The Time 'Ultima Online' Created The Garden Of Eden (And Players Immediately Destroyed It)

They eradicated all wildlife so quickly that many players never even knew the game's ecosystem had ever been a thing.
The Time 'Ultima Online' Created The Garden Of Eden (And Players Immediately Destroyed It)

Ultima Online is both the granddaddy of MMOs and old enough to be the actual grandaddy of a lot of people playing MMOs nowadays. This legendary action-adventure RPG was made when ingenuity had to make up for the lack of engine capabilities and hardware infrastructure, so developers pulled some risky moves that resulted in a bunch of oversights that caused hilarious significant problems we've previously covered, such as that time when the world of Ultima got destroyed by horses (that were secretly pants),

Horse market


700K might look like a lot, but it's actually a bargain price for a doomsday weapon.

or the time when the world of Ultima got destroyed by Christmas lights. The devs did one thing really well, though, and that was the game's ecology system. Plants and trees would grow naturally, they'd drop food for herbivore animals, herbivore animals would eat, get eaten by carnivore animals that would then get eaten by carnivore plants – just like in real life. The system was perfect, and Richard “Lord British” Garriott, the creator of the game and the main mind behind it probably thought gamers would love it because RPG aficionados love gameplay depth, and this would require them to consider how to hunt without destroying the tight balance of their ecosystem. Unfortunately, however, most players didn't even get to notice the revolutionary ecology system at all because as soon as they entered the game they just murdered every animal and thus the entire ecosystem. 

players destroying wildlife


Gamers are such a weird kind, no way anyone would behave like that in the real world.

Garriott states that the atrocities committed against wildlife were so quick and so vast that there was absolutely no way they could change spawn rates in a way that would satisfy the bloodlust of players. He ended up making the only possible sensible decision: just scrapping the whole virtual ecology. Garriott claims that to this day, many players never knew that this awesome system was ever a thing.

Top Image: EA

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