MMORPGs do not seem to do much to support a decent, friendly community these days, my random observations from the RP servers on various games (Note I’m picking the faults deliberately here to compare the games and don’t want to write a massive essay so I’ll leave of the more positive elements):
Has a fairly decent community, though I’ve read of exceptions. Like DDO there is a tendency towards elitism and zerg gameplay (ultra min-maxed rush runs of dungeons). The game was always very community friendly with lots of RP features and nice seasonal events. But with the newer skirmish system and dungeon join there’s more ‘lobby-style’ gaming than before. Also it’s very solo friendly now so you see a lot of silent characters running around doing their own thing.
Not much needs saying here, the community has always been pretty ‘colourful’. The dungeon finder caused a pretty big change in gameplay. I remember pugs before it launched, up until recently all pugs were with players from non RP servers which for us was a big problem since the guild liked to rp inside dungeons during any downtime moments (bio breaks / waiting on mana regen / sorting gear or talent points etc).
I won’t comment on EQ2 as I’ve barely gotten into the game and haven’t grouped much at all. The single EQ2X server isn’t an RP server anyway and given the ‘quality’ of public chat channels I doubt I’d be impressed by the attitude of many I’d meet (lots of smack-talk and petty arguments).
I’ve had some pleasant experiences in Rift, others not so much, but I have noticed there is less open-RP in Meridian on Argent now than there was at launch. Also a lot of the players I’ve met in public content (rifts / invasions) are of the silent zerg mentality. If you say hi / thanks or whatever you’re ignored. Perhaps the open grouping is in a sense too easy…
So leading on from Rift’s public grouping model. I wonder whether GW2’s dynamic events will foster community spirit or simply showcase just how dysfunctional online communities really are? Details are sparse at the moment but I think part of this should be not competing for loot – cooperate to complete the objectives but don’t ruin that by immediately falling into a fight for the spoils afterwards as happens in most MMOs…