Anarchy Online

Anarchy Online is a 3D Sci-Fi MMORPG originally released in 2001 as a subscription based game, but it’s now available for free. Anarchy Online has four playable races (Solitus, Opifex , Nanomage, and Atrox) and fourteen different classes to chose from (Adventurer, Agent, Bureaucrat, Doctor, Enforcer, Engineer, Fixer, Keeper, Martial Artist, Meta-Physicist, Nano Technician, Shade, Soldier).

A lot of choice in characters and many interesting quests and PvP system has given Anarchy Online an immortal presence in the MMORPG world.

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Additional Information


Anarchy Online

Release Date
June 27, 2001
Windows (Client)
Please note this free-to-play game may or may not offer optional in-game purchases.
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Latest Updates

Minimum System Requirements (Windows)


Windows XP / Vista




10 GB


2.0 GHz Pentium 4 or better


Videocard with 512 MB of VRAM

Additional Notes

Specifications may change during development

All material on this page is copyrighted by ©Funcom and their respective licensors. All other trademarks are the property of their respective owners.
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User Reviews (52)

Do you recommend this game?
RetoricGamer 6 years ago
Our passion and love for what it was in 2001, amazing! Even so, as the year pass, AO is still that one special game for me, it was my first MMO. Yes, the engine was a little late, but if I was in it for the Grafix I wouldn't have stayed 15 years.
Thank you for the 15 years of entertainment, I hope for 15 more.

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cls 7 years ago
Nobody plays it anymore so does it really matter how good the game was? New engine came out years too late and now it's a shame to see what it has become.

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electrolyse 9 years ago
Gsp party ?

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Destrokk 9 years ago
Well, this started as me trying to deter new players, but the more I type, the more my love for this game shines through. Hopefully you'll be able to get a grasp of what is Anarchy Online from this review.

1.)With 3 playable factions in the game, you're bound to see some hostility in chat from time to time. The players left in the game are all long time veterans. While there are several good people left in the game, the people left have known, and in some cases hated, each other for several years now. The game has always had a handful of arrogant players thinking they were God's gift to players, but for some reason, they just never left. Regardless of how small their organization (guild) got, or how few friends they had. We've had Rockdrala, Playboyfixer, Gunzfx, Emeraldninja... Just to name a few, and as far as I know, Rockdrala is the only one who isn't playing anymore.
~By joining the game now, players are joining an extremely dysfunctional community.

2.) AO had a poor start. FunCom still struggles to release proper games, but like EA, they still manage to make sales, and we still play them. AO has seen 4 or 5 completely different dev teams (if not more) in the course of my playing it. The first team left the game buggy and unplayable. Every team since then has been trying to stitch the code back together by blanketing over old code. Instead of correcting code, they would write a code to bypass a certain code. This leaves the program in a series of reading code that is immediately nullified by another line of code. This has caused even more issues and has made it very difficult for the dev team to track down the problems. The current dev team has been (or so we were told) that they are slowly trying to weed out these instances.

3.) For over 6 years, we've been promised a new graphics engine. Age of Conan was supposed to be using the same engine. AO never got it. AO has received updated icons in your inventory, and an updated UI, but nothing extensive enough to make a difference.

4.)In today's gaming world, everything is overly simplified. AO is not like this at all. The skill system is insane. I love it, but it takes some effort and getting used to. The skill system gives you improvement points with each level to be spent on skills.
The list contains 83 skills. Each skill's improvement cost is dictated by your race and class. You can train anything, but it's cheaper to train your character's pre-determined strong points.

You have the basic abilities like Strength, Stamina, Agility, Psychic, Sense, & Intelligence. These 6 base skills trickle into & add to all the other skills you have. They are essential.

All other skills are weapon types (2hb, ranged, 1he, etc.), crafting skills, special attack skills, health, etc. As a previous reviewer pointed out... "I’m surprised I didn’t find walking and breathing as stats." well... there is a movement speed stat, so... yeah. It's pretty extensive.

You do not grind skills. They are gained through the skill system only, or through mods on equipment you have.

5.) The crafting system in this game is actually fun to me. There's a lot of farming involved, and a lot of refining the materials. It also strives to keep things as logical as it can, so when you are crafting, you're not throwing a rock and a board together to make a wagon. It's several steps that show the items start to take form. (p.s. You can't craft a wagon in AO)

6.) Aside from the skill system, my favorite part of AO is the items. They go hand in hand with skills. Each item has heavy skill requirements on them rather than a basic level requirement. This allows for some diversity in characters due solely on player skill and determination. Why? There's no simple answer, but since this review is already somewhat lengthy, let's talk about it.

In AO, there are lots of ways to increase your skills. Whether temporarily, or permanently. Using IP in the skill window, extensive buffs which take up NCU memory (you only have so much, so choose wisely), items like armor and weapons, but most notably, IMPLANTS.

Implants are items designed specifically to boost your skills. They don't boost them in any small way either. Your implants (or symbiants in Shadowlands and on) contribute to 50% or more of your skills. They rely on base abilities (Str, Sta, Int, Psy, Agi, Sense) and treatment skill to equip. This is where the game got fun for me, and I was only 14 when I made my first "twink" and really got into equipping my characters in AO. Through a series of juggling buffs with swapping out items and implants, you can easily spend hours trying to get a new piece of over-powered (for your level) equipment on. The sheer sense of accomplishment is amazing. This game literally has you calculation long, yet simple, equations just to see if what you're about to attempt is even possibly. It's the kind of game you play with a notepad next to you.

Why be satisfied with a QL150 Perennium Blaster like everyone else? In Anarchy Online, those with the determination can easily push for a QL200 Superior Perennium Blaster and blow away the competition if they so choose. This causes for even more distinguishing factors between players, which helps with the cookie-cutter syndrome games suffer from.

7.) There are 2 ways of fast travel in Anarchy online. The grid, which digitalizes you and allows you inside a grid to choose your destination. This uses Computer Literacy skill.

Whom-Pah's are warp gates. They are less direct than the grid, but also require less skill.

Then there's always purchasing a vehicle and flying there. Yalmaha ftw!

8.) The game isn't lacking for content in any sense. As a well established game, it has a healthy number of expansions. As with any game, once you max out your character, there's nothing but PvP and farming cash, but getting there is a blast.

9.) Free players gain access to 200 levels. 200!
Notum Wars introduced PvP Land control and flying vehicles. (Free)

Shadowlands added 20 levels bringing the total to 220.
Also brought in were perks. A total of 40 perk points to spend on several perk lines were introduced with this expansion.

Alien Invasion brought about it's own level system with 30 levels. Again, with this expansion, players gained perks. 30 of them to use on several lines of perks.

Lost Eden focused on PvP with new gear. It also brought about PvP arenas and research. The global research goals for each faction have long since been met, however, each individual character has 60 lines of research related to their class to complete. This research is completed by adjusting a slider indicating a percentage of your normal XP gained to be used towards research.

Legacy of the Xan further continued the end game content with new raids and new items. No new levels were added, however new mechanics were introduced to spice up the experience.

Numerous other encounters have been added over the years. Anarchy Online content updates have not been reserved for expansions only.

In the end, a fully subbed player can expect:
220 levels.
30 AI levels.
60 LE Levels.
310 total levels to gain. That's a whole lot of leveling.

10.) The world is immense, and the quests make sure to send you all over the world of your choice. As with any game, there are grinding spots, but if you're focused on them, you're not playing the game as intended, so it's not the devs fault if it seems repetitive. ;)

Anarchy Online has a lot of your typical MMORPG content, but it also excels in giving you an experience that was, and still is, far more rewarding than any other MMO. It is dated, but if you can get past the graphics and tab-target turn based auto-combat, you will have an experience unlike any other you could find in any other game. I spent 8 years playing AO religiously, and still log in from time to time. No other game has even come close to capturing my attention like this.

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Martin Johnson 9 years ago
This is now a terrible game for these reasons:

Or lack of. There is little or no storyline at any point in the game. Nothing to really engage you into your chosen profession or feel like your doing your bit for your chosen faction. There are a number of quest lines but most lack imagination, story and are often a real grind. The general mission terminals are very impersonal and the mission rewards are rarely items of use to your character.

Other Players:
I've never played a game that's had so much bitching, trolling and all out I'm the king of the castle syndrome. General Player conduct is often bad, a lot of trainers, kill stealers and the like. There are of course good helpful people in AO but the percentage of the bad seems much higher compared to every other game I've played. You gotta cough up a lot of euros for some of that stuff.
The Economy:
It’s an old game so an expensive economy is just life. But everything is SOOOO expensive. The game really is ruled by the credit sellers. Even shop terminals and npc shops have priced items way too high for the corresponding level of player to afford without outside help. Any first time player is going to find raising credits a considerable grind compared with other rpgs. The in game micro payment items are really very expensive too.

The Game Itself:
Its buggy, really buggy. So many times have I got stuck in a wall or a door won’t open, it’s just terrible. The graphics are dated, yes it’s an old game but Funcom have done nothing much to improve this. There is talk and plans of a new engine blah blah blah, but nothing has materialised in several years. The free player experience is fun at first but gets dull very quickly. The expansion packs do offer a player a lot more diversity but again there’s a great lack of story and costs a lot considering the age of the game. If you want to upgrade to a paid account it will cost you about 20 euros for the expansions plus your monthly subscription cost of about 17 euros there’s no 30 day inclusive like you get with other paid mmo’s So yeah 37 euro’s is expensive considering there are newer better games that cost less. Admittedly you can get the monthly cost reduced if you buy it in 3/6/12 month blocks but it’s a fair amount to cough up in one go.

They have really let the fans down and offer no incentive to attract new players to what now is a very low population. Their customer service is slow and terrible. People get perma banned for glitching where to be fair its Funcoms fault the glitch existed in the first place. Really some new players got caught out on a glitch they just assumed was within the mechanics of the game. It’s been hit by the nerf hammer so much it’s actually started to bleed. Attempts to fix the economy have literally made it worse overnight and made players leave in droves. They only seem to listen to the old school PVP elite rather than the general population. Problems get fixed very slowly if at all, even then it’s usually too little too late.

It’s a crying shame, this game has so much potential to be so much better but no effort seems to be being made. I’ve put a lot of years into AO and I feel greatly let down. I have fantasied about winning the lottery and buying out Funcom just to make AO the game it should be. But as that’s never going to happen I suggest avoiding this game like the plague!

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Lowie 9 years ago
There is only one true sandbox mmo , Eve online , 10 years old but with 2013 graphics , 2 free expansions evry year and you can pay sub with ingame money

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ryan 10 years ago
graphics engine is in closed beta signup starting today! head over to account management and click upgrade!

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DDH 10 years ago
AO was my first (graphical) MMO when I started in 2002. Played it for almost 10 years but in 2012 I finally gave up because Funcom keeps promising and never delivered a new graphics engine.

The game itself is huge, hard and complex compared to "modern" MMOs (i.e. WoW, SWTOR, etc.) and requires dedication, maturity and intelligence. Not everyone's cup of tea these days, since many gamers prefer instant gratification over patient character development.

The community is far better than anything I have experienced since, but unfortunately were are not very many players left in the game when I quit in 2012. Judging by the forums (which I still visit once in a while), not much has changed since.

Sadly, I think the game has finally died and Funcom won't revive it. But there will never be a game like AO again and I'm glad I played it for so long.

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Theon Greyjoy 10 years ago
Been playing this game on and off for several years. Put hundreds of hours into it. Reason I don't always renew my subscription is because the devs(funcom) have abandoned it mostly and trolling everyone with a new engine that never comes.

Anyway been bored of other games so trying to renew my AO subscription -except the account is bugged so trying to email them to fix it. I mean I am literally trying to give them my money but Failcom dosn't want it.

AO is literally the best game I have ever played. It has a very hardcore fan base, but it is niche, I think Funcom/Failcom just wants to make a huge commercial game to compete with WOW.

AO may be niche, but it is a solid game with very loyal people. Despite the face that Failcom has neglected AO so badly I still want to renew my sub.

Unfortunately Failcom is run by monkeys who make an amazing game which is very succesful, then completley neglect it and it's fanbase, losing their customers and profits. It makes me very sad.

Maybe I will renew my subscription to Eve. I find it lacking something though.... it has good crafting, customization, atmosphere..... everything I want from an MMO.... yet I don't feel inspired to play it anymore(I did for a year). But it has solid updates and support etc.

AO and Eve are the only MMO's I have ever paid subs for..... every other MMO looks too easy or simple for my taste.

Well while I wait for Failcom to fix my AO account... I will be playing rift, looks a bit simple compared to AO and apparently has no meaningful crafting or twinking...... but it IS free..... so I will try it..... maybe it won't be a complete waste of time........

What is dead may never die!

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3Blights 10 years ago
Played this a while back it was fun, hard to get into because of skill curve. Not a ton of people play but the people I talked to in game were nice. Graphic are graphics doesn't make or break game so that isn't a concern for me at least. I really enjoyed this game until two things happened they cut the exp and then I got turned into a leet which was AMZAING at the time, but I had no idea how to change back so I had to delete my character :( all in all a fun game try it out.

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Anarchist 10 years ago
Lot of things to complain about when it comes to this somewhat abandoned mmorpg, and yet still one of the best of its kind around. Stopped playing over year ago, and haven't found another game as good as this.

Warning to players who try F2P: AO restricts lot of its content to subscribers even if it seems you have a huge world to explore. I've played the game both as free player and as long time subscriber, the experience cannot be compared. Unfortunately, at that, as original concept of Rubi Ka has not gotten awful lot of attention for too long. To get the best out of this game you really should sub and find helpful guild to answer your abundant questions.

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DestroyYourEgo 10 years ago
This is the best MMO community I have ever seen. I mean, seriously. I have only been in the game for a short time, but I have not seen ONE rude comment be made. Instead, I see people helping "froobs", and people running around casting helpful spells on everyone. I have seen some empty places in this game, but when there are people, it's a comfort. Which, honestly for me, is a rare thing to say.

No, onto the nitty gritty. I have no idea what is going on with the nano isht yet. I mean, seriously, it's very confusing. And they have helpful tips that will walk you through it, but once you've played the game for two hours and have read enough info to fill the pages of, "Moby Dick", you'll be thinking your name is Ishmael before you get the nuts and bolts of this title.

HOWEVER- I am oddly attracted to it. The storyline intrigues me. I'm opting to stay Neutral- that's my way. But there is a war going on, and it really has a lot of culture and history to it. As far as MMo's go, this is one that deserves to have you stop and talk to the NPC's you see. I'm not for the packmule missions, but I love going to some far off locale to handle a Crypt. It's pretty serious.

The graphics look like Original X Box graphics to me. Still very polygonal, but with HD-ish textures. Not for everyone. For me, it's a nostalgic treat. Seriously, something about it's dated graphics harkens to my heart. I can't help but follow...

The level cap is... insane. 220, I think? And each level, you're not just assigning 5 or 6 points, you can literally refine your skill in ANY are. Wanna have a shotgun wielding Bureaucrat? AO has you covered.

I don't usually play PC games with the keyboard, usually opting to emulate it on Xpadder. However, I find this game best appreciated with a keyboard, which again, is a first for me.

I cannot believe this game has been around since 2001. Something about it's history is very interesting to me. I'd love to meet some of the vets, if there are any still on here, just to hear some of the cool things that have happened.

I must also say that I appreciate their website and store to a wonderful degree. I don't feel like I am being pummeled with "Pay Here!" ads and such. It just seems like a game for gamers.

Yes, this game is showing it's age. I'm also not sure how much longer this relic will around. I plan to try to absorb what I can from it. I recommend anyone with an interest in Sci-Fi or this title to try it out.

It's not as bad as you may think...

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Chopstar 10 years ago
The game is not fully F2p... only ½ the game is...if u want to play the full game you need pay

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jayvidal 10 years ago
look nice but the graphic are really bad
they should upgrade

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gETH 10 years ago
i'm surprise this game is still around, was my first ever mmorpg and it was and is, great.
It has a unique feeling for everyone who likes roleplaying, the skill and equipsystem has a complexity i miss in nearly all games.
Nothing can beat absolutely overequipping a charackter based on calculations and swaporder, its just wonderful.
I quit this game 6 or 7 years ago after most of my clanmates left, but i still like to remember back.
The only thing that would prevent me from enjoying this game again are the outdated tab-123456 battle controlls :(

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hacker231 10 years ago
me hacker of Anarchy 1 shot is dead :** muhehehe!!!

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Kealtic 10 years ago
I started playing the game in 05. I was only ever a casual player.It is the level of complexity in the game that kept me going back time and again. I haven't played it consistently since 09. Now for me it is the nostalgia factor.

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Skyzone 10 years ago
This game really isn't ment for younger kids,( IVo, Really 2001 game i was one then ;( ] i think its about time people started to apreciate this game alot more, this was the first real Sci Fi MMORPG, the new engine is to arrive soon (wanna pre view check out Age Of Conan). For a game thats 11 year old and still running its doing very well, i was introduced to Anarchy Online in 2009 getting into the game is not so easy but quit bitching and ask someone for help there are 3 ways u can get help (players,ARK's,GM's), and really comparing AO to WoW sad =( , i agree atm graphicly its not the best, player base is falling due to ppl wanting the new updates, if u wanna play and interlectual game try Anarchy Online if u wanna be spoon fed how to play an MMORPG then go back to Runescape (this is not a dig at RS i started gaming there just like you all did) * upcoming changes to AO, Server Merge, New engine (graphics overhaul), full profession rebalance, go see for yourself @
cya ingame ( RK2 )

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Hexploit 10 years ago
I played this game for years. I have 2 payed accounts and 4 free accounts and I can say that out of all the sci-fi mmo's out there, this oen is well worth trying. ignore crappy reviews, just try for yourself and see. Sure, the player community(maybe 500k strong?), isn't as big as wow(14 mil strong), but even for an older game, the graphics are not nearly as bad as some people say. Gameplay is smooth even on a real crappy pc(originally played this on a 300 mhz with 256mb ram) and it played fine on that, so a newer pc it will smoke this game. Free version you get up to level 200 and there are TONS of places to go/things to kill. You can do this both easily solo or in groups. All zones, every single one, is lag free prettymuch. Tons of content. Only 2 bad things are yes, funcom did promise a graphic engine update 5 or so years ago wich they still ahvent braught out(even still graphics are nto bad at all) and game mechanics are very in-depth if you want to put on high-end gear at low levels. Overall for a free sci-fi mmo i would give it a 8/10 maybe 9/10.

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Artemisv 11 years ago
I played it alot years, quitted about 5 years ago. The community was very good in that old days and was one of the reasons why i played it so long. I would recmoment the game itself: Its to much based on numbers. As a result of that the most important thing there is a claculator and some friends for buffs and buff equippment... which you need to equipp seriosly good equippment. As example: my lvl 21 Trader had qlvl 140 NCUs equipped.

Also:The playerbase went into the extreme where a normal human with real-life ist very welcome.

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Huntersolid 11 years ago
i reccommend you play this game high on weed trust me....

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CyberCrust 11 years ago
I played AO for years and have enjoyed it. However, to participate in the full gaming experience, there needs to be a game population. There is still a population but the number of people that still play is dwindling. Not to mention the ancient game engine that Funcom hasn't upgraded in over 6 years.

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Derek 11 years ago
It has a steam-punk Blade Runner feel. I think Blade Runner is the greatest movie of all time so thats basically what made me play this for a good 4 months. Then I realized it just sucks and just quit.

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IVo 11 years ago
Really 2001 game i was one then ;(

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Midgetmadness23 11 years ago
if there was a Anarchy Online HD remake im in but this is just to ugly for my liking.

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Shreddi 12 years ago
I used to play when it released and then a while after. I didnt know they had a graphic upgrade. If the graphics were brought up to date it would be good. Another mentioned nostalgic. Yep that would probably be the only reason i would try again. But, unless the graphics were really brought current.... No thanks.

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stelstel 12 years ago
This game is way too dated. I realize they had a graphic upgrade not too long ago (according to them...) but it's just too ugly to sincerely enjoy unless you've already put a lot of time and effort into a character or it's nostalgic. The UI is impossible to navigate and completely unorganized. Attacking, targeting, even equipping items is a pain.

The "stat system" is far too involved and could (VERY EASILY!!!) be summed up and trimmed without hurting the game at all but for whatever reason, everything you do has some stat skill involved. I'm surprised I didn't find walking and breathing as stats.

Also if you are new to the game, get used to nano-EVERYTHING. It's quite possibly the cheesiest route they could have taken and they take it to extremes. You even have Nano-targets. When targeting another player/NPC or mob it will actually say "Nano Target NameOfCharacter". I've been playing games for about 16 years now and this is till one of the bad ones IMO. If you like dated graphics, a horrible interface and nearly non-existent community then yes, by all means jump right in. Of the few people I was able to actually catch, it was like trying to ask something of someone from a different country. Either everyone was RPing and pretended not to understand my character because she was human or they acted like total elitists and scoffed at anything I had to say. This is nothing new to MMOs though, but don't walk in thinking people are going to be helpful in this game.

(Also, saying you "Don't recommend this to WoW players" is excluding over 14million people. Whether you like the Blizzard game or not is not my issue, I just think it's bad for business to anyone to push aside such a large amount of potential customers. :P )

Boring game play, bad graphics, terribly small community, annoying controls and so on. This game just isn't worth the time it takes to DL let alone play it at all.

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Prototape 12 years ago
I've been playing this game for years. Started when I was about 14 but didn't really understand a lot of the mechanics so I kind of gave up. I played on and off for a while until I got a feel for the game, and things really picked up after that. Now I'm pretty much hooked on it. It's got a lot of interesting things in it, and the community is awesome. I have yet to run into anyone really rude, and I've actually been given 5 million credits before just because that person felt like it.
It really is one of the best mmos I've ever played. You'll just have to be willing to put forth the effort to learn how it works, and with a great community, it's pretty easy.

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arvinfilth 12 years ago
Well actually its a good game, but its hard to understand for the young ones.
It douse say how to play it but, you really have to think like a grown up to play this game.
I don't reccomend this to WoW players.

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