I have to say, though, the crafting system for TOR is really nice. It wouldn't work in Rift without quite a bit of work, but it is effectively an RNG mat vendor. (Click button for Grade 6 Scavenged Metal, 35-45m later companion shows up with a bunch of mats) This may sound like a small thing (and it is), but it is nonetheless something that I would like to show up in other games.
Edited, Jan 23rd 2012 7:21pm by emallson
I am not in favor of more features that turn mmorpgs into lobby based games. If that catches on it will be a sad day for mmo's..
There is a cold chance in **** it would ever work in WoW or Rift because of the way resource nodes alone work. One of the bigger reasons TOR is not going to do well in the end is the feeling that the world is dead....honestly WoW will win this because people will ask ..Where would I rather afk at? In a republic hub or Stormwind?
I am sad they took this dead world approach they did when signs clearly point to getting people out of the city. Right now WoW is in a very weak state because the old technology is showing bad right now. I for some reason am starting to believe it is just beyond Blizzard to give fast new content. The game is just that old.
GW2 can have a impact, but alot of their stuff is based on CORPG concepts. The pvp is a definite plus for that game, but the entire pve system literally makes no sense and only works if we happen to invent Quantum computers in the next few months.
It is like pure single player rpg concepts in a mmorpg. This idea works in Skyrim because when I kill a mob it stays dead, but in a mmorpg this would make people utterly rage or the concept of no instanced raiding. Pvp guilds will love GW2 because it is a big e-peen race, but wtf is the point of pve guilds? If it were not B2P it would fail imo. Edited, Jan 24th 2012 12:38am by Puremallace
Farming is inarguably the least interesting component of MMORPGs, and I am absolutely a proponent of anything that lets me do less of it. You assume that nothing would replace farming in the open world in the absence of nodes to hit. That would not necessarily be the case.
WoW and Rift suffer from the 'dead world' feeling as much as TOR imo. Very, very rarely did I run into someone levelling in either game after the initial rush. It is now just barely over a month since TOR opened and it feels exactly the same. The capped players sit in the city and the non-capped players avoid each other as much as possible in the open world (because you'd be waiting on respawns with friendlies around, and getting into fights with enemies around).
More needs to be done across the board
to get people to go out into the world and stay there.
Farming nodes doesn't do that. I farm up what I need and then GTFO. Daily Rifts don't do that. People finish the Rift and then GTFO. I could go on, but you get the idea.
Moving hubs out into the world doesn't work because people just hang out at whatever hub happens to have the easiest access to everything else. (Take WoW as an example: In Vanilla Ironforge had the best access to endgame content, so it was the 'capital' of the alliance. BC was Shatt, WotLK was Dal, Cata is SW. The players follow the most efficient route.)
Providing constant, fun, challenging content out in the open world would also be a major way to get people to stay out there. I haven't talked to very many people that call doing the daily raid rift 'fun'. Most do it because of the 'free' lewtz.
Ember Isle was a very, very good step forward in that last regard. Facing those 52s was challenging without raid gear to use. My guild's raid leader said that it was pretty easy on his main (but not faceroll), and hard as **** on his alt in a mix of greens and blues (which is where the majority of the playerbase will be found).
The true reason that all current MMOs suffer from the dead-world syndrome is because they all focus on instanced combat. Rift has it's rifts in the world, yet they are not anywhere close to the focus of endgame progression. Getting an endgame rift is perceived as a bonus, not a requirement and certainly not the primary progression path. If Rifts were the primary mode of progression, we'd see far more people in the world and people proclaiming that the only
way to progress is through Rifts (no matter how untrue that may be).
This comes back to efficiency. Players want to get things done with the least work necessary. This is why so many exploited the PvP rifts and why so many idle in cities in queues. In the case of the PvP rifts, it was far and away the fastest method of obtaining R8. In the case of the queues, it is no faster to queue in the city than the world, but if you are in the city you can be doing other tasks while in the queue.
Removing queues would also not solve the problem because they are merely a symptom. If there were no queues, people spam General and Trade looking for group (notably, few spam the LFG channels) and then run as fast as they can to the instance where they are safely locked away from all players outside their group. Taking five minutes to take the nearest port and run into the instance doesn't get people to stay in the world, they still get out of it as fast as they can.
TL;DR: All current leading MMOs suffer from the dead world syndrome because there simply is no incentive to be out there very long. The focus of endgame content is squarely on instanced combat. The most efficient way to progress in the endgame is to sit in the city in a queue.