Ultima Online is split up into different servers called Shards that are located all over the world. Players usually select a shard in or near their time zone. This helps reduce latency, which can cause lag. The number of active shards has fluctuated over time. Today, there are 27 production shards, while in December of 1999, there were only 16.
Mondain the wizard captured the world of Sosaria in the Gem of Immortality. The Avatar (aka The Stranger / The Traveler from the Stars) shattered the Gem of Immortality into numerous shards. Each server is considered a Shard of the shattered gem. In each shattered remnant of the gem dwells a perfect likeness of Sosaria. Britannia that was once Sosaria now exists as a thousand worlds each with its own peoples, history and destiny:
- During the earliest span of the age of darkness. Found in only the most aged of manuscripts lived a world born of mystic arts and ancient sorcery: Sosaria. Despite Sosaria's enchanted origin its people shunned magic for its very use corrupted the souls of the unwary. But one man dared to awake the slumbering powers of alchemy. Twisting the awesome powers of the gem of immortality to his will and binding all of Sosaria to his corruption: Mondain the wizard. His power was absolute as the whole of the planet was gripped in his cruel embrace. Only the appearance of a stranger saved Sosaria from impending destruction. From whence he came no one knows, but his strength and courage were without peer. In this stranger lay Sosaria's only hope. Only a traveler from the stars could release this world from Mondain's vile stranglehold. He would prove himself a saviour, shattering the gem of immortality and defeating Mondain. But a deeper and more sinister evil was released with the destruction of the gem, for Sosaria was not free of the stone's power. The planet was still bound to the jewel even as it lay shattered on the floor of Mondain's castle. For within each shattered remnant of the jewel dwelt a perfect likeness of Sosaria. Thus is the world in which you are born, live and die. Britannia that was once Sosaria now exists as a thousand worlds each with its own peoples, history and destiny. This Britannia is but one of many in the multiverse, that is Ultima Online.
- - Ultima Online Intro
List of All Shards
There are currently 27 production shards. Production shards are where "normal" gameplay occurs as opposed to a testing or special event shard.
|Formosa||Great Lakes||Hokuto||Izumo||Lake Austin||Lake Superior||Legends||Mizuho||Mugen|
|Napa Valley||Oceania||Origin||Pacific||Sakura||Siege Perilous||Sonoma||Wakoku||Yamato|
List of Shards by Region
United States East
(Maintenance: 5am EST/EDT)
United States West
(Maintenance: 5am PST/PDT)
(Maintenance: 8am JST)
(Maintenance: 5am GMT/UTC)
(Maintenance: 9am KST)
(Maintenance: 5am AEST)
These shards have either closed, were one time events, or had other purposes: