I think I write a post like this on day 1 or 2 of every new expansion. It’s my “get off my lawn, ya darn kids” complaint.
If your goal is to be server first to hit max level (even though they got rid of the achievements for that), then go for it. If your goal is to compete for world firsts in raids, so you want to get to max level and start gearing up ASAP, then good for you. If you need to max out your garrison so you can craft things and make huge amounts of gold, then more power to you. There are valid reasons to want to be at the level cap quickly.
However, there is a large subset of WoW players that blaze through leveling for no good reason. They don’t read quest text, don’t do side quests or the various diverse aspects of the game. They just try to race to the level cap because its there.
I’m not saying that this is somehow bad or wrong. I just can’t wrap my head around it. WoW is not a game you “win” so there is no goal that is accomplished by getting to the level cap in two days. The raids will be gated so they’re not getting any real head start on that. They’re just going to end up grinding heroics for the next two weeks. Is that the gameplay they like?
Many of these people will be the same ones that complain about Blizzard’s pace of releasing content. They will talk about how bored they are. I don’t get these people. They are essentially playing $15 a month to play a game they don’t like. I don’t buy the “I only play WoW for raids” line, either. That is certainly true for a lot of hardcore raiders, but most players don’t fall into that category. I think a lot of players are either impatient (don’t make me wait two weeks for my purplez!) or lazy (questing is hard and dull!).
Although a lot of reminiscing about vanilla WoW is tainted by rose-colored glasses, I can honestly say that I preferred the leveling there. When it took a while to level up, and each level was an accomplishment, it gave you real purpose and long-term goals. Even in BC the leveling process took a couple of weeks for most of us. It was Wrath where it got really stupidly fast.
I have no intention of zooming to level 100. I imagine that it will take me weeks to get there. I don’t feel like I’m missing anything. I don’t feel like I’m being left behind. I feel like I’m actually playing the game… including taking in the story and the lore, which is part of an RPG.