Saving another comment from Amberyl that is a perfect follow-up to everything that was said.
New irreversible choices are being made right now, and if you want to have any input in them you need to accept the ones that have been made in the past.
Amberyl (Lydia Leong):
That’s the philosophy of market leaders that are about to become ex-market leaders when some new company comes along with totally new ideas and rolls right over the competition.
Accepting that the glorified treadmill is the only reasonable way to make a commercially viable MMORPG fundamentally means accepting that the market for MMORPGs is highly limited. I don’t accept that premise, and anyone with some business smarts shouldn’t accept that either.
It’s also important to note that the “make max level, conquer the game” mentality is only important to some players. MMORPGs (and most computer games, really) are currently aimed at those players, but they are by no means the only audience out there, and they are a relatively small part of the general population. Diverse reward mechanisms are more likely to draw diverse audiences.
Sadly everyone out there wouldn’t recognize or understand good ideas even if you shoved them down their throats with a foot.
Everyone will acknowledge them after they happened, though.