Top positive review
Can a book prepare you for this ever-evolving game?
on 11 December 1997
I bought this book about 3 hours after I first logged on to Ultima. It became painfully apparent that I needed some help to survive in such a new World. When I opened up the book, I was elated. It seemed to have everything I could want and more. The screen shots of every Britannian creature, the maps (Oh, what useful cartography!!), the hints, and the recipies for magery. However, I quickly realized that the book what not telling me truth, or at least not the whole truth. How could that be since this book was written by the creators of the game itself? Well, as it turns out the book was exactly right, but it was telling me about the game that was published, and not the game that it has evoled into. Since the delivery of the original product, the company has put out several patches that have tweaked various areas of the game. Not that there were many bugs, just that there were areas that were less than beleivable for role-players. So, the sections of the book that describe characteristics of weapons, armor and creatures have become all but useless. They are still accurate in helping you identify items by site, but the statistics have changed. I learned this lesson the hard way by spending my hard earned gold on an axe that the book said I was strong enough for, yet the game said I was not. Before I buy anything from another player or NPC I always check this resource and lightly mark in the book the latest stats for that item or creature. There is one aspect of this book that is worth every penny. The Cartography! The mapping is the most useful part of this book. And, as a Cartographer in trade myself, not to technically innacurate either. Yet, gratefully, this section is not immune to changes either. For recently, banks have been added to most of the major cities that previously had none. Again I resort to my pencil and mark in the location of these newly added features. On the whole this book offers great tips, great maps, and quite a bit of other useful information. But, by nature, static paper cannot keep up with the ever changing game. Buy the book for the hints and the maps, for the rest....read the online docs.