Ultima Online ain’t what it used to be. Ask anyone who began playing this widely popular massive multiplayer online role playing game (MMORPG) back in 1997 when it was first released and they’ll agree. Ultima Online was once the king of the hill in terms of MMORPGs, pre-dating Everquest, World of Warcraft, Guild Wars and most of all the other MMORPGs that are leading in subscription today. But Ultima Online’s star began to fade once the game’s developers were faced with stiff competition by other rising MMORPGs. Originally developed by Origin Systems, Ultima Online was eventually taken over by Electronic Arts, who took it in a starkly different direction from its roots. But even before the acquisition, Ultima Online’s developers have begun responding to the trends towards 3D clients and more gamer-friendly mechanics.
This was much to the chagrin of the series’ most diehard fans. Part of the thrill of the game was its intensely steep learning curve and its unforgivingly challenging environment. Constantly besieged by the threat of marauding monsters as well as fellow players, Ultima Online players were forced to stay on their toes, strategize, form alliances and adapt. Much of that changed over the years, causing many gamers to become disillusioned.
In response to the change in direction for Ultima Online, a group of Ultima Online fans developed a “classic” game server that runs independently from the commercial servers run by Electronic Arts. This is an alternate version of the game that purports to pick up where the game should have left off, instead of going down the inauspicious road that it’s on now. If you want to play Ultima Online for free, or if you just miss the good ol’ days, then Ultima Online In Por Ylem is for you.
Here’s how to get started:
Download the Ultima Online client. You can get this for free at http://download.uosecondage.com/UOSA_Client_Setup.exe
Note: If you already play the Electronic Arts (i.e. official) version of Ultima Online, your client won’t work with In Por Ylem. You’ll have to downgrade to an unpatched version.
Next, grab the Razor Client and install it. You can get it for free here:
When you run the Razor Client, make sure that you right-click it and choose “Run as administrator.”
Launch the Ulitma Online client. When prompted to add a server, use the following details:
InPorYlem – playipy.com port: 2593
You can also find IPY servers at login.uosecondage.com port 2593 and uo.abcuo.com port 2593.
From there, follow the on-screen instruction to log in and create a character.
The rest is up to you. There’s a lot to learn about Ultima Online, and now that you’re playing the hardcore version of IPY, the learning curve will be much steeper. Devote a few days to it before giving up—once you get into the game, it can be very rewarding. If you need help getting started, check out some of these resources:
Also note that, so far, there have been no efforts to bring IPY down. IPY appears to be completely legal, but no court battle has confirmed that yet. However, given the relatively small user base, it’s unlikely that this underground version of the game will attract any heat from Electronic Arts.