Likewise, gameplay has evolved in leaps and bounds. We no longer suffer extreme death penalties, and we can find random people to run dungeons and raids with by only clicking a couple of buttons. New gameplay ideas are being presented seemingly with each patch, and to a lot of success -- a simple gameplay hook can keep people coming back and playing a game for months, even years.
But are the two mutually exclusive, and have they become so?
Obviously, in an MMO, no one wants to run around an ugly world populated by trees that look like pipe cleaners, but is it a deal breaker? Would you rather play a fun, fulfilling game that looks a bit dated or play the most gorgeous, graphically stunning MMO that may lack good mechanics or an involving story?