I have yet to play a true MMORPG that doesn't come with the basic "Kill monsters for EXP.
Nor do I think I would ever want to, for that would defeat the purpose of playing the game.
However, when killing monsters becomes more of a daily chore, and less of something I do in my free time for fun, I find myself asking myself, "Why am I doing this?" As a game, an MMORPG is supposed to provide entertainment. Entertainment, that in most cases I am not only required to shell out the obligatory $50 for the game, but ALSO provide a monthly fee.
So why is it that the core of the game, which is to say, PvE, or killing monsters(which, no matter what games try to sell to you, you still need to PvE BEFORE you PvP) boils down to a series of mundane, repeatable tasks. Most monsters have about as much AI put into them as cottage cheese. Actually, cottage cheese may be smarter than your standard "MOB", but that's not the point. I could sit at my PC with a dull expression on my face for HOURS merely right clicking everything that moves, and would have accomplished nothing more than killing a few hours in exchange for a few meaningless levels. And don't get me started on FedEx quests.
Now most people will tell me that this is the figurative "price" I pay to unlock the "Endgame" content, or meat of the game. Now imagine yourself playing a newly released Console title. Let's take Assassin's Creed II for instance. Can you imagine what the game would be like if before going on his epic assassin journey, Ezio Auditore di Firenze had to spend 100's of hours practicing his assassin skills? I would be using that disc as a frisbee or a coaster as we speak instead of enjoying a AAA title.
So, why is this behavior considered acceptable. Why am I truly shelling out so much money on an MMO. It certainly isn't for the social experience, they should be paying ME to hang out with a bunch of 10-13 year olds with IQ's barely over 40, not the other way around. Since it's been my experience that people hardly ever work towards meeting NEW people in MMO's, that certainly removes that possibility.
On a typical retail launch of a game, many single-player titles will be criticized for not keeping it fresh HALFWAY through the game. MMO's fail to keep it fresh 10 MINUTES into the game. Kill, Kill, Kill, Kill, Kill, turn in quest, lather, rinse, repeat. I have experienced this in nearly every game I have played. An exception to the rule would be Guild Wars, but that technically is a CORPG, not an MMO, so it doesn't even count.
Enhanced MOB AI.
This maybe goes without saying, but I wouldn't mind killing monsters if they were actually a challenge. Playing against a monster should only be mildly easier than facing another player. They should have a full compliment of skills, not just one or two, and not just stand there and let me wale on them.
Less Fed Ex questing
I probably wouldn't be so bored of killing monsters if I didn't have to do it so freakin' often. One way to keep killing normal MOBs fresh would be to have it occur less often.
If MMO's are going to evolve out of a relatively Niche PC market, they are going to have to evolve past the standards that WoW has set, and find new and exciting ways to present a persistent world.