For those who don't know, Ultima Online is like WoW but more hardcore. You don't need to raid so you can take it at your own pace - but to actually accomplish stuff it does tend to take more time than WoW, and the game is more unforgiving. It is much easier to waste time, die and lose what you worked for, and it's possible to even lose your items or mount that you spent your entire time on the shard working for.
I am pretty hardcore when it comes to being good at games so my immediate goal was to be pretty badass on the shard. Anyways this guy I met helped me every step, and I became pretty good friends with him over the next 2-3 months. He spent so much time helping me, and I saw him help other players, he was truly selfless. And he was selfless in a game where almost all players are extremely selfish.
After getting to know more about him I found out some sad info about him. He was pretty down on himself, a couple years ago he had done something very bad. He didn't really go indepth and I mostly solved it because I am a good detective but he admitted I was on the right track. He was on probation because when he was younger he had drank and drove and hit someone - I believe a kid - possibly killing the kid.
I could tell he was kind of depressed by this. And I know a lot of you, a lot of people in general would hate on this guy hard - there is no way he should ever be forgiven. But I take this to be a lesson in being understanding of others. I can read people well enough, even in games, to tell that this was a really really nice guy. I felt pretty bad for him that he had made this mistake in his past, a mistake that was obviously going to be haunting him forever.
Anyways we played for a few more weeks until one day I get online and he suddenly messages me "come to my house". His house in the game of course, I didn't know him in person. So I go to his house, and he proceeds to give me the house (worth a lot in the game), and give me all his stuff. Perhaps a thousand hours of work, he had been playing a lot longer than me. He tells me he can't go on UO anymore and has 5 minutes to get out of the game.
Apparently the judge he regularly sees about his probation ruled he can't use any online "chat programs", and games are considered chat programs. He then logs off and is gone.
Anyways I was pretty bummed about this, I really liked this guy. I made a post on the forum for the shard giving him my email address, since I didn't think to do it beforehand. But I doubted he would ever read it, even if he could. And he didn't, I never heard from him. This was maybe 6-7 months ago.
Then last night I check my email and what's this: I got an email from my UO buddy. He said he was bored and decided to type his old username into google, and the first thing that came up was my post to him on the forums.
We caught up a bit, he is doing alright. He has to wear a bracelet on his ankle and he works at a gas station but he seems to be hanging in there. Anyways I thought it was cool to catch up with him and I like the guy enough I will probably keep in touch with him regularly.
So yeah, that's the end of my story.
Oh, and random TL related fact: the shard I played UO on wasn't all that big, but there was another TLer there! TL ownz the universe.