GameSpy is offering up an eight-page article that provides both a brief history of Origin Systems and a Q&A about the future of MMORPGs with Richard and Robert Garriott. A single question and answer to follow:
Q: So what's going to change?
A: In my mind, what's it going to take to get to the second generation? We see little tastes of it in things like City of Heroes or Guild Wars, and we'll see more of it in Auto Assault and hopefully the pinnacle of the second generation, Tabula Rasa... We're doing things like saying, "look, you can't expect people to take an hour to log in and get connected to their friends." You've got to be able to get in, find your friends, and go on an adventure, accomplish it, feel like you've done something worthwhile, and get out -- all within 30 minutes to an hour.
We think that's definitely accomplishable. For example, the Blizzard guys -- they should've caught this one because Diablo did a much better job of it, Diablo had waypoints everywhere. You don't have to constantly run back and forth over long periods of time. Most online games, if your friend has logged in an hour ahead of you, and has walked for an hour, it's going to take an hour for you to reach him! Before you can even start playing together! That's just a big no-no in my mind. In Tabula Rasa you can get together with your friends instantly.