Now in its 10th year, the most hardcore PvP MMO out there is A Tale in the Desert. How many other MMOs do you know with permadeath? I remember a couple from the First Telling, where the wife was using poison to get around the problem that Egyptian marriage really was ’til death do you part. Good times. It is now in its 6th iteration; the developer is actually willing to end the world and start over periodically. (I have not checked in with Teppy lately, but its hardcore PvP status was maintained through a mix of encouraging cooperation for the community to advance and then actively shaking the ant farm and providing incentives to act against the community.)
Setting aside the social experimentation, another MMO seems to be interested in following the path that ATitD has blazed rather than making Yet Another Fantasy Theme Park: Salem. The little info I have (scroll about half-way down) sounds like ATitD meets Darkfall in colonial New England. Heartless introduced me to it, and as I said there, I have immediate concerns about a F2P game where the Goonswarm could conceivably visit for a weekend and completely despoil an area, a cross-game version of Burn Jita. You need a way to welcome new people but let existing players protect the game from them. (As much as we want players to be able to make meaningful decisions, we do not want players to drive themselves away through bad decisions that undermine the game.)
At this point, I need an RSS or something to subscribe for Salem info. I stopped actively paying attention to game development years ago. All MMOs should be assumed to be vaporware until you can log in, and maybe then you should wait for them to be live a few months before getting emotionally committed. I assume I should check back in a few years or something? I avoided paying much attention to GW2 before the past couple of months, and my friends & family had already pretty much told me I was buying it.