On occasion I gripe here about some of the issues I have with World of Warcraft. One of those issues is the lack of stuff to do outside of questing and raiding. But I've had a lot of difficulty actually pinning down what I am missing in the game, so I've sort of been all over the map with my complaints.
I think I've got it now though. Maybe.
There's nothing to find in the game.
This isn't an exploration issue, although it can easily tie into that.
It's more about rewards, and how they are given out.
All the gear in the game is treated like a reward. But the way it is handed out is rather uneventful. I've been doing some Tol Barad daily quests. I'm not sure what I want first. I thought I might want the two-handed sword, but I think the Firelands dailies will have a better one. So I might just go with a mount instead. I still need about 48 tokens, so I've got some time left to grind. I also wanted a mount from the tournament in Northrend, but I fell short after using my tokens for swords just before Cataclysm came out. I might go back some day, but there are new mounts to grind for if that's what I want.
Almost every nice sword (weapons in general, but I'm a sword guy) can only be obtained by earning tokens in battlegrounds, arenas, or raids.
I'm currently leveling up a mage. Just dinged 49 last night. She been using the same gear for about ten levels. Just dumps the other stuff at the vendors. Even gear that might be a slight upgrade because I would have to trade crit bonuses for other stats.
And that's all she will do for the most part of her existence. Quest and sell or upgrade from rewards.
There is nothing for her to go out and find. No quest chain for her to cross the world and actually find something at the end. Every quest in the game requires you to visit someone and pick an item to sell or use.
Quests in World of Warcraft have changed a lot over the years. There are a lot of fun and dynamic quests that are anything but boring. But the way to get items has not changed, with the exception of more non-tradeable currency that makes players work harder for their rewards.
But, for me, it doesn't matter how fun a quest is. I want more variety in how I receive my gear. There are a lot of ways to purchase gear, lots of currencies. But there is so little to find outside of vendors.
If Blizzard wanted to add a few lines of collectibles in the game, and make them interesting to find, I would do that. Pets and mounts are raining from the sky though, so it would have to be something else. There's a rocky spider pet in Deepholm that is interesting to get. It relies on a lot of chance though. You have to get the right quest, you have to find the "mother" at the right time...I don't know if the pet is a chance drop or guaranteed.
But with that reward, you don't actually know the pet is available, or that the big spider even spawns there, unless you peek around for secrets online. And sure, any treasure will have it's online sources, but I would still like to be able and go find more stuff in the game.
That's why I think a Farmville-esque experience in the game would open up all sorts of new opportunities in the game. We could go out searching for rare seeds and tools. Not just earn currency for them somewhere, but actually go out and find them.
You know, stuff to do to find stuff to get.