Actually, here's a straight-up tip for you. If you're trying to beat World of Warcraft at its own game, nobody really cares. The users, and would-be users don't. The media doesn't. Your investors might care, but they're probably really the only ones.
In a sense, World of Warcraft has already been beaten in various ways. There are games with arguably better graphics, that are arguably more fun, and lower subscription fees.
You can argue that there are games that are better than WoW in every way, but that actually really doesn't matter either. Nobody much cares about that, because WoW has something that can't be copied or improved on.
World of Warcraft is a living classic. As simple as that. It is the Winslow of MMOGs. There are games with more subscribers than it, and some may be making more money. But none of that counts because Blizzard's nightmare child occupies a place in time and culture that simply cannot be replicated (at least not without a time-machine and a rather reckless attitude towards causality).
There will surely be other living classics. One day, Activision-Blizzard is going to get tired of running it, but until they do, nothing else is going to occupy that place in our collective hearts and minds. World of Warcraft remains the proverbial 800 pound gorilla in the room, even if everyone overtakes it, because it's the one we all keep thinking and talking about as communities and cultures.