I'll have to take your word for it, since your WoW experience is much more extensive than mine. However, all of my friends that played WoW for any great length of time haved told me that the game basically begins at level 80, and that any content before that is simply filler just to get you to 80 more quickly. Haven't they implemented numerous exp rate increases over the years? I believe they even allowed you to start a new class at 50 when it was introduced. Correct me if I'm wrong. Given those stats, even in the best case scenario I'd be done with the game in six months, but most likely less.
You've got the general idea and points correct. Achieving max level in WoW is both easy and fast, whereas I say achieving max level in FFXI is easy but not so very fast.
The idea that the game begins at 80 is perhaps something very subjective. I think that the same comment could be said about FFXI or most any other MMORPG. Any content before max level in WoW is full of equipment that you will eventually discard (like most equipment in FFXI, EQ, etc). You spend most of your time leveling, raising craft skills, and exploring; that seems to be what most MMORPGs offer before max level. WoW quest grinding to max level is as much filler as FFXI grinding to max level, and with a little more variety I'd say.
The new Death Knight class was introduced at level 55, but it makes a lot of sense. First you need to have reached level 55 with another class, so you must go through all the starting stuff at least once. The question is, why go through all the starting stuff again? Since the Death Knight had been introduced so late into the game, most players had been through the first 30 levels or so of the game dozens of times over. There really is no reason to force them to repeat it.
Abundant content is meaningless if it is also generic. Yeah you can log in and play immediately, but how exciting or rewarding is the nth variation of kill 10 rats going to be a year after the game launches? Especially if you end up doing it by yourself. I think it's fine to have that as long as it isn't the main method of advancement. Most modern MMO's I've played rely solely on this pattern to move players quickly through the game in a streamlined repetitive fashion because it's easier to satisfy the casual player this way.
Well I agree in an absolute sense
; that is, most of the quests follow a set of templates (kill x mobs, collect x items, kill special named guy, find treasure) which aren't particular interesting done over and over again. But I disagree in a relative sense
. Compared to the other options out there, this is honestly a huge improvement. Before this many MMORPGs forced you to group or solo grind on the same mob repeatedly. There was far, far less variety in FFXI at NA release and still is comparatively very little today. You can always grind in WoW, but many people choose not to because quests are slightly--if only slightly--more novel and fun. Instanced dungeons for low levels is pretty neat and adds a lot of novelty.
A huge flaw of the entire MMORPG genre is just how much repetitive crap you have to do, but out of all your options I think WoW is one of the least offending perpetrators.
I think a lot of the complaints made you said about WoW are true, but that most other MMORPGs are far worse offenders. And if for some reason you are able to "finish" WoW quickly then it's not because of lack of content or interesting things to do, but because Blizzard didn't water down their content into taking years to finish. I think other games might take you longer to complete, but that overall you're getting less content.