I don't think they were all that great. Maybe it's because I visited the pantheon forums and saw so many nastyness, that I'm reminded that old school communities used to have just as many jerks as games do now.
I completely forgot we had just as many bad apples as MMO now, if not more.
I forgot there were elitists, I forgot there were jerks, I forget there were people who trained, I forgot you had PK killers. I forgot we had killstealers. I forgot we had hackers. I forgot we had gankers.
I forgot there were people's who's only goal in the game, was to make your life a living hell.
And because death cost you XP, it allowed them to drive people far enough until they quit the game. It was easy for them to destroy other people's fun. That's part of the reason people were also upset at heavy death penalties, someone putting you in a death loop on purpose, would completely ruin your fun.
You only remember the good things of old MMO, not the bad.