New Gallery: Ultima Online Spirit of Virtue
Here are nearly thirty images I took at the behest of Paul Barnett at Mythic Entertainment, during my recent visit there. They showcase some concept art (and mockups) for a proposed overhaul of Ultima Online that Origin Systems evidently put together around the same time that the Age of Shadows expansion was under development.
Tentatively entitled Spirit of Virtue, this project would have likely done away with Ultima Online’s Classic Client. The basic idea behind Spirit of Virtue was to enhance Ultima Online with an Ultima 9-style game engine; whether this would then have taken advantage of the 3D capabilities of the Third Dawn client, or else would have migrated the game to a wholly new client, is unknown. Alternatively, Spirit of Virtue may have been an early name for Ultima X: Odyssey. That, at least, is what Chris “Binky” Launius speculates may have been the case.
Meanwhile, Stephen Emond had this to say about the project in Ultima Online: The Ultimate Collector’s Guide: 2013 Edition: “Despite sharing some similar features to Richard Garriott’s Tabula Rasa, Ultima X is not the “Project X” he had planned after Ultima IX. See the “Ultima Worlds” section for additional information. The game was also briefly referred to by UO players as “UO 2.0” although that turned out to be another project entirely (which was also cancelled). More persistent were the players who mistakenly referred to it as UOX. One alternate name that may have been used internally for the game early in its production was “Ultima Online III: The Spirit of Virtue“. In December 2003 two wallpapers bearing that logo were mistakenly released (and quickly removed).”