Wizards are all about magic, right?
I mean, that's why they are called Wizards and not Warriors. Thus the Wizard should be just lobbing magic around all day, putting a hurting on anything and everything that gets in its way...right?
Even Doctor Strange, whose powers are nebulous in their rules, doesn't do that. So why should your little MMO/RPG Wizard do that?
It's not even effective, really. Prior to 0 edition DnD's Greyhawk Supplement a 1st level Magic-User really had no offensive spell powers. No direct damage, if you will. He was supposed to be, get ready for it, AN APPRENTICE just fresh out of his years of learning magical formula and secrets, hungry for adventure and the oh so necessary GOLD to continue his explorations into the magical realms. He wanted scrolls, wands, tomes of power and items of arcane miscellany that could only be found in the hordes of dragons, temples of evil demon gods and the boudoirs of liches. Like the 1st level Fighting Man he was only marginally better than a normal person but he had the potential for greatness. Since the normal person wasn't going to be READing MAGIC or putting anything to SLEEP these small magic spells were great boons. So what if he couldn't make things explode.
Then along came MAGIC MISSILE, the bane of 1st level Mages everywhere. Bane, you say? Why is that?
Okay, you got one spell. One. One spell per 24 hours. You are trapped in a dungeon, no light whatsoever, no torches, no lamps, screwed as a party. What is a more useful spell to have: MAGIC MISSILE or LIGHT?
"Hey, Androphiles the Great, cast LIGHT."
"Sorry, man, I brought MAGIC MISSILE today."
"We hate you. We all hate you. We've been meaning to tell you that."
When it first appeared MAGIC MISSILE did the same damage as an arrow (2-7 points) which was decent. You could kill something with it. By AD&D 1st edition that had been reduced to 1d4+1 (2-5), which is pretty crap. You want to waste your one spell today for a magic light dagger?
At the same time the Magic User could carry a staff which did 1d6 points of damage. What's wrong with hitting something with a staff? It is better damage than an AD&D 1st edition MAGIC MISSILE and you can use it indefinitely. Now I should point out that arrows, in the real world, are much more effective than in RPGs, but that does not excuse MAGIC MISSILE from sucking so much.
Of course the modern gamer won't have it. Nope. They want a magic ranged direct damage attack of approximately equal or greater value than a sword. Because that is "fair".
MAGIC IS NOT SUPPOSED TO BE FAIR! It is MAGIC! What is fair about being able to disintegrate a person at high levels?
Nothing. That's the point of magic. This reliance on magic as the sole ability of wizards is the problem. Stop that.