WoW IS a social game. The social and political aspects of it is what kept people hooked, just as you described.
It's about time Blizzard employed a sociologist to their Dev team, who's sole purpose is to promote these qualities and reintroduce community. Because that is the one thing that is missing from the game these days, and the one thing they have continually (although not deliberately), undermined with almost every new implementation. They focused on the soloist and the outcast, to the detriment to groupies and realm communities as a whole.