Reply To: The Confusing Masterpiece
You don’t need to worry overly about stats in Ultima 7. As far as I’m concerned it’s barely an RPG, and has as much in common with adventure games. There was a lot of criticism at the time from displeased fans about this despite the high regard it’s held in these days. The stats were massively simplified from previous games at any rate. Combat is largely avoidable and essentially automatic when it does happen. Gameplay in U7 is more about exploring the world, talking to dozens of NPC’s and completing quests. It has a really compelling open world that you can tackle in nearly any order you like, only gradually learning what is going on and what the main quest is really about.
There was an add-on (Forge Of Virtue) released some time after the original game which added an extra island and quest. Any version you are likely to play now should come with this pre-installed. This was kind of an authorised cheat pack as if you complete the quest it will up the stats of your avatar beyond the original limits and give you a talking sword with insta-kill powers. I highly recommend completing that quest at the earliest opportunity. Combat is not the strongest aspect of U7 and this will stop you having to worry about it much.
I’m seriously looking forward to playing this again myself. I’m a massive Origin fan to the extent that I collected all the games and blogged my way through everything they ever released about 15 years back. I’ve finished every Ultima, many of them loads of times on different platforms but I rushed through Ultima 7 all those years back, didn’t give it the time it deserved and I’ve always meant to go back to it. I did play the SNES version later but it’s not quite the same to say the least. On the PC it’s definitely an absolute classic by any standards, can’t wait to give it another go.