So back in the dark ages when Prodigy had an optional Windows port and Sierra Online was a pretty good place to go for games, there was an online turn-based game with reasonably good graphics. As I recall the graphics were 3rd-person-isometric. I remember there was a little paperdoll that changed appearance based on what clothing and items you equipped. When you moved across the map you clicked on your destination and little footprints would appear on each tile of the map in your path.
Death was interesting: rather than run back to your corpse, you had to complete a longish quest to come back from the dead. It was diverting, even if it did sometimes take an hour to get back to the game.
I don’t remember much else about it, but I think I’d remember the game if I saw a few screenshots. I don’t think it was Shadow of Yserbius and I’m pretty sure it didn’t require a monthly fee to play. It was definitely out before Ultima Online: I know I played it before UO’s open beta. It must have been available in the first half of 1997 and I believe I played it in 1996.