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CottonEyeJoe's UOTURNS20 Coverage: Stories, Pictures, & Videos - ENTIRE Event Coverage

Discussion in 'UHall' started by CottonEyeJoe104, Sep 25, 2017.

  1. CottonEyeJoe104

    CottonEyeJoe104 Slightly Crazed
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    This is a long post, about my history, the 20th anniversary, and my collection of photos and videos from this historic event: Ultima Online's 20th Anniversary. TL:DR Pictures and Video links are at bottom.


    Happy Birthday Ultima Online. 20 years old. Can you believe it? It was two weeks before my 11th, birthday, and I remember sitting 7 inches from that old CRT monitor watching every move my brother made as he made his character and entered the world of Ultima. I can remember the exact location of the family's pc, the smell coming through the open back door, as we just had to cut the grass before we could get on. He is 3 years older than I, so he made his character first. I sat there for what seemed like days watching him play, and finally I got the only thing I wanted for my birthday my own copy of Ultima Online; I got it a few days early -- probably cause I wouldn't shut the hell up about it. I don't know if any other birthday present had ever got me so excited. From as far back as I could sit on a chair I played the Ultima Series. So finally I get to create my account, I pick a horrendous login name, and here I am, looking at UO Login screen. 10 Years 362 days old. Faced with the biggest decision of my life. What should my 'handle' be. The radio is on in the background as my brother and I discuss names. I thought MattCoolio had a good ring to it, he disagreed, and thank god, that'd been terrible! As soon as that is shot down, the greatest song in the 90's comes on the radio. COTTON EYE JOE by Rednex. If it hadn't been for Cotton Eye Joe, I'd been married long time ago! Where did he come from? Where did he go? Where did you come from, CottonEyeJoe? You all know the song. You're singing it right now. I didn't even give my brother the time to respond, CottonEyeJoe I slammed it in at lightning speed, and it accepted it! My alter-ego, my handle, the legend was born: Cotton Eye Joe. 20 years later, I still use it. I even proudly respond to being called Cotton in real life. Yea I'm a nerd, get over it.

    I've attended multiple Ultima events over the years. From the 8th or 9th meetup at Gencon here in Indianapolis, to 12th? reunion in DC/Baltimore area, to Paxlair's Michigan Renfair adventure, and then finally this one; 20th Anniversary of Ultima Online. Each one gets better and better. Maybe cause I can drink now. *laugh*

    So, when Mesanna made the post there would be a 20th Anniversary, I instantly knew I was going. No way in hell, was I going to miss this event. I grew up in UO, I felt I owed it to UO to show up. This game has been such a large part of my life, for 2/3 of my life. I quickly made sure to book a room, and then start the long process of planning my week, and make sure I could get off and have a good time. Real life friends, and in game friends all tried to get time off and make it. All of them, but one, failed to actually come. Was disappointing, but anyone who attended can agree, we had a good time! There are people I've known for 15-20 years that I was finally able to meet in person. Put a face behind the player.

    *To The Celebration in DC*

    I arrived in DC a few days early to explore Washington D.C. cause I had never been. Was well worth it. Anyway, Friday, September 22, I get up crazy early. Like 6am. I can't sleep, I'm too excited. I have all my gear, and I'm down in lobby by 8:15. Registration doesn't open till 9:30 -- so it says. There is already people in line! Other people couldn't wait either *laugh*. So I sign in, check out this awesome Swag Bag, and start to setup my cameras, and so forth. The swag bag, I'm sure you've seen had multiple items in it. It has a mouse pad, a small poster, a very heavy duty glass mug w/ 20th on one side, and UO on the other, a T-Shirt, and the days itinerary.

    As I sit and wait for 10:30 to come around to kick off this event, two men walk in. Dressed for the part. People begin to surround them, get pictures. I was in the back, so at first I wasn't sure who it was; but I had a good idea. Sure enough, its Richard (Lord British) Garriott and Starr (Lord Blackthorn) Long. They actually did show up! Now I'm flashed back to my 11year old self all excited. So I get up in line, and wait for my turn to get a picture w/ the Lords of UO. A picture that I'll proudly keep for the rest of my life, and hell maybe even slap it on my tombstone. I took a few minutes to talk to them and thank them for creating such an amazing world and experience. Not just UO, but the previous Ultimas. As I said earlier, I grew up on these games. I'm already amazed on how easy they are to talk to, and didn't make a commoner such as myself feel rushed to get out of the way. I had no idea how the rest of this weekend was going to go.

    I retreat back to my table in the far back, and once again go back to waiting to 10:30. Finally 10:30 arrives and Mesanna gives a quick and oddly worded introduction. You can view it yourself below. But nonetheless the pair is introduced, and they are slotted to speak and take questions for 1.5 hours. That turned into 2 hours 17 minutes. They went over how they got to where they are now. It was truly great hearing how they got to this point. They took a lot of questions, and gave some hilarious answers. If you have time go watch it. I'm not going to type the entire segment to you.

    We break for Lunch, provided by Broadsword/Ultima Online. Was ham, turkey, sandwiches, all kinds of brownies, cookies, the UO20 cake, cupcakes, chips, all kinds of food. It was all pretty good. You can check out the pictures in the links at the end. I got my fillings worth, thats all I know. Then like a true clumsy newb that I am, as I got up from the table I knocked over a couple glasses of water w/ my camera. Sorry to you guys from Catskills!! They were good sports about it.

    As we get near 2:30, we are all filing back into the conference hall for segment 2: UO Dev Team "What's Coming to Britannia". I recorded this entire segment as well. You can view it below. Mesanne introduced the team, each one spoke a little bit. Then Mesanna jumped right in to what is coming. New vet rewards, few changes, showed off the Halloween and Christmas items. Talked about the road map ahead, and most importantly, introduced 'Endless Journey'. EJ is a free-to-play model for Ultima Online coming early next year. You will have very limited bank space, and you will not be able to do anything w/ a house. You will be stangled for storage, BUT you will be able to play the game for free. They also mentioned an interesting thing they are going to do -- Bank Wars. Think Storage Wars but for peoples Bank's. If you let your account go inactive for X amount of time, your characters banks will be auctioned off. Yep. You read that right. You quit the game for an extended amount of time, I'm going to buy your bank, for pennies on the dollar. So don't quit :). As I said at top, watch the segment below to see the entire presentation, and Q/A.

    We then merge into the Raffle Segment. This is also completely recorded you can view it below. Congratulations to both the 6 Castle winners and the 2 Poster Winners, and table candle winners!

    We then to a 2 hour break for dinner. First thing to do once we returned was the wedding of two friends of mine, Lady Phoenix Of Trinsic and Lord NANOC, both of Chesapeake. I've known both of them for such a long time. Once I heard they were getting married, I knew I had to document the event. Then, much to my amazement, they got Richard Garriott, LORD BRITISH HIMSELF to officiate the wedding. WHAT?! How amazing is that?! Winfield of Paxlair delivered a nice handwritten poem. Lord Blackthorn had a great 'Chaos' cheer in the wedding, well timed. You can also watch that video linked at bottom.

    Immediately following the wedding, was the costume contest. There was a ton of great outfits. I won't write much on this, as its better seen with visuals. A link to watch the contest is below.

    At the end of the costume contest was then our drinking and socializing time. Now, for starters, I'm not that much of a drinker. To add to that, next to us in the meeting halls was the Miss Globe competition, so these beautiful women are walking all about all of us nerds. Whoever planned that +1 to them. We got our drinks, and socialized with a ton of people. I can't even remember who all I talked to. But it was great speaking with each and every one of you. Was awesome how available and willing to have discussions with Garriott, Long, Mesanna, and the staff. I do have to note one thing, Lady Phoenix (the bride), and Lady Cara (the Maid Of Honor), found this random drunk guy who was staying at the hotel avoiding his family. This guy was drunk and crazy. I was walking by the bar, when a mother of a contestant in the Miss Globe competition stops me and mouths "Help Me". This guy was aggressively hitting on this poor woman. So I made him move on down the bar. She thanked me, bought me a drink. Well once she left, the guy came back and apologized. He was so sorry he also bought me , Lord Nanoc (the groom), Lady Phoenix (bride), and a few other people drinks. This guy spent a couple hundred on liquoring up the UO crowd, especially us Chessy players. He is an unsung hero of the night. He disappeared into the courtyard for awhile, but sure enough, he came back. Hitting on another Miss Globe contestants mother (he had a good eye, for older alone ladies). I saved that one as well. She also rewarded my kindness w/ a drink. Last I seen of random drunk guy he was stumbling back out into the coutyard/patio area. No clue whatever happened to that guy, or if he found his lost long love that night. Around 1am, I called it a night, and retreated to my hotel room. Was going to be a long day Saturday.


    Alarms going off at 8am, partially hung over, I crawl out of bed. Start getting everything ready for the day. This was the day of the BBQ, and the day I was driving back to Indianapolis. So I had to get everything ready for the BBQ, as well as packing to get the hell out of here. That was a rough morning *laugh*. We managed to get everything packed into the car, and on the road by 10am, and arrived at Frying Pan Park in no time. We were the first people there (besides In10se BBQ). Gave me time to setup my gear, and plan my photos for the day. Slowly but surely most of the people who were there yesterday arrived. Us Chessy players claimed a table, and socialized for hours. During the time the BBQ was cooking, I met w/ Mesanna, and told her I brought my drone, and I wanted to get photos. She loved the idea . So once the announcement is made the food is ready, she notifies the crowd of the drone and photos. At first, I didn't think many cared or would want to participate in it. We all ate, and Mesanna and Lord British got the attention of the crowd and out into the field we went. I got great pictures and videos! After everyone started heading back into the shade, Lord British, approaches me, and he has not seen a drone before. I'm beyond amazed. The guy who has a ton of money, been to space, family is engineers, and he hasn't seen a drone?! So I let him tinker around w/ the drone, and once I landed it, he couldn't believe the construction on it. We talked for probably 15 minutes about drones. DJI should thank me for all the advertisement I give them. It was awesome to just have a random conversation w/ a personal idol of mine, and see how genuinely amazed and excited he was to see and touch a drone.


    After that, I quickly gathered my belongings, and started the 13hr journey back to Indianapolis. Once I got home I instantly started working on the photos, and videos. It has taken over 36hours putting all of this together. But now it is done. It is finally time to post it all for the world to see! Thank you guys for reading. Thanks to Mesanna & staff for hosting. Big thanks to Richard Garriott and Starr Long for showing up, being accessible, and contributing to a memorable weekend. Was great meeting all of you who attended!


    Safe Travels,

    Lord Cotton Eye Joe


    There is a ton of pictures and video. I've tried to spread it all out to be easily viewable and organized. I mis-labeled a few videos, but we all can live w/ that.

    EVENT MONTAGE - Highlights From Each Event



    Swag Bag and Candles: Swag Bag Pictures:

    Dropbox - Swag Bag


    Segment 1 - Lord British and Lord Blackthorn Speaking:

    Video:

    Segment 2 - Mesanna & Staff - What is to come -- Q/A:

    Video:

    Pictures to Show Slides from Segment 1 & 2: Dropbox - Presentation Slides

    Segment 3 - Raffle:

    Video:

    Segment 4 - Costume Contest:

    Video:

    Segment 5 - Wedding Of Lady Phoenix & Lord Nanoc - Chesapeake:

    Video:

    All Wedding Photos: Dropbox - Lady Phoenix & Lord Nanoc's Wedding

    Segment 6 - BBQ at the park Timelapse

    Video:

    Photos From BBQ: Dropbox - BBQ Photos
    Photos From Drone @ BBQ: Dropbox - Drone Footage


    ALL Pictures I took all weekend long:

    Dropbox - Entire Photo Collection UOTURNS20
     
  2. Eric Ravenwind

    Eric Ravenwind Lore Master
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    Neverwinter Nights WTF!! I love that game and NWN2 to this day!
     
  3. skittles1337

    skittles1337 Journeyman
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    Gracias! Wish it would have been live streamed, I mean UO is still around because of the thousands of players around the world not because of 200.
     
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  4. CottonEyeJoe104

    CottonEyeJoe104 Slightly Crazed
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    I had my gear setup to do it, but the 2mb connection was so bogged down from all the models and UO players, I was getting like 200kb down/up. I knew it wasn't going to work :(
     
  5. Thor VII

    Thor VII Lore Keeper
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  6. Lord Bytor

    Lord Bytor Lore Keeper
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    Thank you for sharing =)
     
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  7. Basara

    Basara UO Forum Moderator
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    The hotel wifi was so decrepit it was set up for 2mbps free for guests, 6mbps if you paid extra - and you'd think the actual speeds were 1/100 of that when you used it.

    So.... Rednex, huh? I guess we should be glad it wasn't "The Way I Mate" on the radio......
     
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  8. Parnoc

    Parnoc Slightly Crazed
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    I can't believe the hotel did not provide a stage for this, it must have been almost impossible to see if you were sitting behind the very front tables. Can't believe a Hyatt could not or did not provide for a gathering like this.
     
  9. CottonEyeJoe104

    CottonEyeJoe104 Slightly Crazed
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    Yea that is partly Hyatt's fault and partly mine. I needed to be near a power socket. Sadly, the only sockets avilable to us guests, was in the back. I MIGHT have been able to stretch my extension cord across where the speakers were, but I felt that was an invasion on my half.
    The internet was shameful.
     
  10. CottonEyeJoe104

    CottonEyeJoe104 Slightly Crazed
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    Notable Moments Part 1:
     
  11. Parnoc

    Parnoc Slightly Crazed
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    Wasn't your fault, it was typical Hyatt from my experience in the convention business for most all of my business life, they're only in it for the dough, not the customers. Risers (stage) for a meeting like that are commonplace so that the audience can see the speakers.
     
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  12. Speranza

    Speranza Slightly Crazed
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    I was attempting, poorly, to stream the main speech as well. But the wifi physically went down just before I got it fully set up and said, whelp, let's record it.
     
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  13. Bucs Den Inc.

    Bucs Den Inc. Seasoned Veteran

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    Was there an introduction segment?


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
     
  14. Nexus

    Nexus Site Support
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    I think you're thinking of a different Neverwinter Nights. Great game, but prior to that back before we had a World Wide Web and the internet was limited to what ever network you happened to be on there was a MMO Neverwinter Nights game on the AOL Network, that ran from 1991-1997.
     
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  15. Eric Ravenwind

    Eric Ravenwind Lore Master
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    Ah ok, damn it - i got a little prematurely excited.
     
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  16. Nexus

    Nexus Site Support
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    Still the one you were thinking of is one of the best AD&D based PC games ever.
     
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  17. skett

    skett Lore Keeper
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    Like you said “one of the best” I feel the best was Baldur’s Gate :)
     
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  18. Nexus

    Nexus Site Support
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    I'm still partial to the Dungeons & Dragons: Tower of Doom arcade machine myself.
     
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  19. Swordsman

    Swordsman Seasoned Veteran
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    I still remember some old D&D games produced by SSI, they were my favorite adventure games.
     
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  20. MalagAste

    MalagAste Belaern d'Zhaunil
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    Ah Baulders Gate... my nemesis game... still never finished it. Every computer I've ever installed it on has had some major crash and I've never gotten to the end of it.

    I remember playing tons of RPG's on Nintendo... 8 Eyes, Eye of the Beholder... and so many more... that I really loved.

    Also remember playing D&D quite a lot as a kid... my Brother would DM. Now my son and his friends play and also do pathfinder games.
     
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  21. skett

    skett Lore Keeper
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    I been replaying Bg1 and bg2 as well as never winter enhanced versions all 3 are great work well on just about any platform. Check out link below

    Beamdog Beamdog
     
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  22. Basara

    Basara UO Forum Moderator
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    There have been no D&D games since the Gold Box games... :p

    (seriously, I hate games that use the 3E and later rules sets)

    One of my fondest memories of the NES version of Ultima 3: Exodus, was the TPK system, and how you recovered from a TPK. I told RG about the unintended humor that resulted.

    When the whole party died, the screen went black, the the screen says "You hear a voice calling in the darkness..." followed by in big bold letters, the name of the first character that died in the battle. Lord British is calling you back, and resses you at 1 HP, then you got to go around to heal up and get the rest of the party ressed.

    Interesting system, and a foreshadowing of UO's death system, BUT....

    At one point, one of us playing my game (I owned the cart, another person owned the NES) had gotten frustrated trying to name characters without reusing an existing name, and used several expletives for names. So, when he had a TPK, if went something like

    "You hear a voice calling in the darkness..."

    "pancake!!!!!" (since the name is filtered, it's the word that refers to a female dog that has a litter)

    He and everyone who saw it, burst out laughing - and then, the race was on, for as long as we owned the game, to see who could come out with the most obscene name we could get Lord British to scream out into the Darkness to call the party back to life (none of which could make it through the Stratics profanity filters)....
     
  23. skett

    skett Lore Keeper
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    I agree I don’t care for 3E rules bg1 was 2e with the change in dg2 never winter I believe is 3E

    The newer ad&d 5e from what I read in the past seems like it might be a good balance

    Bg1 imho is better than bg2 most disagree with me on this though
     
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  24. Octman

    Octman Visitor

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    Nice wrap up Cotton great to see you on these forums as well.
     
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  25. Conleth

    Conleth Journeyman

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    Being unable to attend the 20th (arrrrrgh!), I very much appreciate that you've posted this. Many thanks!
    Cheers!
     
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  26. MalagAste

    MalagAste Belaern d'Zhaunil
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    Nice breakdown of the event...

    Interesting to read it from another perspective...

    And only a 13 hour drive! I'm so jealous... My friend and I drove a solid 25 hours... took 2 days to get there and 2 to get back... but like you say... well worth it. Thanks for the vid and bringing the drone...
     
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  27. Madicay

    Madicay Visitor

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    Thanx,Joe! Bear with me, plz (old skool pancake missing UO & Tom Petty btw). First reactions from an escape addict: #1vid: boring. Couldn't view to end; #2 real wedding, eeep! #3 cupcakes? Buh bye! #4 my UO music cannot be used whilst presenting gifts in real; #5 costumes, ok..#6 wedding ceremony...best wishes! Truth, love & courage! Words that are just as real in my Felucca of old! Well maybe not love...Thanks, Joe! I think we may have played on the same side on Felucca Chessy (not my home shard). I do not like what has happened to UO...not sure I am coming back but I wish you all the best!


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
     
  28. Madicay

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    What? I am not appreciating the diversion nor editing. I am not a pancake. I thought i was coherent & cordial in my comments. That was my intent. I wish you all the best. Probs be back in 6 mos checking Stratics...peace!


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
     
  29. CottonEyeJoe104

    CottonEyeJoe104 Slightly Crazed
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    lol, I'm not sure what your posts are saying, but thanks for checking out the videos.

    I'm also greatly saddened by the loss of Tom Petty. Doesn't hurt that Mary Jane's last dance is wrote all about Indiana! representing!
     
  30. Tanager

    Tanager Sage
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    Thank you for posting this :)

    For me, this was a very memorable event that I will treasure for the rest of my life.
     
  31. CottonEyeJoe104

    CottonEyeJoe104 Slightly Crazed
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    You're welcome! I know many people couldn't attend -- So I wanted to try and give people a quick view into what it was all about. However, the videos don't do it all justice. I had an absolute blast. Cannot wait for the 25th, to do it again!
     
  32. CottonEyeJoe104

    CottonEyeJoe104 Slightly Crazed
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    Thanks for the sticky! I just noticed that! I was thinking of this event earlier today. I have a buddy making a custom frame for my poster and signed maps! Will update w/ the finished product as soon as its completed!
     
  33. CottonEyeJoe104

    CottonEyeJoe104 Slightly Crazed
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    Well finally got this done! Looks amazing. Working on the signed map and small UO20 poster now. 25856005_10103361921090254_467372091_o.jpg 26024427_10103361921105224_164411751_o.jpg
     
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  34. MalagAste

    MalagAste Belaern d'Zhaunil
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    That looks pretty cool.
     
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  35. Keith of Sonoma

    Keith of Sonoma Grand Inquisitor

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  36. CottonEyeJoe104

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    It wasn't until it was framed I realized I didn't have Messanna's autograph on the poster. Which is a doozy. But too late now lol.
     
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  37. CottonEyeJoe104

    CottonEyeJoe104 Slightly Crazed
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    Got the cloth map and UO20 poster framed. I wish I would have won the large UO20 poster. Cause that thing would look amazing in my frames.
     

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  38. Keith of Sonoma

    Keith of Sonoma Grand Inquisitor

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    Those are awesome. FYI, I can't remember if I met you at the party or not. LOL
     
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  39. CottonEyeJoe104

    CottonEyeJoe104 Slightly Crazed
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    I talked to so many people I can't honestly say if we met or not. I was the big guy w/ cameras all over (lol) and controlling the drone if you stayed for the cookout day.
     
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  40. Keith of Sonoma

    Keith of Sonoma Grand Inquisitor

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    Gotcha! And yes, I did stay for the Bar-B-Que.
     
  41. MalagAste

    MalagAste Belaern d'Zhaunil
    Governor Stratics Veteran Alumni Stratics Legend Campaign Supporter Royal Knight

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    It would you should make me one for it!
     
  42. CottonEyeJoe104

    CottonEyeJoe104 Slightly Crazed
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    I can pass you to my handy carpenter friend who did these for me. I'm sure he'd do it. Shipping probably be a tad expensive, since the big poster frame is HEAVY. Probably 40-50lbs.
     
  43. MalagAste

    MalagAste Belaern d'Zhaunil
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    So is that big 20th anniversary lithograph... tis a beautiful canvas on heavy frame already ... Still love it.