The previous poll didn't have any choices that would be what I would want for a "classic shard". There wasn't a choice for the post-trammel, pre-power scroll era, for instance. Or a hybrid of the best features from all of the eras of UO. During the previous discussion about which of UO's various incarnations that we would like to see in a classic ruleset shard, some of us did a little research to see which of the free shards that had the most players. I was amazed to see that some of the most popular ones have player bases of close to 200,000 players, more players on just one shard than the entire official UO subscription base. And all of the most popular free shards had something in common: They were all variations of the classic ruleset. The most popular free shards are hybrids: They incorporate all of the most popular rulesets that players liked from pre-AOS: 1. All lands use the Felucca ruleset 2. No power scrolls 3. Pre-AOS skills: magic resist resists ... magic. 4. Spells all work like they did pre-AOS. Spell reflection reflects ... spells. 5. Heavy armor protects better, but has dex penalties. Light armor lets you meditate and doesn't have dex penalties. 6. You can carve up your enemy's corpse and turn his head in for a possible bounty, or display it in your house as a trophy. 7. Some of them have the T2A-era game-balancing, anti-grief system of permanent stat loss for murderers who die while red. When murderers had to pay a hefty penalty, becoming a murderer wasn't something done on a whim. There were real consequences to your actions. Only the best PvPers would dare turn red. 8. No item insurance. 9. Factions are done like when UO originally implemented the system, with faction items crafted by players and blessed for 2 weeks. Some of them have gone back to the old order/chaos system or reduced the number of factions to two. However, they also incorporate the good things that the modern game has given us, like: 1. Custom housing 2. Player-grown plants 3. A vast variety of weapons and armor to choose from 4. Huge numbers of craftable house deco items 5. Veteran rewards like etherials, commodity boxes and statuette dye tubs 6. checks (making checks worth 5 million gp is a veteran reward on the one I checked out) 7. BOD systems which allow players to make exceptional vanqs and armor of invulnerability with the crafter's name on them 8. Hair dyes, blaze/white/bright/reward cloth, etc. And things that players have been asking UO to implement for a LONG time, some since Beta: 1. Arenas for players to have 1 vs 1 battles without interference 2. Gambling houses 3. The 2 islands with lots of level 5 treasure chests but no healers have had shrines added 4. Several irritating bugs that have been around practically forever don't seem to be present on the free shards 5. Free alternatives to UOAssist 6. Free Ventrilo servers for guilds 7. Skill gains aren't broken or impossible to gain through normal gameplay. You can actually play the game and become GM in a skill, rather than spending endless hours macroing it. 8. Fixed Khaldun 9. Changed monster spawns so that no one dungeon has the best loot, and added more spawns outside of dungeons. By far, the most popular free shards are the hybrids. The second most popular ruleset appears to be T2A. I would assume that players on free shards will naturally gravitate toward the shards which are the most fun to play. Unfortunately, very few people are willing to play on a modern-ruleset free UO shard, even though it's just as free as the pre-AOS ones. I was amazed to find just how empty most of the modern ruleset free shards were in comparison to the hybrids and T2A shards. The fact that several times as many people are playing T2A and hybrid free shards than modern ruleset free shards would seem to be a good argument in favor of UO's Devs actually making a production classic ruleset shard of its own. It shouldn't be that hard, or labor intensive, in comparison to the years and thousands upon thousands of man-hours that they wasted making UO2, 3D, UOX, Kingdom Reborn, etc. which were usually so poorly done that practically nobody used them, or that were never even put into production. I think the reasons why, when they are given the choice, most of the people on free shards play pre-AOS rulesets are pretty easy to understand. The post-AOS game has lost its soul. The AOS ruleset made the game almost entirely item-based, where it had been skill-based. It made the game all about getting gold, where gold hadn't really been that important before. Pre-AOS, you could buy a great suit of armor and a GM crafted weapon for a few thousand gold pieces. A highly skilled, naked mage with a couple hundred gold in regs could even win a fight against a warrior in full plate of invulnerability with a vanq weapon. Even the poorest players could fight and win, if they had the battle skills and a good strategy. You spent most of your gold on a house, house deco, rares, etc. that had nothing to do with combat. And, as much as they may have said they hated it, there was an element of danger and uncertainty in the game that isn't there anymore. I don't know if a classic shard would bring back any of the hundreds of thousands of players who left post-AOS, but it's worth a try. At the worst, people who have given up on the official UO and fled to the free shards will come back for a 14 day trial, or re-activate a long-forgotten account for a month, then decide that they like their new free shard better and leave again. At best, many of them will come back for a month, like what they see, and stay for years.