I stumbled upon UO entirely by accident.
About ten years ago I found myself at a bit of a loose end and was sat at my keyboard thinking of games I had played in the past and Ultima sprang forth from my, somewhat cluttered, memory. I struggle to recall exactly which Ultima it was, for anyone who knows it was the one with the murder in Trinsic that one was supposed to solve. Anyway, I had spent many a long evening wandering around that world and it struck me that I could possibly encounter it once more.
That was when I found UO.
I had never played an online game before and it took some, rather tedious, faffing around to get the thing onto my computer, but once that was achieved what wonders awaited me...
Well, when I say wonders, I am laying it on rather thickly. For the first week of "playing" the game I had no idea what I was doing. I am being totally literal here; NO IDEA. Not simply an inability to understand the mechanics of the game, I did not even work out how to speak for several days. I once spent half an hour following someone around Haven... just walking behind them until they disappeared. Sad.
I realise that I am not coming off well at this point, but I use as my excuse that I am a bit of a duffer when it comes to technology and trust that you will show your understanding by not throwing metaphorical tomatos at me.
I will not bore you (that is, I will not bore you anymore than I am already doing, but please bear with me as I am sure it will improve... well, not entirely sure, but it cannot possibly get any worse. Can it?) with further details of my early travails, suffice it to say I was soon a GM in conversation, or what passes for it in my own limited style and really beginning to enjoy the world I had now found myself in.
For what a world it is. I encountered so many wonderful characters that I cannot even begin to name them all, mostly because of my failing memory, but I wish I could.
They were friends as real as those outside UO and I miss them.
Interestingly enough, when I first started playing UO I was constantly being told that it was a dying game and certainly not as good as it once was. I have come to the opinion that anyone who came to UO after beta missed all the really great stuff, but in the meantime I have seen and experienced amazing moments; battles, weddings, banquets, games... the people who have and continue to populate these lands possess such a wealth of ingenuity and creativity that I feel sorry for those who have never had the joy of playing UO.
As to my best bits...