An interesting paper talking about the oft-lamented trend of modern MMORPGs being designed for gamers to 'play with millions of other people (that they never need to interact with)', and how that affects the longterm health/viability of a game's community:
'Alone Togther: Exploring the Social Dynamics of MMOGs'
A choice line from the paper is: "One of the core game mechanics in MMOGs, leveling, has damaging impacts on the game's social fabric". Many people have been saying this for years now. While I don't mind leveling, there REALLY needs to be ways ingame for people of different levels to be able to group up and play together, and things like 'rest exp' don't really do a good job of achieving that. It'd be nice to see games actually coming up with some new ideas in that area.