Hi, I've been an avid mmo-champion lurker since its beginning years following various games, but mainly my interest has been in World of Warcraft.
In just about every major and the majority of minor Blizzard-WoW changes, threads appear on mmo-champ complaining about Blizzard's focus of catering to casuals. Though many of these threads are obviously bitter Blizzard fans confused at their sudden loss of interest in the game (MMO-burnout, usually), some of them seem to point at an obvious flaw in Blizzard's agenda.
I'm going to go into detail about my experience related to the subject, and analyze the issue as objectively as I can
Personally, when I try to look at the pros of the older days of WoW with as little subjectivity as possible, a major point comes to mind, which I find that most vanilla-wow players can agree on:
Finding/Winning/Buying good gear (blues/epics) felt amazing. Some of the most exciting moments of my WoW journeys have come from winning a roll on an item that is top-tier stat-wise. This gear also looked fantastic, and there was nothing else that looked like it. Hell, even the shitty looking gear looked great sometimes because when a player sees it, they know the wearer is straight bad-ass.
I remember wandering around Ironforge or Orgimmar while looking for a PUG for the challenging-as-shit Deadmines or Wailing Caverns, inspecting levels 50-60's like a caveman discovering fire. The blues and epics I saw gave me motivation to put more effort into the game because with that effort I would see much greater reward, so that when people simply glanced at me, they would see that my end-game trials have been completed. I quickly became entranced in this fantasy game that had a challenge awaiting at every corner, beginning with Hogger. This is the same challenge that can be seen in some of the greatest games ever created. Another aspect of these games, however, is that the challenge was absolute, and if the player could not overcome these challenges, he/she had to do something hardly seen anymore in WoW's current stages: Get better.
The beginning stages of WoW was extremely unpolished in comparison to today's WoW, and furnishing was completely necessary, but systems like LFR, LFD, and even Pet-Battles have taken away from the game's original enchanting effect. An aspect of WoW that I feel is too often overlooked by developer's is its ability to place gamer's minds into a virtual, and mystical world which makes 10 hours of game-time feel like 10 minutes. I feel that most systems that are implemented for any reason other than to focus on story-related content ultimately takes away from the overall experience EVERY player gets from the game, and is slowly taking players (subscribers) away.
In my opinion, the "special snowflake" people refer to when they bash players that are naturally upset at Blizzard's push for equality is not an insult at all, and because we are human beings with drive and ambition, a significant majority of us enjoy being the special snowflake.
Also, those who are against exclusivity in WoW are not necessarily wrong, just as there are many snobby assholes advocating exclusivity that want it for the wrong reasons. However, if someone were to look accurately at the general issue's impact on the game, I'm sure they would agree that a difficulty revamp is in everyone's best interest.
Aside from that, here are some ideas that I feel would significant benefit the experience of playing WoW.
1): Taking away LFR, but adding a PTR-styled server which allows players to create a level 90 character (if they already have a 90, mind you) in top-tier gear with LFR enabled, which would allow players to experience all of the game's content without assistance that would ultimately worsen the game's experience for regular realms.
2): Making levels 1-89 less of a joke. I convinced my girlfriend to try the game out, and was extremely excited for us to experience the "golden-days" of gaming that I remembered. Unfortunately, I was extremely disappointed after hitting 90 in ~four weeks of pretty-inactive playing, and realizing that we only witnessed 1/1000th of the game. I don't want to go into specifics on how they could fix this, but being able to basically pull an entire instance in 0 BoA or 'twink' gear and clear RFC in about 15 minutes makes the game feel like a dull and repetitive *job* until I get to 90 only to find that I was fired from my leveling job and hired for hundreds of other different jobs.
3): Creating gear unique in appearance. This goes hand-in-hand with exclusivity, but I feel like a battle droid from Star Wars in PvP, PvE, Farming, Roaming a city, and doing virtually anything. Transmogrification sort-of helped with this, but the problem is definitely still there and seeing level 90's in best-in-slot gear that look like a level 40 bandit takes away from the game.
4): Simplifying raid mechanics. This idea isn't suggesting that Blizzard lowers the general raid difficulty, which is not directly related to boss-mechanic-complexity, but only that Blizzard makes encounters WITHOUT an attached ten-page essay detailing the boss's abilities, sub-abilities, subsub-abilities, subsubsub-abilities, and ability if-then's. This forces raiders to devote an extensive amount of research to simply remember what not to stand in. This, in my opinion, has been the most fundamental factor in hindering the general player-base's ability to actually control their character at an above-average level. By control, I mean to move efficiently in any scenario within their virtual space. Being a raid leader of one of the top hardcore guilds on my server about three months ago (have taken a break from the game since then), I have noticed that newer players (Starting in ToC-WOTLK / Cataclysm or even MoP) generally seem to move and perform more clumsily than the others mainly in PvE settings and to a much lesser degree, PvP settings. Because most newer PvP players (again, from my experience) don't have this clumsy-control trait, it's obvious that PvP for the most part, requires absolute perfection in terms of movement while PvE requires mechanic-memorization instead. This is significant because it shows the lack of connection between the player-base and the game (in regards to story-related incidents).
5): Though this idea isn't nearly as obviously-beneficial, I personally feel that it would help the game significantly; to disable addons. Already the game has adopted a questhelper-styled addon, gearscore addon, as well as many other commonly used addons back in the day, so they could do the same for addons that are obviously too practical to get rid of. Obviously this would anger a large portion of the community at first, and people would exclaim "Muh addons!" while signaling an end to WoW, but over time it would definitely make the game less stressful, and more captivating.
World of Warcraft is implementing new systems faster than ever to keep players hooked, but as subscribers continue to drop at a steady/fast speed, it is clear to some that strategies such as being able to play Pokemon in-game while queued for a raid to defeat a foe mightier than Zeus himself for the 200th time and chatting with a fellow guildie, urging him/her to create an alt, level it to 90 and gear it up within a week because you guys need another tank for nerfed hardcore progression, are simply inadequate.