Nine full expansion packs for the MMORPG Ultima Online have been released. The first, Ultima Online: The Second Age, arrived in 1998. The most recent expansion pack is Ultima Online: Time of Legends (2015).

Expansion packs

The Second Age

Main article: Ultima Online: The Second Age

Developer(s)Origin Systems
Publisher(s)Electronic Arts
Designer(s)Raph Koster
Platform(s)Windows
ReleaseOctober 31, 1998
Genre(s)MMORPG
Mode(s)Multiplayer

Ultima Online: The Second Age was the first expansion for the Ultima Online MMORPG. The expansion added several features to the game, including a new region called the Lost Lands, new creatures, and support for player-built cities.

Renaissance

Ultima Online: Renaissance
Developer(s)Origin Systems
Publisher(s)Electronic Arts
Platform(s)Windows
ReleaseMay 4, 2000[1]
Genre(s)MMORPG
Mode(s)Multiplayer

Ultima Online: Renaissance is the second expansion to the popular Ultima Online (UO) MMORPG. Released on May 4, 2000, it added content, fixed bugs, and made gameplay changes in response to common player complaints.[citation needed]

Prior to its release, the expansion was said to double the amount of room in the game, but that it would not use a duplicate of the map, rather it would be adding new content. It was later found in the previews that Renaissance simply added a mirror world under different rules. The current map became Felucca and Trammel was created, the first one with "player vs. player killing" allowed, and the second with only consensual combat.[citation needed]

Ultima Online: Renaissance holds a 73% rating on GameRankings.[2] Renaissance received nominations for the "Massive Multiplayer/Persistent World" and "Online Gameplay" awards during the AIAS' 4th Annual Interactive Achievement Awards.[3]

Third Dawn

Ultima Online: Third Dawn
Developer(s)Origin Systems
Publisher(s)Electronic Arts
Platform(s)Windows
ReleaseMarch 26, 2001
Genre(s)MMORPG
Mode(s)Multiplayer

Ultima Online: Third Dawn, released in 2001, introduced 3D models to the Ultima Online MMORPG franchise. While the game still maintained its scaled, overhead view, the character animation was much smoother. With the introduction of the Ultima Online: Kingdom Reborn client (a more sophisticated 3D Ultima Online client), the Third Dawn client is obsolete, and no longer usable on official shards.

Even the original Ultima Online client uses a height map for terrain and three dimensions for item and character location within the world, but the newer "3D Client" introduced with Third Dawn included 3D models for all creatures. It still, however, maintains use of 2D artwork for objects. While it has an option to zoom in, it does not allow for any rotation due to the 2D artwork still incorporated, and the way the map is constructed. Some of the 2D artwork (especially walls and trees) were improved noticeably.

Ultima Online: Third Dawn received mixed reviews from critics. It holds a 66% rating on GameRankings and a 69% rating on Metacritic.[4][5]

GameSpot rated the game a 6.9 of 10 saying "Despite Third Dawn, Ultima Online still isn't easy to get into; it's an acquired taste, which many acquired back when there was nothing else available or similar."[6]

Lord Blackthorn's Revenge

Ultima Online: Lord Blackthorn's Revenge
Developer(s)Origin Systems
Publisher(s)Electronic Arts
Platform(s)Windows
Release
  • NA: February 24, 2002
  • PAL: May 3, 2002
Genre(s)MMORPG
Mode(s)Multiplayer

Ultima Online: Lord Blackthorn's Revenge (2002) was the first of the two "darker" Ultima Online MMORPG expansions (the second being Ultima Online: Age of Shadows). The game featured creatures designed by Todd McFarlane (creator of Spawn in comics). The story tells about the return of Lord Blackthorn, the corrupt noble who usurped the throne of Lord British in Ultima V: Warriors of Destiny. Included in the game box was a comic drawn by McFarlane.

The game was announced to be in development on October 31, 2001.[7]

Ultima Online: Lord Blackthorn's Revenge holds a 66% rating on GameRankings.[8] GameSpot rated the game 6.7 of 10.[9] GameZone rated the game 8.1 of 10 saying "Ultima Online: Lord Blackthorn’s Revenge has added some very strong elements to this world, making it more enjoyable and not just the hack-and-slash game it could have easily become".[10]

Age of Shadows

Ultima Online: Age of Shadows
Developer(s)Origin Systems
Publisher(s)Electronic Arts
Designer(s)Tom "Evocare" Chilton
Platform(s)Windows
ReleaseFebruary 11, 2003
Genre(s)MMORPG
Mode(s)Multiplayer

Ultima Online: Age of Shadows is the fifth expansion pack for the popular MMORPG Ultima Online. It was released on February 11, 2003 and was the last title by developer Origin Systems.

Age of Shadows introduced a new landmass to the game called Malas. Malas was designed to appear as a broken continent, with various islands and pieces of land separated from each other and connected only with bridges. The pieces of land were surrounded by stars, suggesting that Malas floats somewhere in space above the rest of the Ultima Online worlds.

The main purpose of Malas was to provide more land for player housing. Players had complained that limited open land was causing an unreasonable amount of price inflation in the community, and restricting younger players from owning houses until they had played for many months. The greatly increased land that Malas provided helped to lower the cost of housing, and gave more players the opportunity to own a home.

New item attributes and properties were added with the expansion. The new attributes allowed for hundreds of combinations of items, a drastic change from the limited possibilities before. Four elemental properties were part of the change: fire, cold, energy, and poison. If the elemental properties were high enough, items changed color to reflect elemental power. This change produced a variety of items such as blue broadswords, and orange katanas, which caused upset with traditional players who claimed that the unrealistically colored weapons detracted from the authenticity of Ultima Online (see: Criticism).

Two new character classes were added with Age of Shadows. The new Paladin character class consists mainly of the new Chivalry skill. If used in conjunction with a "Book of Chivalry", a Paladin using the skill can perform powerful techniques, such as curing poison in battle, or teleporting to a new location. These types of magical abilities were previously restricted to mages. In order to perform Chivalry techniques, a Paladin must tithe gold to a shrine in exchange for "tithing points".

The new Necromancer character class was introduced along with 16 Necromancy spells. Necromancy requires a separate group of reagents: Bat Wing, Grave Dust, Daemon Blood, Nox Crystal, and Pig Iron.

Reception

On the review aggregator GameRankings, the expansion received an average score of 71% based on 12 reviews.[11] On Metacritic, it received an average score of 74 out of 100, based on 6 reviews — indicating "mixed or average reviews".[12]

The months following the release of Age of Shadows saw a significant exodus of veteran players from Ultima Online.[citation needed] Many players insisted that the new brightly colored items detracted from the game's atmosphere strongly.[citation needed] A further, more serious criticism, was that the new item system broke Ultima Online's long-standing tradition of being skill-based in favor of an item-based system.[citation needed] This was exacerbated by the fact that the expansion's release roughly coincided in time with an increase in the subscription fee.[citation needed]

Samurai Empire

Ultima Online: Samurai Empire
Developer(s)Origin Systems
Publisher(s)Electronic Arts
Producer(s)Anthony Castoro
Designer(s)Jonathan LeCraft
Platform(s)Windows
ReleaseNovember 2, 2004
Genre(s)MMORPG
Mode(s)Multiplayer

Samurai Empire is the sixth expansion to the Ultima Online MMORPG, featuring an oriental-themed environment, allowing players to play archetypical characters the Samurai and Ninja. It also added a new area named the Tokuno Islands. It was developed and published by Electronic Arts and released on November 2, 2004.

Ultima Online: Samurai Empire holds a 63% rating on GameRankings.[13]

Mondain's Legacy

Ultima Online: Mondain's Legacy
Cover art by Michel Bohbot
Developer(s)Electronic Arts
Publisher(s)Electronic Arts
Producer(s)Jessica Lewis Lay
Designer(s)Maria Hamilton
Platform(s)Windows
ReleaseAugust 30, 2005
Genre(s)MMORPG
Mode(s)Multiplayer

Mondain's Legacy is the seventh expansion to the Ultima Online MMORPG, featuring a new playable race, elves, along with a new skill and several new dungeons. This expansion focused content more on existing and veteran players, rather than trying to draw new players. It was also the first UO expansion to only be available via digital download instead of the traditional retail box.

Stygian Abyss

Developer(s)Electronic Arts
Publisher(s)Electronic Arts
Producer(s)Calvin Crowner
Designer(s)Tim Cotten, Patrick Malott
Platform(s)Microsoft Windows
ReleaseSeptember 8, 2009
Genre(s)MMORPG
Mode(s)Multiplayer

Ultima Online: Stygian Abyss is the eighth expansion pack for the 1997 MMORPG Ultima Online. The expansion was announced prematurely on the Japanese Ultima Online website.[14] It was originally slated for release in the summer of 2007, but expected after 2008. On August 12, 2009, the official release date of September 8, 2009 was announced by Electronic Arts.[15] Ultima Online Stygian Abyss, was "re-announced", this time with art and storyline. UO Herald states that more information will be forthcoming in upcoming months.

Features

High Seas

Ultima Online: High Seas
Developer(s)Electronic Arts
Publisher(s)Electronic Arts
Platform(s)Microsoft Windows
ReleaseOctober 12, 2010
Genre(s)MMORPG
Mode(s)Multiplayer

Ultima Online: High Seas is the first and only booster pack for the game. High Seas was announced during a UO Town Hall Meeting held on August 28, 2010 at EA Mythic/Bioware's division headquarters in Fairfax, Virginia. It was introduced with the title Adventures on the High Seas but later trimmed to just High Seas. It was announced that the development team was moving to a "booster" style development process.[16][17] The stated goal was to release two boosters per year.[18] Focused on additions to fishing, sailing and the pirate skill. Four new ship types, improved ship movement, pirate NPCs to hunt, and new boss encounters are introduced along with improvements to the fishing skill like new types of fish and crustaceans to catch and an increased skill cap.[19]

Features

Time of Legends

Ultima Online: Time of Legends was released in 2015. New Areas: Shadowguard and Valley of Eodon; two new champion spawns; completing the virtue system; many new items; new skill-masteries; updates to classic housing.[20]

References

  1. ^ "GameSpot: PC News: Ultima Online: Renaissance Released". Archived from the original on 2001-06-21. Retrieved 2023-04-19.((cite web)): CS1 maint: bot: original URL status unknown (link)
  2. ^ "Ultima Online: Renaissance for PC". GameRankings. CBS Interactive. Archived from the original on 5 December 2019. Retrieved 3 January 2023.
  3. ^ "D.I.C.E. Awards By Video Game Details Ultima Online: Renaissance". interactive.org. Academy of Interactive Arts & Sciences. Retrieved 4 August 2023.
  4. ^ "Ultima Online: Third Dawn for PC". GameRankings. CBS Interactive. Archived from the original on 5 December 2019. Retrieved 3 January 2023.
  5. ^ "Ultima Online: Third Dawn PC Reviews". Metacritic. CBS Interactive. Retrieved October 5, 2019.
  6. ^ Michael E (April 2, 2001). "Ultima Online: Third Dawn Review". GameSpot. CBS Interactive. Retrieved October 5, 2019.
  7. ^ Walker, Trey (October 31, 2001). "Next Ultima Online game unveiled". GameSpot. CBS Interactive. Retrieved July 9, 2019.
  8. ^ "Ultima Online: Lord Blackthorn's Revenge for PC". GameRankings. CBS Interactive. Archived from the original on May 10, 2011. Retrieved July 9, 2019.
  9. ^ Desslock (March 26, 2002). "Ultima Online: Lord Blackthorn's Revenge". GameSpot. CBS Interactive. Archived from the original on August 25, 2003. Retrieved July 9, 2019.
  10. ^ Lafferty, Michael (March 15, 2002). "Ultima Online: Lord Blackthorn's Revenge review". Archived from the original on June 16, 2002. Retrieved September 28, 2019.
  11. ^ "Ultima Online: Age of Shadows Review". GameRankings. Retrieved 2008-03-26.
  12. ^ "Ultima Online: Age of Shadows (pc: 2003): Reviews". Metacritic. Retrieved 2008-03-26.
  13. ^ "Ultima Online: Renaissance for PC". GameRankings. CBS Interactive. Archived from the original on 5 December 2019. Retrieved 3 January 2023.
  14. ^ "「ステイジアン アビイス」(仮称)発表". Ultimaonline.jp. Archived from the original on 2011-07-22. Retrieved 2011-05-17.
  15. ^ "Stygian Abyss Launch Date Press Release". News.ea.com. 2009-08-12. Archived from the original on 2011-07-10. Retrieved 2011-05-17.
  16. ^ Belford, Andy (August 6, 2010). "Announcing the 2010 UO Town Hall!". Electronic Arts. Retrieved April 13, 2019.
  17. ^ Crowner, Calvin (September 3, 2010). "Producers Update – 9/3/10". Retrieved April 13, 2019.
  18. ^ Crowner, Calvin (September 10, 2010). "Producer's Update – 9/10/2010". Retrieved April 13, 2019.
  19. ^ "Welcome to the High Seas! – Publish 68 Notes". October 12, 2010. Retrieved April 13, 2019.
  20. ^ "What's New for UO in 2015?". YouTube. February 24, 2015. Retrieved April 13, 2019.