Here’s a question for the day: in MMOs, how large and “active” would you like the cities to be?
In most of them, cities are actually pretty static and deserted places, more like an abandoned movie set than an active community. However, that does make it easier to 1) maneuver through the streets and not become distracted/lost, 2) find what or who you are looking for, and 3) highlight “important” NPCs and other PCs, as opposed to those that have nothing to directly offer to the ongoing activity of the character.
For my part, I’d like more background activity in cities. Perhaps CoH has spoiled me a little bit there, because it really stands out for me now when a more traditional MMO implementation of towns and cities is presented… they seem even more lifeless than they used to, to the point of being a little creepy.
DDO is another example of a city that largely feels okay, in that case, because the town is small enough and so central to play that there are always PCs moving around bringing the scene to life.
I guess the basic question is, are most people happy with cities in MMOs as they are? If not, what changes would you like to see?