I Didn't want you to think I'd vanished. Just to give you an update, I'm in the process of defining the character controls and combat. Given that the primary purpose of this game is to explore the world and fight mobs and other players, I want combat to be an immersive and enjoyable process...highly involved.
As such I've taken a few different games which I feel have unique movement and combat systems, and am in the process of trying to elegantly tie them together.
For the time being, I've established that the game will handle largely like a Prince of Persia platformer, with the ability to move, jump, climb, swim, tumble, and generally feel very acrobatic. This gives the game more of an action-adventure feel rather than a traditional MMO RPG feel.
Additionally, I really enjoyed a classic Sega Genesis game called Strider, in which you were able to jump from ledge to ledge, grab onto larger monsters, hang from ropes, etc...this too defines my adventure-style play.
Finally, the combat system, IMO, should function like combat-style games...specifically, modern fighting games. At this point in time, Soul Calibur 2 probably best describes the fighting game genre in its current reincarnation. Although I've never actually played it (I'm more of a MK fan), I've heard great things about it's controls, requiring few buttons, etc...which is key for us, given that it must play well on a Keyboard/Mouse, and also a Game Pad.
So, we're looking for a Prince of Persia feel, a Soul Calibur-esque combat system, and the ability to interact with NPC's, go on quests, gain experience, etc...like a more traditional RPG.
I'll have more specific details about movement and combat in the coming days as I nail down an intuitive system.
Please feel free to provide feedback.