Why do I prefer WoW to more linear games

Triggered by a rant from Dara O Briain where he merrily goes off on one about GTA4, Call of Duty and other similar games.  He has a problem getting through various choke points in the game.  The end of level ‘boss’ type encounter where working out the boss and getting through is mandatory to see the rest of the game.  In his example he’s managed to get through 11% or so of one of the titles, that’s it.

Never been able to clear that end of level monster.

I suspect that’s nailed why I prefer Warcrack over that form of linear game, there is no “win” as such.  Ok we can get bosses down in Dungeons or Raids, we clear quests but there is no crippling penalty to not doing them. So, I can’t get quest $foo done, no problem I’ll have to clear a few other quests elsewhere to build the XP, or mangle a few extra monsters.  I can’t get through Yog-Saron or the bloody Faction Champs?  This doesn’t block me from having a look inside Icecrown and handing Arthas his arse on a plate.

The penalty is not getting the swooshbing of an achievement or a pretty piece of gear and taking longer to get somewhere, not “you can never see anything in the game beyond this point!”