Funcom's sci-fi MMORPG Anarchy Online launched in 2001 and promised an experience unlike anything else during that time. Currently, Anarchy Online offers the typical character classes and level-grind process with a sci-fi twist, including adventurer, nano-technician, soldier, trader, metaphysicist, and more.
The game's ongoing story borrows from the Dune novels, centering around a desert planet called Rubi-Ka. This planet possesses a valuable mineral known as "notum," the source of military and political battles between the Omni-Tek corporation, the separatists Clans, and many other groups eager to gain control.
The game took a severe beating in the PR department during its first month, as connection and performance issues made it virtually unplayable. Servers would routinely go down and large chunks of the world were inaccessible.
Many players who initially were excited and signed up quickly dumped their account and moved on. Funcom immediately rectified the situation and announced that gamers wouldn't be charged until Anarchy Online was fixed, but the MMORPG was seemingly tarnished for life.
Three expansions and two booster packs later, Rubi-Ka remains quite stable, admittedly addictive, and one of the longest-running MMORPGs to date. Funcom offers a free year for new accounts (or until January 15, 2011, whichever comes first, though it's worth noting that Funcom has extended this offer in the past) and the monthly subscription costs $14.99.