Its hurting the game and probably one of the main reason Blizzard can neve fix WPVP and people are getting burnt out and bored quicker than ever.
WoW is what you call a "themepark" MMO. Theme park MMOs are designed to set players on a set of rails, guiding them through the content of a game. The development team works on creating a very elaborate story or setting to deeply enhance the experience a player has. Whether this is through scripted events, quests, or mini-cut scenes, all of these things and more.
No matter how many times you ride the attractions, the details just never change. If you wait several years and go back, they are right there, waiting for you...just as you left them. While this could be fun the first few times, it gets boring quick and you could find yourself looking at other themeparks for new and more exciting rides.
Its like every expansion we have our path layed out for us. Its a simulation. Nothing we do changes anything. Its already given that you will kill the bad guy of that expansion unless Blizzard plans on writting him for future expansions. There are no consequences. You wipe on the Lich King, you come back next week to kill him. Doesn't feel very real does it? With current design of MMOs focused on progression, raiding is very important and that is how every one these days seem to judge any current MMO. That is what Blizzard seems to be doing as well.
WoW is so heavily driven by developers from the very start, new players begin with a set path to follow. The developer controls the experience, from the first time a player logs in with a new character and every time after, until that character achieves the level cap for that particular game. Developers restrict the attractions offered, often only allowing one ride at a time. In other words, once on there’s no turning back until the ride stops! Like you can see with capped Valor Points, gated reputations, daily lockouts and such.
Then you have the "Sandbox" MMOs. Sandbox MMOs are nearly the complete opposite of this. Rather than choosing a predestined path for players to follow, this development style allows for the creation of an open world in which players are free to discover their own adventure at their own pace. This is what a traditional MMO was and a lot of folks are actually looking for but just can't put a finger on what they really are looking for.
You look at the "old schoool" MMOs such as Ultima Online, the taple top dungeons and dragons which were so player driven, it kept players interest. Its like an artist. You give him a blank cavas and he paints a masterpiece. That is what MMOs were. They gave you this world and you lived and created your memories.
Its amazing what some folks do in RPGs. Take Skyrim for example. I've read of players RP Hunters that don't only sleep out in the wild and eat only food that is hunted. Or Khajits that never enter a Hold during the day and only enter at night when everyone is at bed. These are small examples. Or even some that prefer to use these hardcores mods - Frostfall - which changes how the game is played. It hads a ton of realist mechanics to the game. This is for those looking to immerse themselves completely in the world. The game is "player driven". Players will keep coming back creating and living through new characters.
People keep calling for Blizzard to save WPVP. The funny thing is that Blizzard didn't start WPVP. Folks look back at the good times at Tarren Mill or South Shore and the Horde and Alliance rivalry. Who created it? Its the players. The game was primarily driven by players early on. Sure Blizzard deserves credit for some amazing raids but its the players that actually kept you coming back. Alterac Valley for example. Blizzard has tried to hype up the Alliance vs Horde rivalry in Cataclysm and again is MoP but they keep failing at it. Its cause they never started it. The rivalry was player driven.
Folks get burnt out quickly cause content is limited in a way. There are no incentives given for players to come up with their own content. So Blizzard piles us with more dailies thinking its the best way to give players something to do at 90. Again its all so linear.
The reason Vanilla WoW actually is fondly remember is cause it still had a few "sandbox" elements. There was never a clear path. Not everyone was into raids. Raids were intended for the hardcore crowd. PVP was a grind. Folks got less burnt out. Sure those that raided got burnt out as well but that is the nature of raiding.
I can never figure out why its so hard to actually have MMOs designed around a traditional RPG design. That is what a lot of players seem to be actually calling for but simply can't point a finger at. There are only so many times you can run the same dungeon over and over again before it becomes mind numbing.
It’s inevitable that everything in life eventually becomes old or boring and as a result, it was only natural that players of theme park MMOs have begun to cry for something different. That’s the magic a sandbox MMO can give that a theme park game never will. It may take extra effort on the part of a player to create reasons to explore and push further for themselves, but trust me when I say it is well worth the effort. Times are changing and the sandbox is becoming a welcome site to gamers new and old alike.