One of the questions I see asked often is "Are patches coming too fast" and I'm not sure that they really are. Considering that the Dragon Soul patch (4.3) came out almost exactly a year after the pre-Cataclysm patch The Shattering (Patch 4.0) then we're on pace for Patch 5.4 to come out roughly a year after patch 5.0. If we get patch 5.4 in three to four months, which would fit what we've seen with other patch releases this expansion, then we're looking at one more patch per cycle this expansion than last, and both patch 5.1 and 5.3 brought content outside of new raids. So yes, the patch cycle is slightly faster now, but those patches tend to vary between large patches with lots of raid content and smaller patches with quest hubs or PvP changes.
Looking at previous expansions, I was struck by how little the cycle has changed between Cataclysm and the current expansion. The only real difference is that Cataclysm had one patch (patch 4.1) that was a smaller patch with dungeons and world changes, whereas Mists of Pandaria has had two, patch 5.1 and 5.3. (I say smaller, but that's not really an accurate term - it's simply more convenient than typing 'focused on non raid content' over and over again.) So when we talk about the rapid patch cycle of Mists, we're basically talking about one patch.
So, therefore I wondered to myself - why does it feel like we're getting patches fast and furiously? Why do I hear and see people discussing patch burnout and talk myself about feeling totally overwhelmed by patch changes? If, as we've demonstrated, Mists of Pandaria is in fact more or less on par with or at best slightly ahead of previous expansions in terms of patch frequency (to go back to Wrath of the Lich King, patch 3.3 came out roughly a year after patch 3.0, although we then had a full year before Cataclysm) then why does it feel so much faster?