Raph Koster wanted to create with Ultima Online. Unfortunately, bugs and exploits and the ever-growing din of carebear whining and their rising tide of tears forced him to alter the vision.
Ultima Online was never quite the same once they created rules to restrict freedom of choice. The carebears won. MMOs going forward catered to the risk-averse player exclusively, to those players that didn't like losing stuff.
What could have been excellent societal simulators, instead became theme parks.
Until CCP released EVE Online. A game that was built upon Raph's original vision for Ultima Online. A game in which the players defined the content, where the players decided their destiny. The narrative was from the players, not thrust upon players by some corporate entity.
But this is changing. The carebear voice is getting louder in New Eden. CCP is listening. Investors grow concerned, seem to think that EVE could be bigger, much bigger, if only it were kinder, gentler. And thus the game slowly changes. We're not sure how far CCP will go, because some big names in the company, at Fanfest 2012, proclaimed that EVE will always be about player choice. EVE will always be about a community of choices.
For now, I'm relishing that I get to play in this Koster-like universe. It may change for the worse somewhere down the road. I certainly hope it doesn't, but if it does, I'm going to enjoy it while it lasts.