You mean like how EQ2 crushed WoW when they were released almost simultaneously?
EQ2 was actually pretty fun, but far from perfect. EQ1, looking back on it, sort of sucked. So did EQ2, when it was released, for some of the same reasons (and a few different ones). It's a lot better now... too late... and not without some, ah, inspiration from WoW.
Which isn't to say WoW doesn't borrow shamelessly, they do. Anything that works, they throw in. Which is part of their success.
But yeah, back on track... Honestly I think a good deal of EQ1s success was the infancy of the market, not the quality of the product. It was the first 3D MMO (of any significance) to market. It didn't have to compete in a market.
When EQ2 rolled around, they fixed some of the big problems with EQ1, left a few others, and introduced a few all new ones - like being really, really system intensive.
I'll be really interested in seeing what Sony pumps out next in the fantasy MMO market, but... I'm not, at this point, expecting the second messiah of MMOs.