To provide a less vitriol-filled critique (seriously Shoop, did someone poo in your cornflakes? :p)
This has potential, although Guild Wars 2 and the Warhammer MMO both touched on "steampunk" to a degree. But I am still skeptical as to how much the setting will influence things, since people quickly saw that TOR was "WoW in space, with Jedi". Not that there is anything wrong with that, but I wouldn't really put the setting as too much of a selling point since it will instnatly devolve into "Yay... PotSmoker420 wants to team up with me. How quaint"
Originally Posted by CrazyEthan
So TOR? I actually was surprised by how much effort Bioware put into even the random side quests on that front. But, at the end of the day, it was still a grind that I grew to hate with a passion.
The quests are filled with lore and depth. No one you talk to will simply say "Follow me!" for no other reason than to lead you into killing some generic monster of boss. There are reasons, motivations, conflicts behind each action. There is more to the game world than just a place where NPCs 'exist'. They all have their own stories. Same with what race you pick, it determines your personal family quest line.
Guild Wars 2 ironically went in the opposite direction and pretty much ignored all pretense of the quests being more than a grind, and it works. I no longer feel like I have a list of stuff I have to do, and instead I just do whatever seems fun at a given point.
And the personal quests thing has already been done by GW2 and TOR, so hard to really distinguish yourself with it.
So we get into the "I want a strong item, but this upgrade looks like ass" angle, or you have ways to disable this. Don't get me wrong, I love the idea in theory. But there is a reason I have been using stones to make all my rifles look like the one I found at level 10 in Guild Wars 2.
If you prefer the customization side of things, upgrades and mods added to your weapon actually change its appearance, so you can tell (or show off if you're inclined) when someone's weapon is modified.
Personally, that sounds interesting to me, but I see two big problems with it:
To give some variety to "the grind", we also have Challenge Dungeons, which switch aroud from just having to "kill all the mobs" and give other objectives to complete, like racing to a given point, finding all treasures, breaking all breakables, which are especially fun in groups.
1. The more detailed things are, the less pub-friendly a game is. There is a reason that ArenaNet had to drastically change the Winter event when they realized that keeping all the doylaks alive with a random group was nigh impossible. Because it just takes one griefer (or innocent newb) to screw up a team. So that boils down to needing to have dedicated groups, which has the potential to kill an MMO these days.
2. The hardcore MMO players LIKE the grind, so that leaves you the casuals. And TOR is an example of why the casuals can't keep a game alive.
Also, those "Challenge Dungeons" sound like a much less community-oriented version of the random events in Guild Wars 2. Which avoids the problems of 1 and 2 by NOT making you group up and instead just letting everyone in the area have fun.
I would actually use this as your primary selling point. I am sure many people still have fond memories of Runescape, at least to the degree of being able to play it at work/at school/whatever with no real difficulties. As opposed to current MMOs that require you to set aside time to download and install everything on whatever computer you want to use.
On a more technical side, the game takes very little to load up and play. No long waiting times, no huge downloads or installs, just sign into your account and play (and yes, the game still looks that good despite being so light).
I for one know I found it annoying to have to pre-download stuff in Guild Wars 1. Had to travel while playing, and I found myself periodically exiting the game to boot up my laptop, log-in, and grab all the assets for a new area while I still had good broadband (instead of hotel internet).
So mounts and sprint?
There's more of course (we have steambikes and jetpacks), but if there's anything specific you'd like to know, please ask (and I'll try not to miss it this time ;) ).
Honestly, nothing really distinguishes this from the current status quo of MMOs. That isn't necessarily a bad thing, but I think TOR shows what happens when you aspire to be "About the same as the current best". People who already love what they are playing won't see a reason to join your MMO, and new players only count for so much. Especially when Guild Wars 2 has pretty much alll of those features AND has a history of how they handle the microtransactions (In other words, they don't screw their players on anything other than cosmetics and slots while providing a crapton of new content on a regular basis).