As it turns out levelling a fire specced mage gives me a lot of time to think on stuff and whilst scorching boars in deathknight peninsula I contemplated the progression of wow over the period that I have been around.
Mind you, I've only been playing this game for euh... about a year and a half or so which to the seasoned wow veteran probably means I am still a noob crawling around in his diapers. But even given my relative short stay with wow I can see a clear move towards simplifying things.
On the one hand there are simplifications that make life a lot more pleasant: Longer self-buff durations, dual talent specialization, gear managers, a myriad of ui improvements right down to simple things like being able to stay mounted in the water (not that I don't want to bash my head against the table whenever I see a swimming cat mount) or color-blind modes for the color-blind.
But in all this simplification I wonder if we're not starting to lose some flavor as well.
Take for example the 'flavor text' that has been disabled for the most part on existing NPC's. You were at some point in the past able to see a simple flavor text that an NPC would use to introduce him/herself with or to give some kind of story vibe to the area you're in. Now, all flavor texts are skipped automatically and apparantly (or I simply can't find it) come hell or high water you won't be able to make the flavor text appear again.
This rarely leads to problems but it sometimes seems like we're missing out on something, something not crucial but still conducive to understanding why the hell we're out here collecting x or killing y.
Another one of those examples is the absolutely gorgeous druid epic flying quest line. You can still pick it up, and most of us that remember it will do so for our druid alts but at this very moment there's generations of druids growing up that will never experience this quest simply because they can buy the epic flight form from the vendor.
There's dozens if not hundreds of other examples that indicate the loss of 'flavor' in this regard and I am starting to wonder if the new wow, the more user-friendly variant, didn't at some point trade in depth and immersion for convenience.
How far are we really from getting a quest helper built into wow that will simply show us what we have to do and dispense with all the storyline around it?
Where do we draw the line between something that is convenient, user-friendly and immersive and something that is... well progress quest?