Interested in the Life of a Thief in a Community of Thieves? Image by Aaron Interview with Guild Leader Shinobi Shinobison and Guild Emissary Aaron, two players fiercely devoted to the study and promotion of their profession. [NOTE: Shinobi's authoritative books on thieving cover the history and traditions of UO thieving, current techniques and useful macros. Shinobi's books are available at the Book Store on Atlantic.] DeadBob: When did you start playing Ultima? Shinobi: I first started out probably in about 2001 or so, but all I made was a crappy mage. I decided the game was too big and too complex for my tastes, so I quit. I came back around AoS and made Shinobi. Meaning, I wasn't around for the "golden days" of thieves, the days with no insurance, the ability to steal houses, etc. Even though I feel like I missed out on a lot, I think that if I played back then, then I might have quit with the majority of the thieves when the nerf came. Plus, I kinda knew I was gonna be pretty successful because Shinobi was born with a mini castle deed, which I sold for 2.5mil back then. Aaron: I began my life in Ultima back in the start of Renaissance, November 2000. I began playing on Chesapeake as an Archer than later became a Knight (Swordsman). I was well introduced to the life of felucca, but I was more interested in fighting the evils that I seemed to have met. 5 Years later, I then began to play on Player Run Servers, ones which emulated the Pub-16 Era with Siege rules (Acropolis: The Dark Shard), and That’s where I began my thief Career, I became the guild master of “The Society of Thieves” Later Renamed to “The Society of Rogues” To allow all sorts of shady characters. I went back to OSI and switched my primary server to Atlantic where “Aaron the Assassin‘s" legacy began. DeadBob: What did you like about Ultima, at first? Shinobi: I liked the fact that my first real char was a thief, meaning...I still had no clue what was valuable and what was crap. The time when I was just starting out as a thief is what I call the Bucc's Days, back when PvP happened primarily in Fel Bucc's Den. I soon befriended the reds in Bucc's and gained access to their main PvP house. I still remember running into the house freaking out multiple times a day: "OMG GUYS LOOK... i just stole a 20% dam inc double axe... hell yeah." Every steal was a great steal back then. However, soon I learned what was good and what wasn't, so I basically had to throw out everything inside of my bank. Aaron: The game was very free flowing, I could do what I want and it didn’t give me a goal. It wasn’t like Super Mario Bros. where I had to go through each level and defeat Bowser to save the princess. I got to be a Knight in Shining Armor (Iron Heavy Ranger) and I would use my sword to protect the innocent. That dream was crushed, and I just became a Swordsman who fought monsters and couldn’t really fight players. Another thing I liked is that I wasn’t limited to how I could play. My Knight originally started as an Archer/tamer, became a swordsman, then a Paladin, then a Paladin Archer, then a Swordsman, then a Samurai. I like how I always have the ability to change, no matter what. DeadBob: Why are you still here? Shinobi: That's pretty rude... why are you so ugly? [Editor's note: np, y'r not my type anyway ;p] Nah for real though, my main char since I started has been my thief. The only other char I've managed to actually finish is my dexer, A Piece Of Mind. Lots of people ask me "Dude, how can you just sit around all day stealing stuff for over 6 years?" It's because I still get a rush out of it. The more valuable the item I'm about to steal, the more of a rush I get. Still to this day, whenever I'm about to steal an item worth a lot I start to shiver/shake violently... you'd think I was trying to disarm a bomb irl or something. Come to think of it, it almost sounds like a sickness. Don't get me wrong though, I'm not one of those people who's life revolves around this game. Even though I get that big of a rush, it doesn't mean I'm insanely addicted to it. I actually have quit multiple times for like 3-8 months at a time, out of no where. I'll be on one day, then the next time you see me is months later. I don't want that to happen anymore though because my guild is the largest it's ever been, and I can't abandon it and risk all that work going down the drain. Aaron: I have been disloyal to UO, I have tried Maple Story, I have tried WoW, I have tried guild wars, and I did play this other MMORPG, I forget the name of it, but all three of them was the same, Do Quests, Become Strong, Go to the Big Boy lands, Buy god-gear. Right now, I hang out in new haven, I wear Exceptional Quality Armor, and I am GM only in hiding, and snooping, everything else is below 100, and I still feel like I’m a strong character (In my profession.) And like Shinobi said, It’s the rush. I can give you an example from Acrop, I was a well known thief at this point, the name Locke was legendary. I had a large connection of allies, both PvMers and Mass Murderers. I was able to pool over 3 million gold (Very large sum of money back there) I had the ability to Coerce a group of Turkish people to sell me their castle deed, but their terms dictated we do it at West Brit Bank, They mustered about 6 guys to watch the transaction, I was to be alone. It took a month of planning to pull this heist, and I was shaking in real life, We began the trade, and I pulled the heist on them, I yank the deed and bolt to the east. 2 Warriors Chase me, the Mages prepared spells but that left them in the dust, the warriors I had to dance with them until I was able to successfully escape, If anyone from that shard remembers me, they know that was a Textbook heist. DeadBob: Tell us about your guild. Shinobi: My guild is cRaZyPoO [P0O]. I made it years ago after being betrayed by FVO (an old thief guild which soon after formed into S|S). I gave my guild such a stupid name because I wanted the members to always have a sense of humor. I've seen thieves go from cool and laid back, to having huge egos and acting as if they're better than everyone else. There's nothing wrong with bragging about your skills, but whenever you start acting like an ass, then it just gets annoying. My guild is the largest thief guild in UO, with over 60 active members, and over 90 overall members. Apparently we reside on Atlantic, but I like to think that one day we'll move onto other shards as well. We take in all player thieves (not doom-only thieves) that either want to join us, or are found training and need our help. Our guild house, Thieves' Fortress, has a training room that guides a thief through his/her training, and provides all that they will need to train. In my opinion, 99% of the player thieves on Atlantic are in our guild. I say this because I rareeeeeeely see a thief wandering around not in our guild, and when I do, I usually end up guilding them. [Editor's note: this is not "gelding," a radically different service.] We are constantly coming up with new ways to help us steal. An emissary in the guild, Aaron, has even developed a way to steal while remaining hidden. I'd love to tell you guys how, but it's a secret meant only for the emissaries in the guild. Also, I have a bracelet of binding which I wear 24/7. Each thief in the guild eventually gets their own bracelet, bound to mine. An entire guild of thieves, bound to one bracelet. Imagine the scenario, where I happen to stumble across someone with multiple items uninsured in their pack. I then alert the guild to bind to me, and suddenly a guild of thieves appears out of no where, and surrounds the poor guy. We then proceed to rob him blind, then vanish. Lots of people don't approve of our methods of stealing, since some of them are actually quite cruel. I developed a class which I like to call the Persuasion Thief, for obvious reasons (however, not all of the thieves in our guild are Persuasion Thieves). Some people consider the types of things we do scams, but if we use the Stealing skill to retrieve the item, then no matter how you put it, it is a steal. Even some old thieves don't approve of our ways. Where are they though? They all either quit UO, don't play their thief anymore, or have all shipped off to the "island" that was created to hold thieves... known as Siege. In my opinion, Siege was created to lure thieves there so that GMs are no longer bugged about items being stolen. They cannot delete the thief class, because it would be unfair to us... so instead, they placed a carrot (no insurance) underneath a box (Siege) propped up with a stick, with a string tied to it. And lots of thieves are dumb enough to fall into the lame trap they've created. We do the things we do, because it is how we've adapted to insurance. Aaron: CRaZyPo0 is a thieves guild. We house all these different bandits, No Good, Misfortunate, and Low Lives. It is run by Shinobi, with me as his right hand. We are a guild that trains thieves, plans world domination then immediately drink at the Tiki Top Bar, and wonder what we did last night. We do heists on guilds, champs, and just do random bad (or hilarious) things. We train thieves, we think up new ways to pull heists, we devise new heists, we pull heists, and I personally try to work on Public Relations, that’s fancy talk for me to talk to pretty girls. In a simple way, we just make and improve thieves. We don’t have a team of players just trying to figure things out using all different sorts of experiments, but we just stumble upon things, we fall into our discoveries like holes in the ground. One thing a thief has to have as a trait, is they need to be creative, that’s a primary trait. DeadBob: What would you like to do in Ultima in the near future? Shinobi: What I would like to happen in the future is actually underway as we speak. Not only is my guild growing at an alarming rate, but i have decided to ally the other 3 main thief guilds in UO. Chad Sexington's guild THIEF has an Atlantic division which is allied to us, I have been speaking with members of the Pacific guild GOR about starting up on Atlantic and allying to us, and I have even recently allied to my guild's old rival S|S. With the 4 of our guilds allied together, Atlantic honestly won't stand a chance. Aaron: Play Stygian Abyss, Complain about how Gargoyles are over powered, make little girls cry, Pinch the bums of the ladies, take candy from babies, and become the new Lord British but be called Lord Aaron the Awesome of Awesomeness, make Mr. Tinkles (My Slime) 4x GM, and maybe, just maybe, Find a girl who loves me for my damn good looks, and not for my personality, Girls Love Bad Boys. *Frown* NOTE: Shinobi's authoritative books on thieving cover the history and traditions of UO thieving, current techniques and useful macros. Shinobi's books are available at the Book Store on Atlantic.