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The sticky about free shards

LuRaviLuRavi Member Posts: 239

While, every MMORPG.com admin will freely back me up that I have never posted anything about free shards information on this shard.

I submit this observation.

While you Admin poster of MMORPG.com post a very harsh sticky posting.

Is it not a bit funny that at the recent Los Angeles Townhall Meeting, Binky the public relations person for all things Ultima Online, admitted to playing free shards to check them out and compare notes. Then he went on to comment about the tough thing about running free shards is the cost involved, he then parlayed that comment in a we should be thankful that UO has a working Dev crew who supports UO. Binky commented about the cost involved for free shards was what he read or heard talk of from the admin who were hosting those free shards.

Nowhere in Binky's comments did he say free shards were a bad thing, they simply were a thing that existed and no where did Binky say they were busy rooting out those who host free shards and seeking to shut them down. Or that there was any intention.

As well a lot of people can see with their inherent slowness in shutting down Unattended macroing of skills and harvesting of items in game, as well as their slowness in combatting exploits or correcting the damaging effects those exploits have waylaid entire shards, and the entire game since there is character transfer now.

I think its a bit funny that mmorpg.com would make such statements, whereas the official people of UO do not make such harsh statements about free shards.

I supose MMORPG.com has to present the image to remain in the possible good graces of EA in all possible ways to prevent the burning of any bridge that might hinder in some uknown way in the future.

I am just presenting how funny it was to read that sticky whenI know full well the actions of EA and UO Developers themselves. SO I supose in some way I'm just laffing at you MMORPG.com. On the other hand, I'm also sorrowfully sad at the state of Ultima Online that it has come to that way with thier utter lack and indifference to a MMORPG that they have operated for so many years and is badly hurting and I have recently come to the conclusion that Ultima Online should just be turned off completely.


  • gattm99gattm99 Member Posts: 85

    I am flabbergasted at why OSI doesn't take a more hardcore stance against player operated shards.    Especially the few that actualy offer an option to buy a premium account.  I know the operators have put alot of work into their shard, but the fact is they are making money off of someone elses work.  My assumption is that EA doesn't consider these shards to be a threat to the game, or could care so litle about the game that it just goes over their heads.  

    Something else I do not like about the player operated shards is that they fragment the dwindling commuity even more.  Why pay to play the offical game when you can play for free. 

    having said that I still am glad people are running the shards.  I think of all the multitudes of MMORPGS out there you are most likely to find a quality Role playing experience without griefers and idiots on a free shard. 

  • moleculemolecule Member Posts: 48

    There's many reasons to play the official shards instead of a free shard.

    UO players are typically addicted to their pixel crack. Free shards don't give much in the way of confidence that everything you worked for will still be there tomorrow.

    Free shards tend to have more biased admins who may favor certain players or guilds. Yes, there has been drama on the official shards, but it isn't a regular thing like on many of the free shards.

    Free shards tend to have many more irritating players than the official shards do. MANY more.

    Free shards tend to have pretty lousy performance serverwise. World saves pause the game. Free shards crash more often. The official shards have their problems, but they are generally faster and much more stable.

    Free shards that sell premium accounts give me a bad taste in my mouth. They may have worked hard on their shard, but they shouldn't profit from OSI's creation... plus, they are pushing the legalities too much... EA will take action if they hear of too many people making money from "free" shards. Nothing wrong with asking for donations to cover bandwidth and server costs, but some of these shards go overboard.

    These are generalizations. I know there are certain free shards that have great performance and will be around for long enough to satisfy the pixel crackheads, but they tend to be overrun with irritating players. You can forget RP'ing on these servers... you'd need to join an RP server for that... and they usually max out around 20 players on at a time, so you can forget a largescale social experience.

    I guess it's a mixed bag in the end.

  • RhysRhys Member Posts: 1

    Well actually, not meaning to be disrespectful, the sticky is wrong about it being illegal. As far as I know it would only be illegal if the free servers were trying to charge initial or monthly fee. And if it were illegal why would OSI be letting free shards that run with 1000+ people still run? Because that could surely be not benefiting them finacially when players are playing free shards instead of official ones.

  • PrigPrig Member Posts: 2

    Rhys, a WoW emulator was shut down before it even started.  I don't doubt that EA could stomp out all the emulators (and there are at least 8 UO emulation programs available, some good, some bad) either through legal action or pure scare tactics.

    But, the question remains.  Why hasn't EA taken any action or even threatened free shard owners or emulation projects?

    Electronics Arts has always been very business minded.  EA is not losing money because of emulators.  The majority of players on free shards are not people trying to dodge the monthly fee (these players make up the miniscule minority).  The people populating free shards are those that have seen Ultima Online undergo drastic changes that have ruined the gameplay that kept them logging in day after day and provided enough enjoyment that the subscription fee was actually worth it.  There are a few OSI clones populating the charts, though at the lowest.  The largest free shards are concotions of a multitude of OSI features and the other giants are emulating eras of pvp that have since been lost (pre uo:r, uo:r).  The other portion of free shard players enjoy customizing the shard and expirementing with role play, but these players are still not the majority and often use systems closer to diablo than UO.

    Now, these players probably wouldn't be playing the pay servers even if all the emulators were eradicated.  But, EA is still making money off of these players, even if its not a subscription.  These players love UO enough to play an outdated game on sometimes unreliable servers.  They also love UO enough to continue buying the latest clients since it is necessary to get the best gameplay and updated graphics.

    So why attack people that wouldn't be paying the subscription fee anyways, yet are still buying the new expansion to UO?

  • KoltraneKoltrane Member UncommonPosts: 1,049

    This is a topic that has been debated on other forums, particularly Ragnarok Online.  The legality of free shards is tricky because of the global aspect of the internet.  US law is difficult to enforce on a shard run by Germans, for example.  But whether the owner of the game (EA in this case) can, through legal means, technically stop a free shard is immaterial.

    MMORPG.com has been contacted by more than one publisher asking us to disallow the promotion of free shards on our boards.  We have chosen to honor the request of those who created and continue to operate the games in question.  It is not an unreasonable request by any means.

    We all know that free servers for some games exist.  Our position is that we will not be party to disseminating that information.  If you want to discuss whether or not free servers are illegal, that's fine.  If you want to advertise or request information about active free shards, this is not the place.  We respectfully ask you to keep such posts off these boards.

    Thanks for your cooperation.


    Old timer.

  • herculeshercules Member UncommonPosts: 4,922

    I been a member of many general mmorpg sites before and most quickly lose reputation as a site.

    Now mmorpg.com has imposed a few "hardline" stance like no account trading,no posting free shards,the famous eq2 vs wow threads but lets admit it this has kept the site's reputation.

  • LuRaviLuRavi Member Posts: 239

    Koltrane was EA one of those specific sites that has requested that of you?

  • arturoarturo Member Posts: 17

    of course EA requested it.

    That is how EA is combatting the problem. They tell the fan sites not to have posts about free shards, in essance making the fan site forum mods become the bad guys for EA. This also saves EA money as they don't have to pay people to crack down on the servers themselves.

    It actually is a pretty common practice, but one that shows a lack of authority. Your not strong enough to do something yourself, so you use others who have more influence and authority. :)

  • nethervoidnethervoid Member UncommonPosts: 531

    Who cares if you can't post free shard info here?  Google it!

    I play a free shard.  I do this because the pay shards suck.  I like the old ways.  Also, the new games blow.  If they were better, I'd be playing them instead.

    nethervoid - Est. '97
    24k subs YouTube Gaming channel

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