I questioned myself on whether or not to write my farewell of Ultima Online gaming on the In Por Ylem shard. It could make me seem rather egotistical or perhaps over dramatic about this little 7 year old game we refer to as "UO". Nonetheless, I came to the conclusion it would be a shame to ignore all of the friends and experiences throughout the last year, so no matter what your opinion is or what side you take on me personally as a player - here is my own summary of what IPY meant to me and those who made it worth it.
Before I begin, let me say that I will not include anywhere near the amount of information I wish to. I will leave out several guilds, important players, events, and more because I do not possibly have the memory or time to truly summarize everything. I will most likely leave you and your guild out so try not to fit the description and become over sensitive (it isn't real you know). I made this for all of the IPY community to find at least one or two things to reminisce on and relate to. Cherish it assholes.
I was pretty heavy into Battlefield 1942 when I stumbled across news of a Pre:UOR shard with a 1998 style soon to be opened. I dug a little and found out it was being run by no other than Azaroth, a friend I had met in the OSI days when the UOGuilds network [a web hosting service] used to be around. Azaroth and myself had websites on UOG and did some work to spread the word to others, so naturally we met via IRC. I don't remember much about Az from those days, but he posted a lot of pornography on his website and I was pretty sure he hated being alive. I emailed him about my interest in IPY and he sent me a beta account user and pass. I never got around to betaing.
I ran a clan on BF1942 that was pretty well known and one of the members was King Raugh. Somehow one of us mentioned UO in Ventrilo [voice chat] and found out that we both had played. Raugh played on the Baja server, whereas I played Chesapeake, Napa Valley, Atlantic, and Great Lakes. Of course we ended up asking each other "Were you any good?" and both responded with "I fucking pwned, you probably sucked man" etc. Anyways, I told him about the new independent shard opening that was going to emulate Pre:UOR, and he was just as hyped as I was to try it out.
When IPY first started, it was a fucking hit. The news was spreading to former UO guilds and players through message boards and gaming news websites that formerly covered the first *real* MMORPG. The accounts were flooding in. Everyone was in the fucking woods chopping trees for hours or macroing in the tailor shops spamming "vender sell" through the night. Small houses started appearing around the Britain Graveyard and Moongate, and most of us were finding obscure patches of grass in the middle of nowhere to train melee. Many oldschool guilds started popping up with several recognizable names. Everyone was excited, and best of all, server saves at that point were only 3 seconds.
Eventually throughout the following couple weeks and several shard drops/reverts, mages started to GM their skills and that old school PvP feeling was slowly being ressurected in all of us. Although it wasn't exact by any means, we were happy with what we could get. Guilds were combatting each other and duels in which both opponents had horrible timing and combos took place on the regular. We were all trying to get the swing of things back.
Let me just say that the Pre-Wipe era proved to be some of the funnest times on IPY. At the same time, many bugs were being braught to attention and several server issues popped up. Really, this was all expected, and besides a few complaints and shit talking it was still fun overall for the entire community. Pre-Wipe was populated with players and guilds who actually did hardcore UO during the OSI days. Everyone was finally in one place to see who really had it and who was just text in a chatroom. None of us realized how much this was about to transform throughout the following months, but that comes into play later.
King Raugh and I had a small house on a peninsula outside of Trinsic and were pretty ahead of the game as far as skill points. When most people weren't near GM magery, we were close to 6x 90 resist and ready to start using our characters actively. There was another active player in the Trinsic area by the name of Xirri. I noticed Xirri a lot in the IPY IRC channel and he had claimed he was the first 7x character on the shard with over a million gold. No one believed him in IRC but he proved it in game. I was somewhat suspicious but I passed it off as him being a little past our characters, thinking maybe he had a few tricks up his sleeve.
Something strange started occuring with Xirri. When we ended up getting a large forge on what became [?] island, Xirri was racking up a ridiculous amount of resources. He would tell us he was setting up macros to make 30,000 ingots overnight or was going to have another million gold in the bank by morning. Raugh and I would laugh at him but he always proved us wrong. He was also at this time selling the gold for real money through IRC private messages. Every day or so in Ventrilo he had "just made 300 dollars", or some insane amount of cash. His cell phone would ring in the background and it would supposedly be someone with his phone number interested in buying gold. Although Xirri told us he had several insane macros for mules going (which was *why* he was so filthy rich) he would never explain to us how they worked when we begged him.
I forgot to mention that a man by the name of Rixus was the shard coder during Pre-Wipe. I later found out that Rixus and Xirri were friends and that he owned the 2 story house next door to our guild base on the island. It was noticable at this point that some foul play was going on behind the scenes. When Xirri started magically creating several 7x characters and selling them for "$500" and up, the corruption was more than obvious. Eventually information started to leak out and Azaroth made some comments to the everyone regarding the situation... The staff was having internal arguements and Xirri was giving Raugh and I all the details in Ventrilo. We really didn't know who to believe since everyone had a completely different story, but Xirri admitted he was being spawned millions of gold and slowly but strategically having characters skill gains altered by Rixus in which it would be difficult for fellow staff to detect. The purpose for all of this was said to be money.
After a very heated debate and many staff members angry at each other, Rixus and Xirri plus any affilliates were being banned from IPY. I remember sitting in the large forge with Raugh training archery when characters around us started disappearing.
I will not detail the reason for
the wipe of IPY because the story has so many different twists and turns that
I really have no right to since I don't know the EXACT 411 of what went down.
The point is that the shard was corrupt and it was soon decided that the best thing
for IPY was to have a complete wipe and start with a fresh clean slate and new
After the wipe, at least 75% of us swore we would not return and felt jacked out of the hours of macroing. I may be wrong but I am pretty sure 75% of us returned at some point in the near future. I was worried that the wipe would turn away new comers and diminish half of the population. I should have known better since the community just about doubled in size.
I could get into the immense details of the golden days of IPY, but lets face it - you were either there or you weren't. The main thing to note is there were between 1500-2000 players online at all times. Everywhere you went you had to be prepared to battle. It was constantly intense and most of all nothing short of a fucking blast. If you were too late to be a part of this action, no offense, but you just couldn't possibly understand.
The truth is everyone has their own biased opinion on IPY PvP [read mine below]. Instead of explaining the dynamics of what guilds existed or who was really good and who blew nuts, I have instead compiled some screenshots of the most battle active days from IPY. Enjoy.
Several will probably highly disagree with the following breakdown of the IPY PvP evolution [or de-evolution], but this is the way I saw the shard slowly become less interesting/entertaining due to the shard's changing state of players and guilds.
Old IPY, Pre Wipe - Several veteran players and guilds from all shards together at last. A fair amount of new players, but mostly old schoolers. Most PvP guilds were 5-8 people in roster size which made for great battles and actual teamwork. Naturally some whining and shit talking occured but most people were too busy fighting.
New IPY, Stage 1 - More and more players filtered in and a heavy amount of warring guilds existed. Newer field PvP strategies were created and territories were claimed as well as specific banks. Wars were taking place all around the map with much more competition in proving who was the "best". Duels were more common as the monthly and weekly tournaments [read about tourneys below] became popular. Being skilled at 1 vs 1 was necessary and practiced. Childish attitudes and spamming in IRC was getting a little more noticeable perhaps due to increased population.
Stage 2 - Guilds started to recruit a ridiculous amount of players.
I think one guild in particular decided to
recruit the entire population of planet Earth into their organization. Soon,
as a group of 20+ people is hard to fight with only 7 or 8 of your own, other guilds
decided to recruit more people as there was just no other option. Before you
knew it there were at least 6-8 war guilds that each had over 20-30 members
on their roster. Field PvP was starting to rely purely on numbers.
Flaming and claims of ganking were rampant in IRC and the forums. Duels
were being ganked and fair numbered fights were rare as one of the guilds always
ended up calling in back up instead of strategizing. Players were
becoming bitter towards each other. Claims of cheating and hacks were more popular
than ever due to timed dumps from 20 seperate combos on one player. Not to sound cocky, but the tournaments I held on a weekly basis were seriously some of the
only times you were guaranteed at least a fair duel.
IPY, Stage 3 - Slowly but surely the community of IPY started to change. Most of the old school players were disappearing by now, and a lot of the semi-good PvPers were now taking their place. The server was full of a couple great guilds, a lot of mediocre ones, and a ton of players who flat out fucking sucked. Cheap ass tactics were the new wave, and honor was close to rare be it dueling or field PvP. We all know lack of skill means a greater abundance of angry talk, so IRC spam and forum arguements regarding both PvP and some absolutely fucking retarded ideas for the shard were at an all time high. Several accounts went inactive.
IPY, Final Stage - A group of the old schoolers returned to see if UO was still worth it and a fewer number decided to stay and try to play again (including myself). Finding opponents was becoming diffcult, and when you finally did it always ended up being the same few names. Most of the players looking for PvP sat in the duel pits all day and night. The shard at this point was below average in PvP and field PvP, so lots of us resorted to going to horribly boring areas such as the Britain Graveyard to hunt out newbie reds 4 vs 10 because it was still an easy win.
The funnest events on IPY were the tournaments held the first Saturday night of each month. Finally the best could stand out from the rest and the community gathered to compete or spectate. The 1st place winners of the tournaments were offered half the entry fee pot and a single blessed black item of choice. Black dye tubs were not implemented on IPY and the color was used specifically to point out players who had won the event.
For those who don't know, well-run tournaments have always been my favorite event within UO so I spent a lot of time practicing dueling. I placed in the top 3 of every official tournament on IPY which is where I got the nickname "black blob", due to my black tribal mask, robe, shoes, cape, and apron. I received the maximum amount of items to wear and could no longer add to my outfit after winning so I ended up just going with the gold.
I decided to run my own tournaments and make it a weekly event to keep the shard as active in PvP as possible. I compiled some screenshots, videos, and more information below.
Since I am creating this summary of IPY, I obviously can choose what I get to talk about. I ran what I think was the best guild on the shard. I am sure more than half of the shard would argue otherwise. That's just fucking great.
[?] was made with the intention of being the most skilled in dueling and field PvPing on IPY, but what made our guild the best was the people behind the players. I have been in several Ventrilo channels of many guilds and most of them are full of some dead silent/insecure/nerdy/angry-at-the-world types. Our Ventrilo channel was always ridiculously humurous, friendly, and energetic. We got to know each other as personalities first, therefore making gaming together pretty easy. I can't explain how many people joined [?] to soon express to me that it was the funnest group of heads they ever ran with.
Of course our guild lost some battles and duels with expensive bets on them, and those few and far occurences are what several players cling on to and try to hold against us. In the end, no other guild stayed as active and consistent, no other guild had 80% of their players wearing black items, no other guild had new members placing in the top 3 at tournaments each and every single month for the entire duration of IPY, no other guild was accused as much of having hacked/staff-altered characters when they were completely legit (the best form of flattery), and no other guild was as persistent to agree on or challenge any guild/group to a fair tourney ruled fight at any time.
I didn't feel a need to make us a fucking guild website and brag about who we killed the night before or use forums to post screenshots with captions that weren't witty and insults that weren't insulting. We believed in proving what we had to prove in game, not outside.
Fuck what anyone else says, because that is the truth.
I am missing tons of information, tons of events, and tons of details, but I think my summary has done justice. In Por Ylem was an incredible shard run by incredible people. Azaroth put up with more shit than anyone I have met in the online world and maintained fairness. Cript, Aaralyn, Smyth, Quest, Sandman, and Sheriff worked insanely hard to help keep things in order and bring a sense of honesty and trust to the staff. Dolemite was a technical genius, and Counselor Todd was always drunk. Ravatar put in his time for coding work and helped my tournaments run on point. The WTFMan crew endorsed the shard and helped the population.
Some people will read this and feel good about IPY and moving on. Others will become angry and feel it is over biased. A few will probably call me out saying I have too much time and care too much for a game (always my favorite type of irony). Whatever it is - good. If I sparked anything, I fucking win. You read it. Now go play WoW.
As for me, I am steering away from gaming and focusing on some other things (well, you know, until...). Maybe I will see some of you soon through other forms of more evil technology. To the rest, good luck with your existence.
Thanks to Azaroth and the staff. Really though, thank you.
And everyone else in no particular order:
King Raugh, Lil
Wol, Xanatos, Xirri (this guy was awesome regardless of pre-wipe drama) Galvitron, Skull, Desire (sex plz), Solmyr, Phrost, Avernus, Drooopy,
Xivx, Power Armor, Pud S, Ravatar (rabbit car), Elmwan, Skez (never took UO too serious - learn from him), King Kye (consistent as all hell), Enigma, Famine, CrYpTiC KiLLaH,
Mastah Killa (and his accent), Syko, Cormac, Biski, Maelstrom, Fatduck, Flexx,
Sunny, Gev, Dr. Evil, Likwed, Rager, Choppa X, Big Bird, LaKKiN (his shit-talking becomes endearing after awhile), furb, MethodManX, Yahtzee Nazi, Shokun, David Miller, Lemon, Tharok,
trust me I will add more when I remember.
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it.. must.. be.. crack.