Memorable Moment Winners – Napa Valley

Once again, it is time to announce the next set of winners in the Memorable Moments Contest. Our judges enjoyed reading the 13 entries we received from the Napa Valley shard and selected 5 excellent winning entries.

Here are the 5 winning UO memories from Napa Valley:

Attack of the Reds

“Come try this game with me! You can do all kinds of things- make any kind of character that you want to play and you can get a house and decorate it!” Peering over their shoulders, I found that I was intrigued with every aspect of the game. I wanted to run those lands and fight those monsters and have as much fun as they were having…I was hooked.

My first character was created and I was told to explore and build skills with one warning from my friends, “Do NOT go into red gates, and stay away from red people. They are dangerous and will kill you and take all your items.” With this warning, I began exploring and building skills. Soon, Haven was not enough. I needed to fight stronger monsters. I was taken to Britain graveyard to work skills and to start earing gold for a house.

After many weeks of training and saving gold, I was told to go explore and see the world. I ran until my horse was out of stamina. I stopped to rest my horse, and looked around. Mountains were along my left and forest to the right. My friends looked over my shoulder and realized that I could put a house where I was at. I had not seen any creatures, except for a rat. It was the perfect place to settle and create my next character, a blacksmith. My first house was placed, a small marble workshop!
I mined and mined those first weeks, with not a care in the world. I thought I was invincible! I had handled any of the monsters that have shown up outside my house even on my miner. The day started like any other, I logged in and prepared to go mine when I thought I saw a red name on my screen. I knew this wasn’t possible as I was in Trammel, so I went about my business as usual. I mined a load of ore and recalled back to my house. I walked into my house, and out of nowhere all these red names appeared on my screen. I was surrounded and didn’t stand a chance! I was paralyzed with fear as they came into my house and my screen went gray. I had died! How were they able to come to Trammel and kill me?
I frantically called out to my friends to get their guild together and demanded that they come kill all these red players. They recalled to my house and proceeded to kill all the reds. After they resurrected me, in-between their fits of laughter, they explained that these were red npcs not players. I will always recall this memory as my most memorable moment in UO- my first encounters with reds!

Lunata was created to be a crafter.  Never a hunter, but often hunted in those early days of Napa Valley’s beginnings, she tried her best to sneak into the North Minoc Mines for her chance to acquire valuable ore and someday become a GM miner/blacksmith/tinker.  This was before valorite, insurance, sending bags, LRC , or fire/blue beetles.  Outside of towns, besides monsters were PKs…player killers intent on stealing everything from your corpse.  If you left your house, you would first go bank your house key. Losing  your key to the PKs meant they could own your house and all of its contents too. So for the first few months of her existence she would train mining in those caves, and leapfrog  the ore across the lands to a forge to smelt her ore.  No matter how careful she was,  the inevitable game of fox and hen would commence.  Lunata always….and I mean ‘ALWAYS’ ended up as the dead hen.  She would run as fast as she could on dial up modem, rarely reaching safety, and usually lose her hard earned ore as well as tools, ingots, and reagents for spells; but she was wise enough to never lose her house.

She had a brainstorm; constructed a key ring with dummy keys on it for the next PK brazen enough to take the bait. She would make keys and save them.
Any time she crafted a wooden box, she’d add the key to the ring.  Back then, there wasn’t a limit of 10 keys to a ring, so Lunata’s ring probably had a few hundred keys on them.  She lent the ring to her sister Cutty Sark, a rather daring character with not enough sense to stay out of Felucca dungeons.  You can guess what happened next.  Cutty was able to avoid the many monsters residing in the dungeon, but not escape the coldblooded red Dread Lord, PK extraordinaire, that lived to kill and loot innocent civilians.  She watched in fascination and grey tones of her corpse being liberated of belongings…including Lunata’s key ring.  Of course the PK believed he was the owner of a new home and double clicked the ring, releasing all of the keys into his backpack.  He was instantly overloaded and couldn’t even take a step out of the dungeon until he emptied each key from his backpack.  Haha…a monster saw his predicament and thought this was an opportune moment to slay him.  Short time later we were both ghosts in that dungeon, but I was never happier to be dead in game than at that memorable moment.  Crazy Lunata got her sweet revenge on one red with only her brain and no brawn.

P.S.  The Devs added a limit to key rings shortly after that incident. Darn!

My most memorable UO moment was in August 2000… just a few days after I opened my account.  My husband (boyfriend at the time) had been playing UO for about 18 months and had finally suckered me into trying it out.  He was adamantly opposed to letting me try playing on one of his characters and insisted that I had to create my own.  As a journeyman swordsman I had managed to work my skill up on stray dogs and cats in Skara Brae and was ready to journey out into the wilds on the mainland.  Killing orcs was hard work, but I had managed to earn enough gold to purchase my first horse, armor set and a good weapon.  I was so excited with my progress that I returned to the forest to continue saving up gold coins.  After another hour or so my coin purse was getting full and I decided I better get back to town to deposit my days work into the local back.  Before I made it back to the road, a murderous mage emerged from the woods and paralyzed me with his magic.  His words… “Drop gold or DIE!”  I was mortified!  All my gold, my hard work… I fought back the tears.  I could fight him couldn’t I?  But if he wins I would no doubt lose my gold plus my horse, armor and weapon.  I would be left with nothing and my whole day’s worth of hunting would be for naught.  Resigning myself to the fact that it was better to turn over my coin than risk everything, I placed my gold on the ground.
But my story does not end there… by this time my boyfriend had become aware of the robbery and was on his way.  After the would-be robber collected my gold I informed him that he should hang around a minute, there was someone I wanted him to meet.  He laughed manically as two more of his plundering crew emerged beside him.  Three reds… this could end badly.  No sooner than their laugh subsided my back-up arrived and a battle ensued.  Cracks of thunder and lighting split the silence.  The hiss of ebolts and the searing heat of flamestikes crackled through the air.  Almost as quickly as my ordeal had started, it was over.  Three red corpses lay strewn across the forest floor.  Not only did I get my gold back, but I happily collected their equipment and magical reagents.  In a moment of pure revelry, I donned one of their robes and danced around the corpses singing “look at me, don’t I look good”.  The last I heard from them as I entered the moongate back to safety was a trio of “OoOooOo Oo OOo oOO “.
12 years later and many UO memories behind me, I will never forget… “Drop gold or DIE!”

The Day that Changed the World

Won over by the descriptions of this world from my brother, and the possibility of playing a RPG with a myriad number of real people, I had to try this game out. My first time stepping onto the virtual soil of Ultima Online was just absolutely amazing, a real paradigm shift in my daily life. It was my introduction to a new world, a new way of gaming and socializing, of downright enjoyment.

I recall the awe of entering the world in Britain as Talon the Red, the top knotted fencer, and seeing a city packed with bustling citizens swarming the streets chatting and hawking product. I wandered around the cobbled streets a bit waiting to find my brother, tamed a dog to keep me company(named it after his character in jest), and waited at The King’s Men Theater for the rendezvous.

Our adventure began by heading west, crossing over Gung Farmer’s Bridge and into the outlying farmsteads, leaving the city behind. It was explained to me along the way that you can chop the trees for wood, mine the mountainside for ore, harvest the fauna for resources, all of which were needed for different career paths. He spoke excitedly of all the skills and environmental interactions, ways to earn gold, dungeons to crawl. A whole world unto itself.

The journey continued through a western mountain pass and was warned of the outlaws that roam beyond guard patrol, that we may likely end up running for our lives. Inside this pass I encountered my first giant spider, a fearsome thing, luckily on the heals of a friendly tamer. In the wood thereafter we chanced upon dilapidated ruins of crumbling stone walls and broken furniture. We were met inside by a woman who asked if we wanted some fresh cookies she had just baked. I recall thinking, ‘how bizarre’, yet exhilarated this exists in a virtual world, especially at this role playing level. After we left I believe he mentioned something about poisoning, ‘beware o’ what you eat’.

We meandered a spell, changed direction a few times, and eventually the outskirts of Skara Brae slipped into view. We traipsed into town safe and sound, a successful attempt on my first venture through the sticks. I was certainly not quite so lucky at other times.

My first day, first countryside crossing more precisely, in the Ultima Online world would have to be my Most Memorable Moment for it has stuck with me for over a decade now like it was yesterday. It was love at first sight.

After nearly 15 years of playing this game on a almost daily basis I find the project of deciding my personal most memorable moment in UO a daunting task.  I suspect for myself though I could narrow it down to about Sept of
1998 give or take a few months.  UO was in its most violent and chaotic period with PK’s and Anti’s running the lands.  People were doing all sorts on interesting things from forging alliances, building player ran towns, role playing on a scale not since seen and generally enjoying the vast amazing game that UO was and still is.

I was in the dungeon called Covetous which was a dangerous place back then rampant for PK’s coming to kill and loot people on a near constant basis.
A small group of players who were killing the various monsters and looting gold, we were not a guild and I suspect no one knew each other in the slightest.  Suddenly a random player zoomed by us attempting to leave the area but he stopped to warn us a group of PK’s were coming.  At this moment one of two things always happened, you either ran or stayed to die as winning a fight against these organized people never happened but this time was so different it changed my view of the game for ever.  The small group I was in stopped killing the harpies and moved deeper into the dungeon to an area where no creatures spawned.  A long hallway presented its self and we waited for the onslaught.

I was playing an archer as were another two players and assisting us were two magic casters but at this time in the game people at GM skill level was a rarity so the overall weight of our forces was light compared to the better skilled PK hunting teams.  Then the PK’s arrived.

They were a clear group, dressed the same and prepared but we had guts.
Our mages casted a pair of fire fields and this stopped the attacking group as the spell was much more powerful than in current UO times.  Our archers, seemingly assisted by an unknown force, targeted one of the attackers and managed to kill him in the first few seconds of the fight, AMAZING.  We pushed forward and brought the fight which I had never experienced before in the year of UO prior, victory was close.  The PK’s regrouped but they were off kilter and the battle raged with arrows, spells and randomness everywhere.  We fought and eventually a stalemate occurred to which both sides retreated but the event forever changed my view of PvP in an online game and UO as a whole. Mere moment lasted hours.

Victory, or finally not loosing, changed everything and I only wish that all the other people who left UO during those dark times had the same event occur to them as did to I.