Establishment Spotlight #1 – Windamere Keep, Lake Superior

One of the things we liked about in years past is that it highlighted player-run establishments, as well as talked with players in-game. We decided to do that on UOJournal. We decided on a whim to start doing it today in the middle of everything else, and we wanted to make it a little more in-depth than what was available in years past.

And we aren’t necessarily going to do only one a week – we have a few lined up already.

And no, for the record, we are not prejudiced towards Lake Superior – Tim is mostly an Atlantic kind of guy anyways. If you’d like to have your establishment spotlighted on, please contact us with coordinates and your contact information and we’d be more than happy to visit. If we are unable to work something out as far as meeting in-game, we can always provide you a list of questions we’d like to ask and go from there.

Today’s establishment spotlight, our first (click on the images for larger versions):

Ultima Online Establishment Spotlight #1, Lake Superior, Windamere Keep

Windamere Keep
Proprietor: Clinton Bonner
Lake Superior, Trammel
Near Minoc
90.10’N 59.45’E

I popped into UO, and was doing a quick bit of research on something, and came across a rune for Windamere Keep. Being the curious sort, I recalled, and low and behold the owner was there and available, and he patiently listened to my questions and responded. Any errors are mine, as I changed topics a few times and worked through the questions I wanted to ask. Whoever is my next victim, I mean spotlighted establishment, will have a much more organized set of questions asked of them.

On with the interview.

I started off asking about his background in UO
Clinton Bonner, Proprietor of Windamere Keep: I Started in 1999. I had to quit in 2003 because I bought a farm and no internet service. Then I started again in 2005 and been here since then.

How long has Windamere Keep existed?
CB: Well this keep has been here for 3 years or so and I have had it for 1.5 years, that’s how long it’s been Windamere Keep.

Have you had vendors here since you took over this keep?
CB: Yes I have had vendors before too. I try to keep stuff to help out the little guy. I’m not against Luna, but then new players can’t afford them.

Do your vendors specialize in anything?
CB: Not really, each one carries certain items, but it’s just whatever I come across or make to keep people showing up, and of course whatever someone asks for. I don’t sell the high-end items unless someone asks for it. Those items will sit on a vendor forever taking up gold.

(In response to being asked about the impact and image of Luna being seen as THE vendor place, and whether it affected him.)
CB: No, I drop runes regularly and people seem to know I’m here. Yes, I agree, when you say vendor you think of Luna first. And I buy there often, but I can afford too. I still see characters) that can’t though and there are vendors outside Luna that still exist. It has changed a lot since Luna came to the game though. I miss the old days of Brit bank and finding Blacksmiths at the forge.

Do you handle any (player-run) events yourself or participate in any events?
CB: Yes, I’m part of the guard – a Private, and I try to go to all of the EM events, plus the Community Hunts.

Since you have returned, a lot has changed, both for good and bad. How do you view the past 5 years, in just a few sentences :)
CB: Well when I came back it was somewhat of a shock and I had to adapt. But I can’t say I hated it. I love this game and can’t see not playing if it is here to play.

That leads me to my next question, what do you think of the short video we saw form the UO producer and devs last week.
CB: Well I thought it was a lot of build up for such a short video *laughs* I know a lot of players are mad because of the no classic shard but it is still exciting to see what’s going to happen in the future. (in response to me mentioning how short the video was) Yes it was more like a teaser.

Ultima Online Establishment Spotlight #1, Lake Superior, Windamere Keep

Are you going to watch the House of Commons next week and if you could ask any questions, what would you ask?
CB: Yes I will watch, and I guess I’d probably ask what’s in store for the Enhanced Client, will thieves get some love soon, and what will happen with factions.

What do you think needs to happen as we look ahead to the 15th Anniversary next year, and what are the important points to you as a player and as somebody wanting to see UO grow?
CB: Hmmmm..I say getting new and old UO players. That’s what keeps this game going. They need to fix old problems and attract new people too so it’s a tough task.

Any other thoughts and comments?
CB: The economy in UO is so messed up that it’s hard to keep prices reasonable. I think UO is a great game and I hope more people come to enjoy it and if new players come I’m here to help. I always keep some junk around to help equip the new player.

Ultima Online Establishment Spotlight #1, Lake Superior, Windamere Keep

My thanks to Clinton Bonner for his patience in this first of what will hopefully be many establishment spotlights.

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