On the other point: I also hope that EQ:Next won't fall in the same whole. But either way it won't be the game for me. I'm not interest in an MMO with active combat and so much animations and effect that I can see even less than in gw2's combat.
Pretty much. Although, I think that a good sandbox game has the potential to find a good niche and grow well with that niche. It's not going to be a WoW beater (as I feel all MMO's are trying for) but if you look at something like EVE, they have been doing quite well for themselves over the last 10 years not bothering anyone.
Really, I don't understand most MMO players. The idea of needing "something to do" in terms of pushing an achievement bar up or grinding for better gear just doesn't make sense to me. Not to mention, I find it hopelessly boring. But, that's beside the point. The point is that MANY MMO players need that kind of thing to keep them interested in a game. A sandbox game will give them no direction. There is nothing "to do". I don't think most MMO players can handle that.
I actually think ANet had a lot of good ideas, but I don't know if they were just poorly developed or if they never had time to fully develop them. Actual random, changing and unpredictable dynamic events would be awesome. Likewise, if you take something like the Living Story and step back and look at it from a macro scale and think: how can I use the development team to drive actual world events thus providing a little role playing help to people that need a kick start, I think it has a lot of potential. But, it can't be anything like the Living Story we have now. It would have to encompass the world as a whole and include much more than just a linear story. It would have to have subtle changes in politics, trade, factions, quests, etc. There wouldn't be bi-weekly updates, there would be constant updates, unannounced.
Now I'm just rambling, but I think a Sandbox MMO can take a lot of ideas from games like GW2 and make them much much better. Expansions wouldn't really be needed. Ultimately, role playing would have to become a much more important thing, not just another dungeon to kill baddies and get loot.