WoW is not an RPG because you do not play a role, which is the point of a role playing game. You play a character that is only distinct in the skills which it has. The world offers no element of roleplaying. The closest thing that comes to role playing in WoW is on the role playing servers, and that is only if the people get into it. If you want to see roleplaying in an online game, go play a few MUDs (achea, etc). You are forced to role play or else you will be kicked from the server. As for single player role playing games (at least the so called Western ones), most are usually valid because the manner in which you must act is not determined by your class. You can do anything you like as a certain class, you just may not be very good at it. For instance, in Oblivion, if you have a thiefish character, you can still wield broad swords and do both the fighters guild and mages guild quests, they just may be much more difficult. Or you can just sell flowers all day long. In WoW one is bound to their class. My thief in Oblivion can learn destruction magic (or other types), he, again, just may not be good at it. In WoW, no rogue will ever cast a spell...period. Additionally, in WoW end-game all you do is perpetually raid and wait for an expansion. In Oblivion end-game (meaning the end of the main story line) there are still guild quests, misc quests, daedra quests, vampire quests, or you can create your own drama by shooting a guard and becoming a fugitive for the next 10 play hours until you get caught or pay your bounty. The possibilites, while not limitless, are much greater than the almost linear possibilities of MMORPGs. You can keep playing even after you finish all the quests. I think the first RPG to do this was Secret of Mana on NES (though I may be wrong, possibly Ultima).