There seem to be an increasing number of titles coming into the MMO market that have combat based more on player skill rather than on character skill. This probably makes a lot of gamers really happy, since they enjoy that sort of twitch-based gameplay, but that sort of thing is an immediate turn-off for me. I play MMORPGs more for the RP part than for the G part. I want my character's performance to be based on their skills, not on mine. I am not the crazy ninja that I might be playing in the game.
I don't play 'shooter' games. I just don't have the coordination or the reflexes for it, so I am just bad at them. After I've played for a while, my skill seems to improve only a little bit, and I end up relying entirely on cheesy ambush tactics. Anyway, it's not fun to play a game that you're bad at and can't get significantly better at. Considering the number of physically and/or neurologically disabled players I've played with in MMORPGs over the years, I don't think I am the only one who would steer clear of more 'player skill' or twitch oriented games for that reason.
There's nothing wrong with that more player-skill oriented gameplay, of course, for people who enjoy playing that way, and for them, these new games are long overdue. Right now, there aren't really very many of those games. My fear is that these will eventually become the majority of the games, shutting out the RP players in favor of the G players.
I will not deny that the current 'auto-attack' style of combat could be improved in many games. Unfortunately, there seem to be quite a few games (or some classes in some games) where it is possible to play by just randomly mashing hotkeys til the monster or opponent is dead. That's just poor design.
Some games seem to ask more of the player in terms of paying attention and using the right skills at the right time. Sometimes this is an explicit mechanic of the game, as in the case of games with 'combos' or 'chains'. Sometimes it is more subtle, as in games where skills might have effects that can be good at some times and bad at others. This is a different kind of player skill, and I would agree that we need to see more of that.
I would also like to see more alternatives to combat. Some games have tried to put in alternate activities and progression, but those options have been pretty awful thus far. But that is probably a subject for another blog entry, another time.