It begins with the fact, that there are more than just the traditional eight moongates in the game, which is a given, since there are more worlds than just Britannia. They are divided as follows:
- The eight classic city locations plus New Haven on Trammel (facet) or Buccaneer's Den in Felucca (facet).
- Gates at the shrines of virtue on Ilshenar (therefore named after virtues) plus at the shrine of chaos.
- Luna and Umbra gate on Malas.
- Three gates on the Tokuno Islands.
- One gate near the Royal City on Ter Mur.
Unlike the normal moongates, the gates in Ultima Online are ovals and do not rise from the ground, instead appear out of thin air. The color of the gate is of only minor importance. Blue is the most common, while red gates exit to Felucca (and exist there). A black moongate does exist is southern Malas. Other colors like orange have been observed but follow no kind of observable rules.
The way they work is very different from normal lore. Ultima Online: Third Dawn simplified the rules in 2001. When entering a gate, the player is offered a list of destinations, with no strings attached. All destinations are always available, even to other facets. There is however a limit at how fast a gate can be used again by the same character. Given appropriate runes the same can be done anywhere with a "Gate Travel" spell.
The old System
The old system, before the current one that had more landmasses, was quite different and very complicated. Probably too complicated for many players. Essentially you first had to know which phase of the moon the gate you are has (no problem for veterans), then count counter-clockwise (meaning opposite the moon phases) how many phases away the desired gate is. For exampe, being in Britain and wanting to go to Trinsic was four "steps".
The destination gate by the number of steps, could only be reached during certain times of the day. Note that the table below only put a 12-hour clockface into account, meaning, that each time happens twice a day (meaning that 2:00 also means 14:00).
|Number of "Steps"|
An additional annoyance was, that each time a gate is used, there is a time shift. These time shifts were also eliminated in order to make gate travel easier.
- When in 2007 Magicia was destroyed by demonic hordes, its moongate was damaged. It was never repaired and now is a dark purple and unusable.
- With graphical advance, the look of the moongates changed as well, and today they are much less of a sharp oval as they'd been at the beginning. There are also more light effects.
- Earlier, it was possible to use a moonstone to travel between Trammel and Felucca. This is no longer possible.