Considering the HUGE controversy and hype that was around this game before release, its interesting to ponder its long term effect on the MMORPG genre.
I was very heavy into EQ at the time, I think EQ was still top dog as well.
The newcomers at the time were really innovative.
Where DAoC's hook was RvR, 3 realms, 3rd person, Shadowbane went with the almost sandbox "make what you will" "build your own empire" 3rd person perspective.
Not the economic simulation that EVE became, but not the hum drum MMORPG of the time.
Sadly, the MMORPG space hasn't really pushed the boundaries since, with "instancing" being probably the most inventive "feature" (read workaround) in the past 5 years.
There is something to be said about evolutionary design in MMOs. Make them better, don't re-invent the wheel. An conversly, being inventive for inventions sake, doesn't a good game make. But the current tendancy to make careful, safe games that appeal to the largest demographic, using a huge budget, I think will only weaken the future of MMOs.