It's almost identical dude...
I meant the crappy combat and 13 year olds in MMORPGs. The combat system in Morrowind wasn't anything amazing, but it wasn't as bad as most MMORPGs.
Granted, I haven't played EVERY MMORPG out there, but there were a few marked differences to Morrowind's combat. I liked it more because it was some twisted combination of first-person-melee and rpg stats. Most importantly, engaging something didn't magically attach it to you with a tether. You could still manuever and it actually MEANT something. Targetting, for spells and otherwise, was actually physical targetting, not just "I have X selected, so I hit X." Stealth was more like Thief than an MMORPG, and you actually had to sneak to use a sneak attack, rather than hitting the thief class' "sneak attack" special button. I also found myself using buffs a lot less, and finding more than one way to get past something. It was typically quicker than MMORPG combat too, and never once did I camp a spawn. It felt like a lot more than "Target, hit auto-attack, use specials, wait for specials to refresh, use them again."
Basically, it was much more engaging to me than most MMORPGs, in which combat feels like some kind of automated game of tug-of-war, where you get to watch and occasionally hit a button and hope that the enemy dies before your character.
I'm not saying it was some huge leap, but it was a combination of little changes that made it more fun to me than any of the MMORPGs I've played. For the record, that I can remember, I've played or extended-beta'ed SWG, AC, AC2, AO, and played and even worked for EQ. It's entirely possible that I'm missing some evolutionary leap in MMORPG combat, but I'd have to see it to believe it.