The hardest part of many games, especially an MMO-RPG with a player base the size of World of Warcraft’s, is making sure all kinds of players are able to find enjoyable content. This means that game makers are required to make a lot of content that is easily accessible, while also having content that is challenging for players that seek that sort of gameplay. Blizzard has tried to make quality content for all of WoW’s players, yet some people feel that there are things that can make the content better for everybody.
One thing that would help keep casual and hardcore players interested in WoW is adding more things for players to do at max level. As it currently is, level 85s can either PvE or PvP, yet both of these things are very straight forward on how to do them. For PvE, players need to gear up in 5-mans, then move to Looking-For-Raid, then Normal mode raids, then Heroic raids. The same can be said for PvP, where players just run battlegrounds until they have enough gear to be competitive in higher end PvP. At least PvPers have the choice of doing Arenas or Rated Battlegrounds. Both types of gameplay are very straight forward on how they need to be done, and while this may be good for casual players, it tends to bore more serious players.
However, Mists of Pandaria looks like it will add many things in the game to help spice up gameplay progression in WoW. For PvEers, the addition of Scenarios will help give players something more interesting to do rather then just farm dungeons for Valor points. Also, the addition of Challenge Mode dungeons will give serious players something new and challenging to do while they wait for the next content patches, while not rewarding them with anything that casual players will be missing out on. PvP, is getting a little bit less of a change, however, MoP should see a return to open-world PvP with the addition of Cross-Realm Zones as well not allowing people leveling to use flying mounts. Though Open-World PvP may not be the most effective way to get Honor, it is still something that many PvPers miss about older days in WoW. Finally, the Pet Battle System will be added, allowing everyone to fight their beloved pets against other players. This will be something fun to entertain both casual players and a hardcore players who are burnt out on raiding or arenas.
A second thing I think would really help keep players interested in WoWs content for a longer period of time is adding more difficulties. One of my favorite parts about the beginning of Cataclysm was the difficulty of Heroic dungeons. Yet, many people complained that they were too difficult. This made me think though, what if Blizzard made 5-man dungeons similar to how raids work in regards of difficulties? They could have the Looking-For-Dungeon difficulty, which is brain-dead easy, then the Normal difficulty, which is a bit harder and will need at least some coordination, and then the Heroic difficulty which only the players who are truly serious about 5-man dungeons would be able to complete. Ideally these 5-man dungeons would be just as hard as the corresponding raids and give the same amount of gear. This would give both hardcore players a completely new place to progress their characters and try to earn the most gear possible, while still giving casual players the easy mode difficulties to play on. I understand this would be nearly impossible to make sure that the difficulties are similar between 5-mans and raids, but I feel that if 5-man dungeons had more of a progression feeling to them, hardcore players would be interested longer.
Maybe it is just the end of the expansion getting to everyone, but a lot of players seem to be getting burnt out on World of Warcraft. Mists of Pandaria, however looks very promising and will hopefully be worth the wait. The addition of Scenarios, Challenge Modes, more World PvP, and Pet battles will give all kinds of players something new to due, while hopefully spicing up the linear progression path. Also, even though it is a long shot, I hope Blizzard would make the dungeons at level 90 more difficult and provide better rewards. Blizzard has stated many times they want players to be able to play however they want, and both of these ideas would most definitely help them achieve this goal.