Something that many of us have been thinking about is a way to create a persistent world for an MMO that breaks the current mould of the basically static world. Games have tried to grasp several devices to get around the inhabitants of the world hanging around and the lack of real immersion created by all of us doing the same task/quest for the same NPC to kill the same bad guys over and over and over... How many times do we collectively need to find a lost ring and return it before it actually happens. Is it possible to create a living world in which these things are generated as part of that life of all the inhabitants?
Enter the current spiel (Manifesto) from the creators of Guild Wars 2. This video presents an intent from ArenaNet to break many of these immersion slaughtering staples of MMOs and this is very exciting.
Can this really happen??
The notion of tackling the idea of the 'game' caring if the player is there is exactly what I am hoping can enter the MMO space. The video also covers the artistic perspective and the visuals (all ingame) are indeed beautiful.
While we are here - there are some cool concept art images on the main site as well as screenshots showing off the engine.
[Screenshot images from Guild Wars 2 via the official site]