I'm not saying what is or isn't next generation as far as MMOs go. I'm just saying we seem to have increased the size of the measuring stick for MMOs being "next generation" than we have in all other game types.. or real life for that matter.
Let's look at the definition of "generation"
1 a: a body of living beings constituting a single step in the line of descent from an ancestor b: a group of individuals born and living contemporaneously c: a group of individuals having contemporaneously a status (as that of students in a school) which each one holds only for a limited period d: a type or class of objects usually developed from an earlier type "first of the…new generation of powerful supersonic fighters — Kenneth Koyen"
2 a: the action or process of producing offspring : procreation b: the process of coming or bringing into being
c: origination by a generating process : production; especially : formation of a geometric figure by motion of another
3: the average span of time between the birth of parents and that of their offspring
Do I need to define "next"?
We'll use 1:d for what applies to MMOs since, out of all the MMOs, only AoC is supposed to have procreation in it.
a type or class of objects usually developed from an earlier type
It's really that simple. Why do we have to make it so complicated and make the phrase "next generation" seem like some sort of holy artifact that no MMO developer can achieve?
I think we're wrong and it doesn't take a lot of neurons firing to see that most of what is coming out is next generation simply because it literally is the next generation. I suppose, technically speaking, that means when a game is released it stops being "next gen" and the ones that aren't yet release become "next gen". And then the ones after that...
If we were to measure the next generation of humans like people measure MMO generations, well, we'd all be the "caveman generation" because we look similar enough, act similar enough, have similar requirements and ultimately have the same insides. Sure we walk upright and have figured out more things than Human 1.0 did, but we're still humans.
I think people are mistaking "next gen" with "not in the MMO genre anymore". As long as you're looking at something that falls under the MMO genre you're going to find similarities with other games in that genre because... well, that's why they're in that genre. Duh.
Why is being "next gen" so important? And why does it require our stamp of approval to be considered "next gen"?
Stop getting so caught up in that damn phrase.
It's next gen simply because it has most of what was in the previous generation but has also added a few things. You don't need to reinvent the genre to be true "next gen" because that means it's a new genre, not a next generation of an existing genre.
So do you like the game or not? And why?
I'm off to work on my next child, I'm aiming for it to have two heads and four arms because then it will definitely be "next gen".