What is it?
New Legacy is the first new shard added to Ultima Online in fifteen years!1
Currently there exists two types of shards in Ultima Online. The standard “live production shards” have consensual PVM/PVP systems by which area of the map you are currently in. The other kind is two special shards which offer expanded difficulty and PVP gameplay. New Legacy is a brand new third type of shard.
New Legacy is different as unlike the previous two types of shards that are persistent worlds which have lasted for over twenty years. It is a new custom ruleset server2 offering a ‘seasonal’ experience where the players have maybe one year to play on the currently running New Legacy shard before the shard ends.3
The shard itself will be hosted within the United States.4 The goal is to emphasize the Ultima series’ roots as a traditional RPG.5 The shard is more narrative driven with set story beginning and end points.6
Gameplay centers around forging your character’s ‘legacy’ which has item, title, and other tangible rewards7 that persists after the current New Legacy season ends, between New Legacy seasons, and also onto live servers.8 “It is kind of like writing a memoir in real time,” .9
Its release is yet to be announced.10 They will announce a release when they’re ready.11
3. https://youtu.be/7thyJjHhE6U?t=3837 , https://youtu.be/vc6cm10hPPQ?t=1969
What is it not?
This is not a ‘classic’ shard.12 Do not expect to see all new art.13 This is not a Siege Perilous ruleset shard.14 They are not appealing to a “hardcore” audience.15 The classic client will not be updated to 60 FPS for New Legacy.16
12. https://youtu.be/7thyJjHhE6U?t=3972 , https://youtu.be/vc6cm10hPPQ?t=425
What expansion level will New Legacy start at? Is this a ‘classic shard?’
This is not a ‘classic shard’ or a shard with a one to one equivalent of a shard from the game’s past.17 They are attempting to pick and choose from nostalgic elements of the game’s past to create this new experience.
Which client can we use with New Legacy?
New Legacy shards will support both the classic and enhanced clients.18
Is there an additional cost? Can EJ accounts participate?
There is no additional cost and EJ accounts can participate.19
Why are they doing this?
Famously Ultima Online was only supposed to last six months when it first debuted. Twenty-four years later the development team is launching New Legacy to ensure the game runs another twenty-four years.20 The primary intent is to recreate the nostalgia that veterans once felt when they first played UO while eliminating the barriers to entry that have been created over the past 24 years.21 “A fresh start on an original experience."22 New Legacy is intended to bring Ultima Online to a new generation of players and a modern audience.23 Developments for New Legacy may also find their way onto live shards.24 The intent is also to provide a different sense of urgency than the normal laid back pace of live servers.25 “We want to make the game easy for people to pick up whether they have not played it before, whether they have played it before, or whether they have just taken a long break.”26
20. https://youtu.be/7thyJjHhE6U?t=925 , https://youtu.be/7thyJjHhE6U?t=2055
23. https://youtu.be/7thyJjHhE6U?t=2187 , https://youtu.be/vc6cm10hPPQ?t=2400 , https://youtu.be/vc6cm10hPPQ?t=3752
How are they doing this?
The development team has created new tools behind the scenes to accomplish the systems of New Legacy. Some of these tools are already deployed on live servers.27 New Legacy will utilize the very same Classic and Enhanced clients that run the regular live servers.28 They are making plans to address overcrowding and lag when the server itself launches.29
Who is running it?
The team creating New Legacy is the regular development team with no additions. Richard Garriot is not returning to contribute.30 There will not be Event Managers (EMs) on New Legacy.31 “Basically the whole experience on New Legacy will be curated by us; as in the development team.”32 Seers and Counselors will not be on New Legacy.33
What is the lore/story/narrative like?
“Everyone is familiar with the phrase ‘during the earliest span of the age of darkness,’' which has set the stage for the world and the major conflict. They are turning the clock back on the plot to give players a new chance to forge their legacy. Examples provided included “what if virtue had never taken off as a mainstream idea in Britannia?”34 There may not be the ‘Virtues’ as a system of belief within the universe.35 “What if Britannia never had a king and was just a loose collection of city states?”36
What are the first moments in New Legacy like?
The story begins with you as an offworlder appearing in Occlo from a moongate.37 “The specific character template that you go with is going to be depending on what path you take during your first 15 minutes of adventure. Do you walk into the adventurer’s guild and take upon the great task of clearing a cemetery of ferocious undead? Or visit the blacksmith and take up the bold work of creating a mighty katana? Honing your craft over a period of time. Do you venture into the forest, picking up an axe to become a lumberjack? Choice is entirely yours and what we’ve tried to paint a picture of here is that this is about building your story. This is about writing your character’s legacy. Character creation has become this sterile, unengaged non-immersive experience where you just click buttons and look at numbers. We want to get away from that and make this about living in the world.”38
What is the gameworld like?
New Legacy will not feature the identical split facet system of ‘Trammel’ and ‘Felucca’ which serve as the switch between consensual and non-consensual PVP. There will be only one Britannian world map.39 The economy of New Legacy is designed to have players start on an even playing field with considerations made to include the last 23 years worth of virtual economy knowledge gained.40 The key component to “The Shattering” or the end of season event on New Legacy is the need to “reset the economy” and “make sure they are providing a blank canvas for every player that wants to come in and build their legacy without having to deal with the other 20 plus years of the game world.”41 They are still deciding whether or not to include insurance.42
There will be content specific to the various seasons in New Legacy like quests or items only available during winter.43 One goal is to make New Legacy feel “alive and immersive” via updates to seasons and climate.44 With the addition of ‘weather seasons’ it “opens the doors for them to create new creatures, new unique rewards, debuffs, and protections.”45 As an example, if you’re in the coldest region of the continent and lack cold weather gear like “fur lined platemail” you will “face debuffs for your choices.” The goal is to have additional pros and cons for equipment choices and thus gives opportunities to crafters.46 These ‘weather seasons’ are tied to real world seasons.47
What are weapons, armor, items, and their attributes like?
Simplifying attributes and modifications is one of their goals.48 Unlike items on live servers which emphasize numbers, weapons and armor on New Legacy emphasize keywords to describe the item’s attributes.49 For example, “let’s say you have two magical bows with the same damage type, the first bow is called an ‘accurate bow,’ and the second bow is a ‘surpassingly accurate bow.’ The accurate keyword lets us know that this bow has ‘Hit Chance Increase (HCI)’ and the surpassing keyword tells us the amount of hit chance increase that is above the base level.50 Keywords are used within the item name to define the property bonuses found on the gear.51 Part of the design goal is to get “geared up and get into the fight” quickly in the context of what gear one uses.52
They are limiting the amount of stat modifiers within the legacy rule set. “There will not be Swing Speed Increase (SSI), Lower Mana Cost (LMC), or Lower Reagent Cost (LRC).53 The ‘Mage Armor’ item property will not be found on New Legacy so “don’t get your hopes up if you want to be a mage and wear plate mail, that’s not happening.”54 Faster casting is currently not featured on gear.55
Magic users will be able to use their choice of armor between leather, bone, and a “new type” of armor called arcane leather.56 Arcane leather armor is a new style of leather armor created to “fill the gap in the parity between the meddable and non-meddable types of armor.”57 Studded, ringmail, chainmail, and plate mail will be available.58
They are planning a different approach to armor resists, separated into meddable and non-meddable types. All armor base resists have been updated based on what type they fall under. “For example, all leather, bone and arcane leather will have the same base resist values. A GM crafted piece of armor will apply the resist bonus to each of those pieces the exact same way. Magic armor that is acquired will also follow the same rules which provide a bonus to resist uniformly across the armor types. Material types will not provide any resistance bonus on New Legacy but will be a symbol of status.” This allows them to remove the values from tool tips and just use keywords for the predefined resist values.59
48. https://youtu.be/7thyJjHhE6U?t=3198 , https://youtu.be/1xAr_ITHeR4?t=1170
What will crafting/imbuing be like?
They are rethinking and redesigning a number of systems to ensure that crafters are ‘front and center.'60 “Crafters are going to be more important to the game.”61 “One of the primary goals of New Legacy will allow us the blank canvass that is required to accomplish a much more balanced relationship between looted and crafted gear.”62 They are still experimenting with whether or not to allow item insurance.63 Arcane clothing may not feature as they run up against the policy of reagent use on New Legacy.64 Bulk Order Deeds (BoDs) will still exist on New Legacy.65
What will characters be like?
Currently the plan is to limit the number of characters an account can have on New Legacy from the full amount offered on live shards.66 They are looking at having “two characters max."67 At least at the beginning no gargoyle or elf characters will be possible, only humans.68 “The benefits of the virtue system as they exist in production do not have contextual sense in New Legacy because there is stuff in there that’s just not going to transfer over."69
What is travel like?
Unlike the current game which relies heavily on recall and rune travel, they want to “rekindle that sense of exploration” and get players to move through the world.70 An example provided involves meeting a mysterious vendor in Trinsic who sells you a rune which is the jumping off point for the adventure.71 There will be limits to where you can mark runes and recalling and gating are restricted to points of interest as the jumping off point of adventures.72
There will be “some” high seas ships, depending on “what they end up doing with combat on the high seas."73
What is skill gain and usage like?
The mechanic to gain skill will be different from live shards in that in New Legacy you gain skills by performing objective based tasks as opposed to repetition of the skill.74 “You’ll participate in specific objectives that are going to reward you skill gain so you’ll get GM pretty quickly in the grand scheme of things so that you can get to the action."75
Simplification is also a goal.76 Power scrolls are still being discussed for inclusion in New Legacy.77 The full list of what skills will and will not be included is under active development but for sure they “are removing some of the skills that don’t have a place in New Legacy” in the current season, but this may change in “future seasons."78 “Item Identification and Arms Lore will be used to provide additional information for various items that we don’t necessarily want to crowd up like item property displays with.79 Forensic evaluation, begging, tracking are under evaluation to determine their benefit.80 “For New Legacy we do have an action item to evaluate spells for how they’re going to fit within the broader game world."81 “As of right now, the only available spell school will be Magery. It will not be Chivalry, Mysticism, or Necromancy.”82 “There is taming."83 There will be treasure maps and treasure hunting on New Legacy.84
74. https://youtu.be/7thyJjHhE6U?t=2461 , https://youtu.be/1xAr_ITHeR4?t=2622
76. https://youtu.be/7thyJjHhE6U?t=3334 , https://youtu.be/vc6cm10hPPQ?t=2386
What is PVP combat like?
There will be open-world PVP in a reworked Vice v. Virtue (VvV) system.85 Unlike the live servers, however, there will be an opt-in PVP system “where you have to mark yourself as ‘you want to fight’” to serve as the consensual system. “You can only attack someone that has their flag flying."86 Opting into this PVP system will have specific rewards only available through the PVP system.87 Towns will still feature safe zones.88 Guilds will opt into this new VvV and it will be a permanent decision.89 There goal is to tie PVP to their ‘objective based’ game design and they give examples like “defeating a champion in a dungeon, securing or defending a choke point on a trade route, to gathering resources for your guild mates."90 These objectives give unique rewards and recognition.91 “This land is for everyone."92 Guilds can also go to PVP war with each other outside of the VvV system.93
85. https://youtu.be/7thyJjHhE6U?t=2662 , https://youtu.be/vc6cm10hPPQ?t=1532
What is PVP thieving like?
There will be a place for PVP thieving in New Legacy.94 Their goal is to “thread the needle and provide the thief playstyle that same adrenaline rush” while giving the thief’s victim the chance to “execute some Britannian justice for themselves."95 Traditional thief skills like snooping, hiding, stealth, and stealing will be utilized as well as mechanics that introduce the role of the “fence” to have the item “cleaned” before the thief can utilize it which provides time for the victim to track the thief down.96
Will there be guilds?
They are looking into feature changes and adjustments to improve social interactions within the game.97 Enhanced Journey accounts can join guilds, but cannot be guild leaders.98
What is housing like?
Unlike current housing where all you need is the gold to buy the building and an empty plot, housing is more dynamic. It reacts to the landscape and the regions are designed to tie to Britannian cities.99 An example they gave was “I want to build a cottage in the ‘influence area’ of Trinsic,” and in order to have that right you must first prove to the city of Trinsic that “you are worthy of the grant of land” as part of the ‘objective system.’100 You can’t just plop a house down in the middle of the swamp near Trinsic that is full of monsters, you may have to first “clear those monsters out to the satisfaction of the Trinsic guard."101 You will have to “maintain the right to keep that house” in a system that is not like donating resources to the city but instead is designed around fulfilling objectives like “an incoming threat of brigands on the road” where you may have to “recover stolen goods for the city."102 House transfers between characters will be possible as long as the buyer fulfills the needed objectives.103 The “In Danger of Collapse” (IDOC) system as it currently exists on live servers will also exist on New Legacy.104 Currently only prefabricated housing/non-customizable housing is available.105
There is a “shortened decay cycle” of 28 days as opposed to 90 days.106 Smaller plots are available to individuals while larger plots are available to guilds.107 Your house on the live servers will not be impacted by housing on New Legacy and vice versa.108 EJ accounts cannot place houses on New Legacy.109 Your house will not survive the server restart/Shattering.110
99. https://youtu.be/7thyJjHhE6U?t=1980 , https://youtu.be/vc6cm10hPPQ?t=1170
108. https://youtu.be/7thyJjHhE6U?t=2564 , https://youtu.be/vc6cm10hPPQ?t=1142
109. https://youtu.be/7thyJjHhE6U?t=3178 , https://youtu.be/vc6cm10hPPQ?t=1132
What happens when the New Legacy season is over?
You will not be able to transfer to New Legacy but at the end of the shard’s season you will be given the opportunity to transfer your character off the shard and onto a live server.111 You also can choose to keep your character on New Legacy and retain their stats and skills and be ‘reborn’ in the next season “as the next generation of your legacy.112 Your “legacy is tied to your family name."113 Items your character acquires that are not marked shard bound will be able to be transferred over to live servers.114 A lot of items will be shard bound and cannot be transferred off of New Legacy when the season ends, so “if you are a hoarder, this is not the shard for you."115 Specific items that tell your story on New Legacy will transfer out to live shards.116 In an effort to reduce time sinks, skills and stats from your character on New Legacy will carry over and be “reborn” as the next generation of your character in a new season but items will not carry over.117
Is there gameplay footage or promotional trailers to view?
Yes, this is the trailer: https://youtu.be/7thyJjHhE6U?t=1882.
This shows some of the “weather seasons” in the game world: https://youtu.be/vc6cm10hPPQ?t=996.
This shows the player appearing in Ocllo via a new, more classic Ultima-style square moongate: https://youtu.be/1xAr_ITHeR4?t=870.
This shows the development team doing a playtest at a “orc champ spawn” on Ocllo island: https://youtu.be/1xAr_ITHeR4?t=945.
What concrete examples of the objective based New Legacy systems have we seen?
By examining some of the gameplay moments from the third developer live stream we can make a few guesses. First, arriving in Ocllo gives the player a new GUMP to pick their family surname.118
An NPC leads the hunting party in Ocllo to their objective from a pop-up text box which then gives a new type of quest-accept GUMP.119
Lore pages seem to be rewards from the Orc Fort champion spawn test. They’re seen on the ground after the fight and we see them placed into books of lore.120
What, if any, new art have we seen?
The seasonal weather changing system:
A square moongate:
We also recommend you view the official New Legacy FAQ hosted on https://uo.com/ultima-online-new-legacy/ .
View the previous New Legacy Newsletters:
News Letter #1 https://mailchi.mp/broadsword/uo-nls-newsletter-1?e=70ac293754
News Letter #2 https://mailchi.mp/broadsword/ultima-online-newsletter-2?e=70ac293754
News Letter #3 https://mailchi.mp/broadsword/uo-newsletter-3?e=70ac293754
News Letter #4 https://mailchi.mp/broadsword/uo-newsletter-4?e=70ac293754
News Letter #5 https://mailchi.mp/broadsword/nls-newsletter-5?e=70ac293754
News Letter #6 https://mailchi.mp/broadsword/nls-newsletter-6?e=70ac293754
News Letter #7 https://mailchi.mp/broadsword/uo-newsletter-7?e=70ac293754
News Letter #8 https://mailchi.mp/broadsword/uo-newsletter-8?e=70ac293754
News Letter #9 https://mailchi.mp/broadsword/uo-newsletter-9?e=70ac293754