A colleague of mine and I started this discussion yesterday at work, we both love Skyrim, Witcher and other similar games and with Elder Scrolls Online making its way to us we're wondering if it has a chance.
To start, I have experience with MMO's, too much actually, I've been a successful top tier raiding guild leader in WoW, theorycrafted with the best of them, and played every class (well) imaginable, on multiple games. My colleague on the other hand has never played an MMO. And due to scheduling conflicts and as they say, "real life" I've had to give them up myself.
My discussion with her went as follows:
1. For an MMO to be good it has to be challenging but fun at all levels. There is nothing more satisfying than grouping with friends and finally toppling that boss you've previously struggled with previously.
2. For it to appeal to the "casual/console player" the single player component must be enjoyable, SW:TOR while failing at endgame did this incredibly well, it was actually a much better single player game than MMO.
3. To not alienate the "casual/console player" end game content must be accessible to a smaller group, think 3 or 4 friends vs 10-20. And I mean true end game, not a mediocre dungeon but leaving raids to larger groups. I know there are LFG options, but anyone who has MMO experience has had more "rage quit" moments than pleasant ones because one of the random group fillers turned out to be inept.
After all was said and done we were left wondering if new MMO could possibly find a balance to keep the hard core chugging along but also allow for people like us who really want to enjoy the game but can't commit to a raid schedule or pledge all waking hours to the betterment of the guild to enjoy the game in its entirety.
I truly miss good MMO's and want to be able to play one again, and play it well, but on my schedule not anyone elses. Will this be possible?