If you played the early MMOs, you know that it was an exciting frontier. But in recent years the industry has settled into a groove. Yes, it's been a turbulent groove, but it's impossible to deny that in terms of design, most games these days are following a similar formula. This formula -- introduced by EverQuest (well, Dikus, actually!) and refined by World of Warcraft -- is used now because it works. It makes money most of the time -- more often than the other formulas or the wild-eyed ideas, anyway.
But since the genre has settled on this formula, has it lost something? Has the massive success of World of Warcraft replaced the exciting frontier with a commercial empire that's short on inspiration and character? Put another way: do you feel like the new games are so focused on commercial appeal that there's no trace of love or passion for the endless as-yet-unimagined possibilities of virtual worlds left over?