The UO Beta
The Beta was something The Syndicate had anticipated for many many months. We had talked over the
guild structure and our goals there. Our main goal was to learn all we could about the
game in order to picking a starting/base city. We had pretty much narrowed it down to Vesper
or Trinsic before the beta so we started in those two places.
With more than 100 members in the beta it proved a buggy and very "vocal" experience. Everyone had
issues and concerns and it was a bear just to keep up with them. The game was incredibly laggy
and very buggy. Some common beta bugs included: Invisible dragons wandering around
that could kill you in one hit, being able to cast EV in town with no guards being called,
OSI had a short mini quest in Trinsic where alligators attacked. You attacked them and the
guards killed you. You could log out hidden and come back in and be invisible and pkill. All sorts
of nasty bugs. The worst issue with the beta was the poor spawn. ALL monsters spawned in very
very small areas. Near trinsic there was only one. it was south of the
town on a tiny pennisula. Dungeons werent what they were today either. Detard was the home of slimes (that carried
100 gold each on them), Harpies (lots and lots of them) and spiders. The occasional
invisible dragon was there too. Gold would spawn in piles of 250 right on the ground in the dungeons
and there were no stats penalties for wearing full plate and no such thing
as notoriety or murder counts or criminal flags.
I remember my very first 30min in game. Starting in the Rusty Anchor Inn I went to the right.
I walked into a tower there and opened a chest. A full suit of plate was there and a hally!
COOL! I took it and armored up my little 25 str guy and went across the bridge to the right
there. Just ahead I saw a large, ominous, Great hart standing there. I attacked. We fought long and
hard and in the end, he died, I got +2 str and some hides! WOW!! Just then, 3 evil looking
fellows came walking up in attack mode following the coast. They passed one other player and cut him in
half. Another player between he and I was attacked and killed. UH OH! My turn was next
and they sliced me up. It turns out they were early guards. Early guards walked (not teleported)
and they killed anyone NEAR the scene of a crime. Quite an interesting first 30min.
By the time the beta ended The Syndicate had its first Chatzone up and running. Our Australian
member Ceowulf (Still in the guild as of Jan 2000 but inactive in game) hosted it. It wasnt
as fancy as the one today but it was very functional and password protected. Ceowulf continued
to host our chatzone for a long time to come. It quickly became our backbone of guild communications.
Finally the beta ended and a decision had to be made. Where to start? It was decided
that Vesper would be where we started since it had all the necesary shops, was close to
a dungeon and no one used it (at that time). A great spot. For the first 6-8months of the
game Syndicate blue dominated the Vesper bank.