Interesting article however ... a few points that have struck me as questionable.
Art ... if art was the sole reason someone played a game or not; and if it made that huge of a difference(as mentioned); what happened to EQ2? It was far beyond it's time with graphics and yet ... yeah well we know where it is now.
As for MMO's running several (I believe you said eight???) months at a time with the "one byte memory leak and it's a show stopper ... also said above, I don't know any MMO (I believe WoW is several times more "massive" than Guild Wars) that doesn't reset it's servers (down time) at least once every two weeks. Does Guild Wars really run for 8 months at a time without any "maintenance?"
Lastly as Dragonfly3 pointed out; there are several "indie" groups that have created such games (perhaps not MMO in the terms that you're thinking and then if so does anything really compare to WoW in terms of active players at once ? Is there a baseline that says "once you hit xxxx players online it's now a MMO? (If so please correct me). But as Dragonfly3 said, it is pretty sad that there are so many people on these forums that discourage learning, that discourage following or chasing after your dreams. It's pathetic really. What others do with their time, why does it matter to you? As someone else mentioned above also, if they are having fun (or even not at the "frustration points in programming"); who cares what they are making?
I admire teams like that who have took the plunge who haven't "thrown in the towel" and made games such as Minions of Mirth and Eternal Lands (I'm not associated with either project btw).
Just some food for thought... how many people laughed at Bill Gates? How many did this incredible company start with? *scratches his head*
[url="http://windows.microsoft.com/en-US/windows/history"]http://windows.micro...windows/history[/url] -- looks like two people. And now Microsoft Employs 70,000+ people? Sure dwarves any MMO company out there that I know of. And I'm sure making a software company like Microsoft also dwarves making a MMO; but the point remains: Two people.
I'm sure there are many, many successful companies out there now also who started small (indie anyone? ) in a garage.
For the comment about a newly kid who just got his driver license driving a NASCAR ... when did programming become a physical situation where one could become injured or potentially (physically) injure others? Odd analagy but the point is to take it slow; that is understood but again, who are any of us to tell others what to do? What to dream? How to go about their desires? We should be encouraging them to follow their dreams, not to give up.
No one can however compare an indie team to one backed by a multi-million dollar company. Apple to ... seeds.
I'm willing to bet a tastey beverage also that every single one of us attempted to "take on a task that was "too big" for us" .. and yet here are countless people on these forums who are saying "do as I say not as I do." So much can be learned from these explorations to push your limits. I hope anyone who is serious about any task be it making a MMO or whatever do not listen to such "nay sayers." Perhaps a better article would've been "Take Caution if your path is that of a MMO" and list all the potential complications.
To quote Scully from X-Files (Love this quote):
[quote]"That what can be imagined can be achieved. That you must dare to dream, but that there's no substitute for perseverance and hard work. And teamwork, because no one gets there alone."[/quote]
For those who want to make a MMO (MO?) keep your motivation strong and know what you are getting into. Follow your dreams, don't let anyone tell you otherwise, but start slow; nothing is made over night or even years.