Gordon “Tyrant” Walton sent out this mail to the Australian UO community, who were able to read it 10 minutes after he sent it due to lag between Origin and Australia;
Hail and well met!
We recently opened the new Korean shard (named Arirang) to our 1,500 Australian customers after getting reports that the connectivity might be better than to the west coast of the United States. Please try your connection to Arirang using the UOTrace utility (available at https://www.uo.com/downloads.html). Anytime you are experiencing packet loss in your connection to any shard, you should use this tool and send the trace route to email@example.com. This will help us identify and resolve connection problems between you and the shard.
If you do not see Arirang in the shard list on your Ultima Online software, please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. Be sure to include your user name (never send anyone your password!) so we can ensure you do get access.
We are working with EA Australia on the possibilities for a true Australian-based shard. There are many issues involved in this decision, and the thing you can do to help us most is let us know at email@example.com the email addresses of any friends whom you believe would join Ultima Online on a local server. This list of emails would be used no more than twice: once for a survey and once if we announced a local shard, if we are able to put one up. Local shards require a significant number of subscribers to support, and with your help we hope to grow the subscriber base sufficiently to establish an Aussie shard.
Thank you for supporting Ultima Online.
VP Online Services
Origin Systems, Inc.
I strongly suspect that Origin is looking for around 8 to 10,000 Australian customers to go to the expense of opening up an Aussie shard (shards ain’t cheap). I also strongly suspect that Australia will be one of the first places Verant launches a new outside-the-US server in (rumor has it they are rolling out Euro and Asian servers to coincide with the expansion pack next year).
Check the Australian Server Petition site for more details as they dribble.