Hey gadjet!If you don't mind, I'd like to share some experiences and try to answer the questions as well, as a person who has been playing Ultima Odyssey since April and who had some, but not much, past experience with stock Ultima Online Maybe this will be helpful to @Julzjuice and other people who are coming here for the first time to find, try, and enjoy Djeryv's amazing game.
First of all, my experience with Ultima Odyssey has been such that it both feels like Ultima Online and it's not exactly Ultima Online at the same time. First of all, it's important to keep in mind that Odyssey is running on the Ultima Online engine and is using the RunUO server core, so obviously, it'll at least share some basic features with Ultima Online itself and with the other UO/RunUO-based shards and games. For example, the gump-based interface, UO/U7/U8 style inventory management, basics of character creation and stats (three primary attributes, the skill system, etc.), that kind of things. At the same time, many of these aspects are changed, at least to some degree, and in many cases significantly. For example, the primary attributes, while they're the same as in UO itself, give a different boost to your hit points, mana, and stamina compared to what you might read in the official UO guide. The skills, while named the same as in Ultima Online, are typically expanded in many ways to make them more useful and interesting in a single player environment, but obviously these modifications will not be explained in the official UO guide. Therefore, the similarities between Ultima Odyssey and stock Ultima Online may, at many times, be misguiding, so relying on an Ultima Online wiki source may yield the desired results and explanations. That said, there *are* certain aspects that Ultima Odyssey shares with stock UO that you may find explained on some kind of an UO wiki - for example, the basic meaning and function of some of the secondary stats you may see on items, such as Defense Chance or whatever, as well as certain weapon and armor characteristics such as Blood Bane (which may not be too self-explanatory at first, especially if you've never played UO before). Now, once again, I'm not even sure if these characteristics act exactly the same as they did in stock UO, but if you need at least the basic idea of what they do, checking out the UO wiki may prove useful.
Now, Ultima Odyssey is meant to be pretty much self-contained, and like Djeryv said, a *lot* of the game mechanics are explained within the game itself, in many of the books and scrolls that you can either buy from someone or find in the dungeons or something like that. As a completely new player who haven't played UO before, you want to be sure to check out the Adventure Guide that any new character is given at start. It doesn't go into too much detail about the game, but it does explain most of the basics about the character and the interface that you'd want to know to get started. Then, be sure to check the "Help" menu and, I'd say, take some time to read everything in there that explains how the game functions and stuff, there's a lot of information about the updated skills, many of the new and Odyssey-specific features and interface elements, etc. If you spend some time reading first the Adventure Guide and then the Help menu, you'll feel that the game will be a lot easier to get into and you'll definitely appreciate the level of detail the game provides in explaining itself to the player. As you keep playing, be sure to pay attention to the guidebooks and scrolls you encounter as well. Check out some of the stuff that Sages in towns have for sale, they're useful as well and they also explain many of the game mechanics. Be sure to check out the information scrolls in taverns and banks. In other words, if there's information in the game itself, be sure to check it out. The fun part about this game is that it's designed to be explored and discovered. In many ways, having those wikis that explain everything about the game kind of ruins the experience - if you already know the best weapon and the best armor there is, and you know where to go to get one, you are absolutely sure there will be nothing better in this game. However, with Ultima Odyssey, you never know And in many months of playing, I still discover new items and new game mechanics and new locations that really surprise me - not many games can do that nowadays with the all-knowing Internet and the power of wikis
Overall, therefore, try to play the game on its own terms and using the in-game information as much as possible, it's fun and it keeps the sense of discovery and exploration (and thus novelty) for a very long time. If you do come across some kind of named mechanic that you're curious about but you don't see explained (mostly stuff you see in item descriptions, I guess), then check out the official UO information to get the basic idea, but don't rely on specific numbers (damage amount, percentages, etc.) too much since they could have been changed in Odyssey. Also, it might be useful to at least check out the official game guide of some sort if you'd like to learn how certain subsystems work in UO, especially which might feel a little obscure/counterintuitive at first, such as, for example, navigating ships or building customized houses.
As for the choice of the client, I'm usually playing with Razor Enhanced as well, but I really like ClassicUO too and I like to see how it develops. Currently I mostly have two issues with it (one with the lighting problems like Djeryv mentioned, the other is that for some reason it doesn't show some of the (customized?) container gumps, instead defaulting to the standard bag, which also messes up item positions - e.g. many wardrobes and stuff are shown with the "bag" gump in ClassicUO, and it kind of ruins it). But that said, it's really getting there, and it's a very decent custom client with a lot of neat features and good, smooth FPS by default, so at least keep and eye on it as it matures, it's compatible with Odyssey. Also, it's the only way you can have both a free and open-source server (RunUO) *and* a free and open-source client executable (ClassicUO) running on operating systems that UO wasn't even meant to run on without an emulator or compatibility layer (e.g. Wine) of any sort, e.g. it's the only way I can play Ultima Odyssey natively on Linux without resorting to Wine.
A little side note for something I kinda learned the hard way: if you ever end up using those "donation boxes" in taverns as a sort of "shared chest" type of thing to transfer items between your own characters, keep in mind that the contents are completely wiped if you run a [buildworld command, which is something I normally do if I update my game to a newer version. I kinda learned it the hard way, lol, didn't lose anything useful but figured out that the contents are wiped when you rebuild the world (it makes perfect sense and it's perfectly logical, just not something that I thought of immediately when first trying the command, haha).
Oh, and since you asked about a bestiary... There's no bestiary as such online (in a wiki or whatever), buuut (warning: spoiler alert!) there are...... (check the spoiler below if you want )some D&D-inspired, very rare items in the game which might... surprise you and kinda help in this regard Keep your eye open on them!
Thanks a lot for all those tips and information. I’m still stuck at work and you have no idea how eager I am to get started on learning the game! It’s killing me!!!!
And I’ve got a couple questions for you, if you don’t mind answering:
Is there a lot of things to do in the world? How vast is the bestiary? Is loot random in chests or when they drop from monsters or are drops static and implemented manually by the author? Are magic weapons and armour also built randomly by the game engine with different stats? I’m guessing there are some unique items that can be found? Relics or artifacts?
I’ve got sooooo many questions haha. I’m a huge fan of D&D.... I grew up with games like Ice Wind Dale and Baldur’s Gate and I’m also a huge fan of roguelike games like dwarf fortress. I love sandbox worlds and I love it when there’s a lot of replay-ability!
Sorry for all the questions, I’m just super excited haha!