But I can't really agree with it.
As someone who played Elite on the BBC B in the 80s, let's look at the what made different:
i) massive, open ended universe and freedom to make one's way, within a convincing universe of varying dangerousness
ii) strong element on trading, and with combat as a means to grab extra goodies and facilitate profitable acquisition of cash
iii) missions, and a progression of deadliness - that unlocks cooler gear and more dangerous missions and story progression
Does that not sound like most MMORPG ever invented? Could that not be WoW, or Skyrim?
Games like Elite don't not-exist, they're practically the norm. It's just that they were groundbreaking in 1983, and now everyone's seen them 1000 times over.