Take Team Fortress 2 and swap all the classes for classic fantasy style classes (i.e. sorcerer, rogue, priest etc.). Add some PvE with a killer story line and set it in a Tolkien style universe. You now have yourself one hell of an awesome MMO.
Why you ask?
These are the following attributes that TF2 brings to the table, that MMORPGs have been failing to do for years:
- Excellent physics engine
- Balanced classes (and a large variety)
- Large scale battles up 32 vs 32
- Fast paced and stable combat
- New items are obtained through achievement unlocks
- Automatic battle balancing
- The ability to call for healing when you need it ("Medic!")
- Fun and enjoyable PvP with a very low learning curve
- The ability to choose your own server at will
- A friends list independent of the game
- Can view statistics and achievements of yourself and others online
- User created PvP maps
If an FPS can have all these features then why can't an MMORPG?
Is it because it's not feasible? If no, then why not?
Should these features not apply to MMORPG? Again... why not?
I believe that if an existing MMORPG implemented only three features from the above list, it would do extremely well. I worry that today's MMO game companies aren't looking outside the square when designing their games. All they want to do is make a better WoW clone. Well maybe it's about time they took a chapter from of the FPS book...