I was thinking about game design. And how I like maps. And how I like playing games where the game makes maps. Civilization is one of these....when you were wiped out or when you won the game would show you this map of your territory and you could watch it expand and interact with other nations.
So my first thought was why not have a game where the entire world was surrounded by 'chaos' and your duty was to spread order. Places where players often gathered would become ever more orderly, safe, and idilic and places players avoided would grow chaotic and full of monsters. The further you went into 'places' unknown the stronger the monsters. And the game would the entire time keep a map that would fill in details as you traveled and slowly erase them as you stopped going places. Newbies would serve a great purpose by patrolling the 'safer' zones making them ever safer. Experianced players could make huge campaigns into the wilds to establish new safe zones. And if you went too far you might become an island to yourself making a new safe center.
Now this is simply a small aspect of the game. If the other games within this game were not fun(combat/travel/characters) then it wouldn't be worth playing. But I would love to see a game like this.