As the title says, what gave you the most motivation to level the first time you leveled?
For me, it was the monsters you would now and then meet in low level areas that were elite and often more than 10 levels higher. The knowledge that one day, I would kill them for killing me when I was a low level, a feeling most new players cannot experience, I imagine, as the leveling is far more streamlined (the story would probably feel way more compelling though).
The second time, I think it was the vision of how easily I will be able to own noobs in BGs (as shaman in vanilla, doh), but that's a little offtopic.
The sense of achievement after killing each mob. The feeling that killing a level 43 Coyote at level 35 (because of some reason I was leveling in Badlands at that level due to me being a noob and not knowing where to go) made me pro, because I was doing all this next gen kiting to kill it.
Going over to my friends house and watching him raid Molten Core with all these foreign people screaming on Vent/TS.
Getting ganked, so I knew when I leveled up I could go and own people.
The amount of effort I put in moving my character across zones, dying over and over again trying to get flight paths in high level zones, made it so leveling didn't feel that bad, but simply what the game was for.
I thought leveling was all there was, I hadn't experienced much more, I enjoyed the game for it. It felt like it could only get better, the more I knew and explored.
Its so different to now, most people have played the game so much they are nostalgic and can point out flaws with the game. Rather than 'wow how do I overcome this' its 'this shouldn't be in the game, its dumb and pointless'. The main problem is the demographic has aged.
I had been playing the game since late TBC. I got some of my RL friends to play with me, we played casually as complete noobs. Never could find people to run blackfathom deep and such (before Group Finder.) Eventually i left my main (priest) around level 40 to play Company of Heroes!!!!
One of my RL friends remained playing after we left, patch 3.1 was out and he just hit 80..... i best myself up because i had introduced him to the game, been playing it months longer. HE MADE FUN OF ME FOR PLAYING WoW! and he got to top level first. I came back and leveled 40-80 so freaking fast lol. I healed 11/12 in ICC he only got to like 8/12 I WIN! :P
i wasn't THAT competitive but he made everything a competition. item level, acheivs, everything. he mocked me at school everyday about being 80 first. so i had to show him. fucking rogues amirite?
Still remembering in classic on my first toon. Was on the Elwyn forest side of the river and there were people in Duskwood fighting the ??? monsters. I felt so jealous.
From a todays view it must sound stuipid .
I remember coming to Goldshire the first thing I did after loging into the game for the first time, there was a level 31 showing off in front of a crowd of around 5-8 level 6-8s. He told me to go back to Northshire and do quests. I couldn't but ask, what's a quest?