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I believe that the current trend of "making things easier" in MMORPG's is, at worst, the genre's downfall, and at best, a severe detriment to any sort of immersion that the "Massively" part of the oft-used acronym is meant to describe.
Let me explain.
When I began playing EQ1 around 15 years ago, there was a sense of wonder that rose within me when my blocky little avatar would crest a hill and see a city I had never visited sprawling out before me. That sense of wonder was the product of having to brave a difficult journey, on foot, across hostile lands where absolutely everything could and probably would kill me, in order to get to a strange new area that offered more quests/sights/people etc. The whole concept of "Fast Travel" has all but eliminated this in contemporary late 2nd or early 3rd gen MMORPG's.
Nowadays, whenever you want to get someplace, you just run to your local "Griffon Trainer/Drake Rider/Stable Hand" etc and a few seconds later you are at your destination. Now, even this is debateable as to whether it is, at its core, an advancement in the genre or a detriment to immersion, because in many games, this sort of thing is perfectly lore-acceptable, albeit uncommon. Where it starts to get dicey is when you see the continual telescoping/collapsing of the game-world in order to make it "easier" for players to get places. Why did the developers of whatever game you're playing even bother to create a gameworld if you can just warp around it at a whim and the cost of a few silver coins? Why not just play in a tiny little box with all your quests in the same place to make it "easier" for you. Or even better, why not just make everything a "click button to warp to instance" thing, where all you do is sit in one spot, flip rapidly through never-read questgiver babble, click OK, and go smash things to get that l33t reward?
In the old EQ days, im talking pre-PoP, pre-Luclin, you actually had to travel to the Eastern Commonlands, sit down with the other random people milling about in the EC tunnel, and hock your wares. In doing this, people would meet each other, haggle, barter, ultimately and most importantly, interact with one another. But now, again in the spirit of making things "easier", the "Auction House" mechanic was slowly introduced, eventually becoming a staple of the genre that we all love. Now, you had no reason to ever even talk to another person outside of your guild or close-knit social circle. Find some neat gear in a dungeon? Toss it on the AH and it'll be sold for you, the money will be mailed to you and can be picked up at one of a thousand mailboxes scattered throughout the gameworld. No longer do you need to meet another person face to face in order to show them the item of power you dragged from the deepest pit, against all odds and at terrible peril. No longer will you meet and speak to others of your trials and quests, braved in the pursuit of said shiny trinket, or hear of theirs.
Sound stupid? Well examine some of the games that are out right now, the big titles as well as the FTP ones. They all seem to be going the same route, which brings me right back to the main focus of this thread: Immersion.
Immersion is why we play MMORPG's, especially us roleplayers! And this rising trend of "easiness" is how immersion dies, and everyone, from all powerful Dev, to random casual gamer, should take a moment to think about why they want things to be "easier". Isnt the questing SUPPOSED to be tough? When you venture into the wilds, isnt traversing them SUPPOSED to be perilous? When you run across someone wielding a flaming sword, wearing a suit of golden armor wrested from the hands of evil planar denizens, arent you SUPPOSED to go "HOLY SHIT MAN! WHERE'D YOU GET THAT STUFF?!!"
I dunno, its all just food for thought I suppose. I could be wrong...
I will end my ramblings with a quote from the late, great, H.G. Wells. In his novel "The Time Machine", Wells writes "We are kept keen on the grindstone of pain and necessity." At the rate things are progressing... we all run the risk of becoming frightfully dull.