That really goes for every set of mechanics. If you include crafting, don’t have it just be a matter of “click a button and wait.” Ryzom had such a good idea with its various material components, but the crafting still came down to click-and-wait. I don’t want to just click on random nodes to gather; I want to be able to gather. I want depth. I might never want to play a miner, but if I decide to, mining should have an actual game involved rather than just the tedium of walking to nodes and clicking.
I want housing. I want stuff to do in a group, and I want stuff to do solo. I want to build a house and then I want to go run a dungeon. I want a sandpark, a term I started using back in 2010 to describe the first version of Final Fantasy XIV.
But really, that version wasn’t quite a sandpark. A better term would have been “disjointed mess.” It wanted to be a sandpark, just as many men want to be nice guys when they advertise themselves as such. Good intentions do not pay the bills, however, and while the launch version had the core ideals in place, the execution was lacking. In some places it lacked due to simple missteps, while in other places it lacked due to staggeringly bad design choices, but in all cases it was pretty darn messy.
Management was changed. Naoki Yoshida was brought in to what was essentially the Finnegans Wake of MMOs, a collection of presumably good ideas made completely inaccessible due to presentation. He was tasked with putting it back together into a game that people would actually be excited to play.
As it happens, he succeeded at that so well that many people couldn’t play during the launch week because there were too many people logging in. So that’s awesome.