Anarchy Online – Hell Online?

Today is July 5th. For seven days, I have been nurturing a weak addiction that is swiftly dieing a painful death due to starvation.
Yes…I am addicted to Anarchy Online.
“Oh poor Bombastika! Dear, dear, what happened?”

Well! Let me just tell you!

First, I got the game. I downloaded it and tried to register and found out that no, I hadnt been lied to, the game really wasnt going to open until June 27th. I could download it all I wanted, but once it went officially “retail”, I would have to uninstall, and REdownload it, in order for it to work right. *boggles*

So, thats what I did. I uninstalled, lay in bed for many hours, and then launched myself out of my covers as soon as the alarm clock gave me permission! I raced to the computer before making toast! And I put that baby in the computer!

And did a patch for an hour and a half, much to the dismay of those I live with who were hoping to mooch a free show off of my computer.

Finally, the game was loaded, and I was ready. I turned everything in the house off so I could watch the introduction movie.

“It was my fahtha who taught me how to use ah gun…”

Mmmkay, lovely intro movie, Ive even watched it a few more times. I entered the game, and entered my login and my password. And began my quick and painless descent into Hell.

Going into Hell is easy. Its getting out that is so hard and hurts so much…

Character creation – thumbs up, from me. Love the way it is all set up to look so technologically advanced. Love how other people are creating at the same time as you, and how they can actually block what you are seeing, etc, when you are trying to choose one of the cool faces (Nanomage breed will rock your world) and they pick goofy ones (Solitus with a mile high afro?). Regardless, I made my lovely lady. Picked my class, chose my name…

And promptly disconnected.


I logged back on. And I chose OmniTek as my affiliation.

And disconnected?

Logged back in. And…lo and behold, I was not the way I remembered. When you create a character, you have the ability to make a unique individual. Each breed has several faces, hairstyles, and combinations of each. You can be normal, fat, thin, short, tall. You have room to stretch and be fairly unique. But, before you are any of those things, you are a humanoid blob with no color, no features, and three painful looking outlets in your spine.

After a few disconnects during the creation process, I actually made it to the OmniTek newbie lands as…TA-DA!…an amorphous generic featureless blob…

Dont ask me how. This is how Anarchy Online is, k??? So lemme alone!

I remade, and luckily still got my name. And after getting used to never being online for longer than 15 minutes at a time, I actually realized I was doing well. I was ahead of other people I knew that were uber in Everquest.

As I shouted to the newbie grounds for all intent and eager listeners to hear…

“Those who have no lag are the Haves, those that have lag are the Have Nots” followed by uproarious laughter. Because its true.

I got level six within a day and a half. And I have not leveled since…

The game is very intense, and very well done. So lets talk about that for a few minutes. You can gain experience by killing things and leveling up. Or you can opt to enter the HoloWorld, or “backyard highrises” and take up doing missions. Those equate to “quests” in EQ. But these are SOOOO much more my style!

Meet this guy…you have 59 minutes.

Mmmkay! It went sooooo well, too. Its like playing Quake or Doom, any kind of first person shooter really. You get your mission key, enter the mission building, and you kill everything in your way until you make eye contact with the named NPC. Sometimes, you stumble into him, sometimes hes hidden. Sometimes, you cant reach him at all…

At level six, I did a mission. My NPC was easy to find. He was in jail in the building, surrounded by 34-1 Helper bots, all of which I promptly killed. *shines her pistol* What irked me was that the bot in jail with my contact was able to target me and attack, and to die by my gun, but I couldnt target or approach my contact. Alright, fair is fair. I went through all the rooms, looted every treasure box, killed every NPC, literally cleared the place out.

And still…my contact is behind bars. I petitioned. I sat down, and threw rocks at him, pretending the purplish beams were obliterating my pebbles on impact. I pretended my contact was reading dirty magazine and writing jokes on the walls of his cell. You know, usual slowly-going-crazy-camping stuff you never thought you would do anyplace but in EQ.

No GM or Advisor came. The timer ran out for my mission. And I had failed. Saddened, I left the building. And since then, have not done a single mission.

See, Im an idiot? And if things arent written in a manual, Ill never find them out until I make a fool of myself repeatedly and someone finally tells me to put me out of my misery. I had gotten level six while in that mission. Missions from the backyards are only 1-5, there is a level restriction. I spent the next three days petitioning GMs to fix my plight and tell me why why WHY I couldnt do missions!!! Finally, after running off a “woe is me” rant to some new friends, one of them politely whispered, “You cant do missions back here after level five…”

*blush blush insanely deep blush*

Welp! Problem solved, yes?


Anarchy Online has some serious issues. To hear about them, and to help in the flame wars, check out their Community Message Boards. There are a LOT of fixes offered there, and a lot of help, as well as pure, unadulterated whining and complaining. But that, any gamer is used to.

In AO, I work for OmniTek as a Bureaucrat. My title at this time is merely “clerk”. Omni1, our main city, is beautiful and reminds me of the world of “BladeRunner”, that cool sci-fi movie with Harrison Ford and Darryl Hannah? With the androids and cool guns and *pow pow* type of fighting? That is Omni1. There is the Trade District, the Entertainment District, and Omni Headquarters. There are other outdoor areas to head into, like Lush Fields and Omni Forest. But for the most part, *sighs*, Ive experienced the backyards.

Due to the lag, it is near impossible for so many of us to head into the heart of Omni Trade, where the “whompas”, our best form of transportation, are found. The more people, the more lag. When I finally found the mission terminals after wandering a LONG time on the less-laggy outskirts of Omni Trade, they didnt work – due to lag. I got a mission, at last – “Feed the homeless”, “Live with this critter for seven hours”, “Find this criminal” – but all of them occurred in “a house”, which I could not find – due to lag.

I keep ending up stuck in zones, like the backyard highrises – due to lag. You just cant zone out. You walk up to the zone, and shake your fist and /moon it (an actual emote in the game *winks*) but nothing happens…due to lag. You try to enter Lush Fields and each effort gets you 17 fall damage – due to lag.

So, after four hours, friends of mine honestly considered opening up the first OT strip club in Highrise 4. There is no /dance emote. Instead there is /ballet, /flamenco, /disco, and the best, /pulp. Can we see where the influences were here? Can we? Uh huh! People commented that if Funcom would have spent more money on their programming instead of emote coding…pbbttt…

At last, my EQ friend had caught up to me. I wondered how he had done this, so quickly? He was so laggy, worse than me. He doesnt even get to see the nice graphics. He sees shapes and outlines, and relies entirely on his map. Well, you see, he suffered a lovely bug from lag. Instead of zoning from the backyards to Omni Trade, the guy got right into Omni Entertainment! From there, he “stumbled” into a whompa and found himself in a lesser populated city called Rome. So he has that much less lag, does missions like a madman that include him assasinating people, while I stumble blindly still trying to feed the poor.

The reason this is a slow ascent from Hell is because of the lag and the movement problems Im having. I get so much advice on how to fix it, but like I know what to do. So, Ive learned to appreciate the fine art of dancing in AO, and of entertaining people there with my quick wit. Ive also learned to research the game, as you can see from the various links in this article, and how to make fun of my class. Any class that casts a spell called “Blizzard of Red Tape” has GOT to be laughed at.

Come play AO, and indulge in the addiction…but be warned, satisfaction of your new urge, satisfying your new need-to-got-to-have-it-now will NOT be easy. This is a game that, at this stage, you will fight for. People say that Funcom ran out of money, and we are actually payin to betatest phase 5 – Im inclined to believe them.

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