Much content + Nice graphics + Good playability = The Best MMORPG? Not.
Just take the first five games from the games toplist, and you can already see that they are all just trying to use the same pattern as above. Currently all mainstream MMORPG's are overpopulated by random people all over the world with the age ranging from five to fifty.
How can yo even think that so many people could get along with each other in an online game if they can't do that even in real life. It's a chaos when it's the time to form a party greater than two people. If you need for an example five random people, it's 99% possibility that one of them is an idiot. That one idiot can ruin the party and make everyone else annoyed. It doesn't take much to detect that kind of jerk from the group, but usually there are no other options so you'll just have to tolerate that person.
These kind of incidents can't be avoided when the game community is greater than, let's say 500 people. Have you ever played an MMORPG with players less than 500? I have. Can you imagine how fun it is to play when almost everyone in the game knows everyone? If someone scams someone, the scammer will ruin his reputation and half of the community will avoid him. Everyone knows who is a bad guy and who is a good guy. You know who you can trust and who can you ask to help you with a quest.
Now I'm talking about the game Dransik. I played for three years, when I was just a kid. Once one guy from a bad PK guild came and asked me to follow him outside the town. I followed him for sometime and suddenly he started shooting me with a bow. I started running back but my way was blocked by his guild mates. I got ambushed and looted, too bad. But that was just an example how well the teamwork works in a small community.
The game was only 1.5 Mbytes in size, and the graphics were the same as in Ultima 5 (256 colours 2D). There were hardly any quests. But the map was big, and you were able to PK anyone outside towns. There were no magic, only bows and melee weapons. There were simple trade skills and some other misc skills. Every monster had something they dropped always, something they dropped sometimes, and then some rare (0,1% - 0,01%) drops which you tried to get for many days. And when you finally got it you were so damn happy! There were only about five different high end armour sets, and you always knew how much each of them cost and which monster dropped them.
The game is still running and free, but alas the new commercial company (Iron Will Games) that bought it has ruined it with account locks. You have two account locks for you account, and you must use them to lock your account to the computer you are currently playing it. When you run out of locks, you can't play it on any other machine than those two locked ones. Now you can't play it in school, FRIENDS or anywhere else. I think they think they are awesome because they found out such a great way to prevent account trading, but actually they are just big idiots.
At the moment I'm looking forward for Elderlands, which is the new oldschool game by the original developer of Dransik, Mr. Lothgar a.k.a Jason Ely. He was a programmer in the group that made the Ultima games, and he is the best game designer in the world. He is dedicated to his work, he has new unique ideas and he listens to the players. I'm very sure that his upcoming game will be even better than Dransik was. As a proof of that, hunderds of old Dransik players have been talking on Elderlands forums for many years already, waiting for the game, even though it hasn't been released yet.
Elderlands open testing will be published propably in some months, when they have achieved the goals they have set for the next release.
Dransik - http://www.dransik.com/
Elderlands - http://www.elderlands.com/