“I personally have heard numerous designers and producers working on unreleased MMO projects describe their game in these terms: “It’s like WoW, but…” I just shake my head when I hear this, because the team that is best poised to deliver a successful game that is an evolution of WoW is… well, the WoW team. They’ve got their thing, and they’re good at it. Let’s all carve out our own thing, and be the best at it. Truly great games are made by passionate teams who are on fire with the notion of changing the industry. If you are aiming at a competitor rather than aiming to make something fresh and innovative, you’ve lost.
Today, and historically, the biggest MMOs are based on universes that were created for the purpose of supporting games. MMOs are all about exploration, personal glory, hanging out with friends, and meeting new people. You can’t take a universe that was created to support a linear, non-interactive viewing experience that has its own six-volume set of rules and expect a development team to deliver something innovative and fresh within that universe that allows millions of players to be the hero. The best games, MMO or otherwise, are created first and foremost to be games, and the world, story, and setting are there to serve that end, not the other way around.”
Video Info Dump (Note: Some of these videos have been around for a while, so certain things may have changed between then and now.)
Level System (what are dynamic events?)