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No this isn't a rhetorical question, but let me explain it before people feel the need to comment with witty remarks, sarcasm, and negativity.
While MMOs cannot please everyone, what is so bad in trying to do so? there has to be a balance in which players will still play the game because they are trading off some preferences with others. Why can't a game be a themepark and a sandbox? Example) A game that is essentially a sandbox, open world, has quest lines that are story based and guide you through content throughout the world, immersing you into its lore and history much like a themepark game. Maybe when you first log in, the game leads you into the more themepark elements, guiding you through the world conflicts, but as you level up you may decide your interests reside somewhere else in the world where you can start playing how you want, building a home, crafting, always having the open world to your disposal.
Why cant combat be action based and tab target? Example) basic combat mechanics work much like chivalry or mount and blade while still having skills and abilities you can progress with such as a shield bash for warrior would be like an AoE cone effect in front of you, mages could have a skill where they press the keybind and click on the ground to shoot up flames while still being able to attack and defend themselves actively with their staves, rogues could have a skill where they press the key and click on an enemy to throw sand in their eyes and blind them, then go in and actually stab the guy. I like the creativity in League of Legends and how their skill system has implemented a variety of ways in which you execute them, sometimes its just press the button, others you have to aim, others you have to press the button then click on the target, others there is even a time in which you have to be in close proximity. This type of creativeness is lacking in MMORPGs.
Although my thoughts aren't very well gathered, I think my point is that developers are stuck in a place where they think there is already a proven recipe for a successful game, and they have been replicating the same recipe and tossing in the same ingredients but hoping for different results every time (madness). It's like if a baker named....Mr. Walter Warcrafter (idk?) made the best selling cherry pie so every other baker is making cherry pies never realizing that the consumers are tired of eating cherry pie, we know there is other types of pies out there, why don't the bakers?
These ideas are very easy to conceptualize and extremely difficult to make work, I understand, but why aren't these questions being asked by major developers, after all they are the ones that realistically can make a difference, have the experience, knowledge, and resources to do so. Film directors don't make films because they want to make money, they make films because they love making films, the money came after the hard work and dedication, why is the game industry so different?
I ask you, Why can't an MMO please everyone who loves this genre? We make trade offs all the time in the real world, Im sure we can make them in a game that's far less serious than life...What are you willing to trade off in return for something to be implemented in a game?