aaaaa1 - strength: medium
aaaaa12345 - strength: poor
=aStu!et$aQ@212345 - strength: poor
1. At least 3 out of the 4 categories uppercase, lowercase, digit, special character
2. No character could be repeated more than two times
3. No sequence of 3 or more increasing or decreasing letters or numbers could be present (and not even consecutive: "ta/Tbs#cz" would be rejected because it contains "abc").
4. No English words or names could be present.
5. It must be at least 8 characters
There may have been other restrictions too, I don't recall the exact details.
This meant that perfectly reasonable passphrases (like "correct horse battery staple") would be rejected. Even if you tried to come up with a good password that met the rule, you might fail by accident because "89cRbcThe*)" has the word "The" in it. You would generally have to come up with a password, then whittle it down slowly until you passed all of the rules, usually making it weaker in the process.