Anarchy Online: Looking back on a walk on the Wine side, 2001

NOTE: I wrote this back in 2001, when I was at the height of my obsession with the MMORPG Anarchy Online. I found it in an old docs folder, having posted it before on a long dead website. I feel it really captures what was so magical about MMOs back then – there was very little hand-holding and you really felt there might be something unexplored somewhere out there in the world. Hopefully a few older gamers will get a kick out of it…

Weird chirropIn days long since past, a young Algenon (lvl39 at the time) and a slightly older Jayhawk were just chattin’ when I mentioned the rumours about a place called Wine.

It was meant to be way south of Tir, but no one I’d ever spoken to had been there.  As we both had a bit of time to kill, we decided a little expedition was in order.

While neither of us had Yalms my reet and speed buffs made us confident we could avoid the hardier foes, so we set off on a trip of a lifetime.

AO Lucky escapeAfter a fairly uneventful wander south from Newland and a scary stroll around Stret we followed a large river east into uncharted territory.

After a very lucky escape for me and seeing some truly odd beasties (see above) we started to follow the river south toward where wine was rumoured to be (far east on the map).

Here things were far less hostile, but strange and very, very big – I didn’t see anything but reds all trip. Also, we entered some zone names that were truly worrying. After many hours travel, I was beginning to lose hope, but then we saw buildings up ahead…

It was a tranquil place with a beautiful waterfall, a bar, shops and save/mission terminals, plus some very scary looking guns – and it was clan! Maybe it wasn’t the place; how were we to know?

But for us, for that moment, it was Wine. A mayhem area in the wilderness with some of the biggest clan guards you’re ever likely to come across. There were no other players in sight. In fact, we didn’t see a soul the whole trip.

Content, we headed south. Walking back would take forever, so we decided to go out Bonnie and Clyde style after a little more snooping around. On our travels south we found a place we think was called Twin Falls, a cool tree house and some even more bizarre and scary bad guys.

As we neared Omni country, it was either let ourselves be taken down by the enemy or try our hand at cutting back the local wildlife. There was something near us, but we couldn’t see it – even when it was within attack range. Jayhawk built a pet and sent it off to hunt; when it found its prey, my eyes nearly popped out of my head.

AO the endIf you’ve never seen a Desert Eremite, you want to try to keep it that way – never have I been made to feel so feeble.

From nowhere it rose from the ground, dealing huge damage while our attacks bounced off of it. Our journey’s end was how we had expected it – brutal, and quick.

So in all, it was a highly successful trip. I would advise anyone to head out that way as there are some truly amazing sights to be seen. I will end by thanking Jayhawk, who was such a good companion on this adventure. May we team up again, and soon.

CLOSING NOTE: ‘Jayhawk’ was in fact a guy from Sweden called Janne. We stayed friends in game and in 2002 I went to Goteborg to meet him. More than 10 years later we are still firm friends, seeing each other (on average) about once a year. I didn’t make it over last year; hopefully this reminder will make sure I do this.