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I was thinking of starting to play UO but can you guys give me some info on it?
1.Is it newb friendly?
2.Hows the population?
3.Hows the game content? PVP?
1) Quite hard to get into as there is no great tutorial (such as EQ2's Isle of Refuge) to get you familiarised with the game and it's mechanics. The manual isn't very good and the official website is very out of date. UO Stratics is probably the best site to start with for information and forums.2) Dropped a bit with EQ2 and quite a bit more with WoW launch but already people are coming back from these games. It will depend which shard (server) you play on, some are busier than others.3) The world is divided up into 2, one side Trammel (Carebear Land some would call it) where there is no PvP and Felluca where PvP is allowed and outside of guard zones you could get killed at any time. Unfortunately PvPis fairly item based and without some of the higher end artifacts it can be hard to compete.
If you can get past the graphics it's an excellent game, and because of the lack of levelling it's very solo friendly. It's got by far the best house building and customisation of any MMORPG out there.
Pretty stupid question, but what can you do with boats... except for fishing in the ocean?
You can travel to places otherwise inaccessible and there is also a method of skill gaining called 8x8 involving boats and server lines, which although not illegal (unless unattended) is a crap way of gaining skills. There is no ship v. ship combat but an archer or a mage on a boat near the coast could attack someone on land.
first off, get ready for old graphics and playengine. Get past that and your playing the deepest gameplay in a MMO.
1. is it newb friendly?
yes and no. There are quests for beginners and skills are, for the most part pretty each to work to the top level. But like someone already said, there's no specific tutorial. But on the bright side, this is a good thing, you can ask people in the game your questions you have.
2. How's the pop?
Many shards are well populated. But keep in mind you are getting into a game as it is riding into the sunset, so the population will decrease slowly over time. But the game is coming up on it's eight year and EA will surely keep UO around to cash in on the tenth anniversary in 2007. Just go in with the mindset of enjoying each day in UO because the people you play with, or even yourself will one day leave UO. But this is how you should think in any MMO because they have a transient playerbase.
3. How's the game content?
There is so much to do. What do you want to do and most likely you will find it in UO. The one thing though, I always feel that is the people you play with that make a MMO the best. The game is the backdrop, the scenery. And as crappy as we say community is here in UO, it still is much better then in other games.
If you like pvp I would highly recommend Siege Perilous. It's not a huge population, but you can always find a fight. It's got some imbalance with the blessings of items (they stay with you when you die) but not as bad as the other shards with their insurance.
Hope this helps.