I tend to think that if I were trying to come up with a list of mechanics and concepts and features that pretty much all MMORPGs need, the ability to create your own character would be pretty high up on the list. And indeed, it’s one of the things that worries me about Wayfinder.
Of course, Wayfinder is not an MMORPG (nor does it evoke the “spirit of MMOs past,” good grief), and of course it’s not as if games without full character creation are doomed as plenty of genres and gamers do just fine with that.
But the fact that it’s missing such a key MMO feature is a big turn-off to me, just as it is in so many other games. I will make exceptions, but they tend to be for ARPGs where my character is more an assemblage of skills rather than an actual role I need to portray (Marvel Heroes is coming immediately to mind). Heck, I’m not even in love with premade classes and looks, let alone premade characters! I would always, always rather build as much of my persona as possible.
How about you – would you play an MMO with a premade character? Where do you draw the line on customization?