There was a brief exchange of comments during at the MMMOGIG on Saturday that stuck with me and have been kind of bothering me, and I wanted to get some feedback from the larger world.

We were discussing some of the intricacies and expectation of control schemes in 3D MMOs, as I recall: hold down the right mouse button and attempt to turn, you expect to strafe, not actually turn, that kind of thing, and the statement was made that you usually want to try to build on what has been done before… MMO players are, in general, quite used to these control schemes now.  Even if you think you’ve got something better, why force them to learn something different?

The conversation then briefly moved along the same lines to system mechanics.  Hit points… people are used to them, may be uncomfortable without them… even if you think you’ve got something better, why force them to learn something different?

You can probably see where this is headed.  My “dream game” system, for example, doesn’t have hit points per se.  It has disability ratings per hit location which might be said to be kind of similar (sort of), but not “hit points”.  There are hundreds of other innovations, including some far more original than that, which could be cast in the same light.

What I’m asking is, what is your opinion on innovation: what are the limits that are comfortable to you?  How much and what kinds of innovation do you find enticing, as opposed to disturbing?

As always, your feedback is appreciated…