Believe it or not, one of those "SCMM revival" threads actually gave me an idea. You know, other than SCMM revival.
Okay, so part of it comes from that thing about the Estate from AQ.
Looking at what works for AQWorlds, one of the things that was weird at first but ended up working was enhancements. You can keep whatever look you want, but scaled to your level.
And even though some weapons do different damage, that damage still scales, often times becoming better with time/leveling. As far as keeping looks, it works great for those who like to keep a specific, signature look.
I know it sounds odd, but would it be possible to use mechs as "skins", like in Dragonfable where you can make it look like you're using certain equipment?
I understand that it would be tricky, but it might be an interesting way to customize your stuff.
And although it sounds more and more ridiculous the more I think about it, what about doing that in a way where you could choose your own animations and such for certain weapons? Kind of a new take on the build-your-own mech idea, but it could have some cool effects.
Of course, working out the kinks in the scaling features is always an option, so that there'd be less stress in creating a mech, and less stress to make one scale. Could try backwards scalability, though, where you could use higher level weapons on a lower level mech, so that you're not fighting something on a monstrously higher level than you.
On the Estate note, here's something that hasn't really been gotten at yet- colonies. Why not let SC's set up their own colonies, and have interactions such as coming back in each day to check on the colony and clear out the day's invasion of ShS raiding parties, with the consequence of losing colonists and losing morale, in which case you might miss out on some kind of shop or the like. Adding in supply missions would certainly get players to come back- after all, as much as I despise things like Farmville, it has a good gimmick- you have to "cultivate your garden". (Points for whoever gets the Candide reference.) Actually, there's something that could make MQ unique- Colonies would afford daily work, could have set amounts of ShS to fight like the Diner Challenge, y'know, scaled and healing in-between, could have implications for wars and such... the possibilities are endless with this. I mean, imagine getting to choose your own type of planet... with its own unique rewards and dangers, unknown to you till you go there.
Hope it's not too long now, I got all excited about the Colonies thing. XD