As well as targeting casual gamers, there also seems to be a concerted effort to turn the hypnotic, gesturing hand of MMOness towards action and twitch game lovers. There were certainly a lot of first-person MMO perspectives on show at E3, while Guild Wars and WOW's upcoming Battlegrounds show that it's perfectly possible to have frantic team-based action within a heroic fantasy world.
NetDevil's forthcoming Auto Assault looks ready to build on this, with an innovative blend of traditional MMOG and driving simulation, within a post-apocalyptic world where humans, mutants and biomechs battle it out in vehicle-based combat.
HERE IN MY CAR
You'll get a human avatar which is the culmination of your level, skills and abilities. The vehicle you drive (and you'll find that you spend most of your time driving when you're not in cities and towns) represents your armour, weapons, speed and inventory.
There's also an almost Diablo-esque focus on collecting in the game, and as every item has dynamic stats, you'll never find the same thing twice. As well as weapons and armour upgrades, you can also customise your vehicle with paint jobs, fins, wings and so on, rather like a futuristic Pimp My Ride without the lava lamps and backseat swimming pools.
The Havok physics engine means the world you're trundling around is satisfyingly realistic and destructible. It's also easy to get to grips with as you'll never run out of ammo or petrol. Auto Assault's accessible and fast-paced action will undoubtedly win it a lot of fans when it hits the shops this summer.