It’s been 27 years since the release of one of the first, and arguable most well known and popular MMO’s of all time… the one that started it all – Ultima Online. Today, Broadsword, developer of Ultima Online announced something they’ve had in the works for a while, and something the fans of been asking for for a long time: A legacy “shard” (read: server) named Ultima Online: New Legacy.
Ultima Online: New Legacy is not entirely the legacy shard that many veterans had hoped for. As Broadsword explains, “There is no magic dial to turn back Ultima Online to a specific era.” It’s not possible to choose a moment in time when UO was the game that YOU loved, before the many changes that have gone in, that shaped into what Ultima Online is today. Without giving many details, Broadsword stated that they “have expanded upon what works, redesigned what does not, and improved the game world.” What does that mean? Good question! No idea!
What we do know about New Legacy is that it’s going to be a single new shard, based in the US. It’s going to have a special custom ruleset. Unlike the other shards that are already in progress, it will presumably take out Felucca and Trammel, along with the other newer landmasses. One of the big problems with a persistent world is that they have been running for 27 years, making it difficult for new players to join. All the best gear has long since been found, riches to be had have been made, and house locations are near impossible to find. With Ultima Online: New Legacy, that will change.
With the launching of the new shard, no character transfers will be permitted to this new shard and only new character creation will be allowed. This will thwart the mad rush to the top to gain all the best loot, leveling the playing field for players new and veteran alike. The biggest feature of New Legacy is that players will be able to “write their own avatar’s story. Players will be able to earn special commendations and medals for acts of Virtues, become the subject of epic tales found in libraries throughout the realm, be memorialized as a true Britannian hero with statues, paintings, and busts…” bringing Ultima Online back to its RPG roots from the 1970s. Additionally, veterans will be excited to learn that this shard is a PVP enabled server and will use an updated Vice vs Virtue framework.
Unlike earlier shards, the Ultima Online: New Legacy shard will not continue for years on end, but will instead progress in seasons. Each season will last a year, before reaching a cataclysmic ending, clearing Britannia for an entirely new start and a new season. Players will have the ability to transfer their characters to any other shard at the conclusion of the season, in order to preserve their traits and skillsets, and will then be able to create a whole new character on the following season’s reboot of the shard.
Unfortunately, what was missing was any announcement regarding another big user request : Ultima Online coming to Steam and console. Players will have to continue to wait, but hopefully fans will be treated to a surprise at some future date.
Since New Legacy is still under development, we can expect a lot more information to be released as they progress via the UO Newsletter and via UO.com. Check out the Ultima Online: New Legacy announcement live stream announcement and the trailer below.