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The official Ultima Online Facebook page is pointing us to this blog article that offers up twenty "biased" reasons why Ultima Online was the greatest MMORPG ever made. The list is based on how the game played in the early 2000s, and I tend to agree with the general sentiment, so let's go ahead and quote some of these nostalgic points:
No game has ever come close to the crafting system in UO. Crafting wasn't something everyone did. It took a lot of time and a lot of work to become a craftsman. You had to dedicate your whole character to the arts, but it was worth it because UO was based around those who crafted. Because of the loot system, people fought in crafted equipment over dropped magic equipment and thus a good craftsman was essential to everyone. A maxed out craftsman also adhered their name on the equipment they made, making it known to all who the magnificent beast created such a beauty. Besides banks, blacksmith shops were the second most populated area because people depended on craftsman to repair and replace their equipment. In UO, being a great craftsman was equivalent to being a great PvPer.
No MMO has ever done stealing correctly except for UO. UO allowed players to snoop into other players bags and steal items right under their noses. Hiding and Stealth are two separate skills that had to be mastered in order to become a truly good thief. It took patience and timing, skill and luck. It was an interesting mechanic especially when you could disguise yourself as an NPC and wander around almost unnoticeable (you still had to walk like an NPC to really blend in, a feat that took some time to master). Thieves worked together in order to hit a mark, it was an unspoken rule, it literally was, we just did it.
13. Skill Customization
This leads me to the most amazing thing about UO, it was completely classless (without classification that is, though there were some classless people). You could master up to 7 skills and they could be any 7 skills you wanted. You could me an axe toting mage, a shield smashing blacksmith, you could even be absolutely worthless using skills that help no one, the point is the choice was yours. You would create special skill sets to give your character an edge in battle. It allowed for a lot of experimentation and since you didn't have to pay money to respect, you could find the perfect build for yourself.