I see this argument thrown around a lot here. That the lazy self-indulgent playerbase is the reason world pvp has all but ceased to exist, and that they won't do anything unless it comes with a direct reward outside of the fun of pvping. The, "if you want to do it, nothing is stopping you!" argument. I disagree.
Blizzard is to blame for ruining world pvp by trying to control every aspect of the game. There used to be PvE and PvP servers for a reason. If you were on a PvP server, you better have been ready to world pvp because whether you wanted it or not, you were going to get it. The reason people engaged in world pvp isn't because they got some reward, or title, or loot, but because if they wanted to do anything in the game, the fight was brought to them!
Wanted to do a 5man? Hoof it to an instance. Want to do a raid? Get your group together and get hiking to the entrance. Get out there and risk your neck by venturing out int he world to complete your tasks for the day. Creating WPvP objectives such as EPL towers and Halaa bombing runs, as well as Wintergrasp and Tol Barad were fun and well intentioned, but they failed to live up to the hype and contention that true faction fighting and ganking can produce.
In a WoW devoid of queue systems and flying mounts, players actually had to venture beyond city walls to do anything. And out in the cold scary world, they'd encounter the opposing faction who undoubtedly wanted them dead for daring to have a red nameplate over their head. There is nothing that stokes the fire of PvP than getting killed or camped by someone on your own server. You can come up with a mount that shoots lasers and gives you the title, "Baddest ass of all the land," but not even that would be as great of an incentive to world pvp than pure and simple pride is.
So in conclusion, no the playerbase didn't kill world pvp. The playerbase is the same it always has been. A bunch of lazy, selfish pricks. And that is why we world pvp'd, because we hated each other, and wanted each other dead. Blizzard should have left it that way, and let nature run its course.