Unless you have rolled a L1 alt recently, you won’t realise how much Blizzard have improved the experience for new players. People completely new to WoW will really find their introduction much smoother. You’d have seen patch note changes such as mana regen for low levels is far higher (I never went oom on my L1 through 5 warlock). I didn’t realise but they have also made the mobs neutral in the starting zone, which makes the cave-troll quest achievable for a noob instead of a frickin headache.
There are new UI tips which are really great too, showing with pictures how the movement keys work. They’re context-sensitive, so when my bags were full a tip came up about that. When I dinged, again, and when I needed to loot a mob. Very clever.
Mounts are available sooner now too, L20, which is really strange to see, and they’re cheaper. You’d all know about rep being faster in Northrend and the heirloom flying book, so Blizzard have tuned the high-level experience too.
Blizzard need to continually bring in new players. EverQuest apparently is improving the new player experience. This is of course very cleverly done before Cataclysm launches when a whole new raft of players should arrive. Many players will use the new content release as a milestone allowing them to stop playing.
Levelling up is easier than ever, which I think is a great thing.
Here are a few screenshots, click to enlarge.