DPS meters, in theory, are a really great tool for players who want to push the envelope in content. That is, however, just in theory. World of Warcraft has made them more or less ubiquitous bragging mechanisms. Heck, even if they could be useful, they lack a lot of useful data; simply knowing that someone is doing lower DPS doesn’t necessarily provide a lot of information as to why. And since they’ve become almost constant bragging tools, most people who aren’t interested in that side of gameplay react negatively to meters no matter how important the meters might be.
Of course, it’s hardly the only example of a useful tool becoming less useful via implementation. Players can turn lots of things into ego manipulation. Do you think useful MMO tools get misused by the community? Does it seem that good tools wind up being used either for unintended purposes or find their useful elements get sidelined? Or do you think it’s more a matter of emerging uses that are equally as valid as the intended use?