Things I'm looking for:
- No character classes. I think the character class was a half baked attempt at game balance back in the day. It's passe. No reason I can think of why tons of options open to everyone shouldn't work if you make the whole thing big enough. Sure we can all be magic caster types. If the mechanics are designed properly, then we'll get penalized every time we face fast melee mobs. If skills are balanced, and I need to choose my way down a path, which reduces my ability to go down other paths. I haven't built it yet so, no I don't know if that will work or not.
- No levels. Levels are lame. Skill acquisition should be about direct expense of experience. Loot use should be about skills. One less artificial mechanic, thank you.
- Full on character customization. Sure have some basic architypes to start from (elf, dwarf, human), but colors and shapes need to be open. If you really want to see this working fair/good look at City of Heros/Villians. And I don't want to see the customization like in LotR - where the figure is all pre made, and later armor mostly changes things like color.
- Tick Based combat, the way the MMO's do it. Unless you're going to make a full on fighter, in which case it needs to be at least as complicated as Blade of Darkness. But I want to fight the mobs, not the interface.
- No bloody quests. Or at least not quests in the classic sense, and certainly not in the general MMO sense. The essence of "quest" should arise naturally from the system. It's too complicated for me to want to explain in this post, but imagine a system where NPCs have jobs and some of those NPCs do things like organize orc villages to attack dwarf villages. And the dwarf village, becoming aware of this, posts a bounty on orc ears and, more importantly, the head of the budding tyrant. Like that but all over, many times. I think you would be more at a loss of how to organize your time as the hero than looking for things to do. By seeking the floating exclamation points.
- A full on crafting system. Why not. So I decide my characters quest in life is to become a farmer. It's not like a reasonable RPG doesn't include things like food.
- Climate, which is bigger than weather effects. I mean it rained in Diablo II, but did Kurast ever experience a dry season? Did it snow near the monastery? This is a major complaint I have about all MMOs. It's been snowing on and off outside Iron Forge for about 3 years now. That can't make crop planting easy.