Its the type of content that is the problem.
To me, wow is competing with all other online games, games like counter strike and what nots. While I understand the carrot approach to have people invest time into something to 'earn' a reward, on the other hand, fun is its own reward.
There doesnt need to be a grind involved in every aspect of this game. Pvp? Pve? Professions? At their base is a grind, and in some instances poorly realised ones that are actually counter to fun.
PVP for instance is about the player v player experience. Instead its a gear grind in itself, and to stay competitive you have to keep up with the grind, you need 4k resil, you need a good weapon... etc...
Its not about wanting everything now, its about a design that simply priorities /played so that people stay subbed. To me that is counter to fun in many ways, people would stay subbed for fun. We dont need 'lots' of content and artificial lock outs and paced out treadmills to stay subscribed to the game. Just use the content you have to make the place more fun? More world events, more 'life' in teh world.
Ive been playing since open beta, and I remember the world pvp back in vanilla before the honour system.
Why did people do it? It was counter to the 'grind' it actually punished you because you got no rewards or xp at all. But it was tonnes of fun, lots of people did it. I remember just exploring the world and the world pvp that went on, entire zones were a battle between horde and alliance. Now? Its a gear grind. An instanced gear grind. Why? Because it is more rewarding in game terms. And if you are constantly on the treadmill, getting off for a second becomes painful if it puts you further behind the pack.
The entire game has become Phantasy Star in many ways, cities are lobbies while waiting for queues to pop. Where is the world? Why is it there? Its just wasted content.
Edited by Gnomeopathy on 12/21/2011 4:37 PM PST