Griefers paradise? How so? If you met some PKs, you could simply run away. They killed you maybe one time, but thats it.
I never laughed so hard for your memory seems to be lacking. The griefing was so bad in UO that they had to put in a whole new rule set that kept getting stricter over time on the pvp crowd. Let's not also forget the thiefs who could steal right out of your packs. The gankers could loot your corpse and take everything you owned. They could break in to your house and steal everything right out of it.
Oh what great memories. NOT
The game did improve alot after the pvp changes and I had a good time then. The community is what made this game.