Now that the early game "lameness" is over I'm starting to see some really nice depth to the game. I'm hanging out with a posse of players are keen on cooperation and we already have a village kinship feeling going on. We've been settled by a riverside for a while and we will likely move soon, but I was surprised to realize that I was going to miss the old place. Apparently a feeling of attachment to an in-game area has crept in without me noticing, which is a great accomplishment for a game like this.
I'm also starting to notice how the talk of murderous bandits is changing player behaviour. Early days people were a lot more chatty and friendly. Now there is an unmistakable paranoia settling in, with people appropriately afraid of strangers in the lawless frontier. Whenever I come across someone in the wilderness, I make sure to keep a decent distance in between just in case.
Another very interesting issue that's starting to come up is ownership and governance of shared land. It is cheaper for one person to stake a claim and keep expanding it, instead of everyone buying their own deed. On the flipside, that means if you have a falling out with the person who owns the land, they might cut you off from all the stuff you built on their land. It is surprisingly similar to the real world dichotomy of communism (state ownership of everything) vs private enterprise. I can see this kind of stuff giving way to a need for legal systems either built in or player arranged, although the latter would be difficult to enforce on the land owner without built-in support.
That said I have no idea how the town system works so the above scenario might be completely irrelevant. Any thoughts?