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Yew Merry Center for All

The Yew Merry Center for All (YMCA) was a player run township on the Sonoma Shard of Ultima Online. The center is the longest running player run establishment on the Shard. The center is based just south of the Yew road to Britain and stands in the form of a placed four story tower. The founding of the center was somewhere around the middle of 1998. Over the years the center has been a haven for new players, role players, but has also been rife with conflict as it became a target for player killers looking for easy kills. In 2000 the center received official recognition from Game Masters and was given some of the first sponsored locked down items on the shard in an effort to help build the community.

Yew Merry Center for All circa 1999

History

The original Yew Merry Center for All tower was placed by a group of friends who pooled their money to buy a tower in the early months of the opening of the Sonoma Shard opening.[1] Best estimates is that the tower was placed in March of 1998.

During the initial few years of Ultima Online, the housing rules were substantially different than what they are today. Any player that had keys to a building had unrestricted access to the building. There was no "building management" system at the time, users were unable to ban / remove unwanted players, and it was also impossible to change keys on the building. This meant that loosing ones keys to the house meant that the building was no longer secure, and often times no longer usable.

Unfortunately a copy of the key was lost soon after the building was placed and the looters gutted the inside of the building. Instead of allowing the building to collapse however, they decided to turn it into the first community center on the shard of Sonoma. The center created a staff list of people who would volunteer to administer the building & keep the building safe. These people included carpenters who would have to frequently refit the building after thefts, PvPers to defend the building from unwanted attacks, role players to create the community around it, and a few managers to keep everything running smoothly. It was the earliest and most sophisticated player run center on the Sonoma shard.

Types of Attacks

The center quickly became a target for player killers, who found that the clientele was usually young players who were unable to defend themselves. Several guilds dedicated themselves to defending the center and the center became a place of conflict over the years. The Brotherhood of Light led by King David were some of the early guilds that pledged their defense to the center.

Other types of attacks including gating Dragons & Lich Lords from dungeons onto the grounds, reaking havoc on the YMCA's clientele.

  • Summoning of Energy Vortex's on the lawn (long since banned) would cause chaos and mow down early role players in the area.
  • Up until the exploit was patched, it was still possible to chain purple potions together to cause an "insta-death" explosion, thus killing everyone in the building.
  • Because this was before the age of furniture lockdowns, furniture theft was ripe and it was not uncommon for management to come back and find the location had been gutted.

The YMCA Charter

The charter book at the entry to the YMCA reads...

The YMCA is a place where players of all backgrounds and hues may meet to enjoy themselves... The Center is declared a "neutral zone". Do not engage in any form of aggressive[2] activity towards any other patron in the building or on the lawn, regardless of criminal flagging, title, warring guild membership, and/or personal history.

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  1. UO Stratics
  2. Aggressive acts = attacking, stealing, snooping or looting.