I have done some pretty amazing things in my life…

My digital life that is.

I started playing MMOs back in 1998, it was Ultima Online. It’s where my old alter ego Squirrel Pope was born. This was a time in MMO history much like the wild west is to american history. Freedom was king, you could do whatever you wanted, however you wanted to. We had no levels, skills were earned by using them, and at any moment you could be killed and everything you owned stolen. It was a time that most modern MMOers cant even imagine and would not have survived. Just having the best gear meant you were target number one and in all likelyhood would be dead by a gang of Player Killers (PKers). I forged out an identity with my friend Squirrel Jester (oooh squirrel theme!). We were on the Great Lakes shard and we made everyone who set foot in Destard miserable. We both played looters, for you who don’t know what a looter is, we would scour the dungeons and take the gear and loot off players who got killed. Eventually it snowballed into an artform where we would be the ones causing the deaths. Using bard skills to taunt dragons onto people or peacemaking them so they would turn on other people. I took a hankering to the herding and hiding skill. I would hide in the dungeon and herd the dragons to the door and when someone entered they insta died.

Later on OSI decided to split the game into Trammel and Felucia. In Trammel there was no PKing, no looting until the body had gone to bones (went unlooted by the owner for 5 minutes) and nothing fun. Where as Felucia was old world free for all. So of course the majority of people bailed to Trammel. New tactics were invented, and shenanigans proceedes in a new world where now were no longer had to defend our looting ways. Jester came up with the best way to stop players from looting their own bodies by making a macro to loot the body first, then provoking dragons to fight on the corpse and causing the one dragon to kil the other ontop of the guys body so he couldnt click om it to loot it. Me, kept up the herding routine and would just keep pissed off live dragons around till it went to bones then peacemake loot and hide. I also started using the damsel in distress routine. I would grab my gargoyle pickaxe and mine on valorite ore causing a valorite elemental to attack me. Then run begging for help, people always would of course and the valorite elemental was damn near unkillable. They would die i would hide and loot when it went to bones.

I did this for a long time, then i met CrazyJoe and ChaoticJelly on the Atlantic Shard and learned to be a thief. Now i know what your thinking, weren’t you already stealing? No no young one, in UO stealing was an actual skill, you could pickpocket other players. Hell you could even disarm them and steal the sword out of their hand. Of course, this type of stuff was only permitted in Felucia, but at this point UO was big and people looked for new challenges. And the wilds if Felucia were the best choice. Marks were a plenty, but sadly so were thieves. Competition was fierce. Everyone and their mother had a disarm thief it seemed. My pvp skill were lacking, especially since i had very little offense. So i looked to new endeavors, and found my calling. This calling was probably the most evil thing i have done in a game ever. I would scour ebay for people selling ingame houses. When the sale would go through i would be at the house waiting to steal the valuables that were locked down once they unlocked them to remove them. Then i would come back and do the same to the new owner. One day i got super lucky at a large tower. It had just sold on ebay for 1300.00 dollars. I showed up hidden and low and behold the old and new owner were there talking. The new owner already owned a house on this account so he was gonna put it on his other account. He told the guy his name and a password so he would know it was him. I logged on my second account created a character with the same name and raced to the location. I beat the new owner there. Gave the password and bang. The tower was transferred to me. Best part was, OSI did not condone the ebay sales and since the tower was transferred legally to me there was nothing anyone could do to me. I hung out in my new tower for a while and when the dust settled and the guy that lost 1300 dollars move on i tore down the tower, put up a buncha little houses and sold them all off on ebay and made about 2 grand.

Not long after that, many huge changes came to UO to limit thieves and looters including a binding system so gear couldn’t get stolen/looted. So i know that the current bind system is a direct result of what myself and my friends did in UO. Its kinda cool to think about. In the year 2000 i filed my tax return and had to claim my ebay sales cause they exceeded 15 thousand dollars that year. Yeah… I miss Ultima Online.

– Cortical

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