ) were a weakness to the siders that often traveled with the lizardmen armys and I felt so over whelmed when I weilded it in battle ( i really didnt much as far as good itmes back then) I made sure to insure it and I still have it to this day in my bank box. A few days later the event was over and most of the players that I used to see now traveled to Luna to the holy city to spend there free time in safty but I now had a feeling of pride over myself I was no longer a bystander who used to hear the tales of valour and heroisum, I was that I had my own tale to tell about how I was a simple solider that fought to defend the great city of Britain from evil and the friends i made as well as the tropies i resived. I would have many more events and friend through out my time in UO and I’m pround to not only say I play the game but I was part of its long histroy.
Author: Nails Warstein
This is my entry for the contest. It was hard to choose a singular memorable moment. Yet it was easy to pick moments to explain their significance as to why I play UO. I felt it was best to be sincere and meaningful whether I win or not. Thank you for your time and consideration.
“I had just started my second year in law school when I learned that my Father had been given 6 months to live. Growing up my Father and I were never that close, mainly because he was always such a workaholic. Now that he was ill, he needed to live life a little easier, so I came home to take care of him, and suddenly found that I had some extra time on my hands. I had always enjoyed role playing games over the typical game consuls, and I began experimenting with these new MMORPGs.
My most memorable moment is when I tried UO for the first time, I was exploring around Haven when suddenly this player shows up, and I get this message, “A friend has arrived to help”. He was riding a horse, dressed like a ranger with a bow. Although I can no longer remember his name, I do remember him explaining how to use this “A Young Player Ticket” with another player in the trade window, and I remembering getting “Studded Sleeves Ranger Armor” while the other player got “A Coupon For A Free Hair Restyling”. This “Companion” stayed to answer any questions we both had, and follow us as we teamed up together to help heal us as we killed these tough Mongbats.
We never did see him again, but that moment had sparked a 6 year friendship of teaming up together to fishing, treasure hunting, and exploring dungeons together in UO. Even though he left to start a new family, I still email him every September to try UO when Return to Britnannia is active. Now that his kids are older, maybe this year will bring him back.
Anyhow, as my Father’s illness got worse, UO was a place I could escape from the reality I was desperately trying to avoid, a place where death was a very common occurrence, yet your character never truly dies. Despite this, I still didn’t handle dying very well. I was always fighting the “Lag Monster” as a horde of “uglies” as I would called them would easily run me down. Granted I did take too many risks. If it wasn’t mobs of creatures killing me, it was some egotistical red named player “PKing” me. As a result, every character I created had the skill “hiding” in hopes of avoiding death.
My Father did live a whole extra year longer than expected, but when he died, I created and named a character after him that I still play to this day. I made him a crafter so that his name would live on in everything I made. When mourning him, I would spend several hours a day killing the liches that spawned in the cemetery near Cove. Ultima Online is still therapeutic for me today. A great game to release stress, and give me time to heal. I honestly do not know what I’d do in my free time without it.”