addresses this issue in his latest blog entry, and speculates on whether or not the MMO storyline will progress in the same evolutionary line as movies have, where they began as novelties of moving pictures and soon became rich with real plots and immersion for the viewers.
But if we follow the current trend of what's popular in MMOs, we'll see that the most popular games have little to no storyline. It takes a certain type of person to read every quest text and have a comprehensive understanding of what's going on in the game, and why they need to save the half-naked woman from the bad guys. That type of person seems to be a rarity, judging by the subscription numbers of the lore- and story-based games such as LotRO and AoC. But does this mean those games should stop being made? We certainly hope not, because it's always nice to have an intelligent game to play when you get burned out on grinding mobs and running errands.