This year I’ve been doing contract maintenance work on the server part of its successor, WorldsAway, which is still running as https://www.vzones.com/
The server is C++ and runs on Solaris 8. I’ve enjoyed going through that old code from around 1996, it was well made. Over the years, changes were tacked on here and there until the server was crashing often, which is why I was hired to work on it. After some clean-up and increasing the capacity of some data structures it is running smoothly again.
Being paid for this gave me the excuse I needed to finally buy a Sun workstation, a used Sun Blade 150 I got for 100 € fully expanded to 2 GB of RAM, and I love it. Had to replace a couple of fans after cleaning up ancient dust blocks. I also put an IDE to SATA adapter with an Intel SSD, but that did not improve compile times: I guess the whole source code fits in RAM so once it’s buffered the disk speed does not matter. It does speed up a lot though when rsync’ing the source tree from my main workstation.
I think one of the most memorable points in my career was when as a junior was tasked to revive a highly critical production system dependent on a very sick DEC Alpha server in dire need of healing through many different partial backups. Only tangential to what you describe, but I can certainly relate to the joy you felt revivifying an aging piece of software on an old system and succeeding. Yes, I do still dabble in retro computing. :)
I think most people look back fondly on UO who played it in its prime, but I don't know whether the state of things today would allow something even close to capturing that feeling.
When WoW came out it felt like the game was some sort of theme park rather than an actual secondary world. I couldn't bring myself to get invested in it like I was with UO.
Wow. There's a game I haven't heard mentioned in a while. Had no idea it was still around until you mentioned it here.
Im a little surprised that WorldsAway wasn’t talked about! Maybe that game was more popular in my mind than it was in reality. From 15-18 I was on there constantly! I still remember getting a $400 phone bill because my compuserve dialup number was local long distance ;(