I def. wouldn't mind seeing a DQ MMO. I would of course play it, but I would hope it's given proper treatment. DW3/DW7/DQ9 all have great classes from which to choose from when making a character so that part is already covered. It would be hard to use any of the DQ stories from games past as we all know what happens and how it all ends up. What might be cool though, and I guess this is kinda contradicting my last statement, but you could have final game bosses be like raid bosses in WoW. You could do the first retail release being the Roto/Erdrick trilogy. Start in the time of DW3. Baramos would be like, Kel'Thuzad was in the Wrath of the Lich King Expansion of WoW. Next boss of course is Zoma, followed by the Dragonlord (kicking his ass with a big group of people would be awesome!) and eventually getting around to Hargon and Malroth. The dungeons could be like your normal 5-mans in WoW. Take the green dragon dungeon from DW1. You have to run in, fighting Druins, Magicians and what not, get to the green dragon guarding the princess. You have a fight with him and once defeated you have "cleared" the dungeon and progressed through the story. Unlike WoW, I think that having it so that the story does not progress until your character has completed certain things would be a great way. Sort of like WoW with it's phasing technology. You can group up only with people who have not completed the "Story clear" of the dungeon and once you have, you can group with anyone and then proceed to farm said dungeon boss for epic loots. The Cave to Rhone would be absolutely brutal I think. Could even make that a 10-person raid and have like, a group of Gigantes and those stupid-ass flying monkey things be the boss at the end of it before getting to Rhone and the final rest stop before Hargon's castle. In fact, Hargon's Castle is a perfect end-game raid zone. There's the mini-bosses you fight after getting to the second floor which would be like the bosses you fight in the first four wings in Ice Crown from WoW. Hell you could maybe have to do a quest to get the Rubiss charm so you can see the stair case to get up to the second floor possibly. And the Hargon/Malroth fight could be a two phase fight. After you've killed Hargon and it looks like you've won, Malroth appears and the second phase kicks off.
I personally think this would be something that might be very cool to see someday. I take back not making the game based on the story. As long as it is well done and time is taken to make sure that you can not only follow the story, but also keep people interested and motivated to continue on, I think it would be a great idea. If it was popular and sold well you could then do an Expansion pack (or free download depending on what type of distribution model was in place) and could add on the Heaven Trilogy. I am not sure how character migration would work, maybe they would have to be separate games. Well, maybe not. I suppose could just make chapter 1 from IV like the first series of quests from Wrath of the Lich King and the Loch Tower being an end-of-the-zone dungeon. Could have Saro's Shadow a boss and once dead you head back to Burland, the king gives you a quest reward/gold and then unlocks the next zone. I suppose it could work until chapter three. Don't get me Wrong I love Taloon, but a quest chain about farming gold sounds like it might not go over well with some players. Chapters 4 and 5 would be absolutely epic in an MMO setting with dozens, possibly hundreds of people all part of the same quest progression as you. Trying to acquire the Symbol of Faith or spending hours just wasting gold at the casino, grinding out levels to Kill Balzack in Santeem (oh how I loathe you Balzack), finding all of the hidden mini-medals to get some great weapons and armor, or simply using alchemy to make items and equipment to sell and trade to other players and being actual merchants. Only thing is, who would be the Hero character from chapter 5 if that's the case. We'd be our own characters, but the start of chapter 5 would be a very weird transition to after the ending of chapter 4...
IDK I'm sorry for kind of rambling. I just started typing and all of these ideas just kind rolled out of my mind while I was thinking. If anyone actually read all of that let me know what you think. Kind of just re-hashing the story into another game, but one that would be open to lots of people. If I knew how to even go about trying to make something like this without Nintendo/Squenix/whoever breathing down my neck with Lawyers and threats I would be all over it, but alas my knowledge of game design ends with drawing stick figures and getting the computer to turn on
I love it all.
You could also do a dual-faction thing, like in WoW. One faction would be the humanoid races, including (but not limited to) Dragovians, Humans, Dwarves, Elves, Lefans, Zenithians, Celestrians, Mermen, and Fairies. The other faction would be monster races, and would include monster families like Dragons, Beasts, Materials, Slimes, Bugs, Undead, Demons, Plants and Birds.
The Humanoid story phases could follow the classic DQ storylines, as you've mentioned above. The Monster story phases could be similar, but based on the premise that you are a group of monsters opposed to the actions of the classic bosses (Dragonlord, Zoma, Malroth, etc.), and who are trying to overcome them.
Classes would be the typical set: fighters (melee dps class), warriors (tanking class), thief (another melee dps, but with a different skillset), various mage classes, each based on the different magic dps families (crack, boom, blaze, whoosh), and a healing class.
Depending on which race you choose, you have a different selection of classes. For example, the slime race could take up a tanking class (metal), a healing class (healer), or a thief class (gold slime), etc. The fairy race could probably take up healing, magic dps, and thief classes.
You could include flying mounts, but not all races would need this (lefans, zenithians, birds, celestrians, fairies, dragons). You could also include the capture, taming and raising of monster pets to fight alongside you.
Man, DQ could produce such an awesome MMO experience.