Now a couple weeks ago I started a little experiment to see fast it took to level before and after the patch. I didn't get far -- I blame NaNoWriMo -- but luckily I wasn't the only one with this idea. Agent of Shattered Hand recently finished leveling a character from 1-60 on the PTR. So exactly how long did it take? In the end his /played was a 5 days, 5 hours. He did a few things differently than we would have to prove exactly how improved the experience gains really are. For instance he logged his character out without using inns in order to minimize the amount of rested XP he received, presumably so that the experiment would run mostly using normal experience as a condition.
What exactly does this mean? Well, Agent says that before Patch 2.3 players took around 8 days minimum to reach level 60, sometimes more if you were dilly dallying the way I did. Now with some streamlining you can level your character in just a few days. Now something I'm not clear on, but I certainly hope to be later on this evening is Agent's praise of the developers showing "items that are picked up for quests." I assume this has something to do with corpse sparklies. Maybe there's a new type of sparkly that shows only when a quest item is available to loot off a mob. We shall see in a few short hours.
In the end, what the developers removed from the game is the grind. You no longer have to grind your levels, since there are enough quests to do at each level and you are getting enough experience from them. This has been my bone of contention with RPGs for a long time, and I am grateful that Blizzard has learned from their experiences (read mistakes) and changed the system. Now we will hopefully have more people at endgame to experience the wonderful content that is currently only accessible by few.