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I have played quite a number of MMO's in my time, and to be frank; none compare with the RP / RP-PVP that is available in Anarchy Online, even more so when you take into consideration of how old Anarchy Online is. In Anarchy Online there is a huge variety of options available for both New players, and veteran players to get into roleplay; here is a list and example of what i find to be the best:
Player ran Chat Channels - There are, on both servers chat channels that can be joined by anyone from anywhere in game specifically for In-character chats aswell as OOC Chats. These are normally full of life, which is a great place to start if you're new to roleplaying on AO.
ARK - This is the best one by far. ARK (Advisors of Rubi-Ka) are players with special powers that have volenteered and undertook training to assist Funcom (The game developers) with duties such as customer service or development. Now, the reason why i have chosen ARK for a RP purpose is - ARK Events Team. The ARK Events team can become "LTC's" - Long Term Characters, who can be either Major Storyline Characters such as CEO Tarkhan Zora, or random characters like a Neutral citizen or Omni-Pol Officer on patrol. This allows players to interact with major storyline events in a way no other game can offer. For all 3 factions there are also monthly meetings which players can meet and discuss current ingame events with their faction leaders, which is an ample oppurtunity to recieve missions from your faction leaders aswell as propose new events for the storyline such as overtaking a city.
If you wanting to RP/PVP then ARK would also be your best port of call. ARK are able to setup raids on cities, with 'LTC's' such as Omni Armed Forces and can help you and your fellow players raid that city, which presents a mass world pvp option but is also related to the storyline. Again no other game allows you to do this.
RP Rewards - Thats right, in AO you get rewarded for RP. Now obviously you dont get rewared in a way which would be unfair and allowing you to gain end-game items or ridiculous amounts of credits (the currency in AO). But you can recieve special unique clothing and items which only regular roleplayers can recieve; these have no real benefit to playing the game, but they do for roleplaying and they look damn nice.
Editor News - Players of AO can choose to become an Editor for their faction, and write news articles pertaining to ingame events that take place. These will appear both ingame via the news broadcaster, aswell as on the official forums under the editor news section.
If you want to know anymore, either send me a msg or reply here
Agentcora - Anarchy Online (Rimor)
Razcull - WoW (Executus) (EU)
Razcull - Eve Online