Now that the holidays are over the team is back and working hard to finish up Endless Journey, putting the final touches on the UO Forums and getting the Ultima Swag Store ready and open for business.
We have been getting a number of emails regarding a UO legacy server. This has no doubt been fueled by recent announcements of plans by other MMOs to launch their own versions of legacy content. It is important to remember that each game is unique and has their own hurdles to cross in order to put up any form of a legacy ruleset. I'd like to take a few moments to outline those hurdles as they relate to the development of Ultima Online.
First, and most importantly, not everyone agrees what exactly "legacy ruleset" means in the context of UO. Ultima Online is in a club of its own, with over twenty years of commercial release. Ask ten different people their vision of a "legacy ruleset" and you'll receive up to ten different answers. For some that period is The Second Age. For others it is Lord Blackthorn's Revenge. For others still it is Mondain's Legacy. Gaining any kind of actionable consensus on "legacy" is extraordinarily difficult, and maybe even impossible.
Second, the idea that we can simply just "flip a switch" to revert to a specific era's ruleset is unfortunately just not possible. The development of Ultima Online has moved across near the entirety of the US in it's twenty year history. In that shuffle things have been lost and it is simply not possible to "simply revert" to any specific period in UO's history that would satisfy even the most recent idea of a legacy ruleset.
Finally, this is not a small project and would effectively require the entire team devoting 100% of its development efforts to recreating the game world within the context of some agreed upon definition of a legacy ruleset. Even to return to a pre-AoS ruleset, prior to the expanded itemization that expansion brought, would be an enormous undertaking requiring all loot generation, crafting, skill functionality, core combat functionality, creature attributes, and interaction rules to be evaluated and rebuilt from the ground up. To accomplish this it would take us close to, if not over, a year to accomplish this. This would mean putting on hold all development for the "live game" which would translate into not getting any new content, items, quests, or gifts in order to complete this project.
That all being said we understand the desire to bring back the past. Who didn't love the exhilaration of protecting your house from theft, the thrill of a great fight, or finding that elusive silver weapon of vanquishing! We have to be realistic and approach our development goals pragmatically. There is no guarantee a legacy shard would be worth the enormous development requirement at the cost to supporting our current playerbase.
While at this time we have no plans to introduce legacy rulesets, we can promise you the team is hard at work to bring Ultima Online to as wide an audience as we can. Well over a million people have played Ultima Online over its twenty years in production, and with Endless Journey we are giving everyone a chance to come back home to Britannia. At the end of the day, an era is only outlined by its rulesets. The true value in a "legacy" shard are the people who made Britannia their second home and shaped its history. That is Ultima Online's legacy.
See you in Britannia,
Bonnie "Mesanna" Armstrong
P.S. Don't forget our next in-game Meet & Greet on January 29th at 9pm ET on Atlantic!