As everyone in the world probably knows, Wrath Of The Lich King for WoW was just released. And just like that, one player has already maxed his character at level 80, the new cap.

WOTLK came out a day early in Europe because of the time difference. And French player Nymh wasted no time at all. With a little help from a healer who kept him going, Nymh found a spot where mobs spawned in rapid succession. Very rapid.

I’m not surprised. Much the same thing happened when Burning Crusade hit the racks. There is always someone who has to be first to hit the top, whatever it takes, and that usually means a lot of grinding.

Naturally, Nymh skipped much (if not most) of the new content. You can’t do too much exploring when you’re annihilating mobs hour after hour. Maybe now he’ll take his maxed spellcaster on a more leisurely tour of Northrend.

Still, it seems strange to me that anyone who was anticipating WOTLK would bypass all the new material just to gain levels so quickly. And I have no doubts that other players with 70th-level characters are busily trying to max out, too.

What is it that drives people to level up so fast? What’s left after you hit that cap? Just more raids, right? Okay, maybe we can add in some better loot. But that seems small reward for so much effort.

In some ways, it’s similar to how gamers run through a new SP product. The game is hardly out, and some have finished it before others have broken the shrinkwrap. It can’t just be the “deluge of games” alone.

Why don’t players take time anymore to enjoy the games they have? Maybe it’s related to the speed of the modern world, where anything that takes more than five seconds is too slow? Have we lost the capacity for patience? Or is it that games are mostly just consumables of mediocre quality, something to fill in the time, fast food of little “nutrition” for the gaming habit?

Nyhm First To Reach Level 80 on WoW Insider