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I realize that I may not take part in forums often ( as a M59 original player I've been playing mmo's long enough to know forums are often toxic ) but I have become increasingly frustrated with mmorpg releases that attempt to treat symptoms of boom and bust subscriptions but not the illness.
The really great things about UO/M59/Everquest were not the death penalties or steep learning curve as many hardcore traditionalists may seem to tout. In my opinion it was the evolving world supported by REAL people employed by their respective companies that maintained a presence in the game world. Once upon a time, A GM was a person that had an avatar you could interact with. They wrote events, gave you quests, roleplayed with you and made the world living and breathing.
You could really tell that the game world was alive with the people who created them. If anyone remembers the world events in EQ such as the Battle of Kithicor Forest or in M59 Damion Schubert's Vale of Sorrows events knows what I'm talking about. The freeform environment, believable world and invested GMs are what drew you in. UO even had amazing player housing, something that alot of people love and want.. a place to call "home" in your virtual world yet something that many MMO designers ignore in recent releases.
It was the PEOPLE and the events you remember. The ties you forged during CRs, the enemies you made camping names, the druids and wizards you paid for ports... the clerics who buffed you for tips because you knew that they had to med for 5 mins after that Heroic Resolution they casted on you that made the difference and retained players.
My question is to all of you. What do you want from a MMORPG?
Is it the people or hoarding stuff??? Really! I know I have acquired so much "phat lewt" over the year from my EQ1 jboots and water sprinkler of nem ankh in my purple PoH Armor, to my server first perdition's blade in WoW, to first server full BM gear in SWTOR etc etc that I don't need MORE STUFF.