Ultima Online Anniversary Retrospective

Following their recent article dedicated to Ultima Online's 25th anniversary, PC Gamer now brings us another one. This new article directs us to a retrospective blog post by one Tim Cotten who at one time foiled a massive duping ring only to be reprimanded by his superiors.

Here's an excerpt:

The important point is that Cotten implemented a global hash registry on Ultima Online's rarest items, which he compares to "invisible dye" that would stain the duped items in a way only the developers could see. This code was allowed to run for a few weeks and then, with the gathered data, Cotten and his fellow devs could set about eradicating the dupes.

Except… management didn't want them to clean house. In fact, management had a pretty good point to make about this. Cotten says the reaction was something along the lines of: “Mmm, I don’t think deleting them all [the duped items] is a good idea, you’ll hurt too many players.”

"I hadn’t considered that, actually," writes Cotten. "At all. I was too excited about having accomplished my long held goal to 'catch some dupers.'" Cotten bit his tongue, told the team they would not be auto-deleting all the dupes, then spoke to Ultima Online's customer service folks.