Players can enjoy pushing themselves to a higher challenge if their skill level is high. Players won't have to grind through myriads of low level units if that's beneath their skill level and interest level. Allowing player skill to influence combat is an antidote to grinding.
But then you've removed the RPG part of the game and it's become an MMOFPSRTSWTF.
Not at all. RPG means story + character progression, which we'd still have, as it would still be the dominant theme. Players can't expect
to survive a level 35 zone when they're at level 20.
I guess this is a matter of taste. RPGs mean story, period. Character progression is just something that happens along the way.
When I ran games back in the day, character progression usually wasn't even considered until we were done playing for the night.
I'm trying to come up with something that's almost completely different from MMOs today.
You say you want something almost completely different, well this is it! For something to be almost completely different, you have to rebel from what is traditional. But I think you're uncomfortable with / afraid of my idea precisely because it does
rebel against traditional MMO/RPG design, by making player skill a factor.
I guess I wasn't clear about "different". I basically want to make a P&P RPG style MMO, not the grinding and artificial combat of MMOs today. It should be more about the "story", what's going on in the world with the players actually affecting things in the world, not just temporarily killing a mob dead. it might be unrealistic, but it's hypothetical for the most part. It's something I'd love to see done though.
The problem is translating telling a GM what the character is doing and resolving those actions in a game environment, where you have the visual aspect to handle and synchronize so that you don't end up with characters frozen every second or two while the player decides what to do.
You say you want some realism. Adding tactical/FPS/skill based elements does this. New missions and new character skills doesn't make something realistic. But allowing the player to practise spontaneity and ingenuity with real-time tactics does do this.
"Realism" in the game world, not ours. Also, "real time" more in the sense of the game world, not ours.
If you want a game that puts more emphasis on missions and less emphasis on combat, then 90% of the time you're not going to be in combat anyway. So realise that doing combat completely differently won't detract from that remaining 90% of the game.
Granted, but I still would like to see combat be more "realistic", again in the game world sense, which means character ability drive but player decision making.