Ultima Online: Age of Shadows is the fifth expansion pack for the popular MMORPG Ultima Online. It was released on February 11, 2003 and was the last title by developer Origin Systems.
Age of Shadows introduced a new landmass to the game called Malas. Malas was designed to appear as a broken continent, with various islands and pieces of land separated from each other and connected only with bridges. The pieces of land were surrounded by stars, suggesting that Malas floats somewhere in space above the rest of the Ultima Online worlds.
The main purpose of Malas was to provide more land for player housing. Players had complained that limited open land was causing an unreasonable amount of price inflation in the community, and restricting younger players from owning houses until they had played for many months. The greatly increased land that Malas provided helped to lower the cost of housing, and gave more players the opportunity to own a home.
New item attributes and properties were added with the expansion. The new attributes allowed for hundreds of combinations of items, a drastic change from the limited possibilities before. Four elemental properties were part of the change: fire, cold, energy, and poison. If the elemental properties were high enough, items changed color to reflect elemental power. This change produced a variety of items such as blue broadswords, and orange katanas, which caused upset with traditional players who claimed that the unrealistically colored weapons detracted from the authenticity of Ultima Online.
Source: Wikipedia, "Ultima Online: Age of Shadows", available under the CC-BY-SA License.