As we all know the foundation for RPGs in general was laid out by 2D games. From the first Final Fantasy and Zelda series, to Chrono Trigger and Secert of Mana; these games will never be forgotten. My question is despite their infamy, will their art style ever die? Is immersion no longer possible in a "flat world"? To me, it depends on how creative you are.
In my belief, 2D games are seeing the end of their time (and have been for a while besides in the mobile market). There are several small ORPGs out there that make due with a small community (I have designed and worked on several myself) but they never get close to seeing a "healthy" or even fair player base. Currently the market is flooded with 3D games most of the pay to play ones sporting passable 3D graphics and some free to play ones are on par as well (Sword of the New World). Besides the exceptions on the free to play side of things the majority of them seem to have very dated 3D graphics. Are they better looking then a well done 2D game (Dofus for example *Which I will note is successful but due to its browser nature)?
This brings me to my argument; 2D games can be beautiful and sometimes part of the beauty is the fact that 2D games paint half the canvas and then give you the brush and say, "Finish it." A 3D game needs to be top of the line and absolutely sell that world to you. A 2D game gives you that looking glass where you have the basics (depending on budget and art direction of course) but you can see what you want to see. Most of you by now may be thinking "Well that's a shitty game then." but its not , its simply putting the RP back in. This is a whole other argument (Blog to come) but from my experience the community feeling is much more alive in 2D games than in any 3D game I have played. Everyone has there own motives, back stories, conversation (intelligent ones) just seem so much more natural and enjoyable.
My final question is this: would you over look a MMORPG (even with your dream features and mechanics) if it where 2D (professional looking 2D at that)?