When I sat this long weekend and thought what I cherish most in some of my favorite MMORPGs, interactivity was at the top of my list. I love how much I can interact with the world in The Elder Scrolls Online. The fact that pretty much everything in a room is something I can pick up or search makes the room, the building, the dungeon - whereever I'm at - come alive more fully.
It's not perfect. I can't pick up a sweetroll for instance and roll it around in my hand, putting it down exactly where I want down the road to confuse a passing guard. But compared to more traditional MMORPGs where the presentation of the world is rather stagnant or "bolted down," as it were, it's a nice flourish and something that hearkens back to the main RPG series.
For the next great MMORPG, whether it ends up being the newly confirmed Daybreak Marvel MMO or something else, I want more interactivity. If it's a modern setting, let me flip a lightswitch. Let me move a table without having to enter an instance. Make every building something I can go into and explore, not simply window dressing for the world.
I want to feel like every blade of grass moves with my character, and that I could reach out and pluck each one individually if I wanted to. I'd love a cooking crafting profession that involves actually chopping, sauteing and finishing dishes versus watching a progress bar, well, progress. Give me a chef, screaming it's Bloody RAW in my ears as my character furiously juilenne's the next course. Let me even grow the carrots I would pickle to make kimchi if it exists in that world.
I want every aspect of a game world to be fully interactive, something where I feel like, and not to make this comparison, but that I'm living a second life so to speak within this world.
It doesn't have to sacrifice the "fun" or the "gamification" of what is ultimately a game. But I want to belive every aspect of a world is alive and something I can interact with. At least let me sit down in every chair in the world.
What about you? Is there a key element or design feature you want to see in the next great MMORPG? Let us know in the comments.