Anarchy Online is now accepting applications for the closed beta test of the game's new rendering engine.
If your initial reaction to the news that Anarchy Online is getting ready to roll out a new graphical engine is, "Anarchy Online still exists?" then welcome to my world! I actually hit up Google to make sure it wasn't an elaborate, internet-wide gag, but apparently it's the straight dope: Funcom's sci-fi MMO is still grinding away, and a new rendering engine is is actually in the works.
The engine will initially go through a closed beta period, during which time players will be under an NDA. Testers will not be able to copy their characters over to the beta server at first because the "New Player Experience" is part of the closed beta and the developers "want to get as many eyes on this new content as possible," but it will be enabled later in the testing period.
Today's update to the game also gives the item shop a visual upgrade and new sub-category system designed to simplify browsing, and removes some of the less-popular social items and adds some new ones. Something called the "whompah system" is also in the midst of being revamped, which I assume will mean something to people who actually play the game.
Developed by Funcom, Anarchy Online launched in June 2001 and switched to a "Free Play" program in late 2004, although fans can opt to pay subscription fees for unlimited content access. The last expansion, Legacy of the Xan, was released in 2009.
Applications for the Anarchy Online closed beta can be made at Funcom.