Neri over at Mama needs Mana put a survey up on her blog because she had noticed a lot of people saying that they were bored with this latest WoW expansion.
To be honest, that doesn't surprise me. Curiosity brought a lot of people back to the expansion, and though the excitement of a new game would be enough to hold them for a few weeks, like most games. However, the things that keep people interested in a game are really only the sorts of things that long term players actually enjoy.
There is one thing in WoD that I have a love-hate relationship with, and that is my Garrison.
Honestly, it's a timesink and there is always something that needs doing. I honestly LOATHE having to do my mine every day. Yes, I know I don't have to do it every day, but every time someone visits my Garrison (and I get visitors every day for reasons such as using my bank, my enchanter building, invasions or grouping up) they will comment about how I haven't done my mine, the dots are bugging them, I haven't done my herb garden... blah blah blah.
Also, I spend a lot of time trying to jiggle missions and followers. If a mission is about to finish in 10 minutes, I don't really want to go out of the garrison and do something because I want to send those followers out on more missions. So what do I do for 10 minutes? I sit around in my garrison chatting in guild chat to guildies or bnet friends as I wait for my missions to tick over.
Another thing that was slow, was the release of raids. I suppose it was because Blizzard thought that with the 10th anniversary stuff that people would be busy, doing those things. However, the two LFRs (Molten Core and Highmaul) couldn't have been more vastly different. Molten Core took somewhere to 2-3 hours, whereas Highmaul was faster than a random dungeon - 15 to 25 minutes TOPS. So people got to see raid content and found it was fast and easy and then maybe weren't interested in doing the harder mechanics in normal and heroic raids (which are obviously much longer than that). And if they're casual players they probably would get bored.
There are however a ton of achievements if you're into that sort of thing. Collections too. Mounts, toys, pets... so many things to get! It is this which keeps me still hooked into WoD - for each of the garrison dailies/campaigns there are a set of achievements associated with it that can only be done on those days - so it's fun to see a new daily and think OOH I need to go and get my achievements there!
And of course, there is a PvP season to do. You can't quit in the middle of a season if you're PvPing! And I have a lot of PvP to do still! There's conquest to earn, arena games to win, if I want to get my vicious Saddle...
You can see the lethargy in guild also. From the many that logged on early in the expansion, they have dwindled away and even the raid team has shrunk too - probably a good thing, really, and also it was predicted.
I think there aren't that many games that hold people for more than a month, really. WoW has always had good staying power for a certain set of people, and for the others - well WoW is just like any other game.
If I was Blizzard and I wanted to improve the retention of players, I think that more reputations to grind would have been one of those things. There are only 5 reputations that we can grind in WoD, one of which is a REAL DRAG (Laughing Skull), and without the dailies to help us grind rep, killing mobs seems to be just mindless farming which I don't enjoy (because, it doesn't make much gold, unlike quests which at least make some gold).
Another thing that would be good for retention is some staggered content lore release. Raids are already being staggered out, but some lore storyline or questline that gets released every month or so keeps people interested. Especially when you add little flavour rewards like toys or pets or fun thing.
World events with new items is another thing that might keep people a little interested - Winter Veil is now over and the only new thing was the toys on Boxing day. Love is in the Air is coming and so is Lunar Festival and I know both have new things to collect so there may be a mini resurgence during those times.
But if you're one of those people who are feeling a little "stale" with WoW - take a break! There isn't really much to do if you're not into raiding, PvP or achievement farming, so hopefully you'll be back in February with the release of Blackrock Foundry.