Taking a page from Henry David Thoreau, an Ultima Online player called upon dissatisfied UO players and urged them to engage in an act of massive civil disobedience on Wednesday - to gorge on ale, assemble en masse in front of Lord British's castle, to remove their clothes, and protest what he (although he believes he speaks for many, many UO players) feels are gameplay inconsistencies that have gone unaddressed by the game's maker, Origin Systems.
Interestingly enough, the player (who goes by the handle Mohdri Dragon) has expressed high regard for the game. In a communique with GameSpot News, the player states, "Ultima Online is a marvel of the modern software world and is by far and away the best computer game I have ever played. The reason the protest was organized is because, as great as UO is, it could still be a lot better. Quite simply, it has not lived up to all the promises its designers made to their paying customers."
While Mohdri Dragon praises the game, he told GameSpot News on Wednesday that "this entire protest was organized to send the message that we, as players, do not want to see new features continually added to this game if the previous issues are not being addressed."
Mohdri Dragon's full statement has been posted on numerous sites and contains a detailed schedule for protesters to follow. As it turns out, Mohdri Dragon has decided to withdraw his endorsement of the protest, though he says Origin had absolutely nothing to do with this change.
It seems likely that some - though no one knows for sure how many - players may still show their bare bums on the drawbridge outside British's shed.
Origin's response to M. Dragon's efforts was surprisingly philosophical. The company is, however, concerned with server load issues should high numbers of players crowd the game.
"The fact that they've chosen this form [to protest] is really cool," said an Origin spokesperson. The spokesperson stated that in the interest of "trying to make this the best possible experience" for gamers, Origin has made about 3,000 tweaks to gameplay since the title shipped. But that while they continue to respond to complaints, it just isn't possible to address everyone's needs as quickly as both the gamer and developer would like.
Origin said it was monitoring the protest, in spite of it being "called off."
GameSpot News will do the same.