I know that a lot of WoW players don't care about lore or role playing, and I've always kind of felt that was a shame. Some of the most fun I've had in World of Warcraft was in playing a role (and no, I don't mean tanking) -- I've talked before about the old days when I actually led a Naxx raid in character as an overly concerned tauren worried about all the small people. Nothing irritates an orc warlock as much as hugs, let me tell you.
I mention this because, thanks to a coworker's twitter, I discovered Daily Character Development, and it got me thinking about my character. Quite frankly, as silly as it might be to concern myself with the fictional life experiences of a mass of pixels, I also find it brings an extra something to the game. Raids come and go. Gear gets replaced. But I find that even dedicating a little time to who you're raiding on, and who that gear is going to, makes it a little bit more fun for me.
Of course, I'm coming at this from the perspective of someone who's played tabletop pen and paper RPG's for years and years. But as just one example, when I was playing an orc, I sat back and thought about how that orc would view Garrosh Hellscream and realized that from the perspective of a young orc who's basically grown up on Azeroth, Hellscream was basically the perfect orc. That at least some orcs could totally get behind his agenda. It made the whole Horde civil war aspect of the thing incredibly interesting to me, after I rerolled Alliance again I imagined my orc ended up on the wrong side... and probably dead at the hands of the combined forces besieging the city.