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RUBI-KA ENDS, NOT WITH A BANG, BUT WITH A VERY, VERY CROWDED WHIMPER [Author: Lum the Mad]

So in Anarchy Online we saw the following:

The world is coming to an end.

All characters in the database have been upped to experience points equivalent to level 75 and credits to 10 million. This should get you a long way. To become level 75 you need to acquire at least 1 experience point on your own. Once you get your first experience point your character will level to 75. Have fun and remember that there are no PvP limits above level 75 so be careful on whom you trust. Omni-Tek is not always YOUR friend!

On behalf of the AO team and all of Funcom, thank you for making our beta a success.

– Tommy Strand

Producer and Lead Designer

High level? Enough money to afford lots of toys? Sounds like fun. Many agreed. Too many. Way, way too many.

Here’s a wrap up of what’s been in my mail (I personally didn’t have time to try to log in):

The majority of us that had to work rushed

home to find out that we couldn’t actually play the Final Beta because we were “Locked” into what ever zone we happened to be in when the game came up. We had the 10 million creds, but we couldn’t spend it on anything. We couldn’t test the upper level stuff we we’re curious about or anything. That really blows. Some of us die hards like myself waited up till 10pm (5hours later) and we “Still” were standing around waiting to get a ‘Couple’ of minutes in on the final beta. It didnt’ happen.

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It seems funcom is doing a trial run to identify possible opening day problems. Kind of clever how they did it, too… they jacked up everyone to level 75… so of course everyone is trying to login to try out thier buffed chars before the beta is done.

Additionally, a lot of things went in the past couple of patches, making the game seem more complete…stuff like trade skill items, less crashes (tho they still exist) lag meter, combat indicator, pets that ZONE WITH YOU, more weapons, etc.

Alot of peeps say that the UO and EQ betas seemed more complete than AO, but I must disagree…AO is shaping up to be a complex world system, and I’ll be hitting reload on your page all day tommorrow to see what new comments arise due to Funcom’s servers being strangled. 🙂

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At noon today, they shut down the server for an hour to bump everyone up to level 75 and bestow 10,000,000 upon us. They also threw in a new client patch, which apparently messed up a LOT of people’s installations (not mine, thank god). Here’s how it went for me:

Logged in, stuck in a shop. Didn’t want to buy anything because I had to get 1 experience point before it would bump me from level 2 to level 75.

After a few minutes, the door started working again. I ran out to Omni-1, ran towards the gates to find something easy to kill. Just before the gate, I crashed to the login screen, and upon re-logging, I was standing back outside the door to the shop. Ran to the gates again, and made it. Killed a leet, got my levels, ran back to the shop. Got inside on the first try, amazingly, and started browsing the weapons and armor and deciding what skills I needed. Found a few nice things and started raising my skills (which takes forever when you have over 70 levels of IP to distribute). Crashed in the middle of raising the skills, came back in by the door inside the shop. Server had forgotten everything I did since I walked in, again.

Raised my skills again, bought some stuff, then I logged out and back in to make sure I wouldn’t do the timewarp again. After one more crash, I finally had what I wanted and headed out to take the whompa to 4 holes, where the big omni/clan battle would be. Stepped through the door and zoned pretty quickly, but it took forever for my framerate to recover when I got to the other side, due to the large amount of players and whatever bug is in the client that makes everythng pause for a second when a new player enters your view. Ran out to find the main battling area, crashed near the exit of the little town, timewarped back to the whompa. Ran out again, crashed, timewarped. Happened 3-4 times before I managed to make it anywhere. Got fairly close to the bridge where the battle was supposed to be, crashed out and got an error dialog for the first time. Back in and I actually didn’t timewarp- must have been a real client crash instead of whatever is causing the other problem. Finally got to the battle site, and crashed out again…

This time I couldn’t get back in, because apparently the servers just decided to crash entirely. Either that or Funcom thought they should probably sneak in a server-side patch as quick as they could.

Anyway, other than the crashing, everything seemed to be pretty good. After the initial pause to load up a player’s image, the lag was not bad. Some of the areas had literally a couple hundred people in them, all moving around, emoting, dancing, fighting, etc. without any noticable problems on my 56k dialup line. I don’t seem to rubberband at all anymore, but maybe it’s because I crash out before it lets me. Usually, if I sat perfectly still, it would take 3 or 4 times longer for it to crash.

I already have a retail copy, and i know it’ll probably be just as buggy on release, but I’ll be there anyway, crashing my evenings away.

Anarchy Online is already in some stores, and the servers are set to be cut on tomorrow. No one knows what it’s going to be like – but everyone is agreed, it’s going to be messy.

It’s traditional, after all.