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Giveaway--Braving Britannia, a new book about UO history and community

Discussion in 'UHall' started by Riyana, Jul 15, 2018.

  1. Riyana

    Riyana Operations
    Administrator Moderator Professional Governor Stratics Veteran Wiki Moderator Campaign Patron Event Coordinator

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    What do you do in a game where you can do ANYTHING?

    That's the question author Wes Locher sought to answer in his new nonfiction book, Braving Britannia: Tales of Life, Love, and Adventure in Ultima Online. Featuring interviews with 35 of the game’s players, volunteers, and developers over more than 300 pages, Locher reveals what they did, where they adventured, and how their lives were forever shaped, changed, and altered through their experiences in the grandfather of MMOs.

    Wes and Stratics have teamed up to give away 10 copies of Braving Britannia. All you have to do is tell us how YOU braved Britannia and how it impacted your life. Maybe you were an evil murderer whose moral compass was defined by your actions, or perhaps you were a brave knight whose heroics led you to find true love inside the game. Did your guild work together to achieve something amazing and create lifelong friendships? Or maybe you were content to craft food, weapons, or armor that kept your fellow adventurers safe, guiding you to lead a virtual life centered on trade. There's no doubt that UO has affected many lives, and now we want to hear how it's touched yours!

    -Submissions will be accepted until Saturday, July 22, 2018, at which time Wes will select his favorite stories.

    -Submissions must be posted in this thread.

    -You may enter as many submissions as you like, but you can only win one prize.

    -You may enter submissions as duos/groups, but only one member may win if a multi-authored submission is chosen.

    -Submissions must be the work of the person(s) posting them.

    -Stratics staff are eligible to enter and win, as Stratics is not selecting winners. Stratics leadership team staff may submit entries but will not accept prizes.

    Thank you for participating and we look forward to reading your tales. Good luck!
     
    kalexpor, Tabby Kapak, spin and 5 others like this.
  2. ultimabook

    ultimabook Visitor

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    Greetings, friends!

    My name is Wes Locher, the author of the aforementioned book, Braving Britannia.

    I played UO from 1998-2003 and for me, it was a life changing experience. For the past decade the game has stuck with me and I’ve thought about it often, finding myself inspired by a digital world where I felt that I could do anything.

    I knew I couldn’t be the only one who felt this way, so in October 2017 I set out to learn what UO meant to others. Over the course of 8 months I heard dozens upon dozens of stories from players, volunteers, and even the game’s developers and producers, collecting the best tales into this book.

    Now I want to hear YOUR story! How has braving Britannia changed your life?

    Looking forward to the responses!
    Wes Locher
     
    Ruppy2, Effort, Cyrah and 8 others like this.
  3. Giggles

    Giggles Wielder of Ebil Cookies
    Moderator Professional Stratics Veteran Social Media Liaison Stratics Legend Campaign Supporter The Squirrel Empire

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    First!!!

    My adventures in UO started when I was only a 15-year-old kid. I still remember the frustration of playing UO on a dial up connection, and the fact that it would take about five minutes to walk from one side of the west Brit bank to the other. It did not help matters that my starting server was Europa and I was an American player. I picked Europa due to liking the name, not having any clue it was for European players. That’s a fine example of my youthful ignorance.

    During those days, Ultima Online was an escape for me from the frustrations of life. No matter how stressful my days were, I would look forward to my evenings of turning into Lady Philomena, the Grandmaster Animal Tamer! I had many friends and took part in many daily adventures. I was so clueless during that time as to just how much Ultima Online would change my entire life and future.

    Over the next few years my UO life continued when my real life would allow it to. Ultima Online was always the comforting friend that I would enjoy seeing. My adventures would either pick up where they left off, or I would embark in new challenges. After one of my returns, I transferred to Legends to begin a new UO life there away from the European lag. I founded a guild called Blunt Logic, and recruited friends as I met them.

    An amazing day about 14 years ago, one of my guild members asked to recruit a player who had fresh transferred from Pacific. My guild member spent hours talking about how cool this guy is, and how he can kill anything in the game. Within moments of him joining my guild, the new guy named Sin began to ask for duels at Britain bank. I happily obliged, and killed him several times. (he will deny this, but it’s all true!) This began the start of an amazing friendship where Sin showed me a lot of the ropes for soloing stuff in the game. We spent many hours taking down the strongest things we could find, and began little competitions of who could kill stuff faster. This friendship continued for the next 3 years, with times of being inactive in the game. He went off to the Navy for a while, and I got busy on and off with my own life.

    Then about 10 years ago, he informed me he would be moving to the state where I lived to help his uncle for a while. We decided it would be fun to maybe meet up and have some coffee. So soon after he arrived, that’s exactly what we did. But our one-time coffee turned into movies, which turned into dinners, which turned into us being crazy about each other. After a year of dating he asked me to marry him and we have been extremely happy ever since.
    But this story doesn’t end just yet!

    The past 10 years have been the best years of my life, and just last year, our lives were fulfilled even further by the addition of a beautiful baby girl. I never dreamed that purchasing Ultima Online as a teenage would start a butterfly effect that would lead to me finding my soulmate, and lead to the creation of a perfect and fussy baby girl.

    I would be a bit of a tease if I didn’t show off a picture of the best Ultima Online loot ever….

    [​IMG]

    I feel it is also important to add that the outfit she is wearing was sent to me by a player whom I met over 6 years ago, who has become a sister to me. I met her by finding her spawning in fel several times and killing her haha. So yes, Ultima Online has been so much more than just a game to me.

    Thanks for reading!
     
    #3 Giggles, Jul 15, 2018
    Last edited: Jul 15, 2018
    Mariah UO, Becca, Ruppy2 and 18 others like this.
  4. GarthGrey

    GarthGrey Grand Inquisitor
    Stratics Veteran Stratics Legend

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    Second !!!.....only because I tucked my wife into bed halfway though typing this :p

    I never win anything and this isn't a bold tale of adventure but it is a short story of the affect this game has had on my real life. An ex girlfriend brought home the Charter Edition back in late 98 I think, I"m sure she regretted it because it eventually split us up. I was working as a Test Driver for VW/Audi where I was required to follow specific routes at night which ended in a certain amount of miles to have been driven, however the new job also coincided with a new game I was instantly hooked on. Only a week into this job I learned from others how to manipulate the system by taking my car(s) out onto I-75 and driving as far and as fast as I could, then I would hurry back home, park the car and log in to my new favorite addiction. I believe I was on CompuServ at the time with my brand new 19200 baud modem. I would start the chest opening scene, hear the music and immediately get the giddy feeling. My first character was born in Minoc and for weeks I and many others would make the naked run from the Minoc Mines to the bank, back and forth over and over, eventually getting strong enough and brave enough to travel all the way north of Minoc to the real mining area, this went on for weeks and months and never got old. Eventually CompuServ ended and I connected with AoL. Holy cow those were ugly times with constant "Goodbyes"...followed by aaaaarrrrrghhhhh!!!! by me, but I still loved it. My girlfriend had no interest in the game and spent most of her time out with her friend drinking. I was unfortunately a smoker back then and would have her pick me up a pack and a bag of Peanut Butter M&Ms, and that's all I needed, that and UO. The Ex of course became my Ex and I met my wife of now 17 years. We lived in Austin for a time which was a whole other level of giddiness considering Origin Systems was still up and running there. I got to go there one day and take a tour of the place, met Kal El and his way hot assistant whose name I can't recall, and my wife and I attended our only Player/Developer Meet. Wife won longest driving distance by a player since we had literally just moved there, and received a map autographed by all of the Devs at that time, I think it's around here somewhere. She only played UO for maybe a year but was never committed to it like I was, but she's always been supportive of me and my playtime. I was also fortunate enough to have become a Counselor (way before the unpleasantness regarding counselors) and that was some of the best times I ever had in game. I think I enjoyed helping players more than actually playing the game back then. My wife (still only my girlfriend at the time) and I moved from Austin to Las Vegas, we spent less than a year there but UO was still a heavy part of my life. My wife still brings up the fact that I was working character skills and almost made us late to our own wedding !!!, and then continued to work them right after our honeymoon was over. I"m still playing UO today, not as much as those early days, but I still enjoy it, and there's still nothing else like it.

    I know, not a great story, and there's lots of parts missing, but it's still my story...thanks for reading the short version.
     
    Ruppy2, kalexpor, Schatzi and 13 others like this.
  5. celticus

    celticus Slightly Crazed

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    Thats a gift of life!! Congrats!
     
    Mariah UO, kalexpor, Cyrah and 5 others like this.
  6. Larisa

    Larisa Publishing Manager, Stratics Leadership Team
    Editor Reporter Moderator Professional Stratics Veteran Wiki Moderator Stratics Legend Editor Fallen Lords

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    My stories are a little different...I have many typical ones...meeting great people, friends helping me GM skills back when it meant something to GM taming or Blacksmithing, joining a guild that everyone hated, being a bad-arse PK and raiding spawns all day, every day, leaving that guild to join one that was a complete opposite and eventually going through an experience that led me to write a very long story about an event that landed me a reporter position here at Stratics.

    Years later, that led me to some relationships with former devs, the most memorable was during the Haven/Blackrock events and our beloved Master of Disaster, Tim *Draconi* Cotton.

    We were in cahoots trying to jump-start the story-line that would eventually lead to the *re-birth* of New Haven and what blackrock was and what it could do.



    Saturday, April 21st, 2007 I get an ICQ....
    Draconi: Lessee now
    Draconi: explosions in Haven I hear?
    Larisa: I hear! But haven't seen! I've been there off and on all day! I was gonna message you..mister explosion man ;)
    Draconi: Well now
    Draconi: Calm Down
    Larisa: Taps foot calm down?
    Draconi: I'm sure if anything is seriously wrong they'll send in Clainin to investigate
    Draconi: No one's been harmed right? Probably just some pranksters
    Larisa: No one has been harmed YET..and I stress YET..I know these...pranksters all too well
    Draconi: Heh
    Larisa: lol I can tell you it's been a blast..no pun intended lol
    Draconi: You realize if you're the only one that posts pics, then they'll really believe we have you in our pocket :p
    Larisa: LOL most of them think so already. The evil Larisa strikes again!
    Draconi: lol
    Larisa: I have to put a little RP into my posts, I swear half those people probably think I'm insane
    Draconi: I'm going to start rotating through the shards in a bit doing some
    Draconi: Gotta run get some food first though
    Draconi: be back in 30 :)

    After he got back, we managed to find a shard that had people roaming around in Haven at 10 PM, the lucky shard? Pacific. He set off a few small explosions, sending people in Haven running around like crazy...then he set off one BIG one...the kind you get from the Crimson Dragons...I took a million screenshots and posted a little RP story on Stratics and sent the link to Draconi...which unfortunately was lost...

    I few years later I was working with Patrick "Leurocian" Malott on some mining changes, I mined for hours and recorded my data on what I mined, how often, how much etc.

    During the destruction of Magincina, Andrew *Ando* Woodruff was on Test Center blowing up Luna to see how the dynamic walls would work for the main event, which was FUN! How many of us would like to see Luna blow up? ;) and after he was done testing we sat on TC for about 2 hours just talking. After he left the UO team he went to another gaming company called Aria Games where he was developing another game which I got in on the Alpha test for.

    I went to the meet and greet in Chicago and got to meet Patrick and Jeremy, who I worked with closely when I was posting the FoF's back in the day.

    More recently I was very fortunate to be picked to test the 20th Anniversary Event Arc by Kyronix....I enjoy testing things A LOT and he saw that, I'm always on TC when new stuff comes out so I got to go through most of the event before anyone else, he rewarded me by spawning the Titans so I could see them first hand...THAT was awesome!

    In the 10 years I have been playing, working with the devs has only happened a few times, but those are the moments that I remember the most, the moments that made the game more enjoyable to me...feeling the immersion of the game, helping move it along, helping create, helping test and making friends with some of them that still last to this day.

    I look back and think about those times, how I helped evolve things or make them better, how I helped the community become more immersed in the game...the day to day game play is enjoyable to me, of course, the people I meet and things I do, but when I go to New Haven, I remember..when I go to New Magincina, I remember...when I log into facebook and see Tim posting pictures of his beautiful son, or Patrick posting silly pictures of him and his daughter, getting a box full of cookies at Christmas time from Queen Mum....UO made that happen and I am very thankful!
     
    Mariah UO, kalexpor, Schatzi and 7 others like this.
  7. Paddycat

    Paddycat Visitor

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    I started to play UO on LS December 25 th 1998. And played up until 2009. Most of my houses were bought by mining ore chopping wood, in exchange for the houses. My first house was outside Moonglow gate down from the Zoo. I can say I GMed afew guilds in those days. Mappy was who I dealt with. But first was the Tower we purchased for the first guild I was in. Sorry forget the name. One person I remember who gave me hell was Magneto. Every chance he got, he attacked me or other guildmates. I remember one day I was gathering wood and I ran across a player named Latham and, his father. We became fast friends. And are still to this day.

    My Girls

    Paddycat was my Mage/Tamer

    Willow. She was my Pure Crafter

    Miss Money Penny. She was my Necro/Mage

    Goldie. She was my miner/fishergirl


    Elfgiva she was new. She was an Elf.
     
    #7 Paddycat, Jul 17, 2018
    Last edited: Jul 17, 2018
    kalexpor, Cyrah, Larisa and 5 others like this.
  8. Paddycat

    Paddycat Visitor

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    I started to play UO on LS December 25 th 1998. And played up until 2009. Most of my houses were bought by mining ore chopping wood, in exchange for the houses. My first house was outside Moonglow gate down from the Zoo. I can say I GMed afew guilds in those days. Mappy was who I dealt with. But first was the Tower we purchased for the first guild I was in. Sorry forget the name. One person I remember who gave me hello was Magneto. Every chance he got, he attacked me or other guildmates. I remember one day I was gathering wood and I ran across a player named Latham and, his father. We became fast friends. And are still to this day. I got involved with the LS Goverment. And was asked to start a guild called Moonglow Defense Force. Many players on LS can say they were part of this Guild. I Ran a weekly Tournament that was open for all. We ran an honest game and that opened up other options for my Guild
     
    kalexpor, Trip2017, Cyrah and 4 others like this.
  9. Queen Arya

    Queen Arya Rares Fest Host | Atl Sept 2011 & June 2013
    Stratics Veteran

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    I can still hear that whining buzzing sound of AOL opening my online connection to UO.
    Christmas of 1999 my sons were given a whole new world of fantasy come alive in a virtual world called Ultima Online
    I would watch them fight Lord Oaks while fighting other players. I saw them decorate a Villa with a fish tank and couches. This was two kids who played dungeons and dragons non stop on our lanai for hours with all their friends and to see them on a screen with a virtual dragon casting spells was amazing.
    They made me a taming mage and told me I could ride a unicorn. Ok so three minutes into practicing my spells on a chicken I am yelling for help reading the screen " you are dead and can not do that"
    Ultima Online just celebrated their 20th Anniversary. I am talking 20 years. That has to mean something
    UO is like an old friend I can count on. I open my mage tamer who is currently sitting on a pretty white dog, then I open my ICQ system and UO and Stratics forums and bring myself up to date on what my event moderator, the UO Devs, my other player friends, my plants, and my houses are doing. I read we are getting a prize for the summer and my friends are telling me to get to Brit commons to claim it.
    My crafter makes a new picnic basket and we all chat about current events coming up on Atlantic shard.
    With the new release of Endless Journey on UO (free to play) I find dozens of old friends returning to the game, and I remind them that when they left I told them they would be back.
    There are also sad days on UO when I get a call my old guild master was killed in afghanistan in a helicopter crash or a house is in danger of collapsing and you know something happened to the owner but you try to save their skills on their soulstones, in case they return.
    You continue checking your plants and stock your vendors, You move a couple statues or rare items around in your house (in my case that would be frogs or toads or mushrooms and dolls) and a friend stops by and reminds you the event moderators are holding the mayor of Yew hostage and they need your help.
    You feed your pet Dog and put more bandaids and potions in your back pack and follow them through a magical gate to a massive fight with spells being cast, explosions and dead monsters and players all over the place that it looks worse than a earthquake. You start casting a resurrection spell and raising the dead. You send your pet to help kill the monster that's causing all this mayhem.
    Its just another day in UO.
     
    #9 Queen Arya, Jul 18, 2018
    Last edited: Jul 18, 2018
  10. Cinderella

    Cinderella Journeyman
    Governor

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    How has braving Britannia changed my life?

    For me that is a loaded question cause its more like how hasn't it changed me. From the very first moment I watched my cousin play I was mesmerized by what I was seeing. I didn't realize at the time how much an impact this game would have on my life. Yes I have met some amazing people, some of whom I feel like I have known a lifetime.

    My first days in Britannia I ran everywhere and I was a packrat. If I saw it on the ground, it went in my backpack. I would pick up crates not knowing they would explode and kill me every time. And silly me I kept trying to heal myself through it lol. Funny thing is one of the people that were leaving them at the bank is now a guildmate lol. Didn't know that until recently.

    I have many joyous memories in Britannia, too many to mention. I have also have had some sadness and rather craziness. I made a mistake of getting involved with someone from game. I say mistake cause in order to break it off with me, he told me he was dead. And if it wasn't for my cousins boyfriend I never would have learned the truth. Reading this you might be wondering why I said sadness, cause looking back it just saddens me to think there are people who are like that.

    About the time this happened, I was watching my cousin having multiple romances in game. And then one day there was a guy who stood out. I knew I liked him right away but my cousin decided she wanted to save me. She got him to move in with her and I had to watch how horribly she treated him. And all I could think was that he must really love her. Then one day he left and it hurt so much more than being told that someone had died.

    He was my friend for 5 years before we became a couple but a few months later I was diagnosed with cancer. His support is what I needed to win my fight against cancer. After treatment we got married and I told him that the only thing that could beat it was to get married where we first met. A few months later we returned to Britannia and he got a friend to design a wedding chapel. It just happens that was when the valentines gifts were being given out. We had other people from Europa & a couple other shards to help us get the gifts so we would have enough roses to climb up the corner of the wall like a rose bush.

    So how has braving Britannia changed my life? Honestly I wouldn't be here if it wasn't for my husband and I met him because of this game. When I first started it was dial up and I was moving very slowly. there was so many times that it would lag out and by the time we would get back in my bones would be just disappearing.... many times I would get frustrated, like when I logged in and my house was moved several screens away from where it was supposed to be. It seems people were complaining cause they couldn't pick cotton at the Skara Cotton field. I'm sorry people that cotton patch was working correctly. you just couldn't see it cause I had already picked it. my first char was a crafter and I was always doing BODs which required lots of cloth. And the cotton was just there ya know....

    Oh and one last thing I should tell you... you know you really love playing a game when you look at your dog with his ears spread wide and find yourself calling him a mongbat. Not sure who was surprised more when it first happened. now its just habit....

    ==================================================

    (now I find myself wondering if there is anything in this book about romance. I know there are other couples that met on Sonoma too)
     
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  11. Drakelord

    Drakelord Crazed Zealot
    Governor Contributor Alumni

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    Greetings Fellow Britannia!​

    We, (my daughter and I) started in 2000. It was one account by dial-up at first for several years. I had been playing the PC version of the game but we really had no Internet until a local company started selling the service. Now the game was to be my Birthday gift, but it was my daughter and wife who made most of the Characters. Let it be know it would be a few years before I would have characters on the normal shards that worn pants. Now we started the game playing on the Lake Superior shard, but my daughter saw a companion player there and asked about the program when she found that she could be a player companion she was like “yes sign me up, where or whom to contact, etc.." went to Sonoma. She was deeply sad that the program was cancel about a year later, still, it was good times for her.
    Sandstone and companion.jpg
    Now mine adventures on LS were nothing like hers on Sonoma. I managed to place a house there after working hard to purchase the deed, small island out in the bay. But she got a sandstone on Sonoma. My comrades on LS were not the ones to be online when you need help but her’s were it seem always. So I became a shadow to her, I would be asked, Dad or Mindy? For a while, we did the dual shards, me on LS, she on Sonoma, but the day came when they decided the one house one shard rule to just forget LS and move on in Sonoma. So mine LS character were sent to the Inns of the lands and I started playing on Sonoma with her.

    For several years we did the dual players to that one account. I worked nights, she worked days so it seems to the others that we were on a lot, there would be times if ask a question that we have to explain that was Dad you spoke to about that or wait that was my daughter. We had a second line install due to incoming calls, when answered, dropping our Internet connection.

    When Cable finally made it out to us is the day we were finally rid of that dial-up. Still, it was no picnic. I started on LS again, 2nd account, she stayed on Sonoma. She found out about Stratics and another love was born, the forums. She dragged me to them as well. I found that LS was not the fun place it had been when I was there before and I found myself playing more and more on Sonoma. Guilds like OTE and PAS held nightly events on Sonoma, comrades in arms at last, Character transfer was out and I moved my skilled LS characters to Sonoma. Fun times, my Paul Bunyan was the jousting champion of OTE two years running. But OTE fell into disgrace when its elders took it upon them self to created an evil guild of blue killers to attack OTE members in Felucca. The guild fell apart when word got out.

    My daughter and I moved on to PAS after this. My daughter had an itch now, the Stratics bug, she loved the stories on Stratics posted by the shard reporters, and with the Age of Shadows, her character Kimi Mori was born. She was everywhere on that shard, seeking news, posting events, she even went to Siege when the reporter there left the game to assist with getting the news out. I was the quiet one that still could only play when she was not playing, even with cable we still lacked the wifi and were locked to that one PC hooked to that cable modem. It would be another year before our cable company fixed that with a wifi modem.

    Mine daughter left the game when her 2nd child was born. Her very last event was the YMCA Story night, that very evening her water broke and it was a rush to get her to our hospital, I wrote her article for her. She really never came back after this as she felt her son needed her more, and I took over playing several of her well-trained characters.


    In 2008 my wife and I decided to take a break from the game, it would not be till 2015 that we would return, I had confessed on Facebook I had missed the game and an old friend gifted us two-three months game codes, just the wife and I. I found it to be a brand new game with so much to learn and relearn that we reopen two more accounts trying to drag my granddaughter and grandson to our world, alas they did not have Internet where they lived but I did drag one of my other kids to play, Mindy younger brother had the bug now and was playing on Sonoma.

    Today I am in PAS (People Army’s Sonoma) I am an Elder of the guild and I can recruit players into the guild. So if any of you get an itch to play UO come visit us on Sonoma.
     
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  12. Gem

    Gem Lore Master
    Stratics Veteran Stratics Legend Campaign Supporter

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    Oh Gosh...so much...

    I signed up for Beta because my two kids (in middle school at the time) had heard about it and wanted in. We played together for almost a year. Great family bonding...until they moved on to other games. I stayed. They are both over 30 now and laugh at me a little that I still play. I have saved their characters in case they decide to return :)

    I remember being thrilled when I saved up enough to buy a tent I pitched outside of Cove. (I play Great Lakes mainly). Cove Merchants Guild, right outside the gates was amazing--I was jealous. I joined a small guild with a tower at the British Crossroads. Things went nuts when the two leaders had a melt down because one turned out to be a he playing as a she. Oh the drama! After awhile I found the Fishing Council of Britannia (FCB), a cross-shard fishing guild started by two wonderful women. They let me in, and deeded it to me when they left.

    Then there was Red Devil's Auction house with big attacks by SIN. (It was all Felucca back then...)

    The lag the first year was incredible. I died often due to it as my tent was near an orc spawn. Then it got better until the day Trammel was born--now that was lag. A guild mate managed to place a large tower that day..and when he left it became the FCB Fishmarket--still there today. Come to think of it, I am still a GM Die-er :)

    I was once captured by a guild of ORCs who delightfully demanded "shinies" from me to let me go.

    Leurocian was the fisher's hero as he took us seriously and responded to our issues. There was day (short-lived) when everyone had a fisher because being a fisher made you rich! We mourned when he left. FCB sent him a thank you gift at a meet and greet :)

    I remember the Battle of Trinsic (another lagfest, that was).

    An FCB member (his name was Pitot) invented Net Tosses. They still happen today!

    I also had a thief named Honey who ran Honey's Rares Price database...no longer needed now with vendor searches...but quite a labor of time and love back in the day :) Oh the fight for the dailies every morning.

    Oh! And cross-shard trading--there are people I have traded with for many years.

    Then several of us ran a pretty committed IDOC group. Much more lucrative than fishing, I am sad to say.

    So many memories!
     
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  13. Basara

    Basara UO Forum Moderator
    Moderator Professional Governor Stratics Veteran Wiki Moderator Stratics Legend Campaign Supporter

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    I spent most of 2001 and 2002 listening to coworkers discuss the game they were playing, and thought it sounded interesting.

    When fall of 2002 rolled around, they had made the move from GL or LS, to the new Lake Austin, and they (and 3 generations of the family) had pooled resources on new accounts to get a head start on the shard. This was followed shortly afterward by AoS, and they created even more new accounts to get the AoS goodies.

    After stripping the of the hooded shroud and the like, they gave the accounts to their friends and coworkers, so in March 2003 Count Don and Tonya welcomed me and several other neophyte players into their homes outside Umbra. As we played, these veterans of UO's Beta were having to adjust to AoS just as the new players were, and in a number of cases we learned the new stuff faster, and taught the old dogs new tricks.

    I worked in RL with several of our guild, The Black Ring, during the day/afternoon, then played with them for the rest of the night, until we had to sleep for work the next day. However, mishandling of our contract at work eventually led to me, then others, being laid off. We still kept meeting in game, but as Don went to school (then later got stabbed in the back by his employer, who was paying for him to go to get his computer certs, then insisted he quit school a month before graduation to take over a tech job - he quit, since the school was already paid in full), he didn't play as much; then there family issues, etc. and the guild eventually broke up, as most of the guild shifted to Guild Wars. A few, however, stayed behind, but I lost touch with them as my own new job (as a 3rd shift security guard, then as a 12-hours-a-day drive-thru tobacco store clerk) shifted my time to play to not line up with those that remained.

    Around late 2004 or early 2005, I saw notices of people getting together for late night hunts. Originally an association of various individuals before we finally took the plunge, the Midnight Hunters Guild eventually grew to be one of the 3 largest non-Fel guilds on Lake Austin. We'd meet between Midnight Eastern and Midnight Central (depending on schedules - by this time I was working 3-4 nights a week, then after the security company down-sized, 8a to 8p 3 days a week on weekends at the tobacco store), and go exploring. We did the Ilshenar spawns regularly. We'd dive deep into Doom, Blood, and Rock dungeons (before several shifts nerfed the spawns at the latter). And, we went crazy compiling piles of Treasures of Tokuno (one departing guild member in 2015 gifted me with a castle that had over a THOUSAND TOTs, including several hundred majors, and a full set of matched honorable swords and urns). When Mondain's Legacy came along, we were soon doing a dozen Melisandes a week, and numerous Dreadhorns and Grizzles (those being much harder to get keys for). We helped each other get better housing, and most of the guild started moving together to a spot north of the mountains east of Luna.

    After a first failed attempt at an alliance (we visually caught the alliance head stealing from party loot, and he was trying to force us to be a PVP protector guild when most of us had little taste for PvP, and were on Dial-up still), we aligned with others that were more like minded. However, after a series of miscommunications, where the new alliance people didn't seem to respond (we didn't know there were real life issues at the time), we broke off again to reform an alliance that remained active until about 2014 - the Legion of Sosaria.

    The years of the Legion at its height were good times. We had an entire guild of miners who specialized in group ILSHENAR mining trips, using both prospector tools and garg picks to DELIBERATELY try to get paragon ore elementals - your rank/title was determined by the highest regular or paragon ore ele you conquered, I was the first or second to get the title for soloing a paragon valorite). Another group of our characters continued the nightly hunts, still open to all (and we even got some of the PVP guild members to join us outside Fel, when they needed a break from the chaos). My oldest character became a very unconventional head of the local THB chapter (a melee TH doing level 6s solo). THB, UBB, and others joined our alliance. We even allied DJ Sandman at one point, and a guild of Christian gamers that had their own online church meetings on Sunday nights, and occasionally adventured with us the rest of the week. And, together, the crafters in the alliance help me test out many long-held assumptions about crafting, finding many of them no longer true (if they ever were), and leading to my position rewriting the Crafting guides and FAQs on Stratics - just in time for the "Great OOPS of 2008" (I was literally making the final edit and attempt to save on the Tailoring Essay when Stratics went down).

    And, at our height, we eventually set up our own auction house as the ones that had existed from the shard's founding had slowly drifted away

    The auction house was one of the closest houses to Luna moongate. In fact, it was the most incredible fortune that we landed it. For, its spot had been one of the masses of burning wreckage that had been left when EA had banned one of the most outrageous dupers in the history of the game (he had no less than 4 houses filled with duped stuff on LA alone). It had burned for over a year, and we had began to wonder if EA had forgotten us, and was going to let it burn forever (after all, we still had leftover EM spawn from 2005 outside the walls of Luna in 2012, and the structures from that event still burn today!). Then, suddenly we heard shouts in Alliance Chat from our youngest member, the pre-teen son of our alliance chief. He had been walking into Luna from doing stuff around town, and noticed the rubble being taken down. He was met by two people (one of which might have been Mesanna), who told him if he wanted to place, to go get a placement tool. He ran back, and as he watched, every time a script kiddy appeared and tried to place on their programmed routine (the devs had been watching the pattern of names and times the characters showed up for a week), they'd banish them to UO Jail (which was quickly filling up from the popularity of the location). Once they got all the ones that would be popping in unattended for a while, they cleared the site for placement, and only a couple real characters were even there - and our Pandarus got the plot! He got the keep the lower floors for his home, while the alliance formed the Legion of Sosaria Traders (LOST), and set up the LOST auction house on the roof. The Auction ran for about 4 years, until tragedy struck.

    We knew that with an alliance with several 50-100 character guilds, we were bound to eventually lose people to more than simply loss of interest. First, we lost an entire guild or two that were players from one family, because the head of the family had gotten too sick to play, and without him, the others were not all that interested (indeed, he was the only one we saw playing most of the time). When his last house fell, we gathered what we could to memorialize him. Others had health issues, or other real life issues, and soon there were only a dozen or so players left across a dozen guilds and 60 or so characters. Then, we had the alliance leadership move to an area without internet service (and I've heard recently that when they got it back, years later, they went on to other games). I had to deal with my namesake uncle, then my father, then my brother's fiancee, all die within a year, but I persevered. We continued on, then Shard Shields came about, and we lost more people to the allure of Atlantic, and the auction failed because everyone was buying stuff on Atlantic, and no one wanted to sell anything on LA anymore. My health started failing (undiagnosed Hypertension and Type 2), one guild leader left, and another became scarce for a while, only to come back on one day and say she was dealing with stage 4 skin cancer. I never heard her fate, only that eventually, her house fell too, taking our fishing cooperative supplies (quest fish and baits). In that dark time, my grandmother passed, and my brother's mind began to go. One of my last hurrahs in that period was being the sole representative of LA at the 15th anniversary and coronation of King Blackthorn.

    By mid-2013, I had dwindled down to where I was logging in a few hours a month, once every week or two. My brother went mad in his drug use, and started attacking us, landing in jail. When he got out, he was in bad shape - we found out 3 weeks after Christmas that he was terminally ill (and had stolen my mom's identity to purchase a $4,000 car with a $30,000 loan with the help of a felonious buddy that had somehow got a dealership job). I had to help my mom deal with these issues, and almost stopped playing there. But, I still would get back into the game, but I saw so few people I knew anymore. At that time, I had a much more active friend base in a Facebook game, and it ended up taking 8 hours a day of my near-retired life, now barely fit for work as I struggled to get my conditions controlled with meds (it worked, but along the way started getting arthritic).

    After my brother died, we moved to my grandmother's place (the rest of the family knew that's what my grandmother wanted, but wouldn't allow while my brother was living). The FB game began to die, and I started to venture more and more back into UO. Eventually, when the FB game completely passed, I regrouped, and began actively searching for old friends. Eventually, I found them - the guilds that we'd previously been allied to, before the Legion of Sosaria, were still active, and I began hunting again with friends from a decade before, and for the last 3 years, have been playing for hours nearly every day. Even some of the original Black Ring are still around, and it turned out that at least one of them worked with my mother until my mother had to retire at age 75 due to health issues - and they ask about her when we meet in Luna.

    Each of the LoS guilds only have 1-2 human players left, and I have ended up as guildmaster of at least 3 guilds in the process of being the last survivor. But I won't let them die, even if I'm not quite ready to start recruiting just yet. For I still hope that, like many others over the years, that my lost family will someday back to their home in Sosaria, and we can go hunting in all the lands that have opened since they departed. UO has become my way to release tensions, to escape from the tedium of being a caretaker while barely able to take care myself some days when the joints act up. And, I will probably stay with it to the end.

    To quote one of my favorite movies' end,
    "Time counts and keeps countin', and we knows now finding the trick of what's been and lost ain't no easy ride. But that's our trek, we gotta' travel it. And there ain't nobody knows where it's gonna' lead. Still in all, every night we does the tell, so that we 'member who we was and where we came from... but most of all we 'members the man that finded us, him that came the salvage. And we lights the city, not just for him, but for all of them that are still out there. 'Cause we knows there come a night, when they sees the distant light, and they'll be comin' home.
     
    #13 Basara, Jul 22, 2018
    Last edited: Jul 22, 2018
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  14. Trip2017

    Trip2017 Visitor

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    Where to start...

    I started to play in September 1997.
    March 1998, created a guild.
    1998-2018, got twenty years older.

    Ultima was always on the background... our fellowship.

    We trained over 6500 players and made many new friends and some ingame foes.
    My play style changed from anti-pk to retired.

    Leading the guild and following great guild masters and emmys, plus interacting with players from numerous countries, since ultima is the first global community... led to a deep understanding of human nature... and myself.

    I understood my role... so I rebuilt my guild in rl... and built my own Cambridge International School... Sapienti.

    I hope everyone is having a blast playing "our" game!

    ---
    I am Pitr
    "30 Minutes With..." Archive Sticky Thread
    You can find us... in the Republic of New Magincia, Felucca, Catskills.
    ---

    "As of March 15 this year, our crew is together for 20 years.
    With some of the original 13 players still around!
    ---
    The Gentle Rest Inn was founded in 1998 and for many years it has helped many players evolve in UO and Catskills.
    ---
    page1
    ---
    Many current and former GRI still play today.
    ---
    The official birthday was March 15 1998.
    Catskills: Gentle Rest Inn - UOGuide, the Ultima Online Encyclopedia
    ---
    You can find many of the Crew at:
    https://www.facebook.com/groups/375144199240570/ "
     
    #14 Trip2017, Jul 22, 2018
    Last edited: Jul 22, 2018
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  15. GarthGrey

    GarthGrey Grand Inquisitor
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    Since it's been 7 days since the supposed deadline, I'll be that guy. Who won ? Was it cancelled because Basara's was too long ? :p or because there were only 11 entries and that makes someone a Solo loser ? I'll go ahead and take 11th place ? Oh wait, hell I haven't received a notification, maybe I DID get 11th place !!
     
  16. Riyana

    Riyana Operations
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    Hey folks! Sorry for the delay--been pretty busy IRL.

    We actually got exactly 10 eligible entries:

    @Giggles
    @GarthGrey
    @celticus
    @Paddycat
    @Queen Arya
    @Cinderella
    @Drakelord
    @Gem
    @Basara
    @Trip2017

    So everyone is a winner!

    I am getting the giveaway set up with Amazon and will be PMing each of you as soon as I have the information I need to send you. Thank you everyone for participating, and to author Wes Locher for working with us on this.
     
    petemage, kalexpor, ShriNayne and 6 others like this.
  17. JohnnyPow

    JohnnyPow Seasoned Veteran
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    Just missed it. Been out of town.

    Ill share my story soon. Thanks everyone for sharing. I thought I was the only one that felt this way about the game. It changed my life believe it or not. So many memories and friendships!!
     
  18. GarthGrey

    GarthGrey Grand Inquisitor
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    First, thank you for this. 2nd can someone from Stratics confirm if this was intended to be a Kindle e-book ? That's what Amazon is saying I'll receive even though it asked me to confirm my physical address first. It showed me the Hardcover value but apparently is sending me the Kindle, not a big deal if it's by design, but not the pick I would have made had I been given the choice....thank you. :)
     
  19. Queen Arya

    Queen Arya Rares Fest Host | Atl Sept 2011 & June 2013
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    I also want the hard cover book- I do not have a kindle acct nor a kindle- UO means a lot to me and a hard cover copy is something tangible and preferred- please help direct me to whom ever I need to call to have sent as a hard copy-thanx
     
  20. Basara

    Basara UO Forum Moderator
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    And, I already own the e-book. I was hoping for a hard copy myself.
     
  21. Riyana

    Riyana Operations
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    It was supposed to be a hard copy. Please bear with me while I try to get it straightened out with Amazon.
     
  22. Queen Arya

    Queen Arya Rares Fest Host | Atl Sept 2011 & June 2013
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    Up date.... I went into my new amazon acct ( only opened it due to this giveaway) added my address like they asked for also thinking they needed it due to shipping the hard copy- I opened a live chat under the kindle tab and they are telling me the host opted for e books options and it cant be changed- but ... BUT if I purchase the book and contact them they will refund the purchase.... I said unfortunately I see additional issues with that process and will contact stratics admins for this site and the author
     
  23. Riyana

    Riyana Operations
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    I just got off the phone with Amazon and they are telling me you guys ARE getting physical copies. That is most definitely what I purchased and that is what they are showing queued for processing. The Kindle message is supposedly a sample of the book so you can start reading it before your copy arrives. I'll let you all know if/when I get notification that anything is shipped.. Amazon says they are coming, so just hang in there for the moment.

    I thought having Amazon fulfill would be easier for all involved, but maybe not! I'm sorry for the confusion, but hey, it wouldn't be UO without a few glitches on rollout, right? ;)
     
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  24. ultimabook

    ultimabook Visitor

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    Greetings, everyone!

    A huge thank you for sharing your stories with me and the rest of the community. Writing Braving Britannia was fueled by the desire for some nostalgia in my life, and your tales shared here continued the good vibes for another week.

    I'm in the process of planning the book's sequel, so if you'd like to share your story for consideration (or another story entirely), please feel free to submit your tales/adventures/memories through this Google Form so I can review them: Braving Britannia: Story Submission Form

    While Riyana works through the technical hiccups in getting the books into your hands, feel free to stop by the website at www.bravingbritannia.com to meet the Braving Britannia's 35 amazing contributors. Once you've read the book, I hope you'll consider leaving a review on the Amazon page (https://www.amazon.com/Braving-Britannia-Adventure-Ultima-Online/dp/172185388X/) to help likeminded readers find the title.

    Safe travels to you all,
    Wes Locher
     
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  25. Gem

    Gem Lore Master
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    Thanks so much for the prize. LOL just like U.S. Soccer--a prize for every kid :)

    Seriously, I am very much looking forward to it.
     
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  26. Basara

    Basara UO Forum Moderator
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    Interestingly, I got my hard copy today in the mail - on SUNDAY.

    I finally had that "Sunday package delivery" that the US Postal Service has been mentioning for several years, actually happen. I had thought it a myth, or maybe something that only happened in large cities (instead of a mile outside a town of 1250).
     
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  27. Drakelord

    Drakelord Crazed Zealot
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    It is a hard copy
    scan0001.jpg
     
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  28. GarthGrey

    GarthGrey Grand Inquisitor
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  29. Trip2017

    Trip2017 Visitor

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    20180821_181618.jpg


    Thank you... !!!

    (insert happy Portuguese player here)
     
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  30. Riyana

    Riyana Operations
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    Thank you again to all participants and to author Wes Locher. I'm unsticking this thread now since the giveaway is complete. If you have any questions please feel free to PM me.
     
  31. Gem

    Gem Lore Master
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    I received mine--and I thank you very much :)
     
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