I feel that we often talk of the wonderful moments we all lived in the old PSO but that many times we tend to gloss over or downright ignore it´s ghetto, ep 1&2, and how bad things were in that particular version of the game.
And that is because a lot of people´s experience with the game come from DC/XBOX or modern Private Servers.
If you never played PSO Ep1&2, there is something you must know, and that is that most files, character data and item data were stored locally or in the disk., this gave hackers complete access and control over not only their own characters and game files but also over everyone else´s.
That is to say, that while all cheaters with a simple Game Shark could cheat, some hackers with advanced scripts and tools/programming could interact with the servers and had de facto admin powers and ruled over all other players.
And Sega´s hands off/maintenance only approach to the game meant that said hackers were able to do as they pleased to the point of account theft with total impunity, as there was no-one to face them.
A simple disagreement with someone could see your character back to lv1, your memory card corrupted (losing everything in it, not just PSO files) or even your account stolen and given to the hacker´s friends for their own use.
(And let us not forget to get an account you had to buy a new copy of the game)
There were entire ships and servers in which the mere act of entering them could see you lose everything you had, as hacker groups or communities considered them their turf and did not suffer any uninvited intrusion.
Particularly malicious players could even send mails and private messages to other players in your name as to defame you and then accuse you of being hurtful or to have said things you had never said, and there was nothing you could do.
PSO EP1&2 was the Wild West of the MMORPG and PSO mmoverses.
It comes to show how much technology and administrative approach has changed since the late 90´s /early 00´s and today´s online gaming.