What does it take to keep you amused?
Most people play WoW for a reason. A lot like to raid, some enjoy chatting to friends and so on, some flock to PvP, arena and wintergrasp, some are obsessive collectors, some are Lore-buffs wanting to play solidly through everything, and all of those different people are all packed side by side into the same game. I know a broad slice of people, I can think of at least two friends who fit into every single category I just mentioned, and some fit into more than one. There’s a lot of reasons to like this game – I think it’s a major factor in its success.
For myself, I enjoy WoW because I enjoy raiding, casual raiding (my definition of a casual guilded raider is 2-3 raids a week), I dip into PvP and arena for… frustration, I love socialising without people making judgements on your appearance, I like to help the nicer people achieve their goals and generally have fun. I’m not a collector, although I have a small gathering of transformation items for laughs. When it comes to doing practically anything in-game, I am what I would label ‘sub-consciously competitive,’ in the sense that I wont go out of my way to beat another Hunter on DPS without them first overtaking me. I don’t make extra effort until provoked. This probably isn’t a helpful attitude, but it does mean that the more I raid with similar people (at the moment, cracking good healers, at the start of wrath it was alongside 2 other melee – a second Death Knight and a Warrior) the better I perform.
As long as I have a constant supply of nice people, well designed content, and a fun to play main, I’m happy.
There are plenty of people who are content only when they are doing the best of the best stuff in one evening, or similar (just look at the forums) and you’ll often hear at least one person in a guild complaining of the latest class change. Change ingame seems to be the biggest source of player annoyance, and people have gone from being amused to downright bothered when something goes wrong for them. Depending on personalities, and what people are most interested in, changes to what they love the most can be devastating. For example, even though I didn’t quit entirely, I stopped playing my priest from the start of wrath right through till late ToC, because I hated the changes made to the tree I loved so much (and I sucked at leveling.)
A lot of people wander off when content dries up. Once they’ve ground out that last load of dailies and quests in a zone, completed the achievements and gotten all the loot from the raid, etc etc, people either ask for more or head off to other games. I’ve heard a few people saying they’ve got their account cancelled until Cataclysm, because the current content isn’t interesting enough to keep them motivated. At the end of the day, being happy is the most important thing for nearly everyone, and if you’re not happy, it’s time for a change.
Sometimes all it takes to make a person happy is a Sandbox Spectral Tiger.