I've always found it interesting how culturally popular many historical periods are (ancient Greece and Rome, the Viking golden age, the Napoleonic Wars, the wild west, Victorian Britain, etc), but the vast majority of MMOs are science fiction or medieval high fantasy. I'm wondering if this is because over the top, ridiculous things like dragons and laser guns are necessary for an MMO to succeed.
So, I'm asking if you think that an MMO set in history based on real events with true realism (no magic, prayers, mythical beasts, bullet sponge enemies, etc) could actually become significantly popular (>100,000 regular players), or would the lack of 'cool' mobs to fight and mundanity of most progression (oh, this longsword is the best in the game? Where's the glowing fire coming out of it?) bore too many people?
I know that there are historical MMOs out there, but I'm not aware of any with a significant population, although please do correct me if I'm wrong and there's one I've never heard of.