Pixie Styx over at Strangelands posted on the possibility of designing an mmo that is not restricted by genre. This was something that really piqued my interest as it is something I often thought about. But as I stated there, I had always envisioned some sort of time travel mmo, or as Damianov suggested perhaps even alternate realities. The possibilities would be absolutely endless.
Feeling in a gothic mood, go slay vampires for a bit. Reruns of Jurassic Park inspiring you to take on a T Rex? Although I guess you could incorporate the elves and dwarves into an alternate reality universe, I'd love to see some unique races instead.
Why exactly is it that there is nothing on the horizon, even if only a couple different genres packaged into one game? I had assumed initially it would be an expensive undertaking. But I honestly don't know.
Regarding concern for immersion and connecting the various environments, Brandon was really on to something:
A character should transcend the setting he or she is placed in. Don’t get me wrong, moving a character from one setting to another will no doubt cause that character to get some details changed here and there, but the core of the character needs to supersede where that character is. If you cannot simply place your character in another context than your character is not “real” enough to be role-playing with. Character creates story (plot), creates setting. That’s the flow. Anything less than that and the character is not strong enough to stand on it’s own.
Aren't mmo's in a way like books? You have a character; you're in a world performing heroic deeds or whatever it is you wish to pursue. Just because most authors choose to keep their forest nymphs in the forest, can it be written no other way? If someone had already written a story about a druid's rowdy adventures in the wild west, would it only then be immersive to do so in an mmo? We are writing our own stories with our characters, and we are limited only by our imaginations.