At some point in your life, probably about your mid- to late-twenties, you came to a sudden and terrifying realization...
You are nearly thirty.
"But Feathers!," you say. "It's just a number! It doesn't mean anything! Everyone faces their thirties, and almost everyone survives it! Besides, Thirty is the New Twenty!"
First of all, I reserve the right to smack you upside the head if you ever again say that something is the new something else. I won't hit you hard, but I will hit you. Something is NOT the new Something Else. That statement is so illogical it makes me cringe.
Second, I don't care that almost everyone gets over the Terrors of Thirty eventually; my point is that for however briefly, Thirty is a ridiculously scary proposition. It means your not-single friends are starting to have kids and buy houses (actually, some of your single friends may also be having kids and buying houses, but I make no judgements here) while you are still cruising bars trying to find A Decent Guy who isn't a psychopath or an insurance salesman. Good luck with that. It means a great deal of angst as you contemplate your lack of a career direction and your dead-end job that you only manage to drag yourself to every day because That Guy In Marketing is a hottie. Which is a stupid reason to go to work, but if it means that you make it there so that you can make enough dough to (hopefully) pay the piper, we'll live with it. It means that you are forced to endure, at great length, your mother, grandmother, various diverse aunties and half the rest of the world querying you at great length about when they might expect you to Settle Down and Have Grandchildren. It is a horrible, horrible time, and for those of you who got through the Terrors of Thirty quickly, my hat is off to you. For those of us on the edge of the abyss, looking down into the empty darkness, give us a chance to catch our breaths. We'll get over it eventually.
I'm so sorry. Got a little caught up, there. Moving right along...
So the thing is, WoW isn't any different. RL or WoW, there is no difference - the thirties are full of terrible, horrid things. I always like leveling, until I get to about 27ish, maybe 28. 29 if Ashenvale is good to me. However, once you get to 30, the world grinds to a slow, freakishly awful stop. It means the barren, sunken miasmas that are Dustwallow Marsh, the Badlands, Desolace, Stranglethorn Vale, and the Swamp of Sorrows.
Seriously, I HATE leveling 30-40. The zones are ugly, save for the one saving grace that is Hillsbrad. However, Hillsbrad has its own personal hell in Southshore. Come on, people! It's been FIVE YEARS and you STILL can't find anything better to do than to go to Southshore and one-shot toons fifty levels below you, and then just for good measure, kill the Gryphon Master so that they can't get away?
(Yes, as a matter of fact, I was ganked last night. At length. By an 80 in Ulduar gear. Yes, it was a rogue. Rogues suck. The proportion of ridiculously big jerks is SO. MUCH. HIGHER when it comes to rogues then in the rest of the population that it makes me cry. What is it about playing a rogue that is so attractive to the jerks among us?)
Anyways, so besides the fact that the surroundings are deadly depressing, the quest lines are also deadly dull. There are no epic quest lines in the thirties. There aren't even any reasonably good quest lines. Hit 30, and you're looking at rep grinding in Desolace (good thing that Centaur Ears have such a low drop rate; you have to kill them by the score), getting smeared with some seriously Nasty Stuff while going fishing, and spending days and days killing stupid trolls. Oh, yes! And let's not forget all the Really Terrific Guys you meet... like this one. And him. And of course, this sadistic, kill-happy tyrant.
Fortunately, like all things in life, if you are willing to push through, the thirties do eventually come to an end. Baby Kia is sitting just under 39 right now. 70 or 80 thousand more xp, and I'll be able to do all kinds of fun things like wear shiny mail! And go to the Hinterlands! And after about 45, the road to Outlands is all but done! Things get better after 40, I really believe it. I'm holding on to that.
Until then, I'm still cruising the bars, looking for Centaur Ears.