Ok first off this isn't a wow bashing post. This is me simply stating my reason why i won't go back to playing like i did pre-SWTOR.
I played wow from the very first day. Gained commander rank in pvp. Raided most of the raids. So i like to think of myself as someone who has played wow enough to say i like the game. Have had some great memories and made some good friends.
But after playing SWTOR now for a week pretty much i decided to log back into wow to say hi to me guildies. Upon doing so i noticed something i didn't notice before. The game looks really old!!
You also realise how slow it is. Quests seem really iritating. You notice the grind more.
But the main thing that i notice and makes me realise my time is over is that the game is too damn nice!! Obviously this is down in part to it's rating but you get what i mean.
From a sith point of view i am doing these quests, developing my character and i have to be honest and say i am one badass mofo. Any guards talk down to me and i will put them in their place. Any chance to go up the power ladder and i will take it no matter who i have to cross. Example there was a quest where you had to go look for a missng platoon. You find they have had their brains put in cyborgs. One of them begs you to help them. I send them all back to work for the Empire instead. These things make you feel so involved in the game. Sometimes you do actually feel a little bad about the choices you make.
In wow you have nothing like that. The lore has been corrupted so badly that even enemies are now friends. Thrall the leader of the Horde hanging around Alliance. Can you imagine the Emperor helping the Jedi? He would but then right after he would kill that jedi.
For me the best thing i liked about wow in terms of its story was Arthas. WOTLK was as dark as it got and at times it was excellent. The whole background to the story from WC3 added to the epicness of it.
You cared about what happened as you knew it was a tragic story, you wondered how it was going to end. And in that final fight with Arthas it did.
But since then the game and more importantly with Cata the game just died on its ass in that regards.
Oh look another dragon....again...no offence but dragons have been done to death in wow. It is hard to think or care about them when their personalities are so limited. You don't really get the feeling you know Deathwing or why he is doing what he is doing. The build up to the final battle was to simply re-use bosses and zones you had already killed. It would be like finding out the final level of Super Mario was the same as the first level.
These things in my view have made wow turn more into a "neutrual" game. By this i mean it is non offensive to everyone. It has no wish to be controversial or aggressive. While you might be involved in battling someone you won't be remembered for it. In the next expansion your just be some lowly char again having to grind the levels getting ordered around without having any say in what you do. Won't have a say in the tone of how you do it.
The game does not care that technically in the lore of the game chances are you are now the biggest hero of all time and should have statutes, ships, halls etc named after you!
With Star Wars you get the feeling you are a small cog in the faction but one that is working their way up the ladder. Eventually your get a rank/title to match your effort. This title then changes the way the game interacts with you. People calling you "lord" gives you a sense of place in the world. In wow you get ordered around by complete nobodies. Why would you help this guy collect 10 fish? Does he not realise you could smash his face in?
So for me it is the whole "nice" thing that is holding back the game. With the expansion on the horizon that just sounds like it will be a lot worse. Going into the cute realms of "Pandas" and "Pokemon" is obviously a step towards a more child like audience. But having no end boss or guy to work towards is another case of it losing its "personality". It will simply be a case of "oh noes the Pandas are under attack from this elemental/dragon! Help us!".
After experiencing what i currently am in SWTOR i just can't go back to that.
WOW was great for it's day and naturally SWTOR will not be everyones type of game. It will appeal to a much smaller audience then what wow does.
But the type of lore appeals to me. I get the sense the game remembers me and what i have done. In wow you hand in a quest after spending hours on it and 1 second later the game will have no clue who you are let alone what you did.
For me i play games because of the stories they tell. And right now SWTOR has a great story. But that is Bioware for you.