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Originally posted by oakthornn YOU CAN'T COMBINE BOTH!! YOU'LL HAVE TO MANY FANS OF PVP CONTENT AND PVE CONTENT FIGHTING AND WANTING WHAT YOU CAN'T DELIVER... This is why I believe developers need to take a few pages from the old school popular mmo's and go with either pve or pvp as the main focus and run with it! I'm sure your game will have a better chance of being a success going one way or the other as opposed to trying to duplicate both PVE and PVP, which is almost impossible to achieve...
Well actually thats what they are trying to do for years and years now, and they are not very successfull doing so tbh. Look at Aion for exemple, it is a perfect exemple of that. They really try, its not that they are doing nothing in that domain really. The only one as you said that somehow succeed is Wow, but imo its not due to the mechanism at all, it is due to the fact most Wow gamer had no mmo experience, they have no clue what was going on with the trammel syndrom, and they just wanted "naively" to pvp as in any other computer game, thats all, thats why it had such a "success" in that game, nothing else. Wow certainly didn't do much to appeal to the pvper, they just put an arena with a lader and basta. Nothing even remotely comparable to the systems "pvp" mmo was puting in place, maybe those are trying too much i don't know.
Originally posted by draphius i started out playing UO the day it came out, not to mention i had been following it closely for over a year and i have to say that the first time i played wow i thought it was crap. my roommate had started playing it and it was his first mmo and this was a guy who would have made fun of someone playing an mmo a few years earlier. so i thought i would try it out too. the one thing ive hated about most mmo is the fact that they have added so much foam padding that there is just no risk reward to the games. take for example pvp, in uo u could go out and hunt down murderers and take them out and get there loot and rep bonus plus the people u were defending from the murderer were pretty happy 2 which added a social aspect to the game thats not around anymore. in those games u could also kill someone that decided they wanted to be a douche whereas nowadays they give u multiple factions to play in and u arent allowed to kill someone from your own faction which just allows the douche's to be more douchebaggy since they wont have repercussions from it. ill never forget my days of playing uo while sitting in irc channels with icq beeping at me constantly while me and a few good buddies put the beat down on the scum that inhabited napa valley
You hit on something big, so I feeI must comment. You are 100% correct. Ironically, the early rules for UO caused people to show more respect to one another. People had to watch how they treated someone or risk laying face down in the dirt, with no clothes on.
I remember the first day the trammel shard came out (no PvP allowed). I went to place a house before my favorite spot got snatched up and I ran across another guy standing at the gate. I said "Hello." And I was told "F--- you a--hole." That was the beginning of the end.
Originally posted by Sigilaea Originally posted by Aethaeryn A lot of what made those games better was the community. It was a new experience. Usually the age of someone playing was at least 18+ since you had to have an internet connection (dial-up). . be able to tie up your own phone line (not your parents) and pay the sub. Also, they were new. . there were no online guides or maps. people had fun exploring and asking questions. . this is why the games were social. Today if you ask for directions you are told to goggle it. Also not only are there online guides now but there are buit in quest helpers. No need to talk to anyone. If the games were truly better you could play them right now. UO (second age) is running strong and Meridian is free to play now (no item shop even!). Go play UO again and you will find a fun game. . but that 'new' experience is gone. I think it is less about the games and more about the people. As a casual player now with old-school roots I am out of luck. I don't have time for a game community (MO, UO, Xsyon etc) and the newer "easier" games bore me to tears.
This. UO was special because it did not try to cater to a specific marketing demographic. It was completely open and flexible so, it was us, the players, who made the content.
Some people became rich artisans (tailors, armorers), some explorers, some became thieves who ran around (naked) and stole from people. And of course, some hunted monsters while others hid in the bushes waiting to kill them and take their loot...and oh yes, some formed small groups and went hunting for the player killers too.
I'm not knocking WoW, i played it since release, but, the early games let the players choose what they wanted to do; there was a profession or goal or agenda to fit every type of personality in those games. The later arrivals offered you a specific type of entertainment and it was a model of fewer choices but higher polish.
Go back to the older games?
You guys are forgetting one of the original, main reasons why people left a number of the old school games.
The developers drastically changed them to a point where the reasons why you played them were no longer there. Of the older games, I played UO and SWG. And both were changed for the worse, and you can still hear grumblings of players from the older ones where similiar changes took place.
Though UO is still on alongside SWG (until SOE shuts SWG down in December '11), I'd never go back to them. Why? They are absolutely nothing like the games that I signed up for and enjoyed years ago.
Now, as for the OP, there were several things the old school MMORPGs had going for them that the newer ones don't (and in no particular order):
A. The MMORPG genre was pretty new still.
B. Communities were far better back then; Due to how the populace was and subtle group mechanics.
C. Being able to do more with game worlds. Remember, one of the original goals of the genre was providing the players with a "Virtual World" to do anything in. Please recall, gentlemen, that in a number of these older games, there was a nice portion of the players that were completely absorbed in activity outside of combat. Newer games don't have this. It's combat, and only combat nowadays, with maybe a half-assed, reluctant effort in crafting (if even that).
"I have only two out of my company and 20 out of some other company. We need support, but it is almost suicide to try to get it here as we are swept by machine gun fire and a constant barrage is on us. I have no one on my left and only a few on my right. I will hold." (First Lieutenant Clifton B. Cates, US Marine Corps, Soissons, 19 July 1918)
WoW was a damn good game when it came out, and I think people forget that. On the one hand there was this wide open world to go see and experience, with 2 continents, lost temples, dragons hidden away, and other little fluff areas that you could go and explore. Then you had the variety of places you could go, the instances along the way, and the fact that a lot of things were actually difficult and/or exclusive. You had to go out of your way to find a group for SM, but the reward was that you could get better items, and potentially level faster/die less often. Nowadays you don't have to travel anywhere, or make any attempt at socialising with your group. You join a queue and go get your items while your tank AoE-tanks an entire room full of elites. I remember going through Black Rock Depths on my mage in vanilla, and it taking ages, because we had to be careful with mob-pulls and crowd control. My second time through, leveling a warrior from scratch towards the end of WotLK, I would charge through rooms fast enough that my group could barely keep up. Not to mention the fact that never having to level outside of instances means zero world PvP, and next to no server-wide interaction outside of faction-specific cities.
Somewhere along the way, Blizzard got caught up in the idea that everyone should be able to experience all of the content. A noble gesture to be sure, but practically, it's not a very good idea. When nothing is exclusive to any particular group, nothing is special. I got some decent equipment on my warrior before I retired him in Cata., but I don't feel like any of it mattered. I can still remember many of the items from vanilla, because they were so exclusive and difficult to get. When you saw a warrior or mage in Tier 2 or Tier 3, you knew you were looking at someone who took the game seriously enough to raid, and the raids at that level were hard. Then the instances were nerfed, and abilities buffed so much, that all of the challenge left the game. At 60 in WotLK, my warrior was probably the equivalent of a tier 2 or 3 geared war in vanilla. But that comparison falls apart, because I was only wearing instance blues, and the abilities I was using were far, far stronger than anything players had access to back at launch.
Long story short, it was too easy, and I didn't really make any friends or acquaintances along the way. Then there was the fact that it was so brief, you might as well not even have levels. Nothing was exclusive, everything could be attained, and none of it was special. That's where WoW is nowadays.
Originally posted by labryinth Ok so this is a question to everyone who started with the now 'oldschool' MMORPGs like EQ and Ultima etc.etc, not WoW or Guild Wars, but just 1990-2003. A lot of people really hate what the MMO market is now, but I was wondering if everyone who played the older MMOs actually felt exactly the same way when WoW and GW and all those types of games came out? Did you all think 'WoW is way too casual, same with GW and EQ2' compared to EQ1 etc in 2004 and whenever GW came out? Or do the oldschool and vanilla WoW, GW etc. players all agree that back in 2004 and downwards was collectively when MMOs were the best? Or do you think only EQ and Ultima Online were the best MMOs? It's hard to explain but basically: was Everquest, DAoC and Ultima Online better than World of Warcraft (Vanilla) and Guild Wars (Vanilla) in your opinion, or do you think WoW and GW were the same games but just improved? Or did you think WoW and GW were in fact better than Everquest and Ultima even though you started with Eq and Ultima? Hopefully you understand what I'm trying to ask.
I played EQ first at around 2000-2001
1- WoW too casual? Meh, to me WoW was just been there done that. It seemed to me like I already played that MMORPG too many times before. (Never played GW1 or EQ2)
2- The best time for me as a MMORPG fan was 2003 and the release of SWG.
3- EQ was more interesting than WoW, but WoW reminds me most of EQ and I despise EQ.
--When you resubscribe to SWG, an 18 yearold Stripper finds Jesus, gives up stripping, and moves with a rolex reverend to Hawaii.--In MMORPG's l007 is the opiate of the masses.--The absence of evidence is not the evidence of absence!--CCP could cut off an Eve player's fun bits, and that player would say that it was good CCP did that.
Funny thing is...if WoW wasnt "Warcraft" it would've never broken 100k subs.
It got as big as it did by introducing millions of Blizzard-fanboys (who had never played MMOs before) to mmo's
Originally posted by kishe Funny thing is...if WoW wasnt "Warcraft" it would've never broken 100k subs. It got as big as it did by introducing millions of Blizzard-fanboys (who had never played MMOs before) to mmo's
ye agree, blizzard makes so many terrible games like WoW,warcraft,startcraft,diablo. idk why people plays them, why didnt MMO players switched to EQ2 rather then WoW. wow so bad game.
I started palying EQ in summer 2000(if my memory is correct) and EQ is waayyyy better than WOW. I think wow is too easy now days, all questhelppers and etc. Well you can ingnore those but to me if they exist then use it maybe blame is to me In general EQ is THE GAME where i compare all others and no other have been so good in all aspect.
I started with Everquest. I completely agree with the increased casualness in mmorpgs. You could have 8 hour game sessions in EQ which were ridiculous. However I have gripes with the more modern mmorpgs- my gripe with WoW was the grouping was just not so good, it's cartoon style didn't really give the same awe as something with a bit more of a realistic style. Not saying it can't provide any awe at all- eg. there are some places in WoW that it's done well- but it's like tf2 and farcry. One is more primed for gameplay, while the other is more primed for experience including it's graphics. And WoW is that former.
the "problem" with the post WoW generation MMO's is that back when we did MMO in EQ, we spoiled our kids/nephew's/little bro's by twinking/PLing them WAY too much. the "art of war" in early MMO's were never passed down as they were too young to understand why you shouldnt be able to solo end game bosses:D the post wow generation grew up thinking soloing named mob is "expected" and soloing bosses just require some extra work:D gone are the "epic" encounters that actually required more then 24 people to "cooperate" and come up with strategy to fight a script. it's sad that there are more stategy and tactics used in FPS matchs then a MMORPG. heck, there are more PEOPLE in a FPS match then in a modern MMORPG raid these days:D
the oldschool MMO's were made of people who had to learn to cooperate. they had to come up with new strategies and tactics to overcome ever more powerful bosses. and they needed to be perfect in their execution of the strategy, or 5+ hours of preperation goes down the drain. and this doesnt happen to the silly 5 man "raid" of todays MMO, this happens to the 72 man raids where you waste 5hr's of 72 people because of 1 single screw up:D
I guess the new MMO's lack epicness because there isnt much to lose if you fail.
I started before those games and WoW is my favorite MMO. ( I am no longer playing though )
However the games trying to copy WoWs success is getting annoying. To me WoW was one of the first ( if not the first ) to use quest based progression instead of killing mobs endlessly and just about every MMO released since has used quest based progression. And every game doing the same thing as the previous just gets old.
I started MMORPG with UO, and I'm definitely a fan of the "earlier" MMORPG. But to tell you the truth, I would group WoW with EQ, UO, AC, DAoC and all those. All of those games, EQ, UO, WoW, AC etc. offered a lot of new things to the genre. They were all unique in their own way.
The problem isn't with WoW in my opinion, it's with all the games that came out AFTER WoW. Why? Because they stopped innovating. The developers decided to adopt WoW as a standard formula because it was so successful and the genre stagnated.
The stupidest thing about this is the arrogance of it. The makers of "WoW clones" somehow thought that they were going to do "WoW" better than the real WoW. Which is ridiculous when you think about it. WoW has a bunch of expansions behind it, TONS of money and talent, really smooth gameplay etc. etc. How is some smaller company going to beat WoW at its own game?
The good news is that games like GW2 seem like they're actually trying to IMPROVE the genre instead of just recreating a poor copy of the king.
Are you team Azeroth, team Tyria, or team Jacob?
Originally posted by SlyLoK I started before those games and WoW is my favorite MMO. ( I am no longer playing though ) However the games trying to copy WoWs success is getting annoying. To me WoW was one of the first ( if not the first ) to use quest based progression instead of killing mobs endlessly and just about every MMO released since has used quest based progression. And every game doing the same thing as the previous just gets old.
I think WoW was the first one to use quest based progression as the "main" way of leveling. Around the end of EQ's life, the devs started to add quests like "get 20 batwings" that are similar to what WoW has, but it was kind of just tacked on.
WoW took the concept and made it work.
Today's MMOs are better if you like more action gameplay that's more solo oriented.
Yesterday's MMOs are better if you like being part of a community set in an immersive online virtual world.
Ultimately it depends on what you want to get out of an MMO, but for my personal tastes I have to say that today's MMOs just don't cut it.
Originally posted by Axehilt Originally posted by MMO.Maverick I'd compare it rather with McDonald's. Of course hamburgers and fries existed before McDonald's, but it's the overall concept of smooth delivery and service that made McDonald's as widespread and popular as it became. Sure, 3 Michelin star restaurants might raise their eyebrows towards McDonald's, but that doesn't mean that the whole philosophy and delivery concept isn't well thought out and brilliant in its own right.
Well the McD's argument always rings false for me, since it insinuates low quality.
It's more like some freak combination of:
Convenience and accessibility obviously don't appeal as much to players who've played a lot of MMORPGs -- and yet even though I see right through those mechanics to the underlying gameplay, WOW still beats out all the other MMORPGs I've tried.
The only reason I don't still play WOW is there's only so many $30 steak burgers you can have before you become tired of them.
Someone who gets it!
I applaud you.
I remember making fun of wow with my guild at the time while it was in beta, and shortly after launch due to it being so easy. I didn't think anyone would really play it. Fast forward, and I am one of it's players. I do enjoy the older style of games more. That doesn't mean I don't enjoy wow. I do wish a new AAA game built from UO roots would come out. There is room in the market for both types of games to coexist, or even hybridize.
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Originally posted by karat76 Originally posted by Palebane WoW was so much better than EQ to me, though there are still some mechanics that I think EQ did better. The noticable shift, for me, was shortly after our guild alliance started raiding MC. I actually witnessed the shift from friendship to accomplishment as the primary motivation of the majority of players. It was a sad day when the guild alliance broke up because one of the guilds in the alliance did not want to share the loot with anyone else. Not only did they leave the alliance, they took most of the players from the remaining guilds with them. Like an asshole, I joined the other guild because I wanted to get the loot. Such a big mistake. MMORPGs have never been the same for me since then.
I agree. End game raiding was one of the final nails in the coffin for mmo communities. For me the world in DAoC was great and aside from buffbotters and the addition of PvE raids I would still be there killing hibbies.
To me one of WoW's biggest failings has been its raiding. It was the major feature where they decided to remain 'old school' and it ended up wrecking the casual communities that were formed when WoW first started up.
WoW needed to be even more casual and dropped organized raiding for more community and world building features.
Back in those days games weren't really labeled as badly as they are now. They were simply MMORPGs - not really yet in the market of being soley PvP or PvE based. The terms solidified themselves over the years but to anser the OPs original question, no, we didn't look at them the same way we look at the MMOs of today. The reason was because they were the first of their kind - the genre was just being created so all the stigmas, stereotypes, and lables weren't quite around yet.
UO was the only game of it's kind - and to date, no game is really like it. Even all these years later. But now when people classify it, it's generally considered a PvP game. That's really about as far from the truth as you can get - but you see what I'm saying? People want to just classify games into a category now. UO was really a PvP, PvE, RP, and if anything, a social game more than anything. It supported all playstyles at the same time and was quite successful at it. However, you couldn't avoid the PvP aspects before the Tram/Felucca bit, so many people will always look back on it as a PvP focused game. That being said, I believe the majority played and enjoyed it without ever engaging in PvP (except the times they couldn't avoid it).
EQ is what we look at as the PvE game. But much like UO, when it came out we didn't quite have these lables. EQ was the first game to use the now "Traditional" approach to MMOs; levels, classes, and bound loot. All WoW really did was improve on EQ's model by heavily improving dungeons and basically reinvented the quest system. It also got rid of a lot of the more "hardcore" elements that turned off many casual players such as XP loss during death, items staying on your corpse, pitch black dungeons, etc. As the years went by, it was easy to start classifying UO as the PvP king while EQ was the PvE king. That being said, UO was still a more rounded game while EQ was quite simply you and your pals vs. monsters.
DAoC was a hybrid but by it's time games were starting to focus on one category or the other (PvP or PvE) and the labels really started taking off. Asherons Call was another early hybrid game. Anarchy Online was a PvE focused game. Shadowbane was PvP focused, etc.
The original two, UO and EQ, were one of a kind. There was nothing to compare them to so it's impossible to say that we, as older players, looked at them as simple improvements or tweaks on already existing games. You also have to remember that the Internet was young back then and was an ENTIRELY different place than it is now. Most people in the late 90's didn't even know what a cabel modem was nor did they have the ability to get one until the 2000's unless they lived in a pretty urban area. The vast majority were still using dial up until the early 2000's. Computers cost 2-3k. Laptops sucked and were even more expensive. The Internet itself was not near the monster that it is now and there was no such thing as voice chat. We all used messaging systems such as ICQ, MIRC, and eventually AIM.
Now when you get to games like GW and WoW, they were 2nd or 3rd generation MMOs so by then it was easy to take them as a game, label them, and compare them to other games. But yeah, I look at WoW Vanilla as a massive improvement in the traditional MMO structure (EQ). I never thought GW was anything special, let alone good. It always played like a poor man's game to me. Sort of a pioneer F2P game - most of which are never any good.
I played Ultima Online briefly, then jumped into EverQuest with everyone else. To my way of thinking, the one thing that separated EverQuest from other games was the huge mass of people that converged at one time, and the seeming similarities that they had to one another. Few kids, just lots of folks in their 20s, 30s and 40s who were willing to grind. It was players versus the developers, it was new and it was different. Mostly, it was players playing together.
When I got around to playing World of Warcraft, I found a very polished and, to my eye, beautiful game. As a leveling MMO, I'd say that Blizzard got it right (I'm not a fan of post-apocalyptic photo-realistic environments and opponents). That said, fantasy MMOs could be so much more than simpleminded level and/.or gear fests. That's why MMOs are a disapointment to me now; they haven't evolved. Blizzard refined the EverQuest model and made a fortune. Since then everyone has been myopically searching for another El Dorado instead of taking a look at the genre and figuring out something new to do in it.
If EverQuest is any indication of what MMOs could be, developers should be focusing on community in their games. If the players aren't interacting in fun ways, what's the point of having them in the same game space?
I started on Ultima Online Europa shard. I loved the sandbox type game and think more MMO's could do this and still be viable. (Pre world split)
I hate the WoW clones where you are spoon fed the quests and the endless raiding to get the shiny gear. I hate the fact you cant loot your dead opponet for that nice weapon or armour they had. I hate the instant rezzing and no corpse run.
The only true sandbox game on the market now is Eve Online there are others that claim this title but none can match it or beat it. A true sandbox game is no class or level system, a true player driven economy and market freedom to do what ever you like whether its to scam or con people out in game currency or to go in and destroy other players buildings and alliances.
Originally posted by Warzod One of the biggest differences back then that, for me, made them better was challenge. In the early MMOs. I started with UO and Meridian 59, there were no overhead maps, no quest helpers, no little icons over all the NPCs names. You had to really think, explore, and take risks. As MMOs went along more and more of the difficulty was drained out of them culminating with Little Tykes World of Playskool. Now having a tough boss fight in WoW is not the same. I am talking about the feeling you get when you are lost six levels deep in a dungeon maze with no map, monsters around every corner, and death could mean the loss of hours of progress and possibly, if you cannot retrieve your body, gear. Now todays players hear that and say, how can that be fun? The truth is, it may simply be the same way some kids were raised on brussel sprouts and asperagus. Other kids, who grew up eating Mc Donalds and Froot Loops cannot fathom that we like it because it is what we grew up on. These challenges, this level of risk and intensity is what we know and love.
Warzod, I really think you hit the nail on the head here. What people call "fun" now is a lot different from the type of fun we had back when these games first came out. The type of fun that MMO's had, before they were called MMOs, was the type of fun that required imagination and playfullness. What was so cool about a game like Ultima Online or Everquest was the fact that it was a virtual reality- an alternate universe. The idea of being in a world with other people was in itself immensely fun. Being able to point to a character in a video game and tell your friend sititng by you in real life, "hey, that's a real person on their computer just like me!" was a mark of the time. It was exhiliarating to be connected to a virtual world with thousands of people in it.
Games like UO just provided the world. In some ways, games like UO weren't really games. It was a special experience to explore a virtual world with other people and it wasn't just entertainment. Ultima Online (and Meridian 59, although I"m unfamiliar) unlocked a new way for human beings to interact and socialize. It was revolutionary.
In Ultima Online, if you wanted to talk to players that weren't on your screen you had to use an external chat program of some sort like ICQ. The game world was really a world, and the tools you used to interact with the game world were separate. The "interface" was really an interface in the truest sense of the word- a way to interact with the world. The problem with "mmo games" nowadays is that the interface has sort of become an extension of the world itself, thus blurring the line between the two. It was a good thing to have the interface clearly separated as much as possible. Using the internet or strategy guides in order to check out maps added to the experience and kept the world something separate and precious.
The problem with this type of game experience is that it's time consuming and, as I've already mentioned, it's not really a game. The software literally becomes a gateway to enter into a different world. When I was young there wasn't too much of a problem with enjoying these alternate universes, but now over 10 years later I find myself looking for a "game" rather than an alternate universe. Of course, deep down inside I desire the old experience, but I know that it's not healthy to live in a different world which is really what is required to get the "old experience".
World of Warcraft is first and foremost a GAME, which also has some features of a world, and that's why it's so succesful. The World of Warcraft experience is shallow in that the players don't really "plug in" in the same sense as they would in Ultima Online. Sure, an external observation of WoW players would suggest that they are "living in the world" based on the absurd amount of hours some people spend PLAYING, but the WoW experience is more a compulsive experience rather than an immersive one.
I started playing UO back in 99. I played that for about 8 years and started playing WoW. I think WoW was exactly what I needed after 9 years of UO but I had a hard time giving it up. Ultima Online has a feel to it like no other game. It has crappy graphics, items you encounter in the game are not dazzling, and the movement of your character isn't always on par. But in that game you are a free person. You can do whatever your heart desires. It makes you feel like you are back in those times when you play. At any given time you can run into a true role player walking down the road with some pack mules whistling. On the other hand you may be out gathering neccessary resources for your mining or lumberjacking and get rolled over by a player killer. Its a completely different environment and feel than WoW. But WoW gave me something I never had before; a story line that I didn't create. The world was at my fingertips but I was guided along the way. It was a nice lazy refreshing time I had back then. Along comes wotlk, after I got burnt out on TBC and went back to UO. Wotlk was a nice change but everyone levelled up extremely fast and what do ya know, finished with the expansion. Back to UO I went. They are actually releasing some neat content on UO now. The newer client is "3D" but has the same view, a little bit better graphics. I think I'll end up playing this game until they shut it down or come out with a new ultima title. Cheers!
Originally posted by Aethaeryn A lot of what made those games better was the community. It was a new experience. Usually the age of someone playing was at least 18+ since you had to have an internet connection (dial-up). . be able to tie up your own phone line (not your parents) and pay the sub. Also, they were new. . there were no online guides or maps. people had fun exploring and asking questions. . this is why the games were social. Today if you ask for directions you are told to goggle it. Also not only are there online guides now but there are buit in quest helpers. No need to talk to anyone. If the games were truly better you could play them right now. UO (second age) is running strong and Meridian is free to play now (no item shop even!). Go play UO again and you will find a fun game. . but that 'new' experience is gone. I think it is less about the games and more about the people. As a casual player now with old-school roots I am out of luck. I don't have time for a game community (MO, UO, Xsyon etc) and the newer "easier" games bore me to tears.
I'd agree with that. UO forced you to ask questions of other players. How do I get from A to B? I need a new sword, oh I'll have to trade with a player or go to a player run shop (quite often you'd bump into the player in question restocking their shop). Essentially you had to communicate to get the most out of the game. There was no real gear grind either, no real dungeon grind. Most people spent serious money on housing and rares. Neither one of those is important, if it exists at all in other games. The dungeons were nothing like they are now, no 20 mans. In some ways thats better, in some ways worse. And ya, the entire genre was still very much in its infancy...now whey've all been there, done that.
And the thing is, if you reintroduced a UO like game, with modern day graphics I don't think you could attract that critical mass of players needed so a game like that thrives. While the numbers of players may have gone up, the number of games has increased incredibly. Very difficult to build a long term thriving community when players have unlimited options at the first sign of boredom. There's a new game every other week now.
Before EQ1, there was Tanarus, much of that community made up EQ1. I started MMOs with the EQ1 release.
It was a buggy game, but it wasn't the game alone that made it great....it was the community. It took us 3 months real time before we were able to leave Qeynos and run to Freeport, saw our first dwarves and elves. We took 60 people to attack a Hill Giant (they ruled the lands then) and lost, but in our tears was crazed laughter at our valiant efforts.
Most the folks who got into EQ were D+D players, coming straight from pen and paper to try something that was revolutionary, and we were hooked.
Next came SWG, many of us left EQ (or bought both) and were immersed in SWG fully. This was basically the same community with a new influx of Star Wars fans, sci-fi gamers, and a ton of FPS players looking for a Star Wars Counter Strike. It actually made for an unbelievably fun community and because of the way SWG was made, very intense player made cities and wars. Being a rebel was next to impossible (remember we got a backpack reward, the empire got a AT-AT, but it only made ya cry at the insanity)
Things then changed, SOE lost sight of what was important...the players and game balance. The game was already unbalanced in the pvp rewards of the factions, which wasn't an issue, it made sense. But when they changed the game because gamers found solutions in working together (no exploits) in fights as teams...they nerfed majorly.
I believe the most notorious quote that changed the face of the SOE community was: "Don't bring a knife to a gun fight."
After that came nerfs and changes to any and all SOE games on a dev's whim, losing forever many a player, and their guilds falling apart.
DAoC filled this void, a game with devs that listened through their lead class reps and a pvp world that was light years ahead of anything else. You had the best of the best, a balance of pvp and pve. Classes that were pretty well balanced for the insane number of classes they had. Housing and crafting that were also way ahead of their time (well honestly SWG and DAoC were pretty much the same, and I would give SWG the upper hand in this).
DAoC made the fatal flaw though of releasing ToA. Once again, a developer seeking to make money over the voices of their player base. It introduced a system of pve based items that made the game extremely pve-heavy and almost mandatory because the items and powers were so that you could not compete at the time without them in pvp. It bascially killed the game, without a doubt.
WoW-Vanilla, or better yet, WoW-beta took advantage of this time. They promised a game where devs would listen and offer forums for feedback, and they indeed revolutionized the game....in beta.
WoW-Vanilla was released but they released a product that was nothing like the beta... full of tweeks and changes that were worse than a developer seeking only money, it was a developer that was reactionary to being 'beat' in pvp. It was a clue of things to come, such drastic changes to the game because of one battle, forshadowing what would happen and how that company would react to any little thing that 'angered' them in the future.
In short, do we from the older games see a difference from then to now?
Not really, same promises, same greed. Same short-sighted devs with egos that tend to destroy the games they build.
There are companies that hold onto their 'visions' longer than others, and some that are just insane greed machines from the release. Imho the main thing that has changed in the community immensely is the playerbase itself. They are much less interested in being a community nowadays then they were then. Though there were not many choices then either.
Not sure if I answered your question, but hopefully gave some more perspective to form your own.
I started my MMORPG gaming with SWG. Loved it, until the jedi holocron grind. I was sooooo ticked that it wasn't epic quest oriented. Moved on to FFXI and truly fell in love with the genre then. However, I was always frustrated with how slow it took to do everything or how long I had to grind just to see content, plus sitting in jueno waiting for hours just to form a party that MIGHT stay together after 15 minutes killed it for me. At that time I heard about EQ2 and went to that at launch. I was...meh with EQ2, I had more technical issues than anything when that launched.
So a month later, my friend from FFXI days tells me to try out WoW. At first I had seen previews for it and wasn't impressed with the cartoony graphics but he swore up and down by it. So I caved and bought it and was sooooo glad I did, because it finally made MMORPG's FUN to play. However, it was lacking, and still is, the depth that SWG and FFXI had and that I had grown to love. So it was like a trade of tons of content and depth for extremely fun, fluid controls and fast gameplay.
Today, I'm pining for an amalgamation of the 2 games, WoW + FFXI. ArcheAge seems to be leaning in that direction and of course I'm longing for GW2 and SWTOR for more STORY goodness that I miss from my FFXI days.