Colin Brennan, over at Massively, pulls no punches in describing the World of Warcraft’s current state of the early game. I also do not understand Blizzard’s decisions with the features Colin sets forward. I do know that Blizzard makes some incredibly polished content, and I do know that running through ~70 levels before getting to the “actual” game is not very fun. New players want to know they have a fun game from the start until they catch up to their friends. Not a fun, brief start then agonizing, lonely grind even if it is quicker than it used to be.
The failure, I feel, is that Blizzard is not trying to cultivate an enjoyable journey through the whole game for new users, newly returning users, and alternate characters to enjoy. They are pushing players past some really good (old) content at ever increasing speeds. Without the raid treadmill, or similar content gating, every long wait that ends with Blizzard making more content grays out a lot of the prior content. And, in the end I just see a pile of band-aids.
just a flesh wound