Atlantic Shard History
by Dragons

Atlantic shard was one of the initial UO shards setup on Day 1 of the release of Ultima Online. As such it immediately became a very popular server and attracted a great many of the individuals and groups that had been posturing on the boards since before the beta even began. Some of the better known groups, at that time, were The Syndicate, Pirates of the Dark Water, Fekheads and The Dominion. While only The Syndicate remains, from that age of UO, dozens of well known groups flocked to Atlantic shard and it immediately became a hotbed for activity.

In the early days of UO, there were no guildstones and there was little penalty for pkilling. Houses didnt initially exist but came along soon into the final but they proved both a blessing and a curse. Houses had only 2 keys and if you lost one, you could not re-key your house or ban anyone. There was no such thing as locked down items either. As such, much of the early Atlantic shard history centers on guild wars and red v blue pvping. Often those centered around the houses of your 'enemy' in the hopes of getting a key to gain access and loot them.

Some of the more infamous early UO PvP battles are as follows:

Server Down: Each day, in the morning, a message would come up that read "The server will be going down shortly". That message came up anywhere from 5 to 60min before the server actually went down and it signaled that anything you did after that message would not be saved.
Large numbers of players would flock to Covetous where reds and blues would clash in large running battles, every day. The lines of who was on which side were not as clear as the color of your name since nothing would save once the server went down. Day in and day out, for months, epic battles raged there among guilds like The Regulators, The Mercs, Covetous Crew, The Syndicate, The Pluggers, Obsidian Order and more.

Army of Darkness: In the earlier UO days, AoD was one of the more active pkiller guilds. East of Britian, in the plains between there and Cove, they built a small village. Anyone who dared come near it faced almost certain attacks. Although a small group of players, AoD had built up a large reputation. One Saturday morning, The Syndicate launched a massive attack against the AoD city in the hopes of taking over the bulk of the town (since locks could not be changed once keys were lost) and ending or reducing that threat. 10 gates opened up surrounding the city and an army of attackers roared out. The battle was short as the forces of good outnumbered those of evil and in the end the bulk of the village was taken and AoD ceased to be the major threat to the good people of Sosaria that it once was.

The Dread Alliance: The forces of 'evil' were not to be kept down for too long, however. A new alliance formed. An alliance of a number of pkiller groups that knew that in order to defeat the forces of good, they had to band together. So The Dread Alliance was born. Many small battles were fought with each side claiming victory and to be the stronger side. As the battles wore on each side wished to have a definitive resolution and so a massive war was planned. The dreads would setup in the valley leading up to Wrong and within the dungeon itself. The 'good' forces would form up outside the valley at the appointed time and march into the prepared defenses. The last side standing was the winner. Massive preparations were made within the valley. Obstacles that could not be passed through were setup.
Stockpiles of supplies were put in place. And reds flocked to the call for war. Not to be out done, the forces of good also marshalled a large army and waited patiently outside the valley until the appointed hour.
Once that hour came, the 'good' forces, wearing blue robes, marched into the valley and faced the 'red' forces in a massive battle that lasted upwards of an hour. In the end, the red forces were defeated and the Dread Alliance disbanded. Here is a photo of the 'good' forces as they formed up outside the Wrong valley:

Those are just some examples of the impact Player versus Player combat has had on the history of Atlantic. Since it was one of the first shards, PvP has always had a place in many Atlantic players hearts.

But let us not only focus on PvP. There was much more to Atlantic's history than just warfare. Some of the more noteworthy achievements and groups that have helped make for a rich and colorful history are:

Leah's Runes: One of the first full service rune shops on any shard, Leah's Runes was "the" rune most players carried with them. If you needed a rune to pretty much anywhere, including major player run establishments, Leah's had it. There were a few rules of course.
Anyone who attacked another player, regardless of whether they were red, grey or orange to you, was banned from the house. The same thing went for stealing from other players. As such, the inside of Leah's became a safe haven from the troubles of the world outside. But outside Leah's was often the focus of pitched battles. In those days, the GameMasters would also decorate locations that benefited all players equally and Leah's was one of those places.

Arx Draconis: The first player run town of all of UO formed on Atlantic shard. It was (and is still) called Arx Draconis. While it also housed the guildstone for The Syndicate, it was a very popular player run town boasting a very active tavern, craftsman days to aid players in getting items made and repaired, and a large number of player run events that often drew in 200+ players to participate.

Wintermoor: This was another famous player run town of Atlantic. It was most famous for its Rare Museum which contained examples of rares that could not be obtained anymore. In the early days of UO, items around the world were not locked down and thieves could (and did) steal just about everything. A fine collection of those items appeared in the Rares Museum for players to view.

ImaNewbie: One of the early, and most funny, UO comics was ImaNewbie.
While he was not a specifically Atlantic creation he did come to Atlantic to create some of his works. Given a house and some startup gold by The Syndicate, ImaNewbie had a house on Ice Island and was seen roaming the lands looking for the next bit of humor for his comic strip on a number of occasions.

Goodman's Runes: Goodman's is another UO landmark. Formed around the time Treasure Map runes came out, Goodman served as another Atlantic shard landmark. When players were not using Leah's or Arx Draconis, they were using Goodman's. There was certainly enough need for well done rune libraries that Goodman's was very popular and served the Atlantic Community well.

Atlantic Shard Events: Beyond some famous names and places, Atlantic shard also has a very right history of player run events. Among the list of successful events include:
- Lotteries: These are large gatherings of 200+ players. They are free and open to the public and many great prizes were given out including houses and very rare items.
- Craftsman Nights: Started by The Syndicate, of Atlantic, this event has spread to most shards but it remains very popular among a number of guilds on Atlantic. Free item creates and repairs are performed for those who do not have the resources to do so for themselves.
- Scavenger Hunts: An always popular event are the Scavenger Hunts. These can be in the form of solving clues or finding items.
- Fight Nights: Whether its 1 on 1 fights, or group on group battles, Atlantic shard has had a rich history of those types of events. Many guilds and groups have sponsored tournaments to test the skill of the shard.

As UO has changed over the years, Atlantic shard remains in the forefront of those changes. It ranked among the top shards for Faction Warfare activity and kill scores for many months when that type of pvp was at its peak.

Atlantic shard was very often the shard that was 'patched first' and that wasn't always the best position to be in. Before the days of Test Center, Atlantic served as the test center for all other shards for the bulk of the patches. While it wasn't always the best position to be in, Atlantic shard players are proud to have been able to serve that role in the UO community for many years. Of course that didn't stop the jokes of Atlantic shard being "down again" or "another warp/rollback" but in the end the service provided by those players on Atlantic benefited all of UO.

When Champion Spawns came out, Atlantic guilds attacked that new challenge with the same energy they had played UO with for so many years before. They were among the first to kill many of the bosses and the harrower itself.

Atlantic shard is one of the very first UO shards and it will remain one of the most active until the very last days. Atlantic shard UO players are a very proud group of players. Claims of being the baddest of the bad or the best of the best or the most good are very common on the server and in many cases they are justified. While heated debates are fought over who is 'most uber' and intense battles can range in the game itself, Atlantic shard players are united in our passion to be the best and revel in our rich history of triumphs.

The Syndicate

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