So. My first post. We'll see how this goes.
I intend to start with a subject that was discussed on the latest Virginworlds podcast "Shut Up, We're Talking", (episode 19).
The subject was "Player ratings", that players would be able to give feedback on other players that they have grouped with. This information would then be available to other players, and serve as a kind of Ebay/Xbox Live-like ratings system. Did the idiot player in the last pickup group ninja-loot the purple in Scarlet Monastery? Was he a mage who persisted in attacking every mob head on, getting everyone killed?
The discussion was mainly between Leala, of Epic Dolls, and Brendan, of Another Here. Brendan was in support of the idea, thinking it would be a good way for players to avoid getting their precious game time ruined by idiots, while Leala was of the opinion that it would be wrong to rate players this way. It would be misused, and instead, Leala claimed, one should try to educate the players that wrong you.
I have to say that I'm more on Brendan's side in this matter. While I'm not sure player ratings are the most important thing for MMO developers to work on right now, I do see the use for it. I have been in many pickup groups where the experience was ruined by players who roll on things they don't need, who can't communicate properly or who don't "play their class".
I don't want to spend my spare time lecturing uninformed of proper conduct. If I want to make sure I play with people that are "mature players" (as in, they are respectful and try not to ruin things), why shouldn't I? Because it's "mean"?
In the end, it would only amount to more freedom of choice for players.