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... If the game has an oldfashioned death pennalty with corps runs in the open world, if mobs are unleashed (trains) and in such a way scripted that the world is allways challenging with danger lurking around every other corner.
... If the core of the game is one big open PvP world with factional PvP
... if the game has instances for PvE, so people can PvE without getting hurt by gankers. Mind you, challenging instances, but still instances/zones that are PvE only
... If the gameworld would be truely dynamic, one step further then Dynamic events, truely Dynamic meaning players can change everything, and NPC remember players and act base on the players factions, so being good will yield you other results in the world as being evil, as well as the 50 collors of grey in between.
... If combat is more action based like GW2 with total freedom of movement, but still is based on the advanced trinnity we have come to know from SOE
... If EQnext is just an evolution in MMO design and not a revolution.
Best MMO experiences : EQ(PvE), DAoC(PvP), WoW(total package) LOTRO (worldfeel) GW2 (Artstyle and animations and worlddesign) SWTOR (Story immersion) TSW (story) ESO (character advancement)