We're head over heels creating details right now for TerraX. Basics like flora and fauna and a seemingly endless parade of NPC's. In the midst of another late night (with rl mirroring ingame with everyone moaning that they have to get up the next day and what are they doing staying up so late?) a very familiar discussion popped up again.
Is it more fun killing stuff or working with ingame allies? Is a quest better when it's a matter of killing sumpin or hacking your way through mobs to reach an item/uberduberspiffy gem/crown/light/plant/younameit? Is the game payoff for you the player generated by the adrenalin rush of winning in combat?
Or is it more about the interactions with gamers and/or NPC's. The rush of a well balanced group and the intricate choreography needed for success in a raid. Is it about the moments spent wandering around and discovering new people in the game - people that sometimes turn into lifelong friends?
For us at this point of the game's development, the choicepoint of which way to lean is way in the future. Launch for TerraX is November, 2013 - that's a looong way away. But it's already getting a bit edgy when it comes to the discussion of what makes a game really work.
What do you reach for? The combat kill joy? The interacting snuggly feeling? I'd love to know.