People not familiar with the Stratics Rares Forum should take note of the thriving community within. I think it’s important to recognize the economic health of the game from a factual basis. One indicator is the exchange of rare items in the Stratics Rares Forum. I cannot account for every transaction exchanged there. I can only account for my own. This is not to boast, nor is this an exaggeration. In just the past 9 Months, I have personally handled, managed, and brokered well over 500 Billion gold in rare game items known as non-spawning server births and event items. Over 200 Billion can be attributed to my in-game Silent Auctions held on the Atlantic Shard in Zento of which 75 billion was exchanged within a single weekend at the Atlantic Rares Festival in June. Even more was auctioned off publicly on the Stratics forum, while the rest was administered privately. This amount does not include my own personal sales, nor does it account for my personal holdings. I was merely a third party to these transactions. I am just a single player accounting for my own contributions. The majority of my transactions I broker for free. I do not represent any commercial websites. I am not alone, I am just one example of many who partake in proud tradition of collecting rare in-game items. We are players who support Ultima Online simply through our enjoyment of buying, selling, trading, and brokering in game items. Rare items is a feature that has existed in Ultima Online since its very inception. There are very few games if any that allow a player to personalize their game experience with rare items that only a hand full of players own whether it’s to decorate their homes or their paperdoll. It may not be what some choose to do with their time in UO, but it’s not unusual or taboo. It’s not unlike these Zynga games with one major exception, you can pick up these items, place them where you see fit, and exchange them with other players. I have notice that UHall is a place players like to come to complain about the game, and maybe rightly so. While others, particularly former players, like to give posters unwarranted grief. Some even like to forecast the end of the game. I believe it’s important to stick to the facts. In this case the evidence is clear. Ultima Online is still a thriving game in stressful economic times as proven by just one single economic indicator. It may not be as successful as we all want it to be, but at least the rare collectors like me are still investing in its future. Maybe you might consider checking out the Stratics Rares Forum if you haven’t already. Perhaps you have some rares you would like to buy, sell, trade or discuss. If you do so choose to engage in collecting, I recommend buying from people you know and trust or use a broker. Whether you approve of buying or selling high valued items in this game, it is the opinion of many players that trading in-game rare items is an integral element of this game that promotes the future success of this game. I might mention that the next Rares Festival will be held on Pacific in the near future. I hope to see you all there.