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I wouldn't even care about the genre or setting as long as it had the majority of this
30+ classes with skillbased point distribution
Sky, mount, and ground combat/exploration/questing etc...
Of the 30+ classes above make some non-combat, make some social or merchant style classes for people that strickly want to craft or have a glorified chatroom experience.
With above setup this makes a true player driven economy
Only allow one character per server with maybe an option to unlock a second character slot. This also helps to keep the player driven economy stable and needed by all. When people can become self sufficient as they have in most mmos today it really fubard economies imo.
Player housing/cities gives reason to work together as a guild for those who don't like raiding dungeons all the time. Collectibles/trophies/decor etc...
Open world PvP with objectives and such
Huge worlds with no zoning or instancing
Complex resource gathering systems with resource extinction
complex crafting with values and experiementation
More than two factions (I know a couple mmos as of late are tacking this into thier games)
More than 6 races
More than 5 classes (see above)
I could go on all day with features that most big MMO's today don't have which is why there is no longevity or why they can't get the big piece of the pie.
I mean seriously were some of the old games ahead of their times? With todays tech why hasn't something decent been created? They could do it back in 2004...