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The first games I've played that reward you for dying are FPS games, like Call of Duty I think was first. Still play every CoD that comes out, and it really does it properly. After CoD, many FPS games (at least all the good ones) still give you points, money or whatever even if you die. After a match ends, you get quite a bit of points even if your team loses. This really rewards the player to keep playing, not rage quit if his team is losing.
Now how does that relate to MMOs?
Well take WoW (my first MMO, I played others before but I didn't like any of them)...what happens if your team loses or can't accomplish a raid? Well, after an hour and you can't move on...you don't get rewarded at all for it. GW2 at least lets you return to battle and you still get rewarded even if you die.
But many MMOs and especially sandbox MMOs do the opposite of reward you for playing. Instead, the more you play, the more you tend to lose. This seems like a really strange way to make a game that is fun to play. Take EVE or Darkfall, you take the time to get a ship or equipment...one player comes along and kills you...just lost everything. A game that is fun to play however, would cause some stat loss (or damage to a ship), but still give you exp or some money even if you die. Like what the good, modern, FPS games do. The more you play a FPS game (or a MMO like GW2) the more you get rewarded for it.
And I think this is where the future of the more popular, more FUN and entertaining MMOs will come from. They won't punish you and spit in your face for playing, but reward you.
My Skyrim, Fallout 4, Starbound and WoW + other game mods at MODDB: