I'm here to talk about the worst element of massively multiplayer online games: selecting a "class".
Back in the day, there was tabletop role playing. Perhaps you remember it? D&D, Vampire, Rifts, and so forth?
One element that most of these RPGs had in common was a "class and level" system. This is a system virtually every MMORPG has inherited. Let's examine it a bit closer.
Why do tabletops have classes and levels, rather than incrementally increasing skills and stats in miniscule amounts as they are practiced and used? Because tracking that crap is tough!
Yes, the reason that classes and levels were used is because updating your character sheet in eighteen ways every half hour is a pain in the ass. Better to keep track of only two changing numbers (HP and XP) and use them as a kind of "approximation" of your character's growth and death.
You'll notice that the first RPGs had a specific number of classes: just a few more than the intended party size. That's no accident. The approximation of "having a class" is only good if everyone in the party is still unique. Otherwise, it's boring.
However, as time went on, people started demanding uniqueness between games as well as inside any given game. So multi-classing, race/class combinations, and prestige classes came into being. This is D&D terminology, but you see the same thing in most other tabletops: a steady explosion of options, both to start and as you proceed.
If you told the standard D&D geek in the seventies "You went up a level! Choose a feat from this list!" His reply would be, "I get to choose?"
As the tabletop gamers got more and more skilled at tabletop gaming, they required more and more complexity, preferably without added upkeep costs (more choices, less writing).
Complexity - preferably combinatory rather than explicit - is how all games proceed over time. A desire for uniqueness and agency pushes the game ever further towards a feeling of "freeform", even if the game keeps its matrix of rules and stats.
So, why is it MMORPGs have classes and levels?
The maintenance required is what keeps tabletops having levels. I don't want to erase 4.04 and write 4.05 every single time I take a swing with my sword. But a computer game handles that automatically. So why levels?
Classes are useful approximations, so long as your place within the group remains distinct. As your concept "group" expands to include other games and other parties, your concept of "distinct" gets ever more demanding. Experienced tabletop players probably compare their present character to at least twenty other characters, whereas new players typically compare their character to only one or two others.
In a MMORPG, your character is one of twenty thousand you commonly see.
The jump frow "two" to "twenty" is the difference between D&D and AD&D 3rd edition. 3rd edition offers at least a factor of 100 more uniqueness. The jump from "twenty" to "twenty thousand", however, adds functionally no uniqueness over 3rd edition. The typical MMORPG is actually simpler than AD&D 3rd. And way simpler than GURPS, Mage, Nobilis, or any other ruleset with actual quality.
The level grind is simply an attempt to distinguish yourself from the pack. It offers new skills, experiences, and graphics. The last of which is downright silly: why can't I just paint my evil armor-of-doom pink, if I want to look unique?
But the very concept of "classes" is wholly inappropriate. Classes are an approximation tool to make bookkeeping easier for humans. They are limiting your MMORPG, and the only reason they are included is out of inertia.
Levels are simply another approximation tool to make bookkeeping easier. But, again, your computer can handle an almost unlimited amount of bookkeeping. So why are you using levels?
No, both of these concepts belong to the realm of pen and paper. Throw off the shackles of your ancestors! Stand proud and allow your players to be unique!