Since I tend to want to approach games with the thought of immersing myself into the world, I tend to do weird stuff. At least, things other people think are weird. Like, while playing the game Red Dead Redemption, I never used the camping method of fast travel until after I’d completed the story and was just chasing achievements. I used the wagons, and I even did the thing there you hit the button, John says “I’m going to sleep” and you skip the travel parts, because, you know, that made sense. But setting up a campfire and a tent, and suddenly being halfway across the game world… immersion breaking.
With that in mind, you can imagine how I feel about logging into an MMO and finding a world where everyone is running, full speed, all the time. The funny things is, back in my days of EverQuest, people were more apt to switch over to walking, at least while in town and perhaps a little more pliable to role-playing as opposed to when they were sitting in a group on a wall whacking mobs for experience and loot. In World of Warcraft, however, I don’t think I ever saw a person walk until I went to the RP labeled servers.
In my perfect MMO, walking would be the norm, and every player would have an endurance bar. There wouldn’t just be walking and running either, there would be varying speeds you could toggle/cycle through. Walking to fast walking to jogging to running to sprinting, each having an increasing effect on endurance drain. And players could get bonuses to endurance recovery, and even reductions in endurance drain for special situations. Like, if you just switch over to sprinting for no reason at all, endurance would drain at X rate, but if you enter into combat and your adrenaline is now pumping, sprinting would drain endurance at, perhaps, X/2 rate, allowing you to sprint longer to flee an overpowered NPC foe.
I’ve yet to decide if this endurance would be used in other places, like fighting for example, but I’m leaning toward not. At least not the same endurance pool anyway.