Nowadays games do a lot to help you. Travel is easy. Death penalties are mild. You have a detailed GPS map. I could go on. The point being, the game is your friend. It wants you to win. It gives you things just for logging on! Come on, group hug.
Everquest was no player's ally. It added a whole set of its own challenges to any that the mobs threw at you. Oh look. A dragon is sitting on your corpse that has all your belongings. Sucks to be you. Hope that corpse can be recovered before it rots!
The dynamic of the game being pitted against the players added a lot to the sense of community. You see a guy in peril, you help him. In part to keep the game, your mutual enemy, from kicking his ass. It was us against the game. People bonded in the way people do who are faced with a common injustice or threat.
Naked corpse runs and xp loss even at the lowest levels (originally). Is that fun? No. Is it fair? No. But does it result in a community wide sense of camaraderie? You bet.
I want to see this in Pantheon. I've had my fill of mainstream games. Let's get back to raging together against the machine.
EQ1, EQ2, SWG, SWTOR, GW, GW2 CoH, CoV, FFXI, WoW, CO, War,TSW and a slew of free trials and beta tests