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Resurrected heroes, "Soul" class systems, two faction setups, anime-graphics, bizarre in-game music, and such tell me that once again, devs are heading down the wrong paths and dragging unwitting investors right down the drain with them.
The customer order (unfilled) for the past ten years has been:
1. Largely PVE game. (Toss the PVP'ers a server or two).
2. Traditional Tolkienesque or D&D'ish fantasy races, monsters, and worlds.
3. Stinging death penalty.
4. Earned rewards (i.e., no welfare epics)
5. Racial starting areas.
6. Start off as a simple adventurer, and not a "chosen-one-to-save-the-world" or resurrected special hero, or dude that will sprout wings at level 10, etc...
7. Limit instancing and ZERO PHASING. (Please, gosh, "Phasing" is the worst design element ever). Also, no cutscenes. Cutscenes are canned crap.
8. Non-instanced housing. (An instanced house, even if a palace, means nothing.)
9. Zone-wide (but not server-wide) chat.
10. No cross server grouping. (Merge servers if pops get low, but people need to be able to share the world with those whom they group with).
11. WOW UI setup and auto-attack system, with skills, works just fine. It allows folks to type (talk) and fight at same time.
12. Freedom to roam the world, even into places too dangerous.
13. Character positioning should be head facing forward and shoulders square. None of this angled stance crap that makes players constantly wonder if they are facing forward. (EQ2 was the very worst at this, but there are other offending games out there).
14. Simple fantasy music (nothing jazzed up. Remember, fantasy is about living in a simpler time, so the music should be simple and enchanting like early EQ1 music was).
15. Distinct zones. (Vanguard failed here. Zones should feel different. WOW, EQ1, EQ2, DAOC did it right in this regard).
16. TRAINS. (Aggroed monsters should be a threat to everyone nearby, not just to the fools that pulled them. Add faction hits if someone's train kills a player outside his group; this will keep the mechanic from being abused.)
17. IN GENERAL, tough-looking monsters should be tough and wimpy-looking monsters should be wimpy, UNLESS there is a special reason for this not to be so. (A 17th level deer standing next to a 15th level stegosaurus makes no sense.)
18. Not too much meshing of science and fantasy; just a hint of the former.
19. Simple beautiful graphics. (No need for nose slider bars that drive the obsessive mad. Just pretty and vibrant graphics. WOW got this right, although the realistic look could be turned up a notch).
20. Genders should be equal and have only graphical differences. (Some games think it is cool for only a certain gender to access a particular race and/or class, but this is a needless restriction).