I'll begin with an intro...
*[I know most have read this kind of thing before but, this is how I decided to do it, even if I could change it, I wouldn't do it for you.]*
Some were not bad actually but all of them were 'just another MMO' except with the addition of some gimmick or 'innovation'. Seems like 'the devs' (what I'm going to call the body of people responsible for games' creation) think that you just need to think up something new to make the next big MMO that people want to play (and keep playing).
Yea, that makes sense, seeing nothing that hasn't already been done in other games makes the new game boring; why would anyone bother with some kind of 'clone', right?
Hey, does it seem like I'm referring to WoW here? (the freaking clone factory technically) 'Cause I assure you I wasn't trying to but seeing that we're on the subject... it's a good example of how you don't need some new super-cool feature for everyone to like your game.
Does this mean we established that the "exciting super-dooper-cool feature that has never been seen before" is NOT everything and, NOT something that 'makes or breaks' an MMO? [but obviously it makes things nicer if it works]
You know what? Maybe it's not WHAT features the game has but HOW they're implemented into the game? As long as it all works cleanly, gameplay is good... you won’t have a game as good as EQ. You would just have a decent game. However, for sweet integration of the features the devs would have to personally care for the game. Something that I think MMOs of the current age are lacking. [Though I should mention that WAR seems to be on the right track to me.] Current MMO game devs seem to be only concerned about creating the game that they sat out to do in their plan. Also, the design always seems to be "player will see this" and "player will need to do that" style. That kind of thinking for other people is screwing with the development. They should put themselves into the game a lot more, they should experience their game (and other MMOs) a lot more too. Instead of relying on tester's reactions and what they’re saying only. It’s as if the devs wouldn’t be able to tell on the state of the game without ‘real’ gamers. Kinda sounds like the devs don’t know what they’re doing, funny huh?
So basically, seems like the devs have to have personal interest in the game that they’re making. Play their game plenty (as well as other MMOs) too. Look at the whole thing LESS as if they’re executing a business plan and MORE like doing their best to make a good game (that means the design plan shouldn’t be set in stone; forget your one cool distinctive feature if it’s not working out). OK that’s good to know, don’t you agree?
So, I think that all this covers one half of the ‘EQ formula’. But the other half.... I think it’s the community also, the connection between the community and the devs.