The game is set in the land of Caledonia, an island that has risen from the sea with the destruction of Sosaria. In Lord of Ultima, gameplay primarily resolves around collecting resources, including: stone, wood, iron, and food to expand one's cities and armies. Players can use these resources to expand their cities and armies, and then battle against each other for power and prestige.
Players start off being given control of a single city, which they must expand and protect. For the first 7 days they are protected from attack by other players, but after this they can be freely attacked. They can also use their armies to attack surrounding dungeons, monsters, and other players. Alliances can be joined, and they often offer protection from attack by other players. The player can even purchase "moonstones" online to more rapidly progress in game, enabling the player to hasten resource gathering and building speed.
October 07, 2010 saw the introduction of the add-on "Serpent Isle", which included:
- New overviews
- Report filters
- Alliance report sharing
- Customizable Alliance member rights
- Player and Alliance Ranking
The add-ons "Ascension" and "Forge of Virtue" are coming at later dates.
- Lord of Ultima has its own wiki, which was taken down. Its contents are now on Wikia here and is hosted by the Codex here, in addition to copies taken and hosted by some players of the game.
- The updates, despite being named after previous entries in the Ultima series, are unrelated to the respective game.
- The gameplay is similar to other browser-based strategy sames such as Evony.
- The game does not work with the Opera web browser.
- An unrelated, cancelled Origin project from 1988, multi-player Ultima, has some similarities in concept to Lord of Ultima.