I have considered getting Wrath of the Lich King several times and resubscribing to WoW. Each time I do, I think about what level my characters are, and that kills the impulse. Se, my highest level character is in the mod 40’s. So I would have to slog through 30 levels of original and Burning Crusade quests to get to the new stuff. No thanks.
So, how many former WoW players out there are in the same place? Given the scope of the player base past and present, that number has to be pretty large.
When Burning Crusade came out I snapped it up and re-activated my account. I was interested in the new races and rolled up a Draenei Mage. The first 20 levels were great, and I thoroughly enjoyed the new zones. But after 20, it was back to the same old same old. To understand how sick I am of the early game content let me point out that I shifted servers from PvP to PvE once and had to restart my main. I’ve also played quite a few alts to try out some of the different classes and races. All told, I’ve played through the 1-30 levels nearly a dozen times, and I just can’t bring myself to do that again.
So as well as Wrath is doing, how much better would it sell if there was a way to pull new players or lapsed players with low-level characters into the new content? Some way to allow players to create a new character at say level 68 so they can jump straight to Northrend? Blizzard could charge a small fee. There could be an unlock quest in the 20’s somewhere. Blizzard could just limit characters created this way to the Northrend continent, or require a quest or gold fee to unlock the other continents.
None of this is unprecedented. Guild Wars allows players to make a max level character, but only allows access to some basic skills and requires you to play through the game to unlock additional skills. Dark Age of Camelot developed a similar problem where 98% of the player base was max level and the lower half of the content was empty. They allowed players to auto level alt characters via a slash command once they’d leveled at least on character to max level normally.
I may get back into WoW eventually, but with the expanding level cap and the way Blizzard has been consistently abandoning old content I doubt it.