|Loch Moden in happier days.|
It is at moments like this that I do not miss the Old Days one bit.
I found myself with an hour to kill between coats of paint on a project that I'm helping my daughter with and decided to log the Monk. As Love is In the Air has begun in earnest (already done 2 runs on the Crown Chemical with both toons that can, the second Hunter has the neck upgrade) I found myself doing the quest chain on the Monk and achieving part of the Meta and thinking 'hang on, what's the point?' because as of now, there really isn't one. Yes, there's the XP gain from doing it (two levels just for my 40 minute faff with the Enlightenment buff the Monk gets) but after that, frankly, there's absolutely no merit in pursuing anything else AT ALL. The Meta is a complete waste of time if I'm levelling, in fact most things other than maximising levelling XP become a complete non-issue.
Blizzard basically took all the time wasting out of the 1-90 grind.
Pretty much everything except logging in will now award some kind of XP unless you turn the stuff off. Battlegrounds, gathering, Dailies, Events: I think the only notable exceptions are Battle Pets (which gets fixed in 5.2) and Fishing (which does via Dailies, give them time to add an XP element to sub 85-90 catches, it will come.) Even by not trying it is a pretty safe bet you can progress a character without actually needing to do a Quest Hub any more, or indeed without stepping into a Dungeon, though (of course) both really are the way you should be gathering XP, or a combination thereof. In fact, you're spoilt for choice really, which makes me wonder why it is so damn hard right now to get my Monk out of the 20's, until I grasp that all the desire to grind has been wrung out of me by getting two toons to 90.
That's my problem to deal with however, and not Blizzard's.
I'm working on my retrospectives of the previous expansions right now, and I've realised that part of what I enjoyed before is something I'm glad not to have to deal with now: immersiveness. Whereas back in Vanilla I was happy to spend hours making stacks of stuff to craft and sell with, now I resent the time it takes, mostly because there are better things to do with it, hence the issue with the Festivals (which I maintain have failed to keep up with Blizzard's desire to streamline processes.) I was reading in 5.2 we'll have a solo Scenario, which basically will give people the chance to loot multiple chests in the quickest time possible for loot: although I applaud this move to satisfying the individual need for content that's quick and gives a return, I'm not sure that making a trolley dash is the right way forward. Come to think of it, I'm not sure what I'd suggest in that regard, but I do feel there is a disparity in certain sectors of the game that does need addressing.
There are some parts of the past I do miss: mostly it's to do with scenery, if I'm honest. All the other time consuming, back breaking gubbins is better off where it is. Now all I have to do is work out how to motivate myself when I hit a wall like I have currently...