Here’s a stunning announcement that older fans should have their hearts stopped with: today, Broadsword (a subsidiary of EA responsible for the once brutal world of Ultima Online) has released a trailer showing off what appears to be an expansion for Ultima Online called Ultima Online: New Legacy.
Yes, it’s real, but you should work to stem the growing excitement; there is still no news of the title making its way over to Steam, being incorporated into EA Play, getting UI upgrades that bring it into the modern era, or anything else that fans have been clamoring (and more than occasionally begging) for.
Ultimately, the news is that there will be a new shard for Ultima Online that both paid accounts and free accounts can explore. Everything else is currently hidden from public view as Broadsword appears more than content to trickle forth news slower than an ettin’s attack speed.
In an accompanying blog post (that they failed to attach to the YouTube video) Broadsword states that New Legacy will be an individualized shard where progress can not be transferred to others, with a ‘unique ruleset’ that they haven’t pulled back the curtain on.
One thing that seems certain, however, will likely be a pain to the reds: they have announced open-world PvP, but it will be based on a ‘vice versus virtue’ system which seems to infer a lack of murder for the sake of murder.
The common sentiment and understanding currently is that players will need to opt into the PvP experience.
With that massive caveat out of the way, Broadsword states that they’re attempting to reinvoke the classic sense of exploration and legacy with the new shard with custom rulesets that they are not willing to expose just yet.
They stated that while New Legacy will be rolling back UO to the classic map (before carebear-land also known as Trammel), they also cannot turn back a ‘magic dial’ to make Ultima Online what it used to be (a feat that multiple smaller, independently ran servers have managed although with the inclusion of some questionable pay to win mechanics and lopsided admins), but there is hope.
This admittedly already isn’t going to be what many have hoped for well over a decade at this point, but there is a hope that Broadsword can take heed of some player concerns while still opening the door a bit to repopulation; as the shard will offer a fresh start, it’s possible to once again dive into the wonderfully frightening world of Brittania.
Broadsword will be revealing mechanics and the oft-stated ‘custom rulesets’ in the coming weeks and months, and we’ll continue to analyze what they’re offering to keep everyone informed of whether it might actually be time to redownload the legendary MMO title that began a wild genre.