Obvious huh? But it seems all we hear are people thinking that you can take what worked in ultima online, or meridian 59, or everquest, or final fantasy xi, or WoW, or especially EVE, and just duplicate it with changes in style and minor tweaks.
It won’t work, because video games especially are bound to their time and place more than any other media. Take text adventures. If you play them now, and you are honest, you realize that they are, well, crap. The “puzzles” were mostly finding which arcane combinations of words would parse and actually do something, and then which utterly illogical sense of actions you’d need to do to progress. You can’t let a cat out of a door, you have to go into the basement, find some cheese to lure the mouse in front of a window which you previously pried open with a frozen fish so the cat will chase at it and jump out.
But at that time and place, they were new and fresh, and people have fond memories over them. But those memories will always be linked to time and place more than the actual gameplay, and trying to remake modern text adventures is, at best, very niche. No one would suggest even that text adventures could even do much for modern RPG or adventure gaming. Yet people seem to think ten year old + MMO’s hold the answers to what is wrong with them today.
The problem is not forgetting the past, it’s not having enough guts to make a new MMO. It’s remembering the past too much.