In early 1997, a rather exciting computer game called Ultima Online (UO) was in its final beta test. This new game was so diverse, so intense, so involved – it had so much information, a mere handbook couldn’t cover everything. As a result, people who participated in this beta test started putting together very rudimentary websites; collections of information for and about UO. One of those sites, called “Den’s Den: the UO Statistics Site”, or UOSS for short, was born. The love-project of Ryan “Den Dragon” Findley grew not only in size, but in popularity. The site, originally hosted in the Geocities free services for Yahoo members, soon got the attention of such early gaming sites as Stomped (originally a Quake site, now a gaming news aggregate) and FrostByghte (which later became the founder of the Coldfront Gaming Network). By January, 1998, Mr. Findley adjusted the name of the site to Stratics (a portmanteau of the words strategy and statistics) and purchased the domain name Stratics.com while gaining stable hosting for his growing project.
As more online games came into being, Mr. Findley’s interests branched outward. Stratics was split into “Stratics Central” which served as a hub for game news across multiple titles – and UOSS was handed over to Xena Dragon [sic] who managed the further growth of that portion of the site. By enlisting the help of volunteers who served as reporters, developers, web designers, and forum managers, UOSS continued to collect, catalog and share game information with the ever passionate community.
As the gaming industry changed, so Stratics has adapted. Putting focus on the game that started it all, Stratics is thoroughly committed to providing community driven services for Ultima Online. With forums, news, catalogs and more, Stratics maintains a core group of dedicated volunteers who not only work on the site and content, but play UO as well. Serving as a bridge between the Community and the Developers, Stratics looks forward to many more years of service to the oldest MMORPG still running this day.
Although Stratics was born in 1997, the earliest web-archive of the site appears on December 12, 1998.
Through all this time, members of the Community have stepped forward to contribute their thoughts, experiences and knowledge gleaned from thousands of hours in Ultima Online and various other games.