Eh, to say they didn’t do it back then is a stretch. You’re talking about the first xpac, of course they did it. This was all before the big-boom of mmo addiction awareness came about and the ammount of people unhealthily no-lifing was actually quiet high because lack of global awareness at the time. Now the games 16 years old and mmo’s creating problems in peoples lives is a very real and obvious thing so less people participate in such activity. Trust me, lots of no lifers back then. Just hitting 60 in vanilla was a feat itself, so anyone who was already 60 when the gates opened and reached 70 in a fast time, was probably already a highly devoted player at the time.
You’re also talking about people playing AV for 12 hours a day. The hardcore pvper at the time was very invested.