1996-02-16: Ultima Online Pre-Alpha Testing

This was sent as an email to all who were accepted to the pre-alpha.

From: Edmond L. Meinfelder

Subject: Ultima Online Pre-Alpha Testing

Date: Friday, February 16, 1996 9:07 PM

Well done my friend. By applying to test the pre-Alpha version of Ultima Online, you not only get to experience and exciting new world, but also help us make the world more stable and enjoyable for all.

There are a few things you should know, however. Pre-alpha means the game is not finished -- far from it, in fact! Almost daily, the look and feel of Ultima Online changes. For example, the lands seen in the pre-alpha test will be fairly flat, but the final game will have rolling hills, mountains and cliffs. What you see now is not what you will get later, but instead, merely a taste of what is to come.

Combat, skills and most of the game-system are in their primal stages. You, as a tester, are not only welcome to comment on what you see, but encouraged to do so; please keep this in mind when you visit us online. Despite the early state of the gaming system, we plan to include a few quests and some interesting things to do.

The setting for the upcoming test features only a map of the city of Britain, which is limited to 250 players at one time. We regret this limitation, but at this early stage we do not yet have multiple maps up and running. In the future, Ultima Online shall support a huge number of maps and players, all limited solely by the number of computers available to run to the server software. Ultima Online will be the largest Ultima ever.

Right now, the Ultima Online client only runs on Windows '95. Perhaps later we will port the client software to many other operating systems, but for now Windows '95 is a requirement. Another requirement is Internet conductivity. Your machine must be able to send and receive TCP/IP packets to and from sites on the Internet. If you can run either Netscape or Mosaic, chances are very good you can play Ultima Online. Because Windows '95 is a substantial operating system, we recommend a system with the following requirements:

Pentium 60, 486dx4-100 or better
12 megabytes of RAM
Slip/PPP or direct Internet connection connect at 14.4k bps or better
PCI Video
CD-ROM Drive, double-speed (or faster)
16 bit Sound Card (or better)

Please note these optimum requirements are for our currently unoptimized software. In fact, we padded the above requirements with a wide margin for error. As a tester, another of your jobs is to tell us how well the client software works on your system.

As we get closer to test-time, you will receive another electronic mail message with information on obtaining the client, reporting bugs, and commenting on the state of the game. Barring unexpected delays, the test date is sometime in mid-March. For now, we shall use your email address and a password to allow entry onto the game.

There is no charge to test. After all, you are helping us to create a more solid product, and for that, we thank you. so, get ready to step into a new, but familiar world and stay as long as you wish. We sincerely hope you like our new vision of Britannia.

The Ultima Online Team.