The problem with the destruction of private property is that the property is passive, it’s in the game world at all times and there are just times where player defense isn’t all that probable since players need to work, eat, and sleep in life. Unlike with player loot, a player can only lose it when he’s online and carrying it on his character. But private property can fall into another’s hands at any time and this discourages people from invest time into private property. By default, big guilds will be the ones capable of protecting and destroying person homes or bases.
Therefore, a large population of the player base skips on of trying to establish a home or base of operations. I mean why would someone try to claim private property when they know that it’ll only be destroyed in a matter of a few days? In fact, in the past I wrote an article in regards to China’s environmental mess. The Chinese do not care for the land they work or live on because a lot of the land is in the hands of the government and at any time, the government can seize the land from owners of the land. It’s like being a renter of a house; you ultimately don’t care to what happens to the house or land it because it’s not yours, though in this case you are willing take care of it enough so owner does not evict you.
But in regards to MMOs and the destruction of private property, I believe many developers are making a mistake by focusing their game on guilds claiming territory for the sole purpose of territorial and resource expansion. Many MMO players prefer to play in small guilds or with a small group of friends. They do not want to join a big guild where they’re told to fight these battles to protect guild assets. People like to socialize but they’re really individualist, they rather do the things they want to do and not be told what to do, because many already have obligations of things they have to do in life.
Many of us gamers just want to roleplay as a character doing fun things such as running a shop, being a thief, or transporting goods. But at the same time this may not be possible if territory and resource access are restricted to those who can control and manage the area, namely the big guilds.