Hehe. Well there are lots of reasons Anarchy Online was a letdown. Not all of them are the developers/publishers. I think one of the major reasons netcode was so bad early was something to do with an older method of code they used, as someone explained soon after launch at AO vault. It had to do with how in the older type, client packets have to come in in sequence, and if some packets are lost, the server waits, or something like that. The newer code is a lot more lenient, with packet loss causing no bottlenecking of server CPU power at all.
Other more important issues causing failure, of course, are the simplification and slowing down in combat. I, for one, followed AO diligently at AO vault and AO basher for a full year before launch. My artwork by "BigAlski" is all over the formers fan art section. However, beta didnt work for me, the problem wasnt even fixed at launch, and it didnt work then either. 100's of people had my problem, and it never got fixed, that I know of. Most of us were shocked at the slow action in the early movies in like Aug. 2000 anyways, and many decided to bail then. I think the "Random Mission Generator", too, turned out to suck. A game like AC has like 300 dungeons, so players enjoy the underground game. AO has nearly nil, which limited the melee game a great deal. As far as ripping off the gamer now, I guess Funcom was looking for 300k subscribers and I bet they have less than 50k now. Thats a lot of planned overhead that isnt affordable now. Their other big MMO, Midgard, was cancelled, and I bet that was to be funded by AO's profits, which might be none. Too bad, really, it sounded great. If the release would have been postponed 3 more months, they would have had a smooth launch, generated enough revenue to have an expansion out by Feb 2002, and a second by Holidays 2002/2003. That would have put them at AO 1.5 before AC2 even launched, the next major MMORPG, with enough revenue to ride it out till AO2 or another game was done for a super release in 2004. But all we got now is a pile of smoldering "what could have been", hehe.