And because you will end up 'dying' quite a bit in it, it makes me wonder what on earth is the point of depicting death in mmorpgs?
Granted in lord of the rings online your not supposed to die but simply have your morale beaten and you retreat, but given the format is exactly the same as death in other mmorpgs, it doesn't feel any different. Like a short cut scene of the character clutching his side and shuffling away would show he's just really hurt and retreating.
I mean, what is so much the thrill of 'ohh, yeah, killed ya...oh there you are, fifteen seconds latter?' that you need to preserve it?
It's kind of like one of those glaring graphic glitches that makes your characters head dissapear or all the trees turn into solid colour blocks. It kind of spoils things?
Here with death, your character like totally died...but he's alive...oh he died...oh he's alive. It feels more like a big presentation bug.
If he retreats though, clutching his side, there's continuity.
If you want some gore, you could even have the character lose fingers and toes or even a hand (quickly replaced with a hook or magical construct) and the 'killing' player gets notified, so he gets his gory jollies (well, what else would you call it?). From what I've heard this can happen in, of all places, puzzle pirates - you can lose an arm or leg and get a peg leg or hook. BUT also like puzzle pirates you would have items to regrow fingers or hands/feet/forarms. Usually with the magic or technology in most settings, this is fairly believable (far more believable than perfect ressurection any time you want it).
Lord of the rings online (LOTRO) almost broke out of it - and maybe it's unfair to say given that it still seems to be a death system in LOTRO because it looks like death in every other mmorpg. But it still leaves you being ravaged by monsters and then...popping up elsewhere. You wouldn't do such a harsh transition in a movie - you would explain with a short cut away what happened in between.
Death - you can't have it, mmorpgs (because of your own design choices)! So quit trying to pretend its happening and just smooth out the wounded retreat presentation.
It's like the want to be macho manly 'you can totally die in our game', except it's faux-macho, because even the most minor amount of critical thought disproves that idea. But maybe alot of people (men?) can't give up that bullshit?