Posted 11 October 2010 - 09:32 PM
Anarchy Online is an online role playing video game published by Funcom, known for its The Longest Journey, Dreamfall, and Age of Conan titles. Development of the science fiction themed game was led by project director Gaute Godager and story developer Ragnar Trnquist at a time when most role playing games made use of the more common fantasy setting.
As a massively multiplayer online role-playing game (MMORPG), players log on to a virtual world that persists indefinitely with or without player interaction. Players create unique characters that they improve by killing enemies, collecting resources, fighting each other, and various other activities. The game''s ongoing storyline takes place on the fictional planet Rubi-Ka, and its extra-dimensional twin.
After Anarchy Online''s release in June 2001, a number of server-stability and registration issues negatively affected public perception of the game. Those problems prevented many customers from registering or accessing content for several weeks afterward. The game and its expansions packs have since received praise from most reviewers, not least the Shadowlands expansion which was awarded with several Editor''s Choice awards.
Anarchy Online''s plot revolves around the fight to control the fictional planet Rubi-Ka. Its original four year storyline was written and later directed by Ragnar Trnquist, who also developed the stories for Funcom''s The Longest Journey and Dreamfall titles. It was designed to be played out as a series of in-game events lasting from 2001 until 2005.
According to a description on the game''s official website, hyper-corporation Omni-Tek was granted a one thousand year lease to the desert planet on Jan 01, 28708 shorty after its discovery. It was a seemingly useless arid landscape far from civilization until the discovery of the mineral notum. That mineral''s properties led to major leaps forward in nanotechnology that made possible the large-scale manipulation of matter, energy, and even resurrection from death. The first five hundred years of Omni-Tek''s unfettered control of Rubi-Ka were marked with an exemplary worker treatment record, but as time passed the company''s policies degraded into near totalitarianism. It was then that a significant number of poorly treated colonists rebelled and began to trade stolen notum to a rival corporation. These rebel groups, collectively calling themselves the Clans, fought a series of wars with Omni-Tek in the centuries leading up to the in-game timeline.
After the game''s release, Trnquist published his short fiction novel Prophet Without Honor (Anarchy Online Book 1) that serves as a historical primer.The story has since been extended beyond its original conclusion, but a second book was never written.
Role-players often participated in and influenced the outcome of the story during the first four years. This is evidenced in a New York Times article, published in 2003, about a well-known player named Rick Stenlund. Stenlund used the game''s message boards to organize an in-game rally in protest of a proposed change to gameplay. Administrators responded by preparing a role-play event with official characters and incorporating the rally into the official timeline.