AO wasn't my first MMO but remains my all time favorite. I was there in the beta and for it's launch as the 'buggiest game launch of all time'. Was a founding member of 3305 Local (which sadly no longer has a presence in AO), but many of my oldest online friends are from those days and many of those old members still game together, we have a fair number of folks in Overwatch these days.
AO was among the first MMOGs as well to offer a large part of their game for free, no micro-transactions, 100% free. Only the expansion content requires a paid sub.
Fond memories. I still have a froob acount (free noob), I might consider dropping bye during this event, especially if I can get some of my old 3305 buds to do the same.