Most things in life happen in cycles. These cycles can be long (ice ages) or short (food cravings). Game patterns have their own ebb and flow. People aren’t clamoring for Pac-Man, though it still sells for nostalgic reasons, but there are some elements that function better with simplicity – for a time.
I like public quests. I really like RIFT’s take on them, what with the instant grouping, chat channels and length. I like GW2s versions for the variety but take issue with the lack of social. Wow has the Timeless isles now which is just a bunch of random bosses every other minute. Cut the BS, gimme the loot. EQ didn’t bother with much of that. Every quest was a group quest and it took a zone to make it work.
I float between the models, depending on mood. There are advantages to each and time is a rather serious factor. EQ takes forever to get going but is much more rewarding. GW2 has oodles of choice but everything is a 1 night stand. Wow, well I don’t rightly know right now. They’ve never done something so organic and it really feels out of place.
It’s good that so many MMOS are around giving the playerbase some choice and developers some baseline. People don’t go back to play BF2 but people go back to play UO. The systems might not have been perfect but new games since then haven’t really moved the bar up – just sideways.