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So, yes, for all MMO players out there, would you want politics in game as a feature similar to combat? Imagine Vanguard's diplomacy, except without the weird card game mechanics, just more as a blatant form of combat.
If you can stomach playing a MUD for a short time, then I'd advise you to try Lusternia, but if you can't, let me direct you to the Lusternia wiki on influencing denizens ( which, unfortunately, doesn't explain much, but oh well, it's interesting enough, you really have to get ).
Basically, the idea is that you use skills, like you would in combat, in an attempt to use up your opponent's ego ( like mana, but for talking ) whilst keeping yours at a reasonable level. You have "stances" which protected you against certain argument types and weakened you to others and NPCs that you could have influence battles with ( to either beg them for money or to try and change their personality for a short while or a number of other things ) had a certain personality that made them immune to certain abilities etc etc. It's basically combat without fighting, and is the ONLY thing that allows a city to take over a village, when villages "unlock" and become open for the cities to try and convert the denizens in them.
The system grows a lot more complex when you consider that players will often attempt to argue with each other in villages to take other players out of the running for a short time, and fights usually turn into two players duelling whilst lots of others back them up with compliments ( which restore ego ) and refreshment magic.
So, how would people feel about something like this in a game? Vanguard's system was good, even if the card system was a bit silly, but it just didn't really do enough. Some buffs and some extra items was about the limit on it, instead of ( as in Lusternia ) being able to capture villages.
And, yes, Lusternia would be, in my opinion, one of the greatest games ever as an MMO.
EDIT: I'm expanding this idea, in my head, to having multiple faction parties within cities which are within nations etc, each of which would be pressing it's own views and laws upon the general masses, and attempting to get laws instated which would benefits them.
For example: You have a mage's guild and, I don't know, an anti-mage guild within a single city. The mage's guild wants to lower taxes on magic reagents, build more temples to the mage god and have more lax laws on where they can and can't cast magic. The anti-mage guild want to build more temples to the anti-mage god and have more strict laws on where mages can cast magic. Assuming these two factions have equal amounts, and equally well politically developed leaders ( in terms of skills and ability to influence ) their success would be determined by convincing the unwashed masses ( I.E. the NPCs on the gaming world ) that their side is correct through debates in the middle of the city. Combine this with the ability to knock off players ( and put them out of the running SOMEHOW, without forcing them to quit the game forever, not really certain how to do this, it needs more thinking over ) and the many others things that could be implemented, and it would be a glorious thing.