Name: Tristan Pope
Character Name: Sir Tristan
Shard: Napa Valley
While Tristan Pope came to Ultima Online with dreams of running his own tavern, he soon found his place, not exchanging tall tales over a mug of digital ale, but as a mover and shaker in the game’s item trading marketplace. Soon, Pope had more in-game money than he could spend, and possibly more than all the other players on the Napa Valley server combined.
With a bank vault full of high-powered items obtained from his noto-killings, Pope sought to turn the objects into gold by any means necessary. Taking to popular websites of the late ’90s and early aughts—such as UOTrader—where players bought, sold, and traded items, Pope went about buying items at a bargain and reselling them, often creating fake demand for the items he was hoping to move.
Creating multiple user accounts on the sites, he’d start bidding wars with himself. Eventually, other players would jump in with high bids, and Pope would cash in.
“I was inside trading, but in a game where you didn’t go to jail for following in the footsteps of Barnum Bailey and Andrew Carnegie, because monopolies weren’t a thing,” Pope said. “This was the Wild West of trading rares and items. If you knew how to work the system, you could work the prices, and you could own the market.
“The old adage, ‘The rich get richer,’ was very true, as I could easily buy up an entire subset of items with my wealth and then sell them for inflated prices, even faking the inflation with other accounts to make it feel like the norm. I know this all sounds very devious, but in my mind, it was pixels, not the national treasury. So why not take cues from history and work it to my advantage?”
Read more of Tristan Pope’s story in Braving Britannia: Tales of Melancholy, Malice, and Peril in Ultima Online!