As I said... Ennui. In fact, a clever rearrangement of "Tharkis" and "Ennui" will generate the phrase "Nuke His Train" which sounds vaguely griefer-ish, but I digress.
I've got some bad news for you, Tharkis. The new and shiny toy that was once the state of MMO gaming is now getting old for you. A new game isn't going to cure what ails you. There are only so many variants of Massively Multiplayer Online Role Playing Game, and the age of innovation is drawing to a close. In the old days, there was room for growth in the genre. It was relatively easy to find room to improve upon the work of games such as Everquest and Ultima Online. The genre, today, is much more mature. Developers understand what fans will pay for and what they won't. For the money that big time developers put into new games, you can bet that they don't have much of an interest in straying too far from a tried and true formula. When new games didn't cost 50 million dollars to produce, there was more room for trial and error which leads to real innovations in game play.
Instead of looking for the next "big title" to hit the shelves, might I recommend that you take a look at what smaller, independent development studios are producing? If you see a big name attached to a new game title, you can bank on the fact that the game will make "safe choices" which appeal mostly to a mass market audience. It didn't take a genius to see that games like Warhammer Online and Lord of the Rings Online were going to play remarkably similar to other MMOs. Their key differentiators are story and setting. Put into terms from a different genre, the differences were closer to Greyhawk & Forgotten Realms than they were to Dungeons and Dragons & LARP.
Since it is more difficult to spread the word about a game that doesn't have a large advertising budget or extensive community relations infrastructure, one way to find out about new games and other offerings from small or independent developers is to go to fan conventions such as PAX, GenCon, or Dragon*Con. Many fan conventions are including tracks or panels on MMORPGs and feature independent game developers who are a lot closer to the cutting edge than "AAA titles" are. If nothing else, many of these conventions have online communities that have year-round discussions on games that may not see the light of day in more mainstream outlets.
||Ask Massively gives you raw opinions about the MMO business. We tell it like it is, and we don't hold back.
If you have a question for us at Ask Massively, please stop by our tip line or drop us a note at ask AT massively DOT com.