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1 - played it for a year after beta (1999-2000), sold my character, never looked back. it was fun while it lasted, but there were new games that filled that niche
2 - even though it still has some of the most amazing ideas, it's just hard to go back to a dinosaur and play with people that have been there all that time, it just feels weird. a new server might resolve that though
3 - no way am I paying anything monthly for it. Eve online is the only game I'd ever pay for, ever again. SWTOR was the last mistake in that department.
4 - Darkfall is somewhat close to AC in terms of atmosphere/skill distribution, so since a new version of that is coming this year, I'd rather try that, especially since I don't have to buy a new box anyway and just pay a monthly fee...oh wait I just contradicted #3...f* it, I'll give it one more chance
5 - I'd play it on a private server in the same way I play DAOC today and it's absolutely amazin there because the community makes what they want to make and it works fine for everyone, but unfortunately, there are no AC servers in existence, so that's out of the question...
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The thing that drove me away and probably still would (not sure haven't read about it in a long time) was the third-party invasion that took over the game.
Decal and its constant annoying updates needed to play and keep up. Botting all over. Constant afk macros. Yada yada you get my point.
The other thing was the melee combat was really lacking.
If you took this game's lore, content, etc. and combined with Darkfall's gameplay I would never stop playing probably ever with the monthly updates providing third party programs, bottings etc. were not in game.
I do have to add that population is another reason as well.