I know that I’m not the first or the last person to accuse modern MMOs of being far to combat-centric in their design, but still, it must be said. Combat ends up consuming the aims of most systems in this model, and I feel that this comes at a loss to the full potential that MMOs could wield.
Then again, I understand why developers go all-in on combat. It’s flashy, visual, and repetition-friendly. It’s fun to watch our characters look all awesome while kicking butt, and combat can be both satisfying and relaxing. I’m not arguing that it’s a terrible system, just one that takes up too large of a slice of the MMO featureset pie.
But here’s the conundrum: If an MMO was to scale back on combat to make it less than a full-time activity, what would fill that space? Would other systems such as diplomacy, crafting, the economy, and housing need to be beefed up to compensate? Or should players with roleplaying and created content take the lead on this? What do you think?