Time Out for Biography: Part II

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As any RPG enthusiast will know, Sanctuary, the name, was made famous by a little game called Diablo. After that game’s meteoric rise, programmers (part timers and full timers) began to develop mods and games to catch the feel of the original. Some of those new games and mods were successful. Neverwinter Nights sports a fan-made mod that recaptures Diablo (and Sanctuary) beautifully. Furthermore, games like Sacred and Titan Quest took the idea to the next level (especially Sacred, good lord ya’ll).

But an Ultima Online shard too?

Like I said, I heard about the Sanctuary shard from a fellow vampire on Krilldonia. He convinced me to give Sanctuary UO a try, and so I did. “They have a vampire race too,” he promised. I logged on, saw it, and selected “vampire” as my race.

Little did I know that decision would start a chain of negative events, and in those negative events, Isabel the Vampire was born. I don’t know why I named my character that name. It came to me. I saw her. Standing outside my window. The autumn wind whipping her black cloak open to reveal leather armor, a gaunt form, a determined tilt of the head.

The first week on Sanctuary was interesting. Vampires, like other races, had their own turf. This was true on Krilldonia as well. However, the vital difference hung on the idea that you could not protect your area from hunters. Sanctuary, in its infant stage, was a “no PVP” zone. This meant I really didn’t have to hide when I logged on; this meant others could come to the vampire dungeon, hunt, and gain wealth; this meant that boundaries didn’t really exist. The whole place was a Disneyland for all to use.

So be it.

I remember mining some interesting ores on Sanctuary. My favorite was the Black Rose ore. I made all my armor out of this ore–a purplish, black hue was its fame. Furthermore, away from crafting, the Poisoning skill allowed me to hunt aggressively early on, so poison and Isabel formed an alliance that I still use today when possible (in a game of course). Gold amassed. I was happy.

Lore was being developed, so I chimed in with some outrageously feminist-friendly lore. Weeks passed. Finally I received a response that the GM-owner wanted to use my lore on the web page. I agreed. Who wouldn’t? I was just as good (and better) than lore-definers currently writing lore for UO free shards. Why not shoot for the stars?

Houses were being built on the shard. I was asked by the GM-owner if I wanted one as a reward for writing the vampire lore. Hell, ya. In UO, you want a house. Houses on UO are an art form. Not only can they hold your crap, they also become your go-to metal forge location; they become the place you tailor, they become the place where you entertain. Houses on UO are a freaking must, else you’re just camping (but hey, nothing is wrong with that mind you).

It’s at this time that things began to unravel for me. Just as I was enjoying some success, I became the target of some staffers on Sanctuary. I am not going to talk about the things that I heard that went on backstage, but when you combine sex, friendships, and power, really bad things happen. Friendships decayed in rapid, ungodly speeds. Also, I was missing races that were scripted like on Krilldonia (which was on its last leg at this time). There was nothing so satisfying as a vampire filling up in-game bottles with red blood to use as healing potions. Sanctuary did not have this. Instead of scripts, the shard ran on the ideology that players brought the race to life, not the scripts. Sure, I can see this working in a perfect world, but in Sanctuary, it pretty much became a ticket to metagaming. No, “not all, not all, not all,” but I know my character was metagamed in such a way that her house was taken away by the GM-owner out of jealousy, and a conspiracy of sorts was in  the works to destroy the vampire race (a doom’s day of sorts).

So Isabel was a character born in a paradise (a Sanctuary perhaps), who rapidly became a veteran of calamity. So be it. Isabel was not from Sanctuary anyway. I played her as an illegal alien who came to the shard by stepping through a portal (which is exactly what you did why you signed on for the first time). I didn’t pretend the portal never happened. It was there. Sure, you could ignore it and play “legally born.” Many did.

In conclusion, I believe what became the demise of Isabel and her vampire friends was really the desire to try another shard. Fallen Ashes was a great scripted shard. Its vampire scripts were way above Krilldonia’s own. For example, once you killed a beast, you activated a script, and the beast’s natural hue would turn ashen gray. However, it turns out that FA was full of GM  snoopers. They watched you, appearing in corporal form only to warn you of infractions (just like Facebook). If you were deemed “not a team player,” you would receive bad scores on your online character sheet (think of it as a report card). Because of the rampant paranoia induced by staffers, and because of their homophobic practices (dressing you up in a pink bondage-like suit if you committed too many infractions),  I walked away.

I walked away from Sanctuary as well even as it went through its death throes. The vampires there were wiped out. I assume this was caused by a staffer playing as a character who did the mop up. I wasn’t there to see it happen. Had Isabel been there, she would of fought until the end, or….the ban.

On a positive note, had I not become a small part of Sanctuary, I might not know Isabel as I currently know her: a rebel, necromancer, philosopher. I don’t think she will be a fit for the resurrection of Sanctuary UO (currently live). Isabel knows who she is, and as is, would only bring chaos.

 

 

 

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