Wow! Respect. How did you get online back then? I still played with my Atari 2600 in 1991.
The first time I ever witnessed something "online" was in 1994 at a friend's who used his dial-plate telephone to log into some online service (I have no idea what it was) on his DOS computer. I was not impressed back then (because I didn't understood; I only saw that it took 10 minutes to load one tiny screen of text).
Sorry for getting off-topic. But this anecdote is too cool to ignore.
Game was hosted on AOL so you connected to them through direct dial via 14.4 modems and early PC computers (sorry forget what computer was now, think I might have had a Compact)
Was the era of AOL, Compuserve, Imagination Network (later renamed Seirra Online which hosted The Realms MMO back around 93-94).
It was made by TSR and Wizards of the coast and used the old SSI AD&D Gold Box Engine for the graphics.
Great game but significantly harder then what we play now a days and hugely more expensive.
Pricing was $20.00/month for first 20 hours and then $2.95/hour (american and $3.95/hour Canadian) after that.
My personal largest bill was $800.00 (damn near got ill over that and quickly reigned myself in to have more control) but I knew people that paid well over a grand a month to play NWN on AOL.
Its funny cause SO MUCH of that game and The Realms game are still very much present in modern games conceptually. Massively updated of course but conceptually they all return to the original MMOs.
Warzone and open world PVP? NWN had it
Daily repeatable quest lines? NWN had it
Housing? Contrary to popular (mistaken) opinion, UO was NOT the first MMO to have player housing. The Realms was.
First full expansion for a MMO? That would be NWN (it was written by the actual players believe it or not)
Some people who never played the game like to claim NWN was a MUD, but it was not. It was a full blown early day MMO and a HUGE money maker for AOL. It was reported they were pulling in over a million a month (which is like 10,000,000+ now a days) for that game because of its popularity (and pricing plan).
Contrary to urban lore (and many many many incorrect wikis...which again is just user opinion and not fact checked information) there was a number of MMOs before UO or WOW.
NWN on Aol
Dark Sun Online
and then in '97