My undead priest, who has no religion as far as I can tell, (without doing some background internet research, I have no idea where my priest gets his powers from), is a bit of a nasty dude. He kills a lot. I walk around and kill a lot of things. Bears, wolves, murlocks, wolf-men, Dalaran wizards, you name it in the zone that I’m in and I’m killing it.
Now, I don’t particularly care about the ethics of this, if you want that go and read Tobold. My point is that all this killing makes the act of killing extremely mundane. You have sex every night with a different partner and after a while it all becomes meaningless. I have heard that Blizzard is trying to give us a good reason to kill ten rats in Cataclysm. But the fact of the matter is that to go up in levels you need to be killing things. Oh sure, you can level by taking different routes such as exploring, and there are players who have levelled without killing a single mob, but these are like people rowing a boat across the Atlantic – they’re just trying to make a point. The real way to get across the Atlantic is to step on a plane and hope that the guy sitting next to you doesn’t try to set his shoes on fire.
We might have better reasons to kill things in Cataclysm, but the end result will still be that we are all mass murderers doing our level best to depopulate the world, which has no effect as these things breed fast. If you only killed a single mob every level, how much of an event would that individual battle be? In old school Dungeouns and Dragons you could gain experience points in many different ways. Finding treasure, thinking of a creative way to solve a problem, interacting with NPC’s and getting what you want without lopping their head off, all of these could garner you experience. Of course you could also get experience by killing things, but if you went around butchering everything that moved you quickly got a reputation for being somewhat of an undesireable, which became problematic when you went into town to buy some iron rations.
For now my priest must continue to wade through a sea of blood and gore in order to get his new spells. How much more interesting would it be however, if each new ability that you learnt you actually had to go off and do a quest to learn it. The warlock minion quests are a good example of this. Would this be boring and repetitive? No more than what we’re stuck with now.