Evolution as it does and doesn't apply to MMOs

A few days ago, we discussed the lack of innovation in the MMO market at the moment, as well as some of the underlying reasons behind it. The topic prompted We Fly Spitfires to postulate the idea that we needed an MMO that broke most if not all of the established and accepted rules of the genre. In his own parlance, we needed a mutation instead of a steady evolution.

Those of you familiar with evolutionary science might be quirking your eyebrow a bit, as did Of Teeth and Claws, where it was pointed out that mutation is a part of evolution. Continuing the analogy, it's a part of the slow improvement we see in our genre of choice, as the source leading to feature implementation and improvement. And as Killed in a Smiling Accident added, evolution is not a straight line, nor does it select features based on inherent quality -- the current "standard features" have evolved because they're best at succeeding in the current environment (that is, the market).

Ultimately, aside from fascinating extension of the analogy, the biggest point to be taken away from both this discussion and the previous one is that change in the genre isn't something which will happen overnight. While the powerful influence that World of Warcraft has placed upon the genre is beginning to abate a bit, it'll be quite some time before it's discarded wholesale.
This article was originally published on Massively.