|This article needs additional citations for verification. (September 2014)|
Type of site
|Registration||Free w/Paid Benefits & Upgrades|
|Owner||Bazaaro Community, Inc.|
|176,414 (April 2014[update])|
Stratics is is a portmanteau of the words strategy and statistics. It is currently a website dedicated to supporting the community of the Ultima Online Massively multiplayer online role-playing game and is the oldest, continously running MMORPG news and fansite having been formed in 1997. The domain name Stratics.com was registered on January 27, 1998 to facilitate the community's uniqueness and purpose. The earliest instance of any part of the site is recorded in the WayBackMachine on December 19, 1998.
In early 1997, the Ultima Online game was in beta. Several groups of players formed together, holding conversations on free-forums and BBS services and creating guides to help one another. One of these groups was called, "Den's Den: the UO Statistics Site" - or UOSS - and hosted on the Geocities free Web hosting network by founder Ryan "Den Dragon" Findley. The focus his work on providing statistical research and guides about Ultima Online during its early beta stages. Shortly after the original site's founding, Findley adjusted the name to Stratics, and purchased the domain. He also allowed others to assist as "Shard Reporters", content creators and research assistants.
UOSS provided news, guides, and open discussions with the game developers via Internet Relay Chat. Originally called "Open Houses," the first House of Commons (HoCs) was held on February 12, 1998 and featured a variety of Ultima Online developers talking about the game with attendees, answering their questions live without scripts. This promoted the open feel of the game while serving to root UOSS as the main source for Ultima Online news.
As the site grew in popularity, other games were being discussed, notably Everquest, World of Warcraft and Asheron's Call. While the MMO genre grew, the organizers of UOSS decided to duplicate the current model, and offer the same sort of services for other games. A split occurred: multiple game news grew under Stratics Central and the root domain Stratics.com, while Ultima Online news, guides and forums developed under UO Stratics and the subdomain uo.stratics.com. Soon, the HOC discussions were expanded to include Everquest, Asheron's Call, and later Star Wars Galaxies along with other MMO titles.
The site, operated and maintained by volunteers, still needed financial backing for the hosting and bandwidth costs that affect all popular sites.
- UGO.com (now IGN)
- Valour Corp.
- Bazaaro Community, Inc. (current ownership)
Return to Roots
After several change overs of ownership and a loud outcry from the Ultima Online community, Bazaaro Community, Inc., the current owner, decided to rededicate the Stratics Brand to the UO community. Removing all content for other games, the Stratics site is currently undergoing fundamental changes to refocus upon what made the site so popular in the beginning - structured participation of a single, passionate gaming community.