this is (as is probably obvious) is going to be our first big(ish) project so simple to use is imperrative.
Be kind of careful about the promise of "easy to use". If "easy to use" means heavy scripting with graphics framework done and requires occasional C++ work, then you're probably ok. If "easy to use" means drag and drop, you will most likley not be able to finish the game, and the chances are slim to none you end up with something you're really proud of.
Another consideration is, are you going to sell it? If so, the easier an engine is to use, generally the more catches there are in distribution rights and profit issues. That's just speaking generally of course.
its going to be a FPS. definitely not a MMORPG or anything of the sort. this is for expirence and a side project. an MMO would be simply to much on an undertaking.
Good job. Seems like it would be obvious but I think litterally hundereds of MMO projects are started a day and %99.999 of them will never see the light of day.
the graphics are not the main issue as what we are mainly going for is a simple enjoyable shooter although ugly isnt the look we are going for either.
Your main focus then should be in the artwork and animation. This will be the only real thing controlling how pretty the game turns out. Keep in mind though that even with advanced technology, no amount of shaders can save big lumpy polygon art.
to sum up i would say we are looking to eventually create a free roaming world with procedurally placed enemies, that is good fun and large. very large.
By "procedurally placed", do you mean randomly generated or is that more a LOD issue? If it's random you should probably write your own algorithem as a custom solution.