Having taken at least two exteeeeennnnnndddddded breaks from WoW myself, I'm always suspicious when I hear someone's stepping away, but here's another one (thanks for the link, Revelart).
Of Teeth and Claws: Hanging up my claws:
1. Change in end game target audience. One of the key design goals of Wrath of the Lich King was to make the raiding end game 'more accessible' to the player base. This involved removing attunements, creating intentionally easy encounters, and nerfing anything that came across as too difficult. As I have been told repeatedly when I complained about this shift in focus, I'm living in the past when I state that I want the TBC end game back - WoW has moved past that model and is now something different. Fair enough, I guess, but this new game is not the World of Warcraft that I loved."
After [completing end game content], all that is left is the hard modes, and I simply cannot get excited about those encounters because they present nothing new. In many cases it's just "kill faster", "heal harder", and "screw up less". Unique encounters suck me in.... rehashed encounters push me away.
3. Removal of attunements. In the past content has been gated by a series of attunements, which represented plateaus that players had to achieve in order to enter certain content. While not a perfect system by any stretch of the imagination, this forced players to experience one tier of content before moving on to the next and had the effect of slowing down progression.
From the view of bettering your character, the complete disappearance of attunements means that there is literally no valid reason to run any pre-raid content. If you're a good player the gear you gain from questing is sufficent to get you through Naxxramas, and loot upgrades fall like rain in that instance. This speeds the game up, and leads to faster burn out of raid-minded players.
I'd like to include more, but I think that's enough of a steal for now. Honestly, head on over and give it a read if you haven't already. I do agree with #3 there in a big way, even though I never attuned in TBC! I enjoyed the pre-raid content quite a bit. Part of the attunement hit my favorite zones and quests list. I've also posted on it here (Attunements made you do your homework) and a little on the quest chain I enjoyed most here.
Karthis might really stay away, at least for a while. There's another post where he talks about the other games he's playing. Those that, like me, tend to break "for RL" usually come back, I believe, but I've also noticed that I can fill in the WoW craving fairly well playing a number of other games, particularly Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas. I don't have the muscle in my system for GTA4 yet, but doing that would probably keep me away even longer than RL is right now. If you can find another MMO that works, well, sayonara. Can't say I've played Ultima Online more than a month or two the last three or four years, knowhutuhmean, Vern?
Looks like Part-Time Druid is having the same feelings (and he's the author of the blog I link to in a link in this post; he's been complaining about removing attunements as long as I have)...
At some point I exposed the gears and wires of WoW, it’s inner machinations. I used that knowledge to manipulate the leveling game, to get powerful fast. Now I just wish I could put the old machine back together again.
I guess the real question is whether opening raids to more players is financially beneficial, and if it's financially beneficial for the long run? If your top-tier guys all bolt for Conan or LotR or whatever it is we haven't seen yet, don't they take the cachet with them, making others eventually follow? Part-Time has another great phrase... With LK, we have: "Welcome to World of Twinkcraft. Leveling is distilled, processed, and the quickest paths are easy to find." The "exposed the gears and wires" is particularly apt. Everyone knows how to play now. WoWHead and Thottbot and WoWWiki get consulted nearly every day of play. Mathes (now "theorycrafting") can be done more thoroughly by players than devvers, it seems.
I just want to play. And I want to remember what I did -- and have a reason why. Look, once players are able to make MMO content as well as developers, we've got a problem. As I plug over on Curmudgeon Gamer, "We've obviously gotten to the point where quest creation is a franchiseable process, easy to reproduce by almost any french frying knucklehead."