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 Post subject: I-C History
PostPosted: Fri Jun 17, 2011 1:49 pm 
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MOTODEAMON

Joined: Sat Dec 27, 2003 10:05 am
Posts: 6109
Edit (August 2015) I killed all the pictures by cancelling my hosting, bit gutted it ruined this. Still have them all so will re-add at some point. In meantime all I-C pics here:
https://www.flickr.com/photos/134211121@N04/page1
Edit (Feb 2018) Decided it was time I fixed the pictures.

20/04/2011
A history of our guild I wrote initially in 2006 that I'm finally getting around to checking over and updating in 2011. The parts where I wasn't active in game obviously have less written than when I was actually playing, until someone else fills in the gaps.

P16 early months:

I-C(Infernal Covenant, or Infernal Covenant of the Damned to give the original full guild-stone name)was formed in August 2002 on the Europa shard of Ultima Online, shortly after publish 16 was introduced. The guild aim at it's inception was quite simple: To form a small efficient group of player killers not afraid to take murder counts in or out of statloss.

The founding members were Calix, Nixon and Slamer. Despite very different backgrounds in the game, we'd bonded well as part of the ELR(Evil Llama Riders) guild. ELR was anything but the efficient guild we wanted to build, despite having many players with a lot of individual talent. Once the guild became embroiled deeply in the EPK(Europa Player Killers, basically a huge, unorganised gank PK guild, formed as a coalition of existing red guilds) we saw a perfect opportunity to branch off and create our own group.

A major problem for us back then was we were all still played on dial-up internet, at a point where the vast majority of UO players were now on broadband. This made such a huge difference in UO at this time. Our first new members also predominately lacked broadband connections. Joining us in the first few months of the guild were Benn, Padaxus, Cyric, Mallet, Silke and Sonez, all from the ELR guild. Villa also joined us at this time, a friend from Nixon's role play days.

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For these early months we were generally happy with small successes. The champion spawn dungeons were full of blues with tens if not hundreds of players on screen at any time, and our dial-up connections weren't best suited to such conditions. We did manage several successful raids on the dungeons, but PK guilds taking and controlling champ spawns was unheard of on Europa at this stage, the amount of players on blues was simply too high. Red guilds were very few and far between. Europa's recognised and established Order/Chaos and Factions guilds all stuck to playing blues and competing for spawns rather than engaging in what p16 was made for - Player conflict and territorial control.

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Around this time we also got into a small war with the DDi/Del guild(Delucian Defence Initiative), one of the bigger, more successful factions guilds. Most of the action seemed to take place on the message boards rather than in game, but we did have a few amusing encounters with them near to the PHT guild house where it was proven they were either rusty from being out of the game for a while, or just plain sucked.

The main red guilds on Europa at this time were all small. EPK did carry on for a while but it's influence and numbers gradually waned, and it's primary guilds - PHT and ELR - returned to their independent states and guild stones. Alongside these two guilds were I-C, NDR and -T-(Mark-o's guild who I believe changed name a few times)and Vem. None of these guilds boasted more than 10 members max, and so rarely were seen in the field with more than 5 players. Vem(Polish players recently moved over from Siege Perilous) were probably the best guild on the shard at this time, regularly beating us as well as the remaining recognised 'old' PvP guilds.

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Of all these guilds, only the -T- group were real established members of the Europa PvP community, so it was left to upstart guilds, with people relatively new to PvP or the shard upholding the PK 'tradition' whilst the recognised PvP guilds grubbed around for money and scrolls on their blues. I can't imagine they were having anywhere near as much fun as we were. I believe all the above mentioned guilds except for ELR also engaged in statloss PKing as well as the new style dungeon PKing that didn't incur statloss.

We were generally on friendly terms with PHT during this stage but our relationship with the ELR guild was heated at best, mainly due to their GM(Piourk) insisting that the breakup of EPK was our fault, for leaving and creating I-C. As mentioned above, the Vem guild were probably our toughest opponents and occasional allies.

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Around this time Nixon managed to res my favourite 7x scribe mage deep in statloss after dying to Munky of all people, which I'll continue to remind him of forever.

I owned the house outside of Dungeon Shame and this became our informal headquarters as we laid claim to Shame itself. In the early days our only victims there were the occasional monster hunters, but as our claim on the dungeon became known, PvP guilds gradually migrated to the dungeon to fight us. We had many memorable fights at the location with guilds such as C*C(CoM Core, a faction guild), 6I6(The most 'well-known' PvP guild on the shard from before p16) and NDR. occasionally small groups of I-C would team up with a few NDR to raid a bigger, champ spawn dungeon.

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We'd been together 3 months or so when we recruited some new members. Zole, a friend of Slamer's from factions and Senji, an ex EPK player who generally ran solo. Nixon had escaped dial-up by this time and we were developing a solid, skilled group. Buster also joined us around this time, another ex EPK player.

December 2002 - AoS launch:

During the first few months we'd been together as a guild, our in game performances were gradually improving, but the main thing that bound us together as a strong unit was that we used an IRC channel to organise and just for general banter. It's amazing to say now in the days of voice software of some kind being almost essential for all gaming guilds, but back then just being in an IRC channel made us a closer and more organised group than any of our opponents, who generally just relied on ICQ to communicate. The entire guild was usually in IRC for at least some time during everyday, even when we weren't actively playing UO.

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We'd also started sharing our UO account information with each other, another sign that we were growing from just being a UO guild into a real group of friends.
During this period we added a few more members: Ingo(Cyric's brother), as well as Future/FC and Art, another member stolen from ELR.

A guild we started having a lot to do with during this time were EEV(Ethereal Veterans of Europa), they were a blue guild just starting to get into PvP at this time. A lot of our members had history with them in the game, and we were on very good terms, often setting up pre-arranged fights with them, for practice and fun.
We also took our first two failed trial members Jun Kai and Rare Collector.
Rare Collector was someone we had reservations about due to his history in game, but we were willing to give him a chance due to his links with a few of our members. He was actually a very good PK, a lot better than most people on Europa will ever give him credit for, but in the end his mouth/ego let him down. Whenever we died, he blamed everyone but himself, he would shit talk respected opponents, and generally we just didn't feel he was someone we'd trust with our account details, which was always something we took into consideration when accepting a new member into the guild on a permanent basis.

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Jun Kai was another good player, I met him in the Terathan Keep where we were both solo PKing, and he seemed a good guy. The only reason he was rejected from the guild is he refused to get involved in any out of game activity. He didn't post on the message boards, wouldn't come into IRC..the only way any of us could communicate with him was when he would come by the guild house to see if any of us were around and PKing.

During this period Zole started to develop his reputation as one of the better PvPers around, despite being on dialup. He played a niche template, using barding skills to enable him to use a fire-horn on a mage PK template. This proved very effective and certainly played a large part in his and our rising profiles on the shard.

The main in game event I recall from this period was X Lord X(Probably the most well known PvPer on the shard and GM of the 6i6 guild) was married in game to some girl at a GM led event at the Hedge Maze. Nixon was contacted by X Lord X to see if we would arrange to protect the event from any 'griefers' by taking our reds to the wedding itself, for a fee. We of course agreed this, but upon the guys turning up(Present were Nixon, Silke, Slamer, Buster and Rare Collector I believe) they were instantly attacked by 6i6 and others, prompting them to return in alliance with the DJs(Deathjesters) and PHT guilds and attack the wedding. I think it said a lot about the state of Europa PvP at the time that they only guilds prepared to go there and take counts were the DJs and two 'upstart' guilds like I-C and PHT. The rest of the PvP community sat around playing happy families on their blues.

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At this stage the Age of Shadows UO expansion had been announced, and the very thought of the problems and changes it would bring took a lot of us, myself included, into UO retirement. The last few I-C members played on for a month or so, until at one point only Senji and Villa remained active and they joined PHT, our old allies.

AoS March 2003 - November 2003

When the AoS UO expansion launched in March 2003, I-C hadn't existed as an active UO guild for over a month. We still had the IRC channel and most of us used it daily, but those that still played UO were part of more active guilds, Villa now in EEV and Senji in PHT. The rest of us had deactivated our accounts in disillusionment at the proposed AoS changes.

When it became apparent the AoS changes didn't change the most important things - we could still PK and grief people, we gradually drifted back into the game.

Nixon was one of the first to reactivate and he resurrected the guild mostly on his own. He recruited Kzar, who was a Felucca based Role-player we'd met in p16, and Kashar, who many of our members knew from their own role-play days. Noxin and Wild also joined at this time, well known RP PvPers. Wild was making a return to PKing after years away, and Noxin gaining his first experience of it.

At this point I believe everyone bar myself now had broadband, so we were on much more of a level playing field with our opponents, despite some of the imbalances that AoS brought. Due to my lack of broadband, I personally didn't return to UO until May 2003.

Between AoS launch and my return to the game, Nixon had built an impressive PvP guild out of the rebuilt I-C. Almost everyone had returned, and people such as Cyric, Zole and Sonez were building reputations as some of the most dangerous PvPers around. Together with effective team oriented mages such as Benn, Nixon, Kashar Senji and Noxin - and an effective dexxer in Villa.

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The guild was winning far more fights than it was losing, and perhaps because of this was attracting more applications from prospective members. The pick of these was Zim Zum, of PHT at the time, but quickly building himself a reputation as a top PvPer. We'd fought against him often in Destard during p16, but he had thrived in AoS, and once added to the guild strengthened our team greatly.

In one particular fight that really proved how the balance of power on the shard was shifting, Nixon and Zim embarrassed the once mighty 6i6 guild, killing 5 of them, leaving all corpses on one screen, perfect screenshot material which ended up on our(and their) forum. This of course added to the guild's reputation, and our public message board gradually became the main centre of PvP discussion for the shard. My own personal contribution to the guild at this time was much more in forum politics and propaganda than actually in game!

Another development since AoS launch was the evolution of our old friendly adversaries, EEV from a blue champ spawn guild into a red murderer guild. They were still involved in the champ spawn scene and now claimed dungeon Deceit as their own. We were involved in many classic fights against guilds such as C*C and NDK whilst helping to defend this dungeon.

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C*C were the last major factions guild left after AoS, and quickly became one of the most well equipped and dangerous guilds around. NDR had also progressed, adding many new members, whilst their core(who were always generally dexxers) were now strengthened by the new special moves AoS had introduced.

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ELR were also still an active guild and our rivalry continued, although now results tended to be even more slanted in our favour than ever before, thanks at least in part to the tactics their GM - Piourk - continued to employ despite repeated failures. They still had many individually talented players, but their unorganisation as a group led them to continue losing players to other guilds throughout AoS. we often joked about ELR being our 'feeder' guild and in reality it was quite true. Alderis joined us from ELR a few months into AoS, continuing the tradition.

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One of us(I forget who) managed to gain access to their private message board at one point, and it contained hilarious threads such as "Do you use party bars or not".

Other enemies during this time period were Marko and Armstrong's faction guild DiE as well as their PK offshoot guild [hi!]. The PK side contained many old enemies from p16 such as Lady Peekay, and Dark Galleon(Who later played as I-C in Shadowbane). The DiE guild were generally very effective but small, they were quick to exploit AoS items to their fullest and also made use of every new bug the expansion had brought in, chief among them 'Tele-bug', where you could cast teleport on yourself and be instantly taken away from the dungeons or lost lands(where you could no longer recall or gate).

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DJs were very similar, at this stage had probably the biggest item advantage on the shard(Coma White comes to mind), but were an effective small group. Vem were also still around, although on what seemed a more part-time basis than in p16.

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Our comedy enemy of this time were SdP/SdF, a guild primarily made up of 15-16 year old kids that hung out at the tunnel to Delucia. We beat them in near 100% of fights, and took screenshots to post on our public forum where they were very vocal, knowing they would react, and badly. This UO war eventually turned into more of a forum war between certain I-C members and SdF, which culminated in Noxin creating the infamous 'Kung Fu' video involving Pain(Sdf GM)and his Kung Fu instructors involved in various ball-grabbing techniques. You'd have to read the threads and see the video to understand. I wish I still had it. They eventually joined ELR, the logical choice for two of our weaker enemies to band together.

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Our public forum at this time had become so active at this time that I took the decision to convert it into 'Europa Felucca Community' board. I hoped to get participation from not just the PvPers but the role-players and merchants left on the facet also, and this was relatively successful. For a year or so the board was very active, and quite hilarious, with people posting from all the major guilds. It seemed to become something of an obsession for trammel players as well, with hundreds of complaints about the topics on the board going to the administrators of the site where the board was hosted.

Guilds such as UCH, 0B0, AB and CHu were generally classed more as victims than opponents, being primarily blue champ spawn guilds that avoided PvP whenever possible.

Another emerging guild was AoS, made up of trammel players new to Felucca, but armed with multiple artifacts each, making them increasingly difficult opponents as they began to get better at PvP. They were led by Athena, who played exclusively dex based characters, 'gimped' to allow him to kill most people in 1-2 hits.

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Most of the old PvP guilds made some effort to establish themselves in AoS, but many couldn't or wouldn't adapt, and gradually drifted away from the game. The guilds mentioned above were the main forces on the shard during this time period. Four to five months into AoS, the bug that had kept most of the insanely overpowered doom artifact out of Felucca was fixed, and they gradually began flooding into PvP, mostly into the hands of the monster hunting guilds who were happy to spend hours in a trammel ruleset mindlessly bashing monsters, something we and most of the other PvP guilds weren't prepared to do.

The fun in the game began to decline for us once people such as Bad Angel of UCH gained artifacts allowing them to cast at FC4 whilst we all had FC2.

Zim Zum and Senji had formed an impressive partnership at this time and were probably the two most well known and respected PKs across the shard. They were also making an impact in factions, regularly winning fights with their fc2 characters verus players with fc4, a near impossibility.

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Zole was by this point known as one of the best players around, being one of the first people to use the LMC item attribute, and as in p16, inventing unique and effective templates.
It was also around this time that housing decay was turned back on(It had been turned off due to the World Trade Centre attack), and obviously two years worth of deactivated account's housing fell at once. This made for a night of crazy IDOC fights, and we managed to secure almost the entire area around our guild house, owning a town north of Skara Brae involving 27 individual houses. Our merchant friends Terry and Petra also ran a shop selling PvP supplies right in the heart of our town.

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Slamer had also created something of a shard treasure with his house at Destard entrance. It was setup in such a way as to trap players inside once they had entered - surrounded by lured creatures from the nearby swamp. Most of the shard died there at least once before realising their mistake.

One of of favourite guild memories occured during this time period. Nixon had developed quite a reputation as a 'neighbour griefer' - wherever he lived he ended up killing his neighbours daily, which usually culminated with them moving out. At this particular time he was living on Ice Island, not far from Deceit entrance.

Some new neighbours moved in once he'd been there some time. So of course Nixon decided to welcome them to the neighbourhood by PKing and res-killing them. We went on our PK rounds for the evening, but when Nixon returned ready to log off, he found multiple Energy Vortexes and Blade Spirits awaiting him in his house, and his new neighbours appeared with spells prepped and weapons ready. Of course, the I-C cavalry was called in and the trammel neighbours quickly dispatched.

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The next evening Nixon logged in to the same scene, these new neighbours(4-5 of them seemed to be living in the same house)were outside his house. They were all killed again of course, and soon their attitude changed from aggressive to pleading.

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As a guild we were always prepared to come to an arrangement with weaker players - if there was some profit to be gained for ourselves. A token price was demanded for these players to be 'left alone', which they refused to pay. They all died again, and this is where the comedy ensued. One of their number informed us a Game Master was his friend and on his way to ban us all because "Killing people is illegal in UO". Another stated "I'm in the RAF and they will bomb your houses when a GM gets your IP" It actually seemed like he was serious - he was that angry.

They died a few more times each that night I think, and at some point one of us managed to get friended to their house and access us all to it...I forget how this happened. Eventually we were presented with a UO in game book, written by the apparent leader of these players, Katie. It stated our list of supposed crimes, how we had ruined the game for her, and what she was prepared to pay for us to leave her alone.

I forget what else occurred, but eventually they moved away, but not before one of their more outspoken members(Reborn Gremlin, who will appear again a few years later) asked if he could join our ranks. Sonez and Nixon duly gave him a chance, asking 500k for the honour of dueling Sonez (the guys knowing full well he could not win). Victory meant he could join, defeat meant he could not. Of course he lost, but was offered a chance to fight again - for a further 100k. He proceeded to die again in under 5 seconds, and we had gained another enemy who would appear again and again over the years!

We also managed to cause a lot of controversy in the still semi-active Faction scene by taking our Reds to faction fights, and generally griefing the faction guilds we disliked. This prompted a reaction on EFC from none other than Actual Fantasy/Aiken Drum, one of the more prominent True Britannian members, who claimed we should be banned from the game for interfering in faction combat on non-faction chars.

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[img]http:/www.griefed.net/clxx/UO/senji/eu/EllisDee.jpg[/img]

A while into this new 'artifact' era, there were fewer and fewer reds on the shard. The shard was infested with blue champ hunt guilds awash with artifacts. People who were purely interested in PvP such as ourselves were at an ever increasing disadvantage because we didn't go to Dungeon Doom and monster bash. We spent our time PvPing. After a few nights of finding ourselves fighting upwards of 40 artifact-equipped blues wherever we went, ourselves and EEV, both capable of fielding 10-11 players at peak, decided to ally. The objective was simply to give ourselves a better chance in fights. Not to dominate the shard, or work spawns together, as our enemies claimed. Both guilds had found themselves increasingly outnumbered and out-itemed over the previous weeks. PHT were also involved in this alliance, but at the time Kristoff was their only active player.

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Our alliance did tip the balance in our favour. The blue gank seemed to break apart a little once they started losing fights, and soon the message boards complaints began about our own numbers. This went on for at most two weeks before another alliance formed out of the ELR, AoS and DJs guilds. The C*C guild could also be included in this as they were often involved in their fights due to many of their members having alternate characters in the DJs guild. This alliance had formed supposedly to combat that of I-C & EEV, but they were also doing many harrowers with their new found numbers to control it. ELR were their cannon fodder and provided most of their reds, and AoS and DJs provided all the itemed out characters, mostly controlled by poor players, thankfully.

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A huge 40 man fight occurred in Deceit one night at the height of this. All guilds were involved, I-C, EEV PHT(Well, Kristoff) on one side, and ELR, DJs and AoS on another. In the initial encounter close to the champ spawn we were all killed very quickly...this was probably the first time we had encountered large amounts of players with FC3-4 all together and it showed.

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We regrouped and returned to Deceit, killing the majority of them before the remaining(Including ELR GM Piourk) fled the dungeon. Presumably we were lucky enough to catch them by surprise. We made the mistake of remaining inside the dungeon at the exact location of our victory, hoping for another fight, just as they had done - and their alliance soon returned and won the third and final fight of the 'Battle of Deceit'

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Looking back now i'm amazed to see how well we did in winning one fight, two guilds of poorly itemed players, all with faster casting of 2, against 3 guilds with at least 5 FC4 and numerous other FC3 players between them, as well as the two most dangerous and artifact-laden dexxers on the shard, Athena and Slacher.

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A few nights later the alliances again clashed over an IDOC house near the Delucia Tunnel. There's a pic of at least 20 players on screen from the two alliances, just as a temporary field alliance of our old adversaries NDR and Vem crashed into the back of I-C and EEV, handing victory to AoS and co. Thanks LookFar!

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Both alliances broke up soon after, I think at least in part due to more and more players leaving the game due to the ever increasing commonness of artifacts in PvP. ELR were certainly very disadvantaged due to this, and I personally left UO again in November 2003, soon followed by most of I-C and a good proportion of EEV.
The remaining few I-C eventually joined EEV when it became clear that the rest of us would not be returning with the game in it's current state. We were back to being an IRC & forum guild for a few months.

Christmas 2003 - May 2004:

The majority of us had quit UO during the height of the artifact madness, and if reading EFC at the time was anything to go by, things were getting worse and worse on Europa. Our old enemies AoS had formed a new guild called AI(Artifact Infantry) and as the name implies, were ludicrously well equipped. They had large numbers, were very organised, all rode the ridiculous looking Swamp Dragons(Which at the time reduced spell damage taken by 10%). It appeared they had almost complete control of the shard.

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With this in mind it made our notorious weakness for returning to UO easier to resist, and we embarked into other games, firstly the Defiance player-run shard(Operated by xlx of the 6i6 guild), I personally played for only a week, but others carried on for a few months, doing a great deal of PKing.

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We also did a guild move to Shadowbane when the first European shard announced, and went with quite a big presence, around 10 I-C members, along with a selection of old allies/enemies from Europa playing under the I-C tag. In a strange twist we ended up allied with some other old Europa enemies, DDi, working as part of the 'Nation' they led. Our presence in the game lasted six months at most. The game had huge promise, but was beset by bugs and bad implementation - and in reality, it just wasn't UO, a game most of us still loved.

Eventually most of us did what we always did - went back to Europa. This time we had a large faction force. Europa was perhaps unique among all UO shards at this time in still having an active faction player base. As factions also seemed to be far less infested with artifact-laden players than champ spawn fights, it seemed the logical place to go. PHT I-C and EEV alll joined the Minax faction, and together with more traditional Minax guilds such as DDi, quickly took possesion of all towns. At this time most of the faction guilds were scared of Zole(or Donnelley, his faction character and the name they knew him by) and a good proportion of I-C and EEV played together under his guildtag [ry in factions.

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In April 2004 OSI launched a new shard - Test Sosaria. It was planned as a permanent shard, but to be used as a testing ground for developer ideas, as well as a place for players to interact in game with the dev's themselves. Noxin and Wildcat sensed a potential in this that very few others did - a chance to show the dev team how stupid UO PvP had become, and give them an idea how to fix it. A few other Europa people, mainly I-C played the shard with them on occaision, and the fights they were involved in generally involved them beating the so-called 'best pvpers' on the shard(A group of American kids) easily. This helped Noxin gain the ear of Hanse, a prominent member of the dev team.
Gradually Noxin explained and demonstrated to him what was wrong with PvP. It was apparent that Hanse himself had no PvP experience, but he seemed very willing to listen to those who did, and was very keen to see it improved. He seemed to be spending more and more time with Noxin, which persuaded me to start playing the shard, in an attempt to get some of my own points across to a dev team member.

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At this point Noxin had been given Game-Master powers on the shard, and generally when not with Hanse spent his time using those skills to abuse the completely idiotic population of that shard.
It also appeared Hanse was seriously considering applying some of the changes he and Noxin had discussed to all the OSI shards. This raised interest in our IRC channel greatly. Soon pretty much all of us were on the shard.
Zole happened to be boasting about this newfound influence to some friends on Europa, one of whom claimed he was also on the shard, and had the ear of another developer, Evocare.

This gave me hope because Evocare was something Hanse was not - A PvPer himself. Soon a group of us, and Zole's friend CeLt, from the AoS guild on Europa, were gathered in an IRC channel to see how best we could use our influence to get these changes actually put into the real servers. It seemed Evocare had been ready to publish his and CeLt's list of changes(A list almost identical to the one Hanse and Noxin had put together), but he was leaving OSI within the week to take up the lead developer's position on Blizzard's World of Warcraft.

Our hopes now rested exclusively on Hanse, which worried me because despite his good intentions and willingness to get things right, his knowledge of PvP mechanics was basic at best. He was also prone to believing some of his short sighted ideas were far better than what Noxin and the rest of us had suggested to him. One day he told Noxin to test the new spell-casting timers he had put in place. Myself Noxin and Alderis tested these changes, and to say they would have removed all skill from mage PvP is an understatement.

Eventually though Noxin and Hanse together pulled it off. All the excessive AoS attributes were capped: LMC, SDI, HCI etc. All at good levels. I was constantly arguing for the caps to be lower, but in hindsight they were almost perfect as the two of them designed it. Swamp Dragons were nerfed. They created easily the the most balanced era of AoS PvP, and in my opinion one of the best PvP era's ever in UO. Up there with late t2a and p15.

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My personal claim to fame from this is the capping of Chivalry spells at FC2 for mages(I argued for all char types but Hanse insisted on just mages) - it was my idea. Shame Hanse then coded it wrongly and it wasn't introduced to the shards...

Hanse also sneaked in a couple of strange changes of his own - to how the Invisibility spell worked and how poison worked. We weren't going to argue with these changes at the time in our happiness/disbelief that we had the ear of the person in charge of the game we loved. As it happened these changes he added turned out to be the only bad things about the publish that Noxin had worked on with Hanse - Which ended up being Publish 25. I'm still amazed that we were ever involved in that, was pretty surreal.

Something that shouldn't be forgotten is that we also had our first 'Real Life' meet-up during this period, up in Newcastle at Benn's house. I traveled north with Pad, and also in attendance were Benn, FC, Slamer, Nixon, Alderis, Zole and Buster.


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 Post subject: Re: I-C History
PostPosted: Fri Jun 17, 2011 1:57 pm 
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MOTODEAMON

Joined: Sat Dec 27, 2003 10:05 am
Posts: 6109
p25 Europa & Legends:
With the changes of publish 25 now official and due to be released to the servers in may 2004, all of us were now back on Europa, getting our characters and suits ready for the release date. Most of us still weren't getting involved in PvP until the changes came into effect, however.

Before the publish began we decided to see about recruiting the few people we thought had the right combination of personality and PvP skills to fit in with us. Toki and Kristoff were recruited from PHT. A number of I-C members still held EEV membership from our inactive days, and the first person to move in the other direction was Fatal, who kept his EEV membership, but I-C was now to be his primary guild. A path many of the more PvP minded EEV were to take in the future. KT(Toki's brother) joined us a few weeks later, also from PHT.

Zole came up with the term WAAC(Win at all costs)during this period - regarding AI's play style - and soon the term was being used so much that it seemed like it had always been a part of UO terminology. It was certainly a well used term on EFC during this period!

We now had a very strong group, and there was a buzz on the forums about us returning to the game - it was nice to see our reputation remained. We were pretty hopeful of coming back to some good, balanced PvP once the publish hit. We were still a rather unorganised guild in comparison to some of the new ones that had appeared in the last year or so.
We did champ spawns only casually, and the poor items and low scrolls that most of us had reflected this. We'd never attempted a guild harrower, we all rode e-mounts as opposed to the swamp dragons most people were now employing, which despite their recent nerf were still very useful, in that once dismounted it wasn't easy for your opponent to kill it and keep you on foot due to their increased hit points.

All of this stuff became more apparent on the first few days of p25. A few of us logged on in the afternoon the day the patch released and did a spawn at Ice West after finding no PK action. We encountered no other players, and the spawn advanced to the last level. The 5 of us present were just gearing up to finish the spawn when at least 12 AI members appeared, obviously overwhelming us. They were very efficient, dismounting us all quickly. We laughed it off but it was a taste of how much things had changed and how much PvP had moved on in the months we'd been away.

The evening started better, 9-10 of us logged in, and we headed out to Terra Sanctum to start a spawn. We were soon raided by our old enemies ELR(Who had many new members now, including the SdF crew). They were killed relatively quickly(We did have one or two more people) and the spawn continued. Several ELR members were now stuck on Terra Sanctum, and they called a GM to remove them. One of the 'advisors' turned up -he was obviously foreign and not an ex-UO player - and for some reason he decided to transport Senji Zim and Zole into the middle of the Lost Lands and away from the spawn. Needless to say ELR turned up in the meantime and the fight was a lot closer this time..

Over the next couple of days the only fights I remember involved AI. A small I-C group came across a small EEV group already fighting a set of TB members in Deceit, we obviously joined the fight on the side of EEV, but before we'd barely cast a spell, we were joined by a horde of AI players(15+), who dispatched all involved parties and took the Deceit spawn for themselves.
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Our next encounter was similar, a huge group(10-11 of us) headed to Despise, looking for action. Coming into the spawn level from the other direction was another horde of AI - I couldn't count how many but certainly many more than us - We saw the same result again, quick dismounts and deaths for all of us. Needless to say the mood in IRC wasn't great whilst most of us logged off..

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I think the reasons for these defeats were very mixed: AI had undoubtedly developed a very efficient killing method during the months we'd been away, and all the people saying how p25 would end their dominance were being proved wrong quickly. The forum was already filled with complaints about 'AI ganks' from people of all other guilds.
Their individual members had also improved greatly whilst we'd been away. No guild on Europa was prepared for their numbers and organisation. I'm not trying to suggest what they did took no skill because they did it very well, but they were like a machine rather than a group of skilled players, which was the way UO was heading now guilds had worked out how to effectively employ AOS tactics to their maximum. Always in huge numbers with mass dismounters, their players could almost have used a script to do everything for them and they'd have been just as effective. As we found out later, they were actually using an EUO targeting script.

During all this EEV had been running a little money making scheme on a quiet American shard, Legends. They invited us to come join them with some PvM characters so we could hopefully make some money for some items to make us more competitive. Considering the current situation on Europa and our obvious deficiency in items and in competition with AI most of us jumped at the chance.

A few of us didn't have PvM characters to transfer, so we took our reds, thinking they would be useful for any fights we did get at champs and harrowers. Because of this we were taking a lot of abuse on the EFC board for being 'shard runners' 'scared of AI' etc. Some of it was perhaps true, I personally didn't enjoy fighting the AI machine, and the option the rest of the shard was taking -allying against them - didn't seem our thing either, especially not if it meant being on the same side as people like Actual Fantasy and Armstrong. So we took the fun option and endured the taunts. Ironically most of the people who were heaviest in their criticism of us later moved to Legends themselves for the exact same money making reason.

We did a number of early morning weekend harrowers with virtually no opposition. We were playing at 11am UK time, so obviously most Americans were in bed at this time. I bought my first artifact, an Arcane Shield, with the proceeds of these harrowers, and most people were doing the same, finally getting some SDI, better LMC, etc.
We'd been doing these for a week or so whilst still playing part time on Europa when a new guild that we would come to know well in future arrived on the server, PvP/PxP. Led by the hilariously illiterate Bud, they approached us during a spawn at Terra Sanctum, offering alliance with us against the other big guilds on the shard, h20 and Mi6, who had been growing in size recently. With no real intention of honouring it, but not wanting to get into wars on our 'money making shard' - especially in the middle of a spawn we probably couldn't defend - we agreed, and they left.

The next morning we spawned a harrower, to find ourselves being raided by mass numbers of PxP and H20, now apparently allied against us. We weren't particularily surprised by this , but it cost us our weekly harrower takings. Seemed like Legends wasn't going to be easy pickings anymore. We ended up doing joint harrowers with the mi6 guild, who had been betrayed by their allies h20, and had some large battles with them vs PxP and h20. We weren't on Legends with the intention of PvPing, and most of us were using secondary characters for it, so we prepared to return to Europa now it seemed our easy moneymaking days were over.

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Most of the guild was fully planning to return to Europa in strength any time soon, but I decided Drachenfels might be worth a look. What I saw was many small red guilds fighting amongst themselves, as well as some large blue champ spawn guilds. No one rode the ugly swamp dragons, and the PvP player base seemed to be almost entirely mages. It seemed a lot like Europa had before Artifacts and AI had ruined the shard.

p25 to SE, Drachs

I was very vocal one night in proposing we move to Drachenfels instead of going back to Europa, and by the time I logged on the next day, Cyric had already transferred there. Nixon Villa and myself did the same shortly after, and engaged in some great small group fights with (mostly red) guilds such as the Cashies, -+-, jo, EK and s$h. With the pictures of those fights posted and our excited talk in IRC, the rest of the guild joined us.

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We took a lot more criticism back on EFC for this, but my answer was simple: We were going to play on a fun shard, they could stay on Europa crying about AI constantly, just as they'd been doing the whole time we were on Legends. A few people accused us of wanting to 'Do an AI'(Dominate the shard) on Drachs, which was never the case. We weren't motivated or organised enough, we didn't run spawn cams, and we simply didn't want to do it. We went to Drach for fun fights, the one thing that had always interested us.

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Once us and many EEV joined us on Drachenfels it was true that we were the biggest group on the shard, but what wasn't widely recognised by our critics is that we were facing a huge blue horde allied against us nightly, combined against the 'invaders'. Most of the other red guilds switched back to playing their blues after a few nights to join the fight against us. It was funny hearing calls for "All Germans to unite against the Americans".

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Most of the EEV who had transferred over with us logged in only for the harrowers we were doing nightly for our first few weeks. I do have one screenshot of 18 I-C and EEV players on screen just after a harrower, but our evening PvP group averaged anywhere between 3-10 people.

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The combination of our shrewd recruiting before p25, adding such good new members, combined with the removal of our rustiness during our fights on Legends meant we were doing exceptionally well in these fights. I don't remember us losing a single even numbered fight, and we were generally outnumbered and winning.

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Europa players at the time were sneering at our screenshots of victory, claiming how weak Drachenfels PvP was. It's true it wasn't quite to the standard of Europa(mostly because people weren't using scripts and archers and swamp dragons) but our guild house was constantly camped by enemies, and wherever we went a horde of players followed us. I think only the screenshots can descibe how much fun this time was, constant action. Drach had it's share of American guilds doing just what we were doing on Legends, and they ensured Drach had PvP action almost 24 hours a day.

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It wasn't until RMC, Drachs top PvP guild returned from their trip to Europa that we lost any closely matched fights. They were a very good group and can perhaps claim a 50/50 record against us.

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Drach was a predominantly German shard, and we were causing quite a stir on their message boards. Luckily we had a few friends who could translate. The basic gist of it was: I-C are very good, we must ally to beat them.

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A few guilds formed in our honour. [AI-C] Anti I-C, and [C-I] Champ Intruders - whose guild charter was to "remove I-C from the shard".

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The first 6 months or so on Drachenfels were great, my favourite time ever in Ultima Online. Moving to the shard was proving to be the best decision we ever made, we considered it our home shard now and had no intention of ever going back. Some of our critics from Europa such as the guilds EAT, ^0^ and Ha7e were transferring to Drach after seeing from our screenshots how much fun we were having.

Drach was our peak because our team work was at its best. We had so many exceptional individual players, but we now also had a solid core that played nightly that was almost unbeatable when together. Of course a part of this was we were now using Vetrillo voice communication.

Zim and Zole were now rightly recognized as two of the best players across the two shards during the whole of AoS. I'd personally argue that Zim is the best player I've seen during my whole PvP career, from 1998 - 2005. Zole was also an excellent voice caller and leader. Senji was a superb field PK, he knew exactly what to do in any circumstance we came across, and was always the first to react with the right spell. He may disagree but I think he, like most of us, was at his peak on Drach.

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We had a few other exceptional players as well. Cyric was as good if not better at 1v1 situations than all the players mentioned above, but he lacked the field awareness of someone like Zim. At this time the 4 of them were the best players on Drachenfels and I very much doubt there was anyone better on Europa either. Nixon played infrequently at this time but was also excellent. Fatal was also emerging as one of the best players around. These six were backed up by excellent team players such as Benn and Alderis. KT and Kristoff were new to the guild but had fitted in exceptionally well, and Toki had developed into an exceptional 'dexxer' player.

However the main reason the shard was so much fun was the personality of the guilds and players there. Our forum became almost a second EFC, but for Drachenfels this time.

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EK were a champ spawn guild, but much more. They were anti-murderer and anti-griefer, and actively hunted down PKs. They had been doing this almost since the beginning of Drachenfels. They steadfastly remained in Felucca after the Trammel split. Unlike other champ spawn guilds, they also had many good PvPers, and their best group of players such as Calas, Stephanius, Serenity and co were always a challenge. They did spawns in huge numbers, all wearing their distinctive green guild uniform, and were a focal point for the shard. Wherever EK went, action was to be found.

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We had a huge respect for this guild because despite being made of of mostly players with a 'trammel' mentality, they had stuck to playing in Felucca, and fought hard against the griefers and PKs. They were the closest thing to an old style anti guild from before trammel.

The Cashies were another guild with huge personality. A few of their members were quite adept at PvP, but generally we got the better of them. Their most redeeming quality was they reminded us of Mark-o, Armstrong and co from Europa. They scammed, cheated, duped, house-hid, and basically abused every trick possible to win. They usually could be found on blues, but would take any opportunity to grief/noto other players. The rest of the shard hated them, but they were fun enemies.

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RMC were a very good PvP guild, led by Nolita, they were the only native Drach guild to ever gain many victories against us. Wish I had the screenshot of Zole and I beating them 2v4 in Despise whilst in Rat form...

Zim and I had some good battles with them. From this:
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To this:
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ChG were a champ spawn guild, but also tried to get involved in PvP, normally just by shit talking then dying...Hanging around them were a number of comedy characters such as BlaXXun, Bruenor and Victorinox, awful shit talkers who dissapeared from the screen at the first chance they might die.

-+-(The Dark Knights of Brittania) were another interesting guild. When we first moved to the shard we had a healthy respect for them - they ran in small groups of reds, didn't run, and actually beat us a few times. Later on they switched to playing blues exclusively and recruited some awful shit talking newbies such as Tutti and Fanta Limette, and our respect for them diminished accordingly. They were also allied with the Russian Belemor WK, who played some kind of wand template, with a million pots and explo scrolls.

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Belomor was a pretty awful player, but killed a lot of people on their first encounter with him, simply becouse his template was so strange. The funniest thing about him was he would never give up. He carried at least 20 of each pot with him constantly, plus explo scrolls, wands and 100+ of each reagent. He would die, come back with the same, die again, over and over. He could eventually 'win' becouse you would just get bored and leave.

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-+- had a webpage with amusing PK stories and pictures, which was usually a good read. A few months into our time on Drach, rumours abounded about certain Cashies members exploiting some kind of healing brazier to heal on the run. We posted on the forum joking about having some ourselves, and Nixon offered to sell one. The -+- GM, ShinDhara took him up on this, and Nixon has a hilarious picture of himself explaining to ShinDhara how to make this brazier work, before accepting his payment - for a completely useless minor doom artifact brazier.

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[Jo] were a funny guild. To their credit they stuck to playing reds throughout our time on Drach. They were just usually found either hidden in a house, or dead. Basically they had no talent, teamwork or ability, and i'm unsure how they managed to kill anyone. Their GM Obscurity was a good guy however, and was often found solo PKing. The poor guy dropped all his items right in front of Fatal and myself, which we did eventually give back, after deciding to keep his Jackals Collar as a 'tax'.

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Insurance Hunters were another poor PvP guild. Led by the incredibly trammelite love pair of Conny Cornelia and Primagen, they did have a number of good PvPers such as Blackdragon(Ex RMC), but were also infested with useless dexxers such as Andre and Mark. They died lots.

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S$h(SLAUGHTERS OF HELL) were mainly a champ spawn guild, but they did have a lot of red players. Usually we'd fight them at IDOCs, they were pretty awful. Their GM DRAGONBOOSTER was particularily bad.

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Their guild name was part of another thing we liked about Drach - Germans using mangled English. I still think it's even funnier than seeing the Koreans and Japs mangle English on the West Coast US Shards.

Four or five months into our stay on the shard, TG(Team Goat/Cow, Drachs historical version of 6i6 - the 'elite' PvP guild)returned with numbers, and a lot of new recruits. They quickly allied with their old enemies RMC, and we had a few very good fights against their combined guilds.

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During almost entire stay on Drachenfels, OMG were the principal American guild. Some of them were from the mi6 guild on Legends, and it was strange to see them appearing on Drach at roughly the same time as ourselves. OMG were the second biggest guild on the shard behind EK(Both had over 100 characters listed on owo.com), and could generally be found with a minimum of 10 people past midnight European time, and also in smaller groups beforehand. They did obviously have a slight ping disadvantage, which I still believe made very little difference. I had no problems on Legends when the roles were reversed.

Some of their more 'interesting' members were the Jamaicans, Mama and Papa(Huge shittalkers, awful players) and the RL brothers Mr Dir Dir and Moak/Fizban. Mr Dir Dir was a constant source of comedy, with numerous annoying text macros, and constant DUEL ME DUEL ME spam every time he died. I actually remember him being my first 1v1 kill on Drach, on our second or third day on the shard. Moak was actually a better player(OMG's best actually) and his mouth didn't quite match Dir Dir's either, probably the only OMG member we had any respect for in those days.

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The rest of their guild were mostly generic shit mages and useless dexxers. Our favourite thing about this guild was our ability to beat them whatever the numbers advantage. 2v10, 1v5, we still always won. Nixon even DUELED two OMG members 1v2 and won..

We took so many of their harrowers and spawns that i'm sure they must have debated leaving the shard. I guess the fact that at most their would only be 1-2 of us online during their peak hours kept them going.
To their credit they mostly accepted how much better than them we were and were at least semi gracious in their defeat.

Much later into Drach history, not long before SE released, our other old enemies from Legends, PvP/PxP arrived. Still led by Bud, they were here to 'take over the shard' apparently. Still on their first night on the shard their numbers were relatively small, and late night they asked the 4 I-C online to help them take OMG's harrower, which they agreed to seems as I-C and PvP combined = less than half OMG's numbers. Suffice to say the harrower was taken, but the comments from the I-C involved were less than flattering. PvP appeared nothing better than OMG.

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The earliest guilds to transfer over from Europa after ourselves were VV/^0^ and EaT. VV were the guild that had famously paid AI to protect their champ spawns on Europa, and it was apparent why they did this after seeing their initial performances on Drachenfels. They did gradually improve but it was apparent the guild had no unity or real leader, and they split apart into several different entities after a few months, soon after 4 I-C took their harrower in Shame, the easiest dungeon to defend.

EaT were long time enemies from Europa, led by Sang de Encre/Ermin Nefer, they were particularily bad at PvP, and always played blues, ready to jump in and 'gang' any lone reds. We didn't actually get many fights with them on Drach bar one 4v4 where the outcome was obviously unfavourable for EaT. Zim and myself also had an amusing fight with Peshkar and Sang, which ended with Zim e-fielding Peshkar in a cave whilst we omen-ganked Sang. I laughed a lot.

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Mostly through this time, Sang complained about us on EFC, and insisted we were trying to do an 'AI' on Drach, which by now even the German guilds had realised we were not - and in fact most had accepted us as part of their community - which was obviously played a part in most of us beginning to feel that Drach was our 'home' shard.

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Before I move onto Drachenfels in the Samurai Empire era, there are a few fights that should be mentioned.

EK Harrower: In I believe early October 2004, the EK guild announced a public harrower for the forthcoming week. EK being a 100% blue guild, this was somewhat different to a public harrower pulled by any PvP guild. EK would provide the skulls and spawn the harrower, but all players were invited to attend and help them killing it. EK were always like this, doing things for the greater good of the shard rather than being motivated by personal or guild wealth.

Of course, this invitation did not go unnoticed by I-C. We arranged the week before the event to try and get everyone online, and to attempt to create mass carnage. We did this in the usual I-C way that I'm quite proud of in hindsight. Most PvP guilds we've encountered in our history would have used it as a chance to try and take the harrower for themselves, for profit. Our team play was at it's absolute peak at this time, and I've no doubt we could have made a good attempt at taking that harrrower. We didn't want to do that however - we were PKs, and we were going to PK as many people as possible.

It actually went better than any of us ever expected. We grouped up at the guild house and split into two groups, blues to use delaying/griefing tactics at the harrower, and reds to take advantages of the situations the blues could make, and basically kill everyone.

The red team went to the Star Room at the announced time to see what was going on. We saw a few random blues milling around in Terra Keep, but ignored them and headed straight into Star. It was empty inside, and the altar was full, bar the Oaks scroll. We'd been inside perhaps a minute when we were rushed by an absolute horde of blue players. Included were Cashies, TG, RMC and EK's PvP crew..basically a collection of Drach's best PvPers & assorted others.

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We killed them all in no time at all, and I think we were all amazed at how good we had seemingly become. People may say that defending the Star Room is easy, but we were not expecting an attack. We had no fields up, and this was in the days where necros were unpopular(I was one of only a few that used a necro in PvP on the whole shard, and the only one in I-C/EEV at this time.) so we were not withering people as they came in. It was basically an enclosed field fight, and we destroyed the whole shard.

Someone had placed the Oaks during this, so the harrower gate was open, we looted up and headed through, the harrower was in Covetous level 2, perfect place for the kind of attacks we were planning to stage. We decided to hold the dungeon from the inside for as long as we could, but were quickly overwhelmed. The reds regrouped back at the guildhouse, whilst the blues moved in for operation grief.

When we(red team) returned, the blues had somehow managed to field a huge group of players away from the harrrower, primed for us to kill, which we did. They had also managed to field another group right in with the harrrower itself, who all died. With this being a public harrower, there were literally hundreds of players there, all on blues besides ourselves and the Jo guild(credit to them) who we were also fighting.

We raided constantly for the next few hours, the blues using griefing tactics to kill as many people as possible, walling, fielding, healing the harrower, etc etc. They basically enabled us to PK defenseless people for hours. The EK PvP crew and others did attempt to offer some resistance outside the dungeon, and we had a good 3 way fight between them, us and [Jo]. When the harrower eventually died and the fights died down, we all agreed it had probably been our most enjoyable night in UO, ever.

Another great night was had at an IDOC castle. Belonging to Sanary, the Cashie duper in chief. It's decay status wasn't hard to notice as the house had been 'owned by OSI' ever since Sanary was banned for the famous cross-shard dupe. The whole shard was expected in attendance, so we planned a big I-C presence. As it happened I was working during the time it was due to fall, but Zole led a group of us there, using my necro characters which was sure to be effective amongst mass blues. I don't need to describe what happened other than to link you to the picture below, and that my character had 200k more gold in the bank than before it was used!

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EK provided a lot of other fun nights, I remember a huge fight in Deceit where we got sandwiched in between a huge EK group at the spawn, and a group of cashies and friends attacking us from behind, coming in via level 4. This fight raged on for at least an hour.

Another great night was at an EK Oaks spawn. Ourselves and Jo raided them, fighting each other as well as EK. After an hour or so EK decided to cut their losses and abandon the spawn as they weren't progressing with the constant attacks ongoing. It was left to ourselves and Jo to fight it out. At one point 4-5 of us got stuck on Ledges around the spawn area, and it looked like we could lose the fight, to the Jo guild, believe it or not. Villa announced he was quitting the game, etc. We carried on and won the day though. One of the most satisfying wins in my UO career, simply becouse we'd fought for hours, it looked like we were going to lose, but took victory at the last minute. We returned back from the spawn with the skull, and that's where the pic of us all lined up shouting "Thanks EK!" comes from.

Another amusing event early on in our days on Drachenfels was the accusations of cheating. This was enhanced becouse of Cyric's [Invulenerable] text macro, designed to look like the text above several unkillable NPCs. Some drach players seemed to believe this wasn't just a text macro...Cyric and the rest of us were now being accused of SDI hacks, all sorts. A GM was of course paged who found nothing wrong. They also didn't seem to understand how necromancers worked. I was corpse-skinning people, and Cyric was doing 60 damage flamestrikes on people. It didn't seem obvious to them that this was becouse they had 45 fire or whatever after corpse skin..
Nixon's PvP tournament was another good day. A good proportion of Drachs PvP community turned up to take part, although it dissapointingly lacked any entrants from RMC, TG or the Cashies.

5 I-C members and Amber from EEV made it into the last 8(Around 20 people entered), and the final was between Zole and Cyric, eventually won 2-1 by Cyric. I'd had a bet that Fatal could win this tournament, he'd reached his peak around this time, but had connection problems on the day and lost to Zole in the Semi Final.
Towards the end of p25, OSI released another new shard, Origin. It was to be the replacement for Test Sosaria, only this time it would be a real live and continuous production shard. Transfers would be disabled for a month, and we saw a real opportunity to try and have some fun on a brand new shard, as well as capitalise on the big opportunity to make some money there, to transfer back to Drachs eventually.
As it happened, quite a few of the big American guilds had the same idea. We ended up involved in a race to get a thief trained up and ready to start stealing the Inquisitors resolution. As it turned out, we won. We stole the first Inquis to spawn on the shard, and managed to place 7 Castles across Felucca, which obviously we then sold on. I think we managed all of this in the space of not more than a week, and obviously turned our focus back to Drachenfels.

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 Post subject: Re: I-C History
PostPosted: Fri Jun 17, 2011 2:03 pm 
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MOTODEAMON

Joined: Sat Dec 27, 2003 10:05 am
Posts: 6109
SE to 'the end'

Samurai Empire released in November 2004, ending the most balanced 6 months of PvP since AoS released. A lot of the things it brought to the game were a big concern to us and most PvPers, but we were as addicted to the game as ever and enjoying ourselves still, so carried on as before.

Our own Toki was one of the first people to really employ some of the gimp tactics that SE brought, training up a Ninja on DF, one of the first one to be used effectively in PvP. Toki's poison dexxer had always been central to our PvP before now, but his Ninja was even better - he ran in front of the group, polymorphed as a dog as Ninja allowed you to do, running as fast on foot as someone on a horse - dismounting people with bolas, which of course made them easy prey for the rest of us.

Other guilds soon caught on, and of course some now took it to the extreme. RMC developed into a guild that all played these Ninja dogs, permanently in Despise with their allies TG. They were very frustrating to fight, and this probably contributed a little to our drop in activity as a guild. Almost all of EEV were gone from Drachenfels by this point.

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Ha7e transferred across to Drachenfels soon after SE released. They were basically our old enemies DiE in a new PK guild format. They had always been strong enemies, and this time announced their arrival with warnings on our forum regarding how much they had improved, and from reading the EU forums, it seemed they were the best on the shard now. Freedom/Conzpi had developed into their spokesman, if not leader.

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They hadn't reckoned on our improvement either, and all the fights I took part in ended in victory for I-C. They were very good opponents, and we did usually have a numbers advantage in all these fights of 1 or 2 people. These battles were a measure of just how good we had become I feel. A few years later on, and these ex Ha7e members now claim to have dominated us on Drachenfels and rarely died to us, which seems a little funny as I have the screen shots to prove what happened...in any case, their guild split up as all guilds based solely around ego and PvP skill do, with infighting. Most transferred back to EU, and the remainder asked to join I-C, but were obviously turned down for excessive ego, something we have never tolerated.

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Around this time the demise of EFC occured, the old 'Europa Felucca Community' board that had sprung out of our old public forum, most of us still posted there occasionally although I had long since relinquished control of it. An Administrator at the place the board was hosted was something of a UO whore, 'cybering' men for housing, items, etc. Zim and myself happened to mention this on the board one day, and the forum was quickly closed, for good. Following this I was threatened by several ex-Europa enemies and obvious cyber-partners of this girl. They were planning on turning up at my IRL address to 'beat' me. Which obviously never occurred.

It was a shame to see EFC go, it contained a ton of hilarious threads and lots of memories, but it was appropriate that we started and ended the board.

Not long after Christmas 2005, WoW released in Europe, and most of us left to play it. UO seemed to be dying amidst all this ridiculous Samurai stuff, and WoW was the new big thing. Some of our favourite enemies dissapeared to play it also. RMC, EK, -+-, Insurance Hunters. I've never seen so many players leave UO at once before. Even trammel didn't provoke such a mass exodus.. Drach was always a quiet shard, but it's Felucca facet at least had been hugely active throughout p25. Now it became a ghost town.

As SE continued, our activity waned to 6-7 of us, usually myself, Zole, Zim, Nixon, Kristoff, Cyric and Villa. Zim and myself usually played late nights, and often came into conflict with the PvP guild, who had gradually replaced OMG as the shards biggest American guild. They were pretty much interchangeable with OMG in terms of skill however, and we usually defeated them with the 2 of us versus 10 or so of them. This isn't an exaggeration at all.

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The Cashies were still very active during this time, and were now using the massively overpowered Death Strike special move. We had beaten them in an earlier war in p25, reaching 60+ kills to only 10 or so deaths before they undeclared, but this time they beat us, reaching the required 100 kills whilst we we hadn't quite reached 90. I personally put this down mainly to death-strike, which enabled them to kill with 1 spell + the death-strike. None of us picked up this character type, feeling it too 'lame'. Which is funny considering the char type Zim and I were to go on to make famous.

In early 2005 Zim came up with a new template, the wand necro. Once I adopted this it was perhaps the most fun character I ever played in UO. My necro through the whole of p25 had been a typical 7x GM necro character, with macing scrolled to 120, and magery to 115, using the Midnight Bracers. This new template now involved no weapon skill or wrestling, just all other mage and necro skills to 120, and using a wand for defensive wrestle.

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This gave relatively weak defense, but huge offensive power, especially when using Protection, which obviously didn't affect Necro spells, something most people were unaware of. I died roughly 2-3 times a week using this character, fighting against huge numbers and playing LOTS. Zim was using one often also, and he was twice the player I was.

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These were 'gimp' or 'unskilled' templates, but we adopted them in a period where almost everyone was using some form of overpowered or 'cheesy' template. It just happened that Zim developed the most gimp template of all, whilst still retaining all the fun and versatility of playing a magery based character. The two of us could fight the whole shard and win. It was fantastic fun.

The real unfortunate(and expected) aspect of Samurai Empire and WoW release is it killed PvP on Drachenfels. Most of our good enemies left, there was no skill left, only template mattered. Eventually all we had left to fight is the American guilds we'd punished daily for months. We did what we promised we'd never do - go back to Europa.

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I think we'd forgotten in our time away exactly why we left Europa in the first place - It really is the home of the gimp template. Drach had become bad and skill-less since SE, but Europa was a joke. I don't think I fought one mage in the week or so we were back. Zim went inactive due to work commitments at this time, leaving just me playing.

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I passed some assets on to friends of the guild still playing, and closed my account. I realise in hindsight that my template was probably as bad as most of the one's I was complaining about.
This was around May 2005. For the first time in ages, not one of us had an active UO account.

Summer 2005 onwards - "Post UO"

IRC had always been more of a central point for our guild than any game and continued to be so in the post-UO days, but without any 'good' PvP games around, we were split across many games. A strong crew of I-C members were playing in the AotD guild on the Al'Akir server of WoW. The other 'guild games' of the time seemed to be Age of Kings and Worms Armageddon. Nothing of interest really occurred during this time, until Noxin started messing around with the RunUO emulator...

Autumn 2005 - Legacy 25.

Noxin was one of the earliest people to realise that WoW was the devil, despite being probably the most addicted of all of us at it's release. Without UO or WoW to play, and no other games on the horizon, he threw himself into creating a free UO server based on our recent most favourite ruleset, AoS p25.
He had the coding skills and the know-how to produce one, finding funding was the issue. At any rate, funding was found(Some of which never materialised, causing the eventual downfall of the shard), and the shard was launched in November.

The shard was a big success early on. Despite numerous crashes on the first night it released to the public, the population was peaking at around 200 people online, a massive amount for a server only announced publicly weeks before, and being developed and run by one person only.

The ruleset was loosely based on p25, with further improvements to the crafting, spawn and faction systems, and obviously included no trammel. The spell timers and PvP mechanics were absolutely spot on.

As a guild, we began setting ourselves up, establishing our HQ on marble island, and building our PvP suits. We fell a little behind other guilds, what with us all being well past our student days and needing to hold down full time jobs. A few classic fights were fought in Shame, where important items now dropped as loot.

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The dominant guild on the shard at this time were our old friends Ha7e/Men, who'd carried on playing OSI throughout SE and had established themselves as the dominant guild on Europa. There's no doubting they totally outclassed us in most of the fights we had with them, resulting in much shit-talk in the Legacy IRC channel. We do seem to have a habit of provoking hate in others!

In our defense, most of us had been out of the game for a year or more whereas they had played straight through without a break, and they had moved quickly ahead of us in items. Having said all this, there was no doubting that their teamwork had moved above their previous level and that we would have to raise our game above our own best standards to compete. This was going to be difficult with a lot of our key players like Zim not on the shard.

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As circumstances would have it, we didn't have a chance. Legacy began to experience a population decline by the end of it's first month. The Men guild were dominating all the important resources, and their only real opposition from the OSI servers were ourselves, an alliance of old ELR/DiE players, and OiN, an old guild from Chesapeake. Having been such big supporters of the shard before it's release, I was dissapointed with the [Men] attitude and constant griefing of new and solo players, almost guaranteeing that the shard would fail. As a guild we weren't active or strong enough to stop them, and the "I quit because of Men" posts were flowing on the Legacy forums. They were simply driving players away, and enjoying it.

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Despite many assurances from other old EU/DF guilds that they would be coming to Legacy, few made any kind of real effort which was very dissapointing.

The only other big group on the server was [-A-], a collection of freeshard players, mostly from Defiance AoS. They didn't have the skill level to compete with Men or ourselves, but did succeed in helping to drive off the last of the small guilds from the server with their numbers and griefing.

Six weeks or so into the shard, Men were becoming inactive, I presume because of the lack of opposition. From their talk in IRC they didn't seem to understand that they'd killed off any potential opposition by refusing to let players get established.

Any time I logged in looking for action, all that was to be found were the -A- guild working spawns. Population at peak times had dropped to 50 or so. I know Noxin was deeply unhappy with how things had turned out. On top of all this, the person promising to pay the majority of the server fees had gone AWOL, leaving Noxin and those of us that could afford to help out to pick up the whole bill.

Within two months Legacy was over. To me it was a massive dissapointment, but it's obvious why Noxin made the decision to close it.

The ruleset was great, it really was. A PvPers dream. But many of our ideas had failed. The player-justice angle he'd worked towards had been simply too harsh for a new shard. Players were put off within a week and didn't log back in. When the expected funding didn't materialise, it became obvious closing Legacy down was the only option.

We did make one last night of fun for ourselves once Noxin announced the end. He renamed our characters Japan-style, gave us all the artifacts/items we required, and sent us out for one last fight. Was a fitting way to end the server, although it didn't do Noxin's(or I-C's)reputations any good.

Legacy failing was a massive dissapointment, but looking back now, the mistakes we made coupled with the admittedly small demand for any AoS servers at all meant Noxin was setting himself a huge task to begin with.

The Final Revival on OSI - July 07 - January 08.

So we ended up going back to UO again. Crazy. Mostly because Noxin had managed to 'keep his hand in' with the developers, and he and myself kept up a campaign on stratics for some new PvP 'fixes' to make the game worthwhile again. Eventually, in summer 2007, they appeared to be listening. Writing this now in summer 2011, it's hard to remember the details, but I believe the developer responsible was Draconi, who Noxin had built up a friendship with. Noxin and myself were invited into a 'PvP focus group' where we were able to put forward our views and between the two of us and a few switched on PvPers from Americans shards, we managed to reshape PvP again. The details escape me now but I'm sure it involved nerfs to archers, enhanced potions and samurai special moves.

So - we ended up going back. Initially we were on Europa, mostly because Noxin had restarted there a few months ago, and when Zim and I reactivated, that was where our chars were. I can't recall exactly who was playing, perhaps 5-6 of us including Zim, Senji, Noxin, Wildcat and myself. Europa was the same as before really, didn't hit the spot for me especially. No interesting enemies, no personalities, and barely anyone left that we remembered. I don't remember many notable fights at all, but then I am looking back four years on that era as I write.

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As expected, we ended up back on Drach. Some old enemies still around, and action(although not as much as in our Drach's heyday) at all hours. Apparently the top dogs were now our old American friends PvP! unbelievably. We soon put them straight. A few more people reactivated, Nixon and Slamer for a start, and for the first time in years the three founder members of the guild were out PvPing together on a regular basis. Zole was back too. We also picked up three new members from our old enemies on Europa. Winder, who I had been friends with for years, and who had fought against us as part of PHT, ELR, NDK and other guilds for years. He finally graduated to a real guild! We also picked up Belgarion, who impressed on his dexxer on our return to Europa. The third to join was Mortharr, Kristoff's younger brother and a bit of a source of controversy. He'd built himself a bit of a bad reputation on Europa over the years and a lot of us were wary of giving him a chance - but seemed to have matured now, and had become such a good PvPer in time that he was really the key to our success on this most recent return to Drachenfels, with many of our previous key PvPers not playing.

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Was nice to see our tag was still remembered:
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Once back on Drach, we began really enjoying the game again. PvP had a massive gank on the go, with the hilarious Bud still in charge. A few of our old enemies from our first Drach run like Krystoso, Zampano and Johny Cox had also returned because of the PvP patch. They were playing together now as the [CP] guild. Unfortunately they never seemed to have more than two online at once so didn't make the impact or became the enemies we had hoped.

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We also found a new challenge - the [.ava] guild. Apparently ex-Europa players, although none of us remembered them, they had managed to form an effective small group fighting force. The RMC of this era, perhaps. They'd not had any real competition for a long time, and their ego's took a bit of a hammering when we returned and they actually started losing fights. Credit to them though, they won their fair share of fights against us and always provided stiff competition. For some strange reason they were allied with [PvP!] at some point, which never made any sense to me.

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Some old friends were still around as well:
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We had some good times on this comeback. Some nice IDOCs, including the placing of the first I-C castle after some heavy fighting to secure the spot. One epic fight in Deceit vs .ava springs to mind, as well as the utter destruction of Pyscho[DJs] from Europa's ego when we annihilated him and his allies from PvP! in the desert and at fire dungeon over the course of two hours. A day after he had been boasting on the forums about how much better than us he was. It was 4 of us, 15+ of them. Beyond that, the era ended strangely - we all just drifted away from the game as around Christmas 2007 the action on the shard just seemed to ebb away.

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2008 - 2018.

STILL HERE


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 Post subject: Re: I-C History
PostPosted: Sat Jun 18, 2011 6:46 pm 
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Devon Knows
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Location: Lost in the '80s
I wish to protest about the lack of Villa in these posts, especially relating to Drachs.
Thank you.

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 Post subject: Re: I-C History
PostPosted: Sat Jun 18, 2011 6:56 pm 
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MOTODEAMON

Joined: Sat Dec 27, 2003 10:05 am
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What did you achieve or contribute on Drachs? Well past your prime by then!

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 Post subject: Re: I-C History
PostPosted: Fri Jul 08, 2011 1:36 pm 
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Posts: 58
good read. the only target scripter in AI was Athena though

there was some obscene scripts he had though in the end (after you left) . He had 5 ghost accounts or something and made some EUO script which fucking texted his mobile phone when someone activated a spawn, then automatically ICQed the whole guild, Lame but fun for our side to ruin the game for lots of people.


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 Post subject: Re: I-C History
PostPosted: Tue Jul 19, 2011 8:06 pm 
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fIlThY cUnT

Joined: Thu Feb 05, 2004 9:56 pm
Posts: 650
Location: visiting zole in prison
Happy Days :mrgreen:

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 Post subject: Re: I-C History
PostPosted: Thu Aug 04, 2011 11:31 pm 
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DAS PROBLEM
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Cutts I love you for producing such an awesome history. Must have taken some time.

I put the success of the small numbers in I-C down to one thing: the recruitment policy. basically if existing members didn't like the applicants' personalities, they weren't going to get in no matter how good or bad they were. In combination with IRC we spent many hours taking the piss out of each other, discussing life, UO and many other things. My obsession with UO really didn't kick start until joining this bunch of losers. I'm actually surprised they let a cunt like me join, especially after all the abuse I used to give them at Destard.

But these guys are now some of the best friends I have, even if I don't see them much. This "tightness" for me is what made us so deadly. Our organisation was awful, we were one of the last pvp guilds to use voice communication. Not once in my partnership with Senji did we speak other than with UO party text. Yet the amount of time we spent talking in IRC and hanging out in UO gave us all an excellent understanding of each. It's no exaggeration to say that I felt a certain connection when playing with Senji, I've never seen someone in all my years of UO play with such outstanding field awareness. We had so many awesome pk moments raping groups of people then escaping against overwhelming odds.

Another element of success was the good combination of personalities. Senji was the field player (also the most vindictive of pkers!), Zole/Cyric/Sonez were 1to1 experts, we had people like Benn who were completely reliable team players. Calix was another good team player and excellent organiser who came into his own as a nekro from hell. Villa was a reliable if moody dexer. Nixon and Slamer were a lot of fun to play with, Slamer's unpredictability in particular was always entertaining. Even Buster fulfilled his role as generic meat and general diversioner. New recruits fitted into the guild perfectly including Fatal, Toki, Belgarion etc. I enjoyed getting to now and play with all these guys tremendously. I love Noxin especially for the Wildcat saga, but the fact is we have Noxin to thank for bumming Hanse and therefore achieving P25. My refusal to do any pvm during AoS outside of Felucca could be supported by kind guild members supplying me with equipment.

But I have to give thanks to all the excellent guilds who were our "enemies". There were some fantastic personalities out there. A lot of them pushed the realms of acceptability and fair play such as Cashies/DiE but they were still a lot of fun to fight. I've always enjoyed overcoming adversity and there were no more satisfying moments in UO than when overcoming the odds, such as beating deathstrike mages who could potentially kill you in a deathstrike and one spell, or fighting with FC2 against FC4 artifact mages. The only way I could do it was the predictability of fighting these opponents. I was accused many times of using scripts and cheating, but the truth is I never once used a script in PVP. I simply found that when fighting people who considered themselves to have an overwhelming advantage, they could be quite predictable. I was an awful duellist in fairness, only reaction time letting me win against good duellists, but field pvp was different, even field 1v1s. I don't remember ever losing a 1v1 from p16 onwards. I DID push the realms of acceptability through template choice sometimes. My chosen mage in p16 was an alchemist mage with liberal use of explo pots or a golden spear fencer. In AoS it became a personal campagin of winning through less fashionable templates, starting with wrestle mages and working on to all kinds of things.

Ultimately the most fun I ever had was with Calix on Drachenfels. At this time of my UO career I constantly criticised myself for playing UO too much, yet now I look back and I can't think of anything I would rather have done. The fact is I can now recognise it as one of the best times of my life, despite being very lucky to have had a very fulfilled and varied life so far.

The culmination of this period was of course the Nekro Mage from Hell: The Wand Nekro. Inspired by Belomar, who despite being completely shit was very tough to kill, I decided that the best way to use wands was with a necro mage template. This relied on having 120 magery and a set of healing and ligtning wands with protection permanently cast for uninterruptability. The beauty of this template is it provided so many ways to kill opponents, even the toughest of dexers. Worse yet is that in partnership with Calix with the same template, we just felt unbeatable. Hence the astonishing victories we had even when outnumbered 10to2. Inevitably people tried to copy it, but noone at the time quite managed to nail it.

Sadly it all started to come apart when we had various life commitments that took priority. Around the same time UO finally took a step to the abyss. I guess my biggest regret though is selling my Zim Zum account. I should have simply deactivated it rdy to log back in if I ever fancied a quick go.

But thank you to all of I-C and all the guilds we interacted with over the years. It made UO the stand out game of my life and one I will always remember and feel nostalgic about.

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NEVER enter Felucca.
Denied victims the evil turns upon itself. It whines, cries, and wails for more victims.
Deny evil its prey.
NEVER enter Felucca.
In time, Felucca will die AND evil will die with it


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 Post subject: Re: I-C History
PostPosted: Fri Aug 05, 2011 12:03 am 
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MOTODEAMON

Joined: Sat Dec 27, 2003 10:05 am
Posts: 6109
Great post, I love you.

Zim Zum wrote:
I don't remember ever losing a 1v1 from p16 onwards.


Actually fucking ridiculous but completely believable having fought with and against you. Me and Nix, both pretty good players at the time, not even being able to touch you when you WENT RENEGADE being a perfect example.

Zim Zum wrote:
The fact is I can now recognise it as one of the best times of my life, despite being very lucky to have had a very fulfilled and varied life so far.


Faktz. I've pretty much done whatever I wanted in my life and the UO good times are up there with the best stuff.

Typical UO day in that period: Fights vs -+- champ spawn crew in morning, IDOCS in the afternoon, fights vs RMC/Cashies etc in the evening, raid OMG/PvP 2v10 in the early hours. Get up and repeat for 6 months. Best possible use of my unemployment!

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 Post subject: Re: I-C History
PostPosted: Fri Aug 05, 2011 3:31 pm 
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Author of "Stripper Assassin"
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People are going to be telling Nixon that these baby years will be the best of his life. They obv never played p16.

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 Post subject: Re: I-C History
PostPosted: Fri Aug 05, 2011 4:05 pm 
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MOTODEAMON

Joined: Sat Dec 27, 2003 10:05 am
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Ingo wrote:
People are going to be telling Nixon that these baby years will be the best of his life. They obv never played p16.

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 Post subject: Re: I-C History
PostPosted: Tue Aug 16, 2011 12:18 pm 
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DAS DRAGONLODE
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Posts: 1733
Zim Zum wrote:
Even Buster fulfilled his role as generic meat and general diversioner.


Truth! Never was much of a PvP'er but if i could die usefully I would try my best.

Great post Calix, great times and great memories.

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 Post subject: Re: I-C History
PostPosted: Tue Aug 16, 2011 4:08 pm 
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DAS PROBLEM
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Buster wrote:
Zim Zum wrote:
Even Buster fulfilled his role as generic meat and general diversioner.


Truth! Never was much of a PvP'er but if i could die usefully I would try my best.

Great post Calix, great times and great memories.


You were a team player so that automatically made you a better PVPer than 95% of people out there.

_________________
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NEVER enter Felucca.
Denied victims the evil turns upon itself. It whines, cries, and wails for more victims.
Deny evil its prey.
NEVER enter Felucca.
In time, Felucca will die AND evil will die with it


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 Post subject: Re: I-C History
PostPosted: Tue Aug 23, 2011 7:51 pm 
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VIKING BOAT MUSEUM
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Posts: 1189
pretty funny to see some of the screenshots, all of us decked out in whatever items we wanted as we basically had 75% of the gold on drachs and slamer still running around in chinahat, on foot.

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 Post subject: Re: I-C History
PostPosted: Tue Aug 23, 2011 11:20 pm 
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WAR ME HOMO

Joined: Wed Jan 07, 2004 8:11 pm
Posts: 2624
i love that i can still recognise my chars, because i never had itemz


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