One of the oddball things I actually liked about Star Wars Galaxies – even its NGE version – was how wildly fast leveling went along. Whether it was in the skill system or the CL class system that came later, you could actually zip along to the top of most skill blocks and classes pretty quickly. Post-NGE, I remember taking my newly rolled medic out for a zip through the legacy questline and then pop out for some fast mission runs. Capping – if you didn’t care about the story, anyway – was relatively trivial because it was never really the point anyway.
(I know entertainers and bio-engineers are scowling at me right now thinking, “Easy? You call that easy?!” and yes, I know! I did all those skills too, and you’re right, they were the exceptions in classic. The trade-off is they get a free ride in NGE at least.)
Guild Wars and Guild Wars 2 are another pair of games whose leveling experience is so downplayed and flattened that it frees the player to think of gameplay in terms of what they want to do and not how fast they can get there. The journey really wasn’t actually the point; it was just the training for the flower-smelling!
What MMO would you say has the shortest leveling content or the fastest trip to the “cap”?