I should preface this with the admission that I am a long time player of MMOs'. I've played Ultima Online, Everquest, DAOC, City of Heroes, DCUO, WoW, and many others.
Earlier this year I rediscovered FPS games, most specifically the L4D series and Team Fortress 2. It was like my eyes were opened again to what video games could be. I looked back at MMO's and saw them for what they (apparently to me now) were: skinner boxes with very little input from the player.
In a very real sense I started to get very disenchanted with MMO games as they all seemed to become so similar as to be indistinguishable from one another. Was I doing anything more than clicking to target and then hitting the same series of buttons over and over again? How was waiting for X's health bar to deplete before my own a GAME? Having the emperor's clothes shown to me made me suddenly decide to give up MMOs. Since then, I still dabble now and then, but it rarely takes me more than a few minutes of play to get that "oh yeah, THIS again" feeling and go off to play something requiring either thought or reflexes.
Then, suddenly my brother emails me, asking if I'm going to be playing Star Wars, the Old Republic. Initially I say "no way, those MMO games are all the same, boring and repetitive with no real game elements" but then I inexplicably cave and preorder.
So tell me, those of you who have played the beta, is there any light at the end of this tunnel? Any chance that SWTOR is actually anything other than a new coat of paint on venerable MMO "game" mechanics?