Anarchy Online's 'classic server' takes players back to the good old days of 2001

World of Warcraft isn't the only long-running MMO that's going back to its roots with a "classic" server. Funcom has opened the doors on a new server for the even-older sci-fi MMO Anarchy Online that will return players to the early days of Rubi-Ka, with no expansions, a lowered level cap, and an "untouched economy" to get things rolling. 

Existing game mechanics, which have obviously evolved since Anarchy Online first went live in 2001 (one of the worst launches in history), will not be reverted: Systems, balance changes, damage caps and so forth will remain as they are in the regular game. Expansions will be added to the server sequentially—Notum Wars, Shadowlands, Alien Invasion, Lost Eden, Legacy of the Xan—but on an irregular schedule, based on player feedback; likewise, the level cap will start at 10 but will be increased "periodically" as players start to hit it.

"As we continue through the year of Anarchy Online's 18th anniversary, we wanted to give everyone the opportunity to play in a way that brings together the old and the new, with a few twists mixed in," producer Joshua Mills said. "Thank you to everyone who has made these years possible and I hope you will join us on this brave new journey to Rubi-Ka!"

Interestingly, the current plan is to run the RK2019 server for just one year, although it could stick around longer if people like it: "if near the end we see the community wants to keep it going, that is an option we are not taking off the table," Funcom said. 

The new server is open to all subscribers, but players with free accounts will not have access. You must create a new, level one character to get in, and neither characters nor items can be transferred between servers. There will be an item store, but some items available in the regular AO—like Heckler Juice—will not be purchasable. Get the full details in the RK2019 FAQ

Andy Chalk

Andy has been gaming on PCs from the very beginning, starting as a youngster with text adventures and primitive action games on a cassette-based TRS80. From there he graduated to the glory days of Sierra Online adventures and Microprose sims, ran a local BBS, learned how to build PCs, and developed a longstanding love of RPGs, immersive sims, and shooters. He began writing videogame news in 2007 for The Escapist and somehow managed to avoid getting fired until 2014, when he joined the storied ranks of PC Gamer. He covers all aspects of the industry, from new game announcements and patch notes to legal disputes, Twitch beefs, esports, and Henry Cavill. Lots of Henry Cavill.