If the underlying decisions and assumptions made by designers and developers for MMOs (and maybe for single player games too? I don’t play enough to know) were to change, what would we suggest?
How should quests change? Should there be quests at all? Should we have levels? How else would we measure progress? Should there be crafting? How would it work? Should online games reward twitch-ability despite that not being a “level” playing field (not everyone twitches well)? Should online game reward reasoning and puzzling abilities despite that not being as level playing field either? Should we be able to use real life money to pay for things in games — from the trivial (items, titles) to the less trivial (levels, or whatever else is being measured)? Should we be able to use automated scripts? For what? Should we pay subscriptions, pay as we go, or not pay at all (if some other form of revenue can be devised)?
How far away from our current paradigm-comfort zone are we willing to go for the next generation of MMOs?
I have loads of things I’d usually suggest but, since I’m putting myself on the spot, my mind has blanked. Hopefully yours won’t. 😉
EDIT — ok here’s one. At a very basic level, I miss games like Asheron’s Call where I could allocate points to skills. It was a fairly simple system, and there were lots of no-brainer paths, but I still liked the illusion of customisation. If I wanted a HUGE run skill, I could have that. I miss that, and “mastery paths” or whatever they end up calling them in games are’nt really what I’d call customisation, at least not to that extent.