Ultima Online: Kingdom Reborn and Stygian Abyss

"Gargoyles are noble, stoic, expert at shaping stone and manipulating energy," he says instead, noting that Abyss will mark the first time humans can reach the as yet unnamed gargoyle homeland. Which is where exactly? Another dimension? Cohen admits he's not sure, since the team prefers their fiction flexible and coming up with ideas on the fly. The team also enjoys the notion of spatial ambiguity, as demonstrated by UO's mirror-image landmasses (according to Cohen, a player with a cartography background recently tried to make a consistent map of all known moongate-connected UO geography and found the task impossible).

The abyss itself is UO 's hugest and most diversely stocked dungeon to date. So what’s in it? "We want it to be different from any other dungeon apart from its massive size, because massive size with nothing going on is just more boring hallways," says Cohen. "So we’re looking at different puzzle aspects, randomization, different ways to travel, monsters with different AI, monsters that can tunnel perhaps. You’ll have to think as much as fight. It’s gonna feel weird."

Stygian Abyss is scheduled to crumble open this summer, with Kingdom Reborn, which will be required to run Abyss, due "before then."