I think this may be the first relevant question to consider before thinking on too much else. I have had kind of mixed reactions from some people wanting Nexus to be recreated as closely to the old Nexus as possible, BUT there are so many more possibilities out there it would be foolish to not make tweaks and modernize the game to help potentially draw in new players that may be turned off by us lacking features that most MMO and other games similiars to MUDs can provide.
Arcadia mentioned that instancing is a possibility, which could definately help facilitate some really interesting GM run quest encounters, but it could also lend itself to making some static ingame content as well. This could really help facilitate quests, especially bounties, if there was some kind of respawning boss mob at the end of a series of rooms you had to clear that you could stick a bounty on or some such. You would probably have to make a function where you had to clear the room to get to the next to keep people from just sneaking thru to the boss room.
Another thing that most games have nowadays that could potentially be incorporated in this version would be crowd control effects and area of effect spells. Both of those lend themselves to their own array of problems. Adding crowd control effects would mean you would have to make mobs a lot harder to compensate for being able to do so. AoE you run into a similiar problem, if you can AoE mobs down, you probably need to increase their life total to make them harder. Part of me would like to see some changes like this to hopefully enhance the combat and make it even more dynamic, but on the other hand it would certainly change the feel of the game a lot and might not feel quite like Nexus. Now abilities like that would fit pretty well if there were a lot of instances though.
With a small playerbase, one thing about Nexus before was that it was not very solo friendly. You could solo, but most the time you burned through so many devices you didn’t actually net much gain and you got fairly diminished exp. Some classes could solo easier than others, especially at high levels, thieves and mages just decimated things. Do we want to try to balance around making the classes viable for solo play this go around? There was talk originally of maybe even being able to hire mercenary NPCs and such. While the focus of Nexus should remain a group dynamic, making it viable to solo may be something to consider.
Anyways I am probably inclined myself to think instancing and solo viability could be good, I am much more iffy about CC and AoE, but I wanted to see what some of you guys thought about these issues.