It's tradition at this point - massively multiplayer online games inevitably have troubles at launch. Ultima Online and Everquest suffered from lag, server crashes, player wipes, and other inconveniences. More recently, World War 2 Online was criticized widely for featuring a whopping 70 megabyte patch on release day.
Given the illustrious history of the genre, then, it's no surprise that Anarchy Online has more than lived up to its name.
The problems began shortly after launch yesterday, when people noticed that the registration server wasn't using secure SSL encryption. With credit card information being a necessary piece of information for the registration process, the potential for this information ending up in the wrong hands is higher than normal. Marius Enge, Funcom customer service representative, had the following to say on the Anarchy Online news page:
"We have been getting alot of feedback from people that has noted that we don't have a secure connection (https://) when registering their creditcard.
This is true. We were promised our certificates but they did not arrive in time. Basically you have two choices, you can either go ahead and register your account. Please note that there is a very slim posssibility that someone will be able to snoop your creditcard number, and even if someone does, you are not to blame and the creditcard company will not bill you. Or you can wait until we have the https:// in order. We have no ETA on this. We are sorry for any worries or problems this may have caused you."
For those players who wish to register their copy of the game before the secure server is available (or already have), you may want to monitor your next credit card statements closely.
Another problem has been the patch servers. Approximately 12 megabytes of patches need to be downloaded and installed before the game can be played - and the massive number of people attempting to get the patches has caused the patch servers to crash repeatedly.
Last, but certainly not least, some players have reported that their copies of the game came without a CD-Key, preventing registration. Funcom customer support has been assisting these players on an individual basis, though many are still without working CD-keys.
Despite these problems, many players who have been able to get into Anarchy Online report less lag and fewer disconnections than during the beta 4 testing.
RPGFan will keep you updated on the security issue as more information becomes available.