What's new

Unedited interview with Tr1age for Braving Britannia Vol.2

tr1age

Administrator
Staff member
I found the original unedited interview from Vol.2 Of Braving Britannia. It was quite a legnthy interview and figured I would publish the extended version. For the more concise and beautifully written version as well as many other amazing stories as told by the wonderful writer Wes Lochner, check out his book here and support his awesome efforts!

B08L681PZM.01._SCLZZZZZZZ_SX500_.jpg V172185388X.01._SCLZZZZZZZ_SX500_.jpgol.1 is AMAZING as well!
Volume 2: https://amzn.to/3FFBPSF
Volume 1: https://amzn.to/3Pv8Cxb


TR1AGE INTERVIEW


1670653107426.png

ROUND 1

Write as much as you need to. More is better :)

What year did you start playing Ultima Online?


1997, I had heard about the game in a magazine, oh man I totally forget the name of it, but I remember seeing the idea that you could be your own bar keep, and create a life in this virtual world with monsters and other people which was a foreign concept back then. I got so excited I showed my Dad who was my gaming inspiration, and he thought it look awesome.

What was your gaming experience prior to UO? Did you have any prior experience with the Ultima games? What other games did you enjoy? What was your dad playing that “inspired” you?

I knew nothing of the Ultima series prior to Ultima Online. I thought that stuff was too nerdy haha. I just wanted a girlfriend and my first kiss. None of which would have happened any faster or slower if I embraced my geek. But I did love playing console games and shooters like 007 with my best friends down the street from me. Or even Sega channel (the cable run rental service for sega). I loved all the mario games and sega saturn shooter arcade games. Twisted metal was on the top of my list of all time greats. But I was purely console because my Dad was a mac guy and we never could get the PC emulator to run doom to run properly on it for me to get into pc gaming before then.

(the dad part is in the answer below:)

Did your dad ever play UO?

He did not he watched a lot though and was always going, WOW, ooo, ahh! Me and him played mostly RTS games together. Or before the PC we went to the arcades a lot. Many quarters were taken beating Ninja Turtles. He wanted me to like video games so we could play together, but he also didn’t expect me to get very good at them at the pace I did and when it wasn’t really a competition anymore it was a bit hard to play together since our skill levels didn’t line up. But he always encouraged it :) He always had the latest console including the original atari and the old mac games on floppy and DOS.

What about UO piqued your interest? What made you want to play it?

The thing that stuck in my head was running a tavern where people could come and hangout with me and just be in this virtual world. I was not the most popular in school so this idea of creating friendships and such had a mass appeal to me.

I remember I was in the store with my dad one day and we saw it on the shelf, I had forgotten about the game since it was announced in the magazine a few years before it came out, and I grabbed it, pulled my dad over and said, “CAN WE GET THIS!!” And he immediately without hesitation said yes because he remembered how much I wanted to play it when I first heard of it. Plus we had some of the fast internet back then so that was not an issue, from the 56k modems all the way to dual isdn! (I know crazy! haha)

Probably without even realizing it, you were an early adopter. What was UO like when you first started playing? Did it live up to the expectations you had in your head?
Oh yeah I was in there within the first month it was up. I had not idea. I just was amazed at how alive this virtual world was and what a magical thing this was! I could be in a fantasy style game and play a life I wanted at 13. It was a dream come true. It was all I would think and dream about. It indeed lived up to every expectation. That simple “Hi” moment, was when I was hooked. 5 minutes into the game. The world felt huge too but also hard to navigate. So I always wanted to keep going. Just having a horse, made other players stop you and want to talk to you as a status symbol. And later on when the black dye tubs appeared(through a bug in the game I had no idea existed) I got handed one at the bank. It was one of those moments where I was sought after to dye clothes for others. If you had the teleport skill and stood on top of the bank roof you were considered a god haha.


What year did you quit playing Ultima Online (if applicable)? If you quit, why did you stop playing?

I quit playing UO when World of Warcraft came out. It wasn’t WoW that made me quit it was just the alignment of events. First: all my friends were playing WoW and never played UO with me so I decided it would be super fun to play with friends. Second I had been selling all my items in game for real world cash and was almost through my piles of Gold Checks by the time is came out where I decided OK, if I want to stop playing this game/job, I need to sell it all, and sold all my accounts so I couldn’t get back in.

Actually funny story: When I applied to be a cinematic director at blizzard years later, I had my biggest accomplishment in UO listed on my Resume: Acquired over 100 million in gold in less than 2 weeks on Ultima Online, which was more gold than the entire server at the time.

Did you get the job at Blizzard? Did anyone react to the line on your resume?

I did indeed get the job and was a cinematic director for 5 years. My boss did tell me he played the game, but never directly reacted to the line.

How was your experience in the game industry? Did you ever meet anyone else influenced by UO at the job?

The gaming industry is intense. Imagine working for the CIA because of strict NDA’s and hours that might only make sense if you were trying to save the world. That was the gaming industry. If you don’t eat sleep and breath games, it is probably not the best place to be. Everyone is a giant kid with bills to pay. My love for games is there but not to the extent of after a 14 hour shift I want to then play the game I was working on for the next 8. So when I started to shift my focus to my health and fitness after a few years of letting it all go to the grueling work load, I started to have difficulty wanting to be there everyday. It was no longer a love of mine to game but just work. Which is why I love gaming now, because it isn’t a job, it is a release. I cannot say it was’t some amazing times though. The culture, the people, the trips, the fans, the creations, the hard deadlines, it was all such a whirlwind but also extremely enjoyable. As a cinematic director of machinima based films you were in charge of your projects from inception all the way to the last render and upload button. So it gave you a ton of creative freedom. I met some amazing people, learned some skills that no school could teach, and left a stronger person for it. I also learned the downsides of a gaming world where tempers flare and inappropriate remarks are not always policed like an office environment. At first it was nice to be very chill, but over time it could wear you down with the “jokes” or inappropriate nature of things. I believe this has been covered in many articles on many gaming companies. It seems to be the whole “we make video games” that allows people to act like idiots sometimes haha.

I would say it influenced it in that it was the first MMO I ever played. This started my love for the MMO genre. After this I never really enjoyed single player games as much. There were quite a few people at Blizzard that actually worked on UO. So that was cool. I don’t remember names.

Did UO influence your own work at all?

Other than my love for MMO’s nope. My biggest influence was films like Band of Brothers or Romantic comedies and satire commercials like the switcher series for Apple. I was making movies at the company to tell stories so my background in theatre and directing was more beneficial than my gaming. Although my gaming allowed me to relate it to the greater audience as a culture.


OW2JDE4fZKHT1X4NqYVubhCcV-RFwKNquG0tuvAibWkYN__eaKM-EzBSorTGc_VyufO2GHmCtpKZbTNKFe9qSIhsfUL0uwN_f4e7FcQNO5WmqtRGk8bxCoMgUuSRVs_9N8ZJ69R3OKEuJtu-lhKT6YdJuHFqv3apcpuKi0KSbtCzWdl4H1ZT5OypvkPO


I figured out ways to work my way around the trammel disaster as well to steal artifacts and infiltrate guilds with disguise kits and such to get their goods.

Most people I’ve interviewed exited the game shortly after Trammel/UO:R was introduced. What were your feelings on such a massive change coming to the game?
Honestly I was lined up at gamestop to get the AoS expansion day one and placed the first house at the gates of Umbra. At this point I was way into the economics and trading aspects of the game, so it didn’t bother me much. If anything it let me go to felucca more safely and open world pvp with some solace. I didn’t love it, but I also knew if I killed someone enough their bank would empty on each death and eventually their insured items would drop :p

I do however think this was the breaking point for the game. It didn’t feel as alive anymore in every part of the world.

I had two accounts one that would advertise at the bank to buy items and another hidden in their guild next to their selling character, to steal it when they would uninsure it to make sure there was no “bugs” on transfer”. (I requested this obviously) and when I canceled the trade, my other character already had it targeted and it was in my bag before they knew what happened. I used the “whisper” command in game which only people right next to you could see to do a lot of advertising and targeted speaking, which not many people knew existed, so they thought I was talking to everyone, when really I was only talking to them as the mark. The bonus was my fighting skills, so if they tried to kill me I would usually end up with even more on their corpse.


How did you come up with this scheme to start?
My brain! :) Basically I watched people doing trades in trammel without a care in the world. So I decided to infiltrate and use two accounts to pull it off because it ruined the stealing business but it also had people put their guard down. Plus I knew the prices on everything so it was easy to entice someone with a higher offer as well as dragging in the mill checks to the window since I have 100 of them. The idea of asking them to uninsure it because there was a “bug” in the game came from the beginning of time when there were trade window bugs. So wasn’t a hard sell. And since I was whispering, only they saw it, but they thought I was saying it out loud and no one was speaking up like they liked to do in the game when something was amiss, they figured it was true.


I had the GM’s called on me one time and ended up in “jail” for doing just this and I told the GM’s, I am using game mechanics and I am not cheating, may I go now. They sat there for a moment and let me go with all my earnings, although you could see they did not preemptively think of this kind of use case when they implemented the systems.

So you were running these schemes after Trammel came into play? How were you coaxing players to go to Felucca with these items so that you could steal from them?

I did this in Trammel.

Was it possible to steal from people in Trammel? Was there a special way to do this? Sorry--my memory is fuzzy!

It was not. That is why I would get one character to infiltrate the guild. You COULD steal from guildmates. So one character one one account was the “Fake buyer” The other was my thief stealthed next to the guild member.

But what really got me to accept that it was time to quit was, even though I was very good at this new “spy” mode in the game, and truly embracing life as a thief, it took a lot of deception to pull off and it was almost gut wrenching watching my character in game make another human quit or rage because I had been there myself at one point. It was also bleeding over into my real life, making me kinda a dick to people as well. So I decided, now that this had started to seep into my real life, it was time to call it quits. I liquidated it all.

You mention this darker playstyle creeping into your real life. Can you expand on that at all? (This is a judgment-free zone!)
I would get irritated much easier and have a shorter fuse. The effort in game was draining my reality life.

My thought process for selling my gold for real life money(which was legal in UO) instead of spending it in game, was, why not buy real life items instead of pixels with the pixels I was selling. I think this was the first “entrepreneurship” I had ever done up to that point, that brought in an amazing income, especially as a college student.

Did you spend the money you made in any sort of way? (For instance, in Braving Britannia volume 1, someone used their real world sales to buy a house.)
My first purchase was a new laptop. That was the one that got paypal reversed on me. It was top of the line and I used it to play with my cousins at lan parties with some good ole coax connected games of c and c. The rest I used on small things here and there that I wanted along the way, a new coat, clothes, food, a game, etc. I should have bought a house however. But I also didn’t make that much :) So def couldn’t afford your book!


What servers did you play? Which server did you consider to be “home”?

I played Napa Valley for my entire career, hopping onto Atlantic here and there to see my home server.

One server I want to mention because not many people remember it was the Test Center called The Abyss. It was faction pvp with holy and evil alignments. All skills were instant GM and the battles were beautiful. I actually took a screenshot that got featured on UO.com in my Holy Silverish outfit at night holding my holy lantern. This server to me was a ton of fun, because losing your items didn’t hurt, and the random pvp encounters were so intense.

What was it about your “home” server you enjoyed most? How would you describe that shard to someone who’d never played it?

Napa just seemed to have nicer people and more roleplay. It was the first server that took me in when I started, had no idea how to play the game, and got me on my feet to at least “look cool” I still had no skills and if I died I thought the world was ending, but the people made me feel part of the group. Part of the family.

It was a guild called the Brotherhood of Steel, an all blacksmith guild, who took me in as the naive little kid I was, gave me their dye tub to dye my clothes their guild colors and I felt like I was part of a bigger thing. Although right after they gave me my first shield and uniform I went through a lonely gate in the middle of nowhere and was killed losing it all. At my age that was devastating.

Do you remember how you first encountered the Brotherhood of Steel?
I ran across them in the woods and they have cool colors and I was just kinda WASDing all over the place without an understanding. They asked me if they could help and spoke in old english which was quite odd, but entertaining and inviting.

You mentioned the Brotherhood’s colors several times. Do you remember what their standard issue uniform was?
It was green and grey usually with a small apron.
S3ZDvSfsccZa4IbB5cXrnF4htT1ym-hHKaLIjneTsBPAgAZhJBKV-m_UFFDihj2oABOEK3h6ozhpRbEvcv75CR-oVJSaY-RIrJ2I5uD9gjQnnz_17cG8fhzCsOW1LzE67yz5egtrBSH4rMB0rTfDhKZTv1CSy-mZAFnj_Y2wfQtIvfVqv2MeX-DmXJB0



You mention several times being “naive” and “young.” How old were you when you started playing the game?
13. I was not a proficient pc gamer. I was damn good at building forts outside with my friends and playing 007 though. Actually this game was the first PC game that made me stop leaving the house and almost stay home when my parents went on a disney vacation. The last minute I said I would go begrudgingly, but when I got back I realized I needed to tone it back as I had a ton of fun out and about with the world.


I joined another guild after that and finally placed my first house, a tiny tiny little shack that I put furniture in that I had gathered the wood for and built myself, just to sit inside with my candle and feel homely. But I turned red by accident on a friend, and it was taken from me by force. I quit for a few months as it felt horrific.

I placed another house months later that I found not realizing the keys could be stolen and within seconds of placing this house, it was gone. I quit again.

As I got better (which took years, unlike games these days where you are a master in a day) I joined the graveyard crew as a Grey PK(I never wanted to commit to fully Red). Only at server down time would I go ham, because nothing would save). I would go grey (flagging and incite fights, I was very good at fighting, especially with dual isdn and the fact that internet connection back then meant you could outpace someone else)

I had a home on the eastside of Britain as well at the road that was right out of town, me and another pk would hide and type to one another as you could still see text above people even when hidden at that point and wait for our victims. Although if we saw a gate we ran for the hills as it usually had a group of a prominent asian guild on the server that always came in packs of 50.

But this was all such a rush for me. I loved it all. And after trying to do the whole “build a home”, chop my own trees, the open world PvP sucked me in.


What was your “main” character’s name? Why type of skill set did you equip them with?

Sir Tristan. (I know very original, but I wanted to be a Knight! Even though the dark side jumped in fast) He was an archer for a long time until it was nerfed and then he went fencer for the duration of the time in game, swapping briefly to a mage thief for my infiltration periods. My thief was Mendacity which translates to “untruthfulness”. I felt it was appropriate considering. And I used a disguise kit all the time so no one ever knew who I was. But Sir Tristan was always close by to fight the harder battles only ever using the highest value vanquishing short spear weapons in game, since I had so much cash, to make sure I never had a disadvantage in fights. Losing a vanq weapon meant nothing to me with over 100 mil gold.


In your early days with the game, what was your playstyle like? Did you have a goal in mind for your character? What about your playstyle most appealed to you?

When I first started playing, I remember my first moment. I spawned at Vesper, walked up the first person I saw and said “Hi” They replied back with “Hi”. And I was hooked. I went to my Dad, omg this person is real! I had so many aspirations to be a barkeep and to use bows and to tame creatures and be this wandering human in the lands. But what that translated into for the little kid I was in a world that was very complex was wondering a few feet out of town, taming a bear or two before they swarmed and killed me, and carrying a useless bow just to look cool. I liked to look cool more than I cared about my skills, I also had no idea how to use my skills haha.

As time went on, I learned more and more about raising skills and I became quite good at killing. And that is when PvP became my focus. I don’t think there is ever a time in UO where I farmed or did any aspect of PvE. I would put a death robe over my armor, flag on a blue creature or person in town away from the guards, wait the 2 minute period so no one could call guards, then run through the bank which was always filled with people, until someone attacked. This would flag them only to me. Me looking like a fresh spawn, they would assume an easy kill. But I would run off screen, take off my robe, put on the rest of my armor and weapon and come back to drop them to the floor. This was my play style for a very long time. I loved it. That “SURPRISE!” Moment.

Were you strong with PvP from the get go, or was it something you had to work at? What made you want to get involved with PvP?

I was horrid at pvp to start. This is why I was dead 80% of the time, but I think as I got older and my brain got more akeen to listening to others on how to level up and I got tired of dying, I took to it quite quickly. I also realized it reaped amazing rewards so it kept me around. But I never PK’d. I always flagged, and if someone attacked me, it was their funeral. I hated the idea of being red all the time and being attackable. But if someone was trying to take advantage of a grey in a newly res robe they were about to learn about how fast dual isdn was in pvp and how hard a vanq short spear hit.

Why did you opt out of PKing? Was it a moral thing? Or did you simply like the thrill of someone attacking you, knowing that you could defeat them?

PKing was too easy. To jump someone was not a challenge. And when you were a red you would usually have multiple people attacking you. When you were only flagged to one person it was much easier to pick off one at a time. I liked to use the mechanic to my advantage. Like stealing, only the person you stole from saw you as grey even though you could be freely attacked. Others didn’t know that and would usually just watch.

How did you go about getting better at PvP? Was there something you did to practice?

Practice honestly. And figuring out which playstyle was the best for me. It came down to the speed of fencing and the high end weapons I would use in the field. Most people kept these locked up in their homes.

As time went on, I played the market more, going on UoTrader and such websites, buying low and selling high. Even creating fake demand for items with multiple ICQ accounts. I loved playing the market and it really was the turning point to when UO became more than a game to me but an income.

Was there a specific event you can point to where you realized that UO was more than just a game? Something that gave you an even deeper appreciation for it?

I was sitting in Social Studies at school day dreaming about what I would do when I got home to the game and the teacher asked the class, “Who knows what a Scimitar is”. I was briefly awoken from my dream of becoming a UO knight, to yell out ME! I knew the answer because I had looted one from a corpse. I in depth described a scimitar to the teacher and he was like “Correct” no one else knew what it was. I felt good :)

On top of learning things such as this, my typing skills were defined through UO. If you wanted to talk to a player in the game you had to type fast as they could be off the screen before the text appeared over your head for them to see. At first I was horrid and struggled so much to talk to people. But then I got faster and faster and faster even learning to drive my horse with the mouse and type with the other hand. I still to this day only type with 2-3 fingers, but type faster than 80% of touch typists. (seriously, I can take the typing test and prove it haha)


What did you like most about the UO experience? The least?

Absolutely 100% I can say the human interaction. There was no global chat, you had to talk to people as if you were face to face with them and the random encounters you had with people were great. You would stop on long journeys, just to engage with other people, which is often lost in games today.

I also loved doing fun artistic things in the game, such as making flash animations for weddings or proposals, or guild websites.

Can you expand on the above info a bit? The flash animations, websites, etc. Where did that interest come from?

At this point in my college life I had embraced my geek and lived in Brooklyn joining a local lan party where you brought your pc to play games and tournaments with everyone. I was even building my own computers and plexiglass computer cases. So this group introduced me to a lot of the webdesign stuff they did and I self taught myself flash and web design as a side gig. I would apply it to guilds and the lan group when not doing real jobs. It was a really fun creative aspect. I mean I was an early adopter of Geocities where the more animated gifs the cooler your site was, so it kinda made sense I would love animations and flash and anything to tell a story. This also mimicked my life where it is now, as a story teller in my directing and photography. As well as my Machinima I made for WoW. I even won an Emmy for my work on the South park episode make love not warcraft. :)

Can you expand a bit on your career? It sounds like you’ve done a lot of exciting things! (The machinima—got a link?—and what you did on South Park, the year, etc.) Brag a bit!

Some links:

For the SouthPark episode “Make Love Not Warcraft” (2006) I was in charge of all in game directing, filming, and character designing. I sat there with Matt and Trey and we hammered out over the course of a week all the in game shots that would tie together the south park episodes feature.


ptM7HAOKeuZKijOs-vu9wS4-kZdnY-KeIai3j9FP1nSg3use8cHsCOptmji_hELA9cTMyuKqP_EJJhUNDJt7dNTin7TcAm8UasJOq-d23oGcxJJPMCPuX803-XM5HzuDWm6nn0pn2fiM2Smug-yDGda186DKeT2L_GEkMxeV1aowJ4AqX_cPAhQaMwCI


This was my first gig at Blizzard which was pretty awesome. They were awesome and respected our game worlds lore and such which is important to Blizzard. We even filmed it on live servers which was pretty hilarious when a random real player would run into us.

To be honest, I will remain humble about this project because when I walked into the south park studios I didn’t even know who Trey Parker was when he sat down next to me and asked for input. I just thought he reminded me of the guy from Orgasmo. Super chill guy. We even had some nerf gun wars. We were not prepared actually haha.

My boss downplayed the event quite a lot and it wasn’t until I left the job that I learned exactly what it meant to be able to tell people in a resume that I had won an Emmy. And while that is awesome, I always tell people to judge me on the work I am doing not the work I have done.


I always liked to tinker and to play with tech. But in college I got really into it as I balanced my acting major. It was another way for me to express my creativity and it was also, through a website I designed for friends that sort of mimicked “facebook” crudely, a great way to keep in touch with all my friends who weren’t down the street anymore to just hang out with.

I am an extremely extroverted personality so my inner hermit who just wants to explore the worlds within fantasy in games and through computers were often at odds. When I met the lan party people I realized those two things didn’t have to be separate.

UO really let me be as creative as I wanted while still offering so much that I would never be able to see all of. I mean to this day I still have not done majority of the PvE content as I spent majority of my time PvPing as a lone wolf or roleplaying with guilds I joined.
There was even a moment where someone moved into our guild neighborhood and to get them to move out, I placed a small house on my alt, and created a fake “drug den” to bring down house value. It worked and they paid a great sum to have it removed. Not because they had to but because it was part of the interactions.
I even ran my own pirate guild at one point that go invited to participate in the GM run events with the dragon Kal Tesh. Everyone wanted to fight it but we as pirates wanted to plunder! So we placed hundreds of boats at the lighthouse lookout to block their view of the incoming invasion. We even wrote it into the story on Uo Stratics. That was a ton of fun.

To me, grinding money and the PvE was the least fun. The interactions and the random pvp was the most fun. OH and the house building when custom housing was a thing. I would spend hours designing new houses.

A common theme that jumps out from your stories is your creativity and entrepreneur spirit. Have you used those skills in the real world, or at any of your jobs, since leaving the game?

100%. As a theatre major you know you need to have other skills. And my directing skills played a huge part of me getting hired at Blizzard entertainment. I was making fan made machinima for WoW creating the first story driven film called “I surrender” that took the fan base by storm. I then went on to create more and more in my free time, until I got the call from Blizzard along with one other prominent machinima creator to come and interview for a department they were starting for machinima. After my tenure at Blizzard I decided to take it even further and create my own business where I could wake up everyday and do at least one thing I am passionate about, as I prefer to do multiple projects and find multiple ways to approach life and my careers as possible. I now run Tristan Pope Photography LLC, which focuses on directing, photography, influencer markets, social media, mobile innovation(creating short films on smartphones) and all sorts of other tech sphere stuff. I have never really followed the “ladder” structure of corporate america. I prefer to find a catapult and launch into the place I want to be. It is not always stable and it is not always the best methods, but it has worked for me and brought me a ton of joy. But it also means I like to keep moving when not binging the newest stranger things or deep diving into a new MMO for a month.


How do you feel you benefited from the experience of playing (if at all)?

The benefits are far too many to list, but it taught me a few good life lessons:
Economy (selling and buying items to make profit, playing the market)
Real life lessons when money is involved (sold a lot of gold once for a paypal reversal to happen making me lose it all.)
Typing skills. It is literally why I type so fast, even if not conventionally.
How to become an entrepreneur.
How to learn to lose with grace. Because in UO you lose hard when you lose.

You mention several times how devastating loss was for you in the game. How did you overcome your emotional responses to losing gear/items?

In modern terms: I rage quit. Left the game, went back to playing outside, until one day I would get the itch to load the game up again and try again. Each time I learned more and more and worried less and less about the items as I learned how easy they were to actually obtain(or steal back).

How to curb an addiction, because as a kid playing this, getting me off the computer was impossible, but when I did finally step away to go play with the kids, I realized… ooops I may have been ignoring my real life quite a bit. So it gave me perspective on moderation.

How did being so engrossed in UO affect your real relationships?

Honestly I had none haha. I was not Mr popular and it was only when I would step away from the game that I truly had time to invest in those things. I was not good at the whole “moderation” to any aspect of my life at that age. But I did manage after my trip to Florida and realizing the real world indeed did still have girls in it, to get better at going out and only playing UO when I didn’t have other plans. It became more of a warm blanket to come home to, rather than hide in all day.

People skills for sure. You run into so many different people and when you run a guild, you have to manage people too and moderate issues and flare ups.
UO did so much of this for me, and I think gaming in general can teach a lot of this as well!
The importance of an outlet to unwind.

In your own opinion, what sets a game like UO apart from the countless MMOs available in the marketplace, even 20 years later?

UO even to this day has more mechanics, more diversity, and more of a sandbox feel than any other game that has been released. It truly is a game that was created for the people to decide what they wanted to do with, not the other way around. No one is holding your hand, and you make all your decisions which have real consequences.

The thing is, UO is what it is. PvP for some, PvE for others, but it is the same thing for everyone by means of being a Sandbox MMO. You are all meant to play together, whether that means fighting or sitting around a campire the experience is determined by the players.

It is here for people to create their own story.

If you had to sum up your own “story,” in a few sentences, what would it be?

Can you expound on this? Related to?

You mentioned that UO allows people to create their own stories. What do you see as yours from a big picture standpoint? (If this question is still confusing, let’s skip it!)

Oh I just mean UO allows you to create your story of what you want to do, live, experience. Mine is defined by what I have told you.

So whatever your playstyle is, you create your story, you create your world, your towns, your friends in UO.

You can play UO without scripts or macros. But you won't be "the best". I believe that is a good thing. The problem is that many players who used to play the game want the most efficient route, because let's be honest we played the hell out of this game. But does that make for the best game-play? It is arguable that some people may enjoy it better than others, but UO is this magical sandbox mmo where the only mechanics I need are the freedom to roam and make my own decisions. In my entire time in UO I never once did high end PvE since day one! I interacted with people, the world, and the economy. I was very good at using the world and game to my advantage. If the game offers it I want to situationally use it to my advantage. That is the magic of UO and the players.

This is why I don't believe in min maxing UO. I believe in interacting with the players, creating events, and engaging in the now overlooked magic of an "ONLINE" video game.

Take a step back, interact with the players, let some imagination into your game, and you will be amazed at what it can offer.

All I wanted to do when I started was to make a tavern and become an inn keeper. Ya know what? 1 year later I did it after all the trials and tribulations and it was awesome.

I’d love if you could expand on the experience of running a tavern within the game. I think it’s a neat bullet point to your story that even though you did all this other stuff… you also took time to accomplish what first grabbed your attention when you started playing the game initially. (Where was the tavern in-game, the name, was it popular, who was the clientele, why did you stop, etc…)

The reason it is only a bullet point is because it was only for my guild at the time, and it never really gave me fulfillment as I once thought it would since it was years after I thought I wanted to do it. Building it was more fulfilling then running it. The RP of the tavern was often tiresome to me and I wanted to go out and kill a PK or go work the trading posts. I don’t remember much about it other than that I did it. It gave me solace though knowing I created a hub for my guildies to come home to and when I was done with my adventures would come back to and always run into someone there.

But it took me a year to figure out how to get there. I didn't rush, I stayed blissfully ignorant. And it was where all my memories of this game remain. In those moments of ignorance and engagement with the world around me. I don't remember maxing out my skills. I remember opening my inn to my guild mates and listening to their banter as they sat at my digital tables, drinking my digital ale. Wow.. that was memorable!

Let's be honest if you played this game way back, you have seen nearly everything already and don't get jazzed by farming one more gold piece. But when a real human walks past you and the words "Hi" appear over their head, that is where you have a chance for magic.

Put a little trust in the MASSIVELY MULTI PLAYER ONLINE part of a roleplaying game. That is where UO truly shines.

I wasn’t the best, I wasn’t a well known name, but I was really good at using the game mechanics to my advantage. Be it a death robe to trick someone into attacking an “innocent unarmed victim” or my ability to run faster than them and spin around for the killing blow after my bandage had took. I didn’t care for 1 on 1’s or group PvP. It was the open world nature of UO that made it exciting and this game gave you the freedom to do as much or as little with that.
 

Join our Discord Community