I finally got Wrath of the Lich King. After getting my main character (orc hunter) to Northrend and looking around for a short while, I made a death knight.
The beginning quests, all in Acherus, make an interesting story, but the actual play of the game is still World-of-Warcraftish. Actions still have only temporary affects on the game world. For instance:
Taking the orb/eye/spy thing down to the village to look around, I flew over the massed civilians and in a moment of evil curiosity, I summoned a swarm of ghouls on them. The ghouls climbed up out of the ground, the civilians died or ran away, and the soldiers ran in to fight off the ghouls. It was pretty funny, for all of 10 seconds. The ghouls died quick, and the fleeing civilians turned around and ran back to their assigned places in the town square again. Within 20 seconds of me siccing a dozen ghouls on the town, all was right back to normal –- like nothing had happened.
When my quest sent me into the mine to make ghouls, I could transform a miner into an undead beasts while another miner stood just 10 feet away, oblivious or uncaring. A couple of times, a miner hauling a cart walked right through me and my collected ghouls without reacting at all.
Then when I performed the quest to fire the ship cannons on the assembled Scarlet soldiers (all elite!), I killed all 100 required to complete the quest. But by the time the undead flying thingy hoisted me off the ship to take me back to base, the beach was still full of stationary soldiers. When the quest giver congratulated me with, “You destroyed the whole fleet?!” (or some similar salute), I thought, Not really, they were all still there when I left.
So, try as the designers might, WoW is still WoW. It’s still just a grind through quests that have no real consequences or results. Yeah, sure, the campaign map changes as you accomplish certain quests, but that’s artificial –- it doesn’t feel like I’ve done anything real.
From what I’ve seen, WotLK hasn’t improved WoW game play in any way. It’s added some neat gimmicks, but the game play is the same. I’m starting to feel all “meh” about it, now. I’m disappointed, and I feel like the purchase was a waste of money.