The first ever character you level you have no idea what you're doing. And depending on how fast you pick it up, or not, you'll have a good time levelling or you absolutely hate it. For me it was rather neutral. This was the first MMO I played like this, and I didn't level on my own, I levelled together with Thror. He played a pallie, I played a lock, he healed, and I pewpewed. It went fine together, not too slow, not too fast..it seemed.
We were also lucky enough to already have a friend on the server, who had an epiced out warrior. He ran us through Stocks a couple of times, and boy was it fun to see him whirl around and have everything drop dead at your feet. I was even lucky enough to have a blue drop in there, which sold nicely so I wasn't even out of money.
Every character that comes after your first is basically spoiled though. You can give them bags, some money to buy spells with, and you sort of know where to go already. And with the heirloom items in the game this has only become more true.
One of my more interesting experiences was levelling a priest on the EU servers from scratch though. She had no bigger sister to supply her with items or gear, and couldn't even afford a wand. I can tell ya...levelling a priest like that is like watching paint dry. I can't really say that I can advice anybody without experience to start out with levelling a priest. Try a hunter or so first, and if you like the game enough, level a priest after.
There are however many things that Blizzard could do to make the first couple of levels a lot easier on the newbie player, without making it profitable for the slimes out there to create alt upon alt, upon alt.
- Drinks & Food
Though supposedly regen is going up for low level characters, all they give you to start with are 2 meagre drinks and food items. Just supply us with a stack of each already!
And when I give out websites to new players, or even to more experienced players, it's hardly ever the Blizzard site. A beginner's guide is something that would be incredibly handy. Especially as I don't believe that this game is done yet in winning (devouring?!) new souls.
Besides the basics Blizzard really has done a lot to make levelling easier. Riding skill has been made available earlier, and made cheaper. Getting experience has become a lot easier, especially if you level an alt. But there are still steps that can be made.
One of the things that's probably very important is that there isn't an endless amount of things to do for your main. I find myself almost feeling guilty when I step on an alt because there is so much left to do on my main. And what makes it even worse is dailies. People are all hopping around doing the dailies, over and over and over...but alts are disappearing more and more to the background.
This not only causes people to only have 1 character that they play anymore, it also causes the skill of people to get less and less. If you have experienced several roles in a dungeon/raid environment, you will become better at playing your own role because you understand the different positions.
What I have seen from the announcements on Cataclysm my hopes are up for this expansion. I hope there will be less dailies, and more interesting quest lines. Stories that develop themselves as you step along the quests. Fun things to do, not 100 times like chillmaw (god that daily has its own abbreviation like dungeons), but just 4 or 5 times, each time on a different character.